Formula of love for prisoners of marriage
Have you ever thought about the beautiful phrase” Marriages are made in heaven”, the key word “are made”?
“Prisoner – a person who is in the place of detention, in respect of which detention is chosen as a preventive measure” (C).
Despite the fact that I have great respect for the institution of marriage, sometimes, after working with couples, I have a strong feeling that I am a prison psychologist, and my clients – prisoners, many years spent in isolation, inside the “close suffocating space of the wedding ring”, rattling the chain of cast-iron core and through the bars occasionally admiring the “sky of freedom in the cage”, and I – at the same time the defense lawyer, the Prosecutor and the judge, who must pass the final sentence of their love Union…
But, in fact, one of the first questions I ask myself in my mind when taking a couple is not “Who is to blame?”, and even: “Not that to do?”rather, “What is the level of emotional maturity of each spouse?”.
And this maturity has nothing to do with age, life experience, financial situation and professional achievements. It is rather about the strength of the individual, the degree of maturity of each, the willingness to take responsibility for their lives, the ability to change the usual style of thinking – to look not in others, but in themselves the cause of their problems, the ability to see the “picture” as a whole, not trying to trap the guilt of Another, closing in their grievances.
At the time of treatment, the couple, as a rule, are at the stage of gambling claims exchange – total “bombing of enemy territory”, a passionate desire to prove to Another that he (and only He) is to blame for the current desperate situation, that their marriage resembles “ashes” and “ruins of a former dream”.
Each of the “fighting parties” comes to therapy, in a desperate attempt to find an “ally”, and with the help of a specialist to call to account the Other, to find weighty arguments that the partner violated the “marriage agreement” – could not (did not want!) to realize their archaic childhood dream – to make them happy, to satisfy their true need for unconditional and unappreciated acceptance…
Deceived, selfishly putting in the first place their own, not “Their” interests (which in their sincere representation is often “our”, i.e. “common”).
How could he? And who is he after that?…
“I married, sincerely thinking that my wife will understand and support me in everything.”
“I married in the confidence that my husband would understand and support me in everything.”
But, instead of being reliable, caring, willing to meet, He (She) demanding, unpredictable, Intrusive and, frankly, selfish!
Do something with Him (her). Explain, convince, force to change the behavior!
But therapy is not a trial. There are no accused and defendants, “right and wrong”. There is a couple caught in a difficult period, the “cycle of destructive interaction”, when the old “rules of the game” – the usual ways of relations – no longer work, and we must look for new ones, because the situation or the members of the pair have changed.
Faced with differences in needs and desires, sometimes, for the first time in the relationship, and, most importantly, with the need to reckon with them, some couples from therapy quickly leave, because one or both of them conclude that the family psychologist is not going to help them collect “dossier” – evidence of the guilt of the other, and “bend” the partner under the “template” that they have carefully stored for many years within themselves.
The initiator of the withdrawal is usually the one who is less Mature and does not want to take part in the “project”, and, frankly, is simply not capable of an honest analysis of their relationship. For him, the recognition of his contribution to the overall problem and the need for change (because the usual mechanism is no longer working) – too complex, too unbearable, too heavy, in General – just – too.
After all, otherwise it is necessary to agree that he, for example, completely “colonized” the partner, and uses his resources for a long time, in hope that he will not notice manipulations, coercion, and that, simple fact that he without it not to survive, to realize that he over and over again “parasites” concerning Another, demanding from it what itself is not able, does not want, or cannot give or find for itself. And his partner is forced to face the fact that he does not dare to live to the best of their abilities and is not ready to change the situation.
“Where the tree of knowledge, there is always – Paradise” so broadcast and the oldest and newest snakes” (F. Nietzsche). But is that always the case? “Where the tree of knowledge, there is the beginning of learning by trial and error” – I would like to think therapists, but always? Maybe sometimes, and do not pair this “bleed” of openness in the relationship? At least at this particular moment, artificially “accelerated”, “catalyzed” by therapy? For example, at 9 months pregnant 4th child to know that the husband goes to his mistress, because for many years its only “tolerate”.
Sincerely believing in therapy, and that “long on tiptoe” can not resist, and” all the secret sooner or later becomes clear”, I always believed that therapy is a risk, to learn a little more than “planned” about yourself and the Other. And if the members of the couple decide to break up and find a more suitable partner, or stay together and continue their lonely struggle to improve the “defective” member, or come to terms with what is, I have always respected their choice.
But, with even greater reverence, I treat those couples that remain, making the decision – “to work on themselves and on the relationship”, and often, not understanding what “signed up” and how difficult it is, with all possible support of a psychologist.
Usually, before people turn to a specialist, they try to cope with the difficulties on their own – read the relevant literature, reflect, make some independent attempts to change the situation. And if they manage to escape from the proof of the total guilt of the partner and get out of the vicious circle of their resentment, they often find other universal “villains”. Well, who in our time does not know that “we all come from childhood”, and the main culprits of our misfortunes – Parents, and first of all, mother?
It was she who “loaded” us with negative messages, directives and complexes that “poisoned” our lives, “deprived our wings”, and still continue to “pulse” under the surface of our subsequent relations with other people, turning our lives into hell. If she had done her duty better, I would have been a happy man, not one who sits at the reception at the psychologist. And my marriage wouldn’t be like a minefield, where you can’t even take a step without running into a tripwire.
“Mother must die! (symbolically) – another pretty generic phrase, which usually accept all participants (experts and customers).
Here only, so I want to ask, what next? Are you ready to live in a new wonderful world without mom?
What is this post-apocalyptic world, where the “Universe – Mom” is no more?
A world where you are no longer a small child, led by the hand of a large Adult who always takes you for who you are, carries out the overall management of your life and is responsible for the consequences of decisions?
A world where we no longer have someone to hide, and we are forced to notice, to reckon and adjust to Other differences, too, by the way, most likely having a “Mother-Monster” and “Pope of darkness” (the options), i.e., as we are “injured the environment”, and decades of nurturing children dream of a “Magical Saviour” (partner) and heavenly happiness without effort?
A world where we have to negotiate and adapt, sometimes giving up our desires for the sake of common goals?
Then you don’t need therapy, and we’ll never meet at the reception.
No? Then I am ready to help you to the best of my ability, because usually, we are very reluctant, against our will, recognize the basic principles of the dynamics of relations that are present at all times:
We are naturally inclined to project on the Other what we do not know about ourselves (the unconscious) or what we do not want to know about ourselves (the Shadow), or our unwillingness to grow up and take full responsibility for our lives, our persistent immaturity.
Because the Other does not want, cannot and should not accept responsibility for what we have “postponed” (for our unconscious, our Shadow, our immaturity) – the relationship tends to degenerate into a problem of power with its need to control or manipulate the Other or to blame with its habitual pair of victim and executioner.
In this case, the relationship remains the selection of decay, accusation, anger-management and depression, or Growing up. The only way to grow up and create a realistic relationship that is worth the effort and time spent is to withdraw projections and time travel, recognize them as your shadow content, and take responsibility for your emotional well-being and spiritual growth.
The sad reality is that only Adults can have a Mature relationship, and while there are plenty of people around with big bodies and big roles in this life, there are not many adults among them. Most of us cannot bear to admit that in our not-so-young years “love continues to bleed deep within the misery of everyday life” (Hollis J.), and the hope that you will not have to grow up.
After all, the process of maturity requires addressing difficult issues, to which, as a rule, we are not ready:
What exactly are my dependencies in a relationship with a partner and what should I pay attention to to stop being dependent?
What do I ask my partner to do, and what should I be able to do myself if I’m going to be a self-respecting adult, fully responsible for how things are going in my life?
How I constantly restrict myself, over and over again reimporter my story with all the charged reflective reactions in a ?