Home Couples & Family Psychology Developmental LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)

LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)

110 min read
0
0
47

This focus on personal and interpersonal growth is often related to the new freedom a couple acquires when bidding farewell to live-in children, a demanding mutual enterprise or individual career. Accompanying this freedom are fears that the children might return home, having been unwilling or unsuccessful in living an independent life, or that their mutual project suddenly needs the couple’s attention again.

Storming: How Do We Handle Our New Situation?

Many women and some men are accustomed to working alone at home, without their partner being “under foot.” Now they must anticipate or even live with the reality of a partner who is also at home. This can lead at times to new forms of conflict. Suddenly, they have to interact with their partner twenty-four hours every day. They also have to find new things to talk about, new things to occupy their shared time together, and new ways to budget their now stable or diminished income, most importantly, both partners have to examine and hopefully talk with each other about expectations regarding new roles to be played by each partner in their changing relationship, home and family life.

An unexamined shift in expectations is facing Robert and Fiona, the couple who met at a London pub. Robert retired from the Air Force ten years ago, and had to negotiate with Fiona regarding his new role in the family and the way in which they were to relate to one another. Fiona had previously taken full responsibility for their three children. Robert hated to discipline his two boys and daughter, so Fiona had taken full charge of the children while he was in the service. The boys were teen-agers now and Fiona became very angry when Robert still didn’t offer to give her a hand, despite the fact that he was back in civilian life. She wanted Robert to help out with the boys and not just let her do everything. Fiona reports that she felt hurt and angry all the time for several months. Finally, according to Fiona, the situation led to a major argument.

Robert picked up the story at this point: “I was hunting real hard for a job; tried lots of different things.” Then Robert decided to go back to school and get a degree in electronics. Now he was working days and going to school in the evening. This meant he was almost never home. In the meantime, Robert was becoming aware of the fact that things had changed within the college system during the years he was in the service. He was an older man and was shocked at the way young men and women behaved on campus. Even the professors left much to be desired. Sometimes he thought they were as irresponsible as the students. On top of this, he was experiencing substantial discord at home.

Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Load More Related Articles
Load More By William Bergquist
Load More In Developmental

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

The Intricate and Varied Dances of Friendship I: Turnings and Types

Much of this integrative social-neuroscience perspective is captured in the field of devel…