Psycology: Marriage and Erich Fromm Essay

Submitted By ladycat82013
Words: 503
Pages: 3

My references for today’s topic include an article from the January issue of UU World entitled “Time to Commit,” by William Doherty. I also referred extensively to The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm, and Love and Awakening, by John Welwood. Since our theme for the year is the ethics and spirituality of human relationships I thought it would be appropriate to include this topic. As I have stated before, I don’t want to create the impression that I feel I possess some superior skill in this area and I am sure my wife can set the record straight if need be. So what allows me to speak to you today about this topic is that that it has interested me personally and professionally for many years. I hope that it may be of interest to some of you.

What I plan to do is to discuss cultural and individual psychological barriers to love and intimacy, then the theory of love, and finally some tools for lovers. I will be speaking primarily of heterosexual relationships but all of what I say will apply equally to same sex unions, to the best of my knowledge.

Cultural Barriers:
In his article on commitment in relationships Doherty points out that UU’s have been in something of a bind. For years religious liberals have been advocating freedom from the shackles of orthodox religion in matters of divorce. In doing so however, we are in a sense degrading the sanctity of intimate relationships. It is as if we are condoning the idea that marriage is a commodity that can be utilized and then disposed of. Religious liberals thus appear to be supporting the attitude in the culture that we can “trade-up” when the going gets rough in marriage and one’s “needs” are not being met. There is a tendency to think of love as something we “get” rather than “give.” In a consumer-oriented society transactions are most often