Two are better than one: Understanding goal disclosure and development in marriage




Walker, Diana


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This study investigates how romantic couples become aware of each other’s personal goals, and how they communicatively co-construct processes to develop collective goals in marriage. Theories of interpersonal relationship development and goal communication were used to frame the research questions. Twenty-nine in-depth interviews were conducted with spouses to gain insight into their personal experience with goal disclosure and creation of collective goals. Results indicated that couples become aware of each other’s personal goals through explicit and implicit communication, and by using future talk to test for relationship compatibility. Additionally, results showed that couples develop collective goals through goal appropriation and practical and intentional planning. Implications for relationship development and maintenance are discussed. Keywords: Goal development; goal disclosure; marital communication; relationship maintenance; joint goal planning



goal development, goal disclosure, marital communication, relationship maintenance, joint goal planning



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