Sources of conflict in the medical marriage

Am J Psychiatry. 1987 May;144(5):567-72. doi: 10.1176/ajp.144.5.567.


The authors surveyed a sample of 134 physicians and 125 physicians' spouses regarding marital satisfaction, sources of marital conflict, and complaints about their spouses. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the number of hours at work did not relate to the degree of marital satisfaction. The chief sources of conflict in the medical marriage appear to revolve around differences in the partners' needs for intimacy, perceptions of the problems in the marital relationship and in each other, and communication styles. Lack of time due to the demands of practice seems to be a complaint that serves the function of externalizing the conflicts in the marriage onto factors outside the marriage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy
  • Marriage*
  • Mental Health
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Physicians / psychology*