Part of my FOCUS for this year is to be more intentional in my marriage. As most of you know, my husband Zach is currently deployed and I thought now would be the perfect time to start implementing some of the habits I want to continue when he comes home in the summer. One of those habits is adding a weekly couple’s check-in to our marriage routine.
What is a Couple’s Check-in?
Also called a weekly meeting, a couple’s check-in is simply a time you and your spouse set aside to ‘check in’ with each other. You can have these meetings monthly, bi-weekly (what we prefer), or weekly. The important thing is to make time for discussing the state of your marriage and family life with your spouse.
Why is it important?
If you’ve ever struggled with communication in your marriage (*raises hand), you might want to think about implementing a couple’s check-in. I’ve compiled a few questions for you and your spouse to ask each other and I believe these will really amp up your communication skills
Questions like ‘Is there anything I’ve done this week that made you feel underappreciated or hurt?’ and ‘What is something I can do to make you feel more loved and valued this week?’ can help you open up to each other a little more. Plus the setting of a couples check-in creates a safe space where you both can express your emotions-both favorable and unfavorable- in a loving way. (Keep in mind that this is a team effort–both of you should be answering these questions and sharing your feelings with each other.)
I’m in! What should we include in our Couple’s Check-in?
Great question, friend! At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a download link for my free Couple’s Check-in printables with everything you need to get started. I’ve included a set of my couple’s check-in questions (I like to tuck mine into my planner), a monthly calendar to schedule upcoming date nights or important events coming up, and a marriage tending list.
You can also use your check-in time to meal plan with your spouse, budget out the month, and/or discuss munchkin pickup/dropoff. Honestly, the possibilities are endless but these three sheets will get you started.
Blank Calendar Template
Use this to write in date ideas for the month, schedule your weekly check-ins, and plan out your dates. The husband and I use Google Calendar on our phones to keep us on the same schedule but I like having a paper copy to add to the fridge so the month’s activities are visible.
Also, it gives me yet another excuse to use my cute Kawaii planner stickers. Win-Win!
Weekly Marriage Check-In Questions
These questions are meant to spark some good heart to heart conversations so be sure to start with a hug. Remember a couple’s check-in is not a free pass to unload your frustrations about your spouse. Instead, focus on creating an honest and open dialogue about the ups and downs of the past week.
I like to start out with the good so the husband and I usually begin by saying something we appreciated about each other during the past week. Then we take turns reading the questions and both of us give our answers. The questions are open-ended enough to tailor to our specific activities but asking the same ones each week helps us come to our meeting well-prepared.
The questions I’ve included cover everything from the previous week’s highs and lows to what you’re both looking forward to in the next week to your spending habits and sex life. Feel free to add questions if you feel you need to but I do recommend asking each other all the questions I’ve posed on these sheets.
Marriage Tending List
If you’ve read my previous post about setting intentional goals this year, you know that I’ve been working with the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets (a planner that I highly recommend if you want to focus on getting your bum in gear) and I love love LOVE the tending list pages included for each month. So I’ve included a marriage ‘tending list’ as part of the Couple’s Check-in printable set.
Use the Marriage Tending List to jot down the monthly and weekly goals for your marriage and family life as well as the daily habits you want to focus on for the month. Ever since we’ve started using this sheet to keep track of our marriage goals, we’ve definitely noticed a difference in how many intentions we keep during the month.
Need ideas for your marriage tending list?
The Monthly Goals section is perfect for adding budgeting goals, any special date nights you want to go on during the month, and other goals you want to keep at the forefront of your minds. For Zach and I, this might include things like eat out only 3 times this month or put x amount in the savings account.
For Weekly Goals, think of activities you want to keep track of from week to week. These will most likely be recurring events like having a date night every week, scheduling your weekly meeting, or making a meal plan. Zach and I have also added any weekly chores that we’ve divided up into this category like Zach: Take out garbage Monday night and Elizabeth: Fold all the laundry in the dryer. (Am I the only one who absolutely hates doing laundry?)
And, lastly, in the Daily Reminder section, include anything you want to make a regular habit. We add our daily tech-free hour in this section as well as any smaller goals we want to keep track of.
Remember: The best way to achieve big goals is to take small steps. Adding a couple’s check-in to your marriage routine might seem like a small habit but it can lead to big improvements in the health of your marriage.
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IT’S YOUR TURN:
Do you and your spouse/significant other have something like a couple’s check-in in your weekly routine? What are some habits you’d like to develop in your relationship?