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Five Types of Married Couples Findings from a National Survey conducted by Dr. David Olson, et al.

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Presentation on theme: "Five Types of Married Couples Findings from a National Survey conducted by Dr. David Olson, et al."— Presentation transcript:

1 Five Types of Married Couples Findings from a National Survey conducted by Dr. David Olson, et al.

2 Assessing Marriages One interesting way to assess marriage is to describe different types of marriages based on their level of satisfaction and their score on the key areas of their relationship. Dr. David Olson, founder of Prepare & Enrich, a premarital and marriage counseling program, has used his compatibility questionnaire with over 2.5 million couples (over 5 million persons).

3 Using a national survey, David Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter J. Larson (2008) found that there were five typical patterns or “types” of couples, ranging from very happy couples to the most unhappy.

4 Five Common Couple Types: The most happy couple type is called Vitalized couples (18%), followed by Harmonious couples (24%). Conventional couples (24%) tend to fall between the happy and unhappy types of couples. The two couple types that are the most unhappy are Conflicted (22%) and Devitalized couples (19%).

5 Vitalized Couples This is the happiest couple type, and these couples have strengths in most aspects of their relationship, including communication, conflict resolution, finances, and their sexual relationship. Only 14 percent of individuals in Vitalized marriages have ever considered divorce.



8 Harmonious Couples These couples are very happy and have many strengths, but not as many strengths as Vitalized couples. Only 28 percent of individuals in Harmonious marriages have ever considered divorce. They are satisfied with most areas of their relationship, particularly conflict resolution and their role relationship.



11 Conventional Couples These couples are generally happy and they are called Conventional because they have more strengths in traditional areas, including agreement on spiritual beliefs, agreement on maintaining traditional roles, and a strong supportive network of family and friends. However, they have lower scores in areas involving more internal dynamics, including personality compatibility, communication, and conflict resolution. Over one-third (37%) of Conventional couples have considered divorce.


13 Conflicted Couples These couples are unhappy, and they have numerous growth areas and few relationship strengths. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of individuals in Conflicted relationships have considered divorce. They are called Conflicted because they disagree in many areas and have low scores in communication and conflict resolution. One of the most common types of couples to seek marital therapy is Conflicted couples because they often feel as if they have many unresolved issues.



16 Devitalized Couples These couples are very unhappy and have growth areas in almost all aspects of their relationship. In over two-thirds (69%) of the Devitalized couples, both spouses are dissatisfied, and about 90 percent of these individuals have considered divorce. They are typically very unhappy and have few strengths as a couple, although they might have had strengths earlier in their relationship.



19 Conflicted and Devitalized couples are the two types that most often seek marital therapy or couple enrichment programs. A recent study found that a majority (93%) of couples attending a couple educational program called PAIRS were either Conflicted (34%) or Devitalized (59%). Only 7 percent of the couples enrolled in the PAIRS program were either Vitalized or Harmonious.

20 What is Your Couple Type? Vitalized Harmonious Conventional Conflicted Devitalized

21 How do these findings about couple types apply to your relationship? First, as these couple types demonstrate, there are a wide variety of marriages in terms of both strengths and issues. Second, one of these types might be similar to the relationship you currently have with your partner. Third, the types can give you ideas about what you might want to change in your relationship. Fourth, you should consider what specific areas of your relationship you would like to improve and what type of marriage you might ultimately like to have with your partner.

22 Some of the main areas of your relationship you might want to consider include: Communication Conflict Resolution Finances Leisure Affection & Sexuality Family & Friends Role Sharing Spiritual Beliefs


24 Work Cited David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, Peter J. Larson (2008), The Couple Checkup.

25 The Purposes of Marriage By Ryan N. Fraser

26 1. Partnership Gen. 2:18-25 1 Pet. 3:7

27 2. Protection Eph. 5:25

28 3. Provision Eph. 5:28-29, 33 1 Cor. 7:3-5 1 Tim. 5:8

29 4. Pleasure & Purity Prov. 5:15-19 Song of Solomon 1 Cor. 7:3-5, 8-9

30 5. Procreation Gen. 1:27-28; 4:1-2; Psa. 127:3

31 But, sadly, so often our marriages and families look more like this...

32 Sweetening a Marriage Gone Sour Marriage Enrichment Seminar Session #2

33 Introduction: Marriage can rob your relationship of intimacy and excitement if you aren’t careful. So how do we go about sweetening a marriage gone sour? How can we rejuvenate our marriages?

34 1. Determine what the Problems are! What are the areas of strife or dissatisfaction? Unresolved conflicts and unmet needs are two of the biggest problem.

35 We have five basic needs that a marriage partner can meet: 1.Attention 2.Acceptance 3.Affection 4.Admiration 5.Activities

36 2. Decide to Stick it Out! Love is a commitment, not just a warm, fuzzy feeling! – Matt. 19:3-6, 9 – Eph. 5:22-25, 28-33 Remember that marriage consists of a lot of give and take, and it is seldom 50/50.

37 3. Dream Together Again! You must dream of the future! And a dream is a very powerful thing! What are some common hopes, dreams, and aspirations that you share together?

38 4. Do the Same Things that Caused You to Fall in Love! Recapture one another’s hearts as you did the first time around. Woo one another again! – Song of Songs 4:1-7, 9-12 – Song of Songs 5:10-16 – Song of Songs 6:4-9 – Song of Songs 7:1-9 Try stay in shape and keep yourself looking attractive!

39 5. Date Each Other Regularly! Spend fun, quality time together! Courting leads to cuddling, and cuddling leads to closeness!

40 Conclusion: We can all work on improving our marriages!

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