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By Eric Metaxas


Screwtape Proposes a Divorce

The pitfalls of Great Expectations.

Pray do not ask me, dear reader, how the following correspondence fell into my possession. Suffice it to say that the C.S. Lewis Estate's legal counsel prevents me from revealing very much on that subject, and my own legal counsel says I mustn't tempt fate on this score. I chafe sorely at these constraints; nonetheless, the litigious nature of modern society is not easily gainsaid.

In any case, to the point: if you ever doubted that devils desire to destroy marriages between humans as much as they desire to destroy the marriage between a soul and its creator, here is some evidence for you. The names have been changed to protect those innocent of copyright infringement.

Eric Metaxas
New York, 2004

My dear Gallstone,
The question as to whether you shd. encourage yr. male subject to covet his neighbour's wife made me shriek with laughter. You are such a literal devil! Of course if opportunity presents itself, you certainly should. But our Enemy's command can be broken in much more general ways, so there's no need to try and focus yr. patient toward any one specific person. Badness, no! Getting your man to covet anyone at all, including fictional characters, is just as good, and sometimes even better, about which more later. But this brings up a subject I've long meant to expand upon and now shall: that of creating unrealistic expectations.

Traditionally this is one of the most effective techniques by which our tribe has weakened and sundered marriages since the hateful institution began, and you would do well to master it. The simplest way of doing this is immed. following some kind of row (great or small, it doesn't much matter), by drawing yr. patient's attention to someone who appears, at that moment, to have all of the qualities yr. patient's spouse so pointedly lacks. For example, if the man's wife had during their squabble been screaming at him or loudly criticizing him, all you must do is put in his path some reasonably attractive human female who is for some reason ...

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