Marital communication as a key to education for dialogue – research report

Article Polish OPEN
Biel, Sylwia (2016)
  • Publisher: Edukacja Elementarna w Teorii i Praktyce
  • Journal: Elementary Education in Theory and Practice (issn: 2353-7787, eissn: 1896-2327)
  • Subject: marital communication; family life cycle; education for dialogue; dimensions of communication. | pedagogika | komunikacja małżeńska; cykl życia małżeńsko- -rodzinnego; wymiary komunikacyjne; wychowanie do dialogu

The issue of marital communication is a key factor in understanding the changes taking place in the marital dyad, and thus the entire family system, which is an integral structure. The quality of the relationship linking the spouses affects the correct (or incorrect) relationships between all members of the family. Therefore, the functioning of the family depends largely on the quality of marital communication. With the passage of time, when the marriage goes through the stages of the life cycle, communication – being a dynamic phenomenon – is constantly changing. Spouses communicate in different ways at the beginning of their community – they support each other, show affections – and differently at the end, when their children have left home to start their own family. Their communication – their content and methods of disclosure – is not random or fixed, but varies with the family life cycle, giving a specificity of marital communication – depending on the stage at which the pair are located. The present study attempts to realize the changes taking place in the communication of marriage in the different phases of its life and development. Comparing relationships at different stages (marriage without children, marriage with young children and preschool children, marriage with children of school age, marriage with adolescent children [teenagers], marriage with grown children leaving home and marriage mature, whose children have left home) includes the three dimensions of communication – support, commitment and depreciation. Research shows that marital communication changes on following stages of marital life – with the passage of time – it is deteriorating. Spouses are less open to each other and do not show the feelings as easily as at the beginning of a relationship. The problems which are brought by family life, having children, result in the spouses not devoting sufficient attention to themselves and to a lesser extent are not willing to help and support each other. Moreover growing conflicts and indifference compo- und the quality of communication. The assumption that the quality of communication at different stages of the spouses of married life changes, oscillates (in the initial stages is good, then gets worse, then again its value increases), which was a star- ting point for research, has been partly proven, because if the first stages of marital life indicate a very good communication between spouses and later the communication is deteriorating, the last stages do not bring improvement.
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