What Is Splitting? Why We Love Jekyll And Hate Hyde

what is splitting love jekyll hate hyde

Spitting During Dating

Splitting wreaks havoc during dating, when couples naturally tend to idealize their partners and don’t know each other well. Their anxiety feeds The Dance of Intimacy. Between dates, you may not be able to recall your partner’s positive or negative traits. If you have an anxious attachment, you may imagine your girlfriend is losing interest or that your boyfriend is flirting. You feel compelled to frequently text or seek reassurance.

Not only is it difficult to stay emotionally connected to your partner when apart, but you may also conjure up negative characterizations that are abusive, ungratifying, or abandoning, which feel very real until you talk or see each other again. Then you realize it was all in your mind as you struggle to differentiate the present from your unhealed past. (To complicate matters, it may also be true, but splitting confuses you.)

Related: Structural Dissociation: How Complex Trauma Causes A Split In Our Being

What You Can Do

  1. When triggered, write about your feelings and track them back to your childhood.
  2. Make a list of facts about your partner to help you stay in the present.
  3. Review the denial checklist.
  4. Trust the objective views of friends.
  5. Get therapy to heal your past.
  6. If your partner is generally a caring, reliable person, but you’re haunted by shadows from your past, actively visualize and feel grateful for all the positive he or she brings to your life. Relive positive loving memories.
  7. If your partner is abusive, catalog the violations to remind yourself. When Dr. Jekyll shows up, don’t be swayed only by words, but look for respect for your needs and feelings.

© Darlene Lancer 2021

1. Rubens, R. L. (1996). “The unique origins of Fairbairn’s Theories.” Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives. 6(3): 413–435.

2. D.K. Lapsky, J. Edgerton. (2002). “Separation-Individualization, Adult Attachment Style, and College Adjustment.” Journal of Counseling & Development. Vol. 80:484–492.

Written By: Darlene Lancer
Originally Appeared On: What Is Codependency
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What Is Splitting? Why We Love Jekyll And Hate Hyde
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Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert author on relationships and codependency. She's counseled individuals and couples for 30 years and coaches internationally. Her books and other online booksellers and her website.View Author posts