The Art of Marriage MaintenanceJason Aronson, Inc. (June 9, 2005)

The Art of Marriage Maintenance is about marital life after the wedding. It is about psychological and biological differences between men and women that make communication so difficult and make marriage so challenging. It is about why passion often fades over time within marriage (and what steps a couple can take to avoid that), how hormones exacerbate behavior, and how the brain confounds us. It is about how pregnancy and having young children and adolescents often catapult a marriage to its breaking point and how the stresses of mid-life contribute to marital discord. It is, in effect, how to ensure a fulfilling and enduring marriage. It is, in essence, about the art of marriage maintenance.

“As we get older, we begin to appreciate the harmony and preciousness of being cherished by one person with whom we have shared life, after many others have more or less deserted us.  This is similar to the last movement of Haydn’s 1772 Symphony No. 45, in f-sharp Minor, Farewell.  Apparently, so  the anecdote goes, Haydn wrote this symphony in the manner requested by his musicians, who were performing out of town and expressed to him their wish to return home as soon as possible to their spouses and families.  Describes music critic Michael Steinberg, “The music resumes, and one by one, instruments play farewell solos and leave…” The two violins remain to play a haunting melody…Similarly, in the final movement of a successful marriage, life together continues after children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues leave…Husband and wife remain alone as life-witnesses to each other…”

Excerpt from: The Art of Marriage Maintenance

Dr. Karasu, who sees both couples and individuals in psychotherapy, wrote The Art of Marriage Maintenance with her husband just before their 30th Anniversary. They are now approaching their 40th.


  • Introduction
  1. The Relationship in Marriage
  2. Sex in Marriage
  3. The Power Play in Marriage
  4. Communication in Marriage
  5. Pregnancy and Infants in Marriage
  6. Children and Adolescents in Marriage
  1. Midlife in Marriage
  2. Marriage as a Cause of Illness
  3. Redefining Marriage
  • Epilogue
  • Bibliography
  • Index


“In this lively and thoughtful exploration of the difficulties and satisfactions of marriage, the authors bring together a wealth of scientific facts and valuable psychological insights. The text is enriched by the shrewd, funny, touching, and sometimes devastating observations of novelists, social commentators, and struggling husbands and wives. Those working through the muddles of married life will do it better with some help from the Drs. Karasu.”

–Judith Viorst,

author of Grown-Up Marriage and Necessary Losses

“A perceptive, insightful, and upbeat guide to marriage and how to make it work, written with wisdom, grace, and wit. Vivid anecdotes abound–drawn from the authors’ extensive clinical practices, from classical literature, and even from Sex in the City. Highly recommended for men and women at every stage of their natural journeys.”

–Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D.,

author of The Good Marriage and What about the Kids?

“A wise, sophisticated, and witty exploration of the paradoxes of intimacy.”

–Peter D. Kramer, M.D.,

author of Spectacular Happiness and the bestselling book Listening to Prozac

“The authors present an interesting and often entertaining integration of scholarly perspectives…The book has many strengths… Chapters teem with many clear examples and illustrations….The book contains an extensive bibliography which reflects and supports the professional perspectives of the authors, thus the ideas presented are well-researched and thoughtful. The common biological/hormonal analyses of marital issues are among the most useful and unique contributions of the book.”

(Journal of Comparative Family Studies)