Collusive games in couples

Collusive games in couples

Relationships are not easy, we must always keep in mind that in all relationships there are conflicts, but only when they become inflexible, the couple usually feels dysfunctional or collusive.

Collusive games in couples

Last update: February 12, 2022

When we talk about a couple relationship we often say "God makes them and then couples them." This saying is actually the outcome of partner choice, generally guided by unconscious patterns, derived from the emotional relationship with parents in childhood. The dysfunctional relationships between parents and children could therefore damage the future relationships of the children, giving rise to those who in psychology they are called collusive games in the couple.

Originally, the concept of collusion is found in the studies of the Austrian psychologist Paul Watzlawick, who applied it to his theory of human communication. In retrospect, psychotherapist Henry Dicks, in his work Marital Tensions, introduced the concept of collusion in couple relationships.

However, it was Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Jurg Willi who popularized the term collusion or collusive games in the couple to refer to involuntary and dysfunctional behaviors among members of a couple.

These behaviors manifest themselves in couple conflicts and they are toxic and unconscious dynamics that unite the two members of the relationship.

"There are people who take refuge in marriage for fear of being alone".

-Jurg Willi-

According to Willi, collusive behavior forms a "common unconscious" in the couple's relationship, in which the conflict is constantly repeated in a succession of distancing and rapprochement.

The members of the couple can't stand separation, but neither can intimacy. This leads to a condition in which from neighbors they feel suffocated and, from afar, they begin to suffer from distance.

The couple goes from being an "individual self" to a "hermetic we", in which individual boundaries overlap, generating a sick dynamic. We cannot speak of an individual pathology, but rather of the existence of a pathology of the relationship.

"The hug too strong drowns love."

-Jurg Willi-

Collusive polarity in the couple

In the collusive couple dynamics, both members adopt a polarized role. This means that each member of the couple recreates a behavioral division function of activity / passivity, submission / domination, dependence / independence. Tacitly, the activity of one member of the couple causes inactivity in the other.

The weak member tends towards a regressive and immature attitude, while the more active member represents a progressive role or a false maturity, because it necessarily acts in the role of the adult with respect to the other. The couple thus collides in a vicious defensive circle.

The origin of collusive games in couples is usually to be found in repressed, similar and untreated childhood emotional wounds. Both members need each other for mutual care for their frustrations and unfulfilled desires in childhood.

How easy it is to fall in love and how difficult it is to stay in love!

-Enrique Rojas-

Both partners expect the other to save him from his own inner conflict and free him from past fears, and that it heals the existing wounds of all love or parenting relationships that are not unsatisfactory.

In an attempt to correct one's emotional wounds, the same ineffective schemes and the same difficulties in solving the problems of couples and individuals arise again; this causes pain, disappointment and you know they project their fears and guilt into the other.

In this situation, phrases such as "I am like this because you ..." are common. The paradox is that none of the members of the couple really want to change anything about themselves, further underlining the gravity of the situation.

«To love is not to look at one another; is looking together in the same direction. "

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-

The way out of collusive games in the couple

Collusive games in couples are a trap that maintains toxic mechanisms of guilt, reproach and insecurity, and the couple rarely finds a way out.

Marital crisis can lead to an unhealthy collusive relationship or the partners decide not to participate in this game anymore and break the relationship. There is also the possibility of going to a specialized psychologist who can direct the couple towards a solution, which starts from the wear and tear that the relationship has suffered.

However, thelove can only be built when members of the couple abandon expectations and begin to recognize each other as equal.

"Like the rest of the impulses, romantic love is a necessity, a longing."

-Helen Fisher-

Forging expectations that cannot be met and failing to take responsibility for wounds causes frustration and introduces the couple into a chaotic and sick whirlwind that can destroy the self-esteem of both.

It should be borne in mind that the couple is the real hall of love, where you can learn to fall and get up. It also allows us to develop all that human potential that we carry within, always starting from the respect and responsibility of each one.

It is usually believed that the success of the couple consists in "lasting a long time"; However, the secret could be quite different. For example, lasting "as long as the relationship is healthy".

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