You need to be registered and logged in to take this quiz. Log in
Each partner should enter a score, on a scale of 0 to 10, to the right of each item. The score represents where the marriage now stands, to what it could be if every possible resource were put to work in bringing it up to its full potential, as perceived by you.
A perfect score under ‘appreciation and affection,’ for example, would mean that neither partner has ever missed an opportunity to give the other warm support and praise or communicate feelings of love and tenderness. If that’s where your marriage is now, give yourself a 10. Some couples would rate their marriage 0 in an area, so few would feel able to rate it a 10. However, give your marriage an honest score, but don’t underrate it, either.
As a method of scoring, we suggest first running quickly down the list and making quick, spontaneous judgments, and entering the figures in pencil. Then go back over the items, make a more careful evaluation of each, and if necessary change the figures to represent your considered verdict. All this may take about ten minutes.
When all scores are complete, they should be added up. The resulting figure represents the percentage of your marriage potential which you have already appropriated, the difference between that and 100 indicating your unappropriated potential.
The next step is for you both to set a time when you can be alone together, uninterrupted, for at least an hour-two hours if possible. Share the scores you have given the marriage and compare them first the total percentage, then the scores for the separate items.
Nearly all couples who have taken this test have found it a significant experience. Some find their percentage scores identical or nearly so, which usually means that their separate perceptions of the marriage as a whole are closely congruent. We have worked with couples, however, with percentages widely separated-in one extreme case the difference was 50 percent, which led to a crisis that motivated the couple to seek the counseling they desperately needed. When a significant disparity in total scores exists, this obviously calls for a careful and thorough examination and confronts the couple with the necessity of finding out why they place such different values on their relationship.
Next, you will go through the various items. Again, some scores may be identical or very close. In these areas, they are obviously in agreement. But if the scores agree and are low, clearly there is some work to do. Don’t be discouraged about low scores. It means you have potential in your relationship you’ve never realized.
For many couples, the discussion of this test can be very challenging. “We’ve been avoiding the realities of our marriage for years,” some have said. “But this really confronted us with what we have always known but never faced. Now we need to do something about it.”
Also, couples, faced with a disparity in a particular area, have said, “We couldn’t at first figure out why we disagreed about this. But as we talked it over, we discovered something about our relationship that we never knew before. This has put us on the track of some exciting new possibilities.”
One couple wanted, “to see for ourselves some of the techniques you use – we don’t need any help for our own marriage.” They came back after doing the test and said, “We’ve been kidding ourselves and other people that we have a good marriage. Our relationship is certainly on a plateau – but now we know that it isn’t a very high plateau. We’ve been shaken out of our complacency, and now we have a lot of growing to do.”
This test can give couples motivation to start working on their marriage. Both of you should make a “growth plan” together. We suggest you agree on the steps you want to take to improve their relationship in their deficient areas, put this in the form of written goals. This constitutes a commitment you’ve made to each other, and to which you can refer back later.
Be careful against the danger of attempting too much too quickly. Do it in easy, manageable steps. It is recommended you share your commitment with another couple or couples and/or with a counselor who can guide you through the growth process. One interesting feature of the test is that it can be taken again and again. Since the measure of marriage potential used is subjective, and not objective, your score can change over time. Obviously, this can rise as growth takes place. Also, as you gain a clearer understanding of yourselves and each other, you may alter your evaluation of what is possible for the marriage, either downward or upward. The test scores change as you progressively move toward a more realistic perception of what you are capable of achieving together.
Ideally, take the test once a year, or more often. This will allow you to check on your growth, and be aware of your changing perceptions of their relationship.