It happens in many marriages. We put our heads down, serve our children, and there comes a day when the kids no longer need us. Adrenaline days behind us, we look at our partner and say. “Hi Honey. Who are you?” Perhaps we have learned to manage our partner to act the way we choose. Maybe we have learned to avoid each other. Marriage has come to a pivot point. Continue in the same pattern, and the relationship continues in a stream of management and avoidance. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to connect again, perhaps discover with fresh eyes, who has been sharing your life?
“Is your marriage on the rocks?”
Popular magazine headlines, “Is your marriage on the rocks?” “How you know your partner has lost interest?” appeal to some. Many complain when their partner watches a popular psychologist on TV, and then are aggressively grilled, analyzed, and probed, in a drill I call “The Plumber’s Helper,” where a suction device is used to unclog a pipe and force it to flow again. Works for pipes, it doesn’t work for relationships.
At the turn of the last millennium, I joined a group called Coachville. It was developed by Thomas Leonard, one of the first to pioneer the field of coaching. Thomas was genuinely generous, wonderfully creative, and a brilliant communicator. He offered people a flat rate for membership granting permission to use all his material. Was that ever a wise investment. I emailed Coachville 2 weeks ago, to ask what materials I can use in blogs, e-courses, and counselling/coaching. The responder thanked me and said the only restriction was I was not permitted to train coaches with this material. PERFECT. I will use many of his tools, questions, charts and checklists in the coming months and years. Thank you, Thomas.
101 Relationship Questions
Today I offer a worksheet called 101 Relationship Questions. The intent of this worksheet is not to answer the questions, but to generate a discussion. You set the pace. You set the tone. You may be a couple that takes one section at a time or one question at a time. Here are some of the dangers. Some questions touch sensitive and intimate issues. One person may feel the temptation to use the questions as an agenda to “change” their partner’s behavior. This dynamic will shut down your relationship. Some couples believe their relationship is good the way it is, and are out to prove it to themselves or others. They think if both answer the same question, in the same way, their relationship is healthy. It may be, or it may not be. The issues are to generate an attitude of curiosity and require some reflection. The more curiosity and thought you invest, the more the questions will help you effectively enrich your marriage.