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Quiz: Is your relationship baby-ready?

Five Dimensions of Couples Health

This quiz allows you to identify 5 major factors that determine the overall health of your relationship: how you make decisions, whether your relationship has healthy boundaries, the quality of family support you have, how well you stay connected when you argue, and the warmth of your overall connection. Find out how strong your couples bond is before you have a baby! Take this special quiz designed by Dr. Gayle Peterson to help you figure out if your relationship is baby-ready:

Take the quiz below separately, rather than together. Take 20 minutes to consider the questions below and answer them while you are apart from one another. Then set up a time to get together and share your answers with each other. Taking the quiz separately will allow you to see if there are discrepancies between the two of you with regards to your experience of the relationship. For example, if one partner feels they are always consulted about decisions and the other does not, this difference will need to be discussed to improve the relationship for both partners. Your relationship is only as strong as the weakest link.

These five dimensions form the basis for being able to resolve problems and stay connected through conflict when it does occur. This quiz helps you determine the manner in which you currently relate as a couple and helps you anticipate your potential for future success or difficulties when pressures of parenthood bring these dimensions into the foreground of your relationship, for better or worse.

Exercise: How strong is your couples bond?

1. How often do you complain that your partner does not consult with you about decisions that involve you both?

1= always
2= most of the time
3= 50 % of the time
4= occasionally
5= never



2. How would you describe your partner's relationship to decision-making with regards to his or her parents?

1= partner always takes his or her parents suggestions over mine

2= partner always agrees with his or her parents but acquiesces to my point of view if different

3= partner is overly influenced by his or her parents suggestions but discusses decisions to be made with me before coming to a conclusion

4= partner always opposes his or her parents suggestions

5= I feel my partner and I work as a team in making decisions for ourselves. His or her parents' suggestions are not an issue.



3. How would you describe your relationship to your partner's parents?

1= cool and emotionally distant
2= stifling
3= overly close
4= close knit
5= comfortable and supportive



4. When disagreements occur my partner and I:

1=get angry and cannot complete discussions
2= get stuck in blaming and withdrawing from each other
3= emotionally shut down and stop talking for at least 24 hours
4= take some time apart, but are able to reconnect and talk about the disagreement within 24 hours
5= remain emotionally connected through the argument even if we continue to disagree



5. My partner and I verbally express love and appreciation versus complaints and criticism: (Which comes closest to your ratio?)

1= 20% love and appreciation to 80% complaints and criticism
2= 50% love and appreciation to 50% complaints and criticism
3= 60% love and appreciation to 40% complaints and criticism
4= 70% love and appreciation to 30% complaints and criticism
5= 80% love and appreciation to 20% complaints and criticism



There are no right or wrong answers. Compare your answers with your partner to see how you fare at this time in the coupling stage.

Scoring: add up the numbers for your answers, then see what your score means. Compare with your partner. If your scores put you into different ranges, you have some talking to do together.  Your relationship is only as strong as your weakest score, since the lowest score represents the feelings of the most dissatisfied partner!

Score of 20-25


Congratulations. You are both fairly comfortable with your relationship with one another when it comes to teamwork and honoring the intimacy of your relationship. You both feel successful with making decisions and feeling appreciated by the other. There is warmth expressed and felt in your relationship. The couple's foundation is strong.


Score of 15-19


Not bad. You are having some conflict around decision-making and need to work on developing a style of interacting that makes both of you feel considered and comfortable. You love one another but sometimes experience too much stress when difficulties arise. Your relationship needs some tweaking to not be overly stressed when a child arrives on the scene.


Score of 5-14


Needs work. If you are not able to resolve conflicts and remain emotionally connected through arguments now, before having a child, your relationship will likely falter under the weight of new parental responsibilities. Work on verbalizing appreciations to be sure that your partner is feeling loved and appreciated before having a baby. And learn how to have disagreements without punishing, withdrawing or attacking your partner before becoming parents. Warm up the atmosphere between you with genuine verbal expressions of love that are not over ridden by criticisms.


What if my partner scored significantly differently than I did on the quiz?


If your questions reflect a feeling of consideration and comfort, while your partner's do not, or the reverse, look out! One of you is not in touch with reality. Your partner is 50% of the equation. Remember that it takes two to get married, but only one to file for divorce. It is not uncommon for one person, who does not feel heard by the other to be dissatisfied in a marriage, while the other person discounts their concerns, experiencing the relationship as mostly satisfactory.

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