Recently a client asked this question in a large gathering: “Do you have a detailed plan to ensure success, to flourish and grow your marriage? Or is there apathy?
Okay, good question, detailed plan for our marriage. Within moments my thoughts took me 25 years back-when we hired a business coach. The drill then (and to this day) was: it’s all about the vision and a plan to get there. You have probably heard it before “Fail to plan-Plan to fail”.
Marlene’s and my “plan” so many years ago was we will get married when we can comfortably afford a mortgage (I heard so many marriages having issues due to financial stress). So we dated 4.5 years, saved every penny, bought a house, got married and moved in.
Then the plan was that we wouldn’t have kids right away, lets have some fun together as a
married couple. We combined that plan with a goal of paying down the mortgage to a certain amount, where there would be no pressure with just one income, and 6 years later
Jared was born.
Over the years we came across a book and another plan called “Happy Camper Dating”. The plan was to have a specific date night after you get married. Here is how it went: I would plan the entire date night-go out to eat wherever I wanted to go, or do the stuff that I wanted to do (for example: go biking or motorcycling, or go to an action/thriller movie) and Marlene would come along as the “happy camper” and enjoy time with me, all fun, no complaining on my choices.
Then the next date night it was her turn. She would say, “Be home by 6:30pm, dress nice, we are taking the car not the truck. I’ll give you directions, get on the freeway. I made
reservations.” I had no clue where we were going. All fun! And no banter on her choices.
When Jared was living at home we would make sure we had our family supper together, 7 days a week. Chat time-TV and phones turned off-and talk about everything under the sun (besides business). Even now that Jared is married, we have continued this same supper plan.
With both of us in real estate, it was so easy to work 7 days a week. I physically burnt out a few times in the 1980s and learnt my lesson early in life ( Thou Shalt Work 6 Days, NOT 7). So we made another plan decision, to keep one day for family and faith.
We have a few more plans set in motion, and a few more to figure out. Here is our next big plan: because we are going to be grandparents soon, we are putting our heads together to try and figure out how we are going to be the BEST grandparents ever!! Happily Ever After, That’s the plan...
Your friends in the business,
Larry & Marlene