Dimension Number Three – Trust
Hopefully, you and your partner are comfortable trusting each other with your innermost thoughts and feelings and can talk about almost anything without fear of rejection, embarrassment, or disdain.
You come to each other first when something is awry, and believe in your partner’s ability to listen and help.
Even when things seem okay, you still keep a running emotional and intellectual interaction going so that you are rarely surprised by something you don’t expect.
When new thoughts or feelings emerge, both of you are willing to put in whatever time it takes to get current and to try to understand and transform along with the other.
Trust is at the core of a healthy intimate relationship. You know that your partner is transparent, reliable, and accountable to what he or she promises.
You also can count on the fact that your partner will tell you up front if anything changes in the way he or she feels about you.
This dimension is where listening skills are the most important. Your goal is to refrain from being defensive, reactive, or threatened when your partner is distressed about the relationship, and you encourage them to open up.
When your first responses are compassion and encouragement, you will learn more about the deeper issues that may be under what is being said.
1) Do you talk to your partner about important thoughts and feelings without fear of distress? ____
2) When you are concerned about something important, do you feel your partner will listen deeply to your feelings? ____
3) Can you count on your partner to be there when you need him or her? ____
4) Do you consider your partner to be your closest friend? ____
5) Do you trust your partner to hold your inner thoughts and feelings sacred? ____
What is your total score? ____
Dimension Number Four – Working as a Team
All intimate partners must work together to solve life’s challenges and problems if they want to stay closely connected.
Each knows that they both will do their parts as team members for whatever is being asked. They also willingly take over if the other has a legitimate need to temporarily pull out, trusting that the partnership obligations will even out over time.
Some couples decide what their individual roles as team members will be in advance, while others prefer to exchange many of their roles as they see fit at the time, or do more of them together.
In any case, you both feel confident that you can work out disagreements while keeping your mutual goals in mind.
You rely on each other without concern that either will not do what he or she has committed to do.
1) When there is a job to be done, can you count on your partner to do his or her part? ____
2) Do you believe your partner comes through with his or her promises? ____
3) Can you trust your partner to let you know if he or she cannot complete their promised commitment? ____
4) Do you feel comfortable with the distribution of responsibility and effort when you work together? ____
5) Can you talk things over when you disagree and come to better solutions? ____
What is your total score? ____
Dimension Number Five – Successful Debaters
Arguments in intimate relationships create cumulative stress for both partners. They are usually only resolved when one partner gives in to another, creating resentment and defeat.
Partners who want to turn their conflicts into optimum solutions want to find answers that will make both of them as happy as possible.
When the two of you don’t see eye-to-eye in the same situation, you will still listen deeply to each other’s point of view. You know that it is important to keep your partner’s needs as close to your heart as your own.
Couples who can disagree with compassion, respect, and support for the other are much more likely to find solutions that take them closer to a new truth.
They do not argue. Instead, they learn the art of debate, knowing that they must be able to feel and think as their partners do when called upon.
If you discover yourselves in an argument where you are becoming adversaries, you both agree to quiet down, give it some time, and come back in a more compromising frame of mind.
1) Do you feel you and your partner settle disagreements fairly? ____
2) When you are in conflict, do you listen openly to your partner’s point of view? ____
3) Do you feel your partner can listen and respect your desires when they are in conflict with his or hers? ____
4) Do your solutions consider both of your desires? ____
5) If asked, could you represent your partner’s position accurately? ___