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Epözdemir, H. (2017). Echoes of the Serial Murder of the Psyche: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Serial Marriage. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 7(1):59-80.

(2017). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 7(1):59-80

Echoes of the Serial Murder of the Psyche: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Serial Marriage

Hejan Epözdemir, Ph.D.

This study aims to compare individuals in serial marriages (”serial marriers”) with individuals in their first and second marriages in terms of object relations, projective identification, and levels of defence mechanisms in the light of psychoanalytic literature. Bell Object Relations and Reality Testing Inventory (BORRTI), Paulson Daily Living Inventory (PDLI), and Defence Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40) were administered to the study sample of 182 participants. BORRTI results indicated that serial marriers had statistically higher scores on the subscales of alienation, insecure attachment, egocentricity, and uncertainty of perception than both first- and second-time marriers, and higher scores on the reality distortion subscale only compared with first-time marriers. Regarding PDLI, serial marriers were found to have higher scores on the subscales of persecuting mother to infant and infant to persecuting mother, and lower scores on the subscale of depressive position than first and second-time marriers. DSQ-40 revealed that while serial marriers used primitive defence mechanisms more frequently than first-time marriers, neurotic defences were more prevalent in both first and second-time marriers. The major theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed in the light of psychoanalytic literature, in which regard, the author proposes that serial marriers destroy their internal objects in a way analogous to that of serial murder.

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