The Relationship Inventory

Reviewed Sep 15, 2021

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Summary

  • Successful relationships involve a significant amount of give and take.
  • Take time to learn what you’re giving and receiving from each other.  

Successful relationships involve a significant amount of give and take. A problem arises when one partner starts to believe that he is doing more than receiving in return. Rather than bring it up directly into the open where it can be dealt with, couples usually allow their feelings to smolder until frustration builds into resentment. At that point, partners become critical and accusatory or shut down and then pull away from their mate. 

The best way to avoid having your intimate relationship deteriorate into bickering and hostility is to become clear with each other about what you’re giving and receiving from each other. You can accomplish this by taking a relationship inventory.

Using the chart below, write down what you can rely on your partner for, what you can’t rely on your partner for, what your partner can rely on you for, and what your partner can’t rely on you for in various areas important to a relationship. 

For example, in the emotional support category, you might fill out, “What I can rely on my partner for is to listen and help me figure out a solution to my problems. What I can’t rely on my partner for is to emotionally understand what I am going through and be compassionate. What my partner can count on me for is to listen and sympathize. What my partner can’t count on me for is to act sympathetically if she pouts, blames, acts sullen, or becomes hostile.”

After you have completed the relationship inventory, give a blank inventory chart to your partner to complete, and then exchange results. Use this as a communication tool. Talk with each other about whether each other’s responses are accurate to the other, are acceptable to each other and what changes each of you would like the other to make in order to make your relationship happier.

Relationship inventory

 

What I can rely on my partner for

What I can’t rely on my partner for

What my partner can rely on me for

What my partner can’t rely on me for

Emotional support

   

Financial support

   

Cooperation

   

Attitude

   
By Mark Goulston, MD

Summary

  • Successful relationships involve a significant amount of give and take.
  • Take time to learn what you’re giving and receiving from each other.  

Successful relationships involve a significant amount of give and take. A problem arises when one partner starts to believe that he is doing more than receiving in return. Rather than bring it up directly into the open where it can be dealt with, couples usually allow their feelings to smolder until frustration builds into resentment. At that point, partners become critical and accusatory or shut down and then pull away from their mate. 

The best way to avoid having your intimate relationship deteriorate into bickering and hostility is to become clear with each other about what you’re giving and receiving from each other. You can accomplish this by taking a relationship inventory.

Using the chart below, write down what you can rely on your partner for, what you can’t rely on your partner for, what your partner can rely on you for, and what your partner can’t rely on you for in various areas important to a relationship. 

For example, in the emotional support category, you might fill out, “What I can rely on my partner for is to listen and help me figure out a solution to my problems. What I can’t rely on my partner for is to emotionally understand what I am going through and be compassionate. What my partner can count on me for is to listen and sympathize. What my partner can’t count on me for is to act sympathetically if she pouts, blames, acts sullen, or becomes hostile.”

After you have completed the relationship inventory, give a blank inventory chart to your partner to complete, and then exchange results. Use this as a communication tool. Talk with each other about whether each other’s responses are accurate to the other, are acceptable to each other and what changes each of you would like the other to make in order to make your relationship happier.

Relationship inventory

 

What I can rely on my partner for

What I can’t rely on my partner for

What my partner can rely on me for

What my partner can’t rely on me for

Emotional support

   

Financial support

   

Cooperation

   

Attitude

   
By Mark Goulston, MD

Summary

  • Successful relationships involve a significant amount of give and take.
  • Take time to learn what you’re giving and receiving from each other.  

Successful relationships involve a significant amount of give and take. A problem arises when one partner starts to believe that he is doing more than receiving in return. Rather than bring it up directly into the open where it can be dealt with, couples usually allow their feelings to smolder until frustration builds into resentment. At that point, partners become critical and accusatory or shut down and then pull away from their mate. 

The best way to avoid having your intimate relationship deteriorate into bickering and hostility is to become clear with each other about what you’re giving and receiving from each other. You can accomplish this by taking a relationship inventory.

Using the chart below, write down what you can rely on your partner for, what you can’t rely on your partner for, what your partner can rely on you for, and what your partner can’t rely on you for in various areas important to a relationship. 

For example, in the emotional support category, you might fill out, “What I can rely on my partner for is to listen and help me figure out a solution to my problems. What I can’t rely on my partner for is to emotionally understand what I am going through and be compassionate. What my partner can count on me for is to listen and sympathize. What my partner can’t count on me for is to act sympathetically if she pouts, blames, acts sullen, or becomes hostile.”

After you have completed the relationship inventory, give a blank inventory chart to your partner to complete, and then exchange results. Use this as a communication tool. Talk with each other about whether each other’s responses are accurate to the other, are acceptable to each other and what changes each of you would like the other to make in order to make your relationship happier.

Relationship inventory

 

What I can rely on my partner for

What I can’t rely on my partner for

What my partner can rely on me for

What my partner can’t rely on me for

Emotional support

   

Financial support

   

Cooperation

   

Attitude

   
By Mark Goulston, MD

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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