Frequently Asked Questions
What is CouplesCom
CouplesCom is an iPhone and Android app that helps couples discuss their relationship issues in an effective manner.
Who uses CouplesCom
Anybody in a close relationship can benefit from CouplesCom. This includes all types of relationships and all lifestyles:
- common law
- dating / committed
- parent / child (adults and teenagers)
- close friends
- caregiver / client
Why would someone use CouplesCom
All relationships have their challenges and all relationships can improve their communication. There are many specific reasons to use CouplesCom:
- you like the structured approach to communication that is inherent in CouplesCom
- you feel your partner is not listening to your concerns or not taking your concerns seriously enough
- you want a record of conversations to avoid repeating them over and over
- you're have difficulty discussing certain topics which leads to arguments
- you're stuck in a rut of accusations and defensiveness
- you need help convincing your partner to change certain behaviors
- you need help keeping your partner accountable to certain promises made
- you have trouble finding the time to discuss the issues in your relationship where you're both in the right frame of mind
- your partner is away a lot and the issues are piling up
- you avoid bringing up difficult topics because you don't want to disturb the peace
- you don't want to discuss issues because the kids will hear you
- you and your partner have different communication styles that make resolving differences difficult
- your teenager puts up walls whenever you want to discuss something but they are much more communicative using their phone
- you've tried to resolve issues using email and texting but that leads to its own issues
- you are able to discuss issues in the safety of a counselling session but unable to safely discuss issues outside of counselling.
- the communication with your partner has become so toxic that CouplesCom is the only safe place to discuss issues
Does my relationship need to be in trouble to benefit from CouplesCom?
No. If you can discuss most issues in person with your partner, that's great. Using CouplesCom will help you explore some topics in greater depth and give you the time to ponder responses. It will also make you a better "in-person" communicator because you will find yourself using the same communication techniques you learned in CouplesCom.
When do I use CouplesCom
Ideally you would use CouplesCom in quiet moments throughout your day. It allows your partner to respond to your concerns at a time that is convenient for them too.
In the event that an argument is getting too heated or progress is stalled, you might suggest you continue the discussion over CouplesCom. In this case a bit of physical separation may be a good idea and let the non-confrontational environment of CouplesCom calm things down.
What kind of messages can I send?
Currently there are two kinds of messages, though more are planned.
- You express a concern or bring up an issue and your partner mirrors back what you said. You go back and forth until you have said everything you need to say and your partner has correctly mirrored back what you said.
- Your partner tries to imagine how what you said makes sense to you from your point of view (they validate). You go back and forth until you feel your partner understands your point of view (though not necessarily agreeing with it)
- Your partner tries to imagine how you must be feeling (they empathize). You go back and forth until you feel your partner understands how you're feeling
- Then the conversation ends and nothing more can be said about it without opening a new conversation. The idea is to prevent rehashing the same conversations over and over.
Behavior Change Request
- CouplesCom helps you craft a request to your partner to change their behavior. You state what behavior you want changed, how the behavior affects you, why it affects you, what you deep down really want (global desire) and what new behavior you want to see.
- Then you ask for a specific time limited action from your partner to set in motion the new behavior
- CouplesCom will follow up with you after the time has elapsed and you provide feedback to your partner
What if I don't agree with what my partner is saying?
You don't need to agree. Mirroring, validating and empathizing are not the same thing as agreeing. In fact, around 70% of issues between spouses are never resolved. What is important is that you listen to your partner and put yourself in their shoes. Once you've done that, your partner will likely find it easier to live with or work around the issues.
How many partners can I have?
There is no limit to the number of partners you can have. Each partner (for example your spouse, your teenagers and your parents) has their own separate message space.
Can I delete messages?
No. Just like the real world, you can't take back something that was said. We encourage you to carefully think about what you say to your partner, just as you should in person.
How long will you keep my messages
We will never delete messages. To access your messages that are older than 30 days, you must pay for a subscription (only $9.99 per year).
Does CouplesCom use legitimate techniques?
Yes. The communication techniques used in CouplesCom are adapted from the work of Dr. Harville Hendrix. These techniques are used by marriage counsellors worldwide. Note that we are not associated with Dr. Hendrix in any way. We do strongly encourage you to read his book, however.