Let’s listen to a declaration of love with Alanna Marie Boudreau, a beautiful declaration of “I’m sorrys” accompanied by sweet song. Loving means forgiving, forgetting, having the courage to recognize one’s mistakes. Only that, sometimes, faced with certain wounds, it seems not even the beauty and extraordinary voice of a young lady like Alanna is enough. And in fact, there are some dynamics that aren’t easy to turn around. In this regard, the words of a Franciscan priest, Fr. Giovanni Marini, come to mind, in one of his exceptional courses that have been held in Assisi for more than 20 years. View online at: http://www.fratisog.it. A main theme he addresses is:
The nuclei of death in the couple to indicate the dynamics that can unknowingly lead to burnout in the relationship.
“If I Could Turn Back the Clock Just One Day”: While there’s still time to recover your relationship, let’s look at ten of Fr. Marini’s fatal relationship mistakes:
1. An Unequal Relationship: couples need to be able to stand face to face in their relationship. Often the psychological “specific gravity” of one of the two varies considerable. We have to bridge the gap.
2. A Symbiotic Relationship: of the the two parters is quashed and refuses to think about making decisions.
3. Egoism X 2: the two partners estrange themselves from everyone, cutting all ties of friendship. The relationship starves to death.
4. An Uncut Umbilical Cord: the umbilical cord with one’s family was never cut! One is psychologically dependent on them and satisfies their expectations. One’s partner is only loved halfway.
5. Premature Sexual Relations: “Sexuality is destined for love.”—Freud
6. Sending Mixed Messages: When contradictory messages are sent to one’s partner, the second negating the first. Partners fall into mystification. The relationship becomes burdensome and suffocating, and one doesn’t have any idea why.
7. Lack of Proper Knowledge and Love of Onself: Whoever doesn’t love himself rightly isn’t able to love another: One lacks the basic parameters of love. Unfortunately, no one loves himself fully without being helped to make proper choices aimed at one’s proper good. The one who doesn’t love himself rightly is an egoist. Love has to grow in an ordered way. First we have to become inebriated with “grateful love.” “Generous love” will then come easily.
8. Spousal Love Tied to Paternal/Maternal Love: We need to treat spousal love as such: woe to the one who makes his or her potential spouse into a mother or father.
9. The Woman Who Loves Too Much Syndrome: if one comes from a broken family, one can very easily exchange love for psychological stress. A calm and peaceful partner doesn’t arouse interest: instead one seeks someone who argues, arouses strong emotion, and impassioned situations.
10. Religious as a Refuge or Escape from Relationship Difficulties: expressions of immaturity that, faced with difficulty, makes one dream of another, ideal situation where everything is peaceful and one doesn’t have to make great efforts to be happy.
With 40 years of experience helping couples in trouble, Fr. Marini holds that a relationship can deteriorate if even one of these elements are present. We have presented only a tiny part of a deep and complex discussion. I believe it is important to emphasize the need to become experts in the emotional life, since it’s often there that men and women determine the success of an essential part of their lives and its full realization.
Learning to say “I’m sorry” is decisive. Knowing why we say “I’m sorry” is necessary.