Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband
He should come talk to my husband! My husband is a very sweet person the kind of guy that everyone loves. I'm probably the only one who knows just how passive-aggressive he is. I knew that when I married him and I attribute it to his very controlling mother. She'd try to control him, he'd allow her to THINK she was, and he'd do whatever he wanted. This has been since childhood, it was a survival mechanism for him. So how do you change someone like that, I figured you can't and shouldn't until it almost ruined our marriage...
By not stepping up, and avoiding he often made things land squarely on my shoulders. In particular with his parents. I got in to a shouting match with them once, and my father in law nearly got violent with me (he didn't, not even my passive-aggressive husband would let that go) and my husband wasn't even here..he was absent. I started to resent being the only grown up.
Our relationship deteriorated without me knowing. He "didn't want to deal with it" so went to great lengths to make sure I thought all was fine while it got worse. It got to the point he thought he was no longer in love and "the passion was gone" and he didn't want to deal with trying so he had an affair. For some reason that didn't make him feel better only worse. In fact he became a bitter angry man who lost interest in his family, me and his children.
It took him losing all of it before he realized what he had done and he is working to repair it. We did go to counseling and the counselor pegged him on day 1 as being passive-aggressive. You see he was trying to make my life miserable so I'd make the decision to dump him then all the pain would be my fault and he wouldn't have to make any decision. He'd been called out!
My husband hasn't become the world's best communicator but when I kicked him out and he wanted to come back he said "how can I fix this". I said that's exactly it, YOU have to fix it, not me. (I'm the fixer).
The counselor was very good at teaching him how to communicate, he really didn't know how and I learned how to communicate with him better and make it safer for him to communicate with me. I needed to talk about the affair, to ask details. He felt its enough that I knew there was an affair but why talk details wouldn't it just hurt me. We all heal differently.
Healing means good and bad days, and when he sees I'm having a bad one, the old him would just pretend he didn't notice. Now he wants to talk and help me through it. THIS is the only reason that I believe we will make it. If I couldn't talk about it, I would be angry and bitter and sometimes I do need to say to him "Yes you did mess up and you hurt me and here is what I am feeling".
Maybe your husband is like mine. Doesn't know how to communicate and is afraid he will not do so in a constructive manner. Counseling would definately help. If he won't do that tell him that you want to know how he is feeling. Tell him start with saying "I ...." not "you...". You is accusatory and that is you described he was doing. Also listen, if he does communicate and you shoot him down, he won't do it again. So let him talk, really listen and then try to restate what you think he said. Don't defend just listen. Then he needs to listen to you. Tell him "I feel hurt and embarrassed when you flirt with girls like that.." then its about you. Money issues are always hard to talk about men can be particularly sensitive. Maybe the two of you can work together on a better way to pay the bills..for example one night a week you two get together and do it together. My husband is terrible paying bills, he pays when they shut off whatever he is supposed to pay but I don't want all the responsibility so we're starting to do this. Its taken some of the pressure off me.