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The Marriage Audit 12 questions: How to Balance your Love Ledger

Updated: Feb 5


The Marriage audit 12 questions

In the journey of a long-term relationship, couples often find themselves in familiar routines, roles, and assumptions. The love might still be there, but true intimacy may have faded over the years, and the status quo might be getting.... crunchy. And with work, kids, and trying to keep up with your New Year's resolutions, who's got time for couples therapy or time to discuss a difficult matter or two?  Your romantic relationship might often take a back seat until there's an emergency or when stressful times call for you to look at it. Sadly, a long-term romantic relationship will often end up like last year's tax return - important, yet somehow always on the back burner.


Maybe it's time for a 12 Question Marriage Audit a term  Jean-Claude Chalmet coined last year- think of it as "Tax Season for the Heart"! It's "a brilliant tool for couples to assess the health of their relationship. It's like taking your car in for an annual check-up, but instead of checking tire pressure and oil levels, you're examining communication patterns and emotional intimacy." Dr Amira Williams


As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a decade's worth of experience working with couples, families, and adults, I understand these challenges. Here are 12 essential questions that every long-term couple should ask themselves to keep on track and ensure their emotional ledger stays balanced. There is no right or wrong way to do the 12 Questions Marriage Audit, you can take turns answering the same question, print these off and cut them up and pull them out of a hat, or go through them all one at a time. I

highly recommend you grab a feelings wheel pdf to help with your emotional communication, and I'll add some more tools you could use at the end of this page.



The 12 Questions: A Marriage Audit for 2024

 

Nurturing Individual Passions:

"How do we nurture our individual passions while maintaining a strong bond in our marriage?"

It's about striking a harmonious balance between ‘me' and ‘us'. When you support each other's individual interests, you're not just fueling personal growth – you're adding layers of respect and admiration to your relationship. It's seeing your partner thrive in their element and knowing their happiness individually contributes to a vibrant, dynamic union. This mutual encouragement is like a dance – where each step of personal growth is matched by a step closer together.


The Evolution Of Our Relationship

"Looking back at our journey together, how have we grown as partners and as individuals, influenced by each other?"

This question isn't just about nostalgia; it's a deep dive into the transformative power of love. How have the trials, triumphs, and the mundane in-betweens reshaped you both? It's acknowledging that the person you fell in love with years ago has evolved, as have you.

This reflection is not just about appreciating change – it's about cherishing the journey of becoming together and individually.


Adaptation to Changing Needs:

"In what ways have we successfully adapted to each other's changing needs and circumstances over time?"


Relationships are not static; they are living entities that require nurturing through the ebb and flow of life. This question probes into your resilience as a couple. How have you navigated the inevitable shifts – be it career changes, health issues, or evolving dreams? It's about recognizing that the secret to longevity in love is not just enduring together but adapting with grace and empathy.


Introduction of New Traditions:

"What new traditions or rituals could we introduce to deepen our connection?"


Introducing new rituals is like planting seeds of connection that will grow into beautiful traditions. It's an invitation to co-create moments that are uniquely ‘us'. Whether it's a weekly date night, a yearly adventure, or a simple morning coffee ritual, these practices become the threads that weave the tapestry of your shared life. It's less about the activity and more about its intention – to continuously carve out a sacred space for your relationship in the rush of life.


Communication Styles and Improvement:

"How do our communication styles complement each other, and where could we improve for better understanding?"


This is delving into the language of love and understanding. It's acknowledging that sometimes love gets lost in translation and seeking ways to bridge that gap. It recognizes that effective communication is not about echoing each other's thoughts but creating a symphony where both voices are heard and valued. It's a commitment to refining the art of listening and expressing, ensuring that love isn't just spoken but also understood.


Finding Middle Ground in Disagreements:

"In moments of disagreement, how do we each contribute to finding a middle ground?"


This question explores your dance in the rain – how you navigate the storms of disagreement. It's about understanding that finding a middle ground isn't about winning or losing; it's about valuing the relationship more than the argument. It's recognizing that in the midst of conflict, the goal isn't to come out on top but to emerge together, understanding each other better.


Shared Experiences and Challenges:

"What shared experiences or challenges have strengthened our relationship the most?"


Reflecting on shared challenges and experiences is like reading the chapters of your love story that tested and fortified your bond. It's about recognizing that every challenge you faced together was an opportunity to weave your relationship tighter and deepen your trust and understanding. These moments are the crucibles that have shaped your resilience as a couple.

Empathy and Understanding:

"In what ways do we actively show empathy and understanding towards each other's viewpoints?"


This question is the heart of emotional intimacy. It's about the moments when you step into each other's shoes, not just to see the world through their eyes but to feel it through their heart. It's recognizing that empathy is the bridge that connects disparate islands of experience, creating a landscape of shared understanding and compassion.


Joint Goals for the Future:

"Looking forward, what joint goals are we excited to achieve together in the next phase of our life?"


Setting joint goals is like charting a course for your shared adventure. Exploring what's possible when you dream and plan together is a healthy and exciting exploration. Whether it's buying a home, traveling the world, or simply growing old together, these goals are the stars you navigate by, keeping your journey aligned and purposeful.


Re-Discovering Each Other:

"What recent discovery about me intrigued you, and what aspect of my being or our relationship are you curious to explore further?"


This question opens the door to ongoing discovery in your relationship. It's about peeling back the layers of familiarity to reveal new facets of each other. In long-term relationships, we tend to think we know all there is to know about our partner. Yet, there's always more to uncover, more to be intrigued by. This exploration keeps the relationship fresh and exciting; each new discovery is a step deeper into the heart of your connection.


Celebrating Autonomy:

"How do we honor and encourage each other's independence while nurturing our connection?"


The dance of intimacy and autonomy is delicate. This question explores how you strike that perfect balance between being your own person and being part of a couple. It's about finding that sweet spot where you can soar independently yet always find a way back to each other's arms. Celebrating each other's autonomy doesn't create distance; rather, it adds richness and depth to the tapestry of your shared life. When done right, it's like two trees growing side by side, separate but intertwined.


Reflections on Respect:

"Can you recall when you felt profoundly respected and understood by me, and how did that moment enhance our relationship?"


Respect is the bedrock of any deep and lasting relationship. This question invites a moment of reflection on those instances where respect was not just given but deeply felt. It's about recognizing those moments when understanding transcended words and empathy bridged any gap. These instances are powerful; they are the glue that binds the relationship together, even through the roughest storms. They reaffirm the strength and depth of your bond, reminding you why you chose each other in the first place.



the marriage audit 12 questions


These 12 Questions and the marriage audit were inspired by marriage counselor Jean-Claude Chalmet, which was published in the Times of London last year. Uncomfortable conversations.

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