(This is a continuation from the previous post, The WonderUnderground of Marriage)
Dave: Unconscious Dynamics Decisions we make without awareness…
Everybody marries their own mother regardless of the gender. This is not usually apparent initially. It has to do with the subliminal search for a familiar kind of intimacy. We learn about intimacy in a condition where one is big and I am small, so that the beginning of a marriage has the quality of a mother and a child reunion, with orgasm.
Marital choice is perfect and unconscious. We pick out people who have what we do not. There is an interdigitation of needs and adequacies.
You can only marry the first time once. Marriage is forever. It represents an investment, and you can never get the whole investment back. The investment in the first marriage tend to be the greatest. You can only get married the first time once. In fact, a schizophrenic patient told us that once in love you, cannot fall out. Loving is forever.
Marriage is a peer relationship. Peer relationships are highly unstable. The relationship can be stabilized by finding a common enemy, adding distance or most commonly, by introducing a generation gap (You be the Mommy, and I will be the little boy. Or, You be sick and I will be the doctor).
On the woman’s side the husband is converted into a better father: While sex before the marriage felt alive, afterwards, especially after the first baby, it becomes incestuous (Grimm’s fairly tale, “Allerleirauh”, is a spectacular story about shifting identities in complex relationships).
Divorce is part of marriage. Divorce is partially synonymous with individuation in the relational context. It begins as a metaphorical reclamation of the self. At first it is about disappointment in the partner, trying to get something from the partner, or feeling as though something is being taken by the partner. Then, there is a decision to give up on the partner. Deciding in my head, “I can make it on my own. He will hurt when we split, but so be it. I am feeling too bitter, too much of the time.” Or, “She does not hear what I say any longer. Inside myself I am giving up.”
Divorce occurs in every marriage, but there may be remarriage to the same partner. These symbolic experiences may be deeply painful, but they also deepen, simultaneously, the marital intimacy and the feeling of being someone. Divorce begins as a metaphorical process, renegotiating the dialectal rule system of “I” and “We”. It may result in a remarriage to the same partner. When lawyers become involved the process contracts.
With each one of these (Divorce-Remarriages), the contract is implicitly renegotiated; what to expect from the other and what is not available. The divorce and remarriage enhances the “We” and nourishes each “I”. My sense is that it expands the event-space we are calling intimacy.
So we come to another resting place in our travels to the marital underground. The idea is to think about these ideas as though they are the characters that Alice meets in her trip to wonderland, or the characters that we find in the forest in fairy tales. I hope the thoughts puzzle still deepen appreciation of the complexity of this astounding enchanting relationship with its many rhythmic possibilities.