Sunday, July 10, 2016

(Mixed orientation) marriage & melancholy

In a recent, This American Life, host Ira Glass interviews Alain de Botton about why people choose the wrong partner when getting married. Botton's thoughts on marriage are gloomily accurate. At one point Botton (who by the way has a lovely British accent) explains why melancholy is a helpful trait in a successful marriage. He says
We're trying to do such a complex thing with someone. We are trying to find our best friend, our ideal sexual partner, our co-household manager, perhaps our co-parent, and we're expecting that all this will miraculously go well together. Of course it can't. We're not going to be able to get it all right. There will be many areas of misunderstanding and failure and a certain amount of sober melancholy is a real asset when heading forth into the land of love.
As I listened to this I realized this quote in part explains why my mixed orientation marriage works. My wife is my best friend, my co-household manager, and my co-parent. In these areas my wife is perfect for me. In these areas (most of the time) her strengths compliment mine well. It's really just in the "ideal sexual partner" category that things aren't perfect, but we make it work.

I've said it before. I'm not advocating mixed orientation marriages for everyone. I really do hope and pray that everyone learns to listen to the Lord--not the Church or their parents or friends, but the Lord--and find out for themselves what life path He feels is best for them.

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