Amoris Laetitia 233: On The Defensive

amoris laetitia memeOur defensiveness comes with a cost:

233. Faced with a crisis, we tend first to react defensively, since we feel that we are losing control, or are somehow at fault, and this makes us uneasy. We resort to denying the problem, hiding or downplaying it, and hoping that it will go away. But this does not help; it only makes things worse, wastes energy and delays a solution. Couples grow apart and lose their ability to communicate. When problems are not dealt with, communication is the first thing to go. Little by little, the “the person I love” slowly becomes “my mate”, then just “the father or mother of my children”, and finally a stranger.

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Amoris Laetitia 233: On The Defensive

  1. Liam says:

    One of the greatest challenges in couples is coping with the often profound differences in what might be called familial language. While many readers of this site grew up in families for which English was the mother tongue, in point of fact our real “mother tongues” are very commonly a special family dialect of tones, phrases, body language, and unspoken subtexts, among many things.* Marriage may involve a melding of hardware (bodies), but the melding of software (such as language) is lifetime of work. My parents were a couple for 72 years (married for 66 of them), but retained their distinctive mother tongues in this regard; our family’s habit of metaconversation (often distracting not only outsiders but ourselves, but mercifully turned out to be invaluable in my mother’s final months of life) were skills developed to bridge their differences.

    This dynamic offers much opportunity for mistaken projection, extrapolation and interpolation.

    * The script of The Imitation Game illuminates this from a different angle, something that people who have family members with auditory processing disabilities (such as my sister and her son) may more readily apprehend:

    Young Alan Turing: What’s that you’re reading?
    Christopher: it’s about cryptography.
    A: Like secret messages?
    C: Not secret. That’s the brilliant part.Messages that anyone can see but no one knows what they mean unless you have the key.
    A: How’s that different from talking?
    C: Talking?
    A: When people talk to each other, they never say what they mean, they say something else.
    And you’re expected to just know what they mean. Only I never do.

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