The authors surveyed a sample of 134 physicians and 125 physicians'
spouses regarding marital satisfaction, sources of marital conflict, and
complaints about their spouses. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the number
of hours at work did not relate to the degree of marital satisfaction. The
chief sources of conflict in the medical marriage appear to revolve around
differences in the partners' needs for intimacy, perceptions of the
problems in the marital relationship and in each other, and communication
styles. Lack of time due to the demands of practice seems to be a complaint
that serves the function of externalizing the conflicts in the marriage
onto factors outside the marriage.