BECOMING PARTNERS: Marriage and Its Alternatives by Carl R. Rogers

BECOMING PARTNERS: Marriage and Its Alternatives

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Dr. Rogers of encounter group fame turns his flow-and-grow insights (On Becoming a Person, 1970) to the changing institution of marriage. In a straightforward, amiable way Rogers presents a series of candid interviews with couples who are experimenting with nontraditional marital roles -- Jay and Jennifer, Dick and Gall, Irene and Joe, Sylvia and Roy plus some communards who tend to ""pair off"" in threes and fours. Amid the breakdowns and restructurings Rogers isolates those elements which lead to lasting relationships -- though he is not in the least censorious of shortlived matings. Above all he insists that ""submergence of the self"" is fatal to the relationship which must be based on sharing, ""becoming a separate self,"" growth for both partners, and a willingness to face the dissolution of role expectations inherited from parents and/or society at large. Despite the relatively small number of marriages looked at in depth Rogers does manage to describe a continuum of man-woman relationships from the very casual to the very committed. We found his tendency to eulogize the ""unheralded and unsung"" heroism of very ordinary men and women struggling to revitalize moribund marriages a trifle naive, but certainly it's nice to see such a tolerant and nonjudgmental attitude toward the conjugal scrambles of the young. This should have some of the appeal of the O'Neill's Open Marriage.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1972
Publisher: Delacorte