Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Five Types of Marriages

GRADE: 25/25 (Great Job!)
Lena Baron Assignment #4
June 22, 2011
Five Types of Marriage
What kinds of practices, behaviors, or attitudes do you think contribute to each of the five types of marriages?

Harmonious Couples
Main survey, Olsen, Olsen-Sigg, & Larsen (2008), put 24% of couples as Harmonious.
Satisfied/Strengths With: Conflict resolution ability, and their roles relationship.

In this study they determined that the most common marriage type in America was the Harmonious Couples Marriage. I picture this type of couple being content in their marriage, not ecstatic, but content. They know that there are weaknesses “but they settle with the mentality of “what marriage doesn’t have weaknesses?” They enjoy each other’s company and share the responsibility within the marriage in a give and take relationship with respect. They have the skills necessary and a desire to fix any conflicts that may arise before they become too extreme. This adds to the harmony and contentment within the marriage. At times, they may wonder where the bliss went in their marriage or if things could be better.
Conflicted Couples
Main survey, Olsen, Olsen-Sigg, & Larsen (2008),  put 22% of couples as conflicted with 16% happiness 3 years after marriage and 54% were divorced or separated (per a different study).
Satisfied With: Nothing Noted
Weaknesses: communication, and conflict resolution

It has been determined that the second most common type of marriage in America is the Conflicted Couple Marriages. I picture this type of marriage being filled with unresolved conflict. It is likely that both people in the marriage have come into the marriage with unresolved issues. This then adds to the conflict that will be set forth within their current relationship. Because both people lack the skills to communicate effectively and to resolve conflict, the negative issues in the marriage quickly start to out weigh the positive issues.  This a sign of the couple’s inability to forgive each other and make the necessary sacrifices to promote healing within the relationship and according to one of the studies, 54% of the couples who fall into the conflicted marriage types is divorced or separated before the third year of marriage.

Devitalized Couples
Main survey, Olsen, Olsen-Sigg, & Larsen (2008) put 19% in this category
Satisfied With: Nothing Noted

The survey at hand determined that 19% of America’s marriages fall right in the middle of all of the marriage types with Devitalized Marriages.  I picture this type of marriage as a Conflicted Marriage that did not end in divorce, and has only progressed further and further down hill.  The word devitalized means to make weak or lifeless, to deprive something of its strength or vigor (Encarta 2003). I see a devitalized marriage that is not mended as one that has not only become lifeless as a relationship, but one that has sucked the life out of the marriage participants as well. It has become a toxic zone. Within a devitalized marriage, neither partner can see any good within their partner. It is also possible that they have lost sight of the good within themselves as well.

Vitalized Couples
Main survey, Olsen, Olsen-Sigg, & Larsen (2008),  put 18% of couples as vitalized with 60% happiness 3 years after marriage and 17% were divorced or separated (per a different study).
Satisfied/Strengths With: communication, conflict resolution, their sexual relationship, and finances.

According to these studies, couples with a Vitalized marriage are only second to the least common type of marriage. However, I see a vitalized marriage as the type of marriage that most Americans wish for in their relationships. In my opinion, a couple entering into marriage with a vitalized marriage enters with healthy interpersonal skills. They have a good handle on positive communication skills and conflict resolution. They don’t enter the marriage with unresolved issues, and they are strictly committed to their partner and their marriage vow. This type of marriage couple takes an active role in nourishing their marriage and each other. Finally, this type of marriage couple enjoys each other. They stay connected, physically, emotionally, and spiritually even through the ups and downs of life’s journey.

Conventional Couples
Main survey, Olsen, Olsen-Sigg, & Larsen (2008),  put 17% of couples as conventional.
Strengths: Spiritual beliefs, having traditional roles, and a network of supportive family and friends.
Weaknesses: personality compatibility, communication, and conflict resolution.

It has been determined that the Conventional Couples marriage type is now the least common type of marriage in the United States. I picture a Conventional Couples marriage as one that fits the stereotypical “old school” marriage. Perhaps a good example might be a Catholic couple who come from a strong Catholic upbringing. They get married, raise several children, spend their life among family, and never look back. In reality, this couple never really builds further upon their marriage relationship or their friendship. Their marriage is almost a business situation. The husband goes to work, wife stays home to raise the kids, and they meet each night in the bedroom, just like it’s always been.

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