Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



We may never think the marriage interaction can be mathematically modeled. It is indeed possible applying only fundamental college math. By the Rapid Couples Interaction Scoring System, a videotaped interactive discussion between a couple and detailed aspects of their emotions are coded to give scores for each one of the couple. Humor and smiling are important for good relations generating positive scores, while anger or criticism are bad for relations generating negative scores. These scores are employed to construct score curves for both the husband and wife reacting to each other. We establish discrete mathematical models for these score curves and use dynamics to study under what conditions the couple has a stable or unstable marriage. Then our model is used to analyze how several personalities (including volatile, validating, and conflict-avoiding) of each one of the couple impact the stability of marriage.