Falling In Love
It is time to make good on our promise that this deeper view of typology taken intrapersonally vitally effects our marriages. Meet an imaginary couple, Mark and Linda. They are a composite of many married couples. In this case we will say that Mark is an introverted thinking type and Linda is a extraverted feeling type. When we first see them they are in their early twenties and are deeply in love. They have discovered that magic that comes with falling in love. They are immersed in each other, and when they are not together they are thinking of each other. They have never met anyone before like each other. In each other's presence they feel marvelously whole and complete, and they have decided to marry so that they can permanently live in this state of bliss.
This is how falling in love looks to them:
It is as if they have been searching their whole lives for that special other person who completes them. Sometimes it seemed like they would never find that person, that they would go through life unfulfilled, and now by some happy chance they have had the great good fortune to find each other.
But if Jung were to look at them with his keen psychological sight, what would he see? What would he ask them? The f irst thing he would say is, "Where are the other halves of those half circles?"
And they would reply, "What are you talking about? It is true that we were incomplete before, and we knew something was missing, but now that we have found each other we are whole. The other half of the circle is the other person."
Mark and Linda's viewpoint is one that our society as a whole shares. The key to our personal happiness, we imagine, is finding that person with whom we can form a perfect unity. It is hard to imagine even Jung being able to convince Mark and Linda that there is something vital they are overlooking. They feel they know and experience the wholeness they have been searching for, and so whatever he has to say does not apply to them.
Next we meet Mark and Linda three years later. The very things that attracted them to each other have become sources of contention. Mark had been initially drawn to Linda because of her great warmth which she would focus on anyone she was dealing with, but especially on him. Linda, for her part, had been drawn to Mark because of his air of self-sufficiency and his clear analytical thinking that seemed to cut to the heart of any problem. But now Mark is actually annoyed by his wife's outgoing and feeling nature. He feels that it is simply too shallow and that she conducts an opinion poll among her friends in order to come to any decision instead of using her own mind. She continually wants to go out, but to activities that are all glitter and flutter and no substance. Linda, in her turn, sees that Mark's clear analytical mind has a dark side that expresses itself in cutting remarks which have the effect of keeping people at arm's length. His self-sufficiency has been transformed into an anti-social attitude that wants to chain her to the house and his interminable quiet evenings. Both of them are deeply disappointed because the wholeness they experienced seems to have evaporated. They love each other, but that love for some unknown reason is being strangled, and they don't know how much more of this incessant bickering and fighting they can take. Is this relationship destined to founder on these temperamental differences? Was that glorious sense of wholeness just a mirage, and so at best they will have to put away their early dreams and simply endure real life? Or will they end up in a divorce that will be devastating to both of them?
Now Jung appears on the scene again, but this time they really want to hear what he has to say. He takes their initial picture of failing in love and he replaces it with a more complex one that looks like this:
And they listen attentively while he explains what it means. "Each person," he tells them, "has an undeveloped other side. Mark, since consciously you are introverted with a developed function of thinking, then your other side is more extraverted in a feeling way. Linda, you are just the opposite. You were both searching for that something that would complete you, and that is the reason why you were attracted to each other. As they say, opposites attract, and this is often literally true in marriage where we see many marriages of opposites like your own. Even in marriages where these typological differences are not as extreme, there are still enough contrasts to make life interesting. I can understand why when you got together you felt you had reached the goal that you had been searching for. But in actual fact, what you were experiencing was a taste, or a promise, of what it means to be whole. Mark thought it was enough to find you. He didn't realize that in a very real way we can say that he had hidden in himself a woman he needed to relate to. Clearly I don't mean a real flesh and blood woman like you are, Linda, but I mean a feminine dimension in his psyche connected with his feeling function that had remained undeveloped and unconscious. I have called this woman the anima, but you can call it anything you want as long as you come to understand that it, is a very real factor in the psyche that vitally effects your conduct.
"Linda, it is much the same story with you. Your other side is introverted with the function of thinking, and it, too, acts like a hidden and powerful force whose energy radiates out of the unconscious and effects your daily behavior. You, too, have another person, as it were, living inside you, but this dimension is like a man which I call the animus.
"Now let's look at my diagram. Naturally enough, Mark never thought about relating to the woman within. He didn't even know she existed, and if I had told him about her earlier, he would have thought I was completely crazy. But if this feminine dimension actually exists as part of Mark's larger personality, we cannot expect that it will lie there inertly. No. It is a living reality, and it calls out to him, as it were, for attention and affection, and chances to grow. But he is deaf to her, and yet it is from her that that tremendous longing to be whole comes from. So when he meets you, Linda, he recognizes, whether consciously or unconsciously, that you somehow possess what he. is missing. But what he doesn't realize is that when he looks at you he is not seeing you in a purely objective fashion, but it is as if the woman within has come out and become the colored glasses through which he views you. You did much the same thing in relationship to him when you fell in love. Did you ever think of why we say falling in love? It is because it is something that happens to us, like fate or destiny, something beyond our control. I would say it is the activation of this unconscious dimension in each of us which comes out and vitally influences how we see that other person. Then we see them as the perfect completion, the missing half, that we have been searching for, and we treat them with an appropriate awe, reverence and sense of wonder. It is as if bathed in the light of the anima or the animus they have become magical, almost divine-like beings.
"But this is only the positive side of things. If there is falling in love, there is also falling out of love. This is when the rose-tinted glasses are taken away, or we could say that the light coming from the unconscious is withdrawn. Then we see the other person as an actual flesh and blood human being. We see that that person is not our miraculous completion, but in fact, our spouse who has a very different kind of personality than our own. This can come as a terrible shock. It is almost as if we woke up one morning to find a stranger in bed with us. But it is even worse than that. This is the person on whom we pinned our hopes, and now it looks as if our hopes are not going to be fulfilled. We are disappointed, and we look around for someone to blame. And the person we pick is our partner. We have moved from the positive projection of falling into a negative projection.
"Mark, why are you so irritated with Linda who, in fact, is just being herself? It is because she has disappointed you. She is not the magical answer to your own wholeness that you thought she would be, and this feeling of disappointment and the anger that comes with it is what drives you to see her in a negative way. It is your own inner woman, your own feelings, which you have neglected, that have the very qualities you are attributing to Linda. They are disorderly and scattered. They run all over the place and you can't control them. Linda, you are doing the same thing. Because you have neglected your animus, it has become cranky, irritable, and isolated, all qualities you now find in your husband. What both of you must do if you truly want to save your marriage is to learn about inner marriage."
With the help of your spouse if possible, reflect on your own experience of falling in love and married life, and fill in Jung's diagram:
Now it is your turn to contribute to this discussion. Send us your questions and comments: email@example.com