Mitchell Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Couples

   

Couples

This page is to offer people in couples, or considering being in a couple, a way of reflecting upon what each wants and yearns for in life, to see how the couple might help that along, or to see how it might drain our energies from those important considerations or even block us. Hopefully we will see more of the first than the second, if we want the relationship to begin or to continue and to evolve.

There are many joys and frustrations in life. Life in a couple is one such context. That is perhaps not a surprise to anyone reading this.

What I would like to offer on this web page are some questions that we might ask ourselves and one another (when we are living in a couple). These are questions I have offered to people, who have found these valuable to consider quite seriously, that is, in giving them respect, importance, and weight.

The point of this sort of reflection, which may be an exercise in writing down what is important to us, is not to give us anxiety or worry.

It is, rather, to give us clarity for ourselves and for our partners, in order that we both appreciate what could make our lives in the couple more fulfilling.

It may be helpful to become clear within ourselves before discussing our findings with our partner.


In any case, here are some questions that may be valuable to answer, for ourselves, to discuss with our partner, or for both purposes:

1. What do I want in my life in the near term? in the longer term?

2. What do I see as what my partner wants in life in the near term? in the longer term?

3. What are my needs?

4. What do I see as my partner's needs?

5. Which of my needs are now being met quite adequately?

6. Which of my partner's needs do I sense are now being met quite adequately?

7. Which of my needs are not being met in this relationship?

8. Which of my partner’s needs do I sense are now not being met in this relationship?

9. What do I need from my partner?

10. What do I sense my partner needs from me?

11. What do I feel makes this relationship worth continuing for me?

12. What do I feel makes this relationship worth continuing for my partner?



And, for those who want to look seriously at the relationship and its true value, evaluating that with full awareness and a seeing straight-in-the-eye, consider as well these questions:

13. What would my life be like if we were not in this relationship?

14. What would my partner’s life be like if we were not in this relationship?

15. In what ways would my life be better off if we were not in this relationship?

16. In what ways would my partner's life be better off if we were not in this relationship?

17. What changes would greatly improve this relationship, bringing me a sense of its great positive value?

18. What changes would greatly improve this relationship, bringing my partner a sense of its great positive value?

19. What changes in how my partner relates to me would make things more pleasant, more satisfying, more wonderful for both of us?

20. What changes in how I relate to my partner would make things more pleasant, more satisfying, more wonderful for both of us?

21. If we were to imagine moving somewhere to start over again, or to put our relationship on a new track, with new ways of relating to one another, what would change that would make the project of having a new life together something appealing, pleasantly exciting, envigorating, wonderful?

22. If we were to imagine moving somewhere to start over again, or to put our relationship on a new track, with new ways of relating to one another, what would change that would make the project of having a new life together something disagreeable, unpleasant, frightening, depressing, miserable?

23. How close are we to being more like the situation imagined in the above question number 21, and how close to that imagined in question number 22?

24. How do I see, and how would I like to see, our relation different from the way it is now, one year from now? five years from now?

25. How do I think my partner sees, and how do I think my partner would like to see, our relationship different from the way it is now, one year from now? five years from now?

26. How can the two of us dream together, to imagine a happier future together, so that we live not only together but in a mutually supportive relationship, not one that is draining and painful?



These last questions may be very powerful and helpful to ask and to answer, even if they are not at present creating a wonderful experience. Looking at a situation straight-on puts us in a special position to be able to evaluate it accurately and see what we would truly like in our lives, and to be able to do something about that.

So, I wish you an interesting time of reflecting on these issues, if these questions are all relevant to you in your life situation. And above all, I wish you a fulfilling, secure, love-filled, and happy life.

 

© Mitchell D. Ginsberg, Ph.D.