For those involved in intense, rewarding activities life is good. In fact activities of every sort help insulate our consciousness from the very real fact that life is a scary proposition. At any moment our very existence can be snuffed out by countless means: hit by a meteor, struck by lightening, run over by a bus or a drunk driver, mauled by a wild or domestic animal, fall off a roof or cliff, randomly gunned down by a mad man or terrorist, caught in an earth quake or Tsunami, decimated by a stroke or heart attack. The list of potential terminating events is endless.
What prevents us from dwelling on such terrors and becoming paralyzed by them is our activities. Love, sex, family, religion, work, politics drugs, gambling or playing and watching games are all activities that help deflect us from life’s terrors, the more intense the interest the better says our psyche.
It helps enormously in personal relationships that couples intensely share a few of the same deflecting activities. Couples may come together because they both love sex, or outdoor sports or share an intense religious devotion. The fact that couples share common interests helps reinforce their psychological wall of defection, which conceals their individual sense of vulnerability.
When one or both partners moves strongly into some new form of deflection, things can unravel fast. For instance let’s say a nice Christian couple meet and wed. Then somewhere down the line one of them discovers that sex, drugs and rock and rock is a heck of a lot more emotionally stimulating that evening prayer service. Well you can easily imagine where that’s situation is headed.
In fact one of the reasons that today’s couples have such a hard time maintaining a relationship is because there is so wide a variety of deflecting interests and activities. Two Hundred years ago activities and interests were relativity limited. Most were farming families devoted to work and religion. Thus by default they shared similar interests. Today’s interests come in dozens of ever changing flavors, making long-term relationships problematic at best. The bottom line is that it is not just nice that couples share things in common, their sanity literally depends upon it being so.