Building Your Dream Relationship: Step 5: Schedule a Weekly Check In

Building Your Dream Relationship: Step 5: Schedule a Weekly Check In

An important goal of marriage counseling in Wake Forest, NC is teaching couples skills necessary to truly expose themselves to each other.

Why is this important?

Should we really be totally vulnerable in front of the other human being (even if it’s our partner)?

Isn’t emotional dependency a sign of immaturity and insecurity?

Reaching the most vulnerable parts of yourself and sharing them with your partner can literally save your marriage. Because choosing not to talk to your partner about your feelings, needs, and worries opens the door to uncertainties, presumptions, and false beliefs. Keeping your doubts and resentments inside can snowball into a huge dissatisfaction that will eventually kill your marriage.

The best way to tackle this?

Talking!

Not only when the issues arise, though. Make sure you keep talking to each other on a regular basis. Before your concerns turn into problems. Before problems grow into resentment, contempt, and emotional disconnection. Which, unfortunately, usually happens before you know it.

Failing to address your doubts, worries, and expectations can destroy your relationship. The problem is, when we stick to our assumptions, we form an opinion believing that what we have are the facts. Yet, we usually form our beliefs without having all the information. Hesitancy to expose your deepest thoughts, needs, and feelings to your partner creates assumptions and false beliefs that lead to unrealistic expectations, poor decision-making, and inevitably, disappointment.

Allowing yourself and your partner to openly discuss your feelings and thoughts in an atmosphere of complete honesty is a big step towards a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

The Importance of Weekly Check-ins

I call these regular, consistent conversations between the partners “weekly check-ins” and this is something I insist on with my couples during marriage counseling in Raleigh, NC. Weekly check-ins are a perfect opportunity to come together and discuss everything that goes on in your relationship. These regular conversations are a great way to talk over about:

–       what is going well in your relationship

–       what is not going well and

–       what you are going to do about that

There is no right or wrong way of doing a “weekly check-in”. However, there are some ways to start this practice.

·      Put Weekly Check-ins on Your Calendars

We tend to overlook the importance of investing time, effort, and energy into our relationships. We take our relationships for granted too often, expecting that our marriages somehow prioritize and maintain themselves. Well, that simply won’t happen. You need to tend to your relationship, focusing on both its strong points and weaknesses. The emotional disconnection is the leading cause of both discourse and divorce in marriages. Therefore, you need to start working on what sucks in your marriage as soon as possible. And the best way to do this? Start talking.

To begin with, do not sacrifice your weekly check-ins with each other to unexpected scheduling changes. What does this mean? I always encourage couples to put their weekly check-ins on calendars and stick to them. For example, if you schedule a weekly check-in for Friday evening but you have unexpected guests during the evening, postpone your conversation for later or reschedule it for Saturday morning – do not leave it out.

·      Devote Time to Your Weekly Check-ins

Couples often tell me they are not sure how much time should they schedule for their weekly check-ins. I believe anything between 20 to 30 minutes is good. But, more importantly, you need to make sure you’re totally devoted to these conversations which means no phones, emails, or other distractions. Also, ensure that your kids are not around so you can focus on each other.

Furthermore, it is totally up to you when it comes to weekly check-ins structure – you may go with the more structured approach or do it in a more laid-back way, whatever works for you and your family.

However, if you like structure, you can break your weekly check-in into three parts:

Part 1: Focus on What’s Good

Always start your check-ins by expressing gratitude and acknowledging things that are going well in your marriage. Gratitude can significantly improve your life. Research shows that people who actively and regularly practice gratitude are happier and healthier than those who don’t. Gratitude can boost your mood and optimism, improve resilience, enhance your empathy, and lead to more successful social relationships. So, simply pause and reflect on what happened during the last few days, and then let your partner know you care.

Part 2: Discuss what is going wrong

After you have expressed gratitude, you can now start discussing your concerns. However, keep in mind that this is not the time to get defensive and allow for a conflict to escalate. On the contrary, this is time to access the vulnerable part of your hearts and openly talk about your needs, thoughts, feelings, resentments, and worries.

Part 3: Ask for what you need

Keep in mind that it is okay to feel needy. It’s okay to feel emotionally dependent on your partner, and it’s okay to feel vulnerable. Tell your partner about your emotional needs and do it as soon as possible. Don’t wait for too long to bring up your concerns – it may be too late once you finally do.

Summary

If you want to have a healthy relationship, you need to talk to your partner. Sounds pretty simple, right? Except it’s not!

Scheduling the regular weekly check-ins can be a great way to keep the conversation and connection alive.

I hope this information helps you to better understand the idea behind the “weekly check-ins” with your partner. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give me a call at (703)347 3200 and schedule an appointment in my Wake Forest office.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Irina Baechle,LCSW is a founder, owner, and a licensed therapist at IrinaBaechleCounselingLLC. She specializes in helping distant couples and anxious singles build truly connected and meaningful relationships. She currently offers online and in-home counseling services to residents of Virginia and North Carolina (and most countries abroad). Click here to schedule your free 15 min consultation. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube for useful tips and resources.

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