Here is a nice piece of work that I read some while ago. I can’t resist sharing this with you. It is so true and applicable to anyone into a relationship or getting into a relationship.
There are essentially four kinds of love.
The infantile type of love, “I love me.”
The next stage, “I love the me in you. I love you because you are my brother, my mother, my father, my sister, my dog. The me in you.”
The adolescent type of love, “I love you because your dancing pleases me, and because your beauty pleases me, and because your brain pleases me.”
And the adult stage of love wherein, “I want to love you and cherish you because I want to see you happy because I can find my happiness in your happiness. The happier you are, the happier I’ll will be. I’ll find my happiness in yours. I’ll find delight in your pleasure and intellectual pursuits. I’ll find a delight in your enjoyment of dancing.” So, the mature love is the capacity to find enjoyment in the enjoyment of the other person’s enjoyment. It works both ways.
A question was posed, “What is a good marriage.”
In a good marriage you’ll see some of the, “I love me.” You should expect that. You’ll see some of the, “I love the me in you.” You’ll see some of the adolescent variety of your good qualities that please me. But there should be a very considerable percentage of the enjoyment of the other person’s state of happiness.
It isn’t enough just to enjoy your wife’s cooking. You ought to enjoy the pleasure she is in cooking. You ought not just to enjoy the fact she keeps the kids quiet while you’re working. You want to enjoy, really, the pleasure and satisfaction she gets out of dealing with the kids, even though you can’t understand why that particular dealing with the kids gives her so much satisfaction. It’s beyond your capacity to understand, but you’re so glad she enjoys it. You know as long as she’s happy, enjoying the inexplicable things, you’re going to be happy too.
Happiness in a marriage so often depends on giving the other person the privilege of enjoying those special,peculiar pleasures that they have. It’s being mature, the adult stage.
A common marriage problem is when one starts to enjoy something, the other can’t seem to tolerate it.
Many martial problems are built around the idea, “We must share equally in all things.”
The fact is that you can’t share equally in all things, because biologically we’re totally different creatures. The fact that he was attracted to here was because she is biologically different and had different qualities.
Next, for the benefits of the children – and parents do wish their children well – that they want their children to have the advantage of every possible opportunity. If father and mother both go out of the home and bring back precisely the same thing, the children may get an adequate supply of the same thing. But if mother goes out and brings home something different, and the father goes out and brings home something different, the children have a choice of two things. So mother goes out and takes in the Russian ballet, and she comes back and tells the little children about the beauties of the ballet. Father goes out and looks at the desert landscape and really enjoys that, and the children listen to that. So the children have the opportunity of learning to like both the ballet and the landscape.
Think of this common scenario. The husband liked westerns, and the wife liked musical comedies. So they went to the show twice a week – one western, one musical comedy. She gritted her teeth throughout the western, and he gritted his teeth throughout the musical comedy. They both comforted themselves that they were sharing.
They were sharing a common drama!! He really was enjoying the western, and she sat there hating it and gritting her teeth. What sharing were they doing? Both weren’t even sitting in the same seat; not exactly sharing anything except proximity.
Each can go to his and her movies at about the same time in different cinemas. When the movies are over, both he and she can join each other and go for sandwiches. Both can then share a delightful evening. When she went to the bathroom, he went to the bathroom. They shared. They always ate the same thing. They went to bed at the same hour. They shared everything. That’s is an exaggerated type of pathological sharing, but autonomy is so tremendously important because the happy marriage is one in which you have this individual accomplishing certain things, that individual accomplishing certain things. Each for the self there. Then you have the individuals separately accomplishing certain things for the other. Then you have the two individuals accomplishing things together.
Hungry for more. Please read –
Conversation with Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume II – Changing Couples (Edited By Jay Haley)
A very highly recommended book for couples. Extremely interesting and intriguing book. Erickson talks about the issues of marriage and shows many procedures for resolving problems.