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ERIC Number: ED166700
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Termination Process: Communication Patterns in Decaying Relationships.
Frey, Lawrence Rand
Recent studies have investigated the transition of relationships from a more intimate to a less intimate state--the depenetration process. Various phases of interpersonal conflict in the dissolution of marital dyads have been described, and factors indicating that a marriage might be "in trouble" have been identified. Processes that are explainable through social exchange theory can be shown to be operating in an individual's decision to terminate an interpersonal relationship. As couples move from developing to decaying relationships, their communication behavior changes in the following directions: broad to narrow, unique to stylized, efficient to difficult, flexible to rigid, smooth to awkward, personal to public, spontaneous to hesitant, and judgment-giving to judgment-suspending. Six major phases of the depenetration process are prenuptial misperception/postnuptial reality, differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and terminating. Five typical stages in emotional response patterns are denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The following behavioral extremes tend to precipitate relationship de-escalation: helpful/critical, active/passive, aggressive/evasive, dominating/submissive, and certain/provisional. If not resolved through shared communication, problems in an intimate relationship tend to accelerate and may eventually cause the demise of the relationship. (GT)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (68th, Kansas City, Missouri, November 23-25, 1978)