Marriage: Co-creating Lasting Love, an advice by Milton H. Erickson, MD

A discussion with a friend reminded me following transcript of a diaogue among two of my most important mentors. It reflects deeply my personal beliefs about Lasting Love:

In 1959, Jay Haley, the famous family therapist, asks his mentor, Milton H. Erickson, MD, the words most renowned hypnotherapist and psychiatrist: “If you were to describe what a good marriage is, how would you describe it?” Milton H. Erickson replies: When I describe a good marriage to my patients, I point out to them that there are essentailly four kinds of Love:

  1. The infantile type of love, “I love me.”
  2. The next stage, “I love the me in you. I love you becaue you are my brother, my mother, my father, my sister, my dog. The ‘me’ in ‘you’.
  3. Then the adolescent type of love, “I love you because your dancing pleases me, and because your beauty pleases me, and because your brains please me.”
  4. The adult stage of love wherein, I want to love you and cherish you because I want to see you happy, because i can find my happiness in your happiness. The happier you are, the happier, I’ll be. I’l find my happiness in yours. Il” find delight in your pleasure and intellectual persuits. I’ll find a delight in your enjoyment of dancing.” So the mature love is the capacity to find enjoyment in the enjoyment of the other person’s enjoyment. It works both ways.

Dr. Erickson continues: ‘So in a good marriage upi’ll see some of the “I love me.” You should expect that. You’ll see some of the I love the me in you. You’ll see some of the adolescent variety of your good qualities that please me. But there should be a very considerable percentage of the enjoyment of the other person’s state of happiness.
It isn’t enough to just enjoy your wifes cooking. You ought to enjoy the “pleasure” that she has in cooking. You ought not just enjoy the fact that she keeps the kids quiet while you are working. You want to enjoy, really, the pleasure and satisfaction that she gets out of dealing with the kids, even though you can’t understand why that particular dealing with the kids gives her so much satisfaction. It is beyond your capacity to understand, but you are so glad she enjoys it. You know that as long as she ‘s happy, enjoying inexplicable things, you’re going to be happy too.’

I wanted to share this wisdom with you. Who would not dream of such a lasting loving relationship? Paul

P.S.: A friend has sent to right now another interesting related quote:
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’
Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you’

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