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Elise, D. (2012). The Danger in Deception: Oedipal Betrayal and the Assault on Truth. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 60(4):679-705.

(2012). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 60(4):679-705

Original Papers

The Danger in Deception: Oedipal Betrayal and the Assault on Truth

Dianne Elise

Certain potential precursors to heterosexual women's experience of partner infidelity are explored as these dynamics unfold within the oedipal crisis—the “betrayal” by the oedipal objects. As each child moves into the oedipal phase, he or she comes to recognize not only desire for the mother, but the mother's desire for the father. A doubling of this experience of “deception,” encountered first in relation to the mother, and then repeated with the father, may be especially pronounced for a girl, as she is likely to inhabit more fully her bisexual potential in negotiating the expected shift of object choice from mother to father. “Deceived” by her primary maternal oedipal object, a girl sets forth toward her paternal oedipal object with “fidelity” already an issue, and with faith in her mind's ability to determine reality already shaken. Undermined trust in self and other is the context in which she begins the oedipal relation to her heterosexual object. This path is quite distinct from that traveled by the heterosexual boy. Clinical material illustrates the assault on one's mind, on one's confidence to determine what is true, that is a central aspect of both oedipal and adult betrayal.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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