We talked about the idea of giving your spouse an employee review on the show a few weeks ago and ever since then the idea of doing it was met with both positive and negative responses.
A. Lopez said: “Your spouse is NOT an employee you hire and then review after 90 days before deciding to fire them. That was a rude and crass idea. How dare you!”
B. Richards said: “Reviewing the performance of a marriage sounds like a great idea. You can identify needs early before they become issues! I wouldn’t call my spouse an employee though…haha!”
Let’s take a quick second to say this. NO. YOUR SPOUSE IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE. Ok, with that out of the way…
The idea has some merit. You are reviewed at work so that you can identify areas of lack or needs for improvement so you can be the best employee possible. We work to have good reviews in our jobs and worry about them every year because we want to be good employees. Its almost like we put more WORK into being a good employee than we do at being a good spouse! Sounds backwards to me.
So my wife Amber and I came up with a review sheet for our marriage and tried this out. We actually really enjoyed the process of reviewing our marriage because we had the chance to talk through somethings that may not have come up without the open dialogue. We did add one rule though…we are reviewing our marriage as a team, not as individuals. We could come up with a list of a 1000 things our spouses do wrong and this wasn’t meant to be a vent/gripe session. So we used WE statements and asked questions about the marriage. We didn’t take this chance to just point out something they do wrong.
Here are some of the areas we looked at in no particular order: (Again, we asked questions and talked through them)
1. Spiritual. Are we going to church as often we’d hoped we would? Are we attending a small group or do we have community with people who love and support us? Are we praying enough together and separately? Are we lacking in any areas that need work? Do we feel connected to God and why or why not? What should we be praying for that we are not?
2. Leadership. Are we truly living out what we say to our friends or post on FB or are we putting up a front? Am I leading our family as a man should or am I lacking in leadership? Is my wife contributing to the growth of our marriage/our home/our family? Are we a positive look at what marriage should be or are we “that” couple that people say they never want to be like?
3. Communication. Do we have active communication or are things being left unsaid? Are we being overly critical of each other? We are a safe place for each other to share about our struggles? Are we taking our problems to other people? Are we being honest with each other?
4. Intimacy. Are we still flirting with each other? Do we date each other enough? Are we intimate enough? (The rest of these questions I am sure you can get through with your spouse…haha)
5. HAS ANYTHING BEEN LEFT UNSAID: Basically, is there a hurt, an issue, is there anything that has not been resolved yet? If there is, lets TALK through it…
Every relationship is different and some of the areas we looked at may not be things you would like to look at, but the open communication this did for our marriage was awesome. Remember this is not a time to resolve, but to discuss. This is not a time to argue, but to talk. Lastly, we didn’t really grade each other or our marriage with a pass or fail, but just looked for areas that were strong and areas that could use a little boost. Have fun with this if you choose to give it a whirl.