Divorce test helps couples rate their marriage

As she looked at photos that span a lifetime, Pearl Shinault talked about what makes a marriage last.

"You have to love one another, respect one another, trust one another," she said. "That's so important."

This August, the Shinault's celebrate 41 years of marriage. It's a relationship that has changed over the years.

"I just loved to leave little notes in his lunch and write him little notes in his car, and then that fades away and then you get a new concept," she said.

These days the Shinaults are the exception. Shelby County's Chancery Court reports 2,800 filings for divorce in 2005.

Couples that are married, or are considering marriage, can now take several so called "Divorce Tests" to see if their marriages need work. Most tests offer simple "yes or no" answers and are easy to score.

Holly Warren has been married for a year and a half, and recently took the marriage test.

"We've done pretty good but there's things that we could have worked out before hand that would be easier now," she said.

When the Shinaults took the test, they passed with flying colors. Pearl Shinault's husband Raymond thought the test should be easy for married couples to pass.

"Any person that's been married, if they couldn't pass this, they got problems," he said. "Big problems."

Students in the Dr. Joe Ventimiglia's "Family, Marriage, and Personal Relationships" class at the University of Memphis also took the test. Ventimiglia's class broke down relationships, friendships, and the phases of love.

"When love morphs from the romantic form to the companionship form, it's not as exciting," he said. "It's a lot more quiet, and people think that love has died when it has merely changed."

Do the Shinaults know something others don't? Can a test determine your relationship's future? Do you even need a piece of paper to tell you? Those are questions that require more than a YES or NO.


The Divorce Test-

Developed by Dr. John Gottman

Web link http://www.gottman.com/marriage/relationship_quiz/quiz1/

All Questions require a yes or know answer.

1- I can name my partner's best friends

2- I know what stresses my partner is currently facing

3- I know the names of some people who have been irritating my partner lately

4- I can tell you some of my partner's life dream

5- I know my partner's basic philosophy in life

6- I can list the relatives my partner likes the least

7- I feel that my partner knows me pretty well

8- When we're apart, I think fondly of my partner

9- I often touch or kiss my partner affectionately

10- My partner really respects me

11- There is passion in our relationship

12-Romance is still part of our relationship

13- My partner appreciates the things I do

14- My partner likes my personality

15- Our sex life is mostly satisfying