I've been writing a lot about the dangers of porn. But, It's not enough to just refrain from unhealthy sexuality. Recovery is about learning to detach from a self-destructive process and attach to a safe, healthy person. To safely attach to a person requires knowing how to build a relationship in which both you and your partner will thrive. And, it's this sort of thriving marriage that makes truly amazing sex possible. This is what healthy sexuality is all about!
So, this week I offer a marriage health assessment to help you assess your current relationship. If you are in between relationships you can use this assessment to consider what you want in your next romantic venture. You can also use this assessment as a conversation starter with your significant other. Have each person take the test and compare answers.
- Responsibility for Personal Needs. Do both partners recognize that they are ultimately responsible for meeting their own needs? And, that it is their responsibility to share their needs with their partner?
- Respectful Communication. Is there open and honest communication?
- Are you more comfortable with "I" statements rather than "You" statements? (Ex: "I felt hurt when you..." vs. "you jerk!"
- Relationship is a Priority. Do both partners continue to nourish the relationship by practicing the 5 love languages?
- Do you set aside time for dates every week?
- Do you set aside at least 20 minutes each day to check-in to ask "how are you doing? how was your day?"
- Realistic Expectations. Do both partners see each other as whole people, with strengths and flaws?
- Do you love each other in spite of your weaknesses?
- Empathy. Are both partners able to see things from the other's perspective?
- Constructive Conflict. Is conflict dealt with in an open and respectful way, so that it strengthens the relationship rather than create more distance?
- Does it feel safe to approach your partner when you are hurt by their actions?
- Intimacy (sexual and non-sexual) Are there are expressions of verbal and physical tenderness, caring, and concern?
- Is sexual intimacy respectful, unique to each individual and does it take into consideration the needs and desires of both partners?
- Financial Responsibility. Do both partners share the decision-making about finances and come to an agreement on how to handle finances that feels good for both?
- Flexibility. Do both partners accept that change is unavoidable?
- Are you both proactive, flexible and solution oriented?
- Sense of Humor. Are you both able to use humor to enjoy life and to deal with the minor unsolvable differences in your relationship?
- Shared Responsibilities. Are you both willing to share responsibilities and work together as a team to accomplish daily tasks as well as work towards your goals?
- Alliance of Two Adults. Do you see each other as equals and behave as two mature adults, rather than behaving either childish or domineering?
- Individuality. Does each partner have a sense of his or her own identity?
- Are you able to be spend time away from one another without suspicion, neediness or jealousy?
Are there other couples you know who would benefit from answering these 21 questions? Feel free to share it. If this assessment has helped you let me know by "liking" it.