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For Your Marriage

Family of Origin Exercise

In my family of origin…

Affection was:

A. Shown warmly and often

B. Rarely shown in public

C. Other __________________________

My home was usually:

A. Neat and clean

B. Comfortably cluttered

C. Other __________________________

Decision making was done by:

A. Father

B. Mother

C. Both parents in consultation

D. Everyone in the home (including the kids)

E. Default (Nobody seemed to make decisions. Life just happened.)

F. Other _____________________________

When my parents disagreed or fought:

A. They yelled and screamed

B. One usually gave in to the other

C. They compromised

D. They separated to cool off

E. One or both used the “silent treatment”

F. I wouldn’t know. They never fought in front of me.

G. Other ____________________________

Responsibility for keeping the home picked up belonged to:

A. Everyone picked up after themselves

B. Mother or father picked up after the kids

C. I never noticed. It was never an issue.

D. Nobody picked up. (It was pretty messy.)

Privacy was:

A. Respected

B. A sign of secretiveness and selfishness

Money was:

A. Saved for a rainy day

B. Spent only on necessities

C. We were always in debt

D. Used freely for recreational pursuits

E. Other ______________________________

Relationships were:

A. Close. We had many times of fun together.

B. Cordial, but each person primarily recreated by themselves

C. Strained

D. Other ______________________________

Household chores were divided according to:

A. “Women’s work” or “Men’s work”

B. Who had the most time or skill at the chore

C. Both parents took equal responsibility

D. Other ________________________________________

On Sunday or religious holy days we would:

A. Go to religious services together

B. One parent would attend services, the other stayed home.

C. Neither parent was involved in an organized religion.

D. Other _________________________________________

On Christmas, we:

A. Put a tree up and decorated early

B. Christmas Eve was the big celebration when we opened presents

C. Santa Claus decorated the tree when the kids were asleep and we opened gifts Christmas morning.

D. We’re non-Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas

E. Other _______________________________


Exchange answers with your fiancé(e). Which experience of your fiancé(e) is most different from yours? Discuss what impact this might have on your future marriage.