by Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT,
This is based on the principle that adult romantic primary attachment relationships are more difficult because of their psychobiological weight -- memories, expectations, fears, threats to security, etc. Primary partners tend to become "deep family." Like it not, partner become proxies for everyone who has come before (historically) the relationship: mother, father, brother, sister, first love, teachers, etc. Kids are smaller systems and can certainly trigger early memories and bodily experiences and the complexity of raising children is certainly no cakewalk. However, they just do not carry the same emotional, psychobiological weight as a primary partner. Pets are easy because they are cute but their brains neither amplify mutually generated positive experiences nor trigger historical attachment injuries (at least not usually).
Alas, it is our adult partners who remain our mightiest challenge to happiness as all our early attachment injuries and hopes for repair likely reside in their ability to make our lives easier rather than more difficult (unfortunately the latter is more common).
What do you think? More later....
Copyright 2012 -- Stan Tatkin, Psy.D. -- all rights reserved