You are asked to interview a couple who has been married or cohabitating for at least five continuous years and write a paper which summarizes both the interview content and your personal observations and thoughts about the relationship. The interview must be conducted with both parties present at the same time and the interview must be a minimum of 45 minutes long.
Use the following outline to structure your interview and paper:
I. Introduction: Introduce your topic (marriage and family life) and include information about the couple. Be sure to use a fictitious name to protect the confidentiality of the couple. Include information about the couple such as; race, religion, ethnicity, ages, years together as a couple, number and ages of children (if any), how long have you known them, why did you select them, is this a same-sex couple, inter-faith, inter-racial, etc.
II. Body: Address the following issues at a minimum:
A. The history of the relationship - how did they meet, what was the initial attraction, what made them decide to commit to a long-term relationship, etc.?
B. How do they structure their family - traditional vs. non-traditional roles, occupational and child care concerns, etc.? Be sure to refer to your textbook for appropriate terms and definitions.
C. How do they communicate? Pay attention to their statements and body language, as well as your personal observations and experiences. How do they make family decisions?
D. What have been the most challenging times in their relationship? How have they worked through those issues?
III. Analysis: Address the following items, at a minimum:
A. Do you consider this to be a successful relationship? Why or why not?
B. What "type" of marriage or relationship would you categorize this relationship to be? Explain your answer.
C. What qualities of this relationship would you like to have in your own relationship? How would you create these qualities in your relationship? What type of efforts would you be willing to make to retain those qualities in your relationship?
D. What qualities would you want to avoid? How would you avoid them? What preventative measure would you take in your relationships?
E. What have you learned about committed relationships from your interview with this couple? How will you apply this information to your personal life?
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