One question once a week can significantly improve the health of your marriage, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to marriage therapists, many couples let problems fester way too long without resolving them, and by the time the problem is big enough for them to seek therapy for it, it's already done too much damage to repair. The key, says Dr. James Cordova, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Couples and Family Research at Clark University, is to schedule regular check-ups with your partner where you air your little issues before they get out of control.
Scientists and married couple Drs. Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks came up with one question they ask each other every week (well, they do it Tuesdays and Thursdays, but we can't all be such over-achievers). The question is: "How are we doing working together as a partnership?"
The Hendrickses use the question to talk about how they're "working together as a team for our children, working together toward financial goals, or being together so we both have a great sexual experience" every week, but you can use it to think about ways you're being good—or not so great—partners to each other that are specific to your relationship.
Dr. Cordova points out that while women often notice marriage issues early and suggest counseling, men are more resistant to seeing a therapist, so these weekly check-ins can be a lower pressure way to keep communication open and your marriage healthy.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.