Part V: Marriage Checkups

Part V: Marriage Checkups



Most of us think about the doctor when we think of a check-up. It’s interesting that most men have an avoidance towards check-ups! I might have this all wrong, but I wager most men would also balk at the idea that they should have a marriage check-up IF there is any hint that the check-up is really meant to be a check-up-on them

Let’s check-up on Bill to make sure he isn’t messing up too badly!  is an approach doomed for failure. On the other hand, if the attitude of approach is more like, Let’s check-in with one another to see how connected we’re feeling with each other, then the Marriage Check-Up will be a wonderful tool for your Marriage Tool Box.

The 3 Question Check-Up is brilliant in its simplicity:

First, schedule a conversation where you invite openness in a setting that is non-judgmental and caring. Your attitude is that of a best  friend, not a critic. 

The main goal is to strive to listen and understand; this is done by asking each other 3 questions:

1.    How are you feeling right now? 

2.    If there was just one thing about life, our relationship, or a current challenge that could change, what would you want it to be?

3.    How can I help?

1. How are you feeling right now?

This is a very open-ended question that could go in many directions, depending on the openness and trust you experience. Your spouse may touch on the stress of work, your sex life, or the pressure of your financial situation. Be open for them to reference hurt due to unresolved conflict.

Just talking openly and honestly with each other will be a tonic for you both.

2. If there was just one thing about life, our relationship, or a current challenge that could change, what would you want it to be? 

Asking for many suggestions may not get much of a response—your spouse may not want to complain, or there are so many things needing change they feel overwhelmed. However, to ask for just one thing will invariably get a response! There is always at least one thing that can change!

Let’s suppose there isn’t any situation that can actually change. In those cases, you can always pray. You can always express your confidence in your partner. You can always remind them of your love.

3. How can I help?

Simply volunteering to step into the situation—at the direction of your spouse—is a wonderful combination of humility and servanthood. This action is an attempt to understand and respond. Powerful connections in a relationship occur when both partners feel understood and loved. 

One caution—avoid trying to fix your spouse or the situation; rather, follow their lead.

Take turns doing the check-In, and see how conversation and loving understanding is stimulated!