Marriage Analysis: Foundations for Successful Family Life

By Harold T. Christensen | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
THE TRANSITION INTO MARRIAGE

Transition means a change or passage from one state of affairs into another. Adolescence, for example, is the transition from childhood into adulthood. Transition into marriage refers to the series of rapid events immediately surrounding one's entrance into this new way of life; it consists of the engagement, the wedding, and the honeymoon.

Change requires adjustment. Where it is slow and in easy stages, man's adaptation does not usually prove to be hard. But where change is sudden, or of great magnitude, adjustment becomes proportionately more difficult. In our culture, adolescence is a problem period mainly because of the tempo and complexity of the changes it represents. There are similar problems, or adjustment difficulties, peculiar to one's shift into marriage. These are made even greater by the fact that they parallel adolescence, and by the fact that in this day society itself is in a state of rapid transition. (See Chapter 2.) Thus there is a piling up of tensions and pressures within the individual which require adjustment, and the cumulative effects are sometimes bewildering. The transition into marriage will be most successful where the mates are mature enough and the change is gradual enough to permit adjustment.


THE ENGAGEMENT

An engagement, or betrothal, is a pledge between a man and a woman who are presumably in love and are intending to marry. It is a step in the direction of mate monopoly, a phase of the ever-continuing family phenomenon. It follows the loveevolving and mate-selecting processes of earlier courtship, and

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