Has Personal Identity Changed in Today’s Marriage?

Psychotherapy Networker

Esther Perel on How New Marriages are Preserving Individuality

Esther Perel explains how marriage has shifted from an institution that blends identities to one that preserves them.

The once-idealized image of the postwar nuclear family—complete with a breadwinner husband, a stay-at-home wife, and a white-picket fence—probably wasn’t the norm for most starting American families.

But if this was the gold standard, we’ve moved far away from it, says renowned couples therapist Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity. Today’s marriage not only involves more shared responsibilities, she says, but men and women are entering marriage with distinct identities—jobs, behaviors, and sexual preferences—that they’d much rather keep intact than blend.

In this brief video clip, Esther explains how the new goal in marriage has become having less a melting pot of lifestyles, and more of a mosaic. Marriage is no less romantic for it, she says, but its terms have been wildly renegotiated. The therapist’s new job, Esther adds, has now become helping these couples reach compromises about everything from monogamy to financial assets.

In our newest Network Webcast series The Changing Face of Marriage, you’ll learn Esther’s secret to making marriages run like “a little company”—with purpose, fluidity, and flexibility. This series covers everything you need to understand about the new norms surrounding intimacy, marriage, divorce, boundaries, privacy, and related issues. Plus you get "how-to" guidance on working confidently and effectively in a landscape of changing attitudes from leading innovators Esther Perel, William Doherty, Pat Love, Terry Real, Joe Kort, and Tammy Nelson.

Topic: Couples

Tags: boundaries | couples therapist | divorce | Esther Perel | families | intimacy | monogamy | Terry Real | therapist | William Doherty

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