Marriage Destroyer: Passivity
pas·sive adjective \ˈpa-siv\
—used to describe someone who allows things to happen or who accepts what other people do or decide without trying to change anything [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]
It seems increasingly common to hear a woman complain her husband is too passive. How they state it varies, but the complaint often matches the definition above.
Passivity can be going along to get along, or it can be fear based. Some men are so tired from “fighting” at work they have no desire to fight at home. Many have heard men are abusive, so they become passive to avoid being that guy. Some are so consumed by self-doubt they can’t step up.
You might think a woman would love a passive husband. She’s free to be who she wants and do what she wants. A wife may feel this way at first, but she can’t respect a man who won’t stand up for himself or what’s right. Because she can’t love a man she doesn’t respect, she will grow cold and distant. She may ultimately leave or try to drive him away. If she remains married it will be in name only.
I’ve seen this up close several times. After two or three decades of being a “devoted husband,” the passive man finds his wife has neither love nor use for him. By the time he knows there’s almost no chance of fixing it, even if he does change.
Being passive is as bad for a marriage as is being demanding or too aggressive. The passive husband won’t hear complaints, but the damage is just as real and it can end a marriage.
If you think you’re passive:
- Offer your opinion more often.
- Stop saying, “whatever you want” as a reflex.
- Learn to be okay with conflict.
- Pray about what matters, what you should stand up for no matter the cost.
- Be willing to fight for your marriage, even when it means opposing your wife.
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