I’ve written a few times about the book Spousonomics, which came out earlier this year. As I was poking around on their blog recently, I came across a fascinating entry called “My Performance Review.” Paula Szuchman wrote that her husband was about to give her a review on her performance as a wife over the previous year.
Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation? As I got to thinking about it, I started pondering what I would say in a spousal performance review, and what my spouse might say about me. The concept has a lot going for it. For one, it might force people to behave in an adult fashion when talking about what they expect from a spouse. Rather than stew about the way one party takes the garbage out or interacts with the children, you’d talk it through. It would clear up misconceptions. One of the most telling parts of Alisa Bowman’s memoir, Project: Happily Ever After, was her statement that while she thought her marriage rated quite low on a 1-10 scale — let’s say she’d give it a 2 — her husband thought it was closer to the 8 range. Just as with a job review, a spousal performance review would make it clear whether you had completely opposite views from your spouse about how things were going. Ideally, both parties — upon receiving their reviews — would identify “action items” to pursue in the hopes of getting better reviews next time. Maybe you’d even build in incentives.
So what would you say in a spousal performance review? What do you think your spouse would say about you?