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ramblings of an unknown psychiatrist

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Marital Conflict: an abstract painting

Posted by Dheeraj Kattula on December 2, 2011

Marital Conflict

Title: Marital conflict

Watercolor on handmade paper

24 x 32 cm


Realistic art is technically challenging and abstract art is ‘technically challenged’, so I thought and refrained from abstract art till now. Art need not be technically complex and simplicity may not be meaningless.This painting has taken a lot of thought and very less time.I call it ‘Marital Conflict’.

Any marriage is attacked by strong emotions and deep passions as represented by the red. It can be shielded by patience, serenity and wisdom as represented by the cool blue. In that love lives on, represented by the form of heart. There is peace, represented by white.In that context partners experience growth, as represented by green. Due to stressors, personality factors and rarely mental disorder this buffer is lost. Peace is found in separation as seen in the inverted funnel.Partners may grow but not to the level they together could as shown by the sizes of green blots.The blue drops above offer hope that outside forces can increase the buffer to protect love, peace and growth through social support,therapy and God’s enabling.



2 Responses to “Marital Conflict: an abstract painting”

  1. Sam David said

    Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for placing your perspective (I guess) on realistic & abstract art… Thanks for making your own explanation too on the art placed before me. Unfortunately you seem to have missed the points. You have attributed the flame for emotion & passion. I can understand your stand on this as you come from your own school of thought within your present specialty – ‘Psyche’. Let me say, without emotion there is no passion so they go together, but what you need to add to those flames are ‘FRIENDSHIP’ and ‘COMPANIONSHIP’ Only then one can talk about PASSION as the third flame. Things do not go this way as one grows in Marriage. I like the way you have qualified colours. In the Bible God tells us that a man and his wife can stay apart only when they want to take time to commune with HIM in prayer. so I do not agree or understand the issue of separation! I also would like you to use the word ‘SPOUSE’ in the place of partners. Again you may be legally right, but what does this mean? Partners can any time break the contract and also move on to be with other partners!
    Probably you may try and revise this paintings after a decade or so with more green dots making it rich and also flames will take on the needed heat to keep the fire alive till death do us depart…

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      Dear Uncle,

      Thanks for your long and insightful comment. In the red colour, I meant only the negative emotions of anger and passion of rage. Friendship and companionship are positive things that come in the context of relationship.I am sure that psychiatry has made me more ‘liberal’ in one sense but I think it is positive.We do not understand the pain and problems of people when we see from moral high ground. A humanistic approach is more Christian in the sense of empathic understanding.

      I was reading John Stott’s book on issues facing us today. He concludes biblically the purpose of marriage is:
      1. Procreation and nurture in love and discipline
      2. Help and comfort
      3. Commitment to love which finds expression in sexual union

      There are relationships where there is physical and verbal abuse, denial of sex, denial of providence for family. Is that marriage meaningful? Should someone sacrifice their life to uphold the institution of marriage? In that context I believe divorce is the most loving and clear expression of a partner spouse to exit out of a loveless and meaningless marriage.It is peaceful.It is better than abuse, addiction, suicide or homicide.

      We can say that for a Christian, a bad marriage is an opportunity to grow in the fruit of the spirit.Should one need to grow in patience by pampering someone who is unjust? The price for such growth is to endure a bad marriage. You know that the ones who are willing for such a sacrifice are a minority. God bless them. We should accept the rest of the mortals, who are legitimate in separation from their spouse if the spouse fails consistently in marital contract covenant. In fact we must reach out to them. Sadly they will be seen as ‘sinners’ though they are victims of some one else’s sin.Hope you can understand my perspective.

      PS:I have not said that the relationship should not be restored through counseling and other means.I speak of separation when those buffers don’t work and one is ‘hard’ at heart to not change at all.

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