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The Decision to Divorce: Changes in the Narrative about the Marriage

By Teresa Peck

Abstract

This paper examines the changes that take place in narrative about the marital\ud relationship when, during the course of marital therapy, a couple comes to the\ud decision to divorce. These changes fall into four general themes. The first three\ud themes: long-held resentments, divergence from the ideal, and positives into\ud negatives, emerge early in the therapy and form the basis of the fourth theme,\ud disillusionment, which signals the end of the relationship. As disillusionment\ud emerges in the narrative, the partners’ abilities to acknowledge positive aspects\ud of each other, and of the relationship as a whole, diminishes. Positive\ud memories cannot be recalled, and the entire existence of the relationship is\ud questioned. This narrative shift appears to signal the beginning of the\ud emotional withdrawal necessary for physical separation to take place

Topics: HQ, H1, BF
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:5138

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Citations

  1. (1993). Narrative Analysis, doi
  2. (1999). The tripartite nature of marital commitment: Personal, moral and structural reasons to stay married, doi
  3. (1997). Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, London, doi

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