Would That Be By Telegram, or Pony Express?

I love my Redbook magazine subscription. The magazine is informative, fun to read, and extremely interesting. Every now and then, I find something blogworthy, like this, or this.

I got the new issue in the mail last week, and just had a chance to read it yesterday when I restricted myself to the couch because of this nasty chest cold I’m dealing with. Once again, the magazine didn’t disappoint. The issue was great from cover to cover, but one particular article stood out.

The article, “The secrets behind great marriages” (by Nicole Torio) caught my eye because I do indeed have a great marriage and I’m always interested in reading what others think are the secrets to attaining what I’ve got. Lucky for you, there was something included in the paragraph about one of the secrets that made me laugh so hard, I’m about to share it with you, for free.

Secret number one? “Understand each other’s needs”. So true. If you don’t understand what your partner needs at any given moment, it can cause resentment, frustration, irritation, unhappiness, and all kinds of other bad feelings. Communicating your needs (and listening to your spouse when he/she is communicating his/hers) is so important.

The author of the article consulted with Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. (a “relationship researcher”), and Orbuch made the giggle-inducing recommendation. In regards to communicating your needs to each other, “Be sure to check in with your partner once a year, as added pressures or life changes can create new expectations.”

Wait a second.

Once a year???

Am I LIVING with my partner, or is he at the North Pole?

This “once a year” conversation: do I need to mark out a six-day time slot in my schedule, so we can get everything covered?

Is someone going to bring in our meals while we’re having this conversation?

Since it’s only once a year, should we dress up?

I’d like to propose an amendment to the article: why not check in with your partner more often, like daily? Flexibility is one of the most important elements in any kind of relationship. I’m thinking that if Jim had something he wanted to share with me regarding expectations, it’d be rude of me to say, “Um, sorry…ten months to go til I check in with you!”




  • WeaselMomma

    Once a year is a hoot. Scheduling this conversation is a hoot too. I think we would have to make notes all year long in order to be ready and have set agenda for this annual conversation.

  • PJ Mullen

    Oh that won't work, we get together at the end of each quarter to do a quick review of things. The last time I sent her a meeting request and we got it on our google calendars relatively painlessly. Agreeing to an agenda is usually difficult, but it is much more efficient. 🙂

  • Tara R.

    That has to be a miscommunication with the author. Maybe he should have a reality check with himself.

    This definitely should be a topic for an upcoming Suburban WOW.

  • CK Lunchbox

    Once a year huh? Hmmm. With that kind of advice you'd think Redbook would be more popular with men readers.

    My mom used to get Redbook when I was a kid suffering through those awkward teen years. I found it to be an enlightening source of information. Mom canceled her subscription when she found several old issues under my bed.

  • ByDSea

    That's funny, I read that article also. I'd have sticky notes all over the house and cars if I had to wait a year, by then I'd forget what the sticky notes even meant.

  • Sue

    I guess that is what happened to my marriage. We checked in every 2 years. Should have checked in every year I guess! Take notice now!!!

    Feel better!

  • Mags

    I have left your blog in reader b/c I wanted to give your posts a good, honest read. But I'm so very behind! I'm settling into my schedule now and getting used to being a productive member of society again…so I swear this time when I say, "I'll do better" I will.

    I hope you start feeling better soon!!

  • Heather

    Are you SERIOUS? That makes me actually cringe, and I know that C & I could use some more communication, but damn. ONCE a year?

    ha ha ha ha.

  • Michelle

    That's just special. I'm thinking that if you have to schedule something AND if making it at least once a year is a concern, you have far bigger problems than this woman can help…. Yikes!

  • The Devoted Dad

    Once a year!?! Oh, my wife would be so Pi**ed, and I would be so lonely without her. Heck- I miss her when one of us is sick and the other sleeps on the couch. Yeah- I like your idea better. It's good to strive for daily communication! -Jason