Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why do we marry?

 Missing you too
Skype drawing
Charcoal on bond paper
18 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
When I talk to therapists like my sister I hear that we marry
our mothers.  If so I wonder why I married this man pictured
above?  Maybe when we first met I fell because he was as beautiful as
my mother used to be when I was a little girl.  And like her he
could bake a delicious cherry pie.  He was scientifically curious like
her too --loved nature, and grew up on a farm which is why
he was right there and unafraid all through both of my children's

But what if women marry people who remind them of their
Dads?  Well Steven could do that too -- talk in a serious,
 voice -- work in business -- get people to work as a team.

Put the research together and you get a picture of people marrying
trying to recreate their original families -- on a subconscious
level of course .  But what if the real reason is that as opposite as
 my guy is to me -- I mean completely opposite to the point of
exasperation sometimes (country music (him) versus soul music (me))
 is that we could create a family that was new -- ourselves.
 And ultimately -- just like they say we begin to look like our dogs,
we don't look alike, but we actually are alike in so many ways. We enjoy
the same happy endings in movies, the same kinds of jokes, agree
politically.  Maybe that's why we marry -- to start over, to find
 someone we can care about whether they fit the paradigms or not.

When students ask me how they'll know when they really love
someone, I say that they will just know.  And how do you know
if someone loves you? The same way -- a wordless, innate knowledge
built on kindness, observation, and tender affection.
But, as I pointed out to an artist friend today, words do help.  I
couldn't live with someone who couldn't say he loved me.
That conversation today prompted this topic. Because I can
remember the radiant look on my friend's husband's face when
he first found her.  And he still looks at her that way years later.

What I do know is that it sure is better for Steven and me
to be together than not. And that I miss him horribly when
 he's away.  That feeling is mutual.  I guess that's why we got
 married, and I'm glad we did.

Have a being married-or-unmarried-happily day.


Kim Rempel said...

Awwww! (said with an upswing ; ) That's so sweet Barbara. And interesting. I've never heard that slant discussed before - only do we marry like our Fathers (women) or Mothers (men). Hmmm... I'll have to think about what my husband and Mom have in common! I really enjoy all these sketches you do of your family. What a great collection - a snapshot of your family over time. A treasure.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Kim,

You are so sweet. It's a common therapist statement that we marry our mothers. Because I teach psychology I've read up on the subject. We also make the decision to fall in love on the cellular level. So Mom is our first love, and she has a powerful impact on who both men and women choose for partners. I do see both of my parents in Steven -- and then some of myself too. That's how the cellular decisions are made -- chemically. Huh eh! Yep.

Love your paintings. I wish I lived
closer to you.

XO Barbara

Linny D. Vine said...

It's been too long since I've visited your wonderful blog, Barbara. Here on your blog your thoughtful writing & beautiful paintings and sketches are all merrily married - like you and Steven!

Melinda said...

Lovely drawing, Barbara! And, this is a thoughtful post. It is really great to see images of your wonderful family.

Wishing you all more time together.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

very cool post. I can see both my parents in my Husband and that's good and sometimes exasperating ;)
Also, we are total opposites in many things but on the same page on many others. He was a career Banker and I'm an artist. He's the tether and I'm the Kite :D

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

How exciting the news about your show! I wish I could be there. Well of course Steven and I are not always merrily married, but I'm glad the blog strikes you that way. We are a pretty lucky couple too -- but not saints. We do have a lot of laughs about ridiculous things. I'm not sure that anyone else gets my humour the way he does.

I love, love, love your work.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thank you. I wish for more time together big time. Although maybe our current life leads to a poignant appreciation of the other, in a way that constant togetherness might not. But you know what -- I'm up for it. As someone at our New Year's party said, "what I'd like right now is just a normal life." (Not sure
exactly what that is, but I think I agree.) Love, your paintings to the max.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

What a lovely description -- "he's the tether and I'm the kite." I think the two of us trade places all the time. Both being third children we share a world perspective. Luckily that's infused with heaping helpings of humour. Love your work.

XO Barbara

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!