Northwestern University’s George W. Crane (1901–1995) was an M.D. and Ph.D. who ran a counseling practice and matchmaking service, wrote an advice column called “The Worry Clinic,” and devised a handy rating scale for husbands and wives. The lists were drawn from interviews Crane conducted with 600 husbands and 600 wives. While the items thus represented an early attempt at a scientific method for assessing marriages, Crane conceded that the points he assigned to various items were based on his personal judgment.
Some of Crane’s criteria are decidedly antique — for example, a husband might earn a demerit for regaling his wife with tales of “the efficiency of his stenographer” — but others have held up surprisingly well: like the 20-point bonus for a husband who is an “ardent lover” and “sees that wife has orgasm in marital congress.” Crane’s scoring system appears in The Marriage Book, a collection of “centuries of advice, inspiration, and cautionary tales” edited by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen Adler (out this week from Simon & Schuster).
Take the quiz below to see how you or your partner fare by the relationship standards of 1939.