Changing Partnerships - New Meanings

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Changing Partnerships - New Meanings
Changing Partnerships - New Meanings
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Changing partnership

Even today, long-term relationships have a high priority in many people's lives. Compared to the last centuries and decades, however, the meaning of marriage has changed and certain taboos have changed. The traditional ways of life and ways of living together have lost their importance. Others have been able to establish themselves and are more socially accepted than they were decades ago…


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Individual challenges
  • Same-sex partnerships
  • Bicultural partnerships
  • Mobility & partnership
  • Partnership & phases of life

Individual challenges

Whether starting a family with marriage or a partnership with a separate household: for a large proportion of people, the desire for a couple relationship and the couple relationship itself is an essential part of life. There is more diversity today in the number, forms and development of partnerships. The partnership relationship and its course can vary greatly from person to person.

In the course of any partnership, couples face challenges for a variety of reasons. In addition to individual problems, same-sex partnerships, bicultural partnerships and partnerships with increased mobility have to struggle with additional difficulties.

Same-sex partnerships

In Austria, there is a generally increasing social acceptance of homosexual lifestyles. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of understanding - for example from the direct social or professional environment. Support is not always common. Keeping the partnership secret from the public is still part of everyday life for homosexual couples, which can put the partnership and its development to the test. In Austria, same-sex couples are not fully equated with opposite-sex couples by law.

Further information on registered partnerships of same-sex couples can be found at

You can find more information under homosexuality.

Various information and addresses for support and advice:

Bicultural partnerships

In the meantime, the opportunities to get to know each other have changed and expanded - for example due to increased mobility through stays abroad for studies, work and travel. Bicultural couple relationships offer enrichment and opportunities, but additional challenges can arise, for example due to different religious ideas or different nationalities. Differences in values ​​and behavior as well as the changed situation - for example, due to the change of country and circle of friends, difficulties caused by the couple's environment and the labor market situation - have to be overcome. Another problem of bicultural partnerships: communication problems due to different language skills.

You can find addresses that offer advice and help on the subject of migration on the website

  • Your state,
  • the city of Vienna as well
  • family counseling.

Mobility & partnership

Particular stresses can arise due to mobility requirements - for example due to the job - which lead to partners spending a lot of time far away from each other (e.g. long-distance relationship, commuting between work and home). Such increased mobility not only entails increased expenditure of time and money. The couples also have to deal with a lack of physical closeness and living alone at times.

You can find information on the website, among others.

You can also search for advice centers in the federal states on this website.

You can find legal information at

Partnership & phases of life

The desire to live in a long-term partner relationship does not stop at any age group. Depending on age and the individual importance of choosing a partner, two-way relationships are viewed and shaped differently at different ages. Loyalty, spending time together, fun, trust and physical closeness are important to many. The couple relationship is often experienced at a young age as a learning process for later relationships.

Partnerships change over time. These changes are also completely different. Couples are often faced with many challenges: starting a family, maintaining relationships and problems with parents and in-laws, birth and upbringing of the child (s) or, in later years, moving out of the same. In addition, the couple relationship changes, it wants to be lived and developed. Over the years, there is not always the same amount of time for one another. Being busy at work, family responsibilities, but also the financial situation can put a strain on the relationship. The retirement of one or both partners also leads to reorientations and changes in the distribution of roles.

Changes as well as “life transitions and phases” pose new challenges and are associated with changes in lifestyles, which, among other things, can lead to a decrease in satisfaction. Good conversational behavior with one another as well as stress management and problem-solving strategies are particularly important during this time (as well as in general).

Further information:

  • Life transitions
  • Sources of strength & risk factors
  • Partnership & sexuality in old age

You can find more about partnership and family in the Austrian Family Report from the Family Ministry.

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