Questions and Resources for Couples

To foster a strengths-based, solutions-focused approach to couples’ concerns, answering these questions may be helpful.

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is perfectly happy and 1 is not at all happy, how happy am I in our partnership?
  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is perfectly satisfied and 1 is not at all satisfied, how satisfied am I with our partnership?
  3. What strengths does our partnership have?
  4. What did we used to do together that worked for both of us?
  5. What are we doing now together that works?
  6. What individual strengths do I bring to the partnership?
  7. What individual strengths does my partner bring to the partnership?
  8. How are we doing with expressions of affection and with sexual intimacy?
  9. How are we doing with spending time together?
  10. How are we doing with communication?
  11. How are we doing with resolving conflicts?
  12. What is our method for negotiating mutually beneficial solutions?
  13. We thought love, regard, good intentions, and _________ would be enough. What are the surprising, unanticipated problems that have arisen in our partnership?
  14. Oops, my perceptions of my partner have changed! Opposites are both true! When we were first together, I took delight in my partner’s ________, ________, and ________. The flip side of these traits is they also are ________, ________, and ________.
  15. Hey, we were taught that we were supposed to be each other’s everything! What needs and wants do I try to get met by my partner? What is reasonable and unreasonable to expect? Might finding other ways to get my needs and wants met take some pressure off the relationship?
  16. What are the top 3 external stressors impacting our partnership?
  17. What individual problems do I think I bring to the partnership?
  18. What individual problems do I think the other person brings to the partnership?
  19. Am I clear on my contributions to the endings of former relationships?
  20. What beliefs about how couples should be do I bring to the relationship?
  21. What beliefs about how couples should be do I think the other person brings to the partnership?
  22. What haven’t we told the other person about ourselves and its impact on our partnership?
  23. How willing are we to work together on the problems in our partnership?
  24. How willing is each individual to work independently on individual problems?
  25. Given our awareness of our partnership’s strengths, our individual strengths, our clarity on what’s currently going on with us, and the level of our willingness to take action at the individual and partnership levels, what are next steps for us? If we intend to continue the partnership, what specifically shall we do to strengthen it?

Information gained from each person taking this assessment independently may be helpful.

Avoiding dealbreakers in relationships is crucial. Here’s an overview of the damage done by criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling (withdrawing and refusing to engage). Here’s a related 2-minute video.

Enrichment

If you would like to engage in 3-session partnership strenthening, here is more information.

This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.