• July 15, 2020

"I would never have done that!" Why this accusation in love is meaningless


A classic in (almost) every relationship

Kathrin does not just talk. Kathrin rants. "Honestly, I could understand that you had to work a lot, I found that hard, but when you finally get home for four days at a time, and you bring your workmate to dinner on the first night off, then. .. "

Paul throws his hands in the air: "Colleague, coincidentally, he is also my best friend!" But Kathrin is unstoppable. "... then I really wonder what's going on with you, do you still want our relationship?" She stares at him. Finally, she says, "If I could finally have some time with you, I would never bring my girlfriend on our first evening together."

"Okay, you would not do that," I interrupt. "But what do you want to tell Paul?" I already realize that I provoke. But sometimes even therapists become impatient. And the "I would never have done that in your place" accusation I hear constantly. And just as constantly he makes no sense.



The charge is pointless

Oskar Holzberg, 61, has been married for 30 years. For 20 years the psychologist advises couples. He found that some sentences apply to all relationships. In each ChroniquesDuVasteMonde he introduces one of them.

© Ilona Habben

"I would never have done that in your place!" - that's not just a value-free statement. But a moral judgment: right it is the way I would do it is wrong how you do it. Whereupon the appellant immediately refuses to be false, which leads to the usual, completely meaningless dispute of reproaches and justifications.

By the way, another variant of the moral appeal is: "I would never have thought of you!" The apparent astonishment can not hide that here, too, the ideas of the accuser are the measure of all things. But behind it is the disappointment that is really at stake.



We are searching in vain for each other

We have a deep longing that our important other should be like us

First of all, it's Kathrin's feeling that he does not care about Paul. Here, however, there is an even more fundamental disappointment: she experiences that her lover is different from herself. Unconsciously, however, we have a deep longing that our important other should be like us. A kind of inner twin who thinks the same way I feel that way. Then we would never feel alone again.

When we are very much in love, we bathe in this sense of unity from early childhood. We float on the pink cloud of agreement and are certain that our souls are swinging in unison. Back in the real world, however, we are repeatedly disappointed because our lover can be alien to us and does things that are incomprehensible to us. We are then irritated, we protest against it.



But it's about feeling our disappointment. If we express this disappointment about its strangeness, its otherness, then we can approach each other. Ultimately, we seek each other in vain. We will not find ourselves in him again. But through our differences, we rub against each other.

The philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote: "Love is the ability to perceive something similar in dissimilarity." In this way we find ourselves. I am not you. You are not me. And that is not necessary. No, that's good.

Jim Carrey - What It All Means | One Of The Most Eye Opening Speeches (July 2020).



Oskar Holzberg, Something, Relationship, Couple, Quarrel, Talking, Couples Therapy, Oskar Holzberg, Love, Partnership