Marriage, the Family, and Personal Fulfillment

By David A. Schulz; Stanley F. Rodgers | Go to book overview

4
CONFLICT IN INTIMATE PARTNERSHIPS

According to our hypothesis, human instincts are only of two kinds--those which seek to preserve and unite, which we call erotic, and those which seek to destroy and kill, which we class together as the aggressive or destructive instinct. The phenomena of life arise from the operation of both together, whether acting in concert or in opposition. An instinct of one sort can scarcely ever operate in isolation--it is always accompanied (or, as we say, allocated) with an element from the other side which modified its aim. Thus, for instance, the instinct of self preservation is certainly of an erotic kind; but it must have aggressiveness at its disposal if it is to fulfill its purpose. . . . It is rarely that a given action is the work of a single instinctual impulse which must in itself be compounded of Eros and Destructiveness.

Sigmund Freud


INTRODUCTION

Thus far in this book we have scarcely touched on the subject of conflict in intimate relations. This does not mean that we accept the myth of the happy marriage, which would have us believe that the successful partnership is conflict-free. On the contrary, we feel that conflict is an intrinsic part of any developing relationship. This chapter will explain how this is so. The question that arises about conflict is not whether it exists or does not exist in any given relationship, but how it is expressed, lived with, and managed.

-55-

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Marriage, the Family, and Personal Fulfillment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - Introduction 12
  • Part One - On Becoming Partners 15
  • 2 - On Partnerships 16
  • Introduction 17
  • 3 - Confirmation and Communication 35
  • 4 - Conflict in Intimate Partnerships 55
  • Introduction 79
  • 5 - Developing Partnerships 81
  • Part Two - Human Sexuality 111
  • 6 - The Biology of Sex and Reproduction 112
  • Introduction 113
  • 7 - On Birth Control 145
  • Introduction 170
  • 8 - The Art of Lovemaking 173
  • 9 - Sex Roles and Social Interaction 195
  • Part Three - Marriage 213
  • 10 - Marriage in Historical and Cultural Perspective 214
  • Introduction 215
  • 11 - Husbands and Wives 239
  • 12 - Parents and Children 269
  • Introduction 285
  • Summary 304
  • 14 - Disorganization and Divorce 307
  • Introduction 324
  • Part Four - Alternatives 327
  • 15 - Developing Styles for Singles 329
  • 16 - Communes and Multiple Marriages 349
  • Part Five - The Future of Marriage 371
  • 17 - Fantasies, Forecasts, and Trends 372
  • Introduction 373
  • Selected Bibliography 393
  • Index 403
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