address of this worksheet is http://sfhelp.org/relate/mates/priority.htm
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This is one of a
of articles on improving
primary relationships. It adds to others proposing how
three wise courtship decisions with and without kids from prior
unions. Thus article includes:
premises relating to ,ate4s' priorities;
worksheet to help you identify your priorities;
if you have a conflict over priorities with your
people divorce becausethey
of feeling toolowin their mate's priorities.
The ranking often depends on (a) expectations, and (b)
how well the other person fills their dynamic
relationship needs. This worksheet
provides a place for committed partners to rank their
relationship's importance in their lives. It also offers premises about
priorities, and options for dealing with inner and
mutual priority conflicts.
Get the most from this worksheet by first
to this nonprofit Web site and the
premises underlying it
Read and mull the premises that follow. Then by
yourselves, not as a couple, thoughtfully and honestly rank your and your
partner's recent life-priorities. Then discuss the results together for learning and
problem-solving, vs. for blaming, complaining, or moralizing...
Do You Agree?
Each partner in a primary relationship
needs to feel noticed and valued enough right now, and over time - i.e. each
mate wants the other to usually want to rank them and their
relationship "high enough" in their life
priorities. "Enough" is subjective.
actions demonstrate their real
priorities more reliably than their words. This is because adults
false selves will often
say one thing and do another. My
36 years' clinical experience suggests that
low-nurturance childhoods are often ruled by false selves
- and don't (want to) know that or what to
do about it.
Our personal priorities are strongly influenced by hormones, habits, current societal norms, old childhood
"shoulds," and our dominant personality
Through meditation, journaling, and
cooperatively, we can become clearer on our
real priorities (needs)
relationshipsneed enough ongoing mutual nourishment: undistracted time and attention, risk, and some sacrifices, by each partner. Partners usually need to feel their mate
wants to give
these things freely from love and respect, rather than from duty and/or anxiety
about possible conflict, rejection, or abandonment.
Each partner's mix of personal
(needs) changes dynamically, often
unconsciously, over time. So partners are steadily challenged to
intentionally keep their relationship's
priority "high enough." This implies the value of committed couples
periodically making reality checks: i.e. knowing and discussing mutual
priorities honestly together.
Here's your chance!
Make some undistracted time to do this learning
exercise. If you need to attend to other activities first, do so.
Notice your feelings, motivations, and expectations now. Are you looking forward to this discovery experience? Anxious?
you expect that doing this worksheet and discussing it with your partner will be
useful or a waste of time?
the activity categories below and add any others you feel have been a significant
part of your recent lives;
Pick a recent time period -
e.g. the last three months - and decide: "where have I
put the most and least of my daily energy, on the average?" Take your time,
and rank-order all the categories (1, 2, 3... ). Option: pick the highest and lowest, then
repeat with remaining categories, until you run out. Ties are OK. Note any
feelings or awarenesses that occur while you do this. Think of
someone who knows you well. Would they basically agree with your ranking?
Shift mental gears, and repeat the process for your partner: rank
you see her or him generally having allocated their personal energy during the same period.
This is about discovery, not blame! Again, note any awarenesses that occur.
When you're both done and undistracted, compare and discuss what you came up
if this feels like teammates talking or "something else" (e.g. a
competition or conflict).Stay
of your inner and mutual processes. Note nonjudgmentally
how you're communicating together about this: openly,
defensively, guardedly, irritably, What do
you notice? What does that mean?
Recent Life Priorities
Birthfamily: time with or for parents, siblings, and other key
Community: neighborhood / church / town / regional / national / global
Friendships: socializing / entertaining / calling / support / meeting
Home and grounds: selecting / furnishing / decorating / cleaning /
maintaining / changing / planting / protecting ...
Work and career: commuting / job time / overtime /
on-the-job training / other education / entertaining / resumes / searching / career
You / Us (couple time): communicating / problem-solving (or
arguing) / activities / intimacy / relationship-building
Thoughtsfor journaling and discussion:
I truly feel (a) my words about
my recent key life-priorities generally match my actions, and (b) I feel this is true about
you too, recently.
I feel our recent mix of personal priorities has generally
been a _ strength _ stressor _ neutral factor
in our relationship-quality;
Do I or you need someone's priorities to change? If so:
who's, which, when, and why? Is anything in the way? What may happen if
there's no change?
I am satisfied enough with (a) how often and
(b) how well you
and I communicate and (c)
problem-solve (vs. argue,
avoid, or complain) about our current
mix of personal priorities.
I feel that (a) my and (b)
priorities are pretty stable over time, vs. shifting around erratically…
If Im (or were) not
about our current life priorities here, it is…
How am I feeling about what Im learning here? Do I need
to change or do anything? What are my options?
If You Have a "Priority Conflict"...
If you discover
you and your partner have a serious disagreement over life priorities, you
is setting your respective priorities: your
or some other well-intentioned subselves; If the latter, make freeing
your Self to guide you your highest priority;
other learn the communication skills and tips in online lesson 2,
including win-win problem-solving. That will prepare you to...
learn how to
together. Thus brief YouTube video outlines how to do this. The video
mentions eight lessons in this self-improvement Web site - I've reduced
that to seven.
If your conflict
remains, seek professional help together.
This Lesson-4 worksheet exists to help committed partners assess and discuss
their respective life priorities. My clinical work suggests that an
important cause of psychological and legal divorce is one or both mates
feeling too unimportant for too long, and being unable to correct this.
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get what
you needed? If so, what do you need now? If not, what do you need? Is there anyone you want to
discuss these ideas with? Who's
questions - your wise resident
true Self or