adaptable marriage relationship
A marriage relationship that allows and encourages partners to grow and change. In an adaptable marriage, spouses' roles may be renegotiated as the needs of each change (Scarf 1995).
Relationship type in which a partner sometimes focuses on her or his private self and needs quiet time; at other times, the partners focus on each other; at still other times, they focus on some outside interest.
Term used to define relationships acquired through marriage (spouses and in-laws), as opposed to consanguineous relatives/ kin (parents and grandparents), who are blood related.
Term used to define blood-related kin (parents and grandparents), as opposed to conjugal relatives/kin (spouses and in-laws), who are related through marriage.
A type of legal marriage in which the bride and groom agree to be bound by a marriage contract that will not let them get divorced as easily as is allowed under no-fault divorce laws.
Defense of Marriage Act
Federal statute declaring marriage to be a "legal union of one man and one woman," denying gay couples many of the civil advantages of marriage, and also relieving states of the obligation to grant reciprocity, or "full faith and credit," to marriages performed in another state.
A centrally important twosome that symbolizes the culture's basic values and kinship obligations. In white, middleclass America, the husband-wife dyad is expected to take precedence over any others.
expectations of permanence
One component of the marriage premise, according to which individuals enter marriage expecting that mutual affection and commitment will be lasting.
Relationship type in which partners focus on a shared family interest, such as parenting and/or relations with extended kin.
One that allows and encourages partners to grow and change both as individuals and in the relationship. A synonym is open marriage.
interactional relationship pattern
Relationship pattern in which partners expect companionship and intimacy as well as more practical benefits. See also parallel relationship pattern.
Emotional pain, anger, and uncertainty arising when a valued relationship is threatened or perceived to be threatened. Research has shown that men and women experience and react differently to jealousy.
In Hispanic families, "the family" means the extended family as well as the nuclear family.
By getting married, partners accept the responsibility to keep each other primary in their lives and to work hard to ensure that their relationship continues. See also primariness.
parallel relationship pattern
A pattern noted by sociologist Jesse Bernard among workingclass marriages (as opposed to the interactional pattern among middle-class marriages) in which the husband was expected to be a hardworking provider and the wife a good housekeeper and cook. See also interactional relationship pattern.
A marital relationship in which spouses accent things other than emotional closeness; unlike devitalized partners, passive-congenial spouses have always done so. See also conflict-habituated, devitalized, total, vital marriage.
personal marriage agreement
An articulated, negotiated agreement between partners about how each will behave in many or all aspects of the marriage. Personal marriage contracts need to be revised as partners change. A synonym is relationship agreement.
Marriages in which one or both spouses retain the option to sexually love others in addition to their spouses.
A marriage system in which a person takes more than one spouse. Polygyny describes one man with multiple wives, while a marriage of a woman with plural husbands is termed polyandry.
Commitment to keeping one's partner the most important person in one's life. See also commitment (to intimacy).
See personal marriage agreement: (personal marriage agreement says, An articulated, negotiated agreement between partners about how each will behave in many or all aspects of the marriage. Personal marriage contracts need to be revised as partners change. A synonym is relationship agreement.)
Improvising a course of action and fitting it to that of others. In role making we use our acts to alter the traditional expectations and obligations associated with a role.
Expectations for strict monogamy in which a couple promise or publicly vow to have sexual relations only with each other. See also flexible monogamy.
A system of patterned and predictable ways of thinking and behaving—beliefs, values, attitudes, and norms—concerning important aspects of people's lives in society. Examples of major social institutions are: the family, religion, government, the economy, and education.
static (closed) marriage
A marriage that does not change over the years and does not allow for changes in the partners. Static marriage partners rely on their formal, legal bond to enforce permanence and sexual exclusivity. Static marriages are more inclined to become devitalized than are flexible marriages.
A marriage agreement in which couples exchange partners in order to engage in purely recreational sex.
A marital relationship in which partners are intensely bound together psychologically; an intrinsic rather than a utilitarian marriage. Total relationships are similar to vital relationships but are more multifaceted. See also conflict-habituated, devitalized, passive-congenial, vital marriage.