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Marital compatibility a.k.a. Interlocking Neuroses

Why do two people end up marrying?  Love at first sight?  Spiritual discernment?

I just came across my new favourite phrase: "interlocking neuroses."

Bully seeks victim for ongoing abuse and re-abuse

Emotionally detached seeks career obsessed for parallel existence

Noble rescuer seeks troubled soul for noble rescuing

Damaged soul seeks jovial baffoon for shallow comfort

That kind of thing.

No marriage is free from this.  To some extent all of us married our spouses to fit in with our neuroses.

Which is yet one more reason why the phrase "We promised we wouldn't change each other" is death to a marriage.  Our only hope is continual repentance of these flesh dynamics.


7 thoughts on “Marital compatibility a.k.a. Interlocking Neuroses

  1. Missy

    So, my oft repeated, but never understood phrase, "Each sin has made our marriage stronger" might make more sense to you. Only you. 'Cause everyone else thinks I'm crazy. I only understand the concept of suffering and perserverance and hope and faith because of my marriage, or possibly it's the other way around. When backed up against the wall, when the choice has been change or leave, so far it's always been change. It was awful. And miraculous.

  2. Glen

    Missy - yeah I often think of marriage as like those school assemblies where the headmaster says "No-one is leaving until someone confesses and we sort this out." Marriage is saying "No-one gets out of this until we sort out the problems." And of course we never fully sort out the problems! But marriage is a great vehicle of sanctification like that. It forces you to either to fall back on your interlocking neuroses (in which case you become mutually hardening) or to actually repent and make real changes. 'Awful and miraculous' sounds exactly right to me!

    Gav - Bah humbug!

  3. Missy

    Glen, you can certainly build on this idea regarding other commitments. I have. Covenants, promises kept, commitments in parenting, marriage, extended family, the church, our planet,and to Christ - these are all BIG things to God in scripture. This has been my theology: that Christ sacrificed himself in atonement for me so that I can be reconciled in my commitment to him every time I fail.

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