Interpersonal Communication and Intimacy Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

2003) Men and women: Becoming together. Intimate Partners. (pp. 389-397).

This article stated that gender is ultimately a mystery that cannot be solved scientifically. Men and women can, however, come together in love and sex. Love increases this mystery.

Although gender is not a science, we can see obvious differences in gender. Thus results love between men and women.

Lewis, C.S. (1988) The four loves. Retrieved from


This article spoke of need-love and gift-love. Gift-love is what moves people to work and plan for the future of their children. Need-love is what drives a child to run to his or her mother. Need-love is necessary for forgiveness.

It is obvious that need-love is necessary for a relationship, but perhaps the best relationships integrate gift-love as well.

The National Marriage Project. (2009, February) The state of our unions 2008: The social health of marriage in America. Retrieved from


This article displayed several graphs to present information. A significant trend of not getting married has been occurring over the past several decades (p. 4). Nearly 40% of those women who are married do not report that they are happy in their marriages (p. 5). Interestingly, divorces peaked around 1980 at almost 23%, fell slightly over the next fifteen years, and then began to climb again (p. 6).

Clearly, it is important to consider whether or not you will be happy in a marriage before you get married. As more and more women report not being happy, divorce rates have begun to rise. Many people tend to marry because of societal pressures (such as that of getting married due to a pregnancy). I do not feel that one should marry because others think they should. One should marry for one's own reasons, and each individual should make his or her marriage work in whatever way he or she can.

The National Marriage Project. (2004, June) The state of our unions 2004: The social health of marriage in America. Retrieved


Though this article presents many of the same findings as "The State of Our Unions" articles have in the past, there was quite interesting information presented about children. This article concluded that with the decline in the number of children, it is possible that our nation has moved from being child centered, thus resulting in the institutions of marriage weakening (p. 21). They also found that a much higher percentage of children are coming from "fragile" homes, such as those without fathers (p. 24). Further study presented teenage attitudes about marriage. Many teens express that they want to have a good family life within a marriage, though they tend to accept alternatives to marriage, such as pregnancy out of marriage (p. 26).

Our society is changing, and so are the attitudes and beliefs of our future generations. People still want to hang on to the vision of a "perfect" marriage, but they are becoming more accepting of alternative lifestyles.

The National Marriage Project. (2000, June) The state of our unions 2000: The social health of marriage in America. Retrieved


There were many trends that this article presented. However, it seemed to focus on just a few. Cohabitation before marriage seems to be on the rise (p. 12). Men and women today are looking for compatibility with a mate before they marry (p. 7). Many individuals, however, are focused on a sex-only, no expectations relationship, versus the traditional definition of a relationship (p. 11).

The roles of men and women are changing when it comes to defining a relationship. I feel that you must marry someone you are very compatible with in order to have a successful marriage. Some people just aren't made to be married. Perhaps it is these individuals who are engaging in sex-only interactions.

Popenoe, David. (2004) Top ten myths of divorce. Retrieved from


This article summarizes the top ten myths of divorce. Women and children tend to suffer, due to gender gaps and having a fatherless home. Even if parents do not get along, a longitudinal study has suggested that not divorcing actually may be better for the children.

This article makes it quite clear that many myths of divorce have been believed by many over the years. In fact, I found several of the myths I had previously believed.

Wilcox, W.B. (2009) The evolution of divorce. National affairs, 81-94.

When Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law the no-fault divorce, he opened up the floodgates (p. 81). The focus of marriage moved from family to the individual during the 60s and especially the 70s; if a person was unhappy, then he or she almost felt that a divorce necessary, due to the legal opportunities (p. 84). Although some scholars supported the theory (at the time) that divorce might actually be better for children, versus a home where parents were together but unhappy; however, we know today that this just is not the case (p. 84).

Children from divorced families may suffer the most. With the introduction of the no-fault divorce laws, divorce rates spiraled out of control, with little thought at the time to the consequences that lay ahead. Rather than searching for solutions, married couples in trouble went straight to the courthouses -- for divorces. It is true that a divorce is sometimes not only in the best interest for all, it is necessary. However, it is not always better.


Dear Friends and Family,

I would like to discuss some issues with you that I think are relevant. I have seen many marriages end in divorce, which is generally not good for many of the people divorce effects. I have proposed three recommendations that I feel would benefit others before deciding to divorce: consider cohabitation before marriage; consider each individual's happiness of monogamy before marriage, and only consider divorce after all other avenues have been exhausted. Though these are not necessarily the "traditional" views of marriage, I believe that they mirror societal views and beliefs.

Though the current societal trend is "sex without any strings attached," at some point, many people find themselves in a relationship. However, after many of the "levels" have been reached in a relationship, some couples feel that they want something more, yet they are not quite ready to move onto marriage. I propose that couples live together for an extended period of time before considering marriage. Although this has not been considered moral, or even politically correct, in the past, it is happening more and more in today's society, thus becoming more of an accepted practice. In fact, The National Marriage Project (2000) found that men and women alike express that they agree with living together before marriage in order to find out information, such as character traits, if their partner will be faithful, and whether or not the partnership is compatible (p. 6). Other sources have found that those who cohabitate before marriage actually have a higher chance of divorce, but the link is not clear (Popenoe, 2004). However, I believe that by living with your partner before marriage, you have the ability to work out some necessary kinks before "taking the big plunge." Before marriage, ask you partner if he or she would be willing to cohabitate. Make plans on how long you are expecting to do this, if appropriate, and keep an open line of communication, both before and during the cohabitation period.

I also feel that partners should seriously consider their individual happiness that he or she may feel about monogamy, before the marriage. If monogamy is an expectation, as it is for most married couples, this should be clearly defined before the marriage begins C.S. Lewis (1988) stated that, "We need others physically, emotionally, and intellectually" (p. 2). It is important to know if you are willing to "need" only the person you have married. Are you willing to share your life with a single person? If not, then a monogamous marriage may not be the right fit for you. Before the 1960s, marriage was viewed as a person's duty, sacrifice, and obligation. Intimacy was not important (Wilcox, 2009, p. 83-84). Today, however, more emphasis is placed on the individual, intimacy, and happiness (Wilcox, 2009, p. 84). Finding someone you can share this intimacy and happiness with is important. Again, open lines of communication are key. Talk to your partner. If you do not feel that he or she is providing the level of intimacy you need, then speak to him or her. Also make sure that you are accepting to your partner's comments as well. When we do not get the intimacy we desire from a marriage, it is natural to look outside of the marriage.

You should also only consider divorce after all other avenues have been exhausted. Though divorce may have been idealized at its height immediately following the no-fault divorce law enactments, these myths have since been dispelled. High school drop out rates, teen pregnancies, and incarceration rates are all higher for…

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