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Couple Relationships in the 21st Century by Jacqui Gabb, Janet Fink (auth.)

By Jacqui Gabb, Janet Fink (auth.)

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Extra resources for Couple Relationships in the 21st Century

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For both these young people with busy full-time careers, this opportunity is most welcome. The activity also serves a secondary and individually important function in that it provides Zak with ‘evidence’ that he is needed; his physical strength and his capacity to make the drudgery of shopping a more pleasurable experience for both of them is thus self-fulfilling. Note the subtle shift of personal pronouns in the extract, which start with ‘we’d go shopping’; ‘we’d talk and banter’; ‘we come to bringing everything home’ and then switch to ‘I would load up’; ‘I’m strong’; ‘I’m useful’; ‘I’m carrying everything’.

She is my best friend. She is intelligent and witty and positive – I love her more than I love myself and I love myself a lot. 0007  Couple Relationships in the 21st Century In mapping the contours of their relationship, friendship was used repeatedly by couples to signify an emotional closeness which enabled them not only to share concerns and discuss problems but also receive support, advice and understanding. An understanding that friendship between couples could provide a safe arena in which personal traits and shortcomings were not adversely judged also connoted a sense of togetherness and ‘being there’ for each other (McCarthy, 2012), hence the importance placed on ideas of respect, encouragement and kindness as particularly valued features in their practices of relating.

I don’t mind this separation, although I draw the line at doing it in separate rooms. Across the instances cited, therefore, what is crucial, we suggest, is the practice of shared time together and/or the sharing of time and space together apart. For others, however, ideas and everyday practices of being together apart were stretched to their limits. Here, TV preferences served to separate the couple. Time together was something to be avoided, or when encountered, an occasion fraught with tension and anxiety.

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