HOW TO TAKE STOCK OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND MARRIAGE
A TIME FOR UNIQUE BLEND OF FUN AND INTROSPECTION!
The month of December with its festive spirit is here and we have already commenced the first day of the month with a holiday!
Life can be busy and activity-filled but it should not be at the expense of important relationships. Well, the period to spend quality time with your loved ones and have undiluted fun is upon us. However, in the midst of the fun and all that, we should also create time for solemn stock taking in relationship. This article reveals how to take stock of your relationship and marriage in a very comprehensive approach.
IMPORTANCE OF TAKING STOCK OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND MARRIAGE:
- Taking stock of your relationship and marriage reduces “irreconcilable differences” among couples: The need to take stock of your relationship and marriage on regular basis is more obvious now that many marriages are facing several challenges and many couples are separating and divorcing due to “irreconcilable” differences.
- Taking stock of your relationship and marriage helps to measure your progress: For married couples this is a time to evaluate the progress made in their marriage They should be able to ask each other serious questions and find answers to those questions. For the unmarried, who are still courting or dating, this is the time to find out whether the parties involved are working and walking towards the goals of the relationship. It is time to look back in order to look forward. How to take stock of your relationship and marriage as explored in this write up reaffirms the fact that periodic evaluation is vital in every relationship or marriage that wishes to flourish.
- Taking stock of your marriage helps you to apply such principles to other aspects of your life: Stocktaking is the process of thinking carefully about your situation or position. It is akin to evaluation which means to form an opinion of the amount, value or quality of something after thinking about it carefully. Since this is a blog dedicated to relationships, especially marriages, I shall be homing on that important institution. However, this does not mean that the principles espoused here are not applicable to other forms of relationships.
- Taking stock of your relationship and marriage helps you to recognize and overcome your challenges:Periodic Evaluation is a very crucial exercise in every aspect of life’s endeavor including relationships. Without proper periodic evaluation, you can stagnate, or even deteriorate without knowing it. Through proper periodic evaluation, you recognize your challenges and strategize on how to overcome such challenges. Evaluation also helps you to identify your strengths and build on them.
- Taking stock of your relationship and marriage helps you to grow together with less friction: Marriage is the union of two different individuals, with different temperaments, upbringing, value-system, aspiration and interests. Relationships and marriages generate issues on daily basis among the partners. Some of these issues if not properly resolved, can create friction and tension in the relationship and marriage. As couples advance in marriage, they grow and also discover better ways of resolving issues in their relationship and marriage. Taking stock of your relationship and marriage periodically is one of the ways couples can measure their growth in marriage. During the periodic evaluation period, you discuss how you have handled previous challenges, evaluate and analise the results you got, and brainstorm on ways to handle it better.
- Taking stock of your relationship and marriage helps you communicate better with your partner: While taking stock of your relationship and marriage , couples should freely express themselves, stating the strengths and weaknesses observed in the relationship without personality attacks.
HOW TO TAKE STOCK OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND MARRIAGE:
For proper periodic evaluation to be done, partners need to consciously create time for it. You don’t need to wait until you have a weekend get-away together, even though that is a great idea too. You can do it during a picnic just the two of you, or right in your home. All you need to do is reduce disturbances and interference as much as possible and you are good to go.
Suggested areas to be evaluated by the couple include:
- Communication aspect: Communication is the act of conveying information for the purpose of a shared understanding. Active listening is an essential aspect of effective communication in relationship. Active listening requires genuine interest in the other person with full nonverbal involvement. Try and maintain eye contact while communicating. Avoid folded arms and loud voices. In effective communication, how you say something can be more important than what you say. So, be mindful of your body language as well as that of your partner. Stay focused on the present discussion and avoid unwarranted arguments. When arguments occur, try and control the situation and calm yourselves down. If it’s getting out of hand, find a way to politely end the discussion and revisit the issue when both of you are better off. Don’t hide or bottle up your emotions. Understand and express your emotions in simple, sincere and non-judgemental ways. Honesty and openness enhances communication a lot. Be open and sincere to yourselves and avoid lies.
- Sexual intimacy and satisfaction: This is one of the areas in marriage that if not well handled, can erode self confidence and trust. As couples, discuss how you want your partner to sexually satisfy you. Share your sexual challenges and brainstorm on how to resolve them. Openness and sincerity makes it easier for couples to navigate through their sexual challenges. Don’t assume your partner knows what you want. Tell them.
- Financial aspect (income and expenditure patterns): Couples should discuss their income and expenditure pattern, savings and investment opportunities, and other money-related matters. Review your debts if any and discuss how to both get out and stay out of debt. Review your family budget system and discuss how to stick to your budget.
- Career and job-related issues: Couples need to evaluate sincerely how their job/career is impacting on their marriage. Discuss on practical ways to create balance between job/career and family.
- Parenting challenges: If there are children in the marriage, review your parenting principles. Identify your challenges and discuss practical ways to resolve them. You can research and get some materials that can help you in this area.
- Housekeeping related issues: Evaluate housekeeping duties, domestic helps challenges, etc. You can also discuss on how to reach a Compromise with household chores.
Couples should adopt constructive, rather than destructive methods of resolution in dealing with their challenges. This helps them to successfully scale through their periods of disagreement and conflict. Constructive conflict resolution focuses on the problem, not the person; while destructive conflict resolution attacks (focuses on) the person.
Try not to spend the whole stock-taking period on arguments alone. Remember that life and marriage is all about Compromise. Evaluation period should also be used to enhance bonding and connectivity between the Couple. This helps to strengthen the marriage bond and friendship.
On this periodic evaluation matter, I look forward to some stock-taking on my marriage. It’s been a while we did that.
YOU CAN ALSO CHECK OUT: COMPROMISE IN RELATIONSHIPS