Practical Marital Quiz
- There is the Right person out there for everyone.
(no-marriage is based on a skill set between two people. Arranged marriages work well when the partners practice the skills of good marriages.)
- He or She should know what I want without being told.
(No one that I know can read minds. We need to ask for what we want as politely as possible.)
- If I have to ask for what I want, it isn’t worth having.
(see above. This is a romantic idea guaranteed to drive a partner crazy.)
- Sex should always be wonderful.
(good sexual communication in marriage takes as long to develop as good verbal communication. Sex needs to be negotiated just like dining out-people don’t always feel hungry at the same time or want to eat the same food.)
- We should only have sex if we both feel like it.
(Sex is a negotiation. People may decide to have it as often as the one with the higher drive wants it in the manner that the one with the lower drive wants to do it.)
- I shouldn’t share thoughts or feelings that would upset my partner.
(False. Share them. However, share them politely and humanely. To do otherwise is apt to build resentments that may even hurt health.)
- If my partner knew all about me he or she wouldn’t love me.
(This is a more common fear for men than for women and comes from the terrific masculinity training by the other boys in adolescence-that anything vulnerable was severely punished. Many men fear vulnerability while women crave it.)
- I should only have to ask for something one time. If my partner can’t remember, then I am not loved.
(We all need reminders. Marriages have certain basic issues that continue to pop up l like gophers on a golf course. Sometimes we do things that have bothered our partner because we think the issue is no longer bothersome. A gentle reminder should suffice.)
- “I” or “my spouse” is “just like that” and can’t change.
(False. We are made up behaviors and behaviors are changeable.)
- “Bad” habits and “good” habits are in the genes. they are permanent.
(False. Temperament may exist genetically but what we do with what we feel is a decision.)
- My spouse and I can’t communicate.
(We ALL communicate-either with behavior or words. What matters is that our words and behavior be together. What we don’t say, we end to act out. It is better to explain our emotion than to demonstrate it.)
- Nagging is bad.
(When nagging stops, the nagger has given up. This is bad for the relationship. A better question might be “why does the nagger have to keep asking for the same thing? What keeps the person who is being “nagged” from doing as asked? That would be the object of the conversation.)
- There is safety in secrecy.
(False. Secrecy is a form of lying which breaks intimacy bonds. The people who know the secret are in a bond with the people who don’t know on the outside.)
- People should do what they feel like doing.
(Maybe-sometimes–if they are all alone or have asked others and no one minds. However, we all need to consider how we affect others before making such decisions.)
- It is important that you NOT do too much that your spouse asks to make sure that your partner doesn’t get control of the relationship.
(The marriage needs to be a balance with everyone giving and receiving. People who feel important tend to ask LESS.We make others feel important in part, by doing as they ask. If you fear control by your partner you remain cautious which prevents partners from getting all the way “into” their relationships. Further, if you want your partner to do as you ask, you need to be the role model for what you are trying to get).
- In a good marriage, the ecstatic wonder from courtship prevails through the life of the marriage.
(This is called infatuation. It generally lasts not more than a year. It is replaced with a deepening friendship. Some people panic when the infatuation fades. They think that the “love” is over and they go on to find new partners and serial marriages).
- When one partner has an affair, it is because the other partner has disappointed them in the marriage.
(False. The decision to have an affair is an independent decision. Affairs happen for many reasons but they are related to the person committing the affair. Infidelity is found in good marriages as well.)
- Some lying is necessary in any marriage.
(False. Lying breaks the intimacy bond and causes the person lying to avoid the person receiving the lie.)
- If my partner really loved me, he or she would never fantasize about anyone else.
(People fantasize about many things–it is important to act the fantasies out with the marital partner. Some people like to share their fantasies and some not. This is apersonal decision.)
- Some people just can’t be faithful.
(Fidelity is a decision that some people can’t make. They are better off single.)
- Infidelity only occurs in bad marriages.
(Some people-many men-can’t take the intimacy of good marriage. When the intimacy gets too high they may go outside the marriage. The vulnerability of intimacy causes some men to feel more imperfect than they can tolerate. Finding a relationship in which the woman idolizes him, may make some men feel safer. Even though it is relatively short-lived as imperfections eventually show up for all of us.)
- Sometimes infidelity is good for marriage.
(It breaks the intimacy with the lie and causes the partner who is lying to avoid the spouse. It sets a poor model for the children in terms of trust.
- Affairs are about being sexual.
(I do not see this in the infidelity that I treat. the affair is a friendship–there is little sex. Women tend to have affairs out of anger and men out of foolish decision-making The men I see decide that they won’t be caught or don’t attend to the possible consequences at all.)
- It is the man’s job to make sure that things go well for his family.
(This is a conclusion brought about by old-fashioned masculinity training. It is a partnership and a DUAL responsibility with the children included as they mature and assume accountability.)
- If you and your partner disagree, it is important to establish who is right and who is wrong.
(It is IMPOSSIBLE to be “right” and married at the same time. That makes someone the saint and someone the jerk. People need to fight to find out what they are doing wrong. Then negotiate a change.)
- A really good husband never turns his wife down abut anything.
(It is fine to say “no”. It is important to do so clearly and up front and to attempt to negotiate some kind of compromise.)
- A really good husband can solve the problems of his wife and children.
(Again, old fashioned masculinity training. It is important for the wife to know that her husband would LIKE to do that but it is impossible and too much burden for him to try. This may account for a man’s aggression when confronted with a problem he THINKS he should solve and can’t).
- My children can learn from what I tell them regardless of what I do.
(Children copy what they see. Model what you want your children to learn.)
- I shouldn’t have to explain my reasoning to anyone. People should just know that I am right and do what I say.
(False. We all need to explain our intent and the experience of being us at the moment.)
- Women are usually the emotional watch keepers of the family.
(True. This is because of their emotional training that many men miss.)
- It is all right for parents to disagree about what is good for children. Just make sure that the children know that you disagree.
(Parents must, at all costs, be a TEAM. To not do so damages the children and teaches them to manipulate others.)
- If one parent is too tough, the other parent should be softer and tell the children not to do what the tougher parent says.
(False. This leads to grown children who think that the rules don’t mean them. They are good candidates for law-breaking and jail.)
- Never let the children know why the parents got a divorce.
(Children need to know about the mistakes of their parents when the children are older so that they can learn by understanding the story of the parents’ lives. By understanding what went wrong in the parents’ marriage, the children have a better chance of doing something different.)
- Love is a feeling that you either have or you don’t. You can’t make it happen. If you don’t feel love any more4 there is nothing you can do about it.
(Love comes from telling the truth, going through the full range of emotions in anygiven day, fighting to find out what you are doing wrong, and hearing the message.People then sexualize the relationship to bring it closer. People who don’t feel connected in their relationships may confuse this with feeling “in love. The absence of connection is related to one of the four skills.)
- Relationships should be conflict-free. Frequent arguing means the couple is incompatible.
(All couples are incompatible. This is what the negotiation is about;–for a life-time. Partners need to know HOW to disagree and how to resolve conflict without attacking each other.)