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Self Test

Devloped by Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D.

 Relationship Satisfaction

This self test identifies some important principles, practices and beliefs which are commonly held by those who report feeling satisfied with their relationships. It is designed to help you analyze your own way of thinking and being in your relationship, and in the process to direct you to new ideas which may be helpful in improving your relationships.

1. Many people feel as though they should not have to repeat themselves. That, if their partner respected them, it shouldn't be necessary to have to actually ask for or explain again what they want, or do not want. 

This is one of the most serious mistakes people make in relationships. When "Mind Reading" becomes an expectation, seeds are planted that assure problems. Without truthful, open and constant communication, no relationship can flourish. 

Not only is it necessary to know what you want, and to ask for it clearly (without producing guilt) - it is also necessary to be able to accept both yes and no. Do you sometimes expect that your partner should "just know" what you are feeling?

A. A person should only have to communicate clearly once, and should not have to repeat themselves. If they do, it is a sign that their partner is being disrespectful. Also, if something is important to one person in a relationship, the other person should find a way to concede.
B. Having to repeated the same feelings to a loved one does not mean you partner does not care about you, nor is it necessarily meant to be a disrespectful gesture. More often than not it suggests that a couple is not communicating effectively, and that new communication skills are needed. Saying no to a serious request, though it should not be routine, must be acceptable from time to time.
C. A significant other should never have to concede. Nor does having to communicate the same feelings and thoughts repeatedly mean anything of significance when it comes to having a healthy a relationship.

2. When people experience the same problems in a relationship – or see the same pattern of problems with all of their relationships - one can become depressed and cynical. 

People start to feel as though they're not loveable, or that they are to blame for their relationship “failures”. Sometime, the thought that “destiny” is against them, or that they will always be a failure in love also exist. And worst of all, a person can begin to have negative, and angry feelings towards the opposite sex as well.

A. When a person repeats the same mistakes in their relationships, it probably indicates that there is something wrong with them, and that they are likely the ones to blame for the failure of their relationships.
B. When a person experiences a recurring problem in their relationship, it does not indicate that there is something wrong with them - nor does it mean that they are the ones to blame for the failure of their relationships.
C. Very likely, if a person experiences the same issues over and over again with their relationships, they have a problem. However, it is very likely that their partners are to blame as well.

3. Recently a woman came to me and said, "I finally found a wonderful man but I'm miserable in the relationship. Everyday I worry that he'll find out who I really am and leave." 

This woman not only expected rejection, she actually did little things to bring it about. Soon she began to sabotage the relationship, finding fault with him at every turn. Although she didn't realize it, she did this to feel better about herself. 

The truth is we can never earn another person's love. The more we try the worse we feel. We must simply understand that who we truly are is entirely loveable. We must learn to find our deep self respect, and must become friends with ourselves. Do you feel that you're not "good enough", that you have to change yourself to keep someone's love?

A. It is reasonable to say that a person's sense of self worth is intertwined with the happiness of their relationship. A good deal of one's self respect and worth should result from how they are treated by their partner.
B. A person sense of self worth should not result from how they are treated by their loved one. It doesn't matter if one's partner is very abusive, a person should still feel great about themselves.
C. Ideally, a person should have a strong sense of inner confidence, and self love and esteem. One's partner plays an important role in this equation, but should not be the final, deciding factor for a person's sense of self value.
D. "Self Sabotage" is not a proven diagnosis. It is just a term used to explain failures which otherwise can't be explained.

4. Many reject their partners as protection against being rejected themselves. The bottom line is these individuals may not feel they deserve a relationship, they feel they can't hold onto a partner because they haven't accepted themselves. Do you reject your partners so they can't do it first?

A. Ending a relationship is an acceptable way of defending ones own health and well-being. Ultimately, personal wellness is more important than that of ones dating partner.
B. If rejecting ones partner first is a common habit, it indicates that there is probably a deeper, and more profound cause for this behavior. Discover whey one behaves this way it important to one day establish health and well being with ones life, and relationships.
C. Most people reject someone else when they finally discovery that the other person simply isn't right for them. This is a healthy and appropriate response.

5. Some feel as though their partner is obligated to meet all their needs. If he/she says no, it is sometimes experienced as a lack of respect and love. In a relationship, is it the job and responsibility for each to make the other happy?

A. Happiness should be derived from professional and social success. In a relationship, it is the partner's duty to support this.
B. Ultimately, it is reasonable to say that happiness must first start from within - and that this idea will carry couples through both good times, and difficult times. That one must be happy with themselves first, and to do their best to make others happy as well
C. It is a fair expectation that one’s significant other has an obligation to bring happiness to a relationship, and that both people should be responsible for the other person’s happiness. Otherwise, why should two people even be together?

6. Some people say that they can't get their partners to talk. When time comes for intimate conversation, their loved one claims up, offer a few grunts and expect the other to magically understand what's going on.
Many feel shut out, and misunderstood. 

However, there is a secret many don't realize. By nature, people want to talk, to open, and fully express their feelings. Sadly, many just do not know how. 

Under the right conditions, your partner will talk frankly with you all night long. However, something else many don't realize is, men can be just as fragile as women – and woman just as emotionally tights as some men.

In order to experience intimacy, you have to create the right situation. All that's needed here (as is provided to you) is to learn how to create those right conditions, and what is necessary for your significant other to feel safe enough with you to talk openly and honestly. Do you feel that your partner does not honestly open up to you? Sometime, do you feel in the dark about your partner's thoughts and feelings?

A. It is not necessarily true that everybody has the desire to speak frankly and intimately about their thoughts and feelings, and intimate conversations do not need to be part of a healthy relationships.
B. Intimate expressions of feelings and thoughts are important in a relationship, and, though one should not always expect this to occur all the time with ones partner, is it an important that it does occur routinely as part of a healthy relationship.
C. I'm not sure.

7. Many couples keep relationships alive and exciting by fighting. When they see their partner upset, it reassures them that they care. Others have seen their parents fighting and this is the only role model they have.

 Some are addicted to the "high" they get out of fighting. A few crave the feeling of domination or control. Domination is not love. If it hurts it is abuse, not love. The exercises in Save Your Relationship will show you other ways to solve problems, get the love you need and express feelings constructively. Do you think that it is possible that YOU are addicted to fighting?

A. Fighting is a healthy part of relationship if it does result in greater intimacy and a stronger bond.
B. Under no circumstances should a couple fight, and is an indication of a dysfunctional situation. When it occurs, a relationship should be ended.
C. Fighting in a manner which results in new a new understanding between two people is appropriate. However, excessive fighting, or fighting that leaves an individual with unresolved pain, is not part of a healthy relationship.

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