Title

Self-perception and personal commitment: A challenge to current theory of marital dissolution and stability and implications for marital therapy

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-1990

Abstract

This paper proposes a modification of social exchange theories of marital dissolution. Utilizing self-perception theory from social psychology, a systemic rather than a linear conceptualization is outlined and illustrated with case examples. It explains why couples who are deciding whether to divorce are typically ambivalent, and why individuals who choose to remain in unhappy relationships even when they feel free to go may experience renewed personal commitment. Clinical interventions are described to assist the clinician working with couples contemplating marital dissolution. These interventions help clients explore the various options available to them, without implying their choices are in any way deficient. © 1990 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

American Journal of Family Therapy

Volume

18

Issue

2

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