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The Sources of Marital Conflict

By Bp. Joseph Boyd (MDEA) What is a power struggle in a marriage? Marital conflict and “power struggle” are one and the same, and there is a plethora of psychological and counseling texts that deal with this major area of study in the therapeutic context. In this paper, we will explore the basic outlines of this area of study. “Marital conflict has deleterious effects on mental, physical, and family health, and three decades of research have yielded a detailed picture of the behaviors that differentiate distressed from non-distressed couples… Recently, researchers have tried to paint a more textured picture of marital conflict by studying spouses’ backgrounds and characteristics, investigating conflict in the contexts of support giving and affectional expression, and considering the ecological niche of couples in their broader environment.” (Marital Conflict: Correlates, Structure, and Context, by Frank D. Fincham, Psychology, Department, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York) By ex…

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