Interpersonal relationships are a fulfillment that every single human in pursuit of. Every single day of our lives, we meet people from varying backgrounds but whether to create an interpersonal relationship with them is entirely up to us as individuals. The relationship I will closely look at is that of the marriage between my best friend, Carla and David. I have altered the names to protect the identities of the two of my best friends. They have been happily married for about a two years and a half now, close to three. Carla is my babyhood friend; we spent almost all the time together. We used to go to church together, attended the same school, up until university where Carla ultimately met her prince charming in David.
David was at that time a second-year student when we were freshmen at college. He came from a wealthy family, though he lost his dad when he was a very young boy. He was studying to become a lawyer. They met soon after we had joined college and previously existed as friends before things got heated up and then boom, a wedding bell was heard in the horizon. This is how the union of my best Friend Carla and David came into existence.
They have been married for two years and a half now and they still are doing as great as they were in the latter days of their marriage. As we all know, relationships cannot be perfect. There will be the soft and rocky days of a marriage, but all that matters is that it the marriage itself should outlast the problems. This is achieved through the effective process of communication. Marriage is a union, that brings a relation of husband and wife, hence, communication is one of the driving factors in a marriage.
This relationship went through various development stages. These are the stages, patterns or better still, life cycle, which every relationship has to pass through. The first stage is coming together. This actually involves the meeting of another person and initiates the process of communication. In Carle and David’s case, they met in a commuter bus that was used to ferry students to town from school. David made the first move and initiated a conversation with Carla which saw them exchange numbers.
It was at this stage that their relationship preceded to the next level, the experimenting stage. This stage is characterized by both parties wanting to explore whether there are any mutual interests or circumstances. It was at this point that Carla and David realized that they both loved cartoons. This was one instance that saw the couple click. They could hang out together and watch cartoons and animated movies. This contributed, in a huge way, to their bonding. They bond was also made stronger when it turned out that both of them were table tennis players. They could hang out after the classes in the pretext of training whereas the reason looming in the background was that of exploration.
This further saw the status of the relationship progressing for the third stage, the intensifying stage. This is a stage that sees the depth and breadth of a relationship. At this point in time, Carla and David had become tight that it was hard for one to stay without the other. This is the stage that is known as the integrating stage. The people develop the relationship to levels of coordinating their daily schedules and developed common interests, values and attitudes. The type of communication that happens at this stage is more of meta-communication, which can be laid manly put as the communication of communication.
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The stage that comes next is the boding and continuing intimacy stages as long lasting commitments are made in the relationship. This is the level at which Carla and David decided to make commitments to be in a relationship together. Being in a relationship need a lot of sacrifices, which includes time, money and feelings as well. These are the factors that are considered when making a commitment, both of whom agreed to. And thus, the spark that began back in freshman bore a huge fire that lasts to date. Luckily enough, Carla and David is still a happy couple despite many ups and downs dished out as trials on the marriage.
Lucky for them their relationship has never hit the differentiation, circumscribing and avoiding stages. These are the stages that the couples begin to notice the differences that exist between them and the communication process breaks down. This leads to separation and many at times, divorce, which is very detrimental to the marriage, which actually terminates the relationship completely. Thank God Carla and David’s relationship has never hit the brick walls to be effected as such.
Throughout their relationship, Carla and David used many levels of communication at each individual stage. The very nature of the process of communication greatly varies depending on the mood, purpose, formality and even depends on the level of familiarity in the relationship. The social penetration theory clearly stipulated that it is humans’ nature to disclose personal information when our relationships become more familiarized and intimate. The theory clearly highlights one has to peel away the outer layers, as it is done on onions, in order to reach the intimate core of a relationship. There is the outermost layer, the superficial layer that comprises of general likes and dislikes, then the second layer, the middle layer that comprises of the political and social views. The inner layer follows that has the goals, fantasies, fears and secrets as well. Then, fourth is the core itself, the private self. This is the depth of that particular relationship.
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The level of communication use at the coming together was the social proximity. This refers to the social closeness. It is proven that we are time and again attracted to the people who live near within out vicinities, attend the same school or belong to the same organization. The fact that Carla and David met was contributed to the fact that they shared a common school, though they came from different neighborhoods. The other level of communication used at this level was the physical attraction. This occurs when we are fascinated with someone’s physical attributes as the height, body type, hair color and facial features. This is what many people regard as the perfect looks. This level of communication occurred at the level when the two met. David is a physically attractive dude with great physique. Carla is also a queen in her own rights, so, both of these factors played part in the communication process at the coming together stage. Carla was so excited after she met David, and it was all owed to the fact that David was very handsome and composed. This communication level was a powerful tool.
The other level of communication used at the experimental stage is the interpersonal attractiveness. This happens as one gets to know the other person’s attitudes, values, likes, dislikes as well as many other aspects that give someone an insight to who they are. After getting to know David, as they hit the experimenting stage, Carla got more into David since she found him more attractive. This contributed to them spending more time together after they realized that they shared much in common.
There are those particular events that happen and change intensity of a relationship. Such is the self-disclosure. Self disposure is the act of divulging one’s thoughts, feelings and experiences to another party within the context of an interpersonal relationship. There are certain advantages of doing this. The first, and most obvious, is that it creates trust. Once Carla and David opened up to each other, their bond grew stronger. The fact that one has actually opened up to someone else without revealing it to others justifies trust.
This also guarantees the probability of additional disclosure. it made Carla and David build trust in each other, hence contributing positively towards the relations between them. Even if it took a while for the couple to disclose to each other, it was quite advisable to do so as the relationship developed. Pre-empting the disclosures a bit too early is not viewed as being genuine. Hence, waiting a while later for the disclosure is wise. The content should also be weighed as not to scare away the other partner. Self-disclosure was used in this relationship to maintain intimacy appropriately.
Just like any other relationship, David and Carla’s relationship had its bumpy ride. It underwent and still is, experiencing some conflicts. Just like any other marriage, not all the days are sunny. The real first conflict came up when David got his first job. He became a very busy man and it was so rare to see him at home with his family. David was stuck in between jobs trying to earn his family’s bread. Carla came to me complaining that his husband had become an absentee husband. He never had the time for his wife. David even went to the extent of depriving himself quality sleep and nutrition.
This affected their marriage in a huge way because they were not working as a team. David responsibility in the house had subsided. Carla took action while the iron was still hot and communicated to David that his schedules were presenting a challenge in their relationship, it was deteriorating. David gave Carla a hearing and he finally changed his schedule and became more available for the people at home because they miss him too.
Money was also the cause of major conflict between Carla and David. Generally speaking, when a couple fights over money, there is more than meets the eye. The dispute is all about power struggles. Carla and David had moved in together way before David got a job. The concept of having no money to support your wife was taking a toll on Carla. Carla talked to David about getting a job in order to support them. Despite the fact that David was not industrious, he had to get up and look for a job. He succeeded in securing himself one and hence, the conflict that bore from the lack of money was a well-gone case. The fights that emanated from the lack of cash disappeared and never to come back again.
The other conflict that arose in the marriage of David and Carla is poor communication. This problem was borne when David got too engrossed with looking for money that the communication to his wife became redundant. Carla would complain that David always came home late and worked up to a point that he was not available for chit chat. Communication is the key to any marriage, and the lack of it led Carla to opening up to David. This happened all the while David was stuck in between two jobs trying hard to foot his bills. Carla opened up and as always, David is a very good listener, the problem disappeared. After the dust settled, all went back to normal and the conflict was resolved.
There was also a time when David and Carla had problems concerning house hold goods. Carla is a very good friend of mine, but she is a hoarder. She never wants to lose anything she believes cost money to acquire. On the other hand, David disliked this idea of hoarding stuff since it congested the little space they had. This was the huge conflict but thanks to communication, David enlightened Carla on how to make extra bucks by selling the unwanted stuff away. They organized for a sale at their garage and sold out almost every extra item in their house. The conflict was solved, as easy as that. They both were happy with what decision they had made, and this cemented the base of their marriage.
In conclusion, Carla and David have been one of the best relationships I have ever seen in my life. However, there are some suggestions as to what they can do to make their marriage one envy. First, they should culture and nurture Altruism. This is the placing of the other couples happiness before yours. They should also review their commitment status. Both of them should show total dedication to the relationship since they are both in it and are bound by marriage. The couple should also use the romantic surprises that could be crucial in tightening the bond between them. Such funny ideas as leaving a rose on the bed after leaving for work would work wonders in this relationship. It will rekindle the flames that were witnessed from the onset of the relationship.
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