In survey after survey, most people agree that maintaining a satisfying marriage is one of the most important goals in life. Unfortunately, this strong desire for marital happiness does not always translate into relationship success. Given that a wealth of research indicates that high-quality marital relationships allow individuals to thrive both emotionally and physically, understanding why some marital relationships succeed and others fail has vital implications for improving happiness and health throughout the life span. Individuals who have a supportive marriage partner report higher self-esteem and are more likely to persist in and ultimately achieve their personal goals. In contrast, poor-quality marriages are associated with elevated levels of psychological distress and depression. Likewise, the quality of one’s marriage is a powerful predictor of cardiovascular health, ...

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