|Linda Bacon Anxiety Ethics Men in Therapy The Future of Psychotherapy Etienne Wenger Couples Narcissistic Clients Great Attachment Debate Mind/Body Diets Community of Excellence Attachment Symposium 2012 CE Comments Couples Therapy Trauma Clinical Excellence Challenging Cases David Schnarch William Doherty Mary Jo Barrett Future of Psychotherapy Attachment Theory Mindfulness Clinical Mastery Alan Sroufe Brain Science Gender Issues Wendy Behary|
|The Three Marriages - Three Marriages 3|
Work: The Second Marriage
We may be able to evade emotional commitments to others in marriage or relationship through a steady, stubborn refusal, by rehearsed, detailed explanations to mother or simply by telling the whole world to go away, but work in all its forms may be even harder to ignore, simply because it is tied so much to actual daily survival. By definition, all of us living at this time are descended from a long line of survivors who lived through the difficulties of history and prehistory; most of whom had to do a great deal of work to keep the wolf, the cold and the neighboring tribe from the door.
Work was necessity; work meant food, shelter, survival and a sense of power over circumstances. Work was and still is, endless. Work, even with inordinate riches and imperial power, never goes away. Money is no defense. Money means obligation, but also the need for that money to work for itself, which causes more work for the one who gained all the money in the first place.
Power and money together mean only that we are then surrounded by supplicants looking for jobs and money, all of whom have to be addressed, told to go away or organized.
There is no shelter from the calls of work. Find a corner to stretch out in, away from other eyes and lecturing voices and eventually our own conscience, built on millions of years of evolutionary survival, comes looking for us; tells us to get up and do something useful, for God's sake. The refusal to contribute, to find a work, a mŽtier, a marriage of self and necessity, is seen as a deeply ingrained taboo by almost all societies; tapping into that same common root of survival we sense in society's need for us to find and commit to a mate.
As in the first marriage, the great questions that touch on personal happiness in work have to do with an ability to hold our own conversation amid the constant ba ckground of shouted needs, hectoring advice and received wisdom. In work we have to find high ground safe from the arriving tsunami of expectation concerning what I am going to do. Work, like marriage, is a place you can lose yourself more easily perhaps than find yourself. It is a place full of powerful undercurrents, a place to find our selves, but also, a place to drown, losing all sense of our own voice, our own contribution and conversation.
In many ways, work must be a marriage; otherwise, why would we put up with so much over the years? We must have made hidden vows somewhere to follow something larger than the difficulties of the everyday.