The family is a good institution because it is uncongenial. The men and women who, for good reasons and bad, revolt against the family, are, for good reasons and bad, revolting against mankind. Aunt Elizabeth is unreasonable, like mankind. Papa is excitable, like mankind. Our younger brother is mischievous, like mankind. Grandpapa is stupid, like the world; he is old, like the world.
Great loves too must be endured.
Love is an ideal thing, marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
Needn’t be anything elaborate, he said. Echoes will be fine.
While I generally find that great myths are great precisely because they represent and embody great universal truths, the myth of romantic love is a dreadful lie. Perhaps it is a necessary lie in that it ensures the survival of the falling-in-love experience that traps us into marriage. But as a psychiatrist I weep in my heart almost daily for the ghastly confusion and suffering that this myth fosters. Millions of people waste vast amounts of energy desperately and futilely attempting to make the reality of their lives conform to the unreality of the myth.
And when will there be an end of marrying? I suppose, when there is an end of living.
And as we stray further from love we multiply the words. Had we remained together we could have become a silence.
Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of.
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Solitude, my mother, tell me my life again.
If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.
To marry a woman with any success a man must have a total experience of her, he must come to see her and accept her in time as well as in space. Besides coming to love what she is now, he must also come to realize and love equally the baby and the child she once was, and the middle-aged woman and the old crone she will eventually become.
And it is always the same confession, the same youth, the same pure eyes, the same ingenuous gesture of her arms around my neck, the same caress, the same revelation. But it is never the same woman. The cards have said that I would meet her in life, but without recognizing her.
Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last — more than passion or even sex.
The maxim for any love affair is “Play and pray, but on the whole do not pray when you are playing and do not play when you are praying.” We cannot yet manage such simultaneities.
The reality is that all relationships inevitably will be dissolved and broken. The ultimate price exacted for commitment to other human beings rests in the inescapable fact that loss and pain will be experienced when they are gone, even to the point of jeopardizing one’s physical health. It is a toll that no one can escape, and a price that everyone will be forced to pay repeatedly. Like the rise and fall of the ocean tides, disruptions of human relationships occur at regular intervals throughout life, and include the loss of parents, death of a mate, divorce, marital separation, death of family members, children leaving home, death of close friends, change of neighborhoods, and loss of acquaintances by retirement from work. Infancy, adolescence, middle age, old age — all seasons of life involve human loss.