(don’t worry…. I’m not moving… it’s one of them metaphor things….)
Tina: “I’ll be honest: I’ve wanted a family since, like, oh, forever!” she admits. Tina is from a large, close family and she wants at least three kids. “Obviously, I’m just waiting to find the right man,” she says. “Someone who’ll be a good father, a best friend for me, my intellectual and professional equal, someone who’ll be exciting, share my love of literature, give me a good lifestyle, get on with my sisters, and, of course, create a hot sex life!” And she adds as an afterthought, “And he’ll be someone who gives me a sense of inner peace and calm.” Does it strike you that Tina is asking for a lot? Could any real human being ever measure up?
Seth, Reva (2008-06-03). First Comes Marriage (p. 17).
When I read vignettes like this I often wonder how much the author shaped the words to make a point. When I read this one, I thought, “Wow, that really fits me!” or, at least it fits the me I remember 30 years ago. Seth talks about the importance of letting go of the fantasy lover. But even getting acquainted with that illusory figure is difficult. Using spiritual language, I find it very consistent with how I talk to clients about getting know one’s “small self,” that rather scared and immature aspect of our inner worlds that is often driving the car more than we know.
Here’s another quote:
Arranged marriages are based on the belief that a strong marriage can be created by bringing together two similar and complementary people who have common goals and aspirations, as well as a shared approach to making the relationship work over the long term. It (always!) bears repeating that half of that long-term success is up to you. Since women in arranged marriages don’t expect to be marrying their soul mates, they enter into the relationships with far more manageable and realistic expectations about both their husbands and the relationship. They view their husbands not as their primary source of happiness or as a means of rescue, but instead, as life partners, friends, and men who will provide them with support, companionship, children, and a family life.
Seth, Reva (2008-06-03). First Comes Marriage (p. 28).
Seth is not suggesting that our culture abandon our approach to relationships and marriage. But I do hear her inviting us to consider the aspects of arranged marriages that can help us… Here’s the image that comes to mind:
It’s pretty easy to move from Waco to Austin, if that’s where you want to be. Just load up and drive 100 miles south on good ol’, and newly expanded, Interstate 35. No one in their right mind would take the route through Hollywood, would they? Certainly not… unless of course, one was convinced there was something in Hollywood that just HAD to be picked up during the trip! (And it’s not lost on me the number of work zones indicated on the map if you take the long route. LOL)
Again, what are those pesky expectations the make up your fantasy lover?