Marital Health Inventory

(Print a copy for each spouse)
HOW TO TELL IF YOU
NEED COUNSELING
The following exercise is recommended by Everett L. Worthington, Jr., the author of Hope for Troubled Marriages (InterVarsity Press, 1993). It will help you talk honestly with each other about the condition of your relationship.

What to Do (Step 1):

Read each of the nine statements below. Each of you should choose the one which you think best describes your relationship at the present time.

    __1. It's perfect. I can't imagine how our relationship could be better.
    __2. It's wonderful. Maybe it could get better, but I don't see how at the present time.
    __3. It's excellent. There are some things I wish would get better, but I'm satisfied with the way it is.
    __4. It's very good. There are some problems which could be better, but overall I'm pretty satisfied with the way it is.
    __5. It's good. We have some problems, but I'm satisfied with the way things are more than half the time.
    __6. It's OK. We have more problems than we should, but we still love each other. We need to do something to help improve our relationship so it doesn't get worse.
    __7. We may be in trouble. We have real problems, and they have gotten worse. I'm worried about the future.
    __8. We are in trouble. I'm seriously worried about the possibility of separation or divorce. We have to do something soon.
    __9. There is no hope. We have severe problems and I do not think we can solve them. We should talk about separation or divorce.

What to Do (Step 2):

Share with each other the statements you have each chosen.

If you chose a relatively positive statement, explain some of the factors in your relationship which you believe make it a good relationship.

If you chose a mixed or more negative statement, explain some of the factors which you believe are causing problems.

Decide on a scale of 1 to 10 how serious the problem(s) are.

Discuss possible solutions. Decide if you need help solving the problem(s).

This discussion will help you clarify the present state of your relationship, and may help you talk about problems if they exist.

What to Do (Step 3):

Most couples can solve everyday problems on their own, or with help from friends and family. However, you may need to seek professional help if you experience serious and persistent problems.

According to Everett Worthington Jr., the author of Hope For Troubled Marriages (InterVarsity Press, 1993), anyone of the following things indicates that a couple should consider working with a counselor.

    __ 1. Someone in the family is being physically or emotionally abused.
    __ 2. Alcohol or drug dependency is part of the problem.
    __ 3.Either of you is seriously depressed, or is having other serious emotional or personal problems.
    __ 4. There are sexual problems which are placing a serious strain on your relationship.
    __ 5. The problems between you have existed for a long time and seem to be getting worse.
    __ 6. You have tried almost everything you know to help improve the relationship, but nothing has worked.
    __ 7. Your children are frequently caught up in the middle of your problems or are suffering in other ways.
    __ 8. Either of you thinks marriage counseling is needed.
    __ 9. One of you has contacted a lawyer.
    __ 10. One of you is having -- or has recently had -- an affair.
    __ 11. Either of you feels locked in a power struggle you cannot resolve.
    __ 12. Either of you is unable to forgive the other for some past transgression.
    __ 13. Either of you is using outside activities (work, friends, other commitments) as an excuse not to spend time with each other.
    __ 14. The tension in your relationship is increasing rapidly.

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