William Glasser is the author of “Choice Theory” and developer of Reality Therapy. In his work with couples, Dr. Glasser starts out with these six important questions:
1. Are you here because you really want help? Or are you here because you have already made up your mind to divorce but want to be able to say you tried to get help?
2. Very briefly, what do you believe is wrong with the marriage?
3. Whose behavior can you control?
4. Tell me one good thing about the marriage as it exists right now.
5. Think of and then tell me something that you are willing to do this coming week that you believe will help your marriage. Whatever it is, it must be something you can do yourself. It must no depend, in any way, on what your partner should or should not do.
6. During this coming week, are you willing to try to think of an additional thing besides what you thought of here? And then do it following the same I-can-control-only-what-I-do conditions as in the previous question?
By the time most couples come to therapy, they are feeling out of control of their lives and are focusing on what is wrong in the marriage. I may be putting myself out of a job here, but I think that if couples can sincerely sit down together and discuss these six questions and then act on what each person can do – amazing things are going to happen.