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Do You Pull Together or Apart?

Do You Pull Together or Apart?

by Pepper Schwartz, PhD

While some pairs thrive during a crisis and emerge stronger than ever, others falter and never quite recover. Answer these seven questions and see if your relationship is fit to stand life's stressors.

Your partner storms into the house and slams the door. He's obviously had a bad day. You:
1 of 7 questions

Option A

Glare at him, avoid him altogether or get angry — and let him know how you feel.

Option B

Don’t get upset; you simply ask him if he wants to talk about it.

You and your live-in love have been watching an extremely depressing segment on the evening news. You:
2 of 7 questions

Option A

Silently watch

Option B

Argue over each other’s interpretation of events

Option C

Cuddle and talk about what you see

Option D

Skirt your partner’s attempts to talk about the tragedy you’re watching

Your husband was supposed to meet you at your favorite restaurant at 7 pm sharp. It's 7:20, and he's not there. You:
3 of 7 questions

Option A

Figure that there has to be a good reason for the delay and wait for him to give you a ring on your cell phone.

Option B

Get upset and worry that something is wrong, like he’s hurt or with another woman

Option C

Get upset and worry but don’t jump to conclusions. You start trying to track him down

Option D

Leave a curt message on his voice mail and depart.

After a particularly bad visit with the accountant, you realize you owe more taxes than you thought - or can afford. How do you react?
4 of 7 questions

Option A

One of you blames the other — or you both blame each other — for this financial snafu

Option B

One of you suggests a major lifestyle overhaul

Option C

You freak out and immediately ask your family for a loan — without telling your husband about the screwup

Option D

You both take the time to figure out how you got into this fiscal pickle, what it will take to correct it and how best to avoid something similar in the future

Your roommate from college is extremely ill, and there's a chance she'll die. You:
5 of 7 questions

Option A

Don’t share this with your partner. She’s your friend; it’s your grief. He probably wouldn’t understand anyway.

Option B

Mention the situation abruptly and hit him with the full force of your sadness.

Option C

. Feel at ease asking for his comfort; he knows how much she means to you.

Option D

Tell your mate bits and pieces but save most of your grief and venting for another friend.

When you feel your boyfriend has really hurt or betrayed you, you
6 of 7 questions

Option A

Tell him specifically why you’re angry and, if necessary, suggest that the two of you go to couples counseling.

Option B

Yell

If you thought your partner had been unfaithful, you would:
7 of 7 questions

Option A

Leave, pure and simple

Option B

Find out what happened, then decide whether to leave.

Option C

Find out what happened and try to determine what went wrong

Option D

Use it as a manipulation tool.