What Would A Passive Aggressive Father Do?

broken familiesIf you are married to a passive aggressive and are “staying together for the sake of the children”, you may want to read this.  I would venture to say that most families with a passive aggressive parent eventually implode, or explode, but rarely come out well adjusted. Of course I would like to again state here for the record, I am not a therapist or doctor of any kind, and I do not have the statistics to back me up, but I am very opinionated. LOL.

So, what would a passive aggressive father do if he was about to watch his kid jump off  a cliff? You would hope the passive aggressive father would stop the child, right? Isn’t that what any normal parent would do? In the case of a passive aggressive parent, I’m not so sure.

I wrote about one of my passive aggressive boyfriend’s sons in “Passive Aggressive Offspring” the last time I posted. Unfortunately that situation has only gotten worse. He’s up half the night and sleeps half the day. He lives by the TV in the living room as we have no where else to put him right now.

Last week we were supposed to go somewhere and get something done early, say around 9:00am. He had been up about 10 min. after 8:00, and his alarm or phone had gone off a little while after that, and all he did was cover up and go back to sleep. This son is a grown man. Naturally when he did that, I assumed he changed his mind about going with me and I let him sleep. When he finally got up that afternoon, he asked if I had gone without him. When I said I had, he said how I could have got him up. I explained to him that he’s 41 yrs. old. I assumed if he wanted to get up he would have.

There was some excuse for the next couple of days as well. Finally on Saturday when his father was home, I mentioned to my PA boyfriend about getting this thing done. He said he would wake his son up “pretty soon”. By 9:30 am when I had come back from taking care of a couple of other things, the BF said he had awakened him, but I still wasn’t seeing any signs of life. It took until almost noon to finally get going. Obviously I was the only one concerned that the other people involved were doing us a favor, and we might be imposing the longer we waited.

My girlfriend is getting terribly frustrated because I haven’t done anything about it. On top of that, he’s about drank her out of house and home. The father knows all about this, but says nothing. It’s not my son. Why should I be left to do the dirty work? Why do I put up with it? Because he’s been doing us a favor with some work we need done. Would it be different if it were my kid? Oh definitely!

Now it seems that the youngest is on a rampage. He has been getting out of control on alcohol, and been terribly abusive to his mother. The last time he got drunk (and possibly drugged up) he stole his brother’s car and was verbally abusive to his sister-in-law. Their mother has been in really poor health for awhile now, and this added stress has got to be taking it’s toll. Unfortunately the mother just calls the two other sons to do something instead of doing something (like calling the police) herself.

I asked my BF if he didn’t feel like he should talk to the boy, since he was now being so abusive to the mother. The boy’s wife has already thrown him out for abusing her more than once. He said yes he would, unbeknownst to me already having this little talk with his other son already. Will he? It’s been 4 days, 2 of that being a weekend when the boyfriend was off work, and he hasn’t made the call yet.

Like I said, what would a passive aggressive father do if he saw his child about to jump off a cliff? Who knows?

Effects of Passive Aggressive Parenting

If you are wondering what kind of an effect your passive aggressive spouse/partner is going to have on your children, let me give you an example.  So many times we stay together for “the sake of the children”. Let me show you why you may not be doing them any favors.

My passive aggressive boyfriend had 3 boys when I met him, all grown. The oldest, who is doing quite well, and the middle one were from a previous marriage. The youngest was his biological. Due to her having an alcohol problem in his previous marriage, he wound up pretty basically raising the three boys on his own. (One of the reasons I thought he would be so good for my son).

The youngest is 30 now. He’s having a hell of a time in his marriage. He’s been in and out of rehab for alcohol and needs to go again, and he gets drunk and blames his father for everything. His biggest complaint is unanswered questions. Usually the BF just lets him rant on and on. Finally after this last call the passive aggressive boyfriend says he is going to tell his son the next time that he’s a grown man now, and he needs to take responsibility for his own actions. Amen!

To tell you the truth, I can sort of understand where this kid is coming from. If living with a passive aggressive makes us crazy, imagine how confusing it is to a child. And since a child needs nurturing and a loving relationship from their parents, and all they are getting is confusion and mixed signals, what do you think we are raising? More passive aggressives.

I can only imagine some of the conversations that take place between my passive aggressive boyfriend and his son. Son asks a question “why…?” BF hangs his head but gives no answer. Or, BF hangs his head and says “I know. I wasn’t the best father…”. Son walks away wondering why he never saw the brick wall he just ran into.

As I said, he’s also having problems in his marriage. Personally a lot of us think he married the wrong girl, but pushing that aside, I find myself wondering how passive aggressive he is toward her. How much of their problems he brings on himself by clamming up, just like his father instead of having an open and adult discussion.

I think when we allow our passive aggressive partners to have such a huge influence on our children we are sentencing them to a life of doomed relationships, just like the one their parent is living. I don’t think they develop coping skills so they self medicate with either drugs or alcohol, and they are constantly trying to fill that void in their hearts from being hurt or feeling unloved.

If you have children and are staying in a passive aggressive relationship because you think it would be harder on them to go through a divorce, then for God’s sakes, do everything you can to pick up the slack of your passive aggressive partner. It’s up to you to constantly reassure your children that they are loved. That the way the passive aggressive parent is acting is not the normal way to be in a relationship. It’s up to you to work double-time to make this child secure. And I don’t mean spoiling them out of guilt or any other reason. I just mean by letting them know as they can understand, how good, healthy, loving relationships with others should be.

Kids From A Passive Aggressive Relationship

Sad Child

Yep!

What happens to the kids from a passive aggressive relationship? I was surprised recently to find out a therapist I know believes in trying to keep the family together no matter what. I personally was extremely surprised by that. I thought surely therapy had progressed from that kind of thinking. Being from a dysfunctional family myself, and knowing many people from families that stayed together “just for the kids” I have to say I totally disagree.

If you’ve read my blog or been with me for any length of time, then you have read where I believe if your passive aggressive partner is sucking the life out of you and you can’t get out of the relationship for yourself, then at least get out of it for the sake of your children. The last thing you should want for your kids is to pick up the passive aggressive traits of your passive aggressive spouse or partner. Not only are you harming the kind of person they could grow to be, but would you really want them going into their future relationships treating their girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse/partner, the way you’ve been treated? And, as angry as we get at the passive aggressive, they completely destroy their lives and the people that try to love them. Even though we may not see it, you know they have to hurt somewhere deep down inside. Do we really want that for our kids? Like most parents, I want my children to live better than me, not go through the same hells.

I did a little exploring today and would like to share with you what I found.

This comes from a girl who’s mother was passive aggressive while her father was an abusive alcoholic. Her mother denied everything, blamed the daughter. It was easier than having to be responsible for her living the way she was and how her daughter was being treated.

My self esteem was at a very low level. I was in grade four at this point, I was nine and ten years old and my self-esteem was horrible. I became bulimic at fifteen…I remember thinking that there was a relief in being able to control one thing myself that
they could not do anything about and that was my eating. When I was seventeen and the overbearing controlling behavior would become unbearable, I began cutting myself with a razor blade at
seventeen. I went on to suffer from problems with alcohol and drug abuse myself as did my sibling and I tolerated abusive behavior in my relationships. I should mention that my sibling also suffered from the same eating disorders, the same tendency towards cutting and the same abusive relationships. I began suffering from increased bouts of depression and panic attacks, when I was nineteen, I was subsequently treated for my anxiety disorder with anti-anxiety medication which my parents would discredit as everyday worries that could be treated without medicine.

Pretty fricken tragic. The following is from a blog I found where the writer is a grown woman with children of her own, who’s mother is very passive aggressive. Her husband used to try and pass the passive aggressive behavior off as being “accidental. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, saying, etc.” Not after his passive aggressive mother-in-law came to visit for 2 weeks over the holidays. He has had a total change of heart. The daughter finally blew up on one of the last days of the mother’s visit. This is what she says afterward.

At the time of this frantic typing to let out my emotions I have indeed changed her flight to go home early. And may she go with grace, because I truly doubt that I will be spending much time in
her vicinity ever again.

I truly can’t tell you how awful I would feel if my children ever felt that way about me. (Well, truth be told they probably did when they were in high school. Thank God that’s changed. LOL).

Last, but not least, from a child of a passive aggressive parent who took on the traits, but at least realized it and is trying to do something about it.

I learned so much passive-agressive behaviors from my family, and it has taken me years (and a good 300-mile drive!) to overcome them. (Actually I am still working on that, but I am MUCH better than I used to be.)

Not to mention how much money and heartache it’s probably taken.

Kids know. They are smarter than we give them credit for. The people I know whose parents stayed together “for the sake of the children” are now feeling guilty, screwed up, and resent their parents for not splitting and giving them a happier life. Sure the “lifestyle” may not be the same as it was in a two income family, but the love and the lack of hostility makes it a much better place to be.

What happens to the kids from a passive aggressive relationship? I guess that’s up to you to decide. Please feel free to leave your comments. If you have a different point of view, especially because you come from this kind of situation, don’t be shy. I’ll publish anything that isn’t “spam”. LOL

Passive Aggressives And Alcoholism

I was visiting an old friend’s blog this morning, Broken Hearted Mom, and she had posted a new YouTube video that is actually an advertisement for Al-Anon. It got me thinking about us dealing with passive aggressive people in our lives, and how likely it is that many of them are alcoholics, which is a double whammy.  I mention Al-Anon in my answers quite often as a source for support. Many of the techniques for dealing with an alcoholic or drug addict member of the family will work in any situation, for helping us keep our sanity and a grip on who we are with or without them.

With so many people struggling with the economy the way it is, the jobless rate being up, and people losing their homes all over the place, it occurred to me that more people are probably turning to alcohol to solve problems in record numbers. I know as an ex bar owner, this type of thing was a big cause of what drove people into see us.

So for any one who needs help in coping either with a passive aggressive, which by itself is crazy-making enough, or a passive aggressive that is having trouble with alcoholism, I hope this helps.

Passive Aggressive vs. The Ostrich

In my last post I told you how my passive aggressive BF’s son called and ranted to me over the phone about his father for over an hour. One of the phrases he kept using was “My dad needs to step up and get his head out of the sand.”

After yesterday I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

Yesterday I had to go to court for an eviction. (Long story, but it should have never taken place).  I have been putting the case together for days and was at the courthouse by 8:15 yesterday morning. While my PA BF has made dinner the last couple of nites so I could work right through, he hasn’t asked any questions, hasn’t offered to help at all, and yesterday morning didn’t even wake up to say “Good luck”, let alone offer to go to court with me.

I told a couple close friends what was going on as far as having to go to court and thank God for their support. They both checked on me continuously, asked how it was going, asked how I was going to present my case, (sort of like a practice run) and offered to go to court. That’s the kind of stuff that should have come from my BF.

It’s like 1)he doesn’t feel responsible for any of it  2)it doesn’t concern him at all  3) I’ll just take care of everything like I always do. So yeah, sticking his head in the sand sort of fits.

I also asked him yesterday if he ever called his son back after his son talked to me Monday night. Up to that point he never even asked about the conversation, what his son had to say, or anything. It’s really hard for me to understand how a parent could be like that. It’s so different with me and my kids. He said no he hadn’t called him and that was the end of that.

I know he doesn’t call his son because his son makes him feel bad about never calling or seeing him. I can’t believe these two can’t see what a vicious cycle this is. I’m also not sure if the BF is passive aggressively punishing his son by not calling. The BF says all his son wants to do is rant and that although the BF has apologized on more than one occasion, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Well of course it’s not enough and it doesn’t seem very sincere if you just turn around and do the same things to hurt someone all over again.

I feel bad for the BF’s son as he has a lot of rage and hurt inside. At least I know what I’m dealing with and although I don’t like it at times and at times the reactions still surprise me, I understand where it comes from and know I can’t expect anymore from him.

Effects of The Passive Aggressive Parent

One of the things I have said more than once here is if you’re in a bad relationship with a passive aggressive, you need to split for the sake of the children, which I know is the opposite of the old adage to “stay together for the sake of the kids”. I’ve met more people that are admittedly messed up because their parents hated each other but stayed together while the kids were being raised.

If you’re wondering how your passive aggressive partner’s behavior is affecting your kids, let me tell you about a first hand experience.

Last nite my almost step-son called and it was quite apparent he wasn’t calling to celebrate the day. I was getting ready to hand the phone to his father, but on this occasion he decided it was my point of view he wanted. In the end I don’t think it was anyone’s point of view he wanted as much as he needed a sounding board.

I listened for over an hour while this 30 yr. old kid bared his soul. He’s been having trouble with his bride of 2 years and his unemployment hasn’t helped the situation any.  In the end, the bottom line was that all his problems stem from his childhood. He doesn’t understand the passive aggressive thing, though I tried to give him a little insight hoping to help him understand who his father was.

He feels so abandoned and so unloved. I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t just him, that his father doesn’t really connect with anyone, not his children, not his siblings, and not even me.

I know what set him off. He called his father on Friday asking his father to meet him for lunch over the weekend. He was in another town nearby and thought it would be good to get together. The BF told his son he would call him back Sat. morning to set it up. The BF, in his usual passive aggressive way, “forgot” to call Saturday morning and still didn’t call even after I reminded him.

Now one of his biggest fears is becoming just like his Dad. I explained to him that he has the choice of breaking the cycle, but like most young people he is driving himself nuts thinking he can change his father instead of looking how he handles the relationship with his father.  This poor young man is unhappy in all his relationships and because it stems from here, until he finds peace with the fact that his father is the way he is, he won’t be happy anywhere.

This is one of the ways a passive aggressive parent affects their children. It makes them feel unworthy, unlovable, and searching for answers. They need to understand their parent’s problem is not because of them, has nothing to do with them, and does not make them any less of a very special person deserving all the love and affection the world has to give.

The Passive Aggressive and Male Menopause

A little passive aggressive?

A little passive aggressive?

Like we don’t have enough to deal with coping with a passive aggressive partner or spouse, men go through menopause just like we do. I’ve known it for a long time. I just couldn’t prove it because they don’t have the easily discernible physical signs like we do, like going from bleeding every month to not. Not only that but they go thru a “mid-life” crisis before they go thru andropause (the male term). You’ve seen ‘em. Those guys that all of a sudden go out and buy the corvette, dump their wives of 22 yrs. and start dating a 22 yr. old to prove how verile they are? When a man enters the age of forty, he begins to experience the awkward feeling of confusion, split personality and stressfulness. He tends to lose his sense of purpose as well as his former self. He is craving for the new order of things, more ventures and is spinning out of control. Subsequently,
internal changes had exterior manifestations in terms of social, career and family interactions.

That’s all before andropause even starts! (Sort of equal to peri-menopause as far as building up to the main event). I always thought they were one and the same, but evidently not according to modern science.

The cause of andropause is the lacking of testesterone production just as we quit producing enough estrogen. The symptoms are fatigue, nervousness, irritablility and depression. Most men report their erectile dysfunction as the most notable event during andropause.  They now have harmone replacement therapy for men just like they do for women to help combat some of these symptoms.

What I want to know is if you have someone who is already passive aggressive when it comes to communicating with their spouse, do they get more aggressive during this time (irritability)? If they are withholding sex already as a passive aggressive form of punishment, does it get worse as they are feeling more vulnerable during erectyle dysfunction?

According to two of the doctors that are considered experts on andropause, it is the woman’s job to:

  • Be especially kind, supportive and understanding during this period
  • It is up to us to encourage him to organize himself, to manage his alcohol and cigarette consumption, to relax, to eat healthy foods and to exercise.
  • It is up to us to provide positive support and involvement of the family
  • Last but not least, according to the good doctors, the first thing a woman should teach her husband is to teach them how
    to love and reward themselves as well as love and reward others.

How do they propose we do that? If you’ve been living with a passive aggressive for any length of time, you’ve already tried most the tricks up your sleeve to provide a “loving and positive environment”, to the point where you’re all but crazy. How do you tell the difference in symptoms from being passive aggressive or going through andropause? I can tell you, after researching this a bit they sound way too similar to me. It seems andropause just makes the passive aggressive more so.

I’m A Little Worried About My Subconcious

Just a quick word first about the son. He went to court last Tues. and they set him loose. Guess the cops were more interested in smoking the weed he had on him than prosecuting him for it since there were no new charges and there’s no weed in evidence with his name on it. Thank you, God. Believe me I am not complaining. The son got off with a payment plan, 2o AA/NA meetings and a year’s probation, more to make sure he makes payments than to keep an eye on him. I can only hope he’s learned a lesson here, but unfortunately he still needs to change his mindset from friends first to business first.

He reminds me of a bi-polar and their medicine. I was talking to a girlfriend of mine about this the other nite. She has a daughter that’s bipolar, and she finally was doing well for awhile, but as soon as the state cut her loose, she quits taking her medicine and she’s in la-la land now. It’s so sad. I was telling her about my girlfriend that is bi-polar and I could never understand why when they are doing good they remember how bad it is when they don’t take their medicine, but sure enough as soon as they’re doing really well, they quit the meds. With my son he feels so good when we get good things accomplished. Most of the time I would have to say he doesn’t feel real good about himself. As soon as we’ve had a day or so of getting things done and he’s feeling really good, he ditches me for a couple of days. I don’t see hide nor hair of him. If he feels so good accomplishing things for his life, why doesn’t he keep doing it? How does he lose that “feel good feeling” so fast? I don’t know. I’ll see him again in a few days and maybe we’ll have 1 more day where something gets done. I got a say, what a pain in my ass!

So now, for the passive aggressive boyfriend and me. He actually has been really good and thoughtful recently. Makes me wonder what he’s up to. I really don’t care, I think I’ll just relish it for awhile.

The thing that scares me is I’ve had two (almost) nightmares about being really mad at him in the last 2 or 3 weeks. I don’t remember the dreams so I have no idea what’s causing them. I just get so angry I wake myself up. Evidently I have an issue with something that is or is not happening.

If I were to venture a guess, I would say it has to do with him not working and not taking looking for work seriously enough. I gave him a study course to do something in real estate that would make some good money. He read the first little book that comes with the course, but then I haven’t heard much since. He makes it sound as if he has to memorize 26 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannaca just because he has to learn a few real estate terms he’s not familiar with. He’s got a great mind for detail and for math formulas so he would be terrific in finance, whether it was real estate or something else. It’s just so hard to get him to look in another direction (like the rest of the country is having to do).  He used to be “high tech” but never really kept up with his field, so he’s pretty much outdated there. He loved working at the lumbar yard, but in this economy we all know that’s not at the top of the list of industries that are hiring.

Yep. As I sit hear telling you about it, I can feel the elevation in my blood pressure. It’s probably a good thing I’m having the dreams. It’s probably one of the least harmful ways to vent my frustration. What is that saying? “I don’t hit you because I’m afraid if I ever did I couldn’t stop.” LOL.

Here’s to once again holding my temper in check while living with the passive aggressive.

I Caused Him To Be Passive Aggressive

Having a passive aggressive boyfriend, I’ve done a lot of research on the passive aggressive man, spouse, etc. Today I find myself on the opposite side of the fence in the way that my son behaves very passive aggressively and as his mother, I may have been the cause, or at least a big part of it. Now I need to start researching as a parent and see what I can do to fix it.

Part of the reason people become passive aggressive is a fear of losing parent approval very young in life when we’re most dependent upon our parents for our well being. Many children go through separation anxiety when they first start school as they fear being abandoned. My son was the youngest of my three children, and he was only 3 when his father disappeared from his little life (he was wanted by the law).

Since then he’s had 3 significant men in his life die. I was a very strict (probably a bit abusive by today’s standards) mother and during that time between being controlling and disappearing myself for a couple of trips, it’s really no wonder that now he has 1) very little respect for authority and 2)very little trust.

His life is pretty much out of control. While I have tried and tried to help him now, I’m afraid it’s a case of “too little, too late”. He’s going to have to learn the hard way and their is nothing I can do to prevent it. This weekend I think I finally really got that. I really need to let go of control and will be taking my own advice and start going  to Al-Anon or something to help me learn to do that.

All his teenage life as he would get in trouble I would warn him each time that he was going to end up in juvinal hall. I swear he led a charmed life because all he ever got was a slap on the wrist. Now as his legal life spirals out of control he doesn’t think I ever know what I’m talking about when I try to pre-warn him. Now what started as just a $170 ticket that grew to $590 and has prevented him from having a driver’s license, has turned into a few court dates and a $5000 warrent for his arrest.

In the true passive aggressive nature, when I tell him something he gives me the usual lip service but does none of what I tell him. When I ask him if he doesn’t think I’ve learned anything in all my years on earth, he really just looks at me as an alarmist rather than someone with any hard won wisdom. He’d rather listen to his friends who are either in jail or on their way. Obviously a lack of trust in our relationship.

It breaks my heart to watch him go through hardships that could have been avoided, but I guess I was a lot the same way as a young adult. When my father used to try to give me advice, I always thought it was different for me. We all have to go through some things and learn on our own. Allowing him to do that is one thing. Suffering myself from his mistakes is another.

Combining Passive Aggressive with Addiction

I’m expanding this blog today as I have found out very recently that my youngest child, my 20 yr. old son is addicted to Chrystal Meth. I would like to preface this with a “Thank You” to BrokenHeartedMom for her advice that probably cut my learning curve by a few years. Come to find out through my research that there can be a connection between a passive aggressive personality and addiction.

I always knew I had an addictive personality. When I was in high school the drugs of choice were acid or LSD, pot, reds or barbiturates, and bennies (amphetamines used mostly by truck drivers and dieters). I had a lot of early education on drug abuse and basically it scared me so I wasn’t very experimental. I tried pot and it put me to sleep. I was basically lazy anyhow and I would wake up to find I had missed everything at the party, so it didn’t hold any attraction. Besides, it was the “gateway to stronger drugs.” I liked reds because they gave me the same feeling as being drunk without having to drink, but did them rarely because like drinking you don’t have much control over your actions. My drug of choice were bennies. I loved them. I didn’t eat, had lots of energy, got a ton of things done. I also knew I could get very addicted and like so many other drugs, the more you took the more you had to take for them to work. I would only allow myself 2 a day and not for two many days in a row. I think I quit because 1) I couldn’t afford them 2) I moved and did not have easy access anymore.

You may be wondering what this has to do with my son’s addiction. First of all, between me and his father (long time ex) he may come by the ability to get addicted easily through heredity, as his dad is an alcoholic. There is some theory that a gene is passed from father to son and the ability to become an alcoholic is more likely. Secondly, it was my ability to control weather I got addicted to the drugs I chose, that makes my son’s addiction a little hard for me to understand, especially when he is saying how much he wants to quit. (I have since learned that is more of a manipulation technique than a fact).

The notion of the “addictive personality” is relatively new and has a significant community of supporters. According to its supporters, the addictive personality is a distinct psychological trait that predisposes particular individuals to addictions.

Some mental health experts find it useful to view addiction as including all self-destructive, compulsive behaviors. Some even go so far as to include the relatively benign activity of compulsive television-watching. Moderation is the distinguishing characteristic. Most drinkers do not become alcoholics, and most runners do not become running addicts. However, if the runner is compulsively using his activity to cope with unresolved internal conflicts to the extent that he keeps injuring his body or destroying his work and family relationships, then he too has fallen victim to addictive behavior. He has become so dependent on the physical ”high” he gets from his all encompassing running that he cannot concern himself with the difficulties it is causing.

According to Michael J Formica in an article for Psychology Today, 

addicts exhibit a number of passive-aggressive characteristics such as a failure to follow through with responsibilities, a general irresponsibility and failure of priorities, chronic tardiness, money problems, a lack of judgment, unbridled anxiety or depression, a general disregard and lack of respect for themselves and for the sensibilities of others, poor boundaries – the list could be endless, but this is a fair, generalist picture.

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