It Might Be a Good Idea to Schedule a Performance Review for Your Marriage



Earlier this week, an article came out in the Washington Post that has a lot of people talking: Apparently, it has now become a thing for married couples to give each other spousal performance reviews!

It’s actually a really interesting idea. Like a healthy checkup at the doctor’s office, the conceit behind these is that you’re communicating with your partner regularly about what’s working and what’s not; it’s a safe space where you guys can simply chat about yourselves and your marriage to make sure you’re chugging along. (“It’s the relationship equivalent of the six-month dental checkup,” says one of the psychiatrists quoted in the story.)

For many couples, this means having informal chats somewhat frequently, and only more serious scheduled sit-downs from time to time. And it works!

Research shows that regular checkups improve relationships. In a study published in Sept., 2014, in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Dr. Cordova and his colleagues gave 216 married couples questionnaires asking them to assess the biggest strengths and weaknesses in their relationship. Half the couples then saw a therapist for a checkup of two sessions to go over their evaluations and brainstorm a plan to address their concerns. The other half were told they were on a waiting list and didn’t discuss their assessments in a checkup.

The researchers, who followed up with the couples after one and two years, found those who had performed the checkup saw significant improvements in their relationship satisfaction, intimacy and feelings of acceptance by their partner, as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms, compared with the couples in the control group who didn’t perform a checkup. In addition, the couples who had the most problems in their marriage before the checkup saw the most improvement.

Good Morning America did a segment on this whole thing this morning, and talked to couples who do it. Check it out and let us know: Is this something you and your spouse-to-be would do?

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