Infidelity: why they remain the mistress
Long-term love for a married man was once the guarantee of an unhappy and hidden life. If, today, stigma and shame are no longer there, frustration and sorrow remain. Why bother? What is the unconscious interest in making these clandestine loves last? Back Street, a melodrama by American writer Fanny Hurst, was a resounding success in the 1930s. It described the tragic fate of the hidden mistress of a married man. No revolt, no attempt at emancipation. Only the pain, the frustration and the sad acceptance of a second place. Depressing Today, the back streets have changed in nature. No more nurtured women, trapped in male goodwill. The mistresses assume their life and fully live their love. They don’t suffer any less. It is this paradox that questions: how can these women, heirs to feminists, independent, accept life in the shadows, waiting, lying? We know very well, since Freud, that no human accepts to suffer in order to suffer. If we do it, it is because our history, our psychic construction lead us to reiterate, without realizing it, painful behaviors. But not only can we also, always unconsciously, find in these situations of repetition what psychoanalysis calls a “secondary benefit”. Ghislaine Paris, sexologist and psychotherapist, and Saverio Tomasella, psychoanalyst, help us to better understand the choice of these women. The desire for independence unlike the back streets of our mothers, most of the “mistresses” claim to have chosen their position, “which guarantees their independence, the escape from the patriarchal model, without the need to fight within a couple to acquire it, says Ghislaine Paris. Several of my patients even claim this status, as some of them claim the refusal of maternity. “For Saverio Tomasella, they are part of what he calls “omnijouisseurs”, “these children stuffed with enjoyment, to whom nothing has ever been refused, who cannot therefore give them up. So they go from one relationship to another, they accumulate them.
“It doesn’t matter if he’s a married man. He’s the one cheating on his wife, not me. But, when it gets too complicated, I stop. And I move on to something else, with a married man or not. I need someone, I can’t stand being alone. “Clandestinely brings immediate pleasure, but “these are anxiety-provoking, devouring, inextricable loves,” specifies the psychoanalyst. When we are faced with the inextricable, it is because it was present in childhood. This is what should be questioned, in order to avoid repetition. ““In the love triangle, we are faced with a situation referring to the badly lived Oedipal triangle, analyzes Ghislaine Paris. The mistress sees in the legitimate woman the rival, who unconsciously occupies the place of the mother. “Therefore, the challenge is to detach the lover from his wife, as she wanted to detach her mother from her father.
be experienced in the franchise,” explains Saverio Tomasella. The primary rivalry could not be developed or verbalized, it remains encysted. “For further Test yourself ! What if you were unfaithful? This test will allow you to understand what you expect from a romantic relationship. It will also reveal to you the fantasies that you unconsciously cultivate about the ideal lover (…). Lucie, 48, recognizes herself in this configuration. At 22, she met a married man with whom she had a consuming passion for four years.
It instantly reminded me of my mother’s. At the time, I was collapsed and weirdly quite happy. I felt like I was the strongest, but he never broke his relationship. At the time, I didn’t realize what it meant to me. After a few years of therapy, now I know. In this story, I wanted both to find my missing father and to eliminate my mother. ” In other cases, failing to be the “first” refers to the position occupied during childhood and adolescence, referring to sibling and family rivalry. For Saverio Tomasella, “the devaluation suffered by a brother or sister or the parents’ preference for one of the children can lastingly undermine self-confidence and lead these women to the unconscious belief that they can only live a secondary love story or unhappy. ” Anne, 54, went through stormy romantic relationships for four years, just after her divorce.
In all three, an abusive, frustrating, intolerable relationship reoccurred, which I now know was largely due to my mother’s inability to love us. She herself had experienced a lack of love and attention from her parents.