Updated: May 7
Some couples have emailed wanting tips on having a weekly check in meeting. Here's the format we teach in the therapy clinic:
Step 1. Begin with telling one another five things you appreciate about one another. The trick is to say more than just "thanks", but also reference something about your partner's character. "That was a great salad you made yesterday" becomes, ideally, "That was a great salad yesterday. You're so resourceful when you thought to add twigs, nuts, and berries from outside." The word "resourceful" references his/her character, which makes people feel admired.
Step 2. Each partner discusses anything unresolved from the previous week. The trick is to talk about what you DO need, not what you DIDN'T need, DIDN'T like, NEVER want to see again, etc. Put it in the affirmative. If conflict generates, see some of our other posts about managing conflict.
Step 3. Ask one another, "How can I be a better partner to you throughout this coming week?" This reminds us that relationships are a work in progress, and the goal isn't to get it perfect, but rather to keep trying.
Good luck. Let us know if you'd like some other tips.