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Repair Checklist

This exercise is to help discuss and resolve one resolvable issue.


Take 5 minutes to become familiar with the checklist. Then use the checklist in your discussion. Announce to your partner that this is a repair attempt before making it. You can refer to the repair attempt by number, as in, “I’m making a repair attempt. It’s the one

under ‘I FEEL, #6.’” Continue that discussion for an additional 15 minutes. The job of the receiver of a repair attempt is to try to accept the repair attempt. This means that the receiver needs to find that part of the repair attempt that they can agree with right now.

The process also involves accepting influence. Try to view the interruption of the conversation (from the Repair Checklist) by the partner as an attempt to make things better, and the repairer should try to accept the repair attempt. The checklist can then go on the couple’s refrigerator or someplace else that’s in the home. Retrieve it and use it whenever it is needed.

I Feel

  1. I’m getting scared.
  2. Please say that more gently.
  3. Did I do something wrong?
  4. That hurt my feelings.
  5. That felt like an insult.
  6. I’m feeling sad.
  7. I feel blamed. Can you rephrase that?
  8. I’m feeling unappreciated.
  9. I feel defensive. Can you rephrase that?
  10. Please don’t lecture me.
  11. I don’t feel like you understand me right now.
  12. Sounds like it’s all my fault.
  13. I feel criticized. Can you rephrase that?
  14. I’m getting worried.
  15. Please don’t withdraw.

I need to calm down

  1. Can you make things safer for me?
  2. I need things to be calmer right now.
  3. I need your support right now.
  4. Just listen to me right now and try to understand.
  5. Tel me you love me.
  6. Can I have a kiss?
  7. Can I take that back?
  8. Please be gentler with me.
  9. Please help me calm down.
  10. Please be quiet and listen to me.
  11. This is important to me. Please listen.
  12. I need to finish what I was saying.
  13. I am starting to feel flooded.
  14. Can we take a break?
  15. Can we talk about something else for a while?


  1. My reactions were too extreme. Sorry.
  2. I really blew that one.
  3. Let me try again.
  4. I want to be gentler to you right now and I don’t know how.
  5. Tell me what you hear me saying.
  6. I can see my part in all this.
  7. How can I make things better?
  8. Let’s try that one over again.
  9. What you are saying is…
  10. Let me start again in a softer way.
  11. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

Stop Action!

  1. I might be wrong here.
  2. Please, let’s stop for a while.
  3. Let’s take a break.
  4. Give me a moment. I’ll be back.
  5. I’m feeling flooded.
  6. Please stop.
  7. Let’s agree to disagree here.
  8. Let’s start all over again.
  9. Hang in there. Don’t withdraw.
  10. I want to change the topic.
  11. We are getting off track.

Get to Yes

  1. You’re starting to convince me.
  2. I agree with part of what you’re saying.
  3. Let’s compromise here.
  4. Let’s find out common ground.
  5. I never thought of things that way.
  6. This problem is not very serious in the big picture.
  7. I think your point of view makes sense.
  8. Let’s agree to include both our views in a solution.
  9. What are your concerns?

I Appreciate

  1. I know this isn’t your fault.
  2. My part of the problem is…
  3. I see your point.
  4. Thank you for…
  5. That’s a good point.
  6. We are both saying…
  7. I understand.
  8. I love you.
  9. I miss you.
  10. I am thankful for…
  11. One thing I admire about you is….
  12. I see what you’re talking about.
  13. This is not your problem, it’s our problem.

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us  here.