Positive illusions in marital relationships : a 13-year longitudinal study
This study examined the long-term consequences of positive illusions in marriage. A total of 168 newlywed couples participated in a 4-wave13-year longitudinal study of marriage. Idealization was defined as the tendency for people to perceive their partner as having a more agreeable temperament than would be expected based on the frequency with which their partner engaged in agreeable and disagreeable behaviors. The results showed that spouses were more in love at various points in marriage when they idealized one another. Also, the results showed that spouses were less likely to suffer declines in love when they idealized one another as newlyweds. Interestingly, newlywed levels of idealization did not predict divorce. Thus, idealization appeared to positively affect marital quality but not marital stability.