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This is one of two worksheets for couples considering commitment
to each other (e.g. marriage). The worksheets exists because sociologists estimate almost half of U.S.
first marriages fail legally. Untold millions more fail psychologically, but
stop short of legal divorce. Implication - most
love-struck American couples pick the wrong people to commit to
(mate + their family), for the wrong reasons,
at the wrong time. This is probably true in other cultures.
This brief YouTube
video provides perspective for these worksheets. The video mentions eight
self-improvement lessons in this Web site. I've reduced that to seven.
In my experience
as a family therapist, the "wrong people"
to commit to are
worksheetoffers 31 criteria for deciding whether you're choosing the These traits come from the professional research I began in 1979,
including clinical interviews with over 1,000 average Midwestern U.S.
you and/or your partner have kids from a prior union, fill out part two of this
worksheet after you finish this part.
This worksheet assumes you're familiar with:
intro to this nonprofit Web site and
There are many
materials and programs available that
aim to help couples make the right courtship choices.
Lesson-4 divorce-prevention worksheets
they're based on the concept of
inherited psychological wounds
unawareness that promote major
relationship and family stress and eventual divorce. No other
marriage-prep assessment tools that I'm aware of (e.g.
Relate) include this concept;
these worksheets emphasize
the vital importance of effective communication and healthy-grieving
and parenting knowledge.
Lack of these promotes major personal, parental, and
relationship stress and divorce; And...
and related articles are part of a modular self-improvement
all adults should study to prevent common problems like
partners will each use this worksheet after studying
Lessons 1 thru 4. Procrastinating or ignoring these Lessons suggests that you may be
false selves. RED
Print this page and make at least 30" of undistracted time. Choose attitudes
of curiosity and "this is a high-return investment of my time in
making a complex life-changing decision and avoiding possible divorce."
Take time to reflect thoroughly
on each item below. First focus on you, then on your partner, and check the item only if
all sub-items are true. Options:
record your thoughts and feelings as you do this self evaluation. Star or
highlight any items you want to learn more about or discuss.
Edit any of the items to fit
you better, and add any others you feel are important. Note whether
true Self is the
and why s/he wants the changes.
If you fudge or cheat as
you do this worksheet, you're potentially hurting yourself, your partner, and
partner to read and discuss the articles in the box above with you. When you're both done, see what you want to do. Ideally, you'll choose to
keep working at this
course together whether you commit to each other
now or not.
a trait "__" only if you can check each sub-trait "_". The more traits you
check, the higher the odds you're choosing
the right (wholistically-healthy and aware) partner.
That does not mean you're committing for the right
reasons at the right
"S/He" means "She or He."
I Committing to the Right Partner?
__ 1) S/He has read this article on
the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle, and is committed to
breaking it in our
has no major
symptoms of psychological
wounds, or if she does, s/he is self-motivated to work at
reducing them now.If you can't
trait, the rest of these items probably don't matter.
is seems to ne guided by her/his
most of the time, ors/he is intentionally working to
__ 4) This person's multi-generational family has many of these
__ 5) I _ greatlylike andrespect this person for her/his values, morals, goals,
and conduct; and _ I feel genuinely respected by her/him, and _ enjoy
spending time with her/him.
__ 6) S/He
_ has lived alone and financially
independently (vs. with siblings or other kin, or a room-mate or
lover) for several years. S/he usually feels
comfortable enough with _solitude, _normal socializing, and
_ herself/himself as a
__ 7) S/He
addicted to or
food, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, prescription drugs, and "street" drugs);
activity(including work; cleaning; exercise; weight control; worship;
studying; a hobby; a "cause;" and earning, spending, or saving money; etc.); or ...
relationship (including me, a parent, a relative, or other person); or...
a mood-state like excitement (risk,
conflict, change), sexual arousal, religious or spiritual ecstasy, or rage.
or may be
addicted now, _ we agree that s/he is steadily working a self-motivated,
effective addiction-management program
now. Note - addictions and other harmful
compulsions usually indicate low-nurturance childhoods, significant
inner pain, and
inherited psychological wounds.
__ 8) S/He
is motivated to study
Lesson 1 here and discuss it with me and other members of our families.
__ 9) S/He
has _ a realistic opinion of her strengths and limitations, and has _
appropriate self-confidence and self-esteem as a person and a wo/man.
__ 10) S/He is very clear on her/his
personal rights as a dignified, worthy person, and _ s/he genuinely
(vs. dutifully) accords me and all other people the same rights.
11) I feel s/he is an effective communicator in most situations. S/He knows how to
_ S/He is
self-motivated to study
Lesson 2 and apply its ideas to our and
__ 12) S/He can _ answer all the questions on this
good-grief quiz and
_ s/he can say clearly why these
questions are important to us;
or _ s/he is clearly self-motivated to learn the answers
now. _ S/He has no
signs of incomplete grieving major
childhood or other
losses (broken bonds).
13) S/He has several friends she enjoys spending
time with (vs. being isolated and solitary).
__ 14)S/he steadily gives high priority to her/his
s/he regularly _ gets enough exercise, _ eats a healthy diet, _ gets
appropriate medical and dental checkups, and _ values her/his spiritual
__ 15) S/He _ is actively
her/his life purpose, or _ s/he is proactively seeking to
S/He _ has no major financial debts, and _ is not involved in any
__ 18) S/He _ does
not deny or hide significant personal problems
me, and _ s/he shows sincere interest in my problems and achievements.
_ rarely needs to distort or avoid the truth. I _ solidly trust s/he means
what s/he says, and says what s/he means.
__ 20) S/He is genuinely comfortable with appropriate
interpersonal intimacy and giving and receiving physical contact.
__ 21) S/He _ is clearly
able to form healthy
with male and female adults and children, and _
s/he is able to feel. give, and
has a healthy sense of humor,
and is often able to laugh at herself/himself.
__ 23) S/He
is clearly able to
with other people.
24)Iamcomfortable enough with
her/his occupational choices, status, and plans; or
we know how to manage our
values differences over these
__ 25) S/He and I _ have
thoroughly discussed child conception and/or adoption, and _ we are in
stable agreement on these questions.
__ 26) S/He _ has
carefully reviewed these courtship danger signs, and
has discussed her/his reactions honestly with me.
_ I feel none of these signs apply
to our relationship now.
27) S/He is self-motivated to
take and discuss
_ this relationship-skill quiz and _ these
other wise-choice worksheets
with me now.
28) Ifeel comfortable enough with any differences I have with my partner
_ religion or
_ racial issues
_ personal health
_ lifestyle (work + play + rest)
partner's relatives and key friends are _ supportive enough of our
relationship, and _ compatible enough with me, and my relatives and friends.
__ 30) S/He _ genuinely accepts me for
who I am, and _ is not trying to change me in any way.
31)S/He is _ consistently comfortable
her boundaries and needs with me, and _ is usually willing to seek win-win
compromises when we conflict.
+ + +
finish this part of our courtship inventory, I feel...
_ calm, centered, and relaxed;
_ that I answered each of these items thoughtfully and
_ I feel nomajor anxiety or
ambivalence about showing my answers here to my partner and selected
If you can't check each of
these as solidly true, suspect that protective false selves control
The more of the 31 items above you can check without ambivalence or
discomfort, the more likely it is you (each) are choosing the right
person to commit to. Each unchecked item deserves your mutual discussion
and attention whether you commit to each other or not.
Even if you
mates each check most of these
right-partner items, either of you
may still choose the wrong time to
commit, for the wrong reasons.
If either of you have kids
from prior unions, continue this courtship worksheet