Midlife Women in Second Partnerships Choosing Living Apart Together

An Israeli Case Study

in Israel Studies Review
Author: Ofra Or
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This article deals with midlife heterosexual Israeli-Jewish women in living-apart-together (LAT) partnerships after a previous marriage. The main issue that this research seeks to explore is how Israeli women experience these living arrangements. The most prominent justification for this type of partnership is the need for autonomy. The drive to achieve autonomy and the ambivalence expressed toward independence and intimacy are examined in three areas of identity formation: personal, partnership, and familial. In comparison to LAT partnerships in Western Europe, in which decisions are more likely to be made without taking the future into account, most partners in Israel negotiate possible changes in their living arrangements. In familial Israel, LAT partners also involve the extended family in the relationship. As a result, in Israel, LAT partnerships engender more ambivalence toward autonomy and interdependence than in other Western countries.

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