The Unity Model of Marriage
By: Laura C. Moa
Instructions for this report are found at:
I am answering Questions #: 1, 4, 5, 8, and 9
The question I am answering is question #1:
(a) Contrast the four views of gender relationships expressed by Tannen in Gender Issues, Schlessinger in The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Coleman in The Lazy Husband, and James in The Unity Model of Marriage.
(b) Include a chart or table that shows the differences between the four books in a systematic way.
(c) Now give your personal opinion on the elements or entries in your chart.
(d) How do your own views compare to what’s in the chart? How are your ideas influenced by each of these four different perspectives on marriage?
(e) Show your chart to two or three of your friends. How do they react to your explanations? What is your conclusion?
Book Title & Author
Views of Gender Relationship
Differences Between Books
“The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
One sided perspective
Š All relationships should operate in the dominance model.
Š Females should be submissive, males should be dominating. Therefore wives must adapt to husbands every need.
Š It is imperative that women abide by the rules that are dictated by their traditionally corresponding gender roles.
o Females should be home-makers
o Must not have careers or outside jobs, (must be full-time housewife)
o Required to care for the children, home, all household duties, provide their husband with all his needs. Be responsible for all other duties given or expected of her by her husband.
Š Males are simple, females are too complicated, often causing them to expect too much from their husbands and be self-centered.
Š Female prosperity creates selfishness and hinders marital success and satisfaction.
Š Male determinant of marital satisfaction is sex and submission.
Š A woman controls her own level of happiness, in that, her happiness should never be based on what her husband can do for her, but what she can do for him, how grateful she is to him, and how adequately she fulfills his needs.
Š Females complain too often and praise too little.
Š Women should be feminine at all times (i.e. sweet, fit, up-keeping their bodies and looks, while men masculine.
Š In comparison to the other books, the view concerning gender relationships in this book is the most confining.
Š Dr. Laura’s view of female and male interaction is concurrent with the dominance model which dictates specific gender roles per sex.
Š According to Dr. Laura both roles, specifically female, must be fulfilled during interaction in the relationship.
Š The other three books do not confine in this way because they allow some level of leniency in compliance to gender roles, although this level varies between the three.
Š Dr. Laura’s view is the only view which prevents both partners from adapting, growing, and learning with the other. According to her, only the woman must adapt, and learn the other’s preference, but not grow.
Š Unlike the other views, Dr. Laura doesn’t acknowledge the fact that men and women have an equal amount of feelings and emotions. She acknowledges that men HAVE them, but that they are simpler than women’s, whereas all three other views acknowledge that the level of emotion and feeling in men and women is the same, just expressed differently.
Š It is the only view which does not allow a woman to bargain, work, encourage, or teach to get what she wants. In essence, she must learn to settle for unhappiness, and in that settling, she will be happy.
Š Dr. Laura’s view is similar to Joshua Coleman’s, in that females expectations and standards are considered to be too high, whereas in Tannen’s view, they are said to be considered acceptable differences, and James’ view, they are considered to be perfectly reasonable.
“The Lazy Husband”
Š All relationships should operate in the equity model.
Š Relationships based on bargaining and equal trades.
Š Females are automatically more invested than men. Therefore, they must work to get men to be as invested.
Š Males and Females have different ways of communicating. Men are direct, woman are indirect.
Š Females have an innate instinct to give men more power and idealize them as providers.
Š Females are socialized to be caring, nurturing, sympathetic, gentle, and self sacrificing. This causing guilt which prevents woman from demanding that their needs be met.
Š Men don’t like to be told what to do, so woman must justify their actions and get them to understand their motivations.
Š Men have a sense of fair-play
Š Women’s standards are often too high.
Š The male determinant of marital satisfaction is sex.
Š Female determinant of marital satisfaction is investment (i.e. communication, affection, housework).
Š Males are willing to let females do everything for them.
Š Women engage in inhibiting behaviors which allow men to be lazy and dominant (gatekeeping, criticizing, over-involvement).
Š Joshua Coleman’s view on gender relationship and interaction follows that of the equity model. It is similar to Tannen’s view in this way because both acknowledge a sense of equality through intellect and justification.
Š Like Tannen, Coleman believes that both men and women’s styles of speech and interaction are equally good but that the difference causes conflict. Therefore, both encourage justification and understanding, but not necessarily change, as the unity model does.
Š Whereas Dr. Laura’s view accepts none of these, but directs the female to five complete allowance and distance.
Š Coleman and Dr. Laura are similar, that both views require more effort from female to change herself but Coleman takes it further to expect the female to also change her husband. He designates this job of changing to the female because she is seen as the one to automatically invest more.
Š Like Coleman, the unity model acknowledges that women have an innate instinct to invest more in their relationship but Dr. James’ designates the task of changing to the male because he is normally more disjunctive in terms of conjoinment than the female.
Š Coleman’s view is similar to that of Dr. Laura’s, in that both believe females engage in generally inhibiting behaviors to hinder marital success and encourage bad behavior from men.
Š Tannen believes both sexes engage in inhibiting behavior due to differences in conversation style, while the unity model believes the inhibiting behaviors are expressed mainly by males.
“Gender and Discourse”
Š Females are more affectionate and comfortable with close contact.
Š Men are less comfortable with close contact.
Š Females have more conjunctive nonverbal communication skills (eye contact, body posture, etc.), while men have less conjunctive nonverbal communication skills.
Š Females feel more comfortable with closeness, while men assert space (including proximity or distance).
Š Men and woman communicate differently. What is seen as good communication is often measured by female norms.
Š A man’s verbal interaction is usually a direct indication of his level mental process, but in a different way than females.
Š Women often use excessive verbiage to communicate feelings, while men use sarcasm.
Š Women are often more insightful than men when determining their spouse’s feelings (but not necessarily his conversational cues).
Š Men often use more aggressive conversational styles than woman, who are often more indirect.
Š Men often “act out,” while woman often “internalize.”
Š It is more likely for a man to avoid conversation that for a female.
Š Woman remember topics better and normally switch topics less often concentrating in depth on one or two in particular.
Š Men don’t remember topics as well, switch topics more often, and designate topical cohesion.
Š Males and females often have the same amount of emotion, feeling, or engagement in conversation but show it differently.
Š Tannen’s view has similarities to Coleman’s view and Dr. Laura’s view because she accuses women of using excessive verbiage to communicate. She discusses this appearance in her example from “Scenes from a Marriage.”
Š Dr. Laura’s way of stating this same concept is explained through her idea that women are too complicated, while Coleman states this same concept by saying that women disjunctively criticize, nag, and disrespect.
Š The unity model does not acknowledge this occurrence. On the other hand it promotes what Tannen calls, “excessive verbiage,” and encourages men to learn this style.
Š Tannen’s view of gender relations are concurrent with the equity model, similar to that of Tannen. Both believe assert that men and women don’t necessarily need to change their perspective, ideas, or ways of speak, but only should learn how to successfully communicate needs, wants, and desires in their different ways.
Š The unity model does not agree with this. Dr. James’ view encourages men to change their styles of speech, perspective, and ideas to become more conducive to that of the females.
Š Tannen and James’ views are similar, in that, both acknowledge the fact that men have trouble concentrating on one topic. The unity model, explains that men should learn and make the effort to remember the topics that his wife discusses.
Š Both Tannen and James’ views acknowledge that a man’s verbal interaction is a direct indication of his mental processes, but Dr. James goes further to include mental intimacy in this subject.
“The Unity Model of Marriage”
Dr. James Leon and Dr. Diane Nahl
Š Males are instinctually dominant creatures (have a need to attain power over females).
Š Females have an instinctual desire for unity. They are nurturing, loving, and forgiving (have a need to conjoin with the one they love).
Š Males have the need to assert independence (this is a hindrance to unity).
Š Women strive for a connection. They are naturally more passionate and emotional (especially concerning communication) than men.
Š Men have naturally less conjunctive styles of communicating (walking away, verbal denigration, manipulation, etc) then women.
Š Females are automatically more inclined to get to know their significant others at a deep and intimate level (i.e. humor, likes, dislikes, goals, etc) than men are.
Š Males tend to use their group interactions to disengage emotionally from their spouses, assert independence, and alienate.
Š Women tend to use their group interactions to fulfill passionate desire for conversation.
Š Males often disengage from being polite, friendly, romantic, or respectful after the wooing phase.
Š Females have the same amount of feelings and emotions as males do.
Š Women are “more aware of their own feelings and motivations than men.”
Š Females are more motivated to take the time to learn of their own, as well as significant others, feelings and motivation than men are.
Š Dr. James’ view of gender relationship, interaction, and role, adheres to the specific models designated by the unity model.
Š Dr. James’ view is most unlike other three, in that, it encourages the most amounts of change, growth, and unity instead of acceptance of differences.
Š Dr. James’ view is similar to that of the other three in that all three acknowledge natural differences between men and women, however, Dr. James’ view is the only one that allows both partners to completely overcome these differences and be one, instead of just living in harmony with the existence of the differences.
Š Unlike the other three views, Dr. James’ view of gender relations is the only one that is “wife-centric” or focuses on the conjunction in the wife. Both Coleman and Dr. Laura believe every action of the female should be centered on the reaction of the male.
Š In Dr. James’ view, the gender relationship designates inner intimacy (emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, mental intimacy) to be the first and foremost focus, whereas Coleman and Dr. Laura focus on physical pleasuring, satisfaction, and closeness before inner intimacy.
Š In Dr. James’ view, males are seen to use their group interaction for mainly disjunctive reasons (disengage, remain independent), while the other views don’t consider anything to be wrong with male group interactions.
Š In essence, all three views show signs that males have a need to attain power or assert dominance; however, each view varies on whether they consider this to be wrong or right.
Š Tannen agrees that men often work to control topical cohesion (this is a sign of dominance), however, she doesn’t acknowledge that this occurrence is damaging in and of itself, but acknowledges it can be harmful depending on circumstance or topic.
Š Coleman clearly states that women allow men to dominate them and that this is the cause for female unhappiness. He doesn’t state it is wrong, but that it can create hardship.
Š Dr. Laura believes men should have control.
Š The unity model clearly states male dominance is wrong.
v My Personal Opinion About the Gendered Relationship Views Displayed
In my opinion, the various views expressed concerning gender relationships and interaction that are least suppressive and most conjunctive are that of Dr. James and Dr. Nahl in accordance with the unity model of marriage. Tannen, Coleman, Schlessinger, and James all acknowledge the fact that males and females are different. However, I feel that the unity model offers the best possible solution to demolishing the conflict that can arise due to these differences. Unlike the other views, it encourages growth. Growth and change is the only possible way the two, naturally different people, can become truly unified.
Both partners must become one entity and the only way to reach this state is to dissolve any trace of dominance, independence, and difference. It is only then that two partners can be truly and completely happy. While the other views express various means by which partners can achieve harmony, Dr. James’ view expresses various means by which partners can achieve unity.
This may not mean that the means is equivalent to the easiest action, but nevertheless, the one with the most fulfilling result. All three views acknowledge that men and women have different styles of speech and interaction. Women, more than men, tend to be passionate and emotional in conversation. All three of the other views, tend to look upon this somewhat negatively. All three views believe the level of passion and allowance of amount should be limited. On the other hand, the unity model believes that this passionate style of conversation is conjunctive to unity; therefore, it is only natural that the male would alter his style of interaction to be concurrent with the female. This is not a form of prejudice, it is only rational request.
Therefore, in comparing my views with that in the chart, I discovered that my own opinions concerning gender relationships are in agreement with those that the unity model displays. After reading each of these author’s writings I am inclined to say that I have been both positively influenced by some of them and negatively influenced by some of them.
In regards to “Gender and Discourse,” reading the views and the empirical evidence from Tannen has given me some insight into the basic conversational strategies and interactional norms of each gender. This has allowed me to recognize various differences in my own conversations and interactions with others as well. In this way, Tannen’s view has positively influenced me, in that, I am much more aware of the various different factors that affect communication, like topical cohesion, interruption, and body language. It has allowed me to take her findings and interpret them in my own way. For example, she discusses the idea of interruption and its positive and negative circumstantial connotation. In learning about her views, I have created my own opinion about interruption, in regards to relationships. Forming substantial views has helped me to understand my own expectations and clearly define my goals concerning interaction in my own relationship.
In regard to “The Lazy Husband,” reading Coleman’s views was very interesting, to say the least. Coleman brings forth some excellent tools in the process of bargaining. However, his views are only beneficial to those relationships operating in the equity model or the dominance model. In my analysis of some of his material I decided that, although his advice is often concurrent with achieving equity, the position that he takes, in regards to his view of the sexes, is often still concurrent with the dominance model. He is less obviously suppressive in terms of his stereotypes concerning gender roles, but yet he often still enforces those stereotypes in his delivery of the material and the language that he uses to refer to females.
This affected me because it made me realize that, although his ideas are beneficial, to achieve true unity, one must take an even further step. This requires an immense amount of effort on both partners’ parts. In this realization and after reading the various scenarios brought forth in the book, I realize how much both partners must be committed to this hard work and effort. When applying this idea to real life, I was able to understand why so many marriages end in divorce. Commitment is often taken lightly. The meaning of the word, itself, does not only apply to fidelity, but is expanded to many other arenas of marriage. Therefore, all necessary areas must be given focus.
Partners must learn to build a strong foundation of love, trust, intimacy, and dependence, eliminating all differences in order to have marital success. Many couples often forgo building this permanent foundation in hopes that romantic love, physical passion, or infatuation will take its place. But, according to statistics, this doesn’t last. Therefore, Coleman’s book has encouraged me to further think along the lines of the unity model.
In regards to “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” I found that Dr. Laura’s book most often had a negative affect on me. Apart from reading her views which invoked frustration on my part due to my analysis that her perspective was very one-sided and suppressive towards women, I also found her book to be discouraging to my view of men, which shouldn’t be the case.
Her book actually portrayed a very bad view of the gender of men, in that, she conveyed that most men only want sex, respect, and control. She asserted that if sex isn’t given whenever or wherever a man desires then it is only natural that they should negate their promise of fidelity. This was very discouraging to me and actually began to make me feel insecure about the role that women play in their marriages. Reading her views about gender relationships made me second-guess the ability of men to commit and look at only the negative aspects of relationships, which is disjunctive. I found myself applying these stereotypical and confining characteristics to all relationships when this is just not the case.
In essence, reading her book encouraged me, more than any of the others, to further think along the lines of the unity model. She discusses some wonderful conjunctive values, but they are not complete. Overall, it was helpful in helping me form stronger opinions from reading her views about gender relationships.
As I discussed the various elements of my chart with fellow friends and family, I observed that many others also disagreed with Dr. Laura’s views of the genders. Some felt more inclined to agree with Coleman, while others, thought that Dr. James’ views were most valuable. The overall consensus was split between the equity and the unity view of gender relationships. All the friends and family (mom, dad, sister, boyfriend,
The question I am answering is question #4:
(a) Consider Section 21 in the Lecture Notes at
It gives a selection from an article titled "Secrets to a Happy Marriage." Read and discuss the article.
(b) Are these good instances of unity values or not? Explain.
(c) Search the Web using Google to find advice that is given to couples. Evaluate the advice given in terms of what you know of the unity model of marriage.
v My Discussions of “Secrets to A Happy Marriage”
The article entitled “Secrets to A Happy Marriage” was written by Doctor and Reverend Trey Kuhne, a family therapist who provides us with this commentary article regarding advice for attaining a happy marriage. In his article, Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne gives us some insight on the various elements that he feels should be an important focus between partners. He formats these elements in his article into a series of three secrets. Kuhne suggests that working on these three areas in marriage will strengthen the road to happiness. Therefore, these three suggestions are categorized as the three secrets to a happy marriage.
Within his discussion of these three secrets he designates specific advice for both the husband and the wife. He thoroughly defines his intended meaning of each element, or secret, and then briefly discusses the constituents or ingredients within each component. Rev. Dr. Kuhne begins his article with a description of secret number 1.
Š Secret number 1 of his theorized “Secrets to A Happy Marriage” discusses his proposition that in order for a couple to achieve harmony and happiness in their relationship they must fully agree upon the “full disclosure of moneys” and the practicing of “no hidden accounts” between one another. To illustrate this concept further Kuhne discusses the various reasons behind this theory. In marriage, money can often manifest itself as a topic of frustration for partners. Statistics often show that the topic of finances is one of the top five things that married couples quarrel about. According to Kuhne, the trouble that money causes is evident in his observations as well.
In Kuhne’s opinion, arguments concerning money are often instigated or intensified when one or both partners keep secret monetary accounts from the other or are not completely honest about revealing the status of their finances. Kuhne further suggests that both partners should divulge all information about any area dealing with money (i.e. pension accounts, insurance, savings, 401(k), retirement, checking, rainy-day money, and mad money). He openly frowns on the refusal to adhere to these suggestions and promotes that compliance will lead to equality and empowerment of both parties. He analyzes the benefits to these actions using logic and practicality, saying that obedience of these instructions will “help to prevent loss of moneys in the even of an illness or early death.”
The advice he gives for each sex regarding this issue is relatively similar. Kuhne’s instructions are to be open and honest about all financial issues. He directs both the husband and wife to tell each other the truth about any financial issues that they had previously been hiding, this also referring to personal career or business endeavors.
After evaluating Kuhne’s first secret I concluded that I agree with it in the sense that truthfulness is always a necessary element in marriage. First and foremost, lying to or deceiving a spouse prevents conjoinment and hinders unity. Lying does not only entail slandering the truth but it also involves omission, either act is considered to be a breaking of vows. This concept can be applied to any subject, even finances, as Kuhne suggest. Although he specifically pinpoints the importance of truthfulness concerning monetary issues, his overall idea is concurrent with that of the unity model which encourages honesty between husband and wife concerning every matter.
Kuhne’s first secret is of personal interest to me. Trouble arose concerning finances when my grandfather passed away and left behind my grandmother, as well as his HUGE amount of incurred debt. Towards the end of his life, my grandfather managed to get caught up in a Reader’s Digest sweepstakes. He took out a bunch of credit cards and began charging them up buying useless items. He believed he was going to win the sweepstakes by purchasing a lot of items from various different catalogues. On holidays, birthdays, and even when no special occasion presented itself, my grandfather would shower my grandmother with small gifts. However, my grandmother, being the extremely strong willed woman that she is, refused to support his endeavors.
Over the years, my grandmother managed to close out their joint account and open an account of her own without his name on it. They had one credit card together but the rest she cancelled in which she took out others just in her own name without his knowledge. At the event of his death, my family received news that my grandfather was in debt by thousands of dollars. Soon after the funeral, creditors began coming after my grandmother, threatening that she was responsible to pay for the debt incurred. However, after much investigation my family found out that, because my grandmother’s name wasn’t on any of his cards or accounts, she wasn’t responsible to pay for the debt.
In this situation, my grandmother’s secret accounts and credit cards saved her from losing her home; therefore, Kuhne’s theory is of no use. However, if my grandfather had followed the concepts taught in the unity model of marriage, the trouble could have been prevented. If my grandfather had relinquished control to my grandmother and trusted her judgment concerning the finances, this dilemma would never have happened. However, although he made some bad choices in his later years, we never loved him any less; this was especially true in regards to my grandmother.
Š Secret number 2 on Kuhne’s list deals with the importance of communication. According to Kuhne, “each spouse must become a skilled cryptographer or develop competent communications skills.” In other words, like a cryptographer breaks secret codes, a spouse must also be able to interpret the actual meaning of what their significant other says. Kuhne suggests that a key to a healthy marriage is for both partners to develop compatible communication skills so they can understand each other. Bad communication can lead to severe conflict. Small misunderstandings between husband and wife can lead to bitterness, anger, resentment, and feelings of rejection.
To avoid misunderstandings and develop good communication skills, Kuhne suggests that husbands and wives talk often making sure to clarify what they are saying. Don’t be hesitant to ask again what the other means, Kuhne says. For this concept he designates different advice for each sex. Regarding the husband, Dr. Kuhne stipulates that men often assume that their wives will automatically understand their wishes. However, this is wishful thinking. Wives can’t read minds and shouldn’t be expected to. Neither spouse can automatically know what the other is thinking unless told. Kuhne asserts that husbands often have these sort of expectations and shouldn’t.
According to Kuhne, men and women speak different languages. While women are passionate, deep, and crave intimate conversation, at times men interpret their way of talk uninteresting and shallow. To avoid confusion, men need to verbalize directly their wants and needs and then clarify, especially regarding the desire for sex.
In regards to wives, Kuhne asserts that woman also must clarify and explain their meanings to their husbands. When a woman desires emotional affection and romance, she must make sure to directly communicate her wishes. According to Kuhne, men don’t understand a wife’s need or subtle cues for emotional intimacy (i.e. need to be needed, need for words of affirmation, need to hear “I love you,” need for cuddling and romance). Kuhne says that if wives don’t verbally and directly communicate their emotional needs with constant clarification then men will never understand and become disengaged from confusion. If this behavior continues then communication will continue to diminish and the two will grow distant, separate, and fail to meet each others needs.
After evaluating Rev. Dr. Kuhne’s secret number 2, I concluded that his presentation of ideas did not fully coincide with the teachings of the unity model. His overall idea that a healthy marriage requires that both partners develop compatible communication skills is an excellent concept. Communication is key in relationships. However, his presentation of material seemed to be written in dominating language. His explanation seemed to be concurrent with the equity model, which specifies that both partners must continually justify their intentions to the other. Justification and clarification seem to me to be very similar. He asserts that following his instructions will aid in achieving harmony in one’s relationship. Both the equity model and the dominance model promote the idea of achieving harmony by means of various tactics, but not unity.
According to the unity model, wives should not have to continually clarify their needs, wants, and desires to their husbands. When Kuhne says that men don’t understand their wives need for emotional intimacy, it is as if he is creating an excuse for husbands. Kuhne dictates that because men don’t understand women, women should overcompensate for it. However, the unity model asserts different. If a husband doesn’t understand his wife’s subtle or communicable style, he shouldn’t excuse himself by saying that’s just the way he is. He should make the effort to learn to understand her every need and vice versa. If this is accomplished then the couple won’t have to spend their lives continually clarifying to each other want they want. Instead, they will just know all aspects of each other by heart. This includes mind, body, and soul.
Š Secret number 3 of Kuhne’s theorized secret to happiness discusses the idea that praise is important in a relationship. According to Kuhne, words can make or break a relationship. Positive words, like praise, can promote a healthy relationship and mend hurt. Negative words, on the other hand, can create resentment, anger, and hurt which causes damage to the relationship. Kuhne asserts that praise is a source of positive affirmation of love. It is not only important for husbands and wives to praise each other when their alone, they need to praise each other in public as well. When a partner praises the other in public it is showing the other person that they are important and valuable. It is a public form of recognition which highlights the good in the other.
Kuhne asserts that after a couple gets married its easy for either partner to let small things become annoying. Commonly, both partners will complain or make negative comments highlighting the bad in each other. On occasion, partners might complain about each other to friends or speak negatively of the other in public places. These forms of insults are demeaning and are, essentially, behaviors which function to smear the other’s name. When a couple is married, they are joined together by vows. These vows are a covenant of monogamous intimacy, meaning, each partner is making a promise to only be intimate with the other. When one partner shares intimate details with someone other than their spouse, they are breaking this vow of monogamous intimacy.
With regards to Kuhne’s advice for each sex, his proposals are quite similar. He recommends for both husband and wife to be cautious of what they say about each other to their friends. Each partner should evaluate the way that they talk about the other in public and make changes where changes are warranted. Although praise can seem like a simplistic task, Kuhne asserts that it is essential in the road to happiness and health.
After evaluating Kuhne’s third secret, I concluded that, again, his basic concept is conjunctive in thought. However, he seems to look at marriage as a business conquest. In his discussion, he states “If your marriage was a value stock on the emotional stock market, would it gain in value over time or lose in value over time?” I realize that Kuhne may be approaches these various marital issues from a practical perspective, nevertheless, marriage, in the unity model, is not about costs and benefits.
Kuhne’s type of analogous ideas better represent the equity model. In theory, praising your spouse can be highly beneficial to the relationship, but it takes a much deeper connection between a husband and wife to get to a point where praises come naturally. Any form of slander, according the unity model, is considered verbal abuse and disjunctive behavior. Furthermore, husband and wife should never put themselves in a situation where they might speak badly of the other in public because, idealistically, both partners should always have mutual friends. Happiness comes when the words are sincere or when both partners are working towards sincerity. Sincerity can only become evident when the couple is on the proper road to physical, mental, and emotional conjoinment.
v Advice From The Web
1. Learning to Listen
“Learning to Listen” is an article written by a prominent licensed Psychologist by the name of Dr. Heller. His website encompasses a collection of various articles on topics such as marriage, family, children, and home. The article that I chose is a comment on the conflict in marriage that can arise when a couple “talks at each other, not with each other.” In other words, Dr. Heller agrees that communication is important in marriage, but asserts that in order to communicate each partner must be willing to listen first. It is often easy to ignore the fact that, on various occasions, we all have short attention spans. This can also be true in conversations with significant others. Dr. Heller points out the difference between hearing (assuming what the other person is talking about according to our own perspective) and listening (truly understanding what the other person means from their perspective).
I chose this site because I felt that it positively corresponded with the article written by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne. In Kuhne’s article he discusses communication in regards to the speaker. His tactics for competent communication skills are to clarify, explain, and communicate. However, he neglects to recognize an important aspect of understanding, which is listening. On the other hand, Dr. Heller promotes the idea of selflessness, which is parallel to the teachings of the unity model. Instead of explaining, each partner must first seek to understand the other. One of his teachings is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood." He encourages us to see and understand the other person’s perspective as if we were them. “Try to see the world through your spouse's eyes, not your own,” is a statement he makes.
I find the advice in this article to be positive and uplifting. According to the unity model, the ultimate goal for a husband and wife is to conjoin and achieve a conjugial marriage. This kind of marriage requires selflessness not selfishness. In a selfish relationship, both partners (most often referring to men) can become distracted by their own prerogatives and miss the fulfillment of truly being able to understand their spouse. The goal is to become ONE, not to clarify and be heard. Both Dr. Heller and Dr. Kuhne put emphasis on the same concept, however, they approach it differently. Nevertheless, the approach can make all the difference.
2. Money Ruins Marriages
This article was written by, the famous, Dr. Phil and can be found at his website which I designated below. In this article Dr. Phil gives implications that finances is one of the most important aspects in marriage. In this article he states that “it's the number one problem in marriages, and the number one cause of divorce.” In this article Dr. Phil gives advice to couples on how to steer clear of disagreements concerning finances and attain harmony in marriage. Essentially, his article’s purpose is the same as that of Rev. Dr. Kuhne’s article in the section regarding his first secret. Both articles share slight similarities but come from completely opposite perspectives.
According to Dr. Phil, couples should retain a varied amount of financial independence from each other. In other words, he believes that allowing financial freedom in marriage can lead to harmony. Each partner must be allowed a “discretionary income.” It is better for couples to have separate accounts instead of joint accounts because financial independence is important and can work in your favor in avoiding arguments. Although Dr. Phil believes in financial independence he also believes in financial accountability. He asserts that partners should still be honest with each other about money and be accountable to each other. However, Dr. Phil points out arguments concerning finances might be indicators of a deeper emotional stressor. He advices couples to evaluate the reason for their financial problems in order to identify whether the source is from something deeper.
I chose this site because it provides a contradictory theory to that which was provided by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne. Kuhne believes that spouses should disclose information about any issue dealing with monetary value. He believes that the sharing of money is equivalent to the sharing of power. Furthermore, Kuhne asserts that the equal sharing of power is what makes a marriage survive and remain intimate. On the other hand, Dr. Phil asserts the importance of financial freedom. Both doctors believe that partners should be honest. However, Dr. Phil recognizes the importance of emotional intimacy in regards to financial stress, whereas Kuhne’s looks at marital finances in a costs and benefit analysis.
According to the unity model of marriage, couples should be unified in all aspects, even finances. Nevertheless, unification has to come with sincere motives. Often, men can use shared finances as a way to assert control and dominate their wives. Therefore, in order for a couple to be unified in this area, they must be unified emotionally and spiritually first.
I assume that every couple has a different way of dealing with finances. However, if a couple is conjoined as one mind, one body, and one entity, there would be no need for either spouse to hide anything or be independent of each other in any way, as Dr. Phil proposes. However, each partner must be motivated by unity, not by the benefits of doing a certain tasks in order to reap harmony, as Kuhne proposes. True conjoinment is equivalent to real trust. For a couple to share finances partners must completely trust each other. This sort of trust only comes when husband and wife are conjoined in the unity model.
The question I am answering is question #5:
(a) Analyze the book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger, summarizing its perspective, and discussing the author’s philosophy or psychology of relationships between men and women. How do you see Dr. Laura's approach and what is your evaluation of it?
(b) Find 5 brief quotes from what the husbands wrote, analyzing each one, showing the character of their threefold self. Use the unity model in the Lecture Notes to characterize the threefold self of the husbands that wrote to her.
(c) Make up a few quotes of your own. In each case pretend you are either a woman or a man emailing Dr. Laura. Then give a brief explanation regarding what AUVs are exhibited in each case.
v My Analysis of Dr. Laura’s Book
My overall experience reading this book was an interesting one. In “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” Dr. Laura takes a very strong stance on her gender views and her relationships views. She verbalizes increasingly strong opinions, therefore, it encouraged me to become engaged in the readings and form strong opinions of my own, most of which were in contrast to those she expressed. To state it plainly, Dr. Laura’s philosophy of relationships between men and women is precisely concurrent with that of the Dominance Model. Her ideas are unsurprisingly parallel to the rest of society’s commonly excepted conformist patriarchal ideals. In her book she gives advice to her callers that promote male dominance and female conformity to stereotypical and traditional gender roles.
Dr. Laura often neglects to use tact in her various verbal interactions with specifically female callers. Her use of denigrating vocabulary towards women is abundantly present throughout her writings. It is extremely unfortunate that she, as a highly educated female role model, is a continual promoter of this use of female denigrating vocabulary because she encourages others that look to her for advice to use this negative language when referring to women because she uses it often herself.
Her book is entirely biased to her own perspective and, far from objectifies the many variables that may be affecting the variety of marital problems she discusses. For example, she often talks about various marital problems like, lack of sex, or husbands deserving respect in their own home, but gears her topics and answers to specifically single out the female flaws that could possibly be contributing to the problem. However, she neglects to mention any male flaws that may be evident in the relationship. It’s quite humorous to me that she can write an entire book about what a women is doing wrong in her relationship and the problems she is causing in her own marriage, but yet neglect to remember the many statistics that show evidence that abuse in relationships most often occurs from husband to wife, not wife to husband.
According to Dr. Laura’s philosophy a man is a good husband as long as he 1) provides for his wife and his family financially 2) is faithful and 3) does not physically abuse her. WOW! But wait. There are so many things she is leaving out. What about verbal abuse, emotional abuse, rape, sexual blackmail, neglect, absentee father syndrome, absentee husband syndrome, addiction of various kinds, alcoholism, use of profanity in conversation with children, excessive gambling, lack of good hygiene, self-esteem issues, psychological problems, possessiveness, excessively exhibiting jealous behavior, inappropriate behavior in public, violent tendencies, hits on other women in from of his wife. Man, the list could go on for miles. The fact that she doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of other behavioral deficiencies and variables that could lead a woman to resent her husband is misleading for her readers.
It’s as if she refuses to acknowledge that men sometimes treat their wives badly, but instead, asserts that wives are the cause of most marital problems. In essence, she is basically assuming that all of these other variables are concoctions of the imagination. Don’t get me wrong, she does propose some wonderful ideas and theories about how women could possibly be better wives, but her delivery of her perspective is what makes all the difference. When she uses words like “bitch,” “nag,” and “frump,” she is conveying a hypocritical and insensitive attitude. One can’t possibly assert that a wife should respect her husband, if there is no demand for a husband to respect his wife.
Let’s take a look at her perspective on sex, for example. Dr. Laura asserts that women should never reject their husband’s intimate advances. That husband’s should have the right to have sex with their wives whenever they want. However, the United States Court of Law doesn’t agree. They passed a bill some time ago that gives woman the right to refuse sex to whomever she wants, even if she is refusing to have sex with her husband. If a husband forces his wife to have sex with him against her will, it is considered rape and can be tried in a court of law in front of a jury.
Now I realize that Dr. Laura might possibly say that all this fuss about rights and equality is a product of the feminist movement which has brain washed women into disposing of their traditionally necessary gender roles. However, if the goal is to bring two people closer together and promote unconditional love and unity, the answer is not through suppression and domination. Although I tend to be a bit harsh, I do agree with some of the basic values she encourages, like appreciating your spouse, but it seems as if the advice is never reciprocal, and again, her delivery, as well as her extreme promotion of the dominance model is what discourages me from keeping an open mind.
Some of the basic philosophies that Dr. Laura upholds which I found to be very absolutist and intolerable are:
o Women make bad choices, lifestyle choices, and mate choices, bad choices concerning sex, marriage, fidelity, commitment, and attitude all because they want to pursue an unrealistic idea of love. Current ideas about love (e.g. romanticism, night in shining armor) are only figments of their imaginations, which have been constructed by a society with rising feminist views.
o Success has created independence in woman leading to selfishness. Women have become insensitive to men’s feelings and oblivious to what men need, deserve, and want because they are self-involved with their own goals. This self-involvement is the reason for ruined marriages.
o Love is not happiness. The current view of love as happiness is the reason women can’t keep good men.
o Women need to do things like cook, clean, give sex, and care for the kids to create a happy home to fulfilling specific gender roles.
o Men are simple, woman are too complicated.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger (2004). The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. (New York, N.Y.: Harper Collins Publishing, Inc.).
v Quotes From The Book
“I don’t understand why women don’t understand that sex is a man’s number one need from his wife. It’s not jut the act and sensation of pleasure, but it’s the acceptance by a woman of her man. There’s communion that happens during intercourse that will bond a man to his woman, and he in turn will then begin to give of himself emotionally to her. When that need isn’t met, the man begins to look at his wife as just a roommate who doesn’t pay her share of the rent but continues to harp on him about leaving the toilet seat up.”
After analyzing Chris’ quote to Dr. Laura, I came to the conclusion that his attitude about relationships reflected an attitude which operates within the dominance model. In this quote he is expressing unhappiness because he feels that women don’t respect the fact that men need to be pleasured and sexually gratified. According to Table 1c of the Three-fold Self, I determined that his mentality is one of “corporeal mentality.” Chris is so concerned with being pleasured that he makes no mention of his wife’s desires or intimate needs.
Chris is selfishly exhibiting a character in which he demands to be pleasured or else he will stop looking at his wife as a lover but as a room-mate. It is as if he threatening his subsiding of love unless sex is given. In this he is taking pleasure out of maintaining control over his partner. Of course in his statement he tries to justify his reasons for wanting what he wants, despite his wife’s feelings. However, this is just another manipulation tactic to continue to gain sympathy so he can get what he wants.
Therefore, after reviewing the various lecture notes and the “Happiness and Unhappiness on the Ennead Chart: Table 7b” I realized that Chris’ behavior demonstrated characteristics of the sensorimotor self in the dominance model, which is zone 1.
I also felt that his attitude exhibited characteristics of the cognitive self in the dominance model, which is zone 2 because he was demonstrating controlling behavior in order to put pressure on women and make them feel like it is their job to give their husbands sex or they won’t be loved as much.
“Men are only interested in two things: If I’m not horny, make me a sandwich.”
I picked this quote because it was a little shocking and very chauvinistic. At first glance I could already tell that John was acting in the dominance model. By stating this quote, he is exhibiting a complete lack of disregard for women. This quote makes it seem as if he’s addressing a sex slave or a maid.
I’d have to say that he is definitely operating in the sensorimotor self of the dominance model. Both of these requests are purely superficial and deal with the external, bodily, or physical sensations. He is motivated by his need to be pleasured by both food and sex. In this statement, it is as if he is proud of his own attitude. His obnoxious comment seemed as if to give him pleasure because he was exhibiting power and control by being chauvinistic.
“I laughed when I heard the title of your new book. I thought ‘It won’t happen. What woman would buy it? Who cares about us men?’ There are a few things that men want so bad they would do anything for it. I think a good number of men want respect more than love. They like to feel they have some power. I nearly cry when you tell a woman caller to respect her husband. There is so much selfishness in the world-in marriages. Prosperity has allowed women to be so independent, and thus so selfish. I always feel as though I come last-my feelings come last, my needs come last”
I chose this comment because I felt it was a good mixture of dominance and manipulation. Edgar’s number one priority is to be respected and obeyed. He wants power and control and plainly states that he would rather be respected and feared for his power than to actually have a loving relationship with his wife. He complains over and over at the end of his statement about his feelings always coming last. In essence, he’s exhibiting selfish and self-centered behavior because he is only thinking about his own feelings.
Also, Edgar is using manipulation tactics to gain sympathy. Like Chris, he appeals to the emotions of woman by saying “I nearly cry when you tell a woman caller to respect her husband.” He is using this statement to manipulate his wife into cooperating with him. He is motivated by the need for his wife to be submissive, lower than him, and dominated.
Therefore, I decided that he was displaying characteristics of the affective level of self in the dominance model, which is zone 3. In his statement, his motives are expressed in the characteristics of his words. His motives are, obviously, to dominate her. Saying that he wants respect is just another way of saying his desire is for her to be submissive and powerless.
Furthermore, I believe that the characteristics of his words also show signs of cognitive dominance. Edgar’s thoughts are involved in finding ways to dominate and assert power. Just in his one statement, he makes 3 attempts to try and pressure her into respecting him, first through a plea of sympathy, second through an outright insult, and 3rd with a series of complains.
“Trust your husband. Recognize that he has his own ways of doing things. They don’t have to be done your way to be adequately done. If the toilet ends up clean, it doesn’t matter if he didn’t give it your ‘special touch.’ If he has the kids for the day so you can attend a baby shower, don’t leave a huge list of detailed instructions. As long as the two of you share the same rules and values, you should trust him to create his own relationship and ‘caring style’ with his children without your intervention.”
After careful review of the anonymous “L’s” call I decided that he was, possibly acting in the equity model. His words are very soft and kind and he doesn’t make any outright attempts to insult his wife obviously. However, although subtle, his overall mood of condescension was still present, especially in his comment about her “special touch.”
In his statement he is showing characteristics of cognitive equity. It seems as if he is basing his thoughts on equality. He is exhibiting frustration because his wife won’t respect his point of view. In the equity model, both partner’s happiness and harmony is based on mutual respect and equality. They base their relationship on intellectual feelings and the balance of that intellect. According to this statement “L” is all about have space. Cognitive equity, zone 5 promotes distance between husband and wife. It creates a level of space between them which allows them to have differences and disagreements, but still “agree to disagree.”
In this statement, L wants his wife to “agree to disagree,” respect his opinion, his differences, and stop telling him what to do. This is a perfect example of cognitive equity.
“The lack of respect for differing opinions seems to be a common frustration. What I find is an attitude from some women that if I think differently from them, it’s because men are a-holes, or stupid, or just plain wrong. Name calling and insults are very difficult to ignore. I’m weary of sharing my opinions and feelings if I think there might be the slightest chance that they’re not mainstream female points of view. And the sad thing is, when a man falls for this type of manipulation, and attempts to smooth out the rough male edges his wife despises, she’s now even less attracted to the wimp she created!”
This statement by Charlie exhibits characteristics of both cognitive equity and affective equity. Like “L,” he is complaining that his wife is not respecting his own opinions because they are normally different then hers. He feels that she should, as his partner, respect his point of view at all times, instead of criticizing and name-calling. He is blaming women for disrespecting men, but yet, he is being a hypocrite because at the end of his statement he disrespects his wife and all women by saying that they make their men into wimps.
According to zone 6, which is affective equity, a partner must be motivated by the striving to justify himself to his partner. With this statement, Charlie is continually trying to justify his feelings to her. He is also trying to justify himself to the readers, or Dr. Laura as well. First he says she speaks to him in degrading language. He says this, only so later, he can justify his own insults that he makes to her.
Furthermore, the characteristics of is words also exhibit cognitive dominance and affective dominance. At first, it seemed as if he was jumping back and forth between the two models. However, I had a thought, that maybe he was exhibiting behavior that fit into the dominance model but the behavior was just masquerading to seem as it were concurrent with the equity model.
I remember in class, Dr. Leon mentioned that, in essence, there isn’t really equity, it is only dominance with rules.
v Quotes of My Own
1. Hello Dr. Laura! My name is John. I really appreciated the fact that you pointed out in your book that “men are simple.” After 14 yrs of marriage to my wife I still don’t think she really gets it. She’s constantly hovering over me every single minute of the day and always trying to say something to me about nothing.
She always wants me to talk to her, “communicate,” she says, but sometimes I just don’t feel like talking about the stupid stuff she wants to talk about, like “what I want for dinner,” “what kind of groceries she bought,” or “what the neighbor said.” I’ve got nothing to say, or just want to watch the DAMN football game. Yet, she’s still yammering on in my ear even while I’m watching the game, and then gets mad when I don’t pay attention to her. Its like, “What the hell could be so damn important about the groceries!”
In this brief letter to Dr. Laura, I found AUVs # 14, “Promoting the idea that one should not try to change one’s partner but should accept them with their faults,” AUV #17, “Promoting the idea that women are generally frivolous as part of their gender,” AUV #21, “Making it look normal for a man to have prerogative or perks that women should accept and honor, and AUV # 22, “Making it look like what women say and think is less important.”
In this quote, John is acting as if what his wife has to say has no value. He is complaining about having to communicate with her, when it is his job as her husband to do so. He pretends as if what she talks about during discussion is so frivolous that his football game is more important. In this scenario, the man is definitely displaying disjunctive behavior.
2. Dear Dr. Laura, I almost cried when I read your chapter on “Guy Time.” It’s so touching to hear somebody that’s not constantly criticizing my point of view. See, my and wife I were married 5 years ago and I’m starting to realize how over-opinionated she is. She constantly telling me how she thinks our relationship should be, what tactics we need to follow, and what I should do. She thinks she’s an expert or something because her father’s a psychologist and she reads tons of relationship-help books.
She’s got this crazy idea that we have to do everything together and spend as much time together as possible. She always wants to come with me when I go out with the guys. I keep telling her “I need some space. It’s not wrong to be away from each other once in a while. You have to at least give me the CHANCE to miss you.” But then she gets offended and tells me I hurt her feelings. It’s ridiculous. What is it with women now-a-days? I think their TRYING to drive us away.
Your faithful listener,
In this particular letter, I found AUVs #8, “having a heterosexual best friend who is placed ahead of the partner or in competition for certain things, AUV #9, “same sex friends going out as a group for fun and entertainment without their partners, AUV #11, “Separate interests and activities accepted for partners,”AUV #14, “Promoting the idea that one should not try to change one’s partner but should accept them with their faults,” AUV #15, “girls and boys only entertainment,” and AUV # 21, “Making it look normal for a man to have prerogative or perks that women should accept and honor.
There were many AUVs present in this letter to Dr. Laura. It is amazing to me how much disjunctive language can often be exhibited in such a small portion of words. This particular listener is subscribing to an idea that both the equity and dominance model promote, which is space. I think that this is a ridiculous and harmful concept. There is no way that space away from another person can bring them closer together. The two concepts, space and unity, are totally and completely opposite.
In this letter, Damien is only trying to push his wife away and maintain a sense of independence. However, when two people are in love and devoted to one another, they take vows of marriage because they no longer want to be “just one individual alone.” These vows bind two people together for life. This automatically means that independence is no longer accessible. Damien, like many other men, made this decision to take the step of marriage, and with an attitude like this, it only seems as if he is backing out of his promise to his wife. This, to me, is cowardly.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger (2004). The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. (New York, N.Y.: Harper Collins Publishing, Inc.).
The question I am answering is question #8:
(a) In your own words, describe the unity model of marriage and the mental states of the couple's threefold self.
(b) Describe any difficulty or resistance you have experienced regarding the unity model, including
(i) the idea of a unity couple as a higher state of life
than all others
the eternal significance of marriage
(iii) Swedenborg's observations of marriages in heaven.
(c) Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about the unity model and the idea of marriages in heaven as given in the Swedenborg reports.
(d) How has the unity model influenced your thinking? What benefit do you think do class members acquire when studying the unity model in this course? Do you have suggestions on how to teach the unity model to couples, and at what age?
v My Discussion of the Unity Model of Marriage
Marriage between husband and wife is a sacred union, a covenant of commitment, love, and compassion. When two individuals choose to take that next step, they are making a promise to share their lives with one another. Centuries ago, marriage was considered to be a means of survival, a traditional union between man and wife that lasted a lifetime and ended at death. This union was consummated with the objective to procreate. However, the philosophy of matrimony has evolved over time. Marriage is no longer consummated for the objective of survival. In present times, its one of many steps in romanticism or even infatuation. For this reason, individual’s often underestimate the commitment that it takes to merge two lives together.
In order to merge two lives, change is necessary and independence must be disposable. Many people in present times (mainly men) reject this change, and assert independence. There are many popular philosophies of marriage that exist, and yet, divorce rates are at an all time-high. Individuals continue to cling to independence and disregard commitment. Although society claims to have evolved from suppression, traditionally male dominant views (concerning matrimony and other) continue to flourish but have taken on a different appearance. Luckily, the unity model of marriage provides us with an alternate philosophy and higher form of marriage that can ensure, if followed, an infinite union of love, based on mutual respect, growth, dedication, and reciprocity.
When a man and woman are married, both partners initiate their vows of matrimony with the words “till death do us part.” This is because most marriages exist at a natural level, a conjugal level. Conjugal marriage is a type of marriage that is bound and restricted by the physical world. In the physical world, our life span is finite and as we age, death is inevitable. In a conjugal marriage, union is also bound by these same finite laws. Therefore, just as our body dies, so does our matrimonial union. However, the unity model of marriage is an alternative philosophy, dissimilar to others, in which marriage between husband and wife is conjugial (till endless eternity) instead of conjugal (till death do us part). With this philosophy, both partners have the opportunity to be physically and spiritually unified, this in essence, enabling them to finally reach their highest human potential.
Emanuel Swedenborg first introduced this concept of conjugal versus conjugial marriage. His theories are based on the idea that humans are capable of immortality through afterlife. He believed that partners can become so bonded together that after their bodies wither and die, their spiritual bond will unite them together in the afterlife for eternity. The unity model of marriage is a construct based on Swedenborg’s philosophies of the afterlife. It is a perception that subscribes to the “positive bias in psychology or science” as reflected in the lecture notes by Dr. James and his wife. A negative bias is a scientific view of the world with the absence of God. A positive bias is a scientific view of the world with the presence of God. As a result of this incorporation of the positive scientific bias in the unity model, the possibility of SOUL MATES is not mythological, it’s realistic.
According to the unity model, God put us here on earth so that we could find our soul mate, reach our highest potential, and form an ultimate bond through unconditional love and unity. Once this bond is consummated the two partners can become one body, one mind, and one spirit, a single intimate entity. However, reaching this level of unity is not an easy commitment. It can sometimes be a long and tedious process. Attaining unity is a process of growth that requires complete dedication and effort from both individuals. In this process many innate instincts must be relearned (typically referring to the man) in order to fully conjoin. Unlike other models of marriage, the unity model is “wife-centric.” Its teachings recognize the fact that we live in a male dominated society. However, this is a problem because, according to the unity model, male domination prevents unity.
According to Swedenborg’s theory of differentiation, men and women are far from alike. The unity model explains that men, unlike women, have an innate instinct to assert independence. Domination and control are means by which dependence is sustained. For this reason, most marriages operate on a level where husband and wife retain individuality and independence, never truly becoming one.
To combat this, the man must dedicate himself to conjoining with his wife in order to achieve unity. It becomes his responsibility to take control of his own actions and change his dominant and denigrating ways. He must relinquish his control, as well as his independence, and divert control to his wife because it is she who is already trying to conjoin with him. He holds the power to make this change, a choice that will, in turn, change the course of their relationship. With this step, their natural differences can finally synchronize together in a reciprocal capacity (called reciprocity).
For a couple to attain a state of complete and inclusive harmony within the unity model, the man must make a commitment to his wife to trust her intuition. With this decision he is communicating to his wife that he has faith in her inner truth and her external good. Being that every woman has an ultimate purpose to conjoin in unity with the man she loves; her desire is only to do what’s best for the relationship. Therefore, her husband can rest a sure that she won’t take advantage of his choice to relinquish his power to her because she will always consider his feelings. Thus, both partners can begin to partake on the journey towards unity together.
“Devoid of exception, all natural relationships begin in the dominance model (A.K.A: male dominated domain)” as I stated in my last paper. However, there can be no true unity if a couple operates in this model. Therefore, a couple must work to move out of the dominance model in order to conjoin. With this in mind, the unity model was constructed as a ladder of hierarchy in which, in order to reach unity, the couple must conquer each stage in an ascending hierarchical order. There are three stages or archetypes within the unity model that couples must ascend through. Since, every relationship begins in the dominance model, the dominance model, therefore, represents the bottom and first level of the hierarchy.
The dominance model, or first level or archetype of the unity model hierarchy is a model in which the man has a domineering attitude toward his wife. His decisions are made independent from his wife, unless he decides to allow her to have a say. Often, it is not only the man who is socialized to accept this model as normal; women are also socialized to accept this as well. Progression or ascension through each stage is often made difficult because of the relentless male dominated and female bashing societal and cultural influences that result in deterrence of conjoinment. Women who object to this model and recognize that dominance is unhealthy can struggle to lead their husbands out of this stage and progress to the next archetype in the hierarchy called the equity model.
The equity model is a level at which both partners adapt a kind of “economic focus and involvement,” as stated in the lecture notes. Their relationship is based on intellect, equality, justification, and mutual respect. Within this model, the woman gains the right of involvement. She becomes an equal partner to her husband in which all decisions are made in regard to the other. Although the costs and benefits of each partner are equally weighed, both spouses still maintain an amount of space. Each is able to keep a varied level of independence, with the agreement to respect each others separate views and ideas. However, although harmony can be attained in this level, conjoinment and unity cannot be. To be unified, both spouses can not remain as two separate independent entities; therefore, differences cannot be tolerated.
In order for a couple conquer the equity model and ascend to the next archetype in the hierarchy, which is unity, they must conjoin as one, bonding together in mind, body, heart, and spirit. Both partners must know all aspects of each other by heart. The husband must work to gain complete knowledge of his wife’s feelings, emotions, wants, dislikes, humor, and desires. In reaching this final stage, husband and wife will be each other’s complete happiness. They will complete each other, each as a half and live in both harmony and unity. Once this stage is attained both spouses will have the knowledge that they have reached their highest potential. Their bond becomes based on a physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy, like none other. In which, both partners can have the security that their love will not die with their physical bodies but will live on together for eternity.
Although the result of this process brings utter bliss, the progression through each stage requires much more than just the conquering of a few areas. Before ascending to the next archetype in the hierarchy, each partner must first conjoin together at the three levels of self. All human conduct can be categorized into these three levels of self. Therefore, every individual’s behavior operates within one of these three levels of self. These three levels are the sensorimotor consociation, cognitive affiliation, and the affective conjunction.
The first level or most superficial level is the sensorimotor self which incorporates the sensations and pleasures of the physical body. The next level is the cognitive self which incorporates the cognitive processes of the mind, including all thoughts. The last level is the affective self which incorporates the inner affective conditions; this includes the status of all motivation. In order for a couple to ascend to the next archetype they must conjoin at each of these levels of self. Each archetype has its own sensorimotor stage, cognitive stage, and affective stage. The various characteristics or mentalities in each stage that individuals must be required to conjoin are determined by its corresponding model.
“Once a man and a woman have become integrated and unified at all three levels, every action or reaction, thought or belief, feeling or purpose will be one single experience. Contrary to the couple’s prior separate experiences, a new connection is formed that is utterly and completely bonded from two separate entities into one single existence,” as I stated in my last report.
v My Thoughts of the Unity Model of Marriage
Initially, when taking this class I felt some resistance to this concept. I assumed that the unity model was, in concept, quite constructive, but unrealistic and unattainable. I have always been a romantic, secretly wishing that the idea of soul mates was real, but never truly believing it as anything more than myth. Therefore, naturally, I could not completely object to the idea of a united couple as a higher state of life than all others. However, I assumed that non-objection was a product of my romantic wishful thinking. My first thought was to disregard the concept because I felt that while some models of marriage were male dominated; this particular model was female dominated and possibly sexist.
I was not opposed to the idea of the eternal significance of marriage, most likely because I was raised in a strict fundamentalist Christian home. Therefore, I was taught to believe in the afterlife. However I did have some trouble believing that Swedenborg actually observed marriages in heaven. I presumed that Swedenborg had managed to create some great theories about love and the afterlife but I never believed that his experiences could be considered empirical evidence.
However, over the course of the semester, I began to evaluate the various reasons why I felt the way I did and why my initial response was to automatically reject this model. In doing this, I realized that much of my views were based on my 22 years of subscribing to the norms of a patriarchal and male dominated society. The more I contemplated, I began to think, “Of course a wife-centric model would be so un-popular and rejected in a male dominated society.” To assume that a wife could use her intuition to compassionately and respectfully be the one to lead her husband into marital bliss, instead of be led, would almost seem blasphemous in a society controlled and dominated by men.
We live in a society in which female denigrating influences are everywhere. Women are constantly being exploited by means of pornography, rap music, media, etc. Denigrating verbiage is often used to refer to women, like bitch, slut, nag, whore, frump, prude, chick, sweet ass, etc. After analyzing these various reasons for my initial resistance I concluded that my reasons might possibly be the same reasons why others reject this model as well.
Over the course of the semester I have often taken the opportunity to talk with others (friends, family, boyfriend, and parents) about the unity model of marriage. Most all those I talked to, either had similar reactions to mine, or rejected it all together. To my surprise, it wasn’t the men who I spoke with that rejected the model the most. Gender only played a small role in their reaction to the model. The biggest variation came from those who were already in relationships and those who weren’t. Of all those that I spoke with who were in committed relationships, males and females alike, seemed more inclined to adhere to the model or thought it was a good concept.
However, most all of my friends seemed skeptical about Swedenborg’s empirical evidence, except a few female friends from church, my mom, and my boyfriend. In regards to my boyfriend and my mom, I had the opportunity to talk to them the most about this model because I talk to them a lot in general. I suppose this could be partially the reason they both seemed more inclined to agree than the others. However, my boyfriend may not be a particularly impartial candidate because he is often influenced by what I say or believe.
Apart from society’s influences, my own upbringing possibly added to my stigmatisms and stipulations of what a relationship should be like. Being raised in a home in which my parents relationship operated deep within the dominance model, my earlier views, although not current, concerning the roles of men and women as well as the workings of a relationship were extremely traditional. This conclusion about how my upbringing influenced by receptivity to this course also resulted in my conclusion that the upbringing of other individuals might also influence their receptivity to the material as well. I was very influenced by the material we learned in this class.
Learning about this model allowed me to delve deeper into analyzing the workings of my own relationship as well as relationships in general. Whereas my initial reaction was to reject the unity model, I now believe that it is the construct of healthy relationship and that, with change and time, it is also attainable. I am not the sort of person to impose my views on others; therefore, I can’t say that it is the only healthy model. I assume there might be variations of this model with the same concept of togetherness that may possibly work as well, but I have yet to come across them. I think that, whether or not the other students agreed with the model or not, taking this class will have affected them, in that information was presented that had not been before.
I wouldn’t speculate to say that I have suggestions on how to teach the class or the model except to just present the information as is and hope it’s received. However, I do believe that any concept taught might be better received at a younger age. I think the older you get, with some exceptions, the harder it is to change your point of view. Young minds are impressionable minds. Therefore, it is possible that the younger you are the more receptive you’ll be to the material. Nevertheless, the material, such as this, should be taught to an age at which they are capable of grasping the complexity of the concepts.
The question I am answering is question #9:
(a) Make up a game of any kind that can be played by a couple or several couples in a group. The purpose of the game is to teach couples how to observe their interactions in terms of conjunctive vs. disjunctive -- see explanations given in the Lecture Notes, e.g.:
(b) Describe the game and its theory.
(c) Test the game with other people. Describe the results and give recommendations
v My Description of the Game and Its Theory
N= Negativity and
I= Indignation but
T= Teaching couples
Y= Yes !
Based on section 17a: Part 5 in the Lecture notes, I created a game in which the overall purpose is to identify the various characteristics of conjunctive vs. disjunctive conversational behavior and interaction between different spouses. The name of the game is U-N-I-T-Y, and as I have shown above, each letter of the word U-N-I-T-Y represents an aspect or purpose that it is important in the game. The game is made to be played specifically by couples. It is a board game, similar to “Trivial Pursuit” in which each player has his or her own piece or pie and can move around the board depending on the questions answered. The teams are separated per each couple. Each couple will have the same color piece so that each team will be recognizable.
The board will essentially be made up of a maze which looks similar to that of the unity model chart. Here is an example of the board.
In order to play the game each individual will get one piece corresponding to the color of their partner. The piece will have three empty circles in it that need to be filled. Each of the three spaces represents one of the levels of self. Here is an example of the piece.
The purpose of the game would be for you and your partner to answer as many questions correctly so that you can reach the top of the board with your piece, essentially, reaching unity.
However, the trick is, in order to move from one level to the next, you have to answer three questions correct, each from one of the categories of the three levels of self (sensorimotor, cognitive, affective). Every question you answer will be a question that is randomly picked and asked by your partner. There will be three sets of boxes, one box of cards for each of the three models. Each box (dominance box, equity box, unity box) will have its own set of questions for each of the three levels of self (eg.sensorimotor dominance, cognitive dominance, affective dominance…..sensorimotor equity…etc.) The top of each card will indicate which level of self the question is dealing with and the back of the card will have the options and the correct answer to the question.
Only the partner who is asking the question will know this information, not even the other couples. Therefore, this gives each of the couples an opportunity to practice their skills by listening to each question, even if the question isn’t theirs, and practice guessing the answer quietly.
The object of the game is to compete against the other couples to make it to the top of the chart first. However, there’s a catch. Since you and your partner are a team, the team doesn’t win until both partners make it to the top together. It doesn’t count if one half of the couple is at the top and the other is still in the equity model or the dominance model. Therefore, both partners have to work together and encourage each other so that they can reach U-N-I-T-Y together. Remember, that even when you get to the unity model, you still have to answer three questions right in each of the categories of the three fold self. Once you and your partner have completed all three questions, you can move to the small pointed turquoise space at the top of the chart. This means your team WINS!
Below is a chart which gives some samples of what the various cards in each box set will look like and the types of questions you will be required to answer.
TABLE 1: The Name of the Game is U-N-I-T-Y!
Dominance Model Box
Equity Model Box
Unity Model Box
The first of month was the day Mr. & Mrs. Jones 2nd anniversary married. But, they couldn’t celebrate it because Mr. Jones was away on business. He was gone for 8 weeks but tonight he returns home. They are still newly married and he misses her dearly. He’s craving her touch and can’t wait to get home to make love. But when he arrives, she is busy handling a crisis for work, has been up all night, and still has paper work to do. So instead, she tells, “No, I can’t tonight, I have too much to do and I’m too tired.”
Jessica and Harry have always had an equal relationship. There sex life was great because it was based on mutual satisfaction and equal pleasuring. However, Jessica has recently gotten pregnant and since then, her sex drive has decreased. She doesn’t feel like equally pleasuring Harry because she’s often tired and bloated. However he’s frustrated about the change in their sex-life and is worried her behavior might continue even after she gives birth. Now, every time Harry wants intimacy, Jessica just wants to cuddle. They get into a fight that night. Jessica says, “your being selfish.”
Jason and Michelle have always felt that the best part of a disagreement was the make-up sex afterwards. However, Jason has begun to see a change in Michelle. It’s as if she’s building resentment towards him. Even when he apologizes, she still won’t let him touch her. He feels like she’s holding a grudge and he wants things to be like they were before when they would fight, and then after he said he’s sorry, they could be affection and intimate showing how much they loved each other. He’s at a lost and doesn’t know what to do.
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “Yes you can. Don’t worry I can get you in the mood. Just put that stuff down.”
b). “That’s not the real reason, be honest! Just tell me you don’t want to have sex with me. Don’t make up some lame excuse.”
c). “Alright babe, I know I had a long flight but let me know if I can do anything to help you?
d). “I’m hurt that your rejecting me, it’s my way of feeling close to you. That’s not the way a loving wife should act when I’m only asking because I miss you!
Correct answer: c
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “I realize my main concern should be to connect with you the way you need. I agree that instead of worrying about sex I should be worrying about being close to you.”
b). “I’m very frustrated because I feel like your not pulling your weight. I always felt we had a good level of interaction but now I’m starting to wonder”
c). “I understand what your pointing our and realize I am being selfish. I just want to make you happy.”
d). “I feel rejected when you refuse to be equally involved. Sex is my way of connecting with you.”
Correct answer: Both a & c
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “I’m disappointed in you Michelle. I thought you could talk to me about anything. It’s not my fault if you refuse to tell me what’s wrong.”
b). “I know that your hurt or angry. I truly want to understand what’s going on. I was wrong for expecting physical intimacy when we weren’t unified mentally.
c). “What can I do, I’m willing to beg for your forgiveness and do whatever it takes to make it up to you.”
d). “Relationships are about unconditional love & forgiveness. I’m not perfect. I’m gonna make mistakes. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you and you shouldn’t hold it against me.”
Correct answer: Both b & c
The Thompson’s have been married for 5 yrs but together for 12. They are high school sweethearts, together since freshman year. They have one 2 yr old son and another on the way. They had initially decided to have 3 kids, but after the birth of their first child Mrs. Thompson has decided she can’t handle anymore then two. One has been hard enough, seeing that Mr. Thompson works long hours at a law office and she is a stay at home mom. This has become a source of conflict in their marriage because her husband is upset that she’s changed her mind. He wants a baby girl! She wants his tubes tied! Mrs. Thompson brings it up again because she can’t stand to let the argument linger.
Lucas tends to be an over analyzer. His wife Tracy is exactly the opposite. But there differences compliment each other and has made the relationship exciting. Over the years Lucas has become overly focused on constantly evaluating himself and the level of fairness in their relationship. They both have full time jobs and are happy with their careers. But Tracy’s job has become extra stressful. She’s had to work double shifts at the hospital. They are short on nurses so they often mandate Tracy to stay. On the days she works 7a-7p, she’s just too tired to come home and clean up the dog’s dodo or take out the trash, even when it’s her day to do it. She would rather Lucas pick up the slack and understand that she’s tired.
Question # 2:
George is an atheist and Terry was raised Catholic but is non-practicing. There differences in religious and spiritual views never caused problems before until the other night during a conversation at dinner when talking about their wills. See, George doesn’t believe in an afterlife and Terry does. Although George loves Terry very much, he doesn’t believe they will be together for eternity because he thinks when they die that’s it. When they got on the subject of death, Terry made a comment, “Well it doesn’t really matter who dies first because we’ll be together in the afterlife. Terry responded, “Come on Terry. I’m being serious. Let’s be realistic. That’s never going to happen. Terry was extremely hurt and left the table.
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “I don’t understand you first you say you want 3 kids and now you don’t! You can’t just change your mind. It’s so irrational.”
b). “Honey, I’m sorry that your feeling so overwhelmed and I understand if that’s the way you feel. I’ll adopt your view.”
c). “I work all day to provide for you and the kids, the least you can do is stick to your word and give me what I need.”
d). “All you do is think about your damn self! You could have a little respect. What kind of mother doesn’t want a child?”
Correct answer: b
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “I work too, and I’m also tired when I get home, but that doesn’t mean you neglect your responsibilities.”
b). “Well if it’s that inconvenient, we can rearrange our scheduled days of chores.”
c). “You were the one that wanted that dumb dog to begin with.”
d). “Thanks for talking to me. I didn’t realize how rough things were. Of course I’ll help more. Your rest is important.”
Correct answer: d
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). Should he go to her explain, “It’s not that I don’t love you but I just don’t believe in that stuff.”
b). Should he respond to her attitude by saying. “I don’t appreciate you walking away from me. We need to talk about this.”
c). Should he respond with by getting defensive? “Terry how can you be so childish about this.”
d). Should he go to comfort her and say, “I’m so sorry. That was uncalled for. I hurt you and made you feel unloved. Please talk to me about your thoughts on this matter. I’d like to be conjoined with you in thought no matter what it is you believe.”
Correct answer: d
Before Carl and Sharon were married she knew that he was sometimes a bit aggressive. He liked to have things the way he liked them. Having control of a situation gave him a sense of security. He was often motivated by his urge to take control when he felt it was needed. Since they’ve been married his tendencies have gotten worse. This is making her unhappy. She was very close to her sister before they were married but now, Carl refuses to let Sharon see her often because he thinks she’s a bad influence. Sharon decides to talk to him about his constant motivation to control her.
Donny and AJ met at the gym. They both used to love to work out together. It was their thing. Working out was their favorite activity to do to spend time together because they both wanted to look nice for each other and keep healthy and in shape. After AJ gave birth to their daughter, she doesn’t really have the energy to go anymore. She hasn’t lost the weight she gained and she feels like Donny’s motivations are to always try and get more than she can give. She’s tried to lose the weight and stay fit, but its been hard with their young daughter.
David has always been kind of a quite guy. Sarah, his wife, can talk for hours and is very outgoing. Whenever either she or he gets home, she always has so much energy and wants to spend hours talking about her day, his day, their relationship, and life. But David is often tired and has a difficult time keeping up with her energy as it is. But he does it because he knows it’s important to her so he’ll sit there with her as long as she wants him to so they can communicate. But now, Sarah is starting to complain that he isn’t passionate enough in conversation with her. That he doesn’t respond enough when she’s talking. She said, “I feel like I’m talking the whole time and your just sitting there!” David can’t believe it. He’s already trying so hard and she wants more.
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “I resent your critical attitude. You knew I was this way when you met me. If you didn’t like it, then you shouldn’t have married me.”
b). “Sharon, I love you. You’re my wife. You’re the most important thing to me. If you love me, then you need to trust that I’m making the right decision for us.”
c). “I don’t understand why you have to make a big deal about everything. If you miss her just pick up the DAMN phone and call her.”
d). “Sharon, I know that I can be controlling. I’m sorry. I am committed to making you happy. I know I can change. With your help, I’d like to work on letting go of my motivation to control.
Correct answer: d
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “One of the things I loved about you was that you were motivated by the same things as me, like being fit, it’s not right that you change that.”
b). “There’s nothing in the world I love more than you, but you have to be motivated to do your part. I am. That’s why I continue to go to the gym to stay fit for you.”
c). “I’m sorry for putting pressure on you. I didn’t realize my expectations were hurting you. I’m wrong and I love you for however you are.”
d). “I feel that it’s, in a sense, your duty to strive to meet me half –way. If you’re so tired, than I will take care of the kid so you can go by yourself.”
Correct answer: b
Back of Card
Considering the scenario, which reaction of the husband’s is the most conjunctive?
a). “Honey, you gotta understand, I’m just not that type of guy. I hear everything your saying. I’m trying to be a good listener, what more could you want?”
b). “I feel like your constantly expecting so much from me. It’s always me that has to change not you.”
c). You know that I love you, why does it matter so much whether or not I talk back if I’m tired?”
d). “I’m sorry that you feel that way but I’m doing the best I can. I’d appreciate if you cut me some slack once in a while.”
Correct answer: None of The Above
v Testing the Game Theory
After I completed creating the game I made up a few more questions and wrote them all out on a note cards. I tested the theory with my boyfriend and three other couples. It was a lot of fun. It was extremely interesting to see my friend’s reactions to the answers and the questions. Playing the game actually helped to initiate conversation about relationship issues that we wouldn’t normally talk about in a regular situation. It was also interesting because, from learning about each of the models in depth, I could kind of see what model each couple was operating in.
Two of my guy friends commented on the fact that they thought the answers were wrong and that most of the men in the scenarios sounded “whipped.” When this was said, both of their girlfriends spoke up and had to explain to their boyfriends why the women reacted the way they did in certain situations and what they needed from their partners in terms of comfort.
I also had an opportunity to explain to them a little about the unity model so that they could understand the game. All of them thought that the idea of the three fold self was very interesting. They gave me some tips on how I could better improve it by saying that I should expand the complexity of the board and make it more challenging to win but adding more obstacles. Overall I felt that it was a great experience and I’m glad I did it.
I was also very proud of my boyfriend because he knew all the right answers. However, he said it was only because I’ve explained to him the concepts before and he has a good grasp about each model. He agreed with some of the other guys that he could relate to the men in some of the situations and that it’s hard to change. We all continued to have our deeper discussions even after we finished the game. I was very happy with the results.
Section B: My Report on the Current Generation
1.) Caitlin Fields
Š Summary Of Report
Through the careful review of Ms. Caitlin Field’s report # 1 I had an opportunity to read her ideas and feelings about her own field observations concerning conjunctive and disjunctive discourse and behavior in couples. I thought she did a wonderful job of presenting the material in a clear and straight-forward way. She constructively created distinct opinions, which she formed from the gathering of some very interesting sources. She effectively combined her own personal source choices with that which was provided, thus incorporating and utilizing these various combinations into her report. To explain the concept of conjunctive and disjunctive discourse to those reading her report, she began by presenting the readers with a list of anti-unity values (AUV), a task which was required of all the students in my generation. This provided her with a basis to build the rest of her report on.
Caitlin chose to give a short and concise explanation of the definition of AUVs. With this frank explanation portion she conveyed the sizeable negative effects that AUVs have on our intimate relationships and daily lives. She illustrated a few AUVs that stood out to her the most by describing them at a basic and personal level. Ms. Fields then discussed the AUVs in relation to the unity model. Discussing the relationship between AUVs and the unity model allowed her to introduce to us this construct which represents a higher form of togetherness. Expressing the significance of AUVs set the foundation for her report so that she could later provide a distinct relationship between the AUVs and disjunctive behavior. This provided us with a correlation between the two concepts, allowing us to further understand the idea of unity and conjunction.
I was impressed by the fact that Caitlin accurately described the idea of manipulation through deception. Deception, which is an AUV, is also an example of a mechanism by which individuals might act disjunctively. She described the act of deception as “a form of hatred.” Hatred and love are at two opposite sides of the same hierarchical spectrum. They are not equivalent and should never be combined. Love and marriage are sacred, one in the same. Caitlin explains that neither love nor marriage can include hatred. Given that deception is a form of hatred; neither marriage nor love can ever include deception either. It was fulfilling to hear this stated plainly. Often, individuals confuse passion and infatuation with real commitment. Neither is equivalent to true love. In superficial relationships, deception is often allowed or even forgiven, nevertheless, deception should never occur if partners are truly unified, as Caitlin describes.
After reviewing the basic concepts included in her report, Ms. Fields went on to discuss some other student’s reports from generation 24. I’m assuming that she chose to discuss the student that stood out to her the most. The student’s work she chose to review specifically was Adrial Stipek. Caitlin formed some structured opinions about the sources that Adrial aquired. She combined her own thoughts with that of Adrial’s into one segment and in this creating was a new amalgamation. I also enjoyed how she successfully conveyed her opinions on the media’s role in our lives and our relationships. She was very direct in her statement that, both woman and men should, by all means steer clear of using the media as a mechanism of guidance. Ms. Fields presented us with an excellent example of corruption in media. The example she used was pornography.
The pornography industry is an extremely profitable industry in every area or sphere of its influence. Caitlin specifically discusses the impact that it has by means of the internet. However, pornography travels through much larger channels than just the internet. In this day and age, pornography is highly accessible for individuals at any age. The industry targets a specific demographic. This demographic is MEN! As Caitlin suggests, pornography is a means by which women are exploited and degraded. This type of exploitation demonstrates a form of womanizing behavior that is unacceptable. The high accessibility and popularity of pornography is an encouragement for young boys to incorporate it into maturational development and experience it as natural. It desensitizes them to sex and is a representation that copulation is a meaningless form of pleasure. It acts as a model, sending a message that women should be treated as sex objects.
It impacted me that Caitlin brought up this taboo subject of pornography in her report. She effectively displayed the huge effects that it has on our society. I truly believe that anything that negatively affects youth will also negatively affect the future of society and society at present. Pornography is just one mechanism by which AUVs, disjunctive behavior, and female denigration are encouraged. Mechanisms of exploitation are everywhere. Caitlin directly hits on an example of negative affects that can be seen currently. She discusses the fact that our culture has become desensitized to AUVs, disjunctive behavior, and exploitation. Caitlin further explains that even she did not previously know that AUVs were so prevalent in the media; however, after doing this report she sees its abundance. The dominance model is so highly accepted in relationships today that disjunctive behavior is often unrecognizable. Ms. Fields gives examples of these from her experiences.
To further illustrate the abundance of disjunctive behavior, Caitlin chose some sources of her own and evaluated them for the existence of conjunctive behavior versus disjunctive behavior. The reason why I chose to review Ms. Fields report was because I felt she chose some great media sources; all or which I enjoyed reading because I personally have seen them. The movie that she chose was “Fitch” and the T.V. series she chose was “The Wonder Years”. It was interesting for me to read her analysis and dissection of both sources and then compare them to the initial reaction I had when I first watched them myself. In reading the examples of disjunction in her chart, I realized that I had also bought into the romanticized, glorified, and false idealistic feeling that each show gave me beforehand. This was surprising.
I wouldn’t have expected that a children’s sitcom, like the “wonder years”, or a seemingly pleasant romantic comedy, like “Hitch” would display excessive examples of disjunction. To look at a show like “The Wonder Years” and realize that there were underlying and discrete examples of disjunction that I never initially recognized was a perfect example of my own desensitization. These shows are acting as models which subliminally encourage negative relational interaction and suggestive domination model tactics. The actions of the characters in “Hitch” seemed to display a typical representation of the normal drama that occurs within relationships. But that’s just it; the drama that’s represented isn’t healthy, for individuals to except it as normal is destructive. Applying this stigmatization of normality to one’s own relationship can lead to unrealistic expectations of a happy ending. However, this never works, just look at the statistics of divorce rates in this country.
Reading the evaluations of Ms. Fields sparked some strong opinions of my own which made reading her report a pleasant experience for me. The dialogues that she chose from http://www.wellesnet.com/touch_memo1.htm were also very stimulating as well. She formatted her dialogues in a way that which her own thoughts were scattered amongst each disjunctive line. This made reading and interpreting her thoughts more simple. I also enjoyed reading the various comments from her friends because it was interesting to see the thoughts of others compared to my own. It was informative to read the various responses from her female friends versus the responses from her male friends and analyze them to see if any differences would arise. To my knowledge, no significant differences were found which was quite uplifting. Overall I feel that Caitlin did a wonderful job and I enjoyed reviewing her report.
2.) Angela Murray
Š Summary of Report
Upon the reviewing Ms. Angela Murray’s report I found her work to be very imprinting. Her intelligent comments and applicable real life examples made reading her report very enjoyable. As usual, Ms. Murray did a wonderful job of conveying her opinions thoroughly without neglecting to add some comical relief. In my opinion her paper was very well-written and unproblematic to read. Angela clearly and distinctively described the concepts providing the readers with a clear vision of what the unity model of marriage really is, not just in thought, but when applied to real relationships. She explained her views in a straightforward manner, devoid of extra unnecessary fluff. I found her evaluations to be very direct and thought provoking. When I read an opinion that provokes me to delve deeper into the issue, I consider it to be a valuable asset, reading her report was an example of time well spent.
Angela began her report with a quick overlay of anti-unity values. She concisely defined the concept of AUVs and then mentioned them in relation to media. After pasting the table to its designated section, Ms. Murray further explained the various different AUVs on a more in depth level. The AUVs which she chose to discuss were AUV # 1, “Living together unmarried,” AUV #2, “Having children out of wedlock,” AUV #4, “Adultery for various reasons,” AUV # 8, “Having a heterosexual best friend who is placed ahead of the partner or in competition for certain things,” AUV #11, “Separate interests and activities accepted for partners,” AUV#13, “Accepting the idea that it's OK to "agree to disagree" about some things,” and AUV #14, “Promoting the idea that one should not try to change one's partner but should accept them with their faults.”
Ms. Murray continued by giving us some exceptionally descriptive examples to help us further understand each AUV in terms of real life situations or media examples. An example of AUV #8 that she gave was from her own personal experience. She discussed a situation which occurred between her and an ex-boyfriend named Dan in which he acted disjunctively because he chose to put another person ahead of her. This put her in an uncomfortable situation forcing her to give him an ultimatum. In this situation Dan was subscribing to a commonly excepted way of behavior that is often promoted by society and the media. Although it is accepted and even encouraged for a partner to have separate friends or separate interests, this behavior is actually disparaging to the relationship.
When a man, like Dan, asserts control by making decisions which hurts the relationship, it can only end in unhappiness. Dan chose to put someone else ahead of his partner, essentially communicating to Angela that she was unimportant. Ms. Murray further explained that it was his disjunctive and inconsiderate behavior that led to their eventual break-up. I presume that this is a common occurrence in relationships today. Often, men act disjunctively, using various different dominating tactics, like those shown in the examples that MS. Murray gave of AUVs, in order to assert independence and control. Many women in these kinds of various relationships don’t recognize that their significant other’s behavior is disjunctive and allow these occurrences to continue, essentially submitting to domination.
Aside from discussing the various AUVs she chose and disjunctive behavior she described, Angela also gave some recommendations of how one might approach a relationship in a conjunctive manner. She describes the importance of a man and a woman equally getting to know each other before they decide to commit to marriage. Committing to a relationship is a big step and making a relationship work can be a strenuous task. As Angela stated, “In order to become united in marriage, it involves two partners who are equally invested in making each other happy and making the relationship work.” Uniting with someone you love can be very fulfilling, however, it takes patience, respect, commitment, and most all time. Over time, both partners can work together to fulfill each other’s needs completely. I felt that Angela conveyed this idea very constructively.
Using her newly acquired knowledge from the concepts in this class, Angela proceeded to evaluate some other student’s reports from generation 24. Ms. Murray decided to review both Carly Kanemaru and Lauren Buchner’s reports in which she analyzed their various sources and then formulated her own opinions concerning their work. She compared both reports and concluded that, although Carly and Lauren’s styles of writing were different, they each came to nearly the same conclusions. Both students concluded that AUVs are constantly revealed through the media and individuals have accepted the abundance and, as a result, are oblivious to their negative effects.
Angela proceeded to identify the different AUVs and disjunction found in the various sources that Carly and Lauren used. In reading over Carly’s report she found AUVs 4, 13, 16 and 17 to be present in the movie “Unfaithful.” In Lauren Buchner’s report she found constant implications in the movie “The Story of Us” that women should lower than expectations and settle for less than they deserved. This concept reminded of the various chapters that we read in both Dr. Laura’s book and in Joshua Coleman’s book. Both authors repetitively implied that women are often unsatisfied with their marriages because they enforce high standards on their husbands. The authors convey that in order for a woman to be happy, she must lower her standards to suit her husband’s capabilities. In doing this, a wife will not constantly be disappointed when her husband can’t live up to her expectations.
Angela further commented on this encouraged idea that women should expect less, even if the behavior entails abuse. She recognized this concept in both Carly and Lauren’s report. Even after reading Carly’s report myself, I overlooked the fact that this concept was present in the movie she chose. Ms. Murray expanded these concepts to encompass her own thoughts concerning how AUVs and disjunctive behavior, not only appear in the media, but in real life as well. She briefly discussed her thoughts on how exposure to negative tactics has affected youth. She commented on the issue that society allows men to absolve themselves of responsibility. Many men take offense to the idea of change and deflect any suggestion of it. As a consequence, obstacles to unity become more prevalent leaving women with the constant struggle to conjoin with their spouses while continually being rejected.
To further communicate the concept of disjunction and conjunction, Ms. Murray chose to review a few media sources of her own. The sources she chose included “The Maury Povich Show” and “Sex in the City.” Ms. Murray also chose some various dialogues from the movies “Crash” and “Poetic Justice” When reviewing a few episodes of “The Maury Povich Show” Angela found that disjunctive behavior was constantly being portrayed. An example she used was from an episode where a man named Robert was suspected of cheating on his significant other, Nicole. In this episode, Nicole allows herself to be degraded when she allows Robert to keep pictures of a naked woman that he is no longer seeing. Angela identified an abundance of domination tactics in this episode, for example, Robert’s retaliation after he is caught cheating.
Angela found similar examples of disjunction in the episodes of “Sex in the City” that she reviewed. In these episodes separateness is promoted. Angela discusses the character Carrie’s dilemma which occurs when her boyfriend, Big, refuses to conjoin and continues to keep her at a distance. In this episode Big wants the best of both worlds, he wants to keep his independence by rejecting emotional intimacy but yet still remain to be sexually intimate with Carrie. On the other hand, I found it pleasant to read the one example of conjunction that Angela found. Angela determined that conjunctive behavior was being represented by Samantha’s boyfriend when he respected choice to abstain from sex. Angela went on to discuss these various findings with her friends. I found some of her boyfriend’s comments to be very insightful.
In regards to her dialogues, I thought she chose some very passionate examples of conversation between two partners. In the dialogue from “Crash” Angela determined that the man was showing anti-unity behavior because he refused to support his wife and her feelings. Instead of listening to her zealous comments, he decided to react with anger and harsh words, which only made his wife feel more degraded then she previously felt about the event that occurred. In analyzing the dialogue from “Poetic Justice” Angela found a mixture of conjunctive and disjunctive behavior. She commented on the attitude of the male in the dialogue and his lack of interest in the interests of the woman he loved. However, Angela goes on to further state that the man eventually redeems himself and makes it up to the girl in his life.
In marriage, this is a common occurrence. The unity model of marriage states that a man will sometimes regress and revert back to his inconsiderate ways. The road to unity is often difficult, nevertheless, if the man is committed and sincere, he will begin to realize that his partner will often times be very understanding, forgiving, and loving when he makes mistakes. The dialogue that Angela chose was a great example of this kind of interaction. Overall I felt that Angela successfully conveyed her thoughts and opinions in an entertaining way and I was convinced that her enthusiasm for the topic was reflected in her work.
Section C: Advice To Future Generations
First and foremost, taking this class has been an awesome experience. It’s highly affected my life and my relationship with my boyfriend, the love of my life, and my best friend. I enjoyed being a part of Dr. James’ class and enjoyed his teaching. I learned a lot, not just about relationships but about writing, giving oral presentations, and using computer competently. I’ve never designed a web page or done ftp uploaded, therefore, it surely expanded my abilities. I feel more confident about speaking in front of people and I got much more out of this class then I ever expected.
The best advice I can give to the future generations is to BE PREPARED! Taking this class has been an extremely challenging experience for me. It requires you to do an enormous amount of work. Be that as it may, I would suggest that you get an early start on your outlines and your reports. Don’t wait until the last minute to finish your outlines because there may not be enough time to complete them, as well as your reports, if you wait or procrastinate. Therefore, pace yourself. However, as challenging as the class was for me it was also a very rewarding experience.
The theories and philosophies learned in this class are unlike other material that is typically learned. Therefore, your initial response may be to harshly judge the ideas. However, be receptive and try to keep an open mind. Evaluate each theory or construct from an unbiased perspective, remembering that it is a scientific philosophy and, therefore, should be analyzed with an open mind. Recognize that learning different models of relationships, even if they are not your own, can have great significance as any kind of learning can. Continue to evaluate your own thoughts, feelings, and ideas on the subject matter over the course of the semester because the possibility to change and grow is always eminent if we’re open to it.
If you are planning to go on to further schooling, for example, graduate school, I would definitely recommend taking this course. It is one of the classes that I have taken which I feel has adequately prepared me for the work that lies ahead. The assignments in the class will help condition you to write long and thorough papers. Also, the steady amount of work will help you to pace and manage your studying habits and a regular basis, as opposed to the habits that form from the cramming for sporadic exams and the attending of continuous lectures which require minimal assignments.
For any student deciding to take this course I would not recommend taking it with a heavy course load. It may surpass your expectations of work that you initially expected to do for writing intensive, as it did mine. Therefore, I wouldn’t advise taking it at the same time as a few other writing intensive courses. If you don’t give yourself enough time to put full effort into the class and your work, then you may not get as much out of it as it can give you if you had. Lastly, don’t be overwhelmed, put forth your best effort and at the end of the course I guarantee you will feel rewarded for a job well done.
G25 Class Home Page: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/classhome-g25.htm
My Home Page: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2006/moa/moa-home.htm