Believe it or, marriage therapists and relationship researchers say that giving your spouse performance reviews can actually assist your relationship!

Now, I know this sounds like it could cause some issues, but there are some legitimate reasons behind this. Psychology professor James Cordova says, “It’s the relationship equivalent of the six-month dental checkup." By taking the extra time to evaluate your relationship, couples can figure out what's going well and what needs improvement, and set goals to fix problems before they become too difficult to resolve.

This only works, though, if both partners take this very seriously. You need to be careful, constructive, and, above all, fair. If you're relationship is already in a crisis, performance reviews are not likely to help.

If you're still thinking that this sounds like a bad idea, there was actually a study done that proves that it's not. The study was published in 2014, and it examined 216 married couples. All the couples were given questionnaires that asked them to asses their relationship's biggest strengths and weaknesses. They then sent half of the couples to see a relationship therapist for two sessions to go over their own evaluations. The other half were put on a waiting list and never discussed their assessments.

Obviously, the couples who went over their performance reviews did much better than the ones who didn't. The researchers followed up with the couples after one year and then again after 2 years, and the one ones who had gone over their assessments saw, "significant improvements in their relationship satisfaction, intimacy and feelings of acceptance by their partner, as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms."

Professor Rebecca Chory has a few tips for giving a successful review:

  • Address the behavior, not the person. Do not put your partner down and be sure to use positive affirmation.
  • Explain WHY you came to your conclusion.
  • Show you are aware of your partner's situation.
  • Be consistent over time.
  • Allow your partner to respond.
  • Be clear about the changes you would like to see.

Dr. Cordova says, “If you are doing it well, you can tell because you will feel closer to each other and will each feel understood,”

After reading this, do you think that you would ever try this in your relationship?

Click HERE to see an example of a marriage performance review.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]