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Marriage Balance

This activity combines and extends some of the elements of earlier activities, especially those related to individual style.  It is also similar to the last activity insofar as you are being encouraged to think about yourself, your spouse, and how the style of each of you contributes to your relationship.  It is important to keep in mind that the balance elements discussed in this activity are not good or bad, right or wrong.  Looking at each element in terms of you and your spouse simply helps to better understand your relationship and better manage your participation in the relationship.

Each of the elements below represents an interactive point within your marriage.  Here, put an X beside the element if you think that it reflects a stronger area for you than for your spouse, a Y if you think that it represents a stronger area for your spouse than for you, and a Z if you think the two of you are about equal with respect to the element.  X equals stronger for you – Y equals stronger for your spouse – Z equals about the same for each of you.

Once you have finished, it may be helpful to make three lists.  The first list includes all of the elements you have marked X.  The second list includes all of those marked Y, with the third list including all of those marked Z.  This begins to give you a picture of the participation of each of you in your marriage.  It will also be good to share this activity with your spouse, if he/she wants to participate.

1. Being clear about what is expected.

2. Working well with the other.

3. Dealing with the ups and downs.

4. Showing pride in the other.

5. Being supportive.

6. Being open and upfront.

7. Listening.

8. Accepting the other.

9. Not blaming or accusing the other.

10. Keeping commitments.

11. Keeping criticism minimal and specific.

12. Being predictable.

13. Being helpful.

14. Valuing your relationship.

15. Having faith in the other.

16. Staying involved with the other.

17. Talking with the other.

18. Giving your marriage his/her best shot.

19. Being patient.

20. Dealing with the give and take of your relationship.

21. Depending on the other.

22. Not trying to boss or control the other.

23. Understanding what the other needs.

24. Being gentle.

25. Helping the other feel special.

26. Satisfying the other.

27. Accepting the other’s bad days.

28. Having time for each other.

29. Encouraging the other’s interest.

30. Not over reacting or getting upset too easily.

31. Being a good example or model for the other.

32. Being flexible.

33. Paying attention to the other.

34. Adjusting to the other.

35. Conveying interest in the other.

36. Being tolerant of the other’s habits and moods.

37. Resolving and working out problems.

38. Being positive and constructive.

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