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Journal Exercises - Where am i now in my RelationshipMY MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIP

(“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 sentence.

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.

What is your relationship attachment style? Take this quiz and find out.

Where am I in my Relationship?

  1. I tend to deny_____________________________________________________________________________
  2. I am happiest when_________________________________________________________________________
  3. Sometimes I_______________________________________________________________________________
  4. What makes me angry is_____________________________________________________________________
  5. I wish____________________________________________________________________________________
  6. I hate it when______________________________________________________________________________
  7. When I get angry I__________________________________________________________________________
  8. I would give anything if my partner would ________________________________________________________
  9. Sometimes_________________________________________________________________________________
  10. I would be more lovable if____________________________________________________________________
  11. My mother and father _______________________________________________________________________
  12. If only I had_______________________________________________________________________________
  13. My best quality is__________________________________________________________________________
  14. Sometimes at night________________________________________________________________________
  15. When I was a child_________________________________________________________________________
  16. My worst trait is ___________________________________________________________________________
  17. My life really changed when _________________________________________________________________
  18. If my relationship ends it will be because ________________________________________________________
  19. My partner hates it when I __________________________________________________________________
  20. When I am alone I__________________________________________________________________________
  21. My partner gets angry when __________________________________________________________________
  22. My partners greatest fear is __________________________________________________________________
  23. It hurts me when my partner __________________________________________________________________
  24. I feel the most lonely when ___________________________________________________________________
  25. I am afraid________________________________________________________________________________
  26. I love_____________________________________________________________________________________
  27. We used to laugh more because_______________________________________________________________
  28. It would be best if___________________________________________________________________________
  29. Friends__________________________________________________________________________________
  30. I feel like a phony when______________________________________________________________________
  31. I can’t forgive______________________________________________________________________________
  32. Together we_______________________________________________________________________________
  33. What surprises me is _______________________________________________________________________
  34. I believe _________________________________________________________________________________
  35. Other people think__________________________________________________________________________
  36. Men_____________________________________________________________________________________
  37. Women_________________________________________________________________________________
  38. I regret_________________________________________________________________________________
  39. It doesn’t pay to__________________________________________________________________________
  40. It helps when we__________________________________________________________________________
  41. If only____________________________________________________________________________________
  42. 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.

Couple Relationship

 

Marriage/Relationship Problem Areas

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.

Loving Behavior
List five instances of your partner’s loving behavior toward you during the last month

Unloving Behavior
List five instances of unloving or hateful things your spouse has done to you during the last month

Qualities
List and describe your partner’s five best qualities
List and describe your partner’s five worst qualities

Undesirable Behavior
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.

Attractions
List five things that made you fall in love with your partner

Potential Transgressions
List five things that would make you fall out of love with your partner

Sexual Relationship
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

Attention
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

Presence
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.

Loving Behavior
List five instances of loving behavior toward your partner over the past month

Unloving Behavior
List five instances of unloving or hateful things you have done to your partner during the last month

Qualities
List and describe your five best qualities
List and describe your five worst qualities

Undesirable Behavior
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.

Attractions
List five things that made your partner fall in love with you

Potential Transgressions
List five things that would make your partner fall out of love with you

Sexual Relationship
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

Attention
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

Presence
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,
write it

Click here to take one of our self-tests to learn more about yourself.

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.