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Greco, O. (2019). Response to “Love, Hate, and Otherness in Intimate Relating” by Mary Morgan. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 9(1):22-23.

(2019). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 9(1):22-23

Response to “Love, Hate, and Otherness in Intimate Relating” by Mary Morgan Related Papers

Ondina Greco

I should like to thank Mary Morgan for her very interesting and stimulating article, that gives us an in-depth introduction to a psychoanalytic reading of the couple relationship; a complex and dialectic reading, that takes into account the easy and satisfactory aspects of the relationship, as well as the difficult ones. These depend on the diversity between the partners’ expectations, needs, and desires, differences that can lead to suffering and to mutual misunderstanding.

Thus psychoanalytic thought leads us very far from the idealising reductive reading of the couple relationship that we often encounter in the European culture.

I wonder in fact if the fragility of couple relationships—the decline in marriages and the increase in divorces, that doubled in Europe from 1970 to 2010 (Eurostat)—is bound up also with the illusion that family relationships (between couple partners and between parents and children) belong to a realm of perfect and spontaneous closeness and mutual understanding, in contrast to social relationships that are represented as very difficult and, in some cases, are even considered a danger from which we should defend ourselves (As the Latin proverb has it “Homo homini lupus est”—“Man is wolf to man!”).

In this representational horizon, the inescapable difficulties that bring both painful emotions and suffering to the partners are felt to be intolerable, principally because they appear inexplicable; the subjects lack cultural tools with which to deal with them and so they very often lead to the impossibility of reviving the couple's relationship.

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