Step 10 - Reflection (part 2)
You have been intensely looking at many facets of yourself, your partner and how this affects your relationship over the past period. In your notebook you have made all kinds of notes that we need to reflect on.
How to reflect
We are going to ask you some questions where you don’t have to copy the questions completely in your notebook, just the numbers. Some questions you can answer with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, some with a more elaborate answer.
We are going to use the answers to the questions in step 11 in preparation for a conversation with your partner in step 12. It is important that you let each question sink in and feel what it does to you. You can write this as an additional note to your answer.
We are aware that some questions can be confronting.
- Take some time to read the questions answer them in your notebook.
- Lead time: 2 weeks minimum.
The picture of the ideal relationship can help you answer the questions, it helps you to be able to see everything in perspective. Communication is the lubricant between Trust, Attention and Tension to arrive at Intimacy. The ideal relationship is a loving intimate relationship.
- Is it clear to you how you are attached? If so, which attachment type applies to you?
- Is it clear to you which love language or languages apply to you? If so, which ones?
- Do you have a good idea at what communication levels you and your partner communicate? Do you reach level 5 as well?
- How do you experience it when you are criticized? What does it do to you?
- Can you and your partner talk about any subject?
- When you criticize your partner, do you raise your voice? If so, what is the effect?
- Do you know your own blind spot? If not, have you ever asked your partner about it?
- Do you know your partner’s blind spot? If so, have you ever told him or her and what was the reaction?
- If there is a conflict between you and your partner, is it talked out? If not, is it to remain silent, stop talking about it and hope it goes away?
- You saw at step 7 that intimacy is divided into 4 categories. Do you experience intimacy in each category? If not, which one is not and is this acceptable to you?
- You have seen step 8 that you are in a certain stage of life, do you find that your partner and you are developing similarly? If there is an age difference of at least 5 years, do the phase differences reinforce each other positively or negatively and where does this show up?
- Thinking about Self-Care, do you feel that you pay enough attention to this for yourself? If not, what is the reason for not doing so?
- Do you love yourself in all facets? If not, what do you not like about yourself and would like to change that?
- Do you respect yourself, do you dare to set your boundaries by standing up for yourself and saying ‘No’ in your relationship? If not, why is this, is this for example out of fear?
- Do you let your partner cross your boundaries?
- Have you ever asked your partner how you could be a better partner?
- Has your partner ever asked you how he or she could be a better partner?
- Do you feel loved by your partner?
- Do you feel valued by your partner?
- Does housekeeping fall entirely on you? If so, have you discussed this with your partner and how does he or she feel about a different division of labor?
- Are you treated like a “doormat” by your partner? If so, have you indicated this to your partner?
- Do you feel loved and valued by people other than your partner, e.g. children, parents, colleagues, friends?
- Do you sometimes feel alone? If so, how do you deal with this? Have you ever discussed this with your partner? If so, how was the response? Do you feel understood?
- Do you sometimes have sombre thoughts? If so, do you discuss this with your partner? If so, do you feel understood?
- Do you feel at home in your home? If not, what would you like to change and is your partner open to it?
- Are you embarrassed to host other people in your home? If yes, what would you like to change and is your partner open to it?
- Do you bite your nails? If so, would you like to do something about this?
- Are you at your “ideal” weight? If not, would you like to do something about it and do you think you would expect support in this from your partner?
- Do you smoke? If so, would you like to stop and do you think you will get support from your partner?
- Do you need gum to suppress your biting reflex or can you do without gum? If so, have you investigated the underlying compulsion?
- Do you have opportunities to sufficiently relax or de-stress? If not, do you think you can do anything about this and is your partner open to it?
- Do you get satisfaction from your work? If not, do you share this with your partner and would you like to change this?
Do you feel you have enough social contacts? If not, what do you think you can do about it?
- Is there enough money to make ends meet in the household? If not, what do you think you can do about it and have you discussed this with your partner?
- Are you financially dependent on your partner?
- Do you and your partner regularly do fun things together? If not, what would you like to do?
- Is your partner aware of this extramarital or extra-relational relationship? If no, is there a fear of not telling them?
- How would you feel if your partner had a relationship in addition to your relationship?
- Have you repressed (sexual) abuse? If yes, could this affect your relationship in a negative way? Would you discuss repressed (sexual) abuse with your partner?
- Does your partner know all your desires sexually and are they fulfilled for you? If not, how do you fulfill these desires?
- Do you have any sexual desires that are taboo for your partner, think for example of BDSM, touching, licking or penetration in the anal area? If so, what are your desires and would you like to share this desire with your partner?
- When you make love, can you get out of your head into your feelings? If not, have you discussed this with your partner and what has been your partner’s reaction?
- When you make love would you prefer a longer foreplay in the form of caressing and gentle touching? If so, have you mentioned this to your partner and does he or she take your wishes into account?
- For example, would you like to be massaged tantrically? If so, does your partner restrict you from doing this?
- Do you have an addiction that your partner does not know about? Think of drinking, drugs, gambling or any other addiction. To what extent does this negatively affect your relationship?
- Do you have any idea what you are trying to “numb” with your addiction? If so, would you like to do something about the underlying reason?
- How would you feel if your partner had an addiction that you were unaware of and how would you react if you found out about it?
- Do you have debts that your partner doesn’t know about?
- How would you feel if your partner has debts you don’t know about and you are confronted with them?
- Do you often have chaos in your head or is your head full? If so, have you talked to your doctor about ADHD and ADD, for example?
- Do you have trouble getting structure in your life? If yes, have you discussed this with your family doctor? See also previous question.
Family (if applicable)
- Do you think your partner spends enough time on your relationship in addition to family life?
- Do you spend enough time on the family in addition to your work (or other daily activities)?
- Do you think your partner is a good father or mother to the children?
- Do you think the family tasks are well divided? If not, what would you like to improve?
- Do you do enough fun things with the family? If not, what would you like to do more of?
- Do you do enough fun things with the children?
- Does caring for the children fall entirely on you? If so, have you discussed this with your partner and to what extent is he or she prepared to handle this differently?
- Do you take enough initiatives with regard to things that need to happen in family life?
- Does your partner take enough initiatives with regard to things that need to happen in family life?
- Do you do enough things together without the children?
- Do you give up caring for the children enough so that you have time for yourself or to be together with your partner
- Even though you have busy lives, do you find a moment every day to talk to each other?
- When a parenting problem arises, you consult with each other and call in help when necessary. Are the tasks divided equally in this?