In this assignment, I wanted a couple that had never experienced divorce, violence, and had unconditional love. I chose to interview my boyfriend’s parents, Mr. Bob and Mrs. Donna Portman. Mrs. Donna Portman is female, fifty-four years old and grew up in Garner, North Carolina. She has also spent up to twenty years working in the medical field, being a nurse and she still continues to work at Wake Med Hospital in Raleigh. Mr. Bob Portman is male, fifty-six years old, and is a computer technician. They have four children, Kent, Stephanie, Taylor and Brinkley.
Kent, the oldest brother, is twenty-seven, a bartender at the Carolina Ale House in Wake Forest. Stephanie, the second oldest, is twenty-three, and is married with two kids. Taylor, the middle child, is twenty-two, is currently working as a server at the Carolina Ale House in Cary and will be attending Wake Tech in the fall. Brinkley, the youngest, is fourteen, and is currently going to Heritage High School. The two parents are a traditional couple because they both share a basic belief system and philosophy of life.
Some similarities between the two include that they both grew up in the same state and went to the same colleges; differences include: Mrs. Donna has just one sister and grew up on a farm and Mr. Bob has two sisters and grew up in the city. The things that they like to do together are going out to dinner, visiting their cabin in Boone, North Carolina, and spending as much time as they can with family. The concept interdependency is illustrated by the two having very similar likings and having pretty much all the same friends.
They are kind of dependent upon one another because they like being with each other a lot. Mrs. Donna normally handles the day-to-day household activities like shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Negotiating the space issues, such as use of the bathroom or grooming areas, side of the bed issues, remote control is pretty laid back between them. They have big enough space to share and have equally both parts of the bathroom and closet. Mrs. Donna takes the left side of the bed because she says she likes sleeping on her side.
Mr. Bob does not really care, only wants Mrs. Donna to be happy. The money-management conversation was pretty simple and the concept that mostly related to them was the equity theory. This is because they had decided to split pay-checks and bills in the beginning. Later on they had decided to have Mrs. Donna’s pay-check to pay for the food, house-needs, clothing, and other personal necessities; while Mr. Bob’s pay-check would go straight into a savings account. Mr. Bob normally takes care of the bills. As I explained earlier the two are a traditional couple who believe in mutual sharing.
In deciding traditional rituals, such as where to spend holidays and dinners, since all the family lives near them, they do not really need to decide much. Normally, they take turns or share holidays. I noticed they show similarity, because they equally like spending time with each of their families, not too little or too less. The argument issue between the two was pretty silent and scarce. Not that they argue a lot, it’s just they do not argue at all. I mean, they do have the moments but not often.
They show etacommunication, because of their constant communication throughout their marriage. Mrs. Donna stated that Mr. Bob normally won the arguments, and what they did argue about were the kids. Mr. Bob had stated that both normally win arguments. Jokingly, Mr. Bob says, “What he argues about, he wants Mrs. Donna to hurry up and his wife’s slowness. ” The ending of arguments is calm; they pretty much just give up and give a hug and a kiss. Their conflict styles include accommodating, collaborating, and compromising; depending upon their argument.
When asked about what they liked most about their spouse, Mrs. Donna explained he makes her laugh. Mr. Bob explained that he loved her spirit, her smile, how she treats him. Something Mrs. Donna would change about him would be his impulsive attitude sometimes. Mr. Bob would change her sense of timing and her mood swings. The concept that applied the most was autonomy and connection, because of both spouses having different work lives and different schedules. They desire to remain an individual but also be intimately connected to another person.
The self-disclosure concept is demonstrated when two people have been together for quite some time and reveal a good majority of themselves to each other. When discussing their feelings, Mrs. Donna is more likely to talk to her friends. Mr. Bob is more likely to discuss his feelings to his spouse, he stated, “My spouse is my best friend. ” Empathy is showed between both spouses, because being married for twenty-eight years, you’d know each other through thick and thin. For example, when two people are married that long the spouse can feel for the ther spouse, like they are one.
They share everything with each other, even without saying a word. The qualities that a good marriage should have according to the Portman’s are compassion, understanding, and especially trust. Mr. Bob emphasized on listening and patience’s. Then, what makes a marriage last is compatibility, trust, making sure a hug always means something, and communication. The Portman’s described marriage different from close relationship by having more commitment, and financially bond. Disciplining their kids was more or less the concept of the rules theory.
The rules theory is demonstrated between both spouses, because they maintain a set of rules that they both follow and for their children to follow so everything is set in order and they behave. In conclusion, I had a great time interviewing the Portman’s. I feel it brought me closer to my boyfriend’s parents, which I’ve wanted for a long time. This project couldn’t have come at a better time. Their relationship as a couple and a family reminds me of my parents and our family. I had found a great amount of similarities between the two, which include: traditional couple and family, and finally, just the good ole southern style raising.