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Imagine evaluating the quality of your partner by adding and subtracting merit/demerit points on hot-button issues such as letting them sleep in on Sundays. Back in the 1930s, the Marital Rating Scale, which rates qualities such as this (and way worse), was once used to determine marital success. Messed up, right? It gets worse.

To collect these ridiculous qualities in a mate, Dr. George W. Crane, Ph. D., M.D. (the Marital Rating Scale’s creator) interviewed 600 husbands on their wives’ positive and negative qualities then narrowed it down to the 50 most popular (12 of which you can see in the photo below). The cherry on top of this not-so-credible sundae of bullshit science was that Crane admitted without an ounce of shame that he used personal bias when weighing the items most important in marriage. (Evidently, a second opinion on red nail polish wasn’t necessary.)

marital rating scale

If you still can’t make sense of this barely legible rating scale (it is over 80 years old), I will highlight a few of the more standout behaviours on the chart:

Merits:

  • Dresses for breakfast
  • Personally puts children to bed
  • Never goes to bed angry, always makes up first
  • Lets husband sleep late on Sundays and holidays

Demerits:

  • Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly
  • Wears red nail polish
  • Seams in hose often crooked
  • Goes to bed with curlers on her hair or much face cream
  • Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them

The test was intended to help husbands and wives exchange “constructive feedback” by highlighting frequent sources of irritation by calling out what ticks the other off. The results would then categorize the spouse on a scale from “very poor” to Stepford (a.k.a “very superior”). But it doesn’t end there. Men had a test of their own.

marital rating scale

Here are some highlights from theirs.

Merits:

  • Gives wife ample allowance or turns pay check over to her
  • Frequently compliments wife re looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc.
  • Reads newspaper, books or magazines aloud to wife

Demerits:

  • Reads newspaper at the table
  • Fails to come to table promptly when meal is ready
  • Compares wife unfavorably with his mother or other wives
  • Leaves dresser drawers open

Perhaps even more worrisome was that after the chart’s creation, this pseudo-love doctor then launched his own matchmaking service, a “sort of low-tech version of the popular matchmaking website eHarmony” according to American Psychological Association’s magazine.  And despite his now-controversial approach, many of his methods (which were greatly respected at the time) are still used by leading matchmaking companies — like rating partner’s characteristics, for instance.

Since times have certainly changed for the better, we here thought it would be fun to revamp some of these dated behaviours with those more appropriate to modern relationships.

Merit:

  • Deletes all exes from social media networks once things become official
  • Wishes Happy Birthday through text, phone call, Facebook and in person
  • Provides passwords to social media networks upon request
  • Sexts once or twice a week
  • Knows that Sunday nights are reserved solely for HBO

Demerit:

  • Plays Candy Crush while out for dinner
  • Doesn’t clear porn history
  • Changes relationship status to “It’s Complicated” after minor argument
  • Binge watches Netflix behind your back
  • Likes too many Instagram photos of one particular member of the opposite sex

Humour aside, if nothing else, there is a positive spin to Crane’s chart. This cryptic spin being that if your husband’s affinity to read the newspaper at the table is the biggest concern in your marriage, things really aren’t so bad. Just paint your nails red and get even.