The partner relationship of 153 women hospitalized for a high-risk pregnancy, 75 of their partners, 218 women who experienced a low-risk pregnancy and 147 of their partners was studied to determine risk-status or gender differences at pregnancy, the postpartal hospitalization, 1, 4, and 8 months following birth. A theoretical causal model predicting partner relationships was tested, followed by model respecification to derive the best explanatory model for each group. No differences were observed between low- and high-risk mothers' partner relationship; however, high-risk fathers scored lower than low-risk fathers. Partner relationships for all groups were significantly higher during pregnancy and at birth than at 4 and 8 months after birth. Respecified models explained from 26% to 63% of the variance in partner relationship during pregnancy, and from 31% to 52% at 8 months after birth. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.