Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, behaviors that maintain relationships and allow such happy endings to occur. mation, Stafford and Canary developed five relational maintenance strategies. Relational Maintenance Strategies: Comparisons Among. Lovers, Relatives, Friends, and Others. Daniel J. Canary. Laura Stafford. Ohio University. Ohio State .
Equity refers to whether the distribution of rewards divided by costs is fair.
- Relationship Maintenance
An inequitable relationship occurs when one person is overbenefited i. Canary and Stafford found that both self-reported maintenance strategies and perceptions of partner use of maintenance strategies were highest when the person felt the relationship was fair.
However, people who felt overbenefited or underbenefited were less likely to use and perceive the use of the maintenance strategies indicated previously. In addition, self-reported inequity combined with perceptions of partners' maintenance strategies to affect important relationship characteristics, such as commitment. That is, maintenance behaviors would positively affect relational quality, but a lack of equity especially underbenefitedness would negatively affect relational quality.
Maintaining the Status Quo Once a relationship has reached a particular level e.
That is, there should be no changes in the fundamental nature of the relationship. Accordingly, current levels of intimacy, for example, should remain within a predictable and low level of fluctuation around a set point. Dramatic fluctuation—whether they reflect increases or decreases in intimacy—is not desired. Joe Ayres examined hypothetical reactions of participants who imagined that their partners wanted either to increase or decrease the level of intimacy they had.
Relationship maintenance - Wikipedia
Ayers derived three maintenance strategies, or approaches to dealing with the situation: When imagining a partner who wanted to escalate intimacy, people reported they would use directness and avoidance. When imagining a partner who wanted to reduce intimacy, participants reported that they would use directness and attempt to balance the situation.
Clearly, Ayres provides evidence that people respond to changes in the status quo with particular communication strategies and that these strategies might vary as a function of how the partner wants to change the status quo.
In an examination of a particular relationship context, Susan J.
Canary, and Kimberly Hause investigated how opposite-sex friends maintained their relationships as platonic. Messman and her colleagues found that opposite-sex friends used several strategies to sustain the platonic nature of the relationship. These include positivity e. The most commonly used strategies to keep a relationship platonic were alike for men and women: Noting that many researchers have presumed that opposite-sex relationships are ripe with sexual tension, Messman and her colleagues also wanted to link different motives for having a platonic friendship to relational maintenance strategies.
Motives included safeguard relationship, which refers to keeping the positive benefits afforded by the relationship e. The desire to safeguard relationship was the strongest predictor of all the maintenance strategies.
This finding underscores the power that wanting to keep a relationship in a particular state can have.
Repairing Troubled Relationships Occasionally, there is trouble in paradise. The trouble may involve a problem that is acute e. The question of how to repair a relationship that has gone through a severe test—or an ongoing series of tests—has lead various researchers to identify behaviors that function primarily to overcome problems.
In terms of repairing relationships that have experienced acute problems, we turn to research on repairing a transgression. In discussing the more chronic problems, we turn to research on reactions to problems. Not surprisingly, in romantic relationships the most offensive transgression involves sexual infidelity, followed by behaviors such as other forms of unfaithfulness, lying, physical violence, lack of trust, an unsavory past, and lack of consideration Emmers and Canary ; Metts Although transgressions vary in the extent to which they challenge relational contracts, they all can raise doubts in the mind of the partner who assesses the transgression.
In other words, transgressions lead to uncertainty about the person who has committed the behavior as well as about the relationship itself. Researchers have uncovered various strategies that people use to repair a relationship following a transgression. These authors found that partners relied on interactive behaviors most to repair their relationships.
Kathryn Dindia and Leslie Baxter reported a similar finding—people tend to want to talk about issues when making attempts to repair their relationships. In terms of which behaviors led to actual repair, less obvious results were reported. Emmers and Canary found that repair measured in terms of retained intimacy was greater when men did not use passive behaviors.
Interestingly, women's intimacy was higher when they reported using active behaviors; however, men's intimacy was lower when their female partners reported using the same active behaviors. It appears that, to repair relationships, men should not avoid the issue and women should not attempt to use alternative sources to persuade the partner.
This would be considered a Routine Maintenance Behavior. They are used without the express purposes of maintaining a relationship, yet they still help people preserve their bonds with one another. Part of this has to do with the difference in routine maintenance and an exchange relationship. The key difference being that benefits are given without one expected in return, as in an exchange relationship. From this perspective the maintenance and enhancement of close relationships depends on the extent that both people are concerned for each other's needs, and are willing and able to meet those needs.
In romantic relationships, there is the intimacy element that is added.
This is physical intimacy and a deeper emotional intimacy than a friendship would have. There are four relationship stages when it comes to romantic relationships: It was reported that married and engaged couples used more assurances and task sharing than did dating couples. However, engaged and seriously dating couples reported that they used openness and positivity more than did married couples.
Then, married couples reported the most social networking. Daters tended to be more social with one another. For example, they called and sent each other notes and cards more than the married couples did. They use maintenance behavior early on in the relationship and then also in the later years of their marriage.
As the years progress they may shift focus to family or careers, but then later on when their children have grown and they are settled in their careers the focus may come back to the relationship maintenance since the couple have less distractions.
Relationship Maintenance - Maintaining Quality
Strictly platonic groups have both sides saying they do not want anything romantic out of the relationship. Those in mutual romance groups both want the friendship to become romantic. Individuals in a desires-romance group indicate that they wanted the friendship to become romantic, but the partner indicate they want to stay friends. Last, the rejects-romance group said that they would like the friendship to stay platonic, but the other person wanted it to become romantic.
Friends that want to move to romantic relationships use more maintenance behaviors, as increases in maintenance behavior mark a change from friendship to romance. These groups tend to talk about outside relationships and there is activity done together and less flirtations used. One of the main challenges in maintaining a long-distance relationship is the lack of face-to-face contact and communication. When couples are able to have face-to-face communication, they are able to do things together, and interact with each other in a physical manner.
People in long-distance relationships typically use less maintenance behaviors, such as openness, assurances, and joint activities, than people that are in a geographically close relationship.
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Compared to couples in geographically close relationships, people in long-distance relationships tend to engage in less joint activities, task sharing, and social networking. The building up and breaking down of relationships is given in ten stages.
Maintenance in Knapp's model accounts for the struggle that exist between the fifth stage, bonding, and the sixth stage, differentiation. Bonding allows a dyad to demonstrate to society that they are connected, such as through a marriage ceremony.
Differentiation allows for individuals in the couple to maintain their personal space, such as through having their own friends, hobbies, or careers. Relationship maintenance exists in the delicate balance between bonding and differentiation. Should a couple begin to differentiate to a great degree, they will likely begin to fall into relationship dissolution.
The stages of a relationship can be compared to an elevator ride and how it goes either up to higher levels of intimacy, or goes down to termination.
Different levels can remain the highest stage if we don't find what we are looking for and turn around back to the beginning. On the other hand, levels can be entirely skipped or surpassed. Researchers agree that relationships are always moving either forward or back, and communication indicators can determine the stage of the relationship.
Escalation stages[ edit ] Initiating — This stage is the shortest and is composed of noticing and forming first impressions based on verbal and non-verbal communication. The most important one is being positive because if one of is having a bad day its real easy to ruin both our days so I just stay positive and reasuring.
It works out well most of the time considering she's working alot more then she did before I lost my job and we have alot less money so I'm kinda the defuser. I try to apply these strategies and a few of my own. The most useful to me is sharing tasks and engaging in activities.
That means there have to agree and work on what there like to have for the balance in the relationship. I find that sharing the work load around the house, kids and the yard is very good. Everyone needs a break from the everyday grid.