Helen is attracted to Jeremy’s uniqueness and originality. Masochists have had to do what they are told and tend to be afraid to step outside the norm. She is thrilled by his honesty, sensitivity, eccentricity and non-conformity. Schizoid types tend to live in their own reality, often don’t see things the way others do and so can be highly original.
Jeremy is attracted to Helen’s warmth, solidity and physicality. Schizoids tend to be unconsciously afraid of living in their bodies and experience physicality as something that lives outside of themselves, yet they long for it. He finds her uncomplicated nature and nurturing qualities deeply relaxing. Schizoids have lacked a steady nurturing presence in childhood. Masochists, by contrast, had a mother who was probably very present and steady though she tied her child to herself with strings of guilt. So masochists have stored up an experience of warmth, & even though Helen doesn’t feel free inside, Jeremy senses the warmth inside her.
Helen has a strong sense of responsibility for doing what she ought to do, from being guilt tripped by her mother into ignoring her spontaneous impulses. Because Jeremy has a lot of unconscious fear, he doesn’t occupy the physical, practical world very effectively, and may not be a strong provider. After the honeymoon period is over, she starts to feels he is not there, and doubts that he can support her. She feels she has to support them both as if it were her duty and has to look after Jeremy (even when he doesn’t want it). She resents this but has difficulty saying it because she’s learned to stifle expressing her truth spontaneously.
Helen, as previously mentioned, was shamed by her mother into doing things she didn’t want to, and tends to feel that her freedom is taken away by doing what others ask her to do. So Jeremy finds that when he proposes activities to Helen that he feels would make them closer, like going to a tantra workshop or even just going to the movies, it is received by Helen resentfully, as a burden.
Also, Jeremy and Helen’s mental processes work very differently. His mind is abstract and unconventional, hers tends to be concrete and straightforward. He becomes frustrated with her very concrete, practical way of thinking and starts to become condescending. His thinking seems to come from a sometimes weird private place that she finds hard to make sense of, and she gets hurt and surprised by the sarcastic edge in his manner.
Transformation comes from not seeing the other person either as the problem or as the source of fulfilment.
By knowing Jeremy intimately Helen can discover that he has no intention to burden, shame, engulf, imprison or guilt-trip her. She assumes he has, but by really knowing him, she finds that this is just her assumption. As a result, Helen can use the relationship to discover that she already is free.
Jeremy can discover that he needn’t and indeed can’t rely on her to get a sense that the body is physically safe, but instead needs to discover the safety of his own body. Previously he has felt himself above practical realities, and seen them as as a limitation, or as tasks that take an intense effort to master. As he reconnects with his body he begins to make friends with those same practical realities and feels them as a support for himself to function in the practical physical world.
Helen was not in touch with her freedom, Jeremy was not in touch with his body. They can start to rediscover their essential qualities.