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The marriage skills e-mail series includes:

  1. It's all about listening.
  2. How affair-proof is your marriage?
  3. "What the !@#$*?" How fights start.
  4. What kind of marriage problems should I look out for?
  5. What are the keys to supportive & intimate relationships?
  6. 10 reasons anger hurts your marriage.
  7. The sexless marriage checklist.
  8. Stop trying to help! Or... how to be a supportive partner.
  9. How can you fix your relationship?
  10. What is Good Communication?

Share Your Reactions Worksheet

Sharing your thoughts and concerns about an infidelity and/or concerns about your spouse’s loyalty takes tact and skill.

In these situations, sometimes a well-rehearsed script is very helpful. This worksheet will help you to create this script.

Start by taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, and looking into yourself. What do you see inside? What feelings are you experiencing? What thoughts are rattling around? What images do you see?

Now let’s hone your list. Copy your list to the square below. We’ll start by making sure what you want to share is Crossover free (see related items on the right to learn about Crossovers).

Look at each thought on your list. Who is it about? Me or You? If it is about your spouse, how can you rephrase your thought to be about your own thoughts, feelings or actions?

TIP: Edit each item to make sure the only subject is I. If you refer to your spouse, phrase what you have to say with a when you. . . I. . ..

  • Example: You make me worry so much about our marriage.
  • Change to: I feel so worried about where our marriage is going.

  • Example: You’ve probably been so eager to get text messages from Amy.
  • Change to: I keep imagining you eagerly checking for texts from Amy.

  • Example: It’s no fair that you only have fun and laugh with your business associates.
  • Change to: I feel really jealous when you’re laughing and having fun with the people you work with.

Great work. Now that you've gotten your complaints out in the open, it's time to start using more positive, easy to hear, forward moving would like’s.

For each item, look to see if you have any negatives don’t wants. Change these into the positive with a Would Like To (see related items on the right to learn about Would Like To. . .).

  • Example: I don’t want to loose you.
  • Change to: I want to rebuild our marriage.

Almost there. Now you’re gong to make this all a bit easier to chew on with some I feel gravy. Add in some of your feelings and make sure you avoid phrasing them as you make me feel. . . (see related items on the right to learn about Sharing Feelings ). Stick to I feel. . .

TIP: Softer words like sad, hurt, broken, concerned, upset, pained, anxious are much easier to receive than harsh ones like mad or furious. Try to find the soft feelings under your harsh ones.

  • Example: You make me feel so mad.
  • Change to: I’ve been feeling really pained and anxious about this whole situation.

  • Or even better, change to: When you told me about how much fun you had at dinners on your last business trip, I was sad that I haven’t laughed like that with you in ages.

Now you have a great set of thoughts to start sharing. If it helps, print this worksheet and stick to your script when you two sit down to talk. Be sure to pick a time when you’re both calm, fed and rested to approach this topic with your spouse.

Want some more help? Mark this worksheet as complete, then use the “help” or “ask my coach” links and we’ll make sure one of our coaches reviews what you wrote and gives you feedback.

print this worksheet