Saturday, October 29, 2011

Having Children

Research shows that when a couple starts having children, their marital happiness starts to decline. This doesn't happen with all couples, and it often happens to those who least expect it. I found in class that there might be some sort of secret to help prevent this kind of decline. What most often happens when a couple has a child is that the wife starts to have a very special bond with the baby, and somewhat leaves the husband out. The husband will feel under appreciated when the wife is constantly leaving her attention with their child. To avoid having the marriage satisfaction decline, couples need to include the father during pregnancy. A wife can do this by taking the husband to doctor appointments, letting him feel the baby kick, and while the wife is having the baby, the husband and wife should be the only ones in the delivery room. This is a special time for them to experience the birth of their child together, and to bond with the new addition to the family. The couple also needs to make sure to talk to each other. A lot of wives will go to their mom for pregnancy questions and concerns. While this is okay for some things, they also need to include the husband. 
After the baby is born, I think it is important to let the husband bond with the baby. He should be able to change some diapers and feed them. The wife should keep from correcting him while doing it as well. It is most important that the couple continue to date after they have children. This will let them have time to themselves and get to catch up.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Marriage vs Cohabitation

When most people think of cohabiting, they think of how it prepares you for marriage and tests the relationship with their partner. It can only benefit you right? That is where most people are wrong. I learned in class that research does not show any benefits from cohabiting. Some of the findings were:
  • Married couples have a better quality relationship than cohabiting couples, especially those cohabiting who don't plan on marrying
  • Married couples report more sex and more satisfying sex than cohabiting couples
  • Married couples show more commitment, greater happiness, and a better relationship with their parents
  • Marriages are more stable and durable
  • Children that are born to a cohabiting couple are five times more likely than those born to married couples to experience parental separation.
To most, it seems very logical to cohabit before, or instead of, marriage. However, research shows otherwise. Besides, cohabitation is growing to the point where it is more common than marriage. It can be difficult to go straight from being single to marriage. A lot of couples think of cohabiting as a way to bridge the gap from being single to being married. This brings them comfort and they think they will be more stable and ready for marriage. However, let there be a caution to the consequences of such an unstable union.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Family Roles

When most people think of different roles within the family, they tend to point out mom, dad, and kids, as if those are actually roles themselves. The truth is that a woman or man have so many different roles within being a husband and father, wife and mother. A husband is typically the main provider, protector, and will preside over the family. A wife tends to be the caregiver, nurturer, and cook within a family. Children can play different roles as the one who sacrifices for other siblings, the peacemaker, and so forth. Often these roles can change within families. For example, my youngest sister was the peacemaker in my family for a long time. A few years ago, after many of us had left home, she was seemingly out of a job because no one was around to fight. She soon became somewhat of a trouble maker. My parents had to remind her to stay out of trouble. There are many other role that can change in the family as well. Often, a wife and husband both have to take up jobs and provide for their family. Or, if a father is not home much, the mother will take take the leadership position over the family. There are so many combinations and roles that a family can have, and no two families are alike.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Family Culture

This week in class, we discussed a great deal of culture and the different types of culture that everyone belongs to. There are so many different types of culture and we often find ourselves judging others on what we think their culture is. For example, we think of where the person is from, their religious affiliation, education, occupation, etc as part of a person's culture. The mistake that people make, including myself, is that they often isolate one of these cultures and base a judgment on that individual culture alone. We all belong to different cultures and they are often mixed due to our various life experiences.

Something I found very interesting that I had never thought of before, is that everyone has their own family culture. No matter we we live or what we believe, everyone has a different way of living, thinking, and doing within their own family. We could all be affiliated with the same church, but think about our church differently because of the family culture we belong to. I have many friends, but if I say something, it could mean something completely different than what they think because that is the meaning my family gives it. It is amazing that every single family has its own individual culture within it, and many people do not even realize it.

Monday, October 3, 2011


In my Family Relations class, we discussed the different types of boundaries that appear in a family. The three types of boundaries are rigid, defuse, and clear. If I take just a husband and wife, for example, and put a rigid boundary around them, there would not be much getting in or out. There are too strict of walls around a rigid relationship. The couple are very closed off from the world. They might go to extremes and be overly protective about what comes in and out of their home, relationship, and lives in general. This couple may not have many friends, because they do not let them in. They tend to stick to themselves and are very watchful of each other. On the other hand, there are defuse boundaries. If this same couple had a defuse boundary, they may be too free with rules and the set up of their marriage. They may not care who their spouse is friends with or when or where they go out. They might live what seems to be somewhat separate lives. The "rules" are not clearly seen. This type of relationship can be said as too care free or unorganized. The couples have not established strict enough boundaries on what they can or cannot do. A clear boundary is what a marriage wants to obtain. They know what and whatnot to do to make each other comfortable. For example, a spouse can have a friend of the opposite sex, but they know not to let their relationship become too intimate.

Every family has boundaries and they can differ depending on the relationship. A husband and wife can have a clear boundary with each other, but a rigid or defused boundary with their children. Perhaps they have a rigid boundary with one child, but a clear boundary with another. Once I learned this, I started looking at the boundaries within my family. It was amazing to me how they have changed throughout the years and how easily I can pick them out among my family members. I now strive to have clear boundaries and a close relationship with all members in my family.