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Creating Respect in Couples: The Couple's Respect Questionnaire (CRQ)



Respect is one of the cornerstones of healthy relationships. The article features the Couple's Respect Questionnaire as a tool for couples to explore specific examples and qualities of respect in their relationship. The four Rs are presented as core components of respect. They consist of Respect for differences, Responsibility (ability to respond respectfully), Review (a willingness to review), and Release (a willingness to release). Following a profile of the assessed behaviors, a stepwise procedure is outlined to increase a couple's respect and understanding of behavioral and personality differences.
Couples and Families
Creating Respect in Couples: The Couple’s
Respect Questionnaire (CRQ)
Donna Eckstein
, Sarah Eckstein
, and Daniel Eckstein
Respect is one of the cornerstones of healthy relationships. The article features the Couple’s Respect Questionnaire as a tool for
couples to explore specific examples and qualities of respect in their relationship. The four Rs are presented as core components
of respect. They consist of Respect for differences, Responsibility (ability to respond respectfully), Review (a willingness to review),
and Release (a willingness to release). Following a profile of the assessed behaviors, a stepwise procedure is outlined to increase a
couple’s respect and understanding of behavioral and personality differences.
respect, couples, couples counseling, personality differences, review, release, responsibility, couples problem solving, question-
naire for couples, forgiveness
For the past 20 years, the column focusing on couples in The
Family Journal has been organized around Haley’s (1973,
1980) four ways of assessing couples. The four ways include
understanding and respecting personality differences, role per-
ceptions, communication, and problem-solving skills.
The purpose of the present respect-focused article is for you,
as a couple, to explore your own understanding of respecting
personality differences. More than 30 years ago, the seeds of
the present article were planted when coauthor Daniel Eckstein
was counseling a couple. As they bickered back and forth, he
had an epiphany: Basic respect for one another was what was
lacking in their relationship. With that came the understanding
that, without the foundation of respect, there was no basis for
the couple to have a meaningful relationship. Indeed, the cou-
ple eventually ended their marriage.
This respect-focused article is organized as follows: Follow-
ing a brief overview of respect, you will be invited to consider
differences in your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of respect
compared to those of your partner. Coauthors Donna and Sarah
Eckstein have created the Couple’s Respect Questionnaire
(CRQ), identifying several core components of respect that
contribute to a healthy partnership (see Appendix A).
Answer the questionnaire based on your rating of yourself
and/or your partner. The theory behind the questionnaire comes
after it. If interested, each of you individually may choose to
predict your scores based on the authors’ model. The next step
in the CRQ is to score, profile, reflect on, and discuss your
respective scores. Implications and ‘‘next steps’’ application
will conclude the article.
If you are the only one completing the questionnaire, you
can limit your reflection and assessment of respectful behavior
to yourself, or you may choose to complete the form from the
perspective of your partner.
If you are not currently in a committed relationship, you can
complete the activity alone from the perspective of past or even
possible future significant relationships. While the article is
written for you as a couple, you may find it useful to discuss
your own responses, based on your assessment of yourself and
your partner, with someone you trust. This may include a
friend, family member, counselor, psychologist, social worker,
or spiritual advisor.
This review of the literature provides supportive research
about four factors, ‘‘the four Rs,’’ contributing to a healthy,
respectful relationship. Additional activities from previous
couples’ articles, focusing on understanding and respecting
personality and behavioral differences, will conclude the
From an Adlerian perspective, some form of inferiority and/
or superiority is at the heart of disrespectful couples’ relation-
ships. Dreikurs (1999) contrasted the vertical versus the
Emeritus Program, San Diego Community College, San Diego, CA, USA
Department of Psychology, Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral
Sciences, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Department of Psychology, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, USA
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Saba University School of Medicine, The
Bottom, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, The Netherlands
Corresponding Author:
Donna Eckstein, Department of Psychology, Harold Abel School of Social and
Behavioral Sciences, Capella University, 225 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN
55402, USA.
The Family Journal: Counselin g and
Therapy for Couples and Families
2014, Vol 22(1) 98-104
ªThe Author(s) 2013
Reprints and permission:
DOI: 10.1177/1066480713505062
by guest on March 10, 2016tfj.sagepub.comDownloaded from
horizontal plane as a concrete way of perceiving yourself in
relationship to others. The vertical plane is defined by a ‘‘better
than/worse than’’ pecking order, a ‘‘top down’’ approach. Con-
versely, the horizontal plane stresses ‘‘different from’’ as in ‘‘an
apple is different from an orange’’ rather than being somehow
‘better than’’ or ‘‘worse than’’ an apple.
The four basic ego states proposed by Harris (1969) in his clas-
sic book, I’m OK-You’re OK, described a basic superiority posi-
tion of ‘‘I’m OK-You’re Not OK’’ compared to the inferiority
belief of ‘‘I’m Not OK-You’re OK.’’ The most discouraged posi-
tion is ‘‘I’m Not OK-You’re Not OK,’’ while the ideal interperso-
nal orientation is described in the book title. In the present article,
the authors encourage partners to attempt to adopt the lens of ‘‘I’m
OK-You’re OK’’ as much as possible. Methods of abstaining
from negative judgment are outlined using the four Rs.
Literature Review
Given that a healthy partnership is a broad concept, there is an
equally broad approach to achieving this desired state. Respecting
differences, responsibility, a willingness to review, a willingness
to release, and many other relationship factors are significant in
contributing to a healthy partnership (Bertoni & Bodenmann,
2010; Carlson, 1997; Gottman, Gottman, & DeClaire, 2006;
Worthington, Lerner, & Sharp, 2005). Here is some basic infor-
mation on how to strengthen a healthy partnership.
Respect (Respect for Differences)
One aspect of respect is the way in which a person handles dif-
ferences between people. Even though numerous findings have
revealed that people are romantically more attracted to people
who are highly similar to them (Bo¨hm, Schu
¨tz, Rentzsch,
Ko¨rner, & Funke, 2010; O’Rourke, Claxton, Chou, Smith, &
Hadjistavropoulos, 2011), further literature demonstrated that
there are many ways to strengthen a healthy partnership despite
the partner’s impactful differences. Differences can include
differences such as personality, behavior, lifestyle, gender, age,
culture, and unique preferences.
Carlson (1997) advised people to seek to understand, over
and above seeking to be understood. A need to be right can
often compromise your ability to really listen and understand
your partner’s feelings. Seeing the gray areas where neither
partner is perfectly ‘‘right’’ nor ‘‘wrong,’’ but just different, can
be a very challenging but helpful habit to develop when com-
municating. Pausing for a moment to understand your and your
partner’s separate realities is highly recommended. Compro-
mises are often one of the best tools couples can employ to
work respectfully together (Bertoni & Bodenmann, 2010).
Demonstrate Respect
Vassar (2012) identified a dozen behaviors, to actually demon-
strate respect, not just to talk about it. You can commit to the ability
to ‘‘show respect’’ (even when you are note thinking it or feeling it)
to both your partner and, indeed, to all others.
Face the person with whom you are speaking;
Make and keep eye contact, unless this is considered dis-
respectful, as in some cultures or situations;
Use friendly facial expressions and subtly mirror the
other person’s postures;
Display open body language and use accepting beha-
viors: smiling, nodding, and so on;
Stand and or sit with your spine erect;
Give time to the other person to express his or her
thoughts, feelings, needs, values, concerns, beliefs, or
Use ‘‘I’’ messages instead of ‘‘You’’ messages for shar-
ing your opinion;
When disagreeing with your partner, state it as a personal
opinion rather than as a fact;
Agree to disagree;
Speak firmly, slowly, and clearly and commit to a calm
voice whenever possible;
Avoid interrupting your partner;
Practice basic manners by being polite, thankful, appre-
ciative, and sensitive to your partner’s opinions and
needs (Retrieved March 15, 2013, from http://lakeside
Responsibility (or response ability) has two facets: the ability
to respond respectfully to your partner and the ability to accept
personal responsibility for your behavior (accountable, trust-
worthy, and reliable). The ability to respond respectfully during
a conflict of differences is an important factor in a healthy part-
nership (Worthington et al., 2005). There is, however, an array
of approaches to respectful partner interactions: direct and
detailed verbal communication, more passive suggestions of
feelings and needs, passionate eruptions of material from both
parties at once, and so on (Gottman & Silver, 1999). Johnson
and Lebow (2000) highlighted this by stating that in the past
decade, there had been ‘‘a greater recognition that different cul-
tures hold differing expectations for relationships and that one-
size-fits-all interventions have intrinsic limits’’ (p. 32). Identi-
fying yourself and your partner’s unique methods of effective
communication is vitally important because all couples com-
municate with each other differently. There is no ‘‘cookie cut-
ter’’ to show all couples exactly how they should communicate
in order to achieve the healthiest relationship possible (Gott-
man & Silver, 1999).
Demonstrate Responsibility
So what can a couple do to demonstrate their responsibility
(and ‘‘response ability’’) when a conflict arises? Many authors
advise you to tell your partner how you truly feel and what you
need, even though this may cause tension temporarily (Gott-
man et al., 2006). Bring up the problem with as little criticism
and shaming as possible (Garcia, 2012), accept personal
Eckstein et al. 99
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responsibility for your portion of the problem immediately
(Fincham, Hall, & Beach, 2005), and refrain from interrupting
your partner or interpreting the messages before he or she has
finished speaking (Gottman et al., 2006). Due to the rich vari-
ety of methods by which couples can demonstrate responsibil-
ity (response ability), there is a list of relevant articles, books,
and other resources at the end of this article for additional infor-
mation on this fundamental topic.
A willingness to review includes the desire to reflect and com-
municate with awareness and understanding (reconsider, exam-
ine, change, and improve).
Research supports communicating your feelings and/or needs
to your partner frequently, even though it may stir up resentment
or anger (Gottman & Silver, 1999). This includes your willing-
ness, and ability, to choose your battles wisely. Be sensitive to
raising a conflict; is this the appropriate time and place, and is
the argument a necessity (Carlson, 1997; Gottman & Silver,
1999). Carlson (1997) instructed couples to examine a list of the
most frequent arguments they have and ask themselves if they
were willing to permanently let go of reengaging any of cyclical
conflicts. To facilitate increased prioritizing and perspective, he
invented the ‘‘time warp game,’’ in which an individual reviews
or considers an issue and asks himself or herself whether this
issue is important enough to matter in a year. If it is, it is likely
worthy of a serious conversation with your partner. If not, it may
be time to let that issue go.
Demonstrate Review
When reviewing arguments or conversations with your partner
or just within your own mind, Garcia (2012) encouraged indi-
viduals to set their intention on learning from the past. Examine
unexplored angles. Identify changes you would make if you
could go back and redo that interaction. Then make a personal
commitment to try to make those changes, if possible, in the
future to the best of your ability. As you go through this
sometimes-humbling process of reviewing, try to be patient
with yourself and your partner; this is designed to be a learning
experience that highlights both your strengths and your areas
needing improvement (Carlson, 1997).
Release is the willingness to let go of negative emotions, con-
flicts, arguments, and/or abuse; to forgive; to work toward a
relationship based on creating respect for differences between
you and your partner; the willingness to relinquish or extin-
guish an unhealthy relationship when appropriate. If a couple
is ready to let go of a conflict, how do they do this? Forgiveness
is a primary factor in this answer as can be seen in the
renowned author Brown’s (n.d.) famous witty quote: ‘‘One of
the keys to happiness is a bad memory.’’
Worthington, Lerner, and Sharp (2005) noted that couples
who can interrupt the cycle of criticism and conflict quickly
are significantly happier than those who allow a conflict to
be painfully repeated many times. Increased forgiveness is so
important, in fact, that it has been shown to significantly reduce
a stress hormone, cortisol, in the brain (Kiecolt-Glaser, Bane,
Glaser, & Malarkey, 2003). A second benefit of increased for-
giveness is it seems to predict a reduced frequency of divorce; a
couple is at least 50%less likely to divorce if they can forgive
each other (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2003). Forgiveness and
releasing emotions, however, can be extremely challenging.
Couples are encouraged to practice respectful communications
by reviewing past arguments, taking responsibility for their
behavior, releasing emotions surrounding the conflict, and com-
municating their forgiveness to each other (Worthington et al.,
2005). Practice forgiving your partner for smaller issues first,
and focus on expressing empathy and support for your partner
(Worthington et al., 2005). Expressing empathy while forgiving
your partner can be done by verbally reflecting, repeating back
to your partner what you heard, in a thoughtful manner that says
you understood what was said about feelings, meanings, and
needs (Elliott, Bohart, Watson, & Greenberg, 2011).
Demonstrate Release
The willingness to release emotions and let go of conflicts
within yourself as well as with your partner is considered cru-
cial by many professionals in the field of psychology (Fennell,
1993; Fincham et al., 2005; Garcia, 2012). An unwillingness or
inability to release emotions and let go of conflicts may lead to
the need to end the relationship. In the case of a breakup, Gar-
cia (2012) advised individuals to ‘‘identify and accept that
which cannot be changed and to let go, grieve, and grow from
the experience.’’ Letting go of partners can be extremely chal-
lenging; however, literature reveals that this process can facil-
itate a healthy forward movement toward a more centered you
and better future relationships.
Because each individual is so different, disappointments and
disagreements are inevitable in a committed relationship. Find-
ing ways to respectfully communicate negative feelings, to ask
for your expectations to be met, review past behaviors, and
release resentments that do not serve you are incredibly helpful
skills that take time and perseverance to achieve (Fincham
et al., 2005). These tactics, however, have been documented
as viable means by which healthy, respectful, long-lasting, and
mutually enriching romantic relationships can be established
and maintained for many years.
The purpose of the present article has been to focus on the crit-
ical role of creating respect in couples using a model that one of
the authors, Donna Eckstein, calls ‘‘The four Rs.’’ A review of
100 The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 22(1)
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the literature on the qualities of healthy relationships has shown
that factors involved in creating respect in couples include the
abilities to show respect for differences, to accept personal
responsibility (response-ability), a willingness to review
(strengths and conflicts), and a willingness to release (negative
emotions, conflicts, arguments, and/or abuse, as well as to for-
give yourself and your partner). It is the belief of these authors
that creating respect in couples is a daily commitment to use
‘the four Rs’’ to work toward a healthy and loving relationship.
The CRQ was created by family members, Donna and Sarah
Eckstein, as an introspective and interactive exercise for indi-
viduals and couples. The information derived from the CRQ
is best supported by an ongoing commitment to working
toward a healthy relationship based on creating and improving
respect for differences within oneself and one’s partner. This
may also include the willingness to relinquish or extinguish
an unhealthy relationship, when appropriate.
Appendix B has additional Family Journal columns for cou-
ples, addressing relationship personality differences. All 20
years of Haley’s four ways of accessing couples can be found
in Eckstein (2012).
Appendix A
Couple’s Respect Questionnaire (CRQ)
The CRQ is designed to assist with your awareness, measure-
ment, and reflection of your perceptions of respect as an indi-
vidual. It can be used as a self-assessment of your behavior and/
or the behavior of a partner. ‘‘Couple’’ and ‘‘partner’’ are used
to describe two people in a relationship. This can include any
significant person in your life that you would like to review.
Instructions. To the left of each question, rate your self-
assessment for each behavior. If you choose to review and
assess your partner (or another significant relationship in your
life), you will need two copies of the questionnaire. On the sec-
ond copy of the CRQ, repeat this process by rating your expe-
rience of your partner’s behavior. At the end of each section,
total and average the scores.
Measure your responses on a scale from 1 to 5 to reflect the
degree that you agree or disagree with each statement.
disagree Neither
The behaviors are organized and assessed based on the
‘four Rs’’ of respect in couples. These behaviors, listed below,
support and build on respect in couples.
Section A: The CRQ
Respect—Showing respect for differences. (Key words: consider-
ation, acknowledgment, value, courtesy, and love vs. thought-
lessness, disregard, devalue, rudeness, and hate)
1 I do not communicate in a condescending manner
2 I am able to assert my needs versus being nonassertive to avoid
upsetting my partner
3 I do not take it personally when my partner has a different opinion
4 I show love for my partner by avoiding criticism and other
negative personal interactions
5 I can be aware of my partner’s, and my own moods, and wait until
we are both calm to convey a serious message
6 I can be different, and allow my partner to be different, instead of
needing to decide who is ‘‘right’’ or ‘‘wrong’
7 I consider my partner’s needs and the ways my partner likes to
receive messages
8 I build and maintain self-respect by developing my own interests,
goals, and strengths
9 I resist the urge to overly blame and judge by turning my criticism
into a respect for differences
10 It is important to me that my partner cares about my feelings and
shows sensitivity for my feelings
Total: ________(divide by 10 to get) Average: _________
Responsibility—‘‘Response-ability’’. The ‘‘ability to respond’’ to
your partner respectfully and to accept personal responsibility
for your behavior. (Key words: accountable, trustworthy, reli-
able, answerable, and responsible vs. unaccountable, untrust-
worthy, unreliable, unresponsive, and irresponsible)
1 I uphold commitments that I make to my partner instead of
making excuses
2 I refrain from interrupting my partner’s messages before my
partner has finished speaking
3 I respond respectfully during a disagreement or argument with my
4 I make it known that I need to talk when I need to communicate
something serious to my partner
5 I respectfully respond to my and my partner’s different style of
6 I am not aggressive or abusive physically, verbally, or emotionally
7 I compliment my partner when he or she does something well
8 I respond respectfully when there are cultural and/or sexual
differences and expectations about my partner
9 I accept responsibility for my own behaviors that create a problem
with my partner
10 I consider the time and place, as well as my and my partner’s
behaviors when bringing up a problem (i.e., not as my partner is
walking out the door or just waking up)
Total: _________ Average: _________
Review—(Willingness to review). The ability to reflect and com-
municate with awareness, understanding, and respect. (Key
words: reflect, reconsider, examine, change, and improve vs.
deflect, inconsideration, overlook, permanent, and worsen)
Eckstein et al. 101
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Appendix A. (continued)
1 I believe that relationships are designed to be a learning
experience that highlights both strengths and challenges
2 I am committed to self-improvement and to relationship
3 I am aware of the hot topics in our relationship that often trigger
4 I listen so I can understand what is being said as I interact with my
5 I am able to assert my needs when appropriate instead of making
the needs of my partner more important
6 I refrain from jumping to conclusions about my partner’s
7 I am able to apologize when I think I am wrong
8 I review a conversation with my partner to gain further insight,
not just to reiterate the points
9 I am able to reflect on my needs and effectively communicate
them to my partner
10 I am willing to work on being patient with myself and with my
partner as I go through the process of reflection and review
Total: _________ Average: _________
Release—Willingness to release. (Key words: forgive, let go,
encourage, relief, relinquish, and self-respect vs. blame,
restraint, discourage, burden/oppress, extinguish, and self-
1 I have the skills to forgive myself
2 I have the skills to forgive my partner and to say that I have
forgiven my partner when appropriate
3 I am able to walk away from arguments that I think are not
important in the long run
4 I would rather be connected, respectful, and happy with my
partner than right
5 I am learning to interrupt the cycle of criticism and conflict faster
instead of allowing a conflict to be repeated several times
6 I am able to compromise when differences cause conflict
7 I am able to learn from past arguments and/or conflicts (i.e., sex,
money, chores, past relationships, etc.)
8 I am willing to end a relationship that no longer meets or respects
my needs
9 I refrain from bringing up irrelevant mistakes or poor choices that
my partner has made in the past
10 I can put myself in my partner’s shoes to understand his or her
perspective or reasoning in order to let go and be more willing
to change my mind and behaviors when appropriate
Total: _________ Average: _________
Section B: Profile
Plot the average of the totals for each section on the graph pro-
vided below. You may want to compare the scores from your
perception of yourself to the scores of your perception of your
partner. For example, mark your score using an ‘‘X’’ or a
colored pen to identify your self-rating average score for each
section. Connect the marks to form a graph. Use an O or a dif-
ferent color pen to mark your rating of your partner.
Section C: Reflection
Exploring the Four Rs—Respect, Responsibility, Review, and Release
Summary of question content. The questions you just answered
were organized by four topics: respecting differences, response
ability, review, and release.
Respect for differences: An awareness of your and your
partner’s individual patterns of behaviors and lifestyles
and your ability to work collaboratively.
Responsibility (response ability): An ability to respond
to your partner respectfully and a willingness to accept
responsibility for your own actions.
Willingness to Review: An openness to effectively
reflect, understand, and communicate about your and
your partner’s behaviors and the patterns that emerge.
Willingness to Release: The willingness to release nega-
tive emotions, conflicts, arguments, and/or abuse. It is the
ability to forgive yourself and your partner. It is a daily
commitment to work toward a relationship based on cre-
ating respect for differences between you and your part-
ner. This may include the willingness to relinquish or
extinguish an unhealthy relationship when appropriate.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this profile?
Were any parts of your results surprising to you?
After reviewing your profile, what do you consider your
areas of strengths?
What do you consider your challenges, conflicts, and/or
areas in need of improvement?
If you assessed your partner, what do you consider your part-
ner’s areas of strengths?
Based on your findings, what do you consider your partner’s
challenges, conflicts, and/or areas in need of
What would you like to do to create more awareness of and
respect for your partner?
What would you like your partner to do to create more
awareness of and respect for you?
Section D: Discuss Self-Assessment
Write and/or share the results of this questionnaire with some-
one you trust (friend, family member, therapist, etc.) about
what you have done with this questionnaire.
102 The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 22(1)
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Section E: Discussion With Your Partner
Share your experience of the above information with your part-
ner. After sharing your experience with your partner, can you
and your partner identify any other steps you would like to take
to improve the level of respect for differences that currently
exist in your relationship? If so, take this time to design an
action plan together that will lead to an increased level of
respect for each other’s differences in the future.
What is the first step you and your partner would like to take
for creating more respect for differences? Is that something that
you and your partner are willing to do individually and
Congratulations on completing this questionnaire and
review. We wish you much success with your commitment to
create more respect for differences between yourself and your
partner. After completing this, you may be ready for an addi-
tional ‘‘R.’’
Section F: The Fifth R
Relax—The Willingness to Relax! Humor can be very healthy and
healing. After completing the CRQ, one couple, who has been
married for 44 years, added some music and humor by singing
some songs about the four Rs. One of the songs that they sang
was ‘‘Respect’’ by Aretha Franklin. Are there any songs that
come to mind for you ... and your partner?!
Appendix B
Articles Addressing Relationship Personality Differences
Duffey, T., Somody, C., & Eckstein, D. (2009). Musical rela-
tionship metaphors: Using a musical chronology and the
emerging life song with couples. The Family Journal:
Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families,17,
Eckstein, D. (2000). The four directions of encouragement.
The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Cou-
ples and Families,8, 406–415.
Eckstein, D. (2001a). Counseling is the answer ... but what
is the question? The Family Journal: Counseling and
Therapy for Couples and Families,9, 459–463.
Eckstein, D. (2001b). The #1 Priority Questionnaire (#1 PQ)
for couples and families. The Family Journal: Counseling
and Therapy for Couples and Families,10, 439–442.
Eckstein, D. (2004). The ‘‘A’s and H’s’’ of healthy relation-
ships. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for
Couples and Families,12, 414–418.
Eckstein, D., & Cohen, L. (l998). The couple’s relation-
ship satisfaction inventory (CRSI): 21 points to help
enhance and build a winning relationship. The Family
Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and
Families,6, 155–158.
Eckstein, D., & Cooke, P. (2005). The seven methods of
encouragement for couples. The Family Journal:
Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families,
13, 342–350.
Eckstein, D., Juarez-Torres, R., & Perez-Gabriel, A. (2006).
The Language Relationship Questionnaire, (LRQ). The
Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples
and Families,14, 408–411.
Eckstein, D., Junkins, E., & McBrien, R. (2003). Ha, ha, ha:
Improving couple and family healthy humor quotient
(HHQ). The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for
Couples and Families,11, 301–305.
Ginsburg, P., Eckstein, D., Lin, Y., Li, C., & Mullener, B.
(2010). The noble eightfold relationship matrix (NERM).
The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Cou-
ples and Families,18, 427–437.
Holt, M., Devlin, J., Brande Flamez, B., & Eckstein, D.
(2009). Using the Holt Relationship Intimacy Question-
naire (HRIQ): What intimacy means to you and your part-
ner. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for
Couples and Families,17, 139–145.
Lessin, A., Lessin, J., Eckstein, D., & Kaufman, J. (2005).
Five ways of assessing couple’s relationships. The Family
Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Fam-
ilies,13, 491–495.
Li, C., Len, Y., & Eckstein, D. (2007). The cultural relation-
ship matrix (CRIM): Four activities for couples. The
Family Journal,15, 143–151.
Mansager, E., & Eckstein, D. (2002). The Transformative
Experience Questionnaire (TEQ): Spirituality in a cou-
ple’s context. The Family Journal: Counseling and Ther-
apy for Couples and Families,10, 227–233.
Page, L., Nisan, L., Eckstein, D., & Ane, P. (2008). The inti-
macy task inventory: Taking a relationship snapshot. The
Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples
and Families,16, 83–86.
Authors’ Note
Sadly, Daniel Eckstein passed away before he was able to see this arti-
cle published. He lived the themes that were central to his writing:
Encouragement, Empathic Connections (the Couples’ Column), and
Enjoying life. We are grateful for the many scholarly and emotional
contributions he made by encouraging others get more involved in the
joy of learning, creating, writing, presenting, publishing and contribut-
ing to our field.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to
the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, author-
ship, and/or publication of this article.
Bertoni, A., & Bodenmann, G. (2010). Satisfied and dissatisfied cou-
ples: Positive and negative dimensions, conflict styles, and relation-
ships with family of origin. European Psychologist,15, 175–184.
Eckstein et al. 103
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Bo¨hm, R., Schu
¨tz, A., Rentzsch, K., Ko¨ rner, A., & Funke, F. (2010). Are
we looking for positivity or similarity in a partner’s outlook on life?
Similarity predicts perceptions of social attractiveness and relation-
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... Researchers have examined the influence of religiosity in strengthening marital satisfaction; however, there is a shortage of studies seeking to understand the influence of religiosity on marital satisfaction in the Pakistani context [1]. In several societies, marriage is regarded as a religious sacrament as married couples typically pledge to spend their lives together in the eyes of God and marriage has been intimately associated with religion [2]. Religion emphasizes marriage and couples who believe in religion make a stronger marital commitment, which strengthens their marital relationship [3,4]. ...
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The sociology of religion focuses on an individual’s social and married life. This research performed the first focalized examination of the influence of spirituality and religiosity on the marital satisfaction of Pakistani Muslim couples and how religious commitment and religious practice strengthens the relationship of married couples. This study incorporates the Kansas Marital Satisfaction scale (KMSS), the Religious Commitment Inventory (RCI-10) and the Religious Practice scale to measure marital satisfaction. Survey questionnaires, including a survey invitation letter and an informed consent form, were sent to married couples residing in five urban areas of Pakistan. The sample consisted of 508 valid responses, 254 males and 254 females, exploring the respondent’s perception of their marital satisfaction. The data received were screened and tested through SPSS version 25. The first step of the data analysis was to examine the impact of religiosity variables (religious commitment, religious practice) on marital satisfaction. Findings indicated that religious commitment and religious practice are vital for a happy married life. The findings help explain the social dynamics of marital satisfaction in Pakistani culture. The results also indicated that religious commitment and religious practice strengthened and promoted marital satisfaction. This study is novel in the context of Pakistani culture and conclusions cannot be generalized to the whole population. Other religious factors may provide further research directions. The results of this study may help practitioners and decision-makers focusing on marital satisfaction issues.
Despite many decades’ worth of investigations into associations between music and personality, the empirical findings are quite scant and scattered. Perhaps, this is because musicians are a diverse group of people, with far-reaching musical interests and wide-ranging personalities. Little research, however, has investigated whether musicians’ choice of musical genre bears a relationship to their personalities. In this study, we explore the limited literature on the relationship between music ensemble membership and personality by investigating personality differences between jazz and classical ensemble musicians on the Big Five personality dimensions. Musicians ( N = 221) were recruited from college music ensembles, an introductory psychology course, a Facebook page, and Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participants completed the Big Five Inventory (BFI), a validated self-report personality questionnaire, and analyses were conducted to compare the scores of jazz musicians to the scores of classical musicians. Significant differences emerged between jazz and classical musicians’ personalities, with gender playing a mediating role. These results may be beneficial for music educators and directors, as knowledge that specific personality traits predict music ensemble membership may help guide instruction techniques, communication, understanding between musicians of different musical genres, and general cooperation between music educators/directors and their ensembles.
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The authors have created the Noble Eightfold Path Relationship Matrix for assisting couples in considering their relationships. Three relationship examples are provided to demonstrate how the eight principles relate to their own marriage. An interview with a counselor who uses the concepts in her own private practice is also featured. Implications for relationship enhancement conclude the article.
After defining empathy, discussing its measurement, and offering an example of empathy in practice, we present the results of an updated meta-analysis of the relation between empathy and psychotherapy outcome. Results indicated that empathy is a moderately strong predictor of therapy outcome: mean weighted r = .31 ( p < .001; 95% confidence interval: .28–.34), for 59 independent samples and 3599 clients. Although the empathy-outcome relation held equally for different theoretical orientations, there was considerable nonrandom variability. Client and observer perceptions of therapist empathy predicted outcomes better than therapist perceptions of empathic accuracy measures, and the relation was strongest for less experienced therapists. We conclude with practice recommendations, including endorsing the different forms that empathy may take in therapy.
In this article, the authors introduce seven specific methods of encouragement based on interviews of more than 1,000 people. Examples of the seven methods of encouragement are provided. Couples are invited to interview each other regarding who encouraged them and how they were encouraged using a suggested format developed by the coauthors along with John Jones. Some representative examples of interviews of the seven methods of encouragement are presented. Implications and applications for the couple conclude the article.
This article consists of three different activities that couples can complete together: Relationships are viewed contrasting the metaphor of the letter A with the letter H, eight healthy characteristics of couples by the Timberlawn Group are presented, and seven principles of marriage according to Gottman and Silver are included. Couples are invited to complete questions based on the concepts and discuss them with their partner.
The purpose of the article is for couples to interview each other, to complete a questionnaire, and to discuss their respective opinions as to what intimacy means to each of them. The article includes an overview of the importance of intimacy in relationships. The authors introduce the Holt Relationship Intimacy Questionnaire (HRIQ) as a way of accessing what intimacy means to each partner.
Psycholinguistics, discourse patterns, and English as a second language were addressed in creating a theoretical framework for examining language in relationships. The Language Relationship Questionnaire was designed to provide an inventory language and its roles in relationships.
This article presents a model that is useful for healing, learning, and growing from painful experiences, endings, and transitions in relationships. The learning and growing process applies whether the painful endings are the result of a game or natural life experiences and circumstances. The new awareness and learning from mistakes can then be applied to the new beginnings and to new hellos with the same person or in a new relationship. This nonblame good-bye/hello model encourages clients to become aware of their patterns of relating, to keep what is working, change what is not, and let go, grieve, and heal those losses that cannot be changed. Case examples illustrate uses of the model.
An understanding of one's own and his or her partner's cultural heritage is an essential aspect to enhancing the relationship. In this article, the authors introduced the Cultural Relationship Interview Matrix. It is a form for couples to complete individually and then to interview each other. The purpose is for bringing awareness to their respective cultural heritage and for enhancing their communication. Four activities and seven tables are included in the suggested exercises.
The authors use the metaphor of music for helping couples identify and describe formulative events in their relationship. A seven-step process for creating a couple's musical chronology is suggested. Couples link their relational history to specific music, a process that encourages them to deepen their connection and rekindle feelings that once brought them together. Other relationship metaphors are identified. Applications of musical metaphors as a creative problem-solving process conclude the article.