Lesson 3 Cohabitation NOTES


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Lesson 3 Cohabitation NOTES

  1. 1. Cohabitation: Is it just playing house?YOU HAVE SOUND EFFECTS WITH THIS SHOW! 1
  2. 2. Story of Gary:(p 94)Couples who are intent on developing a long-lasting relationship should strive tomanage their inner concerns and fearsGarys wife, Shirley, complained that hewouldnt let her take any parental initiative with his childrenUpon first reflection,Gary was aware that he struggled to release control of his kids, but he didnt knowwhyAfter exploring some of the couples relational history, Garys therapist uncoveredthat the pain of Garys last wifes abandonment impacted his current maritalconcerns. The answer-and Garys ghost-hit him right between the eyes.He knew he had been holding on to his children in order to protect them from furtherpain, but what he didnt realize was that he was also protecting himself. Holding on tothem meant he didnt have to give as much of himself to Shirley. He feared makinghimself vulnerable to hurt, and he worried that she might not be fully committed tothe marriage. He discovered that he had been intentionally makinghis wife jealous of his children so he could be assured of her desire for him; the ironywas that over time this inadvertently built resentment in Shirleys heart toward bothhim and his children. Instantly Gary realized that he had to wrestle with his own fears-he had to become a ghost busted-instead of luring his wife into temporarilyalleviating them with her jealous desire. When he faced his fears and learned tomanage them, both he and his wife grew more confidence in their marriage. 2
  3. 3. A CASE STUDY IN GHOST BUSTING P 89The Fear Ghost: Current Fears and ReactionsTriggers: An angry scowl from her husband . Money missing from the bank account Husbands lack of interest in her childrenConflict over insignificant thingsThoughts:This is what preceded my last husband divorcing me; get prepared for the worstGuard your heart; assume the worstProtect the kids from his angerFeelings:Insecure; fearful; cautiousHurt; defensive; protectiveActions:Get quiet and dont share thoughtsAvoid discussing sensitive matters . Jump between kids and husbandWithhold affectionNew and Improved: Loving Without LimitsTriggers (these wont change):An angry scowl from her husband Money missing from the bank accountHusbands lack of interest in her childrenConflict over insignificant thingsThoughts:I dont know what his scowl means; I need to ask and listenGive the benefit of the doubt; ask with an open mind Wonder how we can work through this togetherFeelings:Curious about his reactions; open to knowing and understanding moreSecure in his commitment even when temporarily angryActions:Talk; be available; listen to his complaints; share my frustrations . Be affectionateBe assertive with concerns and working through conflictsAllow him room to build relationship with my childrenOpen to his parenting thoughts; we negotiate behavioral management of children together 3
  4. 4. Cohabitation (p 95)Fear of getting hurt and finding convenient ways of coupling is creating anenvironment of COHABITATING before MARRIAGEBelief that a “TRIAL MARRIAGE” will protect us is NOT TRUECOHABITATION before marriage actually increases the likelihood of RelationshipBreakup even if the couple goes on to remarry.Dr. Larry Bumpass revealed current cohabitation rate in the US before marriage is70%Research shows 9 Factors of cohabiting couples ( P 96-97) 4
  5. 5. Cohabiting couples have lower levels of personal happiness and higher rates ofdepression than married couples doCohabiters value independence more than married partners and have more individualfreedom. Cohabiters are less likely to be supportive financially of each other than are marriedpartners.Cohabiting couples are less sexually committed or trustworthy.Cohabiters have more negative attitudes about marriage than non-cohabiters.Couples living together have the lowest level of premarital satisfaction whencompared to other living arrangements.Marriages preceded by cohabitation are more likely to end in divorce.Cohabiters have lower scores than non-cohabiters on religious behaviors, personalfaith, church attendance, and joint religious activities.Cohabiting increases the risk of couple abuse and, if there are children, child abuse. 5
  6. 6. Essentially, cohabitation is living with second best and then wondering why it didntwork out for the bestIs cohabitation a true test of a couples potential marriage quality (i.e., trialmarriage)?Does it help couples avoid a breakup before marriage or divorce after the wedding?Absolutely not! Yet couples still do it, even to the detriment of their relationship. 6