Friends Within Marriage
This activity includes thirty statements related to being
friends within marriage. As a dimension
of the core triad, friendship is an essential element; and difficulties within
the friendship relationship may have as much to do with the success or failure
of the marriage as anything that may negatively impact the relationship.
Using a scale from five to one with five equals almost
always, four equals usually, three equals sometimes, two equals seldom, and one
equals almost never, rate yourself in terms of the thirty statements
below. Each of the statements gets at an
element in your friendship relationship with your spouse. Once you have finished, add your ratings
together and divide by thirty. The
result will be a friendship rating from 1.0 to 5.0. Marriage positive people usually maintain
their friendship rating at 4.0 or higher.
At any point you are experiencing difficulties in your marriage, go back
to the thirty statements and spend a month or so assuring that your friendship
rating remains above 4.0. Very
frequently, this by itself will have very positive and beneficial effects
within the marriage relationship. It
will also be interesting to share your ratings with your spouse, comparing your perceptions of your friendship
functioning with those of your spouse.
Importantly, though the goal of this activity is not for you to rate
your spouse but to simply compare your self-rating with your spouses rating of
1. I am decisive and able to make up my mind about things.
2. I am able to set priorities and decide what is and is not
3. I am consistent and predictable.
4. I am able to snap back from losses, disappointments, and
those times when things do not work out the way I want them to work out.
5. I have good personal habits.
6. I am assertive with my spouse about what I want and need.
7. I am fun to be around.
8. I am gentle and tender with my spouse.
9. I am relaxed.
10. I am considerate of my spouses feelings.
11. I listen patiently and carefully.
12. I am accepting and understanding with my spouse.
13. I am willing to give my spouse the benefit of the doubt.
14. I am willing to take the first step to improve things or
to make things better.
15. My spouse can count on me.
16. I avoid blaming, threatening, or accusing my spouse.
17. I am helpful to my spouse.
18. I am clear with my spouse about what I want or need.
19. I am positive and supportive with my spouse.
20. I keep arguments and hassles short, to the point, and
21. I hang in there when there is conflict or tension in our
22. I am tolerant of my spouse.
23. I talk with my spouse.
24. I spend time playing with my spouse.
25. I am open and up front with my spouse.
26. I deal with the ups and downs in our relationship.
27. I have faith in my spouse and convey that faith to
28. I am comfortable with and accept the changes in our
relationship over time.
29. I do not try to change my spouse.
30. I am good at being a friend within our marriage.