As you discuss your relationship, with the goal of becoming more secure-functioning, ask each other three questions:

  • What is our purpose like a couple?
  • What principles of partnership do we both believe in?
  • What do we do for each other that no one else could do?

Mutual purpose. It may be helpful to establish the purpose and vision for the union. Discuss the goals you agree on and those you don’t (for example, whether to have kids, where you want to live). Look for commonalities in addition to deal breakers. What will you both do in order to sustain your mutual purpose?

Shared principles of partnership. When selecting your own principles, both of you must buy in and commit to follow-through, regardless of circumstances or feelings inside a given moment. In other words, your agreed-upon principles must serve both a personal and a mutual good. For example, my spouse and I have a shared principle when either of us is in distress, another will drop everything and help. We all know how to pick each other up when we’re down and how to settle the other when unsettled, so we’ve decided to do this without question.

Exclusive benefits. The third question sounds probably the most complex, but it’s possibly the easiest to answer. What do you do for every other that no one else can do? There are as many answers for this question as there are couples on the planet. So have fun with it.