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Divorce risk indicator: Checking out the divorce risk factors in your relationship
by Graeme J. Davidson
August 2010

This relationship test is from the book

When the Vow Breaks: contemplating Christian divorce

by Graeme Davidson, SPCK, London 2009.

It is also available at with preview sample chapter at Amazon UK.

The relationship self-test indicator below is a simple non-scientific check for symptoms of serious discontent. Try to answer all the questions as honestly as you can.

Simply record the answer that best describes the relationship between you and your partner, or you may prefer to print the questionnaire and circle the answers:
4 = Nearly always; 3 = Often; 2 = Sometimes; 1 = Occasionally; 0 = Practically never.

1. I trust my partner. 4 3 2 1 0
2. My partner is supportive of my career and objectives in life. 4 3 2 1 0
3. I feel safe around my partner. 4 3 2 1 0
4. I’m ‘turned on’ by the thought of sex with my partner. 4 3 2 1 0
5. We have similar religious convictions. 4 3 2 1 0
6. I can describe the important issues my partner faces. 4 3 2 1 0
7. I support my partner’s main ambitions and goals in life. 4 3 2 1 0
8. We work together cooperatively as a team. 4 3 2 1 0
9. My partner treats me fairly. 4 3 2 1 0
10. We laugh and joke a lot when we are together. 4 3 2 1 0
11. We agree about money. 4 3 2 1 0
12. We agree about children and their upbringing. 4 3 2 1 0
13. We may not solve every issue, but we have ways of handling disputes that leave me feeling good. 4 3 2 1 0
14. My partner is good at listening to me. 4 3 2 1 0
15. I enjoy my partner’s company and don’t find him or her boring or irritating. 4 3 2 1 0
16. Our relationship allows me to be independent and to do what’s important to me. 4 3 2 1 0
17. I look forward to spending time together. 4 3 2 1 0
18. I respect my partner. 4 3 2 1 0
19. My partner’s personality and individual style is acceptable to me. 4 3 2 1 0
20. Our relationship satisfies me emotionally. 4 3 2 1 0
21. My partner values me and shows me consideration. 4 3 2 1 0
22. I know many of my partner’s relatives and friends and get on well with them. 4 3 2 1 0
23. My relationship with my partner is a strong and binding one. 4 3 2 1 0
24. We both have similar political or other non-religious ideological convictions that are important to us. 4 3 2 1 0
25. Both of us make an effort to spend some quality time together. 4 3 2 1 0
Score for each column
Add together column scores for total
Maximum = 100

Scoring and evaluation
The scoring is simple. Add the scores for all the answers. The result will be a score between 0 – 100.
It’s presumptuous to try to draw a random line and say that if you get a score above where the line is drawn, then your marriage is great, and if it’s below, it’s in serious trouble. That’s because the answer to one question may be vital to the survival of the marriage. If you answered “Practically never” to “I trust my partner”, that would tend to undermine the very basis of your relationship. Or if you highlight “Practically never” for “I feel safe around my partner”, you could be in danger of serious harm.
Usually, though, symptoms come in clusters. You’re more likely to get a high score if the relationship is very good and a low score if the relationship is doing poorly. In trials with many couples, I found that people fell roughly into the following groupings:

85-100 Those who said they were very happy in their marriages got a score in this range. Usually both partners got a similar high score.
65-85 These partners admitted to problems and times of unhappiness in their relationship. Sometimes there was a difference in scoring between one partner and the other.
0-64 These partners had recently broken up or were about to. There was often a difference in scoring between one partner and the other. The partner who wanted the breakup, or who’d already left, usually scored below 45.

Remember, these results are indicative only and the intention is to provoke thought. It may be worth suggesting to your partner that he or she try the test so that you can compare and discuss the results. This could be a good way of affirming what’s good in your relationship and looking at what needs to be improved. It may also help you realise you need to think seriously about whether to stay or leave.

If you want to learn more, read: When the Vow Breaks: contemplating Christian divorce

©Copyright 2009, Graeme Davidson. All rights reserved.




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