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The Journey Of A Couple In Midlife

1335 words - 6 pages

Midlife can be one of the most stress-filled phases in this journey called life. It is a time of re-evaluation that leads us to deal with the most complex of life’s issues and pushes us to question long‐held beliefs and values and look at who we are and who we want to become. During middle adulthood, people tend to establish careers, settle down within a relationship, begin families and develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture (Cooke & Rousseau, 1984). The object during this time is to give back to society through raising children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community activities and organizations (Wang, 2006). By failing to achieve these objectives, we become stagnant and feel unproductive. Erickson refers to this as Generativity verses Stagnation. Erickson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development has eight stages with two possible outcomes in each stage of development. The theory says that people who successfully complete each stage will end up with a healthy personality and have more successful interactions with others. Those who are not successful in completing a stage can end up having a harder time completing further stages and tend to have a more unhealthy personality and sense of being. However, these stages can be completed successfully at a later date (cited in Halim, 2012).
The couple that this research will cover is Jill and Pete Smith. Both are in their early forties and have two kids. Recently their family moved from Long Beach to Garden Grove. Pete and Jill recently purchased a new house while also just starting new jobs. The relocation was based on moving out of the two bedroom apartment so that the family could have more space and hopefully be closer to their new jobs. With the kids getting older, both Pete and Jill would like each of the boys to have their own bedrooms. This is an example of generativity in that Pete and Jill recognizes that in order to allow their teenage boys to develop and become more responsible adults in the future, the kids need their own space to take care of. They are also hoping to create a more comfortable home environment that does not seem so claustrophobic. They are investing in the future personal welfare of their children in hopes that their overall quality of life will be better. “Teenagers needing their own personal space is important so that they can feel more free to be their own person and develop a sense of individuality” said Pete (40, Greek-American, male, engineer).
When looking for a new home, things had been “very stressful” according to Jill (age 37, white female, loan officer). When Jill was asked about how stressful it was when looking to buy the home she replied “We had no experience in purchasing a home. There was a lot to consider, location to new jobs, schools, neighborhood, crime rates, and so on. We never knew how difficult and how impactful it would be on our entire family”. Pete added “the kids didn’t really want to move initially because...

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