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Marriage Compatibility Test--Why Bother?

There is a wealth of marriage compatibility tests out there now, from fun quizzes in magazines to actual tests that a minister or other person might require a couple to take before they're even allowed to be married by him or her. While some are meant as nothing more than a fun diversion, other marriage compatibility tests can be very serious and actually get a couple talking about things that are important to them and issues that need to be ironed out either before they get married or along the way of their marriage. So how can you tell the difference, and when should a couple worry if they get a poor score on such a test?

Obviously you can tell much from the actual questions on a marriage compatibility test. Many are limited to just one or two options, and of course there are many issues in life that aren't quite that simple. For example, one question might be something along the lines of, "If your spouse worked late and didn't call to tell you, would you be upset?" This is not a simple issue. The real answer might depend on many factors - do they make a habit of this? Do they have some type of job that makes their schedule unpredictable and so these things are just going to happen? Are they thoughtful in other areas but just sometimes get caught up in their schedule and lose track of time? A marriage compatibility test cannot encompass all these variables, so may not be a best gauge if the only answers are yes or no.

On the other hand, even the simplest marriage compatibility tests can help a couple to start talking about certain issues and their expectations. Using the above question as an example, they might talk openly about their careers and the demands it has on them. They might begin to discuss schedules and shared responsibilities, and what it means to be thoughtful when you're in a marriage. Many marriage compatibility tests bring to light certain issues that one doesn't think about when you're single, such as needing to call someone else when you're going to be working late. When you're single you don't think about doing that, but when you're married there's someone that might be a bit worried.

It's important to put all marriage compatibility tests in proper perspective. They can be very useful and invaluable tools in finding out what is really on someone's mind or in their heart, and bring to light certain issues that neither had thought about discussing before. When it comes to big issues such as children, in-laws, how to spend money, how to divide chores, and things such as these, marriage compatibility tests can force a couple to talk about these things before they get married and work out compromises, which can help them later after they're married. But they are not exactly scientifically accurate in determining whether or not a couple should actually get married, and so should be used cautiously.

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