Examples of Passive Aggressive Behavior

Tonite is a typical example of passive aggressive behavior at it’s best. LOL.

The passive aggressive BF has offered to go to the store for me tonight because he knows I absolutely hate the heat (93 degrees) and he takes it a lot better than I do. He’s very thoughtful that way at times. Besides what he was going for, I had a couple coupons for a couple things I wanted to pick up at the same time. One being a coupon for what we’re going to have for dinner. Everything I wanted is at the same store. No extra trips anywhere. There were 3 items, all of which he’s familiar with.

First I get the “look”, then the sigh, then the different “look”. I tell him it should be fine, it’s cooled off, really I can go to the store. He gives me one of these “Oh pishod. It’s no problem. I’ll be right back.”

I tell him that I figured he wouldn’t go through all of the above if it wasn’t a problem. Because I called him out on his behavior, he wasn’t sure how to respond, so he stood staring at the cat for a minute, kissed me goodbye and left. After all this time he knows it doesn’t do any good any more to deny he made the faces, etc. so he just kind of lapses into silence. Passive aggressive behavior to the letter. LOL.

We’re still house hunting, although today we did put in an offer on a mobile home. The yard is nice and small so I don’t have to worry much about yard work. I was really leaning toward renting this rather crappy house in a good neighborhood (and we could still end up there), but the yard, front and back, goes on forever it seems. Even though I have asked the passive aggressive BF half a dozen times if he would really take care of the yard, any body who has been with a passive aggressive knows what they say and what they do are two different things.

Also the bathrooms in this house would have to be painted. Once again he says he figures it would only take a day to do each bathroom. Now I know if I really wanted them done, I could do them, but I would rather be working. (Something about the need for money to be coming in. lol). All I can think about is all the paint I bought just to do the trim on the last house and it sat there for 8 years. I don’t think I want to go through that again.

All I can think of is that house will just turn me back into the nag that I haven’t (much) had to be for the last few months. What really bugs me is I would only have myself to blame!

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26 Responses

  1. Just wanted your thoughts about something. My PA boyfriend is the maintenance director at a camp and once had his own painting business. I have been waiting for him to repair an area that needs new dry wall and to repaint it for about three months.The stuff he needs has been sitting there waiting for him for that long and I’m thinking that I’m going to hire somebody to do it, pay them myself and just see what he does.What kind of reaction do you suppose I’ll get? One afternoon, when we first started dating,before I ever would have asked him to do any repairs around here, I had a young fella come repair a broken window near the patio. We were sitting there have a meal or something and he didn’t take his eyes off that repair for a single minute. I could tell it was really bugging him that he wasn’t the one doing it. It was bothering him so much that he made some excuse about needing to run home to his house for something (the reason didn’t make any sense. I knew it was because it was bugging him) After that he started telling me that HE would do this repair or that. I didn’t need to hire anybody but you know how that goes. tell me what you think please. Thanks Marilyn

    • Marilyn- This one cracks me up (no offense). When my passive aggressive BF moved in, I was in the midst of getting an estimate to have the trim painted on our house. He happened to know the painter, didn’t like him, said we didn’t need him. He went and bought the paint and it sat for almost 10 yrs.

      The only way you may get your PA to do something like what you want done is to 1) tell him in advance that on such and such a day you are calling to get an estimate. Let him know if the estimate is good you are going to schedule the work. If he says he will do it, then tell him that would be great but if it’s not done by blah, blah, then you’re going ahead with your plan. (Obviously give him a few days or a weekend to get it done before you call for the estimate). Once you have the estimate, you could give him a few days before you schedule it to be done, or you could just schedule it, let it happen and when he gripes, tell him you’ve been asking, you gave him days and he didn’t do anything. You’ll just have to see how it goes in the future to know if this is how it’s going to be from now on, or if he is going to actually start doing something.

      Good luck to you and stop back by anytime to let us know how you’re doing. To some of us old timers, if you decide to “accept the mission”, you have a long way to go. LOL.

  2. Hi ladybeams–I am here today because I want to share something that my PA husband did to me and it hurt. And it still hurts. I’ll get over it but I feel so betrayed and after all this time didn’t think much would surprise me.

    He finally came over on Sunday to get his stuff. He brought the cops. Supposedly so he wouldn’t have trouble with me. I informed the officer that for two weeks I had been trying to get him to come over and my attorney and she said inform him and if he doesn’t come, change the locks. Cop was fine with everything. Needless to say I think the cop didn’t like him too much when he left because he was taking pots and pans and the officer brought it to my attention. I told him it’s fine because he has his own and he is welcome to take them. Officer said okay, no problem. I mentioned that “we have to do things on his time” and he said usually that’s how it is.

    Never having gone through this before, I didn’t hover over my husband. I found out two days later he took all my jewelry. It’s community property. I don’t have much to stand on. Even if the diamond was purchased before marriage, not community property and he had to no right to that. Anway…I confront him about it.

    He says he bought the jewelry it’s his. It was a gift…he still said it was not a gift and he was letting me “borrow” it. Okay I was borrowing my wedding ring!!!!???? Whatever. Then he said it was an investment. I wanted to say “Hey you stupid PA…which lie is it???” Anyway, I broke down. Just all of a sudden was sitting on my sofa sobbing hard, chest wrenching sobs. My 14 yr old comes and sits by me and comforts me and the 3 yr old is asking what’s wrong with mommy. My boys are better off with me cause if he raised any of them they would not have the compassion they showed me the other night if they were P.A.

    So I text him and tell him “okay you accomplished what you set out to do” (which was hurt me) and he texted back “to stop wanting all the things that he has and that I have always wanted his stuff”. OMG…what a psycho! The light went on in my head more than ever. This guy is legit twisted and YOU DON’T WANT TO BE WITH SOMEONE LIKE THIS. They are poison, acid and a disease on society. I made up my mind I was definately divorcing because any ounce of love/compassion/caring I had for him, he just robbed. Just by being so repulsively black, evil-heart and selfish. Wow…what a revelation. God was saying girl nows your chance, get away.

    I haven’t talked to him and won’t and I’m done. I filed for divorce. Now I’ll have to deal with that. But my attorney said to be lean and mean. I said I had no problems with mean. The jewelry was probably pawned. What a loser. Attorney said something else that I realized…he just showed you who he really was because he didn’t turn into this guy over night. Amen to that.

    But anyway, maybe this will help others see how the aggressive side can be. I sure saw something I had never seen and don’t like. Don’t care to see it again. I have a good, kind heart and need someone who can see it and wants to be that way themselves. Thought I would share because I am still hurting from this one. It was the same as being stabbed in the heart. I was a blow to the gut. Phew! I just want the drama over.

    Any feedback or thoughts are appreciated. Just wanted to share. Take care.

    • Sami- What a slimeball. I hope when you filed for divorce, you told your lawyer you want that stuff back! Of course, he’ll probably deny ever taking it. What a creep. Well, now you know what you can expect from him. Unfortunately, because we are not as deceitful as they are, we don’t think like they do, go as low as they are willing to go, and we get surprised. When I left with my kids, my ex made me sign over my part of the house to him in order to get my children’s things out. In the end it worked out good for me because when he did that, he also took on all of capital gains tax debt, so there was some justice. LOL.

      I’m sorry I didn’t warn you better. If he was deceitful in your marriage, it will come out even more so now. I can warn you about this part however. If you go to court, which you will unless you’re just going to have your attorney appear for you, expect your ex to lie about everything, even to the judge. They have no fear, just a goal to manipulate the situation, make you look bad, and win. The part about committing perjury doesn’t worry them at all. That’s why it’s so important to log or journal everything, every bit of contact. If there was a police report from him coming and getting his stuff, you should have a copy of that also, just so you know what was said or the cop’s take on the situation. The cop may not have written one up, but if he did you should have it.

      I don’t know if he will fight you for custody, but you should get ready for a personal attack from him there also. Any documentation you can get from the children’s school and day care providers saying how much better adjusted they seem in the last few weeks, or how their behavior has improved would be a plus for you. I don’t know if your state requires mediation like California does, but you would do well to be prepared, just in case. His lack of attention to the boys is a plus also. For every time he contacted you but never asked about the children would be a good thing to note.

      I’m sorry he’s turning out to be the way he is which means he won’t make it easy for you. You are right, in the fact that you and your children deserve so much better. That will have to be your “light at the end of the tunnel” when you’re going through the hard stuff. There is a good man out there that would love to have a lady with so much to offer. Now you know where the saying comes from “You have to kiss a lot of toads to find a prince”. LOL.

      Good luck My Dear. Now you know how dirty he can play. Thank God the jewelry, while meaningful to you, is just “stuff”. That can always be replaced. Feel free to come here to vent any time. We all need to be able to talk to someone. Thanks for posting this for others. It may give someone unsuspecting a “head’s up”.

  3. It isn’t your fault you didn’t prepare me better. All people comes in so many different shades. I notice with time his true self comes out. The more nasty he shows me the more underhanded he is. He is not playing fair and to make myself look good, I have to and that isn’t fair either.

    I have been journaling and I can see how it helps. Putting the dates down are important. I have documented all that he has done since he left. How much he HAS NOT contacted the child or come to see him. The lastest incident being he called to suspend the cell phone which had to be approved by me because he is not authorized to make decisions on the account. He said he lost the cell. Honestly…I think he did. He has that PA trait down 100%. Forgetfulness and losing things. I also confirmed this with a friend who has stayed kind of neutral and is “hoping” that my husband will see the light. I’ve told him don’t count on it but eventually he will show his true side to the friend. It’s already started and I could tell. So this is another notch against him.

    I will not just sit by and let the child go anywhere with him when there is no way to contact him and no address to show up to. Are you crazy??? He must be. His other PA trait…self/others destruction. He is destroying us and anything that effects him thinking he is “living his life and not having others tell him what to do”. This comes at a price and he isn’t even aware of it. Oh well to him. I think he is living out of his car, no job and now no cell phone or family to boot.

    I don’t feel sorry for him one bit. I will look into the other things you mentioned. I know the babysitter says he never mentions dad when talking about family. Only mentions mom and big brother. This is interesting. The little one has only one time asked to speak to dad in the almost one month he’s been gone. Other than that, we don’t mention him and the older one and I spell out his name when briefly discussing it.

    He is more passive than aggressive and that is what I’m hoping on. He can go to court and I’m prepared for all the lies. I work in a law firm…it’s best to have my attorney speak for me or I’ll speak when spoken to. Compliance with a judge is better and I am aware of all that. Court is not new to me. I’m sure my attorney will help me out too.

    I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all the advice.

    • Sami- Good to hear from you. It actually sounds like you are doing quite well. It sounds like you nor the boys are having too hard a time adjusting to it just being the 3 of you. That’s great. You are so lucky to be working for a law firm while you are going through this. Most people don’t have that luxury and can’t afford a lawyer, so they stay stuck.

      You really think he’s living out of his car instead of with his “girlfriend”? If that’s true, I’m surprised he hasn’t tried to get back in the house. With no job or anything else, she’ll probably tire of him rather quickly. LOL. I’m happy for you that you don’t fall for the “need to fix him” routine. You’re right. He brought all this on himself, let him fix it for himself. As of yet, he doesn’t sound very remorseful.

      Glad to hear the journaling is working out, and please do let us know how it’s going. Always glad to hear from a friend.

  4. I don’t think the g/f is here in TX. I think she still lives in TN. I think he was stringing her along too. I’d like to quote a text I got off his phone from her to him:

    “I told you to make me part of your life and stop pushing me out. You have my soul which means that we are together as one. What hurts you hurts me…

    See ****(name left out) even now you turn away from me. Life partners dont do that to one another. Have we commited to each other? Do you love me? Then tell me what you want to be with us”

    Oh this poor woman has no idea. She has seen his bad side already and has no clue. I could write her a book and tell her where this is going. She will need this website when she’s done. LOL

    Anyway, he has WAY too much pride to try to come back. He is VERY much my way or the highway. The I am right and you are wrong. When I’m right I will not concede. But as you can imagine…he isn’t right. He isn’t remorseful at all, as you said, and so for that reason I filed for divorce. I would NEVER treat him the way he treated me. That’s why my jewelry got taken. Right? I have stopped under estimating him. I will NOT let him back into my house. I just wonder if he’ll disappear since I haven’t heard from him since Friday of last week.

    Whatever…the boys and I are strong and we’ll survive. I have to say one thing…the reason we didn’t work out is because I was a strong woman who went after what she wanted career wise and financially. Of course, I’m not rich by any means but I’m a single mom and supported a family of four on my own with little/no help from him. That intimidated him. (I learned all this from the “How to Live with a Passive Aggressive Man” book). It’s helped but I’m not done. So my crime was getting the family ahead and he saw that as a disobeying wife who never took his advice. What a loser and idiot. I’ve had friends, mother, aunt & family tell me I have been very successful and independent. Thank goodness I don’t believe him.

    I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for the support!

  5. Hi Ladybeams…it has been a while since I last posted. Oh the ups and downs of PA. I have come to give an update. I feel like the “lab rat” on divorcing a PA. There are a few responses throughout your website and it is helpful. I am in the process of divorcing, as you know, and want to see if my situation will end up in the “what a PA will usually do” category.

    So, I filed for divorce on 3/8/10 and here in TX you have a 60 day waiting period. That whole time has been an endeavor to locate him to serve him. The same day we filed to substitute service (they serve him at his “job”) he filed an answer. Which happened to be 2 days before the 60th day. Ahhhh, the PA and procrastination. So, our attys finally get together to only find out that she has to wait for him to call her. Ok, so she doesn’t even really know where he is at. She provides a cell and address…of course, they are no good and I have verified that. My atty already knew they weren’t, but it felt good to be right. (haha) He has been gone almost 4 months now. Not once has he seen his son and he never calls to find out if he is okay. I am thinking this is God’s way of making it so I get sole custody of my child. I have made some plans for myself and the boys and it hinges on that sole custody.

    I informed him to come get the rest of his stuff and I will put it on the porch and not be there. That way he wouldn’t have to deal with me and his inner PA would be happy. We did this to try to trick him so that a process server would sit outside my house when he arrived for his stuff. Oh he was full of excuses. I don’t know when I have time, my car doesn’t work, I’ll call you back when I figure out when I can come, etc. In the end, that plan did not work and I still have the stuff. Atty says to keep his stuff and mail (which I have) but she did say that shows how much he doesn’t care. The fact that he left stuff at the house and has not called or come to get it says a lot. I guess in most normal instances, most people come get the rest of their belongings.

    So I’m thinking that this PA guy has been threatening me all along…come to find out he is all bark and no bite. Many people say they don’t understand how he can not call. They don’t understand this PA stuff like I do now. (Oh, I read some books from the library that were recommended on your site and they were helpful). He has a disconnect with everyone he deals with. Yes…even his own child. I now realize the reason my 3 yr old had temper tantrums was because my husband was being PA with him and it feeds that kind of behavior in a child. For example, the child wants a sandwich. I say no because he just ate something significant. He runs to dad and dad gets it. I tell him he just ate, don’t feed him. The little one whines or has a HUGE fit…therefore, the PA can’t handle that. If he gives the child the sandwich the child shuts up and he doesn’t have to deal. But we normal people all know that caving into a 3 yr old like that is detrimental to the parent/child authority roles. My 3 yr old now has less temper tantrums and when he is instructed to go to his room to have them, he either stops or goes there and when he is done asks to come out.

    Life has settled down quite a bit in the house. I can see now that this is probably a pre-cursor to how he will be the whole time. He has never in the 6 years been reliable so why would he start now. He never supported the family well, or to the best of his ability, why would he start now? It’s okay with me. I have plans and they don’t include him. They are for the betterment and well being of myself and my children.

    I have started at an online university and as they say “life moves on”. I am changing careers. I am sure he is going to give me a fight to make my life hell. Because he is such a drama king. But eventually I will be divorced and he can’t stop that time marches on. With or without him it will. We are at least free of the destruction that a PA can cause. It’s weird…I have accomplished so much since he has been gone. I knew and see even more now, how much he was holding me back. As my son says, I am a free spirit. I see now that he is right. You can’t trap a free spirit or hold it down. It has to be let out and let to do what it wants.

    I’ll keep you posted and let you know how things go. Right now he is laying low and we are going to try to call him out. Really? the time is up for the divorce and he needs to man up.

    Take care–Sami

    • Hey Sami- How wonderful to hear from you.

      Except for him being a pain in the you-know-what, it sounds like you and the boys are doing so good since your husband left. I’m so happy for you. I know even when things are better it’s still hard sometimes, but it sounds like you’re handling everything very well. I’m really happy to hear your youngest son is adjusting as well as he is. This is the age to nip that tantrum stuff in the bud because later on it’s too late and they’re too big.

      It really isn’t that unusual that your husband hasn’t called or anything, given the passive aggressive personality. Most are so disconnected from anyone, that they can walk out and never look back. It’s a shame your attorney can’t find a way around having to deal with him. I know in some places the judge can order your husband to give a viable address at least, if not that and a phone number that works so your attorney can contact him when necessary. If he gave that stuff and it’s all false, he could be held in contempt of court.

      My fingers are crossed for you My Dear, and I keep you and the boys in my prayers. Hopefully this will all just go by like he’s let everything else go and things will turn out your way. Please stop by any time. I love to hear from you and anytime someone is “getting out and doing good” it provides some inspiration for others. Thank you.

  6. Hi,

    Is this a twelve step group for those living with a passive-aggressive person? Mine is a pain but actually apologizes sometimes for being a jerk, but if I want him to apologize, forget it. I am lucky to know a 25 year sober gay alcoholic that taught me to say “yes dear” to him when he acts like this. When he has hurt pride over something egotistical and I am sick or tired, he will NOT help with our babies. He will say mean things, but most of the time doesn’t talk. I just call a babysitter near him and all of a sudden..he helps. I used to cry and get him to be my equal and it was horrific!

    Thanks!

    • mama- Hi and Welcome!

      LOL. No this isn’t a twelve step program, but that actually isn’t a bad idea. I know a lot of people who would find it very useful.

      It is amazing the different ways they “teach us a lesson”, whether it be by not helping with the kids, or any other way they can think of (not doing any of the “manly” chores around the house, the silent treatment, etc.). I’m glad you found another way to deal with him instead of crying. Crying or us losing our cool is just what they are after. It only feeds the behavior. Sounds like you’re starting to catch on.

      Thanks for your input, and feel free to stop by anytime and leave a comment.

  7. Hi Ladybeams…just felt the need to come by. See if anything new is going on. I still like learning about passive aggresive as even though he is an “ex” I still have to deal with him.

    I remember telling you about a website that logs visitation time. I found one cheaper but it’s good for my situation as it date stamps when things are entered so that a person can’t “tamper” with that or input everything at once. When it’s entered at once it looks fraudulent. Over time is best. Great website and it really brings home how uninvolved he is. So far? He has participated 1.12% of the month in his son’s life. That means in a 30 day period I am involved 98.88% of the time. Hope a judge can see I need some family support and gonna go in summer to see if I can move.

    Also, this is so funny and I have learned so much from you and your website. So the big lesson is to stay calm, right? I do and continue to keep an even tone so he can’t say I did this or did that. In doing this and staying calm I have noticed…he is an angry guy. Wow! Anyhow I am curious to know somthing.

    One day he called. He got mad at my answer and overtalked me by shouting and not letting me finish. Lately, he has done this to me a lot. This makes me angry and I feel so disrespected. It also makes me feel controlled and bulldozed on. I am a strong, independent woman. Whether I am this way I don’t think anyone would like or accept that kind of treatment. So calmy while he was still ranting I told him I will not argue with you and not be yelled at and I hung up on him. A week later he calls me and I am sure it is to let me know when he will come see our son. But since he called when I was away from my cell, I didn’t answer. I also don’t understand why he can’t leave a message to let me know to call him. This all sounds trivial BUT IT ISN’T. I would normally answer no problem. But I noticed a pattern. He calls, I jump and call back. Every time. Oh, how stupid I feel. I guess I am wanting some control of my life when it comes to him because looking back on our relationship, he robbed me of this. This is the only time it has happened to me and I don’t like it. So I have not called him back.

    One day later and only two calls, I have not called him because he has not left a message. I am sure he will call but just wondering what is going on in that passive aggressive head of his. He is typically more passive than aggressive. I am wondering if he thinks I am mad at him so that is why I haven’t called him back. Or he wants to play a game cause he thinks I am. Don’t really know. I would love to know your thoughts.

    Please know, I normally am not this way and would call. Would love to be civil and get along and discuss our child. Would love to involve dad in everything. Unfortuantely, due to his horrible passive aggressive ways during our divorce (aggressive lying was his M.O.) I am so gun shy and don’t trust him at all. I am leery and even get sick to my stomach when he calls and I have to deal with him. I am seriously thinking about getting some help for the sick stomach think because I realize it is mental and I need to figure out how to get over it and not really sure how to assess that. Mostly I think I am very untrusting of him because of his actions in the divorce and now. He is like playing Russian Roulette…I am not sure which phone call/visit he is going to go off. I hate it and want so badly to be OVER the hold he had/has on me when it comes to my emotions. Mind you I don’t love him anymore…it is his manipulations I am dealing with.

    Any advice is welcomed. Take care.

    • Sami- OMGosh! So glad to hear from you! I’m sorry you’re still going through so much, but it’s got to be better than going through it and having to live with him at the same time.

      I think it’s absolutely terrific that you have been able to maintain your composure when you speak with him, and it’s quite obvious by the angrier he gets that he’s figured he can’t get you to lose control the way he used to. I would have to say, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times because of the way he’s trying to roll right over you now, that you won that one, My Dear. Now he’s just trying a different tactic because the old one no longer works. Nothing new, right?

      As far as the phone thing, what you could do is change the message on your phone to say something like: “I can’t get to the phone right now. If you want me to call you back, please leave a message stating why you are calling, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.” I would say the “If you want me to call you back…” part very strongly. Or, maybe something like “Hi, I can’t come to the phone right now. I get a lot of telemarketer calls, so if you want me to call you back,” or anything to that effect. Then, if you want to, this time you could return his call and let him know from now on if he wants you to call him, he needs to leave a specific message as to why he is calling.

      As for the new website you found, it sounds super. It’s great that everything is dated and timed. I also found it amusing that you can actually break down his time into a percentage. If that doesn’t get the judge’s attention…LOL. I think you’re ex will probably be a little shocked as well. I think I would keep that your little secret until necessary to bring it out.

      If you get the butterflies, or sick to your stomach every time he calls, you might try some deep breathing exercises, or some meditation. If you practice meditating every day, even for 10 minutes, in a very short time you’ll be able to calm down almost instantly, at least that’s how it works for me. There is all kinds of free info on line about how to meditate, etc. All you have to do is google it, or google ‘relaxation techniques’.

      You take care of yourself, Sami. You’re on the winning edge now. You’ve got most of the hardest part behind you. Hope this helped a little, and let us know how you’re doing. Loved hearing from you.

  8. Hmmm…well, he didn’t even call at all this weekend or come get the child. Wondering if he thinks I’m mad at him still (which if he called back I would answer) but this is the child in him. His family is notorius for giving the silent treatment. They go months not talking to each other. I thought this was the weirdest thing and now realize the passive/aggressive raised these adults this way. They get it from mom.

    I think your idea of leaving a voicemail stating to leave a message is a good idea. I have to write him a letter regarding medical for the child, and will probably off handedly mention this…somehow.

    Meditation…I think that is a good idea. I hate that he has this affect on me. It mostly stems from being untrusting of him because of his lies. It’s like you never know what you’ll get with him. I haven’t really dealt with people that have these issues. Everyone I know will tell you if they have an issue and you don’t have to guess or worry if they are going to stab you in the back.

    I just want “my power” back and I know in time I will. I think the custody program is for me because he NEVER answers emails and any phone time he can warp or contort so I do things to back myself up. I have sent a few emails and I keep them so people could see that I was being civil and then his word is out the window. My attorney said something to me once and she was SO right…”I think he thinks that everyone believes what he says.” I agreed…I think he thinks we believe his lies because in the past, his word was good. WAS being key. Now it’s nothing to me.

    I’ll probably come by again later and give an update. Next week is vacation to Cali and I’m leaving him and TX behind for that two weeks. I just want to go home and enjoy myself there. Spend time with mom and family. Hopefully he won’t call cause I have spring break custody. Take care and hopefully this is a lesson on what to expect AFTER divorce. Thank goodness I got out. I am so much happier and KNOW I did the right thing.

    • Sami- I hope you have a wonderful time on vacation. God knows, you’ve earned it. If he’s given you the silent treatment for this long, maybe it’ll extend until you get back, although we both know you should be so lucky. LOL.

      Keeping his emails is a great idea. Hopefully you have a little folder in your email server that you can just move them all to so you can print them out as needed. In court they carry a lot of weight as evidence. Not only that, but it moves from the realm of “he said, she said” to concrete proof.

      I’m so glad you are doing well and so much happier now. I’m sure you see a marked difference in your sons also. I know it wasn’t easy getting out at first, but it sounds like you definitely feel it was worth the effort. I am so happy for you, your boys, and your brand new future that lays ahead for all of you. Can’t wait to hear about your vacation. LOL

  9. I am new to the discovery of being married to an alcoholic, PA husband. Saying one thing and doing another? I live in the house he bought for his first wife. Any changes, paint/wall paper/ door knobs were started in the first year of marriage, while I was in Europe for a MONTH. Today, 22 years later… not one of his projects has yet to be completed.

    The only things that have happened in my life with him, have been for him. He spent $2000 building a fence himself when I got a $1200 quote from a retired craftsman. He did it poorly and it’s not completed. We said that we would take 2 vacations together every year, his choice would be camping/fishing and mine would be the tourist/sightseer. It happened just the first year and he was so over dramatically “imposed upon” by everything and everyone with mine, it was all so overpriced and “hoity-toity”, I just couldn’t bear the thought of going through that again.

    Literally would not order/eat a meal in a restaurant. I would order and he would just sit there, pouting and drink while I ate. Yes, there were too many times I just told the waiter (still standing there) just to cancel mine and we left.

    We did camping only for the next 15 years, he went up to 6 times a year, I never went more than one. I made the mistake (once) of trying to camp with the inlaws. Well, the apple didn’t fall far from that tree. I haven’t been on holiday since. Why? Well, there isn’t any money for my kind of holiday! Tsk.

    In the past week, in drunken rages, he has screamed until he was purple in the face, eyes bulging and in the backyard, where all the neighbours could hear. They did avert their eyes, though. *sigh*

    He screamed…” to shut my mouth, no wonder people didn’t like me, my mouth opened at the crack of dawn and never stopped yapping, how dare I make him talk about feeling/therefore make him hurt inside (we lost two children and his mother passed when he was nine) what kind of wife was I but obviously the absolute worst and what kind of mother (I was left barren) but awful and don’t ever speak to him about anything emotional, don’t dare ever question him again, that I’m a mental case who needs therapy and how many voice did I have going…..” Sorry, it just goes on and on.

    The next day… he avoids me like the plague until I approach him. Never confrontational (it’s not my first time) and he is IMMEDIATELY on the defensive. It’s never that he didn’t remember but… “Refresh my memory. Why don’t you tell me what you heard. Tell me your point of view. So? What do you want me to say?”

    When I quote him on the worst of it… “I would NEVER say that! I think you’re exaggerating!Oh, don’t try making stuff up because I can’t remember! What kind of person does that??” Or, of course you all know this one….”I’m sorry. I’m such an (all of the above?) I’m so stressed. I worry about you. I can’t tell you how I think or feel ’cause I don’t want to burden you.”

    I just can’t do it anymore. There is nothing left inside of me. My only excuse for even starting a relationship with this man is the post traumatic stress disorder I had/have when we met, from my brother committing suicide.

    In the 22 years…. I have lost 2 children and was left barren, lost two brothers, had 14 operations (several were life saving), gone through a breast cancer scare, spent several years in and out of hospitals for my mother and I am a chronic migraine sufferer.

    I have lost several businesses since I married, each one bursting at the seams with success until HE decideds I’m spending too much time on it…. then it’s demise is imminent. The oddest thing…. and many of you can agree…. when he’s “present” and sober… he can be the greatest of guys.

    I may be depressed, suffering from low self esteem and PTSD, but I could not and WILL NOT intentionally kill a soul. Including mine. To save the person I once was, and the person I should be, can be, will be…. I have to say it’s over.

    Thanks for letting me tell someone. Hugs.

    • Katona Katalin- Hi, and thanks for sharing. I am so terribly sorry for what you are dealing with, but I must tell you that I am so glad to hear you say it’s over. My first instinct was to tell you to “RUN” with capitol letters. It’s bad enough putting up with a PA, but when they are an alcoholic, you have to battle both problems. It’s a losing proposition. Alcoholism is such a progressive disease, and it grows progressively ugly. If he is to the point you describe, it is time to get out before he hurts you. It only escalates from here, and I should worn you, when they start getting this ugly and crazy, it probably won’t be long before they end up having an alcoholic seizure, or end up in the hospital with a bad liver or something. IF that should happen, you need to be strong and remind yourself, you did not do this to him. Not only that, but some get out of the hospital and never quit drinking. Others quit, but never learn how to live without alcohol, so they are mean or nasty, just as if they were still drinking. They pat themselves on the back and say “I quit drinking” and think the world should bow down, but in reality, all they are is what they call a “dry drunk”. That will make you miserable forever by itself, let alone the fact that he is PA. It’s hard, but don’t for a minute feel guilty, or sorry, just go ahead as you have planned to live your life without him, and may God Bless him, but not with you.

      Save yourself. He will always find someone, somewhere to take care of him. That’s what they do best. And if something happens to him, that’s on him also. He’s a grown man like you are a grown woman. It’s all in the choices we make.

      Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your story. Please, feel free if you ever need to talk, and now that you are “approved” through my spam filter, there is always someone out here to listen.

      • I was reading some of the comments being made, and I wanted to give you ladies some ideas that you might not have heard before.

        One has to do with prompting. I don’t think that it’s a problem to tell people what to do to a degree. I do think if it gets to the point where someone is so busy executing your requests that they have no time to think for themselves, it seriously impedes on their lives. Yes, you have goals as a family. Yes, the kids, the house payments have to be made. But space must be left for themselves and their own integrity, their own dignity. If prompts become a broken record, that’s when cell phones get lost or turned off, etc.

        I don’t disagree with the concept of passive aggression. I think if you tell someone you are going to do something, and then just blow them off, it’s an act of aggression – an act of disrespect. I know that I don’t engage in this kind of behavior.

        I do, however, know that I have to have two types of down time in my life – (1) raw down time, and (2) constructive down time. I work 70 hours a week, but I absolutely need both of these types of down time to maintain my sanity. I am not in a relationship, but I imagine that if I was, and I had an overbearing wife, these periods of time would be when a lot of irritating prompting would enter in. I wouldn’t mind hearing a prompt in this type of situation, as long as my spouse or significant other can respect my need for catharsis, my need for down time.

        Lastly, I was reading some of the comments above, and I read words like ‘loser’ and ‘creep.’ Those are strong words – words that really hurt. If you find yourself being overly aggressive or abusive to someone, and you can’t slow the stampede down, then it’s better to just get out of the relationship and find a way to cool off.

        • Hi Mike, I agree that not giving someone space and over prompting can be counter productive ( in the UK we call it “nagging”) however a PA does not display the normal rational reactions that non PA’s do. I can say hand on heart that my husband had as much freedom/space as he desired with very little questioning from me ( we had no children and life was quite care free apart from work commitments). He had his own interests and hobbies and I rarely demanded anything from him apart from asking that he take the effect of his behaviour and decisions had on me in to account. Despite not “nagging”, giving him space and down time and in general providing as much support to him as I could ( financial and emotional) I still ended up being manipulated and my emotional and physical needs went unfullfilled. I’m no saint but I can communicate effectively and I was articulate and open in communicating my needs to him without being demanding, regardless of this he still never took responsibility for anything and always tried to make me responsible for his emotions as well as everything else be it financial to the organisation of his doctors appointment, the household, family birthdays etc and more than anything his “moods” .. the list is endless.
          A classic example of him trying to make me responsible is as follows… he was in a bad mood ( because I couldn’t afford to pay for his car fixing when it broke down…I don’t drive by the way and he rarely took me anywhere in it). I was out all day and when I got home I could tell he’d been drinking. I didn’t say anything about it and just went on with things as I would normally. 5 times he said to me ” you need X from the shop don’t you”, each time I said “no I’m fine thanks” and the last time said “look I think you’ve been drinking so you can’t drive and I really don’t want anything”. Eventually he decided he was going (because he wanted more alcohol) and although I tried to stop him, even by standing in front of the door and begging him not to go, off he went on his motorbike ( I didn’t know where the keys where so could do anything). I was totally distraut and very very worried. He eventually came back home an hour later having had an accident and come off the bike!
          Can you see what he was trying to do? He wanted me to say “yes” so if anything happened he could blame me!
          So you see PA’s cant be dealt with rationally and they don’t give a damn about who they hurt or who their behaviour effects, all they care about is getting what they want.
          As for the names we choose to use for them, it’s the sheer frustration and anger of banging our heads against a brink wall beacause we’ve had years of them not being unable to take responsibility for anything, that drives us to the point of despair.

  10. I just thought I’d share with you my latest experience of the PA Husband.
    We’ve been seperated now for 7 months and he moved out 5 months ago.
    He called me last week to ask if he could come and pick something up from the garage. I was cool about it and said yes and he suggested that on his way back home that he would drop me off at the supermarket so I could so my shopping. Totally made sense to me as I don’t drive and as I’ve tried to maintain a civil relationship with him I was happy for the little bit of help.
    So sat arrives and he told me he’s be here at 10.30am…at 10.50 I hear a car horn going and look out my window and there he is in the car pipping the horn and beckoning me to the car. I was confused as I thought he was coming to pick the thing in the garage up. The car dissapeared ( I have space outside the house to park) and a few mins later he called me saying ” What ya doing, hurry up and come and get in the car, I’ll take you shopping”. I asked where he was and said I was expecting him to come in as he needed to get what ever he wanted from the garage. Apparently he’d parked up down the road cos too embarressed to park in front of the house in case the neighbours saw him ( whats all that about!!!) and had decided he didn’t want the stuff from the garage today and had only come over to take me shopping! I was totally shocked as there is no way I’d have ever dreamt of even considering asking him to come 25km here to take me shopping!
    Anyway, I thought I might as well take advantage of it while I could and I went to the car. He was as misserable as sin, moody, complaining how he hated where he was living blah blah blah. He insisted on waiting for me and dropping me back home ( I said I’d get a cab and really didn’t need him to) but he was adament. When he dropped me off he helped get the stuff out of the car and brought it in to the house. I’d been bought a Bday pressy that I’d hung up in the porch and it was a metal ornate heart with the word “home”inside it. Well as soon as he saw it he started gettting really mad and saying ” thats just taking the mickey”, ” I cant believe you’d have that” , “this used to be my home” etc etc and he eventually left with a face like thunder.
    The next day I recieved the following text…. ” Well used to be a place I called home!!! Now I feel not far from a homeless hostel Not to worry you carry on with your nice life in your nice home”
    Bearing in mind I’ve begged/borrowed to pay him half the equity left in the house plus given him extra money as well, ie bought him a laptop, bedding, food, paid for his car fixing ( a car I bought but dont drive and said he could keep as part of our settlement) and that the house he is in is lovely and athough rented and he shares with one other person is far from a “hostel” I just don’t get why he could say this.
    What it shows is that he hasn’t and will not change and that the pain he feels now has nothing to do with missing me but has far more to do with missing me paying for and doing everything for him. He was always happy for me to work 70hr weeks and go without while he worked 37hrs ( I can count on 2hands the number of times he did overtime in the 13yrs we were together).

    I just feel that all this was a set up as he just wanted to try to make me feel guilty because he is unhappy…typical PA behaviour and trying to off load his feelings on to me again!

    • Andrea- Isn’t it amazing how easy it is for them to suck us in, even just a little, but enough to do more damage? As Jane’s friend said “no matter how much you give or do for them, it will never be enough”. Do we really think if the situation was reversed, they would give 2 hoots about what we would go through? They never did before.

      Something we have a tendency to forget also, is that when we’re in the throws of what is going on, this behavior is how they used to be able to control us. I almost think they think after awhile we forget and it will work again, which to a certain extent, it does. LOL. Then we go away kicking ourselves in the butt for falling for it, even just a little, one more time.

      That is what is so great about those “no contact” bracelets. I don’t know if you’ve seen them. I think I have a link to them on the right hand side of the blog. If you don’t have children where the PA has to be part of your life, those things are a great little reminder.

      He’ll probably give it a little more time, and he’ll no doubt try again until he finds a new distraction.

  11. Andrea,
    I feel for you – your experience sounds so similar to mine! I know people say it so often, but sometimes it really does feel like these guys come from the same mould.

    I too have been divorced from my PA for about the same amount of time. I stayed in our house, but had to borrow 5 times my salary so that I could give him more than half of the equity that we had in it. But he told a joint friend that he was getting “peanuts”. And yes, only a couple of months ago, he was standing in front of the house, yelling, in front of our child, that I had thrown him out of the house and destroyed his life.

    Like you, I worked full time throughout our marriage, putting him through a Master’s degree and supporting him while he either didn’t work, or worked in jobs requiring no qualifications.

    A couple of things that have helped me: when I was saying to a friend that I couldn’t understand how he could say that he’d come away with nothing, she said that no matter how much I’d given him, it would never be enough. And as you said, this has nothing to do with the actual circumstances, and everything to do with a void that he cannot fill.

    The other thing that I’m learning is not to ask for, or accept, help from my PA. The reason I divorced him is because he was, to quote a line from Scott Wetzler’s book, “A day late, a dollar short and a block away”. So if he was like that when we were married and supposedly getting along and happy, why on earth would I expect to act normally now that we are divorced and I know that he is confused and angry (at least covertly!). It’s so easy to slip into normal expectations though, i.e. when someone offers help, we don’t go on alert thinking that they will be late, won’t show up, etc., etc. I have had to expect the worst though, otherwise I take a bashing each time.

    Hope that helps a bit, I mostly lurk on here, drawing strength from some amazing women in situations they shouldn’t have to endure.

    Go well.

    • Jane – Thanks for your response. Yeah you are right why would things change lol
      Funnily enough you mentioned you had supported your ex through his Maters. Simlilar situ to me. Met him 18 months after he finished Uni, working in a dead end job and not using his qualifications. A year down the line telling me how unhappy he was etc etc with his job, felt like wasting his degree. Anyway long story short in order to help him to try to break in to the field he qualified in I agreed to support him while he worked PT to gain experience. The agreement was, work PT but do some voluntary work or start studying something else to expand knowledge base etc. Needless to say he never delivered on the promises and after 2 yrs of me working 70hrs a week to make ends meet I said enough is enough now go get a full time job. That should have been the first red flag, but as we all know ( before we see the light and learn about PA) they always have plauseable excuses that make just enough sense for us to think we are being the unreasonable one and our expectations are just too high.
      I also have paid him more than half the equity( once you add everything up) despite being the one who paid the deposit for the house and paid every single bill for it for many years. I also paid for all the furnishings ( expect for a fridge/freezer), all our holidays, most of his clothes and all but a hand full of nights out we had together. We actually stopped going out together over the latter 3 yrs of our relationship. I stopped paying and he never offered despite making the usual promises that at the last minute would suddenly change to ” oh I can’t afford it”. LOL just so PA.
      I certainly won’t allow him to “do” anything for me again so a lesson learnt for me this weekend….Gosh you really can’t let your guard down with these people under any circumstances!
      Wishing you happiness and a peacefull life free of PA’s.

    • Jane- Love the quote. Have never heard it with the ‘block away’ part. How appropriate. LOL

  12. I see no new posts but the site has helped me believe it is just not my imagination that I am involved deeply and in over my head with a PA man. I have thought it is me, my fault. He has torn out walls and windows and leaves tools and crap everywhere. I tend to be organised and appreciate order. I let him move in without marrying me.Biggest mistake ever. I thought he would marry me, we went out together for a year before he moved in. My life has not been sane since, 13 years now. With every forward step he makes it is like five back, no kidding. He blames everyone. No one ever has understood him, his claim. Most of all, of course, I am the source of any discourse he has. All his uncompleted projects are my fault. He has destroyed my patio, my kitchen, my hallways, bathrooms. I am beside myself! I work fulltime, raised two kids who are educated and financially successful. His only child has four kids and get unbelievable financial support from her Mom, Him and her Husband’s parents. She is 31 and just got their first apartment! They have lived mooching on one parent or another this long since 18 and kids born! In my own right I earn a decent salary also but feel trapped by a person who will not let go of a piece of garbage paper. He must have 30 pairs of shoes he will never wear again but will not declutter, jeans to match and shirts, OMG!. The worst is the damage to the house itself, my house, the one as a single parent I bought on my own. We needed a new kitchen roof badly so I gave him 5 grand to replace the roof. From that I did get a new roof but the rotten wood got planted on a stone patio I put down myself, a pretty spot before he wrecked it. He stripped the inside walls of the kitchen and rewired it. Great! That was six years ago.He has extention wires running throughout the living spaces to keep the refrigerator plugged in and any small appliance I might use. NO Cabinets! When approaching the subject I have been told I am a spoiled bitch. I admit, I drink alot of wine, still work my full time job but feel so lost. He is also hold out for any physical affection and plays on my family. They think he is so,so nice. I have asked him to pack up, we are not even married, and I am sure it hurt my kids that he never did marry me. So here I am still cooking, cleaning, working full time. He is a pretty boy, the kind girls like to talk to and I am guessing his ego is fueled by the attention. He has stated that he will be handsome forever and I am old. I am not overweight, make my own clothes often without patterns, grow gardens and look after elderly that are not my family. All he has to do is walk into a room? Everyone thinks he is so nice. Well, so did I. Quiet, handsome, until the snare.Ask him NOT to do something to my house, him on perpetual unemployment come home to another wall knocked out without ever thinking it may be important to put it back? And, the with holding sex? More than I can take much more.!

  13. I gotta mention that with all these lengthly examples, the most insidious and hurtful forms of passive aggressive behavior were not even mentioned: gossip, and completely withdrawing communication. These are the equivalent of overt power abuses that men use, and are most often employed by women, I dare say. Keeps the balance of the universe, I guess.

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