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Monday, April 1, 2013

Bruce's Lecture

Sexualized anger can be passive-aggressive, as it was when Ben stole Nanny's bras and masturbated, or it can be fully aggressive and overt. All sexual acting out, however, is motivated by feelings of shame and is manifested in acts and feelings of anger.

Ben married a woman who was very attentive to his needs and wants. She was expressive, emotional, and present to him emotionally. In fact the first few years of the marriage, Ben was happy. He and his wife enjoyed fulfilling, tender, and nurturing lovemaking. She listened to Ben's worries and problems, giving supportive and useful suggestions. In the mornings, they snuggled, and in the evenings, they took long walks in the woodland hillsides. Both were eager to start a family and, when their firstborn turned out to be twins, they were thrilled. The two little girls had bright blue eyes and dimples that matched their father's.

Ben knew little about caring for newborns. In his family of origin, that lesson was never modeled. Middle-of-the-night feedings left his wife exhausted and emotionally detached. He watched the little girls receiving much of the attention once reserved for him. Secretly, Ben was jealous. Not being cared for aroused familiar feelings deep in his psyche. That is the was his mother had made him feel.

Ben began having anxiety attacks. It was difficult for him to sleep or eat, but mostly Ben felt angry. "What about me?" he thought, resenting the bond between mother and daughters. "What happened to my loving, adoring, wife?"

Ben began to spend more time at the office. His anger continued to simmer until it finally exploded. "If she doesn't have time for me anymore, I'll find someone who does!" he thought. That afternoon, Bent went to his first massage parlor.

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