Cristina and Burke of Grey’s Anatomy (Part I): What Happened at the Altar?

The success of the ABC hit series, Grey’s Anatomy is no doubt a response to its relatable, if somewhat melodramatic, relationship stories. This blog will explore the Personality driven dynamics of Grey’s characters. We begin with a drama that made it all the way to the altar where it boomeranged into an unexpected and painful twist.

One of the things I appreciate about Grey’s relationship stories is how they exemplify the complexity of conflict. What happened between Cristina and Burke at the altar is no exception.

(spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t already watched through season 3)

Cristina was always resistant to getting married, eventually deciding it was a way to show her love by giving Burke what was so important to him.

The moment had arrived. Burke stood, he and the wedding guests as if on hold, waiting for Cristina to walk down the isle. In that moment of pause, it hit him. If getting married was a sacrifice she was making for him, then letting her do it meant he didn’t truly love her. Violins aside, this moment of impact unveils pivotal elements of this couple’s conflict dynamic.

Future posts will break this down. But for now, I’ll reveal that Cristina is a Physical Changemaker with circumstantial Physical Explorer and Physical Connector bodyguards.  And Burke is an Ideas Explorer with pervasive Social Connector and Ideas Changemaker bodyguards. It is possible to have two different bodyguard types (one circumstantial and one pervasive), just isn’t the case for either of these characters. If you want a quick review of what bodyguards mean, check out this post.

The next post will go into more detail about this powerful story.

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