The Weekly Check-In
A good habit for couples to get into is to have scheduled meetings when they present practical and emotional issues that need to be aired and discussed. Just as a well-functioning business has regular meetings to make certain all the employees work as a team, a good relationship practices the same procedure. For some reason, too many couples don't see the necessity of such meetings at home, while they easily accept this practice as a given at work. Perhaps they are hopeful that what is not discussed will just go away. However, as it is in business, so it goes (or doesn't) in a relationship.
What is left unspoken will not go away. It will fester and begin to eat at the foundations of your relationship.
First you need to schedule a regular check-in conversation. Once or twice a month works well, but if you find yourself in disharmony, perhaps once a week is necessary. Once the time is scheduled, it must be viewed as private time where your focus and attention is fully present with no distractions permitted, meaning that children are occupied or attended to and cell phones are off.
Within this period for communication, each of you can state feelings or ask questions while the other listens and then answers. Questions can include:
What have you not communicated that you want to talk about?
What haven't you been acknowledged for that you want me to have recognized?
What's not working? What's working better?
You can put your questions in many forms, but ultimately the point of these discussions is to get out the feelings that are bottled up and destroying the free flow of love and respect.
The length of time for a regular check-in should probably be forty-five to sixty minutes, no less. Most couples can handle this communication by themselves; however, if the tension is too intense, and the communication breaks down into rage and anger, an outside mediator may be needed. Good communication is essential for healthy relationships. Regularly scheduled check-ins will keep a relationship healthy and alive. It is important that honesty and trust exist for the process to work. Without these basics, the process can break down and the relationship will fester until eventually it dies. Vibrant couples regularly communicate about the agreements they've made to each other.