yes, therapy helps!
The decalogue of the happy couple

The decalogue of the happy couple

May 5, 2024

There is Decalogue of happy couple which is used in some circles. The following exercise is an adaptation of others that I have seen in different places. Over time I have discovered that it is a good instrument to evaluate aspects of the couple's relationship.

How it is performed?

In the first place, I usually do it with both members of the couple present, and I explain that it is a team effort. I like to say this because allows me to observe how they behave when they know they should work as a team . It is interesting and gives a lot of play. Each one has to have a folio and a pen to write.

I clarify that it is about finding the 10 aspects that make a couple happy. It's clear that we have to tie it to a number, and that's why they are 10. But you can say that in those 10 all aspects that studies show that couples value in their relationship are included and makes them happier in the relationship and day to day.


Obviously, some of them cost more and others less, and there are some aspects that most of them find difficult, or even contemplate as part of the happiness of the couple. It's interesting because of this, too. In general, they usually coincide with the criteria and recognize the value of these aspects.

This would be the first part, and the second involves individual work.

Before explaining the second part, I present the list of the decalogue.

The ten points of the decalogue

In consultation I have written every aspect on a card, and as soon as patients get to that aspect, they describe it in one way or another, and I discard that card ... We may talk far above it, and we keep looking for other aspects ... And well, until you reach the ten points of the exercise. Sometimes I have to help them a lot, and sometimes I just have to help them, or nothing. I usually give positive reinforcement for them step by step.


Sometimes, to facilitate the exercise, I give them one or two aspects to open mouth, and so that the exercise does not become so long.

The ones I give as an example are generally:

  • Respect .
  • Communication

Then, as I commented, "We only need eight, which do you think?" And we continue with the list of decalogue ...

  • Share hobbies .
  • Sincerity / trust .
  • Mutual support .
  • Individual Project / Common Project ... (one patient said: "space, but also share ..." It was an older couple ... and that was her way of understanding it and of reclaiming her space).
  • Sexual satisfaction ... (Many say "sex", but having sex is not enough to be happy, this must be satisfactory).
  • Complicity / Empathy ... (the term "empathy", and its concept, now begins to be better known at the popular level).

The last two are those that seem to be less obvious in consultation.


  • Sense of humor .
  • Admiration .

Regarding admiration, the following should be clarified. In couples therapy, falling in love is not much help, in some cases it can be a real problem . We do not consider it as something positive or necessary in the couple's relationship. Neither do we despise him joyfully or gratuitously, at all.

On the other hand, admiration is fundamental to guarantee a good future in the relationship of the couple, even when there are important problems.

The final part: evaluation

The next part of the exercise is shorter and I ask you to go to work individually. I give each one a pen of a different exotic color and I ask them then to rate from 0 to 10 the couple, as a team, the note they carry in each of the named aspects. Remember that you evaluate the two as a whole ... and write down the score next to that aspect. I give you some time to think and put your notes. If you find it hard to understand, I'll give you an exaggerated example to understand it.

I ask that once they finish putting their notes they pass me their folios. I take a look at their lists and evaluations, and return them to their partner so they can see how they evaluate the whole. From this point, we take a tour together of all your scores and explore each aspect in relation to them. This offers a good basis for couples therapy .

The decalogue of the happy couple is only a tool, and it will depend on practice and other variables to be able to take advantage of it so that its execution can take a series of sessions. But nevertheless, It is very useful because it leads to deploying many other strategies and assessing the state of the problem .

The fact that the couple can evaluate their relationship as a whole is very helpful, and their way of dealing with this activity gives us a lot of information and allows the couple to be aware of the state of their relationship in each of those aspects .

In some cases, it helps the couple begin to separate. Many others, to work in the most vulnerable areas.It offers infinite possibilities, for that reason and I use this exercise frequently.


The Decalogue of a perfect marriage (May 2024).


Similar Articles