The lack of otherness in a relationship -that is, the inability to understand that the other person is an independent being and different from oneself- leads to a desire for possession that endangers the bond.
Sometimes alliances are established between two people who are strangers to more sensible observers; like when two people decide to get married without giving each other time to get to know each other. Some allow themselves to be carried away by the crush, which is the way in which the delusion of falling in love is more evident , a deceit that is always present that makes the other perceive not as he is but as we would like him to be.
Love supposes an apprenticeship of freedom, accepting that the other has his own desires, which can include us or not, without this being experienced as a personal attack worthy of revenge.
The imagined lover
It is typical of falling in love to build an imaginative scenario in which we interpret that the behavior of the other responds perfectly to our needs and desires.
If, for example, a man wants to have his whole life under control, he would choose as a couple a woman to whom he would attribute characteristics of submission , sincerity, transparency, loyalty, fidelity; I would be unable to imagine that she might have some secret or some desire of her own that did not include it.
A woman who wanted to feel protected could easily opt for a man who exhibited signs of power – both economic and strength of character – and confuse insensitivity with force,precisely because he did not have time to see what the other was like after that period. deceitful where only sees what he would like to see, confusing the projections of own desires on the other with their true features.
It would be a case of denial of otherness , since all otherness supposes a distance between one’s self and that of the other. When it is denied, the illusion that makes the other look like the reflection of oneself, which is the source of conflicts , is broken .
Love is not blind: falling in love, yes
The illusion of making two a single is quite common in the couple not noticed and is reflected in the popular saying “find the better half”; two halves that, when put together, form a whole. But the reality is different, as shown by the disappointments that occur when the stage of falling in love is overcome , that stage that prevents seeing the other as it really is.
Many times, falling in love is defined as a state of transient alienation . If after a while, the bandage that blinds us does not fall, it is probable that there is a fracture in our psyche, some more or less serious pathology.
What happens when we confuse loving and possessing?
Intensifying the possessive side of the other implies a failure in the necessary distance to respect your personal space, your time, your need to rely on other links. Whoever is possessive believes that his partner should only feel full with his presence.
There are movies that illustrate these situations. In Gabrielle , for example, its protagonist is a rich man, a great art collector, who feels that his wife is the most appreciated object in his collection. He attributes qualities that she does not have, but he is relieved to imagine her in a way that nothing escapes her control, as if life could be stopped. When she shows herself as she is, he collapses.
Obviously, there are degrees in that denial of the other. In psychosis, the frustration of love, disappointment or being abandoned by the beloved can provoke a growing hatred, fierce , which leads to self-harm and can even lead to the murder of the couple.
In these cases, the left person feels that the other is an aggressor who takes a part that belongs to him, part without which he feels lost. This is the case we see in Fatal Attraction , when, in response to her unbearable frustration, she tries to assassinate the man she hopes will fill her emptiness.
Lack of distance produces, in the face of a love misunderstanding or infidelity, a subjective breakdown that feeds the death wish of the one who is responsible for the pain caused , whether the lover appears as a third party who breaks the mirage of lost paradise as the same person before loved and, now, hated. This is the case of Infiel , in which the deceived husband confesses to his wife that he has killed his lover but, in reality, he wanted to kill her.
A healthy relationship is a free relationship
All these are dramatic examples of how the lack of otherness, which is a form of denial of the other, can lead us to believe that we have the right to own it . Love supposes an apprenticeship of freedom, which does not mean a lack of commitment but an acceptance that the other has his own desires, which can include us or not, without this being experienced as a personal attack that calls for the desire to destroy it.
Very possessive people are victims of this confusion and many murders by the work of sentimental partners can be attributed to these causes.
Healthy relationships mean we can leave a bond when it does not satisfy us.
We all have the right to leave a link when it does not satisfy us. Whoever feels unable to take charge should take responsibility for it, instead of blaming the person who abandons it. The learning of alterity is a long and difficult process – and more in the slippery terrain of love – but necessary if you want to establish healthy and respectful relationships.
A separation involves entering into a painful process that puts us face to face with the fact that we are not one, as we thought we were when we were together. Who does not know how to be alone will not be able to assume that part of their being that will never be rid of solitude and will hardly be able to internalize otherness, respect for the autonomy of the other.