Can a test help you avoid divorce?
The New York Times had a lengthy article by freelancer Elizabeth Weil called, Married (Happily) With Issues. I was happily reading the piece when my attention was arrested by this statement by Weil:
I turned to the standard assessments. The Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test instructs spouses, among other things, to rank themselves along the “always agree” to “always disagree” continuum on matters ranging from recreation to in-laws. This struck me as scattershot and beside the point. For all the endless talk about marriage — who should have the right to be in one, whether the declining numbers of married-parent households are hurting America’s children — we don’t know much about what makes a marriage satisfying or how to keep one that way.
Obviously, given the way my brain works, I got stuck on the “Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test” part. “What is that?” I wondered aloud. I’ve never heard of such a thing. So next thing you know, I got side-tracked from reading the article and I was fetlock deep in Google trying to figure out what the dickens the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test is.
Well, it’s a long questionnaire for the most part, about 17 pages of questions broken into sections such as
A. Love Maps
B. Fondness and admiration system
C. Turning toward or away
D. Negative perspective
E) Start up
F) Accepting Influence
J. The four horse men
L. Emotional disengagement and loneliness
In each category, there are at least 10 questions or statements which you have to rate yourself. So one section may ask, “True or false, I know my partner’s favorite type of music.” (Love Maps) Or, “True or false my partner really respects me.” (Fondness and admiration system)
The thing with LWMAT is that it’s not about avoiding divorce necessarily. Well, maybe indirectly. It’s more directly about improving your marriage. Taking it from good to great. It’s a hugely involved questionnaire that would require both parties to commit a lot of time and attention to get through, though. But even though Weil dismissed the whole thing as “scattershot” I wondered whether it might not be worth it for some couples to take this test just as a starting point to fixing what is wrong with their marriage? Obviously, I am not a marriage therapist and some marriages have already gone over the precipice. But I bet there are others that might benefit from LWMAT.
……..I’m just saying………….
Well, let me try to get back to Wiel’s article and see if I can finish it. I’m only on page 2 of 10 pages. This is almost as long as LWMAT! I don’t know if my ADHD will allow me to stay focused long enough to finish it. But I sure am going to try.
Check out LWMAT here: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:l5Sv58bf4yMJ:bestmarriages.com/gottman/final%2520assessments.pdf+what+is+the+Locke-Wallace+Marital+Adjustment+test+all+about&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgLiO7yCkChNcSB86SNF6uEDKRN7e61tMog8i2Uoz_B3V99mdRyq3tneNDW3k3vmxvrno9nNJTUeIKnGH3m0zKhxdpilF0fOAwOz7O1U9LbmPTY829S0cxotISHushbRxrHNeBe&sig=AHIEtbRPs74Hgxa9UxutectVj7EummDvhA
And check out Weil’s article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/magazine/06marriage-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=divorce&st=cse&scp=2