Marriage Quiz

THE MARRIAGE QUIZ


For each question below, check the response that best describes your feelings.


Tally the points (indicated after each answer) as you go.


PART 1

As Newlyweds :

we were constantly touching, kissing, pledging our love or doing sweet things for one another. Strongly disagree (1 pt.)

                      Disagree (2 pts.)

                      Agree (3 pts.)

                      Strongly agree (4 pts.)


how often did we express criticism, anger, annoyance, impatience or dissatisfaction to one another? Often (1 pt.)

                           Sometimes (2 pts.)

                           Rarely (3 pts.)

                          Almost never (4 pts.)


my partner and I felt we belonged together; we were extremely close and deeply in love. Disagree (1 pt.)

         Mildly agree (2 pts.)

         Agree (3 pts.)

         Strongly agree (4 pts.)


I think one or both of us worried that we weren’t right for each other

           Strongly agree (1 pt.)

           Agree (2 pts.)

           Disagree (3 pts.)

           Strongly disagree (4 pts.)


PART 2

By Our Second Anniversary ...

we were disappointed that we touched, kissed, pledged our love or did sweet things for one another less often than we had as newlyweds.

                     Strongly disagree (1 pt.)

                     Disagree (2 pts.)

                    Agree (3 pts.)

                     Strongly agree (4 pts.)


we expressed more criticism, anger,annoyance, impatience or dissatisfaction.

          Strongly disagree (1 pt.)

Disagree (2 pts.)

          Agree (3 pts.)

           Strongly agree (4 pts.)


we felt much less closeness.

                    Disagree (1 pt.)

                    Mildly agree (2 pts.)

                    Agree (3 pts.)

                    Strongly agree (4 pts.)

 

I felt much more confused or worried  about the relationship

            Strongly disagree (1 pt.)

           Disagree (2 pts.)

           Agree (3 pts )

           Strongly agree (4 pts.)


YOUR SCORES:

          Add up your points (from Part 1):

                    4-8 points = Group A

                    9-16 points = Group B

                              Now add your points (from Part 2)

                              4-8 points = Group C

                              9-16 points = Group D





W HAT IF I TOLD YOU that there is a man who can predict whether or not your marriage will last? I was dubious, too, when I went to a lecture where Ted Huston, Ph.D., was showcasing the results of a long- term study. He now has, he says, the ability to forecast whether a husband and wife, two years after taking their vows, will stay together and if they will be happy.


My press pass notwithstanding, I went for reasons of 1. my own. Fresh out of college, I’d gotten married—and 2 burned. I remarried, and had just celebrated my first anniversary. I wanted to make this one work.


Huston, a professor of human ecology and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, launched the PAIR—for Processes of Adaptation in Intimate Relationships — project in 1981. He followed 168 couples from rural, working-class Pennsylvania for 13 years after their wedding day.


By the end of the study, the couples looked like the rest of America. They were either married and happy, married and unhappy, divorced within the seven years, or divorced later—and each category showed a definite pattern. “The first two years are key,” Huston says. “The changes that take place during this time tells us a lot about where the marriage is headed.”


What really surprised Houston most was that loss of love and affection, rather than escalating conflict, was the most salient predictor of distress. “This ought to change the way we think about what goes wrong in marriage,” Huston said. “The dominant approach has been to work with couples to resolve conflict, but it should focus on preserving the positive feelings.”


While all couples eventually lose a bit of that honeymoon euphoria, Huston notes, those who remain married don’t consider this a crushing blow, but rather a natural transition from “romantic relationship” to “working partnership.”


WHEN THE SEMINAR ENDS, I can’t get to a phone fast enough. After two rings, my husband answers. He’s there, of course. Dependable. Predictable. Unlike the fantasy quality of my first marriage, I feel a deep sense of comfort and companionship with him, and have never harbored outrageous expectations. I try to tell my husband about Huston’s study, about the critical first years. It all comes out in a jumble. “You’re saying we have a good marriage, that we’re not going to get divorced?” he asks. “Yes,” I say breathlessly. “Well, I’m glad to hear that,” he says, “but I wasn’t really worried.”





YOUR RESULTS


Find the section below that corresponds to your results, and read what your early years together can tell you about your marriage now.


A+C =Mixed Blessings


Your marriage is filled with more conflict and ambivalence than the ideal, but it has lost only a modicum of good feeling. It seems to coast along, showing few signs that it will become deeply distressed.


Food for Thought:


Many people in such relationships are content, finding their marriage a reassuringly stable foundation that allows them to devote attention to career, children or other pursuits. Others are dissatisfied, but figure the rewards outweigh the drawbacks. A few people may eventually leave in search of”a fine romance.


B+C= A Fine Romance


You have a loving and harmonious marriage. It may have lost a touch of its

initial glow as the mundane realities of marriage have demanded more time. But you feel secure. The relationship’s gifts you unwrapped as newlyweds continue to delight.


Food for Thought:


You have the makings of a happy, stable, long-term marriage. Your success over the first two years suggests that you and your partner operate together like a thermostat: When it’s chilly, you eliminate the source of the draft, and when it’s hot, you find ways to circulate cool air.


A+D=Disengaging Duo


You and your mate aren’t overly affectionate and frequently express displeasure with one another. The love you once felt diminished soon after the wedding. You may already have a sense that your marriage is on shaky ground.


Food for Thought:


Ask yourself: Did I think our problems would go away once we were married? What changes would I need to see in my partner in order to be happy? How likely are they to occur? How bad would things have to get before the marriage would no longer be worthwhile?


B+D=Disaffected Lovers


While you and your spouse are still in love, there are clouds on the horizon. Bickering and a loss of affection could give rise to doubts about your future.



Food for Thought:


You may be at risk for divorce. But the decline doesn’t have to continue. Ask yourself: Did we set ourselves up with an overly romantic view of marriage? Have we taken each other for granted? Has our disappointment led to frustration and anger? Will continued bickering erode the love we have left?


SOURCE:

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

          (January/February ‘00)

          Copyright @ 2000 by: Sussex Publishers, Inc.

          49 E. 21st Street, New York, N.Y. 10010



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