Column Alain de Botton, the English writer and philosopher, author of the novel “experience of love”, was published in the New York Times. In this text he talks about how the idea of searching for the “second half” creates unjustified expectations of people from marriage. We offer our readers a translation of this text.
We are afraid that this could happen to us. We go to great lengths to avoid it. Nevertheless, we still do it: getting married, “not for that” person.
In part, this is because we have plenty of knotty problems that come up when we try to get close to someone. We seem normal only to those who do not know us very well. The wiser, more conscious society than ours, standard issue on the first date would be the following: “What is wrong with you?”.
Perhaps we have a latent tendency to fly into a rage when someone does not agree with us, or just to relax when working; perhaps we contraption in private life or closes in response to the humiliation. Nobody is perfect. The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into these our features. As soon as our everyday relationships threaten to reveal our shortcomings, we start immediately to blame our partners and parting with them. As for our friends, they are not so caring to take the trouble to enlighten us. One of the privileges of living alone – a sincere belief that we really are the people that are easy to live with.
Our partners know myself no longer. Naturally, we try to understand them. We go to visit them, look at their photos, meet with their friends. All this contributes to the feeling that we have done our homework. But this is not the case. The end result is a marriage – it is encouraging, noble, infinitely good gamble that plotting two people who do not yet know who they are or who will be their partner. They are connected by ties to the future, they can not and do not want to imagine.
For centuries, people got married due to logical reasons: because its land belonged to you, his family had a thriving business, her father was a judge in a city, you have been maintained in good condition Castle, or the parents of both pairs have subscribed under one interpretation of the sacred text. And from such a reasonable marriage stemmed loneliness, betrayal, violence, anger and cries, which heard from the children. Marriage reasonable really is not reasonable – competitive, snobbish and exploitative. That is why it has replaced love marriage does not require advertising.
Married for love matters is that two people irresistibly drawn to each other and know in my heart that it’s right. Indeed, the more it seems imprudent marriage (perhaps it’s only been six months since the first meeting, one of the future spouses does not work, or both just come out of adolescence), so it is safer. Audacity will outweigh any errors sensible solutions, this misfortune catalyst, this exacting accountant. Kudos instinct – injured reaction to many centuries of domination of irrational mind.
But although it is believed that we are all looking for happiness in marriage, it is not so simple. What we are really looking for – it’s proximity, which may complicate any plans that we have built to get happiness. We aim to recreate in our adult relationships the feelings that we are so well known in childhood. For the love that we experienced at the beginning of adolescence, often mixed with other, more disruptive changes: feeling a desire to help an adult who has lost control of himself, a sense of helplessness when you do not get parental warmth or fear of parental anger, a sense of lack of confidence to express their desires. It is therefore logical that we, as adults, we reject some candidates for marriage not because they are bad, but because it is too right – too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable – at chityvaya that deep down this is correct felt by us as alien. We’re getting married on the wrong people, because we do not associate “being loved” with “feel happy”.
We make mistakes because we are alone. If we consider an intolerable burden on the ability to be alone, we can not choose a partner in the optimal frame of mind. We must fully accept the prospect of years of loneliness, to be properly legible; Otherwise, we risk much more to love the fact that we are no longer alone, than a partner who has delivered us from such a fate.
Finally, we marry, to make a pleasant feeling constant. We think that marriage will help us to preserve the joy we felt when the idea to make an offer first came to mind: perhaps we were in Venice, the lagoon by boat, and the evening sun gilded the sea, talking about aspects of our souls , which it seems to be earlier no one had ever touched, and we knew that later go to dinner at a place that serves risotto. We got married, to make sense of such constant, but could not see that there is a strong link between the senses and the institution of marriage.
In fact, marriage is changing our lives, directing it to another, more administrative channel, where, perhaps, there is a country house and a long road to the regional public transport and maddening children who kill the passion that gave birth to them. The only common ingredient – a partner, and it’s probably the wrong ingredient .
The good news is that the brand does not matter if we found that out, “not for that” person.
We must not give up on him or her only on the basis of romantic ideas on which the understanding of marriage in the West based the past 250 years: there is a perfect being, which can meet all our needs and fulfill all our desires.
We need to change the romantic view of the tragic (and in some comedy) understanding that everyone will disappoint, anger, annoy and upset us – and we will (without malice) to do the same in turn. There will be no end to our sense of emptiness and imperfection. But there is nothing special – and it’s not grounds for divorce. Choosing the person to whom we entrust ourselves, we just choose which particular kind of suffering we most want to take to sacrifice themselves.
This philosophy of pessimism offers clue to many disappointments and anxieties about marriage. This may seem strange, but pessimism relieves excessive pressure that our culture imposes on a romantic marriage. Unsuccessful attempt to particular partner to save us from sorrow and anguish is not an argument against the man, and does not mean that the union is doomed to failure and must be reconstructed.
A person who is best suited to us – it’s not the kind of person who shares our tastes (he or she does not exist), but the person who can wisely overcome the differences in taste – a person who is good at a divergence of opinion. It is necessary to abandon the idea of an imaginary perfect complementarity. A sure indication that you have found “not too wrong” man is his ability to tolerate differences with generosity. Compatibility – the result of love; it should not be its condition.
Romanticism is useless for us, is a harsh philosophy. He made it so that much of what we go through in a marriage, it seems to us extraordinary and horrible. In the end we are left alone, and I am convinced that our alliance with its imperfections “abnormal”. We must learn to adapt to the “wrong” to each other, always trying to learn more forgiving, humorous and a good view of the numerous examples of these “irregularities” in ourselves and our partners.
Translation from English Mary Stroganov specially for “Matrony.ru”
Read on this subject:
Elizabeth Pravikova: What appreciates a man in a woman
Three bitter truth about love