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Chapter 9, Marriage, A Private and Public Relationship

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1 Chapter 9, Marriage, A Private and Public Relationship
Marriage and Kinship Five Marriage Relationships The Marriage Premise Same-Sex Couples and Legal Marriage Marital Satisfaction and Choices Static Versus Flexible Marriages Contracting for Flexibility- A Contradiction?

2 Types of Couple Relationships
Balanced - partners have a balanced focus on themselves, each other, and outside interests. Couple-centered - couple is more romantically fused, focused mainly on their relationship. Family-centered - shared interest is a family interest such as parenting or extended family.

3 Types of Couple Relationships
Loose connection - partners focus mainly on their separate hobbies, careers or friends. Dependency distancing couples - one partner focuses on the marriage; the other puts more energy outside the relationship.

4 Five Marriage Relationships
Five representative relationships based on extensive interviews and research. The relationships differ according to how the spouses feel about marriage. Research has found these types among cohabitants as well as married partners.

5 Five Marriage Relationships
1. Conflict-Habituated Considerable tension and unresolved conflict. Spouses often nag and quarrel. For some, this kind of marriage fulfills a need for conflict.

6 Five Marriage Relationships
2. Devitalized Relationship has lost intimacy and meaning. Partners spend little time together, enjoy sex less and don’t share interests. More of these relationships end in divorce than they did in the past.

7 Five Marriage Relationships
3. Passive-Congenial Emphasize professional responsibilities, children, property and reputation. Partners focus on the sensibleness of their decision to marry. Less likely to end in divorce because there are no unrealistic expectations.

8 Five Marriage Relationships
4. Vital Partners enjoy being together. Conflict centers on real issues and disagreements are settled quickly. Sex is important and pleasurable. A minority of marriages.

9 Five Marriage Relationships
5. Total Spouses share home life, work, friends and leisure activities. Vulnerable to rapid disintegration if marital quality changes. Mutual dependency makes it difficult to adjust in case of death or divorce.

10 Important Marriage Facts
Marriage is different from other sexual relationships in many ways. Partners expect marriage to offer intimacy companionship and emotional support. Marriage involves more responsibility than other sexual relationships.

11 The Marriage Premise Expectation of Permanence - Wanting to stay married and feeling morally obligated to stay married. Expectation of Primariness - Includes expectation of sexual exclusivity.

12 Extramarital Sex 1/4 of all husbands and 15% of wives report having had at least one affair. 37% of men in their 50’s report having had at least one affair. Women are more likely to have an affair if their marriage is emotionally distant. Men have affairs for sexual variety.

13 Factors in Extramarital Affairs
Opportunity Willingness to take advantage of the opportunity. Expectations for satisfaction. Likelihood of the affair being discovered.

14 Recovering from An Affair
Offending spouse apologizes sincerely without defending the behavior. Offending spouse needs to allow and hear the anger and rage of the offended partner. Offending spouse needs to allow trust to rebuild gradually (possibly 2 years or longer).

15 Recovering from An Affair
Offending spouse needs to do things to regain trust. Offended spouse needs to decide whether to stay committed to the marriage and if so to let go of resentments. Couple must consider marriage counseling.

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