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Chapter 11

PSY260H1 - Chapter 11 notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Jan Paulsson

Chapter 11: Relationships and Roles 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 century (1950s): Marriage in 20s with the expectation of maintaining the relationship for a half-century.  Othen based on traditional gender roles the norm (see photo) Late 20 century: Marriage is significantly redefined.  Marriage was deinstitutionalized–transformed from the standard adult “institution” to more of a focus on personal choices. Deinstitutionalizing marriage Women’s movement 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. The American Dream: a happy marriage Despite high divorce rates, young people still want to marry.  8 out of 10 young Americans report they want to marry. Although the desire may be marriage, more consideration is given to certain fundamentals:  Personal goals  Sense of identify established  Financially stability Marital Pathway: Downhill and Then Up • Happiness is at its peak during the Honeymoon. • 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 4 years, they have passed the main divorce danger zone. 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 increases 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. Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Model of Love Love consists of three major components forming the three points of a triangle: Intimacy Passion Commitment Seven Love Types Intimacy (alone) = Liking Passion (alone) = Infatuation (A Crush) Commitment (alone) = Empty Love Intimacy + Passion = Romantic Love Intimacy + Commitment = Companionate Love Passion + Commitment = Fatuous Love Intimacy + Passion + Commitment = Consummate Love Keeping Passion and Intimacy Alive • Roughly 1 in 10 couples stay passionate for decades. • Realize that keeping passion and intimacy takes work. • Regularly engage in exciting activities that both partners enjoy. Good Marital Communications in Happy Couples • Have a higher ratio of positive to negative comments. Caring, loving comments should outweigh negative comments by a ratio of 5 to 1. • Never get personally hurtful when they disagree. Unhappy couples personalize their conflicts, often using put -downs and sarcasm. Couples should problem solve. Do not engage in repeated demand-withdrawal interactions. One partner attempts to connect emotionally while the other flees from closeness or problem solving. Commitment as the key to success • Being dedicated to the relationship • Sacrificing some personal wants for partner’s joy • Sacrificing must be reciprocal. • Forgiveness is key. 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? • Communication problems tend to be the most cited cause of divorce. • While other problems can exist, an extra-marital affair may push couples toward divorce. Two out of three people report having had an affair around the time their relationship began to break up. Longitudinal Outcomes of Divorce: People in very unhappy marriages prior to their divorce felt much better after divorcing. Relatively satisfied couple who divorced thinking their relationship had become stale or unfulfilling reported declines in well-being. F
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