Thanks to Prepare/Enrich for sponsoring this post. All opinions are entirely mine.
If there’s one thing that, from the beginning of our relationship, John and I have been able to do, it’s communicate. We started our relationship by sending letters back and forth while John was in boot camp which graduated to hours-long phone calls. We talk about literally everything, including what we ate for lunch. That’s not a joke.
So it was really exciting (and, I’ve got to admit, a little nerve-wracking) to use Couples Checkup, a survey and analysis tool for relationships. I thought it would be a great way for us to assess and continue to improve our relationship; John agreed. While we took the “married” survey, Couples Checkup can also tailor the survey for couples who are dating and engaged– you don’t have to be married to reap the benefits of this program.
John and I sat down and took the survey on one Saturday when we weren’t feeling rushed. The topics ranged from communication to sex and intimacy, from families to chores. We spent about 20 minutes taking the survey and then another 30-40 minutes looking through our results and the analysis that was delivered immediately after submitting our answers.
The really neat thing about the survey is that your answers help to tailor the survey to you. If you mention that you have kids, you’ll end up seeing more questions about parenting as a couple. If you mention that you’re engaged or dating, you’ll see different questions than if you’re married. That way the questions always are relevant to your life and your relationship.
And for military couples, there’s a special section exactly for us. If you note that one or both people in the relationship are attached to the military, a military life section will trigger during the questionnaire. John and I answered questions about deployment, our sense of pride in John’s military service, and stress that comes from military life. Later, these answers were also analyzed and explained in a special section in the report. If you’re dealing with deployment, you’ll also see questions specifically designed for that part of the relationship.
Often, it’s hard to find relationship materials and resources that are worthwhile, useful, and fair. I really loved that the questions were gender neutral and modern. For example, I wasn’t asked about cooking and cleaning and John wasn’t asked about being a “provider.” Instead, the questions treated us as the equals that we are and that we function as in our relationship.
Key Relationship Areas
- Conflict Resolution
- Financial Management
- Leisure Activities
- Sexual Relationship
- Family & Friends
- Spiritual Beliefs
While the questionnaire was interesting to work on, I absolutely loved the guide. Not only did it show us our strengths, it showed us areas of improvement as well. The guide analyzed our answers and gave us insights on both of our answers and how they stacked up to each other’s. The three goals for the Couple Checkup are celebrating relationship strengths, identify agreements and places for resolution, and learning to talk about the relationship. Those goals and the tone of the report make it easy to talk freely about the sections, rather than feel attacked by the results, even when the results aren’t as glowing as you might have hoped.
- Results Summary
- Personal Stress Profile
- Key Relationship Areas
- Special Areas (Roles & Responsibilities, Emotional Climate, Military Life)
- Couple and Family Maps (Couple Closeness & Flexibility)
- SCOPE Personality Scales (Social, Change, Organized, Pleasing, Emotionally Steady)
John and I read through the report together and were really surprised at both how accurate and insightful it was. Every section included graphs, written analysis, and discussion suggestions to get our conversation started. We found that it was very easy to talk about each section, our answers, and any way we could improve or go forward from there.
Honestly, you’ve got to try it. I’m not just saying that. It’s something that was enormously beneficial for our relationship.
Couple Checkup is offering a special for National Marriage Week (February 7-14). For this week only, you can take the Couple Checkup for $19.99 rather than the usual $35.