People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management

By Catherine M. Flanagan | Go to book overview

8
Marriage

Dramatic social changes have taken place in the last 20 years, the impact of which has been both positive and negative. More women are working and earning income, and this has led to a new status as well as greater independence. Contraception and divorce also, in theory, suggest increased freedom in relationships. On the negative side, however, many people fear that these changes may result in the initial decision to marry not being taken as seriously as it used to be. Some even voice a concern about the survival of the institution of marriage and of family life itself.

There are two main types of relationship problems: difficulties in the couple's interpersonal exchanges and in their sexual interactions. Sexual problems often give rise to marital and communication difficulties and, likewise, marital difficulties can produce problems on the sexual side. Because both marital and sexual problems frequently go hand in hand, which should be examined first? Because of the greater trust demanded by sexual exchanges and habits, it is generally recommended that sexual difficulties be approached after the relationship has been strengthened. Accordingly, this chapter examines marriage and marital problems, and the following chapter covers sex and sexual difficulties.


FACTS AND FIGURES

How common are marital difficulties? American figures suggest that the rate of marriage remains, more or less, constant. However, between 8% and 14% of married couples admit to problems severe enough to contemplate

-105-

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People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - How Problems Develop 7
  • 1 - Learning 9
  • 2 - Sources of Stress 23
  • 3 - The Stress Response 49
  • Part II - Specific Problem Areas 59
  • 4 - Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias 61
  • 5 - Depression 75
  • 6 - Obsessive-Compulsive Problems 85
  • 7 - Relating 95
  • 8 - Marriage 105
  • 9 - Sex 113
  • 10 - Overindulgence 123
  • 11 - Attrition, Adherence, and Relapse 135
  • Appendix I - Identifying Problems and Planning Changes 149
  • Appendix V - Making Changes in Thinking 201
  • References 229
  • Author Index 237
  • Subject Index 245
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