I recommend Home Alone for all couples just to get the feel of the other’s absence. Who am I when I’m not a WE? The dynamics of male/female relationship are very mysterious. At all time one of you has to be the center leader. If you cannot trade places as your changes situations—you’re in control, now I’m in control, you’re the boss, now I’m the boss—you flexible flowing loving relationship will get stuck with one center leader and the other the Center Follower. But even though there is Two, in. relationship there has to be ONE at a time. You can’t have two Centers pulling in different directions at the same time. This creates violence. An arrangement must be made. These arrangements are either going to be conscious or unconscious.
If the arranged sharing of Center Leader is conscious, then there is a willing surrender to the other when the situation demands it. If there is no conscious surrender, which means you are going to be vulnerable and not in control, then you may get passive aggressive behavior from the Center Follower. Instead of actively challenging the Center Leader, there is a passive challenge of undercutting the Center Leader. (Oh, wait, I think this is a confessional….are you dear friend, a priest?)
I’ve got to talk about this at Martini Time…which is where I confess my sins. Now that I’m Home Alone…I see it all clearly.
As a passive agressive would unconsciously (consciously) leave the seat up, saying Oh, I forgot. If she complained, she could be accused of nagging. Passive Aggressive means being aggressive unconsciously. You action is doing one thing but you mind is denying it was intentional, yet you keep doing it. This puts your partner in a double-bind of Trust. She trusts her feeling that you are intentionally leaving the seat up, yet you deny it. Who does she trust. She is programmed to trust her husband, yet she is also programmed to trust her own feeling. Now she doesn’t know if she is up or down. That, my friends, is maximum control. Passive Aggress behavior is control through the double-bind that makes the other divide themselves, that divides their trust. Once divided, that person can’t trust themselves because…they don’t know what is true. It could be this or it could be that. I don’t know….I had better trust my husband. He just forgets to put the seat down. He’s innocent. I’m the guilty one for thinking that he is guilty. I deserve to sit down in the toilet.
OK, there it is. I’m a Passive Aggressive. I confess. I should join Passive Aggressive Anonymous. PAA. It’s an addiction that is not easy to break because it is unconscious, and it give you power, passively, of course, but power. It is hard to give up you power, but you will never get your power back unless you do.
There is some wisdom tucked into this talk, but you have to open the box. Listen and read what I write. The movie Home Alone was about a kid who becomes master of his domain when his parents were gone. We are all like that kid living with parents, our external authorities, whatever we designate them to be. We are afraid of being Home Alone because he won’t have any connection to a stable authority, a “parent” who makes us safe and gives us certainty. Home Alone, we are on our own. We have to become Mac Gyver, making weapons out of what’s given. We have to become creative because now we are our own center. Out parents, who were our center are gone. Home Alone you have to rely on yourself. No excuses. No avoidance. You are IT!