How To Tell If You're Dating A Peacock


Relationships: How To Tell If You're Dating A Peacock
What do displays of dominance mean?

Ever wonder what a peacock would say to his mate if he could speak? A number of ideas and images come to mind.

I was talking to a wife recently whose husband, post divorce, was making dramatic displays of dominance and power. Even though the courts were clearly on her side and the case was settled, she felt small and weak and she cowered. It was the typical pattern of their marriage. When she began to consider that they were equals, to realize that he didn't have any more power than she did, she began to see his threats and outbursts as much like the stomping, dancing, and feather displays of the peacock. It helped her to gain the perspective that he was as much a part of the animal kingdom as she was. This helped her to put into context her own submissive, reactive posture. The dominance and submission pattern is one that can be observed everywhere in nature.

Can you see this pattern in your marriage, or in your divorce? Sometimes the pattern looks more like dominance vs. dominance. What posture do you take? The fact is we are born into families with particular patterns of dominance and submissiveness that are well developed and full of momentum. The majority of the time it's not about evil or bad intentions, it's about being a mammal living in a family of mammals. When people can slow down the thinking and feeling process and begin to see, moment-by-moment, the displays of either dominance or submissiveness, they can begin to settle down and not get so taken by them.

Of course, understanding patterns is only one step in the process. Nothing changes if action isn't taken. Sometimes the highest form of action is inaction. Sometimes it is saying and owning one's "no," one's voice, one's own authority. This thing is bigger than we are — the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And it can be helpful to remember that when we're trying to raze mountains in our relationships.

This article was originally published at Helping Couples Grow. Reprinted with permission.

More Relationships advice on YourTango

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Miriam Bellamy

Marriage and Family Therapist

Miriam Bellamy, LMFT


1905 Woodstock Road, Ste 7150

Roswell, GA 30075

"Sex and marriage push you to your current limits. A good therapist will help you beyond them, past your nature and on toward your human potential."

Location: Roswell, GA
Credentials: LMFT, Med
Other Articles/News by Miriam Bellamy:

Married Sex Is Supposed To Be Bad


No, the title doesn’t mean the good kind of “bad” sex — the kind where you get to be naughty, erotic, and theatrical. Sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking for a little fun. But stick around! Hopefully by the end of the blog you’ll see a path for your own inner sex kitten. For now, I mean bad as in boring, same old thing, ... Read more

Find Your Amazing Grace: My New Ideology


When I incorporated my practice 16 years ago I had to give it a name. I called it Grace Center for Psychotherapy, LLC. Through all my evolutions (and regressions) religiously speaking over the years, the concept of grace has remained a constant. For me it means being granted enough times around the sun to have the privilege of getting to know my family and ... Read more

5 Tips To Improve Bad Communication


Have you seen the movie This is 40? You won’t find any kind of sage marital advice or existential profundity — but you will find yourself hopefully able to laugh hysterically about the absurd situations every married couple has found itself in, at one time or another. Check out the fight scene from the movie. Ever had this kind of a fight with ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular