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Consequences of deception in romantic relationships - Dissertation Example

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Romantic relationships are not necessarily based on complete truth between the couple. From white lies such as praising the partner as the best or the most good looking, there may be withholding of information by an individual from their partner, total avoidance of particular issues, even explicitly deceiving the partner or “reserving the most serious lies for each other”…
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Consequences of deception in romantic relationships
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Download file to see previous pages When deception is detected, negative emotional reactions result, particularly when the lies exposed are considered to be significant. In Cole’s (2001) study, 256 individuals (128 couples) were used as the research sample. They were asked to complete questionnaires pertaining to their partner’s and their own communication behavior. The aim was to determine the link between the extent of interpersonal communication and the practice of deception. Moreover, the study examined the roles played by causes for deception such as reciprocity, avoidance of punishment, or deceptive fulfilment of the lack of intimacy in their romantic relationship. The use of deception is more frequently found where relational characteristics are at lower levels. Thus, deception appears to be used as a method for coping with relational problems, and greater use of deception is considered to be “an indicator of overall relational distress” (Cole, 2001, p.125).
Cole’s (2001) research study also obtained certain results related to the outcome of deception. Primarily, the best relational outcomes arise from couples avoiding deception while at the same time trusting each other’s fidelity. However, when it becomes known that deception is being practised by one of the partners, there are negative outcomes for everyone involved. When there is a little suspicion, the other partner may be tempted to engage in deception too, thus sending the relationship into a downward spiral. This results in increasing deception by both the individuals, greater suspicion between partners, and progressive deterioration of the romantic relationship. The above study could have been made more useful through a greater focus on the outcomes of deception among the couples where deception was found, thereby providing evidence based results. The research study would need to extend over a longer period of time, to determine how each couple who had experienced deception between them, fared with the passage of time. This is because some couples may reconcile, while others may break up the romantic relationship permanently. In romantic relationships, fidelity is a serious concern for both sexes. Deception by one of the partners can have devastating results on the relationship. When the infidelity comes to light, the betrayed partner’s feelings of being let down can give rise to “unpleasant emotions including depression, anger, self-reproach and jealousy” (Shackelford, Buss and Bennett, 2002, p.299). Infidelity remains as the most serious cause for the dissolution of a relationship leading to divorce, and breaking up of the relationship is resorted to as the most common solution. On the other hand, not all couples break up their relationship because of a partner’s infidelity. Some individuals try to find out all the details from their unfaithful partner to determine the nature and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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