Stress is a concept that has received increased attention in marital research during the last decade showing that it plays an important role in understanding the quality and stability of close relationships. Evidence suggests that stress is a threat to marital satisfaction and its longevity. Research has been based upon theoretical models of stress in close relationships, specifically family stress models (e.g. Hill, 1958; McCubbin & Patterson, 1983) and couple’s stress model’s proposed by Karney, Story, & Bradbury (2005) and Bodenmann (1995, 2005). In this review we: (1) examine the various theoretical models of stress, (2) analyze and summarize the typologies relating to stress models (internal versus external, major versus minor, acute versus chronic), and (3) summarize findings from stress research in couples that has practical significance and may inspire clinical work. Future directions in research and clincial significance are suggested.