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Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Chapter 12 Love and Commitment
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Chapter Summary Love and Intimacy The ingredients of love Love and close relationships Commitment Cohabitation Marriage and other committed relationships
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Chapter Summary Cont’d Adjusting to Intimate Relationships Sharing responsibilities Communication and conflict Making the relationship better Sexuality Changes over time
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Chapter Summary Cont’d Divorce and Its Consequences The divorce experience Single-parent families Remarriage
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Love and Intimacy The ingredients of love: Love involves deep and tender feelings of affection for or attachment to one or more persons. Intimate relationships such as love overlap somewhat with friendships. Love, however, involves greater exclusiveness and emotional involvement. Thus, love relationships contain more ambivalence, conflict, distress, and mutual criticism than friendships. Love also involves more willingness to give our utmost for partners.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall There are several types of love: ROMANTIC LOVE: The strong, emotional attachment to a person of the opposite sex and, on occasion, the same sex. PASSIONATE LOVE: An intense emotional reaction to a potential romantic partner who may not even love you in return (i.e. head over heels feeling). COMPANIATE LOVE: A loving but practical relationships based primarily on emotional closeness and commitment rather than physical or sexual intimacy.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall The Triangular Theory of Love (Sternberg) suggests that there are three components to love. 1. Intimacy: the emotional aspect of love and includes closeness, sharing, communication, and support. 2. Passion: the motivational aspect of love which involves physiological arousal and intense desire to be united with the loved one. 3. Commitment: the cognitive aspect of love which includes both the short-term affirmation of love for the person and the long-term commitment to maintain that love.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Love is a rather universal phenomenon, BUT culture influences perceptions of love: Individualistic societies (example = United states): Romantic love is an important basis for marriage. Intimacy is important for marital satisfaction. Collective societies (example = India): Other reasons (e.g. economic) act as the basis for marriage. The divorce rate is lower in these societies.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Love and Close Relationships: How people approach close relationships reflects their personal development (e.g. style of attachment to parents). Attachment style (our typical style of becoming involved with others) influences romantic attachments. People with: Secure attachments: are happy and secure with a partner. Avoidant attachments: are uneasy when intimate with a partner. Anxious-ambivalent attachments: are very close to but wary of abandonment by partner.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Commitment: Cohabitation: Cohabitation is the practice of unmarried persons living together. Most who cohabit are in their twenties to forties. The cohabitation effect is where couples who cohabit first have greater relationship instability in marriage than those who do not cohabit.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Marriage and Other Committed Relationships Marriage is the state of being married; usually the legal union of two people. People tend to marry persons who are similar in age, education, ethnic, and social background. Same-sex marriage is not legal in most states, although many legislatures are considering laws regarding this type of union. Most marriages in the U.S. are voluntary marriages or based on the assumption that two people will remain married only as long as they are in love. Marital satisfaction is the sense of gratification and contentment in a marriage.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Marital Satisfaction Cont’d: When happy couples argue, they still use positive behaviors, such as humor, to defuse the conflict. Happy couples also use joint problem-solving. Happy couples have fun together.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Happy couple communicate accepting and unconditional attitudes toward one another. Happy couples often find consummate love, the balanced combination of intimacy, commitment and passion. Unhappy couples use toxic communications to one another, such as contempt.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Adjusting to Intimate Relationships : Sharing Responsibilities: Sex roles are changing. More women work outside the home, and men are expected to provide greater emotional support. Several studies report that when women work outside the home, they still do more housework than men. When men increase the amount of housework they do, marital satisfaction for women improves.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Communication and Conflict: Many issues can create conflict in intimate relationships: in-lawsunrealistic expectations child-rearinglack of affection sexualitypower struggles communicationsubstance abuse extramarital affairsmoney Communicating at the outset of a problem rather than waiting can often prevent conflict escalation.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Making the relationship better: Emotion Focused Therapy: A cognitive therapy that provides a technique for changing basic thought and emotional patterns. The goal is to help partners feel emotionally connected. The success rate is 70 to 75 percent, according to research.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Mediation: A neutral third party intervenes and assists the couple in managing or resolving their disputes. The goal is to help couples find mutually agreeable solutions to their problems. The success rate is 80 to 90 percent, according to research. Thus, divorce is not the only solution to marital discord.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Sexuality: By the end of their first year together, couples are having sex less frequently. The longer couples are together, the more important the quality of the relationship becomes. Most people express their desire for fidelity to their partner When asked, however, 15 percent of women and 25 percent of men disclose that they have had an extramarital affair.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Divorce and Its Consequences The Divorce Experience: The process of divorce is almost always painful. Partners breaking up a committed relationship also experience much the same pain. The pain originates from emotional, legal, and social issues. Most people need 2 or 3 years to recover from the pain.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Single-Parent Families Divorce takes a toll on children. Age, mental health status, personality, gender, and pre-existing relationships with parents all play a role in how well a child adjusts. Children may become depressed, resentful, or aggressive. Remarriage of a parent and introduction of a step-parent into a child’s life can also be stressful.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Children of single parents (typically single mothers) often live in poverty. Ultimately, the children may drop out of school, become pregnant, or turn to illicit substances to help them cope. Couples need to think carefully about commitment, marriage and divorce, especially when children are involved.
Duffy/Atwater © 2005 Prentice Hall Remarriage: Most divorced people remarry; in many instances they marry another divorced person. Second marriages also tend to end in divorce, although some can be quite happy. When two single parents marry each other and combine their families, they create blended families. The new “parent” is a step-parent. Young children adjust better to step-parents than do adolescents.
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