Archpriest Maxim Kozlov: Freedom in a marriage ends after the free choice of a spouse

Probably the most difficult stage in the life of a young couple's first 2-3 years. What prevents mutual love and joy in this period, why feelings go, but families break up?

About the difficulties and joys of a young family says Archpriest Maxim Kozlov, rector of the Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov at the Fairgrounds, Professor of the Moscow theological Academy.

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— Father Maxim, You for a long time was the Abbot of the temple Tatarinkova at MSU, where the number of parishioners has always been a lot of students, young people, and had the opportunity to observe how they meet, fall in love, get married and have children, to communicate with them in joyful and difficult moments. What, in Your opinion, the most difficult in the life of a young family? Why strong feelings are often a few years grow into a dull irritation and constant dissatisfaction with each other, and this crack eventually leads to the disintegration of the family?

I would like to make a small reservation. We live in a time when strong feelings, strong love are not the only basis for marriage. Generally speaking, the idea of romantic love as a basis for creating a family has a very short history throughout the history of mankind. This consciousness began to be formed approximately into a New time, and more or less common principle for the creation of the family is not before the end of the XIX – early XX century.

It is important to realize that not absolute romantic love as a kind of norm, a prerequisite for marriage. However, this rule is inherited from the Soviet time. But now on the first plan out other factors: social, national, cultural. We live under capitalism, and let's call a spade a spade: for all the mutual sympathy and attraction ... the son of an oligarch and daughter of migrant workers from the deep province of the chances of their liking the family will grow, not so much.

Often marry people from the close environment, whether cultural or national environment. By the way, religious and also the growth of the religious factor in the lives of our compatriots. In other words, nowadays it is not easy to imagine a marriage consciously faithful Muslim and a Christian, despite the fact that they can do very much to get involved with each other, through love. But when it comes to family, religious differences are a major obstacle. I want to say that the senses as the Foundation of families in our time are not the overriding motive; rather, converge other factors (ideology, education, social status, cultural attitudes), but love is only a Supplement. But suppose we are considering the option of marriage, in which people connected feelings, strong love. Why then it is often not very good, and the family fall apart?

First, in my opinion, because in most cases in the relationship of the modern couple is no "incubation period". As a priest, I suggest to young people — unless they ask for advice, some time to perceive each other as the bride and groom, that is, as people having moral obligations to each other. With other do not walk, do not look at others, likes on Facebook on photos of other ambiguous not to put. So wait six months or a year as lovers, but — crucially — without the props of physical intimacy, getting to know each other. It is in any sense should not be understood so that the Church gets young people to bed. In another case. Now physical intimacy with mutual sympathy of people comes so early ("Why not? We love each other") and gives such a strong injection of hormones to the brain that it is a bit off. And the person next to me is perceived through the prism of happiness, of pleasure that I get along with him. And the rest at this point goes by the wayside. Yes, I see that in real life he's acting weird, may be late may to meet, forgets birthdays, tactless contact with their parents. Well, okay, what do I care about their conflict — I do so with him (her) good!

And when this period ends — and the euphoria can't last forever — a reality only then begin to show. Bad temper, bad habits, completely opposite views on important questions of life. And here begins the conflict. And already pregnancy, or the child was born... the Birth of a child is also a moment of crisis? Yes, very often delight is with the advent of children. This is because the nature of today's civilizational moment.

Anyway, even during the current economic crisis and the sanctions issues, we live immeasurably easier, including in our childhood than the vast majority of humankind for most of its history.

As people age tasted different times, I can say that in itself the invention of automatic washing machines, diapers changed life dramatically. Young people wonder what the daily hand washing gauze diapers and diapers. Things in our life are numerous: ordering food, cleaning the house with the help of invited cleaners, water vacuum cleaner instead of rags and mops.In this respect, children often grow up without any experience of overcoming difficulties, in addition to the basic teenage situations.

But the young family still difficulties begin, because whatever technology the child in the first year with no sleep, sick. Start a certain kind of test that you can be unprepared and because of this, to be annoyed, to break the anger on each other. This is partly personal and partly a social problem, because with the current ease of life young people have little or no experience of constraint itself for the sake of another man, despite the fact that the comfort of his own existence is a priority in our consumer society. And if no children, itself, does not particularly constrain,for the sake of the child need to do something.

But it turns out that a person doesn't have this skill, when another, and I did not becomes more important. And family is really important. There is another very important point, connected with what I said above: after a period of abstinence before marriage, people often have no experience of life with each other without regular sexual relations. And when it turns out that in the later months of pregnancy or after birth a woman is not to intimacy, it begins — trite, almost off massive crisis is on this basis. First, any kind of justification ("it was wrong to look, she was tired and angry", "she's having a baby") — and then a banal infidelity, often described in artistic and psychological literature.

Now in a glossy media popular motto: "In a relationship no one owes anyone anything". This is one extreme. On the other hand, the Church says about sacrifice — but is it useful? After all, the sacrifice of one may lead to parasitism of another and the balance to "take-give" relations. Where's the exit? The gospel speaks not so much necessarily about sacrifice, but about love. That is suggests that the ideal family is not a social contract or not in the first place the social contract. In the social sphere, the task of the state to protect rights and impose obligations, and a social contract forms the boundaries of these rights and responsibilities in relation to work, to society, to the state itself in its different manifestations. Family fundamentally built on the fact that these boundaries are not. Christianity comes from the fact that "two will become one flesh", that is, create such a Union, where there is no distinction between "mine" and "yours". This refers to the final separation, not in the sense of toothbrushes and the right to free time.

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No ultimate separation implies that there are my final autonomy from my family members.

My freedom is to freely choose the person I will marry, and then she ends. Then I assume a certain kind of commitment to him. It's hard, but, paradoxically, only it gives happiness. Ask any man: what he wants? Everyone wants happiness, even if says he doesn't care. And everyone knows that happiness is not when you are prosperous, and when you like. But this is impossible without making you a different person. Not at risk if the person to dissolve in another? And then you need to connect family psychology, worldly wisdom, to develop a plan of action. Of course, to behave, to go to the Mat in front of the other and disappear — it does not mean to keep the love of another person. Just someone who loves the demands. But demand need not because "I'm right, and you're trembling creature", but because I want to keep the correctness of our relationship.To not only me, but you have not gone feeling value our relationship, I don't want you used me, manipulated me.

What do You think about the idea of the supremacy of the man in the family? Now that looks a bit strange and unclear, because both men and women have about the same level of intelligence, education, income, etc. are they Viable in Your opinion, the so-called partnership model of the family? Of course, life situations and family model are different, and for every rule there is an exception. The words of the Apostle Paul that "the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church," it is important to understand this integrity, this is the second part: "as Christ is the head of the Church."

What does it mean? The fact that the husband is the one who assumes the main responsibility. Let me say anything, but I do not believe that there is a woman that badly that close to her person on whom she can rely and who is able to solve their problems. Who will say, "Decide for yourself, and I'm minding my own business on the couch". At the same tactics in these respects can be very different. This does not mean that the husband must make good money or to be able to hammer in nails (although obviously better to be able to do some domestic things).

I had the good fortune to see the family of the great Russian philosopher Alexei Fedorovich Losev and his wife the Basics of Alibekovna Takho-godi, the head of the Department of classical Philology of Moscow University for many years. Everyday issues in their lives decided Aza Alibekovna, which had saved her husband, the great Russian philosopher, from contact with everyday reality. But this does not mean that he was not the head of their family. Just for them, this rule was different: in the greatness of his mind, in the depths of his genius. The rule can be expressed in this. But of course, this rule should not be in the spirit of the army command and especially to turn into tyranny: the man ordered — all have to fulfill. It is clear that the family from the platoon's different. Does this mean that a man without a clearly defined leadership or creative talent can't be head of the family? Not at all.

Take the straightforward situation: if a sequel of the movie "Office romance", it's probably hard to imagine as the. became the Director circumvents the wife the ladder, and the houses all go to attention under his suddenly fragile and scored virility voice. But his supremacy may be expressed in loyalty, devotion, care about your family. And it is also the realization in the life of a gospel principle.

Can a marriage be happy without common interests, in Your opinion? For example, a couple United only by the presence of children... Happy is unlikely. But what does "combine only children"? If it sounds so sad that we do not run, only in order not to cause psychological trauma to children, in fact it not a family, and a kind of social contract where people have agreed that due to certain kinds of external circumstances assume such obligations. What is the reason? Let's call a spade a spade: with certain material constraints (no place to live, it is difficult to change the apartment and so on). It is, in fact, a sign of weakness: people recognize that the lost and a commitment to play. But it also happens that people decide to stay together for the kids, and because they are real people, not robots, God is on this seemingly parched soil gives rise to something greater. Sometimes ill child, that means months of regular care from mom and dad — and in the process of this care between them could grow into something new. There are other circumstances.

So even if people say they keep the family just for kids, it's better this way — after all, life is not over, there is hope that things will change for the better. Although, of course, there are no guarantees, and it might not work.

Often, a problem in the marriage is the difference in emotional needs. The wife feels that her husband loves her, cares for her and the children, and in General he's a good man, but emotionally he seems to be missing in the relationship, not responding to important feelings, experiences, thoughts. From this there arises a loneliness and alienation from each other... Why this situation occurs and whether it is solvable? Yes, it happens, and often. It happens when the wife — person delicate emotional Constitution, it was important for her not only gifts and travel, mutual openness, readiness in conversation to share her emotions and feelings. And the husband can be not ready. For various reasons, not necessarily because he needs something to hide (although it often is), but because he was tired today, he wants to be alone or to be with her, but not to engage in emotionally intense conversations.

What can you recommend? The man in such cases I usually say: whether you like it or not, and without having to open it periodically to chat, nothing happens. We need to talk, just need to talk. You will say — there is a hope that somehow it will recover. You will only give gifts, it's nice to smile and deal with the external care — could result in very sad. Because don't underestimate the significance of this: internally a thin man and of course expects from the other a sufficient measure of openness — even if not attention — without it can not live. Women in this situation are trying to say: Yes, of course, your desire is justified, but only it is necessary not to turn it into a "standing with a knife at the throat". Well, indeed, it is less capable. It is necessary to wait or cleverly bring to the situation, time, mood, when it is to this openness will be ready. It's not like you, he can't, coming home from work, at dinner suddenly switch — and at such a high emotional note to spend five nights a week. Have patience. And, for their part, don't wait for initiative from him, and create the conditions for this — if you only require, will only aggravate the situation.

Jealousy in the family now also somewhat taboo feeling. If you're jealous, then you have complexes and infantile.Is it always jealousy of undue feeling or in some situations it may be justified?Jealousy jealousy strife. If the wife sees that the husband recklessly flirting with colleagues — and it is clear from his active life in social networks and other characteristics, and thus it is not a log, as she can relate to it easily? Again, if it's a family, not a temporary Alliance of sexual partners, it is reasonable to expect from someone who is close to you, that he doesn't stare at other people's secondary sexual characteristics. And another thing, when the circle of people, friends, colleagues around the family, excluding the already unsatisfactory relationship, as opposed to the family. Jealous because you can not only in the sexual sense, to be jealous is possible to work, to Hobbies, to training, to a different content of life. This happens just when of this openness, of which we have spoken, fully not. And then it would cost to take care of this.

There is, of course, is jealousy inadequate when, as described by Clive staples Lewis in his beautiful treatise on love, love and family are understood as the capture of a man fully himself. And any attempt of its Autonomous existence perceived hostility or are rigidly suppressed in women often hysterical, scandal, anger, anxiety, men often dictates. The same Lewis in "the Screwtape Letters" says that if this is love, diabolical, which implies that to love is to eat.

The theme of parenthood in our days is also associated with many expectations and very high demands to himself: socio-cultural setup is such that from dad and mom expected incredibly intense activity for the upbringing and development of their child. It turns out that parenting is only for Mature, versatile development of personality. Or still simple enough to love your child and share with him his warmth. Yes, sometimes I see in young people, giperatidnosti in relation to children: this all kinds of courses conscious birth, home birth, childbirth in water, and the like, and the endless desire of children to develop.

Why can it be bad? First, not all children, in my opinion, needs to be very smart — but that's another topic associated with the current cult of higher education, leading to its degradation. I am absolutely convinced that the most important thing, so the child develops a normal atmosphere in the family where mom and dad love each other and take. Well we can't all be Pestalozzi and Makarenko and do not even have to read Pestalozzi and Makarenko (or, for example, simultaneously) to bring up children. It seems to me that these children's classes and courses give parents the illusion that "others will teach better than we are." That is, the fact that I drive a baby in this group, then it socializing, there develop his intellect and fine motor skills, I responsibly perform their parental duty. I'm not saying that this is not necessary. But if additional groups and activities, children almost do not spend time with dad and mom if they have no time to talk, to walk, a story night to read, it means that parents through developing workshops just simplify your life. Again, this does not mean that there is mandatory homework every night to read a story, then ask the child questions that he will have to respond, showing "learning". Not at all.

Just for a child to be with parents is good. Therefore let it better will be more with you. And then his awareness of the family as something good, valuable will be laid in infancy.After all, what we want for your children? Is also happiness. And also can not imagine happiness without good family. And the child from living in a loving atmosphere would be to understand that the family is something good in itself, and not something that will have to endure life as drudgery. In our culture the love of children — is sacred, and at the same time, child-centrism as setting seriously criticized by family psychologists.

What do You think? Child-centrism is really now widespread, mainly among educated urbanites. Very often the child doing the cult, and all life revolves around it.

But it is good if the child is from the fact that it is made a cult? Not sure. If we take the traditional hierarchical family model, we can see that if the husband is not necessary to shift a disproportionate degree of responsibility on the wife, the inverted pyramid of family relations so that the smallest became the most important — this is even more unnatural.

The child then grows up healthy when initially properly embedded in the hierarchy of family relations: "senior" "Junior", "decision-maker" – "easier to implement". But to put lives on the altar of a child's upbringing is not only his life to hurt, but his. There is a view that the presence of multiple children in the family contributes to a more harmonious upbringing... In my opinion, there is no direct parallel. Of course, one difficult. One child naturally strives to become the center of the universe. He has sustained experience life together with others, the feeling that I'm not the only one. Still, kindergarten and school that does not, this episodic experience. And then — no guarantees. Many children guarantees nothing: neither happiness, nor that the children will certainly grow up to be good, and they have all goes well.

That is, many children — that in itself is good, but only if people do not perceive it as an indulgence: "because we gave birth to several children, we all should get." And it may lie in the plane of the social: "We are a large, the state is now everywhere!"(and all should), and religious: "God said that a wife will be saved through childbearing, and so we spawn in the amount of five-six people, why are we going bad? Why children are not pleased that we are five or six?"And because you did nothing for this. Itself to naladitsya — is simple enough. We often perceive the Christian conversation about marriage as the moralizing on the theme of the oughts, quoted hear the terrible voice of the Apostolic message: "let the woman fear her husband...", "Each other's burdens wear...". Or associate of the Church's view of the family with a taboo on any topic, with a sanctimonious view of the relationship of men and women.

Does a Christian marriage is something to be happy about? You know, at the end of the wedding the priest usually says some parting words to a young couple. For example, so: "See, now you're standing next to each other, so happy, you so good, really like the first people in Paradise, as Adam and eve. And never believe those who will tell you that this is the inevitable end. Whether from life experience, worldly wisdom, whether from the numerous examples — do not believe. Themselves do not believe when there is a feeling that it will never return. In fact, marriage, as any sacrament makes man more than man himself can get.Any sacrament (baptism, confession, communion, wedding) is such a gift from God, which is simply its "goodness" is impossible to earn. In the wedding you are given the chance, the opportunity to preserve mutual love for life and continue into eternity. The Christian family is a family, which, by design, is not only here to be parted, not only you and your loved one will live to old age, but then when we meet again, we will want to be together — and this is something for us, among other things, will be Paradise. We'll be there together, but not just in different angles, so as not to communicate — you stopped worrying for the lives, burdens, and reviled enough, and really together. This is the meaning of Christian marriage: dear, what you have now is not stuffing the hormones and not a psychosomatic condition, which can then try to survive with others as a surrogate again and again. This is something that you can grow in his earthly life and stretching into eternity. And it's worth it to sometimes and Bremen to wear, and to be patient." And is there in the modern world examples of such love? If they are not around me, where I can see them? I could cite many examples, but they will still book.

To see the need around them. In fact, I do not believe that around you — not necessarily in the immediate vicinity — it would not be the people who, after 10-20-30 years of marriage with each other happy. Look at these people, why they do so? Even if they are in some other respect not your ideal. But if they for all his other faults after 20 years of happy marriage, it means that something they know. Learn from them. If to comprehend human life in the light of the Christian faith, it turns out that all our difficulties and problems, including family life, is a consequence of the imperfection of our nature, corrupted by original sin. Hence, all friction and conflict, and pride and lack of love.

And what was pristine, the image of Paradise the family of Adam and eve, what is its meaning? We have very little to say about the state of the first people before the fall. In fact, we know about him only what we convey briefly the first chapters of Genesis. And it's very little. But from this you can understand this: it was such a life when there was no barrier between a man and a woman and between them and God. In fact, what the specifics of the Christian family? It implies that there are not two sides but three: not only the husband and the wife and the husband, wife and God (are not talking about children). And that the three of them well. It is in any sense should not be understood so that the Church is committed to thoroughly regulate and control the lives of husband and wife. At the level of some distortion, sorry, maybe someone met it in separate texts or the behavior of individual priests. But it's not. The Church fundamentally tells a different story: to keep you well truly and firmly, in relationship to each other need to put more and God. And then there are all the conditions for the fullness of love and life.published 

Interviewed By Anastasia Khramutichev


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind - together we change the world! ©



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