Are you feeling in jail or at home?

Dante Alighieri wrote that “The Love which moves the sun and the other stars” (Paradiso XXXIII,145), because for him love has an incredible power. Dante knew the problems caused by love, and for this reason he also wrote: “Love, that exempts no one beloved from loving” (Inferno V, 103).

Even when love is repayed with love, problems don’t disappear. If at the beginning of a relationship the partner is idealized, looking only at the positive things, by the time  problems arise. Living together become difficult. So you can experience two emotions: feeling in a jail or feeling at home.

If you are not married, you have to realize to what extent you want to change your partner. Do you want to change everything? Or do you want to change some aspects of your partner’s personality? If you want to change everything, living together will be almost impossible. If you want to change some aspects – NOT EVERYTHING – of your partner’s personality, the first step is to accept your partner.

When the love that binds us to someone is inextricably linked to a strong sense of suffering, most likely the choice of partners is based on transfer. When you say: “I don’t realize how I came to choose an husband as cold as my father …” or “my wife wants to have everything under control, worse than my mother …”. If the first love its that one will never forget, it is also true that your first love is for your mother or your father. Things could be good if you are loved and you have the permission to identify yourself. This depends also of the quality of your parents’ relationship.

Identifying what you are and want you want is crucial in a relationship. The feeling of being clearly separated from the other, in fact, is paradoxically what allows true intimacy. In a house you have different rooms in which to be alone, or choose to meet the persons; in jail there is no real separation and, therefore, not true intimacy. But even in a house problems are not excluded: in each couple’s relationship there are fights and slamming doors. Warkentin says: “everything is permitted in love and war. And marriage is both. ”

The difference between jail and home is the free choice by which every day you decide to stay with that person and with no other one. You decide to stay with a person with all his or her limitations, that are starting points for a real and progressive change. You know that you have the keys of the place in which you live. If a day you don’t want to go back you can decide to do that. You could also decide to not complain with your wife or your husband if you feel in jail. You could instead choose to use your energy to enrich every day with our partner in the house in which you have chosen to live together. (Article published in Journal dell’ANAP)

Dr. Cingolani’s Office is in Rome, near San Peter’s Church. If you want to contact her, you can write to this address:


Simone Venturini


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