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          Lifestyle Audit

          December 31, 1969

          You cannot have a bad marriage if you don’t have a lifestyle that supports it. You have to work at it. You need to have chaos, scheduling problems, communication and anger problems, etc. These are all elements that support a bad marriage.

          In a lifestyle audit, you look at what you are doing to support what you don’t want in your relationship. Look at the things you want eliminated in your marriage and write down everything in your lifestyle that is making the negative elements possible.

          SAMPLE AUDIT
          For example, if you have gained a significant amount of weight, are now ashamed to be seen in public, and it has affected your marriage, you might list the following items:

          In my marriage, I don’t want: my emotional and physical needs ignored.

          Elements in my lifestyle that support this:

          • Schedule
            I’ve set up my schedule so that I am in the house all day. This allows me to neglect my appearance. I don’t need to dress or groom in a way that is socially acceptable because the public doesn’t see me.
          • Overeating
            Instead of talking to my spouse about the issues that are bothering me, I am turning to food for comfort. I have gained 75 pounds and become sexually unattractive to my spouse. Turning to food instead of turning to my spouse has also allowed me to avoid discussing my needs.

          In my marriage, I don’t want: my spouse leaving me at home while he goes out to socialize.

          Elements in my lifestyle that support this:

          • Clothing
            I haven’t purchased any new clothing to accommodate my larger size that would be appropriate for social functions. This gives me an excuse to stay at home because I literally “have nothing to wear.”
          • Overeating
            I eat all day, which makes me too full to eat with my spouse when he gets home. This gives me an excuse to not go out to dinner or attend social functions that are centered around food.
          • Health
            My weight gain has contributed to my health problems. I am usually too tired to leave the house.


          YOUR TURN
          To perform your own lifestyle audit, all you need is some paper, a pen, and time to reflect. Be completely honest about what you don’t want in your marriage and the things that you are doing to support those elements.

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