Rethinking Marriage: Public and Private Perspectives

Rethinking Marriage: Public and Private Perspectives

Rethinking Marriage: Public and Private Perspectives

Rethinking Marriage: Public and Private Perspectives

Synopsis

'This book brings together a group of specialists who attempt to describe the process of interaction between the inner and personal and the outer and social. They illustrate what is happening to current marriage, particularly in its daily intimate experience. They do not attmpt to offer expert solutions. They describe practice as they see it.'This book is a valuable study to help the clarification of the complex world of contemporary marriage, particularly as it stresses the dynamic aspects of the marital relationship which are the key to its present aspirations. It is a study which informs both the expert and the lay reader, helping to make sense of the necessary diverse realities which make up marriage today.'- from the Foreword by Jack Dominian.

Excerpt

Christopher Clulow

There are times in most marriages when a crisis, and sometimes an absence of crisis, forces the partners into a reappraisal of their relationship. Predictable passages -- setting up home, starting a family, children leaving home, ailing parents -- and unexpected events -- a sudden illness, an affair, relocation at work, redundancy -- can destabilize the balance of married life and demand changes. They interact with the long-standing psychological traits of individuals and their partnerships to bind some couples together while blowing others apart. This interaction between external events and inner-world realities results in varied outcomes, confirming Anthony Powell's dictum that "it is not what happens to people that is significant, but what they think happens to them" (Powell, 1971). Couples may be so disturbed by their interpretation of events that one or both partners come to believe they have a marital problem for which they need help. Or, perhaps, the problem they have is, indeed, "marital", for it is presented in the context of the couple and not as a request for individual help, or help with a child, or assistance in managing other vicissitudes of life that can affect marriage.

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