The marital relationship is a special, indeed unique, relationship within the broad social and cultural context. It is an individual and mutual undertaking to satisfy each other’s personal and emotional needs for close intimacy and inter-dependence to a satisfactory degree within the framework of institutional aspects of the society of which the spouses form part. The search for emotional responses from the partner with regressive needs and gratification of infantile fantasies remains deep and present in adult sexuality. A special task is allocated to the ego’s strength in managing greater regression and dependency with less anxieties. So in adult love the sense of mutual trust and reliability may produce a greater sense of security, autonomy, free desire and the inevitability of the search for joint regression to more archaic levels in the wish to achieve profound mutual orgasm and intimate. This includes the imaginative elaboration of bodily parts, and of the sensations and functions of the Self in relation to the other. Implicit, and often explicit in the minds of the partner, is also the goal of forming a new social integrate, a new family, with its own distinctive internal culture derived from the various internal references and experiences with significant figures of the dependent childhood and adolescence. The vicissitudes of the internal objects and "parental images", within the Ego, the Super-Ego, the Self and their externalization, the release of significant introjects, have been described very aptly by Bychowski, Khan, Milner, Bion, Kohut, Bradley and others. Thus, we can conceive of the marital relationship as an interaction of two persons, with a long developmental personal history, at conscious and unconscious level with normal and pathological outcomes. The importance of collusive parental conflicts as a possible factor in the aetiology or perpetuation of a child’s pathology has been touched on and suggested as an area for investigation by several researchers.
Keywords: Couple; Marital Relationship; Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy; Interned Objects; Parental Images