Couples Relationship Assessment - Section 3 - Stop Fighting and Begin Crossing the Bridge

Jun 1 07:11 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 3

Stop Fighting and Begin Crossing the Bridge

The ecstasy of early romantic bliss has a way of wearing off.  When that happens,Guest Posting we begin to realize that our partner is not perfect.  Assessments of one another can range from feeling a little less adoration to having major disillusionment. 

As a result, individuals frequently emerge from the infatuation stage feeling hurt, betrayed and disappointed.  Why?  Facing the fact that one’s partner comes with flaws, limitations and reactive behaviorsis tough.  When such emotions deepen and expand over time, couples enter dangerous territory—the Cycle of Conflict—where resentment, contempt and anger breed.

The alternative at this juncture is to chart a new course for your journey together.  Now is the time to look deep within your souls.  Embark upon a process of self-discovery and change, culminating in a more mature and realistic outlook on love and relationships.

In Emotionally Intelligent Relationships, couples are self-aware.  They do not blame, make excuses or project negative energy onto each other.  Instead, they dig deeper to own their issues, take responsibility to change, and give of themselves unselfishly and unconditionally.

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

Chapter 8 - Conscious Change: The Path to Peace, Happiness, and Healing

The “I” must be prepared “TO” become “WE” to achieve success in any relationship.  Change happens when you gain awareness and understanding of your emotional wounds.  You need to commit to change in order to find peace in your relationships and inside yourself. 

Move past your defenses, gain awareness, break through your denials, face your fears, adjust your thoughts, control your reactivity, and recognize the impact these negative factors have had on your life and relationships.  This process requires that you identify fears, which produce distorted perspectives and unrealistic expectations.  You must comprehend how the twin pillars create emotional triggers, which, in turn, lead to reactivity.

We all enter relationships with unresolved issues and emotional wounds.  Once we are aware of the need for change and also have an understanding of how to begin the process of change, we can grasp how to alter fear based thoughts and self-limiting beliefs as well.

Chapter 9 - Create a Plan to Stop Avoiding Each Other and the Relationship  

Are you experiencing conflict in some form or another?  If so, you may have started to engage in behaviors and activities that help you avoid your partner and the potential for further conflict.  Those who are overwhelmed by the Cycle of Conflict find creative ways to avoid spending time with one another.

The definition of avoidance is any behavior or activity performed with the intent to evade any type of engagement—whether it is verbal, emotional, intellectual, sexual or spiritual—with your partner

Positive outcomes occur in showing your partner with your actions that you are changing negative habits and replacing them with positive, new habits. 

Chapter 10 - Respectfully Ask For and Accept Behavior Change Requests

In the initial stage of relationships, we tend to give unconditional love.  As time passes, your perspective of your relationship may change so that you begin to feel disappointed, frustrated, defensive, resentful, contemptuous or angry.  When our perspectives start to change, we aren’t so generous with our love and affection.  Some grow increasingly disillusioned and selfishly demand to have needs and desires fulfilled consistently and unconditionally.  Some of us become reactive and act out ingrained negative behaviors.  When we do this, we enter the Cycle of Conflict.

Humans have a way of developing bad habits with negative reactive patterns.  We choose immature methods of interacting.  As a couple, we push one another’s emotional hot buttons.   Certain negative behaviors that might have seemed to serve you in the past could end up holding you back, prohibiting you from Creating an Emotionally Intelligent Relationship.  If you want to do what is best for your partner, your relationship and, most importantly, for yourself, you must change.

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 3 – 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 8 - Conscious Change: The Path to Peace, Happiness, and Healing

_______  _______ - 1 - I am aware that I am to blame for some of the problems in the relationship.

_______  _______ - 2 - I have broken through the veil of denial about my emotional wounds, fears, reactivity, and negative self-beliefs.

_______  _______ - 3 - I understand my fears and the negative affect they have on my life.

_______  _______ - 4 - I have learned to control my mind and end the negative, self-limiting dialogue.

_______  _______ - 5 - I have looked at my issues and problems from different perspectives.

_______  _______ - 6 - I have taken absolute personal responsibility for all of my words, actions, and behaviors.

_______  _______ - 7 – I am living in the moment, grateful for what I have and enjoy giving and forgiven others and myself.

_______  _______ - 8 - I have adopted new, positive beliefs and values and created a new vision for            my future.

_______  _______ - 9 - I have made a plan of action and set goals for my changes.

_______  _______ - 10 - I have made a commitment to myself to live each day with the intention of realizing my vision.

_______  _______ - Topic Score               

Chapter 9 - Create a Plan to Stop Avoiding Each Other and the Relationship  

_______  _______ - 1 - I look forward to and love spending our free time together.

_______  _______ - 2 - I do not use any actions or behaviors to avoid my partner or the relationship.

_______  _______ - 3 - I have identified and eliminated any avoidance behaviors or actions.

_______  _______ - 4 - I do not ignore my partner by being selfish with my time.

_______  _______ - 5 - I feel safe and know how to ask for time together.

_______  _______ - 6 - We spend at least 10 hours of “WE” time per week.

_______  _______ - 7 - We do not lead separate and parallel lives.

_______  _______ - 8 - We both have outside interests that do not interfere with our time together.

_______  _______ - 9 - I enjoy spending the weekends together.

_______  _______ - 10 - I have made a commitment to be physically and emotionally available for my partner and our relationship.

_______  _______ - Topic Score

Chapter 10 - Respectfully Ask For and Accept Behavior Change Requests

_______  _______ - 1 - I have identified my negative behavior habits and patterns.

_______  _______ - 2 - I understand where these negative behavior traits originated.

_______  _______ - 3 - I have identified how these traits affect my partner and our relationship.

_______  _______ - 4 - I listen to, allow influence and respect my partner’s point of view about my behavior.

_______  _______ - 5 - I understand what behaviors will trigger and upset my partner.

_______  _______ - 6 - I calmly and respectfully accept behavior change requests from my partner.

_______  _______ - 7 - I have told my partner what I do not like and how those things make me feel.

_______  _______ - 8 - I tell my partner what such things remind me of and what I need instead.

_______  _______ - 9 - I calmly and respectfully request behavior changes of my partner.

_______  _______ - 10 - I take absolute personal responsibility to do everything I can to change my negative behaviors - unconditionally.

_______  _______ - 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 / 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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