Psychological Self-Help

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Husband-lead conflicted --lots of marital conflicts but
emotionally involved with each other. Wife dissatisfied with
family income; if she works, she doesn't like it. Both are very
sociable and have trouble with in-laws. Least common type. 
Very recently, in another study, Olson interviewed over 5000
engaged couples. He found that almost 25% had such serious
relationship problems and such poor relationship skills that he
wondered "why would they want to marry each other?" So, some
"marriage problems" start well before the marriage and are easily
If you observe upper middle-class marriages of 10 years or longer,
as did Cuber and Harroff several years ago (1965), you will probably
still find five kinds of marriages: (1) Conflict-habituated which is a
constant battle over almost everything. (2) Devitalized in which the
partners have lost their love and "drifted apart," i.e. they take care of
the children but they don't fight a lot. (3) Passive-congenial where the
partners have been apathetic all along, e.g. marriage was a
convenience--or economic necessity--or they are more interested in
careers or friends than spouses. (4) Vital marriage in which being
together and sharing are the major joys in life. (5) Total marriage is
like the vital marriage, except almost everything is done happily
together. Obviously, marriage ranges from wonderful happiness every
day--only 15-20% are vital or total marriages--to miserable on-going
fights (or divorce). This should offer some hope of happiness to those
who are unhappy...but a warning to young people in an already rocky
Shostrom and Kavanaugh (1971) described six relationships
between men and women based mostly on experience with couples in
therapy. (1) A "Mother and Son" nurturing relationship is made
up of a male who marries to be taken care of and a woman who not
only mothers her children but her husband as well. She may feel
inadequate but she runs the household. (2) A "Daddy and Doll"
supporting relationship is one in which a serious, able, materialistic
male acquires an attractive mate and enjoys her as a show thing. She
may flirt and get a lot of attention from other men but, in general, she
isn't interested in them. (3) A "Bitch and Nice Guy" challenging
relationship is an ongoing conflict with one partner complaining and
the other refusing to get involved (and, thus, appearing to be a nice
guy while he subtly puts down his nagging wife). (4) A "Master and
Slave" controlling relationship is the traditional dominating male
and a female dedicated to serving the male. (5) A confronting
relationship between two competitive "Hawks" is going to be
stressful. Both are trying to prove their supremacy. Both are afraid of
not being loved or of being hurt. The anger hides the pain. (6) An
overly-accommodating relationship is between two "Doves" who
pretend to be lovey-dovey instead of expressing the hurt and anger
they really feel. 
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