Rather than focus on improving communication skills or helping a couple resolve a specific problem, I concentrate on two separate areas. The first is helping couples to understand the resentment that each feels and what behaviors generated these feelings to begin with. The way that I determine the degree of resentment and what our partner does that generates that resentment is to have them complete the Dorman Resentment Rating Scale.
The Dorman Resentment Rating Scale
5 = Extreme resentment, almost constant anger or frustration
4 = Resentful thoughts on almost a daily basis
3 = Moderate resentment
2 = Occasional frustration or resentment
1 = Minimal resentment
0 = No resentment
____ 1. Working too many hours, too much focus on work related issues (even when at home).
____ 2. Too much focus on friends.
____ 3. Not enough physical intimacy.
____ 4. Too much focus on sports or hobbies such as______________.
____ 5. Too much focus on the children.
____ 6. Not enough attention.
____ 7. Treated in a disrespectful manner.
____ 8. Pressure to perform sexually.
____ 9. Always angry, anger management issues.
____10. Money management problems, spending money “we don’t have.”
____11. Parenting problems, disagreement over parenting styles.
____12. Lack of intimacy (i.e., no interest in talking, “I don’t feel emotionally connected to you.”).
____13. Addiction to gambling, pornography, eating, or ___________.
____14. Lack of trust, lying.
____15. Infidelity or affair.
____16. Making decisions unilaterally / Not making decisions as a couple.
____17. Inability to resolve differences, lack of conflict resolution skills.
____18. Unfair distribution of chores or work around the house.
____19. “I feel betrayed because when we got married, I thought it was going to be different.”
____20. Manipulative or controlling (i.e. things have to be, “their way.”)
____21. ‘Bitching’, nagging, restating things several times.
____22. Game playing.
____23. Never says what they really want (“I have to guess what you really want or what’s bugging you.”).
____24. Too passive (“I have to make all the decisions”) or too assertive (“they always have to wear the pants.”).