Over-Controlled Primary Aggressor

This is a style of primary aggression that develops when an un-spontaneous personality labors with betrayal-oriented attachment. The over-controlled primary aggressor almost always has a self-image of being a good person. He will express pro-social and altruistic beliefs. He will also express strong ideas about what is right and what is wrong in relationship behavior, and think in terms of 'rules.' He is often quick to point out what he perceives as the obligation of other people to act towards him. In treatment, he will take ideas about healing and self-help very seriously. This person usually makes an excellent employee, and certainly never gets into legal problems apart from domestic abuse, except occasionally from driving under the influence. This style has two distinguishing sub-styles:

The oral primary aggressor usually takes the position of victim in most conflicts. He may be clingy in relationship, and, in superficial ways, play a submissive role. He often has the habit of being ingratiating, which he may feels 'earns' what he wants. This style of primary aggressor, perhaps more than any other, has feeling of being controlled, which is of course, very different from the reality of being controlled by another person.

The distant primary aggressor is notable for scant emotional reactions. He will often spends long periods of time in a different room,or even sleep in a different room. He will not attempt to micro-manage the survivor as other primary aggressors might. Often, he is content with an internal sense of 'moral superiority.' However, dependency and vigilance around abandonment are very strong. Though battering and open conflict tends to be infrequent, it is usually very severe and explosive when it happens, because the underlying personality accumulates rage.

In treatment, specific difficulties with the over-controlled primary aggressor often center around getting outside a 'good-man, bad man' paradigm, He usually has a strong disbelief that he did anything not for the common good. Other difficulties center around understanding that ideas weren't responsible for the abuse, and more ideas alone cannot change things.