Interior Integration for Catholics

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Dr. Peter walks you through the self-deceptive slippery slope of Catholic marital infidelity and discusses the remedies to nip it in the bud.

Show Notes

  1. Intro
    1. It is good to have you with us,
    1. Peter Malinoski, clinical psychologist
    1. Interior Integration for Catholics 

    1. Part of our Online outreach Souls and Hearts and
    1. Episode 64 released April 19, 2021
    1. Subtle Ways Catholics Cheat on their Spouses:  How and Why.
    1. Getting into natural level issues around our commitment, the covenant a husband and a wife make in a Catholic sacramental marriage.  

  7. Brief Review -- Canopied Marriage Bed
    1. Description of each part of the bed -- symbolism of each part, what each part represents.  
      1.  The rock-solid floor in the bedroom is the Foundation -- The presence of God -- and an active belief in God's Providence
        1. This is the foundation
        1. Childlike trust, absolute confidence
        1. Reflects the reality of our existential dependence and God's paternal care, Mary's maternal care for us.  

      4. Four legs -- now more in the natural realm
        1. Leg 1 -- the husband's commitment to his own interior integration, his own human formation, his psychological health, his emotional wellbeing -- removing the beam from his own eye -- last episode. Episode 63
        1. Leg 2.  the wife's commitment to her own interior integration, her own human formation, her own psychological health, her own emotional wellbeing -- her taking on her own personal responsibility for her natural life  last episode. Episode 63
          1. Definition of Human Formation  Human formation is the lifelong process of natural development, aided by grace, by which a person integrates all aspects of his interior emotional, cognitive, relational, and bodily life, all of his natural faculties in an ordered way, conformed with right reason and natural law so that he is freed from natural impediments to trust God as His beloved child and to embrace God's love.  Then, in return, because he possesses himself, he can love God, neighbor and himself with all of his natural being in an ordered, intimate, personal, and mature way.
          1. That is what we are focused on in this podcast.  Human formation:
            1. 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.
            1. 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.

        1. Leg 3.  Attachment Needs and Integrity Needs --  Episode 62,
        1. Leg 4.  Internal Family Systems approaches -- understanding deeply how the human person is both a unity and a multiplicity -- like an orchestra is a unity -- one orchestra, but also has within it multiplicity, multiple musicians -- check out Episodes 60 and 61
      8. The Frame  and the Box Spring -- this holds the whole bed together and it represents the firm commitment between the husband and the wife, the upholding of the marriage vows,  
        1. We are focusing on this today.  The commitment, the vows of Catholic married life
        2. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.  
        3. It's the charity.  Willing the highest good for one another
      9. The Mattress -- Empathetic attunement -- really knowing the spouse, really being able to enter into the phenomenological world of the spouse
      10. Bottom sheet fitted sheet -- sexual attraction, the intensity of sexual passion -- hinges on all that is underneath it.  Can't you just help us get the fire, the passion back into our love life.  
      11. Top Sheet -- communication between the Catholic spouses. 
      12. Two Pillows -- Acceptance of who the husband is right now -- Acceptance of who the wife is right now. Self-acceptance and Spouse acceptance   
      13. The blankets -- human warmth, emotional connection
      14. Four bedposts -- intertwined spirals, like a double helix --  Mindset, Heartset, Bodyset, Soulset  
      15. The Canopy and the curtains, which cover the bed and provide privacy -- for good or for ill.  
      16. The Shams, the bedspread and the bed skirts -- these cover up the bed, give a favorable and even a false impression to the world of what the bed is like, keep the real bed under wraps, as it were

  8. Definition Marriage Commitment
    1. Commitment is essential
    1. Frame and box spring of the bed -- holds the whole structure of the bed together.  The commitment to loving the other person in the sacramental marriage covenant is vitally important
      1. No one else can do it for you.  Not even God.  

    1. Definition of Marriage -- Fr. John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
MARRIAGE. 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; -- one man and one woman
  2.  it is a permanent union until the death of either spouse;
    1. CCC 2382:  Between the baptized spouses, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death"   1983 CCL 1141
    1. Until Death  I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
  5. it is an exclusive union, so that extramarital acts are a violation of justice;
  6. 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. Solemnified by Formal Vows
    1. Usually the only vow a Christian Layman or Laywoman will ever make
    1. CCC 2364:  Both spouses give themselves definitively and totally to one another.  They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh.  The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.  

  3. Originates in the will
    1.  I will love you and honor you all the days of my life  Love is an act of the will.  

    1. Not just a one-time event  I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
    1. Ongoing willing, year to year, week to week, day to day, moment to moment
    1. But impacted by human formation and spiritual formation
    1. Supported in the natural realm by human formation, an awareness of attachment needs and integrity needs, an awareness of how complex we are in our parts, and most of all our reliance on God's grace.  

  7. Vocation  VOCATION. A call from God to a distinctive state of life, in which the person can reach holiness.  (Etym. Latin vocatio, a calling, summoning; from vocare, to call.) 
    1. We dedicate our whole life to it.  
  8. Deterioration of commitment -- happens subtly
    1. Earnest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises:  “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.  “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”
    1. Subtle ways of undermining your commitment to your spouse without realizing it  
      1. Not praying for your spouse
      2. Not praying with your spouse
        1. Unless your spouse is absolutely not open to it.  

        1. MT 18:20  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them
      3. Taking your spouse for granted
      4. Not thinking about your spouse -- setting aside time to understand your spouse
        1. Not just in conversation
        1. But later -- on your own time.  Filling up time with distractions.  Not applying your intellect.  

        1. Going with assumptions and emotional reaction, many of which have their origins way in the past, in your childhood.  Yep.  

      6. Not helping your spouse, pitching in, in the ways that you can
        1. Husband-- Never changed a diaper in my life -- proud of it
      8. Giving your spouse low-quality time, when you are exhausted.  Other priorities, attachments -- distance, lack of investment  
        1. Issue in my marriage -- long clinical day, learning the profession, spent, didn't want to hear about the difficulties with the kids.  Sunday mornings.  
      9. Being wedded to professional work.  Ministry stuff -- neglect of the spouse.  Primary vocation.  
      10. Secret Relationships -- would I act the same way if my spouse was watching -- getting a little flirty, justified as being friendly or social -- emotional affairs -- affairs of the heart
      11. Complaining about spouse to other people, comparing your spouse unfavorably to other spouses.  
      12. Hanging out with your friends or associates more than your spouse.  
      13. Undermining your spouse in front of others.  Once in a while it may be necessary, but a lot of this stems from taking the spouse for grantin g and trying to score points with observers.  
      14. Object affair Lachlan Brown -- porn, hobby, idea, 
      15. Emotional dishonesty -- especially to justify actions -- keeping secrets, white lies -- hiding emails or text messages or voicemails -- Lachlan Brown calls it micro cheating
      16. Befriending and associating with those who undermine your marriage -- taking in that negativity -- happens in families.  
      17. Debating the commitment., the vows -- one of the most corrosive things that can happen.
        1. Maybe I'll stay, maybe I'll go.
        1. Was I ever really married?  Not presuming the bond exists.  

      19. Stonewalling -- withholding yourself, emotions, affection
      20. Fantasies of sleeping with other women -- advised by some sex therapists as a way to "spice up" sex. 

    1. Half-hearted commitment.  Mean it literally.  Loving with only half your heart.  Lukewarm attempts
      1. Therapy too late  - divorce is decided, fait accompli
        1. Window dressing
        1. Optics -- Aunt Maureen
        1. Aftermath, dealing with the kids

    1. Conditional commitments will fail.  

  10. As Catholic married men and women, we are swimming upstream, very countercultural
    1. Catholic view of marriage is not supported by current cultural norms
    1. No fault divorce  Definition from  

no fault divorce   n. divorces (dissolutions) in which neither spouse is required to prove "fault" or marital misconduct on the part of the other. To obtain a divorce a spouse must merely assert incompatibility or irreconcilable differences, meaning the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means there is no defense to a divorce petition (so a spouse cannot threaten to "fight" a divorce), there is no derogatory testimony, and marital misconduct cannot be used to achieve a division of property favorable to the "innocent" spouse. History of no-fault divorce
  1. Russia, December 1917 after the Bolsevik Revolution two month earlier, marriage is a bourgeois institution, take it from the Orthodox church, grant it to the state.  
  2. 1969 -- California -- first state under Governor Ronald Reagan.  
  3. Last state -- New York in 2010
  4. Renders the vow essentially meaningless.  
  5. Protestant denominations redefined marriage.  16th Century, Henry VIII wanting to put away Catherine of Aragon, no male heir.  
    1. St. Thomas More martyred for his defense of marriage, not yielding to the king's demands for an oath of loyalty to the 1534 Act of Supremacy passed by the English parliament that declared Henry VIII the head of the Church of England.  
  6. Marriage is just a contract. A civil agreement.  A legal agreement.  There are no "vows."  There is nothing permanent about it.  No commitment.  No obligations that can't be abandoned if one wants out of the marriage
    1. Compromises an environment of safety and security, for the spouses and for the children.  

  7. Other end of the continuum:  The vows are unconditional. 
    1. Malachi 2: 15-16  So look to yourselves, and do not let anyone be faithless to the wife of his youth. 16 For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel
    2. Mark 10: 1-12 
He left that place and went to the region of Judea and[a] beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,[b] 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
  1. Luke 16:18 18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
  2. Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
    1. Exception clause "porneia"  -- Greek word.  Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri  Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture -- Gospel of Matthew p. 241  -- go-to resource for Catholic commentary.  

    1. Fr. Daniel Harrington Berit Olam
  4. CCC 2384  Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law.  It claims to break the contract, wo which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death.
  5. CCC 2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society.  The disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect, which makes it truly a plague on society.  
    1. Impact of divorce on children.
      1. Attachment Needs
      1. Integrity Needs
  6. Wedding at Cana  
  7. Obligations first, then rights.  
    1. Our culture -- focused on rights.  
  8. Going beyond obligations.  
    1. JFK: John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961 Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.  Riff.  
  9. Living the vows when separated, civilly divorced, no contact.  
    1. Still a great source of grace.
    2. What does it mean to love him or to love her in this moment, in this situation.  
  10. But it is really helpful to understand why parts of you might want a separation or divorce.  Reasons:
    1. Most efforts toward breaking or violating the marriage commitment are driven by parts, parts heavily influenced by passions.  

    1. Not all of the person may be undermining the marriage commitment
      1. Parts have partial vision, not a complete picture'
      1. Seeking some good -- e.g. companionship
        1. But using poor means

    1. Happiness to be found elsewhere.  

    1. Self-protection
      1. Against hurt
      1. Against being activated 

  11. List of given reasons for divorce
    1. Incompatibility
    1. Irreconcilable differences
    1. Emotional reasons
      1. Falling out of love -- no longer soul mates
      1. no longer sexually or romantically attracted to each other
      1. It's not fun anymore, I'm not feeling it. 

    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. He is not nice to me.  She is cold and distant
    1. Problems with larger families -- in-laws not approving 

    1. I thought marriage would cure everything  
      1. the sacrament will take care of it --

    1. God wants me to.
      1. A good God wouldn't want me to be this unhappy.  

      1. It came to me in prayer

  19. Necessity to be fueled by grace.  
  20. Acknowledging the need for separation at times
    1. CCC 2383  The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by Canon Law 1151-1155
    1. And even civil divorce (no Catholic divorce possible) 
      1. CCC 2383 If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.  

  22. Issues around nullity
    1. Wikipedia:  In the Catholic Church, a declaration of nullity, commonly called an annulment and less commonly a decree of nullity is a judgment on the part of an ecclesiastical tribunal determining that a marriage was invalidly contracted or, less frequently, a judgment determining that ordination was invalidly conferred. 
      1. There was no marriage in the first place
      2. It's not a Catholic divorce

    1. Canon 1095  The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
      1. those who lack the sufficient use of reason;
      1. those who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;
      1. those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature

  23. Marriage is a sacrament
    1. Source of Grace from God
      1. Grace doesn't come from the spouse -- very limited vision.  

  24. Parts see the marriage commitment differently
    1. Definition of a part:  Separate, independently operating personalities within us, each with own unique prominent emotions, body sensations, intentions, typical thoughts and beliefs, desires, attitudes, impulses, interpersonal style, and world view.  
      1. Parts influenced by passions
      2. Parts have very different experiences of the spouse.
      3. Parts have very different attitudes toward commitment to the spouse
        1. Example.  Protector part of husband who primarily experiences a critical part of the wife
          1. I am so tired of you, so tired of how you nag me all the time

        1. Example -- wife's part seeking affection who experiences a husband's part who avoids intimacy
          1. I don't know why you don’t love me.  I need someone who will love me.  

    1. Blending
      1. Parts driving the bus.  
        1. Reference Inside Out

    1. Positions of parts toward the marriage.  
      1. Vary wildly from part to part
      2. Some parts don't consider the marriage commitment much at all
      3. Other parts may be heavily invested in the marriage in the hope that the spouse will meet needs
        1. Through sex.  

      4. Parts debating commitment.  
      5. Parts not being heard.  Enacting. 
      6. Parts looking for outs. 
      7. Positions of parts
        1. Spouse makes me miserable
          1. Life's little instruction book:  H Jackson Brown, Jr.  1991.  30 years ago. 
            1. Choose your spouse wisely because 90% of your happiness will come from your spouse.
            2. Actual quote: “Choose your life's mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery.”

          1. Spouse has the power to deprive me of peace, wellbeing, joy.   

        1. Spouse doesn't deserve my love.  
          1. Worthiness not the issue

      8. But it is really helpful to understand why parts of you might want a separation or divorce.  Reasons:
        1. Most efforts toward breaking or violating the marriage commitment are driven by parts, parts heavily influenced by passions.  

        1. Not all of the person may be undermining the marriage commitment
          1. Parts have partial vision, not a complete picture'
          1. Seeking some good -- e.g. companionship
            1. But using poor means

        1. Happiness to be found elsewhere.  

        1. Self-protection
          1. Against hurt
          1. Against being activated

    1. If we blend with our parts, we will lose perspective, be blinded by passions
      1. Does not require emotional intensity in conscious awareness 

    1. Importance of being recollected.  

    1. Importance of integration.  

    1. Importance of human formation
      1. Often a very limited vision

  25. Importance of a Providential World View
    1. Ultimately all spouses will fail us in one way or another 
      1. Group project -- not a group grade

    1. Failures of the spouse are a gift
    1. God provides for our attachment needs -- not the spouse
    1. God provides for our integrity needs -- not the spouse
    1. What would it be like if we relied on God's strength in our marriages, rather than our own.  
      1. All things are possible with God.  
      2. Childlike trust, complete abandonment -- with God, one can overcome so many natural deficits.
        1. So little trust between spouses, often.  

  29. Closing -- description of the RCC relaunch
    1. Time commitments 2.5 to 3 hours per week
    1. Emphasis on community
      1. Companions checking in daily
      1. Circles -- meeting weekly

    1. Elizabeth Hofmeister working with me.  Finalizing the measures for that and the details.  Focus on increasing resilience on the natural realm and the supernatural realm.  Personalized human formation plan.  

    1. Reopening the community in June --Registrations all during the month of June, will close it again on June 30.  Programming ramping up in June, getting all the preliminaries Opening every six months.  

    1. 3 Calls from the conversation hour -- thanks!  Next conversation hour -- Wednesday, April 28, 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM Eastern Time -- 317.567.9594.  Just call.  It's a conversation hour, so no texts, actual real, personal conversation.  

    1. Souls and Hearts -- much more than this podcast.
  32. IIC 64A  Parts' Concerns about Marriage.  
  33. IIC 64T  Working with Clients' Parts Around Commitment.  Those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Just Parts.  
  34. Blurb for Transistor: Dr. Peter walks you through the self-deceptive slippery slope of Catholic marital infidelity and discusses  the remedies to nip it in the bud.  
  35. Patronness and Patron

What is Interior Integration for Catholics?

In the Interior Integration for Catholics podcast, together, we seek fundamental transformation in our lives through human formation, via Internal Family Systems approaches grounded in a 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 check out the Resilient Catholics Community which grew up around this podcast at