Why love is so painful sometimes?
Published on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at 12:12 pm and is filed under Sex and Relationships
In a psychologist’s office often come people who suffer from love. Despite the tendency of our culture to ennoble a sense of love, love in ordinary life can be a very painful and distructive experience. Jealousy’s sufferings, fear of loss and despair of unrequited love, the pain of betrayal are unbearable feelings of lovers.
Recently I came to accept fairly successful in social terms, a woman who was been in a long love affair with a man, and who, moreover, was her boss. She contributed with many for this connection: she moved behind him in another city, threw familiar surroundings and favorite work and even, in time, divorced her husband.
Some time later, after a quarrel with this man, at night, she unexpectedly went neck blood, she was hospitalized and put the terrible diagnosis – tuberculosis. The diagnosis was shocking, because by her own admission, she had never even flu sick. The woman is treated extensively and has the treatment has effect – she is recovering, but needs time to rehabilitate. Her friend is angry and horrified, though, it seems not for her, but rather for themselves. He prohibits her grossly to appear at work and does not want to meet or talk. He requires formal evidence of her recovery, accuses of falsifying the results of treatment. His reaction hurt her, they look wild and mysterious against the background of previous “good” relationship. What really happened?
I think I’m too confused, but I’m trying to clarify their relationship, I draw attention to a single sentence that this woman dropped accidentally. She said the following: “He loved me.” My hearing cling to that phrase, I demand an explanation, and gradually emerges the true picture of their relationship, relationships, full of cruelty and deceit, of which my client suffered unconsciously, that, apparently, directly or indirectly led to her tuberculosis. That’s what “love” was.
Why being cruel to me?
In analyzing this case, I wondered: What makes this woman to deny the obvious pole of her relationship with this man – a pole of cruelty and abandonment?
The answer to this question for a professional psychologist is obvious: it is a psychological defense. Denial is a protection. Of course, for human nature is characteristic to try to protect themselves from emotional pain. Most “successful” in that people sometimes lead to the absurd the way to protect, to the cynical phrase that “only fools fall in love.”
If we do not want to defend in such a radical way, that in fact, curses love, we inevitably have to try to answer another question: what kind of inner strength makes love so destructive? That is, what is the nature of the psychological process that provides such a denial.
To answer this question, we recall one of the noble truths: man is suffering and suffering has a reason. This cause is the breach of contact with reality, if we talk in general.
In our case, we will say this: the lover is suffering because he is losing touch with reality of the Other, the object of his love. What does this mean? We are talking about a certain intrapsychic process, that alienates a person from another, although, apparently, is something that wants to look like a true manifestation of the love relationship. I would call this process an imaginary love.
What is an imaginary love? This is, in fact, the dependence on a certain way of a person crafted by another person who is always a greater or lesser extent, different from human reality. In psychoanalysis, this image is called “imago.”
So, imago of another person, the object of mu “love” (from now on I’m taking the word ”love” in quotation marks), is created by me for my own enjoyment. Imago is identical to my liking, but not the wish of my loving partner. Imago serves only my selfish needs, even if I’m suffering …
Let the suffering does not fool you. In all the conscious psychological suffering there is the secret, unconscious and distorted pleasure. I showed my partner a love-demand, in accordance with its pleasure, its imago …
At this point we are in the circles of torment: hell is coming. We require love, but do not get the desired response. We want, but we are not wanted. We have become closer, but we are rejected. We love, but we are hated. There is only one way to break these circles of hell - abandon our illusions, our unrealistic ideas about the other. True, it is fraught with the loss of “love”, but maybe this ”love” must be lost …
On the other side of myself
Discovering the reality of another person is a daunting task so difficult that the advice of Socrates: “Know thyself” would be worth adding - ”Know the other.”
People are suffering from their invented representations of themselves, other people and about relationships between people. As a result, the world becomes the mirror of human relationships: when people are trying to see other reflections of themselves, and finding none, they suffer. This suffering is inevitable in the world of distorting mirrors and distorted reflections.
So love pain is a kind of symptom, a symptom of loss of contact with reality. And at the same time – this is the call of Reality, a chance to hear more on that side of ourselves.
If loving attitude is a symptom of distress it’s time to think about treatment.
How can we help a person suffering from ”love”?
One love - three scenarios
In my experience as a therapist, there are several possible options for the development of pathological love script.
Option One: “The patient is more dead than alive.” It’s not just irony. There are people whose attraction to the destructive and self-destructive behavior is so relentlessly that subjugates the loving feeling without a trace. Sadism and hostility on the one hand, and pathological masochism compliance with another, get into the emotions of love, hidden in an imaginary “good” for the partner, as once the legionnaires, have taken refuge in the belly of a Trojan horse. Helping such people is almost impossible, especially because they are not prepared to accept this assistance.
Another option is the so-called “treatment effect”. It is a tendency for people to spontaneously act out at work, in the behavior of inner feelings and thoughts. No spiritual work in this case, usually does happen. Man does not learn lessons from the previous situation. He merely repeats some unconscious algorithm. ”If I was unlucky in love, I should try again, only this time with another man.” And try and attack the same mistake … It may take a long time, until one day people will stop and ponder over their lives, finding it dull repetition.
Option last, optimistic. This is definitely the way to self-discovery. It’s necessary to look at themselves and, preferably, to look deeper. It’s necessary to compete for the acquisition of reliable knowledge – an understanding of the current situation in romantic relationships and its causes, its contribution to psychological and contribution of another person. If you’re prone to reflection and self-knowledge, perhaps you could handle the job yourself, but if you can not boast the skills of self-knowledge, use the services of a professional in the understanding of human relationships – a psychologist or therapist.
Whatever it was, I think one should always remember one very important thing: if you are suffering psychologically, there is no need to try at all it costs to try to get rid of emotional pain. After all, this the pain has its value, its meaning. KG Jung has very well expressed this idea, saying that “neurosis (read – the emotional suffering) hides the soul of man.”
If we suffer from love, then we have lost our soul. And our first priority is to make adequate efforts to understand the significance of their symptoms, to regain the lost emotional well-being, as a guarantee of the ability to truly love and be loved.