Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

We have both done things to mess this up but it seems like he is unable to look in the mirror and doesn't seem to realize that he has done me wrong or is continuing to do me wrong.

I continue to work on myself and still have a long way to go but he is unwilling to work on himself. At best, talking to him is like talking to a brick wall at best because he shuts down or walks away. At worst, he deflects and starts side arguments that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, laughs in my face, and gives me dirty looks. He is also very good at making the argument or problem about him, telling me how I've hurt him and blaming me or telling me how I feel or how I think or that I don't mean what I say or know what I'm talking about.

He refuses to go to marriage counselling because he doesn't think an outsider could give him advice or help him solve things he doesn't think are problems yet he continues to vilify and badmouth me to family, coworkers and friends without ever talking to me about the things he thinks are problems. I am often the last to know what he's thinking, feeling or doing and there is never resolution to our problems. No attempts to negotiate, compromise or come to a resolution are ever made and when I make suggestions, they are either discounted harshly or agreed upon but not followed through.

I believe him to be passive aggressive as he stonewalls, pouts, ruins or throws away my things, sabotages plans, "forgets", withholds affection, love, information or resources instead of dealing with issues at hand. He also seems to expect me to read his mind. If I ask if something's bothering him, he says "no". He shuts down when we're in a conflict but also if we seem to be getting along or growing closer, he'll start a conflict to put a divide between us. He threatens me constantly that he's done and to split up but then changes his mind and tells me how much I have to work on and improve on in myself. He never once has apologized for anything and never accepts his part in the blame.

Often, he gets mad at me for being hurt or disappointed. I don't know what to do anymore. I am tired of the crazy cycle. He does something hurtful, I confront him, he shuts down or does something worse, I confront him worse than I did initially - the cycle continues until I end up looking like the bad guy and totally insane.

I stay and try to work on things because I want to be a good wife and mother. Also - I moved across the province to be with him. I am an orphan and don't have family close by and he hates 90% of the friends that I make or otherwise accuses me of being a cheater if I socialize or work too much so I am very isolated. His family is my only real support but blood is thicker than water and when it comes down to it, I'm really alone.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

You say you are a mother but dont give the age of your child. You also dont say if you at all can get away. I gather you cant. So you have to make the most of what you have. He is not going to change and it appears he thinks he doesnt even have to. Since you seem to have no choice its best not to antagonize him.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

I'm interested in responses to this as my wife acts the same way your husband does. She's never wrong, will not apologize for anything, even when I do, does not work on our relationship, and nitpicks the most insignificant things that I do (which I do try to correct anyways). Refuses to go to counseling.

I'm at a loss, too. We have a child together who is 2, so divorce is not an option, given she'd end up with him most of the time.

I'm not sure how to deal with someone who is never wrong. That she says she's not wrong, (and states that she's a "model wife" despite the neglect), should be a sign to any reasonable person that, well, you're wrong. I'm not perfect and willingly admit it to her, and then I take steps to change what she wants changed. There's no reciprocation whatsoever. Sex (twice in 2.5 years) is overtly treated as a chore to be completed as fast as possible.

My wife does the same thing when I try to express my feelings. She gets angry with me and blames me. She shows many of the signs of depression, but denies that she may be depressed. I could never get comfortable with her getting custody of my son at this age, honestly, I don't think it would be safe for him.

It's frustrating. Not sure what to do.

Last edited by toadie; 12-13-2011 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

Dean - thanks for answering. I really think I need to work on and focus on myself more. I don't really think I can make him see how he hurts me because I think all he cares about are his feelings. I did say things in the past to really hurt his feelings so he doesn't care about mine. He's sneaky in expressing his anger. He will say "I love you" and smile to your face while calling you a b*tch behind your back. I have been aggressive and destructive in expressing my anger and hurt towards him in the past and I am working on it through self-help books/study/meditation and individual counselling but he can't/won't/doesn't want to acknowledge or work on his issues. He has even told me, "F--k your feelings!" and doesn't seem to care if his actions have me reduced to tears.

You're right that I do try to make amends first, make it up to him, swallow my feelings and my pride in order to make it work. I really care about our marriage and keeping my family in tact but also because I have nothing outside of this family. He has the real power, the resources, the connections and I am totally isolated and alone. If I leave, I'll have no support outside of whatever financial support I will be entitled to but without extended family, siblings or parents, I am pretty much alone and he knows this.

Accept - my son is seven - not that it makes a difference. I really don't know what to say about your "advice". :/
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

I'm interested in responses to this as my wife acts the same way your husband does. She's never wrong, will not apologize for anything, even when I do, does not work on our relationship, and nitpicks the most insignificant things that I do (which I do try to correct anyways). Refuses to go to counseling.
You have to make a separate post, best on the main place.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

Sweet Equity:

Wow, your story is my story....so much alike that reading your post was like reading the story of my life with my husband.

In doing my own research on passive-aggressive husbands, it seems that the consensus is universal: These men-children will never change, and the only way to save your sanity is to leave.

I have not yet left my own PA spouse, but am currently in the planning stages of picking myself up and planning a life without him. Like you, I'm tired of the crazy cycle, and I cannot do it anymore. Between the lies, the blame-game, the gaslighting, the saying yes when he means no, sabotaging anything I attempt to accomplish -- I just give up. It's to the point where his issues are making me crazy.

I know that you are alone, in terms of having no family, support system, but having lived this way myself, I'm convinced being alone and sane is worth more than staying and going crazy. Are there any government programs that could help you make it on your own? Maybe a part-time job that could augment whatever support you get from him?

You have probably scoured the Internet like most of us with PA spouses, looking for some answers. There is an article called The Boomerang Relationship that you may want to read, if you have not done so already. It is excellent in describing the relationship dynamic when one is married to a spouse that employs PA techniques, and it also addresses the issues that we spouses have to confront that have perpetuated the dynamic. There is also an awesome thread at Surviving Infidelity that is about 14 pages now of people living with men like this, and their stories will probably hit home for you. If you Google "Surviving Infidelity Forum Passive-Aggressive" it will be the first result.

I think the reality is these men cannot change....at least, not enough, for long enough, to make staying with them worthwhile. They do not see that they are part of the problem, that they have issues they need to deal with, and that their partner has needs, also. They are so self-absorbed that you just can't penetrate that and get anywhere with them. I read something that said for those of us who are married to PA spouses, we have to come to the realization that we are married to someone who has never loved us and isn't capable of loving us; that we are simply an object/thing to them. That hurts, because I'm sure you, like myself, have done everything possible to make the relationship work, given so much of yourself, and yet gotten nothing, or very little, in return. It's just not a nice feeling to know that we have invested so much in a person that, despite their claims to the contrary, never loved us and never will.

I wish there were an easy answer to "fixing" the situation, but we can't fix/change another person. I think you are on the right track: Start focusing on you, and start rebuilding your self-esteem, because it takes a nose dive when you are in one of these relationships. I don't even recognize who I am anymore, so trust me, I know all about it.

Big hugs your way, because this is just a miserable situation with no easy answers!!
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

NoMoretoGive:

Thanks for your response, and the hugs. Sorry that I took so long to reply. I ended up reading another thread on here for a couple of days that also really relates to my situation and reminds me of my own fixings/flaws that I still have to work on. I will check out your links and see if they give more insight. I've already read the book, "Living with the Passive Aggressive Man" and I do think he has PA tendencies. Still, with our history of hurting each other, I am still not completely sure if and how much of it is PA, if/how much it has to do with our history and if/how much has to do with forces/things outside of "us" that has nothing to do with me. So I'm not ready to give up the fight just yet.

I know that I am far from perfect and I have my own crosses to bear. I've made mistakes and to put it lightly, haven't always been the best spouse to him so I know I've caused hurt as well. We separated and reconciled last year and both committed to giving us another try with us BOTH working on our relationship but so far, it seems one-sided. I've made a lot of strides and still have a ways to go as I continue to learn about myself, marriage, men, how to treat him properly and also what I want/need in a marriage. We both have done wrong to each other and both have work to do but I feel like I'm the only one being accountable and trying to fix it.

I haven't posted them here and won't at this point - perhaps in the future but there is a lot of hurt on top of hurt on both sides. No physical abuse or affairs (to my knowledge) but still serious issues, and things that would be deal breakers in other people's lives. It's hard to discern how much of it is him being hurt or if it's passive aggressive. I am better than I was but still don't think I've become the best spouse possible so that's a big part why I am here. I am going to try to become that wife and if by then, nothing has changed then I think I'm going to have to cut my losses. I know I can't change him but I'm hoping by focusing on and changing me, I can change our relationship for the better. Part of it is not participating in the "crazy-cycle" as we've both dubbed it. I still get entrenched in that and I'm sure it's not helping things much. Anyway, if it doesn't change, at least I'll leave with a clean conscience and as a better person with better relationship tools.

Any advice I receive here or in the future, is and will be appreciated. Thanks for the responses so far and the support.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

Sweet,

Do you work outside the home?

How long have you been married?
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

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Originally Posted by EleGirl View Post
Sweet,

Do you work outside the home?

I am a law clerk and was working right up until the summer of this year but got laid off so my boss could hire his son once he graduated. :/ That was okay though because I HATED my job with a passion and was considering changing careers. I've been looking for a job since September as we both agreed I'd stay home and care for our son over the summer so we wouldn't have to pay for daycare.

How long have you been married?

It's been 8 1/2 years for us.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

Enter twilight zone music - Do they still say that nowadays?

As said by no more - I am reading my own story.

I too, am dealing with a PA. I also think there is some problems with Narcissistic personality disorder - you might want to look at that.
I too, am try to fix what have done wrong in my marriage. I have serious issues to address and fix and have contributed to the demise of our marriage - I hoped that by concentrating on my problems he would follow example, but so far alls its done is make him say that there is nothing wrong with him, he doesn't need to change. I have done “horrible” things to him. Horrible is his word, but I will take the responsibility for it and try and find ways to correct myself.
I too, am without family and surrounded by his. I am currently and unexpectedly disabled. My children and i depend on his Aunt to provide a lot of the care for us and our home, in exchange we pay for her mortgage. It just cements the fact that I have very little leverage to have support for me if I feel differently than he does about an issue - he will always be supported by his family - I will have no one. (She is a PA also)

I have just started to get out here on line to find resources to help me with this so I will gladly share anything I learn with you. I am looking into books and websites to better educate myself. I hope that at some point he will have an epiphany, but like no more has found out I guess it doesn't often turn out that way.

I would love to keep in communication and share knowledge! no more it sounds like you have found out tons - any more referrals? It really confusing trying to weed out the good information from the weak or the helpful from the damaging.

I soooo understand how it feels to have him laugh in your face. here is the man who was to be your other half. And the deflecting and blaming you for the problems, I know all about that. Any anger my husband has is ALL my fault.

Please don't feel alone. I know in reality you are. I really wish there was something tangible I could do, but maybe by talking and educating and supporting each other we could find a way out of our predicaments. Maybe there is a way to reach our husbands! What if we were the ones to discover it?! Okay all fantasy's aside - really at least we can form a self help support group! right!?
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband doesn't think he has any flaws/issues

I'm sorry to read about your story Sitka. Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I really did have a lot of issues to address, one of the worst being verbally abusive. I don't see myself as an aggressive abusive person but everything would eventually come to a head and after trying to talk, trying to get him to talk, trying to ignore, trying to plead, trying absolutely everything I could think of, I would eventually explode and that was/is wrong.

I've been in counselling for a year and I have much of my issues in check but there is still so much wrong in our marriage. I know we love each other but neither of us is happy but getting him to see the roles he plays in this is easier said than done. Like you, we've been pretty dependent in some areas from help from his father and in smaller ways, his mother. Like I said, his family and our son is my only family out there. If we separate, I will be out in the dust as a single mom, miles and miles and miles away from any extended relative who could provide any support at all, even if only emotional. I hate to say it but knowing that I'd be totally alone out here is part of the reason I've stayed. When with him, at least I have his siblings and parents to provide some kind of family, encouragement or emotional support but it's still pretty lonely because inevitably, I am still water and he is blood.

We did have a small breakthrough though and he was able to see some of his behaviors and how they affect us after a long talk we had last month but we have a long way to go. We've also been set back now because I just found out that I am pregnant again and although he said he'd be supportive... well, let's face it. It doesn't come natural with him. He has a good way of making everything about himself and to be the one who needs support and this pregnancy is proving to be no different so far.
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