Any love of control of one over the other utterly destroys marriage love and its heavenly pleasure, for as already noted, marriage love and its pleasure consist of the intent of one belonging to the other, and of this being mutual and reciprocal. A love of being in control in a marriage destroys this because the dominant partner simply wants his or her will to be in the other, and does not want to accept any element of the will of the other in return. So it is not mutual, which means that there is no sharing of any love and its pleasure with the other, and no accepting in return. Yet this sharing and the union that follows from it is the very inward pleasure that is called blessedness in marriage. Love of being in control stifles this blessedness, and with it absolutely everything heavenly and spiritual about the love, to the point that even all knowledge of its existence is lost. One could even say that it is held so cheaply that the mere mention of [marriage] blessedness makes people laugh or flare up in anger.
When one partner wants or loves what the other does, then there is a freedom for both, because all freedom stems from love. However, there is freedom for neither one when there is control. One is the servant; and so is the one in control, because he or she is being driven like a servant by a need to be in control. However, people who do not know what the freedom of a heavenly love is do not understand this at all. They might find out from the things just said about the origin and essence of marriage love, that as control comes in the door, minds are not united but severed. Control subjugates, and a subjugated mind either has no purpose or is of opposite purpose. If it has no purpose it has no love, and if it is of opposite purpose there is hatred in the place of love.
The deeper natures of people who live in this kind of marriage clash and struggle with each other, as is normal for two things that are opposed to each other, no matter how their outer natures are restrained and tranquilized for the sake of peace. The clash and struggle of their inner natures comes out after their death. They usually get together and then battle each other like enemies and tear each other apart. They are in fact acting in accord with the state of their own deeper natures. I have occasionally been allowed to see how they fight and tear one another; some instances are full of spite and savagery. Everyone’s deeper levels are allowed a certain freedom in the other life, being no longer constrained by outward considerations, for their worldly purposes. Then people are outwardly what they are inwardly.
There is a kind of image of marriage love in some people, but it is not marriage love unless they are focused on a love of the good and the true. It is a love that looks like marriage love for a number of reasons—we want to be taken care of at home, to feel secure, to be at peace or at leisure, to be taken care of when we are ill or elderly, or [to work together] for the sake of beloved children. In some cases it arises from a fear of the spouse, because of what people will think, or for evil ends; and for some it is lust that causes it.
Marriage love also differs between spouses. It may be more or less in one, little or none in the other; and since it may differ, it may be heaven for one and hell for the other.
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 380, 381