This was the commandment given by Lord Jesus to his disciples, and was also meant to all His future believers, followers, disciples, saints. It seems so simple, we can even ask: so that's it? That's all we need to do? Love one another? But when we are to put this commandment into practice, we too often realize it rather seems like the hardest task on the face of the earth. Because in order to love one another on God's terms, we must renounce ourselves, we must look for the other person's interests and benefits rather than our very dear own. I think it's very difficult for a human being to give himself, if it weren't so difficult, would there have been any war on our planet? Or quarrel, or misunderstanding, or injustice? But the calling to love one another seems still so charming and magnetic. How can we do it, after all? And how can't we possibly not be tempted to give it a try?
According to the psychologist Jacques Lacan, we are programmed to mistake other people's desires for our very own. This may obviously lead to plenty of troubles. But not only such pathological kind of empathy can be damaging, but also too much introversion, which can be a sign of narcissism. Narcissism can manifest differently in men than in women, that's for sure. And the thing is, in order for a couple to get along in the long run, the idea is to rather team up than to split up and let each one look for one's own interest. But how does narcissistic behavior manifests itself in men and in women?
In men, it can manifest by their perpetual demand for attention, for being listened to, touched, and admired, so on. No matter how manly a man is, he does not feel protected against female desires and thus he feels the need to prove his masculinity all the time in front of women. Of course, women also feel the need to be admired, recognized, noticed and listened to but whereas feminine narcissism most often reflects our society's interest in one's looks, beauty, in the aesthetic part of life in general, masculine narcissism is rather related to the obsession for accomplishments, power and strength. This love for one's self if it is in normal quantities, or even a little bit exaggerated, can have a positive effect - can lead to acts of courage and good accomplishments in life. And because of the constant need to be pleasant to the eyes of others, narcissism can lead to noble gestures of generosity. But unfortunately, narcissism can also lead to a couple's falling apart.
Aggressive behavior can also be the natural result of the male's insecurity conflict. Like it has been proved, one of the most frequent problems in a marriage is the dynamics of anger, i.e. the angry or critical husband and the defeated, hurt and crying wife. In this dynamic, male aggressive attitude serves to intimidate the "enemy" and to catch the feminine side off guards, to violate her psychological or even physical space in order to conquer it, to occupy it and to create a wall of bitterness which will psychologically separate him from her. In these tactics, according to the experts, we can see very clearly man's fear of losing himself completely in a woman, a terrible fear which is at the same time a very strong desire also. He is afraid not to lose his own masculinity if he falls too much for her, in short. This very conflict between man's desire to be with a woman and the fear of losing his masculine identity is at the very core of masculine insecurity.
So how can we solve these problems? The key would perhaps be to try to keep a good balance, on both sides. Women should respect the emphatic male authority, although it is devoid of any sensitivity, and respond to it with the same indifference, rejecting its destroying nature. In short, not to comply with crying, sobbing and defeated pattern, that is most common when men start to become aggressive to express their masculinity. The key in loving one another is for each side to give up the urge to prove one's authority and domination over the other person, and to stand firm against any fear of losing one's identity by doing so.