When was the last time you asked your partner how they’re feeling about your relationship? “Checkups” on your romantic relationships can keep them strong and healthy. Relationship checkups can help prevent your relationships from decaying and possibly prevent divorce too. Generally, it’s easier to prevent a relationship from becoming distressed in the first place than to repair one that’s already in trouble.
High-quality relationships are good for your health. People in happy relationships benefit in multiple areas of Total Force Fitness, including:
- Lower levels of loneliness
- Higher satisfaction with relationships
- Less aggressive behavior
- More generous
- Healthier eating
- Less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
- Better mood
- Higher self-esteem
- More life happiness
- Less stress and depression
- Better concentration
- Lower blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and blood sugar
- Stronger immune system
- Better sleep
- More likely to exercise
Ask these questions to improve your relationship health
Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself and your partner to help improve your relationship health.
What are our strengths as a couple?
Maybe some of your strengths as a couple relate to communication, problem-solving, teamwork, or seeing each other’s points of view during difficult conversations. Reflecting positively on your strengths as a couple helps you appreciate those positive relationship qualities.
How is our friendship?
Viewing your relationship as a friendship helps build intimacy, the foundation for long-term relationship health. In friendship, you share your authentic self with one another, which can help you as a couple explore your vulnerabilities, understand one another with compassion, and fully accept one another. Your friendship with your partner can ensure your relationship lasts and contribute to how satisfied you feel with your relationship.
How do we cope with the demands of military life?
Relationship stress can impact performance during deployment, so it’s important for military couples to focus on coping skills. Military couples who are affectionate and supportive of one another tend to cope better with the demands of a military lifestyle. Healthy relationships buffer the stress of deployments, money, injuries, and military burnout, to name a few.
Do we have any concerns about our relationship or any areas of potential improvement?
Focusing on “we,” instead of “I,” reminds you that you’re a team. As a teammate, you each have areas of improvement—it’s not usually just one person who’s flawed and needs to change. Be sure your discussions about concerns in your relationship promote tenderness and acceptance. Focus your discussions of “unsolvable” concerns on accepting those issues and differences. Partners who view each other as teammates tend to have fewer conflicts and are generally happier with their relationships.
What’s something specific I can do to make you feel more loved and supported?
Focus on ways to make your partner feel extra special. Showing your partner you love and support them can motivate them to show greater compassion, love, and support to you as well.
Try to ask your partner these 5 questions at least once a year to maintain your happy and healthy relationship.
To learn more about the health of your relationship, contact your chaplain or installation’s Military and Family Support Center. Ask if they can help you check up on your relationship or if they can put you in touch with someone who can.