1. Relationship uncertainty: How sure are you that you will stay in the relationship (self uncertainty)? How sure are you that your partner will stay with you (partner uncertainty)? How sure are you that your relationship will continue? This key factor becomes a major predictive piece of RTT’s approach to understanding whether your relationship is in trouble or not.
2. Taking conflict personally: Do you tend to let problems get to you, even if they are only minor in nature? Do conflicts with your partner lead you to feel victimized?
3. “Cognitive jealousy”: Think back on those conversations with the co-worker. Do you see threats to your relationship when none, realistically, exist? Do you ask yourself, on a frequent basis, whether your partner is or may be attracted to someone else? In the RTT model, cognitive jealousy adds to relationship uncertainty to doom, potentially, your satisfaction with your partner.
4. “Emotional jealousy”: How upset do or would you get when certain events with your partner occur? Do your emotions get aroused when you think your partner is cheating on you? Or, if your partner hasn’t engaged in anything suspicious, how aroused would you get?
5. Goal-blocking vs. help by your partner: Does your partner try to keep you from accomplishing what you need and want to do? If you make a set of plans for the day, does your partner seem to keep you from finishing those plans? Or does your partner ask how he or she can help you get done what’s needed in order for you to achieve your goals?
6. Ability to communicate directly to your partner: When you’re bothered by your spouse, are you able to talk about your irritation? Do you express these feelings directly? If you’re feeling jealous, are you able to share these feelings with your partner? The Penn State researchers believed that communication quality factors heavily into relationship turbulence.
7. Avoidance of difficult topics: Do you actively keep from talking about areas of importance in your relationship that have caused problems before? Do you make excuses to yourself (i.e., things aren’t that bad) so that you don’t have to bring up these touchy issues?
8. Negative affect: How often do you feel angry, hurt, sad, or afraid with your partner? Would you describe your feelings at home or within the relationship as less pleasant than your feelings in situations outside the relationship?