Author (original article in Greek): Georgia Kiziridou
Developmental – School Psychologist
Translator-Editor: Sofia Poimenidou
Philologist – Text editor
Christos and I have been together for three years and we moved in together the past year. In the beginning his child attitude fascinated me, especially the fact that everything seemed simple and humorous for him. I realized when we moved in together, that things wouldn’t be so casual, as he was raised in a way that he didn’t have any responsibilities and was used in not taking any. I am the one who cleans the house and pays the bills. That is always the case though isn’t it? Some say men are eternal children and we, as women must take care and support our men in our lives. How can one change a behavior that has its roots in so many previous generations? Does anyone think that being lonely is better?
Maria is 29 years old, has finished her university studies and her hobby is photography. She takes care of herself and is a good-looking independent young lady. A third person could assume that she is a modern girl who has everything or so it seems. However could there be any emotional gaps hidden beneath the surface in this “perfect” relationship?
Most people are aware of the Peter Pan syndrome: the eternal child who refused to grow up and assume his/her responsibilities. However, Peter Pan could never exist without Wendy who supports and reinforces him. Wendy represents all the insecure women who are involved in an unequal relationship with the opposite sex, who do anything so that they don’t end up alone. Women like these have low-self esteem and constantly sacrifice their personal needs by taking care of an(or any) immature man. They sacrifice their needs with so much dedication with the intent to control their partner, thus designating how essential they are in this relationship. I wonder how many women have the Wendy syndrome!
It is said that children that have not received unconditional love within their own family, are the ones with the Wendy syndrome. They are children who grew up and learned that in order to be in a relationship they must offer to others to the point of total self-denial. This behavior settles within them over the years and is always reflected in their relationships with the opposite sex. Distortion becomes apparent between the terms of love, service and self-sacrifice. One may ask: How do these Peter-Pan/Wendy relationships end?
Wendy syndrome women aim to be appreciated based by what they constantly offer their partners, consciously or unconsciously, in order to fight their fear of rejection and abandonment. The more intense deep and unconscious the emotional gaps are within their parental family, the more intense the need to offer and take care of each of their partners is. Peter Pan syndrome gives the prototype of the eternal child who builds his life based in not taking any sort of responsibility as he hasn’t learned to deal or even worse, solve difficult situations. Furthermore having a Wendy syndrome partner who takes care of everything makes them feel sure that they will never have to deal with any responsibilities at all! That vicious circle that is created turns Wendy type women to feel constantly unsatisfied, underestimated and sad. The external equilibrium is replaced with a strong internal imbalance which in many cases, leads to depression. Wait a minute though! Does that mean that taking care of your partner is wrong?
A person who can take care of himself/herself is capable of taking care of a partner as well, equally and regardless of their sex. These syndromes have not been observed in equal relationships which are based upon love and respect and justice.
Where love and respect and justice exist in relationships we don’t meet such syndromes and in fact they are none observed. Actually there is no resignation from personal needs. On the contrary, both partners are mature and feel that respect and love is a two sided situation of giving and receiving. In reality he/she who deserves, receives back what he gives. Dignity and Integrity are fundamental and non negotiable principles in any emotionally mature person. That means that loneliness may not be the end of the world at all!
If anyone feels trapped in such Peter-Pan/Wendy syndrome relationships, maybe they ought to sit and think whether or not it’s worthy sacrificing all personal and emotional needs just to feel that they belong in a relationship – a relationship that in reality is unfulfilling and both emotionally and socially superficial.