Quotes & Such

When Couples Turn to Their Children to Compensate for What They Are Missing
Tags: Cited Books, Culture, Parenting, Quotes, Relationships, Sex/Sexuality

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, by Esther Perel
Warren and Stephanie are headed in the right direction, but the forces of eros are not yet aligned. Warren’s most elaborate seduction rituals are thwarted, repeatedly and pitifully, by an unaccommodating home life. There is something absurd about the extent to which their lives revolve around their children: weekends filled with Pee Wee baseball and birthday parties; kids who go to bed a mere half hour before their parents; an open-door policy for the marital bed. In six years, Warren and Stephanie have not spent a single weekend together, away from their kids. They have stopped factoring their own needs into the family budget, and a babysitter is considered a rare luxury rather than a vital necessity. Simply put, they have never carved out the time and space they need to unwind and replenish themselves, either as individuals or as a couple. No longer focused on one another, they have turned to the children to compensate for what they are missing.

I have noticed over the years that child-centrality isn’t just a matter of lifestyle; it is sometimes an emotional configuration as well. Children are indeed a source of nurturance for adults. Their unconditional love and utter devotion infuse our lives with a heightened sense of meaning. The problem arises when we turn to them for what we no longer get from each other: a sense that we’re special, that we matter, that we’re not alone. When we transfer these adult emotional needs onto our children, we are placing too big a burden on them. In order to feel safe, kids need to know that there are limits to their power, and to what is surreptitiously asked of them. They need us to have our own loving relationships, in whatever form they take. When we are emotionally and sexually satisfied (at least reasonably so; let’s not get carried away here), we allow our children to experience their own independence with freedom and support.

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, by Esther Perel

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Posted October 26, 2019 (Updated Oct 26, 2019) by

Quotes & Such