Love and family
26 July 2021, Adama
To deal with this inevitable dissatisfaction, one must first stop being surprised. Imperfection is part of the human condition.
“I got married thinking I would experience true happiness. My loneliness as a young girl was finally going to end. With my husband, a lovely young man during our engagement, I was convinced to realize the most wonderful couple in the world. I was sure we would share everything: our aspirations, our thoughts, our plans, and our faith. I'm not going to say that I fell from a height, but still, I was really disappointed. It is important to tell young people that marriage is not heaven. I did not find what I had dreamed of there.”
I made a point of quoting this rather lengthy excerpt from a wife's words because it pretty much describes a frequent reaction from one or the other spouse after a few months or years of marriage. But I have to say, to be objective, that at times I have heard more heartwarming words: “I got married thinking it was good, but it's so much better!”… Or “I got married with my eyes closed and I do not regret it…!”
There is no perfect marriage
However, we have to face the facts: the perfect marriage does not exist. Without agreeing with the proverb which says that “All happy husbands would fit on the edges of a plate,” or that “the alcove kills slowly,” we must admit that human love is always somewhat disappointing: it's a broken promise.
The human heart never says, “Enough!” Love promises fusion, but spouses remain two, with the wall of their differences. It promises sharing, dialogue, but there is the weight of everyday life.
One promises the total availability of the other, but the other is a free human being who belongs first to himself or herself.
One promises knowledge of the loved one, but the other remains a mystery, the interiority of which belongs to God.
One promises happiness: there is illness, the fall of desire.
One says “always" but there is the sword of death above the couple. The other inevitably disappoints a little: “There is no wood without a knot, there is no woman without blemish” says a proverb; and it is possible to add “There is no perfect husband, not even the neighbor's.”
The reasons for this dissatisfaction are multiple: perfectionism which sets the bar very (too?) high, the myth of completeness which thinks that the other will satisfy all our needs, the myth of fusion where the couple dreams of a marvelous union without conflict, as was the relationship with the mother in very early childhood, the idealization of lovers dazzled by the discovery of love...
In fact, the considerable part of the imagination in marital projects explains the disillusionment of married life. Even if the couple says they are realistic and lucid, they still have the secret hope of achieving a couple like no other, united against all odds to meet the challenge of the wear of time.
Becoming an adult is dealing with the imperfect
To deal with this inevitable dissatisfaction, one must first stop being surprised. Imperfection is part of the human condition. This is true in every area and love does not escape this finitude of the human being. To accept yourself limited, and to accept the limits of the other, is to leave the dreams of adolescence. Becoming an adult is dealing with the imperfect. Understand that true perfection, true greatness, consists precisely in living the grayness of everyday life: leaving for work, the fridge to fill, the house to tidy up. “You build a couple with their quirks, sniffles, the inside and out of the fabric, the pretty and the ugly, the clean and the dirty.”
It is then important to flee from certain temptations, such as dreaming of somewhere else where the grass would be greener or making comparisons (“Ah, if I had a husband like yours, I would do catechesis”), or hide all the positive of the wonderful of his life, or even just resign oneself.
Above all, it is essential to make sense of this imperfection in order to perceive its positive and usefulness. It can become the engine of life, forcing to move forward, to improve. She snaps away from the monotony: “If it was perfect, I'd be bored!” said a wife.
Accepted, it allows you to meet the other as he is, and not an unreal prince charming, knowing that what he “is nevertheless worth the detour.”
An insatiable heart
The fact remains that the other will never be able to satisfy this torment of the absolute, this torment of God which is at the bottom of all hearts: “What no woman was able to provide, why did you ask me?” A woman asks the one she loves.
By asking too much of love, we are inevitably disappointed. We must resolve to the obvious: our spouse is not God and cannot claim to satisfy this thirst for infinity. However, human love with its vicissitudes, its hazards and its weaknesses, but also with its enchantment and its riches, is exactly what it takes for the human being to chisel and shape this insatiable heart because one day destined to the encounter with absolute love.
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