Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Real Marriage Test

If you have ever thumbed through a magazine that regularly discusses relationships, whether it be a men's or women's magazine, chances are you have seen various types of quizzes. One of the more common quizzes is the marriage test. You answer a few silly questions, and then check your answers to get some supposedly deep insight into you relationship.

There is nothing wrong with such quizzes, and they can be a fun way to pass some while waiting for a doctor's appointment. As long as you only take them for what they are--a source of entertainment--then there is no real harm in taking them. Besides, if you have ever taken them, you have probably noticed one or two things. First, the explanation of your score is so far off that it's downright laughable. Second, the explanations are so general that they could apply to virtually any relationship you have ever been in; good or bad.

It is probably a safe assumption that no marriage test in a magazine has ever saved a marriage. They are fun and have their place, but fixing a relationship isn't it; no matter what the maker of the quiz claims. However, there is a test you can use to help make your marriage stronger. You won't find it any magazine, but not to worry, the questions of this marriage test are below.

Before you take the test, you need to decide which way works best for you. Will each of you take it separately with a pen and paper, or will you discuss the answers as you take the test? Either way, the main goal is to spark a good discussion about your marriage. This is important because good communication is one of the foundations of a healthy marriage.

1. How do you envision our future? This is a good question because it will show if you have drifted apart, or if you are still together in the things you want from the relationship. It's far better to know where each of you stands instead of making assumptions. But, as long as you both seeing you being together, then it's possible to work out the details.

2. What do you want from the marriage and life? The purpose of this question is to not only see what the ideal marriage means to each other, but to also see what the bigger life questions mean. Over the years people change, so you may be surprised to learn how your spouse answers this question, and vice-versa.

3. What's the one thing you would change? By asking this you will get an idea of where the problem areas of your marriage are. Don't take it personally, but be happy that you get a chance to learn where you can make improvements.

4. What could I do better? Be careful here. You need to make sure there is enough respect before you ask this question. The one answer you don't want to hear is "nothing". The truth is that none of us are perfect, and that means there is always room to do better. Your spouse should feel comfortable enough to tell you the truth, and you should feel confident enough to hear it.

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