NOTE BEFORE YOU READ: The author of this post has enjoyed a brave marriage for 26 years and did not take the quiz.
The NY Times put out a Sustainable Marriage quiz just before the New Year. It received scathing comments. Basically we are told that the Happy Marriage is the Me Marriage. Put in other terms – if my marriage makes me feel good about myself than I will probably score high, if not I will score low.
It’s the comments in the article that carry the best advice and the most humor. One man talked about being happily married for thirty years and the only self expansion both of them were experiencing was in their waistlines.
In a society where we have increasingly lowered our view of marriage I loved some of the comments that came from those who had been married a long time and offered this wisdom: It’s not a quiz that will help you sustain a marriage. Notably absent was any reference to offspring, family or extended family making the point clear that the authors feel marriage is about the couple alone, as if they existed in a vacuum.
One man signed Mike from DC makes this cynical observation about the quiz:
“So basically, a relationship is like a coal mine. If you are getting a lot from it, great. If not, drill harder or shut it down”
And what of the days when you can’t stand your spouse, while other days you can’t get enough of them?
As one man named David puts it
“I’m glad I stayed. Because some days she scores 10 some days she scores 70.”
My husband and I talk about how we have enjoyed a brave marriage – we borrowed the phrase from someone a few years ago and it has stuck. Those who know us well understand all the depth of meaning behind the word ‘brave’. We are both glad we didn’t walk away at the times when we would have scored a zero, or worse still a negative number.
So take a look at the Sustainable Marriage Quiz and let us know what you think – no worries, you don’t have to say what you scored!