Return to Forum List

Return to I Can Relate® > I Can Relate

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Passive Aggressive Relationships

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27

heartbroken_kk posted 8/13/2011 20:10 PM


tell us more about what you know about the aggressive narcissism stuff. Because I am really worried my WH is on the way to becoming psychopathic with the IC he's been getting putting him on this complete selfishness bent lately.


Agate posted 8/14/2011 01:57 AM

Oops, posted it on NPD forum, but will here, too. best of luck.

I think it was in his book, living with the Passive agressive man, that the author lists it as a symptom of aggressive narcissism.

This is Factor 1, "Aggressive narcissism", in the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, which includes the following traits:

Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying

Lack of remorse or guilt
Callous/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 1: Personality "Aggressive narcissism"

Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying
Lack of remorse or guilt
Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
Callousness; lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 2: Case history "Socially deviant lifestyle".

Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral control
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Juvenile delinquency
Early behavior problems
Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

Promiscuous sexual behavior
Many short-term marital relationships
Criminal versatility
Acquired behavioural sociopathy/sociological conditioning

momdaughterwife posted 8/14/2011 14:24 PM

Thank you for this thread. BINGO this is my WH and is at the crux of every problem we've had for 20 plus years between marriage and dating. It's possible I behave in PA ways, too. Thanks for the book titles, I have a new list of books I need to read. I'm still a little confused, but I recognize the misplaced anger, the "baiting" that occurs, etc. It seems my WH wants to provoke me, then play the victim or take pleasure in the "See, you're the unbalanced one, not me" reaction to my anger. He is emotionally unavailable, critical, judgmental, etc., from the beginning. I grew up in the exact same situation, so didn't know any better when we became involved. My WH's mother is/was a martyr, and PA rules his home growing up as well. Wow. I feel overwhelmed and I have so much to understand about this. This topic boggles my brain almost as much as the disease of alcoholism.

Agate posted 8/22/2011 22:45 PM

oops wrong thread. :)

[This message edited by Agate at 10:47 PM, August 22nd (Monday)]

beingmiranda posted 9/2/2011 12:12 PM

Hi everyone,

So again I have learned something new about XH by reading SI. Looks like he fits the passive-aggressive bill perfectly. He would never give me a straight answer etc. I always thought I was going nuts. Even now, I have taken to comminicating with him via email because then it is documented just in case he starts to lie about things again. We share a child so I have to speak with him somehow. Funny, I used to think he was bi-polar because I didn't have a better way of describing his maddening personality.

Anyhow, so this really brought my mind thinking.
He had an affair and left for her. Mostly because I cornered him and made him choose. He left our home and went straight into her apartment. What I want to know is: does his pull these same behaviours with her? I hope she is the new target and starts to feel the same amount of crazy that I did with him. Because in my mind, it would only serve her right for getting with a married man.

I know, that's horrible. But really, can someone give me some insight? Or is he now truly Mr. Wonderful and she is not going to be dealing with the passive -aggressive behaviours?

MtnMama posted 9/2/2011 17:31 PM

He will do the same thing with her. It make take him a bit, but you can't change the spots on a leopard. His true colors will come out with her. The good thing is that it is HER problem now.

realitybites posted 9/3/2011 13:38 PM

It is always there with a P/A personality, but it is the BS of this personality that just does not see it coming for quite awhile. P/A behavior is like water torture, it takes awhile for it to sink in, it is slow and painful. A BS lives with it for a long time before realizing that something is wrong with the WS, not the BS. That is what P/A is...a way to pass the blame onto anyone who happens to be in an intimate relationship with them. We have been chosen, we just don't know it until it is too late.

beingmiranda posted 9/7/2011 14:38 PM

I have another question.
How do P/A men do as fathers on the whole?

I have an example. Our divorce is final. He would not commit to sharing college expenses in the future when the time came for DS who is 6 right now.. Basically he has about 12 years to save up for his half of college expenses. But he would just not commit to this. When I backed him into a wall, his reasoning is that DS might come to dislike him (for affair, and basically abandoning us) and then he'd be stuck paying for a college education.

WTF is that nonsense? You put a stipulation on your kid's love? Sounds so cruel to me. What do you all think?

npain posted 10/30/2011 20:42 PM

I just came across this post tonight and it is a real eye opener...explained my husband to a tee. No wonder why he called me selfish, and contolling and won't take responsibility for his 4 year affair! He has exhibited so much angeras if I was the one who cheated on him. And there is so much resentment, things that I thought were resolved years ago, he is still holding on to. We are 3 months past Dday and I seem to get no remorse, blameshifting in the worse way and rugsweeping like you wouldn't believe. One question though--I tried doing the 180 and it seems not to be working. has anyone had success using 180 on PA personalities?

LisaBrandNew posted 11/27/2011 14:37 PM

npain - I know it has been a while since your post. My D from a PA WH is almost final, so I don't visit this thread as often.

To answer your question about the effectiveness of 180 on PAs - It is your only choice if you want to save yourself, be healthy, shift the unhealthy dynamics in your M, etc. PAs, especially at the PD level, are unable to take responsibility for their actions. Blameshifting, projecting, being a victim, etc. is their filter. They cannot see that their conflict avoidance, PA, etc. is even present. They literally believe that you and everyone else should never put them in the situation where they have to assert themselves, express difficult emotions, address conflict, etc. They can't or won't do these things because of their damage and distorted thinking, so it is YOUR FAULT. Their stored anger is YOUR FAULT. You deserve their resentment. The A is YOUR FAULT because YOU made them feel hurt, slighted, etc. at times during the M.

PA is a deep personality disorder/traits. If the 180 does not work, then they are too sick, probably at the PD level. If you hold strong and long to the 180, some with PA traits will be left alone (without someone to blame in front of them)and may possibly acknowledge they have a problem. It is a very difficult issue. PAs will often seek a new codependent when the spouse is no longer engaging in the dysfunctional dynamic, reacting, etc.

I honestly understand why so many PA specialists say, "Run!!!" It is that difficult for PAs to acknowledge a problem and stay in treatment.

[This message edited by LisaBrandNew at 2:37 PM, November 27th (Sunday)]

LionessQn76 posted 11/27/2011 15:49 PM

I came to this board to read about npd but WOW this is what I have endured for. 8 yrs.

I thought he was bi polar with the ups and downs. He is so selfish refuse to apolgize and admit he is wrong.

There will be no reconciling here since it hurts Him so much

[This message edited by LionessQn76 at 3:59 PM, November 27th (Sunday)]

trebleclef posted 11/27/2011 18:31 PM

Three months since d-day and not new to SI, but first time on this thread. SO helpful - Thankyou to Lisa for her many wise words and information. I have been sure my WH had a personality disorder for at least the last 20 years but didn't know what. Wondered about bi-polar as well due to the extreme mood swings, but my psychiatrist disagreed. Then I researched NPD - saw some similarities, but when I finally came upon PA I knew I had hit paydirt! Have done quite a bit of studying already but these resources will give me more. My WH is so extreme in every single trait that I am sure it is pathological, not just a tendency.

I walked right into this - he has shown these traits since I met him at 15. But I was perfect for him. I already knew all the steps to this dance from my FOO and didn't know it wasn't normal. We fit. Now that we are separated due to the A, I can see more clearly than ever.

Unfortunately,the professionals will tell you treatment and recovery is rare. Two of the most inherent traits are denial and victimization, both of which prevent the PA from recognizing their need or seeking help. In my case, the fact that he has been like this for at least 41 years is not hopeful. Although he says he wants R, it would literally take several miracles and I have about 1/1000th % hope. Giving it a little more time - but pretty sure D is on its way as I WILL NOT LIVE LIKE THIS IF I HAVE TO BE ALONE FOREVER AFTER!

Am posting some examples of traits as I have experienced them, as I know as a newbie to all this I found that helpful. (Mine was always very subtle - even more crazy-making)

When we were dating:

I quit Judo because he was uncomfortable and I had to prove I cared about his feelings.
I declined a summer job because I had to prove I cared about his feelings.
I moved to his city against my better judgement and ended up pregnant (Had a life-threatening miscarriage - then had sex with him days after the operation to show him that I cared about his needs/feelings.)
I didn't talk to people I liked, didn't wear what I wanted, was hesitant to tell him things, walked on eggshells, cried a lot, constantly asked him what was wrong and got no answer, endured his silent treatment, and spent my life trying to figure out what would please him. And it was never because he was being unreasonable or impossible to please - it was always that I did not care enough about him.

Then we got married.

Loving, supportive, romantic, charismatic, widely known as "the husband to be jealous of". And he was.
But then he would go to Walmart and come back slamming things, obviously angry - and would stay that way for an hour, a few days, or weeks, or six months.
What did I do now? was answered with "Nothing", or "I need to think about it" or "I'll get back to you" or " It's better if I just keep my mouth shut."

It has been a family joke for years that no one tells Dad what to do. He will not even follow a recipe or instructions.
He will ask me what to do and then do it wrong and blame me.
If it's suggested that it's getting late, he will deliberately slow down, take the long way, or stop for a lengthy, unnecessary errand. OR, my favorite - carefully wash and gas the vehicle, making sure to check the tire pressure as well - all for you.
He would volunteer to wash the floor for me if company was coming, then wait until they arrived to do it.
When I asked him to do just ONE small task a month before our daughter's wedding, he readily agreed, then waited UNTIL the wedding day.
He refuses to open bills and takes no responsiblity for our financial mess, but hugely resents me trying to manage things.
He hated any plans or schedules I had for dealing with the children and would sabotage them constantly, claiming I had to have it MY way. I just needed to have SOME way and asked for his input, but of course he would never come up with plan of his own.
I have learned to be very self-sufficient, knowing that if I really wanted anything done, after a year or more of waiting I would have to do it myself. Yet he felt emasculated when I did and resented me even more.
If I wanted something I had to try very hard not to say so or I was pretty much guaranteed it wouldn't happen. The trigger was ME suggesting it.
If I asked him to please just make a SMALL fire, he would stack the wood as tight as he could, send the temp. in the room to 92 degrees and then go lay down in the cool bedroom while our company sweated and then left. My requests were clear indications to him that I didn't care about him being chilly.
When I confronted him about abusive behviour toward his kids, his reply was "I can't believe you would say such things about me. I will have to think long and hard about whether I can be with someone like that".
Like the others, he would press me to make a decision, or spend my time researching, coming up with ideas, just to shut me down. If I protested, I was controlling.
I accidentally walked into a ladder on his truck and clocked myself good. His response? "WHAT were you thinking?!"

He was rarely verbally abusive, and always made a pretense of complying, but really did all he could to sabotage everything.

The predominant feeling in a PA relationship is overwhelming frustration - damned if you do and damned if you don't. I spent years in therapy trying to find the "right" way to present issues - there isn't one.
I was not a nag or a bitch - never raised my voice, always tried to "be the adult", none of it works. NOTHING works. They are sick, and the poison will make you sick too.

I'm thrilled that some of you have had some breakthroughs with your PAHs; many of us will never get to experience that. So sad.

( And here I am, still wishing I could help him somehow, and still angry that he continues to think I wrecked him. "sigh")

[This message edited by trebleclef at 6:52 PM, November 27th (Sunday)]

LisaBrandNew posted 11/27/2011 20:01 PM

trebleclef - are you still with him? In the last 15 months since DDay and STBX leaving, I really tried to focus on myself. Being a codependent that CHOSE a PA man for a husband, I clearly had issues that I didn't want to see. Codependents fear rejection and abandonment. The emotional crumbs from the PA spouse just keep us in reactive, desperate, pursuing mode. Because it is about us (all of it), not them.

It is very easy to get stuck in victim mode when there is infidelity and abandonment. If we fix them, they will love us. Then we will be OK, validated, worthy. Such bullshit and lies we tell ourselves.

The goal here should not be to have a break through with our PA spouse. The goal should be to have a break through with ourselves. To not pine and ache for the love and acceptance of a man that can not love. Sad is not loving yourself more than you "love" him. I put love in quotes because as sick as PAs are, so are codependents. The love is often more about FOO issues being played out than real, healthy, mature love.

Sorry to be tough, but extracting your mind/self from the twisted dynamic of a codependent-PA relationship is very difficult. Codependency is just as maladaptive and dysfunctional. We have to focus on getting ourselves well and not focusing on the PA spouse as a means to direct focus away from our own issues.

trebleclef posted 11/28/2011 02:22 AM

I understand Lisa - and thankyou. No, I left him the day I confronted him. I had asked him to leave and he refused (citing "rights" to HIS house, bedroom, and bed.) So I left. He was already "working" me - please can I get a hug, Please go for walk with me etc. etc. I knew I had to be away so I wouldn't get sucked in again. He still tries, but now it's via email. He does his best to make me feel guilty, and I do my best not to. Most of the time I succeed. I have good people around me to keep my reality in check, and it's easier the less contact I have. You are right - I am just as sick as he is, but I am working hard to get well, for myself. He's not.

LionessQn76 posted 11/28/2011 08:32 AM

OMG treble I went through the exact same crap with my ex.I had no idea that being passive aggressive was this deep!

LisaBrandNew posted 11/28/2011 08:51 AM

trebleclef - you are doing amazing! It is so tough,especially when they are working you, trying to get you back, etc. I consider myself in codependency recovery. I have to work at self focus everyday. Keep going. You are being so strong.

Congrats to you Lioness for breaking free!

LionessQn76 posted 11/28/2011 11:56 AM

When I did the 180 it was for me to get some peace of mind.he only saw it as me ignoring him and gave him a reason to be with the hofriend.

It helped me bc I didn't talk about the relationship until I was ready. And it was on my terms.

The day I broke 180 and said we can work on this I went to our apt the hofriend was there alone!

So glad I'm done!

LionessQn76 posted 11/28/2011 11:56 AM

When I did the 180 it was for me to get some peace of mind.he only saw it as me ignoring him and gave him a reason to be with the hofriend.

It helped me bc I didn't talk about the relationship until I was ready. And it was on my terms.

The day I broke 180 and said we can work on this I went to our apt the hofriend was there alone!

So glad I'm done!

npain posted 11/28/2011 12:26 PM

((LisaBrandnew))Thanks so much for the insight. I have been doing the 180 and it seemed that he was doing it back to me. However, I am starting to see signs that it is getting to him. I had a shopping trip planned and my ride came to get me and when I let him know I had to go, he got very annoyed that I had other plans. In fact I have made sure to have other plans whenever he is around, when he is not around, I suddenly have a packed calendar. We do not speak except around the kids and I suddenly have a lot of friends to chat with on the phone. He tries to make it look like he has a life too but signs are that he really doesn't, it's just a front to counteract that I am moving on without him. And I am moving on, not just playacting. I think he realizes that at this point.

((LionessQn76))I am doing this for me, it is the only way I stay sane with him in the house. I was on vacation this past week and I rearranged the bedroom furniture and redecorated. I didn't let him know I was off work and didn't ask for his imput. It looks beautiful, romantic and serene. I know he's pissed off as hell that he is sleeping on the couch. However, he knows that I'm the kind of person that would fix up the bedroom anyway, so he knows it's not an act. I have been leaning on God too. Praying has helped a lot to heep my head on straight.

Much hugs to all those in the same boat..dealing with more than one thing at the same time is so hard.

realitybites posted 11/28/2011 12:43 PM

trebleclef....could have written EVERYTHING you posted there. His need for me to show that I "care" is so weird if one does not go thru it. Mine will do it at the strangest times...then when I am busy or tied up or working in the yard and don't pay attention to him when he thinks I should??? Judgement and Jury. I am less then.

I have worked hard to not respond, therapy helped me with that...but how they look to you for all of their wrongs is so bizarre.

I too take care of all the bills...have begged him to take them over, he will do them for a couple weeks and "purposely" do them wrong or make them late and then when I step in to pay them on time he will say "see, you won't let me do them my way" and then walk away. BTW, he tried that one at MC one day and the therapist called bullshit on him, caught it right away and my H was pissed off! But I had believed him for so long that finally when someone called him on it I was like WOW...I am not crazy.

So many things on that list are so true for all of us.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27

Return to Forum List

Return to I Can Relate

© 2002-2017 ®. All Rights Reserved.