Your Marriage is Like a Tabletop With Four Sturdy Legs

Coupleship is a way to perceive and structure a long-term, primary monogamous relationship.

Emotionally intelligent couples have certain things in common.  They are committed to mutual and reciprocal respect, encouragement and affirmation; they can easily and elegantly offer and receive an apology; and they speak with each other in feeling vocabulary that keeps them open (undefended) and emotionally available to each other!

Think about Coupleship as a tabletop being supported by very sturdy legs.  The sturdy legs are:

  1. Beliefs and Values of each partner
  2. Personal Style and Temperament that each partner brings in to the Coupleship
  3. Commitments each partner makes to the Coupleship and to his or her partner
  4. Agreements each partner makes to the Coupleship and to his or her partner

Today let’s explore Personal Beliefs, Values, Style and Temperament.

Concept #1:  How well do you know your Self?

What are your personal…

  • Values?
  • Beliefs?
  • Strengths?
  • Skills?
  • Gifts?
  • Talents?
  • Limitations?

What Behaviors or Under What Circumstances do you feel…

  • Valued?
  • Loved?
  • Respected?
  • Appreciated?
  • Hurt?
  • Rejected?
  • Scared?
  • Angry?

Have you ever considered what issues are important to you?  Or what you want and need from your partner?  From your relationship?

  • What behaviors are acceptable, negotiable, and unacceptable?
  • What can your partner reasonably expect from you?
  • How do your handle your own anger?  Your family?  Your career?
  • What are your needs for personal space?
  • How much alone time do you want or need?
  • Do you like or have pets?  Does the dog sleep on the bed?  Or do pets belong outside?
  • Are you a world traveler or a homebody?
  • How do you handle money?
  • Do you have an open door policy, or do you want friends and family to call first?
  • Do you have kids?  Want kids?  Are you willing to co-parent?
  • Are you a vegetarian, and can someone eat meat in your presence, or does it matter?

Concept #2:  Who IS Your Ideal Partner?

Take some time and explore all the questions above and this time, relate them to your partner and see WHO s/he really is; not in your fantasy, but in your reality!  Be picky!  Don’t settle for anything less than your ideal partner.

As you can see, there are many, many questions and issues to consider before you and your partner make the Agreements and Commitments that will become the other two sturdy legs of your tabletop.

Coupling, partnering, marrying, joining another and inviting another to join you in your life is serious business.  Take the time and the energy required; learn and apply the essential relationship success skills; and build the life that you love with the love of your life forever!

Remember, only YOU can make it Happen!

Dr Jackie Black Newsletter


Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com