It’s a good idea to print this page first. then circle your answer True or False for you as a couple, not for you as an individual. To mark True, your answer should be true for both you and your partner. If the answer is not true for both of you but only for one of you then mark it as False. Do not share your answers with each other before both of you have completed the checklist.
1) T F Each of us invites the other to arrange times when we both can defocus off of the outside world and focus on each other’s minds. We are each sufficiently curious about the other so that we derive satisfaction from learning about each other’s past memories and the personal meaning of those memories, fantasies about the future and things we casually wonder about. We spend at least a couple of hours per week in this kind of pleasurable conversation instead of talking about work, money, children or other responsibilities.
2) T F In the past several years, there has been no physical violence or threats of violence.
3) T F Neither of us lie to each other except for surprise birthday parties or presents.
4) T F Both of us agree that it’s OK to refuse to engage in a conflict or refuse to engage in sex at any point in time. Neither of us pursues and tries to prevent the other from retreating to privacy once one of us has openly declared that privacy is desired.
5) T F Each of us will guarantee the other partner a negotiated time to talk about an uncomfortable issue if it’s clear that the other partner is disturbed about the issue. In other words, if one partner asks for a planned time for a discussion the other partner sees to it that it will take place. There’s no stone-walling.
6) T F Both of us agree to be held accountable against objective criteria if there’s a conflict about how something is affecting the relationship. Neither of us digs in his or her heels for the status quo if the other wants objective input (e.g. professional third party) about an unresolved issue.
7) T F Both of us refuse to hide from each other our internal truths about what we really think or feel. Neither of us “sucks it in” and stores resentment out of sight.
8) T F Each of us assumes the responsibility to leave a conflict that has degenerated into sarcasm, name-calling and dirty fighting. We both know how to leave the conflict early enough to avoid causing damage.
9) T F Each of us will refuse to engage in a blame fight and will instead refocus on what we can negotiate for the future. Neither of us tries to build a historical case to establish the other’s supposed defective character.
10) T F Both of us refuse to let our partner’s preferences and dislikes become the sole guiding force in the relationship. We both express and negotiate for our own positive desires (wants) in an equitable manner. No one hides his or her creative will for enjoyment and pleasure.
11) T F Both of us respect and avoid criticisms of each other’s emotions whether they are positive or negative.
12) T F Neither of us make any demands on the other for “emotional production.” In other words, no one is asked to “produce” desirable emotions such as affection or sexual desire at any given time. We both know that emotions are involuntary so we negotiate only for conducive conditions that might free up a positive mood in each other. We protect each other’s emotions from any sense of demand.