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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Divorce test(courtsey: )

Divorce isn't the dirty word it once was... In fact, nearly half of all first marriages now end in divorce. We hope it doesn't happen to us, but it takes more than hope.
One valley marriage counselor who came up with a divorce test you can take right now- to measure the strength of your marriage.
Larry and Ceil Toschik met the day before he shipped out to serve in World War II. “I asked if I could write to her," Larry says. Ceil remembers that meeting with a fond smile, “He was young and he was good looking.” And so their courtship began. For three years they exchanged letters, soon after, they exchanged vows. Nearly 60 years later…“There were times i loved him but i hated what was going on!” Ceil said.
Larry traded his army green for an artist’s brush. "I had an outdoor job- and over our first 20 or 30 years of marriage, she was not an outdoor woman at all!” he said. So, there were a couple decades that weren't picture perfect, but they overcame their differences; working away from home, raising 4 children, losing a son in Vietnam.
Licensed marriage & family therapist, Renee Cunningham says, “There's this myth that it doesn't take work to be happy.” Cunningham came up with five simple questions she says every couple should answer to test if their marriage is on solid ground.
1) Do you resolve conflict in your marriage? a) always b) sometimes c) never "It isn't easy- but it can be done!" Ceil said.
2) Do you trust your partner? a) always b) sometimes c) never Larry joked, “She trusted me when she had little reason to trust me, because i had a roving eye.”
Cunningham says to look for signs, “Turning away from your partner, not listening to your partner, fighting frequently, those are about not trusting.”
3) Are you able to maintain your own personal identity in your marriage? a) always b) sometimes c) never “You have to have your own life. If you don't, you're dead in the water,” warns Cunningham.
4) Do you take responsibility-- particularly where problems are concerned? a) always b) sometimes c) never “So what if they ‘win’ for a day, two days, a month?” Cunningham asks, “You gain relationship.”
5) Are you able to communicate your needs and concerns to your partner? a) always b) sometimes c) never “Are your needs being met in the bedroom? are your needs being met financially?” Cunningham said. “Eventually what happens is, you're going to communicate those needs & those wants to someone else.”
Not a problem for Ceil, “He can read me like a book!” Do you see any pattern in your answers? always, sometimes, never? Cunningham says answering ‘sometimes’ should be a warning, and ‘never,’ should be a big red flag. But as they say, never say never. “It's never, ever too late to have a good relationship,” Cunningham said.
Larry agrees, “There were some tensions there, but we loved each other and it paid off.” Larry & Ceil's secret? They stuck it out. That, they say, is what's missing with so many couples today Ceil says couples should “make every effort they possibly can to solve their problems without the divorce. There is a way. If they have any love for each other at all, they can do it.” Communication is of course- the bottom line- so hopefully your results- already have you and your spouse talking. We set up a link for more relationship questions you can answer tonight before they become problems down the road.
The website for the 22-question relationship quiz is:
Renee Cunningham's website is:

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