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Passive Aggressive Relationships
Holy crap!!! I just mentioned to my counselor that our relationship is very passive-aggressive today. We are at a constant push-pull. The information about what PA men do to the women around them is us to a key. I used to be the life of the party, his constant "loneliness" and not fitting in has depleted my bodaciousness. I no longer know how to have fun because I was constantly made to feel bad (though not sure if on purpose) because he didn't know. Then I tried for years to pull him into the middle of things and tell him small things he could do to try to fit in better. Then got blamed for it not working. He never really puts effort into our relationship. He does things so small that they are microscopic in nature and no one can see them, even with the Hubble Telescope and then says I just didn't see it. I do things that are so blantly obvious so there is never a way to say that I didn't try. Whether its fixing his first cup of coffee or offering to turn off his bedside lamp. He says I am trying too hard, but jeez at least I am trying. Thanks so much for confirming what I already suspected. You guys rock!!!
I agree this thread was a lightbulb moment for me.
It is already making a difference to me in how I relate to my husband.
As I see it, no matter what happens to my marriage, if I dont deal with my side of the relationship dynamic then i will only attract another PA man into my life.
So I need to look at how I can change.
Just rambling here is this P/A post, but to continue on the thought of US learning to not react to a P/A:
Just had my favorite older sister in town for a month. We all had a very good time and did not get too much on each others nerves! Ha! But we talked alot about our father and other family members and you truly learn so much more about how we reacted as children to disfunction when we grew up. It was very enlightening to me.
I learned more of how I tried to make things OK around my life as I knew the outside world must see how bad it is. So I duplicated this with my now H. I have always tried to make him look better then he is, although I try to mask it as a "loving partner". What I did was enable him to not learn what he needed to do because he now just accepted that I would do it and since he never had to he sees me now NOT wanting to do some of these things as me being mean.
And thus the push pull dynamic continues.
I too took it as a big AHA moment. I come from the divorced family of an alcoholic father. My H is a lot like my father (the good ways) but I now see how I am acting like my mother treated my father. Totally codependent. I had mentioned to my counselor on Friday at our first session that I thought my H was passive aggressive. She didn't say much but now i want to inquire more so that I can get help changing my reactions. All of this is so new to me.
An idea- I did not read through the whole post but did read LisReg's list of identifying a P/A. Something struck me... and maybe it has been discussed already.
My eldest is being tested for ADD or ADHD. While researching this I ran across the symptoms of adult ADD and ADHD.
They were very very similar to LisaReg's list- almost exactly in some cases.
Perhaps this is a realm to consider when dealing with your spouse?
Well I just found a post that will occupy me for the entire day. This post has a lot of insight for me.
I owe each and every one of you my deepest heartfelt THANK YOU!
This forum and everyone in it has saved (probably literally) my life!!
Found this Forum a couple weeks ago and have been in hard-core study mode since.
This is EXACTLY my XSO!!! I've been trying to figure out what his problem is since anything I do that is recommended ellicits the opposite response. We have 2 children, I have been trying to figure out how to just have a decent, generic conversation with him (like the "how is your day?" that you say to the Walmart clerk) without him spinning off somewhere completely different.
No matter what I do or say, its like I'm not even there and he is interacting with how I used to be over a year ago, before I found SI, my IC, support group etc.
I posted this in the DS forum, but would like to repost here for anyone like me who has heard these comments/had these exchanges but didn't know where they were coming from.
Last weeks rant, after I told him I wasn't going to listen to him criticize me and closed the door (gently!) in his face:
•I am tired of being your punching bag.
•Every day you are mean to me.
•You send me mean texts and emails.
oExample: My text to him declining an invite out: “Thank you, but I’m an asshole again." (I was being very much the asshole that day and don't socialize much when in that mood.)
•I’ve been nothing but nice to you the past year and a half. (when found out about latest skank whore)
•I don’t know why you’re so mean to me.
•I should listen to my pastor who says I don’t deserve to be treated like this.
•You are selfish.
•You are crazy.
•You are mean.
•You listen to whatever anyone else says to do.
•Woo woo (my IC) is crazy. Pastor xxx is crazy. Your friends are crazy. You’re all crazy.
Last nights text exchange. I started it because XSO kept saying he's been moved out over a year. (In actuality, I kicked him out Mothers Day weekend last year.) The initial question was true - very curious as to how long he thought he had been out of the house.
Me: Curiosity – How long do you think it has been since you moved out?
Him: Not like it matters, just gives u something to be mad at if I’m wrong. U will say 10 months but 11 off and on.
Me: Not mad, just curious.
Me: Funny how it seems my curiosity comes across as anger.
Him: Just answered not why ur still curious. I said it would give you another reason to get mad if wrong not that u r mad.
Him: U need to read what is written and not make inferences. Never said you were mad. Funny how u infer things that aren’t said.
Him: Interesting that u used the word anger.
Me: Isn’t it tho? Guess should have used ur word of “mad” instead.
Him: Yes it is and yes u should have.
Me: How dare I use a synonym instead of ur word. Another example of how horrible I am. Ur lucky to be rid of me!
Him: Never said u were horrible nor happy to be rid of u. Once again inferences u make, not me.
Him: This is why I didn’t want to answer ur question, everything is so difficult with u. Nothing is ever easy or just a simple question.
Him: Going to bed. Good night!!
I know I shouldn't poke the PA bear, but just couldn't help myself!
YES YES YES
They twist your words around constantly. The ambiguous meanings, not really saying anything.
It makes me completely beserk.
Ever since I found this website and these posted I have researched passive-aggressive extensively. They are the king of excuses when they don't want to do something.
Most recently, I heard thru a mutual friend that OW was whining about how XH will not propose to her. She is 36, wants to settle down and get married. ( ) XH tells her that until the drama with me dies down (what drama? we are divorced now!) he cannot commit to her. What a load of bologna. He just got out of one marriage. Why would he want to jump back into another? But rather than take responsibility he blames the ex-wife. Nice!!
This just can't be good!
Last night XSO actually said most of the above again (and more!) while our youngest (18) was in the other room and could hear everything!
As far as I can recall, he has always been careful not to say this crap in front of other people, but now lets it all out with our youngest listening!
The mask seems to be slipping and he seems to be loosing some of his self-control.
My gut is telling me this is a VERY bad thing, and the gut is never wrong. Thoughts? Advice?
Geteven, sorry I cant offer any advice.
Our counsellor has identified WH as having very deeply buried anger. He was saying that you cant bury one emotion without supressing them all, like anger. WH cant express affection if he cant express anger. I can see this is effecting our 11 yr old too.
I just hope he can learn to express his emotion/anger in an appropriate way.
[This message edited by scissorhands at 7:16 AM, March 27th (Tuesday)]
WOW! I found myself nodding my head as I read through this forum. My husband has so many PA traits!
How do you deal with a PA. Right now I think he may be "punishing" me. He won't tell me whats wrong and is pretty much giving me the silent treatment.
How do you handle that? I usually get frustrated and angry but from what I'm reading that almost feeds into their behavior.
I'm still learning the best way to deal with the PA XSO myself, but I've learned several things the past year - and especially the last few weeks - that have saved my sanity.
I don't initiate!!! I don't initiate conversations about anything other than kids/finances/house. I don't ask what's wrong, how he's doing, etc.
I'm trying hard not to respond or defend myself to his outrageous comments. Try to keep my responses to "uh huh", "so you say", "i see", etc.
Study! I read and study all I can regarding PA and controlling behavior in general. It's comforting to have a name to give to all his various tactics and schemes and at least guess at the source of his comments/behavior (which isn't me!).
Check in with my SI friends! This site has been THE BEST source of info and support I've found.
Best of luck to you confused82402!
Ugh! I've just recently tapped into this PA with my SO. He's diabetic and has some other minor health issues! I am so frustrated and not sure what to do next! I have now found myself blowing him off when oridinarily I'd be trying to get him to engage in say conversation! I know I need to get out but he helps me pay the bills and I just bought a new car! I am smarter and know this isn't right for me but dammit already!!!
At this stage I am not planning to leave my PA husband. I am noticing small changes in him already. Its so hard because I consider it to be a psychological problem.
I know that if with a bit of time I dont see him making changes then I wont stay forever. I deserve to be content in life and living with a man that is PA isn't going to provide that. So in someways I am just running with it and see how it goes...
The realisation that your husband has a a psychological disorder is a big one. And its like of like a functional disorder. Functional for everyone but me!
[This message edited by scissorhands at 1:57 AM, April 1st (Sunday)]
I have stopped asking any personal questions to XSO. I do not give advice or call to be part of his life.
I noticed that is has worked with him being more respectful and also to initiate some every day decisions.
Its slow going but its going.
Wow yesterday x picked up daughter I was late and apolgized and I left for work.few moments later I get a text telling me he wasn't mad that I was late but he was tired and stressed. My response ok I get it.
I get a few about how he failed and it seems to late to change.
I don't respond but tell him "well I guess it didn't work out as you planned?" His response nope.
This pissed me off he just doesn't get that he has turned my world upside down and he still minimizes the pain with nope and "sorry for the pain I caused you, having dd go back and forth and finally going and doing what I want".
I didn't bother responding after that "going and doing what you want" was him cheating and lying and throwing us out the home. Wow just wow.
Just found this forum a couple of weeks ago and have been reading, reading and reading. It all finally makes sense! I'm actually NOT insane! I want to weep with gratitude for you people.
I have been with my husband for 25 years and am ready to throw in the towel. Nothing is EVER his fault, he won't make any kind of decisions, we can't have any kind of conversation because my words get twisted and we always end up in an argument, he criticizes me at every turn and on and on and on.
Off to do some more reading and make some decisions on whether I want to keep putting up with the crazy making or move on.
Thank you everyone!
you are not crazy etc... its just crazy situation to be in.
My husband is like a textbook and I guess I am too, he is not alone.
I used to joke that he was passive agressive and I was agressive passive. To me this is not just about his behaviour its about changing BOTH OUT BEHAVIOUR and relationship dynamics.
WH hasn't quite got it yet but he has changed in small ways. Starting to be more assertive and even arguing back.
I want to see him learn to express his anger in appropriate ways.
We both have to relearn our ways... very challenging.
He is also being much more affectionate with daughter 11 and myself. This is a indication of the effects small changes make.
But its hard to change in your forties..
[This message edited by scissorhands at 9:53 PM, April 8th (Sunday)]
I was just ready to log out and turn in for the night when I saw this thread. I glanced through these but not all of the 16 pages.
Most of the passive-aggressive relationships seems to involve passive-aggressive in men from what I have read.
How many WS are women whom are passive-aggressive? It seems to certainly explains some behaviors of my WW in our relationship over the years.