Having marriage or relationship problems? Are you considering separation or divorce? It’s time you put your assumptions about relationship and marriage to the test! Take the Relationship IQ Quiz below which was devised by Michele Weiner-Davis.
Find out what makes a healthy relationship, what causes divorce, and what most people do after infidelity occurs.
If you’re trying to decide whether you’re meant to be together, should separate or get divorced, then this relationship IQ quiz is a great place to start. And remember, it’s never too late to save a relationship from separation.
Answer “True” or “False” to each of the following questions:
- Conflict, anger or boredom are signs that your relationship is failing.
- You’re more likely to separate if there are differences in your backgrounds, likes and dislikes and interests.
- In healthy relationships, major disagreements get resolved over time.
- In healthy relationships, partners have the same definition of what it means to be loving.
- People just fall out of love.
- Affairs don’t have to ruin relationships.
- Most people are much happier in their second marriages because they’ve learned from their mistakes.
Relationship IQ Quiz Real Answers
1. Conflict and anger are signs that your relationship is failing. (False)
It’s amazing to me how many people believe that their marriages are dysfunctional when there is conflict. The fact is, the single best predictor of separation/divorce is the constant avoidance of conflict! All relationships, even the best ones, have their ups and downs, times when partners are angry and argumentative over their differences. These are normal relationship conflicts. It’s impossible to live under the same roof with another human being for any length of time and not disagree now and then. What is important is to learn effective conflict management skills. These can be taught, learnt & mastered – if practiced regularly.
2.You’re more likely to separate if there are differences in your backgrounds, likes and dislikes and interests. (False)
Here’s a surprise for you. The answer to this question is false. Research shows that people who stay together and are happily partnered are no more similar than those who separate! 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 this – they learn effective ways to deal with their differences. They learn what is called healthy differentiation. They have definite methods for handling conflict. Although they don’t necessarily have a lot in common, they nurture the interests they do share and try to develop new ones from time to time. Successful couples understand that their partners are not supposed to be their clones. They believe that life would be incredibly boring if their partners were mirror images of themselves. Happy couples learn to appreciate their differences, find ways to grow from them or simply make peace with them.
3. In healthy relationships, major disagreements get resolved over time. (False)
Research tells us that approximately 69% of what couples argue about is unresolvable! If you eavesdrop on couples’ arguments in the early stages of their relationship and again after they’ve been together for twenty-five years, you might be surprised to find that much of the content is the same. Certain issues will remain sticking points throughout an entire relationship, even in the best ones! These perpetual problems are due to differences in personality and lifestyle needs. But, the way couples discuss these heated issues does change over time. We can learn skills to help us manage these better. Over time and by practicing these skills, we tend to mellow a bit, which makes a huge difference in how our partners react to us and vice versa.
4. In healthy relationships, partners have the same definition of what it means to be loving. (False)
No two people define love in exactly the same way. What it takes for you to feel loved is probably quite different from what it takes for your partner to feel loved. There is a good reason for this. Your definition of love springs from a number of factors, your upbringing, your culture, your gender, your sexual preferences and your life experiences in general. Since you and your partner have had different life experiences, it stands to reason that you will view love differently as well. Sometimes very differently in fact. Although this, in and of itself, is not problematic, it will become a problem if you fail to respect and accommodate your partner’s point of view.
5. People just fall out of love. (False)
Some people believe that they need to separate because they’ve fallen out of love. They didn’t mean for it to happen, it just happened. They may say to themselves “I love you but I’m not in love with you”. To them, love is a feeling that is either there or it’s not there. If it’s there, you become an item. If it’s not there, you separate. This is one of the silliest ideas ever. Love is a verb. A verb is an action. It’s not just a feeling, but an outcome of repeated actions that you make.
The number one cause for the breakdown in relationships is that people don’t spend enough time together. They take their relationships and their partners for granted. Work, kids, hobbies, soccer games, community activities, family obligations etc become more important than spending time together. The relationship gets placed on the bottom of the priority list. When this happens, people grow apart. They become strangers passing in the night. They’re no longer a team. And, because they’re distant, in the little time they do spend together, they end up fighting.
This distance and alienation sometimes fools people into thinking they’ve fallen out of love. They feel numb. They can’t imagine ever re-igniting those loving feelings. But the truth is, the love hasn’t been destroyed, it’s just hidden beneath the numbness. And, by taking the steps to strengthen your bond, the feelings of warmth, connection, friendship and intimacy can be restored.
6. Affairs don’t have to ruin relationships. (True)
If you agree to be in a monogamous relationship, you’ve probably taken to heart your promise to withdraw from intimacy with others. There is nothing more devastating than to discover your partner has been prioritizing someone else or been unfaithful. Being intimate with someone is one of the main things that sets romantic partnerships apart from all other kinds of relationships. The connection, closeness and satisfaction you feel with your intimate partner is very personal, something that’s meant just for the two of you. That’s why infidelity feels like such a violation.
Yet affairs and infidelity happen says Esther Perel, unfortunately with regularity. And when they do, repairing the relationship is no easy task. Recovery is a process, and takes place in stages. Sometimes the hurt partner swears they’ll never recover. They’re convinced that they won’t be able to move forward in the relationship. Sometimes the involved partner believes they’ll never feel the same strong feelings for their partner they used to have. Although I completely understand why people feel this way, I also know that the future isn’t as bleak as they’re anticipating. If you work together as a team, most people survive infidelity and can, with the help of a sex-positive, experienced therapist, make their relationship stronger – after they work through the issues infidelity has brought into their lives. In fact, most affairs end.
7. Most people are much happier in their second marriages because they’ve learned from their mistakes. (False)
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 not the rule. In fact, research shows that 60% of second marriages end in divorce! In contrast, 50% of first marriages do.
One of the reasons there are more divorces in second marriages is that people enter them with the same bad relationship habits they learned the first time around. They don’t do the necessary work in learning how to pick a life partner. They simply find new partners with whom they can do that old familiar dance. Step-parenting issues make second and subsequent marriages challenging. But there’s another reason second marriages aren’t necessarily better than first ones. Unless you understand that relationships don’t make people happy, you’ll spend the rest of your life trading in partners for new ones.
Not enough people realize that no one can make you happy. Happiness is a do-it-yourself job. You can’t rely on another person to fulfill you. You need to love what you do in your life, regardless of what your partner brings to the relationship. Love needs to be icing on the cake, not the cake.
If you believe that relationships should make you happy, when conflict or boredom arises, you’ll undoubtedly start to think something major is lacking in your partner and that you should get out of your relationship. Unless you feel satisfied with your own life, you won’t be able to sort out whether your unhappiness stems from personal or relationship issues. Learn to develop self-compassion as well as find meaningful work, friendships and hobbies to keep yourself motivated and connected to others. If you jump to conclusions and assume you need to dump your partner and try another, you’ll be disappointed because you’ll find yourself in the same state of unhappiness. You take yourself with you – wherever you go.
Your next relationship won’t cure your unhappiness problem either.
So, how did you do on the quiz? How is your relationship I.Q.?
If you want to improve your relationship and you’re interested in learning relationship skills based on 40 years of research, you may need an experienced relationship counsellor & coach. Call 0421 961 687 or email us to schedule an appointment. International callers should call +61 2 8005 1742.
You deserve the best trained relationship coaches if you’re planning to invest time and money in your relationship. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call us on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.