Read an Excerpt
How Great Is Your Marriage?
Answer the following fifteen questions, then tabulate your responses to find out how your marriage stacks up.
1. Your spouse has gained ten pounds and says to you, “I’ve really put on a few pounds lately.” You would say:
A. ”You could lose some weight. Since you brought it up, I’ll admit that it’s kind of a turn-off.”
B. “C’mon, you look great!”
C. ”Actually, I was wondering if you were in some sort of eating Olympics.”
D. ”If you’d like, let’s find a diet together. We could both use a healthier eating plan.”
2. You receive a promotion or some other great news. You would immediately:
A. Tell your spouse before anyone else.
B. Tell your friends/colleagues, then celebrate with them.
C. Tell the person you are hoping to have an affair with.
D. Tell your mother.
3. A sexy person is flirting with you. You would:
A. Flirt back, feel great, and say, “I hope we talk soon.”
B. Excuse yourself immediately because you remembered you “have an appointment.”
C. Excuse yourself by saying, “Excuse me, but my spouse just beeped me and we have plans.”
D. Flirt back and then ask this person to join you for coffee.
4. It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and you’ve just finished putting the kids to bed after a full day’s work. You would:
A. Turn on the television set and “zone out.”
B. Ask your spouse to join you for some quiet time–reading together in bed, taking a walk, or hanging out in the living room.
C. Make lunches and clean the kitchen with your spouse.
D. Leave to go to the board meeting for the organization you volunteer for.
5. You’ve just had a fight with your spouse. The first person you would discuss it with is:
A. Your sibling.
B. Your opposite-sex colleague.
C. Your friend.
D. Your spouse.
6. When a topic arises that you think your spouse and you will disagree on, you would:
A. Only discuss it when you think your spouse is in a good mood so you won’t blow up at each other.
B. Act on your opinion and then tell your spouse.
C. Open the topic up for discussion with your spouse while keeping an open mind.
D. Avoid discussing it at all costs.
7. On an average week, you spend ____ hour(s) talking, having fun, or spending some enjoyable time alone with your spouse.
A. Over seven.
B. Between four and seven.
C. Between one and three.
D. Less than one.
8. When you think of your sexual relationship with your spouse, you think:
A. It’s loving and getting better. We really connect.
B. It’s boring.
C. What sex?
D. It’s usually nice, and at times it’s special.
9. The last time we were on a vacation alone for two nights or more was:
A. Before we had kids.
B. Within the last six months.
C. Within the last year.
D. Over a year ago.
10. When you think of your spouse, you primarily think:
A. We deserve each other’s craziness.
B. He/she tries hard to be a good spouse. I feel we can get over the bumps.
C. How did I end up with him/her?
D. He/she is loving and sensitive and has a lot of goodness.
11. Your childhood was:
A. Some good/some struggle, but you’re not sure how it has affected who you are.
B. Just about perfect.
C. Some good/some struggle, and you can see some of the ways it has affected who you are.
D. Some good/some struggle, but you can’t think about it.
12. Your spouse would say that you:
A. Really understand him/her and know what he/she needs to feel loved.
B. Have little understanding of who he/she is but are willing to learn.
C. Work diligently to be sensitive to him/her.
D. Haven’t a clue as to what he/she wants from you.
13. Your spouse and you strongly disagree on which school to send your child to. You would:
A. Fight about it in front of your child and resolve it by one of you just telling the other to do “whatever the heck you want.”
B. Discuss it and find some compromise so that each of your goals are achieved to some degree.
C. Fight about it in private and make up, then one of you will just give in.
D. Discuss it and agree to find out more information by talking to other people about it, visiting other schools, and so forth.
14. You feel your spouse isn’t doing his/her part in helping with the work at home. You would:
A. Discuss it, assign each other jobs, and then within the next week fall into the same situation you’re in today.
B. Fight about it and have no resolution.
C. Don’t discuss it because you know it won’t help anyway.
D. Talk it out, design a plan of how each of you will take on certain roles, and basically keep to this plan.
15. You’re depressed because your parent died unexpectedly almost two years ago. Your spouse would:
A. Never criticize you and patiently wait for things to get better.
B. Threaten to leave you or have an affair within the next few months if you don’t snap out of it.
C. Constantly complain about you and tell you he/she doesn’t know how much longer he/she can take it.
D. Take you to a therapist and tell you he/she understands and will always be there for you.
A B C D
1. 1 3 0 2
2. 3 1 0 2
3. 1 2 3 0
4. 0 3 2 1
5. 2 0 1 3
6. 2 1 3 0
7. 3 2 1 0
8. 3 1 0 2
9. 0 3 2 1
10. 1 2 0 3
11. 2 0 3 1
12. 3 1 2 0
13. 0 3 1 2
14. 2 1 0 3
15. 2 0 1 3
Your score: ______
Interpreting Your Score:
40—45 Great marriage: You understand each other. You have strong marital skills and are taking the time to use them. You have properly protected yourselves from outside unhealthy intrusions on your loving marriage. Continue doing what has gotten you here. Create realistic goals and plans for your future to ensure that you will continue to focus time and energy on your marriage.
25—39 Solid marriage: You are working hard to maintain and develop a great marriage. You have many healthy marital skills but need to provide your marriage with more “alone” time to hone these skills. Use this book to continue to focus on the importance of your marriage. Listen carefully to each other, and discuss each other’s feelings. Talk about what makes your marriage special and how you could do even better.
10—24 Rocky marriage: You need to learn some new marital skills and discover that your marriage has to come first for it to survive. You are falling into traps causing you to feel lost in your marriage, with no plan to work it out. Don’t give up. Focus intently on what your marital commitment must mean, and use this book to help guide you through the various important areas of marital focus. Make a firm decision to start today with a new vision, one full of hope and renewed confidence that with diligent effort and focus will offer you a wonderful marriage.
0—10 Unsatisfactory marriage: You are frustrated with your marriage. It’s not giving you love and support. In fact, it’s draining your energy. You need immediate action, a commitment between you and your spouse to change your relationship around immediately. You’ll probably need someone else’s help as well, such as a marital therapist or clergyperson. Dive into this book and don’t skip any part. Start your relationship from scratch, and try to set your sights on learning new skills and attitudes. Replace the sadness of your marriage with a firm determination to make it work with love.
From the Hardcover edition.