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Are We Ready for Spousal Reviews?

Businessman on a ladder ticking boxes showing opinion terms
Photograph by Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

While a lot of us steel ourselves for year-end reviews at the office, one couple has decided to bring that magic back home.

For New York-based writer Jennifer Breheny Wallace and her husband, the annual performance review began as "a joke between us 10 years ago," she writes in the Wall Street Journal. But it's since turned into a yearly tradition, complete with "accomplishments," "areas for improvement," "goals" and "next steps."

Wallace admits that these reviews are more tongue-in-cheek than actual tongue-lashings, focusing on the big picture rather than nit-picky gripes.

However, the couple has expanded this yearly tradition to also critique family and "close" friends. Yikes!

The perpetual late arriver? That friend's hearing about it.

One friend, though, turned the tables on Wallace.

"Apparently, I'm not so good at keeping my calendar and have canceled on them more times than I should have," she confesses. "On the rare occasion that we have to postpone a dinner now, [our friends] jokingly—or not so jokingly—say, 'Don't think this won't come up in your review.'"

Moral of the story: If you can dish out the post-holiday criticism, be sure you can also take it—New Year's Eve champagne not necessarily included.

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