This Simple Test Will Reveal What You Value Most In Relationships

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couple embracing by window

I’m going to tell you a story.

A husband, his wife, and two other men are the only survivors of an ocean plane crash. Unfortunately, the husband swam to a different island than his wife and the two other men, who all swam together.

The wife was absolutely devastated. She spent days and days sitting at the water’s edge, staring in the direction of her husbands’ island, wailing and screaming out for him in absolute heartbreak. After several weeks, she absolutely couldn’t cope with being away from him any longer, so she approached the two other men on her island to ask them to help her get across to him.

Man #1 shook his head.

“I’m so sorry, but I can’t get you to the other island,” he told her.

“But, if you choose to stay here with me, I’ll build you a house, I’ll hunt for you and supply food for you and keep you safe. I’ll look after you, but I just can’t take you to your husband.”

The woman then went and asked Man #2, who told her he could actually help her out, but with a catch.

“I can get you to your husband,” he said.

“I’ll build a boat and even take you over myself and deliver you to him, but only if you have sex with me.”

The woman was faced with an impossible choice —​ she could forget her husband, stay on the island and be provided for, or she could break her wedding vows, but ultimately end up with the man she loved more than anything in the world.

After spending a fretful day with her thoughts, the woman decided she simply couldn’t live without her husband, no matter what the cost, so went and reluctantly informed Man #2 she would agree to his terms.

He stuck to his word. He built a boat and ferried the wife across to her husband. As they approached the island, though, he stopped and told the wife it was time to fulfill her end of the bargain and sleep with him. She could see her husband jumping up and down and waving on the shore of his island, and so begged Man #2 to let her go without making her break her marital vow. But he didn’t budge; instead, threatened to turn the boat around if she didn’t pay up. So the wife gave in and had sex with him.

Once the deed was done, the man finally dropped her off on the island. When she approached her husband, beyond relieved to finally be with him again, he turned away from her.

“I saw you having sex with that man, and I want nothing to do with you,” he said, ignoring her desperate explanations, saying it was the only way to get to him again.

Now, in your head, put the four people in this story in order of who was, in your personal view, the most correct to who was the least in relation to the way each character in the story behaved in reaction to their given circumstances.


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The order of most to least correct will tell you what quality you value most in your relationships…

If you put the wife first…

In this scenario, the wife represents love, so putting her first means you value love above everything else in your relationship.

You’re the kind of person who will fall deeply and madly in love — and if you fall for someone, you give them everything you have. Just like the wife, you’ll do anything for the person you’re with because you believe love conquers all, and no matter what, your love for each other will be enough to get through the best and worst of times. You’ve been known to say you give unconditional love

While love is a crucial part of any relationship and it definitely seems romantic to value love above everything else, this can lead to some negative scenarios  like staying in a dead-end relationship for longer than you would if you didn’t place a such high value on love.

Also, if you’re in a relationship with someone who values something other than love first — like their career, you run the risk of having arguments or a disconnect between you and your partner. While you might ditch a night with the girls to spend it with your SO because you love them, they might not always be willing to do the same in return.

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If you put the husband first…

The husband in this story represents loyalty, which is why he dismisses the wife once she has broken their wedding vows and slept with another man, no matter the excuse. Putting him first means you consider loyalty to be the most important part of a relationship.

You’re the sort of person who will devote yourself to the person you’re with. You don’t believe there are any gray areas when it comes to love — you’re either in a committed, loyal relationship with one person, or you’re single. You’re a ride-or-die sort of person; if you’re with someone, you’re with them 100 percent. You would rather be hurt by the truth than protected by lies. Cheating, lying, and breaking promises are among your number one deal-breakers in a relationship.

However, while loyalty is important, it can be blinding. People who value loyalty can often be very proud, and, in most cases, having devoted and blinding loyalty can often be worse than having none at all.

RELATED: Losing Yourself In A Relationship Isn't Love — It's A Lie

If you put Man #1 first…

If you believe the first man, who offered to build the wife's shelter and provide for her, was the most correct in this story, you value stability and security in relationships above all else.

You’re the sort of person who likes to know what’s happening next and probably has backup plans for your backup plans, seven savings accounts, and three safety-net careers to fall back on. You like to play it safe, aren’t really a risk-taker, and secretly can’t wait for your relationships to reach the ‘comfortable’ stage.

Valuing security and stability is fine and it’s a natural human instinct to be safe, but things get a bit messy if you’re the kind of person who always wants to be ‘saved’ and protected by their significant other. This usually means you have lower self-esteem and rely on building yourself up through your romantic relationships. You should be capable of saving yourself and not relying on others for your security, so getting too comfortable being looked after can be risky.

If you put Man #2 first…

If you thought the second man, who used his position of power to extort sex out of the wife, was the most justified person, this means you value power over any other aspect of your relationship.

This might seem immediately bad, but there are some positives to valuing power. Power defines the way humans relate to one another, so people who have high levels of power often get listened to more, and their priorities are paid attention to.

If you value power, you’re all about getting what you want. You’re very driven and motivated and will do whatever you need to do to make it work, or get the outcome you desire most. This can be a really awesome thing in love  if what you want is a good relationship, you will do everything in your power to make it a reality. If fact, having shared and equal amounts of power is the ideal relationship dynamic.

The problems arise once you have more or less power than your significant other. People who gaslight their partners usually do so to have the upper hand, and people who are in abusive relationships tend to have less power than their abusers, so like Uncle Ben told Peter Parker in the iconic comic book tale of Spiderman, you should always remember that with great power comes great responsibility. So use it wisely in your relationships.

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Kassi Klower is a writer who focuses on politics, mental health, and relationships. 

This article was originally published at SheSaid. Reprinted with permission from the author.