People have been observing couples interact since the dawn of time: “Did you see

the way he ignored her at the party?”… “Wasn’t that elderly couple sweet? I hope

we’re that affectionate with each other when we get older.”… “I wonder if their

marriage is in trouble. No matter what one says, the other disagrees.”… “They’re

going to have a hard time coping with the medical problems, but if anyone can do

it, they can. They are so supportive of each other.” Over the past several decades,

couple researchers have joined the brigade of “people watchers,” focusing on the

interactions that occur in these most important intimate relationships.