Understanding The Meaning of Love Can Save Your Marriage
Written By: Mark Smith
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I don't get many folks in their 20's gracing my therapy couch. They are too young, too inexperienced and too unbroken. They still don't know just how much they don't know. The magical age of frequent therapy office visiting is from about 33 to 48. That is when the true purpose of marriage is revealed...pain and lots of it. Inspite of the usual age parameters I had an unusual and a wonderful experience this week with a youngster who made it in for therapy at the tender age of just 26. His Mom, a former client of mine sent him my way to process some recent girlfriend issues.
He came in with an open mind and an open heart. I told him that I would tell him the meaning of love. I whipped out an empty family tree and in 50 minutes we had pretty much full chronicle of his young life. The next morning at an unheard of hour of 8am in was waiting for me in the parking lot 15 minutes early. This guy was ready to learn something. For him the true meaning of love meant that he was dating a carbon psychological copy of his dad. There was a match of ten personal characteristics that his girlfriend and his dad shared. That is not a coincidence that is a pattern. He was surprised when I told him that this obvious dysfunctional repeating of issues with his dad being played out with his girlfriend made his gal a good rather than a bad match for him. That is what love is for all of us...repeating patterns learned in childhood due to the people who hurt us the most with attractive and cleverly disguised stand ins. He saw it. I saw the lights going on. He is way ahead of the game now. I don't care if you are 25 or 50; love's way with you was formed in your childhood. That is an immutable law of nature. Examine the traits of your parents when you were little and then examine the traits of your spouse, spouses, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. Hello. This one insight can change your life forever. I tell people that I only know one thing (we all marry our issues) and I only have one skill (I'm abrasive as hell in preach the one thing that I know) and I've been booked as a therapist for 22+ years now. Keep reading.
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