In my years of private practice specializing in couples therapy, I have come to some central truths about elements vital to marital health and the prognosis for intimate relationships based on ten critical factors. Give yourself and your spouse a giant service by each taking this ten minute test and comparing notes.
If individually or together you average below 80% when you tally up, your marriage is limping along and needs some work! If your scores are 80% or higher, you are already doing a lot of things right, and it’s probably not an accident. Now your job is to become more aware of who’s doing what to nurture the marriage, so you can both commit to consciously continuing the good work!
Rate your relationship on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest score:
1. Do you both have an overall feeling of happiness in your relationship?
2. Do you spend quality time together on a regular basis?
3. Do you divide the chores of life (childcare, bill paying, housework, laundry, shopping, earning a living, etc.), in a way which feels fair and even-handed to you both?
4. Do you show appreciation and respect for eachother?
5. Do you feel free enough to speak openly about your wants, needs, and hurts?
6. Do you each put energy into being emotionally / sexually close?
7. Do your fights feel safe and ultimately productive?
8. Do you honor eachother’s need for space (alone time, individual friendships)?
9. Do you protect eachother from other people’s unacceptable or hurtful behaviors?
10. Do you keep agreements and promises?
Reflect upon, and discuss your results and scores. In areas where you have scored lower, resolve to making one significant change with an action plan in the coming weeks, as a good beginning. Retest yourselves in one month and notice any improvements, then move on to another area of weakness and do the same thing. If nothing seems to shift in a meaningful way, you may consider professional help.
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