13 Jul Neurotic Love | Part C’
More complicated is the kind of neurotic disturbance in love which is based on a different kind of parental situation, occurring when parents do not love each other, but are too restrained to quarrel or to indicate any signs of dissatisfaction outwardly. At the same time, remoteness makes them also unspontaneous in their relationship to their children. What a little girl experiences is an atmosphere of “correctness,” but one which never permits a close contact with either father or mother, and hence leaves the girl puzzled and afraid. She is never sure of what the parents feel or think; there is always an element of the unknown, the mysterious, in the atmosphere. As a result the girl withdraws into a world of her own, day-dreams, remains remote, and retains the same attitude in her love relationships later on.
Furthermore the withdrawal results in the development of intense anxiety, a feeling of not being firmly grounded in the world, and often leads to masochistic tendencies as the only way to experience intense excitement. Often such women would prefer having the husband make a scene and shout, to his maintaining a more normal and sensible behavior, because at least it would take away the burden of tension and fear from them; not so rarely they unconsciously provoke such behavior, in order to end the tormenting suspense of affective neutrality.
THE ART OF LOVING