The phrase “a broken family” is used to conjure up the essence of a disastrous childhood.
By the time I was at university, I had had two fathers and three mothers; and if you include my grandparents – who also functioned as parents for a good while – a grand total of seven, instead of the conventional two. Initially I was puzzled how it was that I seemed relatively free and well-adjusted, while so many of my more “fortunate” friends – who had had the proper stable family life – seemed endlessly troubled by the continuing demands of family ties that pursued them into adulthood. Might not a broken family really be a blessing in disguise?
The conventional family is already out of date. It has served its purpose, and it has no future. Psychologically it is very dangerous for the child to be confined to only two parents. If the child is a girl, she starts loving the father and creates an inner image of a man she would like to love. Of course she knows she cannot love the father the way her mother loves him, so she is jealous of the mother.
It is an ugly situation to create for the child: from the very beginning, the first woman in her life is an object of jealousy, and the first man in her life she is never going to get.
But her mind will carry the image of the father her whole life, disrupting all her marriages because in every husband she will be looking for the father – unconsciously – and no man can fulfill the requirements. And no man has married her to be her father.
From the man’s side, he is searching for his mother. If the child is a boy, he falls in love with the mother, and he carries the image of that first woman his whole life, unfulfilled.
He will fall in love with many women, finding some similarity. But similarities are one thing – perhaps just the hair style is like his mother’s or the way the woman walks, or the eyes, or the nose. But the nose is not the whole woman, and the hair style is not going to help in any way. So no woman is going to fulfill his longing for a mother, and no woman marries him to be a mother.
Now we are creating such a complex situation for children that their whole life will remain in a misery, and they will dump the responsibility on the other. The man will think the woman has betrayed him – because she was looking just like his mother, and after marriage she turns out to be something totally different. She deceived him.
The same is the situation from the other side. Every woman thinks the man has deceived her, cheated her, pretending to be nice and good and everything before the marriage. After the marriage the mask that he was wearing disappears, and she finds just a male chauvinist.
And both the parents are continuously fighting, nagging each other, trying to dominate each other; and the children are learning – because there is no other way, this is their first school. And it is not a question of arithmetic or geography or history; it is a question of life. They are learning life’s abc, and what they are seeing is that the mother is continuously harassing the father, and the father is continuously trying to dominate, subjugate, enslave.