Questions for Couples, Archangel publishing services, written and published by Marcus and Ashley Kusi.
The authors have provided a list of “469 Thought Provoking Conversation Starters for Connecting, Building Trust and Rekindling Intimacy” plus a short list of 15 “Weekly Check-In Questions” and another 10 of “Yearly Questions”. These latter two lists seemingly will provide a manner of reinforcement.
Discussion: Summarily, the authors have suggested a technique that should find a following in today’s often almost chaotic male/female relationship. The gender ethnic has risen to such immense proportions in the recent past, as demonstrated perhaps most vociferously during the recent presidential election campaign, that frequently common sense and even basic courtesy are completely lost. Whether the claims and the extent thereof are right or wrong often seem to be irrelevant in these individual cases where the confrontational status may reach barely controllable levels. The questions provided here proffer a ‘common meeting ground’ that, if judicially handled, can serve to devise suitable answers to each of the partner participants. They cover a wide range of topics with, as expected, a large number devoted to sexual expectations, and activity and family matters. Surprisingly, comparatively few pertain to money matters per se, except in a tangential manner. Many, although differently worded, seem quite redundant. Others appear to be a ‘fishing expedition’ that possibly could apply to a counselor’s approach, but seem strange to this reviewer as being in an area not readily apparent to strengthening or reconciling a husband wife relationship. For example question 262 concerns a partner’s reaction to a transgender admission. Granted, in today’s much ‘enlightened (?)’ population, such a subject may be totally relevant. However, for discussion between husband and wife, in a normally happy or even unhappy relationship, the subject, unless pertinent obviously, seems to be a strange inclusion for ‘normal’ conversation. The weekly questions do seem to be more universally pertinent, as do those for yearly use. So, the total theme appears to be appropriately directed and, apparently as stated by the authors, can be effective. Regrettably, for this reader who in an earlier time served in a counselling capacity, questions where the partner is asked every week to rate relationships on a scale of 1 – 10 on such matters as sex/intimacy and “our friendship and ability to have fun and enjoy each other’s company” may be questionable in themselves depending upon the mental attitude of the individuals involved. Simply put, instead of alleviating tension, they may place an additional strain on a relationship. No doubt individual actions/statements can cause a certain amount of irritation in a close association over time. For the most part, ‘normal’ persons overlook them and instead of actual resentment, usually dismiss them as an individual idiosyncrasy without which the person would not be ‘the one they were’. If the overall relationship already is enjoyable, why stop to ‘count beans’? The old adage still applies: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However and obviously to understand the authors’ suggestions, if even such individual action is sufficiently distressing, there is no doubt their suggestions can be effective. However and hopefully understandably, my suggestion is that a mannerism distressful to this apparent degree, would be corrected much better by professionally trained counsel.
Summary: The authors have set forth questions and usage thereof that no doubt would be most helpful in today’s modern world where such strong gender ethnics exist. Regrettably and hopefully excusably from a member of a much earlier generation, the need to devise such palliative measures for individuals who live in today’s world is most distressing, but admittedly necessary.
3* Actually 3 ½* – 4* for today’s ethnic oriented individuals; 3* for lamentable need.