5 Ways to Cope with a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

By March 14, 2018 March 22nd, 2018 Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection

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.

173 Comments

  • 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?

        • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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…

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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 ..

  • 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.

    • Eye says:

      Bill, thank you for this post. Not everyone understands this!

    • 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

      Kay

  • 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.

  • 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.

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