Saturday, October 16, 2010

Putting a Price on Love

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You must have value to be valued. Do you expect your partner to value you? What messages do you receive from your mate that he or she sees you as a person of worth?

I often hear partners complain that they do not feel that their partner listens to them. They describe this as a communication problem, “I told him what I needed but he just ignored my wishes.” The “communication” problem may be better described as a failure establish your worth in the relationship. We attend to that which we value. The partner who is always forgetting your birthday or other important events in your life is giving you a message of your worth.

Do you tolerate messages that devalue you? These messages may be disrespectful statements but are more likely to come in more subtle nonverbal messages. Does your partner look you in the eye when you are giving your views or sharing your feelings? Does your partner’s expression suggest your views, feelings and desires are important? If not, do you tolerate such messages of disregard, thus limiting your worth.

Take a minute to clarify your worth. What do you offer a partner? Are you kind, caring, sensitive? Do you share the demands of each day? Are you an enjoyable companion and friend? Are you a source of support and encouragement? List your good qualities and remind yourself of your worth.

This isn’t a list for your spouse to see. This is a list that establishes your worth for yourself. Your partner may disagree and not value you as a partner or he or she may not have been challenged to acknowledge your worth because you have tolerated being diminished and disrespected.

Challenge your partner’s view of your worth. Inform him or her that you will not tolerate the verbal or nonverbal messages that suggest you are anything but a valuable partner. Start today!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ten Questions for a Marriage Performance Review

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Bosses are commonly criticized by their subordinates for only giving feedback when something is wrong. The workers want a fair evaluation of their strengths as well as the areas in need of improvement before things go terribly wrong.

Are you and your partner guilty of doing the same thing in your marriage? Many couples don’t stop and evaluate their relationship until something is terribly wrong and emotions are high. Do you and your partner ask, “How are we doing as a couple?” on a regular basis?

I frequently hear partners say, “I had no idea that my spouse felt that way, or I didn’t know he was unhappy about that.” This is a symptom of a lack of feedback in the relationship. You can prevent more serious problems by taking a few minutes to evaluate your relationship on a regular basis.

Here are a few questions that can get you started:

  1. How would you describe the amount of time you have together to emotionally, physically and sexually connect ? Does your time spent together properly reflect the importance of your relationship?
  2. How would you rate the quality of the time you spend together? Is this time rewarding for each of you? Do you feel that your needs are being met?
  3. Do you discuss the future? Do you feel as though you are working together to meet these goals?
  4. Do you feel valued by your partner? Does your mate help you become a better person or do you feel diminished in the relationship?
  5. Do you have a physical connection with enough affection?
  6. Do you have a sexual connection? Are the majority of your sexual encounters mutually enjoyable?
  7. Do you feel like a team when making financial, parenting, and other important decisions?
  8. What is most pleasing about your relationship?
  9. What one thing would you change about your relationship?
  10. If you had it to do over, would you marry your partner or choose another person?

Think of other questions that may be good for evaluating your marriage/relationship. Feel free to post suggested questions under comments to help others.