Most couples seek help and counselling quite late when things get terrible. Everyone wants a great family, but not everyone pays enough attention to things that create efficiency and keep every family member content and fulfilled. Family is like a garden; it needs constant attention and care. And like a garden, it needs a soundcheck, good spring cleaning, good nourishing, and new plantations from time to time. Wouldn’t it be great if every family had a tradition from time to time to evaluate how things are going to prevent future difficulties, dramas or even separation? I recommend having a deep discussion with your partner about six areas of your couple/family life at least once a year. Use this simple test as an invitation for evaluation and good deep talk. Accept it as a tool for understanding, acceptance, gratitude, improvement, and growth.
Vital signs of family well-being
Start from checking the vital signs of family well-being: stability, diversity, significance, love/connection/ intimacy, growth, and contribution.
Please use the linear scale from 0 to 10 and follow the instructions:
1. Make a definition of each notion. Discuss it with each other. Debate if needed but come to the common ground of mutual understanding and agreement.
2. Evaluate the contribution in each area using a scale from 0 to 10 (zero meaning “none” and ten “excellent”). Explain why you have chosen this number.
3. Write down what doesn’t work, what is missing and what can be improved.
4. Talk honestly about how both partners can improve the level of contribution. Create a plan and establish a deadline for this effort and work.
Another thing to consider in your evaluation is how much both of you have improved personally? How well developed are the most significant personality traits that help enormously sustain family well-being and make considerable contributions to it?
Reliability, responsibility, ability to empathise, tolerance, flexibility, trust, and confidence make good family life possible.
Please use the wheel with the scale from 0 to 10 and follow the instructions:
1. Make a definition of each notion. How well do you understand it? What are your ways of measuring these traits?
2. Evaluate the level of development and the manifestation of each trait using a scale from 0 to 10 (zero meaning “none” and ten “excellent”). Explain why you have chosen this particular number. Check it with your partner: Is that how they see it too?
3. Write down what can be improved.
4. Talk honestly about how both partners can improve these traits of contribution. Create a plan and establish a deadline for this effort and work.
In other words, this exercise will help you to evaluate your character. Character is a moral thermometer of a person’s integrity. Character defines good ethics, decency, honour, and virtue. A person with character doesn’t only know what the right thing to do is; they do the right thing.
Level of communication
Talk frankly about the quality of communication in your marriage. Is that easy, comfortable, and spontaneous? Are you pleased with the level of freedom in your relationship?
Communication is not a one-way street; it involves efforts from both. It’s the style of how we affirm, forgive, encourage, and present information. Communication occurs in conversation, letter writing, emails, phone calls and non-verbal body language. If any of these areas of communication have changed, got worst or uncomfortable, they need improvement.
Giving and receiving
Marriage is teamwork and requires effort from both team members. When people feel that they do a lot for family well-being compared to their life partner and do not talk openly, it creates bitterness and distance. Family roles should be defined, revised, and evaluated. Each one’s effort should be noticed and appreciated.
Please consider whether it’s emotional, physical or relational mastery you seek in your family life; unless you decide and do something about it, nothing will change. I wish you all the best in your journey!
To download this exercise click here.