Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Are You In a Bossy Relationship?

Does you partner dominate you? Read More

I am a female and my partner

I am a female and my partner is pretty bossy and condescending. Tonight, for instance, he acted like I was crazy just because I asked him for some gum around 10 o'clock. Like that was an absurd request.

However, when a man is bossy, it's assumed that is just normal masculine behaviour instead of a personality defect that should be rectified. He did not react well when I implied that HE was the crazy one for thinking that's so odd, to not have a designated time to chew gum.

how long

I suppose the answer to your issue may be; how long have your been together prior to this mans current behavior... to the doctors point in the article about the male starting to revolt after long being subjected to the "bossy" female. it has been my experience in the research that females neither recognize, or care to recognize, their abusive and / or inconsiderate relationship behaviors. in one simple experiment a group of 15 females were asked if they provided equal effort and consideration in the beginning of a relationship. 14 of 15 stated that they do all the same things as the man. ask for time, share the effort of arrangement and cost. however, when interacting with men all the woman waited for the man to make all the effort assuming that their presence alone was sufficient. again, as the doctor points, this is not the females issue, but belongs with men demanding equal consideration or simply having not anything more to do with these type of females. if an equal female then the relationship should see a way to equal emotional state. everlasting relationship fallacies are something else entirely. :)

I would say the behaviour is

I would say the behaviour is sporadic. He gets irritable for no reason and then gets meanspirited and drips with sarcasm and condescension and it is always completely out of left field. I'm not perfect either, I have a very reactive personality and when someone is being unfair to me I do not take it well and "take the bait" - I've been this way forever and it goes back to my upbringing with my one dysfunctional parent. But I can confidently say that whenever we've had a conflict, he's started it every. single. time. I am basically a stable, even-tempered, happy-go-lucky person, but apparently being happy all the time gets annoying and then I need to be taken down a peg. Go figure.

Your scenario doesn't sound

Your scenario doesn't sound relevant to me. For instance, several times the annoying behaviour I exhibited was being too helpful (yesterday) and apologizing too much (several months ago).

Lack of consideration on either of our parts in a general sense isn't the problem. He's very considerate in a pragmatic way. It's the emotional way - not saying hurtful, blunt things - where he's inconsiderate and even downright emotionally retarded.

And actually, he's improved slightly, he was worse before, but I made a big enough fuss about it.


I have no problem acknowledging that there are bossy spouses in marriage, but this just seems to target "henpecked" husbands. I've seen it played out plenty of times where the husband is an insufferable bossy arrogant jerk, and also where BOTH spouses seek to be the bully and just wind up hating each other. I think this article thus does a great disservice. And if men seek marriage only to get their sexual needs met, then maybe they get what they deserve - a good relationship shouldn't be a guy pretending to be "nice" in order to get the goodies. Maybe we should examine why men feel they have to resort to this in the first place, and why it must be such "a drag" having to listen to their partner's troubles. I wouldn't want to be a slave to anyone, or anyone a slave to me. Other people obviously feel differently, maybe we should look at that instead.

Many find reality to be offensive

They would rather live out their lives like ostriches. Maybe you should read our book to find out why men feel they have to resort to Bossy Relationships in the first place. We discuss it in detail in Chapter 13.

Wow, some ladies don't like

Wow, some ladies don't like being called out! Come on everyone, both genders can be bossy, but I must say that our society greatly benefits on a commercial level from clueless men and bitter women.

I feel at times that being bitter and bossy fill quite the large void in a person's heart that this person did not have filled in earlier times in life, or have not filled for themselves as adults, as we are all responsible for in the end.

THerefore, the answer to this problem is both extremely complex and extremely simple. For the simple, here we go...

Guys: WAKE UP!!!! Get out of the house, away from the TVs and computers, as well as sports and goofing around while not paying attention to the emotional makeup of your life and others, and get some experience in dating and relationships!! Date a lot of women and be open and honest about it. If you run into a woman who is not cool with it, simply MOVE ON!!! I am amazed at the horrible behavior some of the people closest to me (men and women) put up with from one random person considering the millions, or even billions of people available worldwide, and this is not even a stretch. I did it myself in the past, but unlike many of my friends, I did not let someone dictate my personal well-being through a one-sided marriage in exchange for scraps of potential intimacy if I 'behaved'. Also, I do not blame women for this, although it does annoy me to no end, because we are all adults and responsible for our own choices. I blame men in this situation for not taking responsbility.

Okay, now for the ladies: CHOOSE MORE WISELY THE PERSON YOU COMMIT TO!! STOP LISTENING TO YOUR FRIENDS AND MAKE BETTER DECISIONS IN THE BEGINNING! Better yet, if you did choose wrong, admit this and also MOVE ONE, and stop nagging and presurring the clueless man who was not the person your fantasy wanted him to be to begin with. I know this sounds mean, but it is true. We all must make more responsbile decisions, and then own up to these decisions, which sometimes means not playing to begin with, or simply walking away.

It is once these desicions are made and acted upon that we can truly meet the person we are meant for.

I think society would benefit

I think society would benefit from a discussion on the differences between "bossiness" and "assertiveness". Obviously, demands of things that are part of a man himself; his dreams, likes, dislikes, etc. are completely out of line. The "fix-him-up" mentality in this society is disgusting.

Still, it's far too easy to go in the other direction and say that a woman who is asserting herself; her preferences, hopes, dreams, likes, desires and etc. is being bossy, disruptive, and loud. I believe this is what the "ban bossiness" campaign was aimed for; although blaming the word is perhaps a bit misguided.

Why do think men feel they have to put up with "bossy" relationships? Is it because they feel that if they asserted themselves they would be "pushy" and "bossy" themselves, and their partner would call them such?

Let's define bossiness. Bossiness is about controlling another person, it's not about asserting or expressing yourself. It's not simply being loud with your opinions. If a man asserts himself, and his partner REFUSES to take his views into consideration, or allow herself to be influenced by him, THEN she is being bossy. Or if a man refuses to listen to his wife, tells her she's "crazy", or doesn't take her influence, THEN he is being bossy.

Furthermore, being passive doesn't mean that person's not the one in control. If a man never offers his opinions, desires, thoughts, boundaries, and etc, he's trying to control his partner by being passive. This is just a bad a situation, because it's still setting up the relationship so that one person "wins" and one person "loses". Whether it's him that loses or it's her, when BOTH people don't bring all their hopes, values, and preferences to the table and have them treated with respect, then it effects the relationship as a whole. Shaming men, or women, for being "bossy", when they're simply expressing their desires, shuts them down, and consequentially their relationships fail.

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J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.


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