Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Colman, W. (2014). The Intolerable Other: The Difficulty of Becoming a Couple. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 4(1):22-41.

(2014). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 4(1):22-41

The Intolerable Other: The Difficulty of Becoming a Couple

Warren Colman

This paper describes an antipathy to relating due to the difficulty of relating to an other who is different from ourselves and does not conform to our wishes. While this is an inherent tension in all couple relationships, it can become an entrenched pattern in couples who seek omnipotent perfection in themselves and others as an attempt to avoid the pain of loss and disappointment, especially where loss is felt to be equivalent to abandonment. Drawing on James Fisher's work on narcissism, I describe the lack of curiosity and rigid maintenance of illusions that characterise the narcissistic attitude and give an extended clinical example of a couple who were desperate to stay together despite frequently being unable to tolerate each other.

The paper includes an Afterword written for the paper's republication which acknowledges the inspiration of James Fisher, and reconceptualises some of the theoretical assumptions in terms of the work of Beebe and colleagues on co-constructed dyadic systems (Beebe & Lachmann, 2002, 2003; Beebe & Stern, 1977).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.