Psychology Today published a great article on "An Arrangement of Marriages" - the 7 types of marriages couples find themselves in after the vows are taken and the "I do's" are spoken. Well into our 30's, most of us still believe in the fairy tale, handsome prince, and the happily ever after. It may still be possible, but it's important to pay attention to the signs. Do you fall into any of these categories?
Type 1 - Devitalized marriage: 40 percent of couples. There is pervasive unhappiness with all relationship dimensions and considerable instability. Both partners have considered divorce
Type 2 - Financially focused: 11 percent of couples. These couples have conflict and are unhappy in their communication and the way conflicts are resolved. They are dissatisfied with the personal characteristics of their partner, and there may be bitter personal attacks. Their careers
Type 3 - Conflicted: 14 percent. They are dissatisfied in many facets of the relationship - personality issues, communication, conflict resolution, and sexuality - and they may avoid or fail to settle issues between them. Instead, they focus on and gain satisfaction from outside experiences such as leisure, the children, religious life. But a high percentage of both partners have considered divorce.
Type 4 - Traditional: 10 percent. They are moderately satisfied with many relationship elements, while their sexual relationship and the way they communicate are sources of distress. They are not as critical of each other's personality as Types 1, 2 and 3. Their strength lies in a satisfying religious life and good interaction with extended family and friends. The marriages are relatively stable. These couples tend to be older, married longer, white, and Protestant.
Type 5 - Balanced: 8 percent. They are moderately satisfied with most relationship areas, with real strengths in communication and problem-solving. The biggest problem is financial management. They have higher than average agreement on leisure, child-rearing, and sexuality. They place a high value on the nuclear family. Still, over a quarter have considered divorce.
Type 6 - Harmonious: 8 percent. They are highly satisfied with each other, the expression of affection, and their sexual life. But they are self-centered, viewing children as a burden and parenting as a source of distress. It may be that, when a problem develops in this family, it shows up in the child.
Type 7 - Vitalized: 9 percent. They are highly satisfied with almost every dimension of their relationship and get along well. They are personally integrated, have strong internal resources, and agree in most external areas. They develop difficulties but resolve them well. They are economically better off than most others, and tend to be older, married longer, white, Protestant. They tend to be in their first marriage and come from intact families.