MGG201W – Marriage Guidance – facilitative couples counselling Theme ONE – Understanding couples
Intimacy involves: love, affection and caring, deep attachment to another person. The TRIPOD of couple relationships
An intimate relationship consists of three factors that form a tripod on which the relationship rests. 1. Passionate attraction (PA)
2. Mutual expectations (ME)
3. Personal intentions (PI)
Passionate attractions (PA)
→ Individual experiences intensely pleasurable sensations when thinking about or being with a new partner.
→ Blushing, trembling, breathlessness, high sexual desire
→ Referred to as infatuation = passing love “a foolish and unreasoning love’ → Infatuation is not a realistic / accurate appraisal of the relationship / idealisation → Negative / flaws in the idealised beloved may be intellectually recognised, but disregarded as endearingly special. Person chooses to ignore the negatives
→ Normal phase in the process of relationships
→ Infatuation can lead to a lasting relationship – but it mostly fades away and relationship based on infatuation alone will fail.
→ Involves physical attraction - deeper
→ Love encompasses PA, ME and PI
→ People rely mostly on life experiences to guide them to their own unique way of demonstrating love.
→ Eric Fromm “love is active concern for the life and growth of the person we love” → Love is deep, unselfish, caring, deep respect
Hauck’s basic principles about love
• It is not just the person you love, but rather what he/she does for you - actions speak louder than verbal promises of love and devotion.
• Just like any business relationship, you have to invest in the relationship so as to benefit from its rewards - love requires a reciprocal investment from both parties • Love is like a business partnership – it needs management - rules to ensure it remains mutually satisfying
• The goal in the relationship is to be reasonably content.
Mutual Expectations (ME)
→ Passionate attractions create a group of mutual expectations. → People are surrounded by their own personal worlds of meaning and if they want their relationship to survive, they have to explicitly state what they want and need. If they do not do this, their relationship will not progress beyond the passionate attraction stage. Page 1 of 57
Marriage Guidance – Summary
Myths: common expectations
→ A partner should demonstrate sympathy to the person whenever he/ she is upset → A partner should always be willing to express innermost thoughts and feelings at all times → A partner should be loyal by automatically siding with the person when they’ve been in an argument with others.
→ A partner should always want do to things with the person, devoting time and attention to the relationship
→ A partner should choose the person above all others at all times. → A partner should allow the person to continue to take part in all the activities that he/she was involved in before the relationship began.
Introjected expectations bought from family of origin, society and media are unrealistic myths. Expectations about roles and responsibilities
→ Traditionally- culture defined, prescribed and allocated non-negotiable rules and duties, often according to gender.
→ Today – more egalitarian relationships exist.
Expectations about life events
Personal Intentions (PI)
→ The converse of expectations
→ Individuals decisions – both deliberate and unconscious, about how he/she should behave as a loving partner
→ Consider the way your partner wants to be loved
Individual differences and their impact on the couple relationship Couples enter a relationship with a set of expectations based largely on their past experiences, and further determined by gender and ethnic differences.
→ Both have fundamental needs of self-esteem, survival, intimacy and growth → Both need the sense of having some control over their...