reasons for r/s breakdown 

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  • reasons for r/s breakdown
    • reasons
      • lack of skill
        • Some people lack interpersonal skills to make r/s mutually satisfying – Duck
          • Others see them as uninterested leading to r/s breakdown.
      • Lack of stimulation
        • Social exchange theory – people look for rewards in r/s
          • One is stimulation
            • No stimulation leads to breakdown
              • Baxter – lack of stimulation often quoted when breaking off r/s.
                • People expect r/s to change and develop and if they don’t then they see justification to end r/s and start new one
      • Maintenance difficulties
        • Strain on r/s when partners can’t see each other enough – Shaver
          • Uni places great strain on existing r/s
            • Enduring romantic r/s can be strong enough to survive but many don’t
      • Extramarital affairs
        • Boekhout et al – affairs might be direct reaction to perceived lack of skills or stimulation in current r/s
          • Undergrads asked to rate various sexual and emotional reasons for infidelity – sexual reasons more used by men and emotional by women
      • Maintenance difficulties
        • Long-distance romantic r/s and long-distance friendships are very common
          • Rohlfing et al – 70% students sampled experienced at least one LDRR. 90% experienced one LDF
            • Holt and Stone – little decrease in satisfaction as long as partners able to reunite regularly
      • Gender difference
        • Women more likely to stress unhappiness and incompatibility
          • Men are particularly upset by sexual withholding - Brehm and Kassin
            • Women want to stay friends but men want to cut losses and move on – Akert.
    • model of breakdown rollie and duck
      • breakdown
        • intrapsychic process
          • dyadic process
            • social process
              • grave-dressing process
                • resurrection process
                  • Each partner prepares themselves for new r/s
                    • Redefining themselves and building on past mistakes and experiences
                • After leaving the r/s partners attempt to justify their actions
                  • Tidy up memories and prepare stories for different audiences, making them look good.
                    • Try to save face
                      • Time to get a new life’
              • Involves network of friends and family, seek advice from 3rd parties
                • ‘It’s now inevitable’
            • Confront partners, begin to discuss feelings and future
              • At this point, r/s can be saved or they will start involving others
                • ‘I mean it’
          • Nothing said to partner but dissatisfied partner might express dissatisfaction in other ways.
            • I’m justified in withdrawing’
              • Some r/s end here w/out ever discussing the dissatisfaction
        • Person distressed with way the r/s is conducted
          • ‘I can’t stand this anymore’
      • Research support
        • Observation of real life breakups
          • Tashiro and Frasier surveyed undergrads recently broken up w/ a partner
            • They reported emotional distress and personal growth
              • Reported new insights into themselves and clearer idea about future partners
      • Implications for intervention
        • Rollie and Duck’s model stresses importance of communication
          • Paying attention to things people say offers insight into their stage and suggest intervention appropriate to that stage
      • Ethical issues
        • Carrying out research in this sensitive area raises issues of vulnerability, privacy and confidentiality
          • A woman in an abusive r/s may fear recrimination from abuser should he discover participation


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