postitThere was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on October 6 that caught my eye.  The headline read:

It’s Review Time, Honey:  Evaluate the job you’re doing at being married to get better at it

James and I read the article together.  It talked about how more marriage counselors and researchers are suggesting spouses complete periodic performance reviews.

Now before you say, “Yuck!  I don’t want to get a terrible score from my mate.  That’s the last thing I need…to get beat up at work and then to get beat up at home!”

So please know there are guidelines like being fair and kind, constructive and not critical.

Researchers found that when couples took a questionnaire and then followed up with a therapist for two sessions to go over their evaluations and brainstorm a plan to address their concerns – they saw significant improvements.

It made me think that many husbands who would not go to “counseling,” would sit down with their wife for a marriage “review.”  If the review revealed one or two key areas needing improvement, the husband could leave with doable action steps.  This goal orientation sets up a man to succeed (and his wife as well!).

James has asked me what he can do to improve our relationship (and vice versa, I have asked him).  I told him I would like more words of affirmation.  And as a result, these little green post-it notes are appearing in places like my purse, sock drawer, and bathroom mirror.

When I find those little words of affirmation, I feel loved and cared for.  It makes me want to do something nice for James.  I think if we will take the time to evaluate our marriages, talking with each other in a non-condemning way, being open to change, we will be much happier in our home.

So, when will you schedule your next marriage performance review?  Make sure it’s a positive experience for your husband so you don’t scare him away.  That doesn’t mean you only say easy things.  You may have some unmet needs that you want to bring up – but make sure you also include a few things your husband is doing right and what you appreciate about him.

Kiss before and after the review…and make the commitment to resolve problems together before they become irresolvable.

Arlene Pellicane

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