Infantilism

Is your marriage suffering from the infantilism syndrome?
by Father Nicolas Schwizer | Source: Catholic.net
Infantilism is a distinct disharmony between age and the position one takes in life; or better said: it is the disharmony between the love for “ME” and the love for “YOU” in the sense that one overestimates or decides on love of self. Infantilism is the inability to offer myself to another. Infantilism is wanting to receive when one should give. Infantilism is to be submerged in self, always centered on “ME.” Some types of infantilism are:

The capricious “ME”.
Either one of the spouses places self desires and pleasures at the center of the relationship. The phrase: “I do not feel like it” is the most common thing out of the spouse’s mouth. This type of spouse is characterized by a great instability of spirit. When they feel well, they are formidable people. They talk to everyone, they help others, but when they are in poor spirits, they are a disaster. No one can stand them. The infantile spouses are dominated by their own likes and dislikes. For many, spirituality depends on whims: they pray at mealtime or go to Sunday Mass only when they feel like it; they are faithful to the group meetings according to their whims.

We should ask ourselves:

• Do I constantly depend on my moods?
• Am I content today, and tomorrow I will be ill-humored?
• What about family life?
• When I get home do I not ask myself: What is my obligation?
• What is my task as a father, as a mother?
• What does God ask of me in my home?

If you do not consider these questions, then you will think about reading the newspaper or think about the program you plan to watch on TV this evening. You are not thinking about what you can offer, rather, you are considering what home can offer you: rest, peace, tranquility. The “capricious ME” thinks about what “I” need and “I” am not aware of what those around “ME” need.

Emotional instability is a sign of selfishness, for example, you have a friend whom you adored, but you heard her saying something negative about you and since then you can no longer stand her. You probably did not even ask yourself if what you heard was true. You do not even ask yourself if what this friend said was serious or not. You just assume she spoke badly of you, you were hurt, and that was enough. You no longer want to know anything about her. Everyone who has been hurt has to be careful and see if what was said was true or not. In such cases, frequently, 90% of the judgment is selfish.

The pity of “SELF.”
This type pities self and has a martyr complex; for example, this type always sees criticism as a lack of love. This type of person is not able to accept even the most rational criticism. Why? Because their ego is the center of their life hence they think they cannot be wrong. On the other hand, this is a person who complains constantly: everyone is against me, no one understands me, and he/she will always find fault with others and never with himself/herself. This type of person is always excusing himself/herself. To seldom excuse oneself and to trust that the excuse will come by other means is a sign of great maturity. On the contrary, to excuse oneself constantly is a sign of immaturity.

In married life: a hurtful word or exaggerated criticisms like, “I always have to ask for pardon and my spouse never has to ask for pardon.” creates in the infantile spouse a sensation of great self-pity which can turn into bitterness.

The aggressive “ME.”
This type always feels attacked and assaulted and is therefore always attacking. This type of emotional immature spouses sees their own rights, freedom and self in danger and therefore, is always attacking. This person sees conspiracies everywhere. Infantile spouses believe that everyone, including their wife or husband, is against them, and as a result they suffer a great deal.

Questions for Meditation
1. What forms of emotional immaturity can I find in my personality? (for example, unrefined and crude negative reactions, pessimism, moments of helplessness and weakness, giving up, frustration, dislikes, cowardice, etc.

If you wish to comment on this text or give a testimony, write to: pn.reflexiones@gmail.com


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Published by: James M. Essig
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
The capricious "ME, The pity of Self, and the aggressive self sound more like mental disorders rather than spiritual problems.

Published by: James M. Essig
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
The capricious "ME, The pity of Self, and the aggressive self sound more like mental disorders rather than spiritual problems.

Published by: James M. Essig
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
The capricious "ME, The pity of Self, and the aggressive self sound more like mental disorders rather than spiritual problems.

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