Marital adjustment the process by which married couples attain mutual gratification and achieve common goals while maintaining an appropriate degree of individuality. Especially important to marital adjustment are (a) the sharing of experiences, interests, and values; (b) respect for the partner’s individual needs, aims, and temperament; (c) maintenance of open lines of communication and expression of feeling; (d) clarification of roles and responsibilities; (e) cooperation in decision making, problem solving, and rearing of children; and (f) attainment of mutual sexual gratification.
Marital conflict open or latent antagonism between marriage partners. The nature and intensity of conflicts vary greatly, but studies indicate that the prime sources are often sexual disagreement, child-rearing differences, temperamental differences (particularly the tendency of one partner to dominate), and, to a lesser extent, religious differences, differences in values and interests, and disagreements over money management.
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Marital counseling see marriage counseling. marital schism a condition of open discord between marital partners that puts a strain on the marriage and may lead to separation or divorce. marital separation the situation in which a previously cohabiting married couple stops living together and instead maintains individual residences, finances, and so forth.