Do You Have Annual Checkups?

{This article originally published in October 2007.}


In your marriage, that is... do you have them?

Our last date happened to be for our 7th anniversary. As we enjoyed our time, I realized that it might be something good to share with all of you.

Each year for our anniversary, we do a kind-of marriage "State of the Union" assessment. It's essentially a "checkup" for our marriage. We talk through various areas of our marriage:
  • How are we doing in communication?
  • How is our intimacy? Am I meeting your desires and needs?
  • Spiritually, are we where we should be, as a family, as a couple, and as individuals?
  • How are we doing in our parenting?
  • What's one thing we should focus on in this next season with each child one at a time (yes, we go through this with each child)?
  • Are we still working as a team?
  • Is there anything I can do to serve you better in any of these areas?
  • Is there anything you need that you're not getting from me?
We also do the "year in review" thing... talking about the high and low points of the last year. Together, we remember God's faithfulness and goodness throughout the previous year of our lives. Our goal is to thoughtfully, intentionally process where we are in our marriage.

 It gives us a "line in the sand", so to speak. By the end of it, we know:

Here's where we are. This is how far we've come.  We end that anniversary date confident that we are each aware of what's going on. Aware of what we each need to work on. Aware of any bad patterns we've fallen into that we need to work together to change. Aware of our top parenting issues/challenges.

I love anniversary dates; it's always extra-special to talk through all these things together.


Terry said...

This is a good reminder. We've been married almost 14 years and I'll admit we don't do these checkups as often as we probably should. Our anniversary would be a good time to do it. Thanks, Jess.

MInTheGap said...

This is such a great idea! We could all use some time to get a little more organized. One book I was reading said that it would be good to use Sunday Afternoons to plan what you're going to do during the week-- but this is good in that it lets you plan for the year and evaluate the last.

'Course there are also other-- time consuming-- things that people like to do on their anniversaries. *wink*

Anna S said...

Very good points, Jess. A helpful reminder for both married, and those preparing for marriage!

Cahleen 何凱琳 said...

Great advice! My husband and I only have one anniversary under our belts so far, but we're planning on having many more! By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

These are great questions! My hubby sometimes goes to my counseling sessions with me (for childhood and early adulthood stuff...he's such a huge support!)and my (Christian) counselor will ask, "So how's your marriage?" It's great accountability and having a mediator there to sort through any sticky stuff (like explaining to me what my husband is really saying when I think he's saying something else, and vice versa) has really helped. Marriage is a hard thing...but it's great when two people really work together to make it work :)

Joel and Jaime said...

Hi, I just found your blog through a link at flourishingmother, and I enjoyed looking through your recent posts. Your blog looks very interesting, and relative to my life right now. I hope to visit again soon!

Buffy said...

An excellent idea.

EllaJac said...

Jess; ok, here's my comment: I printed off the list of checkup questions the other day and when Hubby got home I had him read over it. As I'm still post-partum, he was ...amused... that I would ask him that second question... :)

melissa said...

Thanks so much for this post. We used the questions shortly after our anniversary, and they really helped us!