Years ago, I was having some weird stuff going on in my life and in my relationship. One of my sobriety brothers (we shared the same sponsor) suggested to me that I had some amends that had not been made.
I thought he was nuts and told him so -- but, later on I discovered that what he said to me could be true -- based on the operation of spiritual principles. The idea was that I didn't necessary have amends to make to the person I was in the current relationship with -- the amends had to do with someone else in my past. Kind of like life's Karmic effect demanding dues from me.
I've done two "relationship inventories" on relationships, post my regular taking of Step 4 (and all 12 Steps on my alcoholism).
On one, I used the Step 4 format for it (considering it a formal Step 10, continuing what I learned to do in the 4th, as suggested by the instructions for Step 10 BB). It was enlightening and helpful.
On two: I used the 12 Traditions as the guide for my relationship inventory... similar to the "Traditions Checklist" for Groups -- except, I reworded it to the personal relationship, and used the same principles.
What I've found most effective for me, personally... regardless if it's a relationship problem or the numerous other "weird stuff" that sometimes comes up in life -- I do the entire "taking of the 12 Steps" on the problem.
When I do it this way -- I don't skimp. I try to be as thorough as possible in regards to "taking the Steps" on the problem.
Step 1: "I admitted that I was powerless over the relationship -- that my life had become unmanageable (in regards to my emotions and ambitions and outcomes in regards to the relationship).
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity (sound thinking and sound emotions).
I considered my Higher Power, God, as I understand God, (Power greater than myself) would restore me to sanity -- through the use of the 12 Steps (Spiritual Principles that are also a Power greater than myself, when applied to the problem).
Step 3: Made a decision to turn my will (my thoughts, desires and ambitions) and my life (my actions) and the relationship... over to the care of God, as I understood God.
I also read pages 60-63, and applied those things to make a list of some of the changes that I needed to make. (Somewhere floating around here in the 12 Steps section of the forum, I have a list of "things I need to change" in regards to my decision, in regards to Step 3. I'll see if I can find it and attach a link to it).
For me, my decision in Step 3, is too vague... without a "thought well"... in regards to the things that I will need to change... if I go through with the decision of Step 3.
Then, I launched... into a vigorous and complete and thorough 4th Step, and applied it specifically to the person in the relationship AND also the relationship itself.
Example: Resentments, not only towards the person, but the possibility of resentments in regards to the "principles and institutions of a relationship."
Same with the fears. Same with the sex list. And, same with the "harms to others." Listing not only the person... in the relationship that I had harmed, but also "how did I harm or threaten the relationship itself?"
Then, I followed through with Steps 5 & 6, with a trusted AA friend (sponsor is best if they are available, and if they are not available especially due to timing and the necessity to "promptly deal with a problem" that might be life or sobriety threatening to us... but, be sure the friend knows what we are trying to accomplish -- which is why I suggest that it be a close AA friend and not just any friend)...
All the while that I'm doing this... I'm following the reading and the instructions for taking the Steps... replacing the words "alcohol" with "relationship" or "the name of the person." (If the problem is strong enough or bad enough... I'll use the entire book... starting with Chapter Two all the way up to page 103 BB, reading and substituting the words... when it comes to alcohol).
Then, I take it all the way up to Step 12 with it. When I get to Step 12, and read "Working with others"... my intention is to prepare myself to be useful at helping someone else. If my intention is simply to help myself with it -- the results are not as good and they are not the same.
This is operating on the principle of "giving rather than getting". Example: if I want sobriety for myself -- I prepare myself the best I can to help someone else achieve sobriety -- then, I get busy trying to help them. And, through the backdoor... I get sobriety for myself as a result of "giving it away."
Kind of like the "Law of Attraction in Action"... we always get back in greater degree than we give.
Sorry if my post became to long on this. Just trying to share the experience the way that I did it. I have also used precisely the same format that I did, explained above -- in helping someone else to apply the 12 Steps to their problems other than alcohol. And, the results have been powerful and positive.
I hope that helps.
I know of some AA's that have given great talks on using the 12 Traditions in our Personal Relationships. If you're interested, I'll try to locate the recordings. (Thank God for technology, huh??)