Husbands' and wives' perceptions of positive relationship behaviors and interactions (e.g., caring gestures, reasons for staying married, frequency of positive communication) were assessed in a sample of maritally happy (H), maritally distressed but non-aggressive (D/NA), and maritally distressed and husband-to-wife physically aggressive (D/H-to-W) couples. As expected, the relationship positivity reports of the two groups of maritally distressed couples differed from the happily married couples. In addition, D/H-to- W spouses gave different reasons for staying married than did D/NA spouses (i.e., love versus family roles and commitments). Spouses in D/H-to-W aggressive marriages were also less likely to report using intimate language with their partner than were spouses in either of the other two groups. Few gender differences were found. Results underscore the importance of considering the role of love and intimacy in husband-to-wife aggressive and distressed marriages.
- Spouse abuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science