Does anyone have any experience with dealing with a passive aggressive partner?
Any tips or hints?
Thanks muchly in advance
My partner and I struggled with each other’s passive aggressive behaviour for a bit. My passive aggressive behaviour was all about asserting control and hurting my partner. It usually manifested itself in the form of the silent treatment and hostility. How does your partner express passive aggressive behaviour?
DON’Ts (these are not constructive and will only facilitate the partner’s victim mentality thereby feeding the passive aggressive behavior)
- Don’t berate her or criticize her behaviour
- Don’t cave and try to excuse her behavior especially by begging/pleading
- Don’t mimic the behaviour
- Don’t ask if something’s wrong
- Don’t get equally upset and try to aggressively assert that you won’t accept the behaviour (it is possible that this may work but in my experience that only pissed me off more and made me want to prove that I wouldn’t comply and the behaviour continued. Let your actions be the indicator that you won’t tolerate it)
Sooner or later, one person has to get fed up and take the high road. I always responded very well to compassion. Here’s the script my partner followed in response to my past passive aggressive behaviour:
- ALWAYS REMAIN CALM AND COLLECTED
- Recognize that while your partner is acting like a child, they are really genuinely hurting underneath.
• Approach when you’re calm and have mentally prepared yourself to remain that way no matter what
• Ask her if you can have a few minutes of her time
• Acknowledge that you hurt her and add some sweet words in here eg. Wife I love you and I hate seeing you this way. I really want us to work this out but I can’t do that without you. I promise you that if you help me figure this out then we can reduce the likelihood that we’ll have to go through this again.
• Let her know that you’re willing to listen when she’s ready to talk and leave her the hell alone. I don’t know about your partner but sometimes it takes me up to a day to calm down, feel stupid about my behaviour and mentally prepare myself to talk to my partner.
If she takes more than a few days, repeat. Except this time initiate the discussion on the problem instead of the last step (let her know you're willing to listen). When initiating the discussion, remember to avoid the Don’ts. Your partner’s passive aggressive behaviour is not the underlying problem here so that should not be the focus of the discussion. You’re here to try to resolve this sex issue. Perhaps initiate the discussion by explaining how you think she’s feeling, your interpretation of her perspective. She’s more likely to want to jump in and clarify her feelings and how you’ve hurt her etc. Once that’s out the way, ask that she do the same. Ask her how she thinks you feel about the situation.
Should all of this fail then you have a real serious problem and only then would I suggest stating very calmly that you won’t tolerate this behavior, things will never get resolved if she continues acting this way etc. etc.