We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our relationship together as a couple.
We suggest you look at the impact of your individual behavior on the coupleship. First you may share your individual inventories. Next you can complete your coupleship inventory. The goal of these inventories is to gain awareness of the extent of our dysfunction. We all need to be fearless in our inventories. When a couple is able to face their reality honestly, they can grow in their love. Here are some questions that may help you in your individual inventory.
- Unfinished Business: In what ways have I not raised things with my partner, letting those unfinished things build resentments?
- Hyper-vigilance: In what ways have I looked for things to go wrong?
- Self-Responsibility: In what ways have I failed to take responsibility for my actions?
- Comfort and Feelings: In what ways have I not shared uncomfortable feelings with my partner?
- Accuracy and Honesty: In what ways have I placated my partner or avoided sharing my own perceptions?
- Connection: In what ways have I not been available to my partner? In what ways have I sought to connect?
- Stress: In what ways have my over-extension and stress affected my partner?
- Separateness: In what ways have I developed a separate life from my partner?
- Personal Needs: In what ways has my partner needed to guess or been expected to know my needs? Have I clearly asked for these needs to be met?
- Shaming and Blaming: In what ways have I sought to shame or blame my partner?
- Pain Thresholds: In what ways have I tolerated emotional pain, that was unnecessary and caused distance from my partner?
- Choice Clarity: In what ways have I been unclear about my choices, leaving things undecided or up to my partner?
To complete your couple inventory, review together the following questions and record your answers on paper. Writing helps to organize your thoughts and beliefs. Please begin by reading aloud the Safety Guidelines.
Please answer the following questions as a couple:
- In what ways have we let fears or resentments interfere with our coupleship? How has that affected our intimacy?
- In what ways have we created crises when there weren’t any?
- In what ways have we fought that never accomplished anything?
- In what ways have we neglected our coupleship?
- In what ways have we avoided being intimate?
- In what ways have we pretended our problems did not exist?
- In what ways have we isolated from couples and friends who could have supported our coupleship?
- In what ways have we allowed ourselves to become depleted, leaving nothing to give each other?
- In what ways have we tolerated abuse?
- In what ways have we had losses (having never achieved financial goals, having children with problems, having dysfunctional sexual relationships, etc.)?
- In what ways have we grieved these losses?
- In what ways have we treasured our partner and the coupleship? What are our strengths as a couple?
Having a better understanding of how frequently our problems arose from within us rather than as a result of external hostile forces, many of us found it was very freeing to reveal our problems to other couplesoften our sponsor couples. Although sharing our problems was typically intimidating, the relief we found was enormous when our problems were disclosed and accepted by other couples. In many cases we found we were not unique in our problems although we believed so before Step Five.