Factors of family well-being, stages and crisis periods of marriage (part 2)
The source of difficulties in family life may be the personality characteristics of one or both spouses. We are talking about traits that initially corresponded to the norm, but were not quite adequate to the personal qualities of the partner or the partner did not find the right approach to communication, was not able to cope with some of the features of his own psyche. In addition, it can also be pathological properties of the individual, which in themselves represent a problem in interpersonal relationships, and even more so in marital relations, making them initially potentially conflicting and complex, requiring special skills and attitudes for more or less harmonious coexistence of family members (R. Vulis, 1999). When studying the personality of spouses, special attention should be paid to such properties: extroversion-introversion, dominance-subordination, rigidity-flexibility, optimism – pessimism, carelessness-responsibility, rationalism-romanticism, irascibility – lability, ability to social adaptation.
There is no answer to the question of the influence of similarity-homogeneity or contrast and mutual complementarity-complementarity of personal traits on the harmony and success of marriage. In some cases, the polarity is positively influenced by homogeneity, in others by complementarity, and in some cases (usually concerning, for example, such a dimension as dominance-subordination), only one of the polar properties is more beneficial for both partners. Their attitude to work, people around them, property, to themselves and relatives testifies to the peculiarities of their character. Basic moral principles, interests, Outlook, lifestyle, psychosocial maturity, and the scale of values are important. These indicators reflect the fact that in addition to the personal qualities of the spouses, marital interaction is related to the expectations and experience of their previous life. In order to help spouses who have problems in their marriage, it is necessary to find out what some of their expectations are based on and what the real situation is in the family. For this purpose, the marriage of their parents, brothers or sisters is usually considered; the dynamics of the development of marriage relations.
The concept of duplicating the properties of brothers and sisters suggests that a person seeks to realize their relationship to brothers and sisters in new social connections. More stable and successful marriages are observed in cases where the relationship between partners is based on this principle, taking into account gender. In this sense, the marital relationship can be completely complementary (the husband finds an older sister in the wife, and the wife finds an older brother) or partially complementary (both have older brothers or sisters).
A complementary marriage is a Union in which each of the partners occupies the same position as they had in relation to siblings in the parent family. A partially complementary relationship occurs if one or both partners in the parent family had several types of relationships with their siblings, of which at least one is established with the partner. In a non-complementary marriage, disagreements and contradictions may arise on the basis of primacy or subordination in the family.
The concept of duplication of parental properties assumes that a person learns to perform a male or female role to a large extent from their parents and unconsciously uses the model of the parent relationship in their family. He is trained in the marital role by identifying himself with a parent of the same sex. Identification is an elementary psychological reaction, which consists in the fact that an individual mentally equates himself with another person (a parent).
Sometimes without noticing, he adopts the way of thinking, ideas and values, and most importantly – emotional reactions and internal States, unconsciously or consciously tries to be like a parent, so he approves of his standards of behavior and adapts to his assessments. The personality of the individual and the parent merge. The role of the parent of the other sex is also included in this scheme: the forms of parental relations become the standard.
In marriage, both partners try to adjust their relationships to internal patterns-expectations. Under the influence of falling in love, a person may for some time show “compliance” or, rather, “myopia”, partially abandoning the implementation of their program for the sake of a partner, wanting to adapt to it. Usually this causes an internal contradiction, so there is a desire to return to the programmed path.
Social inheritance of personal characteristics and behavioral patterns also determines the similarity of marital relationships, which are also inherited, so we often repeat not only the choice of a partner, but also many mistakes and problems of parents. Two important dimensions of parental relationships largely determine the success of a child’s marriage. The first important dimension is the dominance in the family (which of the parents “commanded” and who obeyed), the second is the overall well-being (balance and mutual acceptance) of the relationship. A comparison of relationships in well-off and conflicted married couples shows that the balance of relationships is significantly influenced by the favorable model of the parents ‘ marriage, the good attitude of the father to the mother, and a happy childhood. Balanced spouses were calm in childhood, they were rarely punished, more often caressed.
There are also marriage symmetrical, complementary and metacommentary. In a symmetrical marriage, both spouses have equal rights, and neither of them is subordinate to the other. Problems are solved by agreement, exchange, or compromise. In a complementary marriage, one orders, gives orders, and the other waits for advice or instructions. In a metacomplemental marriage, the leading position is reached by the one who realizes his own goals by emphasizing his weakness, inexperience, incompetence and impotence, manipulating his partner.
Thus, with a dynamic approach to family problems, marital disharmonies (violations) of relationships are analyzed from the point of view of the internal motivation of the behavior of both spouses. Current family conflicts are considered taking into account past conflicts, as well as examples of previous emotionally charged relationships. This evaluates the influence of the family in which each of the spouses grew up, taking into account its inherent atmosphere, balance, calmness, division of rights and responsibilities between the father and mother, appeal to the experience of parents.
The main prerequisite for change is the ability to understand this relationship, to control their behavior, to compare. The comparison appears as an evolutionary comparison: the early sources of today’s behavior of each of the spouses are taken into account. Everyone should understand why they are the way they are, what they expect from the marital Union, and why they react to their partner’s behavior in this way and not in another way. Matrimony is considered as a consequence of the forces that lie in the characteristics of the past experience of the spouses, mainly in their previous personal relationships.
Special attention should be paid to the study of the choice factors of the husband and wife of each other when studying the problems of a married couple. The choice of a partner and interpersonal attractiveness in marriage are supported by factors that are of particular value to the individual or that give rise to hopes that social contact with this partner will be favorable.
Motivation or the first phase of communication: “What is he?”External attractiveness and behavior play a significant role. Evaluation of others is also important.
Advantages: “Who is he?”The center of gravity is shifting to the area of similarity of interests, points of view, and the scale of values. If significant discrepancies are detected and the detected shortcomings are not compensated by any advantages, the partners differ, believing that they do not fit each other.
Role, status: “Where is he?”Role compatibility is evaluated. Partners determine whether they will be able to take complementary roles in the marital Union, which will allow them to meet their needs. Both similarity of characters and inclinations and the opposite of complementary traits are evaluated.
In all phases, the principle of commensurability of exchange applies: equilibrium is achieved only if such an exchange, from the point of view of partners, is equivalent.
So, the problem of family well-being is primarily related to how psychologically compatible family members are with each other. Compatibility as a multi-level phenomenon is associated not only with the current state and personal characteristics of the spouses, but also with their past life experience, experience of interpersonal relationships in the parent family. The most optimal situation is when the experience and learned type of relationship between the spouses are generally positive, similar or complementary( complementary), do not contradict the General social system of rules and norms of interaction and relationships.
In the process of studying the family functioning and organization of psychosocial assistance to the family, it is necessary to take into account normative (related to a specific stage of family life) crises. The variety of family systems significantly complicates the problem of analyzing the stages of marital and family relations, but some of the most typical options can be identified.