2. BEING A COUPLE

Everyone creates his/her identity through various group affiliations (family, workplace, philosophy or religion, couple etc.).

Examining the socio-cultural dimensions that induce us to enter into partnership as if this were a given matter of course, the couple can be described as one of the most important group affiliations. First of all, being in couple is an institution. Both together and individually, the members of the couple develop norms and myths as guarantees for the relationship. Norms are all codes imposed on people from outside and to which they are subordinated. Myths are all the codes individuals create and adopt for themselves. They are often used to protect the couple from the outside world (boundaries of intimacy, validation and protection of the couple from outside). They also serve as a valorisation of uniqueness of the couple (« it’s not by chance we are born in the same month and our mothers are from the same place! »). Moreover, myths are a way of defining and reinforcing expectations - or lack of expectations - concerning the place of each member, the capacity for individuation and separation, autonomy and dependency as well as the modalities of relationship such as distance and closeness. The norms and myths which finally define a couple create rules and rituals of coherence that are also nurtured by it.

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Funded by:and
European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

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