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Nine Psychological Tasks for a Good Marriage

Nine Psychological Tasks for a Good Marriage

Are you trying to figure out what makes a marriage work?  Here are some psychological characteristics that people in a good marriage share.

Research on what makes a marriage work shows that people in a good marriage have completed these psychological "tasks":

  • Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in; not to the point of estrangement, but enough so that your identity is separate from that of your parents and siblings.
  • Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner's autonomy.
  • Establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations.
  • For couples with children, embrace the daunting roles of parenthood and absorb the impact of a baby's entrance into the marriage. Learn to continue the work of protecting the privacy of you and your spouse as a couple.
  • Confront and master the inevitable crises of life.
  • Maintain the strength of the marital bond in the face of adversity. The marriage should be a safe haven in which partners are able to express their differences, anger, and conflict.
  • Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation.
  • Nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partnerís needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support.
  • Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.

Sources: Judith S. Wallerstein, PhD, co-author of the book The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts.
The American Psychological Association

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2009, January 8). Nine Psychological Tasks for a Good Marriage, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/healthy-relationships/nine-psychological-tasks-for-a-good-marriage

Last Updated: June 7, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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