In order to work with any couple or family in crisis, clinicians must sort through a web of transferences, countertransferences, projections, and projective identifications while attending to the needs of family members as a group and as individuals at varying cognitive and developmental levels. Before any struggling couple can make changes in ineffective patterns of relating, they must recognise the painful aspects of themselves projected into the other. They must realise that it is futile to expect new outcomes while continuing to treat each other in the same ways. They must accept that they will never metamorphose into versions of each other’s ideal fantasies or compensate each other for pain suffered at the hands of primary objects. When they admit the hopelessness of their illusions, couples can—sometimes, when things go well—be helped to recognise and reclaim disavowed parts of themselves and establish new paradigms of relating.