Is your marriage due for a checkup?
According to Ron Deal, the majority of couples forget to assess the heart of their marriage on a regular basis.
“We go to the dentist once or twice a year, you get your heart checked after a certain age on a regular basis, you get your oil changed in your car, but not very often do we get the heart of our marriage looked at.”
Ron points out that reviewing the condition of your marriage doesn’t imply that something is wrong, rather it can be used as a tool to help your marriage stay on course.
“This is not about finding problems, necessarily, it is simply about knowing where you are, almost like a G.P.S. in your car and we’ve all got those on our phones these days. If you want to get somewhere, the first thing you have to do is know where you are. That’s what our G.P.S. systems will do is tell you exactly where you are on the planet, then you can enter some address or destination, and then it will mark a path to help you get there.”
Checkups are especially helpful for couples in their 2nd or 3rd marriage who may approach sudden bumps or detours along the road. A major tension point for stepfamily marriages is a lack of communication. Ron shares the results from a recent study from the ministry of Smart Stepfamilies,
“Only about half of all couples getting married and forming a blended family ever really had a conversation about parenting; they didn’t have a parenting plan before the wedding.”
Having a regular checkups are a great way to strengthen the foundation of your marriage and help to navigate unexpected challenges. Ron shares a few practical examples,
“If you don’t do some anticipation about that and figure out, ‘How are we going to do this? Your bedtime is 9 o’clock and mine is 10 o’clock,’ or ‘are you going to pay for college for my child or are we just paying for college for your child?’”
“All of those kind of serious conversations about how we’re going to do life end up impacting the couple’s relationship very significant ways, so we try to help couples think that through and get a plan.”
Ron Deal is a marriage and family author, conference speaker, and therapist. He is Founder and President of Smart Stepfamilies, and Director of Blended Family Ministries for FamilyLife Blended. His top selling books, online articles, and daily 60-second radio feature, FamilyLife Blended, make him one of the most widely read and referenced authors on stepfamilies in the world.