RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS OF NEVER-MARRIED MEN AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY

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Abstract

Thirty never-married, white, heterosexual men, age 40–50 participated in this descriptive study which used semi-structured interviews to collect data. The relational patterns of never-married men are examined in regard to experiences in the families in which they grew up, romantic relationships, friendships, views of marriage, and thoughts about generativity. These men all value independence and self-reliance, and practice avoidance and emotional detachment in their relationships. Implications for psychotherapy are discussed in regard to the varied levels of functioning presented by the sample. Therapeutic difficulties include the potential for clients to flee psychotherapy prematurely or to approach psychotherapy in a guarded, tentative manner, because these men fear losing their independence.

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