chapter  14
10 Pages

Techniques of Marital Contracting

The use of a contracting approach is more likely to work under certain conditions. First, both partners should be fully engaged in the therapeutic process. A contract cannot be developed by just one spouse. Both must be present and be working toward the same basic goal-to make the marriage fulfill their needs more effectively. Second, the partners must be relatively compliant, cooperative, and caring. If the couple are too angry, focused on externalizing or blaming each other, locked in a power struggle or impasse, this approach is not indicated. Third, each spouse must be willing to change his or her own behavior. They must both agree to try something different. Compromise is an important concept for the couple to comprehend. Each must know that by giving up something they value, they will gain other benefits.