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Levin, S. (1969). Further Comments on a Common Type of Marital Incompatibility. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 17:1097-1113.

(1969). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 17:1097-1113

Further Comments on a Common Type of Marital Incompatibility

Sidney Levin, M.D.


In many instances a vicious circle of marital incompatibility results from a tendency on the part of the husband, when frustrated sexually by his wife, to react by withdrawing from her and by developing an attitude of bitter grievance, which prevents a reconciliation. Some aspects of the sensitivity which underlies these reactions have been discussed. Since such sensitivity is frequently equated in the unconscious with deficient masculinity, it tends to evoke unconscious shame, which in turn may lead to a denial of the sensitivity. Successful treatment must therefore include a careful analysis of the unconscious shame and of the denial of sensitivity to which it gives rise, so that the underlying sensitivity can be exposed and the resulting withdrawal can eventually be reversed.

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