Relationship Reality Check:
10 Questions that Can
Transform Your Love Life
often collapse because couples are not prepared to withstand the inevitable
conflicts or even the humdrum and monotonous plateau period that’s nearly
certain to present as the years go by. A relationship can feel more like
“boot camp” when trying to acclimate to each other’s personality differences
and habits—frustrations, tensions, and resentments that can persist well into a
long-term love affair and undermine the ability to feel happy and content. For
other couples, it’s shear boredom that can wreak havoc—if the partnership
doesn’t continue to stimulate and enrich their lives, the doldrums can be a
relationship death knell!
couples do not understand these are anticipated and natural events in the
course of a relationship, they may start looking for the exit
door thinking that they have made a grievous mistake. But, many people
don’t realize the extent to which their relational health and happiness is
under their own control. That power lies in one’s ability to self-assess and
foster quality communication with their partner.
With this in mind, here are 10 self-assessment questions—answers to which can
not only help a relationship survive, but also thrive so that both partners can
actualize their dreams of “happily ever after”:
best face forward?
People dress up in their best clothes, make sure their hair is done, and put on
makeup for the outside world. Do you put forth the same effort to impress
and excite your mate?
You must come to a relationship, willing to continuously improve who you are so
that your relationship can continue to evolve. Consider trying new things
and adventure can go a long way to keeping things fresh and appealing and will
help you understand and appreciate who your partner is today. Continue to date
and experience new things as a couple.
invest the time and effort to maintain a strong foundation? All good things take
work, and both parties must roll up their sleeves and commit to doing their
part to add value to the union. This includes continually stoking the flames of
you as proactive or even adventuresome in the bedroom, or are you relegated to
business as usual? Break the routine here and watch the magic ensue.
anchors in my relationship? What are the things that keep you rooted and
well-connected with your partner? Why are you together in the first
place? Identifying and nurturing similar values, goals, and expectancies in
your relationship are fundamental and will help you endure during the tough
improve our communication style? It is essential to learn how each party in
the partnership prefers to communicate.
You must then make the conscious effort to deliver and receive
messages from your mate according to their personal style, which may differ
from yours. Knowing when and how to disseminate information is a key
relationship skill that can be a saving grace unto itself. And, during an
argument, always fight fair and with respect—no name calling, no degrading one
another, and no using your tongue as a weapon of mass destruction.
expectations do we each have that need to be addressed? Unfortunately, unmet
expectations are often not shared and, instead, they can fester within and
result in resentment and bitterness. How can you expect your mate to meet your
expectations if you don’t voice them?
It’s unfair of you to feel that your partner “should know” or be able to
decipher passive aggressive cues that something is wrong. Met
expectations equal relational bliss, so be honest with what you need from your
partner for a real chance that those needs will be met, or even exceeded.
triggers might be adversely affecting my current relationship? Triggers link back
to past traumas and can hinder the way we respond to or even perceive
present day issues. Were you lied to or
cheated on in the past? It doesn’t mean you cannot trust your current mate. Did
your past partner drink too much? It doesn’t mean this partner can’t enjoy a
cocktail responsibly. Put your old baggage aside and experience your current
partner on their own merits and actions.
the time to listen to and validate your mate. Couples often decrease their talk
time once they have been together awhile and feel comfortable. Keep the
channels of communication open—chatter about the day’s events, current events,
family matters and similar. It bonds the heart and abates the feeling of
Should a concern be expressed along the way, it’s
imperative to hear your mate and try to empathize with how they feel.
interference? There is a reason “interference” is a penalty
in most sports. It is because someone is getting involved where and when they
do not have a right. This can result in focusing on the wrong issues and
reinforcing dangerous and emotional conclusions that can be detrimental to your
relationship. Your partner may also be very angry to find out that others are
now involved in your private life. Instead, go directly to your partner to
resolve relationship problems. However, if things are critical and seemingly
out of both of your control, qualified assistance can come from marriage
coaches and counselors who are there to help get the dialogue between the two
of you on the right track.
10. Do I have a maintenance plan? Are you still doing what you did to get your mate? Do you
know exactly why your mate should or would want to stay with you in the months
and years ahead? What emotional benefits do you offer your mate that others
don’t? Take the time to assess what your virtues are and even ask your mate to
cite favorite qualities about you. Then, make a concerted effort to foster
these qualities to not only ensure interest remains, but also maximize the
caliber of that interest.
Coach” Jacqueline Del Rosario is
President and CEO of Recapturing the Vision International, an organization
dedicated to promoting healthy marriages and family strengthening. Also a
published author, speaker, and nationally regarded media personality, Dr. Del
Rosario has been a certified pre and post-marital counselor for more than 20
years. Her cutting-edge series, Marriage Solutions and The Marital
Constitution™, help couples successfully work through problems and find
healthy solutions. She has two children and currently resides in Miami, Florida
with her husband of over 20 years. Dr. Del Rosario may be reached online at www.DrJacquie.com.