Silver Linings Playbook

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Communication is an important dimension of any relationship. Communication allows people to develop and maintain romantic relationships. It also allows for the disintegration of these relationships, should one or both partners decide they no longer wish to maintain it. The communication used to develop, maintain, or disintegrate romantic relationships often follows a system of developmental stages. Researchers who described these developmental stages focused on three main phases: growth, navigation, and deterioration. There are many great examples showing how romantic relationships use communication to progress through these developmental stages. One such example is the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, in which the main character, Pat, moves…show more content…
However, it is still very evident that their relationship progressed through the developmental stages of romantic relationships. Although it wasn’t shown, you can safely assume that Pat and Nikki underwent the phases of growth and navigation together. At some point, Nikki grew dissatisfied with the relationship began to progress through the deterioration phase. The deterioration phase begins with the stage referred to as intrapsychic processes, in which Nikki began to focus on the things she disliked about Pat, rather than what was enjoyable about the relationship. She focused on the fact that he should lose weight and needed to be more emotionally stable. Following the intrapsychic phase, the dyadic processes begin, in which the patterns, rules, and rituals of a relationship begin to break down. Unfortunately for this relationship, this involved Nikki abandoning the commitment she had with Pat, resulting in her infidelity with a fellow teacher in the shower. The causes of a dyadic breakdown vary between genders and its effect was obvious here. Women tend to grow unhappy when the level of communication begins to fall off and men grow unhappy when activity together falls off. As Pat was describing the situation to his therapist, he mentioned how he wanted to join Nikki in the shower because they never have sex in the shower anymore, indicating his desire for a fun activity together they no longer do. When Pat witnessed Nikki with the other teacher, the relationship very quickly ended as he nearly beat the man to death, resulting in a restraining order from Nikki and his placement in a mental facility. Pat remained hopeful that they could make things work. However, Nikki, began to move on with her life and she focused on the next stage of deterioration, which is the social support process. Nikki began to gain support from friends and family on her decision to keep the restraining order
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