The great thing about the dawn of a new year is the opportunity that exists for an evaluation of all those important things in your life that make life so special. In my life, one of the those important things is my marriage. I so absolutely want my children to have a positive representation of what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. One such way to do so is by having a marriage check-up.
What’s a Marriage Check-up?
It’s no different from your annual wellness appointment with your doctor, really. You go to the doctor to make sure that you have been doing the proper things to increase and/or lengthen your longevity and health. The same concept exists for marriage. The beautiful thing about the check-up is you don’t have to wait to do it annually. You can do it weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, whatever works for you. But the important thing is to do it.
Why is it Important?
The marriage check-up is important because it allows you and your spouse an opportunity to nip minor problems in the bud before they become major problems. It allows you and your spouse and opportunity to communicate specifically about goals, desires, needs, and wants. You can make some major plans together that will set the course for the remainder of your year. It will also allow your children the opportunity to see how proper and active communication can contribute to a healthy relationship.
Sounds great! What do I need to do to begin our marriage check-up?
There should be some ground rules before you begin the checkup. Before you start, make sure you and your spouse are committed to a specific amount of time where there will be no distractions. I’ve always liked the idea of grabbing dinner from one of our favorite spots and returning to the house with the meal, so that we can eat and plan together as I know we work better full. You also want to make sure that you agree that this will be a collaborative meeting. You’re coming together in partnership to build upon your marriage, ministry, legacy, and that is VERY important.
We’re In! So how do we start?
Rules of Engagement for your Marriage Check-up
- Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page. Understand that this meeting is important and will take both of you working together for a successful meeting. It may help if you both explain why you feel the meeting is so important and why it is necessary for your spouse to be actively involved.
- Once you agree to have the check-up, put it on your family calendar. My family uses Google Calendar to keep up with all our different activities. Use something similar to capture the meeting. You typically want to schedule an hour to an hour and a half.
- Include a timer so that you can make sure that you are both given equal amounts of time to talk. This is only if it is necessary. I have a tendancy to talk over my husband when excited. It’s something I am working on. Because I know this is a trait that I have, a timer allowing me to know how much time I have to speak and how much time before I can speak again definitely helps me to be focused on the conversation and not my next point.
- Start with your marriage check-up questions.
- Prepare for open discussion and know that the check-ups may not always be easy and peaceful. It’s okay. Growing pains are necessary for beautiful endings.
Tools Needed for Check-up
Annual Marriage Check-up Questions
- On a scale of 1-10, 1 being horrible and 10 being amazing, where would your grade our marriage as a whole last year?
- Why do you give it the number that you have given it?
- What lessons did we learn last year that we want to take into our marriage this year?
- What did you learn about us as a couple last year that pleased you?
- What did you learn about us as a couple last year that disappointed you?
- What goals would you like us to achieve in our marriage as a couple this year?
- What investments should we make in our marriage this year?
- Is there anything I need to ask your forgiveness for from the past year?
- What do you think will make our marriage stronger this year?
- Are there any activities that we need to look into or schedule as a couple?
Now that you have the basics, make it your own. You can absolutely change the frequency to match your family’s needs. This should never be the only time you discuss your relationship. A higher frequency will ensure you and your spouse are on the same page about so many other things including finances, discipline, even sex.
To help with future Marriage Check-up questions, I decided to share a few pins that I’ve collected below. Feel free to check them out. The next step is yours! Are you doing a check-up on your marriage this year?