chapter  Five
18 Pages

Psychotic and depressive processes in couple functioning

WithFrancis Grier

Much has been written about the differences between the psychological universes of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions for the individual. Grier Francis explores how these differences affect couple relationships, especially when their shared paranoid-schizoid frame of mind is extreme, bordering on psychotic functioning. Couples in trouble often themselves bring up in the initial consultation the centrality of ideals in their view of what should constitute the core of a relationship. They will often say how sad or angry they are that the hopes and ideals they cherished at the start of their relationship have now become so dim, or spoiled, or lacking. Many couples also cling to an ideal of perfect and perpetual harmony, unable to perceive that they are thereby insisting on forcing each other to try to realize an ideal that, however superficially attractive, is in reality tyrannical and destructive.