Q: I’m wondering what you mean by the passive one always “wins.” [Comment on topic: “Couples: Passive and Controlling Partners”] I don’t see how anyone wins in this type of relationship.

I am the controller and he is passive aggressive. I’m sure we will get a divorce as he wont sleep with me at all and yawns at my advances. If you could elaborate it would be most helpful. Thank you.

A: I think the quotation marks on “wins” are what matters here. I’m saying that in the battle between one person who keeps insisting on things her way and another person who keeps on being a immovable donkey, the immovable donkey is the most powerful. If both people play their parts intensely, the passive person makes everything grind to a standstill and the controlling person eventually gives up.

You don’t mention if you’ve done the “Relationship Analysis” at my site, but I’d suggest it. If you do this analysis, remember that it only rates the amount of GOOD things in the relationship, so you could expect a quite low score. The scoring, however, isn’t the valuable part of the analysis. The advice after you are finished with the scoring is what I think will be interesting for you.

I strongly suggest couple’s counseling and/or individual therapy, even if only one of you are willing. Remember, either person can always find someone else to try to control or be passive with… and this needs to change in each person before the chances of a successful relationship with anyone can improve. (I’m assuming from your question that the power struggle in your relationship is quite severe. Since I only base this on these few words you typed on a particular day, I know that assumption could be wrong.)

I sincerely hope both of you will decide to change.

And remember that the process of change through therapy can even be very enjoyable much of the time! (People seem to think therapy is always painful…)

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