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"You Stay, No Matter How Bad": Women Voice the Trajectory of Marital Disaffection
Liceaga, Mariel D.
Geist-Martin, PatriciaSpitzberg, BrianEwing, JanGates, Lisa
xiii, 148 pages : illustrations
As the marriage rate in the United States steadily declines, the divorce rate still remains highest amongst most American and European countries. Although these statistics set up a dichotomized notion of individuals' marital status, there are several other states that couples experience in which labels such as married or divorced do not account for. Part of what is left out of these statistics, is those who are married but experience prolonged marital disaffection. As the meaning of marriage has transformed from an institution to a companionship, and more recently into a model with the individual as the focal point, so have notions of what is expected and cherished from marital partners. Research that investigates marital communication and conflict misses the mark by glossing over what it genuinely means to experience marital disaffection. Little communication research explores the nature of marital disaffection, and even less has studied this relational state qualitatively. Instead of studying the highs and lows of relationships, this research explores women's accounts of the sustained sense of disaffection with their partner. These accounts illuminate the communicative moments that work to both enable and disable feelings of disaffection. In attempt to generate a rich and meaningful account of how women describe the feelings associated with disaffection, this study interviews married women who share these stories of moments, events, and emotions that have contributed to their perceptions of disaffection in their marriages. Emergent themes and patterns are interpreted and organized into a model describing the process of disaffection and identity negotiation. Also implications for dating, parenting, and feminist theory are discussed.
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2012
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