A Review of Adult Attachment Styles and Marital Satisfaction

This paper presents a review of adult attachment styles and marital satisfaction. Attachment styles comprise a significant aspect of the relationship because they influence the choices that people make of their partner, the progress of the relationship and, probably, the way it ends. Therefore, recognition of one’s adult attachment style can enable him/her to understand his /her vulnerabilities and strengths in a relationship. According to Marchand (2004), there are a number of adult attachment styles that include secure personality, dismissive personality, preoccupied personality, and fearful-avoidant personality. All these styles have a significant influence on the progress of the relationship. Testimonies from the existing research indicate that marital satisfaction is usually highest around wedding time and begins to weaken as time progresses (Marchand, 2004). In most cases, most married couples begin experiencing significant changes the moment they become parents. Their identities change, their roles outside and within family shift and all of which affect their marital relationships.

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In reviewing “Attachment Security and Marital Satisfaction: The Role of Positive perceptions and Social Support,” it is clear the most significant relationship that can ever exist between a man and a woman is marriage. This is because marriage offers a unique structure of life, which produces or helps to maintain the psychological well-being of individuals (Peterson & Bush, 2012). Therefore, marital satisfaction is a recipe of success. Social support, therefore, provides an idea about the significance of marital relationship, which in turn results into marital satisfaction.    

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Considering two couples; Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and Mr. and Mrs. Stephen, the Johnsons have been married for five years while the Stephens have been together in marriage for six years. The first couple; Mr. and Mrs. Johnson love each other and have positive views of each other. They spend most of the time together whenever they are off their regular duties. In fact Johnson prefers eating food cooked by his wife, and he always feels contended with her in their marriage. On the other hand Mrs. Johnson feels secure whenever she is together with her husband. Both of them enjoy a secure adult attachment, which makes them feel a lot of satisfaction in their marital relationship. Going forward in time, this couple is likely to experience steady marital satisfaction in their relation.  In respect to Sternberg’s triangular theory of love, this couple falls on the right side of the triangle where there is compassionate, intimacy and commitment (Peterson & Bush, 2012). They are likely to stay together for long time.

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The second couple; Mr. and Mrs. Stephen, also, claim to love each other; however, whenever they are off their regular duties, Mr. Stephen prefers spending his free time with his friends outdoor. This leaves Mrs. Stephen with a feeling of insecurity which, over time, has been affecting the marital satisfaction she expected. They have a mixture of both positive and negative views of each other. Mrs. Stephen feels that her husband does not give her enough chance to spend their free time together. This couple enjoys an anxious preoccupied adult attachment, and going forward in time, there is likelihood that marital satisfaction will decline completely in their relationship. In respect to Sternberg’s triangular theory of love, this couple falls at the bottom right side of the triangle where there is empty love and commitment (Peterson & Bush, 2012). This couple might not enjoy staying together for long. In most cases, there is a decline in marital satisfaction the moment the first baby is born. The decline results from factors such as increased division of labour, tension, role strain and stress Marchand (2004). This means that even in a steady marriage, there is a significant decrease of marital satisfaction over time.

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