Probably one of the weirdest moments I’ve experienced since moving to Alberta would include my first visit to our new family doctor.
Ready to give a full health background and discuss my physical well-being, I was quite shocked to be asked a very personal question. After the quick introduction and family talk, the first thing my new doctor asked me was – “Between 1 to 10, how would you rate your marriage today?”
My first response (with a little skepticism) was – “Um… What’s it matter to you?” But – according to the new Doc, our marriage has A LOT to do with my health. Interesting… Normally, I would have told anyone to mind their own business, but as Doc explained his reasoning, I was intrigued that he was even remotely interested in outside influences, ie. marriage, that could have any impact, good or bad, on my overall health.
Now that I think of it, having a Doc who isn’t interested in my emotional, physical AND mental health is kind of like having a financial planner who isn’t interested in my bad debt, personal values, AND goals in life…
So now it goes to say with every visit, instead of the usual “How are you feeling today?”, I’m faced with rating my marriage before a health professional. Although the answer sometimes can be quite revealing on an intimate level, it’s blatancy forces me to account for a lot in one single digit number…
Thankfully, my reluctant answer rocked Doc off his feet when I gave him a curt “8/9 out of 10”. He was actually surprised that I gave anything over 5! Now it was MY turn to be shocked – how could most of his married patients report a mere 5 out of 10?? The answer to that question is apparently “classified”, but it surprised me to hear that they were merely existing in their marriages.
I must admit that although I’m not at the doctor’s to discuss my marital relationship, it has forced me to reflect on the impact my marriage could be having on my health. Marriage isn’t just the wedding or the anniversary – it’s the everyday. And to that effect I’m sure that my rating has changed quite variably between my quarterly visits with Doc.
This simple rating of course doesn’t place my marriage at the root of my health problems – but now I am the more wise to recognize any pattern between marital discord and surfacing health issues.
I’m interested to know where you would rate your marriage TODAY… I understand this is a personal question and albeit a tough one to quantify – but just think of it as a little poll. Feel free to come back tomorrow and change your mind – after all, marriage isn’t a joy-ride everyday. I’m just hoping that over time, I can gauge the feelings of other married couples and the states of their marriage.
How many of us are living blissful marriages? How many of us are in a marriage prison? And do you notice/feel it’s impact on your current physical/mental/emotional health?
I’ll be honest and say that we’ve hit every number from 1 to 10 over our five years of marriage. And I would also say that those numbers would fairly accurately correspond with my well-being over the course of events and milestones that we’ve shared.
So give it a chance and be honest – How happy are you in your marriage today?