The Less-Stressed Life

The Less-Stressed Life

Friendship: The Key to a Less-Stressed Marriage








Research shows that one of the most important features of successful relationships is the depth of your friendship.  In fact, I find that I can often make a quick (and accurate)  assessment about the state of a marriage by taking a few minutes with a couple during their initial session to determine how close their friendship is.  Check out the following test* developed by Dr. John Gottman to see how well you know your spouse.


Answer yes or no to the following questions:

  1. I can name my spouse’s best friends.
  2. I know what stresses my spouse is currently facing.
  3. I know the names of some of the people who have been irritating my spouse lately.
  4. I can tell you some of my spouse’s life dreams.
  5. I can tell you about my spouse’s basic philosophy of life.
  6. I can list the relatives my spouse likes the least.
  7. I feel that my spouse knows me pretty well.
  8. When we are apart, I often think fondly of my spouse.
  9. I often touch or kiss my spouse affectionately.
  10. My spouse really respects me.
  11. There is fire and passion in this relationship.
  12. Romance is definitely still part of our relationship.
  13. My spouse appreciates the things I do in this relationship.
  14. My spouse generally likes my personality.
  15. Our sex life is mostly satisfying.
  16. At the end of the day my spouse is glad to see me.
  17. My spouse is one of my best friends.
  18. We just love talking to each other.
  19. There is lots of give and take (both people have influence) in our discussions.
  20. My spouse listens respectfully, even when we disagree.
  21. My spouse is usually a great help as a problem solver.
  22. We generally mesh well on basic values and goals in life.



What your score means..

15 or more Yes answers

Congratulations – your friendship and your marriage are

8 to 14

There are many strengths that you can build on, but there
are also some weaknesses that need attention.
While counseling is an option, you might also benefit from simply
spending more time together doing activities that you both enjoy, or scheduling
a vacation during which you can reconnect.

7 or fewer

Your relationship may be in serious trouble.  If this worries you, you probably still value the relationship enough to get help.  Consider seeking the advice of a trained couples therapist or taking amarriage retreat where you can focus on mending your relationship.


Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted!

Dr. Mike Ronsisvalle


*Source:  Copyright © 2000-2007 by Dr. John Gottman and
the Gottman Institute.

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