What Type of Marriage Do You Have?

The way you approach your spouse depends on the status of your marriage. The content you use to rebuild the trust and love depends on the status of marriage or relationship.

Not all marriages are equal. Using one skill set or strategy to fit all marriages leaves you little room for success in building the trust and love.

The exercises and readings that followed are tailored according to the status of your relationship.

You begin with a particular focus if your marriage is red.

You start with another focus if yellow and if green, I present a third focus.

Category 1
Check the ones that best apply:
S/he seems like a stranger.
I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall.
I am very afraid of his/her anger.
S/he abuses alcohol.
S/he overuses drugs (recreational or prescription)
S/he is having an affair.
I strongly suspect s/he is having an affair.
I’m on total pins and needles around him/her
Sometimes I want to knock him/her alongside the head.
We seem to argue and fight constantly.
S/he does his own thing, I do mine.
I find it extremely difficult to function some days.
I feel totally sad and helpless.
I’m a wimp around him/her.
Any little thing will set us off.
I so desperately want to talk and s/he won’t.
I often think about divorce.
My pain and emptiness is incredible.
If it weren’t for the children, I would be outta here.
My frustration is off the chart.
Total the number of checkmarks for Category 1


Category 2
Check the ones that best apply:
I care about him/her and am pretty sure s/he cares about me.
There is tension when we talk about important issues.
I sometimes find myself trying to “read” him/her.
I measure my words when we talk.
It seems like we both want our relationship to work.
I want to feel much more supported.
I can predict when we will get “stuck.”
I don’t want to hurt him/her.
His/her irritability and frustration often bothers me.
Agreeing on parenting and finances is sometimes a problem.
I sometimes feel very needy.
It is very important that I not fail in this relationship.
I often feel like I must be very careful with him/her.
I sometimes wish s/he would change.
I think we have some secrets.
I’m afraid I will upset him/her.
I often don’t understand the problem with him/her.
I sometimes feel much unappreciated.
I want to back away frequently and don’t understand why.
Things from the past keep bothering me.
  Total the number of checkmarks for Category 2


Category 3
Check the ones that best apply:
We’ve come a long way.
S/he’s not perfect, but I respect many qualities about him/her.
I look forward to getting old with him/her.
We do fairly well at managing our family life and money.
We’ve had tough times, but we’ve seemed to work through them.
I would like to know him/her better.
I’m working through my pain from the past.
We have rough edges, but it seems workable.
I feel comfortable around him/her.
We’ve talked about what we need from each other.
I want more.
We share some good laughs with each other.
I know s/he cares about me.
I look forward to spending time with him/her.
S/he seems to appreciate my hobbies and interests
I try to be aware of his/her needs.
We do a good job of managing our life and family.
I believe we are just beginning to grow.
I can share with him/her and know most times, it will be accepted.
S/he is trustworthy.
  Total the number of checkmarks for Category 3


Enter the total number of check marks for each category.

Category # of Checkmarks Type of Marrage
1 Red
2 Yellow
3 Green


The Category with the most check marks will indicate which type of marriage characterizes your relationship.

Basically, the red, yellow or green status reflects the amount of safety, comfort and acceptance you feel in your marriage.

Red marriages are characterized by a high degree of mistrust and distance. There may be little or no effective engagement or communication. There may be an extremely high level of frustration, resentment and irritability. It may be verbalized or reside just beneath the surface. Thirdly, the red marriage may be characterized by disruptive conflict. Verbal, emotional and/or physical abuse may abide in the red marriage.

The yellow marriage carries a tone of wariness and ambivalence. You trust…somewhat. There is a mutual commitment to grow the marriage but the yellow marriage may not know exactly where to start or what path to chart. There may be distance – sometimes. There may be conflict – sometimes. There may be frustration – maybe quite often.

However, these bouts of negativity and reactivity may not last that long and you usually find ways to end or “make up.”

What to say and how to say it may be problematic. There is a desire to know and be known, for the most part, but it’s difficult to find the words to express what one truly wants to say.

Both of you also do some experimenting with different ways to break through your difficult times and discover new ways to alleviate the tension, although these new ways often lack staying power.

The yellow marriage seeks input and guidance to help break the impasses and find ways to create the trusting love that both want.

The Green marriage is characterized by those who have not merely survived the marital wars but have broken through old patterns, have a respect and acceptance for one another, are conscious of personal needs and work well together in managing their life.

Those in a green marriage want MORE. Both commit to knowing and being known more powerfully and co-creating something richer and more deeply satisfying than they presently experience.

They see their marriage as a resource, as a beginning point for creating not merely a deeper and richer marriage but using that marriage as a springboard for the personal advancement of each in the relationship (and for their children and others around them as well.)