According to a marital therapist: These are the keys to a perfect marital happiness
Cecilia Como: What drives couples to strive for perfection is the rejection of failure, but the most consistent are the ones who are aware of the other’s flaws and their own.
In 2019, Alicia and Jonathan, in their thirties, went to the clinic of psychoanalyst Cecilia Como, and they were not looking to repair a relationship damaged by infidelity, for example, nor to restore an expired relationship, but rather they hoped to obtain the keys to perfect marital happiness.
This request inspired Cecilia Cuomo to write her book There Is No Perfect Marriage, which was released on January 26. In this book, the psychoanalyst deconstructs the myth of the perfect relationship promoted by films, novels, or even social media. She sees “there are no specific instructions to follow” and calls instead to love ourselves and accept our imperfections.
She was a psychoanalyst specializing in marital therapy and sexual medicine, who highlighted in her first book the secrets that underpin the ideal relationship between spouses.
In a report published by the newspaper “Le Figaro” (lefigaroFrench writer Chloe Friedman quoted an interview with Cecilia Como in which she talked about her experience in this field, especially the problems facing marital relations.
What does the ideal marriage look like in the imagination of those who come to your advice?
Cuomo explains that the “perfect couple” is a couple who communicate well and understand each other without having to speak.
She adds that those who come to her counsel also believe that the couple must coexist at all costs, and that the ideal partner must meet all our needs. To achieve this, some decide to strengthen communication sometimes too much, while others choose to be familiar with their spouses, not hide anything from each other and become best friends.
Striving for perfection can damage a relationship. What does that mean?
Cuomo cautions that striving to be perfect makes spouses more stubborn. When each party has its expectations, this increases the possibility of experiencing disappointment, and from one disappointment to another, a kind of resentment arises and the relationship between the spouses is damaged.
The specialist notes that “sometimes we cling to the idea of perfection, even if it means unhappiness.”
This search for perfection begins with the first encounter. How is this manifested?
The psychiatrist reports that one of her patients met a great man, but found their first meeting disappointing. “In the beginning, we all want the relationship to develop in an imaginary way. It’s natural, because love is not without some mirage from which we cannot escape. But it seems that the most complicated stage is the next stage, which consists in discovering the points of difference with the other party.”
Our requirements are subject to conscious and unconscious perceptions. What does that mean?
The psychoanalyst asserts that these “perceptions” are ingrained in our minds through our personal history, fueled by the cultural and social environment in which we live, the people we have known, the books we have read, and the films we have watched.
The pursuit of perfection exists even on the individual level, where we want to be the ideal person for a partner. What are the consequences for the relationship?
During the courtship phase, Cuomo says, both parties try to show their best, but it’s hard to hide who we really are for long.
Over time, we begin to return to normal and abandon some of the initial habits we showed at the beginning of the meeting, which can confuse the partner and affect the relationship. This may make the other person think that the relationship is no longer viable, when the truth is that the beginning was so perfect.
At the beginning of the relationship, we have an idealistic view of the partner even if it sometimes means hiding the fact that it won’t be right for us in the long run. How can our illusions be so strong?
Cuomo points out that people at the beginning of a relationship are under the influence of their biological nature, as they move away from reality while enjoying feelings of love, and during this stage the part of the brain that processes logical information becomes less active due to the influence of hormones. We must be deceived if we want to enter into a relationship and start a family.
“Talk a lot does not mean we communicate well,” what does that mean?
According to psychologist Cecilia Cuomo, we often put something like filters when we communicate with our partner. Speaking is important, but you should still do it without hiding the core of your thoughts.
But since husbands are convinced that hurting each other with words is a sign of failure, they are keen to choose their words. It is pointless to always talk about everything, so it is necessary to focus on the basics. Some couples may know each other well, but sometimes it’s best to keep things quiet.
Are differences necessary in couples relationships? And what role does it play specifically?
“Disputes allow you to redefine your place and position in the marital relationship,” Cuomo says.
When we feel that the other party does not see us, does not hear us, and does not recognize us, there are two solutions: either we remain silent and let the relationship collapse, or we set boundaries. It is very important to point out what cannot be tolerated, even if it is a very personal matter. Either we intervene earlier, or we explode with more stamina.”
“The ideal couple is one who accepts each other’s flaws”, how is that?
Cuomo stresses that we have to accept the fact that spouses are not necessarily perfect. They may argue a lot, and do not master the art of dialogue, but this will not prevent them from understanding each other.
She adds that what drives couples to strive for perfection is the rejection of failure, but she believes that the most stable couples are those who are aware of the other’s flaws and flaws.
The psychoanalyst believes that the ideal relationship between spouses is based on 4 pillars, which are:
- Acknowledging the difference.