I want to pass along a wonderful email from one of our clients after their very first visit with us. He wrote it himself and gave us permission to share it. Marriage analogies are hit and miss but this one seems like a home run. We shared it at staff meeting and I think many of our counselors are sharing it with their couples. This comes from a man with basically 20 years in the construction industry. I’m grateful for creative people like him who can help simplify broader concepts. I hope it’s helpful for your marriage…
“Just a note of thanks to Mary today for our first session. It was nice to have an outsider’s view into our marriage, and I wanted to share something with you all that I wrote this morning just before heading out of DC for our appointment.
Take care and thanks so much for being here.”
The Bonding Capacity of Humans
Intimacy and Love are qualitative forms of expression that have some interesting similarities to the bonding of adhesives. This may not be the most romantic way of discussing this topic, but as I have been in construction for 19 years now, I can’t help but notice the patterns.
When we don’t like something, but cannot get rid of it, we often say we are “stuck with it,” but if we want to stay with someone, the closeness that is represented by that statement also has a bond associated with it.
If you have ever tried to apply tape to a dirty surface, you know that the dirt sticks to the tape, and the tape becomes useless. If you don’t know how to prepare the surface for adhesion, you are wasting time, energy, and money.
In order for two people to “stick together,” both people need to be “bondable.” We have to want someone to be attached to us, and they must want someone attached to them. This is not a law that must be submitted to, but simply a process that needs to be understood.
Our “bond-ability” can change over time, and is most often heavily influenced by how we interact with each other. It’s not just a one-time event that defines our attachment to each other, nor can it be defined or maintained by a legal contract or any other means of authority.
On the contrary, the bonding capacity of humans is an ongoing, dynamic and iterative process where the results of prior interactions feed back into the bonding equations of the future, as they have a direct impact on how we allow others to stick to us and how much we want to stick to others.