Report 3: “Men Love Your Women!”

Nicole Salviejo

Caitlin Botelho

Lisa Ha

Angela Washington

Psy 409b, Spring 2008, Generation 27

Dr. Leon James, Instructor, University of Hawaii

Link to class home page




Section 1: Lecture 7

By Nicole Salviejo


This week’s lecture notes from Section 6 focuses on a couple’s three-fold self and the different phases that governs their interactions. 


Section 6:














conjunctive interactions





negotiated interactions





coercive interactions




















*Note: Table 6.1 is intended to be read from the bottom up.


As seen on this chart, there are nine stages of the three-fold self or nine succeeding stages for achieving unity in marriage.



Male Dominance Phase


Cells 1, 2 & 3 represent the male dominance phase of a couple’s relationship.  In these three zones, a couple’s relationship is characterized by the coercive nature that the husband displays with his wife.  According to Dr. James, “Husbands rely on the coercive power of tradition and expectation to force their wife to be obedient, regardless of her feelings.”  The husband and wife have a coercive relationship because the wife is not allowed to share her thoughts and feelings freely with her husband.  Instead, she is expected to be obedient and submissive to her husband.  If she displays disobedient behavior, then she is punished through various ways including: physical and verbal abuse. 


Under this phase a husband is only physically intimate with his wife.  The couple has yet to achieve cognitive and affective intimacy with one another.


Examples of men’s of behavior under these three zones include:

  • Rejecting physical intimacy (sex)
  • Not listening when she is talking
  • Interrupting her when she is speaking




Equity Phase


Cells 4, 5 & 6 represent the equity phase of a couple’s relationship (most modern couples believe that they fall under this category).  Unlike the male-dominance phase where there is much emphasis on the coercion between husband and wife, the equity model emphasizes the couple’ s goal to negotiate with one another to get what they want.  According to Dr. James, “responsibilities and duties of husband and wife are shared through negotiation and agreement between each other.”  Cognitive intimacy is gradually achieved through negotiation, as long as both partners are sincere rather than manipulative.


Under this phase, a couple’s intimacy has shifted from the sensorimotor or physical intimacy to cognitive intimacy, where the woman has a larger opportunity than the male-dominant phase wife, to speak more freely with her husband. 


Example’s of cognitive sensorimotor habits acquired during this phase of the unity model of marriage include:

  • Agreeing to complete chores given by the wife within the negotiated time limit
  • Taking care of her when she wants to relax
  • Smiling at her when she enters the room




Unity Phase


Cells 7, 8 & 9 represents the unity model of interaction or affective intimacy where the husband allows the wife’s feminine intelligence or way of thinking to lead his own masculine intelligence.  This is a voluntary phase on the husband’s part and can only occur when he chooses to become eternally conjoined with his wife.  Under this phase, the couple has achieved all three levels of the three-fold self: sensorimotor, cognitive and affective interactions. 


Under this phase, the husband must constantly tell himself that he must listen and follow his wife’s way of thinking or at least view things from her perspective.  The goal for the husband is to discontinue his selfish ways of thinking and to be more open to his wife.    


One important aspect to remember when viewing this chart is that the couple can jump from cell to cell and may experience moments in their relationship that fall under the male-dominant phase or equity phase.  It is rarely the case that a husband and wife can gradually move forward through each zone without experiencing some moments of disjunction.  Although a couple can experience disjunction throughout their marriage, both partners must try to overcome their disagreements and misunderstandings and must both place importance on wanting to become more intimate with one another.  In other words, they must learn from their disjunctive mistakes to be able to move forward.










Level 3


Rational Mentality


Relationship at the INTERNAL LEVEL

(spiritual marriages)

zone 7

rational sensorimotor acts


e.g., partners' movements are coordinated to each other to form a synergy

zone 8

rational cognitive processes


e.g., partners discover and always strive to agree with each other's opinions and justifications 

zone 9

rational affective states


e.g., the husband always strives to align his feelings or desires to match his wife's feelings

Level 2


Competitive Mentality


Relationship at the INTERMEDIATE  LEVEL

(natural marriages)

zone 4

competitive sensorimotor acts


e.g., partners' movements are competitive with each other

zone 5

competitive cognitive processes 


e.g., partners often disagree with each other's opinions and justifications

zone 6

competitive affective states


e.g., partners take turns giving in even if they don't agree


Level 1


Authoritarian Mentality


Relationship at the EXTERNAL LEVEL

(natural marriages)


zone 1

authoritarian sensorimotor acts


e.g., the wife's movements are directed by the husband using force, threat, or intimidation

zone 2

authoritarian cognitive processes 


e.g., the wife knows the husband's prerogatives and strives to submit to them under fear of retaliation

zone 3

authoritarian affective states


e.g., the partners' interactions are governed by the expectations of tradition and family
































*Note: Table 6.2 is intended to be read from the bottom up.


Table 6.2 is used to distinguish the kind of relationship that married partners are in when they model their behavior in accordance with the three levels of the Three-fold self.


The first level, or the authoritarian mentality of the male dominance phase, occurs when a husband and wife are only able to relate to each other in a general sense.  They have physical and mental intimacy, but only of the external or outward self.  Under this first level, there is no real freedom to share thoughts and feelings.  According to Dr. James, “When tradition and family govern or dictate the interaction possibilities between husband and wife, their relationship remains at the general level.”


The second level emphasizes how the couple is able to interact on a more personal level, unlike the couple living under the male dominance phase who must adhere to social and familial traditions.  The couple is able to gain more mental intimacy with one another.  According to Dr. James, “They get to know each other’s opinions and preferences and they take turns agreeing with one another as a way of maintaining peace and avoiding warfare.” 


When the couple achieves this, they then are afforded the opportunity to transcend to the last phase of the Three-fold self, or the unity phase of marriage.  All of the negotiated agreements and mutual allowances of independence experienced in the equity phase are discontinued when the husband decides to move up to the unity model of interaction.  In other words, the husband officially commits to the goal of never disagreeing with his wife.




Personal Thoughts


            While I may disagree with some parts of the unity model of marriage, I cannot deny that it does have its good side.  Ultimately, I find the disjunctive behaviors displayed by men are also applicable to the women in a relationship.  I agree that both partners must value the other and must find ways to converse with each other respectfully.  A relationship cannot grow if both partners are unwilling to work with one another and speak with one another if they are constantly criticizing or nagging each other.  Both partners must see each conversation as opportunities to become more intimate with one another, thus they should both learn ways to converse with their partners that doesn’t demean or put the other person down. 




 Section 2: Team Presentation on Readings


Gender and Discourse – chapter 4 pages 137-173

“Conversational Strategy and Metastrategy in a Pragmatic Theory: The Example of Scenes from a Marriage”

Author: Deborah Tannen

(By: Caitlin Botelho)


Deborah Tannen and her professor from University of California, Berkeley examined the pragmatic theory of Scenes from a Marriage.  Tannen identifies four principle foci of communicative competence that will be further examined throughout the chapter: deference (the aim to inspire separateness and privacy), distance (the aim to avoid imposition), camaraderie (the aim to acknowledge interrelationship), and clarity (used when factual information is at issue).   


Scenes from a Marriage consists of six scenes between husband and wife, Johan and Marianne.  Scene one is titled Innocence and Panic; Johan and Marianne are seen as the “perfect couple.”  Scene two, The Art of Sweeping Under the Rug shows both Johan and Marianne unsatisfied with their relationship.  Scene three is Paula; Johan tells Marianne about his affair with a woman named Paula and announces that he will leave Marianne.  Scene four, The Vale of Tears, shows Johan and Marianne meeting with each other after their separation.  Scene five is titled the Illiterates; Johan and Marianne meet to sign divorce papers and end up in a battle.  The final scene is In the Middle of the Night in a Dark House Somewhere in the World; Johan and Marianne meet secretly, both remarried, but have been having an affair with each other for over a year.


Marianne and Johan use different conversational styles; Marianne uses deference and camaraderie while Johan uses distance.  Marianne wants to conjoin herself to Johan, but he constantly pushes her away.  Although both are different, their conversational patterns show a relationship between deep and surface structure on the pragmatic level.  There are three levels of pragmatics: synonomy (different linguistic devices to achieve similar results), homonomy (similar linguistic devices to achieve different results) and identity (same linguistic device to achieve the same result).


An example of pragmatic synonomy in Scenes from a Marriage can be seen in scene 3 where Johan tells Marianne he is leaving her.  Both Johan and Marianne avoid confrontation but through different linguistic devices; Marianne talks excessively and Johan makes opinions and judgments.  Pragmatic homonomy can be seen through excessive questions from both Marianne and Johan.  Marianne wants information from her questions, but Johan uses his questioning as mockery.  Finally, pragmatic identity is seen when Johan and Marianne both propose sleep to avoid dealing with an unpleasant confrontation.


Like I mentioned before, Johan and Marianne connect on deep and surface levels of pragmatics.  On the initial surface level, Johan and Marianne both ask questions; they have a match.  On the deeper level, Johan’s questions are distancing and Marianne’s questions generate rapport; they conflict.  On the deepest level, Johan and Marianne’s stylistic differences create noncommunication; they have a match.



Lecture Notes, N16c

Author: Dr. Leon James

(By: Caitlin Botelho)


Brandi covered the lecture notes in class about the rules of conjugial conversation for men.  The first rule of conjugial conversation that a man needs to follow is to be reactive and friendly whenever his wife is talking to him.  In the lecture notes, Dr. James says that men know how to do and probably have done this before.  He gives the example of a first date; men try their hardest to convince the woman that he is a good man.  He just has to revert back to this mentality and understand the unity model of marriage.


The second rule of conjugial conversation for men is to deny himself the right to express disagreement with his wife.  Men follow this rule in the workplace, doing whatever their boss tells them, however they have a hard time doing what their wives say.  Women find this refusal hostile, unfriendly and very unsexy.  The male dominance phase is shown when the husband expects his wife to do whatever he says, yet cannot do the same for her.


The third rule of conjugial conversation for men is to create a conversational atmosphere where his wife feels unoppressed, free, and safe.  This shows that the woman means the world to her husband; he cherishes everything about her.  During this time, women should not worry about starting a topic of talk, jumping to another topic, and then going back to the original topic.  If a man can overcome the need to shut up his wife, he becomes enlightened and wise.


The fourth and final rule of conjugial conversation is to use conversation as a method of enhancing her mood and making her feel young in heart and stimulated in mind.  When men focus their attention on their wives, they appear sexy and wise.  This is not to say that women do not want to know what they husbands/boyfriends are thinking, she just wants to know this when he is in an intelligent and rational mood.  Men need to find friendly and respectful ways of expressing what they think. 



Generational Reports (G25)

(By: Lisa Ha)


**The following question summarizations were reported by Kim from Generation 25.

Referring to Generation 25, Section 21 in the lecture notes were used to answer the following questions:

(a) 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.



(a)   Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne is a marriage and family therapist, who wrote an article called, “Secrets to a happy marriage,” listing three secrets he finds important in having a healthy marriage.


Secret #1: There are no hidden accounts. Spouses should be open about accounts such as insurance, retirement money, savings, etc. This is important because it makes partners equally empowered in the relationship. When they disclose this information to each other, they feel equal therefore their relationship will be much more intimate.


Secret #2: Good communication skills must develop in order to have a happy marriage. Dr. Kuhne mentions that what was considered good communication in the past, is not what it is today. In the past, women had to keep silent in order to have a good conversation between the spouses. Nowadays, women and men must be equal and a woman’s opinion is just as important as her husband’s.


Secret #3: Learn to praise your spouse in public and in private. Be impeccable with your word. If you use words that are insulting and demeaning to your spouse, it will destroy their mental health and being. By using words of affirmation, you can make your spouse feel loved and valuable. These words should be used in public whether or not she/he is not there, and also in their listening distance. Dr. Kuhne believes that by praising their abilities, you will also start thinking of them in a brighter light and the small things that can be irritating will become more manageable.



(b)   I think that Dr. Kuhne’s recommendations will help a couple reach the unity model. They are not there yet, and are still exploring their pathway to reach unity. A couple that are following these suggestions are most likely to be in the equity phase in which the husband understands he needs to communicate, compliment and share his thoughts and feelings while respecting hers to reach the unity model of marriage.




(c)   Search the web


Marriage Advice


The first website found was marriage advice given by professional counselors. The article chosen was similar to Dr. Kuhne’s article and is titled, ”Mistake Proof Your Marriage: Do you make these 3 common mistakes in your marriage?”


The 3 mistakes they wrote about criticized your spouse and assuming that your work is done.


The article reflects on the unity model of marriage in a broader, more basic level. The author states that making fun of your spouse is obviously a negative thing and that criticizing them is disrespectful and humiliating. The author also explains that your work of a marriage relationship is not done once the “I Do’s” are said. Daily conversations about things of interest, of importance, and your marriage are necessary. This aligns with the unity model of marriage, in which having conversations is important to the wife and will create a mental intimacy between her and her husband.



Say “No” to Marriage


This article, “Why marriage used to work, but no longer works,” is completely different than the one above, insulting women and is against the Unity Model of Marriage. It illustrates how a “good wife” should be reflecting the male dominance stage. Here are some quotes from the guidelines and my opinion on it:



“Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.”


This statement disregards the wife’s needs, suggesting that men are still in the dominance stage where it’s all about what they want.



Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.


In the unity mode of marriage, it is important for both spouses to look good for one another.



Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.


A woman’s duties should not including making herself more interesting for her spouse. The word “duties” refers to an act that is required to perform. When you say that your wife has duties, you are putting her below you, and this does not apply to conjugial love.




ü      Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

ü      Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

ü      Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as a minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

ü      Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

ü      Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low soothing and pleasant voice.


This article uses the words “complain” and how a wife should change her verbal behavior so her husband will feel more comfortable. This suggests that a women’s opinion is useless and that communication is not necessary.



Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. He is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.


In the unity model of marriage, there is no master.



Although this magazine clip was from the 50s, some of marriages are currently in this situation, in which the men are overpowering their spouse with dominance and wives are completely submissive.



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.



Kim emphasizes on how Dr. Laura Schlessinger believes that men need acceptance, approval and appreciation from their wives and gives advice on how women can go about doing it. These suggestions can range from bedroom manners to how to communicate to their spouse. The purpose of the book is to show how women can save and heal her marriage if she follows these simple guidelines.


She believes that Dr. Laura’s book demonstrates the dominance model of marriage because it lists the things a women needs to do to make her man happier, which will benefit their marriage. She states,” Women are insensitive and oblivious to how destructive they are being to their men.” She stresses how women need to give her man appreciation, respect, good food and good sex. A woman can do so by having a warm meal prepared for him when he gets home, letting him have guy time and providing him with sex whenever he wants.


In the dominance model, the wife is compliant to all of her husband’s demands and doesn’t put in her opinion of what she wants. The man is always striving to empower his wife and if she doesn’t do what he wants, the husband will make her feel like she’s ruining the marriage.


It seems that Dr. Laura feels women are ungrateful of their husbands these days and doesn’t appreciate their hard work.



In my opinion, I feel that Dr. Laura is trying to reach out to people in materialistic marriages and trying to help them to reach a spiritual marriage. The book is directed towards women who are looking for help and guidance. Instead of pointing fingers at the man or at women for their failing marriage, she makes a point that we need to start somewhere for a change to happen. And whether it starts with a woman or a man, they will be eventually get to where they need to be, which is the unity model of marriage.



(b) Quotes from Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s book:


1:  “[My wife] feels that if she doesn’t remind me again and again, something won’t get done.  Bu the fact is, it makes me feel like her child and that Mommy needs to check up on me.  It’s degrading.  I want to be admired.  I want to be acknowledged for being the breadwinner and making sure that we are all taken care of.  My greatest pleasure is when I feel like her hero.  Like her ‘man.’ Not her boy.”



Looking back at threefold self, Evan is showing how his affective self is influencing his cognitive and sensorimotor aspects. His affective self is his feelings towards his wife, and he feels it is degrading when she reminds him repeatedly to do things. Assuming that his affective and cognitive self is reacting to this, his actions (sensorimotor self) will react to her negatively. He is creating an undesirable environment for his wife by making her feel bad when she asks him to do something.



2: So my suggestion for your book on the care and feeding of husbands?  The number one thing I want from my woman is to stop complaining.  It’s easy to moan about how hard your life is.  When I do catch my wife in a ‘willing mood,’ I first have to endure twenty minutes of her complaining about this, that, and the other thing before I get to touch her.  I figure if I help around the house to take some of the burden off of her, I would win her affection.  Wrong.  It is never enough and I am always wrong.  A little kindness would go a long way toward making the marriage better.”



Bruce’s cognitive self is creating a negative outlook on his wife. He is referring to her communication habits as “complaining.” His affective self feels that her behavior is ruining their marriage, and his sensorimotor self is disrespecting his wife by disrespecting her. She wants to communicate with him first before they get intimate and Bruce still being in the dominant stage doesn’t care how she feels. Bruce is not conjoined to his wife’s feelings and desires; therefore they do not have affective reciprocity.



3. I don’t understand why women don’t understand that sex is a man’s number one need from his wife.  It’s not just the act and sensation of pleasure, but it’s the acceptance by a woman of her man.  There’s a 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.”


Chris’s cognitive self is justifying that sex is necessary for the man or else they will feel that a wife I nothing but a complainer. His affective self includes his feelings and motivations. Chris refuses to conjoin with his wife, and will remain in the dominance stage if he does not change his cognitive and affective self. He must ignore his own feelings and take on his wife’s point of view and needs.


4: When I am feeling the most rejected, I as myself ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘Who cares for me?’ To me, I am still doing my job of protecting and providing, but I get nothing in return.  When months pass without sex or affection, the message that I get is that I am undesirable and have no value.  If I were appreciated, I would be ‘loved.’  Caring and nurturing is what I need to feel healthy and happy.”


Mike is in the dominant stage of the unity model of marriage. He doesn’t think about how his wife feels without affection and is disconnected with her because of his affective self. He has not reached cognitive conjunction either since his thoughts are not aligned with hers.


5: Wives want romance, hugs, kisses, and surprises.  They would get more of these things if they hadn’t just told hubby he was stupid or that a night out with the guys was tantamount to abandonment… or that four hours out of 168 to myself is overly selfish or self-indulgent.”


Jim seems to want to spend time away from his partner and excludes her from his activities. He has not reached the conjoint self because he doesn’t involve her in his life. Jim does not display cognitive reciprocity with his wife because he desires things she does not want.



My wife is always telling me I break promises but she doesn’t realize that men just don’t remember everything a wife says everyday of his life.  Wives just say too many unnecessary information.”


This is an anti-unity model in which Bob breaks promises, disregarding how his wife feels. When a man breaks a promise in the unity model he is committing mental abuse. He is suggesting that what his wife wants is not important. For Bob to reach the unity model of marriage, he must put his wife before him and acknowledge her thoughts and feelings.


“When I do something wrong, my wife will get on my case.  I don’t understand.  I apologize and everything.  Isn’t that enough?  She needs to just get over it.”


Here is another example of AUV, in which feels that an apology should be enough to make his wife happy. He is not striving to please her and looks at her in a negative way, making her out to seem unreasonable and selfish.


Question 6

(a) Consider Section 5.1 Sexuality: Love of the Sex vs. Love of One of the Sex in the Lecture Notes - sexuality

Describe the difference between the two types of loves as explained there.

(b) Compare this spiritual idea of sex to the idea of sex promoted today by psychologists and sex therapists. Find some examples on the Web (give links) or in books and journal articles (give full reference).


(a) Section 5.1 describes the differences of love of the sex VS. Love of one of the sex. Love of the sex is non-exclusive sex and is derived from our hellish thoughts. In non-exclusive sex, a husband and wife have sensorimotor conjunction but not conjunction since they are not mentally intimate. Humans are able to have non-exclusive sex with others without mental intimacy. We are also capable of have exclusive sex and enjoying it while being mentally intimate. This is also called mutual exclusive love, and comes from our heavenly mind. This is considered love of one of the sex. Love of one of the sex occurs not only when a husband performs sensorimotor coupling, but conjunctive and affective coupling as well. Their relationship is now based on a spiritual-sensual sexuality level and this kind of love is considered conjugial love.

(b) Juggling Multiple Partners: This website claims it is a “man’s portal” into knowing everything that a man needs to know. This article gives you advice on how to juggle multiple relationships and the best way about doing it. It tells men not to tell the truth because if they do their women will leave. It also has a link that allows you to purchase their “player’s secret sex guide.” It can tell a man how to improve his game and leave his women satisfied.

Kim believes this is what our society is promoting. Women are seen as objects and it is their job to satisfy their man’s sexual needs. This website follows the love of sex. It encourages men to engage in non-exclusive sexual behavior.


Increasing the Female Sex Drive

This site gives free online medical advice, and the experts are appointed by the Commission of European Communities.

One of the articles was titled,” Female Orgasm”. How to give a female an orgasm.” A guy wrote in to ask what was wrong with his girlfriend. She is never in the mood and never has an orgasm. He gets frustrated and calls her lazy because she doesn’t want to see a doctor.

The experts told him that he needs to stop treating her like a “service provider”. In order for her to feel desire, she must feel the relationship is good first, and then comes the orgasm. There are many reasons she can’t reach that state, and it could be that she’s stressed, tired, or needs more foreplay. By calling her lazy he is criticizing her. He needs to respect the fact that she doesn’t want to see a doctor, and advised him to listen to her wants and needs.

This is a good example of love of one of the sex. The experts are telling him to put his wife’s wants and needs before his. This article displays coupling on all three levels (sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective), putting his needs behind his wife’s.


Question 7

(a) Consider Section 17a. Gender Discourse Within the Three Models in the Lecture Notes at - 17a._Gender_Discourse

Explain in your own words how the conversational style between husband and wife reflects what is going on in the intimacy of their relationship. Make sure you discuss the three models in relation to conversational style.

(b) Create a conversation between them that exhibits several elements mentioned throughout Section 17a regarding the conversational style of married partners. Number the lines. Add whatever explanatory notes are needed for readers to understand what's going on. (Note: you are allowed to use borrowed parts of an actual conversation you heard or read somewhere -- but you need to edit and adapt it so it fits with this answer.)

(c) Analyze the conversation, explaining to readers what its elements exhibit. Use the line numbers to be specific.


(a) The conversational style can say a lot about a relationship between a husband and his wife. The conversation reflects what you are thinking (cognitive), which will affect and operate the feelings and motivations you have in your relationship. Discourse and conversational style directly relates to the sensorimotor self.

Unsexy conversation by the husband is displayed in the dominance model of marriage. On the sensorimotor level, a husband interrupts and calls his wife names, using nonverbal behavior to intimidate and punish her.

A woman whose husband is in the dominance model may feel insecure and unwanted by her husband because his conversation is constantly putting her down. But in the unity model of marriage, their conversation is focused mainly on the wife. The husband does not talk in an unfriendly tone and doesn’t interrupt criticize or put down his wife. He is interested in what she has to say and doesn’t have any secrets that he is keeping from his wife. The conversation between spouses would display sensorimotor reciprocity because he is putting his wife ahead of everything and engaging her in positive spiritual and healthy conversation.


(b) This is a conversation that displays elements of unsexy conversational style of married partners.

1.  Maria:  What do you want to do today?

2.  Jack:  I don’t know.  I don’t care.

3.  Maria:  Okay, how about we go eat at that restaurant I’ve always wanted to try?

4.  Jack:  Fine.

(After dinner)

5.  Jack:  You always choose crappy restaurants to eat at.  I don’t even know why I bother to do whatever you want to do.

6.  Maria:  But I asked you and you said you didn’t care.

7.  Jack:  Because I know you will whine and bitch if I don’t do what you want to do.

8.  Maria:  That’s not true.  You should have told me what you wanted to do.

9.  Jack:  I am not going to argue about this.  I’m leaving.  


This is a revised conversation that illustrates a sexy conversation:

10.  Maria:  What do you want to do today?

11.  Jack:  I really don’t care.  It’s up to you.

12.  Maria:  Okay, how about we go eat at the restaurant I’ve always wanted to try?

13.  Jack:  Sure, I wanted to try that as well.


(c) In Line 1 she is asking what he wants to do, he says he doesn’t care and goes against it as the dialog proceeds. In Line 5 he is blaming her for what a bad restaurant it was. He then goes on to criticize her and says he doesn’t like any of the restaurants she chooses. In Line 6 she wants to talk about the problem and he replies with criticism. He uses name calling to get to his point and intimidates her by telling her that her choices aren’t up to his standards. In Line 8, Maria proceeds to talk about the problem and Jack shuts her out and walks away from the problem. He obviously doesn’t want to talk to his wife or talk about the problem. He thinks she makes bad choices and just goes along with what she wants because he doesn’t want to hear her complain.

In the sexy conversational style, he is showing conjunctive replies. In Line 11, he lets her make the decision. When she suggests the restaurant, he agrees, putting his wife before him and displaying it through his communication.



Section 3: Team Presentation on Exercises

(By: Angela Washington)

(a)   Summarize the main ideas presented by the team.

On February 26, 2008, myself and Praew O’Connell, presented on exercises 6.1 questions 1 and 2. We basically summarized and included various examples from our own experiences, as it related to the content of lecture notes and exercise questions. Our focus and ultimate goal, was to accurately explain the Ennead Chart of Marriage and the conjoint self. The Ennead Chart, shows the “nine” succeeding stages or steps for achieving unity in marriage, which should be read from the bottom up.


The Basic Ennead Matrix: The Nine Zones in Marriage






conjunctive interactions




negotiated interactions









 I replicated the chart on the chalkboard during my discussion to give the class an imagery of the nine phases of the chart, and also how a couples interactions can occur in any of the nine zones, depending on the “situation” which I give an example of in the following paragraphs.


(b) Describe what they did and how they interpreted it.


The first presenter explained question 1 of exercise 6.1. Her question directed her to explain the ennead chart and how each zone of the chart, helped her to make objective observations about the interactions of couples and the concept of “mental scripts.” She explained in detail that mental scripts are standardized imprints by our cultures and socialization, meaning our everyday thinking, justifications and fears can all be included in this script.


I explained the conjoint self and the progressive growth using the ennead chart of marriage. I focused on the fact that the conjoint self as a synergistic unit, a fusion of two energies –the husbands and the wife. I then isolated each level of the conjoint self with a level of the threefold self. The conjoint self refers to a husband and wife who have achieved unity at all levels of the threefold self (sensorimotor-cognitive and affective). I gave an example of a couple who have not yet achieved unity; and is living their marriage in zone 2 of the chart. I gave an example of a couple with disjunctive feelings of cognitive intimacy. Wife says to husband “Honey,, what do you think about my weight? Is there something on your mind? Did I do anything wrong? Please share with me your thoughts!” Husband replies “Woman get off of my back! If I had something to tell you I would tell you on my own! Now bug off!” Clearly this is illustrates the level of their relationship.



(c) Describe some of the ideas that needed a better justification or greater amplification.


Our ideas were pretty clear, concise and to the point. We answered each question and the questions within the primary question as well. As presenters, it is somewhat difficult to detect from the audience which ideas weren’t adequately amplified or explained in more depth, simply because they hardly ever ask questions or have comments. It would help the presenters to go more into detail about certain concepts if the crowd was a tad more vocal. Otherwise, I believe that we did a great job.




(d) What was the success of the approach they used?


Both Pearw and I decided prior to our presentation, that we would use more personal and realistic examples to help the class digest the content of the exercise, rather than just mirror the information (which they already read) and repeat it back to them. That has always been my mental tool for remembering vital information using relatable examples. As a result of our use of real life examples, we got great feedback from our peers and even gestures of interest presented by the crowd as we were presenting.



(e) What improvements are needed in the procedures or in the instructions?


I wouldn’t really change anything about the procedure or the instructions. Both were explained thoroughly on the class webpage and easy to follow. We didn’t have a difficult time presenting because the instructions allowed us to go as planned without any confusion.


(f) What are the limitations of these types of exercises?


As I may have mentioned in my previous reports, it is always a challenge to fully get a response from those whom we try to explain these ideas to at home being that our friends and families, all have their perspective view points from the negative bias in science. Beyond that minor discrepancy, there aren’t any other limitations that I can conjure up.



(g) Describe what happened when you did some of the steps of the exercises


Well, when I discussed the ennead chart and the conjoint self to my boyfriend, I tried to get him to elaborate a little about the points that I presented to him, so that I would be able to tell if whether or not my presentation was affective. Of course I didn’t have much luck with him because he is so darn stubborn. Every time that I explain these ideas that I am learning to him, he instantly tells me that “ It sounds good this “stuff” that your learning, however, that’s not the way things go Angela.” He and I are both Christians, striving everyday to get build a closer relationship with God, through studying the sacred scriptures of the Bible. So he developed a strategy to refute the ideas of the lecture content and the exercises, by quoting scriptures from the Bible to disprove the ideas of the unity model. For instance, he refuses to believe that a man should listen and submit to a woman. What I tried to explain to him is that the unity doesn’t require the man to “submit”, moreover it does require the man acknowledge the wife’s opinions and trust her.


When I shared with the class that my boyfriend found a scripture in the Bible which states that a woman should submit to her husband, Dr. James pointed out that the following line to that passage is that a husband showed- RESPECT- his wife as well. He refuses to believe, or even pretend that what theistic psychology and the unity model of marriage, both offer is truths. I also let the class know that my boyfriend is the son of Nigerian parents who both have strong cultural values and ways of living as a married couple. What I tried to make him see is, that if he can except and practice Christianity and Nigerian teachings, then he could take some consideration of some of the ideas that theistic psychology has to offer. Besides, his culture and religion have conflicting views as well. Who knows, maybe by the end of this course he will have a different outlook.  







Section 4: Annotated Web Links


Active Listening: Hear What People are Actually Saying: This site provides tips on how to become an active listener.  These tips can assist men stuck in the male-dominance phase learn how to be better communicators with their girlfriends and wives. 


Dane Cook - Why Woman Win Fights: Actor, Dane Cook, takes a humorous approach to explaining the conversations that takes place between a romantic couple.   He is an example of a typical man coming from a male-dominated perspective that views the woman as nagging and demeaning to their boyfriends and husbands.


Family Guy - Peter and Lois fight: This is a short clip from an American cartoon called Family Guy of a married couple, Lois and Peter, and their dysfunctional relationship.  The argument between Lois and Peter is an example of how the male dominance model where Peter has an un-sexy conversation with Lois. 


Happy Couple: This is a short video of a boyfriend and girlfriend singing together and looking very happy.  This couple is an example of how partners should look like during the equity phase of marriage because of their ability to laugh and enjoy the time they spend together.


How can men communicate better? Listen!: This is a short video that provides advice for couples on how to communicate effectively.  The advice given in this short video mirrors the advice given in the lecture notes on conjugial conversation.


Scenes from a Marriage: Here is a clip from scene three (Paula) of Scenes from a Marriage.  If you click around on youtube, you can view other scenes, however this was the longest one I could find.


Secrets to a Happy Marriage: Unlike the secrets to a happy marriage that we have heard about in class, this website gives a different approach to having a successful marriage.  Some examples that seem far fetched are: fight naked and don’t make love in the same place/position every time.


Six Rules for Good Communication in Marriage and Families: Author, Joe Beam, provides married couples and families six key rules for good communication.  This article mirrors the conjugial conversation rules discussed in Lecture 7.


The Happy Couple: This short youtube clip is of a young couple discussing their relationship.  They serve as an example of a couple during the equity phase of the unity model of marriage because they both feel comfortable to speak with one another freely without feeling like they are being attacked or criticized by the other.


Why Won’t He Listen to Me?: Barbara Rosberg, offers advice to women who are involved in relationships where they feel their husbands are not listening to them.  This video is an example of women stuck in the male-dominance phase in the unity model of marriage and are trying to encourage their partners to be better communicators.