Love and Hate:
Are They Opposites?
8.1 MATURE AND IMMATURE LOVEMichael Balint describes a woman, a patient of his, whose 'whole
life', as he puts it, had been 'an endless repetition of the same
pattern' (Balint 1952).She had always been terribly in need of love and affection. In
her relationships with men, she had repeatedly 'thrown herself
away at the first signs of some slight attention'. The person in
question became an angel in her mind and for a short while she
lived in blissful expectation. Then, because the other person had
a separate existence from her, he could not satisfy her absolute
demands. She interpreted this as heartlessness and cruel neglect
and the result was a painful disappointment. This then turned
into hatred and the person was discarded as bad, heartless, rotten,
and cruel. She was then overcome with anxiety.Was the love for the person she came to hate genuine? Balint
argues that it was, but that it was a primitive, immature sort of love.
In contrast, he says, his patient's hate cannot be called either
mature or infantile, or primitive; but then immediately after having said this he adds: 'anxiety, and to some extent hate, exist only
in primitive forms'. At first he concentrates on love: what is the difference between a primitive and an adult love? He gives seven
characteristics of immature, primitive love which distinguish it
from mature love.
|i. ||The person has a weak sense of self and feels insecure in
herself. As a result she needs the reassurance of love, affection,
and attention. When, in the separateness of his existence the
other cannot meet the absolute demands she makes on him the|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Raskolnikov's Rebirth: Psychology and the Understanding of Good and Evil.
Contributors: İlham Dİlman - Author.
Publisher: Open Court.
Place of publication: Chicago.
Publication year: 2000.
Page number: 151.
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