Thursday, December 16, 2004

Karen Horney on Scott Peterson

Karen Horney, "Problems of Marriage" in Feminine Psychology (ed. Kelman, Norton, 1973), p. 120:

If, perhaps, a husband clings to the illusion of his independence, he will react with secret bitterness to his feeling needed and tied down by his wife. She, in turn, senses his suppressed rebellion, reacts with hidden anxiety, lest she lose him, and out of this anxiety instinctively increases her demands on him. The husband reacts to this with heightened sensitivity and defensiveness -- until finally the dam bursts, neither one having understood the underlying irritability. The explosion may happen on the occasion of an unimportant event. Compared to marriage, any transitory relationship, be it on the basis of prostitution, flirtation, friendship, or an affair -- is simpler in nature, for here is it relatively easy to avoid rubbing against the partner's rough edges.