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Identification with the Relationship as Essential to Marital Resilience: Theory, Application, and Evidence

  • David W. Reid
  • Saunia Ahmad

Abstract

The secret to marital longevity is good maintenance of the essence of a marriage. That essence is a complex process at the core of the relationship that allows for continuing adaptation to the vicissitudes of life the partners experience. Findings from a 15-year research program with guided participation of married partners examining their marital dynamics, finds that enhancing their sense of “we-ness” at a personal level is crucial for enhancing the essence of the marriage, with marital satisfaction being the result. The enhanced “we-ness” likely feeds the improvement of an implicit meta-cognitive relational awareness of being a dynamic close relationship with which the couple can navigate, cope and remain resilient. The multi-modal Systemic-Constructivist Couple Therapy (SCCT), derived from the longitudinal in-depth marital research, is used to map onto any couple’s relational dynamics as a means to investigate and enhance marital functioning. That enhancement accompanies each partner’s gaining a greater sense of “we-ness.” Theoretical explanation with clinically derived examples and research findings are provided.

Keywords

“we-ness” Systemic-Constructivist-Couple-Therapy (SCCT) Relational awareness Coping Complex systems Identity Dual-processing Resilience 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.York University Psychology Clinic (YUPC)TorontoCanada
  3. 3.Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada

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