An article in the USA Weekend supplement to last Sunday’s Marin Independent Journal newspaper promotes weekly family meetings as a fine way to “settle schedules and thorny problems.”
However, benefits are more likely to result from family meetings if before holding them with the kids included, the parents become adept at conducting meetings for just the two of them, as described in the Marriage Meeting Starter Kit, which explains step-by-step how to create effective Marriage Meetings.
Good Marriage Meetings foster love, respect, cooperation, teamwork, romance and intimacy.
As family therapy pioneer, Virginia Satir, MSW, Ph.D, pointed out, the parents are the “architects of the family.” They create the family’s process for how the members interact. How the parents relate to each other sets the tone for how their children will feel and behave.
Good spousal communication fosters family harmony
Discord between parents typically results from simple misunderstandings that escalate into grudges.
For example, Sue may get annoyed with her husband Pete because he often neglects to do certain chores. He may have no idea that this bothers her. Pete has his own concerns. He doesn’t like it that Sue ignores him when he arrives home, barely looking up from the computer when he says hello.
Neither partner says what’s bothering her or him. Each thinks the other should know. Besides, there never seems to be a good time to bring up a topic that they feel uncomfortable about mentioning. Instead of sharing their feelings with each other, Sue and Pete quietly start collecting evidence that “proves” that the other is neglectful and uncaring.
Emotional distance develops between them. Consequently, they stop having sexual relations, which creates more emotional distance. And so on.
Imagine conducting a meeting for the whole family in such a climate, when the parents are at odds with each other, like Sue and Pete.
Everyone benefits when marriage partners clear the air
Weekly Marriage Meetings clear the air in a calm, loving way. They prevent small irritations from turning into resentments.
By talking on a regular basis, using a prescribed agenda and positive communication skills, both partners feel appreciated and valued. Concerns are handled promptly, so closure occurs routinely. Trust grows and is maintained. Emotional and sexual Intimacy flourishes.
Children learn how to behave by observing their most influential teachers, their parents. If you want your children to be cooperative, loving and respectful, know that you are their role models. By conducting a short, weekly Marriage Meeting, you and your spouse are likely to relate to each other daily in ways that bring out the best qualities in both of you.
It is well known that the best gift parents can give to their children is a happy marriage.