Intelligent resources about stages of a long-term relationship
January 29, 2014 12:02 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to learn a little bit more about what couples counselors, therapists, and psychologists have written about the stages that long-term relationships go through, what the issues and concerns are in the different stages, and what approaches are helpful in keeping the relationship strong at different stages. The articles I've been able to find on the web are pretty shallow, and seem to assume that the purpose of marriage is to have kids. I'd like to find something that is more appropriate to a couple who got married at 40+ so have already attained (presumably) a certain degree of wisdom, and for whom kids are not in the picture or in the cards. Authors that I have found helpful and intelligent in the past have been Gottman, Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight), and the author of perennial AskMe favorite The Five Love Languages. I'm specifically interested in the 5-10 year stage, but welcome broader surveys as well.
posted by matildaben to Human Relations (5 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
This isn't exactly what you've asked for, but as a middle-aged woman, reading The Husbands and Wives Club was very helpful. It discusses things like theories of love and attachment and what goes into marital satisfaction. Much of it is from the perspective of marriages that are troubled, so that's what makes it less in line with what you've requested.
posted by janey47 at 12:42 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I remember reading this interesting article in the new york times about how a happily married couple tried to make their marriage even happier via different relationship techniques.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:47 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

David Schnarch, Intimacy and Desire.
posted by Sublimity at 2:21 PM on January 29, 2014

I came across a reference to Can Love Last? while reading some Mark Epstein, which seems to take a look at some of these things.
posted by inkytea at 3:02 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but I found The Mindful Attraction Plan to have a *lot* of good information about underlying reasons why men and women are first attracted to each other and fall in love, why long-term relationships/marriages can stagnate or decline, and how to take action to reverse that trend.
posted by Ardea alba at 8:03 AM on January 30, 2014

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