As the average age at which couples today marry increases, we’re seeing a new phenomenon that Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, refers to as the “capstone marriage.” Partners aren’t only choosing to marry later—a “capstone” to top off other major life events—but they’re entering unions only once they’ve each formed fuller, more individuated identities. This has changed the expectations partners hold of the degree of freedom and personal expression they seek in marriage.
In this brief video clip, Esther explains what having more differentiated identities mean for today’s couples.
“In marriage, we seek a steady, reliable anchor in our partner,” says Esther. “But more and more, the challenge for couples and therapists has become reconciling this with the wish to pursue what's exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring.”