Strengthen Our Marriage: Let’s meet Betty and Bill.

Strengthen Our Marriage

Betty and Bill both had active careers before they married.  When Betty got pregnant Bill suggested that she stay home to raise the children.  She loved her career, but she considered staying home.  For some reason that she couldn’t quite identify she was really uncomfortable quitting her fulltime job.  Something just told her, “Don’t do that.”  After a long struggle, she did resign.  She did, however, continue to do some consulting assignments from time to time for her old boss Don, as well as some consulting for former co-workers who got hired away to other companies.

They have the two children they wanted to have. She really loved having them and staying home with them in the early years, particularly before they went to school.  Now they are in school and doing well. They really don’t need her anywhere near as much as they did.  The more consulting work she does, the more she wants to be around the people at work.  She tells Bill that she wants to consider going back to work.  In fact Don just told her about a job opportunity that really interests her.  She tells Bill.

Bill says, “Stay home.  You don’t need to work – I make plenty of money.”  Betty gets that old nagging feeling she got just before she quit her full-time job. Going back to work full time just seems so right for her now.  And, the more Don tells her about this new opportunity, the better it sounds.

The more excited Betty gets about this new job, the more Bill resists it.  She says, “You’re trying to control me. This is my big chance – it’s in sales, and I am really good at sales.  I can make huge commissions – I want to go for it.”

He says, “We have a good life.  Why do you want to disrupt the kid’s and my life this way?”

Suddenly Bill needs to work late more.  Is he really working late or is he going to dinner with someone who is consoling him because he tells her that his wife doesn’t appreciate what good care he takes of her and the kids?

Now let’s see what Betty and Bill do to strengthen their marriage.

Print out the test results so that you can look at these test results while you read about Betty and Bill.

Open Betty’s and Bill’s test results here:

Why do they have these conflicts?  Betty’s and Bill’s PSAs© tell us.  Let’s look at them and find out.  Read 1.-9.  Sometimes being very different can cause a conflict – like in

1.  But when Bill saw that Betty was so low in being a traditional female, he realized that she simply could not stay home any more.  That is simply not going to work.

Now look at 2.  Both agreed not to work late unless there was a must-handle-now client emergency.  And on the weekends they always have Date Night.

Now look at 3.  Betty likes to have a career, but she doesn’t need to make the decisions. Bill makes good decisions.  He has learned to listen to what she wants.  They create options together.  She typically says, “I could do option 1., 2. or 3.  You decide.”  And he does.

Now look at 4.  Autonomy means each can handle any complete project without asking anyone.  How do they handle this?  When there’s a project to do, whoever feels stronger about it gets to do it.  The other one has to live with the results.  If each one feels strongly they flip a coin or split it.

Look at the Chart.  Begin to guess what Bill and Betty can do.  Then read the rest of what we say they can do. You might think of much more than we do.  There are lots of ways to solve each one.

Now look at 5.  Bill had no idea that Betty’s need to make money is stronger than 98% of us.  Guess he will just have to relax and get used to more money.

Now look at 6.  Why would either one be Optimistic when they love each other but are so unhappy and don’t see why?  However, as they work this out their Optimism goes up.

Now look at 7.  Neither gives the other’s view any serious consideration – how could either feel valued?   Each one can learn to consider the other’s views – and practice that.

Now look at 8. Big gap here.  She takes care to be sure that he gets his emotional needs met – and what happens to hers?

Now look at 9.  When he doesn’t meet her emotional needs and seriously prefers to be alone, how will she  get her needs met when she stays home, too?  She can safely get attention by interacting with people at work and church.

Once they understand their similarities and differences they can select intelligent ways to get both his and her needs met and be happy in the marriage.

Glance at the other 23 personality strengths.  What do you see?

1.  For instance, look at Aggression and Aesthetic Value (Harmony).  Bill values Harmony, and he is Aggressive.  Could he perhaps learn other ways to get what he wants rather than being Aggressive?  He is high in Ability to Ask for Help.  Who could he ask to teach him other ways to get what he wants?

2.  Look at Change – Betty is high in this.  Once someone teaches Bill more ways to get what he wants could Betty help him makes these changes permanent?

You may want to look at other ways that Bill and Betty can help each other because of each one’s personality strengths.  Fill in the blanks with what you think….When you and your life partner get your PSAs© you can fill them in, too.

Can the two of you use your PSAs© to see how you as a couple can strengthen your marriage?

You betcha!

You already learned a lot about how a couple can use a PSA© by reading about Betty and Bill.   You know a lot about your current situation.

1.  If you haven’t already done so:  Print out Bill’s and Betty’s PSAs©.  You can print out this case study, too.  Scan them and save them as a document in a folder named “Our PSAs© and Our Marriage.”

2.  Go back to the Home Page and order your PSA©.  When you take your tests:  Think of yourself as you are when you are at your very best.

3.  After you get your PSAs©:  Use them to help you understand how to use your PSAs© to see how to use each person’s personality strengths to make your couple relationship to be all that it can be.

4.  The more you think together about your strengths the more you will see how to make them work together…and you get to see how they build together for all of your life.

You can do this!


This website and this case study are expert advice about how to use your PSA©.  For more expert advice you can take your PSAs© to a counselor in your city.

Or you and Dr. Knolle can use your PSA© and Worksheet and strategize together in her office in Houston or Galveston, Texas or on the phone. Email her through our Contact Us page to set this up.


Enjoy having more fun in your marriage!

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