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Janet Belsky’s Experiencing the Lifespan, 2e Chapter 11: Relationships and Roles Robin Lee, Middle Tennessee State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Janet Belsky’s Experiencing the Lifespan, 2e Chapter 11: Relationships and Roles Robin Lee, Middle Tennessee State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Janet Belsky’s Experiencing the Lifespan, 2e Chapter 11: Relationships and Roles Robin Lee, Middle Tennessee State University

2 The Changing Landscape of Marriage Throughout history: Marriage was often based on practical concerns  Arranged by families with the focus not on love  Marriage affected by shorter life expectancies  Marriage possibly only lasting one or two decades (20 years). Mid 20 th century (1950s): Marriage in 20s with the expectation of maintaining the relationship for a half-century.  Often based on traditional gender roles the norm (see photo) Late 20 th century: Marriage is significantly redefined.  Marriage was _________________– transformed from the standards adult “institution to more of a focus on personal choices.

3 Deinstitutionalizing marriage ____________________had significant impact in redefining marriage.  Focus on more equality in relationships and roles. Focus on personal choices affected divorce rate  Caused significant increase More choices of living alone or cohabitation Rise in single parents  Less stigma attached to having children prior to marriage.  “shotgun” marriage a thing of the past  Recent studies indicated that parents are less embarrassed with children outside of marriage.  However, ____________________________

4 The American Dream: a happy marriage Despite high divorce rates, young people still want to marry.  8 out of 10 report want to marry. Although the desire may be marriage, more consideration is given to certain fundamentals: Personal goals Sense of identify established Financially stability High non-marriage rates among low income adults is partly due to economic barriers: “I need to get it together financially before it’s right to wed.” Staying in a marriage for a lifetime has been elevated to a badge of achievement.

5 Ups and downs of the marital Pathway Happiness is at its peak during _________________ Satisfaction rapidly slopes downward, and then tends to decline more slowly or level out around year 4. If a couple can get past the first _________, they have passed the main divorce danger zone.

6 The u-shaped curve of martial satisfaction Marriage affected by work and children First child reaching puberty causes more stress to relationship as parents deal with child’s emotional instability Positive change occurs with empty nest Happiness ____________when children leave. Many empty-nest couples reconnect when they are suddenly “just the two of us” together again. Elderly couples fight less as they focus on the end of precious life moments together.

7 Sternberg’s Triangular Theory Adult love relationships broken into 3 components: 1. Passion (sexual arousal) 2. Intimacy (feelings of closeness) 3. Commitment (marriage or exclusive, lifelong cohabitating relationships) Romantic love – combines passion and intimacy Commitment alone results in an “empty marriage” Consummate love (ideal state) – combines passion, intimacy and commitment  for life is our ideal; but over time marital passion and even intimacy tend to wane

8 Keeping Passion and Intimacy Alive Realize that keeping passion and intimacy takes work. Regularly engage in exciting activities that both partners enjoy

9 Marital Communications: Happy couples Have a higher ratio of _________________________________ ________________________________  Caring, loving comments must outweigh critical. Never get personally hurtful when they disagree.  Unhappy couples personalize their conflicts, often using put-downs and sarcasm. Do not engage in repeated demand- withdrawal interactions.  Interactions that begin with attempted discussions of concern, leading to disgust, then contempt.

10 Commitment as the key to success Being dedicated to the relationship above self Sanctifying the relationships Sacrificing personal wants for partner’s joy _________________is key. Sacrificing must be reciprocal.

11 Summarizing the Insights Be aware that passion and intimacy naturally wane. Share exciting activities with your mate Avoid score keeping and adhere to the “we mode” of unconditional love Engage in constructive communication styles Understand that outside stresses can impair relationships and reach out in love when your mate is under stress A Final comment The idea that we need to “work” at marriage; or must have passion and intimacy is a modern ______________

12 Facts about Divorce Most weigh the costs vs. the benefits. Finances are typically a concern. (Can I support my family financially?) How will the divorce affect the children? ___________________tend to be the most cited cause of divorce. While other problems can exist, an extra- marital affair may push couples toward divorce.

13 Facts on Marriages  __________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  Every ten to thirteen seconds someone gets divorced.  50% of women and 33% of men remain angry for ten years after a divorce.  Women have more trouble starting new relationships than divorced men do.  More than 90% of divorces in long-standing marriages involve infidelities some time during the marriage.  80% of those who divorce during an affair regret the decision.  Over 75% who marry partners in an affair eventually divorce.  The average affair lasts two to four years.  If an affair replaces the marriage, it is subject to the same emotional stresses as the marriage but is twice as likely to fracture.

14 How to Destroy a Marriage 101  Never share your thoughts. Always be sarcastic and abusive(Poor Communication)  Demand your partner follow you everywhere you go and remind them to call every 15 minutes(Unrealistic expectations of marriage or spouse)  Never admit defeat. Always know you’re right(Power struggles)  Don’t deal with your personal problems…ever(Individual problems)  ____________________________________  Use drugs (Substance use)  _____________________________________  Avoid dealing with sexual difficulties(Sex)

15 Men, Women, and Divorce Issues for women: ___________________ The stresses of single parenthood Issues for men: Since moms typically receive custody of the kids, the heartache of being “visitor fathers.” The result: men may give up and disengage from their children and form new families. ____________________________________________ __________________________________________

16 The Changing Context of Parenthood More possibilities to enjoy this pivotal life-role for a huge variety of non traditional families. The freedom to choose not to be parents. Decline in fertility rates has affected the choice to be parents. There is no evidence that people who choose not to have children are narcissistic or unhappy. Parenthood is not NECESSARY to live a full life.

17 The Transition to Parenthood Longitudinal studies of couples’ relationships show:  Parenthood makes couples _________________- feel more like “fellow workers.”  Parenthood tends to produce more traditional (and conflict-ridden) marital roles.  resulting in possible ________________issues if both spouses work full time  Marital equity – fairness in the “work” of a couples life together Great variability in how couples cope with being parents Most do get slightly less happy, but for others satisfaction improves. Having a good prior relationship is key to adjusting well. One caution: people should not consider having a baby to improve their marriage.

18 Exploring Motherhood Moms with young children report the __________ day-to-day levels of happiness (compared to childless and empty-nest women). 1 in 2 mothers report having trouble controlling temper. Behaviors as simple as child’s whining might provoke anger reaction. Quality of attachment to the child defines how mothers react to their children. Temperamentally difficult children provoke strong negative reactions.

19 Dealing with motherhood stress 1.Provide a realistic view of parenthood. 2.Validate mother’s feelings of inadequacy. 3.Do not expect perfection.  Understand that moms are human beings. 4.Criticize ______________________ The performance anxiety and stress attached to modern motherhood may be too intense! Researchers have found that today’s mothers actually spend more time with their children compared to previous generations. With all the responsibilities, what gets the least amount of attention is the marriage.

20 New nurturer father – a new social concept to describe fathers who activity engage in child care as well as continue the “breadwinner” role. The new masculine ideal. All of these roles can lead to contradictory demands. Exploring Fatherhood

21 How fathers act Fathers are the __________________________________________ __________________________________________ ________________________________________ Within the last 15 years, dads are really pitching in to do hands on child care. However, dads still typically do less. Even when dads do just as much, moms still often have primary responsibility for the children. There is incredible variability in how specific fathers negotiate this job. A problem hampering involvement: Many dads still feel incredibly committed to fulfilling the classic provider role.

22 The changing world of work  A dramatic decline in traditional stable careers (working for the same company) and a rise in boundaryless careers (job changes and career shifts).  Boundaryless careers do offer the chance for more flexibility, but their dominance is also due to greater U.S. job insecurity. Having a secure job for life in a big company is a thing of the past.  Workers are working ________________ The typical U.S. worker works 49 hours. Technology actually may operate to increase the hours we are working; as does competition with our peers.  There has been a rise in ____________________ Many workers don’t mind this as it may help them juggle the demands of their family lives with their partner.

23 Women and Work Women have less continuous careers than men. They are more prone to move in and out of the workforce due to care- giving responsibilities. Occupational segregation is still the norm. Women are found in stereotypically female careers such as day care worker or secretary. (Also, they are less likely to advance to higher managerial rungs.) Full time female workers still earn less than their male counterparts. ( The reasons for these pay disparities are probably due to a variety of forces… not just discrimination.) CONCLUSION: ______________________________________

24 Career Happiness: Depends on two forces 1) Finding a career that fits your personality John Holland’s career theory matches career to personality. 2) Finding a workplace that offers: _______________- most workers want work that offers inner fulfillment. (They are finding it, too!) ________________- external reinforcements like prestige and salary; less important, but still desired. Forces that impair intrinsic satisfaction: ___________- having too much to do at work. _________- described as being torn between job demands and the demands of our other roles, such as family.


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