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Old 01-25-2009, 10:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how to handle a passive aggressive husband

hi i have been having problems getting my husband to open up to me, especailly when he is angry or disagress with me. he has flirted with other women in a vulgar way (but swears it wasnt physical),he even continued to talk to these women during counseling.........plus recently we have also been having finanicial problems, due to him paying bills extremly late or sometimes not at all.(i dont know what he does with some of his money) .......on the surface he apperas to be loving , caring, and trying his best, but in reality he always has an excuse for everything. nothing is ever his fault. he blames the women on me and the bills on his job. well im not sure how many more lies/excuses i can take. he says hes tring to be more open but to me its not coming quickly enough. i know if we are not commuinicating then we dont have a relationship. i told him that. he feels that i am pressurung him and that i should just be patient and wait on him. but ive known him for over 7 years, been married a little over 2 years. he also said that the reason he holds in anger is because he can say some really bad stuff when hes upset and he doesnt want to say the wrong thing and scare me away. so instead he pretends to agree. i told him that its not healthy to do that. plus misleading cause i dont know the truth about how he really feels. i feel like i dont even know my own husband , and thats scary....i've recently read this article "What up with the passive aggresive man"? and an article on emotional manipulation. he is totally a combination of them both. but i dont know how to help him with this problem. anyone out there have a similar problem and can offer some advice?
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband

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he has flirted with other women in a vulgar way (but swears it wasnt physical),he even continued to talk to these women during counseling.........plus recently we have also been having finanicial problems, due to him paying bills extremly late or sometimes not at all.
He will probably keep doing this until it starts not working for him. he's getting some kind of pay off from it.

there has to be some kind of repercussion if he keeps lying and not paying the bills. separate your accounts and pay the bills. there's nothing worse then racking up bad credit.

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he also said that the reason he holds in anger is because he can say some really bad stuff when hes upset and he doesnt want to say the wrong thing and scare me away. so instead he pretends to agree.
My H used to do this too. he just wanted to do whatever was easiest, and plus he did say he thinks very mean things that he doesnt want to say. It used to really bother me and i would get really angry and hurt if he didnt talk to me. but now, i let him have his space. if he's not comfortable talking to me, then i try to respect his boundaries.

i would talk to your H and take baby steps with him, though. like for instances, just telling him not to agree with you, but let him know you wont pressure him for more information unless he's ready. just work on him not agreeing with you if he doesnt.

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i feel like i dont even know my own husband , and thats scary...
you probably dont. i realized i didnt know my H at all. we both go to counseling now, so its starting to come around.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband

I have been doing some reading on this, I think I may have read the same article you did. My husband acts the same way. Everything is black and white with him, there is never a gray area. When he gets mad he goes into his cave and won't speak to me for days and there is just this feeling when I am in the same room with him that I am not wanted. They say passive aggressives are very good at putting a feeling in the atmosphere around them. He says he doesn't talk to me because he doesn't want to say something he doesn't mean. Then when he gets over it everything is back to "normal". We never talk about it and it just gets shoved under the rug with everything else that is under there. When things don't get done its all excuses and a lot of times it gets turned around to make it look like its my fault with out him saying it in so many words. Some of the things he says just flabbergast me and I just don't know what to say back - everything is worse for him than it is for me, from little complaints about things that bother us (his complaint is "bigger" so he should be able to complain and I shouldn't) to bigger things (I had a miscarriage and they day after he lost his job, he said the only thing he could compare losing his job to was me losing the baby - huh? Job/baby not even a comparison for me!!!). I'll be curious to see what other people say about this. We have gone to a couple of counseling sessions and I am doing the things he has asked but he isn't doing mine. He had said at first he is glad that I was opening up more that he didn't like it that I held everything in and then he just shut down and now I know he likes it when things are ignored. When I tried talking to him again the only thing supposedly on his mind was his new job. He is too busy to think about anything else. And then when we do talk..watch out, it's like I am getting lectured by my parents. He will go on and on about something for 30-40 minutes - no exaggeration - and then look at me and get upset and wonder why I am not saying anything.

ETA: You never want to think that someone so close to you and that is supposed to love and cherish you would actually treat you like this. The only way I can get my head around it is to think that he doesn't actually know that he is doing it. If I ever found out he acted like this on purpose I would be out the door, although I am already looking thru that door right now wondering if I should step through it.

Last edited by imalostperson; 01-26-2009 at 10:35 PM. Reason: *
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband

Oh boy. I feel that we should all go to group therapy together. This is the problem in my marriage also. If you have time, read some of my other posts about it. One thing I do know. Pressuring your husband to talk to you does not work. They will pull away from you even more. They are afraid of your reaction and this is their defense mechanism. Most of the time they probably don't understand just what it is you want them to say. When you talk to him try using only "I" statements not "you" do this or "you" don't do that. Be specific. Start with positive things you feel good about. Then tell him "it hurts me when......." Do you think you could agree to .........to make me feel better?" If he doesn't respond...let it go. Wait and see if what you said sinks in. Keep trying but don't badger him. I wish you well and I understand. Sounds like you might have a better chance with your husband than I do with mine.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband

kinda seems like you are talking about me
i am a man(boy) of few words
when i say something i want it to be just right
and i have never complained about anything to wife
i think we should love just the way we are
but in here something lets me speek my mind
maybe we should all talk from a distance once and a while
sorry i have no good advice
if he is like me when you push he might bottle up or blow up
that is what i do
blowing up is defencive and never is good for my relationship
if she realy wants me to speek freely to best time is when i am happyest and strees free (after the race)
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband

For most of us and our passive/agg husbands it is never a good time to talk about problems. They usually find a way to wiggle right out of it if they think they are doing something wrong to upset you. Most men won't embrace that kind of discussion until the wife is packed up and ready to leave lol.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well thank you for the advice so far. i do realize that pressuring my husband to open up to me would only withdraw him more. but i dont feel that i do. i feel that i have been very pateint and understanding. its just getting to the point where i feel like i dont know him. its scaring me. i just dont want him to lie to me about other women, and bills and such. that's the big problem. the opening up about his feelings part is like third on the list. i just figured that if we communicated more he wouldnt feel like he has to lie so much. i feel us drifting apart and i know we have to do something soon. im not sure that counseling will help because we have tried it before, and he continued to lie and manipulate (pretening that everything was ok , while he still continued his same behaviors). he didnt stop talk ing to the other women till i was about ready to leave him.....but the lies still continue......... he says he wants us to grow together. but his actions dont follow suit.i dunno...is there counsing for learning how to tell the damn truth? ......lol
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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LOL, there should be if there isn't. I know my husband in the past kept things from me so I didn't worry. It still is a problem, and he always gets found out, lol. You shouldn't hide things for any reason in a marriage. I think that is why they call it Marriage to begin with. You go through all things together, period...... No matter the reason he needs to communicate all things with you in his decision making with money, bills, etc....Talking with other women, well that is just wrong and he and you both know it. You can't force him to be truthful, he either is an honest person or he isn't. He can learn to be, but you can't make him. It may take him losing you to get how important that is in any relationship. Does he lie to his mom/dad, siblings, friends, kids ? If the answer is no then ask yourself why he is lying to you. Because he is doing something he shouldn't and thats that......You have to decide if you are going to put up with it. It's his problem to fix, not yours. Unfortunately, because you love him it hurts you. Love yourself as much as you love him and you will be just fine.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to handle a passive aggressive husband

Call him on it.

"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!"

I had one of those. wrote him a dear john letter - with I love you but i'm not going to put up with this anymore overtones. Seven typed pages (i can be kinda wordy) took him two months to start dealing with that letter. we are going to counseling now and he's not being able to get away with the same stuff as before.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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AZMOMOFTWO, I thought your post was excellent. I am trying to follow these guidelines with my husband. I sure hope things get better.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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thank u for all of your advice. i have come to the conclusion that i will not be able to help my husband until he is ready to be helped. but first he has to realize that he has a problem. i have tried to be patient and understanding with him throughout everything we have been through for the last 9 months, but sometimes it seems like its all in vain because he tries to make me feel like all is well, but still continues the same behaviors. counseling didnt even work. talking to him in a nice manner doesnt work. i always talk to him in a nice manner. then he tells his family and freinds that im stressing him. he even tells them boldface lies, like i complain to much and spend too much money, when in turn its the opposite. i dont complian and i spend very little money. i think hes trying to make me look like the bad guy so he will have an excuse to leave me, and not have the responsibilities of marriage. i even overheard him tell his friend that marraige wasnt for him. and that he felt locked down. he kinda said it in a jokingly manner but his actions show that this is probably how he really feels. then on the other hand he tells me he loves me and want us to be together forever. i just dont get him at all. its so frustrating. i just want him to be truthful and if he really wants this marriage to work, then step up to the plate, and dont talk about it, be about it!
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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then he tells his family and freinds that im stressing him. he even tells them boldface lies, like i complain to much and spend too much money, when in turn its the opposite. i even overheard him tell his friend that marraige wasnt for him. and that he felt locked down. he kinda said it in a jokingly manner but his actions show that this is probably how he really feels. then on the other hand he tells me he loves me and want us to be together forever.
he kind of sounds like a emotional cammilian to me. I think when he was talking to his friend and said marriage wasnt for him, its what would make him seem 'cool' to his friend. he sounds like the kind of person that wants something from everyone, someone who is constantly putting on a show. i bet he doesnt even know how he feels.

I think you should really emotionally distance yourself from him. he doesnt know what he wants and he's going to drag you on this emotional roller coaster until you decide to get off.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i dont know blanca. this roller coaster ride issss getting pretty old. all i just want is for him to honest with me. i have noticed even more so that he lies to his friends about me. telling them that i spend money (his and mine). which is the opposite of what i do. i never complain, even though sometimes i think it would be validated by the things he does. i havent complained once about him not working,and i pay bills with the money i work hard for. maybe hes talking about when i do little things for friends and family, like buying treats for my class for holidays or when i bought a baby shower gift for my sister in law. Things I would consider normal spending. i hardly ever buy anythng for myself. the last thing i bought for myself was some $40 boots for christmas. he even said he had to sit me down and talk to me about spending. that was a boldface lie. he has never done such a thing. the lastest lie was that he said i keep accusing him of cheating.again ive never done this. all i did was ask him to introduce me to some of his female friends he has online...he immediately went on the defensive and said. "It's nothing going on with any of them" i didn't even ask him that, just that it makes me feel uncomfortable that he knows so many women, and i don't know any of them. i saw a message that he wrote to one of them saying that he misses he sexy chocolate and finds himself thinking of her. this doesnt sound like a friend to me. but when i confront him with he usually lies and says he didnt do it or blames it on me, saying it was my fault he started talking to other women in the first place.he didnt mean anything by it. he said he would introduce me, but never did. i guess he convienantly forgot.........so i said all that to say this, if he keeps saying no i didn't cheat, when that wasn't even the question what does that mean? and why would he tell his freinds that im accusing him when im not? is he feeling guilty? wny is he lying on me period? these questions may seem silly to the average person reading this. but when u r married to a passive aggresive person, you never really know what's he feels, because you never know what to believe. should i beleive what he tells me, what he tells his friends, or none of the above? all i know is that our marriage cant last without trust and i cant trust him until he learns to be honest with me, and most importanly with himself.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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is he feeling guilty? wny is he lying on me period?
ya he's definitely hiding something. you could but spyware on your computer (i did with my H) and find out. he'll never know its on there. i had one on that took screen shots every thirty seconds. and i put a keylogger on so i could get passwords to his accounts.

he's probably lying to others about you because he wants to feel justified for whatever it is he's doing behind your back. if other people think you are a bad person then when his little secret comes out it wont be as bad. and it eases his consciences. he probably gets sympathy from whomever he's lying to.

Basically he's just a liar trying to manipulate himself into justifying his actions.
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