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Euphoric and Dysphoric Phases in Marriage

Uploaded by palma on Oct 12, 2000

Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites


Despite all the fashionable theories of marriage, the narratives and the feminists, the reasons to engage in marriage largely remain the same. True, there have been role reversals and new stereotypes have cropped up. But the biological, physiological and biochemical facts were less amenable to modern criticisms of culture. Men are still men and women are still women in more than one respect.

Men and women marry for the same reasons :
  • The Sexual Dyad – formed due to sexual attraction and in order to secure a stable, consistent and permanently available source of sexual gratification.
  • The Economic Dyad – To form a functioning economic unit within which the economic activities of the members of the dyad and of additional entrants will be concentrated. The economic unit generates more wealth than it consumes and the synergy between its members is likely to lead to gains in production and in productivity relative to individual efforts and investment.
  • The Social Dyad – The members of the couple bond as a result of implicit or explicit, direct, or indirect social pressure. This pressure can manifest itself in numerous forms. In Judaism, a person cannot belong to some religious vocations, unless he is married. This is economic pressure. In most human societies, avowed bachelors are considered to be socially deviant and abnormal. They are condemned by society, ridiculed, shunned and isolated, effectively ex-communicated. Partly to avoid these sanctions and partly to enjoy the warmth provided by conformity and acceptance, couples marry. Today, a myriad of lifestyles is on offer. The old fashioned, nuclear marriage is one of many variants. Children are reared by single parents. Homosexual couples abound. But in all this turbulence, a pattern is discernible : almost 95% of the adult population gets married ultimately. They settle into a two-member arrangement, whether formalized and sanctioned religiously or legally – or not.
  • The Companionship Dyad – Formed by adults in search of sources of long-term and stable support, emotional warmth, empathy, care, good advice and intimacy. The members of these couples tend to define themselves as each other's best friends.

    It is folk wisdom to state that the first three types of dyad arrangements suffer from instability. Sexual attraction wanes and is replaced by sexual attrition in most cases. This could lead to the adoption of non-conventional sexual behaviour patterns (sexual abstinence, group...

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    Uploaded by:   palma

    Date:   10/12/2000

    Category:   Social Issues

    Length:   14 pages (3,199 words)

    Views:   1233

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