At the end of the month, our finances are:
Okay, with a little left over.
Tight. It’s a challenge every month and I feel pressure to make ends meet.
Strained to the breaking point. We’ll be in big trouble soon if something doesn’t change.
Melting down. The pressure to stay afloat is about to sink me.
Our children’s schedules are:
Full. But we’re staying on top of it as a couple.
Hectic. At times I feel like their schedules are controlling us.
Out of control. Our lives REVOLVE around their schedules. It’s been this way far too long and there’s no end in sight.
How is communication in your marriage?
t’s not a major problem.
We need a little help here and there.
We have major communication problems, and it’s causing a lot of pressure.
What communication? We stopped meaningful communication a long time ago. Why try?
How do you handle conflict in your marriage?
We pretty much resolve our conflicts as they occur.
We allow the “sun to go down” on our anger about half the time.
We don’t resolve conflict well at all. I’m a peacemaker and my spouse is a prizefighter.
We are embittered toward one another.
When it comes to our vehicles:
Our car is paid for.
We owe less than $5,000.
Our total monthly car payment(s) is more than $399. I wish we didn’t have the pressure of meeting the payment every month.
We lease our cars and are going to get socked with hefty extra mileage charges at the end of the lease. I hate the pressure that’s putting on us.
The health of the members of our family is:
Generally fine. Just the usual runny noses, scrapes, and bruises.
Mostly good with an occasional sick child or parent.
Not so good. Chronic pain or illness afflicts one or more of us.
Awful. I’ve never known a time when we weren’t dealing with pressure from some health-related issue.
When I’m with my spouse:
We use words of affirmation or praise with each other. Sometimes we linger over breakfast or dinner and work hard to connect with one another.
My spouse tends to read the paper, watch TV, or engage in some distraction like doing the dishes while I’m trying to express myself.
Our conversation is abrupt and devoid of genuine love or care. We’re polite, but all business.
We lash out at each other more and more. I get steamed over something that has been said at least once a day.
When I’m at home with my family:
Game playing, laughter, and hugs punctuate the normal ups and downs of life. Our home is a welcoming place.
Sometimes I wish my spouse would demonstrate a greater interest in the children and me.
Yelling, slamming doors, or cold silence is normal. Our home is becoming more like a motel filled with familiar strangers.
Most of the time, I try to be somewhere else.
Expectations in our marriage are:
Generally met or exceeded. I’m pretty satisfied.
Some are met and some are not. I can tell there’s a little pressure because of it.
There are many unmet expectations, and I’m feeling the pressure that something must change—and soon.
I’ve replaced my expectations with resentment toward my spouse. I feel ripped off in this relationship.
When it comes to divorce:
We’ve never used the word with each other. I know it’s not an option, nor would I ever agree to one.
It’s crossed my mind once or twice.
The pressures in our marriage bring divorce to mind more and more of late.
I can’t take the pressure in this relationship. I’d get divorced if it weren’t for the kids. My best friend is urging me to walk away from it all.
Are aging parents adding stress to your marriage?
Our parents are either gone or are doing well on their own. They don’t take much of our time.
Our parents are increasing in their dependency upon us. We feel responsible for their well-being at least some of the time.
We are caring for one or more parents regularly.
One or more parents live with us and we are responsible for their care. Frankly, it’s weighing heavily upon us.
Isn’t perfect, but we like it and can afford it. We have it decorated more or less the way we want.
We’re kind of stretched to make the payments. It doesn’t leave much for extras like curtains, paint, or furnishings.
Is too small. I’m stressed out all the time because there’s nowhere to put stuff and the kids need their own bedrooms.
Is falling apart. We’re in constant repair mode. I hate where we live. The neighborhood isn’t safe anymore. I wish we could move.
Are really nice people. They’re helpful and a good influence on our kids. What’s more, they don’t pressure us to visit or do things with them.
Are great if we don’t spend too much time together. But we are increasingly feeling the tug and pull to be with them more often.
Sometimes make me uncomfortable when they put their noses in our business. They pressure me to do things, like raising our children, their way.
Never leave us alone. It’s as if they’re monitoring our lives on video cameras, watching our every move. We’re stifled; I can’t take the pressure from them anymore.
Are a joy to have around. We have lots of laughs together and function well as a helping, encouraging family.
Are pretty good kids. They seem to have an upbeat attitude. They’re involved in school activities and have good grades.
Tend to be withdrawn, and even secretive. I wish I knew how to connect with their world.
Are disturbed. They’ve made it clear they hate us. Sometimes I’m afraid of the hostility I see in their eyes. We’re feeling the pressure of what to do about it.
As a couple we:
Pray often, even daily, and sometimes work on a Bible study together.
Pray at meals, holidays, or when a crisis comes.
Don’t talk about the Lord much outside of church. Even then the conversation quickly turns to safer topics. We almost never pray together.
Clash. My spouse is not saved, and sometimes disparages my faith.
How is your love life?
We enjoy a healthy, romantic relationship with a few adjustments along the way.
We have to work at this area, but we’re generally meeting one another’s needs.
This area isn’t working. The bedroom has become a pressure-filled battleground.
We’ve both lost hope that we’ll ever have a normal sex life together.
Are either of you moody?
My spouse and I are both even tempered and easygoing.
There is an occasional mood swing by one or both of us that can result in some uneasy moments.
There is a lot of pressure created by different moods in our marriage and family life.
Mood swings are a way of life and keep things in a constant state of disruption.
Do you share the same parenting values?
We’re in synch on most child-raising issues.
We occasionally have a sharp disagreement on how to discipline our children.
We continually struggle with our differing values on how to raise the children.
Values? We’re from different galaxies.
The past has:
No grip on either of us.
Occasionally causes my spouse or me tension.
Haunts me and/or my spouse.
Paralyzes us with stress and keeps us from moving forward in our marriage.
The role of being a spouse is:
Not all that difficult. We both had good role models and know what’s expected of each other.
Creating tension in me. Both of us have a fuzzy and incomplete picture of what it means to be a wife and husband.
Upside down. We’ve flip-flopped our roles and it’s causing an enormous amount of pressure in our lives.
Causing major problems. One or both of us is clue-less about the responsibilities that come with being a husband or wife.
Give thanks. This is about as good as it gets.
Begin tackling the pressure points while there’s time.
This is your wake-up call. You’re close to the edge.
Seek professional counseling immediately.