5 Quotes By Mariela Michelena About Relationships

5 Quotes By Mariela Michelena About Relationships
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 22 December, 2022

Mariela Michelena is a psychoanalyst specializing in relationships. In her books, she talks about how people live in a place of emotional dependency, how these kinds of relationships turn so toxic, and all the problems that result. Her intention is to bring clarity to relationships. So today we’ve compiled the most important things she’s said on the topic. (Quotes are translated from Spanish.)

The years go by and we get older, but we’ve gotten stuck in illusions and expectations that are making our relationships one disaster after another. We keep tripping over the same stone. Maybe Mariela Michelena can help us get rid of some old beliefs once and for all and adopt some more healthy ones.

1. “Suffering due to love is free”

Mariela Michelena’s is saying something very powerful here. Sometimes suffering is avoidable and sometimes not, so in the latter cases we can win if we intelligently manage the pain. Maybe your suffering is because you’re not able to have a child or because the money just isn’t covering your needs.

However, when we talk about suffering for love, we are talking about suffering as a result of not loving or of not being loved well. Do they not respect you? Are you with them because you’re afraid of being alone? In these cases, you are suffering from an unhealthy love.

When we suffer for love, we don’t receive anything in exchange, even if we think we do.  “If I keep quiet, he’ll stay with me; if I don’t say what I think, he won’t leave me”. These thoughts make the relationship toxic and our attitude self-destructive. It’s not worth it.

Mariela Michelena and bad relationships.

2. “We turn any old frog who passes in front of us into the knight in shining armor”

Now Mariela Michelena is talking about the classic, eternal search for our “knight in shining armor.” A search that doesn’t end well, because in our frustration over him not showing up, we end up turning any old frog into a knight in shining armor. 

Then finally, we manage to take off the veil that we’d put over our eyes and see the true reality. That’s when we feel deceived by the other person, when actually we were the ones idealizing them.

So many people don’t wait until they truly like someone. Others build up hopes and expectations starting with the very first hello. Hurry is never good, especially when it comes to relationships. It’s at this point that we should be weighing up what it is that we want, what we are looking for, and then opening our eyes to see if the person in front of us matches up to that image.

“The more we embellish and exalt love, the more dependent and impoverished we become”

-Mariela Michelena-

3. “A man is not a baby”

A lot of people treat their partners as if they were babies. The woman, in this case, acts as a mother and treats her boyfriend or husband as if he were a baby. There’s a matching response when the “baby” offers her unconditional love.

Unconditional love is a love without conditions. As Mariela Michelena says, “the person who loves with unconditional love offers it because they want to, because they feel like it, and because in their relationships they decide”. It doesn’t require reciprocity. It is enough — or more than enough — by itself. It is the love we can offer to a child, but not to our partner.

If we stop to analyze the situation, we’ll realize that loving a man as if he were a baby means loving an illusion, a fantasy in our mind. If we open our eyes, we’ll realize that this baby has a beard, is an adult and is self-sufficient. Giving him unconditional love is giving enormous power to someone who can do us a lot of damage. In fact, it says a lot about how little love we have for ourselves.

A couple having problems.

4. “Passion for a lifetime? Some people can have it, but not the majority”

Mariela Michelena warns us about the common belief that if we’ve found true love, passion will never disappear. But it’s not true. Ultimately, love alone will not make passion stay at the same level forever. This we have to do ourselves with action and commitment.

Although there may be couples whose passion is very long-lasting, the “normal” scenario is that it will take work to maintain. If not, it may disappear and cause problems and frustration.

“We demand of life things that it has no reason to give us, and we demand of ourselves a kind of happiness that we have no reason to be headed towards”

-Mariela Michelena-

5. “For love, women are capable of sacrificing themselves”

This last thought from Mariela Michelena that we’ll share is incredibly important. It’s about realizing the limits of love: we decide what we will give. In all relationships, we should have clear limits.

They will be different for each person and each relationship. For example, some people do not tolerate infidelity. For others, there may be some tolerance depending on how it happens (a one night stand versus multiple cases of infidelity, for example). The important thing is for us all to set our limits.

A woman tangled in red cords.

However, it seems like we forget about all of this when we get into a relationship. We are capable of doing the craziest things to hold onto something that may not even last. Is it because we have no limits? Do we really think so little of ourselves?

The trick to not fall into a destructive relationship is to take care of our self-esteem and not step past the limits that we’ve set in accordance with our values. But, above all, we have to learn to distance ourselves from the beliefs and expectations that encourage us to idealize people.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.