I attended the monthly lunch meeting for Better Together today in Fishers, IN. I enjoy these luncheons because I have a chance to gather with others who are interested in building and strengthening marriages. I always come away refreshed from hearing how others are working with couples and inspiration for feeding my own marriage. There’s a segment called “Tools, Tips and Tidbits” at the beginning of each meeting. This segment teaches practical information that can be applied to your marriage. This is followed by a featured speaker who shares about a topic in-depth. We meet from 11:45 to 1:00 on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. You can follow the link to see upcoming presenters and the address of the meeting place in Fishers here: http://www.bettertogether.us.
The meetings are free and open to the public. I’ve met other therapists; couples who are marriage mentors at their church; pastors; people who are gaining information to feed their marriages; and people who are volunteer support group leaders. There are single people, married couples–sometimes only 1 spouse can attend lunch and that is fine. Registering for the class is free and done through Eventbrite (link is on Better Together’s “Monthly Lunch” web page) Attendees can bring their own lunch or order and pay for a lunch that will be waiting for them at the door. I hope you will check it out!
Today’s featured speaker was Susie Howard, Director of Member Care & Development at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis. Her topic was “Your Money & Marriage; It’s Not About the Money”. Susie has worked with many couples at her church who are in financial crisis. She shared The Path: From Panic to Peace, which is a roadmap she walks couples through to help them get to a better place financially. One tip I especially liked and want to try, is using Post-It notes and a poster board to help couples have a conversation about how they will prioritize their financial needs and wants. After walking through an exercise where they identify all spending areas (rent, car insurance, food, out-to-eat, phone bill, cable bill, kids’ sport leagues, etc.) she gives each spouse a stack of post-it notes that have one spending category on each note. She uses a poster board or a white board and divides the page into 2 columns: Husband ———– Wife. Then she has each spouse prioritize the importance of spending categories so they can start to have a conversation about where they are and where they want to be. This tool helps the couple hear each others’ opinions and begin to have an idea of what they will identify as needs vs. wants. They can also use this tool to decide where necessary choices and cuts will be made to take them to their financial goal. I like the visual effect of this exercise because it clearly identifies each spouse’s position and is changeable as they compare notes and develop of Couples’ list of priorities. Money is one of the top 4 things couples argue about, so couples are wise when they tackle this subject or reach out to a third party to start having the hard conversations.
Doug Linville and I (April Linville) were privileged to be featured speakers in December 2013. In fact, if you want to hear what we said you can visit the “Previous Luncheon Speakers” page at http://www.bettertogether.us You will find a link there to an iTunes recording of our presentation.
We enjoyed presenting on “Constructive Conflict” and would be glad to talk with you about presenting this talk at your event. You may contact us for more information at http://email@example.com .
Joy and Peace to you,
April Linville, MSW, LCSW