Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive

The Good Marriage, by Judy Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee


Thesis: Good marriages come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, but there are some common themes that help you make yours.

Preamble: A case study of well-off west coast white couples who have been married at least 15 years with children and describe their marriage as happy

Specific Things To Remember:

  • There are nine tasks one must do to build a strong marriage
    • Separate emotionally from the family of one’s childhood so as to fully invest in the marriage. Redefine the lines of connection with both families of origin
    • Build togetherness through supportive intimacy while carving out autonomy. These issues are strongest at outset, midlife, and retirement.
    • Embrace the daunting role of “parent” and absorb the impact of the baby’s entrance. Protect privacy from the child.
      • Adolescence in your kids can be trying because of your projections
    • Confront and master inevitable crises of life, maintain strength of bond.
    • Create safe haven for expression of differences, anger, and conflict
    • Rich sexual relationship and protect it from work and family obligations
    • Use laughter and humor to keep perspective and avoid boredom by sharing interests.
    • Provide nurturance and comfort to one another
    • Keep alive the idealized images of falling in love while accepting the sober realities of how that changes over time.
  • The Romantic Marriage – mutual love, passion, excitement, ecstacy. Love was meant to be. Greatest gift would be to pass on that marriage to children.
  • The Rescue Marriage – both need something out of it and the other heals past hurts.
  • Companionate Marriage – norms challenging, politically equivalent roles
  • Traditional Marriage – have kids, man is the breadwinner, woman the housekeeper
    • Adolescene