The Cold War and Passivity

Much like the Cold War between two super powers back in the sixties relationships can also operate with seemingly hidden moves to gain the upper hand. Perhaps these hidden moves are not always calculated in relationships however they can become the best means to produce a “result” for some couples.

When we choose not to do anything about our concerns and instead begin to manipulate others to change we enter into a world of passivity and the Cold War.


Power hidden in reserve is making the statement that it “could be” used

A couple recently described how they deal with aspects of their relationship. The wife notices that the partner is emotionally frustrated – angry or otherwise. The man deals with his feelings by finding some space and watches tv or something. The wife is familiar with his behaviour so she gives the man a wide berth.  Over time the unspoken feelings between them can build to epic proportions while on the surface everything seems “fine”.

The man and the wife have built up resentments and choose not to express them. Instead the wife enables the man by allowing him to be alone. In that way she doesnt have to deal with his built up emotions – nor does the man. In time perhaps the issues between the man and wife either dissipate or they are projected onto someone else. The presence of this hidden power and control continues to affect their relationship.

In the cold war the wife knows “well enough to leave alone” even though she has a range of arsenal (passive behaviours) she can use in response. She chooses to enable the man in the Cold War process because she is unsure that the man will use his “great power”. It would seem like a good deal of their energy is being used to produce this silent stand off.

Perhaps there is an unlikely kind of equilibrium going on here? The long term relationship continues to exist- the relationship is sort of dependable. But what happens when the man or wife chooses to do things differently?



Usually in relationships its best to be direct and assertive in communication. The passive responses are only seen to continue the silent cold war. What does the man really need? What does the woman really need? What is stopping them from communicating their needs to each other?  From my position the answer points to one or the other losing a position of control in the relationship. Using control seems to have an executive function in some personalities.

In the first part of this week Mars is offset to Jupiter and Neptune. Mars and Jupiter normally represent overt kinds of behaviour however Neptune the great dissolver is suggesting more passive endeavours this time.

Whether you are in a controlling relationship or are involved in passive behaviours you might ask yourself – why? The controlling type of person is rarely seen as the bully and the victim silently enables him so that the relationship continues with an awkward kind of balance. This week there is a potential leakage in the system where some behaviours become visible like an oil leak on the driveway.

Apologies for the late publication i have been having a cold war with my computer. I will be back soon.



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