Different or Disturbed?

Every time that I have lectured on relationships and/or marriage, I find myself saying, “Every marriage is a mixed marriage.” I always thought my remark was clever and true, meaning that two people come together with some knowledge of each other but

there will always be surprises and unpleasant (as well as glorious) revelations.

My friend Nancy topped me. Over breakfast on Saturday, she said off handedly, “The trouble with couples coming together from very different backgrounds (culture, race, ethnicity, class, and more) is that they are ill equipped to recognize pathology. They see the differences between them but romanticize behaviors as ‘everyone is different’.”

Only later, with painful awareness, do people realize that certain behaviors are not just ‘different’ but pathological.

Relationships are tricky enough without each partner rushing in with accusations of pathology or craziness just because their spouse has a unique way of looking at things or behaving. But, sometimes behaviors reflect mental instability and we have to accept that fact, too.

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