5 Ways to Cope with a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

Passive aggression is a common behavior pattern that arises in all kinds of relationships. It’s always harmful, but in marriages, it’s especially painful.

Passive-aggressive behavior can be a simple as a dishonest, “I’m fine,” followed by a period of pouting and unpleasant behavior (slamming cabinets and drawers, angrily manhandling items around the house, giving you the silent treatment, etc.). Or it can go as deep as deliberate sabotage between spouses.

Luckily, these harmful patterns can be overcome with observation, self-examination, and the willingness to get help. And if you think your spouse might be passive-aggressive, there are ways to cope while you observe his or her behaviors. Let’s dive in.

1. Learn to identify your spouse’s passive-aggressive behaviors.

Every passive-aggressive person operates a little differently, but there’s one rule they all adhere to: they are not overt. They behave and appear to be outwardly supportive or content, but they consistently harm you or your relationship in ways that aren’t always easy to pinpoint. And deep inside, they might actually resent you.

In many cases, passive aggression goes much deeper than the common “I’m fine” scenario. If you think your spouse might have passive-aggressive tendencies, it could be helpful to ask yourself:

  • Whether your spouse appears to be undermining or sabotaging things that are important to you on a regular basis
  • If your spouse tends to brush off their hurtful comments or actions as simple “misunderstandings,” but you continue to feel uneasy
  • Whether your spouse tends to “punish” you later for conflicts you thought you’d resolved together
  • If you feel angry or unsettled around him or her often, but don’t really know why
  • Whether you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells or dodging landmines with this person

It can be really difficult to identify passive aggression at first until you’ve learned your spouse’s patterns, and it’s normal to second-guess your own instincts. But while it’s easy to convince yourself that your spouse doesn’t have hard feelings toward you, their behavioral patterns will tell you otherwise.

2. Understand where passive-aggression comes from.

While there’s no excuse for any kind of aggressive behavior, it’s helpful to understand why your spouse is repeating these patterns. On a low level, passive aggression could be the result of your spouse’s fear to speak up and tell you what they want. Instead, they find underhanded ways of getting it, even if that means it could be hurtful to you in the process.

We commonly observe the following underlying issues in the couples we encounter who deal with passive-aggressive patterns:

  • Low self-esteem: The passive-aggressive person might feel like they’re at a perpetual, innate disadvantage. Your spouse might display a victim mentality and operate out of a deep sense of insecurity…which helps them justify their devious methods of getting what they want. You might even notice that your spouse knocks you down in order to elevate themselves.
  • Sense of powerlessness: This goes hand-in-hand with the victim mentality. If your spouse feels out of control of a situation (or many situations), that feeling may fuel underhanded tactics or jealousy toward you–particularly if you’re enjoying success in an area they aren’t.
  • Buried feelings of inadequacy and injustice: People who act out passive-aggressively tend to feel, deep down, that they’re getting the short end of the stick. If your spouse feels like you have some kind of unfair advantage over them when it comes to your career, your relationships, or anything else they want and don’t have, watch out. They might hold deep feelings of resentment toward you, but they’ll never admit it. Basically, this is an ongoing, adult-size, “it’s-not-fair” tantrum.

3. Accept the situation for what it is.

Woodrow Wilson once said, “Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.” We believe this also applies to marriages. If you’ve determined that your spouse is acting out in passive-aggressive ways, you will have also realized that your spouse’s actions are not self-sacrificing. Rather, they sacrifice parts of you on a regular basis: your peace, your progress, and your success.

It’s painful to accept that your spouse is operating within a passive-aggressive pattern. After all, they act loyal, accommodating, and sacrificial. They say they love you, and might even brag about you to their friends and co-workers. But if you’ve noticed that your spouse then finds subtle ways to sabotage and undermine you, it’s time to trust your instincts and accept the reality of the situation.

The first thing to do as you accept this reality is to remind yourself that deep down, we all have the potential for acting in passive-aggressive ways. While this doesn’t excuse your spouse, it does help cultivate empathy.

Second, let go of how you think things “should” be. While ideally, marriage is meant to be a partnership and a safe haven for two people who love each other, there are situations and difficulties that require a different perspective.

4. Don’t make excuses for your spouse or justify their behavior.

Part of accepting the situation for what it is involves not making excuses for your spouse’s behavior, to yourself or anyone else. Maybe no one else sees the passive aggression; in that case, train yourself to stop inwardly justifying it. If someone else observes the behavior and points it out to you, don’t try to explain it away.

People who behave passive-aggressively hate being “found out” more than almost anything else. If you have the opportunity to let your spouse know that you know what they’re doing, do it carefully. Stand up for yourself or anyone else affected by their behaviors. Being clear about what behaviors you will not accept may open the floor for some discussions about the patterns you’ve been experiencing (and it never hurts to seek out a good marriage therapist).

5. Set healthy boundaries.

It hurts deeply to accept that your spouse has passive-aggressive tendencies and might not always have your best interests at heart. Once you’ve come to terms with the dynamic in your relationship right now, start taking steps to set boundaries that protect yourself from further passive-aggressive behaviors.

Depending on the extent of the issue, you may have to start being selective about what you share with your spouse. Deep thoughts, feelings, and aspirations might not be safe to express. You know your spouse best, so use your judgment going forward. You may find that only certain topics need to be off-limits, rather than a broad change to your communication.

We know this is difficult to read, but now that you know you’re dealing with passive aggression in your marriage, it’s critical to protect yourself. Guard your boundaries and do whatever you can to get help–for both of you.

It will also be important to approach your spouse with vulnerability and empathy. You may not be able to get them to admit to their passive aggression, but you might be able to start a conversation that eventually leads to a discussion of feelings of inadequacy or loss of control. In this way, you might find opportunities to speak truth to your spouse’s abilities and talents, breathing life into those areas where they feel less-than.

With the right approach and professional support, you can overcome passive-aggressive patterns and build a happier, healthier marriage together.

Have you experienced passive-aggression in your marriage? How did you deal with it? Did you and your spouse seek therapy? We’d love to see your stories in the comments.

If you’d like further information, Les’s book, High Maintenance Relationships, takes a deep dive into how to cope with difficult relationships of all kinds.


  • Amy Koehn says:

    Great help!!!! Passive aggressive behaviot is truly difficult to deal with and very hurtfil! It can split up a marriage if not resolved in some way.

    • .veronica says:

      I am truly experiencing this with my husband. We’ve been married 14 years and it has been a struggle so bad, I felt like I was losing my mind. There was always something wrong but I couldn’t pinpoint it. I stayed so angry, but couldn’t understand why. I kept justifying the fact that he was a good guy, but I always felt betrayed around him. I continued to look at myself because he was so nice. But as I started to explore this issue I see clearly that I’m dealing with an extremely passive aggressive person. I’m almost ready for divorce.

      • Dennis says:

        I get you

      • Heleen Conradie says:

        Hi Veronica, the same here. I also could not understand my anger around him, but all the pieces are falling into place in the last couple of days since I have researched this topic. He is a very intelligent guy and plays me so well. He says I am the one who needs help because of my temper. But he is the one whe drives me to that place. I have even started to think that I do have a temper problem and that I need help.
        He also withholds, love, affection, time, sex and information from me. I have 3 children and it pains me to think what will happen if we gets divorced. I am between a rock and a hard place.

        • Tay says:

          When I tell my husband how i feel, like when someone else keeps hurting me..he acts like it’s not his problem and it doesn’t affect him…I cry sometimes at how I get treated by family and he has no emotional response. Someone said he sounds narcissistic and another said he is passive aggressive. Does this sound like a personality disorder?

          • Angela H says:

            Look into the podcast understanding today’s narcissist… incredibly helpful

          • Sparkletete says:

            I know this is a really late response but I know the answer to this question. The disorder is called a Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist. I too have been doing research and couldn’t understand my husband’s behavior. The first 8 months of our relationship he was the most awesome person in the world…. my knight in shining armor! This is called the “love bombing “ phase. It is important because we go off of this phase as a representation of who we think that person is. We always think it can get better like it first was. But then my husband (boyfriend at the time) developed really strange characteristics. He was so charming in front of people. (Still is) But he had zero empathy or respect for me behind close doors. Here are some weird characteristics, tell me if they sound familiar: Is not protective nor sticks up for you with relatives or peers? Is not overly concerned with your health? (Examples, doesn’t care if you go to the emergency room or doesn’t even remember you went to see a doctor for a particular ailment ?) Does not (at all or even often) celebrate you during important holidays like your birthday, your anniversary, perhaps Mother’s Day etc.? Never sticks to a plan? Actually verbally agrees with it but then changes it to suit himself? Lies often about even unnecessary things? Or you ask him to do something for you and he forgets, but it happens regularly? Things like going thru a drive thru for food and not buying you anything -“Oops, I forgot”? And of course the constant passive aggressive comment which are comments when he is seriously kidding. Like “we can get a new washer and dryer when you go back to work.” Another characteristic is that you are the scapegoat for EVERYTHING. My husband blames me for everything, he owns nothing. My favorite deflection back onto me was when we were walking and my husband accidentally stepped on the back of my heel and he told me I left my leg back too long so it was my fault he stepped on me. These are all traits of a COVERT PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE NARCISSIST. This is DIFFERENT than an OVERT NARCISSIST. A covert passive aggressive narcissist is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. To others, this person is absolutely charming, kind and intelligent. No one would suspect a thing. But to you, this person is mentally abusive. You find yourself feeling depressed and anxious. If you are so long into the relationship (as I am) you may even find yourself with all kinds of health problems that just have no end. If you want to find out more about this disorder I found books on Amazon. It is scary to know the truth about my husband. But it was also strangely satisfying finally giving the affliction my husband has a name. It was a relief to know I had NOT been crazy all these years believing that there was something so enormously off with him. I cried reading through the books because I it directly related to everything I had been going through. It was a mirror of my life.

          • tracy evans says:

            He came home before threatend to beat me black and blue and as a bonus again phone the poiice and get me arrested if I am not quiet .been with that thing since I was 22 and that was 33.

        • Deb says:

          You stole my words one by one from my mouth! It took me 20+ years to figure it out “my problem”. He sent me to hell for divorcing him. I instantly became a homeless, and separated from my children and asset.

          • m says:

            You are getting stronger. Things will be better. Others have been in the same sinking boat but there is help and they get back on their feet stronger than ever.

          • Sarah says:

            I know these are old posts but I’ve racked my brains for a long long time trying to find an answer for his actions and now I’ve found it. I’m actually in tears. He’s constantly putting me through hell and makes everything my fault, my MH was already in bits due to trauma from a previous relationship then he came along and now it’s 100x worse to the point I’ve been suicidal. It’s almost a relief knowing it’s not my fault now the hardest part is trying to deal with it if I can while managing my own feelings and emotions cos he’s messed me up that much over the last 14yrs I’m not sure there’s much hope.

          • carter says:

            You chose that.

          • Denise Gonzales-Simon says:

            My husband , tells me you leave alone, if you don’t like it here, after he turned my 3 chilldren against me. Now after I have had several DUI’s due to dealing with not ever feeling like I was enough or measured up to his standards and rules. Being belittled and criticized of how I should look or act. Even left behind or uninvited places because of my actions or disapproval of him..
            Also everyone is a bad influence on me, my mom, most of my friends and he’s blocked me from FB & IG because I’m too sensative of him liking other woman’s pictures.. When he was the one that started looking through my posts and calling and threatening people to leave his wife alone fir liking a picture I’ve posted.. so I started looking into his friends and telling him stuff and he didn’t Like it . And punished me.. it’s all hurtful.

        • Tania Goldsbury says:

          Hi Heleen omg my partner does this too. It’s like you just wrote my story. Hes been telling me to get anger management but the same he drives me there. Thank you I thought I was alone. It’s such a rel6to know I’m not

          • David Herrera says:

            My wonderful beautiful wife should be pictured in the dictionary to define the term.
            I used to make excuses to others for her behavior but eventually the excuses were for my anger.
            I tried for years to explain how she “controls from the weak side” until one day she casually mentioned I think I’m passive aggressive.
            My ears perked up and upon googling was stunned how obvious it is.
            It has effectively ruined a once wonderful relationship and I cannot trust her anymore.
            There is no fix nor turning back nor survival.
            It is a death sentence.

          • To All Ladies,
            I’ve been married 50 years to the same man. His problem is myopic compared to all of the behaviors I read here. Still I can use the advise and incites.

            What I want people to see is that these partners don’t want to change or improve their relationships. They are like the people who operate basic training in the military. Best you down to built you up. Nonsense. They enjoy it and always will. I taught junior high 8th and 9th
            graders. I believe I could tell what kind of men they would be after having them for two years.

            What motivation is there for them to change? Of course professionals tell you get counseling. The best counseling will do is give one partner the strength to give up and so on alone or until you find a new love.

            Get real and realize these professionals suggest counseling because that’s how these people make money.

            I’ve yet in my life to find a person who’s a psych major that did not go that route to work on a problem they’d endured in childhood.

            Changing people patterns of behavior once there fixed at roughly 14 is as had as reducing the levels of the oceans.

        • B says:

          I’m sorry your going through this. I live with my boy friend. He always accuses me of playing the victims if I try to speak up. He always says ok your always right, never the one that is wrong. And no matter what he never lets me put a word in. He controls the whole conversation and will leave it unresolved and leave me with so much frustration. I live so angry at him.

          • Cg says:

            Getting to a point now that’s become physical. Even towards our son who was trying to protect me. Saw such anger in his eyes. Few hours later it’s as if nothing happened. And it was all our fault.

          • Bellpine says:

            Wow…just read the remarks from B, this Is similar to what my husband says, for example…wouldn’t it be great if we were all as smart as you! Exceedingly condescending! Consistently mocks what I say or do. Each day is filled with hurtful statements.

        • C says:

          I feel the same way. I am angry around my husband all the time. He says I am sick and need help but now I realize he is withholding love, smiles, fun from me. I go for long walks and car rides with my dog Everyone says he is nice but he is critical and abusive at home. Help!!!!

          • Nina says:

            I feel the same way. My husband is a completely different person at home with me and my son and has a different personality around other people, always smiling, helpful, joking…At home he is silent with hours and if I try to speak or God forbid talk about my emotions and our marriage he explodes , shouts, sometimes brakes things and closes himself in the room until the next day. He doesn’t care if I’m hurt or crying.. When I’m sick of the silent treatment that he’s putting me through or talking to me with a condescending tone, or his intentional little things that are driving me crazy, and I dare to speak out he’s screaming with so much anger and the worst of all he plays a victim , when I only wanted to just speak with him, communicate as married people do. We NEVER make love, he shows no affection or attention whatsoever but blames me that’s because of me, because he is tired, or it’s too hot, or his head hurts, or it’s after food , or it’s before food, or I’m complicated because I need hugging and kissing before…He sleeps in a separate room for almost 7 years now. I’m at the edge… My son is suffering too he could hardly wait to turn 18 and leave the house. I don’t have a steady job and I’m scared but I just can’t go on like this any more. He always finishes the conversations with ” of course it’s my fault you are perfect”… SOS !!!

          • m says:

            Focus on yourself b

        • K says:

          I live with a passive aggressive man who behaves so bad and then pokes the bear until my behaviour is worse than his. That’s when he’s won as he can excuse his behaviour as mine is worse and it’s me that needs help. My advise don’t behave worse than him, call him out on it and tell him you are onto him and you will not be responding like this again. It’s exhausting fighting this behaviour as it’s an ongoing pattern of getting control over you. I did a drawing for my husband with me as the whipping boy and him getting angrier until he exploded at me over nothing and then was calm until the next time leaving me reeling in horror at his behaviour. He appeared horrified that he was acting this way and when he starts I get the drawing out and ask him whereabouts he is on this drawing so I can be out when he explodes. He hates this and behaves until the next time the drawing has to come out. You have to out smart them. X

          • Nosipho says:

            This sounds interesting. I need to do something like this.. But how? I’m so tired of my husband ‘s behavior too

          • Nina says:

            If I do this he will say “you are not a victim stop acting like one, you exagerate”. And will continue his silence staring at the TV. If I start to speak he tights his teeth gets extremely angry and stares at one point on the floor, his hand palms are in a fist ready to break things. He broke 2 doors, the kitchen table, made few holes in the wall…He tells me to stop talking if not he will do something bad. Few years ago he was threatening that he will kill himself, he took the gun and he left with the car. My son was 9. We were dead scared. I didn’t know what to do. I called the police. He was at his parents house watching TV as if nothing has happened. My son and I were in shock. When he came home he acted as if nothing has happened. He has cheated on me several times. He talks with women on the phone he says he never met one, it’s just taking. He watches porn but never touches me. In the past 10 years we made love maybe 6-7 times. He finished not me. Putting the words in written at this moment makes me realize that it’s horrible what I m going through. I’m thinking of consulting a psychologist because I can’t deal with him alone anymore.

          • Margarita says:

            Get the help of a therapist but a good one. This is the 2nd session and my husband and already my therapist wants me to focus on my objectives, my career, Fortunately, this last time, my husband displayed an overeaction a tantrum, typical of pathological liars. And that is one of the reactions the therapist meed to see, and get me regain control of my life, and focus on myself. As soon as we got home, my husband said “The counseling didn’t work; you brought the past”… of course the typical blaming and I just told him “don’t worry you don’t need to go, I will, and i will continue to go” and in the meantime I was instructed to work on myself, exercise, eating well, think of a career goal…
            One thing here is that on the sessions as a point on my favor “I tell the therapist the good aspects of my husband (whatever positive, yes it is difficult I know but it works) then he immediately starts displaying tantrums and it is all good, the therapist needs to see him exactly at his best. And in the meantime I do my homework “treat my husband for what he is a patient “ that way I don’t give him the keys of my happiness!

        • Didi says:

          I went through this also! I was also feeling like no matter what I did, he never responded. So then I fill my gut, and realized that he was avoiding me because he was having an affair!! You see, a spouse won’t treat u like that (Passive agressive) unless they Are holding in some sort of guilt. And this is something no one wants to admit!! Either they are in the affair or had one! The guilt makes them resent their spouse because they feel like you made them do it. Look for other clues, phone, emails, their car, their underwear (if u see any stains) go to their work place, see who will be the most happiest to see u or the one who hides away from u. Good luck

          • Luann says:

            There are a lot more reasons for being passive aggressive than an affair. Believe me, the guy I’m with is not having an affair. I won’t go into explaining how I know that because I’m not going into a our business. But the article even says and I definitely agree, that one thing PA behavior comes from is the feeling of powerlessness. Which (in my case anyway) has not one thing to do with an affair. Idk, could be guilt, but not because he’s shagging someone else. It would probably come more from the fact that he doesn’t lead or take control of situations, waits for solutions to fall into his lap, doesn’t communicate directly, can’t express his emotions/feelings, keeps important info from me, lies by omission and just directly lies.

            There’s other reasons for resentment too. Like all those things a partner can do in their passive aggressive behavior, like the laundry list I have above of all the PA behavior of my significant other. You write your comment like affairs are the only reason people act like a**holes. Not everyone who is passive aggressive or resentful is having or has had an affair.

          • M says:

            Affairs are not the only reason someone is feeling guilty and passive aggressive. My husband grew up in with one passive aggressive parent and another parent that was mentally and physically abusive. His grandparents were also passive aggressive and manipulative to get their way (where his parents learned it). He learned this behavior from them. But I can agree that he acts this way because he is feeling guilty about himself, and like his father, has to take it out on soneone else.

            My husband has used internet porn, and I can always tell when he did because he starts showing his hair trigger anger following his useage. But he also acts this way when he is feeling powerless at work, feeling “fat,” feeling depressed, aftaid of turning into his parents, etc. He is currently in counseling, and he is recognizing some things about himself, his behavior, and his family history of abuse, but he also has begun using his “diagnosis” as excuses and projecting his faults on me (accusing me of the things he is actually doing). I am hoping once we transition from individual counseling to couples counseling, I can address these other behaviors with a mediator present and that he will finally hear me, unlike now ahen it is just us. I recognize therapy takes time, and we are pushing a year at this point, but I am now facing a decision of waiting to see significant change in our relationship, or moving to end our 19 year relationship.

          • M says:

            Literally less than an hour after I made my original comment, my husband has demostrated the very passive aggressive turned verbally aggressive projection attitude towards me. I tried overlooking his passive aggressiveness all morning, and when I thought things were okay, I tried sharing something interesting with him about a show we were watching, only to be shut down not once, but twice. The second time resulted in me saying, “Don’t worry about it,” when he cut me off again, with him then accusing me of beimg passive aggressive because I will “use this against him later.” He then stormed upstairs to his bedroom (we have not slept in the same bed/room since early in our marriage due to his work hours). He then decided to leave, but only after yelling at me some more including calling me names, then being super nice to our son, showering him with excessive affection, telling him he will “always love him no matter what.”

            I have been actively utilizing coping skills taught by a therapist to deal with his outbursts, but it seems the more I try to ignore his behavior, the worse he acts. I am definitely starting to realize that this may be beyond help and that divorce may be the best option. I do not want our relationship to become physically abusive, and our child is young enough to not be as affected as he may be when he is older (I hope). I am just afraid if we do divorce, he will be like his own divorced parents and use our child to continue the abuse against me by pitting our child against me.

          • Margarita says:

            I would say concentrate on yourself and your well-being. Stop controlling him. My husband maybe is in the same situation, an affair but I don’t allow it to stop me from focusing on my life. That’s exactly what our therapist is doing redirecting my attention to myself rather that my husband wrong doings…

        • Trina says:

          I think Im in the same situation as yours. Can you share how you have actually dealt with it so far? It is ruining me and my “life” as a professional, as a mother and an individual.

          • M says:

            Get a therapist. Mine has helped me greatly. I focus on my plans, Avoid any situation where he can start his demeanor. Giving something of his own treatment on you “ignore him” but be compassionate… because their behaviors are the result of a childhood filled with abuse, neglect and who knows what else… again that is his problem and my problem is to focus on controlling myself, and single his poor ways out and substitute them for the many blessings I need to recreate space to see. My husband is just one little difficult situation that with therapy has taught me the change begins with me, by taking care of me, controlling my emotions, not reacting because that is what these type of individuals want drain your energy. Sorry he hits the wall, I ignore him and focus on me.

        • miranda says:

          I am in the same position as I think if I leave it he will get even worse and the kids in the end would suffer even more then now.

        • linz says:

          I experienced the same situation in my marriage. My marriage ended before I learned about passive aggressive behavior. He was so wonderful and so nice to everyone, but there was always some hidden obstacle that prevented us from really connecting and working as a team. I thought we had adult discussions only to learn of a different outcome through behavior, instead of words, leaving me feeling unsettled through out our marriage. It’s been a year now and honestly hadn’t realized how stressful the situation was until I was no longer in it. Good luck!

        • Michelle says:

          There is nothing wrong with you!! You don’t have a temper you are frustrated from dealing with him for years. It’s DRAINING!!! He is playing you like a fiddle. I’ve dealt with this for over 20 years just recently realized what I was dealing with and got out!! Trust me the kids will be ok!!! They are probably waiting for you to leave. They notice more than you think. No one want their family to be split apart, but you have to ask yourself is this really healthy for you or your kids? Your spouse is suppose t be your best friend. I’ve never had a friend treat me the way my husband was treating me. I’m sure you can say the same.

          • m says:

            Very good! I am very happy for you. It requires courage and strength to take that step. Change begins in us… 👌👌👌

          • AR says:

            I know I’m super late but my gosh is this is true and hurts so bad to admit. My husband and I got married June 2021 and we conceived our daughter our wedding night. After our honeymoon all hell broke loose. I had a rough pregnancy and I felt like his target the entire pregnancy. He went from showing love and compassion to constantly bashing me or looking for ways to belittle me. I would cry and apologize to our unborn child for bringing her into a messy situation. I would’ve never had a child with a person like this had I known. Now our daughter is here (I gave birth early at 8 months pregnant due to stress and health complications) and I’m seriously considering divorce. We haven’t been married a year yet. I would cry at the thought of divorce but I truly need to do what’s best for our daughter and my mental and emotional well being. We are scheduled to see a therapist but I have doubts that things would get any better. Sigh

        • Margarita says:

          You are not. What he needs is his match. He plays ignoring you, well you have plenty to focus your attention “you and your children”. You know, Eckart Tolle has you tube videos and books about not react, but be alert and aware… but most importantly “not to react”. Also, Al-anon… our husbands independently of being or not alcoholic they have a disease… being liars, narcissist whatever you want to call them. Strangely, they are not like that with everyone but with the vulnerable why? because we pay too much attention and definitely “we must let go” see them as patients. I would say if he is not harming you physically,, depriving you of financial aspects, let him be… and ignore him. Your focus are your children. See him as a blessing because this kind of spouse makes us everyday stronger. Behave exactly the way the people he is not a jerk behave, by be indifferent, walk out as soon as he starts with comments… remember he is the one who is sick, not you, turn the role you have been playing to a stronger you! It works… Also the al-anon books are excellent because they reflect on ourselves the family member of someone who has a disease. Be compassionate but concentrate on yourself . If there is physical abuse, financially and with your children you need to get immediate help!

        • J says:

          Hello! I see you write this in 2019… it is now 2021 and I am in the same situation. I don’t want to leave.
          We have 4 amazing adult sons: 26,25,21,18… he drinks daily. I’m tired.
          Did you leave or stay?

        • S.J says:

          I’m so sorry Heleen. My husband as well is exactly as you describe. I too am with child and divorce is just not practical. It is truly unfortunate to be with someone like this , when the union has so much potential but will never actualize. They deteriorate a marriage to the point of no repair. All these articles state to have empathy for these ppl but it is like having sympathy for the devil. They are truly toxic individuals that at first appear accommodating, caring, easy going UNTIL they entrap you. My husband took his mask off after we had our child. Once I determined who he really is and called him out, he is insufferable.
          The only thing I can say to try , since literally nothing works with ppl like this, is to distance and stop caring. Do not react to anything, don’t depend on him to have your back or make your life easier. Remove his access to all things you. Exclude him from your family , he will try to sabotage your relationships, start doing activities with the children without him, let him schedule his own appts, don’t listen to him when he wants an ear to vent his woes( say something like ” geez, that’s too bad , you seem to have a lot of problems, that’s unfortunate” and walk off.
          Continue to upkeep your home and tend to your children, you don’t want to give him ammunition that you are not doing your duty in the marriage.
          It is sad when one marries the Jekyll when they thought they had Hyde. They ruin everything for others around them and in turn create their own hellscapes. They then cry the victim when they destroy themselves in the process.
          I despise ppl like this, unfortunately there is no punishment or consequence for their actions because they are truly heartless uncaring wretched souls. I know I will get heat for this comment but some people really are undeserving of love .

        • Peach says:

          same same same…. he threatens to leave after driving me to that place… it’s a bit toxic

        • CT says:

          As other people mentioned, it sounds like he is a covert narcissist. I’m so sorry you are having to go through this. I was married to someone like that for 20 years. I hope you have been able to resolve things in the meantime. If you do decide to get a divorce, be prepared for a lot of headaches along the way. I cannot remember the names of the two books I read, but they are specifically about divorcing a narcissist and what to expect. My advice is study up and have all of your ducks in a row before proceeding. Also, please find a lawyer who had dealt with a narcissist divorce so they can be a support for you and not conned by your spouse. I am not in favor of divorce, but it came down to realizing that if I did not get a divorce I would eventually have true mental illness or worse. Divorce Care, really helped me as well. Nobody deserves to be abused whether it is physical or mental/emotional.

        • Tad says:

          I’ve been married for 20years and this has been going on for a long time. I thought I m strong enough to handle this but ney it’s killing me inside I can’t live like this anymore it destroying me My marriage seems perfect but I feel I am on my own
          I’m really broken

        • Bridget says:

          If you see this I’m in a marriage 14 years 2gether 20 2 b as babies and I’m lost bridgetastraw@gmail.com

        • I am not a Doctor….But it’s your game too play it the way you see fit. Without hurting anybody by always being nice as yourself knowing what’s right and do that which is right! I fine that when people are playing wrong, you play right, in doing the right things yo ou will fine peace in your life. You may not feel like having sex or anything else either cooking just saying do what makes you happy but always listen to truth and what is right or what’s been and always has worked in life and keep the peace. I find it better to try in help people even when they are wrong and then I have peace. knowing I did the right thing but like the lesson above said It’s okay to disagree tell people how you feel in love so to hope to win them over if you love them take the time to understand where they’re coming from. I hope this makes sense to you. God bless ohhh yes It help tremendously to be saved God knows, Jesus is real and have a real good life.

        • Crystalline says:

          I am so sorry Heleen! Sounds like your husband may have NPD. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There are some great helpful videos on you tube one in particular, Kriss Reeves has helped me so much!!
          Advice- build up your confidence with affirmations, exercise, boldness & courage. Then prepare to divorce
          him- Attend online college to get a degree or a higher degree to earn more money so that you can provide for your children alone ( plus with his child support) start a diary and back date & describe all the hurtful things he did that you can remember. Then get to the present date, and continue Journaling the bad or hurtful thing he is doing. This will help prove your case in divorce court. The judge will know you are telling the truth. So this way he cannot try to get custody of the children, or try to hurt you with a smear campaign by lying on you in court and to others to make you loose credibility and make him look like the victim. Best wishes!!!

        • TAMMY says:

          I am going through this now can u tell me what you are doing and helpful tops

      • Elle says:

        Do it, otherwise this will destroy you. Don’t you think you deserve to be treated better?

      • Hhhh says:

        Wow this is exactly my feeling im 17yrs married to him. Goodluck in yr future. I cand get divorced no money or place to go im in a new country. Good for you to finish this mess in yr life.

        • B says:

          I think that’s why they act like that, because they know we have no were to go. After my boy friend says everything he just walks away and acts mad and like he didn’t hurt me or say anything mean. Like I deserve it. Even about the most mundane situation he will act passive aggressive. It makes me sad, to a point that feel sad for him. Because I know karma will catch up to him one day…

          • Jan Spillman says:

            Hi, B, I am reaching out to you as I just stumbled upon this site searching for info & help w/a passive aggressive, abusive husband. I don’t want to take the $200 Course but wanted to interact on the site, blog, etc. Can you advise me?

        • Nina says:

          I’m in a foreign country too. I think he even abuses that fact, he knows it will be hard for me on my own. I don’t have family left to help me. How can we get in touch and support each other?

      • Ashley Brick says:

        I too am in the same boat unfortunately. He’s built me up and been so loving and then criticized me and withholds information about money and plans change last minute a lot. I’m starting to think my husbands behavior is actually effecting my physical health because mentally I’ve started breaking. I’ve felt like I’ve been going in circles trying to understand and fix the issues and I’m realizing it’s deliberate and now I’m feeling stuck.

        • Sophie says:

          I am in the same situation as you.
          My husband has always been difficult and selfish but it took me 28 yrs to work out that he was the one with the problem..i.e Passive Aggressive.
          Its so hard because he built me up too with compliments etc. But the last 10 years have got worse since the boys left home.
          Family is so important to me..2 sons and a grandson…but they don’t live locally.
          I’ve stayed with him because of this but now its starting to affect me much more..his outbursts and moods and blaming..victim mentality are getting worse.
          It seems the more i challenge him…which i do..the more he ups the response. I don’t want to leave..i love him for some odd reason ..probably because we do have good times..but I’m at the end of my tether and feel i should leave for my own sanity. But as soon as I start to think about leaving I become so anxious mentally and physically that i cannot cope.
          He seems resentful and angry..he punishes me by blowing hot n cold and he never initiates sex..despite complaining that i don’t want it..and yet I’m the only one who initiates??
          We have committed to helping our sons out with deposits for houses and it is really important to both of us ..yet this financial plan is making me feel trapped.
          Also the thought of him having a life without me in it and finding someone else is unbearable and makes me think that i must love him.
          So confused. So hurt 😥

          • A says:

            What happened, Sophie? I have been married 26 years and have the same fears, etc. Did you leave? I’m 60.

        • V7 says:

          I want to help you get out of it, or handle the situation so you don’t fall into the ditch. Your husband is greedy and will never give you equal control over “his” money. The income belongs to both of you, but he is manipulative and he thinks you are weaker and he has to control you not because he loves you, but he controls you for his own benefit so he is the only with the POWER to control how money is spent. By law, if you are married, the spouse has the legal right to make decisions however money should be spent. Why don’t you create a budget that includes your personal care/accessories’ health club membership fees etc.. Present the budget and you both get equal spending power. Put up a separate bank account that only you can access. SPEND for yourself to take care of your emotional and mental and physical health. DO NOT BE AFRAID. Your life is very precious to God, and He gives us the wisdom to know right from wrong. You already know what is wrong and what is right, and you already have the wisdom. Just be brave and be strong. You can do it!

        • Mary Taylor says:

          I finally learned to stop my husband from pushing my buttons. In the 7 years that we have been married he has either Accidentally/ purposely broken, thrown away so many of my things I’ve lost count. This includes jewelry, china, silverware, goblets, cosmetics, you name it. Them looks me straight in the eye and lies about it. Even threw away some of my Yorkie’s doggie ware. His jealousy of me is obvious. I know we can never have a close, loving relationship so I don’t try. I enjoy my family and friends and focus on my life. Know this these folk do not change. Some studies show it might be genetic.

      • Bridge says:

        Same here after 35 years of marriage. I always feel guilty because when around him I’m irritable. He sucks up to me to the point of belng ridiculously clingy (especially in front of others) but disputes everything — from politics to movie choices to where to put something. If I want to see a certain movie, I learned decades ago to say I’m not that interested and vice versa. It sucks to have to be that manupilative because he has to be contradictory. When I’m in a great mood he is either “sick” or suffering from mysterious injuries or brings up ancient problems that offended him. Our adult son who traveled with him recently noticed that once I’m not around his father sounds exactly like me and shares all my tastes and opinions even though in my presence he is argumentative. I’ve spent my entire marriage feeling awful because I’m so testy around him while he’s such a suck-up on the surface but the minute I let my guard down and show affection he loses all interest and becomes an ass. He’s a chef by profession and will make a delicious dinner only to set me off and whine that he made me a nice dinner when I balk and leave the room angrily. It makes me feel like a bitch even though I can’t shake that I’m being manipulated by a passive-aggressive narcissist.

        • Noble says:

          Omg you sound passive aggressive.. Are you even telling him in the moment how you feel? Why would you aggressively storm out the room… How is he saying a bunch of things you dont like.

          • Elyn says:

            In my own experience, when you’ve dealt with a passive aggressive partner for a while, honest expression seems futile. If I try to open a discussion, no matter how I go about it, it stays very one sided. I can’t get him to speak openly, honestly or objectively about anything. Those one sided, often pleading, attempts then start to look like nagging or insecurity on my part. So then, once again, I’m the one with the problem that ends up apologizing for expecting too much. Then later, when the guilt and self-doubt subside, I realize that he showed absolutely no concern for my feelings and gaslighted me again. Or, it turns into a conflict and the tension and dis-ease that follow just make things worse. When you’ve expressed your hurt multiple times without being negative or accusatory and nothing has changed, what’s the point of another exasperating and pointless conversation about it? You literally have to just start protecting yourself and working on holding up your own boundaries. When those conversations start to go the same old way, or sometimes before they even start, you feel defeated and eventually no longer have the strength to face the inevitable disappointment that is sure to follow. When it seems that no amount of rationalization on your part is going to open their eyes to how they are affecting you or make them care enough to change, then you end up finding a way to cope. This isn’t born out of a negative personality trait, but a need to survive and maintain your sanity. And then they give you just enough of a ledge to grab a foothold and think there’s hope, just enough of a hint of change to keep you around. And so it continues…

          • Gwen Lemmon says:

            Dealing with a Passive Agressive person is like shadow boxing with three ghosts. Its like nailing jello
            to a wall.

          • Rosalinda says:

            Why would you express your feelings? They DON’T CARE! Passive Aggressive people Don’t love you, all they want is to control you and power over you!! They want to destroy you!! They are sick,sick,sick people!!

        • Marie says:

          What you said resonates with me so much. I’ve been with my Husband for 18 years and it took me almost that long to pinpoint his behavior and even longer to truly believe it. When it got to the point that I was no longer doubtful, I had already been emotionally destroyed. Anyway, like your Husband, mine loves to play the victim and really brings out the melodramatic show on days that I was feeling good and positive. It’s like he really did not want to be happy and was striving to bring me down with him. And he did. Wasted years of being a young wife and mother slowly going crazy, feeling bad about myself, trying to do anything to make things better and pleading with him to communicate with me.

          • linz says:

            Yes! Pleading for communication which results in less communication. And then realized it was all on purpose. It took me twenty years to realize IT WAS ON PURPOSE. Now I understand why I never felt settled in my marriage. Never realized the amount of stress involved until I had a chance to look back.

          • DBell says:

            I totally get you and I’m living the same way with my ocd/pass-aggressive husband!

          • Maria E says:

            I am in the same situation. How did you resolve it .

        • Marie says:

          Whoa. Just read the very end of your comment after I paused to reply…MY Husband is a CHEF, too! What a coincidence.

      • Lyp says:

        I’m in the same situation. My husband has asked me several times for a divorce. He does not want to be the bad guy to initiate the process but keeps on doing things to provoke me. I’m almost at wits end now. Wondering would a psychologist be able to help ?

        • Kerri says:

          ‘Yes yes yes! You need to learn to how to protect yourself. A psychologist will arm you with strategies to use.
          I’m in the same boat here. I am not falling for his tactics here, I’m the good guy and it’s staying that way. I’m not walking away from a marriage of nearly 30 years, and not own a home. I’ve learned to not react. You could say I’m being somewhat PA, but not to the extent my husband is. I pick my battles. I no longer make excuses for his behaviour. I call him out on his behavior, in a very passive way, it annoys the shell out of him, but he won’t say so. This tends to bring him back to earth again until the next time. Him wanting to be single again is to avoid discussing personal complications arising from his health issues, which are to totally fixable.

          • A says:

            Kerri you give me such hope! I too have been working with a therapist since he told me he was going to divorce me if I did not see a therapist since I was driving him to his wits end because of MY issues from MY childhood (which is code for my reactions to his horrible behavior). I have not been able to understand my anger, either over the last 26 years and he always acts like a prince in front of our boys. This past year he cut me out of all her financial information on her iPad and on his phone And would not say a word for three weeks in order to drive me into such fear that I would go to a counseling session with him about all of my issues which were driving him crazy. Remember “my issues” Is code for my reaction to his passive aggressive behavior and unwillingness to share any of his power at all in this marriage.( I’ve had no voice at all over my future and finances and we are living in a shed when he makes $200,000 a year. He spends only on what he wants and tells me that I am a wicked cover this woman for desiring to have a house and not being satisfied with what the Lord has Provided. I should be submitting and following.) He also seems to be doing his best to drive me to divorce him since we are Christians and he does not want to lose face yet he thinks he is the worlds ultimate super Christian and we have two sons that he cares what they think. So I have been like heck yeah and have been driving up the bill with A therapist who has really taught me to work magic with controlling our confrontations and making him the one who is getting out of control LOL. It is a rich and humorous thing to see! She is expensive but WOW is she worth it! And besides he is paying for it🥳! He has demanded that I talk to Her!
            I recently found a relationship coach which is different from a therapist because they specialize in telling you exactly how to approach a guy like this and get him running in circles and cooperate before he knows it. Coach Jack Ito. Look him up and his book, “What to do when he won’t change saving your marriage or relationship When he is angry selfish unhappy or avoids you” Is a real eye-opener and a good how to book.
            He is expensive too but hubby says I need all I can get😉😂

        • Audra says:

          Elyn reading your response (post) damn near had me in tears. It hit home. I never knew what was going on with my husband until I stumbled upon this article. My husband doesn’t yell or try to gaslight me however he shows little to no emotion. At one point he seemed angry all the time for no reason. Whatever he does or doesn’t do is daunting and exhausting for me. He’s withdrawn 75% of the time. I’ve been dealing with this for 14 years and recently completely fell apart a few days ago because of lack of communication and affection. I want to stay married to my husband but it may end up killing me in the end. Until this point I had been doing everything in my power to be the perfect wife and mother. Keeping him happy with a clean home, hot meals and offering sex, buying him gifts and not nagging him. Nothing seem to break him or work . Last night I had an epiphany that he didn’t’ want to be loved or if he did, not how I love him. I decided about a week ago to see a therapist by myself to get a grip on my emotions and start the healing process as well as come to terms with my marriage. I”m hopeful but realistic at the same time. I have to save myself from further damage.

          • Ellen says:

            Your husband sounds a lot like mine. We’ve been married for 23 years. I’m sad, I’m lonely, I gave up several years ago trying to “communicate ” or discuss our relationship issues. He is a good man that had a very abusive childhood, but will not open up emotionally. I hope you discover what is best and healthy for you. Good luck

          • Tippy says:

            This is my husband too. No emotion for me if I’m crying or angry. I only get attention from him my mood mirrors his. He gets mad about things but won’t tell me what I’ve done but at the same time refuses to speak to me and avoids me if possible. No matter how I ask he won’t tell me what I’ve done. He says telling me will do no good. And he doesn’t seem to care how hurt I am.

          • A says:

            My husband is like Mr. Spock. It is heartbreaking for me, but I would not like to be him. He doesn’t enjoy anything really. Except maybe controlling others. And that is sick. Realizing that they been side there is a deeply wounded person who is so terrified of rejection that they can’t connect with others helps bring compassion. I am 60 and he is sure to leave me penniless if I divorce, so I am learning to see him as God does, pity him, and make a life for myself in spite of him.

        • V7 says:

          What you need is a friend who will stick with you until the end. One loyal friend goes a long way, through thick and thin. Seeing a Psychologist is a waste of money and could backfire at you and make you look like the one who is “crazy” and needs help (not your ‘bad’ husband). Your husband knows he has a lot of power on you. You need to gain friends and knowledge on how to be able to LIVE Independently without relying on your husband. He could “kill you” by mental cruelty. Some women get brain aneurism from stressful relationships. Not all mental health professionals take good positive notes about their clients. And these notes could be used in court hearings.

        • Jeanette says:

          No , Been there done it no point useless they suggest marriage guidance it’s not the marriage they have a mental problem and said to me oh your ok you seem too talk to people about your feelings it’s him who needs to admit he’s got behaviour problems OR DEPRESSION , BI POLOR . I am the one going nuts now through his behaviour and it’s affecting my health now and not fair he’s seeing a psychologist for 8 month she still not come up with a answer to his problems yet been underlining from his child hood . Have IBS regular says it’s me not him .Been married 40 yrs together 47 yrs now we are at a time in life got a lot to live for he’s wrecking both are dreams as up to 15 yrs ago life was good .😢🤯

      • Consuela says:

        I can truly relate to you. My husband Comes from a family of passive aggressive traits. The family struggles with being true to themselves all the time. Right now I’m so agitated with my husband. He struggles with taking ownership and will often fabricate challenging situations. It leaves you feeling even more frustrated.

      • Elcee says:

        I had nearly the same experience but I was very responsive to the hurt, which made me hurt worse. I did get a divorce and the relief was immense. Such a sad situation, but the problems were his and when I realized that the only way to solve the problems was for him to do it, it became impossible to continue the marriage.

      • Kim says:

        I am there with you sounds like my husband

      • Elizabeth Ann Jones says:

        I tool have just learned my husband if 20 yrs next month is passive Agressive. I have tried everything to be a Good Wife and Partner things seem to be getting Worse. He abandoned me a week ago or so and I have not seen or heard from him since. I can only think that their is No Hope of Salvaging my marriage to many betraylels but how do I now move on I am 56 yrs old and I look everyday of it.

        • Tammy Thompson says:

          Hello ,I am 57 yrs old married a wonderful man within less tha 60 days of our marriage of 4 yrs now he told me he was no longer attracted to me he was infatuated with a Co Worker and wonder what it would be like to have sex with her
          He was blunt about the fact her ass turned him on while I sat in tears from that day forward I have watched a passive aggressive man steal all I ever was it continues and I keep falling apart becoming weaker I need advise before I mentally crash

      • Bb says:

        Can we all set up a Group to talk about this? I’m in the same situation except 13 years. I’m desperate to get out .

        • Courtney says:

          Out of curiosity does anyone have any success stories of working with your passive aggressive partner through counseling? Many of the articles and books suggest strategies of trying to make the relationship work. Has it worked for anyone?
          The best thing I have read is if you want a relationship to work with passive aggressive partner keep your expectations low and become a mind reader. I laughed so hard.
          My ex actually said I he shouldn’t have to tell me what he is feeling because like a human kNows what his dog needs I too should be able to recognize what he needs and what he is feeling. WHAT!

          • Sophie says:

            Yes i too would like to hear people’s success stories.
            I feel so well read on the subject and have had some good successes but unfortunately it seems that the more i challenge him the more he ups the anti.

          • Dally says:

            HAHAHAAHAH …………….pardon my laughter, but that point about ‘he shouldn’t have to tell me what he is feeling because like a human knows what his dog needs I too should be able to recognize what he needs and what he is feeling’ I mean WTF! I just wonder why we have to pay the prize of asking for simple communication and affection? my boyfriend just decided to shut me out after i asked him about going silent for more than 2 days without checking up on me, considering I’m the one who always initiates conversations between us. he got defensive, saying why dint i think about calling him first. then i told him communication is 2 way, communication=clarity=commitment, and that if we dont have communication then we have nothing, that is if we BOTH want a committed relationship. he went silent, its been a week now, still no word, not even an accidental emoji! then i started doubting myself, did i come on too strong? i have concluded that i wont settle for less, i need communication in my life! and i wont apologize for it.

          • Alexis says:

            Thanks for pointing out that there really is no good way to deal with this type of person. That advice about low expectations and being a mind reader made me laugh, too!

            I’m married 14 years and just realizing that this on-going anxiety and depression are not going to go away as long as I stay with him. He will never admit he has a problem. It would crush him to do so. I’ve stayed for a long time because we have children, but at this point, I think the tension in the household is beginning to affect them. Also, I know he will fight me tooth and nail for what he privately views as “his” money.

            Like most of you, he says and does the right things when others are watching, and sometimes when they are not, but his words ring hollow to my ears. There is no Truth to back them up. He grew up with immature parents, an emotionally abusive father (though he would never admit anything bad about him), and a great injustice – his twin brother bullied him for years. So now, he is a man who feels powerless and has low self-esteem. Like many of you have said, he rarely lies outright. He usually lies by omission. If I ask him directly, everything is “fine” but later that hour/day/week something of mine will get broken or “accidentally” thrown away – a lamp, a special knick knack, my car – yes, he totaled my beloved VW. All by accident. Meanwhile, in almost 16 years together, I’ve never known him to break anything of his. He’s not clumsy in any other way.

            I’m actually the one who doesn’t want to have sex with him – I don’t like him or trust him. Then he pouts/is sullen/angry because he’s not getting sex. He used to try to have sex with me when I was asleep, then he’d claim he was “sleep walking” so to speak.

            I kept thinking something was wrong with me or that I am a “bad wife” for not wanting to be loving or affectionate towards my husband, but that’s just manipulation brought on by his moody behavior. When someone is moody like that, creating tension in the household for everyone else, it’s immature and it’s “hostage-taking”.

            I’m realizing now that there is no changing this marriage for the better, nor do I want to, and that’s okay. I don’t have to be a Good Wifey. And that’s the right choice for me and my kids. Thanks everyone for posting! It’s helping me to sort this situation out – it’s so overt and confusing it can be hard to put your finger on the problem exactly.

        • Audra says:


          I’m interested in starting a group

          • Arden says:

            I realized over the weekend that my husband of 19 years is passive aggressive. I am in shock. I now see how he has used me, taken from me, and resented me during our entire marriage. I would like to be in a support group too. We have a son who had autism, which makes the idea of getting divorced hard. I was sexually abused by my father and physically abused by my mother. I have been through years of counseling. I have been physically ill for the past year due to the abuse from my husband and other stressors.

        • Laura says:

          Me I want into this group chat please It’s been a tough 15 years.

          • Tippy says:

            I need a group too. You all seem to be telling my story and until I found this article, I thought what I was experiencing was unique to the world and that no one would ever understand by life. I also thought that anyone I asked for help would just tell me to leave him. So I’m interested in success stories too.

      • Courtney says:

        My boyfriend and I of 7 years just officially broke up. I knew he was passive aggressive but really didn’t understand the dynamic that he brought into our relationship. We broke up multiple times over those 7 years because he would go from being this super sweet amazing man to a man that would drive me nuts because of his cycles of inappropriate behavior. He found me at a very difficult time in my life. He seemed so amazing. With help from him I believed that his outbursts were a result of me being damaged from a previous relationship.
        Once I finally opened myself up emotionally to this person and had him move in with me to start our life together I quickly found out his behavior was 100 percent all him. The more I gave to the relationship the worse he became. It was like I was being punished for who knows what. He would break plans with me, show up late or not at all, deny affection, and even stopped having sex with me. It was mind blowing. He fully admitted to being passive aggressive and even seemed proud of the fact that he was like his mother. He threatened to move out of the house but never did. I finally kicked him out because he stated that I was the cause of his behavior and that he needed to find his soulmate. He made me the monster and acted like he had done nothing wrong. I’m not sure if he cheated on me or created a scenario to make it look like he was so cheating so that I would kick him out of the house. Again, he was the victim and I was the angry, crazy, and controlling partner. I have read articles and books that describe life with a passive aggressive partner. It was like these materials were written about my ex. It was very eye opening and helped me realize that I was not the problem. The man had an amazing girlfriend and threw it all away. I’m blessed he is gone and I’m thankful we didn’t get married.

      • Kay says:

        I’m in the same situation. I’ve been married for almost 16 years to a passive aggressive man. I always knew there was something “off” about the way he behaved when I was trying to discuss or resolve issues the way a normal married couple would have. But I couldn’t figure it out other than to just admit that my husband was just a large child. But 3 years ago he got mad at me for something and told me that we were never going to have sex again. Ever. I was devastated! Why would my “loving husband” say something so horrible to me? That’s when I googled “what does it mean when your part we withholds sex?” I read the websites that popped up about passive aggression and every checklist for passive aggressive behavior described my husband’s behavior with terrifying accuracy. A few days later when I confronted him and made him tell me why he would say something so hurtful he said, “I had to get your attention somehow”. Being able to put a name to his behavior helped me to learn why he’s like that and a little bit about how to deal with him. But I won’t lie: being married to him is exhausting. I’d probably seriously consider divorce if it weren’t for our children. He is a good dad and our 2 children adore their dad. We are in marriage counseling (something we should have done years ago), and we seem to be making some progress. I have hope, but there are days that I feel battered and broken. But I know I’m not crazy and just keep doing all I can to learn how to deal with him. I don’t want to break up my family and I don’t really want divorce, I just wish he was a better man. But really, I just wish his parents had done a better job because they’re the reason my husband can’t express himself in a healthy way.

        • Jane says:

          Kay, same here, I blame my husbands Mother as to why he is like he is, the more I read about it the less I feel like it’s me that’s the problem. He is very hard work at times. The thing that gets me is that the only other person who has mentioned his behaviour as passive aggressive is my oldest son, his step son who was the one that after a comment one day about him being passive aggressive I googled it and it’s spot on! But everyone else thinks he’s a great guy , it’s like he as fooled everyone, It’s so frustrating, I want to leave

          • Marie says:

            It was heartbreaking when my 8 year old Daughter said to me one day “ You know, Daddy is a lot different when you’re not around”. I asked how he was different. She told me that when it was just him and her that he was funny and relaxed and not pouty all the time. It’s so hard when they have everyone fooled that they are so great of a person and make it seem like you are the cruel one. Have us believing it ourselves!

          • Michelle Revaluation says:

            Omg Jane! Same he has the entire world fooled except me his mother and kids.

        • Andy says:

          It seems I am in the same situation.My wife of 3years comes from an aggressive family where everyone falls out or are jealous of each other.
          My wife is so unloving,I do everything for her,decorate the home to her tastes,new car,holidays etc and money every month to compensate her working full time.
          Unfortunately it’s her house and not mine so have nowhere to go.
          She’s always putting me down shouting and swearing then says I’m the one thats always argumentative and puts her down.
          Outside she is this perfect woman that’s always helpful,kind and considerate and makes out she’s the perfect wife.
          Can’t even bring myself to tell my parents about her.
          Started to think it’s me as she keeps saying that my ex-wife obviously wasn’t happy else she wouldn’t have cheated.
          Don’t know which way to turn if I’m honest

        • Vanessa says:

          The same thing happened to me. I heard a podcast about passive aggressive people and it was an exact description of my husband and partner of 30 years. He had been treating me that way since high school. The thing I eventually learned is that even though he said all the right things like “I love you”, “I appreciate you” , etc., virtually all of his behavior showed the exact opposite. I realized that deep down he did not care at all about my feelings or my happiness. His passive aggressive behavior monopolized all of my time and energy until I felt there was nothing left of myself. I realized he is a very selfish person and tries to manipulate and control others through criticism, blaming, whining, baiting, hypochondria, subterfuge, and the list goes on. And he is not capable of sympathy or empathy (another disorder that some people have, a friend told me), so cannot understand the damage he is doing to others.
          I’m not advocating divorce, but I felt he was never going to change, and I had so much anger toward him for treating me that way for 30 years that I did divorce him. It worked for me and I finally have some peace and happiness in my life. We have 2 teenage kids and they are doing OK. I still have to deal with him because of the kids, but I have learned to treat him like a business associate, or sometimes like a child who just doesn’t understand.
          I’m glad I now recognize the traits of passive aggressives, because as I meet new people, I can spot them. I also made a mental list of the traits I am looking for in a person, like kindness, helpfulness, generosity, openness, genuine concern for my thoughts, ideas and happiness, and ability to communicate – all the things my husband was missing. I meet nice people with these traits all the time, and it gives me hope that I’ll eventually find a new partner who will fit the bill.

          • V7 says:

            Good for you! I am glad to hear you realized that he is toxic to your soul.

          • S.J says:

            Hi Vanessa, I am happy for you. Bear in mind that the majority of toxic ppl never show their true self until you have committed and
            entangled your lives with theirs. If there is an after , after my husband, I will never make it hard to leave. They want this type of dependency .

        • Marie says:

          You don’t have to respond if it’s too personal, but I am curious about how his parents treated him to make him behave this way. I’ve always wondered about the why/how/when my Husband took on this behavior. I figure it comes from his upbringing but I don’t know a lot about the dynamics of his childhood and he won’t talk about it other than to say it was fine.

      • C says:

        Exactly!! It’s isolating, EVERYTHING IS A BATTLE, a surprise, continued STRESS Which provides zero peace. I long for peace and comfort- I know he is loving and compassionate?? ❤️ heartbreaking

      • Connie says:

        I have seen signs and feel as if I were to lieve his life tomorrow he wouldn’t even care. Is that how you feel?

      • Becky supera says:

        I can really relate about the nice guy and I want to validate the pain you are experiencing, since I have this same pain. I have recently researched the silent treatment after Thanksgiving when he gave the silent treatment all day and part of the night. I finally asked him what was going on and he acted very surprised. Then he exploded with rage at me which really scared me. We just got married last September, 3 months ago. I have read a lot about passive aggressive behavior the past 2 weeks and I have decided divorce is the way to go I am very heart broken. I keep a journal so I looked back over the last year and a half and I see all kinds of red flags now. I thought of couples therapy but I dont think I want to go there now.

      • Sasha Hanson says:

        This is my exact situation right now. I have always brushed it off. My husband has been harboring resentment towards me for 7 years and tries to convince himself that he is over it but every couple of months he does something underhanded in hope’s that it will hurt or destroy me. I feel as though he is trying to exact revenge for my past mistakes by doing hurtful things and I excuse it because he has a bug heart and is a nice person who makes unhealthy decisions. But my peace and mental health are at jeopardy and i have begun separation proceedings. He needs help and I need to heal from all the pain he has caused over the years.

        • V7 says:

          If you have a stable job, or close family you can live with, I would recommend that you leave your husband immediately. You will discover that life will be a lot lighter, and you can see your future better, and work towards pursuing happiness without a jerk pulling you down. YOLO. You Only Live Once. Make sure you have emotional support like parents or close relatives. Then you will be able to navigate and control your life better. You will survive! And thank yourself later you did the right thing and stopped the abusive patterns. Never Lose your mind over a jerk. Take good care of your body and protect your mind. Spend the money – treat yourself to a nice salon. Don’t be a martyr. You must be strong, either you fight back and control him, or level up! If you cannot level up, then you need to get out, because it’s a losing game where he is the only winning all the time.

      • V7 says:

        If you have a stable job, or close family you can live with, I would recommend that you leave your husband immediately. You will discover that life will be a lot lighter, and you can see your future better, and work towards pursuing happiness without a jerk pulling you down. YOLO. You Only Live Once. Make sure you have emotional support like parents or close relatives. Then you will be able to navigate and control your life better. You will survive! And thank yourself later you did the right thing and stopped the abusive patterns. Never Lose your mind over a jerk. Take good care of your body and protect your mind. Spend the money – treat yourself to a nice salon. Don’t be a martyr. You must be strong, either you fight back and control him, or level up! If you cannot level up, then you need to get out, because it’s a losing game where he is the only winning all the time.

      • Rach says:

        I’m dealing with this and have been with my husband for 12 years. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m always punished for anything I do that he doesn’t like. Last year I wanted to go to the pub the day before my birthday with a girlfriend and he was invited but he didn’t want to go. He was so cold when I left even though I was only having a couple of drinks because I had to drive home. I was 1 hour late leaving because there was a big thunderstorm (in the past he has tried to stop me going out while there was a thunderstorm because it isn’t safe) and when he called to find out why I wasn’t home (by 7pm) I tried to tell him about the storm and he just yelled and said I should be home because it’s a school night for our kids and hung up on me. When I got home and tried to explain I was met with the cold shoulder which carried on into my birthday the next day. I had the worse birthday even though I had lunch with two of my closest girlfriends. I was in tears and couldn’t understand why I was being treated so unfairly just for being an hour late home. I now realise it wasn’t about me being late, it was about me going to the pub in the first place. He isn’t very social and doesn’t want to make an effort to do things with certain friends of mine. I’ve just had yet another incident where we had an argument two days ago and I was ignored for well over 24 hours and talked down to. This morning another argument ensued and when I left so called a girlfriend who was nearby and then I got a random call from my husband saying, “let’s not fight”, and so I said okay, but I didn’t want to go straight home because I needed to be with my friend and talk out my feeling with her. I texted him after an hour and told him what I was doing and when I got home he was gone and would answer my calls and texts and now is being cold once again. It’s eating away at my love for him and I don’t know how much more I can take.

      • emma says:

        wow thank you for sharing – I have also felt like I was going crazy. things seemed one way and then another until i became very anxious on a day to day basis without realising why. My husband seemed so ‘nice’ but I could never pinpoint why i didn’t feel loved and I never felt secure. Now I can see this pattern it is a true revelation.

      • Ramon says:

        it could be because you are the one that’s Angry and treating him with anger a lot. Many women can be abusive and angry and have a unempathetic and uncaring and vulgar attitude towards men (especially with PMS happens but at other times too). That can make the man seem powerless but hurt. If you stay angry at him you must have hurt his feelings by yelling at him and exploding on him. If that happens you must apologize and make things right. Otherwise he feels as if you don’t care about him or other people.

      • Karen says:

        I’ve been living with this for 44 years. My anxiety is at it’s limit. I just reached out to a counselor. Hope she responds. He can’t handle being the “ bad guy” in a disagreement. It can never be his fault. I walk on those “eggshells” all the time,
        Ike I need to take his pulse before I talk. This is so wrong and unhealthy.

      • Hello Veronica, I hear you loud & clear.
        If the passive-aggressive spouse won’t hear you out, doesn’t try to understand just a little of what it’s like from your side & won’t agree to seek marriage counseling with you, then seek it for yourself so you won’t feel angry or bitter all the time. Learn some skills from the counselor on how to cope day by day with you P-A husband, and really work it from your part, so if you do decide to divorce him, you can hold your head up high afterwards, to say I gave it my best shot!
        Personally, I believe all men are P-A & after the bloom is off the rose for them, we don’t matter much to them anymore & now begins the terrible part of living with them & they don’t have a clue. And from experience, their behavior gets worse the older they get! So sorry to hear of your pain & frustrations. We become under appreciated & they hear us less & less, and they are OK with that!
        There is no point in staying if there is no recognition on their part, & they continually blame You for their troubles.
        Get out as soon as you can & Don’t Look back.

      • Kits says:

        I am in the same exact boat right now. How did it turn out for you? Did you end up working out the solution to problems or went ahead with a divorce?

      • Jane says:

        You may also want to look into NPD, it took me 12 years but I’m just learning g what that is and it is so my boyfriend and I thought it was me for the longest time until I learned about gaslighting etc. good luck they are so hard to deal with and can be very abusive but still twist it and make it your fault. I’m still in shock that this is what he is and didn’t know it.

      • lisa says:

        I totally feel the same way. I’m currently dealing with the same thing for almost the same amount of time. Let us all find some peace and love

      • Anyone says:

        How about never being there for your victories?
        How about never being there for your defeats as necessary moral support?
        How about never being made a priority?
        How about deliberately doing things that they know irritate you, like being a deliberate slob, chewing with their mouth open, talking too low to be effectively heard (consistently) = making you persistently ask what what what say what? So aggravating. How about deliberately ignoring the partner for fun? You don’t like oreos, so they get you chocolate covered oreos for valentines day!! ?
        At the core they are a**holes. It’s a game to them devising ways to subversively and covertly hurt you.
        They claim that they want to spend time with you then during the outing, they ignore you essentially completely and they’re busy scrolling through their phone? Or they spend the whole time texting with their current favorite person of the moment?
        How about they never apologize for being an a selfish, self centered, inconsiderate asshole? Worse, they flip the script, blame shift, play the victim (DARVO) and put you on a guilt trip with all the trimmings?
        Caught in a lie, they deny deny deny and claim that you’re crazy?
        This is getting into narcissistic behavior but are the two not attached at the hip?

      • Jeff says:

        I was married for 15 years to my wife of whom I loved with all my heart I just ran across this article and it explains why we were divorced now I never knew I was a passive aggressive person I knew I was aggressive and I knew I had my problems with my faults but I never knew to the extent that I had it and I look back on it and I wish my wife just would have spoke to me about it calmly when I wasn’t in a bad mood or something and just explained her viewpoint and what it took 10 times it might have took us 10 times to get through but I would have gotten it so please don’t give up on your old man just come at him with a funny this the way it is and tell him tell him how you act and cuz I’m sure he doesn’t know it and is the biggest regret of my life not realizing my fault at the time I would have done anything to change it now but it’s too late so just take the time to talk to him tell him

      • Elizabeth says:

        Amen sister. I feel your pain. The way in which I was betrayed( through sabatoge) left me traumatized. I tried committing suicide not once…but twice. AND if you have a large family and sacrificed education to be married leaves you desperate. (speaking for myself)
        Trust your gut instinct. That is what I have had o start doing. It’s like my original reason for NOT wanting to get married came true. It just sucks.
        I’m sorry you have had to deal with such bad behavior.
        Happy Easter

      • Michelle Revaluation says:

        This is my life. I’ve read so many different articles but this has been the most helpful article I’ve ever read.

    • Courtney says:

      Reading everyone’s stories with their spouses that are passive aggressive sounds all to familiar and I’m glad I found this page and read over so many individuals stories. I dated and almost married a passive aggressive partner. He is fully aware that he is passive aggressive but still doesn’t fully recognize the damage it has done. I was having suicidal thoughts after our recent break up. He blamed me for his passive aggressive behavior and stated he treated me poorly because I never met his needs and I Stayed made him miserable. I have busted my butt for that man and still he would criticize everything I would do and would say it wasn’t enough. He criticized gifts that I gave him, he would go into cycles of being very loving And then with a flip of a switch he would ignore me, leave me at home and say I wasn’t allowed to go out with him and his family, and would cut off affection and sex. I would make plans for us to go on trips together and he would get mad because he felt we always did what I wanted. I always asked him what he would want to do and where he would want to go but he could never come up with any options leaving me to make a decision which would then lead to him saying I’m controlling (classic passive aggressive behavior). The man told me I was controlling and demanding when he himself was the one causing the damage. He held grudges against me if I didn’t do what he wanted and for years he would keep bringing up old arguments that I thought we should have moved past. The man would yell at me if I cleaned his dishes. Never a thank you but I messed up his life by washing two dishes.
      We went to counseling and in the end he ended the relationship stating he was going to find the person that made him happy because I never did. I read an article on Is Your Partner Passive aggressive in psychology today. Com. The article was like reading a description about my partner and is actually what made me realize that the problem is him and that there was nothing that I could have done to make him happy because he is not fully aware of what his disorder brings into a relationship. I have continued to work with the same therapist that worked with us as a couple. I’m great full that the therapist met him because she was able to witness his behavior and she has really helped during this process to help me truly recognize that the trauma he went through as a child is the reason for his behavior and that it is in no way my fault. She pointed out that these individuals can be abusers. My partner emotional abused me for years. I let him make me feel like I was worthless and not a good partner. He was the problem and I hope the rest of you out there that are going through this can stay strong.

    • Chyrl says:

      Me too. Of the 47 year marriage the passive-aggressive habits started after he was found out again! of infidelity, which was into 15 year marriage. He started accosting physically when working out of state prior to the confronting re: another girlfriend. He is trying his best to take every good thing away from me. Jealousy.

    • josh says:

      My wife is this way. She has kicked doors in and even made a fake story to the police and got a restraining order because i found out that she lied and it absolutely imploded her world. ai sent w video of her head butting me and punching me to my parents who think she is an absolute angel and now im facing charges for pmfa child endangerment and unlawful restraint. Passive aggressive should honestly be re-labeled *EVIL
      She literally won’t admit to ANYTHING and if she knows she is caught she admits it and then later WON’T ADMIT SHE ADMITTED IT

      • Jane Hester says:

        Sounds more like a narcissistic personality disorder or sociopath. They love to turn your own family against you. They are insane!

    • barb morgan says:

      The big question is why stay. We are so damaged and tripped in to it that we have a sick thought of he will change or I can fix this. As my mother said “All you need is your hat and your purse”. This was years ago. But if you are not healthy no one in your family is.

      • Michelle Revaluation says:

        Too late in life. Too many restarts at this point. But life is pretty miserable. Now that I recognize what it is I have definitely built those boundaries and do not give as much as I used too.

  • Laura Layton says:

    The first time I looked my husband in the eye & asked nonchalantly, “how long are you planning to give me the silent treatment” -instead of tip toeing around him- he was flummoxed… Since then, I’ve learned to entrust him to Jesus which allows me to keep my peace & feel sad for him instead of being hurt… Reacting in peace & love (which, by the way, speaks truth & does not delight in evil) instead of fear has removed the power from many of his passive aggressive behaviors (& he uses them much less!)… Deep down, we’re all still little kids trying to get our needs met from others instead of from Christ – the only One who really can!

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks Laura, great advice!

    • Denise says:

      Thank you Laura! Yes, I had to do the same to my husband… Now trying to react regularly in peace and love always with him (oh my, it is hard sometimes)

    • Jimmy fidler says:

      Good words Laura!

    • Derlane chaco says:

      True True its really hard when you try too do good and put your trust in the Lord my husband very bad dont know how long this will come too am end i love him deeply and whished him no harm put love and support but inside deep dwon somethings got a greep on him i am afraid too get too the point that me and the kids have too live again and start all over again ?

    • Kim says:

      Best advice!

    • Romona says:

      Laura I think you hit the nail on the head there and it’s how I see it too. The more I ignore my husbands passive aggression the more he seems to want to behave and act appropriately. Christ has given me a real peace in this situation altho not perfect or what I’d choose I seem to be at peace with it and that too seems to just rattle Mr. Passive Aggressive

      • Phyllis says:

        So true Im dealing with same situation. Only the Lord gives true peace and when we rely on others they will always let us down. My spouse does love me I know and he has his issues but so do I. I just try to ignore his comments and when I do it does seem to make things easier. Sometimes he will even appologize when I do but not all the time. Im praying for him to allow the Lord to do a work in his attitude.

    • Heather says:

      Wonderfully stated.

      • Diane says:

        It’s funny you talk about giving it up to the Lord. I feel that’s all I can do amy more. There are times he doesn’t talk to me for weeks… and it is very painful. He can be very demeaning and make me feel very small. When my son came home my husband was like normal. I try to ignore him and talk normal but when he doesn’t answer or says something sassy, well… it’s NOT EASY!! And to try to figure out what started it all is impossible! To try to talk about it is a mess. I just pray for him and myself.

        • JoAnn says:

          Diane: You are telling my story exactly. You are not alone, although that offers little comfort, I know.

        • ELIZE says:

          My husband is a Pastor. So i found it very hard to accept the fact that he could treat me in this terrible way. Ignoring me, not greeting me, the unending silent treatment, ignoring my messages and emails, and never shows any gratitude for anything I do, sometimes not even eating the food I’ve prepared? Seems as if he orchestrates arguments on a regular basis. He blames me and tells me that I am nasty to him, which is not true. And yes, he needs help. But how do I ask for help at the church where people seem to value him kind of, and will never believe that he can be so nasty to me at times. This behaviour is very hurtful and Ive thought of getting out of this marraige. How can he preach to others? I think he needs psychological help, but he thinks he’s just fine. Its very frustrating when hes like thus because he flatly ignores me stay away the whole day until very late and i am left worrying about him. At times I am very lonely.

          • Michelle says:

            Elize- You are in a very tricky situation with your husband being a pastor. Pastors are held to a higher standard. Sadly, I have heard this is common among pastors. You need to reach out to someone you trust or find a counselor to help you individually and then hopefully with your husband. I knew a woman who’s husband was a mission pastor and a narcissist (this sounds more like your husband). A group of men from the church brought him to a hotel for a number of days to deal with this. The woman and her children were taken to a safe home to rest and work on things with her husband separately for a time. My heart goes out to you. Things may seem impossible, but God is big and able. He is with you and wants you to be safe in mind and spirit.

          • Lisa Dixon says:

            You must understand it’s not you. Reading your post sounds like my life. Everyone thinks that it’s me all the time and James does nothing wrong. I’m the bad one not the victim. I have dealt with this for twenty five years.

            It’s time for me to let go. I must be honest that I been like this for so long. I am a little afraid.

            Stay strong

          • Les Ismor says:

            His being a Pastor may be the key. No doubt his self esteem issues will never let him be seen by his congregation the way he truly is. On the other hand, the risk that they will might put enough fear into him to accept that he needs help. In this, you might find aid from his superiors in the church.

            You will probably need to change your attitude towards him to do this. You indicate that you worry about him when he is out late. Why? You should question him as to where he has been, and let him know that a night owl Pastor…perhaps on the prowl does not build up the church community. His reaction will probably be to claim you are threatening him. if so simply stare at him a moment then point out that you are not the only one who can see he is out late and that rather than threatening you are protecting both your lifestyles and reputations. Give that a moment then tell him, because you don’t know what he’s doing out late you will not lie to cover for him.
            …and don’t.

            Stop covering for him. You’re not being unfaithful or unsupportive by not enabling. The people here who are talking about peace from not playing along anymore are correct. I struggled with how to keep my vows despite catching my wife in an affair. I will not divorce, that is one of my boundaries; a boundary I initially thought really hamstrung me. However I now see my boundaries as the strength that keeps me from the chaos of no boundaries and self centerdness. I’m far from perfect, the affair brought out things that I saw I had to work on in myself and I have been by becoming closer to my faith and God. Now, out of that I have begun to work on and experience living in the present. Worry about past and future actions unsettles us. I was struggling with how to be present with her while at the same time protect myself…how can one practice presence without being an idiot when they know there are patterns of behavior around them? Basically a human being can’t, not alone. With God you are not alone. You don’t ‘disengage’ as you would to try to gain power over him. You disengage yourself from the games, not from the person you love. You hand the games off to God and remain ready to do what he asks from you to help…but know that God gives your husband the free will to reject his grace and continue as he is. Whatever is lacking in your husband to push him to behave this way can only be found through God’s grace and what you need can only be found that way too. You need to let go of your belief that YOU can change him; focusing on that should keep you busy enough that you can stop worrying about him.

          • Deb says:

            My husband is the father / husband of the year (in outsider’s eyes) which I totally agree. It is a totally opposite when the door is close. You need to learn how to cope with it and deal with it before you totally break down.

          • GG says:

            You may be dealing with a Passive aggresive covert narcissist…look it up on the internet.

        • Emily says:

          This is deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeply TRUE. Its IMPOSSIBLE to try to explain.

    • Tim says:

      I tonight got into a fight with my wife who is passive aggressive and I still don’t know how to deal with it. I walked away crying because I don’t feel like she has my best interest in mind. I prayed and I feel peace now. But I am constantly scared fir the next episode. She is unwilling to seek help and has no problem telling me I’m the problem. I don’t know what to do anymore.

      • Lynne Sczruba says:

        I relate to your words so much Tim. This is a 2nd marriage. While my first of 30 years dealt with some p.a. behaviour we both grew through it. The marriage ended when his career pressured broke him. Now 17 years in 2nd I am so weary. He appealed on basis of our shared faith. But no matter how I try to deal with his simmering resentment nothing changes. Any attempt at communication or seeking help will trigger a vicious attack. I am putting it in God’s hands & have determined to protect myself better. I care about him but the cost is too high. God sacrificed his son for us. He does not call his children to sacrifice themselves for each other in ungodly ways.

      • Connie says:

        I feel the same way. I am starting to think its me and i am the ones with issues. But what i know is that i will get help becssue it makes me mad that i feel this way about my self. I am so confused. I

        • Moon says:

          Off course you are confused, they will make you think that you’re crazy. It is a control thing.
          Don’t fall for it, say very little.
          Only their words, ideas, plans…count. Be strong, I just starting figuring it out myself, it is not easy.

          • Tanya says:

            Great advice!!! I’m living this terror with my spouse!!! He candidly withhold sex!! He’s pleased when I show anger towards him about it. I used to think I was the problem that it was me!! But I feel relieved to know it’s not!! He has a serious problem!!

          • Lisa Dixon says:

            I’m about to cry..
            Wow – your comments are so true Moon

        • Les Ismor says:

          The confusion is from something called ‘gaslighting’. I had heard the term before but only recently looked it up. Had no idea what it meant but it turns out it’s intent is just what you are starting to feel. I don’t know if it’s always intentional or just part of the package if you don’t stand up to them.

          Look it up and if you are like me you will be nodding your head in disbelief that;
          A) This is what’s been going on; and
          B) anyone can do this to another human being.
          It’s sick, almost psychopathic. Or rather diabolical.

          • Adventhope says:

            Thank you for sharing. I’ve had my husband make it appear as though he did not come home the night, only to tell me later on that that was his intention. There are other occurrences I can site that over the years tells me that the hardship has caused me to know God deeper. I’ve read the responses and my heart goes out to many of you. I also applaud those of you who have identified ways to protect yourself – be it staying in the marriage or otherwise.

            What helps me is remembering I am not responsible for his behaviour. I now select what I share with him, deeper, wishful thing or things of accomplishment I don’t share with him. I do not look to him to value me or support me. If he celebrates me on my birthday great! If he doesn’t, it’s still great because I’ve accepted that if I wait for his affirmation, support of even love, I will always be left empty. Yes, sometimes I forget and fall into my dream of being transparent and vulnerable to this man that his my husband, but he’s excellent at quickly reminding me of the real lay of the land. I did not understand PA behaviour until I met him. I did not even realize I’ve experienced gaslighting in this marriage. But I’m continuing to trust God to deliver us both. I minister to women and fortunately or not, identifying with them, having an effective ministry has come a place of hurt and hardship. So I continue to seek Him grace until He takes this cross from me. To all of you, thank you for letting me share. I’ve never expressed like this about what happens in my home to more than 3 close friends, one of which is a Pastor, who no longer counsels us because according to my husband ‘he takes my side’…no surprise in that statement, right? Be encouraged that you matter! You are not defined by the behaviour of yours spouse! You choose your behaviour just like they do. You choose to be that which is good, honourable and of good report. If God doesn’t take you out of it, trust Him to take you through it. Take this as a test to develop — it might be your faith, your perception of how you value yourself, your independence — only God knows. Allow Him to have His perfect work completed in you. This is what sustains me. I hope someone is encouraged by these few words, as I have been encouraged from your sharing. Thank you.

      • Xaundra Taylor says:

        I’m going thru the same thing with my wife that thinks shes a guy I have to meditate when shes not home and pray for her she thinks she doesnt have a problem and it’s always me it’s very hard especially when you love them but I’m learning to love myself more and we deserve to be happy goodluck …

        • It is only a Christ Centered lifestyle that can give an overflow of Peace to a person going through this situation. I love deeply my Wife but she is also a p.a, at first it is relationships with people close to her which were affected. And I went into prayer, and would occasionally share with her about how such behavior wasn’t healthy for a Christian.
          Her relationship with people close to her got better but then she turned the “guns” to me.
          Am still in prayer and exercising the fruits of the holy spirit, being the Light and Salt in her life
          “Your spouse is the most important human in your life for as long as you live.”

          The fruits of the spirit; joy, peace, Patience,faithfulness,Goodness and Love, it is only when a couple let’s the holy Spirit to take full charge that marriage will be enjoyed.
          Otherwise one partner does what they call copping mechanism which is not healthy at all.

          • Elizabeth says:

            You do NOT have a Christian marriage if one is holding a spiritual gun to your head…called love ( with selfishness and indifference.

      • Desiree says:

        Push hard for marriage counseling and maybe at least see someone yourself. Don’t put up with the hurtful behavior, an ultimatum to see a counselor maybe needed, there is no need to continue to listen to someone who blames you for everything and doesn’t take any ownership for their behavior.

      • abril says:

        Hi Tim : I am so related to you …. but my husband is also getting aggressive sometimes . he will say a lot of hurtful stuff and I really don’t know anymore how to deal with that, I am scared too of talking or not talking or doing or no doing something waiting for next episode too. I have been trying to make him going to marriage counseling or therapy but he keeps saying I have to be fixed too, I can’t live like this anymore since he also starts saying bad things to my kids saying I am the one that wants to divorce and take from them his father! , and saying I am the one making him mad and fight all the time! I am just tired and very very hurt. I think we need to get help for our own benefit , we can’t really “fix” other people =(

      • Sam says:

        I feel the exact same I feel constantly on egg shells. I’m constantly told I’m the root of all our problems. He’s so hot and cold. He’s all jealous of me. I’m so tired.

      • Jeli says:

        I’m sorry to hear that Tim. Relationship is hard work because it’s based on love, respect and good communication. Sounds like you’re both hurting and you’re stuck in a vicious cycle. The same way nothing would have stopped you pursuing each other during courtship, use that effort and more to win each other back. Try all avenues including counseling to re-learn how to actively listen and support each other. If all else fails, remember someone is praying to meet another person, fall in love and start a family. Don’t unnecessarily hold to each other when love is absent. All the best and good luck.

      • Kim says:

        what i am struggling with is the best interest at heart, this saddens me the most with my husband.

      • Jane says:

        I feel the same way. They never take accountability. I’m just at a loss and it’s so scary to think of starting over after so long.

    • Joy Miller says:

      Thank you! Your response is incredibly helpful!

    • Thank you! Yes, great words Laura!

    • Holly says:

      Laura Layton… your testimony gives me hope. Speaking God’s truth about “it not being about us” speaks volumes.
      Lord, I pray for the courage and heart to get through this marriage with child like faith and wisdom which I can only get through you Lord. Amen

    • Page says:

      I really appreciate how you put that, Laura, especially that last line.

    • I agree wholeheartedly- thank you for sharing.

    • Stephanie Rosati says:

      Stephanie Marie Rosati says:

      Hello folks ~ Good morning! I didn’t know this was a blog. Wow! Thank you! I read every post. I heard courage! Boy, oh boy! You have taught me that no one is alone. I find myself writing on a blog this morning. New to me. I wasn’t going to post anything because I gleaned so much from all of you. Perhaps this is what I would say. I was on a quest of sorts many years ago because I was unhappy. I literally cried out, “Is this all there is?” Some time later, a wise woman told me to pray for a local bible church. God answered. I went to bible class. What I found there was grace. I left my troubles at the door and began to re-parent myself with God’s thinking. As my thinking changed, I started to grow in grace and knowledge. Growth in grace was for me the hardest part. As time passed, I came to realize something. Grace orientation. Focusing on the cross. Pointing my all to God’s grace at the cross, for others and for myself. The myself part was difficult for me. Then, this morning, in your posts, God’s grace is all over the place. It’s big, it’s the turbulent brilliance of all of you. I see Him. I see you. I see myself. I feel my life as it is right now. And it’s good. Really. Man, I am humbled. The crush of color in your posts is overwhelming. Joy! I want to kiss everybody! The child in me is happy at me right now. I want to play with my husband and all of you! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Please fill in all of your names. with great love, Stephie

      • Sabita says:

        So grateful to all of you’ll for posting.
        I now realize who I’ve been living with for the past turbulent 36 years.
        During this rollercoaster relationship which emerged from an arranged marriage as is typical in South Asian countries, was continually blamed for being aggressive and controlling.
        Managing school, career and a child as well as all the vagaries of the spouse’s life and his continuous co-dependency in the absence of any form of moral, emotional, psychological and physical should have drained me and turned me into a total wreck.
        But, NO……much to my spouses’s I’ll say disappointment now after reading all your posts, I turned inwards and followed the call of understanding who I am and what my purpose in life truly is!
        This opened up unexplained vistas!
        Yoga, mindfulness, meditation brought unexplained peace and joy within.
        My need for external stimulation and companionship with mere mortals began to dwindle and the spouse’s neglect, meanness, moods and harsh words began to matter less.
        Being a very empathetic, highly sensitive and very emotional woman, it was very difficult to understand how a person for whom you’ve sacrificed your entire life can be so hurtful and mean, but today after facing the truth and realizing how much I have changed, I can only feel sorry for my spouse.
        I would have never embarked on this spiritual journey if I had received his care and support!
        Instead of focusing on what was wrong with him, I focused on myself and that’s what we all need to to do in the human life given to us!

        • Elyn says:

          Beautiful! I really relate to not understanding how someone (who is supposed to love you) can be so hurtful and cold. I am also a very empathetic and sensitive person. That trait makes it so easy to think that you are the problem when it’s sometimes very difficult to distinguish between their energies and your own. I have recently become aware of this and am learning to recognize the difference. It has made a huge impact on my sense of self and inner peace. To know that I am not the one causing the almost constant turmoil and extreme ups (overly nice, clingy, childish) and downs (anger, frustration, hatefulness, blame) has brought me a lot of peace of mind. I commend you on taking such a gracious and loving stand on your situation. I believe that this life is about finding the path home and agree completely that we all need to look inward. What a wonderful world that would be!

    • Davey says:

      Sounds good, but how does God meet our sexual needs???

      • Les Ismor says:

        Four years and six months for me, lol. I can’t answer that question directly. I can tell you that I have not had to resort to doing the wash by hand in a little over six months, while I used to do at least a load every week or so.

        I found out my wife was in an affair right about that time. The whole thing prompted me to take a look at my own life and our marriage and I found that whatever she had done, I had work of my own to do. My main reason for focusing on myself was that I was the only thing I could control. Beyond that we have young kids and if there was a separation (she was ambiguous as to whether she wanted to stay) I knew they would need me to be the best man I could be. I turned toward my faith and God in a way I had never been pushed to before.

        I began a spiritual program called Forty Weeks. I’m Catholic and it is based on the Ignatian spiritual exercises, best of all it promised only taking 15 minutes of my day. I started it and quickly realized it is a unique combination of spirituality and psychological self examination. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is that somehow, somewhere quelled my sexual tendencies but somewhere along the way I stopped worrying about it. It’s almost like George on the Seinfeld episode of being ‘Master of My Own Domain’. I have other things running in my mind now that fill up where that longing used to be. Perhaps my wife’s weaponization of sex finally registered in me in terms of how easily sex manipulates me? I don’t know, but it’s like I see the patterns that led to my ‘need’ to do the wash by hand or crave sex so much. I still want it, but I am not focused on it’s being withheld any more. I never consciously set out to move that direction but in the Forty Weeks process you look at your life for patterns and sources and the roots of things that come from “the enemy of our true nature” and you seek to break their hold with God’s help. It hasn’t been pleasant to really look at my life in relation to it’s ideal path, and it will never end as far as being a work in progress but a part of me also looks forward to whatever it is I will uncover next…because each step increases my strength to go to the next step.

        It’s not the ideal. I still hope for the ideal – a loving giving wife. Maybe it will happen maybe it won’t but I do now accept that if I can harness my free will to mirror what God wants of it that my life will be more full than I can envision. The reality is that sexuality is only a piece of each of us, unless we choose to let it be an outsized piece.

    • Sherine says:

      Thank You Lara, God knows I needed to read your word of encougement and advice Today!!

      It has helped me to put my experience of this horrid situation into a spiritual perspective!! I was operating to much in flesh, hurt and pain!!
      Nuff Luv sxx

    • Patrick says:

      Good advice! My wife and I will be married 18 years next month. Between loosing my job in the recession, loosing a father to alcoholism and my father-in-law to cancer it has definitely not been easy. Two kids and less money later has put us at that phase of life where we are constantly running. Trying to find time to sit down to discuss how we raise our kids, budget our home is very hard at this stage.

      My wife has been building resentment for things that were and weren’t in our control. Before my father died, his alcoholism turned very dark. She will say things occasionally like why didn’t I warm her but what she doesn’t understand is that was a first time learning curb for me too.

      The difference is I was blessed to grow up in an alcoholic home where we had the opportunity to learn how to cope with the issues we faced at a young age. My wife grew up with parents that weren’t abusive yet they were overbearing. She didn’t have the same support around her that I did growing up.

      Through 12 step programs, counseling and close friends I grew up understanding that people aren’t perfect and the best we can do sometimes is to love them where they are at. I let go of the people that refuse change and still will love them but from distance. Just as much as wishing my father had chosen to give up drinking before it killed him, I also know that I can’t change the choices of another person.

      Today, my wife seems to push me away emotionally through actions and words. She has begun making choices on how our kids are raised without discussion. She blames me for failures with jobs and several things that also have been beyond my control and uses that as her rationale for not dealing with things that have to be dealt with. Ultimately, it feels like a constant cold shoulder.

      She is phenomenal at task, her job, the chores and working with our kids as long as she is in control. If I suggest changes then she accuses me of criticizing and trying to change her.

      Over the past several years I have tried to discuss goals (ex. Vacations, retirement goals, things she wants to do) to try to find mutual interest but my wife refuses to discuss anything. She won’t make time in the evenings. She doesn’t initiate conversation at all. When our oldest daughter is doing chores and I am trying everything to create time, she still finds another avenue to avoid spending time.

      We been through marriage classes. At one point one a marriage ministry committee until I recognized the fact that she would take care of everything else but her needs, my needs or our needs are moved behind everything. We tried counseling 5 years ago. Initially I pursued it and I have continued to work with the counselor occasionally because he knows our history and wouldn’t let me go off track from what he knows about her.

      Typically she avoids time alone. After kids go to bed she does yoga or finds something to stay busy until she lays down.

      She doesn’t seem to ever want to go out as a couple. We have had access to babysitters yet she won’t set anything unless I beg or call someone myself.

      If I ask questions to start conversation she gives the shortest answer to get out of the oncoming conversation.

      I’m praying that she can find a way to work with me. The past twenty years has left us isolated from the surviving family, so there isn’t much support there. Today I am pouring my time into my kids trying to keep my marriage.

      She grew up in church yet when I discuss my faith she cringes. I’m not perfect but I believe in walking by faith. Up until April I worked at a company that was long hours and very restricted policies. I left that company before having the next job in hand and my wife didn’t care for my actions at the time. When another friend ask I told him that I was going on faith. Ultimately faith provided a new job with better benefits. I’m not saying that my hard work doesn’t have part in getting a job, but when our spouses lack faith in us they build up resentments and other roadblocks.

      Love them where they are at.
      Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

    • Linda says:

      Laura, I thank you. As a Christian I appreciate how you chose to deal with your PA spouse. It has become such a vicious cycle for me dealing with a 69 year old passive aggressive, immature husband. He meets none of my emotional needs and doesn’t seem to care. We haven’t had sex for at least 4 years. I don’t miss the sex. I miss having someone to share with who doesn’t judge me. I know I should have left the relationship early on, but after marriage, I knew that I had made a commitment to the Lord and I knew that he hated divorce. I am very tired. Even though I love him, it is hard for me to look at him without feeling anger or rage. I too, was emotionally abandoned by my parents and I feel like I walked from the frying pan right into the fire.

      • Karen says:

        Linda, thank you for your words. We are retired and now with the virus, we are in very close quarters for the past few months. I’m not sure if anyone will see this, but it’s a comfort just to write. Today we went for a bike ride. He’s always in a competition whatever we do together. I could care less. I wasn’t keeping up with him and he took off. I fretted and worried and then said “forget this, I’m going home”. When he returned an hour later, he acted as though everything was fine. I told him I felt disrespected when he left me behind and he got angry, silent and it’s 12 hours later. He ignored me all day and went to bed without a word. Tomorrow will go one of two ways. Either he will act as though nothing happened or the silence will continue. This has been going on for 44 years! My stress level is through the roof. I practice yoga. I breathe deep and I remind myself that this is his issue. Our adult children have witnessed this many times over. This man has no friends and is socially awkward. He is 68 years old and was an senior Vice President in insurance. Refuses counseling. But I’m headed there for my own well being. So many red flags so long ago, I didn’t have the self esteem back then to see it and get out. But I do have 3 successful children from this. Albeit, probably scarred like their mom.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      Thank you so much. I love the Lord and Im trying to work on focusing on Jesus and not allowing my husband to be my idol. I like what you had to say about being sad for him instead of hurt. My heart hurts very quickly when he hurts me. Do you have more thoughts on this?
      Isaiah 54:5. Thank you and God bless you. sweet sister.🙏❤

    • Heleen Conradie says:

      Thank you Laura, I am also no longer willing for my peace to be stolen by my husband. But sometimes I wonder how long one can carry on like this….
      And that while life is so short. Would I not regret not leaving him in 10 years (then I will be 52) from now.

    • Joanna says:

      Love this

    • Tippy says:

      I needed this statement so much. I always react to his surprise PA silent treatments with anxiety, fear and sadness. Of course he doesn’t care and offers no sympathy or apology because in his mind I’m getting what I deserve. When he is “over it” life is just supposed to resume as usual with no explanation no commutation and certainly no apology from him.
      I need to change my reaction because I can’t change his.

  • Bill says:

    I heard no mention of passive-aggressive behavior as a way of coping with a controlling spouse on the other side. How about a blog on controlling spouses?

    • Ted says:

      Here here! A controlling spouse can steamroll right over even a slightly passive aggressive spouse and feel absolutely justified in doing so. The controlling spouse will actually draw out and inadvertently encourage the passive aggressive behaviour. In that case, both are in need of help.

    • Glenda says:

      Did you stop and think that possibly their behavior is a reaction to how you are treating them. Instead of pointing fingers, the best place to start is by looking in the mirror. The only person that you can change is yourself. Blaming the other person for your choices may make you feel better but solves nothing.

      • can't say says:

        Obviously, Glenda, you have not lived with an aggressive person who ignores the kids half the time and hits the ceiling and pulls their hair over spilt milk other times. Then says he’s So sorry but we know it will happen again in a few days. We walked on eggshells because we never knew what would
        set him off. He went to counseling so he doesn’t hit any more, just yells and uses sarcasm almost every day. My kids are adults now but both are so dysfunctional and hurt.

        • Irene says:

          They are dysfunctional as adults because they did not feel fully loved by either parent.

          One loving parent is enough to overcome the abuse of the other, but the sane parent has to be Mature and Responsible enough to make a smart, and permanent choice/change. It takes a heroe/heroine to save the children from a monster.
          Havings stayed in a hurtful relationship was the easiest thing to do but it was by All means the Most cowardly way of “protecting” your little ones -they trusted you, they looked up to you for guidance and protection.
          You taught them to be targets, to be cowards.
          You can make it better by Talking to them about it.
          Let them know that you now understand that staying was a huge mistake and apologize for that mistake. Tell them that you love them very much and would give anything to change that. Ask for their forgiveness and hug them until you all cry and squish out all that resentment .
          If you never do it cause you think it is better to just pretending it doesn’t hurt anymore, or because you were a victim as well, believe me, one day it’s going to be too late for either one of you; the pain may take over in a form of a substance abuse, or a worse outcome.

          • Nunya says:

            Wrong. Irene Obviously you’ve never grew up with one fully loving and one abusive parent. Way to place blame too. Terrible post. Not helpful at all, very arrogant.

        • Anon says:

          Obviously you have never lived with a person who doesn’t appreciate or value you what you do DAILY for them.

          So let’s give a scenario.

          You work two weeks straight of 16 hrs days. Hearing nothing but how difficult your spouse is in combating the kids while your away.

          You come home to a messy home for years. Then take tour two weeks of time off to clean it up, do dishes, laundry and take care of kids. You pay bills, fix the car, the house, take kids to doctor appointments. You literally are the maid/butler of your home. While also doing whatever your spouse has scheduled, again, never once getting your opinion heard or really acknowledged. Because your ‘always in a bad mood. And doing whatever she needs done at the drop of a hat.

          Then there’s no intimacy in the bedroom. Because your being grumpy. Fast foreword for 6 months of the same routine.

          Would that eventually inspire a passive aggressive person?

          I believe so. Actually I know so.

          If you undervalued your partner, Idgad who you are you will and can create a passive aggressive. Because you can only take getting beat up, ignored and overworked for so long. Before resentment, anger and loneliness erode any good traits a person’s once had.

          We are not made of stone. We need empathy and gratitude, man or woman.

          Ps. What would you do if, after two weeks of Don’t touch me. They come home and say how much fun they had with there friends. And there you are still cleaning. Still doing all the house stuff and feeding the kids.

          • Rita says:

            Anon I know what you are going trough. Sounds like your wife is an narcissist. Narcissist tend to have passive agressive behavior to. But instead off avoiding conflict they use it in a manipulative way. Narcissist dont feel any thing for Anybody else. Its best you take care of your self now. Show her the door

        • Xaundra taylor says:

          Oh wow reading that was like dejavu I have to walk on eggshells I’m handicapped and shes very verbally abusive never hits me but threatens to punch me in the face punches jokes in the wall if she thinks I’m not listening or balls up her fist and hits herself in the head and yells if she cant find something and accused me if everything and I try to have everything done right I hate living this way her sorry dont weigh much anymore as much as she says it

        • Mo says:

          This describes my household, been married 36years, during which have had p.a treatment, adult children at home and they get the same sullen silent selfish behavior, even his mother and sister in particular whowm I have a fabulous relationship with is subjected to awful treatment (turned off the lights whilst she was reading a magazine and told her to shut up when I left the room and she tried to talk to him. If I ask for help with diy ECT he will make such a mess of it I cried. Even the fact that I collapsed from a heart attack and cardiac arrest last year has not altered his behaviors. If I could buy him out of our home I would but I don’t want to be blamed for breaking up the family

          • My husband was fine for a very short time after marriage. Then he changed, tried to be snappy and dominant, l resisted and have been resisting 32 yrs. Typical week, text no talk brif reply if any. Comes home gets his Dogs, goes to garage eats cold canned food comes in for bed. He usually kicks something because it’s in the way and says something cruel, blaming and untrue. Weekends he sleeps and stays in the garage with dogs. Does his own laundry etc. Has nothing to say that not criticising or nasty. He has been physically aggressive. I am 63 and disabled with nowhere to go, dependant on his heath insurance
            I sleep with my door locked and a knife under my pillow now. I have accomplished a lot in life he has never praised my efforts ,complimented me, even when l lost 66 lbs l do not exist to him. He is desperately unhappy at work because everyone is useless and he has to take up the slack? Every boss he’s had in 32 yrs. He was general manager, there were complaints from employees to top management and they demoted him all the way back down several rungs to a mechanic
            I have bipolar 1 so more resistant than most to abuse but l am tired of it. Humour to him is laughing and sneering at someone else’s bad luck. He deliberately won’t take care of the house and it’s cost plenty to repair negligence. I am redoing my half bath because it needed it and he has sneered at it because it was dark whilst fighting my every inch of the way and delighting when things screw up like the water meter outside breaking and delaying plumbing repairs. If l were healthy l would have left years ago. He has copd continues to smoke death wish. He must hate himself so much and l daresay he hates me too, l can see no options but divorce but he’d burn the house down rather selling it. And sex???? What is that?? I forgot?

        • Laurie Scott Goodman says:

          That is so sad. I will pray for you.

      • Maria says:

        This is a very valid point. It takes two…I can see that situations have to start somewhere and that it could be the passive aggressive spouse on the starting line but it can also be this be a reaction to treatment he or she is receiving by the other spouse.

        • Eye says:

          Yes Maria, it does take two and it takes enormous maturity to recognize our part in the passive/aggressive relationship. To add to my particular situation, my husband has Parkinson’s Disease and I am his primary care giver. This by default makes me controlling. And I know that it sets him off. Not to mention the insecurity and less-than feeling he has from the disease. How much of it is the disease or how much was it his personality before I don’t know. This is a second marriage for both of us. I sometimes think that passive/aggressive personality (behavior) led to the Parkinson’s. It doesn’t really matter. The micromanaging, sarcasm, silent treatment are terribly hard on me and make me resentful. Then I have to remember to put myself in his shoes. Such an energetic man–no longer. I know I have been put in this relationship for a purpose. To work on my own reactions without getting angry myself, without yelling or coming back with my own sarcastic remarks. Without using food to calm me down. I for sure don’t do it perfectly! I’m just glad there are no children in the house. I love and understand his grown daughters so well.

      • Elle Gant says:

        Glenda, I understand your comment about …the only person you can change is yourself..but dealing with a passive aggressive person is very frustrating. My fiance wants sex everyday and when I have had a medical issue and didn’t want to have sex he became very passive aggressive. This is His issue NOT mine and my issue is how I handle it and whether I choose to stay in this relationship. I am not blaming him or anyone for anything. My issue is keeping good boundaries for myself. I don’t think you understand what passive aggressive behavior is!

      • Casper says:

        Glenda you cannot judge if you haven’t had a spouse with passive aggression! . You have no idea what it is like to be with a passive aggressive spouse.. they drain you emotionally and mentally! They are very hurtful !All of a sudden your spouse doesn’t talk to you for a week and you have no idea why. Or he is sarcastic an ignorant and belittling you for no reason whatsoever. And nothing I mean nothing is ever their fault!. They do what they want when they want they get what they want! And still act that way! Very controlling person.. so please do not judge

      • Les Ismor says:

        Yes, as a matter of fact I did. Partly because she…when she would communicate…was telling me that it was my behavior making her feel bad about herself.
        At some point I backed off and looked objectively at my behavior. I even kept track of exactly what I had said to make sure I hadn’t said whatever it was she would claim I’d said. Of course doing that made me question whether I was paranoid, etc. but luckily I was raised in an environment where self reliance and toughness were prized. So in my case I had a personality that didn’t buckle under the pervasive victimhood/entitlement of passive aggressive ‘love’ and I have now come out the other side.

      • Kerri says:

        Oh Glenda. As others have mentioned here, perhaps you have not been held hostage to the PA behaviors being talked about here. Yes I agree that there are two people in a relationship and as such , one would automatically suggest that two are to blame. Normally I would agree. But as these people have resorted to posting here, it tells me they are at their wits end and don’t know where else to go. I live this carp every damn day of my life. I needed to know I wasn’t alone. That’s why I’m here. We are all PA to some degree. But some of us are at the higher end of the spectrum for PA. For me it has been almost 30 years of this carp. I am so done. I will not be held responsible for my husband’s behaviour, ever. He is a grown man and as such, makes the conscious every day to treat me the way he does. Over the years I have learnt to not let his actions define me or my reactions. This has happened more so in recent times. I am having counselling to help me hone the skills I have learned over my lifetime, to be able to better protect myself mentally. Leaving is not an option for many of us for one reason or another, and as posters here, we need to respect people’s values,rights and decisions. We all have a story to tell, life isn’t always sunshine and roses. So, please don’t judge me or anyone unless you have walked in our shoes. Adding to this, I should be one mean MOFO right now, I have an adult son who has taken hard to the effects of living with his PA father. My other son is more like me and can read people a mile off.I have a very close relationship with both my boys and I talk to them constantly about being the best person they can be. Always treat people how you want to be treated. We left a few years ago for 2 years, it was a lovely break for us. But we came back. No regrets, it was while we were away that I learned to love and respect myself , not to second guess myself and to put my boys first. They support me 100% and understand why I stay. I love my husband, but I refuse to be his f…..g door mat. I’m on my way to being the me I can be.

      • B says:

        Glenda, tonight my boy friend was asking me what the difference between couscous and quinoa, when I said I’ve never eaten couscous he told me yes you have you made it one time before I said anything he raised his voice and said yes I have eaten it you made it and you can say what you want but you made it. I just looked at him and said nothing. He got up and walked away. And acted mad at me the whole evening. Do you still think I should be looking in a mirror and wondering what’s wrong with me??? Glenda you should think very hard of what your about to answer…

        • Elizabeth says:

          B, you just proved Glenda right. Your response fed the argument. You instead could have turned it into a joke. I don’t know the difference, let’s ask Siri. When he said you made couscous before, you could have said, Did I, I don’t remember. If he continued to bait you, change the subject, Here, honey, taste this. This tactic works. I have been successfully married to a PA for forty years. I got on this thread to see how to tell my husband I don’t want to go ice skating with him and not hurt his feelings or trigger unwanted reaction.

    • Angie says:

      Bill I hear you, I understand, please note my hubby controlled me until I loss who I was so in love I started standing up to him. We do not have to coward under a controlling spouse. But rather teach that I am (You are ) a person with individual thoughts and characteristic. Again in love help that person to grow up in that area whatever you allow God allows. My hubby and I have grown more since I started doing this. He is still challenge with passive aggressive behavior but he is striving to change. I am striving to change too. Two people healthy in marriage make a healthy marriage. Someone has to strive at getting healthy we cannot blame any person for our choices that our negative. We can and should learn from the Savior how to become more Christ like he is able

    • Steven D Stanley says:

      Passive aggression is controlling in a subtle way. People that live with these passive aggressive types have to be controlling in order to survive because passive aggressive’s use their victim coward mentality to gas light guilt in order to control their spouse.

    • Moon says:

      I agree, Bill
      It is not easy. It’s like you live their life and together you both live their life.
      Say very little. So that they don’t have anything to target. We have to start saying “no”, or ” I really don’t want to do that” or ” this”
      Try to be a step ahead. Look at it as if it is a test being thrown at you every time so think before you say anything.
      Take care.

  • Barbara Cowal says:

    Passive aggression is extremely painful, undermining, and destructive. But so is criticism, control and other self-protective mechanisms – it’s just much harder to address because it is subtle, slippery, and the PA person must always win without ever revealing they even wanted to. It is crazy-making at its finest. You must become realistic (try reading “Living with the Passive Aggressive Man” – it led to the worst year of my life as I began to recognize the insidious PA behaviours that wreaked havoc with our marriage and my heart); then you must recognize your own crap and learn to work on it; then you must set boundaries to protect your sanity and begin to live in freedom. Few counselors seem able to recognize the dark side of Mr Nice Guy. It is however possible that God will work in their life to reveal the original wounds that led to such self-protective behaviours – once these begin to heal, the need for protection is reduced, and the beautiful person God created them to be can begin to shine. It’s a long painful process requiring great faith, love, perseverance and dying to one’s own selfishness. But keep in prayer and close to God and He may make a way. We have no control over another person, so the outcome is never a guarantee. But certainly, your dependence on God will grow. Life is not easy for anyone. But a plea to wives: you cannot “fix” him. Learn what is right and try to act accordingly, and let him come to his own conclusions. We are all imperfect and flawed and in need of grace. And men in particular are in need of honour (he wants to be a hero in your eyes so be blind to his faults and communicate, often without words, that he is capable).
    Sorry I’ve written this entirely from a female perspective.

    • LA says:

      I very much appreciate all that you wrote and agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for writing it. If I had understood these principles years ago it might have made a big difference.

    • Sherine says:

      Thank you for encouraging words of advice!! God knows I’m seeking answers to my situation and reading this gives me hope!! Nuff luv sxx

  • Andy Smith says:

    This was very helpful, my wife has an autoimmune disease that has left her on oxygen and needing physical support from me. She has become very angry that I go to work everyday. She has chosen to take her anger out on me and our children (started when they were in middle school). She is envious of our daughter and her career, and the relationship that I have with our children (she has damaged hers). It seems like she is trying to hurt me and or destroy my credibility anyway she can. I had made the decision when she started hurting our children to tell them that this was not OK and that they should protect themselves emotionally from here (they did). They know that I am committed to her and will remain loyal to her to no matter what comes. (they support this).

    This was very helpful as it is difficult to keep going sometimes knowing that you have to make decisions without the aid of someone you have counted on and needed for so many years. At this point without the intervention from the Lord and her truly falling at the foot of the cross this seems to be the best I can do.

  • SLM says:

    What to do when your NPD spouse is passive-aggressive but accuses you of being passive-aggressive? NPD’rs blame you for the very things that they are doing. It’s so unbelievable, hurtful, and feels hopeless.

    • Colleen says:

      It’s an impossible situation! The NPD spouse will always create the narrative that clears them of any responsibility in the situation. You’ll always be the “crazy one” and the one with all the issues. It’s their victimhood mentality that allows them to believe this.

      • Moon says:

        So true, say very little, this confuses them. It leaves them very little to argue or make you feel like you are stupid.

    • B says:

      My boy friend does that to. I feel anger, but no matter what they are always right. They suck. I wish I had an answer for you. All I can say is your not alone I’m with you, stay strong.

  • Alan says:

    All kinds of labeling going on here. My ex wife told me on nunerius occasions that I was passive aggressive but could never help me understand what that means or how to change. Ironic that I read this entire blog and all the replies, still searching for what this label means and how to change it, if I’m really doing it. I saw neither definitions nor solutions.

    I’m not at all sure about myself, whether I really do this or not. But i relate to the guy who mentioned the controlling spouse. I’m not ruling out possibly being PA but most of this seems like a psychobabble smokescreen being used to avoid responsibility and deflect deserved blame.

    • Caitlin says:

      Alan, you may not ever read this because it’s been a few weeks, but for what it’s worth, maybe a bit of my story will help clarify. I have been with my husband for 16 years. I am an enabler and therefor a controlling person. I attempt to control the lives of my husband and my children. They have all expressed to me that when I’m at my worst, I can be quite demeaning and bossy. I set ridiculously high expectations sometimes and then become very angry when my husband disappoints me, which he does on practically a daily basis. I have started attending Al-Anon meetings again because I know that I learned this behavior from my alcoholic father and 1st husband. I tend to communicate very directly, sometimes bluntly, and husband finds this frightening. He wasn’t raised that way and he interprets directness as aggressive blaming and shuts down completely.
      My husband is a passive aggressive. He makes it a point to be a “nice guy” but he simply will not make any effort to be proactive, ever. He is not terribly interested in my feelings and rarely shares his own. He is prone to self-pity and often (daily) expresses it by moping, pouting, sighing and saying things like “well, I guess everything is always my fault” or “FINE, I guess you’re just always right and I’m just an idiot”. He does not feel safe expressing his feelings to me or even acknowledging them to himself. A perfect day for my husband is this (he has admitted this): He gets ready for work, goes to work, comes home, asks how my day was and kisses my cheek, goes to his computer and reads emails and plays solitaire until dinner, comes to the table and eats,(speaking at an absolute minimum) then watches one of his tv shows without interruption, goes to bed. He’s quite put out if he’s asked to do anything at all housework-wise. He would like sex about once every 10 days (he’s 68, so that’s dwindling down a bit), and then goes to sleep. No variation in routine. And I HAVE to invite the sex, always. I tested this once and waited for him to initiate it and we didn’t have sex for 3 months. The only chore he does without prompting is taking the garbage to the curb once a week, and occasionally looking after our grandson for a half hour or so while I cook his dinner. If he is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, he will “forget” or he’ll intentionally do it incorrectly or pretend he doesn’t know how. If he perceives any type of criticism, he stops speaking to me completely, or behaves in an overly, almost sarcastically polite way, or sometimes has a big tantrum, throwing things around, slamming doors, etc. He lies frequently, often about very inconsequential things, and will disappear for many hours on the weekends, sometimes without telling me he’s leaving, and then come back with say, three items from the grocery store and insist that’s where he was the whole time. So basically he’s lying to be sure that I will know he’s lying.
      He quite literally never asks how I’m feeling, even if I’m crying. He will just leave the room to “give me space”. He lies about money incessantly. If he were another type of person, I’d think he was having an affair, but actually, I’m fairly sure he’s not. I think if he was having an affair it would be the most interesting thing he’s done in years. He has worked in the same crappy job for a man he loathes for 25 years and complains about it every day, but refuses to consider working elsewhere. He complains about be ill every day, but refuses to seek medical attention. I believe that he truly enjoys experiencing and expressing misery and hopelessness. He feels very threatened by any job i have, any hobbies that take me outside the house, or any friends. He complains that I don’t talk to him, but when i do, it’s completely one-sided, with me talking and him going off to his happy place, and saying ‘hmm” and “right” at the appropriate times. He rarely actually responds with a full sentence. I would die of loneliness if it weren’t for my kids. He has never had one friend since I’ve known him, and sees his brothers about twice a year even though they live within 45 minutes of us. He has phases where he says “I love you” about 20 times a day and follows me around the house staring at me, but not saying anything, which is profoundly irritating. Conversely, he has spent weeks at a time not speaking to me at all or even making eye contact.
      For my part, I am trying to make suggestions, rather than criticize. I’m trying to be less controlling. I’m also trying to live my own life, and not having the things he does affect me. I feel sorry for him, because it must be horrible to be so fearful of emotions, of ever making a decision, that you’ve become completely helpless. Or feel like you have to act helpless to get love or attention.
      Our relationship was founded on co-dependence. Yes, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you’re passive aggressive, then your wife is an enabler and controlling. She wouldn’t be with you if she wasn’t. I have begged, pleaded, been reasonable, been threatening, just about everything to get him to change. Now, I have accepted that this is never going to happen. I can only change myself and am in the process of doing so. I think there’s a good chance that as I become more independent and less willing to play these destructive games with him and stop doing everything for him, he won’t like it. If he can’t adapt to my becoming a healthier person, he’s welcome to leave and I wouldn’t be particularly sad about it. I loved him very much once but I find myself feeling that love only rarely now. Love needs to be reciprocated to keep growing. I care about him and have compassion for him but that’s about it. He is not responsible for my happiness and I am not responsible for his. Yes, he and I are BOTH guilty of focusing the blame for our problems on each other and then refusing to change our own behaviors. This post was longer than I intended but I hope it helped a little.

      • Pearls says:

        Sounds very much like my marriage of 17 years. The exception being he is social and has cultivated a public personna of Mr. Nice Guy. He is also a master of triangulation. I have recently discovered he has been cultivating several covert friendships with women he has managed to keep fairly secret. They only know me through his eyes and are taken in by his victim stance. They do not know any of our friends in common. His strategy. Unfortunately I now know he has slandered me to several people in an attempt to appear the victim and no one seems to question him as to root causes of his reported difficulties in our marriage. I feel totally betrayed on top of all the other crazy making behaviors I have endured. Of course now a lot of our past is making sense and I realize there were red flags all along the way. I too am looking into Alanon and counseling. I don’t expect support from friends as they are all taken in by his false public self. I have one close friend who gets it but primarily because she is in similar marriage. The blind leading the blind! Thank you for sharing.

        • Chelsea K Rice says:

          Hi Pearl’s I almost cried when I read this it’s an exact image of my life maybe I should try Alanon too the slander of who you are and them playing the victim that is oh surreal thanks for sharing

      • Julia says:

        Caitlin, you could have been describing my husband and my marriage. So sad. I am also doing my best to change my controlling behavior, but it seems if I don’t take charge, he’ll do nothing. It’s more difficult as my husband is terminally ill and won’t make and keep doctor appts or take his medications without my taking care of all of it for him.

      • Lori says:

        Caitlin, your post was very helpful to me if not cathartic. I’ve been married for almost 30 years, and for years, I believed my husband had bi-polar, which would cause him to not talk to me for several weeks at a time, with no idea what I did to provoke the behavior. I too have been to counseling for being codependent, feeling like it was my job to MAKE everyone in my family happy. I still struggle with that, but am much better now, as I don’t follow him around asking what I can do to make things better, or asking what did I do? Recently I’ve believed his behavior to be passive aggressive, the days of silence, refusing to help buy groceries, or turn on the air during a heat waive. He will purposely leave his dresser drawers out or make half the bed because he believes it will upset me (which he admitted to doing), tightening the Peanut Butter jar very tight, than smirking as I struggle to open, pulling the car in the garage so tightly that I can’t open my door to get out, hiding my wedding rights making me think that I lost them or they were stolen all while I’m dealing with my father being in the hospital. My kids are all grown, but still living with us, and this behavior I believe has seriously damaged the relationship with them as they see it. I will continue to search for answers on how to deal with this, and will take responsibility for my behavior as well. Yes, it does hurt.

      • Sylvia says:

        Thank you Caitlin. You have inspired me. I thought I was alone living this way. I thought it is my fault. I do accept my share of responsibility. I am a perfectionist and controlling. Searching , I found this site. I found out what a passive aggressive character is…. with all I have learned, i have concluded that I have been living with one for the past 11 years. I am presently going through one of his tantrums. We live in the same house, we haven’t seen or spoken to each other since last Friday. There are no children or pets in the house so I can vent a little. He goes to work, tv, sleep and back to work. I don’t have to cook, he eats at work. I am on my tablet to help myself find a solution to change ME……how do I do that? I’m 65 and not in the best of health. I have this gut feeling that he won’t change… again thank you…..

      • Jack says:

        OMG… and Hallelujah. I thought it was me, me imagining things but reading this post is a looking in a mirror, I have been going through this for so many years I’ve lost count. I am married to a PA! The silent treatment the slamming of doors, behaviour I described for years as having an Adult Tantrum when he doesn’t get his way.
        So true in reading that he portrays he the nice guy. Family and friends tell me I’m so lucky or why can’t they find a husband like mine… I’ve always said inside my head … you’ve no idea what I’m putting up with and you can have him!
        I feel awful thinking these thoughts but I come to realise he is a PA! Silent treatment for weeks- so so painful and hurtful. I go away and cry, normally I’m the bathroom or shower. I have prayed to the good Lord for help and guidance and for him to change… I realise I have to protect myself and our daughter. I live in hope… Thank you all for your experiences.

        • Ange says:

          Thank goodness I’m not alone. After years of walking on egg shells. Sarcasm and moods only this week I have realised my husband is passive aggressive. I’ve tried so hard in the past to change things, to better our marriage but now realise I never will. He’ll never change. I will certainly never change him. My self esteem is on the floor because of the way he has treated me. Always looking for his approval. Even our four year old has picked up on it. She looks at me and asks why he speaks to us like that. I need to protect her now from it.

      • Sherine says:

        Thank You!! This was very helpful for me, as I often wondered if anyone would understand how I feel, if I tried to put it into words!!

        Your situation sounds so much life my own and you have given me food for thought!!..
        Thanks again Nuff Luv sxx

      • Tanya says:

        Hi Caitlin. I just wanted to let you know how much your post helped me to see my relationship for what it is. Like you, I’ve tried and tried, and I’ve failed. My man will never change. My controlling behaviour is more likely from having to deal with my narcissistic, controlling father, whose expectations I could never meet. I have been doing a lot of introspection and therapy, and I have changed a lot. Still, there is just this simmering resentment towards me, which my husband shows with bashing doors, watching TV all day, throwing stuff around, and muttering under his nose, ignoring my requests, never initiating anything and never admitting fault. Like you, I’m very direct. In the past I would tell him that he’s behaving in a PA manner and how it’s affecting our relationship and my trust towards him. I have stopped doing this now because this is just the behaviour he wants from me – to confront him, reinforcing his view of me as a controlling and domineering person. So, I just get on with my day. Like you, I would be so upset I would cry sometimes, and he’ll never ask me what’s wrong or comfort me. He can ignore me for days, “to give me space”, making me tea without my asking, repairing stuff, cleaning the house, and doing ‘cute little things’ for me, which I don’t even need done, hoping I’d notice how caring he is – but he’ll never comfort me or apologise for his behaviour. If I ask him to apologise, he always does it either angrily or half-heartedly, or sarcastically.

        Instead of forgetting to do things, he never hears me ask him to do them, or he does them wrongly – never the way he knows I want them done. He is the only person in my life who constantly tells me I didn’t say something when I know for sure I did; if I had this problem with anyone else, I’d think the issue lies with me; but no-one else has told me I didn’t say something to them or didn’t ask them to do something when I know for sure I did. I consider this behaviour crazy-making – and it IS crazy-making. We had numerous blow-outs because he insists I never asked him to do something or never said something when I know for sure I DID. And, as I said, it doesn’t happen with anyone else in my life. What I started doing is when I ask him to do something and there’s no reply, I would repeat myself or ask if he had heard me so that he cannot say I didn’t ask him. But this too has been turned against me. I will ask him to do something; no answer; I will ask if he’d heard what I’d just said; no answer; I’ll ask if he can hear me; and he snaps and starts yelling at me, ‘I said yes – how many times do I need to repeat myself?!” When I definitely not heard a sound.

        I’ll be talking to him and he’ll get up and start doing something loudly, e.g. washing dishes or looking in cupboards, so I have to shout to be heard.

        If I want something done a particular way, he will just do it his way anyway, and I feel like I have to repeat to him again and again and again why I want it done in a particular way, and he knows it drives me mad, but he will challenge me every time, and I end up telling him I hate repeating myself and I shouldn’t have to because I explained it so many times already, and if he does it wrong again, I’ll just throw that thing away or do something else crazy, again reinforcing his view that I am controlling and dominate him. And we are talking about stupid meaningless stuff like putting wine glasses in a particular way into the dishwasher so they don’t come out with water marks all over them.

        Oh another thing that he does is falling asleep all the time. He knows he needs to do something, and he’ll sit down and fall asleep in a minute and be angry with me if I wake him. Or just sleep so he doesn’t have to participate in an activity he doesn’t like. I insisted he saw a doctor about his sleeping and it took me three years of begging for him to go to doctor. Then he was really nasty to me for ‘making him do it’ because his driving licence got taken away because he falls asleep so much. He blamed that on me and it was the lowest part of our marriage.

        He is threatened by my success and hobbies and friends. He often says he’s jealous of me and says he holds me back in life (which he does). He blames everything on me even when it’s our both fault. He refuses to self-improve. He has a victim mentality and never accepts responsibility for anything. He’s rubbish with money.

        • Boredhousewife says:

          Wow! Your post resonates with me. I easily could have written the same post. My husband is the same way. We’ve only been married for a year and a half. I’m struggling with what to do. I want out of the marriage, but we recently purchased a home together, and I feel stuck. At times I’ll give in to his sulking to keep the peace, but I’m running out of patience. It’s an exhausting roller coaster, and I’ve finally realized I’m only ever happy on his terms and when trying to appease him. I do a lot for my husband, and I’m often made out to look like a witch while he plays a saint. It’s infuriating! Especially when I surprise him with a nice gift and he doesn’t even acknowledge it or express gratitude. I have to fish for compliments or appreciation. I’m over it. I’m also much younger than he is so maybe that is a factor.

      • Honey you have nailed the hammer on the head.. My boyfriend is ( passive aggressive) we have been Together for 9 yrs. It has definitely been some rocky roads. My boyfriend was married before we meet for 3 yrs. We meet in 2010 a yr. After his divorce he caught his wife cheating (Took pictures of them having sex) In the 9 yrs we have been together he has cheated on me 5 times.. I either found out or the other girl found me and told me the last two girl I discovered one day when he left down and was still signed into to his email. I backed his delted files and found 2 women who sent this nasty naked pic and one on his snapchat account.. Of course he’s sorry and he loves me and etc.. The crazy thing is he hooks up with these women acting like he doesn’t have a gf. I dont understand either follows me around the house staring at me, but not saying anything, which is aggravating. He told me he was passive aggressive when we meet.. Not till know have I started reading the signs..

    • Laurel says:

      The smokescreen to avoid responsibility and deflect deserved blame is HIS. He resents women due to child abuse, so he’s passive-aggressive with me: 25 years of therapy was a waste. He doesn’t want to change. His PA behavior allows him to avoid responsibility and deflect deserved blame for how he treats me.
      I’m not perfect, but I think I’ve been a good wife for 28 years. He was up until 4:00 am: now I can’t expect him to do anything for our anniversary today. He resents being “expected” to do anything nice for me. He makes no plans, wants me to “tell him what to do”. Then if plans fail it’s my fault. Avoiding responsibility, deflecting deserved blame. Perfect. He’ll be nice, then when I don’t expect it, he uses the PA to punish me.

      • Karen Olowin says:

        So Familiar. Married 27 years and 3 kids. Took me many years to realize his behaviour so classic PA. I’m sorry for him, it seems it must be miserable to be that way. I’d like a divorce but that’s probably not going to happen. So it’s best I just focus on me and expect nothing from him, other than part of his paycheck, which just barely covers what it’s worth for me to take all the household responsibility. He barely speaks to me or makes eye contact anymore, so I don’t expect him to anymore. And yet he brags about me in social settings. I used to think he would leave me because despite his saying so verbally, his behaviour clearly shouts he does not love me. But now i’m pretty sure that like everything else, if I want a divorce, I would have to make it happen because he is not going to do it, he’s the victim, always, he does not do anything, he just has to resign himself to what is done to him, and then retaliate with PA.

        • Boredhousewife says:

          Karen, I loved your post and it gave me a much needed smile. I couldn’t agree more about the divorce part. If I want a divorce I’d have to initiate it just like everything else. That way he can play the victim. I sometimes wonder if he’s pushing my buttons to force me to file.

          • Elcee says:

            My husband was PA in every way. He never believed I would follow through with the divorce. During the time before we got the divorce finalized, he thought all he had to do was come over to my house and everything would continue on in the same way, as if he had never left. He, in a passive way, made us go to court and spend more money and testify so I would back down. By then it was too late. He still didn’t accept it for years. He never has changed his ways, but he is back living near his family which is where he is the happiest. The members of his family are quite clueless about his behavior. He is a NICE GUY. But it has to be easier for him with them because there is no one there to expect him to be responsible for anything that is “too hard” for him.

      • Eileen says:

        The best advice I’ve gotten from this is to stop trying to change my husband, protect myself and my daughters, and trust in God to help me. My husband never wants to do anything. After being married for more than three decades, I became afraid to celebrate my own birthday, anniversary, or any holidays that related to me, like Mother’s Day . Either before, during or after these holidays, or sometimes for all three, my husband would make miserable comments and do things meant to hurt me. He even would “forget” my birthday, which is on the same day as his! I even tried not to celebrate my birthday one year in an effort to escape the degradation. Didn’t matter. He still went after me. Then started making my daughters miserable on their birthdays. This is in addition to his usual passive-aggressive behavior of snide comments out of nowhere,excuses for everything, “forgetting” important stuff (like not submitting the taxes for several years and not telling me), lying or omitting information, rarely being available when I call or text even if I don’t bother him for days, constantly being late or not doing what he has promised, sometimes for years, and acting like his life is just so gosh-darn hard. He never initiates anything, and will take even a direct request and screw with it. He always has an excuse. It is never his fault. I intercede for my kids with him every other day. For example, once he yelled at my oldest daughter to get out of the car and left her crying outside of school because she was afraid to go in. I had to leave my teaching job to go take care of her and lie about it. He also sent both my daughters to a cousins and lied and said they were at the movies. This cousin’s mother is sociopathic in behavior and I was unsure about whether she would just show up. She has done it before. So I was concerned about them going there alone. At the same time he keeps trying to turn my kids against me, though he would never admit it. If they confide in him about having a disagreement with me he revels in keeping it a secret and making the situation worse. He says he cares but doesn’t act like it. I finally told him that if he couldn’t be nice to me I would be celebrating my birthday without him. That had some effect. He is concerned about appearing like a “nice guy” to other people.
        I am in my 60s and not in great health. Otherwise I might leave him. His whole family also acts passive-aggressively toward me and over the years he has sacrificed me to their nastiness. He continues to be nice to them in spite of them supporting a “friend of the family” who molested our daughters. I don’t interact with them anymore and asked him not to share my personal information with them. He did anyway, and my oldest daughter heard him do it. When I asked him why, he says he does not know why he did the exact opposite of what I requested and then got mad at my older daughter for “spying” on him.
        I believe at least some of my health problems are from the stress of living with him.
        Sorry to complain at such length, but most people don’t understand how awful a pa person is to live with. But I see now he is unlikely to improve and I must concentrate on my daughters and myself.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      Go on utube and put in passive aggressive personality ..

    • B says:

      Alan it’s very clear, it’s been defined over and over. Maybe you wish not to see it because your passive aggression is second nature to you. You don’t need someOne to write it for you. Go talk to someone and get answers, if you truly want to change you will go to any measures and stop making excuses for yourself. I wish you the best.

  • Shikha Gupta says:

    Hi friends,

    I am from India. After 12 years of relationship I could realize and identify that my husband is a passive aggressive person and it was very painful experience in the past. At I feel myself as emotionally abuse totally.

  • LYhw says:

    I too am a victim of not only emotional but physical abuse. I tolertaed it for years….my husband refused to get any help together for our marriage although he would attend church but has not attended for over a year, He has been arrested twice…currently we are separated. I also gave him excerpts from the book, but he made no effort to read them. If someone has any suggestions and advice I too would appreciate all that is out there to try to find the healing our marriage.

    • Lginrc says:

      As I was reading through all of the posts, LYhw, yours caught my attention immediately. I was in a marriage and my husband was verbally and physically abusive to the point that I was afraid for my life. He threatened to kill me if I left him. I was afraid but I thought I would rather be dead than to continue living that way. My marriage was very short, about a year, but it seemed like an eternity. The day he signed the divorce papers he got his revenge and raped me. I never reported it. I had to go to counseling for myself to get through the aftermath of emotions and trauma, but I couldn’t imagine living like that anymore. Someone like this controls everything you do and feel. No one should be abused and if you are, you need to let it go. Let him go completely. You separated yourself but hoping he will change or things will get better with time won’t happen with someone like this. YOU deserve better. Focus on YOU not him. If you have kids I know that makes it more difficult but you are setting an example for your kids. They need to see their mother happy not abused. A few years later I got in another relationship and to make a long story short he got drunk one night and hit me. I never thought he would do this to me. But I made a promise to myself that I would never put up with abuse or hitting ever again. I broke it off from him. I was still in love with him and it was very difficult but I knew I had to let him go because I deserved better. I feel like I could go on and on but It just breaks my heart to hear about someone in this situation. Focus on you and your happiness. Like I said, I had to get counseling and it helped me so much. You deserve better:). God bless you.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      Are you in a domestic violence support group for women?

  • Pearls says:

    Focus on taking care of yourself. Remember we can not force it manipulate anyone into changing if they have no interest. They may go through the motions but will be resentful which just feels more passive aggressive crazy making behaviors. If also physically aggressive you need to have a safety plan. Contact any public agency which provides woman with counseling and support as soon as possible. These problems do not just go away they return over and over and often get worse. Sending prayers.

  • Bill says:

    Great article Laura! Passive aggressive behavior is indeed extremely painful. You know your “partner” is hurting you on purpose, and often you have no idea why. It is the loneliest of places to find yourself. It takes a lot of prayer, meditation, humility, strength, and forgiveness to not let it affect you in ways that causes you to act against your own conscience and return evil for evil, or betrayal for betrayal. Life is not fair, and often relationships are not either. You either can learn the lessons that life is currently providing, or you can move on to a different place, a different time, a different person, and different test. Nevertheless, your heart will be tested to see if you really no love. Prayers for everyone in the feed.

  • Vivian says:

    I am engaged to a man whose behaviour towards me has snowballed in to as I now know it to be Passive Aggressive Abuse. I have been made to believe that he loves me, but more and more he ignores me for days with no explanation, and will not tell me what it is (that I’ve done, if anything). Lately he has adopted mimicking me in a nasty way, making fun he thinks of things I say, just general things, innocent chat that he will bring up for no reason. We only have sex when he wants to and always refuses any advances that I make, which devastates my confidence. We only go out when he wants to go out and when I ask him to come out with me his answer is always no. I drove six hours to be with him last week and on day in my visit he started the above again. I love him but I spend most of my time crying, he says he loves me. I have decided today that I have to walk away., he is mentally destroying me.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      You have made one of the best decisions for your life which would have been a future of crying, being alone, losing yourself, being depressed more days than not, and being angry at this man that says he loves you, but criticizes you out of the blue when you least expect it. It is a continuous painful battle of being rejected over and over. You wouldnt want this life knowing the sacrifices and pain women go through with a pa spouse. Weve had multiple break ups. Ive been married 42 yrs this Nov.. Be grateful you did not get married. Isaiah 54:5

  • Kevin says:

    I think I’m passive aggressive and my fiancé is passive aggressive. It’s difficult I feel as if I walk on egg shells daily not knowing when she will flip out over something today or 20 years ago.
    I’m no better I give her the silent treatment and know I’m doing it and can’t stop. It’s like it is super difficult to be nice to her and I get jealous now that she’s working 3rd shift. I think are argueing daily causes me to think she would cheat when honestly I don’t think she would. I also have a much higher sex drive than her and she always says I’m a sex addict and honestly I don’t think I am. I’m a 31 year old healthy male. I’m just trying to understand how to help our relationship and hoping that she does the same.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      I encourage you both to get counseling before it gets worse. The silent treatment is a form of punishment and destroys the other person through rejection. It is very deep pain when it continues over a life time. Learn new ways to communicate and not shut her out. Its wonderful that you are searching for answers.

    • Les Ismor says:

      She is still your fiancee, not your wife yet. You see this so you still have a chance.
      Suggest help, for both of you. It’s good that you see PA in yourself too. Tell her you need help and she needs help and until both of you get it there can be no marriage…then get the help.

      I don’t know how you find a good counselor.

  • Isadora says:

    I have been married for 40 years to a passive aggressive husband. Over the years I have read everything to try and make it better and to understand this type of disorder. One important thing to add here is, if the one with the passive aggression doesn’t want to change, nothing changes. My patience is at an end, and I really dislike this person as a human being now. I have nothing left but diistain for myself for staying and enduring pain all these 40 years. Everyday was a battle to either ignore, or confront, or to talk about why he does what he does. I feel like a total failure. And a final note, I am the bad guy in this relationship. This is how I am perceived. There is no balance here. One must leave as soon as they can for their own sanity and those of their children.

    • Amy C says:

      Your post has resonated so strongly with me. This post is the last confirmation I need to end this 7 years of damage for myself but more for my 2 and 3 year old. Thank you for posting.

    • Sherine says:

      Thanks for this!! As this is my fear, staying with someone because they are deemed a quiet and nice person and yet still their passive aggressive ways are destroying you emotionally and mentally!!

      Being in a relationship where you feel so lonely, and where no effort is made to make you feel special, or appreciated is so soul destroying!!

      I have just entered the 55th chapter of my life and whist in my professional life, I am doing really well, and I am finacially in a good place debt free, mortgage paid off, I feel I’m dying in an empty marriage!! Everything I do is always on my own!!

      I don’t want to waste another 19 years only to feel the way I feel Today!!

      You have left me with food for thought!!

      Nuff Luv sxx

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      They make you believe you’re the bad guy. When in fact you’ve done everything possible to make it right. Yes. We have our mistakes too and we need to look at these. Overall, It is very confusing. Im learning that confronting them will only allow you to receive more rejection, more isolation, and more hurt. When I read this verse this really helped me. Isaiah 54:5 The Lord your God is your husband. Turn to Him. Set your heart and mind on things above Col 3:1-2. Speak less. Pray more. 🙏❤ Our husbands can be an idol. No matter how hard you try you will not receive everything your looking for because it is Jesus who can only fulfill this for you. He can give you love , peace, and deep joy. He is the One to reach for and give you full satisfaction. His relationship far exceeds any relationship when you turn to Him and His Word. . ❤

  • Pearls says:

    Would like to know who out there is dealing with a shy introverted narcissist. Also known as a covert narcissist. The difficulty reaching out to friends and relatives I compounded by fact that his public persona is so unassuming and friendly. Yet he fits all the criteria which includes extreme passive aggressive behavior. Any stories appreciated as I feel like I’m losing my mind.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      You are not alone. It is called spinning. They will spin you and make you question yourself when in fact we are not losing our minds at all. Go on utube. You will learn a lot.

  • Jessica says:

    There are a lot of comments here, some of which I have so much empathy and gratitude for, but some of you seem really angry for some reason or another (but likely because of a lack of self love). I think there is an over-emphasis on trying to make these abusive marriages work in the modern world. What really matters is growing spiritually to become more virtuous and heal our past and if you’re partner doesn’t want to join you in that process and take responsibility for their own healing, there comes a time when there is a breaking point and it’s not in your best interest, or the best interest of your children to stay in that relationship. We are spirits in human form. I am so fully aware of my spirit now and my divinity, but I wasn’t when I married my husband. I was still very hurt and insecure and needing to control things because I had a painful childhood and very controlled childhood and I didn’t know how else to cope. When we are given the gift of awakening and are able to open our hearts, the dogma around ‘making a marriage work’ dissolves and unfolding the spirit becomes the priority. There is nothing shameful in that. Opening to spirit and to Christ Consciousness is saving me and I am glad to not still be banging my head against the wall every single day with someone who on the surface seems nice (although everyone in my family also always found him VERY controlling) but who was on a deeper level looking for ways to hurt me and tear me down, either through criticism or passive agressive behaviour. It was maddening and I became miserable and when tragedy struck, the truth becaume so painfully clear. I wanted to make my marriage work, but I feel blessed that there was angels looking out for me so I didn’t have to stay stuck in that cycle for 30 or more years with him. Being a single parent isn’t easy and leaving was really hard, and there has been a lot of tears, but I don’t regret leaving a place I wasn’t truly safe, where everything I said became interpreted as a criticism and my voice was silenced or I ended up punished and emotionally beaten up for saying anything. Where the notion of being a part of a team was an illusion or be with a man who has a disdain for God and all matters of spirit. I will NEVER sit on my laurels and say I was perfect in my marriage. I wasn’t. But I recognized when I made mistakes and I worked on myself and I shared my growth process. There was a disdain that I expected any level of that self-examination in return. In the case of my husband that was not necessary because he and his family had no flaws. Please listen that if you are married to someone like this and you stay, in the long run, it will destroy you. It will destroy your self-esteem, it will make you doubt yourself, it will bring out the depths of your frustration and make you act out in anger and then take on the further belief that YOU are the one with ALL the problems. Does any decent person deserve this type of treatment? No, of course not. But until you can find your self love, you will have a hard time fully breaking the cycle with the Passive Agressive abuser. Because the abuse is so insiduous, and mean, and underhanded. It’s not any less serious for your mental health as getting beat up is to your physical health. Let’s move the conversation towards how to find self love and faith in God and away from making an abusive marriage work. It just might actualy save some of those marriages for REAL, and for others, allow them to be released compassionately to end the suffering and find emotional freedom. Sending love and light to everyone who has suffered abuse and trauma in their lives and is ready to heal.

    • Eye says:

      Jessica, dear, what a clear message you have posted. It is also my deepest wish that we all find what works in our situations. I don’t think there is one way that fits all, but I do believe in working “to end suffering and find emotional freedom” as you write.

    • Sherine says:

      Thank You for encouraging words!!

      And the reminder that we don’t have the power to change anyone but ourselves!!

      And so now I must cast all my cares onto God and put my hope in Him to see me through!!
      Nuff Luv sxx

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for this message. I needed it. I am grateful to have just broken an engagement and avoided a life of rinse and repeat. Yes I am learning to understand my part in this both as “rescuer” and that I do not deserve this behavior no matter how imperfect I may be. I was allowing myself to be destroyed mentally, emotionally, deprived physically and intimately, as you say “beat up” mentally. It was depleting me, I knew it was happening over and over again and felt paralyzed to get out of it.. Until now. Praying for the strength to resist getting back on the rollercoaster. Praying for the clarity to put my own life first finally and simply say ‘It’s not a fit” without blame, guilt or anything else. Just to nourish myself and make healthier choices going forward. This blog is extremely helpful. I thank you all!

  • Lost Husband says:

    Husband with passive-aggressive wife:
    My wife and I have been together going on six years, and I’ve finally come to the realization that she is passive-aggressive. I’ve been called controlling most of our relationship and struggled with hearing that at first, because it was the first time in my entire life anyone ever said I was controlling. I started asking more questions and realized that any time I communicated with my wife about my frustrations, desires, needs, basically anything that I wanted, she would tel me I’m being selfish and controlling. I’ve switched jobs several times to change my schedule and try to be home more and help with the kids and cleaning, but my efforts are never enough. We are in our late 20s, and rarely have sex (maybe once or twice a month). She will not initiate any type of physical activity. I’ve communicated with her about our lack of intimacy and I feel like she’s been using that against me by, again, calling me selfish and shaming me for wanting sex. Another weird issue we have is that she won’t post pictures of us in her social media? She didn’t post about me on our Valentine’s Day, anniversary, father’s day, or my birthday, but never misses a post for her friends or family – I think it’s just another way of her lashing out at me non-verbally. I love my wife, I think she’s amazing, no matter what we go through, but I feel like she’s checked out and doesn’t care about what I want or need and is trying to punish me. I’ve listened to what she’s complained to me about and have been working 11 hour overnight shifts so I can be awake by the time the kids are back from school and leave right before they go to bed, got back into shape, have even been trying to give her some space to destress, but she tells me I’m still not doing enough. I still get her little thoughtful gifts when I’m out or pick up her favorite ice cream when I see it at the store, and she just disregards those gestures. I feel like she’s dangling our sex life (or any intimacy period) in front of me and using it to feel powerful and in control, and then she’s projecting those feelings towards me and accusing me of them. I’ve expressed to her that she’s making me feel like she thinks I’m not worthy, and it has no emotional impact on her. I’m at a crossroads because I love my wife and our daughter, but I feel so neglected, my self-esteem has taken a nosedive, and I’ve been feeling insecure about myself. My anxiety has been out of control lately, I rarely sleep anymore because I come home and try to get involved right away – on top of it all, we haven’t had sex in weeks. I don’t know what to do.

    • Bob says:

      Love hurt’s. At the right time, talk together. It may take more than one episode. Good luck x

      • Laurel says:

        My husband and I have been “talking” for 28 years! You can’t talk to these people! They are as slippery as an eel. They will never admit to being PA. After years, he now “admits” it when I confront him, but has “no idea” why he does it, so he can’t change. All of the nice “love, forgive, and pray for them” stuff is a waste. I’m a Christian, but isn’t he supposed to “love me as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it”? I get nothing but disrespect. I confront him head-on. I’m tired of hearing his excuses. No therapy has helped. Therapists buy into it, and blame the spouse. I would leave, but I can’t afford to and I’m disabled. I wish I had left 25 years ago before my injury. Maybe I’d be happy in my old age

        • Elcee says:

          Laurel, you are so correct saying that the therapists buy into it. Even a therapist I had years after my divorce said that it is so easy to be fooled by a PA. I am a Christian too and getting a divorce was the last thing I wanted to do, but no effort on my part, nothing in life, no circumstance would open my husband’s eyes. He is what he is. And the only thing left to do was to divorce. I had a sick daughter to take care of and I couldn’t deal with her issues and his antics too. I don’t think to this day he understands any of it. I don’t think he will ever try to understand it; that might mean he would have to confront himself. I know he has a lot of pain in his childhood, but he is the one who has to deal with it. One Easter I was in church and feeling bad about getting a divorce; Jesus came to me right there as I was standing and said, “No matter what, I love you.”

    • Laurel says:

      Good luck having a sex life with a PA spouse. It’s only if, when, and how THEY want it. The only time we have sex is when he’s setting me up to pull another stunt to devastate my self-worth. I love him, so I never see it coming.
      Oh, good luck with feeling like you are worth anything. They are only too happy to tell you and show you in a thousand sneaky, nasty, hurtful ways that you aren’t.

      • B says:

        I hear you sister, the last time my boyfriend actually was willing to put any kind of effort to performing sex (not laying on his back) was like four years ago. He almost never initiates sex. And will only lay on his back Only! I hate him for that…

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      Maybe counseling will help. Patterns have formulated and both of you are still early in your marriage. Dont wait until more bitterness and division occurs. 🙏❤ Let love be your greatest aim for both of you.
      Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren has some sections in the book on relationships.

  • Laurel Deveso says:

    Wow! A bunch of Laurels in here – yet they still never make keychains or other trinkets with our name on it! I’ve been married for 3 years to a PA. I am also a PA. We are both in our 60’s so we are both combating a whole lifetime of hurts, and this is how it comes out. This is my 4th marriage and i now understand that they are all screwed up in one way or another. So let go of the notion that there is “good” marriage. I believe we are all little children still in pain, and when a child is in pain you give comfort. Close, physical comfort. When we get stuck in a bad pattern, I reach out to him and take him into my arms. No words needed. It heals the hurts. For both. Repeat as often as needed. At times it is more than once a day. At times it is less than once a week. We all deserve love. You chose this person for a reason and they are still there. So love them.

    • Lost Husband says:

      Wow, thank you guys for the replies. But also, it makes me sad to know that I’m not the only person. Even more sad is that my wife and I have decided to divorce. I’m devastated and am having such a hard time with it, and she has been keeping a straight face in front of me acting like she’s unbothered, even though she says she is. I feel like even now that she’s getting her way and won’t have to deal with me after I move out, she still subconsciously wants to punish me and feel in control. The passive aggressive tendencies really make her lack any empathy and as sad as I am with how things have ended up, I don’t see how they could have fine any other way. She is just so uninterested in how I feel and has no concern for whether or not she hurts me. I hope all of your marriages don’t end up like mine.

    • Eye says:

      Thank you Laurel Deveso. My husband will be 88 and I am 70. Second marriages, his first wife passed and I was divorced. He admits he was intimidated by me at first. But we had a mutual friend who gave him confidence to continue dating me. Then I went through a PTSD episode and couldn’t work. The whole dynamics of our relationship changed. He pursued me with all kinds of gifts and introduced me to his family who opened their arms to me. Long story short, we have been married 14 years; he has Parkinson’s; I’m not going anywhere and even know that I’m in this relationship for a reason. I will adopt your hugging technique when needed…and if he accepts the hugs. Sometimes I even get a hug back in return but I had to teach him how to hug.

    • Joanne G Forst says:

      When I did this, it really helped. I was just thinking I need to do this more often rather than speak. Praying over him while I touch him is very powerful. God listens and is larger than our problems. 🙏❤

  • Milena says:

    I am giving it up after 20 years.
    I deeply value my PA partner’s other qualities.
    But he desperately needs to make me feel miserable in order do get some comfort for himself. And it gets worse every day.
    I will miss him but it is time for evacuation.

    • Moon says:

      Milena, I know how you feel. I am starting to feel the exact way. I am planning it carefully because I don’t want to fall hard or harder than I am now.
      Take care of yourself and good luck.

  • Shelly says:

    I just couldn’t deal with his behaviour any longer especially when he abused my children, that was it, he crossed the line and i haven’t wanted to speak or communicate with him since. I’ve seen with clearer eyes now I am outside the circle of control and for my own safety and health reasons I walked away, it’s tough as I have known this man most of my life but he is incapable of love and empathy and just has the attitude of ‘ I don’t care’, he will never change as he thinks he is superior and it’s everyone else’s fault. So for my own sanity I choose to remove him from my life and ignore him. It’s my only option as I could never win

  • Me says:

    I hate to say it, but I think a lot of you are mislabeling the alleged ‘PA’ person in your lives…Many of these controlling individuals sound like narcissists, which are a whole different animal. You might want to check out the descriptions of narcissists…PA’s are underhanded, but when it gets to the point where they seem to deliberately set you up to be hurt, and take pleasure in same…that’s a narcissist. It’s important to understand the difference….narcissists exist for no other purpose than to tear others up, to make themselves feel better. Triangulation, gaslighting, etc. ….those are narcissistic traits. Narcissists cannot be cured, they can only be managed, and managed gingerly at best. For the sake of your own sanity and safety, check out the traits of a narcissist, and if they match your spouse/SO, be prepared to run….

    • Penny says:

      I totally agree with you, Narcissist we simply do not see them coming: wolf in sheep’s clothing:

      Good judges of character of children or young people: when they say I don’t like him/her and can’t explain why: you try to give the reason and hope they have got it wrong but the bottom line they are right:

      Children don’t understand why they have a feeling, we as adults do to but we try so hard in the hope that this one will love us. Problem is this person despises him/herself so much they want make everyone around them as bad as them: They are people who choose outgoing honest lively personalities people, in the hope they will cover who they are: They themselves are very ugly people, they feed from you take your beauty use you & crush you:

      There should a law against people like this, my own experience I nearly died from such people simply couldn’t see their jealousy.

      I studied for many years to find just what they did to me, (I say they) as there has been men as well as women: (I’m straight) women friends: It’s good to see the light however it doesn’t help that another has hurt you so:

      However I’m here today to tell the tale, over the course of 15 years I have attempted suicide several time, now I don’t blame myself instead I know it is them:

      I’m a good person I hope, kind and thoughtful. I do not want to be cruel and evil:

      It is hard to leave this relationship when so many are like it:

  • This Blog is so amazing always leave people with a craving heart to go in to the depth of the words its using.

  • Kevin says:

    All of these comments are attacks on the PA person, of whom I have recently found out I am. I am losing my marriage of 19 years and would love how to correct this behavior for another relationship down the road.

    I am trying to save my marriage but don’t think it’ll happen as I have agreed to marriage counseling, personal counseling and Christian based marriage counseling but I did even know my behavior was this until 1 week ago.

    • Erik says:

      If you sincerely want to change I believe your wife would jump at that. My marriage is approaching 25 years, and even the best days are filled with uncertainty; I continually question myself ….trying to see what I could have said or done to be treated so badly. Again and again the conclusion is that there is nothing I can do except pray. My expectations are normal and in fact minimal; but the responses I get are abnormal, inconsistent and always leave me feeling hurt and alone. After decades of a spouse using the natural vulnerability of marriage to constantly knock me down, I question my own sanity. I am convinced that she enjoys the insecurity that inevitably grew in me.
      I repeatedly create the responses I would love to hear from my wife, but have no hope of ever hearing. She often says she loves me but it is so empty and at odds with all her other words and behaviors.
      But if you genuinely want to change, tell her that, and then do it!! She would amaze you with her willingness to forgive.

  • Juls says:

    I sincerely hope you mean what you say. It’s gonna take a long time for your wife to believe and trust, without having her guard up. I truly hope for both of you all the counseling works.

  • Jimmy says:

    My wife would not let me know her true feelings. If in her eyes I did something wrong she refuse to tell me but give me the silent treatment. When I asked if something is wrong I get a shoulder shrug Or everything is fine.

  • Jimmy says:

    My wife would not let me know her true feelings. If in her eyes I did something wrong she refuse to tell me but give me the silent treatment. When I asked if something is wrong I get a shoulder shrug Or everything is fine.

  • Sherine says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted on this subject matter!!

    It has enabled me to sit in quiet contemplation and evaluate my ownself!!

    I’m not sitting in judgement seat as I know I’m far from perfect, but equally know I’m so lonely and unhappy, Even though I’m married to a really nice guy, when his not being passive aggressive!!

    Is rather be on my own, than to waste another year of both our lives, hoping for change that may never come!!

    I only have power to change myself and therefore I begin this next chapter of my life, as if I’m on my own!! It was my 55th Birthday 3 days ago and my husband could not even make the effort to buy a birthday card, despite the fact he says he plan to give me a Gift an’t the end of the month!!

    It’s not the gift it’s how he makes me feel!! I’m so used to the feeling of disconnected and of little value and interest in his life!!

    I’m now preparing my mind to get used to being on my own !! I know it won’t be easy, but I’m sure it will be better than faking it until we hope to make it, only to find out we wasted another 19 years of our lives!! Just kerping it very real!!

    But I know with God All Things are Possible, Even the impossible becomes possible!! So today I take hope from the messages I read Today, and submit my marriage in the hands of God the almighty!!

    Nuff Luv sxx

    • Kay says:

      Imagine dealing with an entire family of passive aggressives. I have been doing this for the last 30 years with my husband’s family. Not fun. I was never in the military, but believe it would honestly be easier having a drill sergeant yell at me all day than to constantly be walking on eggshells around these people.

      This family LOVES competition. I have heard my father in law say, “Show them who’s boss!” It is sick. I have never met people that were determined not to cry or show any kind of love or compassion at a loved ones funeral.

      And yes, they thrive on, ignoring text messages, phone calls, etc. Just plain RUDE in my book. They don’t care.

      Let us not forget about being greeted by Frankenstein at Christmas. We wouldn’t want to be happy talking to people we haven’t seen in a while – that would be too human.

      I refuse to turn into these creatures. I tell our kids how much we love them and that showing other people love by giving them a hug is natural and human.

      I cannot tell you how many blessings this family has missed out on because of their determination to be stubborn. Again – sick.

      I get along with perfect strangers beautifully who tell me how nice and friendly I am. Just so thankful that I don’t have to be around this so-called “family” very often and expose myself or my kids to the poison.

      Life is very short. I am going to be happy and live it to its full potential. I refuse to be held down by emotional vampires that think it is perfectly acceptable to be an a**hole all the time. It clearly is not.


  • ELIZE says:

    My husband is a Pastor. So i found it very hard to accept the fact that he could treat me in this terrible way. Ignoring me, not greeting me, the unending silent treatment, ignoring my messages and emails, and never shows any gratitude for anything I do, sometimes not even eating the food I’ve prepared? Seems as if he orchestrates arguments on a regular basis. He blames me and tells me that I am nasty to him, which is not true. And yes, he needs help. But how do I ask for help at the church where people seem to value him kind of, and will never believe that he can be so nasty to me at times. This behaviour is very hurtful and Ive thought of getting out of this marraige. How can he preach to others? I think he needs psychological help, but he thinks he’s just fine. Its very frustrating when hes like thus because he flatly ignores me stay away the whole day until very late and i am left worrying about him. At times I am very lonely.

  • Daniel says:

    I am on the verge of walking away. I see people in this forum saying don’t engage with PA behaviour, say little, and I read the advice that sounds like just accept it and hug them build their self-esteem, and accept that you are going to be hurt. From my perspective, enough is enough. I’m a Social Worker and a non-practicing priest (because of all the terrible things I see people doing to other people and I won’t follow a bishop who does those terrile things and then hypocritically preaches.). I have lived with and taken slot of abuse and pain in life and have always tried to turn the other cheek. I just don’t think I have it in me anymore. I understand where her pain comes from. She has painful memories and low self-esteem, and the truth about her love for me is not important, because I have always loved her. We had two children die, terribly, and we were apart for 30 years, but somehow found ourselves back together again. We didn’t break up because we didn’t love each other, but because we were constant reminders to each other of the death of our children. I don’t know happened during those 30 years, but during the past three years I have had to come to terms with her “I’m fine” responses immediately followed by behaviour suggesting she is in physical pain (reserved for those situations) or petty comments and insinuation that no one cares about her, that I am guilty of some petty thing that she portrays through twisted revisionism, or, when I don’t take the bait, that everyone would be better off without her. There are many daily instances where I walk on eggshells to not trigger her into that negative manipulative behaviour…and I generally just accept it…but it just happened again and I don’t know if I can take it anymore. Right now, she’s sitting in the truck, and I’m sitting in the living room trying to avoid looking at a future without her. We had talked yesterday about the need to get up early this morning to do several chores and then have a relaxing afternoon at the flea-market to look at a business plan she might want to do.. We agreed. She then stayed up until 2am playing WOW. By 0800 I had coffee ready, and she was chatting with me on the phone. But when I reminded her of our plan and the need to get dressed and go…that’s when it started…the gripping…the comments about transient pain. When I asked if we should put the plans, (no no…I’m fine.” As we head out the door and start down the road…suddenly I’m inconsiderate for waking her up by making noise in the kitchen…suddenly, with every corner I turn doing the wrong thing, taking too much time, she’s doesn’t want to go out, and anything I say is wrong. I had enough. A sexless relationship where I’m the only one earning an income, watching her sit in her robe all day playing wow…ignoring the mess around us that I’m cleaning up alone…put downs and insults immediately following the ” I’m fine”…life becoming miserable everyone she changes her mind. I don’t think I can take it anymore. I turned the car around and went back home. I finally said something about it, how I feel she makes life miserable when she doesn’t get her way. I felt guilty the second I said it, but it is the truth as I see it. Now she’s sitting in the car, as if waiting for me, and I’m sitting here feeling miserable typing this. I can’t please her, and I can’t get anything done. I’m tired, I’m feeling used, not loved and I don’t think I can take it anymore. Sorry, gotta go…she just came in the door, slamming it, to go to the washroom, slamming that door also. I gotta get out of the house…I just don’t want to argue and hear how wrong I am for trying to do what we planned yesterday. I just can’t take this anymore.

    • Morgan says:

      I’ve just now read what you posted in June of 2019. It broke my heart for you. I sincerely hope that you are in a MUCH BETTER place. You seem like a dear soul, and I am sorry that you’ve been through so much.

  • Sarah Newcomb says:

    Hi Friends. This whole thing is really sad. I just broke an engagement and feel relieved and lucky to have gotten out in time with any sanity left. I did not realize how consuming the situation was over my peace of mind. Glad to be coming up for air now. I know I will miss him but I did not want to marry a companion. I want a husband and there was nothing husbandly about this situation despite therapies, promises, etc. I deserve to be loved fully and to be able to give love fully. We all do. I know that now. I also know that despite my imperfections, Passive-agressive is very complicated and not something I want to spend the rest of my life trying to unravel on a rollercoaster ride. Once the therapist helped me understand it was that, I realized there was not much hope. I hung in a bit more to see if therapy would help and saw with my own eyes he not applying what he said he learned. It’s all good. I consider this nobody’s fault. Just not a fit. Sad as it is because we loved each other deeply for a long time, in whatever way he was able I guess. I think I held on to a fantasy of what was a long time ago and he was busy in future dreams. Nobody was really living in the present and there was nothing left to build on when he witheld the affection/juice. No spark. Did not feel like an engagement. So I finally had the courage to let it go (again.). I am praying I will not get back on the ride this time as he is already back in pursuit. I know nothing will change. No longer believe the words. Actions showed me what life would look like. Not my description of husband. I pray for all of you too. Your words have helped me understand that it is OK to honor my own normal needs and not be a sacrifice any longer trying to rescue anyone else. Especially when they do not try to rescue themselves. Have a good evening Friends. Thanks again

  • I fear its too late but with over 30 years coping I’m as compromised as my self diagnosing passive aggressive wife.
    When she first matter of factly stated I think I’m passive aggressive I was hurt shocked curious and mostly suspicious.
    Working as a grunt at a physical therapy clinic I have no doubt one of the Pts told her this as he or she was dumping her back to the marriage scrap heal ive lived in since exchanging vows with the most untrustworthy of vow takers imaginable.
    For several years leading to that fateful day I grappled with what was happening and attempted as a total layman to describe to my wonderful wife what her odd behavior was doing and might ultimately do to my most prized possession and accomplishment, my marriage.
    I described it as control from the weak side and feel to this day with no training beyond physc 101 in jc I was incredibly close to clear and complete diagnosis and am equally convinced that her proclamation of self diagnosing is preposterous, untrue and possibly impossible.
    Why anyone would claim calmly to be so diabolicly rotten as a passive aggressive then do nothing to mitigate or control the damage their personality disorder had been doing and continued to do is clear evidence of many of the unsavory traits mention in your descriptions.
    I would love counseling but fear she would win over the counselor and swing the blame for our problems toward me as she has done so skillfully forever that I would lose total control and react violently.

  • J.R. Alexander says:

    Thanks, a lot of really good comments here. My struggle is that I have had a TBI, so it is so easy for me to be at blame for everything. It is a label I can never have removed from me. I get so easily sucked into her games bc I am such a people pleaser w no boundaries. She is such a pro at manipulating conversations so that she is never wrong. She refuses counseling, I think bc she fears having to be accountable. I am so easily the fall guy for everything. I am so miserable

  • Matthew Coon says:

    this is almost a book of replies. not much to add I sure, wifey cheated, lied, had separate and fictional lives where I was I’ll always the person of wrong/ most wrong so that she may continue her self as needed in the moment. shoulder shrugs, inspiring speeches of the best shit I could ever say always followed by a soon to be vic5im of the I did not hear any of that for the past 30 m8nutes or d8d I say I could not hear. I stead 8 heard it all and answered with “what” bullshit kinda night. lead to drug addiction, loss of kids houses and cars . to learn to stop saying sorry was a great step, then learning to lift my head, say hello and even hold a door for another without fear that 8m I’m the way. I use to say sorry when holding that door and now challenge myself to say hello with a smile . I’m still with the person who d8d that to me and it’s comming to a point f9r sure because I can’t take no m9re. so I’m learning more than I have already about this girl no o e has ever even tried to help. when is my wisdom suppose to tell me to stop car8mg about someone I have the real stuff they try to portray in movies . I better off gotten t9 stay 18 years now for s9me reason I learned more the ever about every subject and or diagnosis we have come against even being diagnosed with narcolepsy . she picked on me about my disability to the point people angrily will call me a narcoleptic fuck as though they are shinn8ng angels when they make this statement. I then realize it runs in her family and none have ever been treated or helped with this exhaustively persistent thing that is helping tare the world apart as it is in the group called so important we should not dismay to find a cure but instead we set it up in it’s own purgitory to push someone with a header of gold to the point that st9ped am from being able to cure the aggressor. the ignoring makes me feel worthless and no xjistant and I believe now that it also 8mvolves the desire to hurt me

  • RJ says:

    After months of PA behavior, removing her wedding ring, silent treatment, doing more and more things without me, etc., my wife wanted to live in another bedroom or move out. I took a stand and said that her place was next to me in our bed. So she and my stepson moved out. She said she wanted her space. So the past six weeks I have patiently watched this play out, I helped move some of her things for her too. She has rarely contacted me, and when she has it has a meanness to it. A couple weeks later, I thought maybe it was time to start to contact her, so I called her to see if she would to go to church. She declined but said why did you wait till now to contact me. I just said I was being respectful since you told me you wanted your space. She has left husbands before so I am thinking it is time to finally accept the end.

  • Rocki says:

    Why say with a person that behavior is nothing anyone would want around them . The complete opposite of what I Do mens in a manner fact. Two married people joined together became as one . How on earth does that happen with a person who has been acting crazy and violent and to the other half of the person they married.?

  • paul says:

    my wife is passive aggressive with undiagnosed generalized anxiety disorder (she refuses to talk to a dr or marriage councling/never got therapy for her daughter either). it didnt really start until the wedding 4 years ago. she had masked it very well up to that point. after 3 months with her and her aspies daughter age 12. So over the course of a few months of not being heard, ideas being shot down, constant problems. steady bitching..very rarely sharring joy. I went to talk to the VA
    then they put me on anti depressants. But I was just annoyed cuz these two girls never listend or tried to solve problems and just bitch all the time. Even with events of buying a house, truck, giving her a 10K check, proposing with a diamond ring always something to chop you down to lower level. Fun sponge or sucking the air out of the room. All they do is cast blame, manufacture false memories, never take resposibilty or simple play the victim. It is actually impressive thing to watch when u know what your looking for. Over this four years with two children of our own it really puts you im a position frustration because they wont talk about it openly and care not about the truth but just shifting blame over to other people in this case, me the husband. Something you figure would be so clear trying to make your wife happy but it will never happen like a donkey and a carrott. Right where they want you too be. Then when naturally there negative jabs eventually put you in a bad mood…they can just say you need anger management.

  • Sam says:

    How does one handle a passive aggressive? Seems to pop up when everything is going smooth or monthly. For example asked him to clean something up while I worked. But he wanted me to supervise him. I have to work and he knows that. So he drags the boxes into the room next to where I am working and packs them there. I ignore him. Then he needs help with the tape. I told him to use the packing tap. And it just goes on. And of course he calls me crazy when I call him out on it.

  • Ron says:

    My ex-wife was very passive aggressive. Whenever I challenged her on it, I was gaslighted. She tried to destroy my Army career by her bad talk to all the other wives including commander’s wives. I had a choice to make. Stay married and loose my career and if I stayed married I would become a school teacher, and she would ruin that too. It got worse and during counseling, she denied everything. Just express her hatred for my mother (who had died a year earlier) and her not liking my Army Captain’s pay. She upped the aggression by frequently visiting my Army bosses and commanders, claiming she was just stopping by while shopping with their wives. We divorced. I retired 12 years later and started a second career. I live 4 states away from her, and she sent private investigators 15 years after the divorce to watch my home and follow me to work to get info to harass me. I ended that by getting them to follow me down a back country road, then pulling my loaded assault rifle on them. She continued to contact my sisters to pump info. Now 37 years later, she is still trying to get the divorce changed so she can get permanent alimony. Fortunately I remarried a very nice girl 30 years ago. Yeah, there are more mental issues than passive aggression here, especially when the ex won’t stop.

  • Kay Lynn Myers says:

    In reading many comments. Narcissists seem to be passive aggressive. I divorced one. We can set healthy boundaries. We can maintain our own opinions, beliefs and anonymity. Be Kind to yourselves. I know it’s easy to begin to doubt your sanity. All areas seem to turn grey and confusing? You’re being gaslighted. It’s ok to make decisions, hold fast to what you like and dislike. It’s not being unkind to your partner to require being treated well.

  • Wow. I read through a lot of this stuff and you got it in a nutshell!

  • T says:

    I am at that place now.. My husband asked for a divorce and I told him I wasn’t sure, so took some time out to think and decided he was right, as I have come to the realisation that we are both unhappy and have been so for a long time. The problem is, he has now retracted his statement and blames me for wanting the divorce, when I confronted him about it, he said that he only threatened me with divorce because he thought it would make me “sort myself out” and “fix my issues” .. I suffer from a very low sex drive and thought he was supportive for the first few months of our marriage, it turned ugly very quickly, where he would call me a freak and tell me that I need help and that I am not well.. I felt so inadequate and less of a woman ,, his anger just got worse and worse and he would call me up on EVERYTHING… anything I did pissed him off, if I fell asleep or moved some of his belongings without his say so he would argue with me for days and would shout at me to the point where I am in tears.. I felt so isolated and was convinced it was all my fault and that I asked for it.. he treated me with divorce so many times ,, and I kept begging him to reconsider till a few months ago (the scenario above). I always said to him don’t rush divorce in my face because I will agree to it and you won’t realise what has hit you,, and sure enough five years later here we are… He is getting himself sorted to move out, but living with him at the moment is so uncomfortable and awkward.. he is passive aggressive towards me all the time.. throws snide remarks at me, tries to bully me into changing my mind.. I know he is hurting, but he makes me feel like I’m the worst person alive for putting myself first…

  • Robin says:

    I have only been married for over a year and have never felt such conflicting emotions in my entire life (I’m old)!!!! My husband is passive aggressive and will go days without speaking to me telling me it will pass. He refuses to discuss anything and becomes defensive when I try with all of heart to communicate with him. He never shares how he feels about me and at times making the comment, “I married you didn’t I”.

    The thing is when things are good, there is nothing better, but when things are bad, I’m living in hell.

    When things are going good, I promise myself that I’m never going to do anything to make him angry at me but I guess by now, I have to realize that this is not going to happen. I feel so defeated. I’ve never been with someone who you can’t communicate with.

    I’ve told myself or tried to convince myself rather that he is a good person and he loves me but it is very hard. I am feel so hurt by his actions. I can so relate to the where you say that they will sabotage things in your life. I enjoy hiking and he used to but now has decided to take a step away from it. He is very inconsistent. We even met in a hiking group. He has sabotaged our hikes so many times and I keep just getting over it. It’s the one thing in life I really enjoy and helps me manage my emotions. I love hiking with him on a good day. I love him with all of my heart.

  • Trixie says:

    I have been dealing with this man who calls himself my husband for 16 years now, married for 8. While we were dating there were so many red flags, but I was young and did not now what was happening. Then I went abroad to study and we had a distant relationship for 5 years, that’s why I probably survived to get married to him. I think I had some personal issues to endure his bullsh.. for so long, which needed to be resolved. Normally, I am a fighter, was succesfull and am much better looking than him, I have better education and recently I realized our intelligence and asspirations don’t macht either. Since I married him, he has been emotionally abusing me in many ways, gaslighting, silent treatmens, no intimacy or sex, name-calling, extrem emotional cruelty and coldness, constant yelling…Even when our son was born he did not change towards me. From my marriege I got extreamly high levels of stress, nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, anxiety, I constantly feel sick, or depressed, and was almost diagnosed with Lymphoma (I’m still not sure I don’t have it)…I don’t enjoy my life, or anything I used to love, and am only stuck dreaming of leaving him, which is not possible at the moment, but I am working on it. The worst thing, he still does not get it when I tell him how I feel, because I don’t care if he knows. He is convinced I am bluffing, it is absurd how this people can be blind! So if you are with such a person, and have a possibilities-run sooner then later. Their issues will suck the life out of you, and you will loose years trying to figure out what is going around.

    • Morgan says:

      Unfortunately, I have to agree with you Trixie. I spent the first six years of my so-called-marriage wondering what the hell I had done WRONG, knowing full-well that I hadn’t done anything but would have GLADLY “copped” to anything had I been so! This wasn’t walking on eggshells…it was walking on fire-hot shards of glass. After an absolutely nightmarish separation, I finally had a few years of semi-peace. Then, of course, I was swept back up in the horror after thinking that a couple of years of therapy had put us on the right track. Here I am now, having just purchased another home with this PA, EXACTLY where I was in the very beginning. The leopard does NOT change his/her spots. Get Out Now. I take FULL responsibility for being so naive. Please do NOT follow my lead.

  • Michael says:

    A lot of women on here about guys. I’m a man and dealing with a girlfriend for 15 years I’ve been abused. I have a child with her that I love so much and don’t want to hurt her. This women has ruined my relationship with my past marriage children. I’m full of life, successful and a nice looking man, but the life is being sucked out of daily.

    • Brendan says:

      I am only now after 20 years of marriage daring to challenge some of the accusations my wife has sent my way. It’s been my habit to assume there is truth in any criticism she gives. But everything fits with her being PA. She routinely tells me that we need to get A, B and C done, but she shuts down any attempt I make to solve problems. She has a medical condition and frequently over-exerts herself while refusing to accept my offer to do things for her, then for days she blames her physical condition on “what she had to do because nobody else would”. But the most hurtful bit is she tells me constantly what I think and what my priorities are, and it’s almost never accurate. I feel like she is constantly on the lookout for evidence that things are my fault. I mean, today she asked me to buy something from the supermarket, and I rather foolishly bought two different types so she could see which one she preferred (both half price, I might add) and apparently this was evidence of how I “constantly ignore her” and “think I know better than her”. I am on edge all day, every day, for fear of how she will react to things… Yet the constant accusation is that I ignore what she thinks.

  • KP says:

    30 years with a passive-aggressive husband has taught me a lot about this behavior.
    My husbandis very un-self-aware. He refuses to see a therapist. He has no idea how destructive his behavior and attitudes can be. He says he loves me, and quite likely he does, in his own way. But he also resents me deeply. I think love and resentment are not mutually exclusive with a passive-aggressive individual. Indeed, they often go hand in hand. Deep resentment–and love–toward an important caregiver in their childhood is often lurking underneath. My husband had a very authoritarian father. I resemble him in certain aspects. His father was a dictator, belittling my husband and his sister throughout their childhoods. His mother is weak. His sister hasn’t spoken to her parents for years. She became aggressive. My husband internalized all of it and became passive-agressive.
    When my parents came to visit, when my husband was still a student, he said he had exams and barely saw them. Even though we live in a foreign country and it is his country. I found out he had skipped all his exams and lied about it. What did I do? Did I leave him? No. I helped him study for makeup exams all summer. He passed. But later, when he had to do his thesis to complete his studies, I did not step in to make sure he did it. What happened? He never completed the thesis. He never got his diploma. Our lives were completely changed by his inability to deal with authority and take responsibility. I helped him analyze his strengths and weaknesses and we embarked on a different journey. We did ok financially. I have a level head and steered him in directions where he could flourish.. Yet he blames me for everything that he doesn’t like about his life.
    His passive-aggression comes out in different ways: He provokes me when we have disagreements with personal attacks and insults. He passes judgement in an insulting and non-productive manner, saying things like “You’re crazy,” “You should be locked up.” “You think only about yourself,” “You think only about money,” etc. Gross exaggerations and generalizations leave no room for discussion or defense. I like the image of nailing jell-o to the wall that someone here posted.
    He also has trouble evoking his own preferences or opinions. When we are in disagreement, he often says things like, “Everyone thinks you are this or that (negative things)” and “Everybody hates you,” rather than speaking for himself. In this way, he portrays himself as the victim, along with all humanity, and me as the culprit. I sometimes think he may truly believe what he says, and in these moments of frustration and anger, believes I am a malevolent force and a danger to all humanity. He screams and yells about how evil and bad I am. In front of his parents. Though I stay calm, and speak calmly and rationally, if I say anything to defend myself, they tell ME to calm down. It’s absurd. It makes me very sad to think I am married to a man who resents me so deeply. But when he finally calms down, it’s as if nothing had happened at all. His anger and resentment runs deep. But the truth is, it doesn’t have much to do with me.
    Tellingly, he rarely uses the first person singular “I” to express his opinions or feelings. I used to fall for this, and feel extremely hurt and angry and try to defend myself, which is impossible against the undefined enemy “everyone” or “people.” But now I ask, “Everyone is not here. Why not speak for yourself?”
    I am used to this life. Our son is grown. We have a nice home. Our finances are good. If we divorced, havoc would reign. All we have worked for these years would go to the lawyers and the state. I try to get along with my husband and not be too directive or authoritarian with him, but use diplomacy and a lot of understanding. Still, at times he flies completely off the handle. Then I am spared no insults or belittling comments. I ask him to stop insulting me and stick to my rational arguments. I don’t get all riled up, as I used to. Still, sometimes, I wonder if it’s all worth it. Don’t I deserve respect?
    I also wonder: does my husband resent me to the point of hating me? Why stay 30 years with a woman you hate? The truth is, he resents and hates himself. He can’t divorce himself. Deep-down he knows this. I’m the whipping boy. It’s hard for me, living far from my family in a foreign country with a passive-aggressive husband. I’m enabling this situation; I know it. Even after 30 years together and approaching 60, I could still get out. What stops me?. It would be hard to go it alone. I’m not sure how happy I’d be living alone. The thought of dating scares the daylights out of me. Other men will have other qualities but also other problems. The financial ruin of divorce, for him, for me, for our son, is a horrible prospect. So I have chosen appeasement. Is that the right choice? Who knows? Do we ever know if make the right choices?
    Understanding the psychological roots of passive-aggression is a big help for the partner in dealing with the problem and not taking things so personally. Keeping his or her self esteem. Understanding isn’t a panacea though. It’s still hard. But life is hard. That’s the way of the world.

  • Anne says:

    I lived with a passive aggressive husband for 35 years — I understand every comment I have read from all of you. We went the counselling route with very little cooperation from him and I finally decided for the sake of my own health and emotional welfare to leave the marriage. He quickly turned into an enemy and then I knew that nothing would have ever changed his behavior. I now feel (after 25 years) like a new person but it has taken a great deal of healing from the negativity I lived with for so many years. Please don’t wait too long to take your life back! God bless.

  • Pam says:

    I have been married for 43 years to an intelligent, successful man but who is also passive aggressive. I was like most people and thought it was my fault he would go silent on me and also he would be verbally abusive. Even the marriage counselor told him that he needed counseling on his own because he became very angry during our appointment. He did go to a counselor for 3 years and things improved for a while but now he is worse. I tend to over share with him which you recommend I need to dial back. Right now he has given me the silent treatment for 7 days and with no end in sight. One article I read said I should avoid all contact with him until he decides to speak and to stop apologizing which I tend to do because I want his silence to end. This article was helpful.

    • VANESSA says:

      Hi. When I read the comment about not sharing too much my heart sank. I JUST started sharing more with my husband. I’ve shared things with him that I never had and allowed myself to be vulnerable in front of him for the first time (After 17 years). I never felt I could trust him, so I rarely let him see my sensitive side. I didn’t know why I couldn’t share with him, I just knew I didn’t feel safe doing so. He had me convinced there was something wrong with me. We have never been able to make it past the first visit with a marriage counselor. He has a masters in psychology which he doesn’t use. Long story short, apparently he’s smarter than anyone in that field and he won’t be a part of it. You can imagine how he treats the therapists. He’s condescending and, argumentative. He’s been diagnosed bipolar recently and refuses to take his meds as prescribed which makes him impossible to communicate with. I’m at a loss. I love him so much, but there’s times I feel I’m losing my mind. Good luck to you all.

  • Male Reader says:

    Most guides give the advise to “set boundaries”, but how and which boundaries exactly?

    My wife is extremely demanding. For example, she wants me to share all my time with her. If I point out that I personally want to do some activity or achieve something, or even just visit relatives, she immediately insults me as being a “bad dad who doesn’t care about his kid”, or that she regrets having married me, that I don’t honor our marriage agreement to be there for each other, or some other insults.

    For example, when our child was born, she aggressively claimed for MONTHS that my parents could not visit us because she is completely fatigued, but obviously it was just a way to deny my parents to see their grandchild an me. Now, if I told her that my parents would not even come to our flat but we would meet outside, she immediately claimed that she is SUCH a loving mother that she can’t let go of her child for even half an hour, and if I took the child she would go ballistic. Obviously she could not come outside since she has to do housework (hint: when the child was born, I did all the cooking and most other housework for months…)

    How do I handle such a situation where a passive-aggressive person tries to deny someone else even most basic interactions?

    How do I “set boundaries” there? Should I express my wishes, let her insult me, do my thing, come back home and let her continue with insults and have one horrible evening after another?

    I don’t want to insult her back as this is not what i learned from home. I think sometimes she even tries to make me insult or hit her, only to later say that I was such a weak man that I had to use insults…

    What is the appropriate reaction to someone who you have to walk on eggs with, someone who is willing to spend a whole evening continuously taunting just because she felt that I did not fulfill a promise or whatever to a perfect 100%.

    • John says:

      If it helps male reader….I hear you. After 11 years, I dont know what to do either. And sometimes, I’ve said to our son, lets go into town in the middle of a wife tirade. When we ALL get there, the switch flicks and she actually tries to cuddle me in front of others.

      When we come home, smash……back at the abuse.

  • joe vee says:

    I am writing this comment with tears of joy. My marriage fell apart after 6 months because my mother In-law asked my husband to divorce me and marriage the woman she betroth to him as his wife. All this drama started happening in our marriage and my husband left me and our one month baby just so he could do as his mom wants him to.

  • kevin says:

    WOW , after stumbling into this site while googling the crazy shit I’ve been dealing with for 29 years and which has recently escalated dramatically I read all of your posts and OMG this is without a doubt my wife. I have been thinking I was going nuts for so many years and have in the past 5 yrs been on antidepressants. I am blamed for everything even when shit just happens, I am constantly criticized, scrutinized, am told I am stupid, Lazy, useless stupid liar. I am told that everyone she knows agrees that I am useless. I am told how so many other men are so much better to their wives. communication has become next to impossible I am greeted with extreme contempt and sarcasm. I am no longer an ally rather I am an adversary. I tip toe on eggshells every day of my life. she acts aggressively to me, I will respond in similar fashion and I then must apologize for being the aggressor. I quit trying to initiate sex years ago because I couldn’t stand the rejection any longer. I often get the silent treatment with slamming of doors and stuff all over the house, she is a sort of hoarder and I’ve been trying to get her to let go of all the crap we have in totes everywhere and she never will. she just recently just decided on her own to withdraw 33,000.00 from our savings which was 3/4 of everything we had and pay off a vehicle and our cottage, the vehicle was at like 2% the cottage was at like 4%, Why? I said would you do that and without even talking to me. Of course it was my fault. This was/is the last straw as I thought there was something wrong with me for the longest time but I have been in Hell for so long I didn’t realize it, I have been emotionally abused and gaslighted by this woman so bad I don’t even know who I am anymore… Until I found this site I didn’t know any of this or what gaslighting even was. THANK YOU ALL for most of my sanity being restored. Time to move on, this year I will be 60 and I have had enough. K out

  • VANESSA says:

    Hey all. I’m so glad that I came across this site. For 17 years I could not seem to pin point why I got bad vibes from him. He’s Intelligent, passive, hard working, he has always helped clean, cook, laundry, happy go lucky most of the time. I have always found it so strange that he needed pats on the back for simple tasks that I do as well. “I don’t feel appreciated” “no one cares”. He’s MEAN AF when he’s angry. During an argument, He will use anything difficult/painful I’ve shared with him. After he’s done being as hurtful as possible, he’ll go outside for a cigarette and come back like nothing happened. “You’re blowing it out of proportion “ “I was mad when I said that” “you said mean things too”. He makes me feel crazy. He manipulates constantly. He doesn’t stand by anything he says. He constantly lies in order to keep the peace. I’m assertive and he had me convinced that I was mean and cold hearted. I had a tough childhood, so i don’t trust easy and I’m not very affectionate or big on sharing personal details. He has made me feel guilty about that through out the whole relationship. I was convinced that I was a bad person. He criticizes me using sarcasm/humor all the time. He’s condescending as heck as well. He’s aware he’s passive aggressive. He says he’s “working on it”. He’s not. His idea of working on it is to ignore difficult situations/conversations, and/or not engage and work extra hours till things calm down. Same record plays over and over. Please tell me there is a solution. Is there?

    • Betsy says:

      Vanessa, please read about narcissism. There are different types of narcissism but your husband’s behaviors fall in line with common narcissistic traits. And yes, they promise over and over that they will “work on” making things better. It won’t happen. That is a common trait in and of itself. They are without true empathy but are good “faking it” in public and often come across as “nice guys”. In reality, blame-shifting, lying, gaslighting, etc. are all part of this personality disorder. Lonely and crazy-making life for their spouses. You are in good company as many of us have found ourselves in these unenviable relationships. Stay strong. You are worthy.

  • John says:

    Im sad to see, all the responses I have read have been from women. I have a wife that screams at my son, then at me until we scream back. Then she denies ever screamed at all. She then walks around the house belittling me (sometimes for hours), even if she has screamed as loud as she can at our son. A child. This is even if I am in another room just trying to work online.

    This is also despite holding her when she is sad, and then she still abuses me. My son sometimes sends me messages when I am out via messenger Mum is yelling at me, Im scared please come home.

    From what I’ve seen in responses so far, Im to blame being the husband. I must be passive aggressive. Even when Im not at home. Its hard to get someone to talk when they simply say ‘I wasnt yelling, you were’. But again, I guess Im to blame for that too.

    From what I can see, she should divorce me as Im such a terrible guy. She calls me controlling, like our finances. I say ‘hey here’s the passwords for all the accounts (over and over). Its your money as well as mine.’. The reply I get…..’Oh I cant remember passwords’. And then sometime later…..you never give me the passwords for the accounts!

    • John says:

      PS: Though I really would leave, I’m terrified what she’ll do to our son. Hes only 9, and she repeatedly drops comments about him ‘never’ doing this or that, always at night, then the next day she so positive.

      • Leanne says:

        Why don’t you start having family meetings? If you meet each Friday evening to discuss family issues perhaps this will help decrease the screaming. It might even give you a chance to say to her that you don’t see things the same way she does. Set ground rules that there will no screaming or insulting remarks made during the family meeting. Also have your son attend. This way you can stand up for him. Some families order take-out food or pizza and have a family meeting during dinner. If during the week she goes off the rails you can ask her why she didn’t bring up the issue in a calm manner during the meeting. Also if you discuss problems weekly you might both be able to co-parent your child better so he knows you’re both on the same page. In our house we give each person a chance to say what’s going on in their lives (work or school). They can say if they are having problems they need help with (the house is too noisy for doing homework or I’m working late next week and I don’t want to come home to a sink full of dishes like I did this week, or perhaps my husband tells the kids he’s overwhelmed with the yard work and asks the family to pitch in on weekends…). If everyone agrees and one person “forgets” or procrastinates the rest of the family can remind them what they agreed to during the meeting. It really helps put an end to passive-aggressive behavior.

  • Nicole says:

    I know your post was a while ago, but I am just coming across this site. I can relate to so much of what you are saying. I have a husband that sounds very similar. I am curious if you have ever considered leaving? I have, but with my kids, I am scared to. I am scared he will turn himself into the victim in their eyes too. They are both teenagers. I fear that he would try very hard to turn them against me and I cannot even bear the thought of them being put in that position. We have been married for over 20 years and I feel like an idiot for never seeing the passive aggressive qualities before. Now that I have, I stay mad at him all the time, although I have become very good at faking the love I do not feel. He cannot take any type of criticism, real or imagined. He can be paranoid and has a real aversion to sticking with anything for any period of time, including jobs. I am tired of being the emotional support for him and never getting any in return. I have to be the “rock” so to speak and can never be vulnerable. Right now, I am over the hurt I once felt, and have moved on to anger. Problem is, I have been angry for so long. Just wondering if that anger ever goes away and is replaced with any type of acceptance? Leaving right now is not an option as it will make things worse, much worse. Feeling very trapped. However, my kids are fantastic and the reason I stay, but there will come a day when they aren’t there anymore. What to do then? Maybe I will have the courage to leave then. He is just so good at playing the victim. I wish he would give me an obvious reason to go…like cheating. How warped is that? Wanting your husband to cheat so you can leave.

  • Regs says:

    My wife is a passive aggressive partner, it was not until we went to a mental health professional as our marriage was falling apart we found this out. To make matters worse we belong to a church an she played the victim as a passive aggressive partner will always do. She had been abused sexualy as a child and had big issues with this and any sex in general. She used the elders of the church to pummel me week after week for all the things I did wrong in her eyes, driving me to suicide. I attempted it once, and lived through it. These sick bitches will never change, I have been married for 36 years and I call her out when I can for her behavior. I have put up with it for years. The only answer I can give for those living with a passive aggressive wife is leave now. Passive aggressive women will drive you mental. We are still together in this torturous relationship only by gods arrangement we still are other wise I would have walked along time ago.(two gether alone) . I will die wondering how a relationship would have been with out these mental issues, of her teenage years of sexual abuse that she never told me about until we were married, then the red flags when up. I really just want someone who loves me, who I can make happy every moment of the day and think of there happiness and if they are happy so am I . Life is sort, and I guess being a dedicated Christian is the only thing that’s helps me every day of my life, put up with my wife shit, god please help me.

  • A round of applause for your mind blowing article. Much thanks to you. Fantastic

  • Possum says:

    I dont know what to do like many of the people here. Any advice I’ll be grateful.!! I have no idea how to handle this. I think my husband may be on the spectrum. If he is stressed he has meltdowns. He walked off once at a fuel station and I couldn’t find him. Today I said something twice it was just repeating what a retail guy had said about directions for going to another branch. He yelld “that’s right say it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Six times I actually counted. He was working himself up into such a state so I shut up. He says now he’s older he can’t cope with me “micromanaging him” Last night before I went to sleep he was yelling about something trivial and as soon as I woke up – something different , but yelling again. I am almost 80 I have heart failure. I know I’d be very very lucky to be here in 4-5 years. I can’t leave/ Where would I live? I know if I was dying he would look after me. Maybe not well, but better than nobody.
    It was different when I worked and earned more money than him. Now he has all the power, pays the bills, never discuses money. I feel more like a servant than a companion. (occasionally it’s ok but that is , mostly when he talks about his interest and I listen) He doesn’t have sex anymore – not for years he stopped when he lost an erection once and has never tried again. He’s forgotten that and blames me for lack of interest. He sleeps in the single bed in my study. His kisses are mostly half hearted. We never even do tasks together. I know we are both fond of each other, but he talks to the dog more than me. He will say when I speak “Hurry up – get to the point. I’ don'”t’ have the time.” Half an hour later a friend of his will phone him and they will talk for close to an hour. This has happened often. I know I should go out more, but it takes me all day to do the cleaning, washing, gardening. I don”t want to live in a dirty house and weedy garden. Sometimes we go away on holidays. They are usually much better. I think because we are sharing experiences. When we were younger we did more things together, and we even talked, but my health means I can’t do our old pastimes and I suspect him too. I bought scrabble, jigsaws, things more passive we could try – no dice. That’s enough/ I know I’m not perfect and I do get annoyed when I know he’s going the wrong way and I do try and explain. He gets pretty mad. Mostly I don’t say much any more. Any suggestion I make I’m micromanaging. I don’t mean to be critical just help. More and More I don’t bother speaking I know he doesn’t want to hear me. Besides I can get my buttons pushed and then yell too and that make things much worse and they are already horrible. PLEASE any advice or ideas. I’ll probably try all of them. Thank you

  • Joan says:

    My husband is every one of these things, and he is always angry because he has been suppressing his emotions for years and not just at me, at everyone. He is also hypersensitive to criticism and has a very hard time accepting faults so talking to him about issues is next to impossible. This morning is a prime example. He has been driving me to my office once a week during COVID. I never asked him to, he offered. I would normally take the subway but he is working from home and felt it would be safer and I appreciated it. I always said thank you. It’s normally a 30 minute round trip. This morning about 30 minutes before we normally leave he yelled up and asked if I was ready, I thought it was odd because he knows when I am ready I come downstairs, I would never just sit upstairs and wait for him to call me. I yelled down no not yet, he was immediately defensive. “well you don’t have to act like I did something wrong?” To be clear I did not I just spoke in my normal voice. I thought it was odd but I figured if he needed to leave early or something he would have said hey can you hurry up I have something to do, or asked me to just take the subway, no issues. So I came downstairs ready to leave at the normal time. He was on the couch sulking, sighing with an angry look on his face, not saying a word, so I asked what was wrong? He proceeded to berate and scream at me because the traffic has been horrible lately getting back from taking me to work (kids have gone back to school) and it was taking him so much longer to get back. I asked him how I was supposed to know that was the case? He said well I am telling you now that it is so could you please be ready a lot earlier now when I take you to work. But he was already furious with me. Why could he have not told me the night before about the traffic or even that morning said hey can you hurry it up traffic has been bad with me getting back recently? No problem I would have hurried it up. Or hey would you mind taking the train? No problem, and he knows that. His behavior caused a fight and provoked anger and confrontation which I thought passive aggressive people like to avoid right? And he could have avoided if he just was upfront? I am taking the subway going forward I don’t want to deal with him. And this happens a lot. It’s why I don’t ask him to help me with things. Because he agrees to do things he does not want to do, and then gets mad at me that’s he’s doing them except he does not tell me he does not want to do them, then blows up at me that he’s been doing them?!!! When he asks me to do something I don’t want to do I tell him no, he says it’s rude, I say it’s honest.

  • Peter says:

    I read a lot of comments that look familiar to me, except… I’m the husband and my wife is the passive aggressive bully. How to handle that? It seems as if she is two completely different people: one happy, flirty and outgoing person towards friends and family, the other one (towards me) is always in a bad mood, snapping at me on a daily basis and making me feel less as a human being.
    We’ve been married for a year now and since the beginning she has told me she has had anger issues in the past, but got completely rid of it. She has a medical condition which makes it difficult for her to have sex. I showed a lot of patience not forcing anything and waiting for her to get the treatment she said she needs, showing understanding and being kind. She’s playing the waiting game, postponing surgery every time right before the date approaches. I stay mindful and understanding. Not pushing anything. This resulted in no more physical contact whatsoever, no kisses, no hugs, nothing… When she comes home she hardly talks to me and prefers to ignore me, even giving all her love and sweetness to the dog. Whenever I ask something or talk to her, she snaps or answers in a condescending way. I overheard her talking to friends where she paints me as someone who acts like a b%tch and she wants to go ‘party’ in Vegas like she’s single. I tried to explain to her that this is not normal behavior for a married couple, but there is no talking to her in a calm way. Whenever I try to finish my first sentence, the shouting starts and the accusations start flying my way. So I stay quiet. Keep the talking or replying to a minimum, not to engage her. basically walking on egg shells every moment of the day, trying not to ignite the ticking bomb. The only sign of affection I got from her in months was a heart emoji right after she asked me via text to drive her and her friends to go out because they needed a designated driver. I was perplexed with this little heart emoji and hoping that she would have changed now, maybe after talking to her friends or something. Of course I drove them. But no avail. The next day, the same treatment. I’m a fool.
    It’s hard to pick one example of behavior that illustrates the situation, but one comes to mind that reflects the absurdity: one time she was angry at me for not receiving an email that turnes out she forgot to send. Yes, you read correctly: she forgot to send me an email, I try to look for it in my inbox, but I’m unable to find it. She keeps giving me a hard time and makes me feel like a loser because I cannot find a simple email. Even after I discovered that she forgot to send it she kept blaming me for not finding the non-existing email. Our relationship is as absurd as that.
    We don’t go out. She wants to stay in and watch TV and sleep. Always what she wants. I decide to not make a scene and watch my shows after she falls asleep.
    Whenever I ask to go out, for example go to the beach with our dog, she wants to leave and go back home after 15 minutes.
    What I noticed in the last weeks is that it also makes me into a worse human being, having less tolerance for things and feeling frustrated much faster than I used to. I understand people that say that toxic relationships can bring out the worst in people.
    I’m in hell. And nobody would believe me as a husband because she paints this completely different picture of herself to friends and family. Like in Dateline, the husband is always looked at as the guilty one…

    • M says:

      Peter and Joan, your descriptions of your spouses are exactly the same as my husband’s. My husband would offer me to do things but then got mad after he did them frequently for a while. I assumed he got sick of keep doing things for me. My husband would be so nice and kind to other people except to me. He would disagree about everything, even when I said something that he told me, he would still disagree. He would defend people he doesn’t even know and tell me that I should give people the benefit of the doubt when he never gives me the benefit of the doubt, everything I do and say is wrong, wouldn’t say bad things about other people nor call other people names but he doesn’t have a problem cursing and calling me names. I told him what I needed from him. Instead of doing what I asked of him, he would do all other things but the things that I asked of him.
      I think the suggestions on how to cope with a passive-aggressive spouse in this article are spot on, except for the parts about a conversation and standing the ground. It is impossible to have a conversation with my husband or to tell him that what he does hurt me without me end up feeling bad. He only sees and hears what he wants to see and hear, even if I was right. Having conversations with my husband is futile. So I told him via text messages that he hurt me or he was being unfair to me. He would come home, act very nicely to me but would get back at me by doing little things that got to my nerves. So I stop talking to my husband completely. I only speak to him about things that have anything to do with him like would he mind having the leftover from last night. I stopped telling him what I like, want, desire or even telling him something because he always put me off, turn me down, and belittle me, basically making me feel bad when all I wanted is to share a story or telling him what I wanted. I stopped asking him for anything because he always did the opposite of what I asked him. I stopped responding to his hot and cold treatments, especially when he was being nice to me because it was only to lure me to feel like he changed only to be rejected by him. I stopped trying to take care of him because instead of appreciation I’ve got anger in return. I stopped acknowledging his presence because he acted like I wasn’t there when I tried to greet him. I stopped thinking about him, stopped expecting affections from him, stopped caring about him to protect myself. I’m tired of being rejected and feel bad all the time. Because feeling bad all the time is causing my face to have a sour look. My husband told me that. I realized that it was him that cause that sour look on my face because I only feel that when he’s around. I tried to keep my mind occupied to keep my sanity. If he wanted to do something for me, I would accept it but I wouldn’t expect it to last.
      My husband told me that he wanted a divorce and had seen a divorce lawyer to start the separation process, this was last year. I don’t know if he’s really going to go through with it or merely dangling it as a threat to keep me in place. We have been sleeping in separate bedrooms because according to him we are separated and we aren’t together anymore. So I leave him alone. I feel very lonely but I keep my mind occupied so I don’t feel the loneliness and just try to focus on myself. I think that’s all I can do to cope with having a passive-aggressive husband. Because as the article said, a passive-aggressive person will never change. So any efforts to try and win his affections are futile.

      • Stacy says:

        I am so sorry you are going through this. I can relate to a lot of this but not the extreme you are experiencing it. I hope the two of you are able to reconcile and find a balance in your relationship.

        • M says:

          Hi Stacy,
          Thank you for your kind words. But I don’t think my husband and I will reconcile. It will only happen in my dreams. He doesn’t think I’m good enough for him. At least that’s how he makes me feel, that I’m the worst person in the world, character-wise, and everyone else is better than me. Everything I do and say is wrong.

      • Peter says:

        Hi M,
        You saying you basically gave up is so recognizable. I feel the exact same way. Because whatever I do, nothing is good enough, and your efforts are met with 2 possible reactions: indifference or ridicule. I bought her a jersey of her favorite quarterback: it’s been laying on a chair for two months. Same thing with the earrings I bought for her on Valentine. They have been sitting in the box on our dining table since February. As if she wants to show me how insignificant my efforts for her are. I have learned not to communicate at all anymore, because every time I lower my guard and start a new effort to bury the hatchet or be communicative, my wife sees that as a weakness and an opportunity to strike and sting again. So I decided to keep my wall up from now. I go quiet. We live like two strangers in the same apartment. We only talk about dinner that is ready. that’s it. No connection, no intimacy, nothing.

    • John Diamond says:

      Sorry. Replied to wrong thread initially.

      Really touched by so many of these raw and heartfelt comments.

      I have a question. I am a male and am also the Mom and the Dad of the family. I have a great career. She does not work. I have a great relationship with my kids and do the shopping, cooking, school runs, homework, weekends etc. in the house. My wife has always been passive agggressive. She has gradually retracted the various things that she used to offer as a wife and mother and member of the family and now spends about 4 days a week in bed complaining of illnesses that the doctors can’t identify. She spends the rest out drinking with her friends. I am concerned that since I can cope, that everyone expects me to cope. But I don’t think the relationship is healthy for anyone in our family. I don’t show the children, but I find the behaviour deeply upsetting. I made marriage vows to her, which I believe in. I just don’t want my children growing up and thinking this behaviour is acceptable and repeating the cycle. I would also like to be happy.

      Who do I even talk to about this?

  • Stacy says:

    Ive noticed my husband’s behavior as passive aggressive just over the past couple years. We have been married for 8 months but been together 5 years. Ive known I’m passive aggressive but his behavior is much more pronounced. I have no idea on how to deal with it. Most days I try to ignore it and just stay silent but then he gets upset bc I’m not visiting with him. Most of his actions are targeted toward my kids which makes me so mad! He just cant leave certain things alone. And of course, his kids are PERFECT. I never bring anything up bc then he gets defensive and my feelings and explanations get all misconstrued. I just hate living this way; walking on eggshells, avoiding confrontations. I just agree with everything he says to avoid confrontation and then he gets angry about me agreeing with him! I just cant win… I stayed home from work today just to get some peace for a few hours…he doesn’t even know I stayed home…if I had told him, there would have been 212 questions and concerns about taking time off which is uncalled for since I have sick leave and he would have said maybe I should stay home too….AARRRGGHH@

  • M says:

    Hi Peter,

    My husband is exactly the same as your wife. Your description of your marriage is exactly the same as mine.
    Do you think we should introduce your wife to my husband? They might get along really well.

    • Peter says:

      Yes, please!! She slammed me with another venomous reply out of the blue just now after having a quiet morning. It just came out of nowhere. Like always when you least expect it, when you lowered your guard. So yeah, she deserves an equally passive aggressive partner. They can taunt each other. I’m done.
      Also our little dog has been biting her non-stop and then she shouts: “Go play with daddy!”, really meaning: go bite him instead of me. The dog gets always calm with me. Maybe he senses her vibe too, I don’t know. But I guess she resents me for that too. I’ll add it to the list.

      • M says:

        I’m sorry to hear that. What are you going to do? My friend told me to leave my husband and opened my heart to someone else. But I’m kinda traumatized now. What if the next person isn’t any better or even worse. Not to mention the emotional baggage that I have now. Also, I may sound insane, but I didn’t have the heart to leave my husband. I tried, many times. But every time I finish packing my bag, I couldn’t bring myself to leave. Maybe there’s something wrong with for still not wanting to leave my husband after all this.

  • RnR says:

    It gets so old… my husband is the youngest in his family. When he doesn’t get his way, he acts like a spoiled child. It gets very old. When I had spoken with him about his behaviors, he just sulks more. He will not take any accountability; one can not change if one is not willing to admit he/she is doing something wrong. I do my best to surround myself with positive people and not allow his negativity to drain me. He often feels sorry for himself, and then pouts like a child. I find it pathetic but humorous at the same time. I do my best not to let it bother me. I let go and let God. People like this are God’s kids, too; He will deal with them.

  • lydia says:

    My husband and I recently separated. We’ve been married for six years and it has been an abusive marriage of sorts. I wanted to resolve the issue myself so that I can be a great mother and wife to the family, but I feel it’s a waste of time trying to fix my marriage because. broken down and emotionally depressed I wanted peace so i can focus on my children. I feels it is unfair for me trying to fix it alone putting all my effort I was confused. This had been my decisions until I came across a blog post about how priest ADU has helped people restore broken marriages / relationships this got into me and I got in touch with him quickly and told me what to do, which I did immediately.

  • lydia says:

    Within 7 days my husband came back and the biggest part of it is that my husband has completely changed from his abusive attitude, he is no longer abusing or insulting me. Need help for marriage or get yourself of bad luck then quickly contact priest ADU for solution on his Web: https:// solution-temple.webnode. com I swear you will never regret it thanks and be bless.

  • John says:

    Really touched by so many of these raw and heartfelt comments.

    I have a question. I am a male and am also the Mom and the Dad of the family. I have a great career. She does not work. I have a great relationship with my kids and do the shopping, cooking, school runs, homework, weekends etc. in the house. My wife has always been passive agggressive. She has gradually retracted the various things that she used to offer as a wife and mother and member of the family and now spends about 4 days a week in bed complaining of illnesses that the doctors can’t identify. She spends the rest out drinking with her friends. I am concerned that since I can cope, that everyone expects me to cope. But I don’t think the relationship is healthy for anyone in our family. I don’t show the children, but I find the behaviour deeply upsetting. I made marriage vows to her, which I believe in. I just don’t want my children growing up and thinking this behaviour is acceptable and repeating the cycle. I would also like to be happy.

    Who do I even talk to about this?

  • SKM says:

    i have lived with my boyfriend for 5 years, 7 years total together. I have never dealt with passive-aggressive behavior before – I usually attract Naraccist not that its any better. the first year living with him was somewhat normal, after the 2nd year, things started getting bad. He has a very low self esteem and his friends and parents/brother/sister thinks he is the best guy ever. he doesn’t not express his true feelings in public, always tries to convince me that he has control over any bad situation. but he does not, his mouth is louder than his actions. he is a bully. I feel he is very insecure, He probably feels like he has no control over his life as a person, and so he is passive agreesive because that is how he deals with his emotions. but he only does it to me, take it out on me since he can’t do it in public. I also thinks he can get away with it because he uses his house as a pawn, since i have no standing on it. As long I put up with his shit, he will continue to dish it out as a bully behavior. he also is a functioning alcholic. that is another problem, if he doesn;t drink he an ahole, if he does drink he is also a ahole. He was with his past wife for 34 years (no children) and i believe they both had some very bad relationship issues/behaviors. I can’t talk to him about anything unless we are in a car on short trips. If it is a long trip or at his house, he becomes difficult/bully, tatrums, and condescending. He has outbursts twice a week about frivolous stuff that I don’t understand concerning his house. one example: he accused me of spitting in the kitchen sink and went off on me about it for an hour, turns out it was the hand soap dispenser soap that was in the sink. I just feel like he has no clue how bad he is because he is in such denial of his behavior, tells me I am the one doing the bad behavior. He is always mad or angry. he just retired last year and I am still working, and he is getting worse. I told him I am moving out because he is too brutal for me to take, it is causing me health issues, job issues and he is making me old by the constant badgering he does to me weekly without cause. He constantly is in denial and lately is getting weirder. of course he blew up and threated to throw me out of the house, only 10 min later apologized for saying it. His weird behavior is this: he moved into my bathroom cause he says I don’t keep my bathroom clean enough for his preference, but then he locks himself in my bathroom to brush his teeth and stinks it up after doing the same thing in his bathroom. to me this is very bezaire behavior, i have never dealt with anyone being so territorial as he is in his own house. I just feel me moving out is the best thing and of course he is furious and tries to argue, maniplate the conversation pointing fingers at me trying to make me believe I am the probelm, trying to guilt me into staying. This would be the icing on the cake as I am not allowed to bring into anything in his house unless I get his pemission first which I feel is absurd. i have never dealth with someone so weird about a house before. I am just super glad I never married this guy!! But it won’t be fun trying to leave. He is very vindictive and hurtful and I fear this. he has deep pockets and does not care if he takes our properties (2) we have investments together in.

  • Peedoff says:

    it doesnt work, the more you are quiet the more they get happy over things and controling. some of us are bloody sick of pandering to there needs whilst they rant rave and be agressive

  • M says:

    My husband and I have been married 15 years this year and have 2 kids at home.

    He is the cliché passive aggressive – says he’s fine, acts ultimately patient and always like the good reasonable guy. Everyone sees him as this reasonable, level headed fair person. I’m the manic one who bosses him around.

    He has continually blamed me for problems in our relationship – He absolutely loves to play the victim. Every time we discuss our relationship, he turns it into a character assassination where I get painted as the unreasonable, angry, controlling, double standards one.

    First it was my temper to blame. I shouted a lot back in the day thanks to childhood learnings / boundaries. I learned about myself and was able to break my heavy pot usage which I connected to my anger. I got therapy, became a yoga teacher, did plenty of meditation and completely changed my reactional habits.

    Next he then said I was a control freak because I wanted to organise nice things for us to do as a couple, a family, holidays etc. He didn’t like that I decided what was for dinner (I do the shopping / cooking), or that I made decisions about the house (he said he didn’t mind what I chose). So I stopped organising everything and telling him what we were doing. These days we do nothing. His favourite past time is to sit staring at his screen – weekends are spent like this mainly.

    Then he repeatedly accused me of double standards. He wanted firm rules for absolutely everything and when things needed to be fluid would instantly say it was always my way and everything was to my favour.

    Meanwhile he continued to smoke pot around me and daily – through two pregnancies. He buried himself in work as the excuse for never confronting anything or investing in us. He would regularly and frequently not come home until 2,3,4 even 5 in the morning for years and years. Eventually he got caught smoking pot in his car in the small hours and lost his licence for over a year. This behaviour went on for years with no recognition that I was repeatedly managing the whole house, a job and children alone or would lay awake worrying about him. I was always woken again by him coming home.
    Then we went through a phase where he would regularly rape me while I was sleeping. This would always begin with spooning but eventually he would get an erection and I would wake up to find him inside me. He would not initiate sex while we were awake and if I tried to come on to him he wouldn’t respond.
    I confronted him about it and he claimed he didn’t know I was asleep and didn’t realise I didn’t like it. This continued for a couple of years at random until I became very upset about it and kept bringing up that I didn’t like it and I wanted him to stop. Eventually I became wary in bed and alert to his movements. I would physically push him away if he came up behind me because I knew he would do it again.

    It came to a head 3 years ago when he was not eating or sleeping at all. He became very gaunt and deeply introverted. His business wasn’t succeeding and he didn’t take it well. He wore his stress like a lead weight. He eventually admitted he was suicidal. He would not get medical help but did visit a counsellor.

    After the sessions he told me he realised that my behaviour was basically to blame for his poor mental health and his unhappiness. He said he recognised that he needed to change in order to deal with it – he said he was ‘resigned’ to being with me. He has said before that he ‘tolerates’ me.

    Things got marginally better as we got on with our lives – he stopped raping me in my sleep but we still never really reconnected strongly and got closer. There are never any compliments or romance. There is never any investment into us or spending time together. Weekends became times we had separate duties rather than spending time as a unit.

    We had counselling (booked by me) about a year ago and it was here our therapist identified him as passive aggressive. She said these are the hardest type of people to deal with.

    Then his job changed and he had no excuse not to continue staying out all night but did so any way. I still don’t know where he was but he claimed it was car problems and waiting for roadside help. I ended up getting pretty upset about it and said I had had enough of him never being at home. It was unfair to load me with everything at home. I would scrape so many dinners in the bin. I would lay awake worrying that he had committed suicide. Of course I wondered if there was another woman.

    Eventually I wrote a long list of all the jobs, tasks and roles I do around the house to compare to his. We both work full time now but I manage the house, the cooking, the kids, their hobbies, lives and our dogs. His chores basically amount to the washing and the bins. This has bothered him quite a lot and he argues that it’s about time spent rather than the amount of jobs. He has still never once in the entire 18 year relationships considered cleaning the toilet, the oven or the windows. Never once has he brushed the dogs teeth or done the gardening. That’s all on me.

    Now he spends most nights hunched over in the kitchen smoking under the extractor fan, plugged into his iPad watching whatever. He doesn’t initiate conversation or sit with me. He doesn’t tend to touch me other than a quick hug twice a week maybe from behind while I cook dinner. He goes to bed at separate times, we wake up at separate times. He never wants to speak to me other than the daily headlines for 5 minutes. Neither of us initiate sex and he’s just started sleeping in the spare room.

    I’ve had enough. I told him I need more than this. I told him how much it hurts me that he doesn’t want closeness or to invest anything into our relationship. I said I was choosing to withdraw because it was too painful to keep giving into an empty void. He pretty much shrugged it off and agreed.

    We tried to talk about it again the next night. This time I got another speech about how unreasonable I am and how all my relationships go wrong because of me. He says I should be able to see patterns where I always have to be right and that’s what drives people away. He doesn’t want to listen to me on a soap box because I wanted to talk about the Ukraine war or the climate crisis or the abortion law in the US. He told a story about how 10 years ago he asked me so nicely about talking about yoga too much and apparently I didn’t speak to him for 4 days.

    He tells me frequently that I’m a gas lighter continually. Interestingly, the accusations of double standards / anger / controlling wasn’t mentioned now he has this new name for me.

    We have two kids at home and not a great deal of money to invest in divorce of moving out.

    I feel like I’ve been living in an underground well and I can’t breathe.

    Yet still, in our last conversation I asked him if we won the lottery, would he let this go then… He said no – he wants us to be together. I said WHY when you just seem to hate me!? He said ‘because I’m committed’. I just cannot work it out. His entire behaviours tell me he wants nothing from me, yet he continues as if I’ve sentenced him to this. I keep telling him we don’t have to do this… I don’t know.. maybe it’s me that has to make a decision for this to be over.

  • Shellie says:

    I would like to share how I recently learned that my husband is a passive aggressive NARCISSIST. I knew he was cheating but when I confronted him in front of his father, he flatly denied it and told me I was crazy & imagining all of it. He even convinced my 2 daughters (1 is a Dr) that I needed help. Everyone looked at me badly because they believed I falsely accused this good man & no one believes that he is capable of such a terrible thing. He is a very good actor, only I see the real him. He is so good at turning it on and off. He still tries to convince me daily that something is wrong with me and says things like ” did you take your meds” or “you need help, I’m not going to keep putting up with you” he flaunts his affair in front of me and then tells me I am making it all up or I am lying. This is pure torture on a daily basis . A year later after finding out he’s a cheat i am still letting this man mentally, emotionally,& verbally abuse me but i have no way out of this horrible situation.

  • Cindy says:

    Hi my name is Cindy, so today I was trying to help my husband sell our camper & I ask him if he was planning on giving me a little of the profit seeing as how I gave him part of the money from the sell off my car. He told me no that he was using all of it to pay down on a truck. The more he pays down the lower his payments will be which I understand. The money I made from the sell off my car was going toward me a new car but he took some of it with no guilt but he really wanted half of it. Anyway when I ask him why he was getting aggravated at me n using a mad attitude at me he said “there you go doing your specialty again” I ask him what he Meant n he said when I told you I wasn’t using a attitude you kept on asking me to talk so u keep on n on n won’t stop😢 when all I said was a 1 time question- couples have to communicate to work out their problems. So I was trying to get him to talk to me n help me understand why he was mad but instead he starts accusing me of nagging him😢 this has been a problem in our marriage for 31 years he don’t like for me to try n get in his head at all so therefore no problems get worked out. I don’t really care about the money thing it’s the way he treats me n tells me-there you go with your nagging when I ask 1 question. Can someone tell me is it me should I never ask him anything or try n get him to talk to me. I left him several months ago because he looked at me n said that I was getting in his business😢

  • Brian says:

    Almost all of the replies are of women talking about their passive aggressive husbands. At first I was unsettled that it almost always seemed to be the Husbands issue , not the wife’s issue. Therefore I looked hard at what I might be doing wrong with my marriage. I could, indeed be passive aggressive. But how do I tell if I am P-A, or if it is in response to her P-A? I try to always tell her I Love her, but she almost never will tell me she loves me. So does that mean I’m the bad guy? She had told me of numerous things she disliked that I had done as a habit, so I specifically set out to stop them. Mostly I’ve succeeded, but not at everything. I’ve told her of things she does that can be dangerous to me, but she just gets angry and makes excuses why she doesn’t stop. At first, I simply corrected the things so it wouldn’t be a trip hazard to me, but I’ve been getting angry at why she won’t quit it. My thinking was why should I always have to be the one to change my behaviour and what I do. She usually does nice things for me such as cooking and laundry, mostly because she says she doesn’t want me in her kitchen and she told me specifically that she doesn’t want me to do laundry. But she brings those things up to throw them in my face if we disagree on something. Saying, “I cook and clean your clothes, you could at least …(whatever the disagreement is at the time). I feel like she does something for me, just so she can have leverage over me. Whenever I do something for her that is not to our mutual benefit, I make it a point not to bring it up and throw it in her face, because that would defeat the purpose of doing something nice that she wants. We have only been married about 15 years, this is her second and my third marriage. I’m too old to go through another divorce, (64), and have almost accepted my lot, but I need to stop feeling angry about it. Why does she try so hard to make me feel like it is my fault that I feel upset and never take any responsibility for her actions? How can I get her to acknowledge that it’s a two way street? I want to go to marriage counseling, but I’m kind of afraid to if it doesn’t work out well and she keeps coming up with reasons why she is too busy to be able to go. I’m not perfect, so obviously there are things I can work on, but she won’t ever say she has issues, and she absolutely never says she is sorry, even when it is obvious to everyone around us that she is wrong. I need to find a way to get her to open up without her feeling threatened by saying so.

  • Wayne Mullins says:

    My ex who I’m still married to keeps bringing guys to my house and worse. I have been destroyed by her when I was very sick she would have my friends check on me and then they would fuck in the room next to me as I cried. She was cruel and mean as she could be until the point i tried to kill myself in front of her. As I laid on the ground slowly dying she told her dad I was faking it trying to get him not to call ambulance. She is nothing to me but it makes me feel stupid that I was with someone who hates me so much.

    • Wayne Mullins says:

      This all started with me being the “ultamite bad guy”. It was a giant head game that was pure illusion. She lives with me and my daughter off and on. Anyone with eyes could see she is full of it. She completely defamed and humiliated me to everyone in my life and only one of my 3 kids still loves me that’s all I have not a friend in the world and I will never trust someone enough to get close. Sociopath would be an understatement.

  • Wayne Mullins says:

    If you’re wife starts this just do yourself a favor and leave just leave. Especially if you been married for years

  • Dawood coenraad says:

    How do I treat a young lady right after I have mentally abused her?

  • J.S. says:

    I have been ‘happily’ married to my wife for 28 years almost now. Today was one of the few days I cried as I was deeply hurt. There is 7 years between us me being older.
    From time to time her behaviour turns horrible towards me. She keps saying and offending my mum for this and that. My mum never interfier with us. Just to hurt me she offends her on purpose. This increased when she stoped having periods, some eight years ago when she was around 41 years.
    She keeps telling and insulting me that I am capable of doing nothing good. She throws my cloths to the floor and telling me that she will not pick them up and I have to pick them up. She is always busy with work working till the small hours everyday almost. With other people she is kind hearted and helps whoever needs help but me seldom.
    I feel that her attitude is destroying me, and the more she treats me bad the more I tend to loose concentration and do things not the right way as she pretends. I feel like being a bird trapped in a cage until either her or me passes away. There is no affection between us from her. But sometimes she tell friends that I am a good person and works hard am care for her. I help a lot in the housework especially cleaning although cooking unlike her is something I am not good at exept basics. On the otherhand with me it is totally the opposite. Two of my children over 18 left home as they cannot cope with her. The young son, his tongue is good to turn things in his favour and she finds it hard to beat him in getting what she wants. She constantly invent things to do. But she uses my time by delagating her invented work to me to keep me busy as she is always busy with works. She is busy with work so I should be like her she expects. She keeps telling I am wasting my time.
    At the moment she is relaxing and sees fine.
    Good bye to all.

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