Monday, August 13, 2007

On Marriage

"Marriage typically meets our sharply felt needs for security and predictability, [psychoanalyst Stephen Mitchell] argues, but in those relationships that last well, people take the leap of believing that they actually don't know exactly who the other person is or what he or she is capable of -- the absolute knowingness is a fantasy anyway -- and that there is new terrain to be discovered."

"Adam Phillips, a Longon psychoanalyst, muses in his 1996 book, "Monogamy": "What if our strongest wish was to be praised...What would our relationships be like?... We might find ourselves saying things like: The cruelest thing one can do to one's parner is to be good at fidelity but bad at celebration... Or it's not difficult to sustain a relationship but it's impossible to keep a celebration going. The long applause becomes baffling."

-- both from "Can This Marriage Be Saved?", Laurie Abraham, New York Times Magazine 8/12/2007

What I found provoking about these is that they tie in nicely to the current popular science on Happiness. That to be happy you have to have "flow" -- work that engages you in an almost transcendental way, and gratitude -- which I see tying in to celebration in a marriage -- to take time to appreciate what we've accomplished and what we have.

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