Getting on the same page in any marriage is hard work! You are two different people who have been raised in two different homes with different thoughts on money, parenting, chores, children, sex, etc. You probably even have different opinions on what to watch on TV!
Jay and I both grew up in homes where mom and dad both were in the home. We both attended church growing up. Our parents all worked outside the home. We both have siblings. But that is pretty much where the similarity stops!
I grew up in Atlanta, GA in a home with a handicapped father. In our home, our form of communication was either screaming or none at all. Just kidding, we did have civil conversations, but we are all screamers as well! I was never really taught how to handle money. We had chores we were responsible to do; I folded laundry. I cooked dinners when my mom was working. I had to assist with dishes after dinner.
Jay grew up in a small town in northern Michigan, his family is very loud, but they don’t scream. They talk about everything! Nothing is off limits. I don’t think Jay ever did his own laundry until he left for college. He was taught the value of money and saving it, and working for it.
The differences in our homes growing up are not huge, but enough that we had struggles over money, parenting styles, fighting fair, and how to fold laundry! Getting on the same page in some of these areas is still a struggle after 32 years.
So how do you get on the same page as a married couple?
First, make a list of all the things you DO agree on! Start with the positive and build from there. By listing all of the things you do agree on you will see that getting on the same page is really not going to take that much effort.
Second, make a list of your values and create a Family Mission Statement. Having a Family Mission Statement creates a filter by which all of your decisions can be made. In our book, “Make Love Everyday:12 sure fire ways to celebrate your marriage,” we detail out a simple process for creating your own Family Mission Statement.
Finally, communicate about the areas where you don’t seem to be on the same page. Unfortunately, there are some issues in marriage that will need to be revisited often. It’s not that you are bad people or bad at marriage, it’s simply that you’re human!
Getting on the same page in your marriage will bring you, your spouse, and your kids joy!