The story of us

Every couple represents a story. There is a beginning a middle and an end to every relationship, even if it until “death do us part”.


The quality of the relationship is represented in the nature of the story and what it allows those involved to achieve. In some ways a relationship is both the result of personal growth and a means to achieve it.


This exercise is designed to make you more conscious of your story and provides a means to build on it and develop it in a positive way together.


The exercise follows well established procedures for developing a story.


First we need to establish the outcomes. What is each partner’s vision for the relationship. Are they aligned? The agreement about the outcome is the first and some ways most vital step. In doing this each partner should develop a list of things they want to see in a successful relationship. What would it look like? What are the arrangements around division of labour. How would it feel? What ideals or examples are being used and are they aligned? How similar or different is this vision from the family of origin or other well known examples.


The second step in the story building is define the strengths of the couple. What has been the good parts, the sustaining parts of the relationship? How did the couple come together? What has sustained it past the honeymoon period?


The third step is define the challenges or threats to the couple. This could include issues that have arisen within the couple and/or situational constraints for the couple including practical, financial, medical issues.


The fourth step is to define the challenges each partner faces in the life that has predated the formation of the couple or arisen since the partnership has been formed.


The fifth stage is to plot the various stages and milestones in the relationship. What are the points at which things changed?


The building of the “Story of us” should be a creative exercise. The following questions can be used by each partner as a way of exploring understandings and perceptions. Fill these out individually and then come together to compare them. In this way the couple may come to an agreed version of where they are steering their relationship. After all the relation-ship is one vessel and not two.


My purpose or motivation in this relationship can be indicated by three words:


1.

2.

3.


My perceptions of the biggest forces affecting this relationship right now are:


1

2

3


Your key intentions or wishes for this relationship right now are:


1.

2.

3.


The main three current issues affecting this relationship are:


1

2

3


The three main changes I would like to see in this relationship are:


1

2

3


Three things that I have learnt about relationships (what works to increase my relationship satisfaction)


1.

2.

3.


Three choices I have made in this relationship that I regret


1.

2.

3.


Three things from my family that have influenced my behavior in this relationship are


1.

2.

3.


The three major beliefs that I have changed as a result of this relationship are


1

2

3



The major chapters of this relationship would have the following chapter titles . .





~ feel free here to elaborate naming sub headings, themes, milestones, plots and the cast of characters, as well as the moral and personal dilemmas that have arisen.


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