Sociology: Marriages and Families Final Term Paper Due: April 28, 2011 THU Interdependence and Relationships Chapter Five When you look back at your relationships in the past and when you look at the way you were when you were in those relationships, were you the same? Or did you see yourself change? When someone is in a relationship, I believe, they become different than who they really are. Being in love has such a strong influence on the people, sometimes they get lost. I believe that the strength that an individual has, to not lose sight of himself or herself while in love, describes the interdependence of those partners.
Interdependence has a lot of connection with relationships. Therapist John Crosby (text pg 112), talks about the different styles of relationships and how the individuals’ interdependence connects with that style. He distinguished three different types of relationships. First, the A-frame relationship is described as a relationship where the partners have very little independence but a strong identity through the relationship. The individuals in this type of relationship have too much interdependence, and if one grows out the other one will end up falling.
The second style is the H-frame relationship. This is when the partners have little or no interdependence. The partners in this type of relationship aren’t emotionally connected with each other and can stand by themselves. Lastly, the M-frame relationship. Crosby describes this relationship style as having the best interdependency. The partners both have individuality yet they bring that support and influence to the other partner. Lehmiller also talks about interdependence and relationships.
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His article Secret Romantic Relationships talked about his research on how secrecy of a relationship can be harmful and how that affects the interdependency of that individual. Lehmiller states that secrecy of a relationship shows the individual’s low self-esteem and it promotes health risks. I believe a secret relationship has the interdependency like the A-frame relationship that Crosby had talked about. The partners keep the relationship a secret however they can’t seem to let go of the relationship even though secrecy is a harmful health risk.
I believe this happens because they rely on each other so much that they lose themselves individually so all they can do is keep that relationship. Another author, Adams, the author of Characteristics of closeness in adolescent romantic relationships, talks about his investigation and what he discovered was that interdependence was linked to the closeness of romantic relationships. He states that no matter what gender you are, the interdependency of an individual is linked to their relationships.
Although these three authors talk about interdependence and how it connects with relationships, their views are slightly different as well. Lehmiller describes that interdependency has a lot to do with the certain situation that the partners are in, such as secrecy. Adams talks about how interdependence is influenced by age, the individuals’ social lives, and many more. Lastly, Crosby focuses on how the interdependency influences the different styles of relationships. After reading and comparing the articles, it made me think about how I am influenced and how much I influence my partner when in a relationship.
Personally, I liked reading how secrecy of a relationship can be harmful because it was something new. I have never imagined myself having to hide a relationship yet still be together with that partner. It made me think about how relationships really affect people’s emotions and minds. I realized, after reading these articles, that I should be more independent and stronger for myself before I start having a relationship. I don’t want to see myself depending on a relationship and losing my identity. Love is so strong, that you can lose your individuality, yet people always want to be in love or be loved.