For a number of years, I thought less of Jung because he had so many (alleged) extra-marital relationships, including relationships with his clients. However, if this is what it took for him to individuate as he did and to provide us with such profound insights into the nature of the psyche, then so be it.
President Kennedy allegedly said he couldn’t think as well unless he slept with a different woman every night; somehow the Kennedy myth has survived in a more intact way that Jung’s reputation.
This is an excellent summary article from Wikipedia:
Toni (Antonia Anna) Wolff (18 September 1888 – 21 March 1953), was a patient and later a student and lover of Carl Jung. Wolff later became a Jungian analyst. Her extramarital relationship with Jung was openly enacted through a course of ten years. Jung had been looking for the “Anima woman”, eventually coming to call Toni his “second wife”, his legal wife being Emma Jung.
During her psychoanalytic career Toni Wolff focused on analysis and published relatively little. Her best-known paper was an essay on four “types” or aspects of the feminine psyche: the Amazon, the Mother, the Hetaira (or Courtesan), and the Medial (or mediumistic) Woman.
Wolff’s relationship with Jung began in 1913, when she was twenty-five, and Jung thirty-eight years old. According to the film Matter of Heart, after successful analysis with Jung she requested that they move to an intimate relationship and Jung agreed. Dr. Sonu Shamdasani notes in editorial comments to The Red Book, Jung recorded in his diary that he decided to undertake the relationship with Wolff after an impressive dream that occurred at the end of 1912. During the critical period of Jung’s “encounter with the unconscious”, the period between about 1913 and 1917 documented in Jung’s The Red Book, Wolff was a crucial companion to Jung.
Jung’s initiation of a relationship with Toni initially caused understandable tensions in his marriage, but by 1920 an accord of acceptance was evidently reached between Jung, his wife Emma, and Wolff.
Wolff was a frequent visitor to the Jung house, occasionally working on projects for Jung at his home office in the late mornings until the family lunch (from which she was excluded) and then continuing in the afternoon. She usually joined the family for Sunday dinners. From around 1920 until the end of her life, Jung was commonly accompanied by both Wolff and his wife, Emma, at public and private functions.
Throughout his life, Jung acknowledged the importance of his relationship with Wolff. Even in later years of life, they frequently spent time together at Jung’s Bollingen tower. Until his health deteriorated after a heart attack in the 1944, Wolff and Jung usually spent Wednesday evenings together at the home of Wolff.
In the early 1930s, Jung began to pursue alchemy. To Jung the internal, private mental processes of alchemists paralleled the process of individuation. Wolff became concerned that Jung would be marginalized by this arcane focus of study. She invited a group of university students to visit Jung, including the brilliant and socially awkward 18-year-old Marie-Louise von Franz.
In her 2003 biography of Jung, Deirdre Bair quotes von Franz as saying she intellectually replaced Toni Wolff in Jung’s life, confirmed by von Franz herself in Matter of Heart:
“Her [Wolff’s] big mistake was in not being enthusiastic about alchemy. It was unfortunate that she refused to follow him there, because otherwise he would not have thrown her over to collaborate with me. He would have used me just for translating, and he would have confided in her. But she wasn’t interested. She was too much a slightly conventional Christian, and she refused to follow him.”
By age 60, Toni Wolff was in poor health, suffering from both severe arthritis and her years of heavy smoking. In 1953 she died suddenly and unexpectedly. Jung was overcome with grief, and found himself physically and emotionally unable to attend her funeral, fearing a public collapse; Jung’s wife, Emma, attended for them both. (Jung’s absence at the funeral is often misrepresented as implying Jung’s coldness toward Toni, while in fact it was the result of the depth of his feelings in old age.)