''Til Death Do Us Part:' Marital Aftermath of One Spouse's Near-Death Experience Page: 209
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ROZAN CHRISTIAN, PH.D / JANICE MINER HOLDEN, ED.D.
Twemlow & Gabbard, 1984-1985) along with increased focus on the
values of love, compassion, and giving (Furn, 1987; Noyes et al., 2009;
Various models-psychological, physiological, and transcendental
have been offered to explain NDEs. No psychological or physiological
model presented so far accounts for all NDE phenomena and after-
effects (Greyson, Kelly, & Kelly, 2009).
NDEs and Marriage
Because NDErs almost always find their NDEs to be ineffable, they
have difficulty describing the experience. Furthermore, in the after-
math of the experience, NDErs typically struggle to come to terms
with their substantial changes (Hoffman, 1995; Noyes et al., 2009;
Orne, 1995; Stout, Jacquin, & Atwater, 2006). Correspondingly, sig-
nificant others may find it difficult to understand and adapt to NDErs'
new values, attitudes, beliefs, interests, and actions, especially if oth-
ers wish functioning to continue according to pre-NDE values and
lifestyles (Furn, 1987; Greyson, 1991, 1997, 1998; Insinger, 1991;
Noyes et al., 2009; Roberts & Owen, 1988; Sutherland, 1992). Others'
responses can involve acceptance but typically involve at least some
confusion, discounting, rejection, demonizing, and/or idealizing fol-
lowed by disappointment with NDErs' fallibility. These interpersonal
dynamics often result in some degree of distress in primary relation-
ships (Furn, 1987; Greyson, 1997, 1998; Noyes et al., 2009).
According to NDErs, how significant others view and accommo-
date NDErs' new identity strongly determines the long-term success
of family relationships (Insinger, 1991; Manley, 1996). Indeed, how
well NDErs integrate the experience into their lives and view it as a
constructive event depend greatly on whether they feel that signifi-
cant others accept and honor what they have been through (Corcoran,
1988; Insinger, 1991; Trevelyan, 1989). Although data (Noyes et al.,
2009) show that most NDErs grow in qualities that should enhance
relationships, such as understanding, open-mindedness, and intui-
tiveness, NDErs' profound changes may leave significant others feel-
ing abandoned (Furn, 1987). The difficulty for significant others to
accept changes in NDErs can outweigh the seemingly positive nature
of those changes (Musgrave, 1997).
Specifically regarding marriages in which one spouse had an NDE,
Charles Flynn (1986) conducted a qualitative study indicating a rela-
tively high divorce rate. Cherie Sutherland (1992), in a retrospective
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Christian, Rozan & Holden, Janice Miner. ''Til Death Do Us Part:' Marital Aftermath of One Spouse's Near-Death Experience, article, Summer 2012; Durham, North Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc938084/m1/3/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .