Spritzophrenia

humour, music, life, sociology. friendly agnostic.

Posts Tagged ‘love’

Why Divorce? Why Marriage?

Posted by spritzophrenia on January 19, 2011

How do you write when you don’t know what to say? I’ve been chatting to another friend whose marriage is breaking down. I have feelings, emotions, thoughts, theories, hopes, despair. I certainly don’t have answers.

I’ve met a lot of people who are in marriages that are ending, or who are seriously contemplating ending their marriage. Or who ended it… returned… struggled with it… are considering ending it again. It gets complicated as kids are usually involved. The stories of our lives are often stranger than soap operas. I’m divorced, and have had several significant relationships that ended. I offer no judgement. I know how difficult it is to find someone you can truly live with and be satisfied with. In my case, it’s taken years for me to become the sort of person I’d want to live with.

A large number of marriages end in divorce. I wonder why we continue to seek such relationships? I wonder why gay people are seeking an institution that straights are busy messing up? (It’s about equality to mess up too.)

divorce

Whether we choose to get married or not, most of us seek long term partnerships. What is it we’re seeking? What can a partner give us that a full life of satisfying work and deep friendships cannot give us? I guess it’s intimacy. Sure, that includes sexual intimacy, but goes far beyond it. I guess we’re seeking a person with whom we can be completely ourselves, who we trust implicitly and know will always be there for us. (That perfect person sounds like God, actually. But I’m not going to advocate God as a solution because few people I know have ever managed to achieve the level of intimacy with g0d that can replace human love. I’m certainly not going to advocate the kind of conservative marriage that assigns roles to each spouse.)

I think our situating happiness in a person is partly because we buy into the romance or “soul-mate” myth. All you have to do is watch a Julia Roberts movie to have the impression that we will meet one person who will be the perfect lover, provider, friend, co-worker, co-parent… the perfect everything. No human can do that. Yet we keep a huge industry going, encouraging us to seek this impossible kind of lurve.

When we don’t find satisfaction in our current lover, we begin to look elsewhere. Perhaps we are lured away from our marriage/relationship by the promise of someone better? Perhaps the sex is better, perhaps they understand us more deeply. Yet in time, the cracks begin to show and we realise we’re hooked up with someone who is not completely perfect after all.

Happygirl and I read Sex at Dawn a while back. I’m now quite sceptical of some of the research behind it. Also, it tends to reduce relationship difficulties merely to sex: “If we could be emotionally committed to each other, but let our partners have sex outside the marriage, everything will be all right”. The book doesn’t actually say that, but it’s easy to draw that conclusion. Nevertheless I do think the questions it raises are worth considering.

So I’m left with the mystery of why us humans keep on doing something which often doesn’t work. Why we keep seeking an intimate life partner. Or even one who will last a few years.

What can I do?

Keep talking about it

I don’t think any of us have the full answers. We all need help in finding, and growing with that someone special. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Support friends who are going through divorce

Divorce is never fun or easy, even in the most amicable of cases. Most of us have been there or know someone who has. Let’s get rid of the judgement and simply offer support.

Helpful Stuff on Divorce for Christians

When I was a christian, reading Walter Callison eased a lot of guilt for me. He takes a good look at Jesus’ words on divorce and concludes that divorce is not only acceptable, but sometimes the loving thing to do. Article here, book Divorce: A Gift of God’s Love.

Other ideas?

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Joy Division | Love Will Tear Us Apart

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Posted in agnostic, Christianity, hardship | Tagged: , , , , , | 48 Comments »

What the World Needs Now

Posted by spritzophrenia on November 4, 2010

I wonder if yesterday’s post overwhelmed you? Many of my friends in the US were caught up in the fever of mid-term elections. Many of you are Democrats who were disappointed with the results. The last thing you wanted to hear was more misery.

I don’t always tell the whole story in my blogs, I leave some space for your opinion. So let me be up-front here. I believe in optimism instead of pessimism. Call it positive thinking if you like. I know I blogged about the irrational side of positive thinking, but I still believe in encouragement. I believe in “realism”, if you like, although we’re all gonna disagree on exactly what “being realistic” is. It’s hard, as I’m naturally drawn to the negative— perhaps that’s why I suffer from depression.

Regular readers know I’m fairly rigorous about what I believe; call me a skeptic if you wish, although as I’ve explained here, I don’t consider myself a rationalist. I want to hold those things together: rigorous thinking, an openness to spiritual reality and an activism and optimism toward the greater good.

There is a time for pessimism. There is a time for grief. But I don’t want to stay there. It doesn’t help.

hope

Years ago I was fascinated by the late 60s and the hippy movement. I was inspired by their optimism; for a short time it seemed some people believed that peace was really possible, that the world really could be a better place. All we had to do is love enough (and perhaps “drop out”). Laugh all you like at their idealism, but frankly if I have to choose who I’d spend eternity with, it would be hippies. I may not have the look— I think we’re well beyond that now— but I still have the hope, sometimes.

I have a vision of ten people gathering in a room, extremists of all forms: Democrats, Republicans, Anarchists, Terrorists, Peaceniks, Atheists, Fundamentalists, Foreigners, The Rich, The Poor, the Apathetic, you, and me. If we leave contentious issues aside and ask, “Tell me about your family?”, “Who means the most to you?”, “What art do you like?”, “What is the most beautiful place you’ve travelled to?”, “What do you hope for the future?”, “What do you think when you look at the stars?”, “How do you experience love?”. If we could truly hear each other, if we could somehow ditch the rhetoric and just talk as human beings, I believe we would have much more in common than hate.

I don’t care if it’s corny. I don’t care if it’s idealistic.

What the world needs now, is love.

It’s the only thing there’s too little of.

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What do you think? Am i too idealistic?
[Edit: An example would be my meal with a Muslim]
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Jackie DeShannon | What The World Needs Now (1965)

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Posted in agnostic, hardship, spirituality | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Let Us All Hold Hands As We UnFuck The World

Posted by spritzophrenia on June 26, 2010

Hope this doesn’t offend. A poet inscribed and gave these words to me at a festival years back, and I just found the gift. It’s a nice way of seeing how we might work together even though we share different beliefs, yes?

listening to Pink Floyd | Echoes

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The Spirituality of Dating

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 17, 2010

Reading the mystics can help us to understand the impermanence we sometimes experience from loving another, the insecurity, and the unfulfilled longing that accompany any relationship. But they also convince us that despite these difficulties, moments of love, however short or long they may last, are worth all the risks we take on their behalf. If we never open ourselves to the possibility of love, we will never experience the transformation possible when it walks in, and sometimes out, of our lives.

from Dating is Good for the Soul channeled via GoodMateTim. Thanks!

What do you think? Do you think human love can tell us anything about g0d or the spiritual path?

Posted in personal development, spirituality | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Unloved on Valentine’s

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 14, 2010

What do you do when you’ve lost your love? When it’s your fault, and there’s nothing more you can do about it? A spirituality that can take pain and enfold it into meaning is a great comfort. I could use that right now.

I normally don’t make too big a deal of Valentine’s Day. As it happens, we don’t know much about St Valentine. He existed, but has very little to do with that Oh-So-American commercialised day of romantic lurve. Even the catholic church has relegated him to an almost-not-saint because we simply don’t know anything about him.

Wikipedia says Valentinus is the name of several martyred saints of ancient Rome. The name “Valentine”, derived from valens (worthy), was popular in Late Antiquity. Of the Saint Valentine whose feast is on February 14, nothing is known except his name and that he was buried at the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14. It is even uncertain whether the feast of that day celebrates only one saint or more saints of the same name. For this reason this liturgical commemoration was not kept in the Catholic calendar of saints for universal liturgical veneration as revised in 1969.

The name “Valentine” does not occur in the earliest list of Roman martyrs, compiled by the Chronographer of 354. The feast of St. Valentine was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.” As Gelasius implied, nothing was known, even then, about the lives of any of these martyrs.

“It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise.” ~ Sara Teasdale

Today I reflect on the Hebrew god, who is often compared to a lover or a spouse who is spurned (see Hosea). In a slightly different context (motherhood) Jesus laments being rejected by his people “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I longed to gather you in my arms… but YOU WOULD NOT.” A god who is rejected by his lover is one I can relate to right now.

She will not, and I? I am left holding my innards together like a soldier gutted by a bombshell. Hoping that one day I’ll stop feeling this, and paradoxically begin to feel again.

Posted in Christianity, spirituality | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »