Psychological Incest: Living with “Little Man”!

I was having a conversation with a friend about relationships. We were talking about the stereotypical “little man” or “bad boy” situations many woman find theirselves in. These often co dependent relationships leave many woman confused and hurt seemingly never being able to do enough, or the right thing.
On the surface you think, “why doesn’t this person wake up and find a man, instead of chasing after boys, or dudes acting like men?” It’s obviously way more complicated than that.
“Little man” in many cases has been manipulating women since birth. The absence of a male figure leaves them psychologically stunted in relationships when they’re older. Their experience tells them they act out, the woman responds with guilt or anger, then she makes excuses for his behavior to make him feel better. This rubric may have been in place for 18 years and your daughter may be the unlucky woman to encounter this guy.
She’ll spend most of her time sacrificing her own needs to create peace within the house. When he acts out because he wants a motorcycle, or a bag of weed, she’ll sacrifice getting her new outfit, cause he tries hard, but just can’t catch a break. She may lie to herself to the point it’s embarrassing and awkward to keep the hope that it will all turn out in the end.
This is the dangerous place for her and the advantage he will take. He’s already learnt from Momma to keep their business in the house. So she distances herself from friends and becomes reclusive because it’s too embarrassing to have people see life ain’t quite working out the way she planned. He gains more influence over her perspective because he’s the only one she can talk to without accepting she is ina failed relationship. Now she’s stuck.
At first she has unrealistic expectations and you cannot say anything without becoming the enemy. She will defend the person who is psychologically abusing her to protect her dream, or hope. Meanwhile things become more turbulent in the home.
By the time he has recreated his childhood in his new house norms have become dysfunctional. She may feel like she is the mother one minute and the spouse the next. This “psychological incest” he is perpetrating solidified his role as the man and the child in the home and she learns to adapt to which person she is dealing with.
When money is tight or kids act up he’s the child who needs space or quite. He may need dinner or a drink he has worked to hard to fix. When the check rolls in he’s the man who has the plan to come up. He’s gonna pay to get her hair done or take the kids to Chucky Cheese.
The set up is; half way through the week when he doesn’t have money for lunch and has to make his lunch he’s the victim. Maybe he can’t afford beer or weed till payday, but he works so hard, he deserves to kick back and get a buzz. Now he’s suffering for her and she better respond with sacrificing her needs for him. Eventually the entire house revolves around his needs because he’s manipulated everyone into thinking he is the center of the household, like when he was younger with Momma.
“Little man or “bad boy” are portrayed too positively in our culture. I’m raising another little girl and I think real hard about the mistakes I’ve made and how I can do better for her. First off, I ain’t raising a victim or a wife. I’m hoping my daughters find men who are their friends and that they keep each other as priorities. I hope they can call each other out and be more empathetic, than sympathetic to each other. Of course we all want our kids to have lives filled with challenges they conquer, but raising “little man” or “bad boy” is on my list of “no no’s”. I can’t control who they marry or date, but I can make them aware so they know that I know it’s a choice they’re making. We won’t lie to each other.
They’re are hundreds, if not thousands, of characters in the relationship game. Family, friends, and co workers are just a few. I focused on “little man” and “bad boy” because of how prevalent they are in our society and cultures. He travels across race, ethnicity, and culture creating havoc and leaving families in turmoil for his own gratification. I hope my daughters stay clear of this minefield and writing this was my first step in preventing them from trying to raise “Momma’s Boy”!

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