Thursday, May 26, 2005

Expect the unexpected

How Realistic Are Your Expectations of Marriage?

You scored 86% correct!

Below are your complete results, but did any of the answers in this quiz catch you by surprise? Do you disagree with any of them? If you're not already following it, check out the Repair Your Relationship workshop for a five-step program full of proven marriage-saving strategies. Whether you're on the brink of divorce or simply interested in improving your relationship, this workshop will help you create a new set of expectations for a happier marriage.

You scored correct answers to questions: #1, #2, #4, #5, #6, #7
You scored incorrect answers to questions: #3

Question #: 1 Conflict and anger are signs that your relationship is failing.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: All marriages, even the best marriages, have their ups and downs. It's impossible to live under the same roof with another human being for any length of time and not disagree now and then. People in loving marriages understand that conflict goes with the marital territory. It's more than unavoidable, it's necessary. People need to let off steam and air their differences. When they don't, they're in for trouble. In fact, the single best predictor of divorce is the constant avoidance of conflict!

Question #: 2 You're more likely to divorce if you have different likes and dislikes and interests, and come from different backgrounds.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Research shows that people who stay together and are happily married are no more similar than those who divorce! They come from decidedly different backgrounds, hold different beliefs and have sharply different interests. But what separates those who have successful relationships from those who don't is that they learn effective ways to deal with their differences and handle conflict. They nurture the interests they do share and try to develop new ones from time to time. Successful couples believe that life would be incredibly boring if their spouses were mirror images of themselves. Instead, happily married people learn to appreciate their differences, find ways to grow from them or simply make peace with them.

Question #: 3 In healthy relationships, major disagreements always get resolved over time.
Your Answer: True
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Research shows that approximately 60 percent of what couples argue about is unresolvable! If you eavesdrop on couples' arguments as newlyweds and then again after they've been married for 25 years or more, you might be surprised to find that much of the content is the same. However, the way in which people discuss these heated issues does change over time. People tend to mellow a bit, which makes a huge difference in how their partners react to them and vice versa.

Too many people think that their marriages are in trouble because they continue to argue about the same things for years. But the truth is that this is very common. If you have been thinking that in good marriages people eventually find mutually satisfying solutions to all major problems, you've been fooling yourself. This just isn't the case.

Question #: 4 In healthy marriages, both spouses have the same definition of what it means to be loving.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: No two people define love in exactly the same way. What it takes for you to feel loved is probably fairly different from what it takes for your partner to feel loved. Why? Your definition of love springs from a number of factors: your upbringing, your culture, your gender, and your life experiences in general. Since you and your spouse have had different life experiences, you will undoubtedly view love differently as well. Although this, in and of itself, is not problematic, it will become a problem if you fail to honor and accommodate your partner's point of view.

If you and your spouse have spent years debating about love definitions ("If you loved me, you would want to spend more time with my family" versus "If you loved me, you would want to spend more time alone with me on weekends," and so on), stop wasting time. You're both right. To have a loving marriage, you have to put yourself out and love your partner the way he wants to be loved.

Question #: 5 People just fall out of love.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Some people believe that they need to divorce their spouses because they've fallen out of love. First of all, people don't just fall out of love. If love dwindles, it's because the marriage wasn't a priority. The number-one cause for the breakdown in marriages in our country is that people don't spend enough time together. They take their spouse and their marriage for granted. Work, kids and other obligations become more important than spending time together. When this happens, during the little time people do spend together, they end up fighting. This distance and alienation sometimes fool people into thinking they've fallen out of love.

Second, love isn't just a feeling. It's a decision. Happily married people understand that if they engage in activities that bring love into the marriage, they will feel loving. There is no major mystery here. You both decide on a daily basis whether you're going to spend time together regularly or do your own thing, forgive each other or hold grudges, accept each other's weaknesses or point fingers of blame, apologize when in error or smugly stand your ground, be generous and giving or put your own needs first.

Of course, we're all human and our ability to be loving and kind to each other ebbs and flows, as do our feelings for our partners. However, wise people don't allow negative feelings or the absence of loving feelings to make them question their commitment to their spouses. They just understand that they're going through a rough time and that soon, they will decide to do what it takes to evoke feelings of love again, in themselves and in their spouses.

Question #: 6 An affair doesn't have to ruin a marriage.
Your Answer: True
The correct answer: True
Answer explanation: There is little that is more devastating than to discover your spouse has been unfaithful. Most people take to heart the promise they make to forsake all others. The connection, closeness and intimacy and trust you feel with your mate is very personal, something that is meant just for the two of you. This is why infidelity feels like such a violation.

But affairs happen, and when they do, the repair of the marriage is no easy task. Sometimes those who have been hurt swear they will never recover. They're convinced that they will not be able to forgive and move forward in the marriage. And although it's completely understandable why people feel this way, it's also true that the future doesn't have to be as bleak as they are anticipating. Most people survive infidelity and can, in fact, make their marriage stronger once they work through the issues infidelity has brought into their lives.

Question #: 7 Most people are much happier in their second marriages because they've learned from their mistakes.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Although it's true that some people learn from their mistakes in their first marriages and are able to develop happier second marriages, this is by no means the rule. In fact, 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.

One of the reasons that there are more divorces in second marriages is that people enter their second marriages with the bad relationship habits they learned the first time around. They simply find new partners with whom they can do that old familiar dance. In addition, step-parenting issues make second and subsequent marriages challenging. But there is another reason why second marriages aren't necessarily better than first ones. Unless you understand that marriage doesn't make people happy, you will spend the rest of your life trading in marital partners for new ones. Happiness is a do-it-yourself job you can't rely on another person to fulfill you. Unless you feel satisfied with your own life, you will not be able to determine whether your unhappiness stems from personal or relationship issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Where are we going today....? Find your place using this interactive map

  • Muttart Conservatory
  • International Airport
  • Princess Theatre
  • Garneau Theatre
  • Citadel
  • Whyte Ave.

Search the blogsphere (results below)

Search Results