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Your Inbox Intensive

By Couples Therapy Inc.

Module 3 – Stress-Reducing Conversations

Keep your momentum going at home after the intensive with this exclusive program for Couples Therapy Inc’s retreat couples. Start with a self-assessment, review an important lesson for relationship health and finally, determine what your next steps should be.


The Inbox Intensive relapse check-in

This Relapse Check-in can help couples assess and prevent relapse and understand how to seek additional intervention if relapse occurs. Please give your frank evaluation of the following items by selecting either “doing fine” or “a problem now” for each item.

Start The Check-In

Start the check-in

Please give your frank evaluation by selecting either “doing fine” or “it’s a problem now” for each statement below.

Communicating regularly


Stressreducing Conversations

Stress-reducing Conversations

It’s a generally accepted notion that good communication improves a relationship. But in many marriages, the communication is exceedingly good and expresses what each partner feels.

However, that feeling is exceedingly negative!

Not everything is sunshine and roses in an intimate relationship. There are misunderstandings, thoughtless acts, and annoying interactions. Communicating about those things is important, as we’ll talk about later.

However, today, we’ll be talking about the part of your life that has less to do with your marriage or relationship and more to do with expressing what it is like to live in the world as an individual.

To feel known and understood is probably one of the greatest gifts we get from an intimate relationship.

  • To feel like you have someone on your side, fighting the good fight with you. 
  • Helping you to keep your spirits up. 
  • Empathizing with you when you are troubled or rejoicing when you’ve made a win in your life.

This is what “Stress-reducing Conversations” are all about. They allow you to develop the friendship side of your relationship. They offer each of you uninterrupted time to talk about yourself and your own experience without being cut off, rejected, scorned, or criticized. On the positive, these conversations, when done right, allow you to have a buddy who is your greatest advocate, your strongest defender.

As you’ll learn, Stress-reducing Conversations aren’t the time for unsolicited advice-giving. Instead, you give your partner your undivided attention for a full 10 minutes if they need it. 

  • Do you know how to clear your mind of your own worries and focus solely on another person? 
  • How can you put your own priorities on the back burner and place your partner’s concerns as your only primary concerns of the moment?
  • How to express genuine interest in issues that don’t directly involve you or your partner’s perspective that you strongly disagree with?

In other words, can you recognize the vital difference between yourself and your loved one? If not, you’ll learn how important “boundaries” are during the Stress-reducing Conversation.

Over time, you learn more of: 

  1. the details of each other’s lives, 
  2. your partner’s everyday life experiences, and
  3. their responses to the people and events in their lives… and they learn about yours. 

As you expand your “lovemap” of each other, you feel more deeply known. You know what makes your partner tick, just as they know what makes you…well, YOU.

Lesson at a glance:

  • Expand your “Lovemaps” by learning about your partner’s daily stressors.
  • Give your undivided attention (put away the mobile phones!)
  • Listen the way a friend would listen (maintain boundaries). Don’t interrupt.
  • Provide empathy and share the emotions your partner’s expressing.
  • Offer suggestions or advice only if asked.
  • Make sure you do it daily.

Downloadable Resource

Print version
Use this printable guide to help the two of you practice a stress-reducing conversation.



Is it time to schedule a follow up session?

If you haven’t already scheduled follow up sessions, our staff can help you to plan your next appointment.

Don’t forget:

Schedule some quality time

Do you and your partner have some time on the calendar for each other? Make sure you have a date night planned as well as a weekly “state of the union” conversation.


Stress reducing conversations

Print out the lesson above and keep it handy. Practice makes progress


We’re here to help

Have a question about this exercise? Looking for more information about follow up sessions? Send us a message, we’d be happy to help.

The next module – 
Softened StartUps

Our next module will look at stress reducing conversations. We will send the link to your email on your next scheduled check-in or if you want to get started now, you can click the button below.

Previous modules