In systemic family therapy is the notion that partners make to each other unwritten and even unconscious marital contract. This is happening simultaneously, spontaneously and of itself. In that moment, when one sees the other and for the first time catch yourself thinking “I Want to be paired with him, I want to own this”, – op, the contract is signed. Its fundamental points are features, features, features there.
For example, future (but more about that unsuspecting) wife met at a party and he is paying attention to her. Delay the look, catches himself in awe, admiring the way she laughs, how easily and naturally joking, how cool and just communicate with others, thinks: “if I could be with her!”
Any parallel I’m sure that would be the equator if it did not infringe upon the rights.
What do you think is the unconscious agreement he enters into with his future wife at this point? Maybe he’s waiting for her lightness and ease in relationships, always in a good mood and ready with humor to look at life. In this case, every time she is sad, upset, unhappy about something, it will seem that she acts dishonestly and violates the agreements. She, in turn, also have what to show and what to expect from him.
For example, a completely different point in their lives when she saw how he patiently and carefully explains his memory loss grandma how to use a mobile phone, catching myself thinking “I Want to be with him” – at that moment in the marital contract appears invisible to him “He is always balanced and patient.”
And when he gets angry that she’s sad, she, in turn, is angry that he is intolerant of weakness. Both feel entitled to make another claim. A set of expectations that each spouse creates in relation to another, usually quite accurate – it is based on the first impression and relates to the essence of man.
In other words, the contract usually reflects what that person really is. Naturally, the couple did not suspect the presence of these expectations from each other. Why it should be a long introduction about unconscious marital contracts? Then, they need to understand and, very importantly, the contracts should be regularly rewritten, in particular when changing the status of one or when a couple goes through transition phases.
The point of bifurcation
The transition can call the following stages in the couple’s life in which change in social status is natural and inevitable. This move to private housing, the first birth, exit from the decree to the appearance of subsequent children, the stage of “empty nest” – separation of children in their own homes.
In each of these situations, the spouses are the crisis, the exit from which they need to find new ways to organize your life, establish/ restore emotional and sexual intimacy, to adjust psychological distance and, of course, to renegotiate contracts.
Otherwise grossly violates one of the important regulators of the well-being of marriage – is the balance between “take” and “give”. This balance is based on the approximate equivalence of value that a person gives in the relationship and what he receives from the partner. Of course, what he contributes is not what one gets.
He gives what he thinks is important, necessary, useful and valuable (for example, care and time), and receives what it considers its important partner (for example, protection and solution to everyday problems). Or in other words, it gives what it has in abundance, and gets whatever he needs.
While at the level of marital contacts all more or less peacefully, the family system is in equilibrium.
I’ve been waiting for a good mood, you have me – patience. I have this patience – heaps (inherited from his grandfather, who worked on gutalinovoy factory), and you have a good mood the deficit is not observed. Both win, nobody suffers.
What happens when one of the partners changing social status? A definite answer to this question is no, because each pair has a unique pattern of needs. You can only confidently say that it leads to a local crisis in relations – perhaps not such deep, as in transitional stages, but also noticeable and leads to a shift of balance in one direction or another.
In his book “the Second sex” Simone de Beauvoir wrote: “Women are not born women”, bearing in mind that to be a woman or a man means to learn in the process of bringing all of those features of behavior, thinking and emotional response, which in this particular society are considered female or male.
In the society of our contemporaries, women have theoretically the same rights as men. Duties, perhaps, a little more, because raising children has been and remains a predominantly female area of responsibility (although there is some progress to speak of global change still early).
Where lies the dividing line is in relation to issues associated with success. The male in our society is literally imputed to be successful – to build a career and earn a lot, to be realized in the profession, to demonstrate the stability and commitment.
The woman is ambivalent and ambiguous situation. If she chooses a career, then collects from the environment disapproval due to the fact that her female predestination (to bear children and cook the soup), she abandoned her husband (if any) she is under-loved, and the house doesn’t sparkle; if she chooses “simple woman’s happiness”, you risk to hear the accusations that have been domesticated, became “broody”, lost himself in children, not growing and with your wife, husband certainly must be interested in other women. The simple choice is, if you’re a woman.
Looking at the difference in social expectations in relation to equality, it is easy to conclude that in a situation when a woman successful in career earnings than her husband, the emotional tension in the pair should rise.
In order not to fall out of the social stereotype and not look in the eyes of the marginal environment, the husband must immediately speed up your career growth or to make the wife abandoned their ambitions and voluntarily chose the lower status (for example, through an exit in the decree).
Both methods are difficult to perform, so often the intermediate option of coping with the situation in a couple where the wife is much more successful husband, is “taxed”. A man receives some benefits that can be applied to his fevered ego and symbolic amends for the harm that it inflicts unbalanced. For example, a high salary, wife allows husband to realize themselves in exotic and expensive hobby or not very popular, but very beloved profession.
In pairs, able to ignore social pressure (from inside and outside – in the form of expectations, stereotypes and prejudices), inequality in status can take place smoothly in General.
Both rejoice, as the sum of their history, and everyone does what he’s bigger. But in this scenario we are back to the importance of keeping a balance between “take” and “give”. Well-being in a relationship is only possible with the mutual feeling that the needs of each other are saturated (in other words, the contracts are relevant, timely correspondence and neatly executed).
Power and dependence
Who pays for food and a roof over your head? Someone who asks for money? How is the family budget? Money, children and sex is, according to family therapist Anna Varga – the most difficult conflict topics in marriage. You can combine them with the question “Who decides?”. Social status is inextricably linked with money or scarce, and therefore, the issues of symbolic balance can be reflected in the balance of real – who of the spouses has access to financial resources and how they dispose of.
The husband can earn a lot of money and to occupy a high position, but to obtain from the hands of his broken wife lunch money and pocket money. Hard working wife could generously Finance all the wishes of her husband.
If there is a difference in social status, it is important that this does not become a space of abuse of power and manipulation. In other words, the husband, whose status is lower should not feel discriminated against, “petitioner” and dependent on the other.
Each pair is finding a unique way to support the self-esteem of each spouse and the balance between needs and possibilities.
And the more you change your mental marital contracts, adapting to new circumstances, the freer and more durable will be your relationship with a loved one.