Staying happily married has become a difficult proposition in recent times. Although the institution is still firmly embedded in our culture, divorce rates have steadily climbed since the 1960s. While some marriages are truly divorce-worthy, many other broken marriages can be saved. Recent emphasis on personal needs and greater social acceptance of divorce and alternative lifestyles may have weakened the resolve of partners to work through their problems. Furthermore, many couples may not realize that problems in their current marriages are likely to surface in other relationships. Consequently, while they may consider divorce a solution, it may in fact only be a stepping stone to the next relationship where patterns may repeat.
Solving marital differences can be difficult. They tend to be linked to or caused by other problems, and that can make it hard to identify the real reasons for conflicts. Without knowing the true nature of their problems, couples cannot arrive at solutions that actually work. To understand the underlying issues that plague many marriages, the authors look to the research conducted on the subject over the past fifty years and to real life stories of success and failure to outline the major issues that detract from marital stability. Drawing on Louis Primavera’s twenty-five years in private practice as a marriage counselor, each chapter is peppered with anecdotes that every married person can relate to, and that help bring issues to life. The authors also propose frank and honest solutions that can help couples have more satisfying relationships. Anyone looking to improve their marriage will find suggestions for sussing out the underlying problems they may be experiencing and guidance for addressing those problems.
2: Married, Living Together, and Living Alone
3: Transitioning from Lovers to Partners
4: The Four Cornerstones
6 : Partners, Families, and Friends
7: Our Personal Baggage
8: Communication and Conflict
9: Perceptions and Attributions
10: Managing the Home and Family
11: Power and Control
12: The Roots of Marital Conflicts
13: Some Final Thoughts
Having a good marriage isn’t accidental, according to Pascale and Primavera. It requires commitment, trust, fidelity, and mutual emotional support. Partners need to communicate fairly, work through their personal baggage, and balance the power between them. Using case studies from Primavera’s more than 25 years as a marriage counselor, the authors delve into issues that can cause conflicts, such as perceptions, expectations, and intimacy. Accounts of actual back-and-forth exchanges between spouses demonstrate how these problems escalate. Working from these sessions, the authors offer concrete suggestions for changing negative encounters into positive ones, finding the underlying issues beneath the arguments, and fostering happier home environments. Pascale and Primavera are realistic. They don’t expect marriages free from conflicts or misunderstandings. What they advocate is listening to one another, viewing each other in a positive light, and viewing marriage as a series of social exchanges. Seems like sound advice for newlyweds as well as veteran couples who are struggling. Straightforward and filled with common sense, this is a welcome addition to the marriage advice shelves.
Rob Pascale and Louis H. Primavera have written a book on why so many marriages fail while others succeed that is engaging and insightful. Based on real examples from Dr. Primavera’s twenty-five years of experience as a marriage counselor and hundreds of social science studies, the book is a delight to read. It is highly recommended for practitioners and scholars who study families as well as married couples from newlyweds to those celebrating a golden anniversary who want to know how to make their marriage better.
— Deborah M. Merrill, Clark University
Everyone who has found love wants it to last. Making Marriage Work provides a practical research-based roadmap for just that — enabling couples to build upon the foundation of their early euphoria and create a deeply satisfying and successful long-term marriage. Don’t walk down the aisle without it.
— Patty Howell, EdM, AGC, President, Healthy Relationships California; Author, World Class Marriage
A practical guide to living happily ever after.
— David Yount, author, Making a Success of Marriage
About the Authors:
Rob Pascale, PhD, founded Marketing Analysts, Inc, a quantitative market research company, in 1982. Pascale retired from full time responsibilities at MAi in 2005 at the age of 51. Throughout his 25-year tenure as president of MAi, Pascale was directly involved in over 5000 research studies for more than 50 of the largest corporations in the world, and has polled well over 2 million consumers.
Louis H. Primavera, PhD, is a New York State Licensed Psychologist trained in behavior and rational emotive behavior therapies, and maintained a private practice for more than twenty-five years specializing in marriage counseling. Primavera is currently the dean of the School of Health Sciences at Touro College. Previously, he was the dean of the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, held the Department Chair and served as associate dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at St. John’s University, and has held full time faculty positions at Hofstra University, St. Francis College, and Molloy College. Primavera has published extensively in the social sciences, and his work has appeared in a number of prestigious professional journals in psychology. He was a consultant to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and has held a number of other consulting positions in medicine, business, and education. . Primavera is a fellow of the Division of General Psychology and the Division of Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics of the American Psychological Association, a fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association. They are the authors of The Retirement Maze (2012) and Taking Charge of Your Emotions (2015).