Interview on the problems of young families and ways to solve them

Ideal relationships, flowers, a loving look and understanding with a half-word – the fate of the premarital period. After printing in the passport, rarely does not complain that the feelings have changed.

And not only: after people start living together, they have a growing number of conflicts as a snowball – starting with everyday trifles and ending with global “you do not understand me at all”.

The correspondent of SE talked about conflicts in the young family with the assistant professor of the social work and social anthropology department of the NSTU, the specialist in the resolution of interpersonal conflicts Irina Skalaban.

What about the portrait of a young family in an era when the fashion for marriage is coming to naught?

Whether fashion has gone is a very mixed issue. For the last couple of years I have been observing that the institution of marriage in the classical version regains its positions back. If from the mid-1990s we observed a very specific orientation toward civil marriage, cohabitation and delaying registration, now I have a feeling that the situation has begun to change. Of course, this is not a return to the 80th year (if the girl did not get married by the end of the fifth year, she became an “old maid”), but there is such a tendency.

What is the reason for this?

People had some prospects, more stability. In addition, a civil marriage when good? When we are not involved in economic relations. And when a couple faces the need to buy housing, build any economic relations, she has to build them in legal terms. Now the marriage contract is no longer a nonsense, more and more people are concluding them. Thus, a person says: “I am ready to pronounce all the nuances of our relations and make them more clear.”

Why then at the beginning of family life there are so many conflicts?

Conflict is a form of grinding, misunderstanding often manifests itself in this form. The fundamental point is that you need to perceive this as a natural process. We have a certain mentality in society, it is believed that conflict is not a norm and if you go to a conflict, then you are either a threat or incompetent.

If you understand, people do not have so many forms of interaction: this is cooperation and competition. Conflict is a form of competition, it is quite natural relationship. 

Moreover, they must have conflicts. There is an opinion: if there are no conflicts in the family, then the family is on the verge of divorce. Of course, this does not mean that conflicts need to be artificially created, but to initiate, if it is necessary to solve a hidden problem, sometimes it is necessary …

What conflicts are leading in the beginning of relations? How dangerous are they?

In today’s conditions, conflicts of adaptation to family forms of relations will grow. After all, if a girl used to be married when she was 18 and her mother passed her from her hands to her husband, she only had to get used to the new rules a little. Now the situation is different: a girl with an independent life experience, building a career, marries. And suddenly – she is forced to coordinate everything with the person who appears nearby. She has to rebuild. Therefore, for modern people, conflict competence is much more important than for previous generations: it is not the fact of conflict that is important, but how you behave in this conflict. People conflict in the family when they are not afraid of breaking up the relationship. They will find out the relationship about the scattered socks, when they know that they will eventually reconcile. When someone understands that the issue of socks will be the last conflict in a pair,

What else do people face when they start living together? 

With the question of power in the family: how much can and I want to control the other? Conflicts of power in men are manifested in a classical form (“You will not be friends with these girls, because I so want”). In women, it is expressed in a latent form: it is weaker physically and statusfully, it does not have obvious tools for influence. Therefore, women are more often manipulated: “Either I, or …”, apply hysterics, emotions, press on a sense of guilt. This is a purely female version of attempts to control and manage.

If a man thinks that the order can be formed by an open setting of rules, then the woman seldom openly discusses the rules, she has many inconsistencies, she thinks that everyone understands her and, of course, her husband understands it.

A woman is empathic in nature, because after giving birth she gets a lump in her hands and must understand what to do with it, and is initially set up to be able to understand without words, and believes that, of course, it will be so with her husband. A man is not oriented toward this by nature, and therefore empathy must be studied consciously. Many young families do not cope with this test. The fact that we have become easy to treat divorce is a fact, and the reason is that people have low conflict competence. They, maybe, would like to agree, but do not know how.

What other processes are observed by sociologists in the modern family?

Today, there is much talk about the feminization of men, due to their female upbringing in single-parent families. But this is one side of the problem. No less problem is the masculinity of women. I began to notice how much the orientation toward the dominant types of aggression changed in recent years. A man has physical aggression, and a verbal aggression to a woman. Today I see more and more guys who are prone to verbal aggression, and girls who are prone to physical aggression. Problems are oncoming, and when these two “unisex” meet in marriage, there is a clash of role expectations and their ability to play the expected roles from them.

What can you say about the notorious “life boat” and how it breaks relations?

Household conflicts are a field for other serious battles, in particular the battle for power. Domestic conflicts are ultimately control conflicts: who will establish order. The problem of many people is that when discussing household things, they discuss all those inconsistencies that they have accumulated, using scattered socks as an excuse. In such disputes, we are not so much discussing the future, as talking about yesterday’s – and then the future is simply nowhere to take.

Can we talk about universal rules of behavior in conflicts?

The first: it is always necessary to quarrel about a specific issue, and not to wind up all the accumulated discontent. (Therefore, it is necessary to discuss the problems as they arrive.) And it is necessary to come to some concrete decision in the dispute.

Second: one should never throw accusations in the intimate sphere of relations – a person does not forgive when such things are used as weapons.

Conflicts pass, we come to some conclusion, but when we hit a sore spot, using weaknesses and weaknesses of a partner, it’s not forgotten.

Third: never involve the audience, in particular children. First, they are great at learning to manipulate in such situations. In addition, they have the most serious fears, they do not understand that a quarrel is just a quarrel. For a child, each quarrel is a fear that he can lose his mother or father.

Last: is there any concept of insoluble conflicts?

Psychological incompatibility does happen. There are situations when people need to disperse, so as not to regret years later that they spent time in vain (“I spent all my life on it”). In this regard, I am not in favor of maintaining relations at any cost. More important is another: it is necessary to understand whether your basic principles do not coincide or you could not solve the problem just because you did not want to change something in yourself. All that we can do in any conflict is to change ourselves, our attitudes, our view of the problem. Those who think that he is changing his partner by his efforts, is mistaken: both are changing, even if only one of them is the object of manipulation. The question is in good or bad.

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