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The idea that the future of a relationship can be fairly accurately predicted by simply listening to a three minute ‘spat’ between the couple seemed really far-fetched, but reading through the…
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The Love Lab Reflection There was a great deal of information to be learned from this article. The idea that the future of a relationship can be fairly accurately predicted by simply listening to a three minute ‘spat’ between the couple seemed really far-fetched, but reading through the transcripts of the arguments and the notes left by the examiners, it seems entirely plausible. People don’t tend to realize the communication patterns they have established that prevent them from ever being able to solve their relationship problems. When these patterns come out in a typical ‘spat’, the individual aware of them can reliably anticipate whether that couple will remain happily married into the future. However, it seems like it would take a quick study to recognize the cues that indicate these issues. In most cases, I wouldn’t have caught the cues if it hadn’t been for the arrows pointing them out. However, not having the arrows to do so, I might have paid closer attention to the text. What I found most interesting about the article was that the final couple, who were discussing issues that would never be resolved, were the ones that had the best chances of celebrating a happy marriage. Their issues didn’t seem to be much different from the other couples featured – couple 1 fundamentally disagreed about him talking to her more when he wanted only to be left alone and couple 3 had essentially the same problem as she wanted him to talk to her more and he wanted to leave things private – but the outcomes were very different simply by the way they discussed them and the expectations each had. Couple 1 expected the other to change, couple 3 acknowledged that they had different ways of seeing things and agree to continue trying to meet halfway.
As far as the article relates to class readings, I can see a lot of ways in which the communication styles of the couple will affect the family. The naturalistic study vows not to interfere in the relationship and thus is able to determine which communication styles are effective in helping a marriage last. There are a number of ways that the family can be examined, but all of these would be affected by poor communication. For example, there seems to be a strong bias in which the women are constantly seeking attention and validation from the men and in which the men are constantly seeking escape or silence from the women. This could be the examination of the conflict theorists or the biosocial theorists. The issues brought up in chapter three regarding poverty and the challenges faced by people living in low income seemed to have the greatest effect on the second couple in the article. Their arguments were about communication and the couple was fatally flawed because of their inability to discuss this, but their family circumstances required that he work long hours until he found a replacement and she had to work an evening job. The exhaustion of having a new baby and the economic demands this placed on each individual had both of them feeling trapped and unable to enjoy life.
This exercise has me thinking more about the way I communicate with others and paying closer attention to the way others communicate. I understand to a greater extent that there are many factors that are involved in a couple’s ability to survive and not all of these are within their control, but if they can learn to communicate more effectively, starting with being aware of how they are affecting the other, they can find a way to survive. Read More
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