32-year old man: I´m completely passive partner with my girlfriend

Hi Maj,

I’m a young 32-year old farmer, who’s had a girlfriend for almost 2 years now, and we’re engaged.

Before her, I was married to a Polish woman, whom I married very quickly and who turned out to have a terrible temper.

She yelled and screamed anytime I did the slightest thing that didn’t suit her.

Now I’ve ended up being “the completely passive partner” to my new girlfriend and she doesn’t understand why I don’t do anything!

She’s almost like a mother for me and tells me what to do and what not to do.

It irritates her like crazy and she’s often mad and irritated that I don’t take initiative or stand up for myself.

But it is as “something” keeps holding me back, because I do get good ideas for what I’d like to do with her.

But I never follow through…

Can you help me with this “passive partner”-topic?

Because quite frankly I’m pretty fed up with the whole situation myself!



I am completely passive partner to my girlfriend – HELP?!


Hi Eric.

Thank you so very much for your question.

I believe I read from your mail that you previously had been proactive but you were more or less figuratively beaten into submission.

And now you’ve chosen to bring this submissiveness into this new relationship affraid to “do something wrong”.

But Eric, you need to get back on the horse.

You’ve transferred the rules from one game to another, even though it’s a completely different game.

That’ll never work and that’s why you’re so frustrated.

The new “passive partner thing” is not you at all!

It is an amputated “Eric”-version.

You’ve actually castrated yourself and your active way of being in a relationship.

As a result your will power and drive have disappeared.

Your masculinity has been stamped down.

That’s why you feel bad and why your girlfriend feels bad.

If you refuse to uphold male values in the relationship then she has to do it in order to maintain some kind of balance.

This makes both her and you very unhappy, as you have discovered.

The passive partner syndrome

You have to get back on the horse and start to challenge yourself.

That is the only way your self-confidence and belief in yourself, as a good man and boyfriend can start to grow again.

Then you can go to bed at night knowing that you’re a good boyfriend and feel good about yourself.

How about you start cooking once a week, every Thursday for example.

Then every week you could buy a little thing for your girlfriend.

Like a flower, a card, a small something for her jewelry box, it certainly does not have to cost a fortune.

And then once a month arrange for something for you can do together.

The two of you don’t have kids yet and therefore you are not (yet) restricted and the sky’s the limit.

It can be a picnic with homemade food, going to the see a movie, two pizzas and a bottle of red wine and a blanket on the beach etc.

Finally, you need to set personal goals for your house.

What would you like to have fixed?

Does the hedge need trimming this week?

What about the mailbox, does it need to go up?

For each thing you do, you’ll feel your joy rising and your pride in yourself as a man growing because you will no longer be acting from out from “The passive partner syndrome”, as I call it in my clinical practice.

Your girlfriend will also register feel that pride and she’ll become safe and comfortable again.

Your plan to get out of “The Passive Partner”-syndrome!

Make a plan for the next month aka 30 days and stick to it and see how you feel.

Let it be small things that you KNOW that you can and will do.

Don´t put big things that are difficult to implements.


Start small.

You’re a man and you need to challenge yourself so you’ll grow.

But smalle challenges in the beginning!

Better 30 small things than 28 things that you could not do.

You are welcome to write to me again to get a new “Get Out Of The Passive Partner Gridlock”-challenge when the 30 days are over.

Maj Wismann about "The Passive Partner Syndrome"Please keep in touch and let me know how it went.

With love and care,
Maj Wismann – Clinical sexologist and relationship therapist with clinical practice since 2006 – Read about Maj <—




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