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Weiss, S.S. (1987). The Two-Woman Phenomenon. Psychoanal Q., 56:271-286.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:271-286

The Two-Woman Phenomenon

Stanley S. Weiss, M.D.


A distinct type of phenomenon that has not been previously noted as such is named and described. Men who present a two-woman phenomenon retain a commitment to wife and marriage while loving another woman. Conflict arises only when one of the women has to be relinquished. It is postulated that many men with this pattern of loving have experienced a traumatic childhood and an oedipal conflict which defensively involved two maternal objects in fantasy or reality. One mother was hated, the other loved. This dynamic is one possible determinant leading to the two-woman phenomenon.

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