Getting to Know You All Over Again_V2.1

Report
By: Gil & Erlinda Camus
May 2011
Introduction
A little over two years ago we became empty nesters after our daughter’s
completion of her educational goals. While growing up, we kept her
under our wings, loving, nurturing and preparing her for the day when she
would eventually leave the safety and comforts of our nest. Wings that
were once clumsy and immature became equipped and sturdy enough to
fly into the horizon so that she may fulfill her dreams and pursue her
aspirations in life.
When she was gone, we were suddenly left to ourselves, then we realized that our busy lives
have drawn us apart. We no longer knew each other. Our busy and demanding lives kept us
disengaged with one another. Communications were like hearing garbled messages on a
broken telephone line that needed immediate repair. We looked at each other’s eyes and
longed to get to know each other all over again.
Getting to know each other enhances awareness, promotes understanding and encourages
forgiveness. When one is able to understand and forgive, it develops deeper love and it
reinforces commitment.
Enhances
Awareness
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Promotes
Understanding
Develops
Deeper Love
Encourages
Forgiveness
Reinforces
Commitment
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Objectives
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Encourage connection between husband and wife.
Reinforce marriages by getting to know more about each other.
Enhance sensitivity, understanding and appreciation.
Promote learning and growing together as husband and wife.
Keep marriages exciting and interesting.
Remind one another of why you fell in love with each other in the first
place.
• Work on differences lovingly, respectfully and proactively.
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Activity Guidelines
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Be open.
Be respectful.
Listen attentively. Listen with your heart.
Demonstrate sensitivity .
Practice empathy. Put yourself in your
spouse’s shoes. “Seek first to understand
then to be understood.”
Communicate with a loving heart and an
open mind.
Avoid blaming or digressing from the
objective of the exercise.
Compromise when a response differs
from yours. This may be a future topic
for dialogue.
Have fun getting to know your spouse all
over again.
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Instructions
 This activity is done separately from dialogue.
 Select question(s) to answer from the attached
sample questionnaires. Each spouse answers the
same question(s). Exercise is done in the couple’s
privacy, similar to dialogue.
Note: Attached are sample questions only. You
may create questions that would be helpful in
getting to know each other better. Show sensitivity
when creating questions.
 Write - Each spouse writes their responses to the
question(s) for a given time (5 minutes per
question).
 Exchange - Gently exchange questionnaires with
your spouse after the time limit. Silently read your
spouse’s responses twice in complete silence (1st
time from the head, 2nd time from the heart).
 Share – Each spouse takes turn providing feedback
about husband’s/wife’s responses listening
attentively to understand, speaking respectfully and
asking questions if unclear. Assign a time limit (5
minutes per question). Focus on the intent of this
exercise: Getting to know each other better in a
loving and respectful way.
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Getting to Know You Topics
1.Self Discovery
• Family of
2. Environment
Origin
• Personality
4. Romance Period
B4 Marriage
5. Romance Period
Wedding Day
3. Friendships
7. Building Blocks
6. Adjustment Period
1st Few Years
The more that I get to know you, I’m able to love, commit, understand, and forgive.
I see the light with hopefulness, serenity and joy in my heart.
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1. Self Discovery - Family of Origin
 “The term “Family of Origin” refers to the
family that you grew up in – your parents and
siblings. It may also include grandparents,
and other relatives who lived with you during
part of your childhood. These people strongly
influence who we become.”
 “Men and women who grew up in relatively
healthy, functional families are able to make
adjustments in a marriage relationship. “
 “Adult awareness will help you not to repeat
negative patterns modeled during the
formative years. Once you become aware of
the patterns of your family of origin, you can
change them.” It’s not easy, but awareness,
willingness and commitment will pave the
way for positive transformation.
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Source:
For Your Marriage - An initiative of the
United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops
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1. Family of Origin Exercise (5 mins. to answer multiple choice questions)
Affection was:
A. Shown warmly and often
B. Rarely shown in public
C. Other __________________________
Relationships were:
A. Close. We had many times of fun together.
B. Cordial, but each person primarily recreated by
themselves
C. Strained
When my parents disagreed or fought: (circle 1 or more
that applies)
A. They yelled and screamed
B. One usually gave in to the other
C. They compromised
D. They separated to cool off
E. One or both used the “silent treatment”
F. I wouldn’t know. They never fought in front of me.
Decision making was done by:
A. Father
B. Mother
C. Both parents in consultation
D. Everyone in the home (including the kids)
E. Default (Nobody seemed to make decisions. Life just
happened.)
On Sunday or religious holy days we would:
A. Go to religious services together
B. One parent would attend services, the other stayed home.
C. Neither parent was involved in an organized religion.
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Reference:
For Your Marriage - An
initiative of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops
Privacy was:
A. Respected
B. A sign of secretiveness and selfishness
Money was: (circle 1 or more that applies)
A. Saved for a rainy day
B. Spent only on necessities
C. We were always in debt
D. Used freely for recreational pursuits
E. Other ______________________________
My home was usually:
A. Neat and clean
B. Comfortably cluttered
C. Other __________________________
Household chores were divided according to:
A. “Women’s work” or “Men’s work”
B. Who had the most time or skill at the chore
C. Both parents took equal responsibility
D. Parents & children helped out
Responsibility for keeping the home picked up belonged to:
A. Everyone picked up after themselves
B. Mother or father picked up after the kids
C. I never noticed. It was never an issue.
D. Nobody picked up. (It was pretty messy.)
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1. Self Discovery – Family of Origin Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
A. How was affection for each
other demonstrated in your
family?
B. Do you believe that you
were loved?
C. If so, what contributed to
that belief?
A. How was appreciation and
recognition demonstrated in
your family?
B. Was appreciation shown to
you?
C. If so, how was it expressed?
A. How was respect
demonstrated in your
family?
B. In your opinion/judgment
were you respected?
C. How did you show your
respect to others in the
family?
How did your
family spend time together on a
daily basis and during
weekends?
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1. Self Discovery - Family of Origin Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
A. Who do you think/believe had the
strongest influence on you while
growing up?
B. What dynamic in that family
member or your family (as a group)
might have led to this influence?
C. Currently, do you think that this is
still true for you?
Describe your relationship with your
father while growing up?
Describe your relationship with your
mother while growing up?
A. Who were you closest to in your
family and what contributed to that
closeness?
B. Do you think the family member
you had a strong connection with
would answer that he/she
experienced a close relationship
with you too?
C. What is your relationship with that
person like, now?
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1. Self Discovery – Personality (3 mins. to answer multiple choice questions)
Question (There is no right or wrong answer to questions below )
Response
Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Your behavior is guided by fate, luck, or other external
circumstances.
2. Your behavior is guided by personal decisions and efforts
Which is your preference? Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Busy and exciting weekend
2. Relaxing weekend
Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Are you more on the popular side
2. Are you more on the loner side
Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Get bored being alone
2. Like time to be alone
Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Being onstage
2. Being with the audience
Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Action first
2. Thought first
Select one item applicable to you and why?
1. Talk first
2. Think first
Awareness
Acceptance
Adjustment
Attitude
Approach
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 “The various environments that children encounter in
day-to-day life have an impact on their overall
behaviors and attitudes. From the classroom to home
life, environments can either be a positive or negative
influence. “
 “An environment filled with sadness and negativity can
seriously affect a child's behaviors. While children are
usually upbeat by nature, an atmosphere that
constantly focuses on the bad things in life can quickly
change the child's natural tendencies for positivity.”
 “An overly restrictive environment can hold a child
back from being who he truly is, thereby causing
disruptive or emotional behavioral outbursts. “
 “Children that grow up in a household filled with chaos
are bound to have behavioral problems. “
 “Similar results occur if the child is enrolled in a school
that lacks routine or scheduled activities. Regular
routines including mealtime, chores and organized
activities help children have steady and appropriate
behavior. A clean environment also helps to foster
positive behaviors by providing space and structure.”
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Reference:
Does the Environment Affect a Child's Behavior?
By Rebecca DeLuccia-Reinstein
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2. Environment – Growing Years Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
Describe your home
environment while growing
up (i.e. positive/negative,
encouraging/unsupportive,
open/restrictive,
organized/chaotic)
Describe your school
environment while growing
up (i.e. strict, conservative,
traditional, liberal, dynamic).
1. 1st Grade to 8th Grade
2. High School
What school activities and
after school activities did
you engage in while growing
up.
1. 1st Grade to 8th Grade
2. High School
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Maintaining trustworthy and wholesome
friendships is an ingredient that sustains the
health, social well-being, growth, and support
system of married couples.
Maintain friendships who:
 Care about you, your marriage, your family,
your health and your well-being
 Keep you grounded
 Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
 Give moral support
 Improve your self-worth
 Help you during challenging times
 Encourage you to change for the better or
avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits
Reference: mayoclinic
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3. Relationships: Friendships Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
A. Describe your best
/closest friends
while growing up?
B. What did you think
you had in
common?
A. Describe your
best/closest
friend(s) now?
B. What do you think
you have in
common?
A. What are your
thoughts /
conclusions on the
significance of
friendships in your
life?
B. As you grew older
(more mature
and/or wiser) did
your emotional
responses change in
regard to friends or
friendships, in
general?
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“Most are familiar with the 1st Stage of
Romance. Life was so wonderful we
couldn't stand to live without the other. We
had fallen in love and knew that this was
the person we wanted to spend the rest of
our life with. Little differences between us
were cute and endearing. “
Reference: Retrouvaille.org
During the wedding day, romance is in the
air, hearts filled with love and happiness,
dream of being together in marriage has
come true.
Rekindling those special and happy
moments of your romance stage and your
wedding day allow couples to use those
times as means of reinforcing and
revitalizing your marriage.
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4. Romance Stage – Before Marriage Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
What attracted you to
your spouse prior to
marriage?
Describe your
relationship with your
spouse prior to your
marriage?
Describe a happiest time
prior to your marriage
(i.e. first date,
engagement proposal)
A. Describe how you
spent your time
together prior to
marriage.
B. What was the
strongest feeling that
you felt whenever
you saw each other?
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5. Romance Stage - Wedding Day Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
A. Describe your wedding day.
B. What strong feelings did you
feel on that day?
A. Describe your spouse when you
saw him/her for the first time
during your wedding day.
B. What was the strongest feeling
that you felt?
A. Describe your exchange of
marriage vows.
B. What strong feelings did you
feel while exchanging your
marriage vows.
A. What was the song that touched
you the most during your
wedding ceremony?
B. What was the strongest feeling
that you felt when you heard
the song?
A. What was the music played for
the groom & bride’s first dance
during the reception?
B. What was the strongest feeling
that you felt when you danced
to the music with your spouse?
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“THE FIRST 5 YEARS - The beginning years of marriage are
filled with many new challenges. An important way to
work through these challenges is to spend time
discussing how to best work together to face issues that
arise. “
“A common mistake newly married couples make is that
they don’t sit down together and establish their
priorities,” said Kathy Passauer.
“Areas the couple should examine when setting priorities
are faith, money, time with family, having children, time
alone together, sexuality, careers and household chores.
If couples do not talk frankly and listen openly to each
other’s hopes and dreams, things can easily veer off
course. “You can wake up five years later and ask, ‘Why
are your dreams so different from mine?'” her husband
Fred said. “
“The first five years of marriage, you’re groping in the
dark,” he said. Instead of blaming each other when
problems arise, spouses need to learn that the solution
may be that they themselves need to invest more time in
doing things differently.”
Reference: Building a solid foundation: A Marriage's First Five Years,
Jennifer E. Reed, Catholic News Service, 1/8/07
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6. Adjustment Period - The 1st Few Years Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
A. Briefly describe the first
5 years of your married
life.
B. What did you learn
during this period?
A. During the first 10
years in your married
life, describe a
significant and happy
event.
B. What was the strongest
feeling that you felt ?
A. During the first 10
years of your married
life, what did you do to
promote a loving and
cohesive relationship?
B. Do you think/believe
that your spouse felt
loved & connected with
you during the first 10
years?
C. What will you do to
progressively allow your
spouse to feel loved
and connected with
you?
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The 5 “D”s
Desire: Recognize a Need for Change
Attitude Matters
Dialogue: Share Feelings
Leads to awareness & understanding
Discuss: Issues & thoughts, desires,
needs concerning them
Decide: Compromise, Decide to Love
& Decide on Same Goal
Do: Take action to create change.
Motivation to not fall into paralysis
1. Our Foundation &
Footings:
• Love
• Vows
• Commitment
2.
•
•
•
•
Our Framing:
Decision to Commit
Decision to Love
Decision to Forgive
Decision to Trust
5. Our Roof and Exterior
Walls:
• Community
• Spirituality
6.
•
•
•
Interior Decorating:
Our Needs
Our Values
Our Interests
3.
•
•
•
Plumbing (Cleansing):
Dialogue
Conflict Management
Spirituality
4.
•
•
•
•
Electric (Energy)
Sex
Fun
Intimacy
Affirmation
Reference: Retrouvaille, Post Program Workbook
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7. Building Blocks Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
A. How do you make your
spouse know that you are
fully connecting with
him/her?
B. How do you honestly share
your thoughts, feelings and
opinions with your spouse?
C. How do you listen to your
spouse’s thoughts, feelings,
and opinions without
judgment?
How do you nurture intimacy in
your relationship with your
spouse?
How do you encourage
spirituality in your relationship?
What do you do to maintain
balance in your daily living when
it pertains to family, work,
activities and spirituality?
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7. Building Blocks Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
In order not to put
anyone else above your
spouse, how do you
fulfill your spouse’s
needs?
A. What are your
spouse’s favorite
hobbies &
interests?
B. What do you do in
order to show
interest in your
spouse’s hobbies
and interests?
How do you show
interest in your
spouse’s work,
activities and family?
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7. Building Blocks Questionnaire (5/5 per question)
Question
Response
What can you do to
contribute to an
atmosphere of security
within your relationship
– especially for the
benefit of your spouse?
What do you do to
make your time spent
together enjoyable?
A. How do you
demonstrate
respect in your
relationship?
B. How do you respect
each other’s
individualities?
How do you take care
of your spouse’s health
and well-being?
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7. Building Blocks - Likes/Dislikes/Interests Questionnaire ( 5 mins. answer/5 mins. share)
Question
Response
What is your spouse’s favorite
color?
What is your spouse’s favorite
dish?
What is your spouse’s favorite
place that he/she frequently goes
to?
What favorite romantic song(s)
reminds you of your spouse?
What is your spouse’s favorite
outdoor activity?
What is your spouse’s favorite
indoor past time?
What are your spouse’s favorite
TV show(s)?
What is your spouse’s favorite
season of the year?
What do you think are your
spouse’s happiest events in
his/her married life with you?
What is a place that your spouse
has not seen and would like to
visit someday?
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Conclusion: Getting to Know You is Loving You More Each Passing Day
Life has become our best teacher as we now realize that life and love takes a lot of hard
work. What was previously written in our book of life and love is a thing of the past. The
choices and decisions that we make will determine the story yet to be written. In this new
chapter of our lives, we will hold each others hands with profound love, a stronger sense
of commitment, enthusiasm and gratitude.
I am having the time of my life experiencing a more profound love interwoven with
spontaneity, laughter and getting to know you conversations besides routine matters. I
love hearing your stories about your younger years, adventures, accomplishments, lessons
learned, career achievements, family of origin as well as your concerns. As your lifetime
partner and loving confidante I am very much interested in learning more about you. I feel
needed and special when you entrust your life stories with me. When you open your heart
and your mind to me, I feel loved and I know that I am an important part of your life.
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Lyrics of “Getting to Know You”
Getting to know you,
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say
Haven't you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you
Day by day.
Getting to know you,
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say
Haven't you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you
Day .. by ... day.
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Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient; love is kind;
love is not envious or boastful
or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
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