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Minisode 14 | January 26, 2021

How to Check in with Your Partner

In this minisode, we discuss the importance of strengthening your relationship with your partner by checking in on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis... and how to do it.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no (in all its forms) so you can become the authentic and empowered person that this world needs.

Quick disclosure: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

How to Check in with Your Partner

In our last episode, we welcomed Sarah’s husband, Justin Saunders, on the podcast, which was a ton of fun. During our conversation, Sarah and Justin shared how they check in with each other regularly to stay focused on their goals and maintain their relationship. In this minisode, we follow up on that concept, and Sarah tells us how often to check in with our partners and what to discuss.

As always, we believe the adage “one size does not fit all,” so customize your check-in lists for your family, but what follows is a good jumping-off point.

  1. Look at the calendar for the month – highlight any out of the norm things – birthdays, holidays, doctor appointments, car maintenance, etc.
  2. Schedule a date night (be creative) – ideally, weekly, but 1-2 date nights per month is healthy
  3. Self-care for each person – What kinds of things do each of you need? (massage, nails, time with a friend, etc.)
  4. Money check-in – any big financial expenses coming up?  IMPORTANT! Finances trump all stressors – be proactive and talk about it. We cannot plan for everything, but if you know about an expense ahead of time…talk about it.
  1. Look at upcoming events for the week (get out the calendar again) – align expectations. What’s changed? No big surprises!
  2. What will make things run smoothly this week? Set expectations.
    1. Discuss/plan meals
    2. Childcare
    3. Who sleeps in on what day on the weekend?
  3. How did you feel loved or appreciated last week? What went well last week?
    1. “I felt really loved when _____”
    2. “I appreciated when you _____”
  4. “Anything you’ve been holding onto that you need to talk about?”
  5. “How can I support you in the upcoming week?” (“What would lighten your load?”)
  1. “Any changes in the schedule today?”
  2. “How can I support you today?” (Reminder time!)
    1. “Please don’t text or call unless an emergency around _____ (big meeting, event, etc.)”
    2. “I am going to be tired (or on ‘brain pop’) after having an especially busy day. I will need will need _____ (to go to bed extra early, to not talk, etc.)”
  3. Tell your partner one thing you love/admire about them.

If you have older/school-aged kids, include them in regular family check-ins. Of course, customize your checklist and discuss what’s age-appropriate. Model and use the language of meeting/planning time to help their brains understand this is important to do.

Family meetings or check-ins allow for individuals doing life together to truly feel a sense of belonging. You are developing collaborative and proactive problem-solving skills and exercising executive functioning skills – organizing, planning, prioritizing, understanding different points of view, and regulating emotions.

Credits and Thanks