The good marriage: how and why love lasts
Ours is a culture of divorce, yet some couples have happy, long-lasting marriages. What is their secret? When so many marriages fail miserably, why do others succeed? This book has the answers. Judith Wallerstein, coauthor of Second Chances, the landmark bestseller on divorce, now turns her attention to marriages that work. Based on a groundbreaking study of fifty couples who consider themselves happily married, The Good Marriage offers an entirely fresh vision of that most complex of human relationships. Wallerstein describes what she considers the four basic types of marriage: romantic, rescue, companionate, and traditional. She identifies the natural stages of a marriage and explains the nine psychological tasks - including separating from the family of origin and making a safe place for conflict - that must be undertaken by anyone committed to having a good marriage. Wallerstein and coauthor Sandra Blakeslee introduce us to a number of couples who speak honestly and eloquently about the intimate interiors of their marriages. We meet Sara and Matt, whose passion for each other still burns strong many years after their first electrifying encounter; Helen and Keith, who discovered that marriage can heal the wounds of an unhappy childhood; Ellis and Janet, who each brought two children to their second marriage and made it work. Thanks to the astonishing candor of these couples, we learn a great deal about how partners in a good marriage overcome difficult obstacles, resolve the conflicts that come with parenting, and keep love alive despite the myriad pressures of modern life. The men and women interviewed by Wallerstein readily admit that even the best relationship requires hard workand continuing negotiation. But they also convey an inspirational message, for almost all of them feel that their marriage is their single greatest accomplishment. The Good Marriage explains why, and its lively mix of storytelling and analysis will challenge every couple to think in a profoundly different way about the most important relationship in their lives.