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Passive Aggressive Relationships

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tfkeel posted 2/13/2013 06:05 AM

I need some solutions and some strategies to help get out of this cycle.
Maybe I need to head to a bookstore now and pick up one of the books that have been recommended here....

I think the best 10 bucks I ever spent was for my copy of James Dobson's "Love Must be Tough".

And, the worst mistake I ever made was staying in the relationship trying to "make it right". I should have, in retrospect, just got the hell out of there and gone and had a decent life and marriage to someone else who wasn't "sick".

Ashland13 posted 2/13/2013 08:32 AM

I don't know if this will help anyone, but what I do with my passive aggressive, extremely narcissistic husband is pretend that nothing bothers me. I used to really stress about things like chores and home improvement projects, to thie point where he would go longer and longer not doing anything and it would cause me to explode. I work really hard to not show him emotions any more.

We are separated now and he will actually walk away, right out the door, if I get emotional. So it is really in my own best interest, and I suppose our daughters, for me to be the peace keeper as much as I can.

I find I used to worry to much and became easily over heated, but I also know it came from his lack of helping.

Now it is a sport for him to catalog "all" the things he would do for me and wow, is it dramatic! Even things he liked to do, he complains about having to do now.

So even if I fall in the driveway, or if our daughter can't play in the yard because the grass is too long, we work it out our own way.

What I have found is that there is great satisfaction in getting around the need for his help...and it really bothers him when I find another way!

It was so much when he lived here that people thought I was a weak invalid. So the one bright spot in his leaving is that people are seeing me differently. He has a very large family and is the youngest. Grew up without a dad and an alcoholic mom.

I think she doted, over praised and gave whatever he wanted a lot of the time, though he will tell you otherwise...of course!

Thanks for reading my note. It is a real 180 of a feeling when we can figure out that this is the problem. Ove the 20 years I have been with him, I always thought it was me. I was on the anxiety meds, very depressed and such and he and others had it pegged as some mental disorder I had!

That would be the one advice I would give, is the switch things and twist issues or stories to fit their needs and will not care about yours, if you reach devaluation, watch out! Thank you.

Ashland13 posted 2/13/2013 08:43 AM

I don't know if anyone is still on here, but what I'm learning about the passive aggressive stalling is that they want to feel in control, but they stall so that it forces US to make choices. Then, if our choice is wrong or backfires, the p/a person can consider themselves blameless. My husband goes to great length-I would be exhausted!-to blame any negative thing whatsoever -on myself or any he can.

His affair he has tried to blame on me and has tried to say that at least the problems leading up to it are my fault. What? I've tried to correct every "issue" he said we continue to be separated without marriage counselling.

My new fear is that he will not say he wants a divorce, nor will he try to work on new fear is that he is pushing me to topple over the edge and I simply will not let him. I tell him that I will work on it and I even let him know that I went to a lawyer to hear my "options", but feel very strongly that he needs to deal with what he did, whether its divorce or trying to work on marriage-if by such time I can even stand it.

It's really amazing to learn about these "conditions" and now that I have this awareness, can function when I have to deal with him a lot better. He is extremely narcissistic as well, which explains the blamaing and other things he does. He also thinks he is above any law or rules and is also atheist-yet will preach to our daughter about following rules and keeping promises!


npain posted 2/13/2013 10:13 AM

Ashland13, my STBX is PA as well and he is doing some of the same things--engaging in a 5 yr affair, refusing NC and then when I say that I want a divorce, blames it on me. He has blamed me for the reason he was/is cheating, for his unhappiness. I have been holding off on filing the divorce papers simply because I realize that it is because this is precicely what he wants. He wants to say the reason that he is divorced is tha tI filed, not that he was cheating and brought his whore in my house to babysit our kids. No way that's the reason your wife kicked you out?! But as soon as my taxes are filed, I'm filing becuause I realize that being divorced from him will mean that he wil not be able to blame me for all of his failures forever. At some point he's either going to pick someone to blame why his life's a mess or he'll grow up and take responsibility. Either way, it is not MY problem.

I'm learning to change the dynamic as well. He is used to putting eveything in my lap to take care of. So I've learned to push it back at him so that when things don't go forward, it's on him. And I am getting to the place where I realize that I frankly don't care what he says about me at this point a it is all lies and one day it will come out that it is indeed lies and he is just a big fraud.

realitybites posted 2/14/2013 06:53 AM

You know what is funny? I have family here this month visiting who I have not seen in awhile. They have friends down for a few days from the same area.

The stuff that comes out of their mouths now shocks me! It is so P/A, so manipulative, and then done with a laugh or a smile. It made me realize so much more how I grew up with P/A all around me. Thus the push pull with my H.

I too work hard on not responding. Or trying to anyway. Some days it still reverts back and can be very painful.

realitybites posted 2/19/2013 10:22 AM

How many of you...or maybe not, don't know?? Have a P/A in your life that uses sex or not having sex as a form of their P/A habits?

My H will say he wants sex but will not really initiate it. Skirts around the whole thing hoping I will then go to him. Kinda hard to explain but I have noticed it more and more lately.

Maybe its something else....who knows. Just weird or me once again catching onto something that never occured to me until now.

wantreallove posted 2/20/2013 08:02 AM

So here I am joining another I can relate thread because we fit into yet another category. I don't think there is much we don't fit anymore. Last night my WH invited me to attend his IC and when she talked with us about his A's she spoke about how he's PA and that's how a lot of his A's started. Wow so SA and PA. What next?? At least it gives me more to read up on and try to understand. I think I might go crazy trying to get "healthy". LOL.

Housefulloflove posted 2/25/2013 01:43 AM

This would be my tribe, no doubt! My STBXH is like a walking textbook example. I can't believe it took 10 years of craziness an EA (with an ex in '05) and a PA for me to get that my husband is truly dysfunctional! I guess in my defense the traits did get MUCH more pronounced towards the end.

Smittygds posted 2/25/2013 13:42 PM

I'm a but confuzzled here. Please help. I see some of me in the description of passive aggressive behavior but I did not come from a family of nice, passive people. My mother was divorced with 7 kids and a raging alcoholic. My WW came from a very passive family who loves to live in passive discreetness. There is no doubt I made her feel small, stupid and insignificant and this coupled with her parents constant undermining of our relationship, specifically her poor "decisions", its no wonder she developed a LTA of 14 years and kept it well hidden for 20 years. So my question is, does that make me or her passive aggressive or who is the co-dependent? Or maybe I haven't provided enough info but I'd really like to understand what happened to two people who love each other but ended up here?

Smittygds posted 2/25/2013 16:16 PM

To realitybites: My WS rarely, if ever initiates sex but always wants it. She has never said no to me, but never makes the move. I have complained to her for years regarding this. I'm trying to understand the P/A traits and I'm starting to get it. She's P/A and I'm co-dependent.

heartbroken_kk posted 3/4/2013 20:51 PM


2oldforthis posted 3/4/2013 21:12 PM

Would love to talk to anyone who has alot of knowledge about PA behavior.

2oldforthis posted 3/4/2013 21:55 PM


Never comes to me and say "I want to go to XX restaurant tonight, does that work for you.


He didn't know he didn,t mean it, He was SINCERE, on the surface.
Empty promises.


Now you've changed the subject and in the process of you defending your habit of doing YY, you've blamed me for it. You're blame shifting. Let's stay on the topic of how I feel when you do your behavior YY. Do you remember what I even said about how I feel?

And low and behold, he couldn't remember. He was so busy building his defense, rationalizing what he does so that he's not at fault, that he never even heard me


kansas1968 posted 3/6/2013 00:14 AM

It is so odd. I have been fighting this battle since December 14, 2010. It has been a hell that I would wish on no one, except the OW. I have seen posts and comments over and over about passive aggresives, and never thought a thing about it. Finally, someone made a comment about a passive aggresive that caught my attention, so I googled and lo and behold, there was my WS in all of his shining glory. Not 100pct match, but enough to let me know that a passive aggressive is what I have been dealing with for the 45 years of my marriage. No wonder I thought we had a great relationship, a marriage to be envied. I am not even close to a passive aggresive, so I always smoothed things over. My God. What a relief.

I wrote a little essay tonight after this revelation, and I will share it with you. Maybe not the ending that everyone would wish for after an affair, but I am very happy with it.

How can I express how sweet this final freedom is. To stop blaming myself, to cease the bloody attack on my soul. To know that it was he who faild, no I.

To know what I believed was an illusion, a ghost, and I cannot, will not, mourn a ghost.

To feel my feet on the foundation of my own making. To need no one to help me stand but myself.

What a relief myself and know that I am worthy of love. To know that even in my failures, I still had honor, loyalty, and, integrity.

To know that even though I will care for him, give him what he needs, that what I need will be provided by myself.


For newbies dealing with a passive aggresive, changes can probably be made in the WS. But in my case it is too late to make those changes in him, but I can certainly make changes in how I relate to him. I no longer have to have him to make me feel good about myself. God, what a relief.

sarahsorry812 posted 3/6/2013 07:58 AM

Im new to this forum. I was a WS and posted there before. I made a huge mistake and got into a relationship with a MM. I've broken it off with him more times then i can count. I've done NC too. He is relentless in contacting me via txting and calling. I've been strong to not reply. Eventually, his love bombing and links to love songs and professing his deep love for me breaks me down and after 4 months of NC i caved and replied to his latest txt back in January. We've been in an EA for the last 2 months and i recently found the strength to go NC again and hes been relentlessly txting and calling me everyday since Saturday. I've been ignoring.

During the last 5 months i have done extensive research and reading and soul searching and i realize now my whys of the A. I also have realized that the fOM fits psychopathy and BPD to a T. This was a huge eye-opener and it explained why i kept returning to him even tho i knew it was wrong and the ultimate betrayal to my H and our M.

My H and i had issues 2 yrs prior to my A and we have been in MC for almost a yr now. Things were going very well, as i was slowly breaking free from the fog i was in from my A.

Now, this is why i am posting here. During all of the reading I've been doing, I've come to realize that my H of 17 yrs (we're together for 22) is extremely p/a. Now, i may at times have thought his behavior argumentative and confusing over the yrs but i am truly in love with him and overlooked it. But now i feel like a light bulb has gone off in me and H behavior is extremely destructive and manipulative. I never fully understood p/a. The main trait he always had was saying he was ok with something then after the fact, he would get mad, sulk and say he never really agreed. It would baffle me! I'd be like, you said ok tho?!?!? He also is very self absorbed and if things dont go his way he gets mad. He doesn't own up to things if they go wrong because he is wishy washy and won't make a definite decision. He holds a grudge forever, second guesses himself and has many regrets (job wise). I have always been supportivd of him. Hes often times said i am his rock. He never lets things go and brings up things from over 12 yrs ago (his devisions about jobs, family issues, etc) this is why i had decided with the help of our MC, to not tell of my A. I know that is not the popular decision here, but every situation is different and thats the decision ive made for now. In any event, My head feels like its going to explode. Having to deal with this behavior.

Sorry its so long. If you read it all the way, thank you

mike7 posted 3/6/2013 08:10 AM

sounds pretty convenient sarahsorry.

how are you going to stay NC with you AP that is constantly bombarding you? you aren't. you've proven that.

imo you need to come clean, so your passive aggressive husband can decide if he wants you anymore. also, so you can truly concentrate on your marriage. otherwise, you are just being selfish.

read here. you will see how well keeping secrets and lying has worked for others.

sounds to me like your MC isn't very good.

sarahsorry812 posted 3/6/2013 08:47 AM

I am not saying my H p/a behavior is what made me have an A.

I have been pouring over these boards every single day since sept. i am human and yes i made a mistake. I never understood how people could cheat and break their vows. I realize i have problems too with how i deal with things. I too am broken.

I am learning about myself and my relationships. Everything isn't always so cut and dry. I have been emotionally abused for 17 yrs in my M but never realized it. Some days were ok but i never realized what he was doing and what was happening.

Let me state that i do own up to the fact that i ultimately made the decision to engage in the A. Knowing it was wrong.

I have come to learn many things about myself because of the emotionally abusive A i entered into.

I have a problem. I enter into relationships with men whom i feel if i love them enough and support them emotionally i can fix them. The kick in the head is that i am the one who needs fixing.

Im not sitting here crying victim. I have done a ton of work every single day to figure out what makes me tick. I am simply stating the fact that i realized my M is with a man who is p/a. It kills me.

whatdoto posted 3/6/2013 09:29 AM

Here is a very good article describing the PA man. It is WH to a "t".

At 2-1/2 years out, I am now fed up with this behavior. I am starting counseling tomorrow in order to help ME get emotionally healthy so I can make a final decision as to stay in this M or not.

I have asked WH to get his own counseling, but of course won't, he can't make a decision because of his PA.

I realize there are things I could do to minimize the damage and to protect my sanity, but you know what? I not going to do it. I don't want to do it. I shouldn't have to do it. Maybe that shows me just how much I love WH.

Good luck everyone...this is another type of hell - as if the A wasn't already enough.

sarahsorry812 posted 3/6/2013 10:12 AM

Thanks for sharing that article. It does describe my H. Although i am not controlling and overbearing. I am not assertive either. however, i do make many of the decisions because H never does. He always leaves it up to me to decide on everything and then will just complain about it afterwards. Very frustrating to say the least.

I would always say hes acting like a martyr (here they refer to the person as a doormat) He would say, i dont care whats for dinner, do what you want but then would say he wanted something else afterwards. He won't take the initiative about decisions with our kids. But will be the first one to question my choices afterwards. It makes me crazy how he can push my buttons. He does with with everything and is always second guessing himself.

mike7 posted 3/6/2013 12:17 PM

you're afraid to tell him because you think he will leave.

that's not love.

that's passive aggressive.

he doesn't know what you've done. give him the chance to leave if he wants.

otherwise you're just a liar.

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