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Passive Aggressive Relationships
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.
That what I thought
So yesterday we were at an event lets just say...I had family members down. This event went on longer then thought so as the day went on I knew I had to get home to make sure our dog got let out and also fed as we were all going to go out to eat. My H was in a different area of the event, I called him when it was done to let him know I was going to run home, let the dog out, feed the dog and also I wanted to "freshen" up before we went out to eat and could he take the family members back to their hotel room??? Which by the way was 2 minutes down the road and on the way....
He freaked, did this crazy thing of saying HE would go, don't we want to take one car? Don't I want to go with him? And much more, waving his arms, making a drama issue where he "stormed" away from me....it was WEIRD. All I did was call him to say I wanted to run home to freshen up quickly before dinner and he made a fool of himself and also stomped off maybe to make me look bad...don't know. But it was stupid. I was left with my family members looking at me like what just happened??? They were here all weekend and he was great.
I guess with P/A's it just still comes out...I asked him to DO something (very simple) and he all of a sudden just imploded and screwed it all up.
Sad to say I still deal with this.
OntheRocks- That is my story. I feel like I'm slowly dying.
[This message edited by disgust at 1:42 PM, April 23rd (Monday)]
Haven't yet read through this entire thread but did go the Angries site and wow, this is my WH to a bloody T.
I've just sent the link to my therapist, asking that she read it before our session later this week so we can discuss it. I should be out jogging but this has gotten my attention more than anything I've read since dday.
This is what I've been dealing with for years and didn't realize it. I just thought I was an inadequate bitch.
My WH is also PA. I could write a novel about the details, but I'll spare you.
#1 My PA WH plays the calm, rarely upset, superior one. He rarely shows he is angry, and he pushes me with his mind games until I am livid. Then his game is to use my anger and his (phony) calm demeanor to try to make him look right and me wrong (or crazy.)
#2 My PA WH always trys to be funny, lighthearted in general with our family. He like an ostrich when there is a problem with the children. Only since his A has he begun being more assertive on his own. But he still has the same, basic personality.
#3 He is not extroverted, but tends to be quiet, but friendly. He knows how to schmooze and make people think he is interested in them without going overboard. He only is extroverted when others are having an intense or serious conversation. He rarely adds to the conversation, but remains silent until he comes up with a pun or a joke using something someone else has said. Then he throws his joke bomb, everyone laughs and the conversation ends right there, because everyone was caught off guard, and no one wants to pick up the conversation where it left off before the joke.
If I could turn back time, and had known about PA and what the signs are.....except that together we brought 4 lives into this world that I cherish...our wonderful children.
[This message edited by HurtButHopeful? at 9:12 AM, April 28th (Saturday)]
I purchased two books and are in the process of reading them so will review them in my own amature fashion soon.
Really having a negative day today... but will get through it.
Life goes on and then you realise that you would do things different if you could get a do over.
Boy do I feel you on that one. If only I had known what it was when I met SO, I'd have such a different behavior pattern now. I look back and see all those "confusing"'scenarios that I now can piece together! I just read living with the passive aggressive man and wow, I could have written EXACT situations and put his name in the story! The biggest problem for me is that my needs never get met and I am so lonely!
I empathize with you. It's such a sad thing to be in love with this personality!
Very down today!!
2kdsandadog (and any other poster), I think that book is one of them I am reading but must check.
Yes I am tired of getting nothing in return and no emotional support. He refuses to help with the budgets or any decision making.
And sometimes its such a upside down world we inhabit. If I took to heart everything I would just be so bitter and heart broken.
I made the decision that I was not going to become bitter or sour. That would be the final and ultimate betrayal to myself.
My mother feels angry at hearing my husbands voice on the phone. But I forgive him. Dont get me wrong I am still angry but angry is different to bitter and sour. I just say no one is perfect and time will sort it all out.
Yes I would love to walk away but we have had an awesome life together and I do enjoy him when things are good. Also do you walk away from him because he has a personality disorder?
I would feel so guilty leaving.
Our marriage counsellor told me privately that husband is very vulnerable to infidality. But I always had that in my mind that he was weak to flattery.
Too complicate matters he is away at work for four out of five weeks in a camp situation in a town with it all laid on to part high income men from their money.
I am living overseas and no family and one self absorbed friend (gosh thats sounds hard) who is involved with her own life as it should be. No support and a aspergers daughter home schooled. Also I am unwell and get extremely fatigued and carrying it all myself.
There is a part of me that wants to walk. I deserve to be content, something that is hard to achieve in a passive agressive marriage.
Sorry for the long post.
BUT I feel a couple of months out that I am finally seeing things and getting a handle on my thoughts. And there are two different trains of thought running.
[This message edited by scissorhands at 10:37 PM, April 29th (Sunday)]
So I have been doing a whole lot of reading.
I find that PA's can also be Narcissist. I think this is true with my XH. What are your experiences?
Since reading the "Passive Aggressive Man", so many things have become so clear to me. I've changed my dance DRASTICALLY and am getting the strong resistance as a result! These men strive for overall control, but acquire it ever so subtlety. My SO is an arrogant, selfish man who is so wounded and little boyish underneath! Because we knew each other in high school, I call him on his shit and it really fucks with his head! Overall, he's a good man and brings no drama into my life. I came from a marriage of extreme drama so not havin to go back there is a BLESSING. I do know this.. the closer I try to get to him, the more scared he becomes. I just haven't quite decided if this is what I really want for my future!! I absolutely love his kids and mother, and the feeling is mutual!
Ugh,,, is that grass really greener?
[This message edited by 2kidsandadog at 3:16 PM, May 22nd (Tuesday)]
I read a little of the book
Toxic Men: 10 Ways to Identify, Deal with, and Heal from the Men Who Make Your Life Miserable (Kindle Edition)
omg its a must read and I plan to buy it bc it gives advice how to deal with "whiny erupting volcanoe" paraphrasing.
This last 2wks I am really have embraced the end of this relationship.I have detached and I am glad he is moving. I hate that I have to send my dd to texas and split my time and now I have more strain having her on my own in nyc I'm looking forward to the challenge.
I just happen to bump into him today and I had to ask him what the arrangements were with dd. Really and I find out he is leaving on the 30. Wow I need to find daycare, new job and no healthcare after the 30 thanks a lot jackass.
I stayed focused on finance and dd. Though I wanted to insult him and point out his complete failures and call him on his disorder.
Wow its amazing how the descriptiion fits so many of these men\or women.
I'm glad I'm not wth my ex but I still have to coparent thank goodness for family court, email and texts and the state of texas to put distance btw us.
How is your pa partner as a parent?
I know ex was very uncomfortable around older children and I see he is starting to detach from dd3 these last couple of months.
I know her talking and tatrums make him extremely uncomfortable.
How do you all coparent with this type of personality.?
holy crap HBH, are we married to the same man?
have any of you experienced your SO displaying PA behaviors with your kids? H & I have hit a rough patch and of course, he's being PA about it. Every now & then, he will take his aggression out on my DS 17. He is my son from my first M and he and & H haven't ever really bonded. DS has tried only to be rejected by H. DS would try and make a connection with H by asking questions. H couldn't handle it, so he imposed a 5 question limit on DS. At that point, DS gave up trying and left it alone. That was 9 years ago. He's now 17 and they have no relationship at all. DS respects H but that's as far as it goes. They barely speak, H has given him snippets of wisdom here & there, but I have mainly raised him. Most of their interaction usually comes in the form of criticism at the hands of H. I've had to push H to give DS any praise. He won't do it on his own.
So, H has this PA pattern where if he's upset with me, instead of coming to me, he'll take it out on DS. He did it again just the other night. DS was doing the dishes and H came in ranting about how he was wasting water (there weren't that many dishes so DS let the faucet run while he did them. H MUST fill up the sink with soapy water even if there's only a few dishes to be done. He's convinced his way is the ONLY way. He's even pushed me aside when he saw me doing the dishes because I wasn't doing it HIS way) and asked if he had $75 to pay the water bill and that he had until the end of the month to come up with the money. He then went on to say that he should start making DS pay some bills because he asks for so much shit. Really? He barely asks for shit and what he asks for isn't unreasonable. He's in the chamber choir at his high school and they went on a trip recently that set us back about $350. It was mandatory for school. It wasn't like it was a bunch of kids out fucking around. It was an activity where a damn grade was associated with it. Fuck you H. DS told me about it but asked me not to say anything to H about it. I was LIVID and wanted to confront him immediately but DS begged me to let it go so I did - at least in action. I can't get it out of my head. This isn't the first time and I suspect it won't be the last....Do I confront? He's so conflict avoidant that I doubt it'll do any good and then he'll use his P/A shit to make me think I'm the crazy one...
[This message edited by MissesJai at 11:52 AM, May 31st (Thursday)]
Ok this really gets me. I would confront him bc how can he only love "his child" but you are a family. And pa creates this lack of bonding and with the conflict avoidance it only make them distance themselves from the children.
Your son is old enough to learn about PA let him read the books and do the research so he knows its not him its all his simple ass step father.
Defensive is the best offense!
How is your pa partner as a parent?
He loves to be with the children. They think he is the nice guy and I am the meannie. I don't know how many times he has sent them to ask me if they could watch a movie, and I have said, "But it is so late to start a movie...." Then I am the bad person.
That exact thing happened tonight, for the nth time. H came home from work, and had 5 reports to write (which he didn't do yet.) I was doing home school record keeping and didn't have dinner finished, so he had to finish. Then he was testy, but wouldn't admit it.
At 9 p.m. he sent our daughter to ask me if they could watch a movie. I found H and told him that it was 9:00 p.m. and I was tired. THEN he told the children they couldn't watch a movie. He then got out his computer to do his reports. I confronted him on sending the children to ask me about the movie, instead of making the decision himself. I also asked him how he had planned to watch a movie and do his reports. Of course he denied the whole thing, and said he would have done the reports in the morning. Truth is, he has to get up at 5:00 a.m. to go to work, and to my knowledge has never done reports in the morning before work.
He told me I "didn't have to worry" about his work, it is not my problem. (Recognize the turning the tables and manipulation?) No, it is not my problem, but his PA lack of responsibility, setting me up to be the bad person IS my problem.
In addition, we are supposed to be looking for a home to buy. He set it up for the realtor to send me the info when a new potential house comes on the market...as usual, he wants me to do the work, so he can drag his feet, or reject it. There is one house I would love, but he is not looking into it, because it would require a lot of creativity and work to get us into that house. Of course, being PA, he will not make great efforts to look into the houses I really like....to do what would really make me happy is completely against his nature...I know that from years of living with him.
So I am just marking as "save" any house that might have positive characteristics. There are 35 saved. Last week he told me to send him the links and he will look. He made it seem that simple..."of course" I was overreacting by believing he wasn't actively participating in the house hunt. "All" I had to do was to send him the links...so I did. He has looked at only a few of them, and then hasn't gotten back to me about them anyway.
My gut says, and his behavior is proving that he is going to try to put the house decision and legwork in my lap. I'm not going to get my hopes up, and I'm not going to let him put it all on me.
He hasn't given me a post nup, even though he said he would have it by last week. He mentioned he worked on it while he was out of town on business, but I am at the point that words don't count anymore, actions do.
I just want to be away from him when he acts like this. My IC has told me several times that I am the parent in our relationship. I've read so much on PA, and parent/child marraiges, and how the wife becomes resentful and frustrated by being put in that position, and by being disappointed when the H acts like the "naughty child." She said that his EA, not writing a post nup, porn, etc. are all his efforts to be a bad boy, and make me the mom. I didn't ask for a man/child. I want a husband and a protector.
The more I figure out what is happening in our relationship, the less I hope I have for my happiness. Like the articles say, he changes temporarily, then he goes back to his childish, PA behaviors.
I'm becoming convinced that he is not able to change his core PA personality, and he will always be a walking time bomb.
I've been silent on SI for a while but have been reading along. I wanted to give an update in this thread because my marriage was seriously undermined by my husband's passivity for years. He and I have been in MC for about two years and we were separated for one year. Moved back in together in late March and have been fighting the good fight since. Not always easy and not always moving forward.
But what brings me to the PA thread is something that happened recently that really got my husband to wake up to "owning" his part in our marriage and the damage that his passivity has done. One of the suggestions from the book "The Emotionally Unavailable Man" (author Patty Henry) was for men to connect with "men's movement" kinds of things, to groups that challenge men to hold themselves accountable, stuff like that. I bought that book (of course) when I was trying to make sense of what was going on with my H/in our M, and he read it too.
That suggestion about mens' groups resonated with him, so he found a group called the Mankind Project, mankindproject.org. He went to one of the New Warrior weekends, and wow, did it have a huge impact. My H has been far more emotionally available, willing to deal with me when I'm upset, proactive about getting stuff done/taking responsibility for our lives.
One of the things I feared most as we struggled for such a long time in MC was that, because my H would disengage when I was upset (for any reason, not just with him), that I feared he would totally desert me when something really awful happened, like my mom dying. Well, in fact, my mother died this month and it's been an exhausting emotional ride, and he has really been there for me as I've dealt with it. Amazing. A few years ago this would not have been the case. Even more amazing is that he sees that now, understands it, and realizes what a problem that would be.
I think a big part of the change was that my H knew he had stuff to deal with/change and he was receptive to it, dove right in. My H and I had been in MC for a long time, and some of the big issues between us--and with him--had been really well defined. He knew where his trouble spots/weak spots were, he wanted to address them and change them, but didn't know how, or perhaps was just too scared to unsure to try. The MKP weekend was really intense, but also really well designed, and meant to get guys to face up to the reality of their lives and to be authentic, responsible, engaged.
There are lots of suggestions for marriage support/couples counseling programs on SI (like Retrouvaille and Imago), and I suggest this in the same spirit, though it's more individual in nature and just for men. I gather there's a women's group with a similar orientation, a challenge/personal growth/accountability focus, if that is relevant for folks here too.
PS. HurtButHopeful, you're the last person to write here. I wanted to tell you that I relate to everything you wrote about: being the "bad cop" to the kids, doing all the legwork. I don't know whether the suggestion I just wrote about will work for you/your H, but I can tell you that I finally effected change in my M by putting my foot down about that behavior and being unwilling to live the rest of my life that way. As I've said upthread, it has been a very hard two years of struggle to change those patterns, but I am hopeful that in the end it will have been worth it. Good luck.
Thanks Boston Girl. Lately I've stopped stepping into the "Parent" role. We are trying to find a home, and I refuse to do all the work, or even a little of the work, unless it suits me that day. If he wants to help me heal, and finally realizes I will heal easier if I have a home or "safe place" of my own, where I can plant, dig, change, etc. things for therapy, then he needs to step up and do the legwork. I will say if I like it or not. Damn, I'm not a mystery, for 20+ years I have been very open about my "dream" house.
Today his mom called him. A good thing is that he recognized her usual manipulation and shallow declarations of love for our children. When he asked if she wanted to talk to them herself, just like her script, she had an excuse why she couldn't talk with them. Did he confront her? NO!! Did he tell me what he was thinking?? YES!! That is a step in the right direction: for him to acknowledge to himself his disappointment. Now he needs to grow up and tell her what is going on in his mind when she makes excuses. Oh, of course, while he and I were talking, he told me exactly what he thought of me. He's scared of her, not sure why.
This is all achingly familiar.