Success with passive aggressive spouse - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Success with passive aggressive spouse

Does anyone have a happy marriage with a passive aggressive spouse? I know that people have various degrees of PA. I am looking for hope but I don't want to be naive and waste time.
I only hear horrible stories of people being married to PA spouses and they not only end in divorce but they are traumatized by the relationship. Is there anyone out there that is happy with their PA spouse? Is there anything positive?? Or should everyone leave/divorce their partner as soon as they find out their PA? Has anyone had an experience where their PA spouse changed and stayed changed?
I really appreciate any Input as I go through this difficult time in my life.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

I'm trying to really figure out how bad it is. And I'm trying to get him to understand his behavior pattern even though that is probably pointless. I'm hoping he will agree to therapy because I want to at least improve our communication skills. I think I will be able to be happy if at least that changes.
This is an example of the last incident that happened (it's usually emotional manipulation)... I'm at work and I know he's home. I get out early and I call him and he doesn't answer his phone. (I have trust issues and I hate when he does this Bc I know he had his phone on him). He doesn't answer the phone but he texts me right away. He eventually calls me and we talk. He tells me he has a big case to prepare for and he has to go get back to studying. In my gut I feel he is being shady. I ask him where are you? And he hesitates and tells me he's on route 30. So obviously he lied Bc he's not home he's driving. He tells me he is driving to Duncan donuts to get coffee. We hang up. I get home, and I see him studying at the table with a cup of coffee he made at home. No Duncan donuts anywhere. Im upset but I'm tired and I dont want to fight Bc Ik it will turn into a huge deal. I dont say anything. He knows I'm upset and pushes me to tell him what's wrong. I said... I'm annoyed Bc You didn't answer the phone when I called even though u had it, you told me you had to go back to studying even though U weren't studying you were driving, and I come home and there is no DD coffee, which is where you said you were going. I wasn't mad, I didn't raise my voice, I stated it as a fact. He gets mad, defends his behavior which didn't make sense, he starts a fight basically. He said he drove to DD, and there was a line and he decided not to get coffee. (A line at 7pm on Thursday??) I tell him that I'm too tired to fight and it doesn't matter what the excuse he is making. I tell him I'm just tired of coming home to weird white lies and shadiness when he could of just told me the truth. I walk upstairs to go to bed. I tell him I'm not mad, I'm just annoyed about the behavior that doesn't make sense. He slams his fist on the table really hard. I ignore it. He tells me he's sorry for being shady. I say it's ok babe, I'm not mad at you. I go to bed. When I wake up I realize I'm alone, and he slept in the downstairs bed. Which he knows I hate and it makes me feel so sad and lonely. Like he is punishing me even though I didn't do anything.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 09:06 AM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

When one partner is perceived as PA, the other partner is often perceived as controlling.

Each trying to understand where the other is coming from, without judgment, could go a long way towards facilitating open and honest communication.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 07:08 PM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

Perhaps a counselor could get him to identify when and why he feels the need to make stupid lies. You have to admit, he lies about stupid stuff and then to protect his pride he sleeps elsewhere (that'll teach you). It is very childish. He needs to learn that anyone who lies like he does can not be trusted and can not be considered an adult.

Do not have children with this man until he cleans up his act. Or, you'll be looking after a house full of liars.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 11:28 PM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

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Originally Posted by jld View Post
When one partner is perceived as PA, the other partner is often perceived as controlling.

Each trying to understand where the other is coming from, without judgment, could go a long way towards facilitating open and honest communication.
Interesting.

I'm guessing that honesty goes a long way but what do you do if the other person becomes defensive and ceases to communicate?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 01:09 AM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

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Originally Posted by katiecrna View Post
Does anyone have a happy marriage with a passive aggressive spouse? I know that people have various degrees of PA. I am looking for hope but I don't want to be naive and waste time.
I only hear horrible stories of people being married to PA spouses and they not only end in divorce but they are traumatized by the relationship. Is there anyone out there that is happy with their PA spouse? Is there anything positive?? Or should everyone leave/divorce their partner as soon as they find out their PA? Has anyone had an experience where their PA spouse changed and stayed changed?
I really appreciate any Input as I go through this difficult time in my life.
No, all marriages are institutions of despair and horror.
If you are looking for hope, then you're best dealing with your own shortcomings rather than worrying about your "partner".

Some hard head agressive folk love their PA partner, because they completely ignore them and charge on with their own activities, the PA person therefore just PA's everyone else. some very successful people work on that combination.

No you shouldn't just divorce them for , in your assessment, being PA.

No, you shouldn't expect the PA person, or anyone else, to change for _your_ suitability or preferrence, especially!! in a marriage.
What you do need to do is learn how to handle PA people.

The first step is not play their PA games.
The second is ignore all the name calling, shaming, sulks, freeze-outs, and lookdowns <- this is done by pursuing _your_own_life_.

As long as you're reliant on the PA person to do something, or provide you with happiness, or a world compass, you're in their power. You take that power back, by doing sensible prudent but directed stuff of your own. You know you have achieved success in this, when you are no longer co-dependent with them; so their opinions and bad habits don't worry you anymore. the main thing there is you're only responsible for changing YOU. It's people who manage and socially guage each others actions that are PA and PA prey.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 03:33 AM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

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Does anyone have a happy marriage with a passive aggressive spouse?
Nope. Not possible. I tried for 20 years. TWO DECADES. Epic fail. Get out while you can.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 07:32 AM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

Passive aggressiveness can be overcome. I have largely eliminated Pa behavior from my own life. @jld is on to something; I viewed my wife as powerful and controlling. She's got a strong personality, but she is not controlling at all. That was FOO issues I had.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 07:43 AM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

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Originally Posted by Vulcan2013 View Post
Passive aggressiveness can be overcome. I have largely eliminated Pa behavior from my own life. @jld is on to something; I viewed my wife as powerful and controlling. She's got a strong personality, but she is not controlling at all. That was FOO issues I had.
I think when people are viewed as PA, it is often because they are acting out of fear. Eliminate their fear by encouraging them to express themselves openly and honestly. Seek to understand where they are coming from.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:01 AM
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Sorry, I don't have a happy ending story for you either. I was married to my PA/extreme conflict avoidant first husband for 10 years, and even though we have been done for 6 years your post triggered me and made my BP spike.

One time I asked him to send in a check for $5 with DD to school to get the PTO student directory. After a while the check hadn't cleared but I didn't think anything of it because the PTO is notorious for having strict deadlines for payments and then sitting on them for months. Someone from the PTO called me at work asking if I wanted to buy a directory this year as I have done in the past. I said we sent our payment in already - she said she didn't have a record of it but would search for it. I asked XH and he assured me he sent it in and that maybe DD never turned it in.

Another call from the PTO lady saying she didn't have it. His story changed to "oh yeah, I didn't send the check, I dropped $5 in cash at the office." So I called the school office and they asked what he had written on the envelope. He says "nothing, I just handed her $5." That is when I realized he was lying. The school secretary would never take unmarked funds in a million years. It didn't dawn on me that a 45 year old man would lie about $5, not to mention make all of these people jump through hoops searching for the $5 he knew he never sent! Who does that?! A normal person would say "oh crap I forgot. I will send it now." The conflict avoider will do and say anything not to "be bad." How does he not understand that forgetting to send the money in is a normal brain fart - lying and covering up for a normal thing is not? Then I look like a lunatic getting mad about $5 when I am not mad about that, I am mad about the lies for no reason.

This happened over and over again on things big and small. I did not handle it well in hindsight. My respect and trust in him went out the window. Since I could not trust him to do the smallest of things I took over everything and my resentment grew.

Sadly he continues this into his second marriage and I still have to deal with it because of our children. He got married last May and they planned a two week honeymoon. I found this out a week before their wedding when his fiancée gave me a print out of their itinerary. Um, who is going to watch the kids on your days while you were away? He told her he had worked that out - he hadn't. He didn't want to upset her by telling her he hadn't and he didn't want to upset me by saying he was going to be away (and paying for a huge wedding and a long honeymoon when he is thousands behind in CS.) I told them both that in the future they need to communicate with me well in advance if they need his time covered and it could be worked out without all of the drama.

A few months later it happened again. His now wife accidentally group texted me and him saying "who has the kids while we are gone next week?" Who indeed. He came to my house and I screamed until he cried that his fear of conflict only causes conflict and if he didn't pull his head out of his ass and grow a pair he would lose yet another wife. I had told him I would cover time if I had notice. He had an easy lay up but still chose to avoid it. He was seriously going to wait until he was gone and tell me he couldn't get the kids. He acknowledged he needed therapy. I don't know if he has but I doubt it because it happened again at Christmas (but this is a novel already so I will start my own post on that.)

It sounds like you were very calm during this situation and that is good. Anger and frustration at the lies feeds the cycle of the conflict avoider. I don't know if a CA can be reprogrammed or not. I can see now how a lot of his behaviors come from his FOO and my negative reactions made it worse. If I had tried positive reinforcement would that have helped? I don't know, but I am glad I don't have to live with that every day anymore. I wanted a husband and partner, not another child.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

What does FOO mean?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

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Originally Posted by Vulcan2013 View Post
Passive aggressiveness can be overcome. I have largely eliminated Pa behavior from my own life. @jld is on to something; I viewed my wife as powerful and controlling. She's got a strong personality, but she is not controlling at all. That was FOO issues I had.


What can I do to help my husband? He at least admits he has some of the PA traits, but he is unwilling to admit he has a problem. I know that he will not try to change if he doesn't think he has a problem. But does trying to point out and educate him when he acts PA hurt or help him?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 02:48 PM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

FOO = Family of Origin

The Boomerang Relationship: Passivity, Irresponsibility and Resulting Partner Anger - article by Dr. Lynne Namka

This article helped me understand what was happening better and I had sent it to him. It helped for a bit, but not long term.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 03:42 PM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

To be honest you sound really clingy and insecure.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 07:15 AM
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Re: Success with passive aggressive spouse

FOO = Family of Origin.

To change PA behavior, I had to work on the beliefs that made me view myself as powerless and my wife as powerful. My W helped by sometimes challenging what I was thinking, and helping me see I wasn't in reality.

Not being afraid of making my W angry helped as well.
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