A Way To Cope With A Passive Aggressive Spouse

I’ve read a lot of stories on the web of what people are going through, living in a passive aggressive relationship, and I consider myself quite lucky actually. My particular PA isn’t too bad when it comes to angry outbursts, or actually blaming me out loud for anything particular. It’s quite the “status quo” relationship. For me at this time in my life, it’s okay. I’m older. I have many life changes going on, and I have some messes to clean up from my last business. I’m busy. I don’t know what will happen when all that’s done, but for now…

There are a lot of people out there living with a passive aggressive spouse that aren’t so lucky. Their hearts have been breaking for years. They have gone from independence to co-dependent, from strong to begging to be loved, from confident to feeling not worthy. People living with passive aggressive spouses are often confused, not realizing what they’re dealing with, thinking it may be all their own fault. Many people living with passive aggressive spouses still love their spouses so much, even tho they’re terribly unhappy, they can’t bring themselves to give up on the marriage and leave.

As I read through these heart wrenching stories of the failed marriage counseling, the failed tries at communication, and the failed tries at intimacy, it occurred to me that living with a passive aggressive partner is a lot like living with an alcoholic. Alcoholics are good at mental abuse. Yes I realize a lot are also good at physical abuse, but I’m just talking about the similarities to passive aggressive behavior.

The alcoholic goes and gets drunk, feels guilty, comes home and starts some kind of fight to feel better about himself, and make you feel bad. When he sobers up, he says how sorry he is (sincerely), says what an idiot he is, and asks you to forgive him. You feel sorry for him because he obviously feels so bad. You forgive him, he’s manipulated you, you’ve enabled him, and so it goes until the next time. (Unless you’ve already been through that so many times it doesn’t work anymore, but until then, this is usually how it goes). Sound familiar?

Voila! Al-Anon. Al-anon is an organization for helping sober people cope with Alcoholic spouses. When I attended Al-anon many years ago while married to an alcoholic husband, they were teaching men/women how to live their lives with their spouses, but without them. Let me explain.

It was supporting spouses of Alcoholics to pursue their own interests, to unwrap their world from around someone else. To regain their independence and realize they didn’t have to feel guilty over what the spouse did and the spouses behavior. I haven’t really seen many support groups for spouses of Passive Aggressives, especially since Doctors don’t even classify it as a personality disorder anymore.  This seems like the almost perfect first step to getting the support we all need so badly to get our lives back to some sort of sanity. For me, I started emotionally backing up (detaching) a while ago. If you feel like you just couldn’t stand being without him/her, maybe this would be a good starting point. It’s like group therapy with coping skills.

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322 Responses

  1. My common-law is PA. Very difficult after four years, wanting to leave, but having alot of self-doubt.

  2. Laurel-
    First of all, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    Second, I’m sorry to hear about you having a ruff time. I have to tell you, in my opinion and from what I’ve read, it doesn’t get better as time goes on. Passive aggressive “significant others” breed self doubt in ourselves. I don’t know what your situation is, but time only errodes what self esteem you have left if you stay in this kind of relationship. If you feel you’ve tried getting thru to him and it’s hopeless, staying there unhappily won’t help you or him.

    I’ve stayed for 9 yrs. and we are more in a “just friends” relationship that lovers or BF and GF. As he has withheld intimacy and emotion from me, I have retreated myself. I only stayed this long because this is okay with me for now, but time keeps going, and any part of your life you let pass is gone forever. It should be time well spent.

    Good luck to you and keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing.

  3. It’s so good to know we are not alone. I am in the process of legal separation. I have been married 24 years and have four wonderful children. My PA husband was the nicest, most passive, person I’d ever met. For a decade, I excused his ineptitude, forgetfulness, and distorted thinking as some sort of learning disability, and blamed myself for his constant lies. It’s taken 22 years of fighting his battles, mounting confusion, and desperation for me to stop destroying myself long enough to see the fatal dysfunction in our relationship. Ending this codependency is a tremendous challenge. After years of self-doubt and dismissal, it’s hard to stop feeling like nothing and take responsibility for who I am. To the point, in looking for Alanon meetings for support, I stumbled across the site :

    http://www.joy2meu.com/emotional_honesty.htm

    I found it helpful, insughtful – perhaps others will as well.
    I’m trying to keep my sense of humor…
    “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” : )

    • “That which did not kill me, made me bitter” :)

      • Tell me about it.

        Now his accusation of me being bitter, like his mother, may begin to have some validity, but his behaviors did this. Now, I have to counter. Oh strength & resilience, glance my way.

        • Angie- You know, I have tried so often to explain “cause and effect” that I’m blue in the face! It’s like “I don’t like to be like this. I wouldn’t be like this, if…” I get exactly what you’re talking about, but maybe if you are becoming too bitter, maybe it’s time to get outside and smell the roses. Either get involved in church or classes, something that gives you support and pleasure, or if it’s time, maybe start thinking about an escape route. The passive aggressive has a way of turning us into someone we really don’t want to be, or are usually not. If you’re recognizing it, maybe it’s the first step to getting out from under it.

          Thanks for your comment. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Been in the middle of a move.

          • You know, I think more than bitterness it’s just apathy. That, and I’m conceding.

          • Angie- I totally understand.

          • Hi, I have just come across ur site, omg what an insight, I have just found out after 8 years I think my fiancé is passive agressive, I thort he was playing mind games with me, so I look on the Internet and found out about pa, I’m totally exhausted with my relationship, im am so glad I have found somewhere I can come to when he’s makin me feel my worst, I don’t no wot to do, or how to deal with it, I have a lot of resentment especially now that I no he does all this to hurt me and put me down, I have 2 children 1 from a previous relationship and a young baby to him, he never shows me love, no affection, no interest in me, or much to the kids, he withholds sex from me, he never shows an interest in it, if I came on to him he would go through with it, I feel so sad an miserable and he can see that but doesn’t care, he seems happier wen I’m miserable, an if I’m happy he’ll make a point of being miserable, he blames me for everything we argue about, are wedding is booked for July this year an he’s never mentioned it, Iv not even been able to talk about my wedding dress to him, it’s like he’s not interested, but I decided now to cancel the wedding, I’m not prepared to marry someone that shows no interest or hurts me so easily, I love him but I no deep down it shouldn’t be like this, he makes me feel so worthless, Iv found out lies an everything he tells me seems far fetched, he’s never straight to the point, ther is not emotional connection at all between us, he won’t let me get close to him, how can I deal with it, without calling it a day, any advice would be much appreciated, before I go insane!!

          • Flicka- Hi, and thank goodness he’s just your fiance! Sweetheart, making him a husband won’t make it any better!

            It’s time to cut your losses and let him go make someone else’s life miserable, not you and your two children. Right now his passive aggressiveness may only be toward you, but if you stay with him as your children grow up, it will be aimed at them also. Save yourself and give your children a chance to learn what a happy relationship or home life is. You have to know that your being so unhappy has got to be affecting them.

            I know you asked for advice “without calling it a day” but My Dear, the odds are slim and none that this man will ever admit to having anything wrong with him, let alone get help. Go back and read what you wrote here. Do you hear for yourself how miserable you already are? Don’t let him make it worse by marrying him. For your sake and the sake of your 2 wonderful children, get out. Don’t waste any more of your precious time or their precious childhood letting this guy torment you all.

            Feel free to come back anytime. Let us know how you’re doing. You’ll get support here from all of us trying to stop you from making a terrible mistake. Good luck.

    • You just have no idea what a relief it is to find this site! I literally think about leaving this man EVERYDAY! I have been through so much it is a wonder that I not on medication for depression. To God be the glory strengthening me spirit, soul, and body.
      Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin……….. I have been married to this man for 15 long, exhausting years and we have two children, one 24 year old (my son from a previous relationship, and a 7 year old together. From early on in my marriage, I realized that I would be on my own emotionally with this man. There were times when I would cry or be very upset about something, and I would expect him to comfort me in some way, but instead I would quickly hear him snoring, signally to me his grave lack of support or concern for me. Sorry if my tone is harsh (he was up to his usual avoidance techniques tonight, which is why I’m up on the computer at 11pm) thank goodness I found this site though – it feels good to know that I am not alone. Well anyway, as I was saying before, I have just become accustomed to expecting emotional detachment, especially to punish me for doing something he didn’t like.
      It is all just craziness in my book. Most of the time, I try not to focus on it and I try to keep a positive outlook on our relationship, but lately I have actually been feeling like it may be time for me to go. Honestly, the only thing keeping me here is our 7 year old, who I am certain will be confused and devastated by a divorce.
      I can say that my husband does have some good qualities about him that I have tried to highlight over the years like he is very committed to his community endeavors- he also coaches our 7 year old in basketball and baseball. He was also the baseball coach and football coach for our older son as well. Also if I need him to take care of something, I can usually count on him to get it done promptly. Actually, I think that we are more like room mates than spouses.
      He frequently withholds sex, using some kind of excuse like illness, fatigue, or just plain disinterest. For many years, I thought there was something wrong with me. I have had so many lengthy conversations (me doing all the talking) where I am pouring our my heart and basically pleading with him to try to connect emotionally with me. For the last few months I have started to detach somewhat emotionally. Though I have to admit it, I know I have bitterness and built up resentment towards him. I really want to forgive him and find a way to make everything ok, but I feel that there is an invisible force that is holding him captive from fully enjoying his life- it is just so sad because I really do love him. But, for once, I have to think about my own well-being and future happiness. I just can’t imagine not being with him though.
      Then there’s the money situation; I can not begin to tell you the financial drama that I have endured over the past 15 years from bankruptcy to lying about everything. It is really hard to trust one word that comes out of his mouth. I keep forgiving and trying to move forward. He always knows what to say to get back in good standings, but I am finding that his ” so called” good intentions are always short-lived.
      I really want to help him to overcome this problem because I believe that all things are possible through Christ, but at this point, I don’t know if I am ready to sacrifice the rest of my life to do it. Lord, please show me what to do!

      • Nette- Welcome and I’m glad you find the site both helpful and somewhat comforting.

        Trust me when I say we all know the frustration of beating your head against a wall. I feel you are right, that all things are possible through Christ, but for your husband to change, I would suggest a whole prayer chain. Unfortunately, thanks to Adam and Eve, we all have free/our own will, and do not always do as Christ would have us do. Even with therapy the odds are slim and none almost that he would ever be different than he is.

        It’s great that he is a good father to your boy, but the boy is growing up. Be watchful of signs your husband is turning passive aggressive toward your son as your son gets old enough to make his own demands on his father. This too is very devastating for a child.

        You’re on the right track emotionally detaching yourself. Otherwise you just keep yourself open to being hurt. Sucking us back in is one of the things the passive aggressive does best, when he knows you love him.

        Thanks for sharing your story and feel free to drop in anytime. We are all here to support you and each other.

      • Nette, I noticed you wrote back in Feb. and now it is July. I have similar feelings and have been in my marriage for 18 years. I have two children by him and one from a previous marriage. I stay because of the kids, too. Unfortunately, my kids have seen his worst and sometimes hate him. We are a christian family and it is so hard to stay or go. I feel like God may punish ME for leaving. I feel like I will be wrong for leaving, so I stay. We have a platonic relationship. This has been so difficult to accept. I talk to him-he listens , agrees, and continues to do what he wants, which is nothing. Things never get solved between us. Recently, we were walking on the beach and I asked him why he doesn’t hold my hand-his reply-”I really don’t see the need to”. I had him repeat what I thought I heard him say-and he said ti again. I am in a nightmare of a marriage and I hope I can find resolution. I pray for you too and at this point wonder how things have been for you. Hope you read and reply. God bless and guide you!

        • Sally, God doesn’t punish us. Misery brings its own punishment. God supports us and wants the best for us. He does not expect us to continue to suffer but he makes away out when it is more than we can bear. Sometimes that way out is divorce.

          If you are interested in some encouraging, honest, non-religious biblical teaching, listen to the podcasts at ifaithhome.org. John Fenn is excellent.

        • It took years and years of confirmation, of God chasing me around with sermons, and having scriptures jump out at me before I could even wrap my brain around divorce.
          I am so concerned for all the Christian women married to “christian” men who have departed long ago.
          I don’t want to sound too preachy….so…if you want to learn MY take on it, you can visit my blog.

          spotless-bride.blogspot.com

      • Nette, I noticed you wrote back in Feb. and now it is July. I have similar feelings and have been in my marriage for 18 years. I have two children by him and one from a previous marriage. I stay because of the kids, too. Unfortunately, my kids have seen his worst and sometimes hate him. We are a christian family and it is so hard to stay or go. I feel like God may punish ME for leaving. I feel like I will be wrong for leaving, so I stay. We have a platonic relationship. This has been so difficult to accept. I talk to him-he listens , agrees, and continues to do what he wants, which is nothing. Things never get
        solved between us. Recently, we were walking on the beach and I asked him why he doesn’t hold my hand-his reply-”I really don’t see the need to”. I had him repeat what I thought I heard him say-and he said ti again. I understand about the emotional disconnect that occurs after so many years of this. I am in a nightmare of a marriage and I hope I can find resolution. I pray for you too and at this point wonder how things have
        been for you. Hope you read and reply. God bless and guide you!

        • Dear Sally, God should grant you a halo for your good intentions!

          Seriously, I’m further down the line than you (37yrs married) and unhappiness still rules me as I now feel cheated as well as disappointed to put it at its least. I stayed for my son, my husbands health, my love for him, trust in his apologies, etc etc but he still has no real consideration of anyone else’s feelings least of all mine. I think now, if I were your age and could do it, I would find strength and go. I’m in yet another round of being ignored (day 6 and counting, as he wallows in self pity for some imagined hurt by me) and now my strategy for life is trying not to give way by crying and begging to be told what’s wrong, and by trying too, to stay positive, disregarding his sulky replies to my polite ‘do you want tea?’ etc. Healthwise I cannot now leave but if I could I would and one day I just might.

          I stumbled on this thoughtful page

          http://passiveaggressive.homestead.com/unreasonable.html

          and hope that as a Christian it may help. I’m not an avowed Christian but it still has good sense.

          • Dear Elizabeth- Hi, don’t know why your comment was held “in queue” for so long. I approved your comment quite awhile ago. Sorry.

            Thanks for sharing your story and for the encouragement to others to get going on with the rest of their lives. If it hasn’t changed in 37 yrs., or 2, it never will. Thank you so much for the link. I think that’s an excellent site. I used to have a link to it on the side of this blog. I’ll have to see it it’s still there.

            Take care of yourself, and let me say, it’s never to late. Tomorrow is another day. Feel free to join in anytime. Now that you’ve been approved, it won’t take so long for your comments to publish.

          • Elizabeth, It was good to find this site for confirmation. I have been married 29 years. Like you, I can’t leave – health and financial reasons. I wish I had when I was told to. I would encourage anyone who finds herself in this situation to find the emotional strength/courage/inspiration, whatever it takes to get out. Staying will rob you of everything – everything. It has me. I don’t have the $$, support or health to go. It’s a deadend. It does not get better. Sorry to be so depressing. Maybe it will save someone else.

          • Jane- Thank you. I’m sure it will be of help and encouragement to someone else. I don’t have the ability financially right now, but hoping after this final move, at least that will change.

            Take care, and come back anytime.

      • I have been married for 41 years and you could say that I’ve been chasing this elusive man for the same amount of time. I realize now that I have never caught him. He’s always been emotionally unvailable. People would say that he is a wondeful man, pillar of society & always there when they need him. The key word here is (when they need him). I always say to myself “yes “Wondeful man, lousy husband!!! I’ve alwasy wondered why I am so lonely!…he did something that devasted me recently…kind of threw me under the bus so he would look good in front of his son… I can’t tell you how devasting it has been as I have watched my self worth get lower and lower. He was a Policeman and everyone enjoyed hearing his stories (center of attention) Some of the stories he told were almost unrecognizable(they tend to inflate them) to me. I can get money from him, a new leased car or furniture…..but I’ll never ever have a true emotional bond. First I stoped speaking to him, then I moved out of the bedroom and then I Moved out of the house. You can’t get to these
        men emotionally. We went into counseling and I moved back into my home….I don’t think the counselor understands…. he keeps askng me if I can just not let my husband push my buttons!! I don’t think he understands the emotional abuse that is endured. I have wrung myself out trying to be a better person, a better wife and a better mother. I can tell you, you will wear yourself out trying to be the person you think he wants you to be. If I had a clue years ago that this was a personality disorder, I would have run. I am 64 with little income, I’m about to file for divorce…..it’s like my last stand for self respect…He will belittle my existance for the rest of my life so as to inflate his!!

        • I forgot to warn you that you must protect your self esteem at all costs. Make sure you have support of family….girlfriends….go out and do activites with friends… keep your job. You cannot change him. He has to acknowledge his behavior and if he’s not willing to work on it…which from what I understand is almost a crime to them, you need to have an out… you must decide how much you’re going to take. I have almost let this take me into a deep depression. Thank God I came across a book about Passive Aggressive disorders and I realized that I was OK and it was him that needed help. Good Luck to all of you and keep your support system nearby!!

        • Dear Betty,
          I am 76 and been married to a passive aggressive, alcoholic man for 39 years. I have thought about leaving every day for the last 38 years!
          How sick is that?? You are saving yourself.
          28 years ago I was told by a therapist that my husband was PA and alcoholic, and I blew it off. I let financial stability take precedent over my own self esteem! I paid a price for a secure life style. I learned when he was 71 he had an on line porno addiction for at least 15 years! My life changed at that point, but I still did not leave! However, I earned the “B” word fair and square after that revelation! I became much more objective.
          I know more than anyone how much courage it takes to leave your marriage. You are to be commended! I can only imagine the peace of mind you will have. I was told by my family that if there was ever a divorce my family would take him! (He is such a NICE guy).
          The sickest part of this situation is I am a very capable woman, educated, have run my own business, traveled the country with my work and now in retirement I travel the world. By preference I travel most of the time with friends or alone. One thing I learned from “Joe nice guy” was how to be alone. I retired at age 75!
          For me, the crowning blow came when he recently undermined my relationship with my daughter, secretly of course. That indiscretion was the ultimate insult!
          I always told myself I would stay until he was old and “used up” and then leave his sorry self. He has arrived at that point, but he is smart enough to rip me off financially! (For me there is always another excuse).
          I pretty much go my own way now, with no regrets. Of course, he remains the “put upon” husband who sacrifices for an allusive non understanding wife. In the meantime I am finally on to his game”! ”
          I wish you good luck and good health in your new future! You have real courage!
          Murphy

          • Hello there, i thought i had the record! (32 years).Believe me i am liveing your life, and found to my horrer how much worse the behavier becomes when the children are gone. Yes i am seen as the demanding, over emotion, irrational one even by my children now, while he is the ever patient nice guy. I feel for you and i do understand how hard it is to leave, as i feel stuck in this situation. God bless you, and never forget its him not you!, no matter how many people he fools. Carol.

      • hi nette, you sound like you’ve been thru hell and back, i think your coming to the end of your rope, by disassociating i mean, i had a realtinship like that too, and finally ended. i wish the best for you.liz

      • Your situation sounds almost EXACTLY like mine. I have come to the point where I do not want to sleep with him….I have felt used & completely depleted. I have shared and been an open book from the beginning of our marriage. He started out as a seemingly kind person. Always seemed supportive, always said the right things, always tried to please me…..seemed to be in tune with my emotional needs……He has done so many things that I have taken the blame for over the years it is ridiculous. I got depressed before I found Christ & He has supported me through this. There is joy in Him. God is not unjust and He will not allow you to be downtrodden forever. Before I knew what was going on, I had gained a significant amount of weight, lost all confidence, became very insecure….& make no mistake, part of the problem is that we must look at ourselves as well. Knowing Christ opens your eyes to a lot of things….study the word of God. I was emotionally abused & found myself becoming an emotional abuser. A passive-aggressive person will sit back & say you look great for years & will never once comment on your weight gain…& of course you’ve talked about how you want to lose weight….and they reassure you “you’ve are beautiful”…then….for instance..you tell your spouse about you having trouble sleeping….then they hit you out of nowhere…boom…..your weight could be causing you to have trouble sleeping….say what? Of course you know you’re becoming a cow (bc now you’re an emotional eater), but you buy the lie that your spouse loves you unconditionally…when in all actuality, they resent you for your weight gain. You become a shell of the confident, outgoing, happy person you used to be…that is until God fills you up again. God has opened my eyes recently…….if you are in a seemingly impossible situation, God will provide that sacrificial ram (the way out). I know that I will not sacrifice my eternity for his hatred. I will not become an adulteress in this life and lose my inheritance in the next life (by the way, Jesus gave taught about divorce….Matt 5:31-32….). Trust me, God will lead you out of the situation. Seek His face for your joy, & have confidence in Him. Retreating into yourself is not the answer….also….find some positive outlets…go read to some ppl at your local nursing home or volunteer at a rescue mission. Keep on moving and avoid the attacks of the enemy.

        Matt 10:36-39
        36And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
        37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
        38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
        39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

      • hi nette, i know what youre going thru…..i too just realized my husband of 28 yrs is pa. i always thought it had to do with alcoholism, as he has been sober 12 yrs now but can still be very mean, detached and emotionally distant. in the last 4 yrs he has had ed which i honestly thought was because i didnt turn him on. when i discussed this with him he denied that but still hardly makes advances. i got so tired of always being the one to initiate sex that i have stopped.it seems like he has alot of time and energy for his aa mtgs and thats abt it. i cant imagine what he says when he shares there bc he rarely shares anything intimate with me.I notice out in public he tries to be very outgoing and talkative to everyone but is not like that at home. a few incidences have occurred with women being a little too friendly with him and i told him its bc he doesnt know how to hold back from them and they get the wrong idea but he denies this and tells me i dont like anyone. i have decided to find new interests for myself to get away in the evenibgs but this isnt so easy. he also has control of his business acct where he puts all his $ and it doesnt have my name on it so my money is solely from myself. he says if u want $ just ask me but this makes me feel like a child. i think he likes the control. it is a sick situation and every day i wonder why i am still here.

      • Hi Nette. I just found this site and your life sounds exactly like mine – except we have no children. We’ve been married for 13 years.
        Somehow I stumbled upon PA on the web and it was if a light bulb went off inside me. THAT is what I had been living with for our entire marriage. No intimacy, no communication, sulking, living like room mates. We’ve tried counseling, sleeping in separate rooms. I was till always asking, “what’s wrong” and never getting an answer. I’d attempt to have serious discussions about our marriage because obviously things are not as they should be. I did ALL the talking, every time. Sometimes I ask, “did you hear me?” because he would say absolutely nothing even if I asked him a question! Now we are apart – I stayed in a hotel one night, him the next. I am torn. I could easily ask him to come home but nothing will change. We’ve separated before for a night or two and I always cave in. Just like your husband, he enjoys nothing. Nothing at all. he never laughs, never wants to go anywhere or do anything. I have spent years of my life trying to “fix” our marriage. It takes 2 people not one! My husband also has lovely qualities but these have deteriorated over the years. I now question our entire relationship. He was previously married then separated then he met me and moved in within a week! I was young and thought this was wonderful as I had been living alone for so long. WHO would do that? I’d talk to his ex wife but I doubt that would be constructive. I think she’d confirm what I already know. he was the same with her. I am sick of always being silently, sulkily blamed for being myself. I deserve better. I’m afraid of living on just my paycheck in this economy and especially having no health insurance. Is that any reason to stay married? maybe. I don’t know anything anymore.

    • Hi Barbra, did any of your children have issues due to his PA status , I have been married for 30 years to one and i just realized that, wives of Pa spouses are not considered abused nut I truly believe they are worse off then getting slapped around!

  4. Barbara- I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. It’s so sad at any time, but after 24 yrs. I know it can be really tough. It was so much harder to know back then what you were getting into also. I think the phrase “passive aggressive” has just been coined the last few years.

    We are definitely not alone. Just so many “victims” don’t realize what it is they’re dealing with until they’ve been too miserable for too long.

    I thought Alanon was a good place to start also. After all, they do teach about living your life regardless of what your “other” is doing. They are also very supportive and welcoming, at least that’s how the group was I went to.

    Thanks for leaving the link. I’m going to check it out right away. Be sure and check out the link I have in the blogroll for the Passive aggressive discussion site. You might find a lot of help there also.

    Good luck to you and please, let me know how you’re doing.

  5. hi. its good to read of others struggles. believe it or not i am a psychotherapist married to a passive aggressive psychiatrist. this is the third marriage for both of us, we both had two bad luck situations before. if it were not for this being my third marriage, i would probably want to leave, especially after reading and i dentifying this behavior. I have known for awhile, but not sought help,deluding myself into thinking i could make it better. he had a screed up childhood and he was a “project.” that’s what a lot of us therpists end up doing unless we have our acts together. i wanted stability for my teenage daughter, as well. i love him very much, but i am exhausted, and depressed. of course I am the one on prozac, not him. reading these stories has helped. i will check out the website, as well. thanks to all of you.

  6. Dearest Susan,
    I am so sorry to hear you so sad. You’re on your way to making it better for yourself. Now you know what is happening and why you’re so depressed. That’s what’s great, is finding out it’s not you! So, next step is “be happy”. What was that book years ago “I’m okay, You’re okay”

    If you need immediate support, a great place to get it is Al-anon. Yes it’s for families of alcoholics, but they are all about spouses etc. that love their “others” but have to learn to live for themselves. I was married to an alcoholic that it took me a long time to leave because of how I felt. The group was great and if you tell them your situation, they will be very supportive I’m sure.

    Please feel free to check in anytime. I’d love to hear how you’re doing and swap “PA” stories. Sometimes it helps just to be able to share with someone else.

  7. Married 22 years +.
    Separated from PA husband off and on for a year….
    If I file for divorce, what kind of behavior can I expect from him other than stalling and obstructing etc? Any thoughts?
    Thanks, please don’t publish email address.

    • Dear Nan,
      I just had to respond. I was married for 21 years but filed for divorce at the end of August. My experience through the divorce process has been this…first of all, tell all your friends and family the reality of the life you have been living. Share more about how it has made you feel rather than focus on his behavior. Share how the “sum total” of your years together has negatively affected you. This is to build a team of support for the coming months. I have been blown away by the love and support I am receiving and many have now told me things that I knew nothing about in regards to how my husband treated them behind my back. . Also, I would go to great lengths to be kind but strong in your approach to your husband. This is very hard because when we finally wake up and realize the way we have been treated, we get angry. Get angry-just don’t let your PA see it. This way, he will not have any ammo towards you. I would avoid telling him you think he is PA or “emotionally abusive” any trigger words like that. Just share with him how he has made you feel all these years and you want to live differently. Most PA men are also narcissistic and won’t be able to hear that, but that is not the point. The point is no one can deny how you are feeling and how you want to take control of your life. If you label him, he will spend all his and your energy trying to disprove your diagnosis. It drives a PA/narcissistic person nuts when the person they once controlled can no longer be controlled…so set really good boundaries. Lastly, expect every trick in the book…from the PA trying to manipulate you to feel sorry for him, critical attitudes through texts and emails that will flip old buttons, lies about who you are or what you are doing, pretty much anything but true sorrow and repentance for how he has made you feel and that he has not lived up to his covenant promise to love, honor, cherish…I am on the other side of the high mountain of what it takes to get out of this kind of marriage…it is SO WORTH IT!!! Just so you know, I have a 16 year old son, and a 14 year old daughter and I thought it would kill them if we ever got a divorce. I was wrong. While it is not easy, there is hope and promise for them. IN addition, without the buffer of an enabling wife or family unit, they begin to see their father in his true light and they have to grieve the loss of the person they thought he was, but it is ultimately healthier for them both…I believe this to my core. I don’t want either of my children to grow up and think it is OK to be that kind of man or husband and they see their mom doing something that takes courage. My PA husband is now trying to manipulate and control my children since I am no longer around, but they are teenagers and are pushing back. It will come back to haunt him. I am so glad I have done this, I am happier than I have been in 21 years…it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

      • Your story is so similar to mine. AFter 30 years of marriage, I left my husband. The children are now adults. They are shocked by his behavior because I am not longer smoothing over the dysfunction. I built a community of supportive loving friends so when I left, they have been with me all along. Since leaving him, my life has improved more than I thought possible. Oh it’s been difficult especially since he is riding the pity train that goes nowhere but to the denial depot. It feels good to take care of ourselves. Good luck and best wishes to you and your children.

      • MB,
        I feel the same…I just had to respond. I wonder how you are now? I need some more of your advice, as I am just waking up to the reality of it all. Mine is narcissistic/pa, yet puts on such a great show! I have to get the courage to move on–the marriage of 19 years is dead, and I don’t want to be treated this way any longer! I can’t tolerate it anymore! He seems oblivious to it all….my 13 yr old son has started recognizing something is wrong with his dad’s behavior and speaking up about it……I need encouragement as I attempt to take the next steps….we have tried counseling. Rarely does the counselor see his abusive behavior…we just saw the pastor a week ago, but I could not confront my husband yet, so the pastor thinks we just have a few little things to work on! So wrong……..we are in financial straits because he is so irresponsible and hasn’t worked and tells me he can’t find a job (with 2 college degrees)–hasn’t worked full time in 6 years. I have tried but recently lost my job, so I am doing a few odd jobs here and there. I am t taking it 1 day at a time….trying to get through Christmas for my child :>). Thanks for listening…..

        • Allheart- I just wanted to say, don’t beat yourself up about gathering the courage. If you are noticing changes in your son, and he is questioning his father’s behavior, that should start to build courage in you, just like a mother bear protecting her cub. It’s so very important right now while your son is entering his teens, that you talk with him and stay close to him. Be honest with him about what is happening. The last thing you want is for your son to either start taking after his father and mimicking his father’s PA traits, or feel like he’s not close to you either, and end up getting lost in the shuffle. If your son is mentioning things he sees wrong with your husband’s behavior, you should be helping him understand what it is, how it’s wrong, and what the right thing would be. You are very lucky that your son is vocal about what he sees. Any time you’re looking for courage, just think about what this is doing to your son.

          I agree that now is crappy timing, with Christmas and all, but come January 1 it’s a chance for all of us to start with a clean slate. You have a few weeks before then to think about what you really want to do and how you can make it come together.

          Good luck, and please be sure to let us know how it’s going. Merry Christmas and God Bless.

          • Thank you Ladybeams for your note of encouragement and wisdom! :>) I have already found a women’s center for ladies going through this and plan to join a support group there…..I am making progress on my “plan” of how to get out of this situation…..he and I have no relationship anymore..but he still has the ability to manipulate me and control me and “mess with my mind” as he calls it. You mentioned that I should explain it to my son…right now I am just supporting him and letting him know I am on his side when his dad gets to him/angers him etc. like they do….but I have not gone so far as to tell him I think he has a personality disorder. Is that what you are suggesting? I was thinking I should help him have a positive outlook on his father etc…my friend says she thinks my son knows what is going on, because he sees how my husband treats me…..i find it hard to believe, but I am just in denial probably. It’s a lot for me to take in, since I just woke up to this reality and am identifying it. Because of the tension I feel in the house now and lack of communication between my husband and I now, I am ready to ask him to leave…just not sure how to go about it or how he will react……I don’t think he suspects this is where I am……I feel emotionally drained and am stressed financially…….thank you for your blog!

          • Hello Ladybeams…..I am writing to update you….I told him to leave this weekend….and he is classically trying to manipulate me and apologize and say everything will be better…etc. I am trying to stay strong….it is hard as he plays on my heartstrings. He knows just where and how to get to me! I can already feel a little sense of relief coming..but I am not there yet, as he does not want to move out :>( Please pray for me and my child…..and that he will move out as I have requested……..the local shelter for domestic abuse is supporting me through this….I recommend talking to your local women’s center, since they understand what you are going through–they have been wonderful! Thank you all ladies!!

          • Allheart- Good for you! I hope things are going ok. I know it’s not easy, especially in the situation you’re in, but it’s great that you found such terrific support. If he knows you are not doing this alone, your chances of succeeding are much better. That is why the passive aggressive works so hard to isolate us. They know if we have any support at all, we have strength.

            I will say a prayer for you that God give you the strength you need to stand strong against your PA’s manipulations, and the wisdom to see that that is just what it is, a form of manipulation.

            Take care of yourself and God Bless you and your child. May the good Lord protect you both.

        • Allheart,

          I’m so glad to hear you are taking steps forward. I remember the day I asked my husband to move out. He said he would, then changed his mind and dug in and would not move. It wasn’t until I filed for divorce and then had to wait about a month for temporary orders to be mediated that required him to move out. I decided to find a new home instead of staying in a home that had such dark and bad memories for me. I found a place with the help of my family and have made a new home for me and my children. My kids spend 50 % of their time with their father, which is hard, but because they are teenagers, they have more say and freedom as to where to be when and they often find ways to be with me or at my house, even if for a few hours, on the days they are suppose to he at his house. Since your son is 13-it will be the same for him. Now my kids REALLY see the difference between my home which is full of laughter and light and the behavior of their father and the home in which he is creating-which is “dark” as my daughter shares and often a climate of control and everything being about my soon to be ex-husband. I want to tell you that you are entering into what might be the hardest part of this journey to a new life. BUT, don’t give up and take it a day at a time. Don’t forecast grief…literally take it a day at a time and in 6 months you will look up (maybe even sooner) and you will have reclaimed parts of you and be moving towards a new life that you could have only imagined before. It is sooooo worth it. I clung to my support system but most of all to God who Shepherded me to this place each day. God’s Word-especially the Psalms-has been a huge comfort and source of strength. Lastly, do whatever you can to find the best professionals to help you in the process. I have found a wonderful attorney sho specializes in mediation so she keeps things healthy and as non-litigious as possible, a great counselor for my kids, and a parent coordinator who works with the attorneys and courts and the parents to make the best decisions for the kids. All of these professionals have seen how my husband’s behavior affects us all and they are often the ones who step in and help the most. I am SO Thankful they are part of the divorce process. It has paid off to do the homework to find the best possible people and while it is hard financially, it will be worth it in the long run. I hope this note encourages you and I hope to keep in touch with your story through this blog.

          MB

          • Some thoughts:
            It’s not a lot of comfort, but the fact we have / are trying so hard and struggled so long to work on our ‘relationships’ means one positive thing:

            We’re not bitches!! We are not golddiggers!! We are ones with big generous hearts, and believe it : it was that openness that attracted these poor lonely PA souls – I honestly think deep down they recognise and are panicked by their own negativity and when they finally make us go there too after years and years of trying to help them and us by our key problem solvings skills and so on – it terrifies and validates the negativity.

            Like Ladybeams, I live within a cocoon of selfprotecting distance and ‘friendliness’. TIP : Never get inveigled into revealing important plans like going out with friends or a treat for yourself – it will get stymied!

            Stay as positive and friendly as you can to him/her (less chance it’s a her, but hey – my mum’s a bit PA) the minute they see you wobbly for support it terrifies them and you will never get the love (from them) you need in a crisis.

            On the upside, you get excellent at foreward planning and independence if rather low scores for trust. They know how to talk the talk, but the walk is beyond them. Listen to your inner voice, not what comes out of the PA’s mouth, save yourself a lot of grief and don’t confront them with your feelings : I did that once and all I got was ‘I can’t believe you make me feel so bad’ and the sulks….not a teensy sorry for the years of emotional abuse then … however big your PA is, they are just a two year old inside : me, me, me. Being generous, they can’t help it, and it’s your choice, mother them or quit … if you’re young enough QUIT!!!! …there’s better out there, good advice, if a man treats his mum well and is kind to animals and strangers he’s got a generous heart too, forget looks and charm, at the end of the day you need grown up openhearted love, not the glitz and promises that got you in this mess.

            As an ex teacher and mother: protect your kids and make out your PA’s mr wonderful for as long as you can. My son was 16 before he realised. Hopefully, you will have put enough of your positivity in to make sure they don’t repeat the pattern – I was always horrified by how my PA’s dad treated his mum yet 30 years later, that’s what I’ve got. I can truly say my son treats me well and has a very kind heart – the sort that brings home stray cats! He realises his dad’s ‘not well’ (he does have physical health issues) and is jolly and positive with him now he’s in his 20s. I always made it very clear when Dad squared up to young vulnerable 18yr old that if he made me choose by chucking son on the street I’d go too.

            Find a good friend, it’s amazing how many women are in this situation in silence, and thankfully there’ this lovely life affirming group – huge love to Ladybeams who keeps us all sane!

          • Excellent advice. I don’t know how I survived before I found this site? Now, I’m investing in forward and wherever he goes, he goes. I’m letting it roll off, finding my interests – not revealing them, not being conversational, just polite, respectful, appreciative of anything that’s done, that’s it. Thank you. I’m wishing you all well, hoping all of us come to that place where we know we can only fix ourselves.

          • Elizabeth- Thanks so much for sharing, and for the kind words.

            It’s so lucky you have been able to stay close to your son and be aware should he take on any of his father’s traits. You talking about the way your PA’s dad treats his mom is the exact reason why I advise anyone with children especially run if they find themselves in a situation with a PA. I get stories of children who grow up treating their mother the same way as the spouse treats the mother, and it’s deplorable. Talk about a broken heart!

            I do also believe in a good support system, be it a good girlfriend that you can confide in, family, church or a therapist, anyone who can help you realize it’s not you.

          • Dear Allheart
            As a mother of a son I really feel for you. I can tell you some of what worked for me:

            Protect your son as much as poss from the disturbance and upset you experience, don’t tell him his dad’s a pa or anything like : it may come up to bite you badly – remember he needs a male figure to model on, and when it can’t be his dad, it can be a grandad, uncle, family friend, david attenburgh, Melvin Bragg, any good male role model. Talk about your positive memories of any of the above, embellish them if necessary, tell your son how he’s like (one of them) in the way he loves cars, has a sense of humour)….If he isn’t living with a good male role model and is figuring it out, then it’s an essential thing for him to show him subtly that there are other approaches to being a man.

            Next, he’s going to need to know how to deal with his difficult times both with the ppa and other life stuff. Music and cars where the answer here for me, I know tons of stuff about modern music because I’ve sat through hours of mtv, talking over the lyrics of eminem, getting to love The Killers myself! Like me, he finds music a huge destresser. He wasn’t into sports or drama, but if he had been, I’d have done that. Get to invite his friends round too. You are going to have to be mum and dad through the next decade.

            My jealous pa would throw huge tantrums over my ‘spoiling’ (I won’t use his term, it still shocks and hurts me : A…licking) our son. He never had any positive interaction with him throughout the lad’s childhood that I didn’t encourage or start or monitor to give him a chance to have a positive input.

            In the end, when yet another tirade of pa telling me that I’d ruined my 19 yr old son, that anything and everything he was was down to me …i floored him with one of those comments you always wished you’d said: I said ‘you mean everything S’s like is down to me?’ (yes) ‘well that’s the biggest compliment you’ve ever given me…. to say this lovely generous kindhearted intelligent boy is down to me!’ Needless to say that wasn’t what he meant. Now, six or so years on, the scales are off son’s eyes, but he remains generous and loyal to both his dad and his mum….but i get extra kisses on the quiet with a wink,, as he knows what I have to deal with. And his dad is proud and emotionally leans on his son. I’ve learnt their mouths run away with them they dont mean half what they say, unfortunately we’re daft enough to believe the ‘i love you so much’ stuff… read ‘why does he do that’ for more insight.

            In the inevitable confrontations with the pa, I was amazed at S’s abilty to logically argue and not get side tracked ..it was amazing to hear him echo my thoughts without my ever having said, and I was so proud of him. I always made it clear to pa and to S that I would always take S’s side to the point of going, that people should always be treated with love and respect. This is a viewpoint you have to back up with your behaviour:

            Your son will be easily torn if you allow him to take sides, do not allow him to be drawn into fights, give him strategies to keep safely out of the way when things are kicking off. Tell him you can deal with things, and his dad’s having a difficult spell. Never say if you can help it that pa’s always been this way as it will basically confuse him…you want him to know it’s not right to ignore /disrepect others and you have to model that for him in regard to his father. You do not want son to ever think he was the cause of your staying for this misery.

            With a singleton, its important I feel to have a pet for them to love and care for to model and mirror good care.

            Although S is not a dad yet, I know he will be a good one, his attitude to others reveals this, he is not cynical and negative about other’s motives as his dad is and always has been.

            Women have a tough time with pas, but we will only help perpetuate this if we don’t try to stop it for our sons. Keep positive and paste on smiles for the next ten years, keep hugs for son and for dad for as long as you can…both need it..

            if you can leave, do, but never let your son be an emotional crutch or dustbin..if his dad should try to do this and he will, object firmly and loudly and you can only morally do this if you keep to that rule too. Diarise your feelings .. here if necessary so that if one day, your son absolutely has to understand, you can allow a glimpse, but only a glimpse. Make as many generous excuses as you can (blame the parents!!! if you have to, or the war) for your son’s sake. Those are my thoughts and it worked for me, every one is different. Good Luck and lots of love.

          • Oh my goodness! Thank you ALL so much! I cannot believe what I am reading! For 18years I have been married and internalizing my husbands lack of emotional connection and communication. I blamed myself and was never true with myself about how wrong this behavior has been. He is a really good man on the outside, so I overlooked his behavior. Things got really bad between us last summer and after much coaxing by me he finally opened up and told me he was unhappy because of all of MY emotional issues. And I bought it hook line and sinker. He refused to try to work things out, treated me very coldly and refused to move out. I had to tell him repeatedly to either be willing to work it out or move out. He moved out on January 6. Since that time I began researching healing from divorce and discovered articles about passive aggressive behavior. It wasn’t until i read those about 2 weeks ago that I finally realized what had been going on and am now embracing the idea that I am not to blame for everything. I am working on accepting my part while understanding his behaviors and how they have stopped away my self worth for years. Reading these stories is so validating! You all have given me some courage to heal. Thank you!

          • MB- I can’t tell you how happy I am for you, and how much I appreciate your words of encouragement for others. We just have to keep our “eye on the prize” so to speak. Your children are very lucky that you have so diligently sought help for them also. That will go so far in helping them to not adopt their father’s ways and not take on the blame for you and he splitting up, as children often do.

            Take care, and I look forward to hearing more about your wonderful “new life”.

      • I enjoyed reading your account of your experience with your passive aggressive husband.

        I am at the end of my tether currently. The hurt is unbearable and one gets to a point where it is demeaning to continue to put up with a situation where you feel there is no expression of care or concern. I am a good wife and mother. I supported my husband in every way and I cannot believe that someone could behave in such an emotionally callous way.
        There is a great desire to win other people’s approval and generally other people get the cream emotionally and every other way.

        I am quite religious and there is no connection on this level either.

        • I want to write again to encourage you and others. My divorce is now final. While it was not an easy process as my pa former husband tried to make it all about him and do everything he could to punish me for divorcing him, the day after we mediated a divorce settlement for over 12 hours (a grueling day) I woke the next day with a joy and weight lifted I can’t really describe in words! My point: all the heartache and difficulty in getting to this place of freedom from a pa husband is SO worth it! I so wish my children did not have to come from a home of divorce and I tried so hard to keep that from happening. But in the end, I think it was doing more damage to stay married to a man that modeled such unhealthy behavior as a man and husband and my kids are getting it. I have recently started dating again and I have to tell you how wonderful it is to meet healthy, well adjusted MEN who know how to treat a woman. It will restore your spirit that there are good men out there who are real and warm and want to care and respect you. Please hear me: I am not an advocate for divorce and if my X would have been willing to do the hard work through counseling of getting to the root of his issue, I would have stayed married to him. But he was not willing and I had a moment of clarity in which I realized this was not way to live and I deserved so much more. I am thankful that I took action during that time, because it would have been so easy to continue accepting and coping with a man who didn’t deserve my commitment and love. Take a hard and realistic look at your situation and don’t settle for anything less than the best for you!
          MB

        • Hello from a fellow sufferer, i had to reply, because when i saw your line about their need for the approval of others, and how others get the cream emotionally, how very true, you really hit the nail on the head with that!.They are so talkative, so helpful, so charming, to others. Darn it ! to people who really couldnt care less about them!And yet, we who do everything for them, are ignored. How sad is that!, and how sick?You are not alone, and i think i will say a prayer tonight for the first time in a long time. Thanks for your insight. Carol.

      • Thank you MB, what you said was the most encouraging thing that I have read through this entire mess. I have been married for 6 yrs and with the same man for a total of 18 yrs. One year ago we got into a discussion and he decided that he was leaving…just like that. He got up packed his television and belongings and left. He has been a habitual liar, would withdraw, sulk and isolate me. it just happened out of nowhere. One year after we got married he was so into the Christmas season. We purchased Christmas decorations, went away for my birthday which is close to Christmas, we shopped and had a good time. Came home decorated the tree together. the next yrI couldnt get him to purchase the Christmas tree, he slept on the couch while me and the children decorated the tree and complained that we were too loud. I could not understand it. He turned into a different man.
        When he left he immediately started dating other women, would take my sons to their house and evenhad the nerve to let one woman babysit my 5 yr old. I just could not believe it or the fact that a woman eas stupid enough to watch someone elses child. I wanted to murder him. It seemed like the angrier i got the better he felt. Long story short he told this woman where i lived, she came to my house looking for him and after a year of going through this i had had enough. It breaks my heart that i no longer talk to him but i know that it is for the best. How do you communicate with someone who only wants to push your buttons and takes great pleasure in seeing you hurt. I feel like no matter what i say that i cannot reach him and that i am in a losing battle. I did not know anything about pa because had i known i would have left a long time ago. i am angry that i allowed myelf to be manipulated because i am a strong woman. Thank goodness i did not loose my self esteem. I know that i am strong and beautiful, I lost 20lbs which I could not afford to lose but i know now that i will gain it all back and return to the person that i know and love. Once I got the total understanding of pa i filed for a divorce. I also fel that by this woman coming to my house and saying that she had been in an intimate relationship with my husband that God had given me an out. ADULTERY….thank you Jesus. I filed for a divorce the next day. I have good and bad days because he was apart of my life for 18 yrs and they were not all bad just 90% of them.

  8. Nan- Thanks for stopping by.

    You’re in a tuff spot. It’s amazing how they know just the right stuff to say and do to keep you coming back “off and on for a year” aye? I’m sorry after 22 yrs it hasn’t worked out for you.

    I’m no expert, but it depends on what kind of PA you have, how he will react. Mine is extremely passive, but once it’s over, it’s over. Because they never truly develop an emotional connection, they can truly let go.

    Just by the nature of the beast, so to speak, I would expect that there will be times you set appointments to have him sign papers or for meetings etc. where he will either be late and you have to wait on him, or he may not show at all and then have some excuse.

    Once you get him to sign the papers, if you get them back, if he’s passive enough he may not even show up for court and everything will go right through. Obviously I don’t know how complicated your situation is, kids, property, etc. but if it’s pretty simple, this could very well be the case.

    Are you in a position to hand deliver the papers, or will you have him served? That will probably be the first stumbling block. If you have him served, they may lay around for awhile before he gets them back to you.

    Just remember, they were never really there to start with, so don’t be surprised or disappointed if he doesn’t “fight” for you. That’s generally not their way.

  9. I live have been married to PA for 9 years, and at times I have had to threaten to leave in order for his behavior to improve (of course it is only for a little while). My question is this; my husband’s PA expresses itself interpersonally, between him and I, and also financially. My life is a roller coaster of financial stress. I am struggling with health problems and depression because of all the stress I have been coping with for 9 years. I am worried that his procrastination and irresponsibility are on the way to becoming dangerous to me and my children. Is it common for PA to literally destroy their lives in order to continue being the victim? Thanks so much.
    Kim

  10. Dear Kim,
    As I say, I am no expert, but yes they can completely destroy themselves and anyone involved with them financially or emotionally. Their lack of financial responsibility is just one more way they may take out their resentment of having “to do something.” Many of them resent working for the family, just one more thing they feel they have no say in, no control over.

    If this is hurting your health and you’re afraid it’s also hurting your children, you should seek some professional help. Maybe you can get to a marriage counselor, altho there again unfortunately change is usually short lasting, if at all. There are “free” programs or programs done on a “sliding scale” based on your income if you can’t afford a therapist. I would also recommend clicking on the link to the PA discussion site I have under the blogroll.

    Good luck to you. I know it’s hard, but if it’s affecting your health because of the stress, you need to do something right away. If not for yourself, for your children.

    • Dear Kim, yes, please hear what ladybeams has said. It can cost you much more than you think. I lost my health, my job and my ability to make a living going along with, putting up with, proving, etc., to a PA, it won’t work, it can’t work and you’ll lose. They, don’t seem to care one way or another what their lives are like. Please, please, regard your life and your children. My son had so much to go through to get over the choices I made. Jane

  11. Im just learning about passive aggressive spouses – my husband left me this week for the fifth time in two years of marriage – the day we came back from a break away. Of course its all my fault. Like I say Im just learning, but I dont think retreating yourself is the answer….Ive done it.. (before I knew about the PA stuff). it worked the first time.. he came at me with flowers and missed me… but I learned thats what they do!. I just think that retreating yourself is punishing you and not him.. hes happy if you retreat coz he knows hes upsetting you. I think Ive decided to be strong.. and be me… my husband says the marriage is over and wont come back (been said before though) but can he come round to collect some stuff… I think we have to stop being victims and at the same time find away to difuse their behaviour so we dont get over angry (which is what they want). I dont have the answers yet, but im pretty sure I wont be retreating again. Im not a victim.. im a fighter.

  12. Cinders- Good for you! It sounds like you’re getting a handle on what is going on and moving from being a victim to being a victor. It’s very hard to go through a break up with anyone you have spent a fair amount of time with and had a special love for. The one thing I have found is that every time it happens, it makes it a little easier the next time. I think it’s inevitable that you hold back a little each time you make up, being a little more afraid or defensive against getting hurt so much should it happen again. There are some really good books on the subject of passive aggressive personality. If you click on the Amazon link you can see some of the ones I have listed that are recommended. Also the link to the passive aggressive discussion site is good and so is this blog that Barbara above suggested, altho this one is more help on breaking co-dependency, which is equally important. http://www.joy2meu.com/index.html
    Good luck and keep in touch.

  13. I only read one post so far..Barbaras..I am sooo mentally tired and have read so much about PA’s and its like they are cloned ! I am divorcing after 24 years too. I have 4 wonderul kids too and I cant take the evasive, lying, forgetfullness, running out of gas, bad checks, forgotten children…now I face the the visitaion of two younger children and have to live with this stress..I only pray that the day in and day out of freedom will somehow strenghten me for the times he is to be ” responsible” for our two younger children. This may not make sence to anyone….its as I have read so many times…crazy making…now as the divorce proceeds he has become more AGGRESIVELY PASSIVE I believe to try and force me to reunite…It hasnt worked….Will the anger ever subside? He has been the child that never grew up in all these parenting years of mine and I need peace…
    Tress-

  14. Hi Tress,
    24 yrs. is a long time to be so unhappy. You must be a strong lady as it’s also hard after that long to let go. Even though you’re facing visitation now, after the first few times (when he’s late, doesn’t show, or has some excuse) you may find you have to deal with that less than you think. It’s actually just one more “obligation” he will probably resent and end up fluffing off. This is hard on the children and will be hard for them to understand. What I did was just not tell them he was coming, etc. until I knew it was an absolutely sure thing.

    They say time heals all wounds, and in time the anger does, or should, subside depending on how much you have to deal with because of still being tied to him with children. Like I said, it’s my guess you’ll see him less and less.

    Good luck to you and stay strong. Life’s too short. Don’t forget to find a few of the good things in every day to help you along your way. Stop by anytime.

  15. My husband has started the “worming” pattern now…
    lol.. well you have to laugh or else you would go mental! By that I mean.. “woming his way back in” .. normally he leaves me until I give in, ask him to forgive me and beg him to come home.; Ive had an email saying how much he loves me but thinks we should part….but he loves me so much he wants to give it another go and hopes i can change! (couldnt you just kill him ???!!!!!)
    Well im not budging.. I did apologise for the stuff I did.. but he never apologises for the stuff he does…but Ive not asked him to come back…that is what hes waiting for…he wont ask to come home himself because thats giving in… its ridiculous.
    The thing I wont forgive or forget is the fact that he has never once asked me what I want to do. Do I want to end the marriage.. do I want to get back together.. Do I still love him? No…its all…what he wants and what he feels..
    Well he can stay in his grotty bedsit and eating junk food.
    He called to pick up some mail… and I didnt even feel anything for him anymore. Whilst he was hugging me and saying he missed me.
    Im a Christian and I dont want to give up on marriage because of that… but in the end its his decision to leave and he has to acknowledge that, take responsibility for it and whatever happens to him next.
    Most people say PAs dont change without thereapy and advice ways to deal with them.. but I think we have to take care of ourselves and realise who we are and what we are and that they actually cannot manage without us though we can manage without them! Ive spent too long fixing things in this marriage and its time he either steps up or moves on!!
    ooohhh Im getting assertive ! lol

    • Dear Cinders

      It’s nearly two years on – what happened? I’ve just come across all these posts and finall got a private email address so I can ask and research – I so agree with what you wrote and hope all is well with you

  16. Cinders- Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.
    I love that “hopes you can change” aye? Isn’t that typical?
    Unfortunately, even with therapy a lot of PAs never change because they can never truly admit they have a problem. I think it’s great (and probably a bit of a relief) that you are taking care of you. I understand about not believing in divorce because of religious reasons, but I don’t think keeping yourself in a hopeless situation is something God wants for us either. Life’s too short.
    I’d be interested to know what he says when you tell him you want him to apologize for his share of what’s going wrong in your marriage? There’s nothing wrong with being assertive and asking for what you want. LOL.
    Good luck and let me know how you’re doing.

  17. hi well ive had some abusive texts from him now after the weekends “I love you” “I miss you” – “do you want to go out for a meal?” and im afraid he got to me again.. and i lost my temper…(just what they want you to do) he blows hot and cold and He just wont give a straight answser but turns it all around…”Do you want to end this marriage?” I ask…..”Im not living in YOUR house” his reply…
    well I really lost it and sent some texts of my own saying a few things that that hed done to me over the past two years…. a proper rant it was! Called him a jelous sulky child…….I know were probably not supposed to do that! That just confirms to him that hes right and I am the enemy instead of his own mind being the real enemy! They have to have somebody to blame for their problems and as a wife – your the nearest target!
    I have to blank him from my life now for my own sake. Hes accusing me unfairly and I just want him to see hes wrong! I know thats never going to happen….I have to quit all communications even if it kills me – they can sulk and cut off so easily, but its difficult for me – its so hard for me.. I dont know how to get him out of my head and just get on with my life. Ive got a good life – family, new job actually, friends – I dont need him….but how do I stop this terrible hurting that hes putting me through? I agree with what you say about God not wanting me in an abusive relationship… I have to trust Him and let go somehow of the control and believe that whatevers best for me will happen…. I have two options only…..he changes..or its over! and im not budging on that.
    But.. How do I get him out of my head and stop this pain – Can anybody help?

    • Stay away from him. Set boundaries. Make a new life for yourself. He’s an energy vampire. Protect yourself. REad, meditate, journal, join a gym class, revisit your eating habits and change them if you know you’re not taking care of your health. Get strong to be strong.

    • Hi Cinders,I am with you on getting the pa out of our heads. I have decided to go and lick my wounds. I know that it will sting for a minute but in the end I will be just fine. I know that Mr right is out there and waiting for me to lose the baggage that i have. Ithas not been a month since i filed for the divorce and he has already introduced his next victim to his mom. I had to shake my head because it is no longer my problem. It does hurt but I know that God knows best. just like a new born baby, it is a mess when it is born but as you wipe it off it becomes more beautiful. That is how i feel, like i am covered in mess but each day i am cleaned uo just a little more. I made up my mind to cut him off comepletely. I mean if he can live without me i can for sure live without him. I will never let him see me sweat because that is what he wants. I will always let him see me shine and the fact that I know that he is an emotionless robotmakes it all the more easy. In fact i think i am going to start being really nice to him but never asking for him to come back because believe me that chapter in my life is closed. I look forward to better days.

  18. Doesn’t it make you mad when you get mad when you know that’s what they’re looking for? I get so mad at myself when I let him get to me. I try so hard to handle it all with a sense of humor (so I don’t cry). Don’t beat yourself up for that though. Sometimes you just have to let it out. Keeping it all pent up doesn’t solve anything either.

    You’re right about how easily they cut off. I think it’s because they’re never really emotionally out there to start with. I cannot get over the fact that my BF never calls his kids, or his friends, or anyone that he supposedly cares about.

    As for getting past this, there is no real answers to how you do this, you just have to figure out the best way that you know how, so that you are taking care of you first. The most important thing that you can do when you are in the process of a split is to take care of yourself. You need to make sure that you are staying healthy and happy because you are most important.

    I’m glad to hear the rest of your life is going so well. I think you need to rely on the good things more than ever now. If cutting off communication with him is best for you and you know it, then that’s what you should do until you have a chance to heal a bit. I know it’s hard. I’ve shed my share of tears, but prayer, keeping busy and good old “time” will help. If you can afford it, a good psychologist can be quite helpful also. You might try finding a support group. They can be very helpful, not only with ideas for how to handle your situation, but the friendships you forge also, and most of them are either free or minimal to join.

    You hang in there girl. The sooner you accept that you probably will never get from him what you want, the better off you’ll be. What is that quote, Dr. Phil I think, “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” Please, keep in touch.
    PS
    You might want to take a look at my “recommended reading” list. There are a couple of books in there about dealing with a passive aggressive. Good luck.

  19. can I ask ? Does anybody out there have a happy relationship with one of these guys or has everybody finally given up and moved on?

  20. I’m afraid Cinders, not very many. There are a lot that have stayed for years and years, only to give up trying and end up in divorce, etc.

    The only way I have found to be “ok” with the BF is that I understand who he is and what he is. I either accept it or I don’t. If I actually wanted love and passion in a relationship, I’d probably be “out of here” also. For me a sort of “friendship” is okay for now. If I was a bit younger that probably wouldn’t be the case.

  21. my husband has completely blanked me now.. he says his feelings are dead towards me and thats that. I dont know what to do. because really i want him back. however, i dont want all that crap with it.. im so confused. i know its what they do…but i think hes beating me down again….i was doing so well., but….

  22. Aw, Cinders, I’m so sorry you’re going through all this.

    “he says his feelings are dead towards me and thats that.”
    This may be a ploy, playing “hard to get” or it may be for real. We have to remember they are never really emotionally attached to us anyhow. If you really want him back, then you have to accept the crap. No complaining, etc. because you’re making that choice. Or, are you sure you don’t want him back now because he says he doesn’t want you? Sometimes we get caught up in that.

    You are doing so well and you have so much of the hard part already worked out for yourself, the job, new friends, etc. Unfortunately with time we’re built to not have such a good memory about how bad things were. Maybe you should take a little time and revisit that. You may find it easier to remember why you wanted out in the first place.

    If you have time, visit the link on the side for “getting past your past”. It’s really a terrific site w/some really good advice. I just bought a “no contact” bracelet for my daughter who has a hard time letting go. It’s really a cute idea and I could see how it would work.

    Good luck and stay strong in whatever you decide to do. It might also help you to go back and read some of your comments here. I don’t know if you have any children, but you may consider what his being passive aggressive in your relationship is doing to them.

  23. I have been married for 20 years to a passive agressive man – and am so tired of this roller coaster -please tell me if I am wrong – I am so hurt that my heart is hardened by all that he has done to me – he has no remorse, has never apologized and I just want him to hurt as bad as he had hurt me.

    Here are just a few things-
    borrowed my credit card to put $300 on it – when it got to $9,000 I had the card cancelled and had to cash in a life insurance policy to pay it off which then left me with bad credit.

    The bank called when the house payment had not been paid for 4 months to say they were forclosing – I had to come up with $2,400 that day in order to prevent the foreclosure

    He borrowed $7,000 from my mother and has never paid her back – that was about 4 years ago

    I had $1,800 saved for new furniture – he needed it for just a week but of course I never saw it again

    He was sued to $35,000 but didn’t tell me – had the house refinanced to pay off the judgement – I found out from a anonomous letter about this.

    That is just the money part – then there is what I call the neglect.

    While in labor and having contractions three minutes apart he did not want to go out in the cold to take me to hospital. After my son was born I came home to a child that was less than 24 hours old and an 18 month old – he went to pharmacy to get my prescription and was gone for hours – his buddy and I walked the floors with two crying kids and I had to call his father to bring me dinner.

    I was born with a kidney defect and had several surgeries before having the kidney removed. It was never convenient for him to be with me during any of my surgeries and the day I was at Johns Hopkins having my kidney removed he went to Hard Rock and the Inner Harbor while my girlfriend and sister had to decide with the Dr. whether to remove my kidney or discontinue the surgery since he was not there. Then he left that night to come home before I ever got out of recovery and in a room – he came back a couple of days later……and can’t figure out why my heart is so hurt.

    I scheduled family pictures for a Saturday afternoon – come time to have them done I could not find him – he was at lunch with a bunch of guys at the local deli. Needless to say he is not in the family picture.

    I am sorry this is so long – I am at wits end as to what to do – have two great kids but just can’t ride this roller coaster any more – he says he has done nothing wrong and I live in the past – it will happen again…..always does….. ANY suggestions!!

    HELP

  24. Dear Karen,
    My gosh, how have you stood it for 22 yrs.? If my passive aggressive was that bad he’d have been gone long ago. He’s a little annoying, but that’s about it.

    First, you’re right. With a history like this it most likely will happen again and again. I hope you are doing something for you like seeing a therapist, your clergy, somebody that can validate your feelings and self worth.

    Second, most will never admit nor apologize for their part in the deterioration of the relationship. They don’t believe anything is wrong with them and they need to place the blame on you. The only self defense you have is to know that this is the standard MO for a passive aggressive, and that it isn’t you. Read books, joing support groups, whatever you need to do to stand firm in this belief. Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy wondering how to do things differently.

    The third thing I personally would do is if you are good at saving, I would start putting money away in case you ever decide to leave or for a rainy day. This time, don’t tell him you have it. If he doesn’t know about it, he can’t spend it.

    As far as the house is concerned, if it’s in both of your names he shouldn’t be able to refinance without your
    signature. If he did, he and the title company, etc. have committed fraud, a criminal offense.

    No matter how much you love him, you need to start being proactive in protecting yourself, and in turn that will make it possible to protect your children. Take advantage of the free help and support that’s all around you. Al Anon is a good place to start, or your county health dept. for emotional support, or even church. Any where you can be amongst people who make you feel good. There are links in the side columns here for other resources. Start pulling everything you can together to get yourself ok with you, then you can deal with the situation you’re in, what ever you decide to do about it.

    Feel free to stop by anytime. I’m no doctor or anything, but sometimes it just helps to talk to somebody that is going thru similar circumstances. Good luck to you.

  25. isnt it all so difficult? I mean its like living in a soap opera.. all that drama!
    My husband said he wont live with me but he wouldnt mind meeting up for “fun” now and again. Good Lord !
    What a **** hes become. then he picked me up from work (to collect some paperwork from me) and dropped me at home – I was cold as ice (well who wouldnt be after that!) and when he got home he text me..”Am sorry! Driving off that street tonight was the hardest thing ive done inmy life – as if ive been stabbed through the heart”
    what a drama queen! IT doesnt even mean anything that text.
    I dont even understand it.
    not replied and wont contact him again no matter what he does….

  26. Reading what others have been through.. Ive only been married two years and am emotionally drained and ive just lost all respect and love for him now…I wonder if its best to let it all go – it doesnt sound like it ever gets better…………..

    • Hi Cinders,
      So he wants to be “friends with benefits” aye? That’s what we call it here when there’s none of the responsibility of a relationship, just the sex. I don’t blame you for being insulted.

      I read your next comment also before replying. You wonder if it’s time to let go. I would say that it depends on how you truly feel about this man. You were right, for many it never gets any better and you just end up wasting many years being unhappy and wondering what might have been.

      If you want to try and save your marriage, talk to your husband, calmly if you can. Be sure to use the right verbage like “I feel like “this” when you do “that” or “when you do “this” it makes me feel like “this”. This kind of language is supposed to not be like an accusation and not raise some sort of defensive behavior. Hopefully you can communicate. My P/A doesn’t communicate at all, so I wish you all the luck in the world.

      You might want to ask him about going to a marriage counselor. See if you get any co-operation at all. If you do, that’s terrific! If you don’t, don’t be surprised. I would still seek counseling for yourself. See if you can get any referrrals from some of your closest friends. Some times you have to try a couple of them before you find one you actually connect with. Don’t let this dissuade you. You’ll get there.

      If you truly already feel you’ve lost it with this man, don’t waste any time. I’m sorry for your loss, but you need to take care of you. I don’t feel anyone should waste the life God gave us being miserable. I guess I got that when my mother who should have left my father 3 days after they were married for cheating on her, waited 18 yrs., many affairs on his part, and all they did was screw up my sister and my life by fighting all of the time. Start setting things up getting prepared for you to leave. Start saving a little money here and there on your own that only you know about. Start paying down any debt you’re responsible for. The less you have to depend on him for anything, the less contact, the better off you’ll be.

      Whatever you choose, just remember many of us have been there, done that. You’re never alone. Also, as you read back through the posts just on this site, there are many that wish they would have known what they were dealing with back when they were with their partner after only 2 yrs. instead of so many years later. God Bless you, My Dear, whatever you decide to do. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. What ever you are going through may be a spark of hope or comfort to someone else living through the same thing.

  27. I stumbled across this site. My ex is a huge P/A. I was with him for 11 years (we never married because he knew that that was what I wanted more than anything and there was always some bullshit excuse!!) We own property together though and he is now with the hoe he was having an affair on me with. The lies, the crazymaking… For years I thought it was me, why was I such a bad person (my ex is financially responsible which was one good thing and works hard at his job). Otherwise, he is a pothead, binge drinker (one DUI), constantly late, always putting me last. The only time he truly seemed to be a nice guy is when I had cancer at 23 and was not asking anything of him! The sucky thing is he is really good at his manipulations ~ I still want the guy ~ I broke up with him 3 months ago after I found out about the cheating ~ he is still with this whore!! Anyways, he lies and tells me he isn’t and of course I find out he is. He looks like such a sweet person to people who don’t know him but was always the meanest to me. He also could give a shit less about spending anytime with his parents. I wish I still didn’t love him ~ I know I can’t save him ~ I know I need to move on but it’s so hard. He is very charming when he wants to be; I had become his doormat and my self esteem is zero.

    • Laura- I’m glad you found us and I’m also glad to hear at least you have broken up with this guy. He sounds like an all around jerk, not just a P/A (no offense). If he’s cheating on you, and then even after the break up denies he’s with someone when you absolutely know he is, you need to run, not walk to the nearest exit.

      It is so hard to walk away and stay away when you still have so much feeling for him. I know. I too have cried my share of tears when determining that a break up was the only way to save myself. You’ve pretty much made the hardest move already by getting out. Now you need to start getting your affairs in order to break ties with him. I don’t know what kind of property you have together, but you need to figure out who is going to buy who out, or if that isn’t possible, sell it and split the proceeds. If you have any bank accounts together, start right away splitting things up and putting your stuff in your name alone.

      I don’t know how well you are getting along right now, but things have a way of changing for the worst at any given moment. You need to protect yourself. If he’s treated you like shit for the last 11 years, there’s no reason to think he’s not trying to manipulate you now.

      Start filling your time with friends and activities that make you feel good about yourself. Maybe join a support group in your area. Some people have suggested Al Anon. It’s cheap, it’s supportive, and no matter what the problem with your partner it gives you tools for living your life for you. If there’s something you’ve always been interested in, some kind of craft or whatever, take a class and get to know some people who share your interest.

      My heart goes out to you and the pain you’re dealing with, but in the long run better the pain you’re going through now and get on to a better life, than going through this for another 11 years, being another 11 years older, and no better off. Please take advantage of some of the resources I have links for here on the site. Hopefully you will find some information to give you strength and comfort. The main thing is there are a lot of us living with P/A’s and you are not alone. Please stop by and let us know how you are doing. Sometimes when you’re feeling a little weak, it even helps just to sit down and type your heart out at the keyboard. LOL.

    • Oh how i understand, my soon to be ex did the same thing to me. Lied to me making me believe that we were getting back together. Only for him to move in with her after he lost his job. He then felt like the cat was out of the bag and that i would become the side piece because he thought i would want him bad enough to do so. Sorry, didnt work out that way…I filed for a divorce. Dont call her a whore call her your rescuer. She is the next victim and she will get exactly what she deserves. You will be fine in the end. Just know that he is sick and can not be fixed. You love him now but you will meet someone else and will find out what true love really is. Also, when you see them together, notice the look on her face. Hahahaha, it will be similar to the look the you used to have. Let him go he is not worth it. I know, i had the strength to leave it has only been about 3 weeks. I am having good and bad days but i know that it will all work out. How can you continue with someone who can not attach themselves emotionally. It appears that the “whore” has something but just think he did all these things to reel you in. A continuous cycle.

  28. I have been searching out help with this problem for years, trying to looking for some sort of support for myself. I have always known that something was not right with our marriage but in the beginning he told me he loved me but acted another way. I felt confused and I thought I was riding an emotional roller coaster all the time. After 15 years and many therapist later I have finally figured out that it’s not my problem even though he wants to twist the truth around so I am always the person in the wrong and he can always prove it and he is 100% right. He can’t see any of his faults, he’s narcissistic and I have spent way too long trying to change him. I guess I thought he really wanted to change but I see now that it’s just been talk for that moment since he gets defensive after he finds out I’m not buying the sorry routine. When that starts getting defensive there is no convincing him of anything, he is always right.

    Our fiances are destroyed because of his many attempts at trying to make it rich as well as destroying our home with his many attempts at house remodels that he has never finished. Of course the home remodels are still works in progress which many have been for the last 15 years and still not finished. Time has no limits in his mind and I am keeping him from completing the progress because I don’t encourage him enough.

    I think today it dawned on me that my life will not get any better than it is now and it sucks. If I were to keep quiet about his problems and never complain then life for him would be everything he wanted. I’m his invisible wife and he can do what he wants without any consequences. I think if he moves out I”d have a chance at being happy but I’ve asked him to go plenty of times before, he will not go. Then there is the money issue, we don’t have enough for an apartment for him. I have two young children and this is my second marriage. I’m not sure how to continue on with my life at the moment since I know how difficult it was being a single mom, yet in so many ways I am playing the single mom role. His detachment from the family has caused our entire family to suffer yet he says it’s been all my fault and how can he deal with a person that finds faults with him all the time. So, it’s been 15 years of abuse on my part towards him. I want to defend myself but if I do we end in a huge argument and I always get hurt since he is a master at being right. He is extremely passive to the point where he will not speak so if I do talk, then I get accuse of talking too much and not being considerate. But when he dose say something it hurts right to the bone since he always knows how to push the buttons but then hours later says he’s sorry and didn’t mean it.

    I know in my heart it’s not me that this is his problem but I still hurt because I have no other support system. My mom is in the hospital and my dad has Alzheimer’s. I been having physical problems due to all of the stress and I don’t want to be ill since I need to care for my kids. I think I’ve never been happy in the entire 15 years of this marriage due to he stops my happiness. If I am happy and playing with the kids he will do something to cause problems, I try not to let him know how this effects me but I think he can see I’m mad. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this man say he is sorry. But he never seems to stop doing what he says he is sorry for. So why do I stay? I think something is wrong with me for not leaving years ago. Why do I think I can fix him? I want to have the strength to leave and be happy again. When he is not home I feel a sense of relief and when he is home I feel stressed out. Yet, I wish for him to be the man I thought he was before we married but I know that this man was never the real person but a fake. His true personality is who he is now. I feel like he betrayed me right from the beginning and the person I fell in love with doesn’t exist. So, who the heck have I been living with all these years and being faithful too? Gosh, it sucks!!

    Thanks for listening.

    • I just had to reply to you, as i know EXACTLY how you feel when you say you feel betrayed. I too feel i fell for a complete fake personality. It took several years for this to sink in, as he had me convinced i was too demanding too needy. Oh i do so understand when you say you are relieved when he is not at home, and how stressed you feel when he is. My stomach clenches when i hear the car in the driveway.Do you sometimes feel as though you will EXPLODE with anger? Never doubt that this is him and not you, as p.a.s are very clever at being nice for a few days so you will doubt what your intuition tells you.Ive had thirty years of this.Thank God for this site!.You are not alone, God bless Carol.

      • carol- Thank you so much for your input. 30 years is a long friggin’ time! If anyone should know… God Bless you for your advice and encouragement. Thank you.

  29. Dearest Lucy,
    First, I’d like to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Me like everyone else for the holidays am going crazy getting last minute stuff done.

    Second, I’d like to welcome you to our little group here and say it’s nice to meet you. As you can see there are a few of us facing a lot of the same feelings and problems and it’s nice to see here we are not alone.

    Normally I am not one to encourage break ups, especially when you’ve put so much time in, but at the same time I’m not one to advise staying in a hopeless relationship and wasting so much more time. They say we only pass this way once. If this marriage has gotten to the point that it’s starting to damage you physically, then it’s time to move on.

    I do understand what you mean about being a single mom again and about the money. I didn’t leave the father of my children for the same reasons. Finally we had to file bankruptcy so all the bills were gone, and I left. Luckily I had my sister to go to, and while it was a little crowded for awhile, we made it through. I’ve also gone to live with my mother at times, kids in tow. I’m sorry to hear your mom’s in the hospital, but maybe you could take the kids and “house sit” for her for awhile, even if it’s just for a break to give you a chance to sort things out.

    One thing that may help you with making a decision is what this kind of relationship is doing to your children. My kids are still getting over some stuff we went through with the ex and that was 15 yrs. ago. What you don’t want to teach them is that this kind of abuse is normal or ok.

    Last, but not least, there is nothing wrong with you that you didn’t leave sooner. We all live with the hope that things will straighten out. That the person we fell in love with will see the light and all he/she is doing to push us away. We just need to learn when it’s time to say “enough is enough”. Sometimes that’s hard to do when they always know the right thing to say at the right time to say it. We all have gotten sucked in at sometime or another. Just one day you wake up and realize the record is truly broken and won’t play anymore. Hopefully we do it before we allow to much damage to ourselves.

    Be sure and take a look at some of the books available at the Amazon link on the left side and there are a couple links on the right to discussion sites, etc that may help. Please come back and visit and let me know how you’re doing. Sometimes it helps a lot just to be able to talk (write) about it. It helps me too!

  30. Lucy – I am no official expert but if you read my story on Dec 3rd it may give you a clue as to where you will be in a few short years – where I am now…..Being a single parent would definately be a struggle but isn’t it a struggle now – I am certainly not for giving up and bailing out but I would have had so much less hurt if I had done so years ago. Now I have a 14 year old son who worships his father and I see the signs that he is becoming more like him. I will try to give you some positives on this crazy thing called passive agressive – you can’t hurt him but he will hurt you. you can’t trust him because he will turn everything around to being you fault. I know with two small kids it is hard to have a life outside of home – especially if he is like my husband who says he will be home after work and I don’t see him for hours. But now my kids are teenagers I have a bit more flexibility – I have become much more involved in church – went back to college to get a second degree and basically planning on retiring in 10 years “on my own” which means we may live in the same household but we are basically ED – emotionally divorced – it is the only way I could save my sanity!! I am not trying to preach here but I went to church on Christmas Eve and went to the alter – I broke down and cried with our minister and asked God to give my an answer as to why I had this burden to bear – a couple hours later he answered me by saying that if I had had a husband to rely on I would not have asked for God’s help all these years. But because I did turn to God I know that He the one I have to depend on and not an earthly being.

    I am still trying to work through this – it will be a lifetime of not understanding the person I love the most but keep your chin up and know that you are not alone in this roller coaster – I have been riding the ride for many years – I am so much better than I was for years in the past but it will always hurt that I am the one who has the cross to bear while he has no remorse for anything. But that is okay I will make it and so will you – stay in touch!!

    May 2009 be a new beginning for you!

    • Karen- You go Girl! Thank you so much for your input here! I think 2009 is bringing many changes and actually I’m looking forward to them. I hope you had a wonderful holiday, even with the “stuff”. I’m also happy to hear you’ve found a friend in God. Whatever anyone else believes, I have found it to be very helpful (altho trust me, I’m no saint. LOL)
      If any of you get a chance to watch Suze Orman (she’s on CNBC and PBS a lot) she’s terrific in giving financial advice and helping build security. I think a lot of times people, male and female that are in a bad situation would leave sooner if they were more financially not afraid. I know from experience I would have left long before I did if I wasn’t dealing with supporting 3 little kids and the bills, etc.

  31. I’ve been trying to figure out my BF and his thought process for such a long time. Now I find that I’m the one that has become withdrawn, moody and flaky. All your insights are such a revelation. He is never puctual, non-committal, evasive, vague, I cannot rely on him for the simplest tasks: like signing checks for our company. All my friends want to take a mallet to him for the way he treats me. I used to not get it… hell.. now I do!

    Thanks for all your comments! Please keep on sharing!

  32. Hi fellow sufferers!
    been a while since I reported in.
    My husband left me in October on our second wedding anniversary (if you remember) well things got really nasty between us and i finally decided no more communication, just before Christmas. He was driving me insane..literally! Since then, though im hurting Ive been ok and getting better mentally! Now – 5 weeks since the last email when he said a big NO to coming home to me….ive had an email saying im the love of his life and he wants to come home. How its other people interferring (?????where did that come from) thats caused the trouble. This time I said no.. I said if you really mean it then you can start where you are and pay some bills!! The next email was short and to the point and not very nice…
    God…!!! How much of this do we take?????
    Have you guys heard of “splitting”??? Apparently its something they do which means they see things only in black and white and no grey….so your either wonderful or evil to them.. and the splitting means that one day you can be their saviour and the next day you are the cause of all evil…. and theres no inbetween….
    I thought I was doing well up to now and two days of soppy emails from him and im crazy again….then when the “freeze” came it sent me into a panic.. so im not “cured” yet……
    oh god…………

    • Hey Cinders- Glad to hear from you again, but sorry to hear what you’re going through. That must have been really tough all happening right before the holidays. You should be proud of yourself if you held out through that.

      Sounds like you need to go back to the “no contact” phase you were in. Hope you’re having some luck with your “self esteem file”. John Shore from “Suddenly Christian” is doing a series over on “John Shore Land” about the 7 reasons women stay in bad relationships. The first post he goes throught the 7 reasons but then he’s taking each reason in depth post by post. Very good and beneficial. You may want to take a look and gain a little strength. Just remember you’ve come a long way. He obviously still doesn’t want to admit the problem is with him at all. Don’t give up the ground you’ve worked so hard to gain. (Altho we’ll support you in whatever you do. LOL)

      You’re a ray of hope for those who haven’t made it out yet.

  33. thanks ladybeams i will check out the John Shore Land site…
    Will no doubt be in touch for the next thrilling installment of “I hate you – dont leave me….”
    same time,…same channel…dont touch that dial.

    hee hee
    well you have to laugh dont you

  34. A PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE’S GUIDE TO RUINING VALENTINES DAY !

    1. a week before the big day – leave! preferably to another country – dont have any communication whatsoever. This way as the dreaded day dawns your victim will be surrounded by images of loving couples and will have to suffer the shame of “pitying” remarks from friends and family.

    2. Do not have any contact whatsoever – your victim will then be in an extremely vulnerable and weakened state.

    3. On valentines day – send a large romantic bouquet of roses to your victim – (this is called the “grand gesture”) your victim who has been in a stressed state all week – will now melt into a pool of soppiness at your feet. make sure the card is not too personal or commiting – make it vague and just “friendly” so as to have an escape plan if it all goes wrong. The flowers also serve to show the friends and family what a lovely person you really are and how you cant possibly be as bad as the victim has portrayed.

    4. Your victim is now forced to contact you in order to thank you for the flowers – and hopefully ask you to come back (again!) this is your moment of triumph.. enjoy it… .. take your time in responding to the “thank you”.. relish the feeling of power.

    5. Finally……reply to victims thank you with a vague response that doesnt mean anything.. this leaves the victim once again in a state of “what is he trying to say? does he want to come back or not? whats happening” and voila! The victory is once again yours.

    6. Do not have further contact now… wallow in your victims misery and confusion…..YOU ARE THE MAN !

    next time on A Passive’s Guiid to – we tackle the Birthday!

    • Cinders- Don’t tell me on top of Valentine’s Day you have a birthday coming up. My gosh, between the holidays, V-day and B-day it’s just like a 1,2, punch, aye?

      Sounds like your guy has been taking the “no contact” advice from “Getting Past Your Past” that was meant for you. I have to ask you My Dear, do you really want to get back into this now that you’ve already accomplished the biggest and hardest step by leaving? I know you love and miss him but is this really the kind of relationship you want for yourself? You’re worth so much more and so much better. I have a little exercise for you.

      On a piece of paper in one column on the left, write down all the things you want in a man. Humor, affection, SEX (LOL), and on the right hand side of the paper write down all the things you don’t want in a man, emotional abuse, resentment, etc. In the middle make a column of things pertaining to your ex. Now draw lines to the traits that match each column. If I’m guessing right you’ll probably have a lot more lines going to what you don’t want than to the ideal man you do want. It’s just a little way of seeing something tangible about what’s really happening in the relationship. Then take a red pen or marker and put a big red X through the columns of what you don’t want in a man and through the column of your ex’s traits. This may make it easier to concentrate on what you do want from a man and a more loving relationship.

      It’s always hard when you lose someone, whether they die or whether a relationship dies, but the wounds do heal in time. Give yourself credit for all your pluses and your right to be happy. Life is shorter than we realize.

  35. I just found this article and thread, and am still sifting through all the info here – it’s a great discovery. My DH is absolutely PA. We’re coming up on our 7th anniversary but as usual, I waffle between being happy about this and being disappointed in myself for staying in this relationship this long. He’s wonderful about 20% of the time, and miserable to live with the rest of the time. Oscillates between being PA and just flat out aggressive. He accuses me of being controlling, but I feel that he forces me into a position where I *must* make all of the decisions, so he can complain about them.

    I’ve tried to end our marriage a number of times, but always end up being sucked into staying because of our young son, and for the 20% of the time when he makes me happier than anyone else ever has. I always see his potential instead of his actuality, and find it so hard to give up the things about him that I love.

    Anyway, I just wanted to chime in here. I guess we’re all between a rock and a hard place with our PA’s, right? Story of my life now.

    • magmonster- Welcome and thanks for joining us! It is hard when the good times are just sooo good, I know.

      It’s not unusual that you two have the age old argument that you’re too controlling, etc. You’re right. They do push us into that role and it isn’t fair, but somehow we just can’t help ourselves sometimes. I know, I feel like my BF’s mother half the time, because if I don’t behave like that I, not only him, suffer the consequences. You might try next time you’re in that position just asking “So what do you want to do about _________?” If he doesn’t offer up a solution point out to him that he is leaving the solution up to you as you have to do something. Or, if he doesn’t offer a solution, explain what you want to do about it and ask what he thinks. If he tears your solution apart, ask what he would suggest instead.
      You may still make all the decisions, but at least you’ll be putting him on notice that he had a chance to put in his two cents. Later if he doesn’t like your solution you can remind him that you talked about it. It may help. It may at least stop him from blaming you for those particular things (there will always be something).

      Just be careful. It’s amazing what our children grow up thinking is normal, acceptable behavior based on what we allow in our relationships. You may need to make sure your son knows the difference. Good luck and drop back in anytime. There are a few of us here and you’re always welcome.

  36. I am just learning about PA, too. My husband is a classic case. The most passive, nicest, never helpful, always a victim. It was always on me to figure out what pleases him. I’ve married for 25 years. we had a child 10 years after we got married. I finally realized how it affects my daughter’s development and moved my husband out. I am much happier and hoping to mend my daughter’s growth

    • EGG- Welcome! and good for you. It is so sad that we don’t always realize how much of an effect our relationships have on our kids. They look at us and think “okay, this is how you do it”.

      I’m sorry for your loss after 25 yrs., but teaching your daughter to stay out of a passive aggressive relationship is so important. Why should they have to settle for that kind of relationship just because we did? Only because we teach them how. Good luck and feel free to stop back any time and let us know how it’s going. I admire your strength and your priorities.

  37. Hi. I am glad to see that there are other well-educated, articulate women who understand my predicament. I am a doctor, as is my husband, who I have just recently realized is a classic PA. My husband has been sabotaging my career ever since we got married. He knew when we started dating that my career was very important to me, and that I was not willing to stay home. But despite that, he keeps making quips that I would be happier if I had more time for my outside interests(read: staying at home) despite my vehement insistance that the only thing that will make me happy right now is a fulfilling job.

    I am in a very subspecialized field of medicine, and I have very few job opportunities available to me right now. My husband had a position that he likes, and does not want to leave. But there are no job opportunities for me in that city, or even in any surrounding cities. I have applied for every job for which I am even remotely qualified, even ones that I really don’t want. I have pestered, begged, pleaded, all to no avail.

    I do have some possible jobs in a couple of other states, and have encouraged my husband to apply for positions in his area of medicine in these places. He refuses to lift a finger when it comes to searching for these jobs. When I show him job postings in the areas that I have interviews or job offers, he will inevitably pooh-pooh them as not paying enough, not a good enough mix of cases, etc etc. He always says he’s looking for jobs, but every time I ask him if he has called or emailed any practices, I always get the same peeved response, filled with excuses about how busy he was, and how I am being too demanding, and how my career is “too big” a part of my life.

    I have an interview coming up at a University program, and I took the liberty of forwarding my husband’s CV to the chair of the department of his area of medicine. I got an email saying that they are really interested in him, so I asked him to give them a call. He replied that it would “be hard because he was going to be at work all day, and he didn’t have a computer to look up their phone number”. So I looked up the phone number, and sent it in a text to his phone. But he still hasn’t called, because now, he has decided that only email will do. And, (big surprise), no email addresses are listed on the university website, so I guess he thinks that means he’s off the hook! By the way, it’s been almost two weeks since I first asked him to call.

    I am getting upset, because the promise of “I will follow you anywhere you go to fellowship” melted away when he decided it was financially a bad idea to quit his job for just a year to move with me. Fine. So now as I write this, I am finishing my fellowship by myself hundreds of miles away from my husband. The promise then turned into “I will follow you anywhere you get a job after fellowship”, and it’s pretty clear that he wants to drag his feet until the point that he can throw up his hands and claim failure.

    At that point, I will have to make a choice: Take a job in one of the far away states, and accept being alone for several more years (or maybe permanently) in order to feel fulfilled in my career, or give up my career in order to stay with my husband, and be an extremely highly educated stay at home mom, which is what I promised myself I would never, ever do.

    This is so emotionally draining, and I am clinically depressed and on medication. Unfortunately, this has only destroyed my credibility in my husband’s eyes and he seems to see my mood disorder as proof positive that I’m the one with the problem-not him.

    I want to get counseling, and have suggested it many times, but because we are currently in a long distance relationship, that really complicates matters. Getting him to actually go would really be an issue. There’s never time…I really want to work things out, but his insistence on trying to hold me back in my career, especially at this critical stage of the game is making it really hard to justify staying with him.

    Part of the problem is that he is very controlling financially. He makes a lot more than me, and probably always will. (He went into a much more lucrative specialty than I did). He often uses that as leverage, because I cannot ever make enough to justify the large paycut he insists he will incur if he changed jobs. My job is just less important in his eyes.

    Well, thanks for giving me an opportunity to get this off my chest. I have lots more to say, but I am sure it’s getting dull.
    Pleomorphic

    • Hi Pleomorphic- Welcome. It sounds like you are going to have quite a dilemma on your hands. I hope you are considering what you are going to do before you actually have to make the choice, if it comes down to that. I’m sorry to say the odds are probably stacked against you as he didn’t keep his promise about fellowship already.

      Like the rest of us I’m sure you didn’t get married so you could be alone. It sounds as if you truly do love your career, which makes me think if you give it up to stay home you will really become depressed. Even tho you cannot seek counseling with him due to your distance, I hope you are seeking it for yourself. You may have to shop a little to find someone you are comfortable with and you feel you can trust, but when you do it really does help to have the support.

      I don’t envy you your position and it’s really not fair that you have been put there. He changed the rules on you. As most passive aggressives do, he aggreed to anything before he had you and now doesn’t want to follow through on your plans together. It’s a shame these guys don’t have to wear a sign that says “I will wisper anything you want to hear, just don’t ever try to hold me to it because I probably won’t remember what I agreed to, or will refuse to keep my word, or will just claim your nuts”. At least that would give unsuspecting possible partners a warning ahead of time.

      Please stop by anytime to vent or let us know how you’re doing. There are a few of us here. Good luck and all you can do is make the best decision for you.

  38. My friend on Orkut shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came here.

    • How to get six pack fast- Thanks for stopping by and the compliment. It’s nice to know someone is getting enough out of the site to want to share it.

  39. Hi ladybeams Im back on this site!
    Ive just read pleomorphics message and – oh how familiar that sounds. My husband, as you may remember, left me – its 6 months now. Hes attempted to come back to me twice and each time something has stopped him at the last minute. I get “I cant live without you please take me back” then I get a tirade of abuse and accusations when he changes his mind.
    He wants to “see” me when hes lonely and the rest of the time he wants his freedom. Ive been through all that depression and medication myself. I was positive about a reconciliation but ive lost that hope now. the latest thing Ive been learning is that my husband is probably borderline personality and that I must have some fear of rejection issues. Its these fears that make me want to get him back. But right now I realise I have to face those fears and let him go….the altrnative is to spend the rest of my life with him treating me like this OR the possibility of “choosing” a man who has the same PA disorder. So my priority now is myself. To love myself and increase my self worth and self esteem. Now when I think of him I just stop those feelings of pain and say “I can do better! Im worth more than him! HIS LOSS!” and I am beginning to believe it. I would say to pleomorphic take the job and the life you want. Be good to yourself. put yourself first.. because thats what your husband will always do. You wont be alone for ever. You will “do better” – and so will I!
    Im still “wobbly” and still feel the hurt, but ive to learn not to be afraid of my husband dumping me. I have to just see it as a sign that he was never “the one” and that Im now free to meet a man who will treat me like the queen I actually am!
    PS; This site is brilliant!

    • Oh Cinders- I’m so happy for you! I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since we first started talking on here and he first left. You are so right. We’re all worth much more and much better than what you are getting. It sounds like even through the hurt and the pain, you’re coming along just fine. I’m so happy you came back to let us know how you’re doing. You’re a prime example that it does get better with time, and an inspiration to those who are also suffering. It is HIS LOSS! LOL.
      Welcome back! Not just to here, but back to your life as you want it to be.

  40. Dear all,
    I have been married to a PA for twenty-two years and I did not know it! I have four children with him-all girls, teenagers now. I ahve been emotially abused and literally tortured for years….for a long time I thought there was something wrong with me. I ahve been seeing thereapists and psychiatrists for the last ten years! and it wa not only until recently theough a friend I made while working in the Middle East that I discovered that my dear husband is a classic case of PA.
    I have stayed all this time thinking that something was wrong with me and not HIM! I am also afraid that he could manipulate the situation enbough that he could get the custody of my 13, 15 and 17 year old. My oldest daughter is 20 years old. I am so greatful that you have this blog going. I never knew who to go to.

    Emotional abuse is hard to prove and most people do not understand what’s going on. Most people see it as a he said/she said kind of thing.

    I can not even talk to my husband about his condition because he will deny it or laugh on my face. I do not think he knows or understand his personality disorder.

    Who is the best person to tell him?

    What about my daughters? will they suffer if I leave? They love their father, inspite the way he treats them. I know my husband will fight to keep them if I leave.

    Any advice?

    • Dearest Broken,
      Welcome to our group. I’m so sorry to hear what you have been going through and for so long. You would think with those years of therapy that someone would have let you know a while ago that the problem was with him. They’re supposed to be there for you for support. Unfortunately, like any other profession, you don’t always get good ones.

      Your children are old enough now to decide for themselves who they want to live with, at least in most states. They start getting to put in their opinions at about the age of 12 in California, so depending on what your children say, it may not be as easy for him to get custody as you think.

      If you feel like you can’t talk to him about this and you don’t have any one else that can, what I would do is get the book “The Passive Aggressive Man”, either from the library or buy the one on the “recommended reading list” and leave it on the coffee table or somewhere where he will see it. That will probably start a conversation. It would help you understand what you’ve been dealing with all these years also, and help you consider what to do next.

      Of course children are hurt when parents split, but if you’ve been in an unhappy household for all these years, it may also be a relief. I would talk to them. They’re all old enough now, and if he’s been treating them poorly also, they need to know it’s him, not them, just like you do. I just wouldn’t talk to them about actual leaving until you’re set up to carry through. What I would do is start talking to them now about not letting men mistreat them.

      Good luck to you Broken. Feel free to join in the conversation any time and let us know how you’re faring. There are a few of us here who totally understand what you’ve been going through. I’m usually a little faster on the replies, but have been getting ready to move myself. I usually check in every day, and even if I don’t write a post I try to reply to comments. You can always contact me direct also.

  41. How great is it to find a site like this! After reading all the mails I can at last feel I am not alone with this soul breaking, awful condition. I was married for two years to a man I loved deeply. He divorced me (always me in the wrong, me wondering what I had done) and then spent the next year meeting, starting ‘again’, him falling out with me but of course it was my fault yet again!

    In the past four years with him I have had three moves, one marriage, one divorce, untold emotional abuse but I can say that at last I am on the up. It is getting better. I am now in my own place with my children, my life is calm and despite missing him dreadfully, know that finally I am on the way back to my life and me. These PAs inflict such dreadful emotional pain – I have been through the ‘if onlys’ for so long. If only he could realise what he has done; if only he was aware. But of course, it will never be like that. He used to be so vitriolic about his second wife, something I assumed was true. I now have come to realise that as she had spent many more years with him than me, it must have been absolutely dreadful for her and no wonder she did some of the things she did. He is now being vitriolic about me. No surprise but very sad all the same as we DID share some magical and deeply loving times.

    Thank you for this site, it is so good to know that there are others who can share their experiences and we can all gain support from each other.

    • Welcome Jane- So glad you found us and to hear you are doing well pulling yourself out of the “black hole”. LOL. Thanks for being an inspiration where many times there is none.

      It’s amazing to me that the PA doesn’t see that if every one is complaining about the same things about them, that maybe it’s them, not every one else. I’m always sorry to hear about the people who have endured the pain, but it’s always nice to hear a success story from someone who has come out on the other side. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  42. Thanks for your reply, ladybeams. Hope your move went well! You are quite right, if everyone is complaining about their PA (even unknown as this) behaviour that they dont realise this. Think they just feel the world is against them and they have done nothing wrong. They (actually I can only speak for my Ex) probably only keep those close to them who they know will ‘tow the line’. In my case it was his two daughters. I feel sorry that they will grow up no doubt having problems with future relationships with boyfriends due to the only behaviour they know, which is his, and his stonewalling and will see this as normal, as I had witnessed. Another extremely taxing and irritating behaviour!

    I am from the UK and would like to say how grateful I am to your website, there doesnt seem to be much on PA behaviour over here, so in once sense you have been a lifeline! Thank you…

    • Jane- Thank you so much for saying the site has help you. I’m so glad, but I think it’s all of us in the same kind of situation having each other to bounce our feelings and questions off of that really helps. I can’t tell you how much this site and all my reader’s have helped me.

      Keep coming back. I think when we read what each other is going through or how we’re handling it, it helps us all.

  43. I am so glad to have found this sight. I have been looking for a support group for spouses of passive aggressive husbands for a long time. I may try al anon. I have been married to a pa for 20 years. We have one son, he said he couldn’t handle more and I must say, neither could I considering I do 90% of the work around the house and also have a job an hour away with traffic. When I met my husband he was gentle in a childlike way, I felt he was safe and non-threatening. He listened to me and agreed with everything. He depended on me way too much, but I didn’t mind at first. Then it got annoying when he didn’t seem to grow up.

    When we had our son, 13 years after we met and 8 years after we married, my husband was joyful and gave him lots of love and attention. However, we didn’t know my husband is also ADHD, something he discovered at age 40, 4 years after we had the baby. At that point, I thought our problems were due to the ADHD, but after he got medicine he still acted in ways that were hurtful and selfish.

    I would let him know I was overwhelmed and needed to talk about systems and more structure, and he would just agree and not follow through. He never has come up with a suggestion of his own to improve something, not one. He also has never asked me how he could help, no matter if we were expecting dinner guests, or whatever.

    5 plus years ago I wanted to resolve our distance and he did–by getting hooked on the internet and meeting Chinese women. He became obsessed with China and started studying the language and culture. He told me he cheated twice with Chinese women (paid).

    Why are we still together? Our son adores his father and I didn’t want to take that away from him. Now, my husband will not leave, I have asked countless times. I saw a lawyer who said unless there is physical abuse I can’t get him out without a signed agreement.

    My hub is PA, so keeps saying he will move but never does. Asks for an agreement, but never plans to meet with me. Same old thing. He can’t see how his behavior contributes to the marriage problems, it’s my anger problem that has driven him away.

    Will writing down everything make them see what they do? All the broken promises? He just changes the subject. The irony is I found him therapist whom he has now seen about 3 years, and relies on, but she hasn’t done a damn thing for our relationship or his behavior. We saw her and other therapists together, and it was obvious he had no intention of improving anything, and never followed their advice.

    I think his father is PA and his not finishing projects drives my hub crazy.

    He has completely frozen me out. Won’t touch me, not even a hug or pat. If I touch him, he draws away. Yet he will greet our son with warmth and loving openness. Is that PA, just directed at me?

    Thank you for listening

    • Selina- First let me apologize for this taking so long to get back to you. Usually wordpress notifies me if there’s a comment and I get right to it, even if I don’t post anything. Somehow I must have missed it this time.

      My gosh, what a mess! I’m just flabbergasted at times to see the damage a passive aggressive can do to people’s lives. At least you’re lucky in the way that he’s good to your son. Usually a child is struggling as hard for the PA’s love and attention as you are. Unfortunately at the same time, it can’t be doing him any good living in a home with all that tension between you and his father.

      I’m glad to hear you say you may try Al-Anon. While we here are happy to be online support for you, it’s good for you to have real live support around you in your daily life. Just remember as you try Al-Anon, you may not get a “perfect fit” right off the bat, and may have to try a couple of them before you find a meeting you’re comfortable in. A good group therapy for women works well also. I know you said the two of you have gone to therapy together in the past, but I hope you’re still getting some kind of therapy for yourself. When it comes to a therapist, there again you have to “kiss a lot of toads before you find a prince”. It’s a shame the therapist your husband is seeing isn’t doing the two of you any good, but if your husband won’t follow through, even a really good one won’t be able to help him. To be honest, according to everything I’ve read, therapy doesn’t do much good for a passive aggressive because they never can admit they are responsible for anything that’s gone wrong in their relationships.

      As far as actually splitting, I hate to tell you this, but you will have to be the one to go. He will keep up this passive aggressive game with you forever if you let him. The father of my children did virtually the same thing to me. He would say he would leave, that it wasn’t right for me to have to go with having the 3 children, and he would actually go for a couple of nights. Then he would come in and out as if he still lived there, and then he would be back staying there, etc. Like you, I couldn’t force him out either. The only way I could get loose from him was I had to take my kids and go. He ended up losing our house in foreclosure rather than give it to me and the children if he couldn’t live there.

      You ask about writing things down, and you can certainly try that, if you could get him to read it. Do you really want to keep this man after all he’s done to you? What you can do that does work at least most of the time is call him out on his behavior as it happens. When he says he’s going to do something like meet you at a certain time, repeat it, have him agree to it. When he doesn’t, remind him of the conversation and ask him why he didn’t follow through like he said he would. Try to be calm, because when we’re coming unglued they have control. When you ask him, then be quiet and wait expectantly for an answer. If you start calling him out on his passive aggressive behavior each time he does something, at least he has to acknowledge that you’re on to him. Of course, like with my passive aggressive BF it just causes them to act out in a different way. You would think they would get exhausted coming up with all that subterfuge. LOL. Also when he didn’t do what he says he will, I’m afraid I would be tempted to remind him of his father’s unfinished projects, how it drives him crazy, and how he is acting just like him by not completing what he says he will.

      Last but not least, his passive aggressiveness very well could be directed only at you, because he sees you as an authority figure, like his mother. Until he gets a handle on the things in his past that have caused this type of behavior, be it his mother or his father, you are his final target for his aggression and getting “even”. You may want to read “A Different Concept on Why Passive Aggressives Withhold Sex” It’s quite interesting about the whole “age regression” thing.

      Now I have to apologize for rambling on so long. LOL. I hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to contact me anytime and leave a comment to let us know how you’re doing. Like I said, usually I’m a lot faster on a reply. Good luck to you.

  44. I too have recently discovered that I am married to a PA. I have spent 25 years with him and we have 3 children. (23,22,16) Like most of you on this blog, I did not have a clue about PA. I just thought that my husband was moody. The silence, coldness and meanness have been severe. He is a self-proclaimed “Mr. Right.” He is argumentative and unreasonable but denies that he is any of this. He provides for his family but is often controlling regasrding financial matters. Right now it is very difficult because I am unemployed. I don’t sleep well and am fighting not to become depressed. I know I must take care of myself. The hardest part has been acccepting that my husband isPA. We have been to one counseling session, but he said that I made him sound like a tyrant. We have had some wonderful times as you all can relate to, it’s just that you know that the bomb will drop suddenly and without notice. t is difficult because we are both Christians. I know heathens who have better relationships than this. I believe that if PA’s could t least admit that they have so wounded us and caused such hurt that healing could begin. I don’t believe taht change will come for them until there is true brokeness, remorse and repentance over the damage that they have done to the ones they are supposed to love and protect. I have become increasingly suspicious and distrusting but he does not connect this to his great ability to disconnect from me spiritually, physically and emotionally. I pray for him because it is sad that he is trapped and doesn’t even know it. I am hopeful that his heart is not so hardened that he won’t allow the Lord to help him because that is really the only hope for my husband and all of the rest of you who are suffering along with me. I have not given up yet…he would be happy if I would just drop it all and go back to our crazy normal…never again. I will not allow him to get away with all of that sidestepping and evasiveness, and twisting words and events around. I call him on it every time. My son will marry soon and I am praying that he will not treat his wife this way becuse I have alreday seen some of this in him. Do you all wonder what happened to our PA husbands to make them this way?

    • Lenora- Welcome to the site. I’m happy you found us.

      I can see that it must be a little extra hard for you right now with being unemployed on top of everything else. That alone after awhile will get you down. I too had a very controlling husband when it came to finances. He figured because he made more money he was in charge and had the final say. He finalized us right into bankruptcy. LOL. That’s when I took the kids and left. At least at that point I didn’t have to take a bunch of bills with me.

      It’s unfortunate that it seems when things are really bothering us we find ourselves not being able to sleep. That is when we need it the most and it is so important because if you’re not well rested, things seem even worse than they already are. I’m sure you know all the tricks to getting a good nite’s sleep, so I won’t go into them all here. Two things I will pass on that I had no idea about is 1) Don’t exercise to close to bedtime. 2) No computer too close to bedtime. Both things are stimulating instead of sleep inducing. I do the hot bath, glass of wine or hot milk thing, the things that make you feel comfy-cozy.

      When you went to the counselor and he said you described him as a tyrant, did you ask him if you said anything that wasn’t true? It may get him thinking about how he acts or reacts. You said the two of you are Christians, have you tried talking to your minister or clergy? Sometimes they’re not as threatening as a therapist and a little gentler on their approach. I hope even if he’s not willing to go for counseling any more that you are continuing for yourself. Getting your feelings validated and having the extra support is extremely helpful, even if your husband never admits to anything.

      It’s good that you bring all his covert tactics out into the light when he tries them on you. This is the only way they learn that their tactics aren’t going to work on you. I hope when you see some of these traits in your son you point them out also, and hopefully are able to teach him at the same time why they are wrong.

      As far as how our passive aggressive husbands, wives, boyfriends, etc. got that way, it usually comes from their childhood, not being allowed to express their anger and resentment in a normal way. For why they don’t connect emotionally or sexually with us you may want to read my page on the Definition of a Passive Aggressive. You may also find this article on A Different Concept on Why a Passive Aggressive Withholds Sex helpful in understanding.

      I hope some of this is helpful in your quest for a happier marriage. Good luck to you and God Bless. Feel free to stop in anytime to chat, let us know how you’re doing, or find encouragement in some of the other comments on the site.

    • Lenora,
      I am married to a PA for 25 years. We have 4 children 24,19,17,10. We are both Christians as well. He always would tell me I have the problems, I need help. Over the years I believed him. I have analyzed, picked myself apart and have tried to be so perfect for him. I have put with the lies, twisting words etc…….my husband went as far as going to my mother and telling her that I had problems. My husband chimed in with my older son and called me a “bitch” he puts my other children before me. I could go on an on, but it would take days. This site has cleared the air for me and has opened my eyes to what I have been living with. I was in counseling for myself 3 years ago. I am back in counseling again 3 months now. I am at the point now, where I am setting things up so I can leave. What is so difficult. that I have children and they are very close to their Dad. This is what, is killing me. I have cried and cried about the decision to leave, but I can not take the mental and emotional abuse any more. For the first time in my life, I finally have had my eyes opened, and a sense of peace, that I am doing the right thing. God does and can heal people, I do pray for my husband. My mother-in-law was an over protective mother and did not let my husband grow up. I am just realizing that this is the reason why he acts like he does. I don’t care if he ever sees that he is the problem, I need to gain my self esteem back and my confidence. My heart goes out to you and to all the spouses of PA. If they could only see what their doing to their family………

      • HM- You’re so right. Passive aggressiveness, for seeming like just a buzzword has hurt so many families and destroyed so many lives. It’s great that you’re in counseling and getting ready to get you and your children out of that kind of situation. Unfortunately it sounds like your son may have already picked up some of his father’s habits and lack of respect for you. Even though the children may be close to their father, what your relationship is teaching them is this is how it’s supposed to be between a man and a woman. I’m sure that’s not what you want to teach them. Even Christians need to get away from abusive relationships. We all marry thinking it’s going to last forever, but we can’t control the other person’s choices.

        I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope you’re taking advantage of some of the reading material (much of it free) here on the site. Please stop by and let us know how you’re doing. It’s good to hear you’re at peace. It’s a good sign.

  45. Hi everybody
    Ive just read Lenora’s comment.
    Surely, God can heal a person with PA just as surely as he can heal a person with cancer?
    Has anybody out there taken a stand in faith and prayed for healing for their spouse?
    God promises that if we ask in faith he will do anything we ask? Just because a persons illness is mental or psychological doesnt discount them from the healing that was bought with the blood of Christ.
    I would really like anybodys thoughts on this.
    Its coming up to my third wedding annivesary and it will be a year since my PA husband walked out and went cold on me. Ive had communication but all the usual crap – until I stopped responding to him – it seemed as though he wanted me to say its ok what youve done to me and i will still be around whenver you want me to be. But it was destroying me, so I cut it off. Still I do pray for him that God will heal him, and I do pray that I wil have the husband and marriage that God promised me. (whether thats my current husband or a new one I dont know).
    the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy – and marriage is the top of his list – so we have to fight back surely?

    • Oh My Gosh! Cinders, hi! So glad to hear from you.

      Yes, I do believe that you can pray for anyone’s healing. Unfortunately thanks to Adam and Eve, we all have our own free will. I have seen prayer work to 1)heal 2) make some one smile when I ask God to Bless them (silently) 3) to soften someone’s heart against me. I think even if they never change or heal, it can never hurt someone to include them in your prayers. Sometimes it takes more prayers than others. LOL. Please don’t be offended by my chuckle here. Just not every one listens to what God is saying.

      I know it didn’t probably feel like it at the time, but that was a favor your husband did you by leaving. We try for so long, trying so hard, and for many too many years to break the cycle or get loose. It sounds like you have a hold on how he was trying to manipulate you after he left and that you have a positive outlook for the future. When you have healed and have been able to totally release the past, I’m sure God will bring the right man along for you. As they say “When one door shuts, another will open”.

      Good luck to you, My Dear, God Bless, and please, stay in touch.

  46. I too am married to a passive aggressive man. I married my high school sweetheart fours years ago after a 30 year seperation.
    My husband of 25 years had passed away 18 months prior. I thought I was on cloud 9 and my knight in shining armor had come to my rescue.
    After caring for a sick husband for 15 years, I became very independent, assertive and confident. But after just a few months with my PA husband, I found myself self doubting myself and wondered if he loved me at all with the way he treated me. I became very co-dependent.
    I could never understand why he toyed with my emotions and teased me in the bedroom to only drop me like a hot potato. What kind of man that claims he loved me so much could do this to me?
    But after almost 4 years of marriage it hit me, he had told me in the beginning that he was diagnosed with PA, but I didn’t understand what that was until now when I picked up the book, “Living with a Passive Aggressive Man” by Scott Wetzler.
    When I called him on it, that is when the marriage ended. He kicked me out of his house because I was onto him and he couldn’t play his game with me any more.
    We have been seperated for 6 weeks now and I still want him back because these PA men are so charming, but I know that nothing will change because he refuses to get any help and so I have to be strong and resist him. When I was with him I was never able to resist him. I just can’t take living with Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide any longer.
    Why can’t these men realize what they are doing to the women that love them?

    • Dear Marlene- Welcome to the “club” and thank you so much for sharing your story.

      I’m sorry to hear after such a long marriage with your late husband, and one in which it must have been successful to a certain extent or it wouldn’t have lasted so long, that you found yourself in the “PA trap”. It’s a shame you didn’t know more about the subject when he first let you know he was diagnosed with passive aggressive disorder. You could have ran. LOL.

      I’m also sorry to hear that he would rather lose you than have to do something about his problem, but for a PA that’s really not unusual. I’m not sure which is worse, the ones that refuse to see the light and take responsibility, or the ones that pretend to want to change, go to therapy but never follow the advice. They both cause a terrible hurt.

      I’m glad to hear you’re resisting him for your own good. Be sure and visit the link in the right hand side bar titled “Getting Past Your Past”. It’s an excellent site for recovery.

      Feel free to stop by anytime and share what’s happening with you or comment. We are or have been there, and hopefully our discussions help someone else going through similar circumstances.

  47. I was interested to read Marlenes story. For me,. I feel Im only just coming out of the fog of confusion that my husand has caused me…even after leaving, marlene, dont think its over yet, he could still continue to play his little games with you as mine did!
    When you said you couldnt resist him when you were with him…. I wonder, if it is that they are so charming and wonderful or if in fact they use psychological persuasion to control us into thinking we cant resist them. if you analyse it afterwards you will wonder what the hell you ever say in him in the first place. This same psychology cons us into thinking its all our fault and that if only we could love him more or understand him more.. its all rubbish!
    Im in the process now of trying to get free mentally from all the prisons and bars hes put into my head, and im discovering that I dont even really like him let alone love him.
    The worst thing is the shame… I wasnt a soft, niaive, stupid woman before I met him, so the shame of being conned by a deceiver like this is hard to bear.
    Him being a Christian has also screwed up my mental health, because he has used this against me to control me as well.
    I guess Ive still a way to go yet.

  48. Yesterday, I was taking care of my Mom-in-law’s yard. I like to do this for her, because her health is not so good and I love doing yardwork. I also love my MIL (I am one of the lucky ones to have a wonderful MIL). So anyway, we went over there to work in the yard and she made dinner for us. So before we go in, I told him that I will sweep off the sidewalks after we eat. He says no, he will do it, and for me to go in and eat. I said no, we ALL need to go in and eat with his Mom who made dinner for us to eat TOGETHER, and that I will do it after we eat. So he gets his typical “fine, whatever you want just so you’ll stop being a bitch” attitude (I wasn’t being a bitch), turns around to go inside and shuts the door in my face. Of course, he probably didn’t see me. That’s what he would have said. So I didn’t say anything to him, but he knew I was mad about it.

    It’s these little things that really set me off. The big things just pile up and then he does little mean crappy things to me and it breaks me down. But “he didn’t mean it” or “he didn’t see me”. Why does he want to hurt me, but then won’t admit it, and turns it around into me hurting him for thinking that he wants to hurt me. It drives me insane! So I spent all of dinner trying not to cry in front of his Mom. But, she knows. He does it to her too.

    He is going out of town for work this week. I am happy he’s leaving. It’s like a vacation for me when he’s gone. He doesn’t travel very often, but when he does, it’s nice. I used to miss him terribly when he travelled. Now, it’s not much different than when he’s here. Except I don’t have to feel that heavy, emotional, walk-on-eggshells, feeling that I get when he’s here.

    • Stacy- Thank you so much for leaving your comment. It sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones to love you mother in law. LOL.

      You know, I don’t know why they want to hurt us like they do. I think it’s a natural reaction after so many years of using these little tactics to “get even”. I don’t think theythink about what they are doing and the impact it will have. We are just on the bottom of a long list they have been using this behavior on for a very long time. The difference is that we actually care enough about them to notice it, and in return it hurts our feelings. In their past they actually got away with it because the people that caused it never realized what was going on. Now for many of the passive aggressives it’s just been too long to change.

      I totally understand what you said about him being gone. It’s like for a short time, there’s a certain peace that you can feel. It’s like when my late husband and I used to drive over to our vacation house. He used to say when we hit a certain part of the ride (the part that flattened out at the top of the hill) that he could feel all the tension leave his body and a whole different feeling of lightheartedness would come over him. I totally get that.

      I hope you are taking care of yourself and spending time with good friends who are supportive, or even if you don’t share what you’re going through, are at least fun and give you a little time to laugh and “back up your batteries”. It’s very important now that you take care of you first, then your marriage. If you’re not at full speed you won’t have the energy you need to support yourself. Also it’s a little “revenge” of our own. When we’re well rested and taking care of ourselves, we’re not so easily manipulated and controlled which makes them think twice about their tactics. A good therapist or support group where you live works really well also. If you don’t have insurance or you can’t afford it, look into your city or county mental health center. It’s amazing how much better it feels to be able to unload somewhere, even here. LOL

      Stop by anytime. Let us know how it’s going. I feel sorry for your MIL if she’s been putting up with this too. What was his father like? She’s very lucky to have you. I’m sure you put a little of the love she’s missing in her life also.

  49. Ladies-
    After all the tears we’ve cried
    and all the lies they’ve lied
    and all the crazy crap we’ve been through
    making our brains half fried,

    isn’t it great to be
    at least a little bit more free
    in a place where everybody understands
    the you and the me we

    thought we were to blame
    full of anger and shame
    just ball breaking controllers
    merely female in name

    but ladybeams with her insight
    I bet helps us all to sleep at night
    we don’t feel so alone anymore
    and it’s alright

    for us to acknowledge our pain
    and not to remain
    unless we want to in these situations
    which f*** with our brains

    so we’ll share and we’ll laugh and get mad
    and we’re gonna be lost and be pissed and feel sad
    cause we wanna but one day we will find some serious peace of mind
    and who knows we just might end being glad

    that it’s finally done.

    peace,
    i love ya’ll
    CeCe
    ( a 5-year relationship survivor who can recognize passive aggressive tendencies in potential beaus and stop the madness before it starts)

    • CeCe- Wow, welcome and thank you so much. Your poem is very good. Thank you for the compliment. I think that’s what’s so great about all those who comment here, is I think we all help each other.

      Your last 2 lines are the answer: surviving and then spotting those same tendencies in the future so we never fall into that trap again. Congratulations on being able to get past it. We’d all love to hear how you did it, I’m sure.

      Please feel free to share your story or comment anytime.

  50. I found this site just a few days ago,,,,,,,,, and feel so warm to know that I was not the only one suffering with PA bf :-)

    I have a question. Does PA men really loves us , need and want to be with us?

    I met him 2 and a half years ago. I am 36 yrs and he is 50yrs now.
    He made me love him. I told him I was not looking for a realtionship when I met him . With his PA manupilation (back then i thought he was being real) he had told me …..he wanted me to love him and be with him forever. He feels empty without me, He wanted me to be all his….. so with his confidence in those words about long term relationship…. I allowed myself to be emotionally attached to him cuz he had all the quality I like about a men and thought I was ready for a long term relashionship as well ………..

    2 and half years passed……. too late? or still early enough….??? I am sooooooo deeply in love with him………. but he is completely PA now :-( ( I mean he has been PA, I just did not know about it because I thought I had been wrong)……

    I am not afraid to confront to him anything….. but it does not change or help us. or i might be possibly making it worse …..

    Weird thing is I feel a weird connection “love” and he will not let me leave him… still does his favorate ignoring me all the time, no affection, no intimicy, no date, , lying all the time,,, not making sense……. when I metion leaving him because of all this,,,, he pulls me right back to feeling we are together….

    I tried to leave him many times, even told him “DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE” …………. but he keeps coming back as if I am the very being crazy one and out of my mind…. and MEAN PERSON, DRAMA QUEEN !!
    And he would always say, stuff like……”” I don’t want us to end this way. I love you and want to be with you , we should live together (we still live separate because I want to be sure) it will all solve the problem,,,””” …. he wants me to understand him more and support him…………. all the PA excuses you can imagine… you know …..
    I am just going in circles,,,, try to leave him and he pulls me right back like a little chiwawa dog on leash……. He make me feel like I am his pet always loves him unconditionally and intensely, and would still survive if he forget to feed for a few days….

    But I am not receiving my supports back from him , if I say that then he would say…
    “Oh,,, its always about you. you dont care about me”….

    My question again is,
    Does he as PA, really love me and want to be with m e? Does he really need me in his life like he says? what is me affecting his life when he does not even shows any desires for me anymore…
    He acts like he should be alone to avoid all the things he does not like about me or relationship with anyone……

    I love him very much, and I can stand now especially after learning PAPD syndrome….., but when he tells me “He loves me” and what if that is actually a part of PAPD syndrome lie….???? very confusing…

    please someone give me an answer :-)

    • Hi Sweetpea- Welcome to the site, and thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately it is so very familiar to so many other stories about being involved with a PA man. The one thing I will say you have done right is not have him move in with you. It’s much harder to get them out.

      If you are going nuts after 2 1/2 yrs. with this man, where do you think you’ll be in 5 yrs.? Do you really want to live this way? As long as you are with him, you will never be able to feel secure. I’m sure you see the pattern, reel you in with the kind words, etc. then hang you out to dry once he’s gotten back in your good graces. This is how it will always be unless you stop it. Only you can either get away from him completely, or if you insist on staying, start setting boundries on how he treats you. If you don’t have a therapist, you should try to find one that will give you the support and strength you need.

      While he very well may love you, he doesn’t want to love or need you in anyway, and he will just keep fighting it. These people have serious trust issues and cannot allow themselves become dependent on anyone else for anything. If he’s driving you crazy and making you second guess yourself now, think of how it’s going to be after several years of this. You need to surround yourself with positive friends, join a support group, find a therapist, what ever you can do to help support yourself in a positive way before he destroys you. Sometimes we have to let go of even people we love very much when they are toxic to our well being. It’s not easy, but it’s a must do.

      Hopefully you’ll get some other replies and also as you look through the site find some helpful ideas for maintaining your sanity. Lol. Feel free to write anytime. Even just venting can help relieve some of the stress.

  51. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’ve been married to a PA for 8 years…new early on something wasn’t right and figured out what was going on about half-way through and try to deal with it. Lately, though, I’m wondering if I’ve picked up the PA ways. I cannot sleep with my husband. I am withholding affection. Without the deeper connection and trust, I just can’t. For me, physical contact means nothing without the emotional bonds that tie. I’m not going to leave him. I believe in laying in the bed I made, especially because we have two children together and two from his former marriage. Still, I so often feel so alone I want to scream! It took me a long time to stop giving of myself completely and to pull back. I’m at a turning point but I don’t know what it is. Part of me longs to tell him all of this, even if it means enduring his screaming, just to hear his comforting words (after he calms down) which I know really mean nothing. And the other part of me wants to move forward…move beyond the words that won’t have any truth behind them…to a better place. Even just writing it makes me feel stronger. Anyway, thanks for a forum to vent and find others who understand.

    • Midge- Welcome! and no, My Dear, you are definitely not alone.

      It’s not at all unusual for a woman not to have any desire for sex when there is no emotional bond there. Don’t beat yourself up too bad. Most women need all the trimmings, the affection, the true caring, the emotional connection. Most of us don’t enter a relationship or a marriage to be nothing more than a toy in the bedroom.

      Have you tried talking to him about how you feel before? Doesn’t he ask why you’re not sleeping with him? I don’t know how you feel about him at this point, but if you still love him and want to try to work it out, you’re going to have to tell him what’s up sooner or later. You may also want to get a therapist or join a support group. There are plenty of low cost ones around, or ones that will see you on a sliding scale based on income, if that’s a problem. It would provide support for you and help you validate your feelings. Also try to make sure you don’t isolate yourself. Get in touch with old friends or do things with collegues from work, or get involved in some kind of church or whatever you do based on your religion. These are all great places to build up some strength and support for yourself. We all need that.

      I’m afraid I don’t believe in staying together for the sake of the children. If that’s the only reason for staying, it usually just produces screwed up kids. They don’t get to see what a normal relationship should be like. People think, especially when children are young that they don’t know what’s going on, but they know. They may not know the details or how to articulate it, but they get it that things aren’t right and this isn’t a very loving mommy and daddy. Many of them end up adopting the same attitudes and habits dooming their own relationships because they don’t know any better. You may want to think about what effect your relationship is having on your kids.

      I wish you the best of luck. This time of year it’s always extra crappy to have things in such a mess. Please feel free to stop by and vent or let us know how you’re doing anytime. There are quite a few of us here who have either gone through it, are going through it, or got out of it. Take care.

  52. I married my PA wife seven years ago. Within 1 week of her moving in she left me for the first time after she lost her temper, I did not notice because she returned the same day, I thought that she had gone for a long walk or something.

    Under her pressure and manipulation I married her and six months after marriage she again lost her temper, smashed the glass door with a stick, ran to the neighbours, said she was frightened for her life, rang the police, and obtained a violence protection order against me. I had not hit or threatened her at all, she had damaged my property but the police believed her.

    She was taken to a secret safe location however she contacted me wanting a meeting 3 days later. I agreed believing that she could not have meant all of this to happen. However she stuck to the lies that she had told and was anything but contrite. At this time I just wanted away and told her that I was not willing to live with someone who was such a dangerous liar, so goodbye. Five days later she phoned me from hospital and said that she had appendicitis and asked if I would see her. As she had no friends or relatives I agreed to help her out. She was so sweet and provided some watery admissions, not apologies buy enough to make me think that she was just insecure and frightened and had learnt her lessons. So I allowed her to move back in.

    I felt however that she wanted to control me and resisted having children until she “matured”. However one morning I awoke too late to find my wife inseminating herself while I was asleep. I was truly frightened when she told me that she was pregnant, but I was not fully conscious of why.

    Our baby was only 6 months when my wife refused to breast feed her, it made me feel so angry and helpless. My wife had just tested her secret control weapon on me.

    Our little girl became very close to me despite my wife’s jealousy and best attempts to stop it. But eventually she became so jealous of the attention that I gave our daughter and not to my wife that she created another drama where she said I threw her ( and my daughter) out of the house. She left for the 3rd time. I could do nothing to stop her because even though I had not done or said anything she was on the street yelling “Do not hit me I will call the police”, all I could do was get away inside from any further drama and accusation.

    My wife did not contact me until I applied to the Court to find my daughter, this took 45 days without me knowing where they were, and I was sick with worry. My wife applied to Court for full custody of our little girl because I was “domestically violent”. I was numbed, couldn’t think, however on instinct I wrote to my wife saying that I would not fight her and threw myself and my daughter at her mercy.

    She asked or a meeting and moved back in the next day.

    We then moved into the country where I have my mother and family. My wife’s jealousy increased and she increasingly would do nothing, and would be as obstructionist and sulky as possible. I ignored all of these because I was so happy to be home, and I enjoyed my little girl and mother so much it was small price I thought.

    Then it came, my wife extended her behaviour by doing nasty things to my mother and to my daughter, culminating in my daughter being admitted to hospital with hyperglycemia (when I was away working for 4 days). I was really angry and confronted her saying that it had to stop and we needed to have a big talk when my daughter got out of hospital because I was thoroughly sick of it, she had gone too far, and even if we had to separate to stop it then it needed to be talked about.

    The conversation never happened as my wife avoided talking until she had a good opportunity and then took our daughter back to the city to stay with two of my former friends (who had previously demanded that I ignore my daughter and pay my wife more attention).

    She left a note saying that she wanted a separation and divorce.

    I drove to the city and upon legal advice (and fear) I brought my daughter home. My wife refused to see my daughter for 7 months demanding that I take her to the city. I refused and my wife applied to Court.

    Despite the solid assurances of my lawyers the Court believed my wifes stories of being mentally abused and ordered that my daughter live with my wife in the city. There is further hearings to come, but until then I see my daughter one week in six.

    My wife is still acting out her jealousy and nastiness by telling our 4 year old that she is frightened and scared of Daddy, and telling her not to tell Daddy things. Of course I do not know exactly what is happening but I fear for my daughter without seeing me.

    I am demoralised with the Court and believe that there is no hope there, ny wife is currently getting all the sympathy in the world fro my former “friends” and my wifes new acquaintances.

    My wife cut off any contact with in terms of talking about things with me and anyone not completely believing of her lies. She has refused to meet and discuss things ever since she left. However not before informing people that “I still love him” and telling me that “You can have anything that you want as long as you are willing to do what is necessary to get it”, and “you need to guess what to do, you are a good guesser”.

    So here I am, very worried about my daughter and I believe that I need to get back with my wife to be able to see my daughter normally again. I know that this is not a perfect plan and would be like slavery but there seems no alternatives.

    So please advise me what to do, and if the only alternative is to reconcile with my PA wife what is it that she wants and how does she want it delivered? I think that I would just about do anything to end this pain and worry.

    • Bill- Welcome to our site, and I am so terribly sorry for your situation. It sounds like your wife has more problems than being just Passive aggressive. From the description of your life together, there’s probably good reason why your wife had no friends or family to come see her in the hospital.

      I don’t know if you live in an area that still basically gives everything to the wife, or a more progressive state like California that in large part believes in father’s rights, but one of the first things I would do is talk to an organization that fights for the rights of children. It’s like your daughter’s own personal lawyer to speak up for her. If you google “Child advocate” or “Child Advocacy” there are many organizations nationwide. You should be able to find one near you.

      The next thing I would do is “father’s rights” or “Dad support groups” or both. There are some great resources on the web for father’s trying to see their children, or for men dealing with these kind of situations. I’m surprised with your wife refusing to even see your daughter for 7 months that your lawyers couldn’t get you custody. One of the things to remember in these kind of cases also is you have to “beat her to the punch”. You cannot wait for her to act and then you react. When you had your daughter for all that time, you would have been better off if you had filed papers right away to keep her. Let your wife react to what you do. Maybe if you check out the resources above, what you really need is a new lawyer. You need to start turning the tables around on her. It sounds like from your story that she always takes control. For you and your daughter’s sake, you need to stop this.

      Letting her move back in obviously isn’t the answer. I know that you love your daughter very much, but what are you doing to her if every time you let this woman back in your life and your house, she claims you’re beating her? If you do end up back together, the next time there’s an altercation, you better be faster to the phone than she is. Always watching for the next outburst is a rotten way to live, and it’s not good for your child either. If you’re only seeing your daughter every six weeks, go back to court and challenge the ruling. If you really want to see your daughter, and not have to live with your wife to get there, you have to be extremely pro-active. She seems to be. When I went through my divorce and my husband took my kids, he didn’t even want them. He just was using them to get to me. We had a 50/50 split for custody and he started seeing them less and less until he hasn’t seen them for the last 17 yrs.

      Last but not least, while you’re going through those resources I suggested above, you should see about getting into an actual “support group” for single fathers, or fathers going through divorce. It sounds like your “friends” were not really much of friends at all, and you need people on your side. Getting in a group with men that are going through similar circumstances is the best way to get that and to give you some strength for the battle you have ahead of you. Not only that, but a group like that is a great source of information, guys that have been through what you’re going through and have suggestions on who is best to help.

      Good luck My Dear. My heart aches for you and your daughter. Please feel free to come back any time and let us know how things are working out for you. God Bless.

  53. Thank you for your kind words and advice.
    Yes my wife has been very proactive in a mentally abusive way. She has not actually ever accused me of physical violence because this could be disproven. Her accusations are all of verbal/mental abuse which is more difficult to disprove.

    Only after this blow up did I discover that she had over the years approached virtually all of my friends and family to confidentially discuss my faults, mistakes, shortcomings, and any thing that I may have said about them, real or imagined. Even more surprising is that while they may not have believed what she said, they at least believed that she believed it, and did not tell me until recently.

    Australian law is still wife biased.

    My problem is that my wife is so believable, she is an expert, and she takes the time to work up her victims.

    I do not know what she feels towards our daughter. She seems to use her for excuses on any occasion necessary, and I believe that she depends upon her for affection. But I am very sure that she feels that while she has control of our daughter she has control of me.

    I will continue to go down the Court track but money is an issue, and I have already spent a lot of money for literally nothing.

    In the end I believe that she will win because she is the wife. That is why I am left with the option of reconciliation at least until my daughter (now 4 years) becomes old enough to speak for herself. It may also give me the time to be proactive for the next time.

    Sometimes the best alternative is still bad.

    • Hi Bill- So glad you stopped back by. It wasn’t until after I had answered you yesterday that I realized you were from Australia so I did a little researching. If you google “father’s rights Australia” or “Dad support Australia” they have many groups, etc. that fight for fathers over there as well. There was even one I noticed that deals with “false accusations”. Many of these places don’t cost a lot of money or are done on a sliding scale according to your income. They may be an option for you.

      Even if you can’t do anything legally right now, you still need to have some kind of emotional support, so you should still look into joining some kind of support group or therapist that will help you deal with what you’re going through.
      Again, good luck to you, and we’re here if you need to just let loose sometimes. Be sure and catch the other answers to you as well.

  54. Bill
    It sounds to me like your wife is Borderline Pesonality. You should read up about it. Its like PA but WORSE – and they never change.
    Its all about control – and its because of their own insecurities. But in the end its her problem and not yours and your entitled to a peaceful life with your daughter. Australian law may be biased to the wife in custody terms – but you have a fathers right to see your daughter and dont forget your daughter has a right to a relationship with her father.
    Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

    • Cinders- Thanks so much for providing an answer here. I didn’t think it sounded like his wife was just passive aggressive and I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with Borderline personality cases. The main thing I know about them is they need to be on daily medication to stay well, and when they are well they don’t want to take their medication. I have a girlfriend who has been in and out of the hospital several times in our lives. I think she’s bipolar. I’m going to have to do a little research. LOL. Always good to hear from you.

  55. I have lived with a PA for 28 yrs without realising what he was doing to me and the children. I am sorry I put up with this crap for so long that it almost destroyed my son. He was smart enough to move out and seems to be happy. While growing I was adored, petted and spoilt not only by my parents but also by my extended family. This led me to think I was the one at fault (the spoilt one), but has also helped me survive. Here are some of the few examples that I have been through:
    1. At the start of our marriage he presents me a book on how to be a GOD FEARING GOOD WIFE
    2. Cuts me off from my immediate family – says my Mother is evil and wants to destroy our happiness (I stupidly believed)
    3. Loads of pathetic stories of his hardships – making me feel sorry for him that I will do anything to keep him happy while manipulating all the way
    4. Always finds faults with anyone I am emotionally close to – this includes the children
    5. Jealousy – should anyone pay a compliment he will make sure to react in a passive way that will hurt you.
    6. Will brainwash you to ensure you will suffer in silence without seeking help while he continues his emotional abuse.
    7. Will refuse to acknowledge special occasions, be it your Anniversary, Birthday, or any special occasion of you and the children

    Unfortunately, they are very intelligent and use this gift to hurt the ones around them. From my experience here is what I have discovered so far

    1. Loves only himself. Never in love with you or the children
    2. Mama’s boy – Has not broken away from his childhood. Will connect with emotionally, pay complements to his Nieces and will say he loves them but never has felt proud of his own children or would have ever paid a complement to them.
    3. Will use you towards the advancement of the betterment for him and his family
    4. When confronted will vehemently deny and make you feel it was your fault, you need to see a Counsellor for your mental wellbeing- (earlier it was my periods now it is Menopause)
    5. I have been so frustrated and mad that I have thrown things, screamed, used foul language, behaved like a real mental case – Those watching, especially the children think you are at fault while all the way he has been instigating the behaviour.
    6. He will purposely put you down in front of others, and will tell you how stupid you are to bring your self esteem down and become dependent.
    7. Watch out !! things you treasure will disappear. As recently my expensive watch and glasses were missing. My diamond ring mysteriously disappeared and reappeared after 2 weeks under the vanity mirror.
    8. On the 2nd session he called off the sessions telling the Marriage Counsellor he will work on making the marriage better after the Counsellor pointed out his behaviour. He now refuses Counselling and says only I need one not him.

    Should I seek divorce? I just don’t want to upset my children after putting them through all this for so long. How do I keep my sanity? After all what I went through, I am slowly emotionally disconnecting myself from him. Any other advice of how deal with this would be of great help.

    I know for sure he is financially draining us out and need to protect the assets for the sake of my son & daughter.

    • Hi Orphelia- Welcome.

      Yep, you definitely have a live one. He seems to fit the Passive aggressive description to a T.

      You ask about a divorce. How old are your children? Don’t you think maybe living in that environment may be worse for them (and you) than putting them through a split? Are you close to them? Are you able to talk to them about things and explain? That will help a great deal.

      He is right about one thing. Keep going to the counselor, especially if you like the counselor and the counselor has met your husband and understands his passive aggressive nature. Those counseling sessions will 1) help validate your feelings that it’s not you that has the problem 2) help you keep your sanity 3) help you rebuild your strength. By all means keep going if you can. You don’t have to have your husband along for the counselor to be able to help you.

      If you feel like your husband is draining you financially, start putting money away in a secret bank account or somewhere safe and where you won’t pull it out to use for the household. This is your emergency fund for you and the kids should you decide you really are going to leave. If he has control of the purse strings, you can do it just by getting a little cash back and putting it away when you go grocery shopping, things like that. If it’s gotten so bad he’s stealing your possessions, you may find this to be the only life raft you have financially.

      Good luck, My Dear. 28 yrs. is a long time to suffer. Hopefully you can repair some of your relationships (with your mother) and get back on track as to who you are or were. When they totally isolate you and you have no support, it’s very easy for them to control everything. That’s why they do it. It’s time for you to start rebuilding to get control of your life back. It will probably be a little rocky when he realizes that you’re done playing by his rules, but in the end it should be worth it. Hopefully he’s not the violent type.

      Feel free to drop in anytime and let us know how you’re doing. Also if you can, you may be interested in signing up for the free teleconference coming up on the 19th. There are a few free resources also on the “free gifts page”, you can help yourself. Take care and God Bless. Thank you for sharing your story.

  56. Hi Ladybeams,

    Thank you so much for confirming my doubts. Although the symptoms did seem I was living with a PA, I secretly wished it was not so. Unfortunately, it seems to be so. I took your advice and asked him for the Counselor’s name & number but he said he didn’t have it anymore (I am thinking he didn’t want me to see the same person) I had no choice but to see a new counselor. After the 1st session she said I demonstrated a lot of guilt and not ready as yet to make a decision.

    My children are 25 and 17. Both are closer to me than to their dad. I never wanted to put them against their father which I believed was unhealthy and also wonder if they will feel that I am influencing them.

    I have clearly told him that this can not be draged on as it is affecting my health and work. He is not violent but can be very sarcastic and can touch your weak points which sends me up the wall. Yesterday, he said I need to see a Psychiatrist as something is mentally wrong with me. I asked him to book the appointment and said we are both going to get a mental assessment.

    He is not interested in seeing my Counselor but wants to see a different counselor 1st before going for joint counselling which I agreed. I am aware he will manipulate but have decided to go all the way to ensure I have no regrets and have tried till the last.

    In the past he has agreed to make it work but will show no enthusiasm towards anything, making me feel even more frustrated.

    He was a loner when I married him, and I feel he wants that single life again without encumbrance. He never wanted children and I had 3 abortions.

    Do you really feel there is a chance for me? I am wondering if there is really something wrong with me and is my expections too high? All I want is a simple life like the rest with my husband as my soul mate? I know I sound so desparate, I am desparate. is there any hope or am I wasting my time

  57. I had just wanted to say I love your site quite a bit of information here I will be reading for days!

  58. I have been married for 6 years and slowly been going crazy. Not really, but I did take anti-depressants and now am on anxiety med. Clench my teeth too. I wear a night guard to protect them. I realize it is all the stress I am under with my husband who I recently believe is totally PA. Everything I have read, either factual or personal, is exactly him. I understand so much now. I’m so fed up and lately I don’t even care. I conduct my life with our 2 kids as my own and he has his own. I don’t feel to blame anymore and really wasn’t lately because I do have a lot of self worth. My independence, mother and friends have kept me grounded. The only thing they ask is “why do you put up with him”. I didn’t have an answer other than the fact that I am a rescuer. I support our household 100%. He works and gives us nothing to help. Eats food I buy and lives there as if he contributes. He does pay our cell phone bill but it’s $100, so I guess I get $100 a month from him. He has his own bank acct and says he will close it. He is full of empty promises. I’m done…but still hung up on actually going through with the divorce. I’m scared for my kids (him taking the little one and not coming back). He is irrational when he’s angry, lies, distorts and of course blames me constantly because “I’m destroying his life”. I just need assistance in getting over the hurdle of leaving. I’m Muslim so I have religious issues that bind me in my heart, but after consulting the Imam (pastor) was told I have grounds for leaving. He isn’t fulfilling his manly, husbandly, fatherly or religious duty to me or the kids. I don’t see things changing and I know this is how they operate. We saw the Imam, got advice, I did what I was told. He did as he was instructed for about 2 weeks and then went right back to his old ways. My main concern is the small child and him attempting to possibly abduct him.

    • Sami- Welcome. I can understand your fear as I’m sure it’s a real possibility. You say about talking to the Imam, could you go to him for help? I know in this country, until you file papers with the court for custody and start the battle that way, you have no right to keep the children from him. If you are truly afraid of him stealing your children, you might try getting a restraining order. If you look in the yellow pages there should be at least a half dozen family or divorce lawyers that will give you a free half hour consultation. It you could make an appointment with one of them and ask them about filing for divorce with a restraining order until custody is established, they should be able to help you. You might also ask any of your friends if they have a lawyer they would recommend. The only way to ever have the police in a position to be able to help you if anything does happen is if you’ve started legal proceedings. Otherwise he has much right as you do to the children, to everything, and there won’t be anything you can do.

      If he works, etc. and never gives you anything to help with bills and the household expenses, I don’t know why you put up with him either. If you live close enough to your mother, or have a good friend, you could take the children and go stay with one of them while you get everything going. Just make sure you have a plan and know exactly what you want to pack etc. before you let him know anything about it. Once you decide for sure that is what you want to do, you’ll need to move quickly and efficiently, so you want to have everything in place.

      I’m glad to hear the Imam is behind you also. I know a lot of people stay out of religious reasons, or because their Imam or Pastor, or whatever has told them they must stay, but that’s not the answer when you have two children that you love so much and there is this kind of stuff going on in the home.

      Good luck to you My Dear. Feel free to come and talk anytime, or if you have questions there’s usually someone that will answer, even if it’s just me. LOL

    • Hi Sami- I don’t know if you accidentally posted twice, but I wrote an answer below.

      Good luck to you and your children. I’ll be waiting to hear how you’re doing.

      • Thanks so much ladybeams for responding. This site has been so helpful in seeing that there are others just like me. For a long time I thought it was me that was causing the trouble and at some point the light went on and I realized something was wrong with him. Also having my mother and friend talk with me made me realize I was not the issue. He gave me the silent treatment after a fight and I did some internet surfing and found out about PA. Never heard of it before.

        I have talked with an attorney (I am a legal assistant) and my office handles family law. So I have sought counsel and things look better for me than him currently. We bought a house in ’08, I make all payments and pay for everything in the house. Pay 100% of daycare and basically all of it. His job is “under the table” and so looks like he makes nothing. I want custody of the children but if we split he refuses to leave the house because he says it is his too. It is under community property. But from my understanding here the house typically stays with the spouse that has custody of the children. I want to stay since I pay for it all, the children need the stability of the home and I can and am the one that provides that.

        His typical PA comes in the fact that he hardly sees the children. I hardly see him. I work days and he works at night with overlap time. He leaves before I get home and comes home when we are sleeping at 2-3am. Then on the weekends sleeps until 1-2pm and gets up and leaves back for work. So see…this is what I meant by me/kids have our life and he has his own. My 14 year old has more reasoning and sees all this and has asked how long we have to put up with this. Boy! That made me feel like I hit a brick wall. Out of the mouth of babes as they say. I worry of the affect on the 3 year old.

        My hubby is from Jordan and here in the U.S. on my money basically. I sponsored him by myself and no help from anyone. I make decent money and take care of myself and obviously him too. He acts like a defiant teenager. Comes and goes as he pleases with no regard to us. He will say he does but I realize his view is twisted and skewed. I just want him out and, I guess, can use the issue of him abducting the little one back to his country to get the restraining order. I just want him to go when he gets papers. If the court doesn’t make him go…he will stay because he sees the house as his too. As I said, it is but I pay for everything. When we split I want the split done. I don’t want to sell. I would buy him out if I had the money, but not sure what that would cost. Plus house market is bad here. We would owe instead of gain. But his PA won’t let him see that because we’ve only had the house 1 1/2 years.

        He told me I was ruining his life. He’s been here 6 years and is full of empty promises of going back to college and wanting me to stay home with the kids. I used to think he was using me to stay here but that isn’t it. It’s PA and when his brother visited us I found out his brother didn’t even know he smoked. He has smoked since I met him. That shocked me. I just wonder what I don’t know??? Anyway, I finally enrolled back into college because I got tired of waiting for him and will take better care of my kids myself.

        Thanks so much and this has helped and given me a place to vent. I still think I would like to get some counseling. Just to understand myself more. I would love to know your thoughts on that. Again, thank you.

        • Sami- Welcome back. I’m so glad to hear you’re already moving in a direction to make things better for you and your children. You’re so lucky to be working in a law office while you go through everything.

          To a certain extent the spouse with the kids gets the house, but that’s not always the case. It’s good that you can prove he has not donated any money towards the mortgage and that you’ve made all the payments. That’s what will help you lay claim to the house. If a judge makes you buy him out, it may be just a small part since he hasn’t put anything into it. On top of that, if your home has gone down in value, and you’re willing to keep the mortgage, you may not have to pay him anything. I don’t know what area you live in, but it’s very easy to see what the market trends have been, and most places in the US have lost at least 20% of the homes value in the last year and a half.

          The one bad thing is you have been supporting him, and now you certainly don’t want to have to pay “spousal support” because it looks like he doesn’t make any money. Is there any way to get a hold of something that shows his income? Does he include his income when you file taxes? If you don’t already know how much money he makes and have some way to prove it, you’ll need to find a way to find out how much he makes without tipping him off. What you’ll want to be able to show is all the bills etc. get paid out of your account and he doesn’t contribute. At the same time, if he goes for you to support him after you split, you want to prove he’s making plenty of money to support himself, he just doesn’t use it to support you or the children.

          I think it’s an excellent idea to go for counseling. After all this time with him, he has definitely done some damage, plus a therapist will give you support while you’re going through this time. You may have to interview a few of them to find one you like and is familiar with PA behavior, but it’s worth wading through them. You could also ask a friend or your mother for any one they might be able to refer you to. You might also check with your county mental health dept. for women’s groups. A lot of time they have very good groups for women trying to be more assertive, or going through divorce. It’s always nice to have as much emotional support around you as possible.

          If you’re 14 year old is asking you about why you’re putting up with how you all are living, you can take solace in the fact that you’re doing the right thing getting out. At this age, it’s important that you talk with him and let him know that you’re working on things. It’s imortant that you keep communication open with your teen. I don’t think I would tell him too much, because you don’t want him saying anything to your husband before you’re ready, but as long as he knows you’re making things better. The 3 year old, while he will miss his dad a bit at first, he’ll be with you and his big brother, and he’ll be fine. Both kids will just need to know you love them and that you’re not going anywhere. Kids are quite resilient.

          Good luck, My Dear. We’re rooting for you!

  59. I relate to this portion of the post to the T. This is exactly how it feels and the part about the drinking happened to me the entire first year of our relationship and for a few years after… thankfully, he finally recognized how he was when he drank and has since stopped, cold turkey. Thing is, the alcohol was only a portion of our issues, so even though I am happy he quit drinking, the PAness is still going strong….

    “They have gone from independence to co-dependent, from strong to begging to be loved, from confident to feeling not worthy. People living with passive aggressive spouses are often confused, not realizing what they’re dealing with, thinking it may be all their own fault. Many people living with passive aggressive spouses still love their spouses so much, even tho they’re terribly unhappy, they can’t bring themselves to give up on the marriage and leave.

    The alcoholic goes and gets drunk, feels guilty, comes home and starts some kind of fight to feel better about himself, and make you feel bad. When he sobers up, he says how sorry he is (sincerely), says what an idiot he is, and asks you to forgive him. You feel sorry for him because he obviously feels so bad. You forgive him, he’s manipulated you, you’ve enabled him, and so it goes until the next time. (Unless you’ve already been through that so many times it doesn’t work anymore, but until then, this is usually how it goes). Sound familiar?”

    We have 2 children of our own and 2 from my previous marriage (big shock, to another PA man – but much, MUCH more passive). We have been married for 5 years. I feel so intensly in love with him, yet I feel crazy pretty much every day. He gives, then yanks it back so fast that I spent literally every day of my life feeling empty, lonely, uncared for and I spend more time in relationship repair mode than actual IN a relationship mode. HELP ME. I have the book “Living with the Passive Aggressive Man”, but he is only PA with me and his mom. He is very successful professionally (the boss) and we have amazing sex. it is the way he talks to me, omits things, leaves me wondering where his head is at and pretty much no help around the house that have me so frustrated….

    • Freaking Out- Well, I have to say you’re way ahead of most of us. He hasn’t cut off the sex yet. LOL.

      You may think he’s only PA with you and your mother, but he’s probably passive aggressive at work also. Maybe they just haven’t caught on yet. He probably is more passive aggressive to the people that work underneath him than his boss or he probably wouldn’t be so “successful”. Passive aggressive people are usually passive aggressive someway to most people, it’s just that we live with them and deal with them every day in their “off hours” and so they probably express it a little differently (or more openly) than with others.

      Have you tried talking to him about the way he makes you feel when he does the things he does? Or have you talked to him about couples therapy? I’m not quite sure where you are in your relationship.

      If you’ve done all that, and it’s quite obvious to me that you know what his problem is since you have the book, then the next thing to do is to confront his behavior. When he “omits things” or belittles you, just ask him why. As calmly as you can, look him straight in the face and ask him “Why would you say that to me when you know it hurts me?” or “Why didn’t you want to tell me all of it instead of leaving things out? Why do you feel you have to do that?”

      Now, you may not get much of an answer, but it does let him know you’re on to him, and that you’re not going to just let him get away with it any longer. As far as getting him to do stuff around the house, you’re probably better off not asking him to do anything. You’ll save yourself a lot of anguish. If you have things you’ve already asked him to do and they are still undone, tell him you’re going to hire someone to do them. He’ll either say ok, or he’ll at least start the project or whatever it is. If he just says he’ll do it, or take care of it, tell him that would be great! but if he doesn’t by a certain date ( a week, a month, whatever) then you’re just going to call someone. He probably still won’t do it, but at least you’ve warned him ahead of time. And if that means a housekeeper, or a maid that comes in twice a month because he refuses to pick up his dirty laundry, than so be it.

      Ok, that’s for him. This is for you. Take really good care of yourself. The more you love you, the more you won’t let anyone treat you like that, and the more you will realize you’re worth more. Get out with friends. Do things you like to do, with or without him, and, while it’s very hard to do especially when you love someone so much, start detaching yourself from him. These men generally don’t change. If you’re unhappy now, where will you be if you go through another 5 years this way. You need to have support and love around you now, so you can be happy in the future.

      Let me know if any of this works for you. Good luck, and you’re always welcome here. It’s a great place to blow off steam!

      • We have been to marriage counseling, which works for a bit, but then it is back to the same cycle. Our counselor is nice enough, but we never REALLY address any issues in depth. He never wants to discuss the past, as he has this “leave that behind and work on the future” attitude about it. I think that is great for some couples, but not for one married to a PA spouse. When my husband had an emotional affair when I was pregnant with our 2nd child and I caught him, he of course denied, denied, denied. He told me I was “reaching”, sabotaging our marriage, I was “never satisfied, never happy”, etc… (he will still tell me I am never happy, that nothing he does is ever good enough). When I had documented proof, he then told me that I was making a mountain out of a molehill and that they were “just friends”. I reminded him that when he and I met, he told me that men can never be “just friends” with women, and then he backpeddled. He still maintains that nothing ever happened with this woman, even when I found a poem he wrote about her. He claimed it was not about her, but it was just some random dream he had, but he felt compelled enough to write it down? I did not buy that. He did eventually apologize, but I feel it was really only because our counselor told him to. I do not believe he feels he did anything “wrong”. He told me that I had to own up to MY portion of HIS actions, because afterall, “men don’t form relationships with women outside of marriage unless something is missing inside of it”. Which is complete crap, because we had only been married a few years and the ONLY reason he was not getting sex everyday was because I happened to be on bed rest for a few weeks. God forbid he could be there for me and sacrifice sex for a while without having to seek out another woman to make him feel better. Ugh.

        When he got ridiculously drunk and made out with a good friend of mine, right in front of me – he then finally decided to quit drinking. But he shut me out and did not talk to me about it for 3 entire days. He then said that because of role playing (we have an active, fun sex life) that *I* came up with, that I need to take some responsibility for him kissing her. Um, what?

        He has been really busy at work and has not pursued sex much the past 2 weeks, but it is very out of the norm. I was at my son’s bball practice last night and he text me “we haven’t done it all week”, and I replied “you are correct”. He then replied “you have been to tired or sick”. That actually is NOT the case, he has been at home each night with his face stuck in the computer until late. Instead of responding or getting defensive like I WANT to do, I simply replied “ok”. He felt compelled to text back “but its true”. Blame game, through and through.

        I am so tired of the games. So tired. I look in the mirror and not recognize who is looking back at me. I have been told, in subtle and not-so subtle ways that I am less than he is, not as important as he is, other people are more interesting, more attractive than me, have a better sex life with “their” spouses, etc…

        • Hi Freaking Out- Welcome back.

          From the sound of your history with him, I think if he went 2 weeks without sex, I’d be wondering why? What is he doing on the computer now that he’s more interested in that than going to bed with you? It sounds like he rationalizes everything he does just by switching the blame to you.

          I can understand what your counselor is trying to do. They are one of those that believes in working on the solution, instead of concentrating on the problem. Surely there must be current actions you can talk to him about, which are going to be similar to the actions of the past, then he has to address them. I would also let him know that while things change temporarily, he’s not providing any long term solutions because everything just goes back to the way it’s been. You may want to see about getting your own counselor. It sounds like you could use some support. You can see what he’s doing to you. I can tell from what you write here, but it’s not you. It’s him. You need to keep remembering that. Sometimes it’s tough because they’re such good manipulators.

          Something I learned in an “assertiveness training” class that has worked well for me over the years, is the next time he blames you for something, like not getting sex for the last 2 weeks, I would very calmly say “That is not true. You have preferred your computer for the last 2 weeks instead of being with me. In the past you have blamed me for everything instead of taking any responsibility for your own actions, and as of this day you’re not going to do that to me any more. I do not accept the blame for your actions.”

          You may have to remind him a couple of times that you are not “accepting the blame” any longer, but that should work. He’ll have to figure out something new, or maybe even think about the fact that he is responsible for his own actions when he does something. Just remember to keep calm, even when he’s trying to push your buttons, because once you lose it, they know they’ve won.

          Good luck. I hope it helps. Oh and by the way, you can let him know statistically, that people who have been married as long as you have do not “have a better sex life with their spouses”. LOL. Just “google” it.

  60. ladybeams…again thank you for the response. It helps so much. Sometimes when your in circle your too close to see the whole true picture.

    I live in Texas. One thing that I do know about Texas is that they do not give spousal support unless you have been married for 10 years and you then would only get spousal support for 3 years after you receive it. Those are the limits I’ve seen for this state and it is consistent all over the web. That was another concern I had about him getting money from me. So I guess that’s why I really don’t care what he makes at this point. I believe that our house value is lower than what we owe due to the fact that once we became owners our situation put us the same as everyone else. I want to stay anyway and don’t want to move. I’m willing to give him some things from the house to placate a judge/him and I can part with them if that is what needs to be done to keep the house. We bought a car and I will give him that as I had mine before we married and I want specifically that one. He would leave with his credit card bill, car, a computer and some furniture if he wants it. I will buy new.

    Still the concern is for the 3 year old’s safety of not being abducted. The 14 year old (which is from another relationship and I didn’t mention that) is definitely not on the side of my husband and won’t say anything. He comes to me a lot when he has problems with my husband or he sees something my husband does and he doesn’t think it is “nice” or “the good thing to do”. I am open with him and he is absolutely positive I love him. I tell both often. One of his concerns was me being able to make the mortgage on my own and once I told him I paid 100% of everything…he was better. He didn’t worry anymore.

    I have two questions. First, I don’t go to my husband to upgrade things in the house (t.v., furniture, etc.) because I’m afraid he will say I’m wasting money. He thinks I am a bad money manager, yet our bills are always paid and he never has to worry about them. I just don’t buy things. Is this a PA thing because it seems very manipulative to me.

    Second, I have tried to look and haven’t found anything. I am wanting to know what effect a PA has on children? I see the blog/article about PA and their daughters. But I am wondering about children in general. This subject would be great to get some info on.

    • Sami- Good morning! It sounds like you have done your homework. Very good. At least you have an idea of what you can expect from the laws in your state.

      As to your first question, yes it is a PA thing, a “control” issue. PA’s like to control everything, including you even when they don’t have the right. (You pay for everything. You earn your own money to spend as you see fit, etc.) Him saying that you’re a bad money manager is also a form of manipulation, even tho he probably doesn’t truly believe it. He wants you to doubt yourself. This is very typical and why it’s so important to emotional support around you. They are very good at making us think 1)everything is our fault 2)that we’re not good for or at anything 3)that we are sub-human, whether that be that we are not desirable, that we are stupid, what ever. Unfortunately, this is a very typical PA trait. That’s why so many people in a PA relationship get so “broken down” after so many years.

      As for addressing the influences of a passive aggressive child, it can be extremely detrimental, and I’m sure you’re not alone in this question, so I will address it in a new post that I’ll write today. Many children take on the passive aggressive personality of their passive aggressive parent, thus ending up ruining the relationships they have as their parent has ruined their own. None of us want our children to go through, or to do to someone else what our passive aggressive spouses have done to us. I hope that helps. Like I said, I’ll go ahead and address the issue in my next post.

      Glad you feel at ease coming here and talking about what’s happening with you. It always helps to have someone on your side. We’re all experiencing the same thing here, just with different people. It helps to be able to talk about it and share ideas on how to handle things. Good luck.

  61. Thanks Ladybeams for the info. I look forward to seeing what other have to say about the effects on the kids.

    Well, I have an update that was not intended. I found out that my husband IS cheating on me. I found a cell phone with all sorts of leud pics of him and her…texts, etc. This is a cell phone I had NO IDEA about. I forwarded the info to myself because what I did find I can use to hopefully file divorce for adultery. (TX is a “fault” state and adultry is one of the faults) Oh, it is nasty. I am fine, just angry and feeling very betrayed.

    Interesting things…I can so see the manipulation of this other woman. I feel bad for her. But she can have him and she will have to deal with this on her own. I will not call her as I have a feeling (from videos of her) that she is not very smart (and I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s the truth). I just don’t know how to say that politely. For example, he has voice recordings of him and her and he is having her spell words and they are wrong and he corrects her and then scoffs at her when she thinks he is lying to her about the spellings. I can tell that he feels superior to her. He has a woman that is beneath him and he can control and manipulate. I realize this is our problem. I am not the meek, stupid woman he thought I was. (Okay, I fell for some things mostly because I had no clue about PA until now). I pity this individual.

    I have prayed to God for 5 months to give me an answer about our situation. God answered my prayers this morning. He opened my eyes and showed me what a good woman I am and that this isn’t my fault. I was not unfaithful, I didn’t lie, I have lived my life according to God’s rules. I was so worried about doing the wrong thing and I see it was all for nothing.

    I will probably stay here on this site for a while. For the support that I will need emotionally. I look forward to the strength of others and of God to carry me through this. Again, thanks for this site…it was my break through and God send.

    • Sami- Oh my gosh! I am so sorry and what a terrible way to find out. Nothing worse than having to watch videos or listen to them. It’s bad enough just to find some email or a cell phone number that is on the phone bill a lot. I would be a raving maniac! (Not that that’s the right thing to do, definitely not). You seem to be handling it pretty well. As you said, you’ve been praying for a point in what direction you should go. I think this pretty much says it all, and now you have the proof for getting what you should in court. Best of all, like you said, you did not do anything to be ashamed of, so you never have to look back over your decision. In that respect, being good was not for nothing. It gave you the opportunity now to walk away knowing you are not to blame.

      Please, I hope you do stay with us. Let us know how it’s going for you. I will definitely add you and your children to my prayers. Good luck. It gets pretty rocky, but in the end it’s worth it coming out on the other side. I hope you have that stuff somewhere safe where he can’t find it and erase it.

      • Thanks for the support. I am calm because I have some business to take care of. We have to file taxes and an appt has been made for this Saturday. I will be taking that money to pay for divorce that he doesn’t know about yet. I am laying low, keeping quiet, putting my ducks in a row and when I’m ready I’m taking him to get coffee. In my truck (so I have a vehicle) away from home with no kids and will inform him of my plans and why. If we are in public, less likely to make a scene in front of others.

        I also realize I have 50/50 feelings going on and I hate them. Maybe realizing what they are will help. There is part of me that loves him (or loves the man he was when we met) and then my betrayed side tells me to focus and remember he is cheating, cheating for a long time, withholding money and information from me. To remember how he has hurt me and how it is affecting the kids. It’s hard. I hate it. I have thought about what if he wants to change…I can lay down stipulations. Like going with him to the bank to close the acct, give me the cell and go cancel that cell in the store personally, etc. But really? He could still do things and it doesn’t stop the fact that he broke my trust.

        That’s just it. Trust is a big issue now. I would constantly be suspicious and my mom asked, could I live like that. I know the answer and it’s no. Anyway, I’ll keep updates and keep on reading here. I even gave the website to a friend because her husband is PA also and she wants to read.

        Thanks so much!

        • Sami- Good morning. Well, it sounds like you have a solid plan. That’s good that you’re smart enough to have things lined up first. So many people are like me and blow first, sort of shooting themselves in the foot before they thought everything through.

          I understand how you feel about the love/hate thing, but as you say, he is not the man you originally fell in love with, and he hasn’t been that man for a while. You really do need to have faith and trust in a relationship and once that’s gone, it’s very hard to get past the betrayal. My son was in a relationship with a girl that he loved so much and has for years. They keep splitting, going back, etc. He has never been able to get past the part of not trusting her out of his site because she had cheated on him. He says she was also great at lying to his face about things, and she just found sneakier ways to sneak around. They have finally split for good now. He just couldn’t take any more. It constantly ate away at him.

          Even if you were to treat him like a “bad boy” and take away the cell, etc., where there’s a will, there’s away and if he did it once, (which there may be even more than once), odds are he’ll do it again. I think that you have the right idea by focusing on the children, and trying to get some true happiness for yourself and for them. Good luck. We’ll be here.

          Thanks for telling your friend about the blog. I hope it helps her. There are a lot of questions and answers here she’ll never find in a book. LOL.

  62. I cannot explain how grateful I am to have found this site, and to know there are many other women who are dealing with this exact same issue. I thought I was alone in this until I went to B&N last week and saw a book titled” Living with a passive aggressive man”. I’m convinced that “something” directed my eyes to this one book. I read it as soon as I arrived home, and my husband does 95% of the tactics in that book. What was somewhat disappointing is that the book didnt offer up too much advice on how to deal with my husband’s behavior. BUT, because of that book, I started doing research online, and found this site! I am so thankful.

    Here’s my question (as i could type all day, but will make it short): After a long while of debating whether or not to stay in this marriage, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to end it. But, because of my job, my husband and I have maintained two households as I work 300 miles away, but travel once a week on business. This is nothing new to him, as I was in my profession before I met him. That said, we were supposed to have “the talk” on saturday on what to do about our marriage. I feel he is waiting for me to make the decision to end it and then he gets to be the “victim” as is his style. Well, the blizzard happened and friends of ours were snowed in at our house. He emailed me to see if we could talk on Sunday because he felt awkward talking to me while guests were there. I said that was fine but we needed to talk and resolve this. I havent heard back from him at all since then. The longer he keeps his silence up, the easier it is for me to justify that I can no longer deal with this B.S. behavior. I’m exhausted and done. So, do I call him, be direct, and just ask for a divorce, or what, in your opinion, is the next step? Is that “too” bold of a move? I wont see him in person until next weekend (possibly, if he wants to see me), as I have an annual weekend business trip that I’m leaving for tomorrow.

    I’m tired of this constant cycle of behavior. How should I handle this next step? Thanks a ton. This site is a true blessing.

    • CJ- Welcome My Dear, and no you are certainly not alone. Since you’re leaving for a business trip, I hope this isn’t too late to do you any good.

      It appears he has found a way out of “the talk” temporarily, and you may not here from him until you contact him. If he contacts you he may have to face reality, so the longer he can put it off, he probably will. Since you already have 2 households, do you have most of your things or anything that you still want at your place with him? Hopefully not much, or at least nothing that means a whole lot to you. I personally don’t think anyone should break up over the phone, email, Facebook, etc. unless they are so afraid of a violent reaction that it’s the only way to handle it. I think that you should go ahead with the visit you put off because of the blizzard, and handle it then. You will need a “back up plan” in case it’s too uncomfortable for you to stay there after you have your talk with him. If you do have some stuff in the house that’s important to you, I would pack that in your car first, just saying that you don’t want to forget it when you go back home. Sometimes when they realize that this is it, they can get nasty as far as not co-operating, even fighting you taking anything, etc.

      One thing you need to know is that no matter what, no matter how nice you are, no matter how gently you handle it, he will always be the victim and it will always be your fault. That’s ok. I’m sure you have tried to reach him before now to let him know how you were feeling and how things needed to change. If he can handle it better by deluding himself and blaming you, then let him. It is not going to change your life whether he accepts some blame or not. Don’t get trapped into trying to “make him see the errors of his ways” because he likely never will. If you’re like the rest of us you’ve probably already gone through the part where he changes for a week or so just to suck you back in, and then everything goes back to the way it was. If you truly have no more love for this man, and you have had enough, then it’s time to go.

      Have you guys done the counseling, etc.? Or the talking and talking and things stay the same? If you feel you’ve nothing to feel guilty about, you gave it your best shot and can’t do anymore, that’s all anyone can ask. If a marriage is in trouble, more likely than not it took 2 people to get there, even if it’s just cause and effect. But to fix it it takes two people also, and that is something the PA man is rarely interested in.

      I hope this helps. In case you didn’t see the disclaimer anywhere, I am not a doctor, or therapist, or anything else important. I am just in a relationship with a passive aggressive man just like you, been there doing that for 10 yrs., and between that and the research just have figured out a way to deal with it. Any advice I give only comes from experience, not a Ph.D. LOL. I am pretty darned experienced though. LOL

      God Bless and hope you have a wonderful trip, even if it is business. You’re welcome back anytime. We’d love to hear how you’re doing and how you decided to handle this.

  63. Thank you so much for replying to my situation. I went to counseling and he refuses because he feels there’s nothing wrong with him, it’s all me or my fault. The interesting thing about visiting the therapist was that she never once mentioned the passive aggressive behavior, and I think if she did, she probably would have saved me a lot of heartache! The one thing that I took away from her, however, was that she kept saying that I would have to “call him out” every single time his behavior upset me, with however small it may be, and correct it. She said if I didnt the cycle would continue, or it would get better for a week or two, but then he’d revert back to the same pattern. How true that was. But, until a few days ago, I didnt know anything about this PA behavior, and boy it does make sense looking back at all the times he’s pulled this behavior on me, family and friends.

    After reading your comments on talking with him, I think I will have to wait to do it in person. Thank you for that suggestion. Interestingly enough, I finally received a one sentence email from him tonight and all he asked was if I “had time to talk over Skype in the next couple days.”

    At first I was mad he didnt remember that I had this important business trip, but then after all the reading I’ve done lately, I quickly realized that he knows darn well what I’m doing and where I’m at. I didnt let him get me upset. This is my third year doing this on this specific weekend, and since it’s on valentines day, he has managed to ruin the day for me by giving me the silent treatment each year, we would fight about it and then he would say he was sorry. Doesnt that sound familiar?

    Anyway, he knows that I’m busy with work each day from the morning and events go straight into dinners for the next 4 nights. He knows I dont have time to deal with this now, especially something of this magnitude. I honestly wonder if he thinks that this time “sorry” will cut it and everything will be fine?? He cant be that stupid to think that, but maybe he can?

    I havent responded yet, how should I approach it?

    The next time I see him will be a week from this Sunday. Do you think I should set up a time and tell him to meet me in a neutral place? I am going to stay at my sisters house as I dont want to be there. The main reason being that if we ever do “communicate”, he escalates it into yelling and screaming, and blames me for it all. I then try to calm him down, and it ends up nowhere. I’d like to get him in a place where he cant fly off the deep end and stomp his feet and walk away like a 6 yr old and shut down. He still may do that, but at least the yelling wouldnt happen. I hope.

    I do have things there, but most things are in the home I live in. I dont think he’ll be a jerk about my things, but I guess one never knows. But, things are things, they make more china if I feel I need another set!

    Thank you for listening. It feels so nice to have someone I can relate to and ask questions to. Have a great weekend!

    • CJ- I’m glad to hear you went to therapy even if he wouldn’t (which isn’t at all unusual by the way). The PA never thinks it’s them. LOL. A therapist can be a great source of support, and she was absolutely correct on “calling him out” on his behavior. It actually works quite well. They don’t quit, they usually just find a new tactic, but at least for that moment they don’t use that one again.

      Hahaha. Your husband does sound so typical. Of course he waits until you are gone for the trip to respond. That way he made an effort, and you didn’t have the time for him, and once again, it’s your fault. So textbook. And you are so right, he knew exactly what he was doing because he knows he doesn’t really want to have this talk. It’s not going to end well for him.

      If he does a lot of yelling when you two try to discuss things, then yes, I might take him to a public place also, maybe a sort of quiet coffee shop or something. (Actually I would go for drinks, but that’s not my best advice. LOL). It’s good that you have your sister’s place to go to instead of having this talk and having to go back to the house with him. Even if he doesn’t yell because you’re in public, it is still very likely that he will shut down and sulk. If that happens, at least he’ll be quiet enough for you to get everything out in the open.

      You should be aware, he may also accuse you of wanting a divorce because you have someone else. This is because a lot of men would rather believe another man is the cause for the split rather than taking responsibility, even if they know in their heart-of-hearts it’s not true. With you two already being apart, it’s even more plausible. I had one husband accuse me finally of being lesbian because he couldn’t come up with any thing else. This was the same man I had 3 kids with! LOL. He just wouldn’t believe that I just didn’t want him.

      Hope you’re having a great weekend. It sounds like a great trip having all kinds of events planned. I haven’t been to something like that since my last Amway convention years ago. LOL. Take care. Let us know how it’s going.

      • Good Morning,

        Well, we have a scheduled face to face talk set up for next Sunday. I told him I felt we needed to have a face to face talk. He agreed. I learned from a mutual friend that his attitude is calm and that he’s “probably in the same place you are”, so that is a huge relief. I still expect him to put me down, blame me, etc, but I’m prepared to let him vent and not let it get to me. If that what makes him feel better about himself, then fine. Because now I realize he “needs” to do that so he’s not to blame for any of this.

        I’m now looking for attorneys to talk to before we meet so I will have what I need all lined up before I talk to him about divorce. Because we have two properties in two different states, I just want to be sure I protect myself, etc. So, I’m hoping I can talk to a lawyer this week before I see him.

        I’m hoping this time apart, and not actually talking for almost a month (come next Sunday), is a good time for him to reflect and come to the realization that it’s over. From what I heard from our friend, he’s in that place. Let’s hope he doesnt get crazy and mean. This certainly will require a lot of kindness and patience as I go through this with him – I need to be the bigger person and not get caught up in his tit-for-tat pettiness if he starts acting that way. We’ll see!

        Thanks again and keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll need them. (big deep breath!)

        Hugs, CJ

        • Good morning CJ- Hope you’re enjoying your trip. Did you travel into any snow? or travel out of it? I guess it’s only a matter of perspective which is better. LOL.

          I’m glad you were able to set things up with your husband. Of course, it is a week away so anything could still “come up”. I wish you the best of luck. It sounds like you are very aware and have a good strategy. Hopefully the two properties are close enough to each other in value, it should be pretty easy to say “he gets that one, you’ll keep this one”. Of course nothing’s ever easy, but we can hope. If as your friend says, he actually does realize that things have come to an end and he’s pretty calm about it, you may get lucky.

          I wish you all the best, and we’re here anytime you want to share how it’s going, or just need a little support. I will most certainly hold you in my prayers.

          • Hello – well a lot has happened in the last week or so. I contacted an attorney about divorce and thank God I did, as it provided me much insight on how to handle the two different properties, etc. I felt so much better going into our first face to face talk in a month.

            We met this morning, and another blessing I am thankful for is my friend who lives in the house with my husband. He informed me he changed the locks on the house and packed up a bunch of my things. He also told me he wasnt wearing his wedding ring and that he went on a movie date last night. Honestly, I am not hurt by that but the LOCKS, really?? How juvenile. Again, I recognize that it’s his way to try and make me mad, but I am really wondering about why else would he do that unless he’s got something to hide. I mean this guy packs up all my stuff and cant finish any house projects I’ve been wanting him to do for over 5 yrs. Heck, he hasnt even cleaned the bathrooms and he now has the rush to “move me out”. I think it may be a part of his behavior in that he now tells himself, yes, I was right, I am the victim and I shouldve never married her… what do you think?

            in our meeting, it was at a restaurant and we had the whole back room to ourselves. Luckily it was peaceful and for the most part rather an easy meeting. I havent seen or talked to him in a month and he was very cold, quiet and just stared at me for the most part. After the chit chat I brought up the issue of divorce and he immediately agreed. He did tell me he packed up my things but failed to mention he changed the locks. He also told me I could have whatever items I’d like – the china, dishes, pictures, etc. But, yet, he has to change the locks??!!

            I called and left a message for my attorney giving him the details including this one. It will be interesting to see what he says. My initial plan is to go to my house with my sister while he is at work. Call him and ask him for the key code to the locks. I dont know, but I do want him to know that I know about it without throwing my friend under the bus. He legally cant do that to me, so i’m anxious to chat with my attorney. My gut tells me he will make this divorce somewhat ugly and the reason I only say somewhat is that he’s so darn cheap that he couldnt fathom spending any money on attorneys to try and screw me, but I guess he just might. One never knows I guess.

            What do you think?

          • CJ- Well, if nothing else, you must finally be feeling a little form of relief. You finally said it, he agreed and it’s out on the table.

            As far as getting what you want out of the house, I don’t know what you’re attorney will tell you as far as what he can legally do, since you basically have residence in another state, etc. If he’s gone so far as to change the locks, while he may say you can have whatever you want, he obviously wants to be present when you go to retrieve your things. I can say that even as a person that has had a few roommates, I do understand that. It also may be a ploy figuring he will have another chance to talk to you, maybe talk you out of leaving if you have to go through him.

            I think actually, if he was so readily agreeable to the divorce, I would probably call him and “let him know” when you are planning on being in the house. This way he doesn’t know you know he changed the locks, you don’t throw your friend under the bus, because obviously he still needs to be able to live there, and it gives your husband a chance to be there so the locks may never become an issue. This way also, if as you go through the boxes he’s already packed, you can ask him “what happened to so-and-so” if things appear to be missing. This is the “friendly, let’s all play nice” way to go. If he will agree on a time and date with you, let someone know you are going, and then go and do it. Get the stuff out that is packed and ready to go first, so if anything happens later, you at least have that, sort of going through each box as you put it in your car. Then when that stuff is done, or your car is full, work out a time with him to meet again. Of course we both know there will be cancellations, excuses, but this is the best way if he’ll co-operate. If it gets to be too hard, just tell him you’re bringing a police officer to help you gather your things at a certain time and date, and then he has no choice. It’ll either be discovered that he has illegally locked you out, or you have the protection of a police officer if things get ugly.

            Good luck to you, Girl! You’ve made it this far and it was easier than you thought it was going to be. The locks are just an issue to be dealt with with a plan. You’ll do fine. Just being prepared (like talking to your attorney on what your rights truly are) and understanding how it can go, that’s the best you can do. If there is anything that really is important to you that isn’t packed, I would head for that first, right after packing the boxes in the car. Things sometimes start out nice, that don’t always end that way. LOL.
            Love to hear how you do. I have my fingers crossed for you and a special prayer.

  64. ladybeams…I would love some input from your experiences. Well my husband and I had the taxes done on Sat. and we got into an argument because he was leaving his briefcase (full of personal papers) at his friends house because “he has a bigger safe” than ours at home. Anyway, I noticed he was dodging getting it when I told him we would stop by his friends house and get it after the appt. He was overly quiet in the tax appt and the man even mentioned it and teased him about it. This man knows my husband well enough to talk and noticed he was overly quiet. I did too and the looks on his face in the car were priceless. He had that “oh crap, how am I going to get out of this or avoid this look”.

    So the huge fight leads to him saying, once again, divorce. So I asked him if he is sure and he said yes so I informed him I knew he was cheating on me. He denied and denied until I pulled out the evidence. He would not look at the photos and then, as I have learned from here and him being PA, that it is all my fault. I cheated on him (which I never did) and how I was such a horrible person/wife and blah, blah, blah. This did not phase me and thank goodness I was prepared for all of this because of my reading and this website.

    My question is this…he left the house and has not been back. I changed the locks and asked him to not come unless I was there. The older child feels incomfortable being there by himself with my husband and to please come when I am there. He said I can have everything and he just will take his stuff. He tells me he will tell me where he is when he has an address (and I have not pushed this point) because with or without him I can divorce. Anyway, he says he will come to get his stuff but it is still there and I didn’t hear from him at all yesterday. I am not calling him or bugging him. Any suggestions on how to handle this and what is he doing? Like I’m thinking he is in control of all this if he doesn’t call and leaves me hanging but I’m gonna put his stuff in our shed and he’s out and that’s fine with me. Any advice and suggestions on how to handle him at this point is greatly appreciated.

    • Sami- Well, he did the hard part for you. LOL. He just “got out”. I think after he has a couple of days on his own with his “friend” he will start to realize what he’s done and what he’s left behind, and he will get a hold of you to get his things. When he does, you should let him know that you have instructed your son if he feels threatened and unsafe there, to call the police and then call you. Hopefully since you’ve already changed the locks (let him know that also) he won’t even bother to try if you’re not home.

      There are probably several reasons why he hasn’t contacted you, the main one to “teach you a lesson”. He probably figures he’ll give you time to cool off, to miss him, and then he’ll be right back in. He doesn’t realize you have been preparing for this day. Some men think they can just take a “vacation” from their marriage and when we realize how much we love them, etc. we’ll just roll-over and let them come home and take things up where they were. I’m sure most of it is he’s giving you a “cooling off” period.

      I’m glad for you that you were prepared for him throwing the blame for everything on you. That’s another reason why it doesn’t work when we take them back. They never are willing to accept responsibility for their actions. They have to justify what they’ve done somehow, and the easiest way was to say you were lacking somehow as a wife. Him accusing you of cheating was more of a fishing expedition than anything. He’s hoping if he throws a lot of excuses out there, like that one, and you being a bad wife, that he’ll hit you with something that will stick, and he’ll have his reason for cheating. He didn’t know you’ve been doing your homework. LOL.

      If you haven’t already, I would be getting the divorce papers drawn up immediately giving you the house, custody of the kids, and stating he’s to never take the children out of the state, so at least if your worst fears about your youngest son happen, you have papers to prove what he’s doing is illegal. I don’t know how important his reputation is to him, but if you let him know you’ll bring all this sordid mess he’s in into court if he doesn’t give you your way, he’ll probably back away. Unless he’s more willing to get out of the marriage than we thought, I don’t think the battle for stuff is over yet. I don’t think the reality that your serious has really hit him. When it does, be prepared for round 2. The calmer you can handle things, the better for you. A PA’s whole MO is to get us to lose control, thus giving it to them.

      Good luck, Sami. Very good finally being able to push him into a position with his back against the wall for a change. I truly am sorry for your loss. I know even when ending a marriage is justified, it still hurts. Take care of yourself, and thank God that now you can get on to something good for you and your children. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing how things are going for you. I know it’s never easy.

      • Well, I must have been taking notes. I believe you are right about the “cooling off” period. I had a feeling that is what he is doing. Seeing if he can get back in. Also, the reality is sinking in for him right now. He has been very hostile and angry at me. That’s fine. That’s his “punishing” me thing, I believe.

        He sent a text to me “you need to pay the accountant” and barking an order. I sent a text back saying of course I can pay for that too just like everything else and that I didn’t get paid until next Fri. No answer back. I am very mindful of not losing it because I know your right about them wanting us to lose our control.

        I have involved the brother-in-law, mostly because Islamically, I have rights and I want to see what that pans out. I will NOT let him manipulate me anymore and after reading your “free gift” stuff article on why women stay in abusive relationships, I did glean something from that. He has isolated me from his family and I’m sure for the reason of him trying to look like the wonderful husband and I’m the woman that just wants to divorce him. He failed to mention why I was divorcing.

        I’ll keep you posted and I’ll gear up and read and be prepared for round 2. This has helped me tremendously. And to everyone else, hang in there.

        Many thanks!

        • Sami- I am so happy you read John’s stuff! He is so great. And he really does look at stuff from a religious point of view. It’s so helpful when that is one of your deepest concerns, whether you should just keep enduring an abusive relationship (which is what being married to a passive aggressive oftentimes is)or move on. Thank you so much. You are the first one to give me any feedback on all the resources I try to provide here. I appreciate it and am so glad you found some help there.

          I have to say I find it ironic that he would text you about the accountant. He obviously couldn’t stand it anymore that you weren’t crying on the phone or an email begging him home. That was the only excuse he could come up with, even knowing that you always take care of the bills. While I realize he’s an idiot, I have to laugh that he would come up with such a stupid excuse to contact you. He never asked about his things? That just cracks me up!

          While I understand what you are saying vs. Islamic rights, I don’t think your brother-in-law is your best option. Are there no other Islamic people in your country you could contact that are closer friends or family? If not, then find yourself an Islamic lawyer here. Or go to the Council. Isn’t there an Ambassador here? I would “google” him/her if you know who it is to get an idea of how they perform before going to them for help. Many are very much in favor of the men in their countries vs the women. I’d just want to see who is on who’s side.

          You have so much to deal with, God Bless you my friend. It’s tough enough for us going through all of this stuff in America, but having to deal with another country also, and what rights there etc., I am very proud of you that you are taking such a progressive approach. The one thing behind you is that you are not only doing what is best for you, but what is best for your children who matter most.

          Looking forward to hearing the next chapter. Glad you are handling everything so well. Remember, if things don’t always work out to your advantage, you can talk to us then also. We’re here for you.

  65. I appreciated your previous insight, and I KNOW you have got to be SO busy, but I was really hoping for some help on how to address something. I have a really hard time telling my husband how I feel because it is usually met with instant defensivenessor he plays the martyr. Or better yet, the “you are never happy” with insinuations I must be on my period or maybe even clincally depressed.

    My husband works a lot. His promotion had taken up a large amount of our family time. I am trying to be supportive and show him that I care about his success, that I understand him working hard provides for us, but at the same time not allowing the status quo to take over. Hubby earns the bacon, wife tends to the house, kids. This is not how we operate, but as more time goes on, it is the roles that have taken place. With 4 kids, my wants and needs are always last place. I get that. I struggle with it, but it is what it is. I am not a good cook, marginal housekeeper, and honestly I do not enjoy either at all. But it must be done, and I am doing it.

    Problem is, our marriage goes in these cycles. Like we just no longer try. The level of effort he puts forth a lot of the time, I am NOT happy with. I wish I could be, but it is not enough for me. He knows this. We have had this conversation more times than I can count. When I try and address it, I get the “it is always something”.

    Our latest cycle is how much work he is putting in, and how little he is involved at home. I do not mean just helping out, but at the dinner table he is vacant. He is so caught up in his job, that he stares off in space and does not interact or converse. The kids have to say daddy several times before he responds, If he responds. Many times I have to say “your child is trying to get your attention”. Lately the older 2 have been complaining he is short with them, doesnt respond, just barks on order here and there and pays no other attention. As of late, I would have to agree.

    He used to do the majority of the cooking. He is a fabulous cook. With the new promotion, I have really stepped it up and been preparing dinner 5 nights a week for 6 people. Now, when he walks in the door its “whats for dinner”. Ugh. That makes me ill, it really does. If dinner is not already READY, he says he is hungry NOW. I swear, it is like we got sucked into the 50s or something. I do NOT operate this way! I am a modern woman. I cannot stand blatant old fashioned gender roles. He knew this going into it.

    My biggest gripe? He is always late now. it used to happen here and there, and now, more often than not (like 3 out of 5 nights) he is late. He no longer communicates, either. He will tell me he will be home at X time, then calls 45 minutes later to say he is on our way. Since our son goes to the school he is in charge of, this leaves him sitting around waiting, as well. At first I was accomodating and understand. Now, it really REALLY makes my blood boil. He pulls the “I cannot just leave when a teacher/student/parent has an issue – I HAVE to stay and talk” or “I cannot help it, its the nature of the job”. I understand that TO AN EXTENT, but I do not believe it is totally literal. I feel he is setting himself up for this to ALWAYS happen. If he is the boss that shows he puts his work before his large family, that he is available any time – he will get taken advantage of and things for US at home, WAITING for him, will suffer. I do not appreciate having dinner ready by X time that he claims he will be home, and then he is a no show. I also have to get kids to and from sports practices 3 nights a week on top of everything else. Dinner HAS to be ready to go at a certain time. I do meal planning for the week to make things easier, but his flippant “I cant help it” attitude is really wearing me thin.

    When he comes home, we eat dinner, he is back to not interacting with the kids, but going straight to his laptop to work. He has been working sometimes until damn near midnight and I am exhausted. Drained. Getting pretty resentful. I CANNOT run a household of 6 BY MYSELF. I just cannot do it. He goes to work, comes home to a hot meal, clean laundry, kids cared for, house clean and besides making it financially possible for these things, not much else from him is being contributed. Once he told me that I just have to deal with it because HIS job pays the bills. He is right, but the context drives me nuts. He HAD this job when we met. He did not HAVE to run out and get this good paying job to care for these burdens (yes, much of the time he makes me feel like we are burdens), because he was ALREADY doing it. I was doing fine on my own before we met, bills paid, no debt. I hate how he holds the “bring home the bacon” b.s. over my head. Like I should be doing jumping jacks and thanking him each and every time he does something like JUST SHOWING UP.

    He got a new car, so I listed his old one for sale on Craiglist. I took the pictures, made and posted the ads, fielded every single inquiry (there have been a TON) via email and phone AND arranged the appts for people to come look at it. I DO NOT feel comfortable with strange men in my home to check out his car, so I made sure he would BE home before I gave the green light for 2 of them to show up yesterday. He was 45 minutes LATE, after I called him 3 times to let him know the MEN were coming to our home! I do not think this is cool at all – they could have been freaks, for all we know. Here I was with 3 of the 4 kids at home, trying to cook dinner from scratch, a guy over qouting us for a home improvement project, a woman and her child over looking at his car and 2 more men on their way over. I was on overload, I was swamped. Oh, and did I mention I am sick with a nasty head cold and felt horrid yesterday? And he gives me GRIEF that HE was late, again with the “you cannot possibly be mad at me that I am late, it could not be helped”.

    Last week he flat out told me that he is unable to talk to me, take my calls, or call me to let me know he will be late if a parent needs him for something.

    Like when my van broke down when I was an hour away from home and he would not answer his phone during LUNCH HOUR. I never call him at work unless I REALLY need something, because I know his days are hectic.

    I am so tired of feeling like I cannot count on him to be present in this family. Yet, I want to be supportive of his hectic job. I do not know what to do and I really need some help in bringing this up. I tend to do it in a way that just pisses him off and nothing changes.

    This is only going to get worse and I need to make my feelings (for the millionth time) known. Can you help me craft a start? I would really appreciate it.

    • Freaking Out- I can’t say I blame you any. You’re right, it will just get worse from here because the resentment on both parts will just continue to grow. I hate to be the one to bring this up, but you know for sure he’s not cheating, right?

      I have never known a teacher or a principal who just had “open hours” 24/7 or even 24/5. Teaching, being a principal is always about teaching our children, and at times their parents, that there are boundaries. Even college professors start out telling their students what their “office hours” are if any one wants to talk to them. You don’t make it during that time or make an actual appointment, you’re out of luck. While I realize not everything fits into a “pigeon hole”, it sounds like your husband has no control at all.

      I do have to tell you though, a very common symptom of a PA is being a workaholic. Many are. They find it a legitimate “escape” from their other expected duties. “I’m doing this all for you” or “I’m doing this all for us, for our children”. What a bunch of crap. LOL. I had a husband that also pulled that “I bring home the money, I set the rules” bit. My 3 kids were small at the time, so I used to get up about 4:30 am to study before they got up around 6:00 or 6:30. I got the same license he had, and started making my own money, and actually more than he did. He didn’t have that argument any longer, but then what he did was barely work at all. He would be in his nightgown, yes, nightgown, and play with the children most of the day. He would do some of my “gruntwork” but that was about it.

      I think I would tell him you’ve decided to hire someone to help around the house, since he can’t be there and can’t seem to find time in his schedule to be part of the family. If he’s concerned about how you’ll pay for it, just tell him you’re going to start cutting things around the house, like cable TV, (your house seems so busy, how much cable do you really watch?) all you really need is basic, right? Or if you need to get out of the house to feel like a whole person again, tell him you’re going to get a part-time job while the kids are in school during the day. Keep some frozen dinners handy for nights when you haven’t time to cook, or don’t feel like it. Start doing whatever you have to do to make you happy, even if it’s without him. Right now he’s happy because he has you right where he wants you and all his needs are met. Maybe you should start doing the same thing.

      You should know at first nothing in the way of change will be easy. Everyone will have to make adjustments. Everyone will complain like crazy. You can have control. Figure in what you have to do as far as getting the children where they need to be by when, and work around that. Who knows? Maybe if you make some changes you can pick up the child from school so he doesn’t have to wait on your husband. Making some changes that unburden you, make you happier, should make things happier for the whole family. Take the laundry to a “wash and fold service”. They usually charge around 99 cents to 1.10 a load. They are a Godsend. You drop it off and pick it up all clean and folded, all you do is give each kid, etc. their clothes and tell them to put them away. (I had my kids doing their own laundry from the time they could reach the washer and dryer because they were always throwing clean clothes on the floor, etc.) We don’t have to do everything. If your children are old enough to be playing sports, they’re old enough to help out a little.

      As for him, I’m afraid there may be little you can do. You may start getting his attention if you start kicking up some dust, so to speak. Trust me, he knows exactly how you feel. He just doesn’t care enough to put it in front of what he wants. He probably never will. Remember, being a PA is being basically disconnected. That is who they are. The more you complain about it the worse he will get, because he’s winning. He’s getting to you. This is how they “get even” for crimes you probably didn’t even commit. I’m sorry My Dear, the best advice I can give you is to work around him, or in spite of him. And tell him the next time he tries to say you’re just on your period or something, that that is so “high school, or elementary school” or whatever the level is he’s involved with. Tell him he must be spending too much time with his students. He’s starting to sound like them. LOL

      I would look over his shoulder once in awhile to see what’s so damn interesting on that laptop at night.
      Good luck. Let us know how you’re doing. What changes do you think you’ll make?

      • I have been doing a much better job of doing things for ME for the exact reasons you stated. I do not believe he enjoys it, but he is not giving me TOO much grief. He has typically been very PA when I make plans to do something, and used to work really hard to get me to change my mind, so I would stay home and be with him, but yet when he has something he wants to do – it just happens.

        Last night I went to a friend’s house to watch a movie and have some snacks, and that was nice. I left the house abruptly because pretty much the moment he got in the door, he started arguing with me about our son’s braces (he is getting them in 2 weeks and he does not want to pay as much as they cost). He made me and my son feel like we aren’t very valued by the comments he made. He does not usually do that in front of the the kids, so I know he is stressed at work. He knows I am unhappy with him, so he is already stressed about that before he walks in the door. But he won’t make an effort to do the things (or not do the things) that contribute to how I feel. He can own it, I refuse.

        My younger 2 are only 4 and 1, so I cannot go back to work, even part time. I do work from home in direct sales, I actually have a “party” tonight, however. That gives me the chance to get out of the house and interact with adults a couple times a month, which sometimes otherwise, I would not do.

        I have been doing more for me. Is it enough? It was helping, it really was – but now he is just doing even LESS at home. Last night I was setting the table, spooning up dinner on 6 plates and he just stood there, not helping, just watching. Afterwards I cleaned up and did the dishes, again, he just watched me. I have made dinner every single weeknight for months now, and he has yet to do the dishes after. When he used to cook, I always cleaned up the kitchen. At first he would, but it only lasted a week, and now he just doesnt. He will cook on the weekends, though, and twice has cleaned up, which I made a big To Do of, so he would see how much I appreciate it.

        I guess he is present on the weekends. Like he ignores me all week, then tries to make up for it on the weekends. It is not enough for me. It just isn’t.

        The way the laundry goes is I wash it, dry it, kids sort it fold it. All hubby has to do is put his away. He lets it pile up, sometimes for 3 weeks, before he puts his away. I made it clear a long time ago, I was not his maid. If I put it away, it will only get him to do even LESS and right now – I cannot handle that. I feel like the hired help, but my pay is a roof over my head and food in the fridge.

        This morning when he left, he told me someone emailed him about his car *I* am selling in Craiglist, and that I needed to contact him today. When I asked why he didnt last night, he said because he didnt know what MY schedule was or if it even had gas in it for someone to test drive. I replied “I do not know, this is NOT MY CAR”. I dont ever drive it, I never get it in, I have had ZERO involvement in this thing until HE decides he wants to sell it and have ME to it. I DO NOT WANT STRANGERS IN MY HOME when I am home alone with kids. How hard is that to understand? I am not sure WHAT is going through his head thinking this is ok.

        I am just LOST. I get I have to distance myself, that I have to lower my expectations, that sharing my feelings gets me NOPLACE, but then what do I have? That is not marriage to me. That is not partnership. That is a game. A game I don’t want to play.

        • Freaking Out- You have every right to feel the way you do. He obviously does not validate any of your feelings. When he stands there watching you serve dinner, or washing dishes, do you ever say something like “If you’re going to stand there you could help, you know” or just throw a dishtowel his way and tell his sense he’s standing there he could help out and “dry”? I sure as heck would! If my passive aggressive BF can stand there and watch me “perform”, he can help. LOL. They can be pretty dense. Sometimes, like children, you have to tell them what to do. You can’t ask, because then they have an “out” and they’ll say they have something else to do.

          I am going to end this very long answer (LOL) with the answer to your last question. What you have will never be a partnership, and if you don’t learn to “play the game” better than he does, you won’t have a marriage either, which I can’t say is always a “bad” thing. Dealing with a passive aggressive is not the same as dealing with a regular adult, mature minded person who is emotionally connected to the family he created. You say you are not willing to play the game. Then you need to 1) ask him if he will consider marriage counseling. Maybe with a third party he will see what he is doing 2) decide if you love him enough to “play the game” and just work at getting better at it than he is or 3) decide if you and the children would be happier moving on. I’m sorry My Dear, and my heart breaks for you as I put it that way, but that’s pretty much the bottom line.

          Whatever you decide, we are here for you. Not only me, but there are others that read the blog, put in their experiences and insight. We all feel for you because we are or have been through it. Feel free to come here anytime.

          It’s good that you are doing more for you, and yes it does help in the way that it should help strengthen you, but I said the changes wouldn’t be easy. He will do less as you do more, because he figures he can manipulate you into doing what he wants if he makes things harder for you. You can’t let him win at that. This is where you let him know since you are busier these days, and he’s not willing to help and doing less, you’re hiring an “assistant”, sort of like a “girl Friday” for the house. If you had more time to advertise your business (work at the computer), prospect a little more, follow up with friends, wouldn’t you make more money in the long run? So what would be more practical than hiring say, a babysitter that helps around the house, but could run errands? If you check the local high school, a lot of those kids are sincere about wanting to work, they want to learn more about what they are interested in, so you match what you’re looking for, which would be basically a kid that’s interested in “child development” with a driver’s license. LOL. They don’t charge a whole lot, the school has all their records and parent names etc. It could be the answer to a prayer.

          On the weekends, if he’s usually willing to cook, then I would turn every weekend over to him. Tell him what a great job he does, you do it all week, and you think he ought to control the weekends when he has his 2 days off. That way he can get to eat what he wants the way he wants it for at least those two days. I would start out by saying something like “You know, I was thinking…” and then spring it on him, probably about Thursday. Then Saturday morning when you get up and have coffee together or whatever you do, ask him “so what are you cooking for dinner tonite?” Nicely. Like you’re looking forward to it. What you are really doing is reminding him that it’s his deal. At least that way, if you already feel like “hired help” you’ll at least get your 2 days off. LOL.

          I can’t help you much with the car, unless you start putting in the ad the hours the car may be seen. If you know your husband is going to be home between 6-9 PM, and most of the time on Saturday, then put that in the ad. Work the ad around the hours your husband is going to be home, not vice versa because obviously he’s not going to co-operate. If you feel as strongly about strangers coming to your home when he’s not there, then that is the only way I know to fix it, and don’t tell him. If you tell him you did that, he’ll just make sure he’s never there at the times you specify. It will take you longer to sell the car if you limit the hours (like if they can’t see it in the daylight) but that’s the way it goes. At least you will feel like you and the children are safer.

  66. becky;
    Will be married 17 years tomorrow. Could kick myself for being so stupid. I am married to a total child. He takes no responsibility for anything. He goes so far as to leave the front door wide open overnight if i don’t lock it. He doesn’t care if we get raped and murdered (i have two teenage daughters). He won’t pay bills, even if he has the money. Our older daughter now shoulders that responsibility. Until this year i felt sorry for him and let him have access to my account because he is self employed. He was spending all my money on stuff, for spite. If you say you’re late, be sure he will have to do something urgent for his business at the moment you’re ready to go out the door. You can;t complain because it’s work. He has let his business dwindle to two or three clients, from 20-30 about five to six years ago. When he was in charge of the light bill he didn’t pay it for a year, I had to go to the bank, while sick on crutches, to my saving account, to get the electricity turned back on. He has no savings. When he has no money he behaves as if I owe him money. When he lost his wedding ring, he demanded I buy it back, as if I lost it. Recently, he told me I was the reason his business was failing because I had insisted he stop his workaholic ways and spend time with the family.
    I think I want a divorce. He can become violent however, and that is a concern. He is very large, and controlling. I was stupid enough to mistake this for caring.Now I see I cannot have a private conversation or friendship, he is always trying to butt in. He used to be jealous of my older daughter, demanded all my attention for him.
    Now I try to practice all of the coping skills I read about, especially here. Thank you.
    I realise that he will probable ruin me if i don’t divorce him. I am afraid that now he doesn’t have my money he may borrow and make me liable as well. All I can do is pray and try to see a good lawyer to start preparing for this. I am afraid he will become angry and irrational (and possibly violent) when confronted with divorce papers.

    • Michelle- Welcome! Thank you for sharing your story. Have you tried talking out how you feel with him? or that you are coming to your wits end? 17 years is a long time to throw in the towel, but at the same time you don’t want to be here 17 years from now saying “why didn’t I leave 30 yrs. ago?”

      If you are really afraid your husband may become violent if you go to divorce him, than you need to make sure you have everything in order before you serve him with the papers. Start packing things that are important to you and if you have somewhere to hide the boxes, do so. You can also make up an excuse like “being tired of having to dust everything” when it comes to packing knick-knacks and things. Are you planning on moving out or having him move? You need to have all your ducks in a row before you let him know you’ve filed for divorce.

      Once you have served him, you cannot expect any co-operation from his side what so ever. If he does co-operate, that will be terrific, but don’t expect it or you’ll be sorely disappointed. He will do what ever he can to sabotage your efforts, make everything out to be all your fault to everybody he can, and he will likely fight over things he doesn’t even want just to get to you. If you have everything ready to go swiftly and easily with as little contact with him as possible, it will be a lot easier for you. You may want to even get a temporary restraining order if you are truly worried he may harm you or the girls.

      I hope this helps a little. Feel free to come back and let us know how you’re doing. Sometimes the readers help each other and we’re all here to support one another. Glad you found us. You’re not alone.

  67. My sister moved in with me over a year ago, mostly for financial reasons. She had displayed passive-aggressive tendencies years ago and admitted it (said it drove people nuts—-some of it was directed at me!). I thought that she had recovered after I told her that the “silent treatment did not solve problems.” Although that got her to thinking, she still exhibits some passive-aggressive behavior. I was at my wits end a few weeks ago, swearing to myself that I was going to sell my house and move into a trailer to live by myself because every word out of her mouth was negative, sarcastic and blaming, full of inuendo and veiled threats. She makes negative indirect blaming remarks and then when confronted she will walk away in the middle of the conversation or say that she does not want to argue.Of course she does not want to argue. She may have to have a one-on-one conversation with an equal. Not wanting to argue means that she does not have to listen or to engage. Therefore, she still has power. After her behavior temporarily lessened and I began to contemplate how to deal with her, I decided to “take her on.”
    I began to take the power back from her when she made a remark. That does take some thinking before one speaks in order for the response to hit home, but after a couple times of my doing it she keeps her negativity and blaming to herself.
    She also uses emotional blackmail by telling me that if I don’t stop doing something she will disengage from what we are doing. Although she may have a point, in order for the situation to be on a level playing field, I say that she can do whatever she wants but I am not responsible for her decisions. Then the “gotcha” look on her face disappears. I wait a few minutes and then broach the subject by assserting that I will take responsibility for whatever needs to be done if I am told the truth about the situation, i.e., the honest reason for her inability to continue with what we were doing. That gets no verbal response but later she will come back with some thoughtful remark about what she was thinking at the time she made her “blackmail” remark.
    I had a passive-aggressive husband for 22 years and I did these things with him prior to the breakup of our marriage, to no avail. It usually made things worse because I had challenged him. He was too deep into his pattern of behavior and he was also my spouse and had had years of “reinforcement.” I thought that 7 years of counseling would have changed my feelings about passive-aggressive behavior when it is directed at me. I suppose there are some things we never recover from. But I do have more energy this time around and am able to assert myself without becoming overtly irate.
    With my sister, I have the indirect power. She lives in my house. That may make the difference.
    They both may have reasons for their behavior but I learned a long time ago that understanding doe not change the situation. And at a certain point, I stopped caring what the reasons behind the behavior was because the person directing it at me was an adult (supposedly) and that they did understand that they were engaged in harmful acting-out. With my husband, even today, he will never admit that his behavior was wrong and will even go so far as to deny that he engaged in it. He will twist the facts to alter the situation to make himself the “nice guy.”
    I hope my sister continues to respond to my assertiveness, but I will know what to do if she ultimately does not.

    • Elleke- Thanks for sharing. It does sound like you have learned quite a bit about handling this kind of behavior. I still say that basically hitting it head on is the best way. At least then they know that they are not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes, that we see them for what they are doing. It’s also admirable that you can do it without getting irate since as soon as we do that, they have “won”. They know then that 1) we are out of control 2)they have evoked the response from us they were hoping for. It sounds like you have very good control over all of it. It’s a shame you had to endure a 22 yr. marriage being married to a PA to learn this stuff, but maybe you were just getting prepared for this day all along.

      It’s very encouraging to see someone who has suffered and endured, and learned something from the experience. You are right, we’re not playing with children. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions. The sooner we quit enabling them, the sooner maybe they will be a little more straight forward with us, or they will move on to someone who doesn’t “get it”. Either way, it would be a lot easier on us.

      Feel free to drop in anytime. Love to hear about people’s different situations. Although it can be a sibling, a spouse, a parent or a co-worker, the bottom line usually ends up the same. It’s nice to know we’re not alone.

      • Thank you for your most kind words. I cannot tell you how encouraged I feel. Unless one has had a steady diet of passive-aggression many times others cannot understand the enormity of the hurt this behavior evokes in the target. I know others where I worked or in my social life who blow off this behavior and do not believe it to be anything other than an annoyance. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.

        • Elleke- No you are definitely not alone and the behavior is very real and hurtful. Unfortunately because emotional and mental abuse don’t leave black eyes and bruises, people don’t understand it if they haven’t been through it.

          Anytime you need to share your feelings or what you are going through, you are welcome here. There are many of us who understand exactly what you’re going through. Just remember, you have to take care of yourself first. If you don’t no one else will.

  68. I am living with a PA for 7 years now. I have realized all this about a year now, and I have read everything I could find. We have a almost non-existent relationship, we are only talking to each other as regards our son (with whom he rarely plays) or what to buy at the super market, e.t.c. He goes out, never says where or what time will he be back (he did that from the beginning of the marriage) , I stopped asking him long time ago, since his only answer was “never you mind” or something like that. I have always justified him to our son. I have lived in a broken home as a child and I know what the divorce can do to a child. I do not want that for my son.
    I got through teh depression and the low selfconfidence state, and I am trying to have my own life and as little communication with him as possible.
    I do not know for how long will this go on, I do not expect him to change anymore, but I must admit that I want him to hurt….a lot…. What does a PA do when you hurt him…. passive aggressively?
    What is your advice?

    • Juanita- Welcome and thanks for sharing your story.

      Like many of us, I see it really wasn’t that long ago you figured out what the problem has been. It seems like for all of us the first step is doing as much research as possible trying to understand what the heck is going on.

      I’m sorry to hear your living the kind of relationship you are. I truly believe it’s harder to be alone in a marriage than it is to just be alone. I am glad to hear you’re coming around though and starting to pursue the things that are good for you and make you happy. Unfortunately, the first couple of times you let your husband pull that crap on you of telling you to “never mind” when you ask him where he’s going, and you didn’t stop it at the beginning, it’s almost impossible to change it now. You pretty much let him know it was ok to treat you like that.

      I have to ask you, I came from a broken home also, but when my parents divorced, it was a relief. While at times they were the perfect married couple, almost like right out of a movie, dancing in the kitchen, etc. But the other times they fought so viciously, that my little sister and I would huddle together in my room scared to death. They certainly didn’t do us any favors staying together as long as they did. Do you really think teaching your son the marriage you have now is what it’s supposed to be like? That people who are supposed to love each other act like you and his father do toward each other? I hope you’re using every opportunity you get to undo the damage that’s being done by living in this kind of an environment. Our kids model what they see. As he grows up he is seeing that woman are treated as second class citizens, the man is the strong, silent, aloof type in the family. As he goes longer and longer seeing how you don’t get any love and affection from his father and he doesn’t either, he will think that’s how he’s supposed to be with his family. Do you really want that for your son?

      Of course at the end of the day, it’s none of my business and I don’t know all the facts, or even what you go through day to day, I’m just saying there are worse things for a child than going through a divorce, especially when they are young enough to bounce back from it.

      You asked what a passive aggressive does when you hurt them? First of all it’s very hard to tell if you actually hurt them or they are just playing the part. Then it depends on what kind of passive aggressive they are. Some become very aggressive, some are very passive, and some walk away and never look back because they were never really emotionally connected in the first place. I will say this, it is not unusual for you to want to hurt him as much as he’s hurt you. Perfectly normal, just not very likely. They stay disconnected because they don’t allow themselves to be as vulnerable as we are, thus making it much harder to truly “hurt” them.

      Good luck to you and your son. I will keep you both in my prayers. Feel free to come back anytime you need to talk or want to share what’s going on with you.

      • I read very carefully what you said.
        There are very serious family reasons that do not allow me to be separated from this man. My mother, for one, who knows nothing, will be absolutely crushed if she ever found out, she still suffers from depression on and off, ever since her divorce!!!!!!! I could not do that to her, and I absolutely would never even dream what to say to my son when he asks why, or when he says that he wants us to stay together. That would be the end of me.
        The PA and me, we do not argue, we do not fight, we just do not talk to each other that much, most of the time (after work) we are among friends and their children which is very good for our son, he is almost all the time around children to play with. (he is 7)
        As for me, I have recently made a huge change. For about 15 years I have been organizing medical congresses and conferences, interesting job, but took me many hours away from home and my son, and I realized that he is growing up and I am losing so many things, he is changing and I cannot talk to him as if he is still a baby, e.t.c.
        Between family and carreer, for me, there is no dilemma. So I quit, and I have recently opened a bookstore (a childhood dream of mine) practically next to where we live. My son is thrilled!!!! We are spending much more time with each other and we both enjoy that very much. The PA of course was against it, felt theatened I guess, he did not help AT ALL, and when I needed some extra money, he said no, although he is quite wealthy. I had to take a loan from a bank, and I know that I am on my own. At least, now I am around books all the time and my son knows where to find me at all times.
        You are right, it is harder to be alone in a marriage, that just to be alone. I feel trapped, imprisoned. I do not think I am strong enough to face the consequences of a divorce though. Any other advice, besides that?
        Thank you for your time.

        • Hi Juanita- Wow, good for you, opening the bookstore to be with your son. I think that’s terrific, and so productive. He is at an age where you can still build a wonderful relationship with him before it’s too late. Your husband probably resents the fact that you are probably making less money now, and also have more control of what’s going on since you are home more. I’m curious, you said “he is quite wealthy”. Do you two keep all your finances separated? If he’s wealthy, why aren’t you? I think it’s ridiculous you paying interest on a loan to the bank if you could have taken it out of family finances. The one thing good about it is the bookstore is completely yours this way, so any profit, etc. is yours also. Hopefully you have a website to help drive traffic to your store. Yahoo business is very cheap, stuff like that. If you need some other resources just let me know. I’d be glad to help.

          As far as your mother being crushed if you divorced, that for you shouldn’t really be an issue, I don’t think. She is not the one having to live in the marriage, and if she’s not the one paying your bills, etc. I don’t see where she has much to say about it, altho I admire your concern. Did she divorce your father or did he divorce her? Just wondered since you said she had been so broken up over her divorce. If your father divorced her, that too would be different than you divorcing your husband. I’m sure she wouldn’t want to know she’s partly responsible for you being so unhappy.

          I really don’t have much other advice. Of course, now that you have this new business, I could see you wanting to get it on it’s feet before making any drastic moves. It sounds like you have your life as much under control as you can. Do you ever talk with your husband about how he feels about the marriage? or you? Or where he thinks the two of you are headed? Or if he’s really happy the way things are? I guess that would be where I would start, if you’re really wanting to make a “go” of this. Secondly, have you ever asked him about couples therapy? Maybe if the two of your could talk with a third party, sort of as a mediator, you might be able to get somewhere. Just be sure the therapist is familiar with passive aggressive behavior. Other than that, it sounds like you’re pretty strong and are doing the things you can while staying married that are good for you and your son, as far as friends around and the bookstore, etc.

          You’re welcome here anytime. Sometimes we just need a safe place to vent. Feel free.

  69. You have got me thinking about the dynamics in my birth family. I did not come from a broken home, although I think I would have felt a sense of relief for a while if my folks would have divorced. However, since reconnecting with this site since my sister and I have been living together, it has been a shock to me to realize that I am the only one in my birth family who is not passive-aggressive. If I had had to live with either parent, I probably would have been worse off than I was with both together. My dad was angry if he had to actively deal with any conflict at home, and although mother was angry she usually placed blame and laid on guilt. I don’t remember any significant problem being dealt with in a fair and loving way. Our typical mode of conversation with each other was playing one-up or sharing our knowledge to show how much we knew. My father was a functioning alcoholic and my mother was an arbitrary authoritarian with us children (except for my one brother, the favorite).
    I now realize that the reason for the mode of communication was that by “proving” something, we did not have to deal with feelings or insecurities. I could hardly believe this revelation. No wonder I have had such an adulthood! I had struggled for years to express my feelings (deeply held) and usually they ERUPTED, and the consequences were even more hurtful than the eruption, at home and in my marriage. After years of marriage, for a while, I believed there was truly something wrong with me.
    Divorcing my husband and raising my daughters by myself provided the perfect proving ground for finding my real self and feeling good about who I was.
    It is no wonder that my sister’s behavior threw me into a tizzy.
    Actually, I hope for things to continue to get better now as I have confronted her about her reluctance to take responsibility. I don’t know how I kept my cool while still showing the hurt feelings. She did respond saying to me that she was afraid to do something “wrong.” I reminded her that she was too old to worry about doing something wrong because she had lived by herself for 20 years and had taken care of our dad for 4 years. I really doubt she wanted to “please” me–I think she may have been just as afraid as I to be herself.
    After our “conversation” finished she went about taking care of a few things that she had been neglecting. I felt guilty because I might have “hurt” her, but she did not know that. I hope her initiative continues. I will have to wait and see.

    • Elleke- Thanks for sharing your situation with your sister. That is so great that the two of you were able to discuss the problems. She probably has a lot of your same insecurities growing up with the same background. Since she’s come to be dependent on you, so to speak, she may truly be afraid of doing something “wrong” and not having anywhere else to go if you should ask her to leave. It’s so much easier to deal with things once they are out in the open. My sister and I rarely talk anymore, and I miss her terribly. We used to be such good friends. Now, when I do see her, I have to be extremely careful of everything I say as she erupts so easily. I think she holds a lot of resentment, and a lot of guilt and because she will never admit any of it, we will probably go the rest of our lives like this. I truly hope you are able to work things out with your sister.

      Thanks again, and keep in touch. The relationship between you and your sister can be so great, and see, you have the perfect formula. Being able to keep your cool and just discuss with her openly about how you are feeling without it becoming an explosion. Good luck.

  70. I am so glad that there is somebody out there that understands all this.
    As regards our finances, yes we keep them separated, he wanted it this way, we have separated who pays what around the house (which is his, by the way) of course he pays more bills than I do, he earns more than I do. Now, of course, with the bookstore, my finances wont be the same, at least at the beginning, and yes, that irritates him and makes me more dependent, but I have patience and I hope that things will change. Yes, it is ridiculous that I pay interest on a loan, but when I asked him for some money he said he did not want to be a part of it.

    As for my mother, she was the one who divorced my father, he was addicted to gambling and had drinking problems and did not work a day in his life. My mother was the one supporting us, she lost a lot of money paying his gambling debts all the time, but she loved him (in an unhealthy way, in my opinion) and she waited for him to change for 20 years, taking all the abuse, e.t.c.before she divorced him. He was never a father to me and my brother, by the way. Of course, all this has affected her mental health and she suffered severe depression, because she did not want to accept that she had to lose him. Anyway, she is o.k. now with therapy and medication. She does not know how unhappy I am, I am afraid to let her know, of what it would do to her.Her therapist always says that we should try not to upset her or get her worried, so me and my brother, always solve our problems alone. Always have. You see what I mean?

    The PA and me we never talk about our marriage, at least the last 2 years, before that, when I did not know anything about PAs, I tried very hard many times to have a conversation, but you know how it is, he said that everything is o.k., and when I told him that I am unhappy, he said that I am very demanding!!!!!! Of course, he will not even consider therapy, why would he? everything is o.k. Us greeks, we have a certain philosophy when it comes to family, breaking up is the last thing on our minds, especially when there are kids involved.
    God, it’s so good to know that I can talk to you!!!!

    • Juanita- Thanks for filling us in. It is so sad when you love someone and you have to let them go for the sake of your own mental health and the sake of your children. I can see why your mother was devastated even though she was doing the right thing. I remember one break up I had. I did the breaking up, but I cried all the way through it because even though I loved him with all my heart, he was not good for my daughter and I emotionally. He had no emotions, or so I thought. I do understand why your brother and you don’t want to burden her. At the same time though, she probably understands suffering as well as anyone, and if she had it to do over, she may have left you father even sooner. Don’t underestimate her. Do you and your brother talk about things between the two of you so you at least have each other? Or do both of you just “do your own thing” so to speak?

      As for your husband and this loan business, like I said, you are probably better off. At least this way he can’t control what you do or how you run it, and if it becomes profitable, that’s not him either. LOL. Like I said, if you ever need any help website or traffic wise, I’d be glad to help. It’s really pretty easy.

      Take care of yourself, and congrats again on spending more time with your boy. God knows, you can’t ever get it back. Love to hear how you’re doing. Feel free to write in anytime.

      • Dear Ladybeams,

        Thanks for encouraging me! God knows I need it.
        As for my brother, yes we do talk about a lot of things, we are very close, he knows I am not happy, he knows that he did not help me at all with the bookstore, but I am afraid that I cannot tell him everything. First of all, of what he might do to the PA, plus, I do not think that anybody can understand passive aggressiveness if they have not experienced it.

        My PA now tells me that he does not have enough money for our summer vacation (he knows that I cannot contribute this time) and he is vague about the whole thing. I know he is lying about the money, he just wants to get back at me for opening the bookstore, he goes out all the time (spending a lot, I am sure). I do not know what to do. He is torturing me this way. God knows, I am not thrilled going on vacation with him, but I know my son is holding his breath and this is a good opportunity to play family for our son.
        What do you think his reaction would be if I told him that I am filing for divorce and that I am taking my son on holiday with friends? I never ever threatened him with divorce, so I do not know if I make things worse or not.

        • Juanita- I’m glad you can talk to your brother a bit, anyway, although I do know about not wanting to tell him too much in fear of what he might want to do to your husband. Brothers do have a way of wanting to take care of us. LOL.

          I don’t think I would use divorce as an idle threat. If you are going to use it, you need to be prepared to follow through. I think a better way, if you’re not prepared to do that, is to confront your husband and say to him just what you are saying here. Ask him if he is so short on money how he can afford to be going out all of the time, and if he doesn’t want to go on vacation this year to just say so. Be as calm as you can when you talk to him about it as it is obvious, here again, he is using this threat as a way to control you and watch you squirm. I think a little “reverse psychology” is required here. After you have this calm little, straight forward discussion with him, if he still insists he can’t afford it, just say “Okay, I guess we won’t go then.” and turn and walk away. Don’t let him see he’s been able to upset you. Make him think you don’t care one way or another. If it turns out that he doesn’t pull a last minute “okay we’ll go” on you, then just make a lot of plans with your son close to home that the two of you can go do. It really doesn’t take a lot of money to entertain a child, and what they are most interested in is having your attention. A lot of Parks and Recreation and cities have a lot of fun activities going on during the summer that are either free or very cheap. What is it your son likes most about going on vacation? Maybe you can replicate it only closer to home. I’m sure if you two went and did things he’s never done before or things he enjoys, he would probably be just as happy. Just explain to him that money is a little tight this year, and maybe you’ll be able to get away next year. It doesn’t hurt children to know money doesn’t grow on trees.

          Good luck. Let us know how it goes. I really think he’s just pulling this on you to push your buttons. He probably intends to go on vacation just like you always do, but with a passive aggressive you never know what they are truly thinking. If you let him know that in the end it’s your son that is disappointed, not you, and that your husband is the one who will be missing out on time with your son, maybe that will get him to relent.

  71. Hi. Has anyone else been in a friendship with a PA, that started out really fun and close, then felt like they wanted more than you could give them? Then you feel guilty that you aren’t being a good enough friend.

    I started noticing that she seemed unhappy a lot of the time, and asked her about it. I told her she just seemed unhappy, and didn’t seem to have any joy. Of course she was vague with an answer, then weeks later she accused me of calling her a downer. Is this PA behavior?

    Then, she did something that really surprised me, and showed me a side of her character that seemed uncharacteristic of the sweet act she usually puts on. I responded by totally closing off and not talking, which is passive aggressive as well, but I felt like if I said anything I would be accused of finding fault with her. After I cooled down, wrote an email apologizing, and got the silent treatment.

    I really wanted to figure out the dynamics of what is going on and found a bunch of PA sites that seemed to explain the behavior. What worries me, is that is seems I have some of these tendencies too with my friend because it doesn’t feel safe to directly confront her.

    Does anyone else find themselves falling into these same tendencies with other PA’s?

    • Kelchet- Hi and Welcome.

      The confusion you’re feeling is very typical of being in a passive aggressive relationship, especially in the beginning. As you said, she finally let down the “sweet act”. Sooner or later they have to. No one can carry on being fake forever. Yes, her waiting weeks to tell you about calling her a “downer” is typical. In fact you’re lucky you ever found out what she was thinking at all. Many times the PA will punish without ever letting their victim know why. They also are very good at rearranging things in their minds to make them out to be victims.

      You are lucky she is just a friend, and you can just walk away while you have the chance. If she is going to twist everything you say, I don’t blame you for not wanting to talk to her directly. You emailed her, etc. I would let it go at that. Many of us do have some passive aggressive tendencies as a defense mechanism, but I would say from what you wrote that normally you would speak to someone directly. This is definitely a case of “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. One of the things about being involved with a passive aggressive is how quick they get us to take the blame or second guess ourselves. Unless you are consistently showing passive aggressive tendencies toward everyone, I wouldn’t worry too much.

      Thanks for sharing your story, and feel free to comment anytime. Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

      • thank you. Actually this cycle has been going on for years, she gave me a six year silent treatment and two years ago we re-connected because there does seem to be a connection. Recently, I find myself confused and distancing, and feeling like a very bad friend, again.

        I do care and want the very best for this friend. I think at this point, I need to evaluate why it even matters. This site and the stories on it are so helpful, and have given me a different way to look at why I may be attracted to this type of behavior. Certainly, I am no Saint and have aspects of my way of relating to others that could use improvement.

        I think the bottom line is that we all just want to feel loved and appreciated.

        • Kelchet- Maybe there was good reason for the six year separation. You are right in the way that all of us can use some improvement, but I don’t think we need to subject ourselves to bad treatment from others at any time. While you are evaluating the friendship you may want to consider what positive aspects this friend brings to your life. If it’s not enough compared to the way the relationship is making you feel, you are definitely better off walking away. We do all want to feel loved and appreciated, and for the most part I think we all try to give in order to receive. It’s just unfortunate for the most part that a passive aggressive doesn’t really know how to receive, or I should say, is usually to fearful and untrusting to receive what we have to give.

          Good luck. It’s very hard to give up a friendship, especially an old friend. We have to grieve and move on just as if something had happened to them. With all the negativity in the world it’s hard enough to keep our chin up. It’s important to protect yourself.

          Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad this site has been of some help. Look forward to hearing from you.

  72. Hi Ladybeams – been a long time since ive been on here. But I could do with some advice. My PA husband left me almost 2 years ago after just 2 years of marriage.. whilst theres been a bit of toing and froing – Ive really made the decision that I dont want him back (Im not saying it doesnt still hurt – but the man I married doesnt really exist does he?) anyway.. get this.. 2 years after leaving me because I was practically the devil in human form he is still registered at my address for his bank accounts, insurances and even job !!! The house has been mine for 20 years and Ive asked him to stop this and put his new address on all his details. the truth is I dont believe he has an address, I think hes living off various peoples kindness and dossing at friends houses. If he gets into debt now then its registered at my address!!! Ive asked and asked and of course he promises he will but never does. Iv just received a letter to him at my address for a new bank account ! Can you believe that? In these days of Money Laundering regulations and so on. Now I need to do something, either go to a solicitor or maybe just send the letter to the bank back to them saying he doesnt live at that address. Any thoughts on this problem?

    • Cinders- Hi and welcome back. Good to hear from you, but sorry if you know what I mean. LOL.

      It sounds like with all the toing and froing, along with the fact that he may be homeless, this may be his way of maintaining a link with you and the house. If you have asked him several times to change his address on stuff and he hasn’t done it, I think I would definitely start sending things back. You may want to warn him first, but evidently if now he’s opened a new bank account recently with your address, I would say he has no intention of stopping. Maybe if you start returning everything he’ll finally “get it”.

      Good luck. Good to hear from you. Feel free to stop in anytime.

  73. I’ve come to the end of my rope and am only clinging to the last fraying strands that bind me to my marriage. I want so desperately to believe that things can get better but I’m losing hope.

    It was upon finding this website and others, that I realized all the crazy making behavior, withholding, emotional abuse, comments to destabilize me.. actually had a name!

    I’ve been with my husband for 8 years ( married 5 yrs). It’s been 5 years of pure hell. My husband has hid in a closet ( ignoring attempts at finding him), curled up in fetal position on the floor in a dark room after argument and snarled at me ” don’t touch me!” if I attempted to draw a response from him.

    He has provoked my deepest childhood wounds of abandonment and pain by making destabilizing remarks and when I respond with feelings of anger or pain, have the audacity to tell me that I’m the angry one and he’s mr. nice guy.

    I am aware how my codependency from childhood has played into the dynamic of allowing myself to be used as an object to withhold from and punish for his lack of affection, growing up.

    My husband has severe issues with being physically affectionate and will literally tense up, recoil, turn his face away, avoid eye contact, hug me quickly and shift his body to an angle to avoid full contact. He has even went so far as to “punish me” for wanting affection by withholding it more. And has said, when i was crying for him to just hold me after an argument ” I won’t touch you until you calm down!”

    These five years have been the most isolating, painfully lonely years, with the exception of my beautiful 2.5 year old daughter. There is so much joy between my daughter and I and i, for one, have many talents and gifts and am loved by many friends and family.. But with my husband, those same characteristics that others are pleased with, he either takes no interest or joy in or must punish, in underhanded ways. I can sing, happily with my daughter and he will sit next to us, shut down, withdrawn and sulking.

    i have asked him to move out next month and for a separation. He has since attempted to bribe me with inappropriate throwing at me of “affection” the very affection I have wanted all these years. He is in self pity mode and refuses to admit to his emotional abuse and neglect and becomes very irritated and upset if confronted. He will only say, hastily ” yeah, yeah.. i know i have problems.. i am trying. i am trying” with little to no remorse or emotion.. most impatience than anything.

    I am losing hope that he can change. I feel so lost right now and i’m in pain.. the flickers, glimpses of hope of his “nice” act with me.. even those are fading away and I feel i have nothing to hold onto. Thank you for listening.

    • Mari- Welcome! I had replied to you, but in the world of cyberspace, I don’t know what happened to it when I approved your comment.

      I’m sorry to say, but it seems doubtful that this marriage can be saved. It sounds like he’s more interested in just having you to kick around than enjoying you as his wife. Have you two tried counseling? Most don’t really know how to change without some professional guidance on how to get past their past and deal with the relationship the two of you have now. Here again, I have to tell you that even therapy doesn’t work too well with passive aggressives. Most just end up manipulating the therapist, then quitting if the therapist catches on.

      It is also very typical for him now to use every trick in the book (giving you affection, saying sweet things) to try to suck you back in. Once he feels that he has control again, things usually end up going right back to the way they’ve always been. You say you are loved by family and friends. You are lucky that he hasn’t completely isolated you yet. Now would be a good time to spend more time with those family and friends to support you emotionally.

      I think you are on the right track as far as separating from this man, especially if he doesn’t even admit to being part of the problem by his behavior. Not only will it be better for you, but in the long run it will be much better for your daughter. You haven’t said what kind of father he is to her, but eventually his passive aggressiveness will be aimed at her as well. You don’t want your daughter growing up thinking there’s something wrong with her because of how her father behaves. You also wouldn’t want her to think that when a man puts her down, verbally or emotionally abuses her, that that is ok because that’s what she grew up with at home.

      You have a chance at finding love the way it was meant to be between a man and a woman, and you have your daughter, family, friends. A child at 2.5 yrs. old is very resilient, and it’s a lot easier on her if you end up separating now than repairing the damage to her in the future. I wish I could tell you to “hang in there” and he’ll come around, but in most cases that just doesn’t happen. He will continue his behavior as long as you allow it. When you don’t, he’ll simply find someone who will. As you gain strength, confront his bad behavior, he will become more and more impatient because he begins to see that he can’t get away with what he’s been doing any longer.

      It sounds like you came from a dysfunctional family also that has made you more susceptible to the strings he pulls. It also sounds like you know how and why you have dealt with this to this point. We cannot change them. All we can do is protect ourselves, and protect our children.

      I hope this helps a little, and I hope you are reading some of the other posts on the site like the one regarding passive aggressives also being sociopaths, building a self-esteem file, etc. Feel free to come back anytime. We’re all here to help each other. Despite how it feels, you are not alone.

  74. Ladybeams,

    Thank you SO much for replying to me. It’s so good to know that i’m not alone and that as isolating as it’s felt, others can relate.

    We have tried marriage counseling, which failed miserably. It’s only in lieu of recognizing his passive aggressive can I say that the counseling advice given, only fueled the dynamics between my husband and I. My husband had very little to say and mr. nice guy and the counselor ended up saying that I needed to realize that when I raise my voice, I am scaring a broken little boy. At the time I had compassion and now realizing how he’s purposely provoked anger from me by his crazy making behavior, i feel totally played. But I take individual responsibility for enabling him with my codependency, etc.

    My husband is a chameleon and shifts moods all the time. Even so, I can say he is a consistently good father. He does not deny my daughter affection, investment and is very affirming of her. I am thankful for this. I think that’s what makes it even harder is because he is hurting her as well by his lack of interaction and affection with her mother, his wife. When confronted on this, he said that she has no expectations of him and loves him unconditionally ( she’s only 2 yrs old- wait til she gets to be a teen!) and that he doesn’t feel i love him unconditionally so I don’t get treated that way.

    I am torn between loving and being attached to the “sober” side of him- when we are a family and focused on loving our daughter together.. there is laughter, kindness, precious times.. but when she’s in bed or away and it’s just the two of us, he retreats and is like a different person.

    I am afraid. I have been with him for 8 years. I don’t know what to believe anymore. I want something to hold onto. I want to believe him when he says that he does want to be close and affectionate with me but that he doesn’t want to be vulnerable. I have taken that as at least a glimpse of hope that he’s even willing to understand this about himself.

    We had an open discussion today and it was very eye-opening and heartbreaking, although compassionate. He told me that he wants to change and wants what he sees other couple’s having. I asked him why the two years we were dating, he was seemingly available and affectionate and he told me it’s because we weren’t serious like marriage entails. He then proceeded to tell me that, he may have to go as far as to convince himself that i’m just his girlfriend in order to not alienate me and be able to be affectionate and present with me. I was flabbergasted and saddened, to say the least.

    He was surprisingly forthcoming with things he has done to not have to meet my expectations, wants or needs.. he passes the buck off to friends, family or tells me to go get a massage or have a day to myself.. hoping that I get my needs met somewhere else so he doesn’t have to deal with them, even at a normal level of basic affection and interaction. This seems big that he would confess this to me and can see some patterns.

    He shifts between impatient and shut down to changing to being somewhat compassionate and saying he wants to change. He even cried today ( which i never see him cry; he won’t allow himself) I’m trying to gain a balance in my mind.. as to how i can even believe my own husband.. I have had the rug pulled out from underneath me, regularly, for the past five years.

    I came from a highly dysfunctional upbringing where i was abandoned emotionally and physically and raped by a family member as a child. I’ve had a high tolerance for suffering and for trying to rescue and fix people so they’ll be ok and love me. I can see how i’ve played into the hand of my PA husband.

    I feel like my marriage is dying.. perhaps it’s because it was built on sickness and now that sickness must wither away and die. I want to believe that we can start over and that there is hope, esp if he says he wants to change.

    It touched me so much when you said i have the chance to find love the way it was meant to be. This is true. I’m 27 years old and have my life ahead of me. I need to figure out what i’m going to do. Husband told me today that he ” loves me to death” and when he said that, I got uncomfortable chills. Perhaps because that’s just the thing.. his way of loving has been a slow death. And things have to change at home or I cannot stay. I will not die. I want to live for myself and my daughter.

    • Mari- Good morning!
      I’m glad your husband is being a good father, but I’m afraid you are right. As she gets older, and especially the teen years when kids don’t accept anything about their parents, his passive aggressiveness will rear it’s ugly head toward her also. Once she’s old enough to have “expectations” and he doesn’t feel loved “unconditionally” the ride will be over.

      I’m sorry to hear counseling was such a bust for you, although I can’t say I’m surprised. So many therapists are not truly familiar with Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder and many times end up manipulated instead of helping. I do think you should carry on therapy for yourself though. Sometimes you have to call and ask a few before you find one that’s familiar with the bahavior, but they can be a great form of support, validating your feelings and at the same time helping you work on your own issues.

      I have to say it sounds like you made some headway with your husband though if he was willing to actually sit down and discuss everything with you. You got a lot more than most. Usually they just clam up or sulk. That was a big step for him I’m sure. I’m really sorry to hear about the childhood you had, but it seems that you can see what it is that draws you in. While your husband was talking to you, did he reveal his childhood, or do you know about his childhood enough to know what brought on his passive aggressive behavior? Where he was honest enough to admit to not wanting to be vulnerable to you, so he won’t allow himself to get close, that is very typically a passive aggressive trait. That comes from a complete lack of trust for us on their part due to getting hurt when they were younger.

      I don’t know if your husband reads, but if he does, there are a couple of books on my “reading list” that could be helpful to him, or you both. Also you may want to read my post on “A Different Concept on Why a Passive Aggressive Withholds Sex” since the therapist says about “a broken little boy”. It’s quite interesting, that combined with the fact that he says he may have to go back to thinking of you as his “girlfriend”. (Which I think personally, if more guys treated their wives like their girlfriends the world would be a happier place. LOL).

      You are so right, Mari, you do have so much of your life in front of you. No matter what is going on now, there is still so much to look forward to. I can tell you from all I have been through, and being almost (not quite) 30 yrs. older than you, for all the lows, there are a ton of highs. I’m so glad I never gave up living, just some of the people along the way.

      Please, keep in touch and let us know how you’re doing. Are you still planning on trying this separation? Just curious after this revelation of your hubbies. I hope he’s sincere in his wanting to make things right.

  75. Oh, Mari, bless you. I hope you will find a way to end your anxiety.

    Your husband may have seen the light. Only time will tell. You are smart to beware.

    My husband fooled therapists too. He also confessed to his inadequacies and even prayed about doing better in front of all of us. But he was never motivated to do anything about the problems. I hope your husband is sincere.

    Maybe your marriage is dying. But you are smart in realizing it….if you can start again then that will be great. I hope he can see you for the giving person you are and appreciate you without always taking and with giving you back the love you deserve.

    Hang in there!

  76. When I met my soon to be ex he sent the flowers, gifts and was extremely helpful to me with everything. He basically liked whatever I like and wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. He flattered like no other and proclaimed undying forever love for me. He appeared to be faithful and I thought he was until it was confirmed in the Oct 2009 that he was not being faithful to me. We were married in Oct 2008 after a four month courtship. I knew that was too soon but he basically gave me an ultimatum and of course I didn’t want to lose such a good man.

    From the honeymoon to the day that I put him out of my house I was stressed, frustrated and felt like I was going crazy. I was basically a happy, optimistic person but I saw myself becoming unhappy, stressed and pessimistic. Everything was my fault and he did not take responsibility for anything in the relationship. He loved to give me the silent treatment and wait for me to attempt to resolve the issues. I communicated but issues were never resolved just temporarily suspended.

    There is sooooo much to this story. He hated helping me with the bills and would only do so if I was being “good”. He figured since I made more money than him I should take care of everything. He was vague and obscure about things that really mattered and would procrastinate about anything that i asked him to do. He was verbally abusive calling me all kinds of awful names then five minutes later talking to me as if he didn’t describe in detail how worthless he thought that I was. He would do nice things like opening my car door, bringing the groceries in, and making my lunch but then he would rage at the slightest disagreement. After he tore me down he would want to have sex with me and then proclaim his undying love for me.

    I put him out due to text messages to another woman of him telling her how much he missed her and because he had stop helping me with the bills along with a whole bunch of financial deceit (another story in itself). He kept trying to move back in with me through lying and confessing undying devotion and loyalty to me.

    He said that nothing happened between him and the other women and that he no longer communicated with them, That was all lies and he even spent half the day with her and the last half with me while he was telling me he could not live without me. He raged at me because he was caught in the wrong and somehow it all became my fault that he needed other women to talk to. He threatened and cursed me in nasty text messages.

    Through the entire marriage I think there was only one time for a period of 7 days that we did not argue. He had a way to escalate even the slightest disagreement. I started thinking something was wrong with me and couldn’t understand why we could not get along.

    Since it appeared that we both wanted a divorce we only used his lawyer since their relationship was already established. What a mistake that was! He dismissed the divorce without talking to me and I ended up allowing him to move back in to my place. It was like a honeymoon the first few weeks then he was back to his same pa games. He still didn’t help financially, but was very helpful around the house. He pretty much did everything and paid himself for his efforts by not contributing to the household expenses.

    Fast forward five months (August 2010) , I told him a week and a ½ ago that I was going to file for a divorce and that I wanted him to move out immediately. I told him that after multiple disrespect scenes, extreme verbal abuses including threats to get me fired from my job and bad mouthing me to people at church. To try to get to the end of a long story, as of today he has moved out (within a week of asking him to, thank God), I have discovered that there is another woman in the picture but he is unaware that I know this (access to his email), I have filed for divorce pro se and was able to get him to sign and file with me without any disagreements.

    After the filing he texted me to tell me that he is not involved with another woman and tells me that he misses me. I did not realize how much of a liar he is and how effortlessly he does it. What is protecting me is that this other lady is in Dubai and is coming to stay with him for two weeks and he wants to be available for her. I guess I owe her a thank you card becuz of his anticipation of her coming to the US is distracting him from coming after me again.
    My emotions go from sad for him and especially the other lady to down right mad for allowing him to control and use me for two years of my life. When he moved out he left everything a mess so I am trying to put my house back together again. I have changed my locks and financially I am safe becuz I had to do everything anyway so I never gave him access to my accounts nor is he aware of my savings account.

    All that being said, I still feel shocked to be thrust back into single life and have vowed to myself that I will not allow him into my life ever again for any reason. There’s a 31 day waiting period on the divorce but hopefully by October it will be final. But most of all since I am the Plantiff he cannot cancel it like he did last time. I haven’t heard from him since Friday when I ignored his three texts to me stating that if I needed his help with my car or other man things he is still there for me. I think that just his way to try and stay connected to me in some way. Thank you so much for this site, it is a blessing. Its good to know that I am not alone. Is there anyone out there that was married to a PA but now either happier by themselves or happily married to a non PA? Thanks for your help.

    • Almost Free- Good for you, Girl! You are one of the lucky ones that got out rather quickly. There are so many comments on here of women who took the step, got out, and are so much happier because they did. If you read through some of this site you will find them, and you will probably meet a couple of people who have gone through the same stuff you have. God Bless you that you are smart enough, confident enough to get away after a couple of years vs. 30. You are so smart!

      Welcome. And as you go through the divorce, etc. feel free to come back and let us know how you are doing. Rant, rave, or brag, it all works here. Good luck!

  77. Ladybeams, thanks so much for the encouraging words. All is well. I have moments that I miss him but I have friends that i am accountable to and they quickly remind me of all the pain and devastation that i went through with him and I adjust my thinking immediately and remind myself that I deserve better and will have better. He has responded by text but I am on a no contact basis for my own personal well being, I have not responded since the day he signed the divorce papers. I have forgiven him and myself for taking me through all that drama. Instead of trying to fill the emptyness with things or other people, i am drawing closer to my Heavenly Father and allowing him to heal and restore me. Day by day I am becoming whole again. He still has his mail come here although he told me he would do a change of address, he works for the post office so that doesn’t make sense.
    I feel as though God is giving me a second chance at love (in the future) and i am grateful. I believe that all that I went through will somehow work out for my best good and I look forward to the great things God has in store for me in the future and I will not settle for less. Life is not a dress rehearsal every moment is precious. I am thankful that I don’t have to waste anymore of my life on a relationship that does not have the potential to grow and flourish into something beautiful. It is much better to be alone and lonely than with someone and lonely. I am going to get a dog and do alot of things that I couldn’t do because of being trapped in that disaster. Everything is on schedule with the divorce and I look forward to the day that I can say: free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I am free at last.

    • Almost Free- Wonderful! I would not consider myself a “Bible thumper” but I too find a lot of solace in being able to take my troubles to God. I keep thinking of that song “You Have a Friend In Jesus”. It has helped me a lot to know that.

      I am so happy that you still find your heart open to finding the truly right person for you in the future, because it is possible. I still say I think if I were you I would put in a change of address for him. Didn’t he have to give an address for the divorce papers? or change it to c/o the post office where he works. LOL. That should be interesting.

      You have the whole rest of your life out there to live to the fullest. It sounds like you are definitely on the right track with your head and heart in the right spot. Please do keep in touch and let us know how you’re doing. I know that it hurts, even when you know you are doing the right thing, but at the same time the future has to look pretty bright.

  78. I am just so blown away by all these sites. Its like reading my life! I have been with my hubby for nearly 10 years and I don’t think I have ever been as frustrated! We have been to councilling but because my childhood was dramitic, (parents seperated, mother attemped suicide, we found her, moved house a zillion times, both my brothers committed suicide, my sister is a crack head, and I was blown up in the bali bombing in 2002) it would appear that I would be the one needing help. But for the sake of my own journey, I have done hours of councilling for myself, I have read a zillion self help books and can honestly say that I am more than ok, and have healing a lot from my past, it does not define me. Whilst living with a pa, I make sure I have a great group of friends around me that i DO connect with, I am doing a short story and journalism course and raising my two boys. I will admit to having an affair, (or falling love with another) and that is my disfunctional anger retaliating to lack of love.

    One more therapy course for us and if that doesn’t work I am out of here!!

    • Amanda- OMGosh, it is amazing to me how someone coming out of a childhood like yours wasn’t more of a victim of it then you were. I do know about mother’s trying to commit suicide. Been there done that. Of course, what I went through I think was for attention, not that she ever intended to truly commit. I am so proud of you that you have taken on a lot of study, self help and counseling to help you through. A lot of people (our PAs) never even realize they need help!

      The next thing I want to say I want you to know I understand and am not judging you, but I do believe it’s better to get everything out on the table and leave vs. having an affair. I know how tempting it is. I know how much each of us needs to be loved and appreciated, but we’re already in a difficult place. Why add in a third dimension? We feel guilty, which probably makes us strike out in anger at our spouses or significant others that we are already angry with. We turn into liars, and sneaky people trying not to get caught, and then half the time, if we ever left our marriage for that person there wouldn’t be anything there either after a month or two. I just think if you are to that point, than it’s better to just go ahead and get yourself free, and then enjoy all the men or women, whichever the case may be. LOL.

  79. I had to leave a message for those out their struggling…..we’ve been married for 12 years and had no problems, however last year has been a complete struggle. I didn’t realize what was going on with relationship until I stumbled onto this website and read James Dobson’s Love Must be Tough (which I highly recommend).
    Bottome line, things were bad between us and with the help of James Dobson’s book, I was able to stand up for myself and reclaim my self respect But I had to make the decision that I would not accept a partial marriage and if that decision led to a divorce, then that’s what would happen. I must say the change has happened over time, but the love and respect is back and we are on our way back to being the happy couple we were year ago. It starts with you making choices for your life and empowering yourself!

    • amy- Thanks so much for your input, and I’m so happy for you. I just love James Dobson. I listen to him on the radio all the time. I’m so glad you were able to find something that has helped and made a difference. It’s hard to do. It’s always nice to hear some encouragement.

      Feel free to leave a comment anytime. Would love to hear how it’s working out.

  80. Hi ladybeams–
    I haven’t been by here in a while because all my divorce stuff was still in the “drama” stage. But thank goodness…my divorce was final as of Oct. 27. I am not happy with the results but with limited money resources there wasn’t much I could do. I am at the point where I am hoping my ex’s true PA comes out in the future.

    It is a little early to tell but I am curious to see how our lives pan out in the future. My ex has joint custody with me being primary. In TX that just means I get 51% of my child’s time. I get child support too. My ex gave up all rights to make Islamic educational decisions (mostly I think so he doesn’t have to pay for them). I will do that but it’s only $50 a month to send the child to Sunday School. It has been 2 weeks since the divorce and he is allowed to see the child every Thur. 6-8p. He has yet to call or show up. He gets the child 1, 3, 5 weekend. His first weekend was a no call, no show. Had to pay child support starting Nov. 1 and, yep you guessed it…hasn’t paid that yet either.

    Toward the end his attorney was having a hard time getting in contact with him. I think because the money ran out that he gave her. That also means his main audience is gone. She realized what I was dealing with and I am sure she just did what she got paid for and is thinking to be rid of him. He looked so much like a concerned father and my atty and I were laughing at his atty thinking “wait and you’ll see his crap show through”. It did but there was a price for it in the end.

    We haven’t seen him since Aug 28 and I want to move on with my life and go overseas. That can’t happen now and I am not sure how I will get there. Mostly because he put in his “effort” that he wants to be in his child’s life and so now I am barred from getting a passport. At least from him anyway. If I want to go overseas and if he says “no” I will have to petition the court for anything. So he basically accomplished his task. He made my life hell and then he will probably disappear. I have not given up on that dream but it may just take time to prove he is the loser I say he is. I have to document and document. Your advise of keeping a journal on this was sound and good. Also, I advise that for anyone in the future. You have to be impartial and basically be a record keeper. If you put the good/bad, then it is credible and shows you didn’t make things up. Especially if you log them as they happen.

    We’ll see what the future holds. I still enjoy reading others posts. So many of them sound like my past life. I read the posts and see how free I have become after ridding of my ex. It was like I was toting a ball and chain around for years. My heart is light and free. I don’t have him dragging us down anymore. My little one is in Pre-K (dad doesn’t even know his kid is in school) and has learned so much. His temper tantrums are more managable and less and less over time. My ex contributed to those tantrums so much I am shocked at my sons behavior now. Only bad thing is if dad comes around…that sends him into a tailspin. Yet the courts still think that this is best for the child. After all this…I wonder who does these studies and gives these facts out??? They think it is better to have a parent mess with a kid and be partially there instead of not being there at all. I have an older one that has had no father at all. He is just fine and I saved him years of lies and let downs from his dad. But the system is broke and I think many of us know this. Hard to fix it when they think it isn’t broke. Oh well, we move on and do our best. God is who I have leaned on all this time and it has brought me closer to him and reminds me he is always there for us.

    Take care and I’ll drop by from time to time cause I love reading everyone’s similar issues.

    • Sami- Hi! What a wonderful surprise! I was so glad to see you had stopped by. I’ve wondered how you were doing. Congratulations, even if it wasn’t 100% the way you would have chosen. It actually went by kind of fast. I remember when you first decided to file for divorce. Good for you. I’m glad your son is doing better also. You are right about the court system. It’s really hard to get someone getting paid some meager hourly wage to understand what damage a person can do to the family.

      If you haven’t heard from your ex in awhile already, it won’t be long until you can go back and petition the court to go out of the country. You’ll be able to prove he isn’t taking an interest in the kids anyhow, so why keep you here. If you’re lucky they won’t be able to find him when you go to petition. All you have to do is send stuff to the last known address. It’s not your problem if he’s moved and they can’t find him. =)

      I’m happy for you and that you’re happier now not putting up with all his crap. Much better example for your boys for their future also. It’s nice to know you’re still out there. I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

  81. Sami-
    The documenting is a true godsend- for both your sanity and for your case.
    Please document in a ‘third party’ way- what I mean by that is to be careful that the documenting is solidly backed up. Example- writing down in a journal ‘No show on 11/10′ is not enough b/c it doesn’t have proof beyond your word. A lawyer could argue that you wrote the whole journal the night before the court date, and you’d have to PROVE you didn’t, which means you need proof of dates/times.

    Electronic documenting works well for this – computers keep times and dates of communication.

    Send him an email one hour after he’s supposed to be there stating the facts “Hi. It is 4:30 pm. You were allotted 4pm-8pm to see ____. You did not show up. In the future, please call if you will not be picking ____ up.” Save the email.

    Or- grab your video camera and turn on the date/time code. Video your kid still with you 5 hours after assigned time – then put that video onto your computer with a time code on it too- your computer will document when you uploaded it (further proof of the actual time).

    Anything you can do to have more hard proof of missed time, etc. in written form that is ‘proveable’ as to when you wrote it is better than just you writing it in a journal that could be disputed.

    The system is broken, that I agree on.

    Good luck.

    • There is a system on the internet called “Optimal” and you pay $150.00 for a year. That can be pricey for someone like me…but maybe also worth it. The person that recommended the website said that Excel can be used in order to do what that system does.

      Basically the system takes your information and if you need it for court you can then print out graphs of the actual time alloted and what was actually visited with. The person who recommended it said that this would prove credibility to the court in the end. I agree.

      I think I am having problems with the fact that if I contact him, he may contact back. Then maybe show up. Maybe not. It is very obvious he does not want to deal with me. I am the emotion he wants to avoid, so to speak. But I realize that I may have to do contacting in order to prove my side. I have vowed “no texting” when it comes to him for two reasons. One, it is hard to track texting and two because it is his perfect emotional “get away”. Texting is impersonal to him. I have to either email, call or send certified letters. I think the email and certified letters are better because they can be saved. But I now just realized if it is calls from cell to cell…those can be tracked too. Any thoughts on this subject would be helpful too.

      • Sami- That sounds like a pretty good system and $150 for a whole year seems reasonable, but you can really track everything with cell phone bills and emails, and it doesn’t cost you anything. Just keep a folder on your computer for saving everything. One thing a site like that would be good for is if it stores information so that if anything happens to your computer you don’t lose anything, but you could accomplish the same thing just by printing out hard copies. I personally don’t know too much about any system like the one you’re talking about, but maybe someone else on here does.
        Good luck.

    • Peggy- Good idea. An email or a text is always excellent back up for any court situation, and it’s fairly simple. Just a simple journal has always worked for me in the past as over time you use different pens, etc. so I’ve never had a problem. Now with all the technology and it being easy enough, there’s no reason not to go ahead and document over and above.

  82. Goodness, at least now I know what to call my husband PA..

    Bloody hell, thought he was the only one.. turns out he is not as unique as what he thought… Bloody tough life though..

    You know to say detach yourself is very hard to do, who wants to live like that.. but it is the only way to cope with it.. Today I have cried my last tears because of him… I will not ever let his attitude get to me any more. I will however not leave him because I have 2 small boys and they love their father and he is a good dad.. But as for me… done with this whole nonsense, the easiest way for me to deal with him is not to, so if we live past each other that would be best.

    • GG- Hi and Welcome!

      No, I’m afraid while many of us originally thought we were the only ones having to put up with this “unique” behavior, come to find out there are many out here. LOL. I’m glad to hear you have made the decision to not let him “get to you” anymore. I hope you have some sort of support, either through friends, family, or a therapist. It definitely helps to have someone you can share with, and now you have us! LOL.

      The only thing I would suggest is that you read through a lot of the comments concerning passive aggressive parents/parenting. Unfortunately many passive aggressive parents have a tendency to raise passive aggressive children. While the children are little the PA parent can be very good, but as the child grows older, the parent starts taking out some of the passive aggressive tendencies on the kids. Or, the children start acting toward you like they see your spouse acting toward you. Either way, it’s not good as children definitely have a way of mimicking what they live. You just need to be prepared to spot instances as they occur, and be able to counteract them.

      I wish you all the luck in the world. Feel free to pop in anytime to share, or any comments on anyone else’s comments are appreciated. We’re all here to support each other with our experiences and ideas for things that have worked for us. Sometimes we just need a safe place to rant. LOL

  83. I am very tired. I’ve been in this relationship 35 years. I became aware of the PA only 5 years ago. Things go along pretty well for awhile, then it hits like a tornado and he’s off again with the repressed anger, sullenness, obstructionism, and then the “I’m sorry” (which I don’t believe he is), and then the worst . . . “I really don’t know what you’re talking about. The few friends we have think he is grand, I try to keep the children from knowing the mental fatigue. Maybe this will help – having a place to vent.
    AlAnon is a good idea, and counseling – lots of it.

    • Anne- Welcome My Dear. Yes, I can only imagine after 35 yrs. how tired you must be. Personally it’s hard to fathom how someone can stay in a relationship with a passive aggressive that long, but then I’ve been in mine for 11 yrs. now, and I would have never figured that either. LOL.

      I’m glad to hear you are in support of Al-Anon and therapy. I think that it’s extremely important to have some sort of support and some where or some one to validate your feelings. It’s so easy for the passive aggressive to have us believe we are the ones who are crazy.

      You mentioned children. Do they have any idea about their father? Are they older or younger? Have you noticed them taking on any passive aggressive traits, or him acting passive aggressively toward them? Hope you don’t mind sharing. I just like to get as much feedback as possible. I personally feel passive aggressive parents do more harm than good if the non-PA parent doesn’t, or isn’t able to, prevent it.

      Thanks for commenting, and I look forward to hearing more from you. This is definitely someplace to come to vent, rant and rave, cry, and get support. All of the above. Welcome.

  84. As a 6-year girlfriend of a PA, I have learned about this personality disorder just a few days ago and I am so surprised that I am not the only one trying to cope with a life with a PA. Not until lately did i know that the problem was not me. I don’t know if it’s so necessary to voice my naive concerns about my relationship here while there are so many victims of marriages with heavy cases of PA, but i desperately need advices, I feel so helpless.

    I should admit that there are lots of times in which he makes me smile, and that he has never humiliated or negatively criticized me for what I am. According to his friends and witnesses of our relationship, he is a gentle, considerate and caring man. Nobody has ever seen him get literally angry. But recently, I feel that our relationship is cracking up. Since he is very smart, no one can understand he is a PA- except me, his ex fiancée, and his ex business partner. It’s not surprising that these two finally chose to be his exes.

    Throughout our 6-year relationship, he has been the one who ignores, disappoints and puts the other into difficult situations – mainly in financial terms-. What I used to consider as his usual stubborn acts have ended up turning into nightmares: he is almost lying in his own dirt not to clean anything because I ask him to clean up the house. He doesn’t pay any slightest effort to save his current business from bankruptcy, which is likely to happen very soon, or to quit his business and find a new job for himself because his family is always telling him to. Me and a few relatives of him have raised loans from banks in his favor and borrowed considerable amounts of money to restore his personal financial situation, but I know he will never pay them back unless he is critically obliged to – he has never paid back a single cent to me because I’ve never forced him to.

    More terribly, he has cheated me for two times with women – who, instead of having any expectations towards him, just praised his personality and became good friends with him after short-term sexual intimacy . When I broke up with him for this, he desperately apologized and tried hard to get me back. As I didn’t want him to be out of my life, I have always forgiven him. He is completely silent about his faults, but he has talked so much about marrying me and having children that I have convinced myself to believe that he took this relationship serious and would pay effort to build our future. But now, I have this man just sitting at his home-office, doing no business but playing games and watching videos on the computer all day, refusing to do simple tasks and saying “i apologize, i disappoint you all the time”. Apart from these routine defences, his everlasting silence seems like a gun pointed at me.

    Considering the hard time I’ve been having with him, how can I think about marrying him and sharing the house forever, or even having kids? I really love him and I am ready to do anything to make him realize his situation, but do you think that there is anything I can do for this relationship? Do you really and honestly think that a PA never changes? If this is true, that’s horrible because he is already devastating his own life by silently resisting every person by his side, especially me and his family.

    By the way, thanks everyone who have spent their time to read this message…

    • agatha- OMGosh- get out! If you haven’t married him yet, DON’T! You can never expect anything better than what you are getting. Marriage doesn’t change anything, in fact, in a lot of cases it just makes it worse. You’ve already devoted 6 years that you will never get back. Where do you honestly think you will be in another 6 yrs.?

      Let him go. You have a whole life in front of you. What’s the worst that can happen? You end up with someone like him? LOL.
      If you aren’t married yet, get out while it’s still relatively easy. Trust me, after marriage, and if you happen to have children, and after you’ve taken care of the household the whole time you’re together, you’ll still be asking the same questions, but have lost even more of your valuable time. You really don’t want to go there. Just read some of the entries here from women that have been totally unhappy, and now it’s 35 yrs. Before you know it your 50 or 60 and thinking there aren’t a whole lot of choices.

      Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you really seriously consider what it is you want and what this man is already showing you what he’s willing to give. I’m sure you know you deserve better.

    • Agatha –

      I know you are heartbroken. What these people do to you is insidious. It will never get better. If you want to live a life of constant disappointment, never realizing your full potential and purpose as a human, stay. If you aren’t married, cut off all contact.

      It will take time to heal, maybe years. Leaving is not judging, it is self-preservation. Forgiveness is key, and the hardest thing to do. If you don’t have support, find some. The damage that these people do other’s psyches is deplorable. They only thing that I have found that worked for me is developing a relationship with the Lord. If you don’t have a prayer life, or don’t believe, ask for revelation.
      In time, you will see the lessons you have learned through the pain and suffering is valuable. You will be able to help others as you go through the healing process.
      Perseverance is needed at levels you may not believe that you have. You may fall and go back, you most likely will have awful days where you don’t think you can make it: and just when it seems most unbearable, you will see a light at the end of tunnel.
      There is a much better life for you, and you can attain it. Not entirely on your own strength, but with the strength of God, all things are possible. You were created to experience joy, and laughter. Pain and suffering are part of life too, but if a person is draining you emotionally, and not sharing the ups and downs, and not bringing out the best in you – well you have to decide if the relationship is worth the death of your soul.
      Please consider taking the time to separate from any emotional vampire in your life to get the real you back, so that when the right person does come along, you will have the confidence to recognize it, and also, have the confidence to run-as fast as possible, in the opposite direction from anyone who even hints of this abusive behavior pattern.

      • kelchet- Thank you so much. Very encouraging advice for Agatha, and obviously spoken by someone who’s been there. That’s what I love about this blog. We have all been through so much and there is so much good advice and support to share.

    • Agatha,

      The best advice I found was in the Scott Wetzler book, “Living with the Passive Aggressive Man”, where he suggests that you look at the PA man for what he IS, not what he COULD BE. If I had done that from the start, I would have saved myself many years of heartache.

      Ask yourself what is stopping him from making the changes that he needs to make NOW? And ask yourself, as painful as it may be, what would honestly be different in the future such that he would be able to make those changes that he can’t make now?

      Most PAs will simply sit and watch their lives fall apart around them, rather than be spurred into taking action. And you can’t make it all happen for them (which is a hard realization sometimes – it certainly was for me – as we want to help, rescue, sort things out, make them better, lend a helping hand, etc.).

      I hope that I am not being harsh, but the only thing I’ve found that’s worse than living with the constant disappointment of a relationship with a PA is the horror of trying to divorce them: it’s something I’m going through right now, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      You deserve someone who who will love you enough to show you that they care through their actions, and who will carry their weight in the relationship. Don’t settle for less!

      • Jane- Very good advice. I hope you’re making it through your own mess with the divorce and all. I know it’s hard and a mess, but it’s worth the effort. The freedom when it’s over, OMGosh, well at least that’s what I’ve heard. LOL. I do advise anyone who is thinking about divorcing your PA, don’t be in a rush. Have a plan. Start packing stuff a little at a time that means something special to you, start putting away a little bit of cash whenever and wherever you can. Hopefully you have some sort of support system, be it friends, family, some sort of group, or a therapist, so you aren’t going through everything totally alone. You may think your passive aggressive is quiet and won’t raise a fuss, but I’m telling you, in many instances, the passive aggressive becomes very aggressive when it comes to divorce. Be prepared.

        If you have children, don’t miss an opportunity to stay close to them, to talk to them about things that are happening (age appropriate), and don’t forget you are their support system. The better you educate them on what is proper behavior and what is not, the easier time you all will have.

        Good luck Jane, and feel free to share what you are going through. Many here have “been there, done that” and can provide a lot of help and understanding.

        • Ladybeams, can I call you? Or give you my number to call me?

          • Miel Dey- Of course. Just email me. That’s probably the best way. I’m pretty sure my contact info is up there as others have email me without any problem. Sorry I’ve been so out of touch.

  85. Dear kelchet, ladybeams and jane,
    Thank you so much for your precious advices which make me feel more confident about myself. I’m sorry that we’ve all been going through the same thing.

    And Jane, I hope you finally overcome your hard times. Strangely, I feel no more desperate as i see how strong you are and how stronger we can be. I am ready to make up my mind and build a new life without his torture, but need some time to think clearly and guide my inner self.

    Thank you all very very much…

    • Agatha- You’re certainly welcome and I’m glad you have found some useful information and support here. We all have to figure things out for our own situation as to what we can or cannot do, or when. You are welcome anytime and feel free to add your input as it’s all of us supporting each other that makes it just that little bit easier to deal with.

  86. Like many others have shared-I’m so thankful to have found this site! It has helped me see that I am not so alone or such a failure as I have allowed myself to believe for some time. I’ve been married for 21 years, with two teenage children now. Even before we married, I had a gut instinct that there was something just not quite “real” about my husband. But he was so well respected, had so much going for him, etc…and he was crazy about me. We had been friends for a number of years, but I never wanted to date him…when I finally did date him, he swept me off my feet, said all the right things and I was going through some of my own emotional trauma dealing with some things in my family of origin and I was vulnerable. I can see all that now. We have been to marriage counseling twice, neither lasting very long because all of a sudden he has this “breakthrough” and he is so sorry about all the ways he’s treated me and he asks for forgiveness and we have a “miracle.” I can see now that he didn’t want to get into the “hard” stuff and he created an aversion to get out of it. I have fallen for it each time and before too long we are back into the same dance and I start to feel like the problem is all mine since he is the one that had the “breakthrough.” This is our typical patter, he gets cold, angry, withdraws, I get upset, withdrawn as well and then I try to talk about it or I come to him and admit my part in it…it is OK for a while but always back to the bad…the pattern never ends and with each interval the “good” times last less and less time. I have felt for so long like something must be really wrong with me since my husband didn’t want to treat me well, or make love to me or do things for me that he knew would make me feel special. He never tells me I look beautiful and often ignores special occasions such as anniversaries, or valentines. He’s even had me cancel special weekends away that I have planned hoping to make things better. He does a lot of things for the family, like take care of the home, make a good living, etc…but never something special just for me.
    One of the things I haven’t heard too many people say on this site is that their PA husbands are good fathers. For the most part, my husband is a good father, though I have often felt like his involvement with our kids is sometimes border-line smothering and he places attention upon them to avoid attention on me. He does get very defensive with them if they don’t want to spend time doing something with him or if they behave in a way that he has told them not to. Now I am really beginning to grow concerned that his behavior towards them and towards me will have long-term devastating consequences for them. They are such great kids and my heart is starting to wonder if I have done the right thing by staying in this marriage for so long. I’ve always thought a married couple is better for kids than a divorced couple…but starting wonder about this.
    Lately, I have confronted my husband about how bad things are and usually he tries to either blame me or play the victim. However, he is so aware and insightful and I think he can see now I am completely “done” emotionally with him and so he has become so nice. Not in the ways that communicate love to me, but just in a creepy way. I don’t recognize who he is. In addition, when I did bring up the word divorce in one of our conversations, he said he would rather commit suicide and make it look like an accident than put our kids through divorce.
    One day he tells me he hasn’t been happy for 21 years and that he is miserable, and the next day he says that isn’t true that we’ve had a lot of good years with a lot of good memories and we should focus on these. I can’t agree. I’ve wondered for years what it would be like to be married to someone else, to be out of this marriage. I’ve protected him for so long with my family and friends, making him look good. It was classic enabling. I’ve recently shared with a few close friends how bad it is and they have not been surprised…many of them saw things that I wasn’t able to for a long time. I’m done protecting him and plan to share with my family how bad things are.
    So many things make sense now..like the fact that after a period of time, there is always something wrong, or stupid or incompetent about every boss, every neighbor, every friend. It also makes sense to me why he tells me things in part…won’t tell me the full story about things such as important information regarding trips, or our finances… I never could do anything quite right and if ever I do something that he disagrees with, he finds ways to belittle it or complain about it for years afterwards. I think one of the most damaging ways he treats people especially his family is through veiled criticism in the form of sarcasm. Of course if you say something about it, then he claims I don’t really have a sense of humor. He has “pitted” me again my family on many occasions even complaining that I love my youngest brother more than him.
    I’m done. I’m seeking counseling now to learn and change the things I need to change and understand why I have accepted this for so long. I won’t divorce him until our last child graduates-in five years-but in the meantime will get things in order so that when I do, I will be as ready emotionally, financially, spiritually as I can be. My goal is to learn how to live with him until then to minimize the damage. Thoughts? Thanks for creating space for those of us in this situation to share, vent, listen, etc…

  87. I have been married 20 years to a PA. He travels for a living, and is absent 70-80% of the time. So, I assume most of the household responsibility, but not the control. He manages to control through money (or the lack thereof), and by emasculating my relationships with my children. In the position of being a single mother, I would work hard to give them limits, teach them to do chores and be responsible. This has been a struggle because he comes home and plays Disneyland Dad. He will not issue consequences for not doing chores, being rude or neglecting homework because he considers this mean and confrontational. So, I end up being the “bad cop” while he judges me as seeking confrontation. The children will defy me, and wear me down, and then ask, “when is Dad coming home?” This has been going on for years, and of course, I get frustrated and lose my temper and express that I feel as if I am a maid and a servant and not a Mother. The oldest is 18 and treats everyone in the house as if they were dirt, and I believe she is also a PA, because she learned it from her father. The two younger ones have figured the situation out, and now are doing chores and cooperating with me, and realize that I have been the one looking out for them – making them brush their teeth instead of just giving them candy. Now that the 18 year old will be leaving, and the 17 year old has one more year left of high school, my husband knows I will be able to leave soon. So finally, he is ready to go to counseling. Now that the hard-fought work of raising the kids was something I did while he passively-aggressively worked against me, he is prepared to go to counseling, which he refused to do years ago. I do not expect him to change. He claims he is not PA, but just doesn’t like confrontation. He says I look for it. I am not an angry person who seeks tension, I am a sweet person who loves animals and gardening. But, I did spend many years angry that I was constantly nagging and fighting my children while he taught them that Mom was demanding and high strung. Kids are going to play one parent off of the other, especially if it means one parent coddles them and the other requires effort. But, at least for 2 of them, they realize as they get older that I fiercely stuck by their side and went to conferences, spent time with them, kept them engaged in activities and doing well in school. They know their Dad was absent a lot, and as they get older I think they will appreciate me, and love and forgive both of us. I do intent to leave after my 17 year old is out of high school. I will get the counselors to help me cope for one more year, and am going to get my financial ducks in a row. My husband was able to keep me because he made it hard for me to work outside of the home, made it hard for me to have fun without him because we never “had the money”, he would say things like “I don’t make enough money” to make me feel sorry for him and try even harder to penny pinch and support my man. I was duped, and I was complicit, and I was trapped. But tomorrow is a new day, and I am not the same person he married. I am so excited for the future, the possibilities of surrounding myself with people who I can trust. I am not settling for someone who secretly undermines my happiness while showing their love by rubbing my feet or saying how great I am to sacrifice so much for my children. I can stand on my own, and look forward to the day when I will not have someone next to me who fears confrontation and loss of control by focusing on controlling me, and judging themselves better because they force me into situations where I have no choice but to be confrontational. One more year!

  88. I am new to this site and it is comforting to know that others have similar struggles. It has been a crazy marriage full of fights and struggles. Nothing ever getting resolved. I have responded to Nette and find I have similar feelings as MB. I have been married 18 years. In the beginning I knew something was not right but could never figure it out. Being a problem solver-I always started the talks and he responded in aggreement and then did nothing to help our relationship. After 18 years-last year I came upon similar websites because I was wondering about men that withhold sex and this is how I began to see similarities in other women’s marriages and the passive aggressive man. I hope some of you respond as it has been a long, lonely road. I will come back later with more of my story. Thanks.

    • Sally, I’m glad you are starting to see things more clearly. It usually takes being brutally honest with ourselves and our situation before we can make wise and healthy choices for ourselves and our children. The more I have seen over the past 2 months (since my first post) through counseling and family and friends as well as my own research on pa and narcissistic men, the more devastating the reality. And yet, there is a new found freedom in understanding what I am dealing with and feeling set free from guilt and confusion that I have lived with for so long. Yes, I have contributed as an enabler, BUT, he is a very sick man and must now (as all our husbands must do) take responsibilities for his actions. So, when you feel like it, I’d love to hear more of your story.
      Grace and Strength for your journey ahead.
      MB

      • MB- I agree with you. When you’re first doing all the research and learning the truths, it is devastating. At the same time, I felt a relief to know “it’s not me!” They are so good at making you think you are nuts. LOL. And like anything else in life, the more you know the less fear can take hold, and the more you can understand how to “deal” with the problem.

        Very encouraging comment. Thank you so much

  89. Hello all, whilst I am not in a live-in relationship with my partner,(which sometimes makes it feel harder as it enables him to hide behind a phone, usually texting-to use pa against me) i’ve been in a pa relationship for four years, only realising or, rather, being able to pin point what was wrong two years in.
    I have been indifferent an genuinely, also confronted him with the behaviour, ive been through every emotion from one extreme to the other, made agreements together where there are boundaries, where he tells me he will do nothing to obstruct our relationship so as it wont work, which when it comes down to it, he sees as something to resist an defy, which breaks the trust again, if he doesnt take to full on silent treatment, its sulking, being short, not giving straight answers or an answer atall, completly changing the subject, he alternates between being attentive and sabotaging, I never know when the ‘right hook’ is coming, it could be over anything dispproportionate to issue at hand, and bang, he has me exactly where he wants and off guard an created an irrational situation where he is in control, he sets up situations to make a no-win and frustrate me no matter what I do, the trust is all but completley gone, after failing to get the reactions he wants from other tactics anymore, he has now taken to ending the relationship as a tactic and refusing to speak or listen,(this is about 5th time this year, getting more aggressive each time) he also tells me if I involve others, it will make him less likely to speak, you’d think i’d have learnt to not be panicked by this anticipatory stance im forced into, but it works everytime, I ask for finality, since he says “I dont want to be in a relationship”(even though a few days before hes saying complete opposite) initially I try to reason and always leave the option of continuing a relationship open, but also say, if its what you really want given your track record, it is necessary you just say simply, don’t contact me again so we can both move forward, since its his choice and responsibility, but he wont offer it, he uses ‘concern’ for me or self pitying to end the relationship and behave in a pa way and think it will then be accepted, to hide his real intention an conceal his anger, which is of course to live anger through me.
    Most recently he has ‘tried’ for two months without resulting to a full on outburst, with just the odd sulk when I express myself or refusal to answer questions, when previously to this he was up and down every week.
    Somehow for months ive managed to not lose my temper and stick to it, realising thats a no win, but I continue to confront the behaviours in a direct way, not attacking him, just addressing the behaviour and more progress he seems to make, the worse lapses are, and when the silence is broken, which is usually by him twisting some words ive said to be the victim, he goes into a rant, blaming me for everything.

    • Katie- Hello My Dear, Welcome.

      The first thing that comes to mind is “why are you waiting for him to make the final move?”

      He’s threatened you, he makes life unbearable for you, why would you wait for him to do it? When he says about ending it, why don’t you just say “ok”?

      You can see that it’s not getting better. He’s told you how he feels. Now he’s sulking. I personally would bet the next will be cheating. Why are you still there?

      Sorry, I have no answer that will fix it, because I don’t think you can. If you aren’t married to him, it’s really easy for you to escape compared to a divorce or a divorce with kids. What are you waiting for? You didn’t tell us how you feel, but my advice is to GET OUT. Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully you’ll find something helpful here.

  90. So, it has now been just over two days since his last communication.
    The longest has been four or five days, always when forced into speaking when I say I will come to him only when hes on his own so it doesnt atall sound threatening, if he will continue to be impossible, rational an reasonable, but he takes it as a threat to vindicate himself anyway. But ive tried that already at this early stage but to no avail.
    I can’t help thinking each time its for real, and this time was more verbal before he shut off, and the silence is to the point if I said I was standing in middle of road about to be run over, there would still be no response, this time I sensed something I hadnt before which was resentment for loving me, angry words at me disguised as concern for me, he sounds like a rebellious defiant teen, he does wrong, I express it an suggest a better way to do it and try to keep things on track , and the more explicitly responsible is, the worse his reaction, he beats himself about it and punishes me too.
    We are due to go away for a weekend next weekend so that would seem coincidental too.

    • Katie- As I said, why are you still there? I hope you had a good weekend, but then that’s what they do. Destroy you life everyday to the point of no return, and then suck you back in with a romantic weekend or a kind word or two. That’s a PA whole MO.

      • Ladybeams,
        you’re a huge support and thank you for your wisdom – I wish I’d wised up years ago as it’s only just lately I realized I can’t ‘heal’ him and he doesn’t ‘love’ me as I did once love him, openheartedly and all supportively as I thought love was meant to be.

        So to Katie,

        I’m now approaching my 60s, do you want to be in this situation in your 60s, cause you will be, if you don’t change and work your way out of this snare. It’s your misery that gives him validation.

        They don’t / won’t or can’t change until you do – give yourself respect and thank your stars there’s an out from this guy ; then love yourself and know you deserve better – nowadays you can even get pregnant without a man!

        Today after 7 days of sulking, mine’s begun to engage in relatively civil conversations and even cooked me some lunch! That’s because I held my own and didn’t get dragged into the cycle of asking what’s wrong to be told it’s all my fault (btw, did you know it’s me responsible for all the evil in this world – cos, in his view, it is !)

        I think if you can see just how wonderful you are and that life can be, you can be strong enough to resist. If not this time, maybe soon.

        • Elizabeth- Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, for Katie and myself. Glad to hear you were able to hold out. All we seem to do when trying to be caring human beings in a marriage, is to encourage bad behavior. That’s not how a true, loving relationship should be, but that’s what we’ve got.

          7 days of sulking? Really? Mine has been bad for 3 or 4 max, but never that long. LOL

  91. “Then one day we realize, they don’t really care if things work out or not, just whether or not they can keep reeling us back in.”
    (http://padontstandforpaloalto.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/passive-aggressive-sociopath-or-both/#comment-1360)

    No truer words have ever been spoken!

    • OOPS! I clicked the “back” button on my browser one too many times before posting my comment… it was supposed to be on another page. Oh well, it still fits, no matter which page on this site. lol

      I so often tell myself that if I didn’t love him so damn much, I’d be gone in a heartbeat. However, the truth is that if I wasn’t so sick (incurable chronic illness/pain), I’d be gone. Not that I don’t love him, because I absolutely do. Rather, love alone just isn’t enough for me to stay with so much loneliness and misery and anger. Being unable to support myself financially (SSI isn’t enough to get by on one’s own anymore) or take care of myself physically (not enough to live on my own anyhow) leaves me with no options. At least for now.

      So, I continue “trying to work it out” because I can’t seem to fully admit to myself that it is futile. If there’s little to no hope for this relationship becoming a real relationship, then there’s some false hope I live on. It beats feeling hopeless when one is as stuck as I am.

      • katatawnic- Never give up hope for “more better”! That’s what we have to live on. If you are in such a position that you cannot possibly get out, even with a roommate or whatever, then at least where you sit, start guarding your heart. You can, even though you find you have to be dependent on him for now, you can start detaching so at least he can’t hurt you so much.

        I can understand that with dependence comes fear, but I’m not saying you have to be blatant as you distant yourself. Just a little bit more everyday, whatever you can do to help yourself and lean less on him, do it. Maybe you need a little exercise to build up strength and help with pain management. Maybe you need to experiment with things you’re not sure you can do while he’s at work to build your confidence in yourself. A lot of little things stacked on each other build up into big things. It just takes a little time, but heck, you’ve put in this much time so far…

        And you’re always welcome to talk to us here. I’m afraid I’ve been pretty neglectful as late because of stuff I’m handling in my own life (more than just the PA), but there are others that have terrific advice and are willing to give support when I’m not around.

    • katatawnic- Welcome! Sounds like you’ve “been there, done that”. LOL.

  92. Hi

    My recent BF is a PA, too. I did not realize it in the beginning, still some concerns appeared like 6 months after. Initially I thought is mu fault, i am too demanding and too needy. I even tried to change myself, but nothing helped. Until one day I started realizing that was not my fault. I used to be a very independent, optimistic and happy person. When firsts signs of anger that I never had before and depression appeared I knew something is wrong.

    He has all the symptoms when upset not talking with me and leaving the house like 3-4 days (at the first cases that happened I called the hospitals, he has no friends so that was not the case). Followed the broking promises, anger, ignoring, envy on my professional achievements. All those were alternating , so I did not leave him, until after one year and a half I just left. he come after me I forgave him and all started all over until like 6 months after I started pulling out of the relationship. i did not accuse him anymore, did not get angry, I realized he was trying to mess up with whom I was so I just stopped him. I set boundaries and I demanded respect, also I inform him that we were just friends with benefit and I did not care anymore about his actions. That part was not that right for me but I was afraid to remain alone and I felt sorry for his disastrous life. I saw piece by piece all the manipulations, control all (my father was an alcoholic so he used that) I saw him blaming me and when did not matter who was wrong or write I kicked him out. Luckily I did not marry him and all the household was on my name (actually he tried so much not to have property in common so that he made it easy).
    I found this site by accident, I am lucky I am confident enough and he could not make much worse than he did. I do not think a PA can change and if you want to be treated like an object they will do it. What got me really out is when I realize I want a baby I do not want my kid to live with an unavailable father like mine was. Took me years to break through that.

    Thanks for all, have courage you can do just better without them.

    • Mariana- Congratulations to you that you got out early! Welcome and thank you for the encouraging words for all of us. You were smart and followed the red flags leading you out of the relationship at an early stage. I know the longer you put up with their behavior, the longer you grow entwined in their lives, the more it hurts you as a person, a spouse, a friend, what ever the case may be, the more complacent we get, the more financially dependent we get, etc. And, you are smart regarding your child also, as they are the true victims of our choices.

      Thanks so much for sharing. I’m sure it will lend encouragement to others.

  93. I’ve read several sites tonight about PA but this one was different, the way you have stepped back- unwrapped yourself from him. I think this is what I have tried to do the last year or so but the prospect of years and years without intimacy is daunting at best. Couple that with the blame and anger and I don’t know you I could do it. Is there hope for a close intimate relationship if I continue to “heal” myself? At the moment it seems to incite his PA more.

    • Tink- Hi Sweetheart. You sound so kind, I can only imagine what you are going through. Yes, you can “unwrap” yourself from him. You start delving back into the interests you had when you met him but probably dropped because “he wasn’t interested”. You call friends you haven’t seen in ages that you liked so much, but he isolated you. There are a million things you can do to ‘heal yourself’, and yes, it will incite him more because that is the current weapon he has against you. When he learns that’s not working, he’ll try something else. The trick is, at least for me, is to make it a game. He gets angry, I act as if I don’t see it and carry on. As long as he can’t get a reaction out of me, I win, he loses. It should be a win-win, but in a relationship with a PA, unfortunately it doesn’t go that way.

      You ask if there’s a chance at a close relationship with a PA. I hate to have to tell you, but that is like an endangered species. You spot very few of them. A relationship with a PA cannot be close, because they don’t know how to emotionally connect. They will give the outward appearances to make you think they are feeling something, but in the end it’s just a ploy. I’m sorry Girlfriend, but unless he’s willing to get help and “Heal” himself, which the odds aren’t in your favor, the answer to that question is NO.

      Feel free to comment any time. There are a lot of us out here who have been going through things with our own PAs for a lot of years. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Take from our experience so you won’t have to live through it all those years to learn it yourself.

  94. I’m not sure how I found this site, but I am so glad I did. Reading through the posts made me feel like yelling, “It’s not ME, I knew it, It’s not ME”. But then why does my family believe that it is?
    I have been married to my bipolar passive agressive husband for over 25 years. I don’t like the person I’ve become from being around him. I don’t even want to be in the same room with him.
    Soon after we were married, I began to notice things about him that I couldn’t understand. I had never known a grown man that would pout, or couldn’t talk about things, or would make comments like, ” I will avoid conflict at all cost “. I asked some people for help, one of them being his mother, but got no where.
    Friends, and people meeting him for the first time, would notice the constant “woe is me” cloud that hung over him. But instead of confronting him about it, people (including family) over the years have just seen him as an object of pity, the helpless victim.
    He is the perfect employee, being a paranoid workaholic. He does provide a good income, but has always put his job first over his family, and when this is brought up gets very defensive, and always finds a way to blame me (especially loves to do this in front of other family members) for his working the hours he does.
    I have always felt more like his “mother” in this marriage, and have never felt like I had a partner, and certainly not a man who was the “head of the house”.
    He is very good at what I call “planting seeds” in people’s heads. For instance he has told my daughter (all my children are adults now) that I am the “needy” parent, that he has “unconditional love”. When his brother, and sister-in-law, were over for dinner one night he managed to suddenly blurt out (directed towards me) “That was when you started hating me”. Made for a very ackward moment to say the least.
    Over the years he has managed to cultivate the sympathy, so that I am viewed (even by my kids, which really hurts) as the cold, uncaring wife. My kids will never get to see the love, and passion, I could have given someone. I have lost all respect for my husband over the years, and you can’t love someone you don’t respect.
    I feel so hopeless at times. I haven’t worked outside the home for over 22 years. I don’t have a way to support myself, and in this economy, it would be very scary to go through a divorce. Plus I know that I would be blamed for “deserting such a wonderful passive great provider”. I feel like I can’t win.
    Thank You for letting me rant on like this, I don’t have anyone I can talk to about it.
    Blessings.

    • Missy- Welcome, and I’m sorry we’re meeting under “these” circumstances.

      If your children are grown now, you can’t go back and fix that, but you can start living your life as if you really want to live! We almost all of us, as mothers, just about live our lives for our kids. We forget that our kids our going to go on to live their own lives, and we probably won’t matter a whole lot in theirs until they are much, much older. In the meantime, while they are living their lives, they are not living ours. It is up to us to deal with our situations the way we see fit. We, are the adults. We have the experience. We know what we are living with.

      My oldest daughter was so upset with me when I decided it was time for us to go. I wrecked her life. Today, we are the closest friends (as you can be with one of your kids. LOL). Don’t give up hope, and don’t quit trying to be close to your children, but sometimes you have to let them go too, to let them learn on their own. I had to let two of mine go, only for them to move back in, with some semblance of humility and gratefulness. Sometimes life just takes a ‘little rough justice’.

      I’m sorry that you can’t find support in your family, that they side with him. That should be the first place you can go, either a mother or a sister. If you don’t have a support system, you need to get one. Start joining classes in things that you love to do. Make friends in church if you’re a believer. There are places to go to meet people to make you feel good. You can build up your confidence around people who like you. I AM NOT advocating a romantic relationship. I am just saying you could volunteer somewhere for a cause, or many things where people will respect you, and love you for who you are. Build up some confidence in yourself. Then the path out won’t look so impossible.

      Please feel free to “rant” here all you want. There is a lot of support here and a lot of us who “have been there, done that”. Take care of yourself first, which I know is different than we’ve all been taught, but it’s the truth. If you’re not right with you what can you do for anyone else, including your kids.

  95. I completely agree that finding a group of people like you all has made me feel like I’m not alone. THANK YOU!!
    I’m in the middle of a divorce from my PA husband. I’ve had to have a protective order and now his supervised visitation is starting after 4 months of no contact with our almost 3 year old. UGH….
    I share the financial ruin, heartbreak, and beaten up self esteem with you guys. In spite of it all…..I’m so glad I got out. If it helps….at least you’ll have control of your future again and happiness is a real possibility. Marriage with my PA looked great from the outside- inside I’d almost lost myself- the person who I’d worked damn hard to be- and liked. A friend said to me ” it’s a gift from GOD to be able to re-claim your joy”. I believe that!
    I’m still really sad about the loss of the dreams I tried soooooo hard to make happen- feel sad for my daughter- but I’m coming to really understand that it never had a chance while married to this PA man.

    Chin up all. Some days we ride the wave- some days it rides us…but we can all MAKE IT!!

  96. I am in the web of a passive aggressive husband. I don’t know what the future holds, but this arrived in my email just when I was thinking MAYBE things could change…

    Change (Part 2)

    People do not change because they are told to change. People may temporarily alter their behavior because they have been told to do so by those who have power over them, but that is not real change. That is merely a surface shift of outward demeanor. Inner truth has not shifted. As soon as the power over them has been lifted, or can no longer be exerted, people’s behavior returns to that which is motivated by their inner truth.

    The parent of every teenager knows this.

    The tyrant who would rule any country finds it out.

    The New Revelations
    Neale Donald Walsch
    Pages 318-319

    Naw….maybe not……

  97. I find it worrying that there are so many woman involved with PAs. What is it about us that puts up with bad behavior and psychological manipulation? From my own journey Ive learned what it “was” about me and Ive changed it. In the end you can only change yourself and when you do, you wont be a victim of these weirdos again – you will spot them a mile of and dismiss them like the emotional predators they are and only allow into your life the men who are willing to treat you with the respect you deserve.

    Ive wasted 5 years of my life on one of these animals – I realise thats nothing compared to some of you and for that I am grateful….and I take from it the knowledge of how they operate and so am able to avoid their traps. They only prey on the ones they know they can manipulate – dont be that person.

    We have to get tough and we have to get a bit selfish.

  98. Ladybeams your blog is truely amazing and reading through your thoughts and experiences along with all the comments from so many others makes me realise how strong and loving and kind so many of us are. We all deserve better.
    I’m six months seperated from my PA and I am still trying to come to terms with everything. I don’t mean not having him in my life any more ( I’m happier without him) I just mean how did I ever end up in the situation I found myself in and recognising the experiences I went through for what they were.
    Like so many others my PA bled me dry financially, expected me to take responsibility for his actions and emotions,lied to me, cheated on me, stonewalled me, wouldn’t communicate, punished me in subtle ways and withdrew sexually from me ( sexless marriage for over 4 yrs)

    I am so glad I got out but I still suffer the “flash backs”..I guess it could be compared to Post Traumatic Stress. For example it’s coming up to my birthday and because people have been asking me what I’m doing etc it’s triggered some unhappy thoughts. On my 40th ( 2 yrs ago) following several yrs of no fuss being made of me by my husband I made it clear to him that I wanted to be treated. We talked of some various things to do months in advance and he promised me he would make a fuss. It didn’t happen though and I ended up having no present, staying in and having to use my BDay money I’d been given by my parents to give him because he had over spent on himself. So then came the next Bday. After the let down of my 40th I again made it clear I wanted treating ( just taking out for dinner and a little present to open). On the day he ignored me for 50mins in the morning, never acknowledging my BDay, then when he did he said he’s forgot to write my card out so went downstairs to write it and gave me it 5 mins later ( no pressy) with a peck on the forehead like I was his mother/sister and went to work ( earlier than normal) not even bothering to sit with me while I opened it. I had several texts that day telling me he was tired and stressed and having a terrible day at work which made me feel bad so I said we could go out the following eve instead. That day I checked his bank account on line (I felt I had to as I couldn’t trust him financially) and he didn’t have enough money to take me out, even worse he had a bill coming out that he didn’t have the funds for either meaning I had to put money in his account again ( BDay money all taken up by him again) . When he got home that eve he told me he had to go out and I ended up in bed crying at 8.30pm alone. To make matters worse he told me the next day that he had promised we’d attend a party for his friends 40th in a bar ( he wanted to celebrate a friends 40th but couldn’t make an effort to celebrate mine)…I had to pay for his and my own drinks and he ignored me all evening apart from asking me to buy him drinks. 2 days after my birthday I got up in the monring to see he had taken my birthday cards down and put them in the bin. Needless to say I took them out and put them back up and told him I wanted my cards up for 7 days and that he shouldn’t have taken them down( his response was, you’ve had your bday now and they just make the house look messy)

    Like all of you this is one of hundreds of stories I could tell you. At points I thought I was going crazy, I was in a total fog of emotion and couldn’t see clearly, but it’s sites like this and reading and learning and slowly recognising “who/what” he was that led me to make the huge yet somehow easy when I did it, choice, to end my relationship with him.
    I know I have a lot of healing to do but I just wanted to thank you ladybeams and everyone else who has shared their experiences on this site and let you know that you are all wonderful, unique and loving people and through your honesty and openess are helping other realise that they are not alone and are normal and sane.
    Big love to you all !

  99. Stomping out the ‘maybe’ is very hard isn’t it. I literally have to say it outloud “this is who he is….he will never ever change….no matter how hard I try or how much I wish it were different”. Lots of days my head knows it but my heart needs to be re-told…ALOT. I hope that gets easier.
    Coming to terms with being ( allowing myself) manipulated, used, and verbally abused hurts. I ignored that it was happening and just kept pushing forward and trying harder to make things better. Starting to see just how out of balance my life and relationship is a little mind blowing. I agree with the statements that we are probably all a bit wiser- even though it hurts…alot.

  100. Today is day 9 of the latest cycle… Feeling like I’ve got the crazies.. I know the game well. He’s aware of his patterns and though I may be left a fool, I’ve chosen to believe he is sincere in his efforts to deal with and remove them, but the pain is in me and it deserves to be honored.

    Today… I detached. I have been trying to for four days.

    I have my reasons for staying, they are shown below – for my sake. I’m reminding myself and bringing clarity… and asking for some reassuring strength by stating this publicly. Please do not comment on my reasons, they are mine and mine alone – I don’t want for anyone else that they should hold them or not hold them. These are not a judgment or value statement, they are simply my thoughts.

    The reassurance I am seeking is simply knowing that someone out there heard my voice. And perhaps that I spoke…. That someone understood. Someone didn’t discredit or dismiss me. Someone felt compassion toward me… From this, I will renew my strength and courage, and resilience.

    1. I have a small child that I have chosen to remain at home with, not taking other employment that removes me and prevents me from being the primary care giver. My intent is to educate my child independently, which will require my continued presence in this same manner until my child is grown (though as my kiddo ages, I may return to my work somewhat, but it is my own business that only requires my laptop, and easily accommodates my being present during my child’s childhood).

    I have chosen to parent in a manner that is open and present, and often very humbling. I choose to see my child’s world through her eyes. I choose to honor my child for the tremendous value and worth she holds because she is. My respect of and for her is equal to that which I hold for all other humans who have my deep acknowledgement and personal admiration.

    I have chosen to remain with my child’s father because, as my work is entirely within my home at this time (mother, house manager, life coordinator), I require his financial support. This is paramount to me, and while I won’t allow (to the best of my ability) his patterns to harm or even influence my child (vigilance doesn’t come close to what preventing it requires of me), I will set aside my desire for an intimate relationship with a man until my child is grown. Doing so requires sacrificing my youth. It also requires sacrificing the opportunity to give my child an example of a loving, open, functioning adult relationship. The far reaching effects of this loss are weighed against the immediate disaster of ripping my child’s world in two – destroying her security when her foundation under development is at its most vulnerable. I am in what is called a “double-bind” that my PA has chosen to require of me (provide for me to deal with, with no choice to avoid).

    2. This man has the ability to overcome this. It is a choice, made daily. He has expressed the desire to do so; to experience the freedom of emotion and intimacy that I know and understand. He has shown action which demonstrates his communicated desire.

    This man is hurting… he is like a small child unknowing and unable to grasp beyond what his mind, just as the mind of a small child, has developed far enough to manage and comprehend. The mind can only think what it knows, so new ideas and connections are necessary.

    He is damaged and torn, stripped and/or prevented the opportunity to learn and develop his emotional self when his mind was naturally inclined to do so; his parents are mutually responsible for this neglect and harm caused to him. He is not damaged in a sense that something is wrong with him… He is not whole.

    3. I love him and it is not conditional upon his ability to return it. I also respect myself, but alas, here I return to #1 and will quietly wait. I will no longer lose me however.

    My value is no longer tied to him, it is from and within me.

    4. Pain is. Present in every breath, shooting in dozens of destructive directions simultaneously. He is responsible. His denial and side stepping are obvious.

    My hurt… It does what it does.

    And I choose (right now…. again….) to accept my hurt, acknowledge it, and allow it to sit with me until it is ready to go.

    This time, the pain is related to a greater/larger concern that is not specific but systemic. It is very intense and destructive (at the present and in the future), and will result in great bitterness and resentment in me if I do not pay proper heed and resolve it.

    5. I don’t want another person (either from a relationship I might create, or one he might, were we to divorce) to be involved in raising my child. I chose to have this child with this man, now a father and (at the time, I believed) my partner. I intend for my child’s mother and father to remain mother and father, exclusively.

    6. I intend for my child’s stability to come from a solid foundation, born from a home that is dependable and never diminishing, built on acceptance, respect, raw honesty, and love that is free to live as it does when it is uninhibited and not manipulated.

    __________________________________

    I intend to have my family – the family I created… whole.
    My partner and my child… – Refer to reason #2 and #6.

  101. Great site. I was 25 when we met. We married when I was 29. Everything was just wonderful until we returned from the honeymoon. Then I wondered what happened to the man I thought I married. That was 1986. No children. He has 2 from a prev. marriage. They were 9 and 12 when we married. He is 8 yrs. older than I. His mother was PA, he is and his 9 yr. old grandson has been DX’d with the child form = Oppositional Defiant Disorder. So, it runs in the family. He and his son are also ADD. He is a great provider, businessman, lots of friends and very social. Does not drink or smoke. Preferred friends with benefits to getting married though. We were married 3 mo. after his divorce was final. Marriage and family counseling for awhile, because I thought the issues were caused by the divorce and the kids’ issues, the X-has never let go, to this day. We cannot communicate about any issues that involve our relationship, always has to get even, most of his comments are one step left of right, avoids confrontation at all costs, we have never bonded, he is always advesarial, he says hurtful things and says he did not mean them, (example: “When you wanted to leave me, after we were married for 6 mo., I really didn’t care if you left, I did everything to keep you because I did not want my X to tell me, “I told you it wouldn’t last”). Yeah after 25 years of tears and heatache that made me feel just great. Or how about this one, “if you leave me you can leave with what you brought; Nothing”. He never has my back, he demands an apology for insignificant things, he says I attack him, he says I speak to him in a combative tone, he flies off the handle for things that should be considered normal, I can only be up and bubbly and never vent or be in a bad mood, when ever I counter I am accused of being sarcastic and having bad behavior, he is allergic to being helpful in the home, he used to yell at me alot until I went on antidepressants and told him I have done everything I could to be nicer – now stop yelling at me. I slipped into a depression in 1993 and have not recovered. If I try to talk “real” to him he says I have such tone and attitude. Everything is my fault and he is perfect. When I am talking to him I have to keep it short or he diverts and comments on something in the room that he has noticed, like a nail pop in the wall. He can never start a conversation with me that does not revolve around him or his interests. He has no interest in my interests and often trivializes them. We have worked together for 25 years and in the office everything is fine. At lunch – that’s a different story. His first inclination is to comment or lean toward the negative or be a devil’s advocate. He has to always be in phone contact with me. At home, he goes his way and I go my way. Now I feel like I live alone with my pets and an adversarial, part-time husband. Sex has never been with held. However, my having an issue that causes me to say no, well that’s not received well at all. No physical abuse. No cheating. Never a compliment. Flowers on occasion. Wants me to thank him for helping in the house, when he does. Does not care for many in my famly. That’s fine, I don’t care for his either. Different religions. So, at this point I have emotionally divorced him. I don’t plan to leave. He won’t notice I have changed, because now I will be toward him the same way he has always been toward me – detached. He does not see that he is PA at all. This issue killed what could have been a fabulous marriage. So now I go through life without love, friendship, committment or someone who is there to support me during the good and the bad. If I had known about PA years ago, I would have left. It was not until this past November that I connected the dots while reading about covert aggressive personality disorder, because my assistant of 10 years has that and was finally fired. So I stumbled on an one article and then read everything I could find about PA, because I could not believe my life was on the internet. OMG! I shared it all with him, got denials, got promises to improve, got some improvement, got relapses, then got the final straw. I am done! Thanks so much for providing this site.

    • Hello Janet,
      After reading your comment, I feel that we both have PA’s who have two bodies with one “soul” . Or Like two peas in a pod. I felt like you have written my story with a minimal difference. To make the matters worse I am from India and do not have any family here to go to. I have filed for divorce the second time and am waiting for the decision . I had filed 2 years back the first time and retracted because of false promises he made and the attention he gave, I fell for it Hook, Line and Sinker!!!! and just after 3-6 months I saw the changes and the emptiness and the loneliness that was unimaginable…. The worst part was that he was blaming me for everything that was wrong ,like first ,I had post partum depression,then it was the PMS and then it the car accident that had changed my personality and now it is that menopause. I have been married for 22 years with 2 teenagers. Even they know his tactics.
      Before I filed I was in a very very bad shape and was in severe depression and was suicidal , he so badly wanted me to take antidepressants. I have a medical background ,so I know the severe side effects it can have and I refused to take anything just because he wanted me too.and he did not care about it at all …. Now I understand ,it is as if that part of brain just ceases to exist , and he thinks that he is perfect…!!
      But after filing ,I am so happy and free , and he cannot stand it and wants me to change my mind and retract and he has promised to do everything to make me happy , therapy and new house and furniture and everythng,I am not changing my mind this time… definitely and he knows that . he is even writing small love notes!!! he never did that even before we got married!!!
      But this blog saved my mind and helped me make my decision not to retract under any circumstances——-Lets see what god has in plan for me….I am really tired of playing this waiting game anymore !!!!

  102. You are not alone…….I currently have foot in and one foot out of the relationship……..trying to get healthy …..just the thought of getting older and potentially needing my partner to be there for me…..not going to happen…..toughest thing for me will be the shock for some folks that I have left……”because he is such a great guy and knocks himself out for them” ; they don’t know that it is his obsessive need for approval that makes him go to extraordinary lengths to be liked…..
    and for the other folks…..I think they are just waiting …..they have seen it over and over…..
    why do I care what others think? That is my own personal co dependent demon:)))

  103. Hi fellow sufferers!!

    I stumbled on this web site yesterday after looking at divorce options…. I have been married for 8 years and slowly becoming an insecure, emotional wreck. I have spent years not understanding why I was being treated the way I was. My husband is also insecure, suicidal, depressed and withdrawn. It was a revelation to me to see all the traits of a PA spelling out my husband. It is also a relief to know that it it not my fault – I am blamed for everything. My husband- as abusive as he can be also is desperate to understand why he is the way he is, he hates himself most of the time. I gave him some articles to read and he immediately knew it was him (however he now has a new reason to not be responsible for his own actions!). He is going to see someone tomorrow (has even made the appointment!). I have been here before – he is very good at saying he wants to change and keeping it up for a few days. I feel I owe it to him to give him a chance now he knows there is a reason for his behaviour. My support is conditional on him/us seeking professional help. I am praying I can stay strong so as not to go through the same cycle again, for myself, the children and for him. Is there hope?

    • Toni- Welcome. As for everyone who says their spouse has admitted they have a problem and are willing to get help, I hope yours is the exception to the rule and it actually works. Unfortunately they are very good at putting on the show, but either manipulating the therapist or never doing what the therapist suggests.

      If you have a little time on your hands, you may want to look for comments by jmarie. She too, when she first started coming here, was giving her husband all the benefit of the doubt. If you can find some of her earliest entries, you may get an insight into what to expect.

      Hopefully your spouse has found someone who is well versed in passive aggressive behavior. These days it’s hard to find a therapist that even acknowledges that it is a personality disorder. In the meantime, I hope you are building up your own support system with friends, family and possibly your own therapist.

      Good luck, and feel free to drop in anytime to let us know how you’re doing. Now that your comment has been approved, anything new that you write should show up immediately. Take care.

  104. Wow! Its like you all live in my home. This is the exact description of my husband only that i have only been married 5 years. Coupled with all of the above traits he is also violent. We had a fight recently where i tried to tell him it was hard to confide in him as he punches holes into everything i tell him. He complained that if i couldnt confide in him, then it means i lie to him about my emotions. He actually pulled out a knife to stab me and asked me to choose between being stabbed or getting strangled with his belt. (say what??) Of course i revolted but there is no saying this wont repeat itself.

    He is so self righteous – am always the bad person. He is never ready to listen to any advice but wants to be seen as the one who gives good advice. He pulls up a front in public as the good, hardworking and caring husband. As for withholding sex I never noticed because i am so emotionally detached that I am not even interested in having sex let alone notice that he withdraws it.

    Visiting a therapist is like agreeing that he has a problem which he would rather not do – his description of a therapist is ‘one who gets paid for telling you what you already know’.
    I feel so helpless, the only friend i still connect with, he tried to severe my ties with her, but I am so bent on keeping that friendship because that is the only friendship that keeps me sane.

    I have two kids – 18months and 3months respectively, no job and an almost hanging self esteem. I feel great finding this site and am happy to know that I am not alone. The great part is i have found out early enough in my marriage and only hope i dont have to wait for many years before deciding to take any action. I need to sort myself out and find away to escape from this torment. Thank you for listening

    • ntinz- Welcome and thank you for sharing.

      You need to hear this loud and clear. If you ever truly feel like you are in danger, you need to call 911 or get you and your kids to a shelter immediately. If he is asking whether you want to die by knife or belt, you have a true crazy on your hands. Spend what ever private time you have from now on gathering a list of phone numbers you can call in an emergency. See about women’s shelters in your community. Obviously put 911 on speed dial on your phone, what ever you have to do to protect yourself and your children. They are so young, and who’s to say if he would do something to you, he won’t do something to them?

      It’s also very important you keep your own support system. If he won’t go to a therapist fine, but if you can, find one that understands passive aggressive personalities, and start seeing one yourself. If you’re a believer, start going to church and taking your children with you. He will make it hard on you at first, but he’ll tire of that if it doesn’t work. He could go the other way and say you need therapy, or you need church, and say it’s good for you to go. He may through it up to you later, but that’s ok. You will know what benefit you are getting out of it.

      You need for as many people as possible to know what’s going on with you, and you need to protect those children. We don’t want to read about you as another statistic. You want to see your kids grow up right? Put yourself together a “plan B” so that you have an escape route whenever you need it.

      Please keep in touch so that we know you are ok. And please, take the steps now to protect yourself before you need them.

  105. I have been married to a PA for 15 years. For the longest, I thought it was me who was so over the top and overbearing as I couldn’t get him to communicate about anything, or handle responsibility like he should. I was always taking care of EVERYTHING and he just lived life fully. He did work hard and provide financially, but of course I had to pull teeth to get him to do the right thing and of course, it was like I was begging for money. Well he started cheating on me and that’s when I’ve had enough and I put him out. He never begged to come back, but he would do little things like come to our home when I wasn’t there and move things around. He wouldn’t respond to my phone calls and even stop dealing with our kids (they are in college) until he needed to reach me. It wasn’t until I put my foot down, changed the locks and stopped trying to reach out to him to discuss divorce options or reconciliation that he started reaching out to me. He is very charismatic and lovable. However, I accepted his behavior to quickly. He moved back home, was nice for about a month, then all of sudden started seeing the otw again and lying about it. He then just left our home and I haven’t heard from him at all (5 days ago). Well, of course, he stopped by our home and moved things around again to let me know he was there. I then stumbled on this website and am now changing my locks again (for the final time) and cutting all communication off from him. I am not looking back and will file for divorce which I know he won’t contest or even show up in court for. I hope he and the homewrecker will be happy but I know how that story will end up. She’ll be the one crying asking why!!! One thing I learned about PA’s is too watch the sweet role they put on. They are nice until they get what they want and then they become the devil all over again. I really feel sorry for him as he will never be emotionally connected or intimate to anyone and will one day realize he lost the best thing that ever happened to him. ME! I am still young (44) smart, beautiful, great job and alot to offer. It’s a process of building up my self-esteem again and moving away from the dysfunctional marriage that I thought I could turn healthy. Thank God my eyes have now been open! Awesome website!!!!

  106. Reading this article and all of the following comments has been like reading a book full of everything going on in my head and life, but better articulated. All of these words describe what I’ve been dealing with, but maybe on a different level.

    The thing about my PA (together for 6 years, married for 4) is that he really IS a nice guy. He’s nice to me, nice to other people, just plain nice. Which makes me feel like I’m the crazy one, because how can I be having such huge problems with such a “great” guy?

    Except… I feel duped. Although he is a nice guy, he is such a… victim. Whenever there is an issue in our relationship, he retreats into himself or denies that he had any role in it. If I do get him to admit that he played a role, he turns it into a “woe is me, I do nothing right, I’m a terrible husband, I suck at life” sort of guy. He acts like having to take any sort of personal responsibility physically hurts him.

    He will agree with anything I say and do anything I want as a way to avoid any sort of real connection. He’s like a puppy, in that he wants all of the scratching of the ears and rubbing of the belly… except once I show that I want to connect on a deeper level, it’s like he just doesn’t quite… get there.

    I have even specifically worded what I need/want, and it still isn’t enough. He forgets, he’s tired, he’s… excuse excuse excuse. No real reason to know what makes me tick.

    Gah! I just get so sick of having this “great” guy but such a dud husband. It makes me feel awful, like I have no right to feel this way, because he is such a good person. I don’t deny that. And that’s what makes it so hard, because he has such wonderful traits.

    But his PA is tearing us apart. I have no respect for him. There have been numerous times when he has allowed members of his family to cross lines on how they have treated me and my children (I have 2 girls, both from previous relationships. However, my oldest was just turning 3 and my youngest was only 6 months old when we met, and he has been dad ever since. They don’t have relationships with their biological fathers, and my husband stepped in and filled that role. He is an amazing dad and has loved my girls well… which makes all of this so damn hard). His sister (who is 16 years older than him) has caused all sorts of pain and discord, and he has never once said anything to her or called her out on her treatment of us. It’s a bitterness that has festered a long time and I wish I could just let it go so that i could heal, but I don’t know how to. And the more he stands idly by and lets all of this happen, the less secure and loved I feel. No matter how “good” he is, he lets me know every day that when it comes down to it, I can’t rely on him to be there, to protect us, to connect, to touch base, or to accept responsibility.

    Except I still want to try and I still have hope. Any suggestions?? Your advice here has been such a blessing thus far, and I was just wondering if you had tips for how to handle a spouse who really is a decent person?

    • Pennie- Welcome, and thanks for sharing your story.

      I understand exactly how you feel. I have one of the “nice” PAs also, but he still is a PA. I have been with mine for 11 yrs. I am still getting the “I’m such an idiot. I’m so awful.” anytime something deeper than “good morning” takes place in conversation. The only way I have gotten anywhere is to force the conversation. We usually are sitting at the kitchen table and I let him know “this” is something we need to get settled, or taken care of, or whatever. Of course he still pays me lip service and then half the time if it’s something he doesn’t want to do, he won’t.

      As for your sister-in-law, if your husband won’t stand up for you, then you need to. Have you spoke with your husband about how his sister hurts you, etc? Does he know he should be saying something? Some guys are dumb as a box of rocks and figure if something bothers you, you will take care of it. In this case, you may have to. Because of the age difference, he may look on her as a second mother and not wish to ruffle any feathers. You and your husband have been together long enough, it’s obvious you’re not some fly-by-night. It’s up to you to protect your children especially from any harmful things this woman may be saying. Maybe it’s time you started seeing less and less of her. Maybe it’s time to start setting some bounderies. It’s unfortunate that your husband is leaving it up to you, but someone has to do it if he won’t. Instead of building up all this resentment, (that really only hurts you. She could probably care less), take control of the situation. Warning! Do not “blow up” if you talk to her. Just explain matter-of-factly the facts of life and let her know if she continues with the animosity, you will all be spending less time together in the future. Your children don’t deserve less than everyone’s love. Whatever the circumstances that brought all of you together, the children are just innocent little beings. It’s wonderful that your husband is a great father to them, and I’m sure he loves them as his own.

      I would advise you to keep a watchful eye, for as the children get older with demands of their own, he will become more and more passive aggressive with them. As they need to be picked up from school, etc. he will show more and more of his “unreliability”. You will need to stay close to your children so they don’t start picking up his passive aggressive traits. You will need to be able to discuss what is happening and the right and wrong way of handling things.

      Good luck Pennie. Feel free to drop in anytime and let us know how you’re doing.

      • I can relate to all of your feelings. Pardon my bluntness, I’m just at that stage in recovering my own life. I have one of those ‘nice’ PAs, too. The really nice thing about them is that they are so passive (in that sneakily hostile way) that they would allow you to be beaten, insulted and walked on without lifting a finger and there would be a very rational excuse! He let his family crap all over me, they are generations of chemical abusers and passive/aggressives. And, then I realized who was the person allowing it? Who was the person taking it? I moved away, unfortunately, he came with me. Now, after 29 years, I finally got the point. Sadly, I have to have a source of income and a place to live, so I can’t leave at this time. But, I have begun dealing with my anger, and making my own life as much as possible. Getting out, making friends, finding interests and paying no attention to him whatsoever. I am very polite and respectful of the things he does do for me and that’s it. I engage in no conversation beyond what do we need from the store. He doesn’t make any decisions, never has. So, I do it now without asking any questions. I live like I am living alone because I truly am. Now, I have moments of true happiness and enjoyment. And, thankfully, my anger is only at me. i am truly angry with myself that it took me so long to wake up and do something. That I waited beyond the point where I could support myself and had more and better options. But, I’m not giving up. I have a disability and am working very hard not to let it get in my way, feeling more comfortable asking for the assistance I need and finding ways to give back. Again, I repeat my advice: The moment you know this is who and what you are dealing with, you are wasting your time – your life – the only one you will have. You will waste your children’s lives, too. They aren’t going to change. Get out, get out, get out. Start chanting the mantra to yourself and work toward acting on it. Do everything you can to hang onto and build your self-esteem, they will strip that away – it can happen to anyone. No one is immune to this, personality. The second best, (as I know many people are in my situation it just isn’t that easy to leave, there are financial and other reasons), but you can take hold of your own life, start living as though you are already on your own. Quit looking back to see his reaction or what he’s doing. Just keep going. Keep talking and connecting for support. Thank you for the support I received here. Again, I realize I’m rather strident at this time, it’s 29 years of regret.

        • Like Jane, I, too, am disabled and stuck here with a PA man because of it. And, like Jane, I’ve also come to accept that a mutual and satisfying relationship with this man is impossible; ain’t never gonna’ happen. (Fulfilling and rewarding relationships with PAs are way too much to even dream about. If you can squeeze a satisfying and mutual relationship out of your existence with one, then you’re ahead of the game.) Any and all attempts to force a non-maddening relationship with him despite his PA is just another exercise in futility, at best, another trek through emotional (or emotionless?) Hell, at worst. Unlike Jane, however, I’m fortunate in that I have no children (he has two from his first and only marriage) and I’m in my eighth long year with him, as opposed to Jane’s 29 years married to a PA man. (Jane, if you’d gone ahead and killed him during your first year of marriage, you’d have already served your debt to society and would be a free woman now. You would have never had your kids, however…)

          Reading Jane’s posted comment here has inspired me to come out of my funk and do what needs to be done to get my SSA disability benefits approved so that I can get myself out of this f***d up situation. If Jane can stand being stuck under a roof with a PA *sshat as she forges on toward a future home and a future life away from him, then maybe I can, too.

          Thank you, Jane, for knocking my *ss out of neutral and into 1st gear.

        • Hi Jane- Thanks for sharing what you are doing to counteract the affects of the passive aggressive on your life. I’m sure everyone will find it as encouraging as I do.

          I had actually done a pretty good job starting a life of my own when we were in our place before last, but then we had to move. I never did get really involved with a church again in our new place, which I missed terribly. Now we’re in a new place again, and I have started again to look for a new church home. I love where we are, so will also start getting a little involved in the community. As for the passive aggressive, I feel as you do, that he will have to find his own way to a certain extent.

          Good luck with coming out on the other side. I know we can do it. It’s just a matter of perseverance and desire. It sounds like you’re getting a good start!

  107. I just came across this site after doing some research in the last month or so as to what is wrong with me, or my husband, or both of us. It’s rather comical that I have discovered he is “PA.” I just thought he was a mean, obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, belligerant, narcissistic, holier-than-thou, manipulative, childish crazy man. He not only sweats the small stuff, he soaks it!!! Every comment, every story I have read above is my husband, to a “T.” I have been with my husband for 11 years, married for 3. I am 50, he will soon be 59. My 2nd marriage, his 4th. No children together, but we each have 3 grown children. What an idiot I am! I must say he wasn’t like this when we first met, but soon thereafter it began. Of course, by then I hooked, like a pathetic fish at the end of the line. He moved out of our bedroom 2 months after we married, so intimacy has been basically not existant since then, and no sex at all in the last 5 months, though that’s all my fault, too, so I guess I am being “punished.” After one of our arguments about a month ago, I came home from work and apologized to him just to keep the peace. He was sulking and then told me he has cancer. Well, of course I was very upset and thought, “how could I be so selfish?” I just found out last week that he lied!!! He was just trying to make me feel sorry for him!! I am so angry at myself at this point for putting up with him. In the past couple months he has also escalated into violence, threatening to stab me on 3 separate occasions, he’s pushed me, hit me, thrown things at me (in one instance he threw a thick glass at me, it hit my ankle and it never healed properly. Not even an “I’m Sorry”). He has been unemployed for 2 years while I work 45-50 hours a week, yet it’s my fault we don’t have any savings left! He’s a very talented artist/master carver, wonderfully creative, absolutely brilliant, a great cook, clean, handsome, but such a jerk! He is always looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, but it’s my fault if it fails “because I don’t try hard enough.” He has undermined me in front of his children, and in front of mine. My children can barely tolerate him, his children have just learned to say what they think he wants to hear. I have not enjoyed a single holiday or birthday since I’ve known him….rather, I actually dread them. I know he had it rough growing up, but at this point in life it’s his responsibility and he needs to own up to it, though I doubt he ever will. So…..I started distancing myself emotionally about a month ago….I’m just too worn out and beat up mentally and emotionally to really care anymore. I went to a counselor for the first time in my life last week. Not sure how that will work out, but I just feel that I have so much time and energy and love invested that for my own sake and peace of mind I have to try this one last thing. During our last “conversation” he said he would go to counseling if that’s what it took, but of course, he did all the talking about how everything is my fault since he was born, and….big shock, he said he wouldn’t go to counseling after I made the appointment. So…I am going by myself and see if I can change myself, or learn to live with it…or if that doesn’t work, muster up enough courage to leave him once and for all. Just saying that brings tears to my eyes…but I’ve been there and done that before, LOL. Maybe I’m just hoping for a miracle, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Sorry for the rant, I guess I sound bitter and angry, which I am, but truthfully, I am more sad than anything. :-(

  108. What a great site. Thank you so much for it.

    My life has been defined by PA parents and spouses… I can now see my pattern of retreating and then leaving to survive… but I have repeatedly hooked back up with PA spouses.

    HOW do you fix you before it’s to late to have a life?

  109. This is hugely helpful. Has anyone found online support for spouses of the pa Sig other?
    I’m lost… This articles fits my situation to a t
    I feel like maybe it’s me that driving him like this

    It’s crazy making!!!!!!

    • April- Maybe this will help. Remember the 3 C’s.
      1)I didn’t cause it.
      2)I can’t control it.
      3)I can’t cure it.

      You aren’t doing this to him. Trust me, he had all this long before you came along.

  110. I haven’t read all of the comments but can relate to the feelings of those I have. What I didnt see was response from a male. I ahve been married to a PA spouse for 25+ years and am just now comming to understand the ramifications. I was once was a confident and indipendent person but now would consider myself codependent and looking for her approvial to be happy and content, which now I know I will never get. We have been to counslers and that seems to help for a while. I make changes to my behavior thinking that that will solve the problem but sooner or later the same feelings of not being good enough or welcome in her life come creeping back. She is a successful excutive which in my opinion gives her credability in her personal life as well. How could she be “this way” it must be you, is an attitude I have experienced in the past. I admit to being emotional and work on it but feel that what I do or have to offer in never good enough. The comments, expressions and attitudes are not something that people recognize as emoitional abuse. Being a male in this position make me feel even weaker though I know that being degraded is not gender spacific. Feels good to vent and see that other have experienced the same and that I am not just a weak worthless individual

    • Thank You all for sharing your stories of PA spouses, I have been reading them all day and I am stunned that so many others are living my marriage. A husband withholding sex is the most devastating thing my husband does but it broke me, my heart and my self-worth as a women and the most painful thing I have ever experienced at the hand of someone who is supposed to love me? I have been in this for 25 years and like others had no idea what was happening expect that I was told I am the problem. But you know one day I relized that most everything he accused me of just did not sound familiar, I just could not reckonize the behavior he was accusing me of as mine. Well if it not familiar(not mine) then whose is it? There is only two of us in this relationship. I remember thinking one day that I didn’t come this way (into the relationship with these painful feelings, so were did they come from and when) Today I got my answer. What to do what to do. As a christain I can not divorce but maybe this a close enough to abandonment to count. My Grandma was a women before her time and I learned from her women are smarter and stronger. I will no longer let my self-worth come from trying to be his perfect wife or whether or not he accepts me, desirers me.I have been working on me for about a year but I have the old me back , I except and like me again and noone is going to take this away from me again. Can I live with a PA sure but now it is on my terms. peace and love

  111. My P.A. husband and I separated almost a year ago. I have the kids. We live far apart from each other.
    Since we have been apart (Which is what I though he wanted! He had another woman and told me he didn’t love me or care about my thoughts or feelings, and that I could stay if I wanted but he ‘wouldn’t promise me anything’) his passive-aggression and aggression have escalated. Now he is pure venom with me, and when I talk to him on the phone (I call him about once a month – the kids, money, family stuff) he feels his chest tighten and has to shout at me because I ‘make him sick’.
    I have taken his children away from him. I kicked him out of his own home (when I discovered the affair). He has actually told me that he is my victim. He loves his kids, but only in relation to himself.

  112. I think my daughter’s husband is a passive agressive man. I don’t know if I should talk to my daughter or wait until she talks to me. Right now he is very negative about and to my husband. Both my daughter and my husband are very accomplished in their jobs, get things done. I worry he is trying to sever our relationship from her and the grandchildren. His last comment to me was that he was working hard at molding her into a better woman because all the woman in our family are to strong.

    • worriedmother- Hi, and Welcome.

      You may be absolutely right to worry. One of the M.O.s is to isolate so the partner isn’t so strong. I think I might ask my daughter if everything was ok, but be very careful not to accuse her husband of any wrongdoing. Just ask probing questions like “is she still seeing her friends”, or “is she still involved in _________?” If not, you might ask her why not? You might ask her if she has noticed how negative her husband acts toward your husband and if she knows why? If your husband may have done something he wasn’t aware of that upset her husband?

      Just try and keep the conversation as light and natural as possible. This may give her a chance to open up a bit. With my daughter, I didn’t mention her boyfriend being passive aggressive until she told me about a couple of instances in their relationship. Of course, since I’m into this whole passive aggressive thing, she thought I was just being crazy, but they did end up splitting over his passive aggressive behaviors.

      Good luck, and maybe someone else will lend some ideas.

      • Thank you for your response. I think the path to open up a dialogue is to ask her if her father has done anything to upset her husband. She is very fond of her father and would want to work on the relationship between her husband and father. I know I have to tread lightly, and remain positive with her about her husband. Thank you again. It’s comforting to hear from someone that has the knowledge you need.

  113. Hello All,

    This web-site is amazing. I didn’t know anything like this existed. Thanks to each of you for sharing. I will be back soon to give and get support. In the middle of a tax nightmare right now caused by the PA behaviors and my poor responses. What a mess!

    Hope

    • Oh my, its been five years of hell for me with this guy, is he pa I think so…Every event important to me, hes a no show, friends and families bdays, never…he refuses to help around the house and then shuts down completely for days on end going missing at friends houses if I try to talk to him, hes told all our friends Im trying to control him seeing them, they all think Im nuts…most recently he was at a fruends and we had a romanticnight planned, he phoned me to say I might come back to have sex then come back to the party, trying not to start a fight I simply say no your having fun stay there, he then proceeds to turn up drunk telling me about girls that have their tits out at the par th y and saying cmon well have a quickie before I go back..of course hes pushed all my buttons and I loose my temper telling him he cant treat me like this pleading for him to just give me a hug and what do you know he tells me he cant take my controlling behaviour anymore im fucked in the head he j yi mps out our kitchen window and goes missing for eight days on a bender,tells all our friends I scared him with my behaviour..my behaviour? Now hes back wont admit any wrong but says he feels sick thinking of me moving out, but he still manages to make me feel like its my fault, so we have a nice weekend away, now today hes back to not replying to my texts, said its not ca big deal I should get over it…I feel like an idiot just reading this back…I cant believe he dangled the marriage carrot in front of me and I thought I wasnt good enough for him…he brought me a ring at xmas after five years, showed it to me said we would get engaged when I got a job after studying, he took it back to the shop a month later after I had been working for a year and watched me cry my eyes out after he called off our engagement, he said it was my fault, he was only trying to make me happy…he doesnt believe in marriage, but when I asked him to say straight to my face I will never marry you because I dont believe in marriage he said no I wont do that because I might change my mind in the future..he says he likes the idea of getting married after we have kids…omg he is driving me insane…all of his friends that I love like my oown now all think I am controlling and manipulative…is he passive agressive I need some advice…he is your typical super lovely guy he just somehow manages to make me feel like its my fault….help, please

      • i first came to this site around 3years ago after2 years of being married to a PA man. I feel for everything you say and totally relate to it. At the time the advice from this site was to get out! I didnt want to hear it and that hurt, however looking back from where I am now, 3yrs down the line, I can see that is the only advice worth anything. I have now instigated a divorce and have been away from my husband for three years – its so much better! I feel like myself, I feel good about myself, confident, happy, content. My advice would be, get the hell out of there! Give yourself time away from him to heal and recover and get on with your life. YOU ARE WORTH IT. This PA thing, to me its border line sociopathic behaviour and it cannot be cured, healed or loved better. He is what he is. A dog barks, a bird flies and a PA manipulates and controls. Im sorry to be harsh and I know it hurts, but its not your fault and you deserve to get out and have a good life. God bless, cinders.

        • Carol- Thanks so much for the sage advice and encouragement. It is hard to hear that the one you’ve fallen madly in love with will only do you in if you stay, and I’m glad for your sake you were strong enough to get out when you did. As you’ve read hear, so many of us lose years and years.

          Welcome back anytime, and I am so happy for you!! Good luck for a wonderful new future ahead of you.

      • Omg, my husband before we got married used to threaten me that he would break up wit me whenever we argued. When we got engaged he would break off our engagement and when we got married he told me he felt like leaving. I actually thought I was the one to blame. I realised when I read about passive aggression that amnt insane. It got to a point where I would end up apologising when I knew I wasn’t at fault. He would not talk to me for days even when we shared the same bed. He said I never listen to him, am not supportive. He would be a fantastic guy for days but once he’s upset, all the love goes out the window. He would be a total stranger. I know couples fight and all but there’s no limit. He drives me crazy to the point that I start exchanging words and doing stuff I never do. He’s making me crazy. He tells everyone am spoilt, I don’t respect and take care of him. They all believe him and that’s cos he derieves joy in showing his real person when you two are alone so that way noone can understand your side of the story. My folks have been begging me to leave but he’s made it like if I leave, then I gave up meanwhile he’s given up on me.

        • Chi Chi- Your parents are right. Get out. If even they can see it, then your husband must not be so subtle in his abuse. You are very lucky that they would support you even if it’s only emotionally if you left.

          There is nothing wrong with giving up on a hopeless situation. Don’t feel like that. The truth is you are getting your life back and allowing yourself another chance at finding real happiness. We all make mistakes of one form or another. The important thing is that you learn from this one so you don’t get mixed up with the same kind of man in the future. Learn to recognize the “little red flags”. It’s not YOUR failure, it’s his. Just call it “cutting your losses”.

  114. I’ve been married 42 Years… it’s been devastating. My generation didn’t know there was a name for this. This is a serious disorder and I wouldn’t marry this man again. I cried through most of my marriage and didn’t know what was happening to me. He’s handsome, charming and devastating. I went back to school, now teach at a local college. I had lost myself in his career and his friends. I’m 65 now and struggling to take care of my mom and now he is ill but he can still dish out the devastation. Last year I went to see an attorney, then backed out because he was diagnosed with COPD. I thought we would support each other until we left this earth. He has never been there for me. It has always been about him. He has never once asked about my health! If I had know what this disorder was, I would have divorce him long ago…..they will destroy your self esteem and walk away like they never knew you. Protect yourself and disconnect, that’s what I’m doing now. It only gets worse as they get older… research states they do not seek help.. I’ve been to two counselors and they said he is not in the relationship and he will not do anything to work on it. You will be left with nothing….nothing but loneliness and a feeling of how stupid you were on wasting your life when in the end he doesn’t really care anyway!!!!!

    • Dearest Betty- Don’t beat yourself up too badly. Us older ladies had the concept that you fell in love, got married and lived happily ever after. The husband was king of the house, and he would treat us like his queen, at least that’s how we thought it went.

      You are right. The term “passive aggressive” hasn’t been around that long, and I would venture to bet it was probably worse in the old days where there were set rules for everything. Nobody ever talked about it because just like today, most people wouldn’t understand the concept of covert or mental abuse.

      I’m glad to hear you’re detaching. At least you can buffer some of the hurt that way. You didn’t say how you were struggling to take care of your mother, whether it’s financial, or just having someone with her while you teach, or what? I have my mother living with us and there are times where my passive aggressive boyfriend is actually quite helpful.

      As far as passive aggressives ever getting helped with therapy, the odds are not good. They either won’t do as the therapist suggests, or they manipulate the therapist, or they just refuse. Any way it goes, that’s just one resource that usually isn’t very helpful.

      Good luck to you. Feel free to come back any time you feel the need. Let us know how you’re doing. God Bless.

  115. Does anyone know of ANY support groups for those leaving a PA partner/spouse? Though my friends and family are generally supportive they have no clue about the emotional and mental devastation. I don’t feel that I can go to them really, because even after his infidelity they make sympathetic comments etc… The others that fully support my leaving him think it’s so easy as, okay, just divorce him. Unfortunately, we have a fixer upper that he failed to fix up. Basically I feel that the house became his personal little battleground to get back at me. So now I’m having to clean up his mess and all his failings. That means at times I still have to deal with him.

    I did a good thing though the other day. He ‘forgets’ to give me my phone messages if he hears them first. He then apologizes, but gets anxious if he thinks a call is for him. So I told him that was unacceptable and that I had taken care of it for good. I changed the password and he no longer has the opportunity to forget my messages.

    We no longer live together, but legally I cannot bar him from the house yet. So he keeps violating our agreement to come over only when I am not home. Like today, he ‘forgot’ his jacket here and needed it to go to a job interview. Never mind he had ALL day from 7:30 am to do so. Excuses, excuses.

    So far I tried, silly me, to be reasonable and just asked him to let me know when he needed to come over. Even that simple little thing he would not do. So short of taking further legal action, and spending money I don’t have and going down that crappy road, any suggestions?

    • Sanityreturns- Hi and Welcome! As far as advice about him coming over unannounced, etc. I don’t know what to tell you except that as long as he has “basically” moved out, living somewhere else, you could tell him if he doesn’t let you know he’s coming over in the future, you will call the police on him for trespassing.

      The father of my children was like your husband in the way that when we split, sure he would let me stay in the house because of having the kids, but it wouldn’t take long and he would come and go as if it was still his house. The only way I could get rid of him for good was for me to move out and let him have the house, which he lost in foreclosure a few months after that. You might also suggest helping him get the rest of his stuff out of there so he doesn’t have all these little convenient excuses.

      I will tell you, I haven’t seen one, not one, passive aggressive keep his side of an agreement. They don’t even keep the agreements that they make up. LOL.

      As far as support groups, you might try your county health dept. and see what groups or classes they have going. Many times they are on a sliding scale, so if you don’t have much money, you don’t pay much. A good “group therapy” can be worth it’s weight in gold. I’ve had women say Al-Anon is good, even if your spouse is not an alcoholic. I would guess a lot of alcoholics are passive aggressive and those people may have quite a bit of experience. Depending on how ambitious you are, you could even start your own group. There are probably a few in your area that need and would lend support that are dealing with their own PAs.

      Good luck to you. If you can’t afford an attorney, try legal aid. They can be extremely helpful for very little cost.

    • CODA- Codependents Anonymous

  116. Made it 10 years with one. Half that time: he got vacations and I didn’t. Everything was all about him or he pouted. He professed his love for me every day but ignored my birthday, ordered me around in front of his friends and ex-wife too; if he’d agreed to something in private he’d announce the complete opposite in public, and if he made plans with me he’d sabotage them by planning something else at the same time that would spoil our plans – and when that made me angry, he’d hang his head and said he was sorry and said he would make it up to me (never), and if I didn’t forgive him immediately, he’d accuse me of ruining the evening. He didn’t mean to scuttle our plans! Honest! And there I was being so mean to him. Poor him.

    And keeping promises? He volunteered to fix a rust spot on my car and five years went by with him deflecting my increasingly annoyed and then angry requests to get the darn job done. Finally had to hire someone else to do it over his continued protests that he’d do it. He really would! If only I gave him the chance.

    I told him for years that I’d leave him if he didn’t keep his promises and share his life with me like a true partner. But, when I decided to leave him, I kept it to myself and planned it meticulously. I took off while he was on a business trip. He acted like it was totally out of the blue.

    I did it that way because I sensed (whether I was right or wrong) that if I told him our marriage was over, he’d kick me out before I could even find a place to stay. I left on my terms. I still felt bad about it, for quite some time until someone said to me, “You did to him once what he did to you all the time – and you did it well!”

  117. All these years of therapy – marriage counseling – trying to come up with a reason why my husband is the way he is and what he is I now know is passive aggressive to the extreme. His last therapist actually “kicked him out” of therapy saying that he can not continue to take what little money we have when Glenn (my husband) is not willing to participate and do anything to change at all – of course he SAYS he will – and he is oh so humble and sincere. But he doesn’t. How bad do you have to be to get kicked out of therapy!??? THANK GOD I HAVE FOUND THIS WEBSITE. I am not alone! 25 years of marriage. All focused on him. 2 daughters grew up waiting for a little focus on them. But my spouse created so many fires. So many financial disasters. They are both moved out and through college and their bedroom that they shared still is not done for when they come home for a visit. 26 years of “remodeling” an old farmhouse where not one single room is close to done. . . and may I add…. all because according to my husband “I can never do anything GOOD ENOUGH to suite YOU!” Well. Who would know. He’s never finished a thing as long as I have known him – and I think I have found a place where I am believed. I blamed myself for getting mad instead of realizing how incredibly patient I have been. I just have one thing I must know. Do any people on this thread have any experience with a PA that purposely hides bills and purposely doesn’t pay them even though he has the money? I just found out a large portion of our property was sold at tax sale. He took the money out of one account for that and other bills, and put it in another. He wrote all the checks out including the money for the property taxes. He mailed all the payments. Except the property taxes. No reason whatsoever for it. He had PLENTY of money at the time to cover it. This type of thing happens all the time. How did I find out? I had a feeling he was hiding something. I swallowed my fear and went out to one of the barns to see what might be stashed (he does this – stashes them in the barns) and voila. hidden away behind a bunch of “trash” there was a box that was not so dusty. Pulled it out and there was the notice that our property was sold at a tax sale June 19, 2012. (the day before our anniversary that he will never acknowledge and when I bring it up he calls it “Your anniversary”. He sees me coming with the box and he grins sheepishly like an impish little boy. I got the taxes paid up yesterday. He now has 20.00 in his account and we will be 1 week late on the mortgage payment. Which if I’m not real careful will lead to another late payment. Please tell me that there is someone else out there who can relate to this specific expression of PA? There are many other ways he expresses it but this is the way that I am most fearful of – and has caused us all to feel insecure and fearful of loosing a roof over our head for 25 years. I still am unsure of how to respond to him – I guess I have to slowly let that leak in too? He isn’t going to change. He is so convincing that he is sincere but he won’t. It’s exactly like Charlie Brown and Lucy. You know how she is with that football – convincing Charlie Brown a million times that THIS time she will hold the ball in place and not sweep it out of the way as he runs to kick it? And of course – she does. Every single time, she does pull that ball out of the way, and Charlie Brown falls flat on his back. Every single time. Help me! I am Charlie Brown! and Thank you!!!!

  118. Codependents Anonymous is helpful- for building “healthy relationships

  119. It seems that the bulk of these comments are women frustrated with PA men. So I feel a little out of place. I have a wife who is utterly without affection, emotion, or sensitivity. I’ve been trying to figure out for years if she’s merely emotionally stunted, aping her father (who is equally emotionally barren), or if it’s simply just me. Is she just sick of me?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. No affairs, but I certainly took her for granted for many years, and (speaking frankly) I had a hard time in our early years giving up a single-man’s attention to porn despite her clear feelings on the subject. I finally managed to kick that probably 12-15 years ago, and been beating myself up about it since.
    We’ve been together 28 years, our sex life has been nearly nonexistent for at least the last decade because I’m just too burned out constantly begging and being rejected. We have 4 wonderful teens, but I’m a little afraid for what they’re going to think about a ‘loving’ relationship in which the parents (at least one) offer no display of affection for the other, much less actual words of support or love. I’ve made a concerted effort for the last couple of years to just spend time with her, hoping that just by spending time together we’d reconnect. No luck so far, not sure how much longer I can keep trying with comments like “I don’t really care whether you’re here or not, it doesn’t matter to me.” I won’t leave her, that’s simply not an option. But she seems to have emotionally checked-out years ago, and is practically inviting me to do so to.
    I know I’m full of flaws, but I’m pretty damned lonely. Is that just the price of being me?

  120. Why is it always written as the man is the aggressive one …so sad

    • Hi Mick- Welcome. It’s not that there are so many more passive aggressive males than females. Males just don’t write in and share the way men do. I have a very good male friend who recently got involved with a passive aggressive female and he has known about this blog since it’s beginning, but he doesn’t equate the two. It is sad that so many men suffer in silence and try to handle it all by themselves.

  121. Hi Steve and Mick – It’s good to see some men posting on here!
    It doesn’t matter what sex you are, if you are suffering in a relationship with a PA then this is a great place to start to offload and also start to better understand whats going on in your world.

    I started researching “Personality Disorders” in 2010 as I knew that my husbands behaviour wasn’t normal. It was through reading the comments of Ladybeams and the many other people on here that I realised that he was PA. Once you know what you are dealing with it gives you the power to start taking decisions. Some people will learn to find coping mechanisms, others will learn to fight back and some will realise that the best way for them is to wave the white flag and call it a day with the PA in their life. Regardless of what choices you make I’m sure you will find this site a great support.

    One thing I have found is that writing things down, I guess keeping a journal of all the incidents, has helped me. It’s so easy to move from one episode to another and they all seem to get blurred in to one and you can’t see clearly and you forget how you felt/what effect it had etc. Often we walk around all day thinking ” did that really happen” , “should I really feel this way”, in other words doubting ourselves. Keeping the journal allowed me to look back during moments of self doubt and say ” Actually I am right, I did feel like that and it did actually happen”.

    I sincerley hope you find some ways to cope with things and I’m so pleased you’ve found this site as I’m sure you will find it useful and a good support!
    Good luck.
    Andrea

  122. Hi,
    I recently just married my boyfriend of 4years instead of the happy home I imagined we keep fighting all the time. I just heard abt passive aggression and its exactly how I feel. My hubby does things to me that I can’t explain to anyone. When he tells the story everyone thinks am crazy. I have even started blaming myself but I know he’s the trouble maker. Whenever I want to talk about how to fix us,he never wants to talk. He says am not supportive, am rude and disrespectful but to me that’s all he does to me. It always happens when noone is there. I knew he was like this before but I thought marriage will change him. He’s told me he wants to end our marriage so many times and at the end I am the one begging him especially when he’s the that upset me. He wil come home and jst be upset and then blame me. He keeps malice. I would think coming from a broken home he would want his own to work. I want to leave him but I feel guilty like am giving up. He never wants to talk about how to fix us and blames me for the break down but I don’t know what I did. People are beginning to think am a bad person to him cos he paints me as the bringer of all his sadness. I doubt myself and he always finds a way to turn the story around like am a crazy woman.he never gives me attention and even when I cry, he doesn’t care. He’s happy when he’s wit his guys but once am there he’s upset. Like he’s mentally torturing me but I can’t explain It to anyone.he’s constantly killing my self esteem.
    Is he really passively aggressive

    • Hi Chi Chi- Yes it definitely sounds like he’s passive aggressive, but over and above that, he doesn’t sound good for you. No one has to put up with that kind of abuse. You are worth so much more.

      I would say you need to get out now while you have anything left of your self esteem. If it’s at all possible, let him go. We all deserve to be respected, loved unconditionally, and supported emotionally. You can still find that. You may want to look into counseling to get some validation for your feelings and some emotional support so that you’re not all alone going through this. It’s important to keep close friends, if there’s family you’re close to, people who are a support system for you.

      Thank you for sharing your story. Welcome back anytime.

  123. I am seeking support. I currently live with a PA and its very evident and I have absolutely no doubt and he is narcissit. His family knows he has a problem and its evident in his relationship with them. He gets upset when they address things with him or if they interject when then notices he is just acting very immaturely .. he sulks, avoids and wont speak to them for months.

    Our relationship is marred with lack of intimacy, fights and his addiction to porn. When we talk he saids that i talk about the same thing over and over and that everything is all my fault. He gets angry when to address the things he says or does. He attended anger management classes when we first met but it seemed they did not help because he came out saying stuff like women always cause the problems and then turn it around an make it look like the man’s fault when they started it. I was like really they reinforce that type on behavior in class. Well, when we went to couples counseling it was like my counselor never held him accountable for his actions. A couple of times he the counselor told him, that it sounds like you set yourself and caused that problem yourself. But often made me feel like i was holding my spouse accountable for my feelings and I was like yes I am because its based on how he treats me.

    My spouse lies about everything and is secretive and says in a heartbeat that i don’t know what i am talking about and swears everything acquired during our relationship is his. Easily forgets that for almost 2 years he only worked part time due to not being able to keep a job. No matter how much is done for him he does not rely on anyone and does everything himself. He gets angry and pushes me because i am talking to him not yelling or cursing just talking and if he pushes me its my fault because I told you to stop talking about the same thing. He is out of touch with his feelings and anything which addresses what he does is a threat.

    Today we are going to counseling again after 6 months. I have honestly decide to leave and I am making plans and looking for a new place but I am not going to alert him just leave but I love him so much that I want to start the process and maybe open the door for him to seriously get some help.

    it may backfire on me but I lied. I printed out the information about passive aggressive behaviors and traits as well as information about narrissitc behavior traits. We have not spoken in days but I gave it to him and told him the counselor wanted him it to read it before our session today. I saw him reading it I am not sure if he completed it but the entire time he held his head and has not said one word since he began reading it. My goal is to make him aware of his behavior. I will tell the counselor when we get there.. But I am also going to tell him during the couseling session that unless he continues to get help I am leaving and that I can not continue to live this way. He is thoughtless and rude and insenstive to my feelings and needs.

    I’ve tried to be supportive because I really love him but I need him to wake up and get help. Would it be wrong for me to tell him that if he does not voluntarily get help by continuing couseling etc that I am going to press to press assault charges and they will stick – I am just desparate to make him get help or should I simply leave it alone and leave as planned.

    I guess I just want to see some gradification for all of the hurt I have experienced during this relationship and understanding that I need help and encouragement to heal my pain and wounds.

    • Beverly,

      It sounds like you’re experiencing something very difficult here. My advice, and I can explain it further if you’d like to contact me directly, is to not pursue him. That doesn’t necessarily mean to leave or not to leave, but emotionally, stop pursuing.

      Such a suggestion probably sounds extremely harsh and, from your perspective, not exactly a simple solution that seems intent on preserving your heart, but it is almost always beneficial to both in the relationship (regardless of whether that relationship remains united or you and he become independent).

      I am a survivor of this sort of distressing relational dynamic, as is my marriage. We chose together, and independently, to address and dig deep, and discover what lies at the root of behaviors and patterns that cause so much pain for both. We are on the other side.

    • Hi Beverly- I am really sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I don’t know what’s been happening with you since you entered this comment, but I hope you are okay.

      It is good that you are very quietly getting things ready to go so you can leave when you are ready. From what you say here, I’m afraid your husband may become violent if he knew in advance. By now you have been to the counseling session, and I hope it went well for you. It’s so hard to find a counselor who is familiar with narccisistic/passive aggressive behavior, and then the counselor gets minipulated just like we do.

      Good luck, and please, let us know how you’re doing.

  124. Wow, I am grateful to find this website – although a little sadder reading all of the posts. Sad b/c i recognize so many things from my own marriage in so many of these comments, and I guess it validates what i’ve suspected for quite some time – I am living with a PA husband, and he’s not going to change.

    We are “celebrating” our 11th anniversary in 2 weeks – yeah, right. Celebrating. I feel so completely and utterly alone. I hear snippets of conversations between my co-workers and my boss and their spouses, and I think “wow, maybe if I just try a different approach with R, we can be like that”. But it never works – I can craft my side of the conversation, and even execute it pretty well – but I always get the same responses back from him – turning everything around to be something negative. I truly feel like I’m losing my mind some days.

    The thing is, I should have seen this way before we even got married. I should have RUN the other direction. I remember helping him unpack in his new home when we first started dating. He had been married before – he had only horrid things to say about his ex, she was the “devil”. But though he claimed it was awful between them for years and years (they were married for 17 years!!), he would not take the initiative to leave her – it wasn’t until she filed for divorce after numerous separations, that it finally ended. When I was helping him unpack, I found a box with a bunch of files with her handwriting, and in one of them, I found a photocopy of the cover from a book about “how to live with a passive-aggressive spouse”, and several photocopied pages with sections highlighted. I realized (from various notes written in the margins), that it was a file that belonged to his ex-wife, and she was reading it about trying to live with him! In hindsight, I knew the descriptions from those few pages were spot-on – and I should have RUN.

    So many of the comments in these posts are so applicable – not all of them, but many of them. R is the master at creating perceived “hurts”, giving me the cold shoulder treatment for days on end after blowing up for some reason I cannot even understand (we can go weeks with things feeling “normal”, then literally out of the blue, he seems to get a wild hair and creates some drama out of nothing, and it’s a massive blow up, and I can NEVER pinpoint what triggered it).

    And he literally makes stuff up – if I wasn’t living in the middle of it, it might actually be fascinating and make for an interesting social study project! LOL. But when he gets into the “aggressive” part of his PA behavior, he will literally fabricate entire conversations – he will yell and claim I’ve said things that I’ve literally never uttered – but he says them with complete and total conviction!

    We have a beautiful, sensitive, light-of-my-life little boy, 4 1/2 years old. It breaks my heart literally to think concurrently about divorcing and creating this broken family, and staying but subjecting him to the arguments and fights. Ironically, (or I guess not surprising at all), I grew up in a house with an alcoholic father – he drank from the time I was a pre-teen until my mom finally got the courage to leave him when I was 19. We lost contact with him for several years, during which he finally found his rock bottom, found AA, and he was sober and enjoyed a fairly good life for the last 24 years – so he was fortunate, and he and I made amends, for which I am grateful. My dad died this July, and the depth of my lonliness from not feeling support and empathy from my own husband is heart breaking.

    There are so many contradictions living with a PA spouse – I make a ridiculous 6 figure income and have a massive amount of responsibility at work, I manage a beautiful home, I’m attractive and outgoing and I think I am a really great mommy, and I manage pretty much everything to run this household – yet his comments are constantly negative, belittling, hostile, and just mean spirited. So why in the WORLD am I putting up with this???? The age-old mother’s dilemma – I want my son to feel the stability and security I didn’t feel growing up, and never wanted him to come from a “broken” family. But aren’t we just as “broken” living the way we are living now? I know R blames me for everything (deja vu from his first marriage I see so clearly now).

    God grant me the strength…..I have no hope things will change after reading all of these posts, and I can’t fathom being 70-something and still dealing with this (I’m 48 now). Thank you for this site – it’s given me lots to think about. I am so very sad.

    • Dear Paula, after 38 years and counting, there is a ray of hope…….I recognise that spiral of a fantasy projected world that the pa lives in and with the advent of mp3 players/recorders I now record our ‘serious’ conversations and give him a copy of the recording too. I refuse to have any discussions on serious couple stuff/arguments without the recorder going and this has three benefits: I know I’m being reasonable, his controls what he saysas he knows it’s being recorded and three the twisted conversations he misremembered are not there as the tape proves. This works for me for the last few months. The important thing to remember is that they do ‘love’ you but your idea of love is totally different. You have to reconcile yourself to that if you want longterm. With your son, project only positives of his dad – later the reality will happen soon enough. Stay strong!

  125. I can’t believe so many people are living like I am! I looked up on the internet what passive aggressive really meant and I basically read a complete description of my husband. We got married two years ago, which alledgely was all my doing because he didn’t want to get married! I have three children from my first marriage and we have his son from his second marriage living with us (you’d have thought I’d have had some sense knowing I was his third wife!). He’s always telling me how shit my kids are which breaks my heart and so isn’t true, they are polite, well educated and grounded. Neither of my children have ever brought any shame on me and I love them all so dearly. Whereas his son has the sun shining out of his arse, believe me he can be a bugger! A few years ago I had cancer, about 6 weeks after I had surgery to remove the cancer I was having a bad day and he told me “to get over it, as you don’t have cancer anymore”. In hindsight I think he was jealous that I had been ill and was getting attention! I do love him, but most of the time I hate him!
    Thanks for all the comments your all inspirational.

  126. Reading the article and then the comments, I was surprised. I thought I was the only one in the whole world going through this.
    I call myself a “mid life crisis of a passive aggressive spouse survivor”. Thought I still don’t know if I have survived or not.
    I am married for almost 14 years now.

    His whole family is passive aggressive, the beauty is how nicely all of them convinced me (a post graduate) that I was almost similar to a illiterate and that I should be devoted to homely duties. They dont say anything directly but the discussions between them with me in the hearing range was so beautifully organized.

    He would not say anything to his misbehaving siblings and parents but tell me that these are the things expected after the marriage as they must be feeling upset because he is not able to give time to them.
    If confronted they would get angry and start screaming and also hurt themselves by banging their hands against their heads and banging their heads against a wall.

    This was the regular norm. My decision to get a diploma was met with similar resistance but I did it and started working after my first child was about 2 years. I worked to the last day of my 2nd pregnancy too.

    We moved and then came the real catastrophe. He started misbehaving badly, made me pay all the household bills, withhold any intimacy (on the pretext that his brother sleeping in the living room may over hear us). Then started the accusations that I am becoming demanding and uncouth.
    Finally started hitting me. His parents and brother lived with us and they never said anything. Initially I would ask him if something was wrong and he would say that I am imagining things and going crazy. I went to a counselor to help me sort my issues (suggested by him)

    Then one day going through his mails for him (he was abroad), I found letters that he had written to his colleague. He was in love with her. I confronted him and he said, ” You arent fit to take anywhere”. . Then apologized and said he had made a mistake and would like to undo the damage. He said it was some kind of mid life crisis.

    I threatened him with a domestic violence case against him with the police and at his workplace and the physical abuse stopped. The mental game still goes on. No intimacy between us lately as I dont feel like doing anything.

    Three years have passed since discovering the letters. Things have not been the same. He still gets grumpy if I suggest something as trivial as window shopping at the next store or an impromptu dinner.

    With the children, he loves them, he will demand custody if I ask for a divorce, but he also irritates them a lot, to the point to them crying and they start screaming, especially my daughter.

    His family is another big story which will need another dedicated blog. But to everybody, its how nice and well educated they are.and how I am not able to appreciate the society and life they are providing me.

    Everytime I think of leaving him, my kids pull me back. I cant afford the kind of education he can provide them. I just need to keep my sanity intact and learn ways to deal. Lately I have started to give his dialogues back to him and he doesnt know what to do.

    This may sound too dark, trust me its not. We do have our fun times and I enjoy them. I just have to learn to forget the past and learn to enjoy the present.

    This is a great blog. Ladybeams

    • Trust me, no one expects an apology for anything you have said or will ever describe because we all understand! This crazy making stuff!!
      I do want to report a success though. Since I last posted I have really seen some dramatic changes in my husband that are nothing short of miraculous. I really started fasting and praying along with some friends about my situation with my husband. Though immediately things seemed to get worse instead of better, eventually my situation did a complete about face to the point where I am actually starting to trust him again. It has been almost 6 months since the cha ges took place and I am happy to report that things just keep getting better for our family. My advice to anyone living with a passive aggressive spouse is to first decide whether you are committed to staying in the relationship, then you must commit to seek The Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart for direction so that he can lead you into wisdom, healing and lasting restoration for your marriage.

  127. It has taken me almost 21 years to realize that he never truly loved me, cared about me, respected me, cherished me. As I look back and realize our whole marriage was a lie, I can’t believe it. Someone SLAP MY FACE and wake me up from this nightmare. He told me he wanted a divorce a year ago and sat our children down in June 2012 to tell them he no longer loved me and would be filing for divorce. Yep you guessed it, he never had the balls to file for divorce so I finally did in on September 21, 2012. Now he has that entitlement thing going on that everything is his and I should just leave and go live in a treehouse. I have done everything for the past almost 21 years of our marriage and he has always discredited me. I have worked for the entire time of our marriage in addition to going to school at times OH Yeah when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and a 4.0 GPA, I did not even get one word of praise of even a card to say congrats. What a selfish Pig. You can put pearls and dress up a pig however they are still in the end a PIG.
    Every discussion was stonewalled by his silence and unwillingness to talk. He says I blackmailed him into adopting our two younger children however he signed the papers just like me and I don’t recall holding a gun to his head. I have felt so frustrated and hurt and can’t wait to get on the other side of this.
    We are still living in the house together as he refuses to leave even though he has engaged in sinful behavior. He spends the majority of his time texting his “friend” and has even had phone conversations with her while I am in the house.That is just plain utter disrespect. He is now wanting full custody of the children and tells everyone that I am psychotic. He does nothing for or with the kids however wants custody of them! YEAH RIGHT! I am the one on medication and still attending counseling. We attempted couples therapy, however he was already checked out and did not do any of the activities of participate.
    I installed surveillance software program on the home computer and discovered that he is addicted to pornography. VERY VIOLENT and WOMEN DEMEANING TYPE. We go to court in March and that day could not come soon enough as I plan to never have any further contact with him once this is all over.
    I continue to pray that I make it through this hell in one piece and have great faith that God has something better in store for me. I am blessed to have wonderful friends and family that are supporting me through this most difficult time in my life. I just keep asking what I did to deserve this? I know God gives us these challenges to grow and strengthen our walk with him. I could go on for pages and pages of the pain and disappointments I have faced over the past 21 years. I had filed for divorce when we were married for 7 years and then he talked me out of it. What a fool I was!

    • Rita- I am so sorry for all you’re going through, and the road you have left to go. One of the things you have going for you is he has already hung himself in so many ways, you really shouldn’t have any problem getting custody, etc. Of course he’ll bring up your mental health if you’re still seeing a counselor, but that’s actually a plus for you that you sought professional help. It sounds like this passive aggressive has a few problems besides just being passive aggressive.

      The one thing I would like to prepare you for is that if you have kids with this man, it will never be completely over. Unfortunately you’re stuck until the kids are at least 18. The good news is that usually with a passive aggressive they fight like heck for custody in the beginning, more for spite than anything, but they flake fast once there’s a regular schedule for visitation. I know with my ex, he had custody during the week so the kids could stay in their same schools, and I had them all weekend. It wasn’t any time at all I was getting the kids for a longer and longer time. He finally had to flee the state and we haven’t had to deal with him 20 yrs.

      I don’t think any of us do anything to “deserve” this. I too believe God has great plans for your life. I think that we end up in this position because we follow our own will vs. dropping out at the first signs of any red flags. It’s that “rose colored glasses” thing. Hopefully you will come through this wiser and stronger, and love yourself all the more for all you’ve been through.

      Keep in touch, and good luck. March is just around the corner.

      • LadyBeams,
        Good News! Well I passed my forensic psychological evaluation with flying colors. I really am not NUTS although he tells everyone I am. I am so anxious to see the results of his evaluation. His PA behavior continues and in fact has increased to where he is now totally isolating himself in his room with the door closed most of the time. No interaction with the kids and no involvement in their needs. Oh and he wants primary full custody of the kids with me having supervised visitation as I am not psychologically stable. YEAH RiGHT. This has been one heck of a process to have to deal with and to have my entire being questioned. The ironic thing is I fought to adopt these children in the beginning and now I have to fight again to prove I am a worthy mother to them. I pray that once this is all over, you are right in that he will flake fast once the ink has dried on the court orders. 26 MORE DAYS and they could not get here fast enough. He is being so nice to me most of the time now and my therapist says that is because he does not want me to be harsh on him on court. Well I plan to bring out all the ammo as no one will threaten to take my kids from me. Not to mention how much this whole fiasco is costing me. Once this is all over, I will have to file bankruptcy as I will never be able to pay off all this credit card debt. For now my hope rests in this scripture: ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” AMEN

  128. My new relationship began about 14mths ago a mth after I left a relationship with a verbally abusive partner, who demeaned me and belittled me loudly to everyone he knew. He was more agressive agresssive than PA, and after one more huge tantrum he left and I didnt chase him as I was so tired by his antics. Anyway my new relationship has been turned on its head by PA. We had known each other socially for years so it felt right and comfortable when we entered the relationship and we had so much fun together. One of our mutual friends became involved and disliked the relationship as it “stole” her best friend away. All sorts of grief was caused and after 8 mths we left the social group. During that time I also lost my best friend of 10 years as she also didn’t agree with the relationship and wanted my time spent on her. Slowly but surely the arguments continued to grow. He stood for most of it, while I cried and screamed and attacked him verbally, he stood still he was my rock,. I was diagnosed with depression (plus ive also entered menopause) and started taking anti-depressants but things only got worse for us. After warning me repeatedly that he’d had enough. I’d fix myself and then fall down again and found everything he did wrong. About 4 weeks ago he distanced himself totally and shut off, apparently we had broken up but he couldnt tell me as he doesnt want to lose my friendship and last week he agreed to give me one more chance to prove myself. Ive thrown away the anti-deps and have had constant counselling and have commenced to re-discover myself as he wanted but he wont even look at me let alone touch me. When I read all of the above I see him as he was so caring initially and then he faded away as I wanted commitment/security, the stress grew and the arguments got worse, mainly me asking for a hug or attention would be enough. He has 2 grown children that he adores and does anything for and that also caused tension. I’m not sure which one of us is PA I’m so confused and hurt atm, Everyone is telling us to seperate as we are toxic but for whatever reason we are still drawn to one another. Yesterday he blamed me for everything, that I pushed him and made him who is is today and I have to wear it. He refuses to discuss anything with me and hibernates at his place in his room with the TV and his dog. He says he is so full of anger that he cant express it anymore and I simply annoy him. Im heartbroken and miss him so much but am willing to do anything to help get us back on track. He takes me out and feeds me but thats all he can do atm. He is so cold in front of everyone that all have noticed his behaviour. He meets so much of the description of the PA but I could be wrong. Donna

  129. Hi to all
    I am also older now, I have lived with a PA for 28 years, I didn’t have time to notice how unadjusted his way of thinking was, I was working 6-7 days p/w & raring 3 children, no matter how frustrated he made me I didn’t think about it in depth to identify his problem, life was busy, I had enough on my plate……but that all changed 8 years ago when life came to a sudden halt. I needed his support throughout our 6 y/o daughter’s cancer diagnosis. I was so accustomed to doing absolutely everything (simply because he wouldn’t, his promises of action were very shallow)….I couldn’t do this one on my own, I needed him & this was his greatest desertion to date, yet, outwardly he looked like the perfect supportive husband, that’s very difficult to deal with….nobody believes you when you finally put it out there after suffering years in silence……a lonely time indeed.

    To live with a PA is raring an extra child, you are a single parent. As the children have grown I have to point out their fathers behaviour is not normal, I have to shield the children from his irrational responses to situations, I DO NOT want them to follow his lead. I did not want to involve the children but for their own well being I had too, I also didn’t want to taint their vision of their father, after all most kids heroes are their Dad’s, living with a PA affects the whole family.

    My husband is a classic PA, feels victimised, emotionally detached (I could have done with a few hugs during the dark days of childhood cancer), creates chaotic situations, ignorance, avoidance, indecisive, non communicative, conveniently forgetful, Anniversaries/Birthdays don’t exist, covert behaviour, time means nothing if it’s not about him, but worst of all is his cowardness.

    You CANNOT fix a PA, it is a life of training/coaching a child in an adult form, you find yourself teaching an adult what should have been learnt in childhood. Before you know it, it will take your lifetime, you have spent your life totally frustrated, hurt, disillusioned, loaded with resentment, blaming yourself, changing yourself, employing tactic’s all to no avail & at your wits end.

    My advice to anyone in a relationship who even suspects their partner has PA tendencies…..identify, address it, leave before children enter the picture. How you address it is entirely up to you but I would not live this life over with a PA. Don’t fall for the nice guy & their positive qualities, as life goes on you find the negative far outweighs the positive.

    How the hell I’m not dosed up to the eyeballs on anti-depressants is beyond me….I have pulled up my big girl panties many a time, cheering myself on to remain strong…..I can thank my kids for providing me that strength, I get by because of them, I don’t know how I would have coped without their inspiration, they keep me going & are well adjusted balanced kids, but I had to put in major effort to counteract my husband’s lack of leading by example.

    The only way to live with a PA is create your own personal life/space as a form of escape from the everyday issue’s of living with a PA, why do that you ask……because there will never be the typical unity of marriage, you’re on your own, if you don’t like flying solo don’t marry a PA.

    • I am an lady of 44yrs and I am hoping to be able to learn from your threads on here.Since reading your comments, I dont feel alone , I feel that I have come across a diagnosis of why my husband is the person he is.
      I just stumbled upon this website, I am desperate to be able to get rid of this feeling of dispair by being married to a PA. I knew there was a problem why I am so confused about my marriage and how my husband behaves, but I just couldnt put my finger on it.

      • i also could not figure it all out. We work full time and just get by and struggle to pay for all the stupid problems PAs cause and raise kids at the same time. They let us do everything while they just pout if we didn’t do it fast enough while they ignore us.

        Married for 23 years and I want to warn all single women what to look for – and run for cover. Nothing is worth the insanity and chaos that insues if they catch you and lure you in. Just bought Living with the Passive Aggressive man – good stuff so far.

        To add insult to injury two stupid counselors made things worse. Is there any good therapists out there who don’t get sucked into their little ploy to continue serving their needs?

      • Hello Clara, sorry I haven’t replied sooner but I have only just checked back in here. A PA personality will have you running around in circles sending you CRAZY, it’s not called crazy making for nothing! The way to live with a Pa & successfully retain your sanity is to create your own circle of friends & seperate spin off life of which he is uninvited, the only other sanity saving option is to exit the partnership. I hope you succeed in finding the peace & happiness you so deserve as I know only too well the frustration you live on a daily basis :) ((hugz))

    • Jenn – you are an unsung heroine, your email shows a lady of strength and love and I just want to say – well done – for how you’ve coped and how you raised your children. I so agree with your advice, my advice is to love your pa as much as you can, but don’t expect anything but words back. The pain gets less that way.

      Try to teach your children how to spot this behaviour in future partners (without referring to their dad) and hope to spare them the same experiences. The fact that you’ve done so much time with this sitution speaks volumes for the lady you are and the strength of your commitments. Also, to the era we were raised in when we were taught to ‘stick it out’. Now, exactly like you, I’d unhesitatingly advise a younger woman to leave – I hope this will help some younger ones ask themselves – would you treat a loved one in this way? if the answer is no, then don’t put up wit it any longer than you absolutely have to. Ignore the ‘good times’ you may still have, they get infrequent and you get left with deeply needy partners and still no help when your own health is going.

      • Hello Elis,

        Such a surprising & heart warming reply, thank you for your caring words & advice.

        You hit the nail on the head with “commitment” I took our marriage vows very seriously & have had to halt myself from waving the white flag of surrender & walking away feeling a failure many times over, but I know even if I do eventually come this point of no return I know in my heart I gave it 100% plus more & I didn’t fail us, he did.

        Once we worked through the difficult process of him accepting & recognising his behaviour we began to see positive results, we exercised this together without outside intervention. I felt a psychologist would be easily fooled by his outwardly “great guy” persona & would only complicate issue’s further, as a true PA wallows in the acceptance of others and uses them as a tool against & at the expense of their partner.

        My saving grace has been creating MY LIFE without betrayal & setting strict boundaries which my husband now understands will not be crossed & certain simple expectations that he must live up too without compromise, sounds fairly harsh, but my hand was forced, I didn’t want to be this person to him, but it works, if he starts to slip he is accepting of reminders & behavioural refreshers, which in the distant past was an impossible task.

        I understand as to expect the typical loving supportive relationship is unachievable with a PA, but we are in a place that is somewhat peaceful with balance & ongoing steps forward, which is pleasing. I now know male PA’s are not just your typical immature young man & will grow up with time, they are not capable of it & won’t progress without intervention, it takes a lifetime of trying to reach the final destination….if ever reached, they will always be PA to a degree.

        It’s a case of “If I only knew then what I know now” so yes, your advice of educating our young to recognise these personalities is a must, very valuable knowledge indeed towards the path of true happiness.

        And yes Elis, our kids love their Dad warts & all (mine as well, lol) & I wouldn’t have it any other way, so thank you for your strengthening words once again ((hugz))

  130. Here are the things my PA husband does……

    1. Refuses to comfort me when I am upset about something. He will turn the tables and say he is upset too and needs someone to comfort him.
    2. Never follows through on anything I ask him to do. For example, my dad just payed off a $10k credit card for us and I asked my H to send him a quick thank you email. He ALWAYS says okay, and then NEVER follows through. This happens OFTEN.
    3. Withholds sex and affection. I have asked him countless times to initiate sex and show me affection……never happens.
    4. Sabotages birthdays and holidays. He will either be in a bad mood, drink too much, or start a fight on special occasions.
    5. I workout religiously and look about 5-8 years younger than my age at 39. We actually met at the gym, and he looked good back then. He has gained too much weight and has promised for years now to work on becoming healthy again. Never happens. I am repulsed by his naked body.
    6. If I get upset about something, he refuses to EVER comfort me or tend to my emotional needs. He gives me the silent treatment or leaves for a few days as I suffer alone. I said this one at #1 but just had to reiterate it. He starves me emotionally.
    7. Refuses to man up and tend to repair issues around the house. He ALWAYS tells me to do it. He simply wants to work and then come home and do NOTHING. I cook, clean, and do all childcare for my 2 kids plus work 30 hours a week.

    This man is a loser and I am plotting my escape!!!!!’!!!!’

    • Yes, do seriously plot your escape. You are young. Get away from him. I’m stuck. It isn’t always possible to leave if you wait too long. He will not change, and the relationship will change you and not in ways you’ll be happy about. Don’t give away your life to someone who has nothing to give in return. Being alone will not be like being alone, it will be a breath of fresh air, a new beginning, a chance, the entrance of hope. Get away from this poison, sooner the better. Good luck.

  131. I’m married to a PA husband for 13 years now.He was all sweet , kind,generous ,polite , loving , gentle, sensitive ( all the good qualities someone could ever ask for ) for the first 1 year.Slowly his behaviour changed but it took me only now , after I reached hospital and subsequently being refered to a psychologist who forced my husband to start seeing him that I have come to know that my husband is a true case of PA . He promised to change .For the last year , up untill 4 months ago, he was a sweet angel again but his true colors are back.This time around, I have changed . My psychologist gave me some tips, I applied them but its SO DAMN DIFFICULT. The typical ‘ forgot’ solution I came upto was, I started putting reminders for him everywhere.He hated them with a passion and today exploded.I was very scared. He hit me, but I stayed very calm, quiet and didnt react AT ALL.But its so difficult.It has taken every tiny thread of my being to keep a calm front while crying hystirically inside.

    I have to stay for our 2 boys.I cant leave for them even thought he situation is bad.The best ammunation that worked for me today was to not participate in his outbursts which frustrated him even more.He wants control over me and I’m not giving it to him nor am I going to.

    I’m feeling a bit victorious today because I stayed sane but sad at the same time , for my life. Is this my life? I see so many happy couples around .How are they happy? But who knows whats going on in their homes behind closed doors. Maybe thats why the divorce rate is so high.Maybe there are more people like me,living a life of hell . Its not that I dont want to leave, I want to , but I have invested a lot . I might end up leaving when the boys are older.But how do I stay sane, not lose my sanity till then? The pychologist is also human who can just give tips how to cope, deal but if someone doesnt want to change,its waste of time , money, faith, hope , energy.

    How do I fulfill the desire to be with a loving man? To hold hands, look into eyes and just sit ? Its not a fairy tale expectation.Its a normal human need and desire.How do fulfil that desire to be just besides someone and feel relaxed and just be me?

    • Hi.
      It won’t get better. Get out. Don’t give years of your life. He will never be what you fell in love with, because he never was. What you see now is the real monster- and they are monsters. Get out!!

  132. Does any one know if there is a website that could help you address the pa problem with you spouse? I have a third generation pa and two babies. If there’s a chance at helping my husband maybe I can stop the abuse my mother in law and his grandma cause. I don’t want my children growing up with this pain, hurt or worse learning it

  133. I can’t believe I am reading this as it is so much like my life …24 years I have tried so hard but everything was always wrong and my fault. Now that my children have grown up I have the strength to get myself back ..all my friends are so happy about it as are my lovely children….apparently I have been kept in a box!

    Thank you and I send my support to you all .

  134. I’m kind of dropping another remark here, have any women here have any positive results with manifesting male as opposed to female for their partner to avoid playing the role of the mother?

  135. I recognized that my husband is passive aggressive about a year ago. it took me about five years to figure out what was wrong with him. But I knew there was something wrong with him. Even though I got blamed for everything because he was the calm collective spouse and I seem to be the one crazy and losing my temper all the time and, apparently he classified me as having an anger management problem. Which before I met him I never had any anger management problem. In fact before I met him I was divorced and living with my young daughter. I lived in my own home, paid all my bills, and worked very hard every day to support me and my child. I felt good about myself, I felt I had a purpose in this world, and I was happy.
    When I met my husband I was a very happy and positive optimistic girl. And he was different than he is today. He was happy and he always had a positive outlook on life. He was easy to get along with and very agreeable. Which he is still agreeable, now I just know he’s cooperating but later he will punish me by doing something vindictive (all with a smile on his face).

    I used to think he was stupid, but I started to realize he’s not stupid he’s playing what I like to call the “stupid card”. Anytime he would do anything like go to the grocery store and he would ask me to give him a list, he literally got nothing on the list. It was like he looked at the list and he got opposite of what the list said. Crazy!?&@%#
    Of course when I said you got nothing on the list he would get all pouty and say he was just trying to help and I didn’t appreciate anything he did.
    So at that point I thought maybe he is intentionally doing it wrong so I will not ask him to do it again…
    I noticed about three months after we married that I felt there was something that was just not right about our relationship. He paid all the bills, he worked, I stayed home, because he makes enough money for me to stay at home.
    Being that I’ve always worked my whole life very hard for everything I have. It was a very hard adjustment for me to not work. I told him that it bothered me that I didn’t work and I didnt do well sitting at home. My mind was thinking too much.
    He insisted that it would be easier if I did not work because he has two children from a previous marriage and I have one and the kids need me to pick them up etc…
    He owns his own business and if he wanted to give me a job he could but he won’t. In fact we’ve been together six years and I’ve never even been inside his office. Is that strange? I feel like it is? He said that I’m crazy and paranoid, which I think maybe so, because he is driving me paranoid and crazy. I feel that he is so sneaky and he so secretive. I feel he does not tell me anything. Even the most stupidest things he does not tell me, the only thing we seem to talk about is the weather and what the weather will be like the next.
    I feel like my soul has been crushed and my heart is broken. I feel that I’m not anyone. I have NO purpose in this world. I moved away from friends and family to be with him. And now I am alone.. I cry every day. I am a very strong person but this has broken me. I’ve tried to tell my husband this. I’ve cried and begged, he won’t listen and nothing changes. Or he promise to do better and do whatver and HE NEVER DOES.. I don’t know what to do
    I feel like I’ve completely lost myself and I have no idea who I am, what I’m supposed to be doing, or where I belong. He won’t listen, it’s like he doesn’t think I’m important enough to change for or to even a knowledge. It’s like he thinks I’m just nagging again and after a day or so he can sweep it under the rug and things will be fine.
    I feel defeated, hopeless and lost

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