|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
the Marriage Checkup
By H. Norman Wright
RegalCopyright © 2002 H. Norman Wright
All right reserved.
How Satisfying Is Your Marriage?
"Our marriage isn't perfect. There is no such animal-and that gives us encouragement. But our marriage is good. In fact, it's more than good. It's healthy, fulfilling, challenging, committed, fun and more than we thought it could ever be." Why can some couples make this statement? It isn't always like this. I have talked with many discouraged couples who ask, "Is this all that marriage can be? There's got to be more than this!" And there was more when they discovered how to build the marriage they wanted!
That is what I hope this book will do for you-help you build the marriage you have always wanted. Now I am sure you're thinking, Well, Norm, that's good and all, but how?
To answer the how question, I first need to address the purpose of this book. This book was designed to give you a snapshot of your marriage so that you, as an individual or as a couple, can determine the current state of your marriage. More important, the information in this book can serve as the starting point to help you improve your marriage and take it to new heights.
Benefits from the Book
What makes this book differ from the hundreds of other marriage books lining the bookshelves is that it is an inventory-a quantitative and qualitative series of questions that will reveal to youand your spouse where your marriage currently stands and where it has the potential to go. Based on my inventory The Marriage Checkup Questionnaire, both the self-scored and the reflective-type questions enable you to find solutions to problems and can relieve you of paying a counselor or seminar fee for something you and the Lord can accomplish! Should you desire to learn even more about your spouse and your marriage at the conclusion of this book, be sure to find two copies of the questionnaire for both you and your spouse to fill out and then discuss. I guarantee you will not walk away from the questionnaire or this book without many areas in your marriage to praise God for and the discovery of other areas to improve.
In this chapter, you will gauge the current state of your marriage by rating your and your spouse's satisfaction levels. Once you have completed the level-of-satisfaction survey at the end of this section, think of the score you and your spouse receive as the assessment marker of your marriage. This will come in handy when you've completed the book, because you will be able to look back and see where your marriage was when you began reading and can then decide where you plan to take your marriage, based on your answers to the inventory questions throughout the book.
After you know how you perceive your marital satisfaction, you will take one more scored survey based on what I feel is the key to marriage-communication. Located in chapter 2, this quantitative survey will provide additional insight and will allow you to grasp the differences and similarities in the way you both communicate, possibly solving some major sources of conflict even before you work your way through the rest of the book.
After learning a great deal about how you and your spouse communicate, you will go on to discover many other important aspects of marriage in the remaining chapters. An abundance of inventory questions are woven throughout each chapter. The questions are mainly subjective, meaning that they are designed for personal reflection and discussion. Additionally, there are Take-Away Questions at the end of chapters 3-9, "Final Thoughts" and the epilogue, which will stimulate you to think about ways you can improve your marriage. When reflecting on and answering the questions throughout the book, please be sure to look back on your quantitative scores (chapters 1 and 2) from the satisfaction and communication surveys. These scores will help you better assess your marriage in comparison to where you want it to go.
Keep in mind that this book will cause you to think and evaluate your relationship in ways you've probably never considered before. Many of the questions require a written response, which will create a totally new perspective than if you just thought about your answers. Through writing, you will experience some confirmations as well as some surprises. As you complete the book's inventory, here are some thoughts you might discover:
1. Your marriage is where you thought it was.
2. Your marriage is in much better shape than you realized. You may have concentrated on the problems, rather than noticing the positives. This is the case in many marriages.
3. Some problems may need focused attention and work, and now you have some specific direction. You have the ability to do this yourself or with the assistance of a pastor or counselor.
First things first: Let's see what you perceive to be your level of satisfaction within your marriage. Please feel free to photocopy both the level-of-satisfaction survey (see below) and the level-of-communication survey (chapter 2) so that you and your spouse can take them separately and then compare your answers.
Current Level of Satisfaction
Use an X to indicate your level of satisfaction, with O meaning no satisfaction, 5 average and 10 super, fantastic, the best. Use a circle to indicate what you think your spouse's level of satisfaction is at the present time.
1. Our daily personal involvement with each other 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2. Our affectionate, romantic interaction 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3. Our sexual relationship 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4. The frequency of our sexual contact 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5. My trust in my spouse 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6. My spouse's trust in me 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7. The depth of our communication together 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8. How well we speak one another's love language 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
9. How we divide chores 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
10. The way we make decisions 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11. How we manage conflict 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
12. Adjustment to one another's differences 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
13. Amount of free time spent together 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
14. Quality of free time spent together 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
15. Amount of free time spent apart 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
16. Our interaction with friends as a couple 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
17. The way we support each other in rough times 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
18. How we support each other's careers 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
19. Our spiritual interaction 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
20. Our church involvement 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
21. The level of our financial security 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
22. How we manage money 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
23. My spouse's relationship with my relatives 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
24. My relationship with my spouse's relatives 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Scoring Key for Your Current Level of Satisfaction
To determine your score, add the numbers you made an X through for each statement. The sum reflects your score. To determine your spouse's score, add the numbers you circled for each statement. The sum reflects your spouse's score.
Your score _______
Your spouse's score _______
192-240 Your relationship is doing very well.
144-191 Your relationship has some major strengths.
121-143 Your relationship reflects both strengths and weaknesses. (Any satisfaction level under 6 would benefit from some work.)
73-120 Definite improvement needed.
72 and below Major assistance needed as soon as possible.
Select any three statements that have a satisfaction level of 3 or lower (or select your three lowest-scoring statements), and indicate what needs to occur for you to gain a higher level of satisfaction. List what you have tried or plan to try.
To obtain a visual picture of your marital satisfaction, draw a line the length of your marriage. Your line will start over the first year of marriage marker on the horizontal axis; your satisfaction at the time will determine where the line starts on the vertical axis-either low, medium or high. Your line should reveal a continuum from your satisfaction level when you first got married to your satisfaction level now. If you need to change the numbers at the bottom of the graph, please feel free to do so.
This concludes the first step in determining the current state of your marriage. You should now have a better sense of your marital satisfaction. And in order to obtain the most accurate picture of where you and your spouse are, please continue on to step two-determining your level of communication.
How Do We Communicate?
Now that you have a better sense of your marital satisfaction, it is time to determine your and your spouse's current communication level. The reason I picked communication over other marital aspects for the second and final quantitative survey is because there is usually high to moderate correlation between your satisfaction and your communication levels. Therefore, the communication-level scores (along with the satisfaction-level score) will give you a more accurate snapshot of your marriage relationship.
Current Level of Communication
Use an X to indicate your level of communication, with 1 meaning almost never, 2 meaning rarely, 3 meaning sometimes, 4 meaning often and 5 meaning almost always. Use a circle to indicate what you think your spouse's level of communication is at the present time.
1. Listens when the other person is talking 1 2 3 4 5
2. Appears to understand spouse when he or she shares 1 2 3 4 5
3. Tends to amplify and say too much 1 2 3 4 5
4. Tends to condense and say too little 1 2 3 4 5
5. Tends to keep feelings to oneself 1 2 3 4 5
6. Tends to be critical or nag 1 2 3 4 5
7. Encourages spouse 1 2 3 4 5
8. Tends to withdraw when confronted 1 2 3 4 5
9. Holds in hurts and becomes resentful 1 2 3 4 5
10. Lets spouse have say without interrupting 1 2 3 4 5
11. Remains silent for long periods of time when the other is angry 1 2 3 4 5
12. Fears expressing disagreement if the other becomes angry 1 2 3 4 5
13. Expresses appreciation for what is done most of the time 1 2 3 4 5
14. Complains that the other person doesn't understand him or her 1 2 3 4 5
15. Can disagree without losing his or her temper 1 2 3 4 5
16. Tends to monopolize the conversation 1 2 3 4 5
17. Feels free to discuss sex openly with spouse 1 2 3 4 5
18. Gives compliments and says nice comments to spouse 1 2 3 4 5
19. Feels misunderstood by spouse 1 2 3 4 5
20. Tends to avoid discussions of feelings 1 2 3 4 5
21. Avoids discussing topics or issues that are problems 1 2 3 4 5
Scoring Key for Your Current Level of Communication
Statements 1,2,7,10,13,15,17 and 18
To determine your score, add the numbers you make an X through for each of these eight statements. The sum reflects your score. To determine your spouse's score, add the numbers you circled for each of these eight statements. The sum reflects your spouse's score.
Your score _______
Your spouse's score _______
33-40 You're doing very well.
25-32 You're doing well.
17-24 Some areas need improvement.
9-16 Definite improvement needed.
0-8 The relationship needs major assistance.
Any statements having a communication level of 3 or lower would benefit from some work. Any statements with a level of 1 may need outside assistance.
Statements 3,4,5,6,8,9,11,12,14,16,19,20 and 21
To determine your score, add the numbers you make an X through for each of these 13 statements. The sum reflects your score. To determine your spouse's score, add the numbers you circled for each of these 13 statements. The sum reflects your spouse's score.
Your score _______
Your spouse's score _______
53-65 The relationship needs major assistance.
40-52 Definite improvement needed.
27-39 Some areas need improvement.
14-26 You're doing well.
8-13 You're doing very well.
Any statements having a communication level of 3 or higher would benefit from some work. Any statements with a level of 5 may need outside assistance.
Make a date to share your responses with your spouse. Be sure to follow these positive communication guidelines when sharing responses:
1. Set a time and select a place where there are no interruptions from people, phones, etc.
2. Hold your spouse's hand (this helps keep a lid on emotions).
3. Begin by sharing how you scored yourself. If any statement in the first set had a level of 3 or lower, or if any statement in the second set had a score of 3 or higher, state your intentions for improving this area.
Excerpted from the Marriage Checkup by H. Norman Wright Copyright © 2002 by H. Norman Wright
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.