As a couples therapist, I have the privilege to meet and work with many couples. No couple is the same. They have different backgrounds, cultures, religions,
educations, and socio economic status. Each has their own distinct personality and perspective on life and their relationships. I listen to their stories of how they came together,
how their love and commitment to each other evolved over time, and get an understanding of what challenges and difficulties have brought them into therapy.
As a married woman in my mid-thirties, and a mother of two children, many of my friends are married with children as well. I am fortunate that my husband and I have found a solid group of couples we spend time with on a regular basis. The icing on the cake is that our children play together and have developed healthy friendships with each other. Of course, there is no perfect marriage. As couples with young children, we are all in the midst of finding our footing as we now are no longer simply a couple, but rather a family ... a couple who are now parents to children. Furthermore, most of us are in our prime of establishing careers, maturing emotionally, and adjusting to our parents growing older.
Perhaps as a therapist and because of my passion working with couples, I often invite and seek out conversations that revolve around the couple relationship. I am curious to hear about the common challenges couples face, which typically revolve around: sex, desire, infidelity, money, and parenting ... nothing couples haven’t faced for generations before. So I then ask myself how the larger context of marriage for my generation (and the next) has changed and what that means for couples today.
How has marriage evolved over time in the American culture? What was marriage once, and what does it represent today? What does marriage mean to a woman, and what does it mean to a man in today’s world? What is the impact of the institution of marriage as an economic enterprise shifting to a romantic arrangement where marriage is now a service economy (sex, love, caring etc.)? Is marriage a system of equality? Of equal power? What happens when marriage is predominately formed out of love? Is it time to re-design the idea of marriage?
It is with this in mind that I have decided to create a 5-part blog series where I address these questions with a particular focus on a few of the primary features that ripple through many marriages: infidelity, desire, and erotic space.
• Have we failed monogamy or has monogamy failed us?
• To be the anchor and the wave: the challenge for couples who love.
• Understanding infidelity: a systemic perspective.
• How can couples overcome infidelity?
• Recovering desire and erotic space in the relationship.
Stay tuned for part 1. I hope you enjoy reading the blog series, and perhaps gain a new perspective on relationships. Follow me on Facebook under Morningside Therapy. You can leave me comments there ... I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Dr. Olivia Schläpfer Colmer offers individual, couples and family therapy in Miami, FL. Her office is located at 4770 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1440, Miami FL 33137.
Please visit our Motherless Daughters Support Group page for dates, times, and complete information.