Scarlett, Carnelian, and I have been enjoying a discussion on Jung's concept of the Anima/Animus archetypes -- the male and female within. During that discussion, we've touched upon the importance of these archetypes in relation to marriage.
Campbell's ideas on marriage appeal to me greatly. I would like to discuss those ideas as they relate to real life marriage -- to the imperfect person beside you and the imperfect person beside your partner (that would be you.)
In the Anima/Animus thread, I mentioned that most people who know me only through my writing don't realize that I am a woman unless I say so. Most people also can't imagine me in a loving family with children and one man for 32 years.
I share many personal stories, but I keep most of my family life private. My marriage is my number one priorty in life. Friends sometimes criticize that because it seems unliberated. By most standards, I live a liberated and free life. But the marriage comes first. I learned that years ago from my parents.
Joseph Campbell reinforced what I learned from my parents. I've never regretted putting the marriage first. My parents could never quite verbalize why it was important or how to go about it. But Joseph Cambpell could and did.
Scarlett and I would like to invite other associates to join us in discussing Joseph Campbell's ideas about real life marriage as a mythologically signifcant event that engages the Anima/Animus archetypes in every day people.
I will quote heavily from Campbell for the benefit of those associates who have not yet had the opportunity to read on this subject. The following interview comments describe some of the important realizations that took place in my marriage some years ago.
I'm wondering how other associates feel about this and if you would be willing to share your own realizations, experiences, ideas, and feelings regarding Campbell's ideas.
My notion of marrige is that if marriage isn't a first priority in your life you're not married. It's an extremely important decision, that of marriage, because it does amount to and require a yielding and the yielding has to be total to now being a member of a dyad and acting in relation to that twoness.
As I've said to people who are worried about it, when you make what you call a sacrifice to the other person, that's not what you're sacrificing to. You're sacrificing to the relationship.
The relationship is the sacrificial field, where both of you are relating to the relationship then you are, as it were, two together. Realy like that yin-yang thing. (If you hang onto being the yin, or hang on to being the yang in this thing, as a separate unit, you don't have a marriage.)
Then everything in your life from then on relates to that relationship. And when judgments of actions and decisions at various times have to be taken in that sense, then you're married...
~Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey, pp 84-5~