The Hunk and I meet with couples before they get married often–especially when he’s officiating their wedding or doing pre-marital mentoring. I love doing this! Throughout the meetings, in addition to contributing to skills related to conflict resolution and other key marriage issues, I drop in a little marriage hack we’ve used to make the practical elements of marriage go more smoothly–causing fewer unnecessary friction. And I want to share a marriage hack or two here and there for you to employ in your own marriage. Be on the lookout for future marriage hacks to help you simplify and/or make your marriage run more smoothly.
Marriage Hack #1: Scheduling
The best thing The Hunk and I Have done, practically speaking, is to use Google Calendars to manage our schedules.
Firstly, we both had a Google account. You probably have one already, right? We just used what we had already to get started. The Hunk was a little reluctant because he love-love-loves paper schedules. Reluctantly, he joined in, realizing the practical element this brought to his new marriage.
We shared our calendars with one another so we could see them on our own calendars–but not edit them. He began scheduling his classes, his study hours, his meetings with students, and his church leader meetings on the calendar. I began scheduling… well, nothing, because I had no life outside of work at the time. Occasionally, I had trips to Kentucky, but this eventually grew to where I could put in my extra curricular items, like chaperoning dances and working after school on yearbook pages. Parent/teacher night was important to add. I even eventually made friends and had dinners with them–Hey, Kelly! Then, when my wedding photography business launched, I added sessions to it. When The Hunk was still in school, he could see my activities and try to plan his study schedule around it–which he did wonderfully!
The key here is that we could see one another’s calendar. So, when The Hunk scheduled a long study session, I could schedule a Gilmore Girls marathon. If someone asked us over for dinner and he was no where to be found, I could look at his schedule on my phone and see that he had no plans and go ahead and schedule it if I knew he’d be interested.
Often, we have events that we both need to attend. When this happens, we can invite the other to our events. This most often happens when we have haircuts scheduled, or joint gym trips hoped for, or, sometimes, we even have to schedule in… well, other things.
We keep this method going to this day, although it’s more complicated because The Hunk likes keeping his phone, which we affectionately call a dumb phone. He has a tablet and wireless almost everywhere he goes, so he can still access his calendar. We have one expectation when it comes to scheduling: Put it on the calendar. If we have conflicts or issues related to schedules, it’s probably because one of us **cough**me**cough** forgot to put something on the calendar.
To sum it up, here are the benefits of using this to hack your marriage:
- Each person can see the other person’s schedule
- Each person can invite the other person to join in on events
- In the absence of one spouse, the other spouse can schedule events with both schedules in mind
Just keep in mind the golden rule: Everyone puts everything on the calendar!
Marriage Hack: How to
If you’ve used Google much in your life, you know that they do regularly change things. As of this posting (February 15, 2016), these are the directions for sharing calendars. If Google changes this and I don’t, you can easily search for “how to share a calendar in Google” and follow those directions. Maybe you use a different calendar–just search for those directions.
- Log into your Google account
- Go to calendar.google.com
- Click on the gear icon, then settings.
- Click “Calendars” at the top of the page
- Unless you’ve used Calendar a lot, you have just one calendar. You should find your calendar listed; all the way to the right on that row, click the link under “Sharing”
- Under “person,” type in the gmail address of your spouse.
- Under “Permissions” select “See All Event Details” and then click “Add Person.”
Marriage Hack: What about you?
What marriage hacks have you found help you to simplify the flow of your life together? Drop me a line below!