Friday, June 3, 2011

Passive Women & Pushy Men

My all time most popular blog was Passive Men & Pushy Women. Because there was so much interest in that scenario, I decided to flip it around and address the other side. Here we go...

PUSHY MEN

I'd like to start with the strengths of a pushy/aggressive/ambitious man. He is a true leader, he doesn't take no for an answer. He is strong, he is powerful, and he demands respect. He is a producer, he can get results. You know he will get the job done. These are the CEO's of the world, the presidents, the leaders, the conquerers the pioneers and the winners. But along with that big personality can come some pretty big constraints.

Because a pushy man finds so much identity in achievement and success (and in being right), he will often leave relationships in the dust in order to pursue the next big thing. He most often chooses a nurturing, quiet, solid and steady woman as his helpmate because she is everything he is not. Early in the relationship she will try to set boundaries with him, and he will squash her efforts - which later on down the road will cause a painful amount of disconnection and disrespect. He is often critical of his spouse, children and friends. No one ever feels good enough around him because bottom line is nothing ever is good enough (in his eyes). A pursuit of excellence becomes a perfectionistic rigid way of life. His high standards leave him alienated and isolated. Pushy men will protect ideas instead of people. In many environments they are the predator and they hurt those around them often. They are obsessive about details which makes them good at their job, but a lousy family man. Often times he thinks that everyone in his family is thriving because no one ever confronts him. But what is really going on is people in his family are dying and they are retreating to silence. They have just given up hope that he will ever change and they have accepted the fact that he just can't hear the truth. Also, you simply don't want to argue with a pushy man. He will turn it around on you so fast that you end up apologizing to him for something he did wrong. Living with a pushy man is one big double standard. He can always do it (whatever "it" is), but you can't.

PASSIVE WOMEN

Ladies, I'm not going to let you off the hook even though you're in a tough position. Here's the thing about living with a pushy man. He acts that way, because you let him. Early on in the relationship he communicated to you that his needs were more important, and you believed him. It is in your nature to give and not ask much in return. But in doing so you have created a monster. I can't tell you how many women I know who ended up in a relationship like this only to find out 10 years down the road (when she finally explodes like a volcano) that she really did have a voice all along. And the moment she actually set a real boundary, that pushy man responded in love and respect. See, he is strong, and he will run you over if you let him. But what he really wants is for you to be strong too. He may fight it at first, but he will respect your strength. In fact, it will inspire him, intrigue him, bring him in closer. Because you are such a supportive personality you are a safe person when it comes to confrontation and boundaries. You can do "tough love" better than any other personality. You have an emotional compass inside of you. You know when things aren't fair, when he's pushed it too far, when he is out of line, and when he is out of control. But for so long you have ignored it, and some of you have defended it, even made excuses for it. "He works so hard, he has all these problems, I don't want to add to them." I've heard them all. So do you want to enable him, and lose any hope for real connection in marriage, or do you want to do the healthy thing, and teach him how to treat you well? Dr. Phil always says "you teach people how to treat you." I'm a firm believer in this.

Ladies, don't be the martyr. Don't be the victim. You may not carry the same drive he does in life, but if you don't develop the strong side of your personality you'll never see the results you want. A pushy man wants a safe, nurturing woman but he also wants a powerful helpmate that will run with him, at his pace.

Over the years you may feel like too much damage has been done. Some of the cuts may be too deep. But with the help of a counselor, you can heal. Your marriage can heal. You can develop the strength you need. You may need the help of a strong coach in the beginning who will pull your pushy man aside and say "hey, NOT OKAY!" Don't be afraid to pull in help in the beginning.

And my closing thoughts to a pushy man - you can be "right", or you can find love. Which do you choose? Which one will you find more rewarding in the end? You have the tendency to get out of control real fast. Will you have to lose everything before you learn how to develop your constraints? Or will you learn to value other people, and believe that they are just as important as you are? Your identity needs to be in what you bring to others, not what you can take or conquer. You were born strong, but not so that you could run all over people, it was so you could bring protection to the world. The world needs your strength, but in your strength you're called to serve, not dominate.

And for both men and women, no matter what your personality is, no matter your age or you circumstances please don't ever stay in a dangerous, abusive relationship. Get out, get help, and know that there is hope!



5 comments:

  1. I love the you can be right or you can find love!

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  2. most passive women are just building up steam until they explode into a woman who doesn't want a man anymore because men are SENSELESS AND WORTHLESS

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  3. Dear "anonymous", you sound like you're in a lot of pain. Is everything alright?

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  4. This is so on point. I have a best friend who we are emotionally intimate, more so than most openly and official couples. However, this describes to a "T" exactly what happens every time we veer into taking the emotional intimacy to a physical level, be it from kissing to sexual intimacy. He begins to aggressively commit my time and energy towards his comforts and then as an outwardly passive woman with strong, but latent leadership skills that I normally reserve for my career and childrearing - I end up having to put him back in line or rather guiding him back to his "path" in my life and our interactions. I am in love with him and due to the depth of the friendship rather than the emotional connection of the romantic love, I've decided not to severe the entire thing. For those women reading this who may doubt the effectiveness of setting boundaries in love and how much a man who loves you on any level will respect it. This has been my experience...even though he's complained and balked, even accused me of stirring up trouble and all other manner of unsavory behavior, eventually - during his quiet time when he's not around me, he digests what I've told him and the more boundaries I've set, the more he's come to trust and respect my judgement. I already deeply respect his judgement and trust him, but my boundary setting creates a balance wherein as time goes on, he's learned to respect me as well. This also has deepened the emotional AND intellectual intimacy between us. In fact, he is less focused on my physical qualities (though they aren't ignored) and how he might like to get physical with me and more focused on the quality of intimacy between us. I believe that deep inside the pushy man, he craves intimacy, but is afraid that his ability to easily grate on other's nerves and alienate people disqualifies him for the level of intimacy he sees more passive and underachieving men acquire. Therefore, in his mind, he is forcing himself to choose...intimacy or power/leadership. Unless a man has an experience that allows him to see the value of intimacy (how it help build his inner qualities and latent sensitivities), he will ALWAYS choose power and leadership. If an otherwise passive woman can use her depth of compassion (which is one of the reasons why we are passive) to exercise some tough love with the man in her life, she can be the one and only to lead him through the deep, scary, and threatening jungle that intimacy poses to such a high testosterone level man.

    In my personal experience, he craves more rather than less time with me and is more careful with my sensitivies to carve out a more secure and steady place in my life. I just have to figure out how to get him to see that the physical intimacy/closeness between us as well as his feeling threatened when others enter the scene (like his twin brother deciding to drop in for dinner) is what usually triggers his pushy ways. My next step in this relationship is trying to help him identify the triggers so that he can self regulate in the moment and I will have to do less of the "correcting" from the outside. At least this is my dream. lol ha ha ha ha

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  5. Great commentary! I'm really glad you are pushing back and setting limits. That is the beginning of you having your voice and two people staying powerful in a relationship (vs. only one being powerful).

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