2Chapter 7: Marriage Relationships Chapter Outline Motivations for and Functions of MarriageMarriage as a CommitmentCold Feet?Marriage as a Rite of PassageChanges after MarriageDiversity in MarriageMarriage QualityThe Future of Marriage Relationships
3Chapter 7: Marriage Relationships Introduction Quote: “I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.”Lord Byron, poetDiscussion: What do you think are the most difficult changes to cope with when getting married? What are some good strategies of coping with these changes?
4Chapter 7: Marriage Relationships Introduction Food for thought…True or False?Economic security is the greatest expected benefit of marriage in the United States.About a third of states now offer covenant marriages and a third of people getting married in these states elect the covenant alternative.
5Chapter 7: Marriage Relationships Introduction True/False Answers:FALSE: Although marriage does not ensure it, companionship is the greatest expected benefit of marriage in the United States.FALSE: Louisiana, Arizona, and Arkansas offer covenant marriages. Fewer than 3% of couples that marry in Louisiana have chosen to take on the extra restrictions of marriage by covenant.
6Individual Motivations for Marriage Love Personal Fulfillment Motivations for and Functions of Marriage Individual Motivations for MarriageIndividual Motivations for MarriageLovePersonal FulfillmentCompanionshipParenthoodEconomic Security
7Additional functions: Motivations for and Functions of Marriage Societal Functions of MarriageThe primary function of marriage is to bind a male and female together who will reproduce, raise their young, and socialize them to be productive members of society.Additional functions:Regulate sexual behaviorStabilize adult personalities by providing a companion
8Motivations for and Functions of Marriage Traditional versus Egalitarian Marriages
9Marriage as a Commitment Person-to-PersonIndividuals commit themselves to someone whom they love, with whom they feel a sense of equality, and who they feel is the best of the alternative persons available to themFamily-to-FamilyMarriage involves commitments to the family members of the spouse
10Marriage as a Commitment Couple-to-StateSpouses become legally committed to each other according to the laws of the state in which they reside.They cannot arbitrarily decide to terminate their own marital agreement.
11Cold Feet?Discussion:Quote: “I knew the day of the wedding that I did not want to marry. I told my dad, and he said, ‘Be a man.’ I went through with the marriage and regretted it ever since.” (This person divorced after twenty-five years of marriage.)Quote: “I said ‘Holy Jesus’ just before I walked down the aisle with my dad. He said, What’s the matter, honey?’ I couldn't’t tell him, went through with the wedding, and later divorced.” (This person divorced after twelve years.)
12Marriage as a Commitment Covenant Marriage: A Stronger Commitment? In Louisiana, couples can choose a standard marriage contract or a covenant marriage contract.A “covenant marriage” permits divorce only under conditions of fault (abuse, adultery, or imprisonment on a felony) or after a marital separation of more than two years.Fewer than 3% of couples that marry in Louisiana have chosen a covenant marriage.
13Marriage as a Rite of Passage Weddings The wedding is a rite of passage that is both religious and civil.While love is a private experience, marriage is a public experience in the United States.It is not unusual for couples to have weddings that are neither religious nor traditional.
14Marriage as a Rite of Passage Weddings Food for thought…Weddings: College Student PerceptionsWomen prepare more.The wedding is for the bride’s family.The bride wants the wedding documented.The bride prefers a formal wedding.Both parents should be invited if they are still married.Racial background affects perception of who should pay for the wedding.
15Marriage as a Rite of Passage Weddings Food for thought…Wedding night fun statistics29.7% said the best part of the wedding night was “just being with my new partner”.17.8% said “sex”23.1% listed the accommodations and the partner’s demeanor as the worst part.6.3% said “sex”
16Marriage as a Rite of Passage Honeymoons The honeymoon has personal and social functions:The personal function is to provide a period of recuperation from the demands of preparing for and being in a wedding ceremony and reception.The social function is to provide a time for the couple to be alone to solidify the change in their identity to a married couple.
17Changes after Marriage Legal Changes Unless the partners have signed a prenuptial agreement, after the wedding, each spouse becomes part owner of what the other earns in income and accumulates in property.
18Changes after Marriage Personal Changes The married person begins adopting values and behaviors consistent with the married role, including:Changes in how money is spentDiscovering that one’s mate is different from one’s dateA loss of freedom
19Changes after Marriage Friendship Changes Less time will be spent with friends because of the new role demands as a spouse.What spouses give up in friendships, they gain in developing an intimate relationship with each other.
20Changes after Marriage Marital Changes Experience loss of freedomFeeling more responsibilityMissing alone timeChange in how money is spentSexual changesPower changesDiscovering that one’s mate is different from one’s date
21Changes after Marriage Parents and In-Law Changes Time spent with parents and extended kin radically increases when a couple has children.Emotional separation from one’s parents is an important developmental task in building a successful marriage.The behavior of in-laws affects how their children and their spouses like and perceive them.
22Diversity in Marriage Hispanic Families Hispanics tend to have higher rates of marriage, early marriage, higher fertility, nonmarital child rearing, and prevalence of female householder.They have two micro family factors: male power and strong familistic values:Male Power: Husband and father; the head of the familyStrong Familistic Values: Family is most valued social unity in the society
23Diversity in Marriage Canadian Families Although much of marriage and family life in Canada is similar to that in the United States, some of the differences include the following:LanguageBilingual families: English and FrenchDefinitions of FamilyCommon-law couples considered familySame-sex relationshipsLegalized same sex relationships and court protectionChildrenWait longer and have less childrenGovernment Programs for FamiliesUniversal childcare centers for a low fee, medical costs covered by the state, parental leave for up to a year is paid for at the rate of employment insuranceDivorceHalf the divorce rate as U.S.
24Diversity in Marriage Muslim American Families 9/ll resulted in an increased awareness that Muslim families are part of American demographics.5.8 million adults in the U.S. and 1.3 billion worldwide self-identify with the Islamic religion.The three largest American Muslim groups in the U.S. are African Americans, Arabs, and South Asians.
25Diversity in Marriage Muslim American Families Islamic tradition emphasizes:Close family ties with the nuclear and extended familySocial activities with family membersRespect for the authority of the elderly and parents
26Diversity in Marriage Military Families About 60% of military personnel are married and/or have children.Military families are unique in several ways:Traditional Sex Roles.Typically, the husband is deployed and the wife takes care of the family in his absence.Loss of Control – DeploymentMilitary families have little control over their lives and the threat of death or injury is always present.
27Diversity in Marriage Military Families InfidelityThe context of separation from each other for months at a time increases the vulnerability of both spouses to other partners.Separation from Extended Family/Close FriendsLower Marital Satisfaction and Higher DivorceEmployment of SpousesResilient Military Families.Most military families are amazingly resilient.
28Diversity in Marriage Interracial Marriage Less than 5% of marriages in the United States are interracial.Segregation in religion, housing, and education are factors in the low percentage of Black/white marriages.Black-white spouses are more likely to have been married before, to be age-discrepant, to live far from their families of orientation, to have been reared in racially tolerant homes, and to have educations beyond high school.
29Diversity in Marriage Interreligious Marriages If both spouses are devout in their (different) religious beliefs, they may have problems in the relationship.Less problematic is the relationship in which one spouse is devout but the partner is not.If neither spouse in an interfaith marriage is devout, problems regarding religious differences may be minimal or nonexistent.
30Diversity in Marriage Cross-National Marriages Since American students take classes with foreign students, there is the opportunity for romance between the groups, which may lead to marriage.Cultural differences do not necessarily cause stress in cross-national marriage, and degree of cultural difference is not related to degree of stress.Much of the stress is related to society’s intolerance of cross-national marriages.
31Diversity in Marriage Age-Discrepant Relationships and Marriages In marriage, these are referred to as ADMs (age-dissimilar marriages) and are in contrast to ASMs (age-similar marriages).ADMs are also known as May-December marriages.Research shows that there is no difference in reported marital satisfaction between a group of ADMs and ASMs.
32Marriage Quality Definition and Characteristics of Successful Marriages Marital success refers to the quality of the marriage relationship measured in terms of marital stability and marital happiness.Characteristics of Successful Marriages:IntimacyCommunicationCommon InterestsNot MaterialisticRole Models
33Marriage Quality Definition and Characteristics of Successful Marriages ReligiosityTrustPersonal and Emotional Commitment to Stay MarriedSexual DesireEquitable RelationshipsMarriage/Connection RitualsAbsence of Negative AttributionsForgivenessEconomic SecurityHealth
34Marriage Quality Theoretical Views of Marital Happiness and Success Couple Identification of the Conditions of Marital HappinessMarital Happiness Across TimeHealthy Marriage Initiative
35The Future of Marriage Relationships Diversity will continue to characterize marriage relationships of the future.The traditional model of the husband provider, stay-at-home mom, and two children will continue to transition into other forms including more women in the work force, single parent families, and smaller families.Openness to interracial, interreligious, cross-national, age-discrepant, relationships will increase.
36Quick QuizWhich of the following is considered an individual motivation for marriage?LoveCompanionshipParenthoodEconomic SecurityAll of the AboveANS: E
37Quick Quiz _____ is the intent to maintain a relationship. Engagement MarriageCommitmentSocial pressureANS: C
38Quick QuizMarriage is considered a _____, or an event that marks the transition from one social status to another.commitmenthoneymoonweddingrite of passageANS: D
39Quick Quiz_____ and strong familistic values are both considered micro family factors.Male powerFinancial responsibilityIndependenceWomen’s powerANS: D
40Quick Quiz Age discrepant marriages are also referred to as: ASMs ADMs CSMsNovember-February MarriagesANS: B