Wednesday 26 November 2014

The Love NCT: Top questions you must ask for a happy marriage

Norwegians have been told to go on date nights to stay together. Take this DIY check-up instead, says therapist Anjula Mutanda

Happy together: How much time do you and your partner spend sharing how you feel, hugging and kissing? Picture posed.
Happy together: How much time do you and your partner spend sharing how you feel, hugging and kissing?

Couples with children have been urged to go on regular "date nights" by a Norwegian government minister in an attempt to reduce the divorce rate in a country where 40pc of marriages end in failure.

Therapist Anjula Mutanda and UK counselling group Relate have teamed up to create a no­ nonsense guide, How to do Relationships, to help you to recognise how you behave in a couple and ditch any emotional baggage.

Mutanda, who has spent 18 years counselling couples, has devised a series of quizzes to provoke a full relationship NCT.

Traversing every stage, they enable you to identify weak spots that may need attention. What they don't do is provide neat answers, and for a particular reason.

"Love is a unique and individual experience, there is no point in a one­size­fits­ all approach," Mutanda says. "This is about you, so the questions will prompt your answers about your life. They will nudge you in the right direction and help you to make the best decisions based on your life."

This first exercise will help you and your partner to explore your attitudes about becoming parents. Answer the questions separately and then share your responses.

Author Anjula Mutanda
Mutanda, who has spent 18 years counselling couples, has devised a series of quizzes to provoke a full relationship NCT.

Maybe baby

* On a scale of 1­-10, how positive do you feel about becoming a parent. (1 = not positive at all; 10 = very positive.) A rating of 5 and under needs to be discussed.

* On a scale of 1­-10, how negative do you feel about becoming a parent. A rating of 5 and over has to be explored.

* What three positive words come to mind when you think about parenthood?

How to do Relationships by Anjula Mutanda, published by Vermilion, €14.50

* What three negative words come to mind when you think about parenthood?

* What do you hope to gain by having a baby?

* What do you fear losing by having a baby?

* How do you think you will change as a person by having a baby?

* How many children do you imagine you will have 10 years from now?

About your past

* How would you describe your parents' relationship?

Irish Independent

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