We all relate ambivalently to others, since there are positive and negative components involved, in accordance with the different aspects of each one’s personality.
And this starts from a very young age: the child loves his mother because she gives him everything, feeds him, cares for him and comforts him, but if she does not attend to him at a certain time, or is late in giving him food, he will cry nonstop, considering it “bad” at the time.
This is a relationship that is perceived as deeply asymmetrical, in which one of the parties has everything and manages as they please, giving or denying. When the mother denies, the son feels so unprotected that he even says terrible things to her (“you are the worst mom in the world”, “I don’t love you”) to later return to compensate her with other types of phrases (“I love you”, “You are the best mom in the world”), seeking to regain his favor and his love. Sometimes the child is afraid that his mother will leave him if she does not comply with her wishes.
Relationships are then handled on this scale of feelings, preserving the antecedent of this first fundamental relationship, with the great difference that, with growth and development, irrational fears and childish aspects should disappear.
Mature relationships are characterized by presenting both aspects in a balanced and fundamental way, so that they do not affect the stability of the couple. In these relationships, emotions are expressed without the fear of causing harm to the other, for which we can feel bad later. Here our self-esteem is higher and we do not think that the other is going to abandon us because he is better than us or simply because he wants to.
There are also mixed feelings regarding our partner in these relationships: sometimes we are happy and sometimes angry, but we always feel whole and safe, we are not afraid that they will attack us without a valid reason and for the simple fact of harming us. Everything takes place in a balance between the positive and the negative, assimilating an equal relationship between both people.
However, there are numerous cases of people who establish their relationships while maintaining the most archaic and primitive ways of functioning.
These are love-hate relationships, in which the degree of happiness and anger are very extreme. They are recognized because they have much to do with the infantile relations already described.
The fear of losing the other person and the anger for any frustration, become the axes on which the couple passes.
These are some of its characteristics:
- They show very extreme and often very contradictory reactions. They go from scenes of maximum love and tenderness, to others with a notable load of verbal and even physical aggression. This transition can happen in a very short period of time and sometimes, based on simple assumptions.
- There are frequent “illogical” episodes: after a great discussion, with highly aggressive components, one gives the other something very expensive, sometimes beyond their financial means, even going into debt to achieve it.
- The past and the future are mixed, there are frequent claims and discussions about very old issues, but they can be revived at any time.
- Abandonment or betrayal is always expected or mistrusted. The extreme feeling of love that is felt in an instant, is transformed into an absolute fear of losing that person in the next, and can give rise to episodes in which any event out of the ordinary (a late arrival, a message in the phone, a promotion) is perceived as a signal that everything is over.
- In the moments in which the person feels abandoned, he can carry out acts of aggression towards his partner, because “he deserves it”. She then reconsiders and returns to the state of falling in love, in a cycle that has no end.
- The strongest feelings in these couples are insecurity, fear and anger. They usually feel “stuck” in the relationship.
- Due to the feeling of insecurity, these couples tend to always be together, to control each other permanently. If that is not possible, the means are sought to achieve it, through the telephone, contacts at the other’s work or surprise visits where the other is. Sickly jealousy is common currency.
- The danger of this type of relationship is that normally the expressions of love and hate escalate. The need to be together increases, but also the expressions of spite are acquiring a greater charge of aggression, with acts of verbal and physical violence that are increasing.
- If you are in a relationship of this type, it is essential that you seek to clarify things with your partner, in order to solve things. If they cannot do this on their own, it is imperative that they seek professional advice, so that the damage is not increased.