Protecting the Marriage Relationship during the Doctoral Journey: Strategies for Students and Partners Based on the Strong Marital House Concept

Publication Date


Document Type



Counseling | Counselor Education | Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


With doctoral programs across disciplines experiencing perennially high attrition rates, in-depth examination of factors associated with doctoral persistence is necessary. A strong marital relationship is one factor found to be central to persistence in doctoral students. Thus, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the literature on marital satisfaction, quality, and stability in order to provide doctoral students and their partners strategies for nurturing and sustaining a solid marriage throughout the stress-inducing doctoral process. Recommendations are framed by the following four factors of the Sound Marital House: (a) marital friendship, (b) creating positive sentiment override, (c) regulating conflict, and (d) creating shared symbolic meaning.