Feeling, I am feeling anxious about doing a check-in
Affirmation, I am appreciative that you are willing to work on restoring my trust
Need, I need to spend time alone, journaling my thoughts and what I need about to be at the dinner part with you this weekend.
Ownership, I own up to not being completely honest with you about our financial status.
Sobriety Date, for the acting out, Safe, what does the partner need to be safe.
What I need for me to be safe right now is for you to respect my wishes for some time alone...
I recommend that the betrayer initiates, at the agreed time. The coupleship starts to redefine the level of honesty and ability to expect something new and constant truth......
Fanos: An Exercise To Bring Understanding And Change
Taking turns, each person states what he is feeling that day. He may need a list of feelings to remind him there are more feelings than being angry.
Have the couple offer one affirmation to each other. It could be as simple as, “Thank you for washing the dishes.” It could be deeper, “Thank you for watching the boys tonight. You are a great father/mother.”
The couple takes turns stating one need. They may discover that they have difficulty knowing what they need. Again, it may be simple or more complex. Remind the couple that just because they state needs, it does not mean the other will meet their need.
Spouses take responsibility for some behavior they have done that they feel was not helpful. They should resist any temptation to point out anything their spouse has done that was not helpful. By taking ownership and by giving affirmations, the couple reverses the vicious blame cycle.
Finally, the couple shares whatever Bible reading or spiritual thoughts they have been having that day. Do not make this a sermon, just a short summary.
In biblical Greek, there is a word similar to FANOS (phanos, lantern). The verb form of this word (phaino) means to shine or to be revealed.
Mark Laaser, Ph.D., Chanhassan, Minnesota