A typography of relationship disengagement and dissolution

Relationship Disturbance - SAGE Research Methods

The continuing coparemal relationship between divorced spouses. American Journal S. A typography of relationship disengagement and dissolution. The interpersonal communication that occurs during a relationship deterioration/ dissolution Steve Duck () developed a topographical model of relationship disengagement and dissolution, whether married or not, in which he outlined. Why Do Relationships End? How Do Relationships End? Disengagement Strategies We also consider relationship dissolution—from the sequence of events.

In the terminology we have chosen for patterns of person-brand break-ups, dissolution can occur as brand-initiated separation, brand-switching, or brand-spurning behavior. Loyalty effects on the dissolution process In conceptualizing the process of person-brand break-ups it becomes evident that certain stages vary in importance and intensity depending in part on the antecedent level of loyalty to the brand.

For example, break-down is probably less dangerous to a loyal than to a non-loyal relationship. Exit barriers of investment and commitment should provide consumers with some incentive to endure fluctuations in brand performance and, perhaps, to rationalize them away.

Decline is an intra-psychic process of affect reduction. If we view decline as the erosion of exit barriers it stands to reason that the process should be more complex and involved where strong or multiple barriers exist. In cases where commitment to the brand is cemented in social relationships e.

Of all the stages in the dissolution process disengagement is perhaps the most ritualized and potentially damaging to the brand. The more consumers invest in the brand, the more complex their disengagement activities must be.

Disengagement from a higher-order relationship may therefore be characterized by a long period of rather subtle activities and affective changes, or alternatively by a short, intense conflagration of consumer response and emotion. Dissolution or termination of a deteriorated person-brand relationship might seem straightforward: For all the apparent simplicity of such a decision there may still be affective differences related to prior loyalty and resultant intensity and complexity of decline and disengagement.

Dissolution of Relationships, Breakup Strategies

We would expect a low-investment relationship to dissolve with a whimper; the break-up of a high-investment relationship should be quite noisy by comparison.

Summary We have advanced a model of the dissolution process as it may relate to person-brand relationships. We have elaborated the model somewhat with probable loyalty-related differences in consumer affect throughout the process. In order to further clarify some of the intricacies of the break-up process we next introduce a model of consumer responses to dissatisfaction in person-brand relationships.

According to the model forwarded by Rusbult, et aldissatisfaction in a relationship elicits one or more of four responses: Exit refers to the permanent termination of the person-brand relationship and corresponds to the dissolution stage in the process model suggested above.

Voice refers to active communication of dissatisfaction to the partner brand representative with the intent of improving the situation. We define such communication as positive voice and suggest that it would occur during breakdown or decline of the person-brand relationship. Conversely, we define negative voice as consumers' vocalizations of dissatisfaction to third parties during or after the process of disengagement.

Loyalty manifests as continuing in the person-brand relationship while hoping that the situation will improve. Given that loyalty wanes during the decline process we expect it to function most strongly during break-down; however, loyalty may still operate during the decline stage until the consumer begins active disengagement.

Neglect is a failure to care for or cultivate the relationship. In the person-brand context neglect would include reduced use of the brand and experimentation with alternatives. FIGURE 2 Consumer response through the dissolution process Understanding the nature and timing of consumer responses to dissatisfaction in person-brand relationships may be especially instructive for the purpose of identifying opportunities for brand-side intervention in the dissolution process.

In Figure 2 we suggest the probable timing of responses with respect to the stages of the dissolution process. In the perhaps inevitable periods of relationship break-down loyalty may carry consumers safely through lapses of brand performance or through vacillations in consumer likes and dislikes with no serious long-term damage to the relationship.

Some consumers may be sufficiently motivated to voice their concerns about the brand or the relationship at this stage, but that seems unlikely unless the relationship is truly dyadic, i.

Such an interpersonal component may be a firm's best first defense against customer defection. Once the relationship is in decline loyalty is eroding by definition and will not compensate indefinitely for consumer dissatisfaction. The trajectory of the person-brand relationship is toward dissolution, and the brand side of the relationship may well be oblivious to the danger.

Strategic communication during relationship dissolution: Disengagement resistance strategies.

The possibility exists that consumers will open channels of communication, voice their concerns to some brand representative, and thereby create the opportunity for brand-side remediation of the relationship. That possibility is lessened, however, if consumers have never received communication from the brand side indicating responsiveness to their concerns.

Lacking confidence in brand-side responsiveness, or lacking the motivation to voice their concerns, consumers may instead neglect the relationship and begin experimentation with alternative brands, thus beginning the process of disengagement.

During disengagement consumers may already recognize or even desire the coming dissolution of the relationship. If they enter this stage in an attitude of neglect, then neglect is probably the attitude they will maintain through final dissolution. If consumers have been voicing grievances with expectations of remediation, and those expectations are unmet, then the voice may turn stridently negative. Complaining behavior will become directed to third parties with a vengeance, and negative word-of-mouth may proliferate.

At this point of crisis some consumers may allow the brand side "one last chance" to address grievances and control damages, but to expect anything less than a groveling CEO to assuage their feelings may be optimistic. We expect that once dissolution is final and the consumer has exited the relationship, the exit door remains closed unless extraordinary circumstances reopen it. Ending a once loyal relationship is a high-involvement process in its own right and, therefore, should be subject to the same forces of attribution and dissonance reduction as any other high-involvement consumption decision.

Summary We have adapted an exit-voice-loyalty-neglect model to the domain of person-brand relationships. We have then integrated it with a model of the dissolution process yielding potentially valuable insights for brand-side intervention.

Close examination of our model argues for the value of developing, from the brand side, true dyadic i. We have advanced a comprehensive theoretical framework which may be valuable for heuristic purposes. The models should not be regarded as valid without empirical testing. We currently are in the process of exloring person-brand break-ups through depth interviews with adults who recently have terminated long-term usage of a wide variety of brands.

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SAGE Books - Conflict and Dissolution

The breakthrough came when a friend introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out. Without communication a relationship will never survive. Process loss[ edit ] Relationships that die because they do not reach their potential, albeit a slow death, because of poor productivity or communication on one or both of the members of the dyad Sudden death[ edit ] New information on a partner can produce sudden death of the new relationship with a trust violation.

Davis described three conditions that produce "sudden death" in a relationship: Breakup strategies[ edit ] There are at least fifteen strategies used to terminate relationships and are set apart by whether they are unilateral or bilateral and indirect or direct Baxter, Intrapsychic stage[ edit ] Intrapsychic stage begins with one partner who is dissatisfied and secretively searches for a way to "fix" the relationship. Vaughan states that uncoupling begins with a secretand Duck asserts that the secret of unhappiness is kept that way through the intrapsychic stage.

Dyadic stage[ edit ] Dyadic stage where the dissatisfied partner decides to fix the problem by confronting the other partner, thus entering into uncharted territory. This may not fix what is wrong and just continue to draw out the relationship until the unhappy partner becomes determined to depart, which will move the relationship into the next phase.

Social stage[ edit ] Social stage is when the partners devise their accounts of how the breakup happened and how they will present it to their social circles. If it is in fact the end, they will cross over into the final phase of relationship dissolution. Grave-dressing stage[ edit ] Grave-dressing stage is simply the "attempt to bury and describe the relationship" stage. Partners now create an acceptable story about their love and loss, do whatever cognitive work, including introspectionattributionrationalizationand reassessment of self and other, which is necessary in order to get over the deceased relationship.

Modification of Duck's Stage Model[ edit ] Stephanie Rollie and Steve Duck subsequently modified the original model after a critique of stage models that appear to suppose an orderly and relatively conscious progression through the above stages. Proposing instead five phases of breakdown, Rollie and Duck added a Resurrection Phase which was placed after "Grave Dressing" and represented the period of reconfiguration of self and preparation for new relationships.