There can be no argument that D. H. Lawrence's Son's and Lover's is a study of human relationships. Gertrude Morel, because of her turbulent and odd relationship with her husband, ends up developing deep emotional relations with her two eldest son's. The second eldest in particular, Paul, is the receiver of most of this deep emotion. Because of these feelings and the deeper-than-usual emotional bond between the two, Paul has difficulty being comfortable in his own relationships. Paul's relationship with Miriam is plagued by his mother's disapproval, jealousy, and Miriam 's own spirituality.
Paul's relationship with Miriam is one where the love is not allowed to flourish. Although there is no doubt that there is love between the two, the forces around them create tension that suppresses it. Miriam believes herself not nearly as beautiful as she really is. Because of this she is always looking for things to love her.
In the case of Paul she believes that if Paul was to need her, if she could take care of him, 'if he could depend on her, if she could, as it were, have him in her arms, how she would love him.'(137) However, this is never allowed to happen. Paul's mother Gertrude already occupies this space in his life. Thus the relationship between the two is a struggle for an identity. The relationship is a struggle between Paul and his mother and Paul and Miriam.
The main conflicts between Paul and Miriam are between physical-spiritual differences and his mother. Miriam holds spirituality very close to her. Thing with Miriam are always on a very spiritual level. Lawrence showed this sometimes with depiction's of flowers. Paul has other needs that Miriam herself feels that she could never fulfill. 'You make me feel spiritual and I don't want to...