Many of our greatest marriage and mental health
problems arise out of the fact that people insist upon doing
what is contrary to their own self interest.
They ruin their marriage and mental health problems
by dissipations which they know are harmful. They seek as friends
those who are certain to get them into trouble, and avoid those who
would and could help them. Why?
Poor choices in christian dating
result not only from bad judgment, or the deceitfulness of glamour
and romance. They also can express deep distress of the personality.
We can see this distress fairly clearly in marriage "on the
We understand that a jilted
person wants to bolster up his pride and "show" his friends.
Therefore he may marry a person whom he would not consider
seriously, if he were not under serious emotional stress.
Less easily recognized is the relationship which is
entered into to "get even" with someone, usually one's parents.
Children often grow up with strong feelings of resentment against
Such feelings may lead them to select unsuitable
marriage partners because the parents will strongly object. Thus the
daughter of a conservative but domineering millionaire marries a
The minister's son who has come to hate his father,
marries an avowed atheist. Children of prim, respectable families
marry characters who are questionable. Such bases for selection are
understandable, but hardly sound.
In other instances, the individual may seek to
punish, not his parents, but themselves. Feelings of shame and guilt
may result in strong desires for punishment. Forms of self-torture,
or even suicide show the power of such desires.
This punishment may take the form of selecting a
partner who is obviously unsuitable. The conscientious girl may
marry a known alcoholic to "reform" him, and almost eagerly accept
the hardships of the situation as her "cross." Spiritually sensitive
men of fine reputation may marry women known to be dissolute.
The prophet Hosea may have been an instance of this
desire for punishment. Masochism, the deriving of a kind of sexual
satisfaction from enduring suffering, seems at least related to the
wish to be punished.
Many, if not most of the so-called "mistakes in
judgment" which wreck marriages result from a lack of mental health.
Ignorance may have slain its thousands, but emotional instability
has slain its tens of thousands. Many authorities regard mental
health as the most important factor in the success of a marriage.
Marriage and mental health, the lack of it may show
itself in the emotional inability of people who want to and could
marry, to do so. George has been engaged three times to three
different girls. Each time the same thing happened.
As the date for the wedding approached, he found
that he could not go through with it. He had nothing against any of
the girls. It was marriage that he feared.
George has some deep emotional difficulty which
only a psychiatrist could likely correct. But his "instinct" is
sound. He is not ready to marry.
The following questions indicate other places where
an understanding of marriage and mental health is important to
you developed enough to be able to live happily with others?
you be a good influence on your children?
can you tell about your emotional stability?
Marriage and Mental health is by no means the only
important essential for success in dating. But of all the factors,
it is probably the most important.
For it is the foundation of so many other
essentials. To be sure, the foundation is not all there is to the
house. But unless this is right, nothing else can be.