‘Self-discovery.’ Is it destroying marriage?
A U.S. psychologist thinks so. Ian Semple, writing in Britain’s The Guardian, examines this controversial theory.
“Eli Finkel, director of social psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois, said couples today looked to their marriages to help them “grow as individuals”, and support them through “voyages of self-discovery.. But their expectations are rarely met, he said, because of the investment of time and effort involved.”
Finkel is quoted as saying:
“In 2014, … your partner cannot do that unless he or she really knows who you are…(and) that requires much greater investment of time and psychological resources,”
THE PROBLEM WITH THE THESIS
The problem with that statement is that it is riddled more with questions than the answer it purports to give.
First, as a general statement about some people it is probably true.
But that desire is not necessarily (or I submit, even usually) a conscious desire.
It is a sub-conscious yearning, a dream, an unspoken hope.
Second, it’s a contradiction in terms (and in reality) to have someone else find you.
You have to do that yourself.
Third, the chances of your spouse knowing you better than you (can) know yourself are slim unless you are totally un-self-aware. Which, of course IS possible!
YOUR PARTNER DOES KNOW YOU BUT NOTHING LIKE the self-discovery you can find.
Oh, s/he he’ll know some things about you that you don’t know about you but nothing like the bigger picture you can get if you do some rigorous self-detection.
The fact is that most people don’t self-discover; they are only dimly aware that it might be a good idea to know themselves,
Of course, people can help you do that by encouraging it.
And of course many people ARE aware of the quest to improve themselves, to self-discover.
BUT THOSE POPULAR “SELF-THINGS” ARE SECONDARY TO THE CORE ELEMENTS OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE
Most people unaware of the benefits of the core idea of self-knowledge.
- Self-improvement, yes. (I need to be better at “x.)
- Self-growth, yes? (I need to be better at more things.)
- Self-development, yes? (I need to develop myself.)
- But self-knowledge? As they say these days, “Not so much.”
“Time was (says Finkel) when a roof over your head, food on the table and occasional bouts of sexual activity were the hallmarks of a successful marriage. Not any more.”
Well, THAT’s true!
Here’s the complete article.
WANT TO KNOW MORE …
ABOUT THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON IN THE WORLD?
(No, not the guy in the beer commercial.)
If you want to know more about yourself, don’t count on your spouse, count on yourself.
And count on me.
I won’t tell you about yourself. I don’t know you from Adam…but I can teach you how to learn about yourself.
Consider the benefits:
- self-improve. WHY?
Because you will know yourself.
Your marriage might improve too since you are not asking your partner do something you have to do yourself!
But yes, I can help. Try it..you’ll like it!
Join me at Self-knowledge College.
P.S. The study was conducted at Northwestern University in Chicago where I received an M.A. No connection, really, I just thought it was interesting!