Paradise and hell are in the same place. Quite frequently, paradise is an expectation and hell is the final result. The striking evidence of this is on the dynamics of couple relationships.
Hell takes the form of psychological war. Couples inflict upon each other severe violence right from the start.
The first aggression is the romantic narrative. Though ethic values are fundamental, most dos and do nots are absurd and doomed to failure. The denial of this absurdity and the commitment to fantasies makes aggression kicking in rather soon.
To avoid war, couples must understand without prejudice the basic elements that make them a couple in the first place. These elements are behaviors towards one another they must guaranty at all costs: 1) provide emotional support and safety; 2) provide sex. That’s it. More than this is selfishness.
Number 1) is prone to highly abused interpretations, so it’s best to make this clear: provision of emotional support and safety can never be made at the expense of one’s identity, character, personality, vocation and all other components that are unique to an individual. People are who they are and that must be respected. Demanding change or improvement is extreme violence.
There’s one fundamental rule in all kinds of human relations among adults: each person must do it’s best to become autonomous and independent, that is, to avoid being a burden. Most couples take the provision of emotional support and safety as the enthusiastic offer of services and availability. Worse, they take offense when the companion makes no offers or refuses to provide such services. This is pure manipulation, venom, psychological war with chemical weapons.
A couple is a consensual connection between two distinct individuals who commit to make each other happy. This happiness relies on emotional support and safety and on sex. Unrealistic and selfish demands make happiness impossible. This goal has no room for illusions about rights and duties. It’s up to each individual to evaluate realistically how much satisfaction can enjoy and provide when taking this commitment, instead of blaming the companion for what is missing.