The Burden of a Guilty Conscience

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Love, Guilt Pages: 1 (417 words) Published: August 8, 2005
In Karen Horney's essay, "The Distrust Between the Sexes," she demonstrates how the expectations we have when we are in love can often lead to disappointment. "An almost unavoidable source of disappointment and distrust in our normal love life derives from the fact that the very intensity of our feelings of love stirs up all of our secret expectations and longing for happiness, which slumber deep inside us (361)." Simply, projecting our desires, expectation and sometimes guilt upon our lover can lead to disappointment. Love, in this way, can be a hugely unsatisfying because our expectations for it can be contradictory in nature and sometimes unrealistic. Ideally we would want a partner who possesses desirable traits. We want a partner who possesses both strength and weakness, who is pure and wicked, and additionally someone who will love us as deeply as we do them. However, it is very rare that someone will find that perfect partner who fulfills all of their desires. In my opinion, men and women usually project their guilt in ornate behaviors that lead to a breakdown in trust. For example, many people who are unfaithful often accuse their partner of cheating due to their own guilty conscience. Also, we can project our insecurities on our relationships; we do this unconsciously when we feel that we are not good enough or unable to fulfill our partner's expectations in the relationship, and do this in many different ways. I once was in a situation, one I'm confident most of us have been in, where my partner accused me of cheating and was very adamant about this. In addition, there seemed to be no way to assure her of any other reality. I later came to find out that she was the one being unfaithful during this period of time. Shortly afterward I came to the conclusion that she was projecting her guilt on our relationship, and that was the reason why she was convinced that I was being unfaithful. In that moment I found how love can be disappointing. I also...

Cited: Horney, Karen. "The Distrust Between the Sexes." Translated by Harold Kelman, Ed.
Lee A. Jacobus. "A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers." 6th
ed. Boston/Bedford-St.Martins. 2002
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