Why do some marriages grow stronger in the face of conflict or stress while others dissolve? In this book, two pioneering researchers present a groundbreaking theory of how mutually responsive behaviors emerge—or fail to emerge—in relationships. Illustrating their findings through the vivid stories of four diverse couples, the authors explore how conscious considerations interact with unconscious impulses to foster trust and commitment. Compelling topics include why marriages have such different personalities and what makes partners truly compatible. Also discussed are implications of the model for helping couples sustain satisfying relationships and improve troubled ones.
About the Author
Sandra L. Murray, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. She has received numerous awards for her scholarship, including the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Theoretical Innovation Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, the Early Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity, and the New Contribution Award from the International Association for Relationship Research. Dr. Murray’s research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. John G. Holmes, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has received numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, including a University Research Chair, the Mentoring Award from the International Association for Relationship Research, the Theoretical Innovation Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, and the New Contribution Award from the International Association for Relationship Research. Dr. Holmes’s research has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Harry T. Reis1. Motivating Responsiveness: Why a Smart Relationship Unconscious?2. Procedural Rules for Responsiveness: The Motivation-Management Model3. Trust: When to Approach?4. Commitment: How Close a Connection?5. The Situational Risks: Seek Connection or Avoid Rejection?6. The Rules for Seeking Connection: Increase and Justify Own Dependence7. The Rules for Avoiding Rejection: Withhold Own and Promote Partner Dependence8. Relationship Personality: Making Certain Rules a Habit9. Being Swept Away: How Passionate Love Makes It Natural to Connect.10. Being Mowed Over: How Real Life Makes It Natural to Self-Protect11. How the Person, the Pairing, and the Context Make (or Break) Relationships12. A Practical Guide for Relationships
Social and personality psychologists; also of interest to clinical psychologists and other clinicians who work with couples. May serve as a text in graduate-level courses on close relationships.