Aggression and violence in the couple’s relationship do not always manifest themselves as openly demonstrated by aggressive behaviour; sometimes they are subtle and latent and therefore not easily recognizable even by the couples themselves who might suffer from painful conflicts and experience unhappiness and anguish. In these cases the couple’s operating dynamic is characterized by patterns of control where one is expected to fulfil the other’s own expectations. These kinds of relationships, which are ‘based’ on the "myth of Pygmalion", can be considered perverse and are not a unilateral exchange, in which a subject behaves actively towards his or her partner who suffers the control and the intrusive action. It is sustained by an omnipotent fantasy which both share: to achieve an idealized perfect couple. Clinical observations from couple therapy and material from movies are used to illustrate the psychodynamic processes underlying this relational style.
Keywords: Perversion, idealization, aggression