I’ve just been introduced to the poet and philosopher, David Whyte. In his book The Three Marriages, he says we need to navigate, yep, three marriages in life: one to others (“particularly and very personally, to one other living, breathing person”), another to work and another to one’s self, “through an understanding of what it means to be themselves, discrete individuals alive and seemingly separate from everyone and everything else.”
Whyte believes they all involve vows made either consciously or unconsciously and that we should work on all three marriages, not as separate entities that have to be pitted against each other (in order to find that elusive “balance”), but as a “conversation” where all three are equally important.
But, he flags, the toughest hook-up is with our selves. It’s also the most critical, because without it the other two are but desperate, wobbly, outward-looking clamberings.
“Neglecting this internal marriage, we can easily make ourselves a hostage to the externals of work and the demands of relationship. We find ourselves unable to move in these outer marriages because we have no inner foundation from which to step out with a firm persuasion. It is as if, absent a loving relationship