Marital Frustrations: A Sample Worksheet

1. Write Frustrating Event

What you do that frustrates me is…


2. Write Feeling Response

And then I feel…

(spacer)What Actually Happened

You Came Home Late

Step 2:
(spacer)Emotions - Feelings



  Step 3:

4. Write Hidden Fear

To hide my fear of…


3. Write Behavioral Response

And what I do is…

(spacer)Fear Your Response Hides

That you’re dead.
I'll be alone.

Step 4:
(spacer)What You Actually Do

Pace, Scream
Throw Things

Step 5:    

5. Write Hidden Desires

My desires from you are…



I would like you
to be on time.


6. Write Change Requests

To obtain my desires, I would like to request from you…

Next step: Next step: Next step:

A. Behavior Change Request

If you're going to be more than 15 minutes late, call me ½ hour before you're due & tell me 75% of the time.


B. Behavior Change Request

Surprise me and come home early 10% of the time.


C. Behavior Change Request

If you're late & don't call, listen to me when I'm using an "I Message."

Ready to try it yourself? Fill out the Marital Frustrations Worksheet.


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Ray Wm. Smith, Ed.D
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