Is your lover loving you?
Today is Valentine’s Day – a day to show love to each other in very special ways. It is truly an important day to give people an opportunity to reset their values and remind themselves of the importance of love and loving in the family and society.
We all want to have happy, healthy relationships. Many of us are not aware what wonderful benefits marriage can bring to personal life. Many seem to be satisfied with dull and mediocre marriages.
Are you happy in your marriage?
Is your lover loving you?
Are you loving your partner?
The following is a quiz used in a research project by three marriage and family specialists – Howard Markman, Scott Stanley and Susan Blumberg – that can help you to decide the health of your marriage. The questions focus on the best predictors of marital distress and divorce. Answer yes or no for each question:
• Do routine discussions often erupt into destructive arguments?
• Do you or your partner often withdraw or refuse to talk about important issues?
• Do you or your partner often disregard what the other says, or do you often use put-downs?
• Does it seem as if the things you say to your partner are often heard much more negatively than you intended?
• Do you feel that there has to be a winner and loser when you disagree?
• Does your relationship often take a back seat to other interests?
• Do you often think about what it would be like to be with someone else?
• Does the thought of being with your partner a few years from now disturb you?
The following are questions I developed from my interaction with couples.
• Does your spouse seem to enjoy spending more time with friends than spending time with the family?
• Does your spouse insist that you do certain tasks or household chores simply because you are of a particular gender?
• Are the daily household chores fairly divided among all able family members?
Does your spouse seem to expend a considerable amount energy trying to change you or your personality?
The following is a quiz to help you ascertain whether your partner is loving you. Answer the questions by using one of the following: Not at all. Some of the time. All of the time.
• My partner is affectionate enough.
• My partner really cares for me.
• I feel that I would choose the same partner if I had to do it over again.
• I feel that I can trust my partner.
• I feel our relationship is a good one.
• We have a lot of fun together.
• Ours is a close relationship.
• I feel that we have enough interest in common.
• My partner is a real comfort to me.
• I feel there is no excitement in our relationship.
• I feel that our sex life is lacking quality.
• My partner seems to avoid sexual contact with me.
• I feel that my sex life is boring.
• I dream of my partner in bed with me.
Dear readers, if you are in a romantic relationship, choose a quiet time with your partner when you can objectively answer these questions. Everyone may occasionally answer yes to some of these questions, but a persistent pattern of yes answers over time can be a warning signal that a relationship needs help. If you answered in the negative to at least 30 percent of these questions, you may need to seek professional help. Do you best to be a true lover to your partner.
• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to [email protected] or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or telephone 242-327-1980.