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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 spouse’s rating of you.

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 important.

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 spouse’s 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 under control.

21. I hang in there when there is conflict or tension in our relationship.

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 him/her.

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.

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