Love And Life Toolbox

The Relationship Check-In

Relationships need nurturing much as a garden needs tending.  Particularly if you’re in a long term marriage, it’s far too easy to let the hustle and bustle of family, jobs, socialobligations and life in general cloud over connecting with your partner.

Couples who do not prioritize each other and the relationship this way often eventually struggle.  When there is a disrupted flow of communication, issues can simmer and have a way of bubbling up.  This can take the form of resentment which left unchecked is toxic.  You probably know it if your partner is harboring negative energy around something you’ve done.

Unchecked resentment can manifest in the following behaviors:

  • Stonewalling
  • Dismissiveness
  • Criticism
  • Passive-Aggressiveness

Incorporating even a brief check-in with each other can decrease the chance of resentment

building up and other relationship issues that stem from poor or absent couples communication.  There are a myriad of potential purposes for this allotted time such as asking about each others’ day, taking an emotional read on each other

, discussing an incident where one felt hurt so that it can be worked through or simply sending the message that you are important enough to each other to carve out this time.

A check-in can take place anywhere; a walk, sitting on the couch after the kids are asleep (with the t.v. off) or for those with incredibly frenetic lives, by the coffee maker over a “cuppa joe.”  I love it when couples to take a walk together so they have the opportunity to move their bodies and get the benefits of exercise at the same time.

Great check-in questions to ask include:

  • How are you?  How are you feeling? 
  • How are we doing? 
  • Have I done anything to upset you? 
  • Have I done anything you liked so that I can do more?” 

However you’re able to fit it in, remember to prioritize this important connection time – in whatever way suits your particular situation and lifestyle.

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

Related Products