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assess relationship

Open To Influence From Your Partner

When we are open to influence from our partner, we validate them in a substantial way. We help them feel loved, valued and important all at the same time. This ability to listen to and accept our partner, especially when we disagree is an important element of lasting, happy relationships.

Open to Influence

Are You Open To Influence From Your Partner? When couples refuse to allow their partner to have a voice in the relationship or to weigh in on decisions the relationship slowly or sometimes quickly deteriorates. As with other harmful relationship habits, awareness is the place to begin rectifying the problem. I have included a short quiz to help you identify your strength or weakness in this area.

Do not think about how you wish you were or how you want people to think you are; carefully consider your actual behavior in the relationship. Be completely honest with yourself and answer the following questions True or False:

  1. I can accept my partner’s opinion; it is okay if we disagree.
  2. My partner is too irrational; I cannot take him/her seriously when discussing issues.
  3. I want to hear and understand my partner opinions.
  4. Even if we disagree, I appreciate my partner’s insights.
  5. I believe there must be a give and take to our discussions.
  6. My partner comes up with good ideas.
  7. If I don’t make major decisions, no one does in this relationship.
  8. My partner is too often overly emotional.
  9. I want my partner to know that his/her opinions are important to me.
  10. Usually I find it easy to agree with at least part of what my partner says.
  11. I get tired of listening to my partner after a while, or I tune my partner out at times.
  12. Usually I can listen and be respectful, even when I disagree with my partner.
  13. I am very convincing and win more than my share of arguments with my partner.
  14. I feel my opinion matters, when we make decisions.
  15. My partner completely lacks common sense.

For questions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, score one point for each true answer.

For questions 2, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15 score one point for each false answer.

If you scored 13 or more, then being open to your partner’s influence is a solid part of your relationship.

If you did not score high, it does not mean that you cannot have a great relationship, but it does mean that you could benefit from working to become more accepting of and open to your partner. Strive to be more respectful of your partner’s thought and opinions. It is possible that you may have to give up the need to be right and practice allowing your partner to enjoy that opportunity now and again.

15 Signs of a Healthy Marriage

Happy Couple

Healthy marriages bring psychological and physical benefits. Married people have a healthier immune systems* and live longer. How can you tell if your marriage is one that is healthy and health promoting? The more of the following signs your relationship has the healthier it is. If you find that you are lacking in some areas, take that as valuable information that there is something you could work to improve.

Signs of a Healthy Marriage:

Responsibility for Personal Needs. Partner’s recognize that they are ultimately responsible for meeting their own needs and they do their best to help each other meet those needs.

Respectful Communication. Couples have open and honest communication. They communicate daily when possible.

Relationship is a Priority. Couples continue nourishing their relationship. They consistently create time for the two of them.

Realistic Expectations. Couples in healthy relationships see each other as whole people, with strengths and flaws. They love each other in spite of their weaknesses.

Empathy. Partners are willing and able to empathize with each other. They are willing to see things from their partner’s perspective and make what their partner wants and needs as important to them as what they want and need.

Constructive Conflict. Conflict is a part of healthy relationships. In a healthy relationship conflict is dealt with in an open and respectful way, so that it strengthens the relationship rather than ripping it apart.

Intimacy (sexual and non-sexual) Healthy relationships have a level of trust and connection that is satisfying and comforting. There are expressions of tenderness, caring, and concern. Sexual intimacy is always respectful, unique to each couple and takes into consideration the needs and desires of both partners.

Financial Responsibility. Couples share the decision-making about finances and come to an agreement on how they will handle finances that feels good to both partners.

Flexibility. Partners accept that change is unavoidable. They are proactive, flexible and solution oriented.

Sense of Humor. Couples are able to laugh at themselves and to find the humor in situations. Healthy couples use their sense of humor and good will to enjoy life and to deal with the unsolvable differences in their relationship.

Shared Responsibilities. There is a willingness to share responsibilities and work together as a team to accomplish daily tasks as well as working toward their goals.

Alliance of Two Adults. Partner’s see each other as equals and behave as two mature adults, rather than behaving either childishly or domineeringly.

Individuality. Healthy marriages are the union of two whole people to make one great relationship. Each partner has a sense of his or her own identity.

Loyalty and Faithfulness. Consistent effort to build the relationship helps to affair-prove the marriage. If an affair has happened the couple works together to rebuild trust.

Commitment. Couples choose to use their stubbornness to stick together through tough times. When something goes wrong they work together to solve the issues.

Susan Derry, B.Ed., M.S.Psy., R.T.C., C.P.C.
Professional Counselor & Life Coach
Co-author of Marriage Prep: Beginnings a downloadable marriage preparation course
Co-author of Intimate Sex: Manual for Lovemaking, a sex manual for couples
Offers a free