The Life And Times With A Passive Aggressive

Remember when you were younger and you were planning out your life? You knew what the guy would be like that you were going to marry. You had the wedding all planned long before you met the groom. If you are a man reading this, you probably didn’t look at girls as “wife material” until a little later in life, like adolescents, or after sports in school, etc. We all had an idea of what we would and would not put up with.

For some of us, some of those things became not quite so important while we traded them for other things that were. “I’ll never put up with a guy that wears a tunic top”. “I’ll never put up with a guy that wears his pants around his knees”. You know, silly stuff. Then there were the biggies.

“I’ll never put up with a guy/girl that cheats on me”. “I’d never put up with a guy that doesn’t treat me with a lot of love”. “I want to have 2 or 3 kids. He’s got to want kids”.

You really know your self esteem has taken a hit when all of a sudden you are putting up with things from the passive aggressive spouse or boyfriend that you swore you would never put up with.

Whoever “planned” on running headstrong into a passive aggressive? But here we are. Trust me, I was so strong about what I wanted as a kid, I got fired from a babysitting job because I told a kid she shouldn’t talk to her mother the way she was and my kids would never talk to me that way. The mother took it as I didn’t like her child and never called me to babysit again. LOL.

No one wakes up one morning and says to themselves “I think I’ll go out into the world today and find someone to pretend to love me, take away every bit of self respect I have, and I really would like to spend the rest of my life without sex, because that’s something my grandmother says wasn’t that great anyhow”. LOL. Who does that? but that’s what we’ve got.

I had an experience recently that made me realize my self esteem has taken a hit big time. Luckily, since I was already basically “detached” it wasn’t as upsetting as it could have been.

Peggy, if you’re still around, you asked me not too long ago what a deal breaker would be. I, like many of you, am in the situation I am in with my passive aggressive boyfriend because we are in a bad spot financially. I caught my PA on a porn site, and I couldn’t kick him to the curb that instant because of the situation we’re in.

I did tell him, from that point on, we were nothing more than roommates, that as soon as possible money and car wise, we would get enough money together and he could take the car he drives, and it would be time for us to part company. Of course he said he was sorry. He said it was in a moment of weakness. I actually get that. He’s not getting any at home because he never wants it here, so I get that he’s probably a little horny and “weak”. Not my problem. Not anymore.

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46 Responses

  1. Hi Ladybeams,

    I have arrived at your blog after a desperate attempt to understand my bf or should that be ex. We have been in ldr for a year. He was so charming & loving then out of the blue would suddenly draw back for a few days. I put it down to stress but did pull him up on his behaviour, to have more of the cold shoulder. The pattern would be that it looked as if everything was going well in our relationship, we would be really close, them WHAM, he was in a mood & I didn’t know why.

    He would tell me how much he needed me, no one understood him like I do, wanted to ask me to marry him so many times, can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with me etc. There were times though, looking back that when I was in a frisky mood, he would brush it off, whereas I never pulled back from him when he was in the same state.

    On my birthday, he was going to send me a present & card, so he says but was busy & didn’t manage it. I was okay about it didn’t make a fuss but I wanted to chat for 5 mins on my birthday. He was busy. When he was free, later on, I was too tired & had to go to bed. Then I get a week of silence, followed by him wanting to break up with me, as he wanted to be with someone younger & there was someone he liked.

    I cried etc & we get back together the next day. He later said about the other woman that he just said that to hurt me. So everything is going along really well. He sent me the most gorgeous flowers & chocolates on our anniversary of when we met – I wasn’t expecting anything, with a card saying he can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with me. Yay, I think.

    10 days later, he wants a break (message sent thro text). When I finally talk to him he says he doens’t know if he wants to be in a relationship or what. I finish with him, he still has relationship status on fb with our anniversary. Finally talk to him last night to establish what is going on. Told him I missed him & loved him & wanted to understand what had happened & where I stood.

    He says he had been v unhappy in our relationship, that it obviously wasn’t working as it was causing him so much unhappiness. I said that I believed him when he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Then said due to this conversation, this is the reason why we can’t have a relationship. WTF turning it back on me, when all I have done is love, care & support him. Told him I was heart-broken & he said why are you trying to make me feel bad. He was just starting to feel good again & me saying that has put him back 100 steps, so cheers! :(

    Have found out since, from his sister, that he has given the silent treatment to her, where he will visably turned away from her & not acknowledge that she is the room, done the same to his mother & even not given her a present at Christmas. Apparently his Step-Dad would ignore them as children. Also his sister said he was always talking about me & was happier than he had been for ages.

    Sorry for the long post, just trying to understand what has happened, as my world has been turned upside down & I still haven’t a clue what has happened. Can’t believe he can turn his emotions off so quickly. Lost & confused.

  2. p.s. I feel as if he is deliberately trying to hurt me. I have asked him to remove the relationship status on fb & he hasn’t, so I don’t know if he has finished with me & I can move on or if he is playing a game with me, in which case I have to be prepared for him making a reappearance at some point. So hard to understand what on earth is going on. I just know that he is toxic!!!!

    What he said last night was so unkind. Even his sister can’t believe how cruel he is being & says he is not himself. Doesn’t excuse his behaviour & I am struggling to see it as his problems & not to take it personally. Thank you for reading & any help to understand this situation would be very much appreciated.

    • I would really appreciate some feedback from others about moving on from a P.A. relationship. What tips and tools help you overcome this toxic relationship.

      This is unlike anything I have every dealt with before on the relationship front. The sudden cut off with his emotions, like I do not exist and he won’t talk to me. Feels more like a death as nothing gets resolved, which causes more pain and confusing as nothing makes sense.

      Also going through these weird emotions. I miss him dreadfully & am heartbroken on the one hand. Now I have a LOT of anger coming out – how can he treat people this way? Feeling lost & alone & wondering what on earth has gone on. Is this a normal reaction to the sudden end of a PA relationship when he finishes out of the blue when you think things are going well?

      I would like to say a massive thanks to Ladybeams for your help, I really do appreciate it and you have no idea how much it helped. Thank you very much in advance to any help you can give me – I am in a great deal of pain over this & finding things very hard atm. x

      • My dear LuckybutLost,

        I’ve been there!!! Maybe not as far along as Peggy, but only starting my journey now back to a life I make for myself.
        Yes my dear it will be another rollercoaster of emotions once you leave. You ask for tips and what I can tell you is to not be afraid to ride the rollercoaster and FEEL all those feelings– the hurt, the anger, the loss …they are all NORMAL. Hear me—THEY ARE ALL NORMAL!!

        It is exactly like a death and you must mourn the loss of the relationship, the dream, the loss of what – in the beginning- you believed you would have for your life. Now, you can go after whatever you want. Don’t sell yourself short. The world is yours now.

        I must stress this as much as I can: DON’T BLAME YOURSELF, there is nothing you could have done to change any of it!!!!! I know I tried at one point and I was determined to “fix” it…which you can’t do. No more than change the direction of the earth in it’s orbit. You can only change yourself. The future— that is your hope.

        I believed I could change my PA. I blamed myself for failing. Oh how I hung on to that one…far too long for my own good. Everything (I believed) was my fault–the marriage, the problems, the divorce…etc…I could go on and on. I was doing to myself only what was told to me by my PA when he would say it was always my fault. With my PA I was his scapegoat…and I believed him.

        Another thing I struggled with was the fact that God hates divorce. I had a hard time with that one. The more I studied God’s word the more I questioned myself…UNTIL I realized that was exactly what God wanted me to do – question all of it. I went to a divorce support group at my church and met some wonderful people who were in the same situation as I was only in different time frames of the divorce. I saw the differences of emotions and the hurt, anger, confusion, questioning, understanding, acceptance, regaining of individual strengths and the light.
        Keep your feet moving in a forward direction, slow down to face each day as it comes, make your own life the best that you can and don’t let anyone tell you you are not worth it. YOU ARE!
        Lots of Hugs
        jmarie

        • Thank you so much jmarie for your input. Glad to know that this is normal after a PA relationship. I was wondering if I had my ex wrong in putting him in the PA catergory. All these questions and second guessing that we do to try and make sense and understand this bizzare behaviour!!

          This has been the hardest thing to deal with. I have since found out he has another gf and it appears he is very happy. I am having to deal with jealously that he has moved on so easily and my life is in taters. I still miss, which is crazy after he has shown so little regard for me. I literally became invisible to him. I have been walking around like a ghost, as it’s been so traumatic.

          I have lost a couple of close friends over this, as they think I should be over it already. Tried to explain that it was different to a normal breakup but the didn’t want to know. At the very point I am needing help, they abondon me. I confess to being so low a few weeks ago, that I was without hope and keeping going was a very hard option. However, I’m still here and it seem one step forward to steps back at times but I am keeping on, keeping on.

          I am already looking at myself and working on my self esteem which has been left in tatters after this relationship. No idea that it had got so low. I am putting boundaries in place and for once looking out for me, so that is start.

          Thank you for giving me hope that this dreadful emotional rollercoaster will pass and I will find stability and thrive again. Also that this is NORMAL reaction to the end of these toxic relationship. I have read through previous posting and comments, trying to make sense of things and have followed your story. You are an inspiration! *hugs*

          I am following the advice of Dory from finding Nemo “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”

          LuckybutLost

          • LuckybutLost
            You are NOT wrong about the catagory of PA. I think so many of us have been inundating the psyche professionals with this same complaint that they can’t even get a handle on it themselves, so they call it something else or eliminate it entirely from the descriptive names they use in describing the vast problems of the mind that we all can have or develope.

            The way I look at it is “if it looks, waddles, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck” right? The amount of us on this blog alone should prove that this is a REAL ailment, problem, disfunction, or personality disorder that our partners had/have that has hurt us deeply. Now that said, what will we do about it? Let it continue? Not me my friends!

            I am satisfied with the time I used to learn about it, and understand it, and give him the “2nd chance”, “to hear me” “to work on himself” ” to let him know what he was doing was hurting me -the very person he professed to love”. It was his choice NOT to listen, or take the opportunity to improve himself. It was also my choice to TAKE the opportunity to change myself.

            In my humble opinion all I can do now is forgive him each and every time that he hurts me, making promises then breaking them etc… And yes, he still does it in the same covert ways he really doesn’t even realize. So sad for him.The fact now is that I DO see how he does all the things that changed me from who I was and I give him no ammunition any longer to continue to ramp up his efforts. I don’t get angry, or tell him anything that would let him work on new ways to attack.
            I have found that he has “moved on” VERY easily from the divorce. (probably because he got it all – I had a lousey attorney)
            The PA has no compassion for how another feels as long as he gets what he wants or needs. Compassion is not on their agenda.

            Walk away from the friends that tell you to “get over it”. Those that understand already know it will take you time.. every one will be different and only you will feel the healing in yourself. Understand that your friends just don’t get it and forgive them for that. You don’t have to share any of your real hurts in detail with them now…..

            I once read that “when someone sides with the one that hurt you or they downplay or don’t believe your hurts…They are no better than the abuser. They are not your friends”…forgive them and move in another direction. Sure it hurts, but just look at all the people out there that will be your friend if you just be yourself.

            I really never have figured out HOW to work on my self esteem, I just say what I have to say and let the chips fall where they may. I do things for myself.. I expect nothing from no one even though we all need people. I am very self reliant and it is coming back stronger every day. The more I can depend on myself for what I need, the more I feel that my “self-esteem” is growing and I feel more full to give to others. I think that is the best way to describe how I am doing right now.

            That is not to say that I don’t have my down days that slam me upside the head and make me wonder why I am here. …..but those thoughts only reflect how the PA wanted me to feel…dependent, useless, worthless, unsure, weak,….NOT ME! I’m not going down without a fight! But that fight is not WITH the PA anymore…it is fighting for myself with love.
            LuckybutLost, you are not LOST we are all here for you – where you can share and discuss anything you want… all of us here understand more than you can imagine.
            Have a happy and wonderful day …….keep on swimming.
            jmarie

          • jmaire,

            Once again, many thanks for you insight.

            I can tell I am healing, that awful ache in my heart, as if a part is missing has gone. I can at least now eat, though sleep is still disturbed.

            I am working on forgiveness, the anger only hurts me and achieves nothing. I have had a lucky escape. My heart will heal, I will grow as a person and become stronger as a result. I have found out who my real friends are. Having hit rock bottom the only way is up!! :D

            You made me laugh with the duck analogy! lol Amazing how we try to rationlise behaviour and understand something that is so illogical, it’s hard to get our heads around it all. Also shows me there still a part of me hoping that I can “fix him”. Well, I know I can’t but good to observe that I have that thought still.

            You are right, it’s about CHOICE. And I CHOOSE to have a better life. I DESERVE a BETTER relationship. It is sad that he will never know true love. Being able to connect with another on that deeper level and yes I do feel sad for him but it is not my problem to deal with. He of course would never admit to having a problem. He has many faults but being wrong isn’t one of them! lol :))

            I am starting to realise that there was nothing I could do to change what happened. Had analysed everything to see what I could have done differently, in order for the relationship to work. There’s NOTHING I could have done. A relationship needs 100% from both parties. Hard when it’s just one half putting the effort in!

            Thank you so much for you wise words about friendship. It meant a lot. Was feeling so isolated. Everything that has happened has made me dig deep. Face each day as best I can. Yes, I will find new friends, true friends and my life will be all the richer because of it.

            I have realised through all this, despite me being there for others, that I will have to be the one to be there for me. I now expectnothing from no one and that will build an inner strength in me over time. Have been so low, it’s me that got me out of that dark hole and held on. And ME that will make a GREAT life for myself.

            I’m with you about fighting!! I may have been knocked down but ding ding seconds out I am back in the ring so BRING IT ON!!! lol

            Many thanks jmarie, your kindness and understand make me cry and smile. Good to know I am not alone.

            Lucky!! :D

  3. I have been married 20 years to a passive aggressive man. In those 20 years, I have been reduced to feeling like a nothing. Basically, there is no connection, but after “awakening” I have discovered the gentleman I married is still a gentleman. He could be a nice stranger, that says, “Hello” standing in a check out line. I married a person who had all the nice packaging, but nothing was in the package! He has never made attempts to know me, but hey, when you grow up in a dysfunctional home, nice and peaceful are a plus in a man. I didn’t know just how screwed up he was until I discovered how screwed up I was. He loves to talk about the weather. Or anything that is non committal. I am married to a blow up doll! I am married to a paper cut out.
    He pulled the porn stuff. It really bothered me because I had initiated sex for the first 12 years and finally let him know that if he wanted it, he would have to ask. That was 12 years ago and that was the last time we had sex. I think he might possible be gay, but don’t really know. So, I ask if he would watch a movie with me or play cards, or go out to eat. He will go, but he never asks me, so I told him I won’t go anywhere with him unless he makes the movement. He does not. I do things with friends and don’t even let him know. He goes to bed or leaves the house without telling me. We are not really even roommates because they treat each other with more consideration.
    I messed up bad….20 years ago. We have adopted a child and this is not working. He has always been who he is, which is just an empty space. No inititive, no desire to question anything. no willingness to learn something new or even remember the foods I like.
    IF anyone is reading this do not stay with a passive aggressive man. It will ruin you unless you have enough backbone to leave. You will not be happy. He will destroy your self confindence. He will suck anything loving and free right out from under you and you won’t know what happened. Or you will question yourself and think it might be your fault. Stay away, or get out before it is too late.

    • Vicky Brehm- Hi, and welcome here.

      I hope to God you are following your own advice. It’s never too late, and with a child, it’s really imperative that you follow you’re own advice.

      It’s funny, but not, but that’s what happened with me and my PA. I was very forward in the beginning, but when I finally got it that it wasn’t coming back, as in initiating sex, emotion, anything, when I quit, it all quit. The one thing I will say is that we do still tell each other when we are leaving and when we are going. Other than that, we are just roommates. You are right in the fact that you are not even getting that consideration.

      So, my question to you is “why are you still there?”

      And please don’t say it’s because you’re afraid you’re to old to go anywhere else. There is so much more for you waiting out there. Even if it’s scary at first, or lonely at first, it’s liberating. “The truth shall set you free”.

      Thank you for your comments here, as while being so typically PA of a husband, we can all use the advice and encouragement that it’s not us, and to get out. Feel free anytime.

    • Hi vicky, Just to say, your life is my life! right down to the disfunctional upbringing, my Father was agressive verbally, and really had no interest in my sister, or me. I watched my Mother try to please him all her life, even when he was unfaithful. When my Mother was dieing of cancer upstairs, I answered the phone to his mistress, he took the call!. thirty two years ago i thought i had found a lovely man, he was kind and soft spoken, and seemed to be very happy with me. we married, and i found myself bring up two kids with no emotional input from him. He always made me feel i was demanding and would walk out of the room, or bury himself in television, if i tried to discuss the sterility of our relationship. Always talks to other people never to me. The children are gone now, and the silence is deafining, and yes i had the porn thing too, but i had by then finished our sex life, no connection, you see, just couldnt do it anymore. I was only twenty two when i married, too young to see. Took me years to figure it out, thought it was me!Ive taken supplements, anti depressants, You name it ive tried it! God bless you you are in my thoughts, as is ladybeams! Carol.

      • hey Carol and Vickie,
        I have been married for 19 years and I must have been an idiot for 18 years cause I knew something was not right-just could not figure out what. I would be self critical and blame me for most things. Trying to talk to my husband would be futile. Sex ? My story starts on the honeymoon!! I could write a book. I heard every excuse. His word meant nothing. Even now, I address him for what he is and he will sit and act like he is listening, even tell me that he has been selfish…then the next day…continue as if we never talked about anything. I was previously married to a PA but had not realized it until Dec. 2010 when I figured this husband out. Why do I stay? I desire some sort of family structure. Right now my teen children define the family and I can put aside my needs for this need for family and home. Yes, Iam lonely. Yes, I lost who I use to be. It was a slow process of the life being sucked out of you. You lose the sense of being a woman, being “sexy” or desireable. It is weird. When I was a young girl I looked forward to being married someday and having sex with my husband. Little did I know that my simple little dreams would be so short lived. The difficult part in this is that living with the PA is a constant reminder of the abnormal relationship and the lack of all normal, good things that a marriage has to offer . Another area that he has started to destroy is our finances. I was in charge of paying the bills, (he runs in the bathroom every time it is time to pay the bills) until he spent large sums of money with no real explanation and has now put us in financial difficulties. Initially, when I asked him where the money went- he blamed me but I did not spend it-it was his account-I did not even have access to it!! Now I refuse to call the companies that we can’t pay-I pressured him to call-he tried once-thinks he did a great thing, but really still has no solutions. Tomorrow will come and he will forget about the bills like he forgot about sex. What’s next?

        • Hi Sally, just to say i totally understand the lonelyness thing, like if you are in a restaurant, and you notice the other couples talking to each other with such ease. I find myself desperately trying to converse, and getting very little in return, eventually i just give up and pray for the food to arrive quickly!.If anyone(including my adult daughter) visits, he will chat but as soon as they go its back to the tv or computer.You were not an idiot not to figure it out for so long, I only figured it out two years ago!.I think i actually feel worse, because, as long as i thought it was me, i felt i could fix it!, now i feel i have hit a wall if that makes sense!Please look after yourself thats so important. I know you feel cheated, i think we all do. I dont feel so alone since i found this sight! God bless, Carol.

          • Yes, Carol, the loneliness is awful. If my husband talks to me it is about some trivial thing from work or some person at his job that is so abstract to me. here we are with our own important matters and he talks about Tom, Dick and Harry or Jo Shmoe from Idaho. I use to tell him to please not talk about people I don’t know cause we need to talk about our things, our kids, our lives, what ‘s going on with us…and of course-you guessed it-he talks about his work stuff more and more-every day, does this total opposite. Every avenue that I approach he will react the opposite way. We spend our whole lives trying to survive. I thought about what you said, about almost wishing it was us so we could at least try and fix things. Now it is hopeless. The more I have addressed the issue the worse he has gotten. Yes, this site helped me. Thanks for responding to the post. God bless you,too. I certainly have relied on God to help me to keep going and focus on my kids, my job and things I like to do.

      • Carol- So glad to hear from you again. Thank you so much for the kind words. You all are in my thoughts and prayers all the time also. Just lately haven’t been able to make it to the keyboard, but at least I know that’s something I can fix. LOL.

        With your kids gone now, you are still there why? Just curious, and trust me, I am not here to judge, but I am curious. Sort of taking a “non official” head count as to why we are staying where we are if there are other choices, any choices. LOL. Please read Peggy’s comment. Very encouraging! We’re not dead yet!

        Please, stay in touch. I think you’ve given me an idea for a new poll on the front of this blog. I think I’ll take a poll to see why the ones that stay, do so. Thanks for the idea. Take care.

        • hi Ladybeams,thanks for your reply. In answer to you very valid question, by the time i saw my husband for what he was, there was nowhere to go!.Im ashamed and embarrised, because that sounds so lame.I live in a small town, in that small european country, worst affected by the resession. I cant even blame that.Every day is a struggle for me, i guess im just very tired.I wasnt going to reply, because i didnt have an answer, but this is how i honestly feel. Carol.

          • Carol- I’m glad you did reply, and I do understand. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. This was not your fault. You didn’t wake up one day when you were single and say to yourself “Oh I think I’ll go find myself a very passive aggressive man to marry, because I just love to punish myself” LOL. They bait the trap very well, hiding the real person living on the inside.

            I also understand what it’s like to stay put when it’s “comfortable”, even if it’s not a good “comfortable”. It’s less work, or so you think. I hope you are building a good support system around you, friends, family, church (if you so believe), something that will give you a little more independence vs. co-dependence. And you are always welcome here. =)

            Take care of yourself. It’s amazing how far one can go just taking one step at a time.

  4. Hold onto that momentum Ladybeams – it’s the fuel that can (and should) propel you. I don’t have much time right now to pen much. Hold on and head forward.

    • Peggy- Ahhh, Peggy, I’ve missed you My Friend. How the heck are you? Hope things are better all the time. Thank you for that.

      • Ladybeams-
        Things ARE better all the time! The work I have done to ‘discard the dysfunction’ is most certainly paying off. Researching and educating myself about the dynamics of PA gave me the right perspective and tools to slowly and consistently re-frame the relationship between the PA and me. We have to stay in contact b/c we share a child, but I’ve now managed to ‘contain the collateral damage’. After four years of staying with these goals I’m now feeling the genuine benefits of my goals.

        I cannot express strongly enough to your readers (and you!) to really take a hard look at the fears that keep a person involved with PA’s.

        Also, take a hard, honest assessment of why you stay; what are go getting out of staying? Why do you ‘like’ the role? Be brutally honest with yourself. For me I figured out that I had a perception that I was so ‘special’ and ‘good’ for ‘understanding’ a PA and being ‘strong’ to ‘tolerate’ it. I write that now and I think ‘YUCK’!

        Believe me, those thought patterns are FLAWED and the feelings and thought patterns that emerge once you unravel from a PA are 1000x more special- and I don’t just feel ‘good’ I feel AWESOME and I do ‘understand’ more about MYSELF now (much better than ‘understanding him’) and I am so much stronger than I was. Oh, and I don’t ‘tolerate’ ANYTHING anymore! I communicate about it and make it tolerable!

        I too had so many of those fears; financial, MORE dysfunction, losing friends, etc… I had all those same fears – and none of them came to fruition to the extent I feared. Yes I lost ‘friends’ (but I gained so much depth with those who stuck around; and I’m making so many new, healthy relationships! It’s amazing!), yes I had to tighten my belt by many notches to afford the shift, yes I went through hell when my PA cranked up the behaviors for a few years in reaction to me changing MY behaviors, but he’s now calmed his behaviors down (okay, so maybe he hasn’t – I actually don’t know- all I know is that I’ve but enough healthy distance between he and I that I no longer can feel the full force of it all!).

        I’m still actively working on myself and keeping a focus on raising a healthy child under the circumstances. It is a lifelong issue when you have a child – but it doesn’t have to be dysfunctional and miserable! It really can be a minor, manageable issue!

        I guess I have this to say to everyone- it took me about four years to get from ‘tolerate it’ to ‘happy me’. That may seem like a long time to some of you, but I ask you this: Four years from now do you want to be in the same place you are right now??

        • Peggy- Halaluhia! (ok, I can’t spell but you know what I mean. LOL) I am so happy for you! And you are so right, which 4 yrs. would any one rather look back on? 4 yrs. being miserable and still wishing a way out, or 4 yrs. with the excitement of living life to it’s fullest? or experiencing new friends and new adventures that you actually have the ability to say “no, I don’t think I want this, (or you) in my life, thank you very much”. LOL. You sound so great. I can even read the difference in your personality from the “having to fight to keep yourself free” to the “Oh my gosh it’s so awsome to be me”. LOL. I’m so proud of you and happy for you. You are truly an education and inspiration everytime you are here. Thank you so much for your input.

        • Peggy you are AMAZING and such an inspiration. I have followed your story along with others and have nothing but admiration for you. You have given me hope that life will get better. That this emotional rollercoaster that I am on post PA relationship will pass and life will be much better.

          Thank you!!

  5. Hi Ladybeams, just thinking of how we let go of our expectations, one by one. Nobody could have told me when i was a young woman, that this is what i would settle for!. Perhaps recogniseing this is the first step to freedom!.I think what makes your website differant from others is your compassion and understanding. God bless Carol.

    • Carol- Thank you for your kind words. You are right. The differences in the courage and the boldness when you are you compared to 20 or 30 yrs. later is phenomenal. But it’s never too late, My Friend! We can still do it! It’s the people that take risks, set a foot forward, that get rewarded. LOL.

      Please, do keep in touch and let us know how you’re doing. We’re all taking one step at a time, and lucky enough to have some holding us up as they have already gone through it and come out on the other side.

  6. Just wanting to pass along a truly wonderful find

    http://www.amazon.com/Passive-Aggression-Guide-Therapist-Patient-Victim/dp/0275974227

    Pure brilliance.

    It may require a dictionary and notebook at hand, but you will never be the same and neither will your partner/child/other.

  7. And to think, the psych community just can’t seem to agree as to whether to address this beast as real or not.

    • Angie- You are so right! And it’s getting worse. I’ll be posting about the “new” psychologist, psychiatrist diagnosis handbook tomorrow or as soon as possible. I want to answer comments, so don’t have time tonight, but you almost got a “two for one” on the posting. LOL

  8. I have noticed when we draw their attention to their evasive behavier, the p.a. does step it up, and from what i have read that seems to be the pattern. I wont ignore it though, that doesnt help either. So this is what i think i will do , point it out, and walk into another room and do my housework, read a book call a friend, anything!! , but at least i have let him know im not conned!. Look they play by differant rules , the word “fair” is not in their vocabulary.I once ended up at my docters surgery with a heartbeat of 150 beats per minute, though i didnt realise it at the time, it was from stress!. I cant let anyone do that to me again.Everyone on this site is so bright and articulate, it seems to be a trend.Are p.a.s drawn to clever women? Just a thought. God bless Carol.

    • I have read some books on passive aggressive behavior and how to handle it. One author said to face the PA with the facts. Don’t back down. When they try to blame you or lie, tell the facts of the situation. I had started to do this becasue I had heard so many lies and the first thing my husband always did when approached about a situatiion was to blame me or our kids. I don’t know if it makes a difference or if they just try to lie better and see what they can get away with. It is all about power and control. They did not have power and control as they were growing up. It is a crazy thing because they can be so nice at times, when they are feeling in control and non threatened. Then-out of nowhere they can turn on you and become this sneaky, lying, defensive nut that does not want to be near you. Indeed it is stressful! My health has also been suffering because of trying to live a normal life with a PA.

  9. Thank you for understanding Ladybeams.I think one day at a time is the only way i can handle things at the moment.I did vote on your new pole. I think fear plays a huge part in why many of us stay. Over the years our confidance gradually erodes, and we end up feeling LESS! i hit menopause and it was like i saw my situation clearly for the first time.I remember i was sitting on the couch, weeping , and at the other end of the couch(he always sits at the other end now) i heard him laugh, he was laughing at a comedy as if i wasnt there!. Thats the moment i knew something wasnt right! God bless , Carol.

    • Carol- Oh Yeah, they are good at isolating us, taking away our self confidence, and eventually making us into a shadow of what we were when we met them. The example you gave is really, really cold. None of us deserve that. I just told jmarie this in an answer to one of her comments, and I’m going to share it here with you.

      Ignore the intro to this, because she’s saying he left her, but if you listen to the words of the song, it’s perfect. It’s on YouTube and it’s Sara Evans “A Little Bit Stronger”. It came on one of the Country awards programs one night and I started singing. My passive aggressive BF just tried to ignore it, just like he ignores the one by Reba McEntire “Consider Me Gone” . Here’s the link to the first one.
      http://youtu.be/22zB6Soc2Gk What’s funny is I know he hears the words because we’ve talked about how much we listen to the words of a song in the past. These two are not his favorites. LOL

  10. here is a question for everyone: How do you view yourself as a person? Pre-PA relationship and during PA relationship and if you left the PA relationship-how are you viewing yourself now? Also, what type of homelife did you all have growing up? My point being that I am wondering why we pick PA’s to marry or have a relationship with. Unknowingly, I did it twice! I am trying to figure out what it was I was looking for, hoping for, or what I found so appealing at the time I said “I do.” Also, I recall feeling not sure about alot of issues when I dated these guys but I overlooked these important issues. I can’t even say I was madly in love with these guys and have that as my excuse! I am thinking about my background and I am trying to connect how I was treated by my parents and…what I expected from a marriage…. and things like that. Anyway,thanks for whoever responds to these questions!

    • Hi Sally, in answer to your question,i never had any confidance as a child, i think i was always a worrier even as a little girl. I think it was all connected to my fathers lack of love. I guess i just wanted someone to shelter me, and be kind to me!. Boy did he see me comeing!!.Looking back it makes me sad that s all i was willing to settle for at such i young age, as i was young and quite pretty then.We think we make these decisions of our own free will, but we are formed by our upbringing, so i dont blame myself anymore.God bless ,Carol

    • Sally I can honestly say I was truely in love with the man and was blinded by it. Why I was so blinded I really don’t know. My home life was stable and loving and supportive as a child , I was confident although I did get bullied by some of the kids in the area as they saw me as being different.

      How do I view myself – loving, kind, giving also independant, hard working able to face challenges, resilient, analytical – Now and before my marriage

      How did I view myself during the relationship – For the first few years all of the above but for at least the later 7 yrs I just don’t know. I was in a haze of emotions, going from one crisis /tantrum/trauma/issue he threw my way to the next. I completely lost myself. I was a provider, the person who had to deal with the mess he created, the responsibilty was on me to make him happy. He bled me dry financially and emotionaly and there was nothing left in me to give me. The biggest thing is I constantly felt guilty thats the one emotional that I remember more than anything. GUILT GUILT GUILT.

      How I am now – Well 6 months after seperating from him I’m nearly me again but a little wiser and tougher I hope. I’m still learning and growing. I still have flash backs and I can go into that dark place and mentaly relive some of the things I went through with him. I hurt some times, I cry sometimes, I get angry sometimes, I have regrets, I beat myself up but above all I am happier than I was when I was with him and I no longer feel like I have a burden on my shoulders. I look healthier, I’ve lost some weight, I smile and laugh more and I don’t have the guilt any more and omg that feeling is just the best feeling in the world!

      One thing I would say about myself that I believe stopped me from ending things sooner is that I am competitive and don’t like failure in myself (not in a tantrum way just in a I have to try my absolute best way). It wasn’t until I knew I had done my absolute best that I waved the white flag and realised I was never going to have the sort of relationship I deserved with this man I just wish I’d done it sooner.
      No one should have to put up with this type of behaviour and it’s not normal but you all know that already you just have to find the courage to do something about it and that is the hardest bit as you are just so damn drained and have no fight left when you live with a PA.
      Life can be better and you all deserve better!!

  11. Having being in a marriage for 12 yrs with a man that I know to be manipulative and passive aggressive I can honestly say it takes time to realise whats going on particularly when at the start they have been so loving. I decided in March to say enough is enough and I waved the white flag and gave up. He’s now out of my life and omg I can’t believe how much happier and relaxed and content I am. I can finally live my life guilt free!!
    The things is with this type of person you end up living in a haze of emotions and doubting your own feelings and perception. It took me 15 months of research and thinking to realise the truth of the situation and do something about it. Before that I was just dealing with one issue after another be that emotional or practical, that he threw at my feet to deal with and I didn’t have the time or energy to think of anything else.
    These people manipulate you ( consciously or subconsciously) to take responsibility for their feelings and actions and it’s draining because no matter what you give or do it’s never ever going to be enough. You’re needs will never be important enough to them because they are too self absorbed. They don’t get that a relationship is about 2 people and shared responsibility and communication and openness. They aren’t capable of giving it.
    So get out as fast as you can and just remember they aren’t your responsibility. Don’t expect an easy ride initially ( mine took 6 months to cut the apron strings with…thats what I felt like for the later 7 yrs..a mother not a wife). I was even told my him in Aug that I lacked compassion and was heartless ( just because I wouldn’t have him back) despite every single person that knew us both including his own family saying they don’t know how I put up with his behaviour so long and am not suprised that I’ve decided to divorce him.
    You don’t have to put up with it and once you are away from it you will realise just how emotionally abused you have been…because it is abuse and it’s wrong and you do not have to live your life like that!
    Good luck to all of you that are in the midst of dealing with this…big love and you can do it!!

  12. Thank you Carol and Andrea for answering my questions. I need some time to think and evaluate things. My daughter just shared how mad she has been with me for staying in this relationship. I find myself trying to explain myself to my 17 year old.

    • Sally I think we’ve all probably been in a situation where friend and family have been frustrated with us. It’s only because they love us and care and want the best for us. However it’s easy for an “outsider” to critise or give us “advice” (it’s usually “get the hell out” etc etc). As I’ve said before though when we are the ones living with the PA and the person the PA is most frequently playing the game with we get lost and caught up in things and can’t see/think clearly.
      I’ve found myself being really analytical about my behaviour and personality and why I ended up where I ended up and I’m still doing it now. I do wonder at times why I feel I need to think about it all so deeply and I have thought that that was part of the issue..ie I am drawn to “problem solve”, “fix things” , “make things better” and if I can’t I am far more critical of myself and come down harder on myself than I know others would do ( I do this both personally and professionally so I know this is just who I am). The more I fail to sort a problem out the harder I try and it creates a perpetual cycle of trying/failing/beating myself up/trying again etc etc. That is the part I feel I have played in feeding my PA with what he needed to be able to create an environment that his behaviour could continue in.
      I just needed to give myself permission to fail and give up and thats what I did.
      Having read a number of comments on here I wonder if that is one of the core personality traits we all have in common as it seems so many of us keep trying and failing time and time again.
      When I told my parents that I was seperating from my husband ( the PA) my mum said the following…He is who he is, you are who you are. He’s a good person, you’re a good person, you’re just not good together.
      ( I could beg to differ re the he’s a good person bit lol…but I know he’s not bad , he’s just emotionally a little boy)
      In other words she was telling me just accept things for what they are and don’t beat yourself up about it and find my inner peace.
      Sally,I’m no expert and we are al different but I would say, yes analyse yourself but don’t be too hard on yourself…you are who you are and I’m sure you know you’re a good person ( you certainly sound it to me). Whilst you are in the relationship with the PA focus on learning techniques to “halt” them ( they have a funny way of always finding new ways to push your buttons, so any reprieves tend to be short lived sadly). If you are in a postion to leave the relationship and choose to do so then focus in on learning how to spot a PA so you can run a mile the minute you see it in them.
      Good luck with finding your inner peace Sally!

    • Sally- Ah, but you are so lucky that she understands what’s going on isn’t right. She sounds like a very smart 17 yr. old. LOL

      • Ladybeams,
        My daughter has good insight, but like me, she sees the problems one day and then loves and forgives the next day. It is the ups and downs that bother her and she gets upset with me when I am overwhelmed-then wants to know why I stay with him. I feel like most women here, there are a few moments -I call them crumbs of happiness…that drop on the floor and I grab them up because I am starving. Then I wait for the next crumb… I have lived for the crumbs…now my husband is getting the idea that I will not beg for the crumbs-I will be okay-I am finding “food” in other activities…and expecting not to bother with his crumbs…I am working on this…whenever he senses me stepping back-he pours on the compliments or does some project for me-told me tonight that he missed me when he works evening shift-what does he miss, exactly? what does he miss??? the hot sex??? NOT!!! HA HA HA

        • Sally- LOL. You are so good. LOL. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I read your comment. They always are so good when they realize we are catching on.

  13. Andrea,
    I appreciated your reply very much. You said alot of things that are so true and I certainly appreciate your input. I am analyzing as we speak, and so true that we are always trying to fix things-it has been exhausting! I have taken a step back again, from my husband because the cycle is going where I let my guard down and trusted him over something and the end result was he did not keep his word. Another thing you said was that it is okay to give up and it is okay to fail. WOW-what a comment of truth-I will be thinking about that…thanks again!

  14. Just came across your blog Ladybeams and after reading this and several other entries, I had to comment. You spoke about your BF keeping the fact that he was still married a secret from you for 11 years and then in this entry you spoke about discovering he was on a porn site. Well, I have been married for 20 years and for 12 of those years my husband was watching pornography daily behind my back. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my sweet, caring, (which I now know were phony behaviors), loving husband was watching hours of porn while I worked the night shift so our 3 children wouldn’t have to go to daycare. Of course I forgave him the first time because he SWORE he’d never look at it again. Yeah, well, you all know where believing his promise got me. I am now working towards ending the marriage after several years of trying to “make it work” but as you all have pointed out over and over, I am the only one doing the work.

    • Zoe – I had a very similar experience to yours re a sexless marriage with my PA husband and his regular use of porn. No sex for a number of years yet using porn daily. I am not anti porn or in any shape prudish and would have been more than happy to “share” in the experience and told him so (nothing came of that although I tried to initiate things). I told him how his use of porn was effecting me in a negative way and I was told to stop prying and that if I didn’t check up on his internet history then it wouldn’t be an issue. I was also informed that I was being paranoid and was a psycho bitch from hell. Other things he said was that things would change and we’d get our sex life back on track etc needless to say that never happened as his usual excuse was “well if you just kept your mouth shut and I didn’t have to listen to you then I might be more …….( fill in the blanks as you want)” .This was a vey typical response to anything and everything be it sex, taking responsibility for his personal finances, doing something to help me etc etc.
      I can remember once finding a stash of porn DVD’s and rather than confront him about it I wrote a really lovely and what I thought was a caring thoughtful and loving letter saying how much I missed the physical intimacy etc and I left it with the dvd’s. 3/4 weeks went by and he never mentioned my letter, so I brought it up. He told me he hadn’t seen the letter as he never watched the dvd’s then proceeded to get the letter without opening/reading it and tear it up in front of me and put it in the bin saying ” seeing as I don’t use those dvd’s there’s not point in reading it”. At that moment in time I knew he just didn’t give a damn how I felt and he had no intention of even trying to get our sexlife back on track.

  15. I could go on and on and on, but after 3 years of therapy I now realized I have been banging my head against the wall trying to “fix” myself when the truth is nothing will ever make him happy. We’ve reached a point where everything is my fault and he now points his finger at me telling me I need to recognzie my own behaviors. Yeah, sure. While I was staying up all night working he was watching porn? What do I have to do with that? Because I am right in the group with the rest of you ladies. NO sex as punishment. No affection, nothing. Oh no wait, if people are watching he’ll hold my hand or put his arm around me. I’m so done.

  16. My children are almost grown and I’m only in my early 40′s. I want to be happy again, I am so tired of living with daily rejection and sadness. I used to love him so much but I now know he will never change.
    My mother died a year ago and a few weeks after her death I explained to him how I told my therapist that even though I was grown, I feel so sad that my mother “left me”. He then said, “Did your therapist tell you to grow up?” I said, “Excuse me?” He then repeated, “Did your therapist tell you to grow up?” It was at that moment I realized how truly heartless he could be. I walked out of the restaurant we were in and have been walking down the path of leaving ever since. I was lost in my grief for a year or so but I am now really ready to leave. I know my mother would be proud of me. :)

    • Zoe, i do know how you feel, when my Mother died, on the way back home in the car with my husband, i had the awful feeling looking at him at the wheel, “now im at your mercy”. She had said to me only a year before, “i think there is something sadistic about P…..You know what? we are not at their mercy, they are sad individuals!. Take control of our life! Dont let them control your emotions, thats their m.o.. You are a person in your own right! and these people are flawed!.You are still the person you were before you met him!.Give yourself time to evaluate your situation ,its him, not you!!. God bless, Carol.

      • Thank you for your kind words and support Carol. Funny how our mothers are so insightful and see things we don’t isn’t it? This past Father’s Day I visited my father and told him everything. About my husband’s meanness, and the ongoing pornography addiction. You know what he said? He said, “Your mother always said she thought something was wrong with B.” Which is surprising because to everyone else in the world he is sweet, caring, and would do ANYTHING for anyone (except me of course). I have hope that my mother now knows that now I also know that something is VERY wrong with B.
        Please know that you are not at your husband’s mercy any longer. You know what he is and what he is capable of. Hang in there! -Zoe

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