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Stresses and Strains Is jealousy a good test of love? Can we lie to our partners and get away with it? How can we deal with betrayal?

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Presentation on theme: "Stresses and Strains Is jealousy a good test of love? Can we lie to our partners and get away with it? How can we deal with betrayal?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Stresses and Strains Is jealousy a good test of love? Can we lie to our partners and get away with it? How can we deal with betrayal?

2 Jealousy The negative emotional experience that results from the potential loss of a valued relationship to a real or imagined rival Envy – a humiliating longing for another person’s possessions Characterized by feelings of Hurt Fear Anger

3 An expression of love? How would you feel if you couldn’t make your partner jealous? Do you think jealousy is a good test of love?

4 Types of jealousy Reactive – response to an realistic threat, whether in the past, current, or anticipated in the future Survey of 700 American college students Most reported having dated, kissed or slept with someone else while they were in a serious romantic relationship (Wiederman & Hurd, 1999) Suspicious – one’s partner has not misbehaved and one’s suspicions do not fit the facts “paranoia” Mixture

5 Who is prone to jealously? Dependency – low CLalt Feelings of inadequacy “mate value” – attractiveness, wealth, talent Adhering to traditional gender roles (macho men and feminine women) Rules of these relationships are very strict Great dismay if they are broken

6 Who gets us jealous? Rivals with high mate values who make us look bad in comparison Rivals who have surpassed us in accomplishments Men are more jealous of men who are self-confident, dominant, and resourceful Women are more jealous of women who are prettier than they are Evolutionary psychology

7 What gets us jealous? Men – sexual infidelity Women – emotional infidelity Evolutionary perspective Men – paternal uncertainty Men might think that women can love someone without having sex Women – fear of abandonment (resources) Women might think sex can occur without an emotional attachment

8 Responses to jealousy Imagine you are at a party and you leave your romantic partner sitting on a couch alone while you refill your drinks. While you’re gone, your partner’s old boyfriend or girlfriend happens by and sits for a moment. They share a light kiss of greeting as you return with the drinks. How do you respond?

9 Men try to protect their egos Plan to get drunk Confront and threaten the rival Resolve to pursue other women Women seek to improve the relationship Put on a show of indifference Compete by making themselves look more attractive (Shettel-Neuber, Bryson, & Young, 1978)

10 Women are more likely than men to try to get their partners jealous to test the relationship or elicit more attention and commitment from their partners (White, 1980a) The problem is that men do not typically react to jealousy in this way

11 Ways to cope with jealousy Self-reliance – try to avoid feeling angry or embarrassed by refusing to dwell on the unfairness of the situation Self-bolstering – giving a boost to one’s self- esteem by doing something nice for oneself and thinking about one’s good qualities (Salovey & Rodin, 1988)

12 Deception and lying Intentional behavior that creates an impression to the recipient that the deceiver knows is false Ways to deceive Lying Concealing info/leaving out details Diverting attention away from vital facts/changing subjects

13 Lying College students report lying to 1 out of every 3 people they interact with (DePaulo et al., 1996) Adults lie to about 1 in 5 The most common type of lie is one that benefits the liar But one-fourth of lies are told to benefit others

14 People tell fewer lies to their lovers and friends than strangers or acquaintances Spouses are more likely to conceal information and less likely to make explicitly false statements that partners in other relationships But when partners do tell lies about topics that could destroy their relationships, they tell them more often to their closest partners (DePaulo, Ansfield, Kirkendol, & Boden, 2000)

15 Who lies? People who are gregarious and sociable, and are more concerned with the impressions they make on others tend to tell more lies (Kashy & DePaulo, 1996) Lies to attractive targets of the opposite sex told to make a good impression are more transparent than lies to unattractive targets

16 Lies are usually detected through nonverbal behavior Liars speak hesitantly Speak in a higher pitched voice Blink more Also, make more grammatical errors Mismatches between body language and tones of voice Detecting lies

17 Intimate partners usually have a truth bias They assume their partners are usually telling the truth Thus, people are confident their spouses are telling the truth, but not necessarily accurate As relationships become more intimate and trust increases, accuracy actually declines (McCornack & Parks, 1990)

18 Consequences of lying Violation of shared expectations of honesty and trust May contribute to unwarranted suspicion and doubt May be viewed as an act of betrayal

19 Betrayal If your partner cheated on you, but your relationship was very satisfying, would you want to know about it? Why?

20 What is betrayal? Hurtful actions by people we trusted and from whom we did not expect such treachery Examples: Sexual or emotional infidelity Lying Revealing secrets Breaking promises Failing to support one’s partner Abandoning the relationship What hurts our feelings is the realization that our partners do not love or respect us as much as we thought they did

21 Betrayal is a common event in close relationships There are the competing demands of having many close relationships May have loyalties to many people and be unable to keep them all

22 Individual differences in betrayal Higher scores on the interpersonal betrayal scale were found for students majoring in the social sciences, education, and humanities (Jones and Burdette, 1994) Less frequent among those who are older, better educated, and religious Men are more likely to betray their romantic partners and business associates Women are more likely to betray their friends and family

23 Coping with betrayal Perpetrators tend to think their behavior was harmful only half the time 1 in 5 think it actually improved the relationship 93% of people who suffer betrayal thinks its harmful (Jones & Burdette, 1994) Betrayal is often the central complaint of spouses seeking therapy or a divorce

24 Better coping when one faces that the betrayal happened Use it as impetus for personal growth Rely on friends for support Fare less well when people deny it happened, wallow in bitterness, or resort to drugs or alcohol Forgiveness may be the key to making the relationship continue Helped by an apology from the betrayer and empathy on behalf of the victim

25 “Unfaithful” Questions Why do you think Diane Lane has an affair? Why does she continue it? Do you think it was a good idea for Richard Gere to confront her lover? Is his reaction justified?

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