chapter  14
27 Pages

The Marriage Survival Kit: A Research-Based Marital Therapy

The concept that underlies the development of the theory of our approach is that marital intervention and prevention programs ought to be developed empirically by studying the longitudinal course of marriages and understanding what is "dysfunctional" when a marriage is ailing. Although there are many hypotheses about this issue, very few of them have received empirical support, and so most of them are myths that need to be dispelled. To study this question, our laboratories have examined the correlates of marital satisfaction and misery, the longitudinal predictors of divorce, and the predictors of marital satisfaction among stable marriages. However, it has turned out to be the case that we also need to understand the correlates of well-functioning marriages, and that additional information is supplied by attempting to understand what well-functioning couples are doing to maintain intimacy in their marriages. These two questions leave unresolved the issue of what the etiology is of the indices and predictors of ailing marriages. We need to understand how people get into these muddles that are predictive of marital meltdown.