The Permission to Criticise your Partner Exercise!

This worksheet is one that I use with my personal clients and I thought as it's a special week about romance and keeping the glow I'd share it with you! This worksheet gives you complete permission to let it all out – all the frustrations, resentments, anger, disappointments, annoyances and pain you feel for your partner at times.

Don’t hold back – give it 110% of your energy – this is a no holds barred worksheet!

This may feel an unusual but also quite liberating, enlightening, and exhilarating experience as no –one needs to even see this sheet. This is your cathartic moment to let it all out.

So grab a cup of coffee and a pen and start to let it all out!

• How does your partner annoy, frustrate anger, disappoint, and drive you crazy? Why?


• Be completely honest …… what is it about them that you can’t stand and don’t like?


• If I could wave a magic wand and you could have anything you wanted changed what would you choose?


• What is it you think they should, or need, or ought to do (or say) to you, or your family for you to feel completely happy?


• What would be the benefits to you, and your family if they made these changes?


• What is it that you never want to experience with your partner again?


Now let’s take plenty of time to reflect on what you’ve discovered.
Go through each of your questions again and just pause to ponder each answer carefully and ask yourself:

• “Is this completely true in all circumstances?”

• How are these disappointments, frustrations and shortcomings actually a mirror of how I behave in our relationship sometimes?

• What is it I see in my partner that I don’t really like about myself?

• If I could wave a magic wand and change some things about myself that are in fact the very things I don’t like in my partner what would they be?

• What do I need to do or say differently to my partner or family for me to feel happy and proud of myself?

• Can you think of a question that guides your whole life and runs through your head all the time particularly when you’re stressed?

This is your primary question.

• What primary question do you ask yourself most often in all sorts of different situations and it massively affects the way you live your life?

(“I’m not good enough” “People will judge me and find me wanting?” “I don’t want to look stupid” “I don’t want to be needy” “I don’t want to be vulnerable” “I don’t want to fail”)

Not very empowering questions!

• How would your life be different and how would you feel if you were without that thought?

Your Primary Question can stop you from doing ALL KINDS OF THINGS (from dancing to making simple phone calls to being loving, vulnerable and open.)

Spend some time getting really clear on your primary question and, most importantly, replacing it with a much more forgiving, encouraging and positive one inside your own head.

For example "How can I enjoy my life more and relax in all situations?"

“How can I appreciate, value and love myself even more in this moment?”

Say it every morning when you are brushing your teeth, walking to the station, or driving in your car and again every evening before you fall asleep.

Change the question and change your life.

Next go back through all your statements and reframe them as it’s a great opportunity to consider the opposite of what you first thought.

For example:

• Kevin should listen more to me becomes Kevin shouldn’t listen to me (as I do go on a bit!)

• Kevin should listen to me becomes I should listen to myself more

• Kevin should listen more to me becomes I should listen more to Kevin

• What would a kind detached observer who doesn’t know you, have to say about your statements?

Just take some time here to feel how different life looks from these different perspectives.

• What have you learnt from doing this exercise

• What small changes can you make now to improve and nourish yourself and your relationship?

February is Pass It Forward Month! So if you have found this article helpful and thought provoking please pass it forward to your friends, colleagues, schools and nurseries....... because as they say ....“Alone we can do so little together we can do so much”

Author's Bio: 

Sue Atkins is a Parent Coach, former Deputy Head with 22 years teaching experience, mother to two teenage children and is an NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer trained by Paul McKenna. She has written many books on self esteem, toddlers and teenagers and has a collection of Parenting Made Easy Toolkits available from her website. She is also the author of "Raising Happy Children for Dummies" one in the black and yellow series published worldwide. To receive her free newsletter bursting with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen log onto

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