Is it time for a cost-benefit analysis about your relationship?
One of the first questions I ask couples when they come in for counseling, is to do a cost-benefit analysis of their relationship. Most couples have never done this. A cost-benefit analysis can be as simple as What are the costs and benefits of staying together or breaking up. You can also take it a step further and ask these questions:
- Think about all aspects of your relationship and how it impacts things such as: having fun, family, love, religion and spiritual connection, activities you enjoy, interest and hobbies, your friendships, personal goals and your dreams.
- With regard to your relationship at its worst, what are the qualities you don't care for in your partner and in yourselves? In what ways do we ourselves emerge or not emerge?
- If you could remodel your partner, what would you like to emerge, what traits would you want to add? What traits would you want to delete? Do you think that these changes are do-able or impossible?
- Think of yourselves as parents. What is your assessment? How would your children benefit or suffer from a breakup of your relationship?
- If we were to split apart for good, think of the disaster scenario that could follow. Describe it. Think of the ecstatic fantasy that could follow. Describe it. How likely do you think each scenario is?