Marriage Crisis Checklist

Perspective Checklist

Here are the results for you who completed the Marriage Crisis Checklist.

(If you didn’t get the Checklist, sign up for the info in the right column and you will be added to my mailing list and will have an opportunity to receive the final product. I’m just beginning research on this project.)

These are typical questions and frameworks for thinking of your spouse, self and your relationship.

1 indicates rather poor odds for a quick effective resolution of the crisis.
2 indicates that the odds are somewhat better.
3 indicates that this person has the best odds for a quick effective resolution of the crisis.


1 He absolutely manipulated me!!!
1 How do I get him to return home for good?
1 How do I get him to understand that our relationship is more important than work?
1 How do I make him leave the other woman and commit to our marriage?
1 What do I do when my spouse’s stubbornness won’t allow the marriage to move forward?
1 How do I get him to stop feeling responsible for the other woman since he feels he destroyed her life?
1 How do I make my spouse fall in love with me all over again?
1 How do I make my spouse regain feelings of love again towards me?
1 How do I win her back?
1 Why does he see nothing good about me?
1 Why does he act as if I am his enemy, always opposing whatever I am interested in?
1 How do I break through to my spouse who shuts me out (goes silent?)
1 How do I make him open up?
1 Why does he keep all his feelings to himself?
1 How do I know if my wife is going through a mid-life crisis or she really doesn’t love me anymore? and the marriage is really over?
1 How do I get her out of affair and check back in?
1 Why won’t my wife talk to me about anything personal?

2 How can I reach my spouse who acts like nothing is wrong?
2 How do I get my spouse to help me heal?
2 He’s hurt me badly but I still love and want him.
2 How do I deal with an angry spouse?
2 how do I forgive and trust after 17 years of infidelity?
2 How do I stop thinking about and visualizing her affair?
2 What do I do when my partner shuts down?
2 How do I regain trust?
2 How can she let me know that she really “gets” my pain?
2 Will I ever feel right or trust him again?
2 How do I get over the pain and hurt and questions after my husband’s affair?
2 How do I look at my spouse like I used to?
2 How do I stop thinking that his affair & lying?
2 What do I do when there is no intimacy in the marriage?

3 How do I forgive?
3 I want to find new ways to love and fulfill myself and not beg for affection from my partner.
3 When will I get to a point where I will feel at ease?
3 How do I make this tension go away?
3 How can I gather the courage to put an end to my marriage?
3 Why can’t I truly forgive?
3 Why do I keep having flashbacks”?
3 Why do I feel I am in competition with the other woman even after she is long gone?
3 How do I forgive myself?
3 How do I cope with the loss?
3 As a Woman, How do I build-up my self Worth and confidence?
3 How do I learn to trust myself again?
3 How do I stop the ache and repetitive negative thought cycle?
3 How do I let go of the angry feelings?
3 What’s the difference between intimacy and closeness?

Now, leave your comments below on your response to this exercise.

14 thoughts on “Marriage Crisis Checklist”

  1. Warren Williamson

    All of us who have had a cheating spouse have been lied to and manipulated. That is especially true for long term affairs. As the dishonesty and selfish behavior becomes completely habituated, the cheater looses self respect and becomes incapable of manifesting the joy, authenticity and intrinsic purity that constitute the core attractive qualities for me. Even with complete forgiveness, as a precursor, it is necessarily up to the cheater to find a way to heal and reconstitute that which is lost within themselves. Failing that, at least a decisive resolution ought to be a priority following a reasonable grace period. That’s where I am, in the grace period (or limbo state), absolutely longing for the wholeness which has gone missing. Anything that looks like a reliable road map to either wholeness or reasonable and fair resolution is of great interest. I’m still digesting the checklist hoping to find that road map.

  2. I don’t understand how to complete the checklist. The instructions don’t make any sense to me. What I am I supposed to evaluate about each question to decide which box to check?

  3. Ok, Bryan, let me see if I can clarify a little. Someone asks me (or you, or anyone) the question, “How do I win her back?” Do you suppose the odds of that person resolving the crisis quickly is poor, a little better than poor or is the best odds. I say the odds are poor.

    Another example: Someone says, “How do I regain trust?” The odds for this person moving quickly and well through the crisis ares somewhat in the middle ( a number 2 – better.)

    Another one: Someone says, “How do I forgive?” I would say this person as the best (3) odds of working through the crisis.

    I will explain the reasons and whys of these odds later. For the time being I want you to realize that the questions you ask and how you think about yourself and spouse make a huge difference in how the crisis is resolved. Look through the questions above, the 1s, 2s and 3s and see if you can determine why one would have better or worse odds than another.

    I hope this helps. Bob

  4. I have to agree with the response from Bryan. Am I supposed to evaluate how I am going to resolve these questions? What are the odds that I will resolve them?
    I did buy your book a few years ago about explaining the different kinds of affairs and that was helpful.

  5. Thanks for your input Nancy. This is new territory for most of us. These three groupings represent 3 focal points for a person in marital or relationship crisis. Can you see any differences in these three groupings? Where is the first group (1s) focusing? The second group (2) and the third (3?)
    It also might be helpful to reflect on your focal point. Do you tend to ask questions or think as group 1, 2 or 3?

  6. The Group 1 person is focused on the cheating spouse.
    The Group 2 person is focusing more on self but still has an eye on the cheating spouse.
    The Group 3 person is focusing on self and only on what they have control over.

  7. I have asked myself all of these questions but the questions rated 1 I asked when I first found out about his affair and wanting his own “time and space”. Now I find myself asking more of the questions rated 3, however, I feel I am moving forward and my spouse is not. He has left now and has very little contact. I am still willing to fight for my marriage but I am not getting much response.

  8. I think group one is still in that stage of shock and not wanting to accept its happening, instep two their accepting it but confused, and in step three they know what they want just don’t know how to get there almost out of it.

  9. Cindy: It often takes a significant amount of time to work through the infidelity process. The process of one pursuing and the other distancing ebbs and flows. It seems you are on the right track, and if/when he connects with you, you will be prepared.

  10. Here is my interpretation of your three categories based on my experience with my husband who I discovered had been a serial adulterer for 30+ years. They are similar to Bill’s. Category 1 questions were mainly ones that in 2009 I asked the first 12 months after I discovered the extent of his adulteries. Category 2 questions are ones I thought about as the numbness and pain began to subside and I gained some real control. Category 3 questions are ones that I now think about as I work to live a healthier emotional life for myself. My husband has twice told me that he has been totally faithful for our entire marriage, despite legal testimony and circumstances that would convince any reasonable 12 people otherwise. (It is a boring story.) His continuing denial has destroyed any grounds for trust that is vital for a marriage, and as a result, over the last three years, the love and affection I had has gradually withered; not much is left. As I emotionally disengaged, the questions I asked myself about our relationship had evolved. Lastly, I do not necessarily agree that category 3 questions “indicate that this person has the best odds for a quick effective resolution of the crisis.” It may be the opposite, depending on how one defines “effective resolution.”

  11. It seems like you are moving toward good resolution, Rose. Thanks for sharing your story and the progression you experienced in your focal point. Yes, change does happen!

  12. i took the test today.
    I agree it was difficult to figure out HOW to think while answering the questions.
    i also see a progression in healing with groups 1, 2, and 3..

    1. being focus on cheater and the the devastated spouse
    2. focus on trying to move forward by forgiveness and starting to earn trust from both angles.
    3. focus on self. after all if we don’t “fix” ourselves we cannot enter into a healthy relationship.\

    OK this is my outlook because it’s my experience. i am slowly entering into 3… i’m starting to distance myself from CS to learn who i am and not be co-dependent on only 1 person to help me feel whole again. simply realized it is impossible for anyone to do this, it all comes from within to grow. has i change the paradigm changes all things around me.

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