A major goal of the Couple Checkup is to provide a tool that allows couples to proactively enrich their relationship. There are several other distinct goals of the Checkup that a couple can achieve by taking the online assessment and discussing their results together. In addition to a personalised Checkup Report, there is also a Couple Discussion Guide with couple exercises designed to help the couple use relationship skills.
1. Stimulate discussion about the couple’s relationship.
The tool encourages couples to explore and discuss their relationship with one another. It helps the couple learn how they each feel about the relationship. Couples rarely talk directly with each other about their perception and feeling regarding their relationship. It is easier to talk about their work, their children, their activities and interests, but not about their relationship. “Relationship talk” is hard because it leaves one vulnerable when opinions, feelings, and needs are openly discussed.
2. Identify and build relationship strengths.
One of the advantages of doing a Couple Checkup is the report will reveal a couple’s relationship strengths, including those they may not have been aware of and have perhaps never discussed. Couples often assume they know each other, but our studies have found they only agree with each other on the characteristics of their relationship about 33 percent of the time.
This finding is based on a study by David Olson and Peter Larson (2007) in which the responses from husband and wives in over 5,000 married couples who took the ENRICH Couple Inventory were compared. The average correlation between the husband and wife on the major scales (i.e. communication, conflict resolution, roles, sexuality) was .65. When .65 is squared, the shared variance is 33% which means if you know one person’s response, you can predict the partner’s response only one-third of the time.
For couples, this means that rather than assuming they know their partner’s feelings and ideas, they should assume their guesses will often be incorrect. Therefore, couples can greatly benefit from taking an assessment that will reveal how they each feel about different aspects of their relationship
3. Identify and resolve relationship growth areas (issues).
Another important goal is to help build new strengths by resolving current issues. The Couple Checkup helps to identify a couple’s strengths, as well as issues they need to resolve. All intimate couples have issues and areas where their relationship could improve. Quite often, couples handle conflict in unproductive ways; or simply try to avoid it all together. This leaves some couples feeling their issues never seem to get resolved.
In a recent analysis of 10,000 married couples who took the ENRICH couple assessment, the top issues men and women complain about were identified from a list of 165 potential items.
For women, the second most cited issue was “some of our differences never seem to get resolved”. For men, this same statement was the third most cited issue (Larson and Olson, 2006). Unless couples are able to resolve issues, tension in the relationship will build and create more problems.
4. Teach effective relationship skills.
A national survey of over 21,501 married couples identified four important relationship skills that are key components for a happy marriage (Olson and Olson, 2000). Communication, conflict resolution, couple closeness and couple flexibility were the four foundational skills found to be most predictive of a successful marriage. Past research has consistently found communication and conflict resolution are important relationship skills, but this was the first national survey to clearly demonstrate the value of couple closeness and flexibility. The Couple Checkup assessment and Discussion Guide facilitate the opportunity for couples to grow in all four of these areas.
5. Empower couples to turn stumbling blocks (issues) into stepping stones (strengths). The Couple Checkup Report and an online Discussion Guide, are resources designed to give power to the couple (hence empower them) so they can resolve ongoing issues and create a stronger relationship. Ultimately, couples need to feel equipped to resolve issues so they can turn relationship challenges into strengths. With a good base of knowledge and skills, couples can tackle many of their difficult issues and increase relationship satisfaction.
More tips at www.couplecheckup.com.au, tune in next week…
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The CoupleCheckup relationship assessment has been proven to assist couples for over 40 years. Looking for a facilitator to work with you, then contact us.
The CoupleCheckup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.
The CoupleCheckup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.
For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships