Cultural Influence on Intimate Relationships

Hello everyone I would like share something small with you and I hope each and everyone would learn.It is about the cultural influence on intimate relationships.I hope we will cooperate.

Many years ago, a 60-year-old woman in one of my recovery groups for women with controlling partners asked, “Do I need to be a feminist to be in this group?” I said, “No.” I recall telling her she didn’t need to be one for equal rights. She should expect her husband to treat her respectfully. I added that women who choose a more traditional marriage are certainly not signing up to be abused. I now wonder if it is possible to have one without the other.

We know that physical or psychological abuse is created by a power inequality within an intimate relationship. This discrepancy then leads to an abuse of that power. Research shows when a partner dominates or over-powers another, it is a prime deterrent to a successful relationship (Green-berg & Goldman 2008). In other words, when one intimate partner coerces another to obtain the upper hand, it is a setup for the relationship to fail without exception. Research reveals this about marital relationships:


  • Husbands are likely to receive more support from their spouse
  • Husbands fair far better in marriage
  • Women receive less support from their spouse
  • Women experience greater stress from giving support
  • Women experience a higher rate of depression in marriage.
  • We know what is not working for women with an intimate partner who chooses to overpower them.
          Mutual Influence Creates Successful Relationships
          From research, we also learned when a couple has equal or shared power in their relationship they are in the best position to succeed. What does an equal relationship look like? One significant study showed when both partners see they can influence each other, they have the experience of being heard and recognized. This mutual influence fosters open communication and the greater likelihood of sharing feelings, needs, and vulnerabilities. Better intimacy is created with both partners benefiting and feeling satisfied with the relationship.
          However, Gottman recognized in his long-term research on marriage, husbands were far less willing to be influenced and often stonewalled or distanced themselves verbally and emotionally from conversations (Gottman and Silver 2000). He also determined from his studies that 81 percent of men who are not willing to be influenced by their partner are at risk for divorce. That women seem more interested in a balanced relationship between partners might account for the findings that more women instigate divorce (Coontz 2005).
           To stop all these women and their partners need to pay attention to how they may have adapted to these existing social and gender norms in relationships—even subconsciously. It’s important to recognize we create social norms by what we do. Changing what we do can, in turn, create new social norms. Equality in relationships, although not fully supported by many social institutions, is still progressing. One study of couples (Haddock & Bowling 2001) believed to be successful at achieving work-family balance identified that having equality and a true partnership were the keys to success.
          Couples can forge a rela­tionship of equal partnership when both partners have the desire, make the effort, and fully commit to making the relationship work for both. When this occurs in more and more homes, a positive influence on future generations is underway.

About denno

Hello everyone am Dennis Ngatia and this is my first year in butterfly effect.I am 17 years old and am in grade 11 now.I have been in butterfly effect for atleast one year now and it has helped me a lot.I would like to say that through butterfly effect I have been able yo learn many things and even people from outside our country and I appreciate that we usually talk with them very well.I dont think I have something that I have forgotten but if there is I will let you know.Bye.

2 Replies to “Cultural Influence on Intimate Relationships”

  1. Hi Dennis, my name is Maria. I was reading your post and I realized that the topics we choose are related. I decided to research about the Gender equality goal from the UN. I believe that discrepancies of power in relationships (like marriage) are related to the stereotypes that society has shaped around gender. Thus, in order to have an equal relationship, people should believe in gender equality. I hope we can work together in finding solutions or sharing thoughts about the topic.

    • Hi Maria am glad that I have seen a person to whom we can share posts with.I am very happy that I have some one to whom we can share ideas affecting our societies.I hope we shall cooperate with you Maria.All the best.

Leave a Reply