Interior Integration for Catholics

{{ show.title }}Trailer Bonus Episode {{ selectedEpisode.number }}
{{ selectedEpisode.title }}
{{ selectedEpisode.title }}
By {{ }}
Broadcast by

Dr. Peter defines acceptance and endorsement within Catholic marriages and how the two are often confused, along with discussing judging the spouse vs. the spouse's behaviors. He covers why it can be so difficult to accept our spouses as they really are and gives specific recommendations on acceptance.

Show Notes

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

    1. Part of our Online outreach Souls and Hearts and
    1. Which is all about your human formation, all about shoring up your natural foundation for a solid Catholic spiritual life.  

    1. Episode 66 Acceptance vs. Endorsement: A Critical Difference in Catholic Marriages.  

    1.  we are in the middle of a series on Sexuality in Catholic Marriages, but there is so much in here that is relevant about all kinds of close relationships.  

  5. Where have we been?  Review the bed -- remember this canopied marriage bed represents the sexual life of a married Catholic couple.  
    1. The floor -- The Presence of God and His Providence -- everything begins here.  This is the most fundamental piece of the whole metaphor.  We need to be in contact with "I AM" with God who is the source of all reality.  We can't forget that
    2. The four legs
      1. Leg 1 -- the husband's commitment to his own interior integration and his own human formation
      1. Leg 2.  the wife's commitment to her own interior integration, her own human formation
      1. Leg 3.  Understanding Attachment needs and integrity needs.  

      1. Leg 4.  Internal Family Systems  -- Episode 60 --  How well do you really know your spouse?
        1. In that episode, I made five bold assertions:
          1. You don't really know your spouse.  

          1. Your spouse doesn't really know you.  

          1. Your Father doesn't or didn't really know your mother
          1. Your mother doesn't or didn't really know your father
          1. And you don't really know you.  

        1. Gave evidence for those bold claims are likely, not going to repeat all that evidence here, you can go to Episode 60 and listen to them again.  
          1. For those of you listeners who are married:
            1. Can seem like spouse have such widely varying modes of operating
            1. like they can be even different people when they are in these different modes of being. 

            1. Remember what your spouse or someone close to you is like when they are different states -- like when they are really angry, or really sad, or really anxious or really happy.  How different they think, how their worldview changes in these different states.  

            1. what we call parts:  Parts are constellations of emotions, body sensations, thoughts, feelings, impulses, assumptions about the world and so many other things.  

            1. Internal Family Systems thinking help us to make sense of our own internal experience and others' internal experience, breaking us out of the model that we have just one monolithic, homogenous personality.  

            1. That's what episodes 60 and 61 are all about
          4. Surprising how not integrated the husband's internal object representations of his wife are -- surprising how unintegrated a wife's internal object representation of her husband can be.  How confused.  
            1. Definition time with Dr. Pete,  Definition of internal object -- Roots in Freud, really developed my Melanie Klein: Internal object refers to the mental representation that results from how we have taken others inside of us and viewed them.  Not necessarily similar to who the person actually is, it's how we construe the person to be, which depends heavily on our subjective experiences, including how we experience ourselves. 
            2. Two dimensional -- sometimes even one dimensional
              1. You are the person who is supposed to make me feel better about myself, help me avoid shame
            4. Fragmented 
            5. How much husbands and wives don't see in and about each other.  

  1. Three of these four legs are really helpful in accepting what the actual realities are inside your spouse.  
  2. The fourth one is great to have, but it's not as essential.  It's the one that we sometimes require first, though
    1. Just tell me what's going on -- assumption that she knows what's going on.  90% unconscious.  

    1. Sometimes she just cant.  

  3. The frame and the box spring -- the firm, unwavering commitment of the husband his marriage vows and the wife to her marriage vows -- separately.  Independently
  4. The mattress  Empathetic attunement -- covered that in episode 65, last episode 
  5.  Two pillows:  Self-acceptance and Spouse-acceptance -- this is what we are focusing on today.  
    1. Pillows support us, comfort us.  
    2. Great security with pillows
      1. Pam travels with her pillow -- learned this from her friend Cabrina -- comfort in having your own pillow
      1. Comfort in being accepted by someone who knows you.  

  6. Bottom Sheet:  sexual attraction, the intensity of sexual passion
  7. Top Sheet:  Communication between the spouses
  8. The blankets:  human warmth, emotional connection
  9. Four Bedposts -- imagine two spiral intertwined, like the double-helix structure of DNA
    1. Mindset
    1. Heartset
    1. Bodyset
    1. Soulset
  14. The canopy and the curtains -- to protect privacy and propriety or to hide dysfunction, exploitation, even abuse.  
  15. The sham, the bedspread, and the bedskirt -- Used to cover up the real bed, give an impression of the state of married life to the world.  
  16. Lay of the land:  
    1. Loving -- three elements:  Benevolence, Capacity, Commitment/Consistency
    2. Not only do we not understand our spouses very well
    3. We also don't accept the realities about our spouses that we do understand 
    4. or the realities that we could understand if we allowed ourselves to see. But so often we parts that don't want us to see who our spouses really are.   Some of that is due to confusion between acceptance and endorsement.  
  17. Acceptance vs. endorsement -- Definitions
    1. Acceptance -- acknowledging the reality of who I am in my entirety, all my parts with their burdens, all the roughness, the wounds, the disorder, the imperfections, all the baggage, all the "stuff."  It means admitting, conceding all the things that are really true about myself.  

    1.  acknowledging the reality who my spouse Pam is, in her entirety, in her complete being, with her parts, with her perspectives, with her virtues her vices.  Right at this moment
    1. Endorsement on the other hand.  means essentially approving or embracing as good some feature within myself or my spouse.  
      1. So husband can accept the idea that his wife is abusing painkillers without endorsing her misuse of pain medication.  

  19. Why we struggle with accepting something about our spouse, even when we know we don't have to endorse it
    1. Strong motivation to not see our spouses as they really are
      1. To not see the injuries, the deficiencies, the disorder, the areas of stunted development -- how wounded they really are.  

      1. If we saw all those things, how would I get me needs met from my spouse?
        1. Needs for mommy, daddy
        1. Needs for God?  Broken idols
        1. Not gonna happen

      1. Can be very difficult our parts to give up their illusions about the meaning and function of our spouse in our lives
        1. Parts want to be redeemed
        1. Parts want to be loved
        1. Parts want to have hope that things will be better in the future, that there is light at the end of the tunnel
        1. We want to outsource the messy business of learning to accept and love ourselves.  
          1. But no one can do that for us, no one can take our place in loving ourselves in an ordered way.  

        1. So there is this tendency toward idealization of our spouses
          1. But when parts are disappointed, devaluation.  Pendulum swings the other way.  

      1. So much this is outside our awareness
        1. We could say it's unconscious
        1. Parts are impelling us to try to get our needs met, parts are acting with good intentions, in ways we don't realize
          1. Often very maladaptive
          1. When they do that, they tend to bring about the exact opposite of what they hope for
            1. e.g. make spouse God -- the intention is to find safety and security
            1. But that breaks down.  

            1. God loves us, and he is jealous for us, takes our idols away

          1. Often no outside perspective

    1. Sometimes we are motivated by our own parts to stick our heads in the sand and not see.  Like an ostrich. 
      1. OK, so I looked up the ostrich thing.  I suspected maybe that ostriches were getting a bad rap.  In reality, Ostriches don't bury their heads in the sand when they feel threatened.  That's a myth.  The make their nests in holes they dig in the earth and the ostrich hen puts her head in the hole and turns the eggs. So it can look like the birds are burying their heads in the sand.  -- little zoological fact for today
      2. Where were we?  Yes, so often we have parts that don't want us to see who our spouses really are. 
      3. The ostrich metaphor didn't work out, so let's talk about monkey, instead.  Three monkeys 
        1. Three monkeys named Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru who are about 400 years old.  We're talking about some old monkeys here.  
          1. Mizaru -- hands over his eyes
          2. Kikazaru -- hands over his ears
          3. Iwazaru -- hands over his mouth.  
        2. See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no Evil:  
        3. From wikipedia:  The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th-century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at Tōshō-gū Shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro, and believed to have incorporated Confucius’s Code of Conduct, using the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle. There are a total of eight panels, and the iconic three wise monkeys picture comes from panel 2. The philosophy, however, probably originally came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century (Nara Period). It has been suggested that the figures represent the three dogmas of the so-called middle school of the sect. 
      4. We can be like those monkeys, but not motivated by social harmony like in Confucianism.  
        1. Motivated by defensive self-protection.  
        2. If I don't see it, if I don't hear it, I don't have to deal with it.  I don't have to acknowledge it, I don't have to address it.  
          1. Denial
          2. Avoidance
          3. Withdrawal
        3. James 4:11-12  11 Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. He that speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?
        4. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.  

  20. Acceptance without judging the soul of another
    1. Not judging self -- soul
      1. St. Paul --  I don't judge myself.  1 Cor. 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.
      1. Not judging others' souls -- our spouse's souls
        1. We don't really know them
        1. Cautions to new therapists
          1. Often tempted to align with the client's parts against a spouse.  

        1. We can and often should judge behavior.  Catholic Theologian Edward Sri - Who Am I to Judge?: Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love -- excellent book.
      4. We can and often need to judge actions
        1. Some are obviously wrong and easily identifiable as bad.  
          1. Affairs
          2. Drinking and drug use
          3. Sexual abuse of children
          4. Violence
          5. Financial irresponsibility -- gambling, compulsive shopping

        1. Some are not so obvious
          1. Gaslighting
          1. Psychological Manipulation
          1. My experience with cults
          1. Subtle abandonment, undermining
          1. Subtle shaming

        1. Need for limits and boundaries
          1. Near occasion of sin

    1. Complicated when we've been punished for having emotions or desires -- no distance. 

    1. Lots of misunderstanding -- bad spiritual advice
      1. e.g. Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer -- p. 130 "The Gift of Faith"  -- imprimatur
        1. "Anxiety and sadness are always bad and always flow from self-love."  Nonsense
        1. 1769 In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit himself accomplishes his work by mobilizing the whole being, with all its sorrows, fears and sadness, as is visible in the Lord's agony and passion. 
          1. Jesus was anxious -- he was like us in all things but sin.  St. Paul.  
            1. Garden of Gethsemane 
              1. Mark 14:32-34  And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”[d] 35 
              2. Luke 22:  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. 44 And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.

  1. WebMD Hematidrosis, or hematohidrosis, is a very rare medical condition that causes you to ooze or sweat blood from your skin when you're not cut or injured.
  2. Doctors don't know exactly what triggers hematidrosis, in part because it's so rare. They think it could be related to your body's "fight or flight" response.
  3. Tiny blood vessels in the skin break open. The blood inside them may get squeezed out through sweat glands, or there might be unusual little pockets within the structure of your skin. These could collect the blood and let it leak into follicles (where the hair grows) or on to the skin's surface.
  4. Research suggests that tiny blood vessels that cause bloody sweat are more likely to rupture under intense stress. The stress can be physical, psychological, or both.
  5. Jesus was sad
    1. Lazarus  -- John 11:33-36  Jesus wept over Lazarus  33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved[e] in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 

    1. Wept over Jerusalem -- Luke 19:41
  7. Mary, conceived without original sin was anxious -- searching for the 12 year old Jesus.
  8. Reflects a failure to understand the human person and a failure to understand human formation.  
  9. CCC on emotions. 
    1. 1763 The term "passions" belongs to the Christian patrimony. Feelings or passions are emotions or movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil. 
    2. 1764 The passions are natural components of the human psyche; they form the passageway and ensure the connection between the life of the senses and the life of the mind. Our Lord called man's heart the source from which the passions spring.40
  10. Anxiety and Sadness are emotions.  Emotions don't carry a moral weight in and of themselves. 
    1. 1767 In themselves passions are neither good nor evil. They are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will. 
  11. We may have parts of us that hate other parts of us
  12. Catholics often have parts that hate their spouses.  I mean hate.  
    1. Can be really threatening to think that my spouse hates me.  Easier and more accurate to accept that a part of my spouse hates me.  
  13. What carries the moral weight is what we do with our emotions
    1. Hatred as an emotion
    1. Hatred as a position.
    1. Bad idea not to accept that they exist -- if we see them as "bad." parts of us are tempted to suppress them
      1. Revenge of the repressed.  

    1. Same thing with desires, impulses, attitudes, intentions, thoughts
      1. Case of scrupulosity
      1. How it leads to self-absorption, difficult loving each other
        1. Battle royale inside among parts
        1. Sympathy

  16. Limits
  17. Catechism on Marriage  1643:  "Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; 
    1. CCC 1770 Moral perfection consists in man's being moved to the good not by his will alone, but also by his sensitive appetite, as in the words of the psalm: "My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God."46
  18. But we are wounded.  
    1. You are gravely wounded
    2. Your spouse is gravely wounded.  
    3. Two gravely wounded people together
      1. Apollo 13 scene -- describe it.  Kevin Bacon and  Tom Hanks release the service module form the command module.  damage to the service module as it was jettisoned from the Command module.  

      1. In the desert.  -- Bring in some Fr. Dajczer here.  

  19. Signs of non-acceptance of another person.  
    1. Too much focus on the spouse -- the spouses actions, the spouses thoughts, emotions, almost exclusively external perspective so that there is not a balance between a focus on the other and a focus on me.  
    2. Too much of a focus on systems -- the back and forth.  
      1. Systemic problems -- problems between spouse rather than within spouses -- e.g. communication
        1. He just doesn't know how to put his love into words
        1. Communication issues
        1. We just don't match up very well, we're not in synch.  

    3. Time
      1. Dwelling in the past
        1. She never used to be this way
        1. Living in the golden years, pining for the 

      1. Flying to the future
        1. If I change this thing about myself, or if we do marital therapy, my husband will be so much better in the future
        1. It will be better when
          1. We move to a real house from this little apartment
          1. When we have our first child
          1. When he gets a promotion and there's not so much financial stress
          1. When the last kid gets into school and we're not always changing diapers
          1. When the last one graduates and we are through the tumultuous teenagers at home phase
          1. When we retire.  

      1. How much am I in the present when thinking about my spouse
    5. Harboring bitterness, nurturing it, feeding grievances.  
    6. Resignation vs. acceptance
      1. Resignation -- downheartedness and lack of hope for change.  

    7. Certainty in the descriptions of the other spouse
    8. Broad generalizations of the other spouse -- untempered, not nuanced, not appreciating the different dimensions and parts of the spouse.  
    9. Lack of openness to new or deeper perspectives -- clinging to current assumptions
      1. Spouse is fearfully and wonderfully made.  

      1. Two-dimensional representations
        1. He's withdrawn and silent, he doesn't talk, we're just like roomates, he has no emotions.  

      1. One-dimensional representations
        1. He's a narcissist.  

        1. Pendulum swings upon discovery.  

    10. Loss of a sense of Providence.
      1. This is the floor -- the rock solid foundation is your childlike trust in God's Providence
        1. And like other little children, you be imperfect, not do thing well, and make mistakes and still be cherished and loved by God.  

      1. Some with an intellectual understanding of Providence
        1. But it's just head knowledge

      1. We have parts that feels safer if they are driving our bus, if they are in control.  

  20. Acceptance in the sex life.  
    1. Is among the trickiest if not the most tricky area in the marriage.  
    2. We will discuss this more next week.  
  21. Recommendations
    1. Let's go a lot deeper.  Have the courage.  Have the trust that your needs will be met, not necessarily by your spouse, but by others, including God and Mary.  

    1. Letting go of assumptions -- some of them very handy, seem helpful, seem like they explain things -- but they may not be true.  
      1. Filtered thr ough our lenses, through our parts' perspectives.  

    1. Prayer:  
      1. My Lord, My Lady, I accept whatever is in my spouse as reality.  
      2. Lord, what would you have me to see, understand, and accept in my spouse.  
      3. Why, Lord, are you showing me this new thing about my spouse now, at this point in my life?

    1. Time each day to consider your spouse -- think of her, think of him
      1. Write about her, about him -- putting experiences into words.   

    1. Break up patterns - mix it up, try new things  -- new behaviors
    1. Being a sounding board -- putting experience into words with another person.  A fresh set of eyes.  

  23. Pilgrimage
    1. Human formation
      1. We all need help
      1. We all need structure
      1. We all need support.  

    1. Relaunch discussion.  
      1. Get on the waiting list --  more than 100 on the waiting list so far.  
      2. Mark your calendars  Tuesday, May 25 from 7:30 to 8:45 PM meeting about the RCC reopening, Q&A.  -- that meeting will be on our landing page -- register for it.  Also the link will go out in our next email to our waitlist which will be sent on Tuesday, May 4

    1. Ad for a researcher, dissertation -- student
    1. Second Wednesday Zoom Meeting Wednesday May 12 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM -Time - that one is all about the changes in the community. 

    1. Conversation hours Tuesday and Thursday May 4 and 6 -- 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM Eastern time

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