Marriage Agenda (aka Coffee Break Agenda)

What is “Marriage Agenda”?

It’s a guide of practical questions and topics that spouses ask and answer surrounding the running of their household.

Who is it designed for?

For Married Couples, or those who are engaged to be married.


When could it be done?

It’s recommended to do a Marriage Agenda/Coffee Break Agenda weekly, preferably sometime in the first half of the week, to help define the coming week’s focus and goals.  It’s also ideal to do it consistently the same time and day every week.

Where could it be done?

It’s recommended to do in a public setting like a coffee shop or similar, since being surrounded by other people often helps keep ones emotional outbursts in check.  For those couples that have kids, the agenda can be easily accomplished at a park/playground while kids play in the peripheral.

Why do Marriage Agenda?

The marriage agenda questions are designed to allow the wife to give feedback to her husband, for the husband to give feedback to his wife, to release tension, resolve conflict, and for them to discuss and find solutions together to progress the family forward.  It’s intent is foster more healthy communication habits and allow a safe space and time to address concerns, with out fear of judgment.

How to do it?

It’s recommended that one spouse goes first and runs through all questions, while the other is listening, participating with answers, and taking notes on action items to do going forward.  Then, swap roles. It’s highly recommended to share a Trello board (available online and as a mobile app), Google Doc, or other means to track notes and feedback in a shared medium for easy future reference, and tracking of action items and goals.

Results.

Couples who implement Marriage Agenda weekly have said they argue and fight substantially less, because there is a weekly outlet that allows for healthy release of any emotional tensions.   If issues arise during the week, couples feel that because the weekly Marriage Agenda meeting is right around the corner, they can simply make a mental note of the issue to discuss it at the meeting, instead of derailing the emotional energy and mental focus of the moment. The conscious choice to discuss the issue later, could help the home environment stay emotionally healthier and more positive throughout the week.  


Marriage Agenda

Guidelines:

  • 3:1 positive to negative, praise to constructive criticism

  • Weekly 45min-60mins

  • Quarterly (once every 3 months) 3 hour in depth meeting


Questions:

  • What’s the intention and outcome of the meeting?

  • How am I doing on a scale of 1-10?

  • What are 2 things that could gets me from an X to a 10?

  • Are we spending enough quality time together?

  • Do you feel loved? (Husband asking wife) List a couple ways you feel loved.

  • Do you feel respected? (Wife asking husband) List a couple ways you feel respected.

  • What are you most excited by the future?

  • What are the strongest assets we have?

  • Any "do overs" from last week? (Was there something that could have been handled better?)

  • Any updates to the following areas:

    • Family Vision;  Where are we headed?  What’s our goals? and why? 

    • Financially/Business; What’s working? What needs to change?

    • Self Improvement/Relationship Development; What book titles have been recommended to us to read together on marriage, romance, financial, personal development, spirituality?

  • Schedule Awareness:

    • Trips; family events, dates, business, vacations, (discuss details).

    • Date ideas; preferences for weekly dates, plans for over night stay (away from kids). (discuss details)

    • Guys night out (discuss details).

    • Girls night out (discuss details).

    • Kids schedules;

      • Need to knows

      • Want to dos

      • School Project/Field trips

      • Goals & objectives

    • Plans with other family members (immediate & extended).

    • Plans with friends (other than family) What people/couples to invite out and spend time with. People with positive energy and encouraging attitudes that we can surround ourselves with.

  • Financial Awareness:

    • Review conscious spending plan & budget.

    • What’s our financial goals this month? this quarter? this year?

    • Are we on track to meet savings/investment goals?

    • Wish/Gift list ideas for her, for him, for kids.

  • Household needs:

    • Fix it list (“Honey do” List)

    • Big purchases

    • Weekly meal plan/shopping list

Quarterly Agenda

  • Run through Marriage Agenda.

  • Review 12 areas of life:

    • Health & Fitness

    • Intelligence

    • Emotional

    • Character

    • Spiritual

    • Love

    • Parenting

    • Social

    • Financial

    • Career

    • Quality of Life

    • Life Vision

  • Write out separately, then discuss together:

    • 2-3 things that are working in each area.

    • 1 thing that needs improvement in each area.

    • 1 thing or action item to do in each area.

  • Schedule; block out weekends first, annual traditions, holidays, family vacations, then schedule quarterly events.

  • Seal it with prayer.