The Dark Side of Love: The Positive Role of Negative Feelings
(Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey, [c] 1999.)
From New Introduction: “I find it rather astonishing that as a culture we spend as much money as we do on the intellectual development of our children, and no money on the emotional development of our children. Psychotherapy is the only system we have developed that addresses the issue of emotional education; there is no school, no class that is part of the standard educational system that one can take to learn how to become emotionally integrated. Generally, only the most disturbed of our children receive psychotherapeutic help, and often even these are neglected. Unfortunately, by the time most people avail themselves of psychotherapy, the therapy serves as emotional reeducation rather than primary learning: bad habits need to be unlearned; it is always easier to learn first than to unlearn and relearn later.
My hope is that in understanding more about the emotional needs of children, children will no longer raise guns to their school chums; these children as they grow into husbands and wives will no longer need to injure each other through extramarital affairs; and nations will no longer become divided within themselves… it is, I believe, the only hope we have”. (p. xxii)
From Introduction: “In my healing, I was forced to come to terms with my own hate and anger and desire for revenge. Every ugly wish under the sun passed through my mind… This was more than mere anger or resentment. This I would call hate. There was poison in those feelings and wishes… Along the way (to healing) I noticed a curious phenomenon. I noticed the emotional freedom that came with allowing myself to experience all those poisonous thoughts and feelings. I didn’t actually do anything to (boyfriend) but as I let my anger and hate and wish for revenge fill my being I, seemingly miraculously, began to feel better. Paradoxically, my giving the hate its full expression finally allowed the hate to release its grip on me. The more I was able to embrace my hate without shame, the freer I began to feel.”
From The Myths of Love: “The real reason for our pervasive confusion about love has to do not so much with the inadequacy of ourselves or our loved ones, but rather with the expectations we bring to bear on love itself. We expect too much of love, and so we are doomed to confusion and disappointment. Love was never meant to be, and cannot be, all of what we want it to be… “The truth is, no matter our innate talents, our inherited strengths, or our acquired wealths, loving well, with a full range of emotional tonality, is a skill to be learned and a technique to be rehearsed… Learning to love is a developmental task. While the need to love and to be loved may be instinctual, the ability to love is not…
From Loving Love and Hating Hate: Imagine a young infant’s confusion over the fact that the good mother, who feeds, satisfies, and relieves the infant from distress, is the same person who fails, at times, to do all these things. Inconsistent behavior is hard for us to fathom at any age, but it is particularly threatening to an infant, who is totally dependent on good mothering… When we fail to recognize that people can be both bad and good at the same time, we are stuck thinking in infantile terms, unable to move beyond this good-and-bad splitting mechanism. How each of us manages our hate is individual and largely dependent on what we learned in childhood. Mostly we manage our hateful feelings badly and with great difficulty… Making hate conscious is the only way to reduce its power over us.
From The Dark Side of Mother Love: The most vulnerable members of our society are targeter most for the destructive expression of rage and hate. There are, of course, the children. Children are injured–both physically and psychologically–and, with much more frequency than we care to admit, die because of neglect, abuse, or outright murder. Bettelheim discovered a profound and deeply unsettling truth during his time in the Nazi concentration camps. He found that certain Jews formed an identification with their Nazi tormentors and mirrored their brutal behavior, directing it toward their fellow victims. Perhaps the same kind of protective mechanism has operated on women: As women have traditionally felt victimized by those in a more powerful position–the men–they have taken this rage about this injustice and created a new class of victims–the children…
From The Dark Side of Marriage: The Death of Dreams: It is in our dreams of marriage that we allow our fantasies to roam most freely. We imagine perfect love and sweet contentment from the eternal companionship that marriag epromises. We don’t like thinking of marriage as the time in one’s life when we must give up our dreams. Such thoughts make marriage sound depressing. We much prefer to think of marriage as a time when dreams are fulfilled, longings realized. Yet, most married couples, talking honestly about marriage, will say that the preservation of their marriage does in fact depend upon their having to give up their childhood dreams… to accept the happiness of compromise rather than to relentlessly pursue the unattainable ideal…Buy Now on Amazon