Last week I told you that my husband and I recently started dating again. I kid you not, I think we’ve laughed and talked more, and have been happier in the last month than we have in a long time. That doesn’t mean we’ve had issues before that—quite the contrary, thank goodness—but I think we were just going through the motions of life without really intentionally investing anything into our marriage. I guess you could say we were in a rut. Ruts happens, and life happens, but we were both starting to feel the effects of that rut. Of course we still have our moments and long/bad days, but overall, I feel like we’re in a better place.
I know a lot of couples take a premarital class before they get married, but we didn’t. Lack of time, lack of being in the same place together, and lack of finding one that actually seemed beneficial, pushed that idea to the wayside. We almost went to a martial retreat early last year, but they frowned upon taking babies (understandable, but gosh, we really wanted to go…we just couldn’t find childcare for our baby at the time since it was out of town, so we had to turn it down). Actually, the only investment into our relationship we’ve ever done was the 5 Love Languages Quiz I talked about in this post. While that gave us really good insight into what we both like and how to treat each other, it didn’t really speak to our marriage as a whole.
Since this week is National Marriage Week (February 7—14), I have to tell you about a relationship checkup we recently participated in. I’m really happy we intentionally set aside some time to take the Couple Checkup “together.” Although to be honest, “together” is a relative term. If you’re anything like us, you guys are busy—busier than busy. Since the new year, my husband has been out of town often, and his work hours have been unpredictable (i.e. really long days). The great thing about this particular assessment is that you take it individually, so despite crazy hours, each person can take it when they have the free time.
I was hesitant to do this at first, because I didn’t want it to focus everything in one area, like religion, for example, and my biggest fear was that it was going to just tell us everything we’re doing wrong, or say we’re not compatible with each other. It’s kinda scary jumping into something that checks up on your marriage, especially since we’ve never done something like this before!
Honestly, I’ve always been scared that things like this will come back saying something like, ‘HA! How are you two even married?” But this one actually blew away my expectations; it touched on many different factors of relationships—they even had a military component to it, which ended up being extremely beneficial—and instead of telling you about things you’re doing wrong (my fear), it explained where you and your partner both are—individually and as a couple—on the whole scheme of things. Beyond that, it gave really great discussion points to talk about further in each category.
Taking the actual checkup was a breeze. You know how some quizzes ask you the same thing five times, but they’re just reworded differently to throw you off? I HATE that, because I always get confused and end up second guessing my answers. This had questions that were straightforward and even though I could tell what category some of them were assessing (finance, for example), I was really surprised it ended up covering such a vast area.
It was funny, when we sat down to look at the results together, I had my defense up and I was ready to disagree with what it said about me/our relationship. The only problem was that it was right, and it was almost a relief seeing it all there in front of me/us. It hit on all the points we were/are having issues with, and it clearly stated our strengths and particular growth areas.
Just so you can see an example, and to be totally transparent, here’s what our overall checkup looked like:
Right off the bat, we were happy with this graph, because it showed that we were pretty much in the same place with things, but also gave a good jumping off point for particulars we can work on.
But then the checkup went even further and dove into a more in-depth look at the relationship. It touched on stress levels, communication, conflict resolution, finances, hobbies, sex, family and friends, spirituality, responsibilities, parenting, and military life. I LOVED this. I really liked that I saw an inside look into my husband’s thoughts and feeling on all of these things, and that it compared it to me so we could work and talk together about each topic.
Clearly I’ve been a little stressed lately. The cool thing about this check up is that it doesn’t just say, “Hey! You’re stressed, and you’re not.” It spells it out for you and goes deeper than that, which was an excellent starting point for conversation and resolution.
I highly recommend taking this if you’re interested in intentionally diving deeper in your relationship with your partner. If anything, it can help you get on the same page and know where and what you need to work on. At first I was hesitant to ask my husband if he wanted to do this, because I thought he’d think it was silly, but he was all for it, thank goodness!
Here are some quick facts about taking the checkup:
- Each partner takes their own portion of the assessment on their own (should take about 30 minutes, but everyone is different!)
- Once the second partner completes their portion, couples can download/print out their results as well as the full discussion guide (like a workbook)
- Results are available for 90 days after account is created (this ensures couples are seeing timely results about their relationship – since relationships change everyday!)
- We recommend taking Couple Checkup on a neutral day (nothing really extreme happening – ex. just got engaged or just had a huge fight), as high emotions skew answers. (Jessica’s note: This is for real. We almost took it a week earlier, but postponed it because of an escalated silly argument, and I’m so glad we waited.)
- Assessment customized to couples in all stages of their relationship, for dating, engaged, or married
This week, in honor of National Marriage Week, the Couple Check up is only $19.95 instead of $35. Click on “couples,” and then “create an account.” Don’t worry—we took this over a month ago and I haven’t received any spam from them since!
I’m pretty sure this is something I’d actually like to invest in at least once a year. We take our car for tune-ups, and we visit the doctor for routine visits, so it makes sense to keep your marriage in check, too. We’ve always had good communication, but after six years of marriage, complacency can creep in, you know, so it’s nice to have a little checkup and make sure my husband and I are back on the same page for certain areas of our life again.
Free Couple Checkup for one lucky reader!
The fine folks at Prepare/Enrich are giving one of you a free Couple Checkup! The assessment comes with a downloadable report and a discussion guide, and it’s worth $35, but can be yours free! All you have to do is leave a comment below. I’ll pick a winner one this Friday (February 12).
Have you ever taken an assessment or a checkup like this before? I’d love to know your thoughts.
I’d like to thank Couple Checkup for gifting me with a free assessment; every single thought and opinion above is my own. This post idea, by the way, is brought to you from Belle Brita’s #LoveBlog prompts for February! Check out all of the other topics she has going on this month!