September 12, 2021

How to know if you are compatible for marriage

Young Family in Marriage Divorce Concept


How can you know if you are compatible for marriage? This is the second episode of a series on Getting Ready for Marriage. ​In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses the tools and conversations to have to help you decide if you are compatible for marriage. 



  • Relationship assessments that can help you know your relationship strengths and weaknesses
  • How creating a family tree can help you recognize and deal with generational patterns


1. Why I am doing this series on Getting Ready for Marriage:

It’s wedding season now and I had a wedding photographer reach out to me asking me to provide some tips for couples getting married. I created an entire checklist for her with the things I think are foundational for getting ready for marriage and starting off your marriage on the right foot. If you want the checklist, you can download it here!

2. My story with incompatible relationship partners: 

In my family tree for the past 3-4 generations, there have been patterns of unavailable men, single moms, alcoholism, obesity, military service, and multi-generational trauma.  I had to work with a therapist to recognize how my habits of selecting dating partners were unknowingly replicated the patterns of my family tree, and I worked with a therapist to start changing the pattern and start choosing different types of romantic partners. Once I started changing the pattern and picking different people, I found my husband <3. 

Couple in Love Embracing Outdoors

3. Relationship assessments and compatibility for marriage: Relationship assessments are research validated tools to assess your relationship strengths and weaknesses. The first three are the only three recommended by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, but the Gottman one is often popular as well. 

I always recommend the RELATE relationship assessment because you can get the results directly without needing a therapist too interpret the results for you”

Elizabeth Polinsky 

4. Understanding your family patterns and compatibility for marriage: Many things run in families and you see them happen generation after generation. Knowing what patterns run in your family, as well as your partner’s family, can help prepare you to try to prevent the same patterns happening in your relationship. A marriage and family therapist can help you build a family tree to better understand your family patterns and how that could impact your relationship. You can also download this form here to start discussing this with your partner! Patterns to discuss include: 

  1. Medical problems that run in your families
  2. Psychological/ Mental Health problems that run in your families
  3. Relational patterns such as divorce, affairs, trauma, difficulty with boundaries, etc., than run in your families

Action Steps:​Discuss plan for which patterns you want to change and how you may go about that as a couple. Download this fillable worksheet to get you started. 

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Adventure Challenge  is a mysterious scratch off book of 50 unique and creative adventures. You don’t know what you’re doing until you scratch it off! The goal is to inspire connection in your relationships through adventures and fun.  There are 3 editions–one for couples, one for families, and one for friends. If you are feeling in a rut in your relationships  and in need of adventure, this is a perfect book to get out outside of your normal routine and into fun experiences aimed at bringing you closer together. To get 15% off the adventure challenge, go to or enter “CONNECT15”.

Thanks for Listening!


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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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