This paper is the result of a series of clinical experiences and theoretical considerations on both the family and the couple role as recipient of shared psychical elements. The aim is to explore something that seems to go beyond couples interactions, giving also clinical examples. Following Winnicott’s thoughts, the work deals with something which may be said to be the origin of the couple’s role distribution and functions that also plays an important part in the setting up of gender identity in boys and girls. The work starts focusing on Winnicott’s clinical explorations of male and female elements of the psyche and on his theoretical considerations about the splitting of the above mentioned elements on the behalf of the creation of a functional network of cross- identifications, or on the contrary in causing violence and suffering in couples and families. Moreover the author reports some critical notes on M. Milner’s contributions to the debate contained in her comments on W. Blake’s engravings illustrating Job’s biblical legend that focuses on this "female function" of the Psyche, to be found in both sexes, which is involved in the creative process but, further more, in the particular quality of the objects relations. Finally, the author analyses how this peculiar characteristics of psyche functioning just seems to offer a new point of view for psychoanalytic research and enquiry.
Keywords: Couple’s Conflictual Relationships, male and female elements of the psyche, splitting, cross-identifications.