Marriage maintenance discussion

Tommi is not the man I fell in love with 9 years ago. He’s not even the same man I married 3 years ago, because people change quite a lot during their lives. In general I think it’s a good thing though because we also grow as people and we become a bit wiser and more capable as the years go by.

This assumption has some significant implications on choosing a smart relation strategy. As long as you are dating several people, there is no problem, because you have quite flexible possibilities to switch your partner, if you feel like you are going into different directions. Marriage is in this aspect quite a poor risk diversification strategy, because you invest all your belief in one singleperson, and even commit to spending the rest of your life with him/her. However, as marriage has scientifically proven positive effects both on your happiness and on your health, it can nevertheless be a solid investment decision.  Yet the benefits of marriage will not be realized if you rely on a purely passive investment strategy – it requires some active effort on your part as well. As you have now decided and promised to be with this one person, the only logical conclusion is that you should really invest in this relationship.

For this reason we decided to start marriage maintenance discussions the year after we got married. The main purpose of the discussion is to figure out how we are both doing and in which direction we would like to go both as individuals and as a couple. We carried out the discussions by first listing a few questions that both of us should ponder independently and then went through our answers during a joint dinner. We decided to have the first discussion about in the middle of our summer vacation, which was a good idea as we then had more time to think and we were both more relaxed. At the end of the discussion we agreed to commit to staying together at least until next year’s discussion 😉 The point is not to have an ultimatum each year but rather to make a conscious decision each time to stay together. And take time each year to discuss in peace, in which direction we are going as individuals.

You can choose the questions to fit your situation and relationship, here we’ve listed our example questions, both from “Me” and “We” perspectives:


  • What has felt good last year?
  • How have I changed as a person?
  • How do I view my own life style? (What do I like / dislike?)
  • What do I wish from next year?


  • What did last year feel like?
  • What has changed?
  • What do I want to thank you for?
  • What do I wish from next year?