Author: Ann Schiebert
Types of Intimate Relationships
The Marriage/Divorce, Marriage Divorce Intimacy Style
As in some other Western countries, in America we have recognized what is called the serial marriage/divorce cycle. It manifests like this:
1. Two people meet and instantly or gradually, recognize an attraction and a desire to be closer.
2. There is usually a romantic courtship. Research shows that for those who sustained a longer marriage, the courtship was 2.8 years. For those who had a shorter marriage, the courtship ranged between 6 months and a year and a half.
3. The couple decides to marry.
4. Then, “the dailies,” set in – all those situations that every day life require a couple to handle. One or both parties begin to recognize traits in the other that they don’t like.
5. Over time, with children arriving, and an increased load of responsibilities, couples grow apart. They find that they couldn’t sustain the good parts of the relationship. They become unhappy with each other.
6. Whether a specific event happens, or feelings gradually diminish, over time, one becomes, “done,” with the relationship, and one or both parties decide it’s time to move on.
7. Then comes the divorce and all the emotional stress that is connected with it.
8. Begin the search for a new partner. Over and over again, the serial marriage/divorce partners blame each other for the demise of their union, and look for a different person to, “love.”
Why marry? Here are some popular reasons:
1. Marriage makes you live longer.
2. Marriage increases your earning power.
3. Marriage keeps you from dying alone.
4. Marriage makes you more attractive.
5. Marriage brings financial benefits.
6. Marriage brings more sex.
7. Marriage means better sex.
8. Married people are happier.
9. Marriage makes one a better person.
10. Marriage makes you more attractive.
What do you think of these reasons? They certainly are not about intimacy. They are about benefiting one’s self. If one is so self focused, is it any wonder that divorce rates are so high in America? Could we say that people are getting married for all the wrong reasons?
The serial divorce/marriage cycle suggests that people actively seek intimacy in an effort to find that safe place for their homeless parts. In that search, they utilize the same relationship skills that failed in their previous ones, expecting a different outcome.
More on the marriage/divorce cycle, next post.