Aleteia

The tiny blue booklet that can improve your marriage

JEDNOŚĆ MAŁŻEŃSKA
GaudiLab | Shutterstock
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In just 30 minutes a week, your relationship can reach new depths and heights.

Ever feel stuck in your relationship and want to go deeper? I’ve been there. But I’ve found that starting the conversations necessary to go deeper is a lot harder than it should be. Where do you start? How do you transition from “How was your day” to “How can we address our daily problems and stress levels more effectively”?

That’s a problem I’ve wanted a solution to, but haven’t been able to articulate well until recently. I had a vague feeling that I wanted to talk more with my husband about what was going on in our lives, but my efforts to jumpstart those conversations didn’t go well, as I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to talk about or where to start. Thankfully, at the same time that I realized what I was struggling with, a solution fell into my lap.

The solution is a tiny blue booklet called 30 Minutes for Marriage. It has 16 questions in it to discuss weekly with your spouse. The questions help you take stock of your marriage and communicate better. Like so many things in relationships, it is a fairly simple solution. I wanted to talk but didn’t know what to say, and so the answer is a script. (Scroll to the end for how to get a copy for yourself!)

So, how does it work?

You set aside 30 minutes every week to go through the questions together. The booklet starts with a short prayer that you both pray together. Then there are two main sections of questions. The first covers your calendar and family life (the events you have coming up, finances, free time, any children you have). The second part covers your personal life, both individually and together. You discuss things like the best and worst part of your week, you bring up one problem that came up that week in your marriage, and you talk about future goals, among other things. The couple who created the book recommend that after ending in a short prayer, you do something fun together. That might mean eating a treat or drinking a glass or wine, or maybe watching an episode of a favorite show together. 

And what are the results? So far, my husband and I are more in sync. Just getting on the same wavelength about events and plans in the upcoming weeks is a great start. But, having to discuss small issues that came up during the week, learning what each person loved and hated about a particular week, and then taking the time to consider and share our hopes and fears for the future is, unsurprisingly, very bonding. My desire to go deeper in our relationship in a consistent way has been met and exceeded. And my husband now understands what I was trying to get at with all my failed conversation starters of “I want to talk about our marriage. I just don’t know what I want to talk about exactly!” 

The booklet provided the jumping off points for important issues to talk about. That’s the easy part. The hard part comes in scheduling time to use it, and then in actually doing the work of communicating. We’ve made the mistake of having big conversations when one or both of us is hungry or tired or particularly stressed. And my husband now knows how important these 30-minute weekly meetings are to me, so he is willing to set aside the time even if they aren’t his favorite thing to do. All in all, it has been such a blessing to talk every week. Married saints, like St. Louis and St. Zelie, pray for us!  

How to get your own copy of the tiny blue marriage booklet: Email the husband and wife team at 30MinutesForMarriage@gmail.com 

 

 

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