(Note: to read more about the MHC-Major Histocompatibility Complex, that mechanism I mentioned in my last post by which you can "smell" whether a potential mate is genetically compatible, see teamawesomesquared's post here. It is one of her specialty areas... cool huh?)
Because we really haven't delved deep enough into relationships...
Even if a delectable smell and perfect body proportions are enough to initially incite your passions, not all pairings lead to a long-term relationship and/or marriage. There are complex reasons why we choose the mates we choose.
I know, in a way, over-analyzing love this way is not romantic. You will not find a fairy tale definition of love in my musings. It is all pheromones and your mother, here.
... and maybe a little astrology, I have told you that my husband and I are the 3rd generation of the Taurus-Virgo combination, right? Coincidence? Self-fulfilling prophecy? (My sister-in-law also married a Virgo, her husband's birthday is the same as mine and he and I have some interesting similarities... it makes you wonder... no?)
The psychology (caveat: I am clearly not a psychologist) behind choosing a mate, sub-consciously searching for certain characteristics and establishing a kind of relationship dynamic is a tangled but fascinating web.
My husband and I were watching a movie or a TV show the other evening and one guy made the observation that at some point in your marriage you discover that you are (or have turned into) either your partner's mother or father.
I turned to my husband and said: "Who am I babe? Your mother or father?"
Then I gasped and said: "Oh my god! I am your father..."
He kind of turned to me, with this odd look in his eye, a recognition, almost like shock. Then he said: "What about me?"
But, that is a tougher question. He is definitely not my mom, and the knowledge I have of my father is patchy. I know him, but haven't had much contact with him since my teen years. My husband is only like my father in the sense that he is not very communicative about his feelings, it has to be beaten out of him, but it seems like a lot of men are like that, so it would be hard to say I chose my father.
Clearly, if you both come from a very healthy dynamic, none of this is a concern. If the relationship models you both saw in your parents were loving and kind, none of these sub-conscious mechanisms will make you fearful.
Perhaps all I can say of my own parents is that they had an awful relationship. They were married for 13 years, had seven children and then divorced. Post-divorce they were just as hateful toward each other. My husband's parents were married over 35 years until his mother's death a few years ago, but they also had a bitter, painful, rancorous relationship.
The funny thing is that I have had two fears as a married woman: turning into my own mother (sorry, mom, you know it is complicated) and turning into my husband's mom.
I can't quite make sense of it all; there are these wheels constantly turning giving me a feeling that at some level we are recreating and reliving some set of patterns, that I can just sense but are beyond my complete grasp. Do you ever feel that way?
I am like my mother in some ways. It is odd how you seem to choose a mate who will allow you to turn into your mother (or your father), isn't it?
I am also like my mother-in-law, in some ways. After we were married I started seeing some of the parallels. My husband is similar to his father in the way he relates to me, and I in turn react much like his mother reacted. We have tried to be conscious of it, to work on creating a healthier dynamic. I guess in the end that is all you can do, take it a few steps farther, make it a little better than what you saw in your models.
But I honestly hadn't seen the ways that I had taken the role of his father, that one took me by surprise. I knew that we had some similarities in our upbringing: coming from chaos we have both become driven-we push ourselves. Yet, I hadn't considered the ways that we are both, not just driven, but drivers.
I don't believe that there is only one person we can be with. I think there are lots of possibilities for most of us. But in some ways it is absolutely uncanny that I would travel to the end of the world and happen to find the man with the perfect smell, who fits all of my safe requirements (if you remember my toleration post) and that together we happen to fulfill all the wierd psychological roles that need to be filled.
What's your story? Who have you turned into?