After the movie, he told me that the woman was “wrong” because what she did was kidnapping and that she should have stayed with the husband for the “sake of the family.” I was shocked at him and told him that the cop, the woman’s husband, is “psychotic for hurting her for 12 years, physically and verbally,” and that there is “no way that he would easily change because he was a power-hungry, aggressive individual.” He said that I was “wrong” and reminded me that marriage is “sacrosanct” and that even domestic violence can be “resolved” through different means, such as counseling. I agreed that it was possible for them to try resolving their issues, but the man was not into counseling. He is the type of man who “cherished his face or reputation more than anything, even more than his marriage.” He told me that I have the same problem as the woman, “making assumptions about what men want and can and cannot do, and that we did not even give the cop a chance.” I paused for a moment and said that he “maybe right, since the woman did not try talking to her husband about counseling, but during that kind of physical and emotional abuse that can get lethal, the best step is to safeguard one’s life first.” I told him that “survival is imminent because he could almost kill her.” He replied that “it is possible that he could kill her, but he might have not. The truth is, the man could have anger management issues and needed professional help. The last thing he needed was a wife who ran away and stole his kid away from him.” I asked him if he was the father of the woman: Would he consider counseling first at the risk of his daughter’s life? He answered without hesitation: “I’d break that. Dance of Anger and Reciprocity Theory: Resolving Conflicts in a Romantic Relationship.
Collett, J.L., & Avelis, J. (2011). Building a life together: Reciprocal and negotiated exchange in fragile families. In S.R. Thye & E.J. Lawler (Ed.), Advances in group processes (pp. 227-254). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
Cupach, W.R., Canary, D.J., & Spitzberg, B.H. (2010). Competence in interpersonal conflict (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Lerner, H. (1988). The dance of anger: A woman’s guide to changing the pattern of intimate relationships. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
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