Interpersonal Communication in

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Throughout the last half of the century, our society has watched the divorce rate of married couples skyrocket to numbers previously not seen in the past. Although the eighties had experienced a slight decline in divorce rates, "half of first marriages still were expected to dissolve before death." (Stacy, 15, 1991) Whatever happened to that meaningful exchange of wordsw, "until death do us part," uttered by the bride and groom to each other on their wedding day? What could have been the cause of such inflated divorce rates? Perhaps young married couples are not mature enough to be engaged in such a trremendous responsibility, or, maybe, the couples really do not know each other as well as they thought. Possibly, they have been blinded by infatuation rather than by true love, or, quite simply, the couples mistakenly have different relational expectations. Ultimately, all the possibilities point to one thing, which is a lack of communication. Somewhere along the line, there must have been a breakdown in the interpersonal communication process. Seemingly, the marital dyad has not used the correct communication patterns needed to sustain their relationship. In some way, each of them has notevaluated their partner carefully enough to ensure that this chosen individual is, in fact, truly their life long partner. By no means, is this the sole reason for divorce, but it certainly plays an enormous role. In fact, no one could ever pinpoint the exaact cause of divorce since each situation is unighu and is usually quite complicated. However, it would be unreasonable not to believe that interpersonal communication does not play an integral part in marital satisfaction. Since interpersonal communication affects almost all facets of a relationship, it has a huge impact on each and every part of both individuals' lives. Marital satisfaction, something that everyone would like to find an equation for, is the goal that all married couplesnaturally wish to achieve. Since marital satisfaction obviously has a direct relationship to marital stability, the more satisfaction that is achieved within a marriage, the more stable and more positive the relationship. This stability is accomplished through hard work and communication between the partners, and a mutual understanding of what part each must play in the relationship. "Communication has often been cited as the ‘primary predictor' to relational satisfaction." (Kelley and Burgoon, 40, 1991) Now, the question has arisen-what patternsprocesses of communication are the contributing factors that play such a vital part in the relational satisfaction? First, the expectations of a relationship and how these expectations are met play a large part in the dyad's assesment of how well the marriage is going. Also, the decision-making process, another important procedure that should engage both parties of a marriage, is of increasing importance in these post modern, feminist times. As with any marriage, problems will obviously occur, and the manner in which these problems are handled will most often affect the happiness of the couple. Another major issue of dicussion is the amount of time a couple spends with each other, as well as the quality of the interaction, and lastly, the issue of similarity will be addressed. In order for a marriage to succeed, the communication patterns of the couple must be similar and compatible if there is to be any agreement between the spouses. Marital satisfaction and the contributing factords are of extreme importance at this juncture in our society, though it has become obvious that there is a degeneration of communication and a lack of satisfaction in today's married couples. This dissatisfaction results in the divorce rate being sohigh that it begs the question: how does this marital satisfaction originate? This topic deserves a lot of attention so that the reasons for this degeneration can be avoided. The topic of marital...
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