The Breakdown of Relationships - Essay Plan

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  • Created by: ml4689
  • Created on: 05-06-16 15:29

Discuss one or more theories of the breakdown of relationships

It is debated whether relationships break down over five separate stages (Duck and Rollie) or five fluid phases (Lee).

Duck And Rollie’s Stage Model

According to Duck and Rollie’s model, a relationship breaks down over five separate stages. At the intra-psychic stage, one person (the ‘Loser’) has thoughts of their dissatisfaction but does not tell the other until the dyadic stage, when the couple may discuss their issues, perhaps with the help of relationship counselling. If one or more partners continue to be dissatisfied, another threshold will be passed to the social stage. Here, partners begin to tell friends and family of their breakup and may begin the division of possessions (eg, the house) or responsibilities (eg, childcare). When the relationship is over, in the grave dressing stage, partners often blame each other, presenting themselves in a positive light as an ego defence (psychodynamic approach). Finally, in the resurrection stage, the partners learn from their mistakes in anticipation of another relationship.

Lee’s Phase Model

Conversely, according to Lee, a breakdown occurs over five fluid phases. Like Duck and Rollie, he suggests that the process begins with individual ‘dissatisfaction’ before mutual ‘negotiation’ and eventual ‘termination’. However, unlike Duck and Rollie, Lee suggests that before negotiation, we expose our dissatisfaction non-verbally. After this (and the negotiation phase) occurs, Lee believes that there is an attempted resolution phase where the partners practice what was discussed in the negotiation phase. Termination occurs if this is unsuccessful, however Lee suggests that if it is successful, equity can be re-established. Contradicting Duck and


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