7 Questions for Checking in With A Partner
Next month marks 14 years since Keegan and I got together. I remember it very fondly. We were 17-years-old and mutual friends were trying to get us to date. Keegan, my husband with AS, was homeschooled until college and hadn't had a girlfriend before. I had just broken up with a boyfriend, but always had eyes for Keegan.
We’ve almost been together for half our lives. We got married at 24, had 2 kids at 28 and 30, and now, we’re starting the next phase of our relationship: settling down to raise a family. We’ve always been in sync, but since having kids we’ve needed to get a routine together to check in with each other.
We had to acknowledge that we weren’t always in sync as we used to be
This was a bit tough for me. A few years ago, I was doing this for Keegan that he had already done. And we both were skipping important tasks that needed to happen. So, we decided to have regular check-ins with a shared reminders app so that we weren’t missing important tasks. (I think we accidentally went 2 months without paying a water bill in Philly.) While this was helpful logistically, it felt very artificial. Like we were two project planners making sure all our work was completed by a specific deadline. But what about checking in for us? To make sure our relationship was on track?
My brother and sister-in-law’s check-in questions
Keegan agreed that we should dream big and find questions that foster our relationship even more than just a checklist of to-dos. I happened to mention this challenge to my brother, who told me he and his wife have a set of questions they go through regularly. Honestly, I was delighted instantly when I read the questions. They were exactly what I was looking for.
- What are you grateful for in the other person?
- What do you need right now?
- Has anything come up that you want to talk about?
- Do you feel like we are more conscious of what we talked about last time?
- What do we love about each other?
- How are you feeling about our sex life? Have we been connecting?
- What are your personal goals for the upcoming month?
Finally, a set of questions that helped us connect
Every Sunday, Keegan and I place a hold on our calendar in the evening to sit down and talk these through. I like the regular questions because it brings consistency to what we talk about. It also is about our thoughts, feelings, physical connection, and emotional connection. They’re open-ended questions so that we have a rich discussion.
I’d encourage anyone who has AS or a partner with AS to use these questions. It helps me know how to be the best wife, caregiver, and friend to Keegan. And Keegan helps me understand how I can best take care of him and myself. We set aside time to be vulnerable with each other, which ultimately, is something we all value with our life partners.
So go on—try this out with your significant other.
How long was your longest flare?