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Monday, 5 March 2012

Is your marriage on paper only?

I love to attend weddings and I am always fascinated at the end of the ceremony when the pastor says 'You may kiss the bride' and pronounces the couple man and wife. At this time the pastor usually gives the couple a piece of paper (the unofficial marriage certificate) which will be used to secure permanent papers. This piece of paper is very important as it is the official government document which the couple will use to conduct official business. They will also use this paper as proof of marriage.
The sad thing though, is that some couples care more about the piece of paper than about the marriage itself, as over time they kill their relationships. Sometimes too, all they have left of the marriage is this one piece of paper. When this unfortunate occurrence takes place people usually say that the marriage is in paper only. Take this quiz to find out if you are in a paper-only marriage.

1. You set aside quality time to communicate about your day and also about your future plans.
(a) All the time
(b) Much of the time
(c) Seldom
(d) Never
2. Your sex life is all that it can be and more.
(a) All the time
(b) Much of the time
(c) Seldom
(d) Never
3. You spend quality time to discuss your finances and you have a great plan regarding your spending habits.
(a) All the time
(b) Much of the time
(c) Seldom
(d) Never
4. Other people say that they want their relationships to pattern yours.
(a) All the time
(b) Much of the time
(c) Seldom
(d) Never
5. You do not plan for it, but you find yourself in love triangles or extramarital affairs.
(a) Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
6. You wish your partner would treat you with more respect
(a) Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
7. You love and respect your partner but see him/her in a brother-sister role.
(a) Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
8. You are independent of your spouse and can survive all by yourself or with the help of your friends.
(a)Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
9. You are a career-oriented person and so your career takes up most of your time.
(a) Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
10. Sometimes in your marriage you feel like all you have left is the ring.
(a)Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
11. People usually ask you if you are married.
(a)Never
(b) Seldom
(c) Much of the time
(d) All the time
12. You feel loved and cared for and you treasure your marriage.
(a) All the time
(b) Much of the time
(c) Seldom
(d) Never
Score
4 points for all the As; 3 points for the Bs; 2 points for the Cs and 0 points for the Ds.
37-48 points: Congratulations, you have a good thing going. Keep on doing what you are doing.
25-36 points: Not bad, you may not be where you want to be but you are on a good path. With a little more effort your relationship can become a model to many others.
13-24 points: Your marriage is not on paper only but it is heading in that direction so get help now.
0-12 points: It is highly possible that your marriage is in paper only but your case is not hopeless. With a trained counsellor you can help to improve your relationship.
Jacqueline Champier is a counselling psychologist from Mandeville.