Which comes first passive men or controlling women?
© Evelyn Leite
Why do they always seem to team up? This is a question asked of me recently by a reader. Possibly because two passive people would end up on the streets and two overtly controlling people would end up killing each other? Do they feed on each other? Do they each select the other out of some sense of familiarity from childhood? Is there a need to take care of someone and a need to be taken care of?
Children who grow up with controlling mothers either emulate her or deliberately become the opposite of her, likewise people with controlling fathers. Sometimes children are forced to be the only responsible ones in the household and thus become fearful of ever leaning on anyone or trusting that their needs will ever be met unless they are in control of all that is around them. Controlling people are very insecure people and encourage passive aggressive behavior in the people around them because they will tolerate no truth that disagrees with their point of view or any challenge to their authority.
In the relationship arena one will often see women who are very much in charge of everything and usually they have in tow a man who appears to be gentle and easy-going. Often the man goes out of his way not to incur her wrath. Because she will put him down and embarrass him for not being the aggressive creature she thinks could meet her needs. But is there something hidden there? Is it possible that the passive person is actually the most controlling and able to avoid taking any responsibility for it? Is it possible that the passive man is actually hiding anger and belligerence that comes out sideways in hidden aggression commonly referred to as passive aggressive behavior? Does life for them become a “get-even” contest?
Both passive people and controlling people suffer from distorted boundaries and little sense of their own value and worth. Neither has ever grown up or been willing to give up the fantasy of having all their needs met by another person. Controlling women think the people around them dim-witted and in need of their excellent problem solving and care-taking abilities all the while longing for someone to take care of them. Passive men have never learned how to be responsible for themselves and need someone to blame for their lack of success and inability to thrive. She thinks he’s stupid and he’s smart enough to let her do all the work and worrying, while pretending to acquiesce. She looks like a bitch; he looks like a poor slob caught up in unfortunate circumstances. Both are extremely dishonest with themselves and swimming up-stream. Both have dependent personalities. Both are prideful, self-centered, and caught in a web of expectations that defy reality because they are each waiting to be rescued by some nonexistent force.
Traits of controlling women are: Aggressiveness, overt lack of empathy, strong opinions and a need to have others see things their way, fear of intimacy, insecurity, emotionally abusive enablers and supporters of alcoholics and other addicts. They are manipulative, demanding, sometimes physically abusive and can’t look at themselves; they always have to have the last word on any subject. Controlling women scare people into submission but have no real relationships. Healthy people avoid them.
Traits of the passive aggressive man are: need for approval, manipulative and seductive behaviors, fear of abandonment, incapable of being responsible for meeting their own needs, fear of intimacy, overt liars, people who retreat into addictions or silence. The passive aggressive man’s behavior is focused outward, never inward and he blames others for his feelings, thus nothing is ever his fault, even if he claims responsibility and says he’s sorry it is only to get someone off his back. He is in a juvenile power struggle.
Passive men and controlling women find each other and sometimes they kill each other emotionally, other times they figure it out and grow up. The key to growing up is a willingness to set boundaries, take personal responsibility for your life and find your spiritual source. For more information on this subject read Passive Men Wild Women by Dr. Pierre Mornell or Living With The Passive Aggressive Man by Scott Wetzler.
Evelyn Leite MHR, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the founder of Faith Based Solutions, a non-profit corporation that exists for the benefit of those less fortunate. She can be reached at 605-484-0576 or log on to www.faithbasedsolutions.org