The Fierce Women/Fearful Men relationship cycle is common and destructive. In this cycle, a wife’s strengths can intimidate her husband. A Fierce Woman can be a living inspiration but her ferocity can also morph into her husband’s worst nightmare. He may respond to her fierceness by shutting down, running, responding in harsh anger or passively retreating to his own silent world. Rather than experiencing joy and companionship, the couple caught in this miserable cycle relate to one another more like alienated roommates than passionate lovers and friends.
The cycle works like this:
Wife has strong desires and “exerts her fierceness” in order to obtain those desires . . .
Husband retreats in fear . . . OR
Husband ignores wife and picks up the nearest brain-numbing object available (media remote, newspaper, lap-top) . . . OR
Husband fears disappointing wife and goes to any length to make sure she gets what she wants . . . OR
Husband feels intimidated and lashes back in anger resulting in verbal or physical injury.
And the cycle repeats itself with the wife exerting her fierceness to obtain her desires.
Early in our marriage, I often found myself questioning, “Where is the man I married?” I often hear women ask the same thing and complain about their husband’s passivity and lack of leadership, followed by the question of why this happens. We leave the wedding altar, and some pitiful dead-beat-loser-guy invades the body of our robust champion. And this scenario isn’t one or two isolated cases—it’s happening in droves! It seems we’re watching the extinction of real men.
What’s up with this??
I think the FW/FM Cycle has created a generation of passive men.
Surely you’ve seen him trudging behind his wife in the mall. His eyes are glazed over and downcast. He seems to be in an almost comatose state. He’s the “neutered man.” At one time he may have seen himself as a man’s man, a leader, flexing his skills and strengths, willing to take risks to achieve and explore; to conquer new territory and hurdle obstacles. That was before his body was invaded by Mr. Passive. Now, he no longer tries. He’s lost his zeal for living and his confidence as a man and leader. His “risk taking” is limited to the occasional feeble suggestion he offers his domineering wife.
I want to challenge you to break out of the cycle. Don’t use your fierce strengths to intimidate or pressure your husband. Be his greatest source of affirmation and encouragement. Next week I’m going to share some practical ways you can do this.
Until then, what is one thing you can do to inspire your husband to manhood today?