The six relationships above are based on ratings on just two
dimensions: love vs. anger and strong vs. weak. In most marriages
each person changes from day to day, sometimes being very loving
but irritated at other times, sometimes being the leader but the
follower at other times. However, some couples become frozen into
one role. When we get stuck on one emotion (and deny the other
feelings), our role often becomes a destructive, manipulative game.
Many of us marry to meet pressing needs--often childhood needs--but
marriage can't meet all our needs. When problems occur in our
marriage, we blame the partner. Better adjusted couples remain able
to express all their feelings--the full range of love, anger, strength,
and weakness--with a balance among these emotions. This is
Shostrom and Kavanaugh's key to helping failing marriages. They
teach couples to experience all their emotions, to develop all parts of
their personality, to avoid destructive games, and to meet their own
needs rather than depending on or blaming the partner.
Givers and Takers
Evatt and Feld (1983) suggest that most marriages are made up of
one "giver" and one "taker." Givers feel loved when they are giving
and have trouble taking. Takers feel loved when they are receiving;
they love being adored. Unfortunately, givers eventually become
resentful of doing so much for the taker and getting so little in return.
The taker becomes bored (and a little guilty) with the ever faithful
servant. Which do you think you are--a giver or a taker? Answering
these kind of questions will give you a hint:
1. I am more jealous than my lover.
2. I am quieter than my lover.
3. My partners have done mean things to me.
4. My partner is the clingy type.
5. My partner likes to give me gifts.
6. I am more easygoing and cheerful than my partner.
7. I run hot and cold; my partner is steady.
8. I'm trusting; I'm more trustworthy than my partner.
9. I am adored in most of my relationships.
The highest total should indicate if you are a giver or a taker. Even
though there is no research to support this simple classification
system, it rings true to many people (especially to givers who have
been taken?). Givers need someone to give to, preferably someone
attractive they can adore. Takers are happy to take. What if you