Marriage and the Parental Bond?
What do we mean by life as a couple? We know that, today, this coincides less and less with marriage. This is evident from the observation of various phenomena: an increase in births out of wedlock, a rise in the incidence of living together “as husband and wife” and, quite simply, a reduction in the number of marriages, as couples procrastinate more and more. So, to contextualize, we ask, how is marriage defined, today? We cannot overlook the fact that the nature of the couple and marriage was for centuries influenced by the “spirit of the time”, “coloring them” differently. The chapter offers a brief historical overview, and then goes beyond to explorethe (re)definition of marriage itself. In the era of the hyper-modern family, there is an increasing focus on the privacy of the couple which emphasizes a kind of “love self-foundation” and the consequent exit from the public dimension: the triumph of freedom and self-realization that does not acknowledge any tradition. Social and psychological aspects of these phenomena are explored, and clinical examples discussed. Children are also often “objects of emotional consumption”, and the chapter summarizes social and psychological dynamics underlying this phenomenon.
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