Taking the Inventory

Can I use the Better Together Inventory as a part of my marriage prep, all of my marriage prep, or outside of my marriage prep?

Absolutely. Your parish will determine the requirements for your marriage prep. In some cases, all you may need to do is an inventory. Sometimes the inventory is only one part of your marriage preparation.  Either way, the Inventory was designed to fit both of these scenarios.

If you are not a part of a formal marriage preparation process, if your parish uses a different inventory, or if your parish doesn’t use an inventory at all, you are still welcome to use the Inventory!

How do I take the test?

Once you or your facilitator has filled out the Get Started form, each participant will be emailed a link to his or her questionnaire. There are 150 questions and it takes an average of 20 minutes to complete. We recommend setting aside 45 uninterrupted minutes so you can go at your own pace. Each page has 10 questions. You must answer all the questions on a page before moving to the next page, and you cannot go back once you have moved on to the next page. Once both parties have completed the inventory, the facilitator will receive an email with a link to the results. It is the facilitator’s responsibility to get in touch with the couple to share next steps.

Do I have to do it in one sitting?

Yes, you need to complete the inventory in one sitting. There is no option to save and come back later. The inventory is intentionally designed to be done in one sitting. We encourage couples to set aside a block of time, get in the right frame of mind, and really think about the questions.

How long should this take?

The inventory takes an average of 20 minutes to complete, but it will take some people 45-60 minutes. Go at your own pace and answer each question thoughtfully.

Why must I either “agree” or “disagree” with a statement? Sometimes I don’t feel strongly one way or other.

When developing and testing the inventory, we found that by providing the option to neither agree nor disagree, we cheated couples out of the most helpful and informative results. Having to pick an answer forces an individual to be very honest with themselves and their future spouse about each question. If you read a question and start to think your answer is “sometimes” or “it depends” or “neither,” read it again and think about what it is like, or would be like to be, in that scenario. Then chose an option. Requiring you to select an answer will help you get the most out of your conversations with your spouse or your time with your facilitator.

What happens when I’m done?

When you hit Submit, a “thank you” page will appear so you know that we received your answers. As each person submits their assessment, the facilitator will receive an email. Your facilitator will be in touch with you regarding next steps.

Who can take the Better Together Inventory?

Anyone can take the Better Together Inventory. If you are married or dating you can use the program. The inventory was designed specifically for couples who are engaged and preparing for marriage, so there may be some questions that aren't relevant to a dating or married couple. However, the goal of the inventory is still the same - to spark great conversation.

What if I input the wrong email address or don't receive my email link?

If you do not receive your email with a link to the inventory, check your spam folder to see if it is there. If you suspect you entered your email address incorrectly, please fill out the form again. You and your partner will both receive new links.

Analyzing the Results

How do I get my results?

Results will be emailed to the facilitator as each party completes his or her inventory.

How do I interpret scores and results?

Every question is worth up to four points. Each individual is awarded points for each question based on how far their answer is from the “preferred” or “best” answer. For example, if the statement is “I am attracted to my future spouse,” the preferred answer is “strongly agree.” If you respond “strongly agree,” you will be awarded four points. If you answer “agree,” you will be awarded three points. If you answer “disagree,” you will be awarded two points. And if you answer “strongly disagree,” you will be awarded one point. An individual’s score for each category is a percentage, based on their total number of points out of the total possible points for each category. These numbers (or percentages) also indicate an individual’s relative strengths and areas for improvement. For example, if an individual scores 85 in the Religion and Spirituality category and a 75 in the Intimacy category, then Religion and Spirituality is a relative strength compared to Intimacy.

The color of each answer will also indicate how close and individual’s response is to the preferred answer. If an answer is orange, your response is a less preferred answer. If an answer is navy blue, your response is the “best” or close to the “best” answer. In looking at the previous example, if you respond “strongly agree” or “agree,” the answer will be navy blue. If you respond “disagree” or “strongly disagree,” the answer will be orange.

Individuals are also able to see their score for each sub category. This allows a couple to really dive into strengths and growth area.

As a reminder the purpose of the Better Together Inventory is to spark conversation. While the numbers will give you an objective overview of the relationship, they are not meant to define or label a couple. They are meant to help drive and guide a purposeful and fruitful conversation between two people in an effort to help them learn about one another and grow.

Are there additional resources that will help us grow as a couple?

Dynamic Catholic has some great books and CDs that will help you and your future spouse strengthen your relationship now as an engaged couple and in the future has husband and wife. We also recommend attending a Dynamic Catholic Passion & Purpose for Marriage event in a city near you!

Additional Resources:

What is a relative strength and a relative weakness?

The Better Together Inventory looks at individual couples. Your scores are a reflection of your strengths and areas for improvement relative to your overall inventory scores in all categories.

Facilitating A Discussion

As a facilitator, what do I do when I receive a couples’ results?

The first step is to reach out to the couple and schedule a time to meet and discuss the results. We have put together several videos and a PDF to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to effectively and pastorally minister to the couple.

What do I do if I’m a facilitator and I misplace or don’t receive the email with the link to my couple’s results page?

First, check your spam folder. If the email isn’t there and you are still having trouble, please email us at MarriagePrep@DynamicCatholic.com. Please include your name, email, and the bride’s and the groom’s name.

Do I need to be formally trained to be a facilitator to use the Better Together Inventory Experience?

There is no required training to administer the Inventory, but we highly recommend that facilitators utilize our training videos and resources.

What are the Four Horsemen?

The Four Horsemen is a concept developed by Dr. John Gottman, a therapist known for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction. By observing the ways couples interact, Dr. Gottman determined there are four categories that describe interaction patterns between a couple. These “four horsemen” give a sense of the overall health of a relationship. The four categories are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Want to learn more about the Four Horsemen? Watch this video {link to training video on the Four Horsemen}

About the Better Together Inventory

What is the Better Together Inventory?

The Better Together Inventory is an assessment tool for couples preparing for marriage. It consists of 150 questions that help couples take an objective look at various areas of their relationship. The main purpose: to spark great conversation. Both the bride and the groom complete and submit the assessment on their own. Results for the couple are generated based on each person’s answers and will highlight relative strengths and relative areas for improvement.

What is the cost?

Thanks to the generosity of Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors, the Better Together Inventory Experience is available for free for anyone who wants to participate.

What makes the Better Together Inventory unique?

The Inventory was specifically designed to spark conversation between a bride and a groom about their relationship. Developed over the course of a year and a half, the Better Together Inventory is based on scientific research and data, as well as Catholic philosophy. The Facilitator Report is simple and easy to use, and it highlights areas of relative strengths and areas that present opportunities for improvement for an individual couple. The Inventory allows the couple to objectively evaluate their specific relationship and discuss expectations, concerns, feelings, and practical matters. And, it’s free and available to everyone.

Do I need to be a part of a formal Marriage Preparation Program to use the Better Together Inventory?

No. Anyone is welcome to use the Better Together Inventory at any time to enrich their relationship or marriage. It is an opportunity to see areas for growth, as well as a tool to spark specific conversation with your partner.

Can I use the Better Together Inventory if I am dating or already married, or do I have to be engaged?

The Better Together Inventory was specifically created for couples preparing for marriage, but couples in all stages of a relationship can use the questions. We hope anyone who is interested in the Better Together Inventory will find a way to use it. Your conversations will be very different depending on whether you are dating or have been married for 25 years, but the end goal is the same: learning about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. Some questions may not fit your exact relationship stage, and that is okay—you can still use the tool.

Will this inventory tell me if we should get married?

No. The purpose of the inventory is not to tell you whether or not you can or should get married. The purpose is to facilitate and encourage great conversation.

What topics does the inventory cover?

There are 8 categories, each with several sub-categories:

  • 1) The Four Horsemen
    • a. Criticism
    • b. Contempt
    • c. Defensiveness
    • d. Stonewalling
  • 2) Positive/Negative Sentiment Override
    • a. Positive Sentiment
    • b. Negative Sentiment
  • 3) Intimacy
    • a. Sexuality
    • b. Respect
    • c. Affection
    • d. Connection
  • 4) Practical Issues
    • a. Finances
    • b. Parenting
    • c. Commitment
    • d. Family Size
  • 5) Personality
    • a. Mutual Friendship
    • b. Family Support
    • c. Lifestyle Expectations
    • d. Openness/Flexibility
  • 6) Personal Problems/Concerns
    • a. Drugs, Alcohol, Porn, Safety
    • b. Emotion Regulation
    • c. Past History Concerns
  • 7) Religion and Spirituality
  • 8) Communication
    • a. Empathy
    • b. Expression
    • c. Taking Responsibility
    • d. Conflict

Contact Dynamic Catholic

How do I contact Dynamic Catholic if I have questions or feedback?

We are always looking for ways to improve our programs. If you have questions or suggestions or are in need of technical help, please email us at MarriagePrep@DynamicCatholic.com.