The Contrasexual Complex

Anima: The inner feminine side of a man.

Animus: The inner masculine side of a woman.

The contrasexual complexes are each a personal and archetypal image of the opposite gender in the psyche. The initial identification is with the parent of the opposite gender, but other individuals are additional influences, with the spouse being a prominent identification in adulthood. When these are not integrated, they are a part of the Shadow and appear through projection. They are neither bad nor good, but a natural part of each person. The anima is the divine and all giving, creative and nourishing mother as well as the destroyer. The animus is a protective, discriminating and cognitive force, defined by logic and structure. The anima relates and connects, expressing itself in a personal or intimate relationship of familiarity, whereas the character of the animus separates and categorizes and is detached, appearing as a more distant mentor figure.

Revenge breathes within the denied and thus empowered Shadow. Accommodation is about sacrifice and giving up; it filters energy to the Shadow where it simmers for years until reaching a boiling point when it erupts. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is more true of the anima than of a flesh and blood female. An MLCer has not developed sufficient masculine ego-strength to withstand such an onslaught. For balance, the masculine ego must be of equivalent strength to the inner feminine, but in repressing his anima and thereby failing to relate to his inner feminine, a man has created an imbalance and his anima will rise in wrath against him. The act of repression locks away vast amounts of energy which the unconscious archetypes--the Shadow and the Anima--have at their disposal.

We are each paradox, light and dark, masculine and feminine, creative and destructive, logical and emotional. The union of opposites is not merely in the acceptance of our dual nature, but in its integration and acknowledgement. An MLCer is unable to hold the concept of the opposites within himself or even a single person and thus he splits his projections between his wife and an OW. He acts out his internal conflicts in the external world, physically incarnating his archetypes. The OW is the most obvious and painful of these archetypal incarnations, and only a person who is also living their internal conflicts externally would knowingly submit to becoming an OW.

As a projection of his anima, the OW is indicative of the developmental level of his female within. The MLCer's anima has remained undeveloped or less developed while his spouse, the external female, has grown apart from the projection. When the couple met, something within the external person matched the anima/animus of the other. It is why some feel that they have found their own Self in their partner, onto whom they project that Self made up of repressed fragments. But as the external person and the anima in the partner fail to develop congruently, the projections will eventually fail. An MLCer no longer finds his lost Self within his mate. Extended projections are not healthy; the goal is not to switch projection targets, but to integrate and individuate to eliminate the need for projecting.

The anima is an emotional and moody entity. Feeling and mood are mutually exclusive; the former is the rational assignment of value to an object or experience and the latter is an emotional temper tantrum or emotion that is overwhelmed and controlled by the anima--the feminine aspect. A mood is unstable and swiftly changing emotion. Emotion, often confused with feeling, lacks the rationality of feeling; it is the amount of energy emitted by an object or experience or the energy within an active complex. Resistance or denial of the anima is counterproductive, empowering the anima and causing internal turmoil resulting in moods. A mood is irrational and disables the feeling function and along with it the ability to relate. Moods are a shape-shifting temptress; they may be seductive and manic jubilation, opposing depressive lows or bitter hostility. The OW is a shape-shifting mood. It is the childish man embroiled in his mother-complex who surrenders to tantrums, seeking someone to take care of him.

A man controlled by his anima fears his feminine side, projecting his anger and fears onto a convenient and external female--usually his wife. The true dysfunction is an internal struggle with his anima rather than the external female. MLC entraps a man in what feels like a permanent temper tantrum. Reactive behaviours such as nagging, criticizing and complaining or begging, pleading and crying are all antagonistic annoyances which fuel resistance and escalate his moodiness. An MLCer's moods are his problems and no one other than he can resolve them; the best things a wife can do are to step back and remain patient. Refraining from reactive behaviours requires a person who is confident in her personal power. An MLCer's spouse will best serve herself, her spouse and their marriage by building a strong foundation within her personal power.

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