At the age of 30, Angela hesitates to commit herself to a lifelong marital relationship.
Her stance is primarily determined by her belief that marriage partners often change in surprising and unpredicatable ways during their lifetimes. What professional advice could you appropriately privide to Angela in light of the research on marital hapiness and adult personality development.
Answer From a psychological point of view.
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In any case study, there has to be some level of latitude granted because of the lack of fully understanding the particulars of the case. In what I see, Angela has a fear of commitment. The idea that personalities change over time reflects this to me, as it is a justification/ rationalization that if something is not perfect it should not be pursued. In this sense, I define Angela's sensation of "perfection" as one where individuals have to be able to calculate human choice and autonomy to a precise and exact end. The notion of "commitmentphobia" is something that applies to both men and women. It expresses a fear in decision making, a fear in making the "wrong" decision, or something seen as such in the mind of the individual:
The commitmentphobic mind sees decisions as permanent, opening the possibility of being caged or trapped forever with no means of escape. Commitmentphobia is a real disabling fear, that can be manifest in many areas of life, including career, home ownership, or even shoe shopping. This fear can make simple every day decisions into a tremendous burden.
I think that Angela might be enduring some type of this predicament with her fear that changes in marriage results in something bad, changes that cannot be fully understood or appreciated. In recognizing this within the individual, there is a greater chance that therapy and confronting it can help minimize the challenges caused within the individual.
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