(“Where am I now in my relationship?”)
This exercise is specifically for those who are struggling in their marriage or relationship. It is designed to stimulate your thinking and feelings about “where you are” in your primary relationship and also to identify some of the problem areas about which you are struggling. Our most intimate relationships are the source of many of our most negative emotions and behaviors. The more that you can be honest about how you really feel, the greater will be the opportunity to work through the emotions that are keeping you disconnected.
Begin with the questionnaire below which is designed to stimulate your thinking and feelings
about “where you are” in your relationship. Take some time to reflect on your thoughts, feelings,
wants and needs and complete each sentence below with an honest and spontaneous completion of
The next questionnaire will give you a general measure of the overall health of your
relationship. Complete each True or False item and then total up your responses to give you a score.
Then, in the elipse below (“Marriage/Relationship Problem Areas”) check off the problem areas
where you are struggling the most and then write a few words in the area that describes the essence
or core element of the problem. Then, color or highlight the areas that are the most important or
problematic from your own point of view.
Lastly, complete the 2 questionnaires regarding how you perceive your partner and his or her
behavior in the relationship as well as your self-perceptions of your own behavior.
Where am I in my Relationship?
- I tend to deny_____________________________________________________________________________
- I am happiest when_________________________________________________________________________
- Sometimes I_______________________________________________________________________________
- What makes me angry is_____________________________________________________________________
- I wish____________________________________________________________________________________
- I hate it when______________________________________________________________________________
- When I get angry I__________________________________________________________________________
- I would give anything if my partner would ________________________________________________________
- I would be more lovable if____________________________________________________________________
- My mother and father _______________________________________________________________________
- If only I had_______________________________________________________________________________
- My best quality is__________________________________________________________________________
- Sometimes at night________________________________________________________________________
- When I was a child_________________________________________________________________________
- My worst trait is ___________________________________________________________________________
- My life really changed when _________________________________________________________________
- If my relationship ends it will be because ________________________________________________________
- My partner hates it when I __________________________________________________________________
- When I am alone I__________________________________________________________________________
- My partner gets angry when __________________________________________________________________
- My partners greatest fear is __________________________________________________________________
- It hurts me when my partner __________________________________________________________________
- I feel the most lonely when ___________________________________________________________________
- I am afraid________________________________________________________________________________
- I love_____________________________________________________________________________________
- We used to laugh more because_______________________________________________________________
- It would be best if___________________________________________________________________________
- I feel like a phony when______________________________________________________________________
- I can’t forgive______________________________________________________________________________
- Together we_______________________________________________________________________________
- What surprises me is _______________________________________________________________________
- I believe _________________________________________________________________________________
- Other people think__________________________________________________________________________
- I regret_________________________________________________________________________________
- It doesn’t pay to__________________________________________________________________________
- It helps when we__________________________________________________________________________
- If only____________________________________________________________________________________
- We never seem to__________________________________________________________________________
How Healthy is My Relationship?
This profile will give you a general measure of the overall “health” of your relationship. Answer
each question honestly by checking either “True” or “False” to each statement.
Marriage/Relationship Problem Areas
How do I Perceive My Partner in this Relationship?
The following questions will help you to identify particular behaviors in yourself and in your partner that you like and dislike. This exercise will help you to become aware of the types of behaviors that trigger certain emotions.
• List five instances of your partner’s loving behavior toward you during the last month
• List five instances of unloving or hateful things your spouse has done to you during the last month
• List and describe your partner’s five best qualities
• List and describe your partner’s five worst qualities
• List five things you have asked, scolded, nagged or wished your partner to correct, change or improve but which your partner has not corrected, changed or improved.
• List five things that made you fall in love with your partner
• List five things that would make you fall out of love with your partner
• Describe your partner’s sexual relationship with you, paying particular attention to your partner’s:
1) Pattern of initiation, 2) Frequency, 3) Quality, 4) Problems
• Describe your ideal sexual relationship
• Describe your partner’s tendency or lack thereof to focus on you, paying particular attention to:
1) Desire for being physically close, 2) Desire to talk with you one on one, 3) Desire to spend time alone with you, 4) Desire to protect you or comfort you during times of need, 5) Desire to please you
• Do you look forward to seeing your partner at the end of the day? If not, write in your journal all the reasons why not. Be as specific as possible. If its your partner’s complaining, if it’s a look on your partner’s face, if it’s because you feel you have to invent conversation to make things pleasant, write it down. Whatever makes it difficult for you to be in your partner’s presence write it down.
How do I Perceive Myself in this Relationship?
It is always easy to look outside of ourselves and judge and criticize our partner’s behavior. When it comes to relationships, the problem is often “over there”, never “over here”. But it takes two to bring a relationship to the present state of affairs. If there is something unacceptable to you in the relationship it is essential that you “own” your own part in it. If no other change occurred in the relationship other than the one you make, the relationship would certainly be different. Resolve to answer the following questions with total honesty. These are questions that you might not think to ask yourself, so consider them carefully.
• List five instances of loving behavior toward your partner over the past month
• List five instances of unloving or hateful things you have done to your partner during the last month
• List and describe your five best qualities
• List and describe your five worst qualities
• List five things your partner has asked, nagged or wished to correct, change or improve in you but which you have not corrected, changed or improved.
• List five things that made your partner fall in love with you
• List five things that would make your partner fall out of love with you
• Describe your sexual relationship with your partner, paying particular attention to your own:
1) Pattern of initiation, 2) Frequency, 3) Quality, 4) Problems
• See if you can describe or imagine your partners ideal sexual relationship
• Describe your tendency or lack thereof to focus on your partner paying, particular attention to: 1) Desire for being physically close, 2) Desire to talk with your partner one on one, 3) Desire to spend time alone with your partner, 4) Desire to protect you or comfort you during times of need, 5) Desire to please your partner
Does your partner look forward to seeing you at the end of the day? If not, write in your journal all
the reasons why not. Be as specific as possible. If you tend to complain to your partner about the
day, if you have a stressful look on your face, if it’s because you feel a sense of dread upon the sight
of your partner, write it down. Whatever makes it difficult for your partner to be in your presence,
Go to the next journaling exercise: Relationship Communication
Click here to download the pdf version.
*Journaling exercises written by Cort Curtis, Ph.D, used with permission.