New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Three crises in married love and their resolution - The crisis of Tolerance and its resolution - Bishop Fulton J Sheen

The Crisis of Tolerance - Even the discovery of personality brings its crisis, namely the divergence of interests. This is the civil-war period of marriage. What has happened is not that the personality which was discovered is lost; rather, it is rendered opaque by egotism of each.
The second crisis is due to a series of complex causes, both physical and psychical. There is no longer anything to be revealed; mystery is ended. Discovery and revelation, which were essential for the unfolding of love, are gone; there is nothing left to be told that has not been told. There is not a mood or thought of one that is not known to the other; every idiosyncrasy, deformity, habit, gesture which was once hidden is now placarded and evident. the woman feels herself less beautiful, not only because of years, but also because she is loved less tenderly, for love does help create beauty. The husband, on the other hand, feels that others would be more devoted to him if they were given a chance. There are moments when each wishes that he or she could start life all over again. In the heart of each are the words: "You say that I am not what you thought, but then you yourself are not what I thought."
Love is not transformed into comradeship, union into juxtaposition, and marriage into an exchange of egotism from force of habit. Taine, the French Historian, sarcastically said that marriage was made up of three weeks of curiosity, three weeks of love, three years of argument and 30 years of tolerance. Though this formula is an exaggerations, marriage is really likely to settle down to as state in which husband and wife live independent existences unless there is a purification of love; they may sleep in a common dormitory, they may eat at a common refectory, they may meet their children in a common hall but there is no internal unity. Each agglomeration of atoms demands considerable tolerance, allowing him to do whatever he pleases, this being the surest way for each to preserve his own egotism.
There are many indications when couples are living in the period of tolerance; the one who walks ahead on the street is the one who is mad; in the car, he occupies the front seat, and she sits in the rear; she inquires why he cannot be clean in the house like Mr. Brown; he in turn wonders why she can't be thin like Mrs. Green. Each looks for perfection in the other, though the reason they married was because each confessed to being imperfect without the other. It is curious that when a man buys an automobile he never complains because it does not cut the grass, nor does a woman blame a new hat because it does not sprout a garden. But in the age of tolerance, a man expects a wife to be something which she is not, for example, pretty at forty-eight, when he married her because she was a good cook. And if she married him because he was rich, she still manages to blame him becasue he is not the romantic type.
To escape the tolerance, the indignity of being 'put up with' each goes his separate way, and the escape is generally found in some kind of service away from one another and the home. Egotism is transferred from the individual, where it was in the sex period, to the social arena. This transfer from individual to social egotism makes a man dedicate himself to business, profession and making money and makes a woman devote herself to politics or reform leagues, parties, fashion and bridge clubs. Both have 'expansive feelings', but there really is no charity or love for anybody in them; the expansive feelings is nothing but a boil on the neck of their egotism. Altruism of this kind is an escape from futility; though their deeds may be disguised under the name of philantrophy, there is no sacrifice of ego.

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