Talking to Each Other

So frequently do marriage therapists—including myself—hear couples complain that they don’t communicate well, that I thought I would offer an exercise for those couples who would like to improve the quality of communication in their relationship. These questions are taken from Bonnie Sose’s book Talk to Me.

  • Name seven specific things you really like about your mate.
  • What things do you need to hear more often from your mate?
  • How much effort do you put forth when it comes to the health, happiness and wholeness of your relationship? What specifically do you do?
  • What problems, if solved, would make the biggest difference in your relationship?
  • Can you tell your mate exactly what you need from him or her, your real wants and needs? Ask your mate what he or she needs and wants from you.
  • In one sentence, describe your mate.
  • What is the most solid part of your relationship? How do your individual strengths compliment each other?
  • In twenty words, describe your relationship.
  • Do both people in your relationship have equal responsibility concerning financial matters? What about household and family responsibilities? Are the responsibilities fair and equal?
  • What is the most recent thing you did to try to make your mate happy? Be specific. How important is your mate’s happiness to you?
  • When was the last time your mate gave you the look of love?
  • Is there anything in your lovemaking that you haven’t done that you’d like to try?
  • What are the three main hindrances to you feeling more love in your relationship?
  • Is your mate also a good friend? Explain.
  • What do you bring to your relationship that makes it work?
  • What did you learn about your mate after you married or bonded, that you didn’t know beforehand?
  • Are there times that you feel particularly close to your mate? If yes, when?
  • How much time do you spend with your mate each day? How often do you plan time to be alone together?
  • Is the way your mate kisses you important? How do you like to be kissed? When was the last time you had that kind of kiss?
  • What kinds of things did you do for your mate before you got married that you no longer take the time to do?
  • What are the two most important decisions you and your mate will make together this next year?
  • Does your mate challenge you to grow? How?
  • Do you trust your mate? If not, where was your trust broken?
  • How do you feel when your mate is unresponsive to you sexually? How do you feel when your mate is in the mood for love and you’re not?
  • How do your greet your mate when you haven’t seen him/her all day? How would you like your mate to greet you?
  • You love your partner but there is no passion left in your relationship. How would you attempt to rekindle that fire?
  • How can you detect when your mate is upset? How do you usually respond to him/her at such times? How would you like him/her to respond to you when you’re upset?
  • What would it take to make you feel loved the way you need to be loved?

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