Marital Discord - Dream Health

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Marital Discord

Marital Discord: Causes and its effects on Children


Marital Discord
One of the most important primary groups in our society is the family. Thus, family and marriage are considered the pillars of our society and the two most important societal institutions. Marriages in India has always been sacred and once a couple enters into a bond of marriage, the relationship is considered to be perpetual – something one can understand better as “till death do them apart”. Marriage is an inbuilt system and the roles and priorities are pre-determined by society. There have always been strains and challenges for the Indian family but lately with the developing world, there has been a change in the trends of family functioning.

The fast changing and the changes in family environment has thrown new challenges, particular to the younger generation. There have been problems with regard to lifestyle, poor communication, instability, changing roles, changing attitudes and the stress of a fast life. There has been a clear margin in the decline in harmony which is associated with values that are clearly emphasized for individualistic, materialistic and self-oriented goals as compared to the traditional family well-being.

Marital discord is the inability to talk about differences in the marital relationships and to get to an agreement about managing these differences. Some of the common reasons for differences are finances, values, sex, child rearing, relationships with family members etc. this inability to manage issues may either lead to hostility such as arguing, physical violence, etc., or withdrawal such as spending less time together, affairs or getting over involved with work.

There can be various causes for the resultant marital discord between a husband and wife or within families. Finances are a common reason due to which couples argue with each other. Sexual intimacy can be a cause where a lack of intimacy may result in conflict and is a cause of divorce. A lack of balance in the household causes conflicts when there is an inability to manage responsibilities. Every person has an intimate friend, either of the same gender or the opposite.

It is important to know their intentions as very few many stand to help in the worst situations. Time apart friends may cause more issues for the person in their marital functioning. Sometimes, when there is no encouragement and support from the spouse, it lays an easy path for conflict and eventually leads to marital discord. Children too play an important role in marital functioning. There may be difficulties raising children with discipline and with regard to career planning for their children. But, this may also be the other way round where kids are affected gravely by parental discord.

Children may feel intensely loyal to both parents and they become aware of feelings of hostility between them. This creates internal dissonance for the child and they may feel stressed when either of the parents are under attack. Sometimes when marital discord occurs the parent may become emotionally closed and unexpressive and this may result in children experiencing extreme anxiety. Children may feel impotent when they witness hostility between parents.

Sometimes the opposite may occur – where children may feel they may be able to help and be a caretaker like cheering up the parents after the dust settles. The time and emotional energy required for caretaking may interfere with the child’s developmental and social tasks. The long term effects may include distrust in relationship, lack of belief in the institution of marriage, hostility, emotional disengagement, inability to deal with interpersonal situations, social isolation etc.

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