Interior Integration for Catholics

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Dr. Peter Malinoski review the surface reasons, the systemic reasons, the deeper reasons, and then the primary psychological reason why Catholic marriages fail and where to start in reversing the course of a failing marriage.

Show Notes

The One Main Psychological Reason Why Catholic Marriages Fail
  1. Intro: Welcome to the podcast Interior Integration for Catholics 
    1. Interior Integration for Catholics brings to you in each episode the best psychological information essential for your human formation, knowledge that is fundamental in shoring up the natural foundation for your Catholic spiritual life.  
    2. In this podcast, we confront the tough questions we Catholics have in our day-to-day lives, we confront head on our struggles in the natural realm, the psychological difficulties that keep us from fully loving our Lord and our Lady in a deep, personal, intimate way and living out our vocations. 
    3. And we deal with these difficult, demanding issues for one primary reason: to free you to love God our Father, Jesus our Brother, the Holy Spirit and Our Mother Mary more and more over time.  
    4. This podcast helps you focus inward on your interior integration -- to help you bring together the different parts of yourself into unity and harmony with God.
    5. Together, we are on a journey toward deep transformation, a radical conversion at the core of our being so that our souls can one day enter into contemplative union with God. 
    6. I’m clinical psychologist Peter Malinoski and I am here with you, to be your host and guide.  
    7. This podcast is part of Souls and Hearts, our online outreach at, which is all about shoring up our natural foundation for the Catholic spiritual life, all about overcoming psychological obstacles to being loved and to loving God and neighbor
    8. This is episode 57, released on March 1, 2021
    9. This is the ninth episode in our series on sexuality and in this episode, we are turning our attention to Catholic marriages -- such an important, essential topic for our day and age, Catholic marriages
    10. And we are going to start with the real, deeper, often hidden reasons why Catholic marriages fall apart
    11. So this episode is titled The One Main Psychological Reason Why Catholic Marriages Fail
    12. Get ready for the deep dive into new ways of thinking about Catholic marriages, from an informed psychological perspective. 
    13. Focusing on the psychological aspects here -- not the spiritual ones. 
      1. Not qualified to judge souls, make statements about their virtues or vices
      2. Not criticizing or condemning, but rather focusing on understanding with gentleness and compassion
      3. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar  
      4. Focus on the natural level.   
    14.  What about you, Dr. Peter -- what do you know about marriage?  Fair question.  25th year of marriage, one marriage, 7 children.  
  2. Windup: The Current State of Catholic Marriages
    1. Definitions
      1. What is Catholic Marriage 
        1. Catholic Dictionary:  

As a natural institution, the lasting union of a man and a woman who agree to give and receive rights over each other for the performance of the act of generation and for the fostering of their mutual love.
The state of marriage implies four chief conditions: 1. there must be a union of opposite sexes; it is therefore opposed to all forms of unnatural, homosexual behavior; 2. it is a permanent union until the death of either spouse; 3. it is an exclusive union, so that extramarital acts are a violation of justice; and 4. its permanence and exclusiveness are guaranteed by contract; mere living together, without mutually binding themselves to do so, is concubinage and not marriage.
Christ elevated marriage to a sacrament of the New Law. Christian spouses signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and his Church, helping each other attain to holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their children. 
  1. Emphasis on the Sacramental Aspect -- discussing sacramental marriages here.  
  2. Covenant, goes far beyond a Contract - no fault divorce, temporary contract.  
  3. What is fail?
    1. Broad Definition:  
      1. To prove deficient or lacking
      2. to perform ineffectively or inadequately
      3. to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved
      4. to leave something undone  

    1. One way that we could consider a marriage to fail is by divorce
      1. Stats
        1. 2014 Pew Research Survey of 885 Catholics 19% of those Catholic adults 18 years old were divorced or separated
        1. Consistent with Georgetown's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate
          1. About 20% or one in five Catholic adults have experienced divorce in their lifetimes 

          1. About 36% of Americans who marry divorce at some point.  

          1. 28% of Catholics who marry ever divorce -- lower than the general average

        1. Old canard that half of all Catholic marriage end in divorce -- not true.  More like a quarter.  

        1. Still that's a lot -- 28%.  

        1. And I don't think success in marriage is defined by not getting divorced
        1. Not getting divorced by itself is not sufficient to call a marriage successful.  

    1. Abusive marriages held together by 

    1. Distant Roommates -- coolness, tolerating each other's existence
    1. Contrast with a life-giving marriage
  6. Ways marriages fail
    1. Unilateral -- one spouse abandons the other
    1. Mutual -- each spouse abandons the other
    1. Distancing -- roommate model -- could be cordial or not
  10. God's view of marriage
    1. Marriage as a covenant, not a contract  
      1. CCC 1603 God himself is the author of marriage.  The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.  
      2. Wedding at Cana -- Beginning of Jesus public life
      3. Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics -- Jesus playing

  11. Hurdle
    1. Marriage is Tough
      1. Reasons
        1. No one can hurt us, disappoint us, or get under our skin quite like a spouse. 

        1. Hard to anticipate the difficulties.  The crosses.   

    1. Marriage Difficulties affect us all
    1. Even if we aren't married
      1. Considering our parents' marriage
      1. Friends' marriages

    1. Marriage as bedrock of society -- USCCB
      1. Aristotle wrote that the family is nature’s established association for the supply of mankind’s everyday wants. 

      1. USCCB: Marriage is the bedrock of society.  

Marriages benefit society by building and strengthening human relationships within the home
(among spouses and children) and beyond (involving relatives, neighbors, and communities). For
this reason, the family has long been understood as the fundamental unit of society, the
foundation from which religious, civic, and legal organizations naturally develop and flourish. 
  1. Why Marriages Fail
    1. Surface reasons given for why marriages fail -- Lots of simple, pat answers
      1. Disagreements about money/finances/debt
      1. "Growing apart" -- each making our own way, different values, different priorities in life.
      1. Affairs/Adultery
      1. Poor conflict resolution
      1. Domestic abuse
      1. Problems with larger families -- in-laws not approving 

      1. I thought marriage would cure everything  
        1. the sacrament will take care of it -- Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples
          1. Passively receiving a sacrament is not enough. The grace we receive is directly related to the personal faith, spiritual expectancy, and hunger with which we approach the sacrament. 

      1. Emotional reasons
        1. Falling out of love -- no longer soul mates
        1. It's not fun anymore, I'm not feeling it.  

    1. Systemic reasons  -- systemic issues vs. personal issues
      1. Advantages of systemic thinking
      1. Systemic thinking is popular today -- systemic racism, structural issues in society
        1. It's not him, it's not me, it's just us together.  We're not a good match. 

        1. "Incompatibility" -- not meant for each other
        1. "Irreconcilable differences"
        1. Poor communication
        1. Not attracted to each other any more

      1. Catechism on systemic sin
      1. Problems of systemic thinking
        1. Abdication of personal responsibility
        1. Needing the other person to change, the whole system to change before I can be at peace, have joy.

    1. Deeper reasons
      1. Omissions
        1. Not showing up for your spouse
        1. Not asking what they need

      1. Lack of Forgiveness
      1. Loss of identity in the relationship -- codependency
      1. Not having a shared mission, a shared vision, shared goals
      1. Losing the friendship
      1. Lack of flexibility

    1. From the outside -- selfishness -- not willing to sacrifice
  3. The Vision -- Considering Parts in Marriage
    1. The real reasons why Catholic Sacramental Marriages Fail
      1. Parts with unmet attachment needs.  Deep relational needs, often unconscious
      1. Attachment needs -- held by parts
        1. Seen, Heard, Known, Understood
        1. Safety, Security
        1. Comforted, Soothed Reassured
        1. Cherished, Rejoiced in, Delighted in
        1. Willing the highest good

      1. Leads to self-absorption
        1. Definition of self absorption  -- preoccupied with oneself or one’s own affairs, sometimes to the point of excluding others or the outside world.”  

      1. Selfishness vs. Self-absorption  
        1. Definition of selfishness
          1. concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
          1. Too much concerned with one's own welfare or interests and having little or no concern for others; self-centered.

      1. Conflicts are generally part to part
        1. Core self to core self -- no conflicts

      1. Needs for God not being met
        1. Makes sense that people look for these needs to be met in marriage
          1. Marriage as the "last great hope"
          1. Puts tremendous pressure on the marriage
          1. Leads to utterly unrealistic expectations for the marriage -- spouse can't do anything right

      1. Parts taking over
        1. I can't live with or without you. U2 With our Without You 1987
        1. It's parts of us that are angry, disappointed, disillusioned that want to give up on marriages.  

        1. It's parts of us that  

  4. The Options
    1. Your old way -- focusing on the other person deficits, how they don't measure up to your needs.  
      1. All the ways I am dissatisfied.  

    1. Getting in touch with your own parts
      1. Removing the beam from your own eye.  

      1. Physician, heal thyself.  Medice, cura te ipsum

    1. Bringing your parts to God -- God images Episodes 23-29.
      1. Becoming free to need a lot less from our spouses.  Freer then to love them unreservedly. 

    1. Bringing Parts in to Marriage -- possibilities
      1. Parts that don’t like the spouse
      1. What if spouse doesn't resonate with parts work?

  5. The Close
    1. Parts language so helpful in dealing with 
      1. Shame
      2. Anger
      3. Disappointment
      4. Insecurity

    1. One person can make the marriage so much better unilaterally
      1. May not mean that there is a reunion, but the one spouse continues to live out the vows.  

  6. Fine Print -- Options
    1. Reading
      1. Casti Connubii   -- On Christian Marriage -- Pope Pius XI  1930
      1. Catechism -- paragraphs 1601-1658

    1. Resilient Catholics Community
      1. starting with programming for those on the waiting list

  7. The Hook
    1. Feedback.  Let me know how these episodes are landing with you -- -- some of you already have.  Get in touch with me on my cell at 317.567.9594 or my email at
    1. We have the Resilient Catholic community.  That community is about transformation, about preparing the way for love in our souls. It's about being together as Catholics on a journey, on a mission to really enter into an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ our brother, the Holy Spirit who is Love Himself and with our spiritual parents, God the Father and Mary our Mother.  It's about sharing our experiences in that journey on that mission.
      1. Get on the waiting list so you will get information before the general public does.  Stay tuned later this week, I will be emailing everyone on the waiting list about a special event for just you -- reward for your patience.  

    1. Will do a premium podcast -- RCC members -- all around your parts that have issues with marriage -- Polarizations of Parts around Marriages  -- your own, your parents' marriage or some other marriage.  Those premium podcasts come out one day later on Tuesdays, so this one will release on March 2, 2021.  

    1. RCC members we have our Second Wednesday Zoom meeting coming up from 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 for Resilient Catholic Community members, and it's all about Parts, Sex and Marriage
    1. Catholic therapists who listen -- reopening the ITC.  Landing page  Reopened.  Really excited.  Human formation of therapist.  If you have a catholic therapist, let that therapist know.  
      1. Premium podcast Client Parts, Therapist Parts and Marital Therapy

    1. Subscribing to this podcast -- spotify, apple podcasts, google play, amazon.  Share the Interior Integration for Catholics Podcast on social media -- sharing buttons are on our website at  -- get your word out there, with your personal recommendation -- how these episodes have helped you.  Share them, let others know. 

    1. Next week, in Episode 58, get much more into how sexual relating in the marriage is such a sensitive barometer for how the marriage is doing relationally.  

    1.  Patronness and Patron.

What is Interior Integration for Catholics?

In the Resilient Catholics podcast, together, we seek fundamental transformation in our lives through human formation. We look for God's providence in all that happens to us, in accord with Romans 8:28, grounded in an authentic Catholic worldview. Join us as we sail through uncharted waters, seizing the opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth and increasing resilience in the natural and spiritual realms. With a clear takeaway message and one action in each weekly episode, you can move from dreading what is happening to you to rising above it. Join us on Mondays for new episodes. You can also join our online community around this podcast at