Couples Relationship Assessment - Section 2 - Look Within: The Journey Begins with “I”

May 30 08:23 2008 Glenn Cohen Print This Article

The Couples Relationship Assessment is divided into 7 sections that explore 21 areas of your relationship.  Each topic corresponds to a chapter in the book and companion workbook, The Journey from “I-TO-WE.” 

Couples Relationship Assessment

Section 2

Look Within: The Journey Begins with “I”

When you enter into an intimate relationship,Guest Posting you inevitably bring your past along with you.  The experience of romantic love in its earliest stage often involves feelings of deep and unconditional safety, trust, respect, admiration, friendship and passion.

As time marches on, you may become aware of each other’s vulnerabilities, limitations and negative habits.  Perhaps conflicts become more frequent and intense so that you feel unsafe, unloved or uncared for.  This is when disappointment, frustration, defensiveness, resentment, contempt and anger typically emerge.  At this stage of the relationship the real job of loving begins. 

Now is the time to look deep inside to recognize your contributions to the conflict.  You must accept absolute personal responsibility for your words, actions and behaviors.  Moving ahead, you must release your partner from the burden of being your savior. 

Taking ownership and responsibility must occur in order to break through denials of your emotional wounds, fears and reactivity.  Ending denial is foremost in preventing conflict from destroying your relationship.

If you are in the midst of relationship distress and turmoil, you will be hard pressed to uncover the true core of your struggle.  Becoming glued to everyday surface issues and problems, you will identify with superficial content while ignoring the deeper rhythm of your relationship dance.  It is not until you gain the insight and self-awareness to look intensely into your own mirror that you begin “knowing.”

No two individuals share the same perspective.  Recognition and understanding of your partner’s perspectives are precursors to healthy communication.  Such insight is also a prerequisite for the feelings of mutual safety, trust, respect, and admiration.  Once you begin to understand one another’s views of the current state of the relationship, you are in the right position to change and Co-Create the relationship of your dreams.

In Section 2 of the Couples Relationship Assessment, you will score statements that correspond to the following chapters from The Journey from “I-TO-WE”

Chapter 4 - Gain Awareness and Recognize the Truth

Emotional Intelligence begins with awareness and understanding of unfinished emotional business.  It requires learning skills and practicing techniques designed to help you stop struggling with intimate relationships, other people, and yourself.  You and your partner can accomplish this milestone by working together.  Your cooperation will ensure the wounds and fears of your past do not destroy the hopes and dreams of your future.

Begin with Awareness.  Have you ever wondered why you fell in love with your partner?  Was it because of the chemistry between you?  Was it because you just clicked and became soul mates?  Was it because you somehow knew he or she was the one?  Each factor may have played a part in finding your life partner.  Still, what is the binding element that created the initial attraction?

Chapter 5 - Emotional Wounds: The Source of Fear, Pain, and Conflict

Without a doubt, emotional wounds present some of the most difficult challenges to individuals and couples.  Emotional wounds encompass unresolved emotional pain and trauma from the past.  Many of us are caught unprepared for the enormous impact that unhealed emotional wounds have on our lives and relationships.

When an event occurs, the mind interprets the situation as positive or negative.  When painful memories are ingrained, an event today that is perceived as negative can tap into emotional wounds from the past.  The negative energy that results, when released, appears as emotional reactivity

Emotionally Intelligent Relationships offer the safety, trust, and deep emotional connection necessary to begin the work of healing emotional wounds.

Chapter 6 - Understand the Cycle of Conflict

Many of us cannot begin to fathom the powerful impact that past pain, present fear and future anxiety have on our state of mind and the quality of our relationships.  By allowing the mind to dwell on what could have been or what should be, and speculating about what might be, we create the conditions for fear and inner turmoil.

To shed light on the Cycle of Conflict, the person with the issue, problem, or challenge takes the role of Sender. The Sender will project the resulting negative energy onto his or her partner. The Receiver is the partner who absorbs the brunt of those projections.

The Cycle of Conflict is a cause-effect situation and represents the circular arguments which originate from unhealed emotional wounds.  The Sender initiates with an off-putting remark.  The Receiver, in turn, bounces back a negative reply.  Thus, back and forth they go. 

Chapter 7 - Learn the Path to Manage Your Communications

While every healthy relationship has issues, problems, thoughts and feelings, remember that you can resolve the major challenges with effective communication management skills and techniques.  Arguing is normal in relationships.  However, be aware that the significance of the disagreement is not so much about the issue or problem but rather how you go about the business of arguing and fighting. 

Clearly, once you reach the Cycle of Conflict, the success of your discussions will determine the success for your relationship.  At this stage, therefore, you must answer whether or not you can treat each other with respect and engage in a safe, honest, peaceful, respectful, and loving discussion.  If not, can you have a heated argument yet end the fight with safe, positive, loving feelings in tact?

 

Are you ready to continue your journey to gain the awareness, learn the skills and practice the techniques to achieve relationship success at home, at work and within yourself?

Section 2 – Complete steps 1- 4.  Step 5 - 9 will be completed in Section 7

Step 1 – Your perspective of yourself - Rate your degree of agreement with each statement on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a definite “yes” and 1 being a definite “no.”  Using a black pen, write your score on the first line to the left of each statement.

Step 2 – Your perspective of your partner - Rate your partner according to how you feel the statement applies to him or her from your perspective.  Using a black pen, write your score on the second line to the left of each statement.

Example:     10_     8_- 1 - I am committed to our relationship.

If you feel you are 100% committed, place a 10 as shown above.  If you feel your partner is only 80% committed, place an 8 on the second space.

Step 3 – When you have completed each of the topics, total all of the scores within each topic, and write the number in the space marked Topic Score. When you and your partner have finished scoring your Assessments, let each other know.

Step 4 – No matter what number your partner writes down, refrain from reacting negatively to your partner’s scores.  Be supportive; do not get defensive, resentful, or angry.  Begin to create safety in the relationship by thanking your partner for having the courage to trust you by sharing his or her true thoughts and feelings.

Step 5 – At the top of the “Our Relationship Assessment” page is a space to record the date and your names.  Record your perspective of yourself score beneath your name.  Next, when your partner shares the total topic score from his or her workbook, record it beneath his or her name.

Step 6 – Total both of your scores for each topic and divide by 200 to get the percentage score.  Place this under the Topic Percentage Score heading to the right of your individual scores.

Step 7 – Total your individual scores for each topic; divide by 21.  Place both of the average sums in the appropriate Total Relationship Score line at the end of the “Our Relationship Assessment.”  Add your two percentages, divide by two, and place the number to the right of your individual Total Relationship Scores.  This is the percentage score for your assessment.

Step 8 – In the “Our Relationship Assessment” section, using a black pen, place a checkmark to the left of each topic heading that has a Total Percentage Score of 80 or above.  Celebrate these and focus on the positives they bring to your relationship.

Step 9 – Place a red X to the left of each topic heading that has a percentage score below 80.  Be mindful of the topics that score between 60 and 79.  Here, you have room to improve, but such areas are less dire than any topics with scores below 60.  They are the areasthat need the most immediate attention.

Chapter 4 - Gain Awareness and Recognize the Truth

_______  _______ - 1 - I understand the meaning of Emotional Intelligence.

_______  _______ - 2 - I understand the implications Emotional Intelligence has on our relationship.

_______  _______ - 3 - I have identified the positive traits of my parents.

_______  _______ - 4 - I have identified the negative traits of my parents.

_______  _______ - 5 - I have identified the positive traits of my partner.

_______  _______ - 6 - I have identified the negative traits of my partner.

_______  _______ - 7 - I have identified the positive traits common to my partner and parents.

_______  _______ - 8 - I have identified the negative traits common to my partner and parents.

_______  _______ - 9 - I have identified the positive traits common to my parents and myself.

_______  _______ - 10 - I have identified the negative traits common to my parents and myself.

_______  _______ - Topic Score

Chapter 5 - Emotional Wounds: The Source of Fear, Pain, and Conflict

_______  _______ - 1 - I have identified the emotional wounds from my past.

_______  _______ - 2 - I have identified the fears and negative self-beliefs originating from my emotional wounds.

_______  _______ - 3 - I understand and accept absolute personal responsibility for the impact my emotional wounds and fears have on me.

_______  _______ - 4 - I understand and accept absolute personal responsibility for the impact my emotional wounds and fears have on my relationships.

_______  _______ - 5 - I have shared the stories about my emotional wounds and fears with my partner.

_______  _______ - 6 - I have identified my distorted perspectives and unrealistic expectations.

_______  _______ - 7 - I understand how my emotional wounds and fears create reactivity in my relationships.

_______  _______ - 8 - I accept absolute personal responsibility for the impact my reactivity has on my relationships.

_______  _______ - 9 - I have shared with my partner what triggers my emotional wounds.

_______  _______ - 10 - I empathize and help my partner to heal his or her emotional wounds.

_______  _______ - Topic Score

Chapter 6 - Understand the Cycle of Conflict

_______  _______ - 1 - I understand that most of my reactivity comes from past wounds and fears.

_______  _______ - 2 - I can differentiate between past pain, present reality, and future anxiety.

_______  _______ - 3 - I recognize when I am being reactive toward my partner.

_______  _______ - 4 - I know how my reactivity negatively affects my partner and our relationship.

_______  _______ - 5 - I apologize to my partner when I become reactive toward him or her. 

_______  _______ - 6 - My mind is not preoccupied with negative perspectives or feelings toward my partner.

_______  _______ - 7 - I do not dominate our discussions.

_______  _______ - 8 - I listen to my partner talk about his/her thoughts and feelings.

_______  _______ - 9 - I do not yell, scream, throw things, or abuse my partner verbally or physically.

_______  _______ - 10 - I forgive my partner when he/she apologizes and accepts responsibility for his or her reactive words, actions and behaviors.

_______  _______ - -Topic Score

Chapter 7 - Learn the Path to Manage Your Communications

_______  _______ - 1 - When we have an argument, we end with positive, loving feelings intact.

_______  _______ - 2 - I do not begin discussions in a harsh or threatening manner.

_______  _______ - 3 - I do not project my own frustration and pain onto my partner when we communicate.

_______  _______ - 4 - I do not use negative reactive word, actions or behaviors in our discussions and arguments.

_______  _______ - 5 - I always give my partner the benefit of the doubt when I am triggered.

_______  _______ - 6 - I know when it is time to take a break from an intense discussion or argument.

_______  _______ - 7 - I signal my partner when I start to feel reactive and emotionally overwhelmed by the discussion.

_______  _______ - 8 - I know when and how to regulate my emotions and self-soothe.

_______  _______ - 9 - When we take a break, I do not allow my mind to conjure negative thoughts, such as anger or revenge.

_______  _______ - 10 - I forgive my partner after we have a heated argument.

_______  _______ - Topic Score

So, how did you score?  When you completed this section, were you surprised by your partner’s responses?  It is very telling when you turn toward each other and say, “I had no idea you felt that way.”  Such awareness begins the process.  Consequently, the assessment will illustrate strengths and weaknesses along with the varying perspectives that you and your partner bring to the relationship.  I encourage you to complete all 7 of the Couples Relationship Assessments. 

My hope is that this assessment series is the beginning of a guide for you on a wonderful journey together as you begin to cross the bridge into your field of sunflowers.  Remember to live each day honoring the 12 Principles of Emotionally Intelligent Relationships.

From now until eternity,

may you always remain each other’s…

Best Friend during the Day,

Lover at Night, and

Partner for Life

©2008 – All rights reserved –Glenn Cohen - “I-TO-WE” Relationship Coaching / http://www.i-to-we-.org/

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About Article Author

Glenn Cohen
Glenn Cohen

Glenn Cohen is a certified relationship coach.  He coaches individuals, couples and works with companies across the country.  He conducts workshops, speeches, seminars and trains coaches, healthcare professionals, religious counselors, and corporations on the use of his program.  You may contact him at 843-852-9828 or his website, www.i-to-we.org

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