Therapist Advice And Passive Aggressive Relationships

tasThe other day when I posted the video at “Seeing The Passive Aggressive Through Sweet Eyes” I asked for some feedback. Actually, your reaction was much better than I thought it would be. When I first saw it, it just got me angry.

The first thing I thought was it was obvious this woman had never been deeply involved with a passive aggressive spouse or passive aggressive boyfriend for any length of time. For those of you just starting out in a relationship with a passive aggressive, you might try following her advice. Maybe you’ll be one of the ones it works for. As one comment said something along the lines of ‘he has to be willing to follow the same rules’.

My second thought was, if this is the kind of advice you’re getting from your therapist, it’s time to find a new therapist. I can sit down with my passive aggressive boyfriend, but get him to talk for 10 minutes, no way! Now, he will let me rant and rave for as long as I like, but for him to actually converse is another story. I can’t repeat back to him what he’s saying because nothing gets said.

She also doesn’t address the fact that many passive aggressive spouses do nothing but “accuse”. I guess that would be the time you use one of her ‘stock statements’ “I’m sorry you feel that way”.

I do realize many of you have spouses that are more aggressive than passive, so maybe, if you haven’t tried this already, which I have a feeling most of you probably have, you might try it now. If nothing else, when you start repeating back to him “So you think I _______”, you may at least temporarily throw him/her off his/her game.

For me, knowing what real passive aggressive relationships are like, I have to admit, I just thought it was a load of phooey. LOL.

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2 Responses

  1. Therapist can be one of the most destructive things about being in PA relationship. You find out what kind of mess your in and when the book advice doesn’t work, you do to the “experts” and they do more damage by telling you that it’s your fault (you’re just too angry), there’s no real problem (he’s just trying to cope) or stupid advice that makes no sense (one therapist told me to pass on a story about how if he treated me like a “four cow wife” then I would become a “four cow wife”). The only way I seemed to get through to him at all is by not following any of the advice! Time will tell if he’s sincere, I suppose.

  2. Dear Ladybeams,

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I think you were too kind. In fact, when I watched the video, I thought it was some kind of satire! Unbelievably naive, I thought. I kept waiting for the SNL credits to roll. Really!

    How I wish her approach worked. And, I am sure anyone who has lived with a PA has tried all the nice stuff. After awhile, there just doesn’t seem to be any ‘nice’ left. The PA never gets ‘it.’ They never seem to realize the anguish, frustration, turmoil, and emotional pain they invoke.

    I can report that I got my PA to move out. This was completely the right thing to do. I don’t regret it. The timing was right. The finances were finally right. I wish I could have gotten him to move out sooner.

    My PA is not getting better. He is seemingly worse, even with counseling, than he was before. Although, he was heading down a path of malignancy before he moved out.

    Here’s the thing. I think PA’s are secretly narcissists. They just don’t seem to care about your feelings. What does that say?! They get mad at you if you point out their aggression like young children who get made at mommy for putting them in time out. Except, with a PA, they don’t ever realize that they were wrong in their behavior. They only become more resentful.

    The PA I’ve separated from now considers me selfish because I’ve set boundaries for myself and wish to live a healthier emotional life. This causes him great distress because I’m no longer catering, dancing the dance, or even fighting with him about issues. I’ve drawn a line in the sand about how I will be treated–what I will accept as appropriate with me. He’s coming unglued.

    This is not a person that engenders love and acceptance. These people are so self-destructive that they can’t even see how they are destroying their own potential for happiness. Instead, they project that responsibility (for their happiness) onto you.

    I’m beginning to think that therapy only enables them to gaslight and play more elaborate mind games. Beware.

    I’ve not been here for a long time, but I do check in once in awhile hoping that you are strong and doing well in your situation.

    You are a kind and generous person trying to do the best you can in a tough situation. I hope you are provided all the best opportunities to find a solution that is right for you.

    I’ve put up with this for over twenty years. Unfortunately, there is not a good end to it. My PA is even starting to see this truth.

    Sending you thoughts of peace and a path to fulfillment–Colette

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