Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

ID-100100147I just had my 6 month check up with the dentist. It wasn’t good news. There is an infection brewing under one of my teeth. I had no idea, but was glad I kept my six month appointment. Otherwise, I would be clueless and in trouble.

Regular checks ups help prevent major problems. And marriage is no exception.

A recent study proved this point by asking couples to undergo a marriage check up. The idea was to discuss strengths and weaknesses in the marriage to see if this made a difference in moving forward.

The results of the study conducted by Dr. Cordova and his colleagues, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, showed a mark improvement in relationship satisfaction, intimacy and feelings of acceptance compared to couples who did not do the review.

Furthermore, the check up decreased depressive symptoms and helped improve the relationship in couples with the most problems. The check up worked!

The idea is to perform the marital check up with care.

Begin with the positives of the relationships. Once you move into the weaknesses–no blaming, criticizing. Focus on the problems rather than the person. Discuss why you feel the way you do, again using your “I” position rather than “you.” Be empathetic and try to understand the world of your partner in terms of what may be adding to the problem (e.g., stress, job pressure, health, etc). Allow your partner to respond and then discuss a possible way to improve or change the problem.

According to the study, once you finish this type of regular review, your relationship gets a boost. So why not schedule your regular check up. Just like the going to the dentist, it can prevent problems before they become too difficult.

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