What to Do When You’re Married to a Passive Man

passive man

If you’re the wife of a passive husband, you know that it can be frustrating. You want him to take more action! You want him to take more initiative! You want him to be the man!

Well, first, let’s differentiate between passivity and reserve. For example, my husband is on the quiet side. He’s not a wimp; he’s just reserved. Since I’m not, it’s very easy for me to jump in and take charge. And because he’s reserved, he often won’t get involved if I’m already on a roll. In cases like mine, I’m the one who needs to step back a bit and give him a chance to step up. So don’t confuse quietness with passiveness. {Tweet This}The next thing to think about is that reticence isn’t passivity; it’s just the way some men operate.

If your husband is truly passive, you might have to accept that that’s his personality, and he probably won’t change. But be sure to take a look at yourself and examine if your husband is really passive — or if you’re just a tiny bit overbearing. Or maybe he tries to step-up, but you criticize or correct him when he does.

So as a starting point, help him to man up by looking at these 10 Ways to Treat Your Husband Like a Man.

So what do you think? Do you think these ideas will work with your husband? Our friends at AllProDad.com shared their thoughts on being a passive husband. This is one of the comments they got:

This is hard to do in the marital situation mentioned, which usually involves a narcissistic controlling wife who is unwilling to recognize their role in the destruction of the husband’s ego and sense of self-worth.

Ouch! Hopefully, that’s not us, right?

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In The Comments

Is your husband passive?


  • Ritz

    This is great reading. I’d like to read more on “aggressive” man. My fiancé and I are both from NY and although he became a Christian about a year ago (Easter 2014), he still exhibits anger issues (road rage; flying off the handle when things don’t go as expected; etc.). I remind him to calm down and quote James 1:19 to him but he still forgets. I understand it is a process and it may take some time to eradicate years of learned behavior.
    Any pointers on how to deal with or “what to do when you’re married to an AGGRESSIVE man” article please? Thanks.
    God bless!

    • Hi Ritz, thanks for taking the time to comment. Both ends of the spectrum — passivity and aggressiveness — can be challenging. It sounds, though, that you are a very patient and caring fiancé who wants to bring out the best in the person you love. Having said that, and I hope you don’t mind this bit of advice, but it’s wise that you’re waiting to get married until your fiancé has shown that he has his anger issues under control.

      So, keep doing what you’re doing — praying for him and loving him and guiding him through the scriptures — but move cautiously toward marriage. A man prone to anger makes for a challenging life partner and if you have children, it will only get more challenging.

      We care! Nancy and the iMOM team.

  • Jennifer Pabst

    Awesome insight and suggestions! Unfortunately it took me almost 15 years to figure this stuff out! I have a VERY strong personality and have an issue with reacting too fast. I would tend to give punishments that were too harsh and struggled with following through with them. I never thought my husband reacted fast enough. Sometimes it would take two days for him to respond to something going on in our home. I learned that he was thinking things through, not blowing them off. By me assuming he was going to do nothing, I was undermining his authority and relationship with our kids. I still jump to action sometimes and blow it big time, but when I don’t, our whole family is much better for it. My realization and letting him be who God made him to be has strengthened our relationship as well! WIN, WIN!

    • Hi Jennifer, it sounds like you could’ve written this article yourself! We are glad things are now going well. Good job! Nancy