Love versus Friendship Love Has Greater Fascination Exclusiveness Sexual desire Depth of caring Potential for enjoyment Potential for conflict, distress, criticism Than Friendship Friendship, Love, and Commitment Friendship is the foundation for love and commitment Love reflects the positive factors that draw people together Commitment reflects the stable factors that help maintain relationships for better or worse All Closely linked Fabric of Friendship Enjoyment Acceptance Trust Respect Mutual Assistance Confiding Understanding Spontaneity Davis and Todd, 1985 Love and Friendship Two categories or clusters distinguishing love from friendship Passion Cluster ◦ Fascination ◦ Sexual desire ◦ Exclusiveness Caring Cluster ◦ Advocacy for partner ◦ Giving the utmost Davis and Todd, 1985 Love and Friendship Davis, 1985 Sternberg’s Love Triangle Argues three dimensions found in love Presence or absence of these dimensions determine type of love Dimensions: ◦ Commitment—cognitive aspect ◦ Passion—motivational aspect ◦ Intimacy—emotional aspect Sternberg’s Love Triangle Intimacy The bonding and emotional closeness or connectedness Involves: ◦ sharing feelings ◦ self disclosure ◦ emotional support Increases as the closeness grows Gains greater depth as a relationship matures Sternberg’s Eight Types of Love Addictive Love vs. Mature Love Addictive Love People seek comfort and stability in love Infatuation generates adrenaline high Suffer withdrawal when not available or breakup occurs Mature Love Each person is valued Each person is a better person as a result of relationship Each person has outside interests Relationship is not totality of life Jealousy not present Partners are best friends Peele, 1985 Intimate relationship vs. Intimate Experiences Intimate relationships ◦ Involves sharing intimate experiences in several areas over time ◦ Difficult to have multiple intimate relationships ◦ Limited areas Intimate experience ◦ Feeling of closeness or sharing with another ◦ May or may not be perceived similarly Stability, Security, and Sincerity: Growing a Strong "Us“ by Terry D. Hargrave, PhD Stability Security Sincerity Stability Stability is the first developmental necessity. To explain what stability is, imagine that when a couple gets married, they step side by side into a row boat. Each takes an oar in hand and is ready to set off for a promising and committed ride that will last a lifetime. They start rowing. Things go okay, but it is hard for the spouses not to notice that the other does not quite get his or her oar in the water far enough. Or he or she strokes at uneven pace. Or that he or she just does not row like the family of origin. So, they make suggestions. They become indignant to find out that the other spouse was just thinking the same thing about them. Imagine, how wrong they can be! They start defending, criticizing, and mocking one another. Finally, out of frustration, they pull out the oars and start flailing one another. Not only is the relational "us-ness" going no where, they are doing damage to one another. Stability is the element in relationships that allows the couple to be assured of a safe, nonthreatening, and nondestructive relationship. Partners cannot express their deepest thoughts and fears to each other if the information is going to be misused in some way. Spouses must know that they can live together without hurting each other individually. In my practice, I usually see instability in couples for two reasons. The first is left over family of origin issues. If a person marries believing their spouse will take the place of a mom or dad they never had, fill the role of a terrific mom or dad, or provide the opportunity to work out issues that existed between mom and dad that were never resolved, the marriage will be in a constant state of instability. Spouses cannot fulfill any role that is parental simply because it is not the same type of relationship. When partners try to work out their family of origin issues with one another, it is like trying to use the script to Othello with the actors for Romeo and Juliet. It does not work and it cannot work. The second reason that couples develop instability is because of conflictual patterns. These patterns perhaps start out as personality tendencies, but when mixed with the spouse's behaviors, they can be habitual and destructive. Some of these patterns are well known, distancer/pursuer, blamer/placater, and overfunctioner/underfunctioner. In cases of these habitual patterns, we must help the couple recognize the destructive sequence and find a healthier substitute. Stability is born in relationships through spouses displaying patient respect and humility. Respect is the attitude that helps couples realize that their spouses are precious and fragile human beings that must be handled with care. Humility, the essential humility, is the recognition that when things don't work in the relationship, many times it is about me and my past instead of always being about my spouse's shortcomings. Stability is an essential factor in growing new relationships and thus is most critical to establish in the first two years of marriage. Security Security is the second element important to growing strong "us" relationships. Go back to the couple in the rowboat. After they have established the fact that they can row together without harming or hurting one another, there is important work to be done. Careers need to be established, work at home to be accomplished and divided, finances to be handled, and children to be raised, just to mention some of the tasks. In each task, the couple must do their part of the rowing to make sure that the work is accomplished. Not only once, but these marital tasks, the work of marriage, must be done over again and again. There is always pressure at work, always something to be done at home, and never enough money. Security in this "us" relationship is established by me being able to lean into my spouse to count on the fact that if I do my part, she will do her part. In short, it is about trust. This trustworthiness not only builds the ability to give to one another, it makes the couple partners. That magical part where spouses are confident enough in one another to become a team. In order to achieve security, spouses must divide tasks evenly and fairly and take their fair share of responsibility. But taking responsibility for a task is not enough. Spouses must also execute their responsibilities in a reliable way. Let me illustrate this using one of my pet peeves--housework. We are in the midst of a profound sociological change. Around 70% of women work outside the home, yet they perform at least twice as many of the household tasks necessary to make the home function. We've known about this profound inequity for more than ten years, but have yet to effectively change anything about the problem. Women, who are overworked by two full shifts of work, are desperate for help. They look at what they consider to be their deadbeat husbands and disdain their irresponsibility and unreliability. Instead of trusting a secure relationship, they most often consider the male spouse incapable of changing and permanently immature. Most often, they come to the conclusion, "I don't need another child--I earn an income and I take care of everything anyway--I'll go it alone." It is one of the contributing, and more subtle factors the high divorce rate. Now a huge portion of this problem is that both males and females do not take the idea seriously that housework is the obligation of the male. Males make excuses like "I wasn't raised to do it," or "It's just not that important to me." Females, on the other hand, also make these excuses like "He just can't do it the right way." or "I'm luckier than most, at least he's giving me some help." Many professionals complicate this already insecure picture by explaining that it is due to gender differences--You know, Men and Women are from different planets. Men and Women share Earth and there is a lot of work to be done. Unless both males and females wake up to the reality that working couples must take equal responsibility for the home, then reliably execute that responsibility, couples will not trust one another and their relational "us-ness" will be insecure at best. This insecurity will, in turn, breed a lack of giving that will put the marriage in jeopardy as couples separate and compete for power. Security is a primary factor for couples that are past the newly married stage, but not quite into the middle years of marriage. These habits and issues are usually formed through the 2nd to 9th year of marriage. It is a crucial time in which it becomes apparent whether a couple will consolidate their "us" identity together, or whether they will pull apart and be individuals outside the relationship. Sincerity Sincerity is the third growth factor in developing a strong couple "us-ness" and it is perhaps the most ignored in the field of marital therapy. Sincerity reflects the ability to learn about one's self and achieve personal growth in the context of the marital relationship. If a couple came to therapy and was stable and secure, but complaining that they didn't have any goals or that they seemed to be drifting apart, I use to have a tendency to not get it. I would think, "You don't have extreme and damaging conflicts, you have found a way to get the work of marriage done--I see couples all the time that are in real trouble.You two look pretty good." The problem was that I was not seeing the importance of a couple learning to use the relationship to fulfill personal growth and build goals and legacy together. Remember the couple in the rowboat? Sincerity in the relationship is when the couple learns that they can row together safely without fear of damage or intimidation, they have gotten use to the trustworthy rhythms of how to work their careers, finances, and parenting together, AND THEN they look at one another and say, "Where would you like to go? I'm willing to put in some oar time to accomplish something that is meaningful to you." But this relational sincerity is not only about sacrificial giving, it is also about the spouses being willing to give up the part of individuality that they hold onto--the part that is the hardest to give up--the part that is at the heart of our infantile defenses, selfishness, or unacceptable behavior.