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Marital relationships are complex institutions! To improve the quality of a marriage, it helps to take a systematic look at how it is functioning. Here is a questionnaire you can use as a general guide for evaluating your marital satisfaction.
After each question below write down the number that most closely approximates your present feelings about your marriage or your spouse. On a scale of one to 10, 10 is "pleased," 5 is "half yes/half no," and 0 is "not pleased."
* Pleased with the amount we talk to each other.
* Happy with the friends we share in common.
* Satisfied with our sex life.
* In agreement with the amount of time you or we spend at work and at home.
* In agreement with the way we are spending money.
* Pleased with the kind of parent you are. (This refers to the way your spouse interacts with the children.)
* Of the opinion that you are "on my team."
* Pleased with our leisure time together (e.g., sports, vacations, outings, etc.).
* Basically in agreement with your outlook on life (e.g., values, attitudes, religious beliefs, politics, etc.).
* Generally pleased with the way you relate to members of your own family. (This refers to your spouse's parents, siblings, etc.)
* Satisfied with the way you relate to members of my family. (This refers to your own parents, siblings.)
* Pleased with your general habits, mannerisms, and overall appearance.
Add up your total score:
# 84 and more means that you have a VERY GOOD marriage.
# Between 72-83 reflects SATISFACTORY to GOOD feelings and interactions.
# A score of 61-71 suggests that you need to make some basic changes.
# Below 60 indicates a POOR level of marital satisfaction.
Marriages that are bankrupt usually call for divorce counseling so that the husband and wife part amicably. Usually, however, people whose levels of satisfaction are this low don't consult psychologists -- they head straight for the lawyers!
Many marriages can be improved so that couples can experience more joy than grief. People who believe that nothing can be done to improve a bad marriage are usually incorrect. It is difficult, but not impossible, to transform a poor marriage into a good one.