False friends of love

We often tend to think of them as proofs of love. Wrongly. These feelings make the other disappear and bring us back to us.

Flavia Mazelin Salvi

Jealousy, overprotection, dependence, hyperintensity, possessiveness. Their common point? These emotions are all part of the feeling of love, but can not be considered as the expression of true love. "Each one of them has the particularity to make the other disappear and to bring it back to the same, it is to oneself, "says psychoanalyst Jean-Michel Hirt. It highlights the unconscious issues that are hidden in what we take too quickly for proofs of love.


It is unbearable, the gaze of the other who lingers on one or another than us. The more painful the bite of jealousy, the deeper the love seems. But if jealousy is inseparable from love, it is far from being the major criterion. In true love, two parts are played simultaneously: between subjects, "I like", and between objects, "I am loved". But in jealousy, only the dimension "object of love" is active. Because the jealous person lives mainly as an object of love for the other, he can not stand his gaze turning away from him. He thinks he loves, because he suffers at the thought of not being so.

But what about his love? This is the question that jealousy eludes. In reality, excessive jealousy ignores the other while feeding on it. It speaks only of itself, of these narcissistic wounds, of this difficulty in constituting itself as an autonomous being, as a subject. In this relationship, the other is loved only because it gives the jealous a consistency of being that is lacking. Jealousy also supports or reinforces erotic desire by introducing into the relationship, even in fantasy, a rival third.


I worry about you, I make you life sweet, I protect you ... "Ti voglio bene", "I want you good", also means "I love you" in Italian. At first sight, nothing is more altruistic and authentic than this love expressed in caring for others and in a certain self-abnegation. Yet the unconscious has nothing to do with gifts, which bring him nothing; he is only looking for personal gratification.

Even if it is not easy to admit it, caring love is in fact addressed to our own internal parental images to whom we give a good lesson, on the air of: "That's how you should have treated the child I was, bad parents! " As for our partner, he tells her, "Now it's your turn to take care of me." Or again: "You have no interest in leaving, no one will treat you better than me." In any case, it is clear that this is an alliance that aims, and sometimes succeeds, in healing childhood wounds: abandonment, physical or mental abuse.It is not so much to go beyond, nor even to forget, as to right the wrongs of the past.


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