— -- Annual performance reviews are often an uncomfortable moment of truth at work. But could performance reviews be good for your marriage?
“Performance reviews are a growing trend in many marriages today and I think couples are really realizing how important it is to be proactive and check in,” relationship expert Andrea Syrtash told ABC News.
These regular “check-ins” are something that Josselyne Saccio and her husband Michael have been doing for the past 10 years.
“When I was pregnant with our third child, it became clear that we were about to become outnumbered by children,” Josselyne, of New York City, recalled. “It was on the tipping point of having a little too much on our plate so I wanted to come up with a method for us to stay on top of what was happening.”
Together they decided to have weekly conversations about their relationship.
“We have a lot of moving parts and those moving parts will get away from you unless you communicate about them,” she said.
While there’s no need for an exact schedule, it’s helpful to check in on a regular basis to avoid misunderstandings. And just like at work, experts say it’s important to not be too critical.
“You want to talk about what’s working, not just what’s not working,” Syrtash explained. “And you want to be mindful of how you phrase things. You don’t want to attack someone’s character and say something like, ‘You are so lazy. The kitchen’s always a mess, the home’s always a mess,’ because that’s going to shut down communication.”
But the Saccios admit these conversations aren’t always easy.
“I needed a little guidance so I basically took Josselyn’s lead,” said Michael. “I have a great life. That’s the result.”
“Every year our marriage gets better and better because we do communicate this way,” his wife added.
Author and relationship expert Demetria Lucas D’Oyley said on “Good Morning America” today that she thinks having these “check-ins” every week might make it feel more like a chore rather than doing something positive for the relationship.
“I would say every four to six weeks is probably better,” she said. “It makes it feel like something regular, a check-in, good communication. A lot of couples ideally they would communicate on a regular basis, but a lot of couples don’t and it leads to a lot of conflict so you’re making sure that you are having the communication you need in a relationship."