More than wife, mother: Wendy's complex

More than wife, mother: Wendy's complex

Wendy's complex

"Return with me to my country! -
Peter Pan begged.
Never grow older ”

Peter Pan, short story by J.M. Barrier


  • 1 From fantasy to reality: Wendy's complex
  • 2 The world of complexes
  • 3 Wendy's complex as a psychological phenomenon
  • 4 Wendy's personality profile
  • 5 Suggestions for change

From fantasy to reality: Wendy's complex

Children's stories communicate a series of ideas taken from reality and applied to the field of fantasy, the incredible, the magical, the suspense, the terror and a series of events that go from the real to the fictitious. In this way, it is no accident to convert real events into stories or story characters in analogy to things in everyday life.

In Peter Pan's novel, created by Scottish writer James Matews Barrier in 1904, several of his characters have been taken to illustrate two problems; one in the order of the individual (infantilism) and another in the case of the social (the happy slave). In the same way, the Wendy or Peter Pan complex can be understood at the level of the individual as a personality disorder, which at the same time has a tint of a syndrome.

What does this mean? Well in very simple terms, those people with one or another complex, do not necessarily have all the symptoms presented below, but do live with them. And more than a simple set of symptoms, it is currently considered a serious social problem, studied by: psychologists, economists, political scientists, sociologists and others.

The world of complexes

Complex (Laplanche & Pontalis, 1996): Organized set of representations and memories endowed with intense emotional value, partially or totally unconscious. A complex is formed from the interpersonal relationships of children's history; It can structure all psychological levels: emotions, attitudes, adapted behaviors.

There are under this definition a series of complexes that range from the very scientific (complex of: Oedipus, Electra, castration, childishness, inferiority and paternal), to the completely colloquial (complex of: fat, short, being very tall, rich, poor, intellectual, ugly, small penis, small breasts, large breasts, Cain, not having buttocks, having a lot, etc.). In the case of the Wendy complex, although at the moment it is not found in specialized dictionaries of psychology as such, it is a real social problem, which has its origins in sociology (Marx; "the happy slave") and recently in psychology (Fromm; fear of freedom and Jung; with the shadow of the family), but not necessarily with that name.

A popular saying says:A broken one is never missing for a ripping" SoThere are those who, as in the children's story, take care of the little ones (Wendy's complex) and those who in an effort to stop time and the future, don't want to grow (Peter Pan complex).

Related to another series of children's stories you can hear about the complexes of: Cinderella, Superman or Wonder Woman. The psychological support in all of them is the codependency of who acts as the main character of the story and the counterpart to close the dyad (Helper-helped / The bad-the good / The one who suffers / the one who punishes).

Wendy's complex as a psychological phenomenon

  • The investment of social roles: It is more common to take care of the house or of the children by the man, on the other hand in terms of the economy, so even if they earn more money at work, she is the one who generally manages the goods, the most common is that they receive a lower salary compared to the couple, and at home they try to compensate for their stay by doing domestic activities. In therapeutic practice, there are cases where, in addition to cooperating very little, Wendy's son-husband threatens not to leave the house for any reason, even asking him to leave.

Wendy's personality profile

In Barrier's account, she also takes care of her siblings; Michael and John, has as activities to take care of all those children without a mother and also Peter Pan, protect him from his internal conflicts, satisfying his whims and being complacent with his emotional weakness.

Women with a Wendy complex have a similar attitude and a personality with certain common characteristics:

  • As a daughter being the mother of the brothers themselves It leads me to think about the mother's responsibility to inherit her children to the eldest children or to those who see her most possibilities to support her upbringing, especially when the families are numerous. Playing a role of sister and mother at the same time unconsciously increases the level of responsibility of that person. In the case of the brothers, they are introjecting an image of a mother (who delegates the responsibility of parenting to the children) and of the person capable of helping him and serving as support in the resolution of conflicts. Unconsciously, the complementarity of choice in a couple is given by the attraction of opposites. A woman who solves conflicts and a man who likes the comfort of leaving her problems in the hands of someone to solve or help you. However, it is not necessary in childhood to have taken care of the care of the brothers to become Wendy, it is enough to have a good dose of fear of abandonment, so that the maternal role comes out and get caught.

An extremely important element, in the field of sexuality. They have little activity and if there was ever an attraction of much romance and passion, do I doubt it? a kind of deserotized and almost fraternal love.

Suggestions for change

It seems to be an irresolvable problem, but fortunately it is not when we put the following into practice:

  • Make aware of the presence of having a Wendy complex. A very important indicator is to be aware that you do not need to have all the characteristics mentioned above, but to feel that the other is being materially charged and you have some of the symptoms mentioned above.
  • Start holding Peter Pan accountable of their own activities and download the ones that "don't belong to you".
  • In a relationship of growth and balance, you can give but also receive, that would be more equitable.