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This is one of a series of articles
in self-improvement Lesson 4 - optimize your relationships. This
article exists because sociologists estimate
up to half
marriages fail legally. Untold millions more fail psychologically, but
stop short of legal divorce.
Implication - most
American couples unintentionally pick the wrong partner, for the wrong reasons,
at the wrong time.
This brief YouTube video previews key points in this and related articles:
The wrong people are
wounded, unaware, and in denial of this.
Wrong reasons to commit include ending loneliness and anxiety,
rescuing, legitimizing sex, proving something to someone, revenge,
codependence, and other unhealthy motives. The wrong time is
before both mates
reduce their wounds and gain the knowledge in this
course. Does this make sense to you?
+ + +
worksheet is for childless couples who are dating seriously. It offers criteria for deciding
when each partner is ready to commit to a primary relationship. These
criteria come from the
professional research I began in 1979, and clinical interviews with over 1,000 average (Midwestern U.S.)
adults since 1981.
If either of you is a single parent now, use
My professional research suggests that one of
reasons for the
tragic U.S. divorce epidemic is
of how to make
threewise courtship choices.
This is one of five worksheets
designed to help courting couples make three wise commitment choices for
themselves and any descendents.
- you may
respond to these worksheets with what you want to believe, vs. what
consider getting an objective opinion on your answers.
Prepare. To get the most from this worksheet, first
study and discuss...
Print this page, and allocate at least 30" of undistractedtime. Choose attitudes
open-minded curiosity, and...
"this is a win-win-win investment of my time
for me and any future child/ren."
If you don't
these, a protective
false self probably controls you.
responding to these worksheet items, imagine
being an objective news reporter or a social scientist. Scan the
whole worksheet before starting to fill it out.
Check each main item as "true" only if you can honestly check all the
sub-parts of it. Use
"?" if youre unsure.
View uncheckeditems as projects to work on
alone or with your partner.
your thoughts and feelingsas you fill out
this worksheet. The process of
filling it out can be just as
instructive as your answers!
Star or hilight items that you want to learn
Invite your partner to fill out a copy of this checklist -
separately.When you're both done, discuss your findings thoroughly together, and see
what happens. Whatever you learn here, keep exploring the other
Lesson-4 wise-choice worksheets.
If you fudge your answers here, you're potentially hurting yourself, your partner, and
The more of items below you can check, the higher the odds you're choosing
to commit at the right time. Caution: even if you mates are each
choosing to commit at the right time, one or both of you may still be committing
to the wrong
people for the wrong
Thoughtfully check each sub-item and main item that seems "true enough"
"Is This The Right Time
Partner Readiness Factors
...has lived aloneas an adult for at least two years (more is better). Living alone promotes
discovery of one's
and life purpose, self-confidence, and starting real inner-wound
recovery if needed.
had enough time to progress well on
grieving major broken bonds (losses)
from childhood and adulthood. Men
need to grieve too!
3) ...has had time to
for significant psychological
_ is clearly self-motivated
to do that within the next month.
4) If s/he does
identify as a
Grown Wounded Child, s/he can now _ clearly name the specific
inner wounds s/he needs to heal, and_ has clearly begun
implementing a Self-motivated, viable,
plan to do so.
5) ...has had a stable set of
acquaintances, and supporters for at least 18 months, vs. being socially isolated.
6) ...has had
enough time to adjust and stabilize from any major physical, emotional,
occupational, financial, geographic, or other life changes
including the end of any prior primary relationship.
7) ...has had enough
time to evolve a
idea about what her/his life-purpose or missionis now, and is
pursuing it; or is now actively seeking to clarify that.
8) ...has had enough time
_ to identify the
that s/he wants our
relation-ship to fill, and _ to learn the key ingredients of a high-nurturance
If s/he probably or surely has
addiction to a substance (including nicotine,
caffeine, sugar, fat, and/or starches), an activity (e.g. workaholism), a person
code-pendence), or an emotional state (e.g. rage or excitement),
s/he(a) has clearly dissolved
denials, and (b) is working steadily at a high-priority, Self-motivated
10) ...now has
consistently high self-esteem (believes that her
or his personal feelings, needs, opinions, dignity,
and rights are
just as important as those of other people.
11) ...can now
(a) clearly describe
skills, and is
(b) working actively on
developing and using them now or s/he is clearly committed
to learning and applying these skills in all relationships.
12) ..._ understands the
difference between surfaceproblems and the
primary needs that cause them, and _ s/he uses this knowledge to resolve current
personal and interpersonal problems
13) ...can now clearly describe
_ what a
why they can be
significantly divisive and stressful, and (_ s/he has
evolved an effective strategy for preventing - and identifying and
- triangles in key relationships.
14) ...has been _
for at least 18 months, and _ has no major debts now; or s/he is working a clearly
effective, self-motivated plan to eliminate major debts. S/He is
_ clearly able to financially support herself/himself now.
_ well along in grieving significant
losses of key
relationships, dreams, rituals, securities, belongings, and identity; and is
_ clearly getting on
with life in a
What are you aware of now? What did you just learn? Is there anyone you
want to show this to and/or discuss your results?
This worksheet provides a way for childless courting couples to assess
whether this is the right time to pledge long-term commitment to
each other. It complements similar worksheets for committing to the right
people, for the right reasons.