• On the nature of spouses in connection with the indicators of communication in a conflict family

    The development of the family and marriage has reached a level when the personal qualities of the spouses, which determine the stability of marriage, come to the fore. Yugoslav sociologist M. Akhtik called such phenomena the humanization of a modern family and marriage. New characteristics of family life were given by several speakers at the 9th World Congress of Sociology in Uppsala in 1978. The growing demands on their marriage partner determines the greater possibility of conflicts based on differences in interests, attitudes, values ​​and character traits. If all efforts to overcome the tension of frustration are unsuccessful, the development of relations leads to the dissolution of marriage.

    A questionnaire survey conducted by the family research group at Tartu University in 1975( with a sample size of 950 people representative of the Estonian SSR) among people who decided to terminate their marriage gave extensive empirical material on conflict marriages. In this article some research results will be presented: negative traits of the spouses' characters in connection with certain aspects of married life( leisure time, relationships with relatives and friends, alcohol abuse, appearance care).

    Character dissimilarity is one of the most common motifs of divorce. According to our data, 44% of the men surveyed and 46% of the women noted this as a motive. We also asked to indicate what traits they consider irritating to themselves and their marriage partners. Probably, there is a two-way relationship between the character of the spouses and the relationship between them. As the property of character determines to some extent the essence of relations, so relations affect the manifestation of new aspects of character or new qualities of personality. The influence of different traits of character on the relationship of the spouses is different, as well as the perception of the dynamics of these traits.

    At the very beginning of the marriage, the spouses are often unable to really assess the positive and negative properties of the partner( partner), a tendency to revalue him( her) is revealed. They are also more altruistic and are wary of extreme negative assessments. While relations between spouses are based on mutual understanding, differences in interests, values, dissimilarity of characters can not openly manifest themselves.

    Almost 2/3 of the interviewed spouses already knew about the negative aspects of the future partner before the marriage, but they decided to take a chance - to get used to them, to re-educate their spouse( or), or they hoped that in the conditions of family life these features would simply disappear.37% of men and 39% of women claimed that they did not know about the bad character traits of the spouse( s) that manifested themselves in the life together and began to interfere with marital relations. Of course, one can not say absolutely that more than 1/3 of the spouses have acquired negative traits of character by marrying. A large role, on the one hand, is played by the diminishing of formal features in marital behavior. The close relations between the spouses enable them to express their essence more freely. On the other hand, the attitude to various properties of character changes. But it is also clear that the properties of character can not be regarded as an unchanging phenomenon, since it is in development and influenced by many different factors: the conditions in the childhood home, the nature of the premarital dating period, the psychological atmosphere in the family, the work collective, friends and much more.

    Conflict situations between spouses often boil down to the issue of dissimilarity of characters. When asked what character traits seemed to irritate the spouse, 73% of the men and 81% of the women answered the whole contingent of the respondents.42% of men and 59% of women noticed negative features. On average, the men named the wife 2.7 and have 2.6, the women - 3.1 and 2.7 annoying features, respectively. The most frequently named character traits( the respondents selected them out of 32 proposed features) are given in Table.2. The interest is calculated from the number of respondents who answered this question.

    Attitude to the negative traits of the nature of the spouse( s) before marriage( %)

    Table 2 Ten most common negative characteristics of the


    It turned out that there is a relatively strict grouping of traits according to the type of assessments. So, there are traits that are often noted as irritating only in oneself( closedness, sadness, pessimism, unfriendliness), but there is a second group of traits in which they accused the partner( pettiness, dishonesty, impracticality, lightheadedness).The third group of traits were those who call themselves and the spouse( and)( nervousness, distrustfulness, imbalance).Interestingly, the choice of negative character traits differs little between men and women. The difference is only in the strength of the perception of one or the other property.

    We believe that the features noted in all types of assessments( self-assessments and mutual evaluations) are involved in the formation of a common atmosphere of marriage communication. It is nervousness, incredulity and imbalance. According to self-assessments, spouses are too demanding, sad, withdrawn, pessimistic, unfriendly and stubborn;In addition, the husband evaluates himself unsociable, his wife - unsure. Accusing a spouse of destroying family relations, everyone thinks this is due to the pettiness, dishonesty, dishonesty, impracticality, frivolity of another, the husband estimates the stubborn and insecure wife, the husband's wife - closed and unseasonable. Differences between self-assessments and mutual evaluations are one of the sources and indicator of conflicts between spouses. Such differences in assessments can be the result of a mutual misunderstanding and are determined by hostile attitude towards the spouse( e)( with mutual evaluations) or to this marriage( with self-esteem).

    Consider some aspects of married life at the beginning and at the end of marriage and try to correlate them with the above character traits using correlation analysis. With the characteristics of partners, only one or two extreme estimates are used.

    Drinking alcohol. Abuse of alcohol as a motive for divorce led to 29% of men and 58% of women. According to our data, the frequency of abuse, compared with the beginning of marriage, increases in men by almost 3 times, for women it is somewhat less. It should be noted, however, that the spouse is accused of abuse of alcohol more than himself. If at the beginning of marriage 6% of men answered that they consumed a lot of alcohol, 28% of women indicated that their spouses abused alcohol( Table 3).The difference is almost 5 times! The same situation can be observed when considering the consumption of alcohol by women: only 1.5% of women noted that they drank too much at the beginning of marriage, men found alcohol consumption by their spouses too large in 7.4% of cases. At the end of the marriage, the situation is about the same. Here lies one of the foundations of the conflict between spouses: the use of alcohol as a violator of relations is perceived subjectively. Not so important is the absolute amount of consumed alcoholic beverages and the frequency of their consumption, as a subjective assessment of this.

    Table 3 Alcohol consumption by marital partners( in%)

    Alcohol-abusing male, as a rule, estimates herself to be nervous, distrustful and unbalanced, a woman also evaluates herself as nervous. The assessments of the alcoholic spouse are dominated by nervousness, mistrust, imbalance, dishonesty, dishonesty, impracticality and lack of duty. These are the features for which alcohol creates a fertile soil;and vice versa, these features contribute to the development of alcoholism. Alcohol abuse is a serious factor in the destruction of good marital relations and the formation and manifestation of undesirable properties of character.

    Spare time for spouses.42.0% of men and 45.7% of women noted the different nature of spending free time as a motive for divorce.

    In the conduct of free time at home or outside the house between spouses there are significant differences. Already at the beginning of marriage, a woman spends much more free time at home. Since the first child in about 1/3 of the families is born before marriage or during the first year of living together, women are more closely associated with the home and young children, while men have more free time to work outside the home. At the end of the marriage, 8.7% of married couples, according to men's estimates, and 5.6%, according to women, spent their free time together outside the home often( Table 4).Some out of the house were more than 1/3 of men and about 1/5 of women. We add that at the end of the marriage, 33.2% of men and 17.3% of women were satisfied with spending free time, and at the beginning of marriage - respectively 62.0 and 49.5%.As you can see, the difference between the initial and final periods of marriage is significant. At many marriage partners the roots of conflicts concerning carrying out of free time can arise in the first days or months of a matrimony when one of spouses has felt more free in carrying out of time and spouses have not managed to find the mutually acceptable decision of a problem. A significant cause of women's discontent is the use of alcohol by men in their spare time.

    A husband who often spends his free time outside his home without a wife, estimates himself to be more unbalanced and stubborn. Stubbornly perceived by him and his wife, who, at the same time, is alone at home, considers herself to be a mistrustful, unfriendly, undemanding and easy-going husband. However, a stubborn, friendly and demanding wife in her free time often out of the house, than complaisant. Wives who stay at home alone accuse their husbands in the absence of a sense of duty, dishonesty, stubbornness and impracticality. It is interesting to add that women who consider themselves demanding require that the spouse spend more time at home.

    Relations with relatives and friends as moshna for divorce were noted by about 1/4 of the respondents.

    Based on the general decline in the relationship, there is a deterioration in relations with relatives and friends of the spouse( s).The relationship of the spouse( and) with the partner's father and mother is often worse than with his / her friends.

    Table 5 Relationship between spouses and relatives and friends of their mating partner( in%)

    A woman who coolly relates to relatives and friends of her spouse, the husband often estimates unbalanced, dishonest, petty, mistrustful, nervous;wife of herself - sad. If the husband is in bad relations with the relatives and friends of the wife, then the wife considers him unbalanced and dishonorable. It is clear that the negative features of the character hinder the development of a prosperous relationship, at the same time, unsuccessful relationships can in many ways contribute to the manifestation of negative aspects of the character.

    Taking care of the appearance of each other. Slackness of the spouse( s) as a motive for divorce was 21.1% of men and 21.4% of women.

    At the beginning of marriage, the spouses took care of each other, women about men - a little more than men about women. In a conflict family where there is a problem of possible dissolution of marriage, the spouses care about the appearance of each other much less. In this respect, discontent with each other is relatively more common( Table 6).

    Table 6 Spouses care about the appearance of each other( in%)

    Less care for the wife is associated primarily with the stubbornness, impracticality, pettiness and dishonesty of the spouse( s).It is interesting that women who consider themselves demanding more often answered that the spouses care about them and they are happy with it.

    Although the correlation between annoying character properties and the estimates of some aspects of marriage is not very high, the significance of the characters in marital life is very significant. The greatest influence of such character traits as mistrust, unbecoming and unbalanced self-esteem of men is observed;sadness, stubbornness and impracticality - with women's self-esteem. Dishonesty, impracticality, dishonesty, stubbornness and pettiness - with mutual evaluations.