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Chrisitan Marriage and Mental Health

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 rebound."

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 their parents.

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 Communist.

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 marriage success.

Are you developed enough to be able to live happily with others?

Will you be a good influence on your children?

Understanding Emotional Maturtiy.

How 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.

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