A satisfying marriage has many factors and can be defined in many different ways. Each individual in a committed relationship has their own needs, expectations, and beliefs. This paper will cover general topics that contribute to marital satisfaction and maintaining long-term intimate relationships. The institution of marriage provides stability for adults, children and our society. Individuals in a healthy marriage have greater emotional and financial security than those who are single. Children whose parents are happily married are physically and emotionally healthier and are more likely to attend college. According to Fagan, Rector, Johnson, and Peterson (2002):
A child living alone with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than is a child living with both biological parents united in marriage. A child whose mother cohabits with a man who is not the child’s father is 33 times more likely to suffer serious physical child abuse than is a child living with both biological parents in an intact marriage. (p. 28)
Marriage benefits society because it changes people’s lifestyles and habits in a way that encourages prosocial behavior. Married couples are more likely to raise healthy kids, be more spiritual and have greater generosity than single people.
Marriage is an important foundation for society, so it is important to understand what constitutes a satisfying long-term relationship. The divorce rate is hovering around 50 percent as of 2016, which is too high given the financial and emotional consequences of a separation. Some couple’s personalities are incompatible and simply cannot be happy together even with the most effective intervention. Other couples possess basic compatibility; however, lack communication skills to sustain a long-term relationship. This paper will focus on healthy communication strategies that promote the well-being of marriage. The following topics and concepts are specific to traditional marriages between a man and a woman; however, non-traditional relationships can also benefit from this information. I have found it challenging to maintain a long-term connection in my own marriage, so I have a vested personal interest in this topic. The motivation for this paper is to uncover the secrets which comprise long-term successful marriages.
Aronson, E. (2011). Social animal (11th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.
Brown, B. (2010). The gifts of imperfection: let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. Center City, MN: Hazelden
Fagan, P., Rector, R., Johnson, K., Peterson, A. (2002). The positive effects of marriage: A book of charts. Washington, DC: The Heritage Foundation.
Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (2000). The seven principles for making marriage work. London: Orion.
Lauer, R. H., Lauer, J. C., & Kerr, S. T. (1990). The long-term marriage: perceptions of stability and satisfaction. International Journal Of Aging & Human Development, (3), 189.
O’Leary, K. D., Acevedo, B. P., Aron, A., Huddy, L., & Mashek, D. (2012). Is long-term love more than a rare phenomenon? If so, what are its correlates?. Social Psychological And Personality Science, 3(2), 241-249. doi:10.1177/1948550611417015
Sternberg, R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review, 93119-135. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.93.2.119