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Chapter 9 When Couples and Families Struggle 1. Approximately ____ of first marriages end in divorce Disadvantages associated with divorce 1. Toxic patterns.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 When Couples and Families Struggle 1. Approximately ____ of first marriages end in divorce Disadvantages associated with divorce 1. Toxic patterns."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 When Couples and Families Struggle 1

2 Approximately ____ of first marriages end in divorce Disadvantages associated with divorce 1. Toxic patterns carried over from first marriages to second marriages 2. Divorce may create new problems that previously didn’t exist 3. Divorce may create adjustment problems for children 4. Other 2

3 Warning Signs Even Before Marriage Problems of self-esteem Problems of anger and self control Problems with addiction Problems concerning unfinished business from childhood PREPARE: A Premarital Preparation Program (p. 285-288). 3

4 Gottman observed … in the love lab 4 Couple’s interactions, discussing topics, working on tasks together, attempting to resolve conflict Observed facial expressions, bodily gestures etc. Measured physiological changes such as heart rate, palm moisture,etc. Also assessed cognitive components—thoughts Gottman found 3 healthy marital styles – maintained 5 to 1 ratio in conflict discussion Gottman: Divorce From a Process Perspective

5 Va______ Couples Emotions and opinions - validated by ______________________ Mutual respect, few disagreements Compromise Good friends, value “we” over “me” Possible drawbacks. 5

6 Vo____ Couples Heated ________, high energy Negative/positive _________ expression Involved in give-and-take Equals within a loving marriage Allow for individuality/differences Possible drawbacks. 6

7 A______ Couples “Conflict __________” Down play their differences Accept positives, ignore differences “Love will see us through” Agree to disagree Possible drawbacks These 3 types of marriages were successful because they had 7

8 The Important Ratio: 5 to 1 at least 5 positive interactions to every negative interaction in conflict discussions If couple could not maintain 5 to 1 ratio their marriage became troubled. 8

9 Unhealthy Marriage Styles Hostile/_______: hot arguments, put downs, failure to listen and empathize Hostile/________: some hostility but at least one partner somewhat emotionally uninvolved and detached. Perhaps they had __________ styles Validator with an avoider Validator with Volatile Avoider with volatile 9

10 The Signs of Trouble: “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” Criticism often begins with _____ Differs from complaint – a complaint is more specific, can be helpful, often begins with ___ Complaints = ___ startup Criticism = _____ startup 10 1. Criticism _______ and _______ one’s personal character

11 Criticism: Why can’t you ever remember anything? I told you a thousand times to fill up the tank and you didn’t. I can never count on you for anything. Complaint: Criticism: You never take me anywhere. All you want to do is sit on your butt and watch TV. You’re a disgrace. Complaint: Criticism: You left dirty dishes all over the kitchen again. You promised me you wouldn’t. I just can’t trust you to do anything you say. Complaint: 11

12 Follows _______ Response to attack Usually _______ conflict/negativity “If you are being defensive (even if you feel completely righteous in your stance), you are ______ to your marital troubles.” 12 2. Defensiveness

13 Intentional ______ Views spouse as stupid and incompetent Intent to abuse and harm Corrodes respect and admiration The “sulfuric ____” of relationships. 13 3. Contempt

14 Signs of Contempt Insults Name calling - “jerk”, “bitch”, “idiot” Hostile humor Mockery Body language- often head tilted back, rolling of eyes In healthy marriages some criticism and defensiveness occurs. In healthy marriages ________ is practically nonexistent. 14

15 4. Stonewalling Withdrawal to control ____________________ silent, looking away, disengagement, or leaving the room ____ are men Upsets _______ more than men Very destructive when men become habitual stonewallers As 4 horsemen invade the 5 to 1 ratio in conflict discussions deteriorates Couple begins to reset _________. 15

16 The Physiological Components of Marital Conflict In arguments it takes less negativity for husbands to be overwhelmed Husbands’ heart rate and blood pressure increases more rapidly, rises higher, and stays elevated longer Called _______ Leads to ___________. 16

17 The Cognitive Components of Marital Conflict After taping couples arguing, Gottman asked partners to view tape and indicate what they were thinking Husbands likely to have stress __________ thoughts - righteous indignation/innocent victimhood Often leads to more contempt Women were more likely to have _______, relationship enhancing thoughts. 17

18 The Distance and Isolation Cascade As the four horsemen invade, partners Lose ___________________ for each other Perceive problems as ________________ Talk is ______ Live separate lives as loneliness sets in _______ history – construe past negatively Little irritants become ________ Past viewed as _______ and chaotic 18

19 Failed repair attempts Why don’t partners make an attempt to right the ship? They do - called ______ attempts. Communication that deescalates the ________. Repair attempts either not heard or cannot break through the negativity. 19

20 Gottman - divorce can be predicted by seeing if repair attempts ___. If they do, things continue to escalate and spin out of control How does a marriage come to experience such misery? Gradually, one ________ after the other Perhaps the couple simply had their expectations too high. Would lowering expectations help? 20

21 Partners who continue to have high expectations have the best marriages In happy marriages, wives are usually sensitive to low levels of negativity - like an early _____________. If wife accepts this negativity and does nothing until it gets worse, will this help? Finding: Wives who intervene _____ and refuse to allow the first three ________ to overrun the marriage, later had stable marriages. 21

22 22 Falling Down the Marital Steps/Cascade Marital Bliss Criticism Defensiveness Contempt Stonewalling Thoughts - Stress Maintaining Failed Repair Attempts Respect and Admiration Diminishes Problems Seen as Severe Rewrite History Talk is Useless Live Separate Lives/Lonely

23 Uncoupling: Another View Diane Vaughan’s research __________ 103 individuals whose relationships had failed Objective: explore how uncoupling occurred over time Findings: partners go through same stages but at ________ times One partner dissatisfied ________; other partner does not see trouble. 23

24 Viewpoint of Initiator Starts with secret/something not quite right After time, (I.) decides to communicate discontent Communication often difficult (I.) fearful and uncertain Usually communicates ______ Rather than “I’m unhappy because…” Expresses _______. 24

25 Purpose: __________________ If relationship does not improve, (I.) may change basic ______________________ Redefine self, relationship, finds alternate ways of seeking validation Nothing gets _______ in marriage. 25

26 More discontent, more criticism, hope lost Purpose now - not to improve marriage, but to emphasize that marriage is _______ (I.) goes public to ______________ and ______ Reconstructs ______ Explores what life might be like after.. Yet, still uncertainties. Partner in dark. 26

27 The Rejected Partner Aware without being _____ Sees and hears, but chooses to ____ Difficulty receiving bad news Selectively processes experiences that reinforce __________ Hangs on the picture of intact marriage Avoids thoughts of breakup. 27

28 Negatives - normal for couples Present situation will pass Cover up becomes unbearable for (I.) Two forms of communication 1) Direct 2) Indirect Relationship labeled as _______ In this process, rejected partner may make what is labeled a ____ mistake - sobs, anger etc. 28

29 (I.) may play at trying to recreate relationship However, partners at different places in ________________ (I.) much further along - has entered another social world For rejected partner old habits die hard, tend to reappear Partner _________ Must redefine relationship and their partner – for just as the (I) cannot separate from someone he/she likes, neither can the rejected partner 29

30 Harville Hendrix and the Power Struggle The death of romantic love –Since individuals “have chosen partners with their caretakers’ failings, it is likely that the partner will fail them as well, in the same devastating ways. Each is doomed to disappoint the other” –Stages of power struggle same as stages of grief (Kubler-Ross) –Shock, denial, anger, bargaining, despair. 30

31 Why so much unpleasantness? Hendrix believes that a pleasant response was not the first imprint on the old brain If infant had unmet needs, ______ and ______ response was natural When despair is reached, couples do not know what to do to make things better They have an “unconscious marriage”- no understanding of the powerful forces that have created their problems. 31

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