The Phantom Lover Aug 19, 2020 22:44:35 GMT
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 19, 2020 22:44:35 GMT
I think this may be where Harville Hendrix got the idea of the Imago Theory.
Dr. Toni Grant, an eminent feminine psychologist, in her book, Being a Woman, states:
A particular form of the animus that lures women away from all human relationships, and all contact with men, is the 'ghostly lover.' Heathcliff, the sinister protagonist of Emily Bronte's novel, Wuthering Heights, is partly a negative, demonic animus figure who imprisons Emily in a cocoon of dreamy thoughts, filled with desire and judgements about the way things 'ought' to be, cutting her off from the reality of life.
"No question about it: Marriage and motherhood are "in", and many a modern woman has laid down her [aggressive women of the eighties attitude] and found contentment with the hero of her choice.
Yet many women remain alone, in spite of their efforts toward bonding. Relationships fail; no man ever seems quite heroic enough. Often, what has happened is that these women have fallen in love with ... a Ghostly Lover....
The Ghostly Lover can most simply be seen as the great "him", the perfect man, Mr. Right, Mr. Wonderful, that man - real or imaginary - that a woman can never have, the Prince Charming that is sure to arrive - someday - on her doorstep, glass slipper in hand.
The Ghostly Lover is an exalted and unrealistic ... projection; it is as if the woman takes the male within herself (her animus), idealizes him, and projects that ideal out onto every man she meets....
He is her perfect male self. Needless to say, real men cannot meet this test; almost all men fare poorly when compared with a woman's Ghostly Lover.... Her Ghostly Lover is a demon master; jealous of her attempts at intimacy with real men, he holds the woman fiercely in his grip.
He serves as a barrier between her and real life, thereby reinforcing her self-sufficiency and keeping her trapped in her "when" script. "Real" life - and love and marriage and motherhood - will begin, she tells herself, "when" she meets the "right man". But the right man never comes along, for every man has a blemish, a flaw, an imperfection which is somehow intolerable, especially when compared to the ghostly image of masculine perfection that hovers in her unconscious.
During the teenage years, it is normal for women to have fantasies of a dream lover; most women grow up with fairy-tale princes on their minds. But growing into womanhood means bonding with an "actual" man and loving him for exactly what he is, not what one wishes he could be.
If the power of the Ghostly Lover does not wane but grows stronger as a woman ages, his hold on her becomes so powerful that soon no man can bond with her, for she is indeed "married" to the Ghostly Lover within."
My phantom lover was Jesus Christ. At first I was not sure he was real, but then I found out he was. But Grant is right about my marriage to Jesus is more powerful than my love for any man. Since I am 71, I am fine with that.