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Seidenberg, R. (1970). Catcher Gone Awry. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:331-339.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:331-339

Catcher Gone Awry

Robert Seidenberg

Although his fortune was large and his character sensible, he seemed to feel strangely flattered to become the privileged husband of a woman whom the whole world must find lovely. GOETHE, Elective Affinities

There is a therapist in every one of us. Jesus saves, and we wish to identify with Him. Few of us can save lives, but we all at some time or another try to save souls. We all have fancied ourselves as catchers in the tall grass rescuing others who play their games near the brink. For some the highest mission of life is rescue, and they are attracted to the problems of others. And in every rescuer there is invariably found the need to be rescued.

Marriage lends itself to such missionary zeal. If you love someone, it is quite natural that you would want to help him. But one often sees that a person is loved because he or she needs help. The distraught person then becomes a challenge, to be helped, to be rehabilitated when everyone else and everything else has failed. 'I will straighten her out.' 'I am what she needs.' 'I will make her a good life.' These are expressions of love and empathy, but they can be derived from a malignant megalomania often leading to severe disillusionment and worse. A person must be enthralled with his own importance to feel that his good intentions, or the examples he sets, or the love he gives, can undo the torment and pain of another, usually wrought by a myriad of destructive and threatening imprints of many decades of living. When a man marries a woman to cure her, he at once identifies himself as a superman.

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