Love & Sex Magazine

Never Too Old For Homework

By Barbarajpeters @CouplesAuthor

In my couples therapy practice, one of the tools I find very helpful is giving homework assignments. This can range from recommending books to read to offering interactive handouts to take home and complete. I discovered giving exercises as homework between sessions was a good way to get results for the couples I see with relationship challenges.

Never Too Old For HomeworkThe other day a couple and I were reviewing a recent homework assignment. It was an exercise requiring fantasizing what their relationship would be like if the miracle of complete understanding suddenly happened within their marriage. At the end of the page was the question: How will the two of you know the problems which brought you to my office have been solved, or if your goals have been reached?

This is what they wrote:

  1. We will talk calmly and respectively with each other
  2. We will take time to listen to what the other is saying
  3. We will acknowledge each others feelings
  4. We will be more romantic and loving toward each other
  5. We will take time out to just “be” together
  6. We will have  one date night every other week

I was impressed. They really zoned in on many relationship “must haves.”

How often do you take the time to set reachable goals for your relationship? Can goal-setting be an adult version of homework?

Think back to when you were in school or when your kids were in school. Goals and objectives were established by the way we were raised or the way we parented our own children. School progress was carefully tracked and parent/teacher conferences gave a subjective scorecard. Sports and extracurricular activities were tracked too.

As adults, what can we do to keep our relationships progressing from “one grade to the next?” Do we have guidelines to help us develop and grow as a couple?

Human beings are always learning, and should be continually searching for ways to make their relationships improve. Without a syllabus or outline to follow, it’s easy to get off track in this “educational process.” Take the time to earn an A+ for the effort you put into your relationship – you’ll graduate with honors, that’s for sure!


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