RELATE: Taking Stock of Your Relationship

April 27th, 2011



When my husband and I were newly engaged, we took the RELATE questionnaire for our marriage preparation class. This questionnaire asks zillions (okay, a couple hundred) of questions that research shows predict relationship and marital quality. Thinking our results would prove what I wholeheartedly felt inside, I was excited to see how the “experts” would say we were made for each other and were an undoubtedly perfect match.

To my surprise, that was not what the results said.

 Uneven graphs filled the pages showing how many of our answers and perceptions didn’t match up with the other. Our conflict-resolution skills were off, our effective communication scales were low, and the numbers suggested that I might not be emotionally ready for a relationship.

I was completely discouraged. I thought we had it all. I mean, I felt like he was right for me. But these feedback graphs seemed to be telling me otherwise.

It wasn’t until we talked over our RELATE scores in class that I understood the real reason behind the test.

RELATE is not there to tell you if you are compatible but to help you see where you can improve your compatibility.

Most couples can make it work if they recognize their own weaknesses and work hard to make them strengths. Weaknesses do not define your relationship but instead can provide you with fertile seeds from which to grow a stronger and healthier relationship.

Knowing that we can overcome our weaknesses helped me to move forward and make that next big commitment. It opened my eyes to see where I needed to improve to make my relationship healthier. We went into our new marriage with an understanding that we may have struggles but knew we could work harder in those areas to make our relationship stronger.

Well, that hard work seems to paying off. We took the RELATE test again just last week. Though our results still showed some mismatched responses, there were also large improvements.

The RELATE questionnaire is a wonderful tool to help couples see where they may need some work. It is not a fortune teller. But instead its purpose is to start the conversation with couples of how they can improve and make their relationship even better.

I know for us it has definitely helped! It has made us more aware of each other and of our sensitive areas. And it has helped us discuss more openly how we feel and how we want to be better.

To take the RELATE questionnaire, visit www.relate-institute.org. Utah residents can take the RELATE test for free! Visit Strongermarriage.org and click on “Engaged” and then  under “Online Resources” click on “RELATE Questionnaire.”

And stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3 on RELATE!