soc218chapter7.ppt - MyTMC

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					 CHAPTER 7
Marriage Relationships
• Quote: “I have great hopes that we shall love
  each other all our lives as much as if we had
  never married at all.”
   – Lord Byron, poet
• Tiger Woods story at beginning
• Once you have filtered out people, found the
  right person – ready to marry
• Individual Motivations for Marriage
   – Love
   – Personal Fulfillment
   – Companionship
   – Parenthood
   – Economic Security
• The primary function of marriage is to bind
  a male and female together who will
  reproduce, raise their young, and socialize
  them to be productive members of society.
• Additional functions:
  – Regulate sexual behavior
  – Stabilize adult personalities by providing a
  – Emotional support
• Person-to-Person
  – Individuals commit themselves to someone
    whom they love, with whom they feel a sense
    of equality, and who they feel is the best of the
    alternative persons available to them
  – Behavioral indexes
• Family-to-Family
  – Marriage involves commitments to the family
    members of the spouse
• Couple-to-State
  – Spouses become legally committed to each
    other according to the laws of the state in
    which they reside.
  – They cannot arbitrarily decide to terminate
    their own marital agreement.
         Covenant Marriage
• Declaration of Intent
  – Premarital education/counseling
  – Counseling before divorce
  – Cooling off period of 2 years after children
    before divorce
  – Divorce not due to “being unhappy”
• Data on 600 marriages in Louisiana
• Discussion:
  – Quote: “I knew the day of the wedding that I did
    not want to marry. I told my dad, and he said, ‘Be
    a man.’ I went through with the marriage and
    regretted it ever since.” (This person divorced
    after twenty-five years of marriage.)
  – Quote: “I said ‘Holy Jesus’ just before I walked
    down the aisle with my dad. He said, What’s the
    matter, honey?’ I couldn't’t tell him, went through
    with the wedding, and later divorced.” (This
    person divorced after twelve years.)
• The wedding is a rite of passage that is
  both religious and civil.
• Women as property
• Commercialized
• Public experience
• Blood tests, license
•   Artifacts worn – old, new, borrowed, blue
•   Married by clergy
•   Reducing the cost of the wedding
• The honeymoon has personal and social
  – The personal function is to provide a period of
    recuperation from the demands of preparing
    for and being in a wedding ceremony and
  – The social function is to provide a time for the
    couple to be alone to solidify the change in
    their identity to a married couple.
Social Research – the wedding
• Page 196 and 197 of text
• Generally positive experiences
• Summarize your wedding night
  – “he was thinking about his old girlfriend”
• If you could replay your wedding night
  what would you change:
  – “different person”
• Unless the partners have signed a
  prenuptial agreement, after the wedding,
  each spouse becomes part owner of what
  the other earns in income and
  accumulates in property.
• Enhanced self concept
• The married person begins adopting
  values and behaviors consistent with the
  married role
• Less time will be spent with friends
  because of the new role demands as a
• What spouses give up in friendships, they
  gain in developing an intimate relationship
  with each other.
•   Disenchantment
•   Experience loss of freedom
•   Feeling more responsibility
•   Missing alone time
•   Change in how money is spent
•   Sexual changes
•   Power changes
•   Discovering that one’s mate is different
    from one’s date
• Time spent with parents and extended kin
  radically increases when a couple has
• Emotional separation from one’s parents is
  an important developmental task in
  building a successful marriage.
    Changes after Marriage
      Financial Changes
• Debt
• Spending habits
  – Short and long term goals
                Diversity in Marriage
                  Hispanic Families
• Hispanics tend to have higher rates of marriage, early
  marriage, higher fertility, nonmarital child rearing, and
  prevalence of female householder.
• They have two micro family factors: male power and
  strong familistic values:
   – Male Power: Husband and father; the head of the family
   – Strong Familistic Values: Family is most valued social unity
     in the society
              Diversity in Marriage
               Canadian Families
• Although much of marriage and family life in Canada is
  similar to that in the United States, some of the
  differences include the following:
   – Language
       • Bilingual families: English and French
   – Definitions of Family
       • Common-law couples considered family
   – Same-sex relationships
       • Legalized same sex relationships and court protection
   – Children
       • Wait longer and have less children
   – Government Programs for Families
       • Universal childcare centers for a low fee, medical costs covered by the
         state, parental leave for up to a year is paid for at the rate of employment
   – Divorce
       • Half the divorce rate as U.S.
• Islamic tradition emphasizes:
  – Close family ties with the nuclear and
    extended family
  – Social activities with family members
  – Respect for the authority of the elderly and
•   About 60% of military personnel are married and/or
    have children.
•   Military families are unique in several ways:
    1. Traditional Sex Roles.
       – Typically, the husband is deployed and the
         wife takes care of the family in his absence.
    2. Loss of Control – Deployment
       – Military families have little control over their
         lives and the threat of death or injury is
         always present.
3. Infidelity
     –   The context of separation from each other for
         months at a time increases the vulnerability of
         both spouses to other partners.
4.   Separation from Extended Family/Close Friends
5.   Lower Marital Satisfaction and Higher Divorce
6.   Employment of Spouses
7.   Resilient Military Families.
     –   Most military families are amazingly resilient.
• 13-15% of marriages in the United States are
• Negative reactions to relationship
• If both spouses are devout in their (different)
  religious beliefs, they may have problems in
  the relationship.
• Less problematic is the relationship in which
  one spouse is devout but the partner is not.
• If neither spouse in an interfaith marriage is
  devout, problems regarding religious
  differences may be minimal or nonexistent.
• Since American students take classes with foreign
  students, there is the opportunity for romance
  between the groups, which may lead to marriage.
• Cultural differences do not necessarily cause stress
  in cross-national marriage, and degree of cultural
  difference is not related to degree of stress.
• Much of the stress is related to society’s intolerance
  of cross-national marriages.
• In marriage, these are referred to as ADMs
  (age-dissimilar marriages) and are in
  contrast to ASMs (age-similar marriages).
• ADMs are also known as May-December
• Research shows that there is no difference
  in reported marital satisfaction between a
  group of ADMs and ASMs.
• Marital success refers to the quality of the
  marriage relationship measured in terms of
  marital stability and marital happiness.
• Characteristics of Successful Marriages:
  1.   Intimacy
  2.   Communication
  3.   Common Interests
  4.   Not Materialistic
  5.   Role Models
6. Religiosity
7. Trust
8. Personal and Emotional Commitment to Stay
9. Sexual Desire
10. Equitable Relationships
11. Marriage/Connection Rituals
12. Absence of Negative Attributions
13. Forgiveness
14. Economic Security
15. Health
         Marriage Quality
• Theoretical Views of Marital Happiness
  and Success
  – Interactionists
  – Family Developmental
  – Exchange
  – Functionalists
          Marriage Quality
• Couple Identification of the Conditions of
  Marital Happiness
• Marital Happiness Across Time
• Healthy Marriage Initiative
       The Future of Marriage
• Diversity will continue to characterize
  marriage relationships of the future.
• The traditional model of the husband
  provider, stay-at-home mom, and two
  children will continue to transition into other
  forms including more women in the work
  force, single parent families, and smaller
• Openness to interracial, interreligious, cross-
  national, age-discrepant, relationships will

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