Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2017


Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Why would you and your partner want to do a “Year In Review”? This series of check-in questions is designed to help you invite structure, flow, play and connection into 2018.

After the wrapping paper + candles are cleared away but before you pull out the new year's noisemakers, I hope that you can make time for each other. Just being together and enjoying each other is great, but I have an invitation for you that will help make you stronger in the year to come...

In this space between the holidays as one year ends and another begins, I'd love to know that you’re strengthening your "coupleship bubble." Maybe you want to think of it as creating your own private snow globe where you sit together in the swirl of your past and present and plan out your future.

First, you might need to understand the special place your coupleship bubble holds in your lives. Stan Tatkin, the creator of the form of couples therapy I practice called PACT, describes the couple bubble as: “a mutually constructed membrane, cocoon, or womb that holds a couple together and protects each partner from outside elements.”


This Year in Review exercise is intended to help you look at some of those “implied agreements” and find a way to talk about them and really understand the power and potential of this couple bubble of yours.

This process can also give you some creative time to discuss the status of your relationship as we end 2017. It gives you two some structure so you can join together in a dialogue of connection + playfulness + transparency that can carry you into your next year of coupleship.

Take this chance to reminisce about your favorite coupleship moments, appreciate all the little and big things that were a part of your lives in the past year, and notice the moments that created connection, playfulness, and wholeness in your partnership.

Even in this season of sparkle lights and "joy to the world," this is meant to be an exercise that reflects real life. That means you might come up against memories of all the ways you were out of sync and playfulness wasn't part of the picture at all.

As a couples therapist, I know that not all the relationship moments you’ll remember together are going to be positive.

Inevitably, when you talk honestly about your relationship the hard stuff comes up… And this is why I’m including a few questions designed to help you really see if you two are taking the time to understand one another on a deeper, transparent, connected level.

The coupleship waves will inevitably get heavy from time to time.

Think of the answers you come up with now as life preservers that will be there when you need them.

Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?
— Esther Perel
That quote by the famed couples therapist Esther Perel isn’t meant to make you give up hope. It’s there to help you see that modern coupleship feels challenging because it IS challenging. But these 18 questions are here to help you understand where you’ve been and where you’re going so you can set loving, realistic expectations together.
- Susan Stork, Relationship Therapist

Coupleship in 2017

Reflection of the past year - Questions 1-10

  • If you had to describe your COUPLESHIP 2017 in 3 words, what would they be?
  • What new things did you discover about yourself and each other?
  • What was the hardest moment for you two in 2017?
  • What was your favorite place that you two visited in 2017?
  • What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with as a couple?
  • What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren or future company about?
  • How did your relationship to your extended family / in-law family evolve?
  • Do you support your partner’s development as an individual? How? Give examples. Do you support his/her desires even when you don’t agree?
  • If your relationship was a movie, drama, or book, what would it be titled and how would it end?
  • What single achievement are you most proud of as a couple? Does your partner know your feelings about this?

Coupleship & Intimacy

Reflection of Intimacy & Connection in 2017 that can be enhanced in 2018. From Esther Perel - Questions 11-13

  • Among the 5 senses, which one is most sexual for you? (seeing / hearing / smelling / touching / tasting)
  • What's a dilemma that you carry with you into the relationship or into your sensual space?
  • Of the following verbs, which one are you most comfortable with, and which would you like to stretch a bit further within your relationship? To Ask | To Take | To Give | To Receive | To Refuse - within the bedroom and beyond? 

Love enjoys knowing everything about you;
desire needs mystery.
— Esther Perel

Coupleship in 2018

Embracing a Proactive Relationship Stance For the Future & Beyond - Questions 14-18

  • What do you want to see, discover, explore together?
  • How will you as a couple keep desire and intimacy alive in 2018?
  • Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of – to enhance your coupleshipin 2018?
  • What do you each need as individuals in the year to come? How will you contribute to partner’s development as an individual in 2018?
  • How do you want to remember the year 2018 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

Mystery is not always about traveling to new places, it is about looking with new eyes.
— - Esther Perel

It’s my wish for you that these questions will reveal many opportunities to deepen your connection and love and to see each other with new eyes. 

If you’re struggling with these questions and yearn to deepen your coupleship, I am currently welcoming clients in the Baltimore - Washington DC region. Schedule your online complementary 15 -minute consultation today. 

Susan offers a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation for new clients to ensure therapeutic fit for busy couples juggling it all in our modern world.

Finding a relationship therapist is no cake walk and getting a feel for fit is an important part of the process.

Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.  Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship. Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.

Photo by  Jez Timms  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash