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While few of us find we have most of the characteristics listed below, most of us find we have a few of these characteristics. And even a few of these characteristics can hamper the happiness, harmony, and intimacy of a coupleship. Check those you think may apply; two boxes are provided as partners may perceive their situation differently:

    1. Being together and unhappy is safer than being alone.

    2. It is safer to be with other people than it is to be alone and intimate with our partner.

   3. If I really let my partner know what I've done or what I'm feeling and thinking (who I am), I'll be abandoned.

    4  It is easier to avoid, hide or medicate our feelings than it is to express them.

    5. Being enmeshed and dependent with each other is perceived as being in love.

    6.  We find it difficult to ask for what we need, both individually and as a couple.

    7.  Being sexual is equal to being intimate.

    8.  We either avoid our problems, or feel we are individually responsible for solving the problems we have as a couple.

    9. We believe that we must agree on everything.

    10.  We believe that we must enjoy the same things and have the same interests.

    11. We believe that to be a good couple we must be socially acceptable.

    12.  We forget how to play together.

    13.  We get upset about little issues than to express our feelings about larger ones.

    14.  It is easier to blame our partners than it is to accept our own responsibility.

    15.  We deal with conflict by getting totally out of control or by not arguing at all.

    16. We experience ourselves as inadequate parents.

    17.  We are ashamed of ourselves as a couple.

    18.  We repeat patterns of dysfunction from our families-of-origin.