Even couples who don’t come to therapy will occasionally think about this.
What is interesting is whether or not the couple agrees on the rating. When one spouse rates the marriage low and the other high, usually it means one has checked out mentally and the other is unaware of issues.
And it seems that even troubled couples will rate their marriages higher than reality when it comes to comparing their marriage to others. One reason is because the rating exercise helps you think of positives in the relationship. We tend to overrate our own and underrate others in order to keep our alternatives low.
But is rating your marriage a good idea?
Therapists think so, that is can help you take a step back and evaluate strengths and weaknesses. And it can serve as a baseline for problems that can be worked on and repaired. It’s not helpful if you use it as a club over someone’s head!
So if you are game to do this, do it from a positive perspective. “Hey’s lets take this little quiz in order to gain some insight into our marriage. You know I love you and want our marriage to be the best it can be, and I know you do too!” Then look first at the positive areas and use the lower score areas as a guide to improve.
Here is the quiz if you want to give it a shot. It’s 40 questions that you rate from 1 to 5. It’s only a tool to help point out areas of strengths and weaknesses, not a scientific test!
Source: Arthur Aron, Stony Brook University and the University of California, Berkeley; Lisa Neff, The University of Texas at Austin; Terri Orbuch, The University of Michigan