What is the theory behind this Marital Negotiation worksheet?
Effective communication is the foundation of all interpersonal relationships. A skill that is highly needed especially while resolving conflicts or negotiating solutions to a problem. An inability to reach a mutually beneficial solution can cause significant distress to both the spouses. If such conflicts become a frequent occurrence and get progressively intense both the spouses become vulnerable to a host of adverse physical and psychological affects.
Thus it is important to teach negotiation skills to couples so that conflicts, although inevitable, can be seen as an opportunity to be compassionate to each other and not bring each other down or enforce one’s authority over the other.
How will the worksheet help?
This worksheet can help couples implement a series of steps whenever they need to negotiate solutions to a problem. It will help them consider the perspectives and solutions provided by their partners, encourage them to compromise what they can and then come up with a solution that works for both.
How to use the worksheet?
The worksheet can be used in couples therapy to teach the steps needed to reach a negotiation between the partners. Instruct them to write the issue as objectively as possible. Then proceed to fill the table. Instruct them to read each other’s responses before deciding on a compromised solution.
Marital Negotiation Worksheet
Sit together and work through the following worksheet to reach a viable solution to the problem at hand. It is important that you let go of judgemental and critical voices in your head and give room to compassion and respect for your spouse.
|Describe the issue|
|Both of your perspectives on the issue|
|Both of your suggestions for possible solutions|
|What are you willing to compromise to reach a mutual solution?|
|A solution that can work for both of you|
Patterson, G., Hope, H. & Weiss, R. (1975). Interpersonal skills training for Couples in early stages of Conflict. Journal of Marriage and Family, 37 (2), 295 – 303
Tavakolizadeh, J., Nejatian, M & Soori, A. (2015). The Effectiveness of Communication Skills Training on Marital Conflicts and its Different Aspects in Women. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 171. 214-221.
You can download this worksheet here.