How to be successful in creating perfect match

Psychotherapist Mikhail Dernakovsky is convinced that only those who try to improve themselves can achieve happiness
By Lyudmila Pikalina

I know someone who recently married for the seventh time; each time, he’s said it’s ‘forever’. I’ve noticed that all his wives have been similar in character, so I’ve never cherished illusions about his relationships. His attempts to convince me that his new passion is completely different now fail. Despite him being clever, he doesn’t seem to realise that he is subconsciously attracted to the same type of girl each time, only projecting onto them what he wishes to see. Unsurprisingly, it has not yet worked out.

It’s well known that men seek someone to ‘mother’ them, and to satisfy them in the bedroom. Multiple relationships often follow a path of seeking out someone to fulfil these roles. Of course, if you keep stepping on a rake, you should expect the same result. You either need to seek expert advice or do some soul searching to solve your own problems, recognising what it is that you keep seeking out in relationships.

What do you think of those who place their faith in Fate, as opposed to those who believe we shape our own destiny?
If you repeat your mistakes, you keep on the same path, rather than changing your destiny. However, in seeking to improve yourself, you’re already changing destiny! One of my patients endured five attempted rapes and domestic abuse from her alcoholic husband, who regularly beat her. She turned to alcohol and made three suicide attempts, despite being a doctor, with great intelligence.

Her life was going downhill but she managed to turn it around, putting aside alcohol, divorcing her spouse and finding contentment in the Orthodox faith. She changed her ideas about men and began to perceive the world in a positive way. A year later, she remarried and now has a good relationship with her husband; she tells me that she’s happy. We all have our own destiny, but we can change it if we act rather than complain.

Do you think that opposites work better within a marriage than like-minded souls? What prevents us from enjoying happiness with someone who thinks as we do, watches the same films, reads the same books and whom we understand immediately?
Psychological compatibility has many paradoxes. As a rule, people prefer partners similar to themselves. For example, a strong-willed woman with a business mind will seek out the same kind of man: a ‘director’. However, their relationship would soon be likely to hit conflict, since she really needs a man who’ll let her ‘wear the trousers’. She needs him to spend time with the family. An attractive woman with a zest for life will be drawn to a similar man but they are unlikely to be a good match: spending too much money and perhaps not sharing the same interests. They might go on holiday together and return discontented. She really needs a sensible man with a level head but she’d probably view him as a ‘bore’.

In every family, one person needs to take the lead. One should save money, while the other spends. Contrasting personal qualities are important, but we also need similar intelligence levels, common interests and a coincidence of values. This ensures that we have something to talk about and can agree in our opinions of the world.
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