Definition of the Passive Aggressive…

 According to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia -

  • “Passive-aggressive personality disorder is a chronic condition in which a person seems to passively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them, in the process becoming increasingly hostile and angry.

Psychiatrists no longer recognize this condition as an official diagnosis. However, the symptoms are problematic to many people and may be helped by professional attention, so we include it here.

According to Wikipedia-

About connecting emotionally:

From Scott Wetlzer, author of Living With The Passive Aggressive Man. “Unsure of his autonomy and afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs, usually by trying to control you. He wants you to think he doesn’t depend on you, but he binds himself closer than he cares to admit. Relationships can become battle grounds, where he can only claim victory if he denies his need for your support.”

About connecting sexually:

According to Scott Wetzler, author of Living With The Passive Aggressive Man, “Abstinence is a common complaint from women involved with passive aggressive men. If he’s in a financial pinch, he’ll take you out for the evening but remind you that the evening’s expenses are a huge burden. He’ll then make up pay by refusing to have sex. But if you offer to go Dutch before he suggests it, he’ll take it as an emasculating gesture. And still he’ll make you pay by withholding sex. His sexual refusal, however, will usually be hidden under the guise of a transparent excuse: he’s sleepy, sick, preoccupied with work.”

117 Responses

  1. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

    • I needed somewhere to go this morning and your blog was a lifeboat for me. As Alex said in August, keep up the good work. As someone who has felt the pain of PA partners throughout my life reading this has been uplifting. I am not a dependent clingy person and PA can sneak up anyone at any time. I am shocked it is no longer classified as a illness by the American Psychiatric Association. BECAUSE IT IS DEBILITATING to so many relationships and next to Borderline Personality Disorders, it is one of the most difficult personalities to work with on inpatient floors. I know, I worked with patients for over 25 years….. go figure……and most nurses wanted to duck and cover when working with PA and most of the PA WERE men…in my experience anyway……… THANKS AGAIN FOR THE GREAT BLOG….

    • My wife is a typical PA and I know since a couple of years thanks to Google !! But I am 27 year’s together with her. I recognize the silent treatment ( sometimes 3 months long ) , withholding sex, stubborn behaviour and doing things you do not like and not doing things you like. No discussion possible, because after you get the silent treatment. And you must be very careful in confronting her with things like cheating you with other men. Because meanwhile people with PA withhold sex to you, they cheat with other men. But they can not make a real relation with that other person. It is only about sex. They have a double life. But they can hide this as the best. Nobody would accuse them about this and please you better not do this. The PA person can be very angry for this.

  2. Thank you for stopping by. I hadn’t realized you were here until now. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. I think this blog exposes your passive-aggressiveness!

    • TFT- Thanks for stopping by. You could be right. LOL. The stuff written here is mine, I wrote it, and I have no one else to blame, copy, or give tribute to.

    • Your reply is like the pot calling the kettle black……….and it was just plain mean which is the main poison of a passive aggressive arrow.

  4. My husband just left for mass. I should be going, but I will go by myself tomorrow or Tuesday for my weekly obligation. I love church. I just cannot stand him. And he ruins it by being next to me… I am bitter, angry, resentful, and crying as I write this. He was successful in his career, but I saw shades of his behavior in that too. Most people wanted to work with him, but I saw it with certain behaviors. His nose up in the air with that arrogance and his unbending when someone else could find an easier and more streamline way of doing something…. No he wouldn’t change or write a new procedure. The next time they would do it HIS WAY… I am thinking in my head… You really are a jerk, but am I the only one that sees it?? Is it me. Am I nuts? The behavoir from the start of our marriage 6 years ago was the same. I saw traits of behavior reminiscience of my first marriage. I saw the behavior in my present husband before we got married. It is not going to work I told him; don’t call me anymore; what does he do? Shows up at my work, parks at the front door where everyone can see him at lunchtime as I am walking out with my friend. Dumb me. He does have good qualities, the kids like him. I marry him. Now I am crying and unhappy and he says I can’t be happy with anyone, I criticize everyone, I hate everyone including myself…throw in a family that wasn’t much nicer and just as passive aggressive until this spring when the mama matriarch died and they needed the money to bury her and guess who coughed it up… and now… I am “okay”. I am so unhappy. He makes mistakes with the bills, it’s I need a list….when the list is IN FRONT OF HIM…The family who couldn’t afford to bury his mother just spent $4,000 on this huge cemetery monument….he thought it was wrong he told me and then proceeds to tell his sister it is so nice and his one brother it is really great! I can’t take the schizo back and forth crap. He says it is all me. I feel like I am living in the spinning wheel they use to show prior to the Twilight Zone. I said if you didn’t approve of them spending the money (his family) they told us they didn’t have why say anything, why not just stay quiet and not txt them back? HIS ANSWER-I am not like you, jumping all over the place with disapproval. I had to say something….ahh…you told me, it was just like them to spend money they don’t have… well….I AM CONFUSED. And then the comments this am about me not liking anyone so on and so on and me crying. I am in a tough position. I was in a car accident 3 years ago, prior to that, was a highly paid travel nurse, now on disability, but still would like to sell our house and go it alone. He refuses, but tells me what a miserable person I am. Everyone that meets him loves him. HE just talks in this really nice tone, but recently in front of them tells me I interrupt him all the time, and when I do it ( which I know I do) I apologize and say I just did it, but He has to make a point of putting me down in front of people and then when I say something, he of course denies it. I HAVE reached the point of really not liking him and has anyone felt really really angry and actual disgust for the PA when they are going through their motions. Eyes wide open, batting their eye lashes, staring at you like you are insane. I want to actually smack him and have to lock myself in the bedroom and cry it out of my system. PLEASE, tell me I am not alone. I feel like I am and am starting to think what he says is true…… HELP!!!!!! Thanks, I know this was long, but it felt good to get it all out…….

    • Welcome Maryann- I’m glad you found us also. From the sound of what you’re saying, I’m also glad you’re getting a short break from your husband. It sounds like it was needed.

      Reading your story it sounds as tho things are escalating. No, My Dear, you are not nuts though that is what our passive aggressive spouses want us to think and are so good at getting us there.

      It sounds like you could probably use some support. Hopefully you’re surrounding yourself with good and positive friends or your own family. You also may want to seek out some group therapy or just a personal therapist. This is not because your nuts. This is to keep you from getting that way. We all need some sort of support system.

      Many passive aggressives will not risk confrontation by “not texting back” or telling their family (or friends) what they truly think. They don’t have the stomach for the argument, or can’t get past being punished for showing any anger or dislike when they were young. My BF has told me for ten years he can’t even stand the smell of lamb cooking, let alone eat it, but when I told my girlfriend that when she was planning on having us over for dinner for lamb chops, you would have thought I was the one who put Jesus on the cross. He “felt so bad” and didn’t want to disappoint her, but I haven’t had lamb for 10 yrs.! LOL.

      If your dislike and bitterness for him is getting as bad as you describe here, you may start a plan of action to prepare to leave him. If he doesn’t want to sell the house, in a divorce he can either buy you out, or be forced to sell it and you split the proceeds. Feel free to comment here or vent, or ask for help when you feel the need. You’re definitely not alone. There are those of us who have been in a PA relationship even longer than you, some who have made it out and are doing well, and those in the planning stages. I think our numbers are larger than even I realized.
      Good luck with whatever you do to help yourself. As soon as you take that first step (like you have here) you’re on your way.

    • Maryann, I just read your blog today regarding PA while I was doing research to help me deal with my husband who is just like yours. No, you are not alone. I have also been crying my eyes out, moreso, sobbing my guts out because of my utter frustration living with him. He always tries to turn it all back on me and attempt to make me feel like I am “insane”, as you say, rather than deal with his passive/aggressive dysfunctional behavior. I too want to get a divorce and go back to living alone, but with the economy in depression I know how difficult it is to go it completely alone. I too was in an accident and am not as capable of hard-hitting career performance as I was when I was younger. I am retired from corporate life (age 55), but my pension was reduced because the company went through Ch 11 reorganization and the pension losses were huge. What to do? Perhaps we should just ignore them and live our lives as though we are mentally single. I pray for patience and tolerance, but keep reliving the same crap. I am so tired of playing the game. The only solution I see is going within to the “Source” of our being and having a truly intimate relationship with HIM – God Bless you….Aubrey

      • Hi Aubrey- so glad to see your response. Hopefully Maryann will also. It helps so much when we support each other. It breaks my heart that so many are hurting from these relationships. Definitely not what we were taught a relationship should be when we were growing up and thought falling in love was like it was portrayed in the movies.

        I wanted to commend you on a couple of things. You are right about having to live our lives, whether they choose to be an integral part of that or not. That’s what’s so great about Al-Anon. The lessons aren’t just for alcoholics. They give support and teach you how to live without the alcoholic even though you’re living with one.

        The other thing I wanted to say is that I too believe in the power of prayer. Maybe we can’t change them necessarily, but at least give us what we need to cope with them. Something I learned a long time ago is to “Bless them”. Everytime you think of them, every time you see them, start blessing them in your thoughts. I’ve used this on enemies (isn’t it sad that we would think of our partners or spouses that way) before, and it actually worked. It’s good for you and for them.

        I just wanted to thank you for your input and it’s nice to know you’re out there. God Bless and good luck.

      • Hello ladies,
        I am in a transitional phase in my relationship with my ex/husband. I honestly don’t know if my experiences or comments are in the right category of PA, but the 2 stories above touched me to the core if my heart. As I was reading them I begun to cry, crying the tears of all the emotional pain of being in a relationship with someone but only feeling alone. Feeling dead inside, which is sometimes more comforting
        g than feeling all of the outward and external pain & frustration of everything around you. which sounds so bad, and people who have never experienced it seem to think it’s either 1) us, 2) we are causing it, 3) we are making it up or blowing things out of proportion, 4) we need medical/psychiatric help, 5) maybe he is the problem…..ect you get my point…
        These were the things I would feel regularly for years in my marriage. And now that we broke it off, I get judgment from others who know him, saying they can’t believe it was that bad, that they see it & “US” differently, that he COULDN’T of been as bad as my experience would prove….it always feels like the PA’s are winning against us, even in the general public, but especially in our social networks for sure!!
        Now that I’m out trying to start over, which is really hard as a fellow car accident sufferer, it’s hard to start with nothing…which is what they want to happen to us if we do leave them! Make it even harder & longer just because they can…..and because they enjoy it!

        Sorry for my rant.

    • Wow! Hugs!!! I see this was in 09, But LIVE IT!!! Not sure where you stand today in this relationship but I hope you are fairing bad seas alone instead of an all out storm with him beside ya drivin ya into it. My Hubby, so sounds like your Married to him :p I feel your pain and wish you lots of luck threw it Mine just moved out a month ago but 16 yrs later I’m sure lots of damage is done. I have three peeps to heal while he will move on or not move on we don’t know yet at this stage of the game. Can honestly say the air is so much cleaner in this house and Now … Now after 7 years of living in the House we bought does it feel like a home!!! I got years I could tell about and new ones come daily… I can say that living in a relationship where you are damned if ya do and damned if ya don’t :s is no good for anyone!!! Good luck to all, God Bless and Stay Strong! <3

      • Pam- Thank you so much for your input. I’m still navigating the waters with my passive aggressive, though sometimes I do get the idea he is rowing in the opposite direction, but it is ok for me. Our relationship fits a time in my life right now that what we have works. I’m not saying that that will always be the case, but it’s ok now. Sometimes it works to have just a really good “roommate”.

        Thanks especially for sharing how you feel since your hubby moved out. There is an emotional “freedom” that comes with that that is just too hard to describe how joyful it can be. I’m so happy for you that you made the step and took back your life for you and your what I assume to be, children. (You said “3 peeps”) So many are so afraid of letting go of that sinking ship, but it’s like what is the worst that can happen? How much worse could you possibly feel than you feel now? I know it can be scary not knowing what lies ahead, but how much scarier can it be than knowing the only thing in the future is pure misery?

        Would love to hear any stories you have to tell, and thanks again for the input for Maryann. Hopefully she’ll see it and see it can be a good thing to get away. Feel free to drop in anytime.

    • I have been married 25 years to a PA.
      After all these years of procrastination, I forgot, i’ll do it later, i didn’t know, i did it for you….
      on and on and on.
      I knew things didn’t feel right.
      Then, over the course of 8 months discovered that $100,000 dollars was missing.
      There goes our retirement, and our marriage.
      A passive aggressive person can destroy slowly and methodically…like rust.
      I don’t know what is going to happen now.
      I just have to stay away and get my sanity back.

      • annonymous- Good luck My Dear. Getting our sanity back is one of the biggies. LOL. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through and all the years. Hopefully you’re sending a message to some of those that haven’t been stuck for so long.

        Feel free to share the rest of the story anytime. There are a few of us out here. We can offer support if nothing else.

    • Hey well done you and thank you. Tonite I found this site and tonite I found sanity and I cetainly agre it felt great to get it all out. To gain some certainty that it wasn’t me who was nuts. To gain back the confidence and freedom, no the right to c;aim me back in my life again. Your letter helped me an awful lot. Thank you. Your words were written some itme ago – I assume they have helped numeous people like me, I hope you too have found a better life. Best wishes M

    • please leave as soon aspossible …never look back

    • No, you are not insane. its a headgame he is playing with you, he likes it when you struggle. I think that he can’t get along without you and that is why you feel nuts bbecause you are ok and you are strong and deserve more and you are not getting anymore than the cyclic stuff that he is giving you. you must find coping skills that help you go about your business on a daily basis. Get rest, learn relaxation for yourself. If you eat properly, get enough sleep, practice breath control….then you will be able to cope and have one or two best girlfriends that you can reach out to. You can beat him at this. And the sad part about it its that you can stay with him forever and beat him at his own damn crappy behavior. Study him like he is studies you. notice across the dinner table that when you look at him, he will either smile at you or look awayfrom you. sounds paranoid? try it and see what happens. My husband talks about having sex and never ever does. Then he says that I am too slow to pick up on his hints about having sex. I have been married to him twice and tell everyone the reason why is a personal reason but I have a real reason and I have learned to cope with his crap and so can you if this is what you want. My husband puts me down, makes suggestions to influence me on daily decisions. For examples…I know that I need to exercise to stay healthy. He may tell me to spend my day off during the week taking a nap because it is so good for me. Now I know that he doesn’t want to see me succeed at going to the Gym. He would rather have me stay home and feel disappointed in myself because I haven’t followed through with my plans. I am now appearing to procrastinate like he does and so therefore he thinks that he has controlled me and the situation. This behavior is cronic on his part. I will stay with him forever but I will also have my own life…one that fulfills me and my needs, creativity, spirituality, everything that will make me be the person that I am and will continue to be. Once I got it through my head that He and I are not joined at the hip…the separation is so rewarding…just work hard on it and you will be ok. It can be done and it will make you happy and get you out of the fog that you are in. do you think that God wants you to feel like a prisoner? I doubt it. Now just do it, you were created with independance in you. good luck!

  5. Married 26 years to my PA, AKA Pain in the A**.

    The end finally came 4 months ago, I moved out.

    After 3 years of ignoring me on a very important subject that affected he and I financially along with a teenage child still at home. He had no consideration of my feelings, his child’s future or even his own!

    I am in the financial field by trade, over 20 years of experience. Been through the S & L downfall of this country. Been through 4 mergers in my 20 year career! I could see the writing on the wall almost 4 years ago, that it WAS TIME TO SELL THE HOUSE!!!! Take the money and run!

    He was a Reator for 3 years, mostly a buyers agent.

    I did my due deligence and called professionals that work with Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit Counseling as well as a trusted friend who works as an auditor for the government. They all said and agreed with me to sell. I inform the PA. and He ‘uggh hagghh’s” me…and he doesn’t address or acknowledge what I’ve said for a full week. (this is 3 years ago). I put his Realtor sign in the front yard of our home. He just about blows his top! And then never mentions it again.

    I try to get him on my side, so to speak. Favorite dinner, night out, anything! He does not listen to me.

    I went on anti-depressants to get through the rest of the year with him. My child senses my distress.

    This ‘ignorance’ goes on for 2 more years. He finally got a real job when he realizes he can’t keep going in real estate since he’s had no sales for 9 months!

    Constant begging, pleading, begging with him over this one subject.

    Not only this, but we have an adult child still living with us, paying absolutely NO RENT, does not buy groceries, nothing… I talk with my PA constantly about an adult Man, even if he is our child, needs to move out!!! This also on deaf ears…

    I sat and observed for one more year. I wrote in my journal, it’s the only one who listens. I observed. I even made simple suggestions over stupid things like; let’s have a yard sale? Aggh Haggh he says.
    How about if we go to dinner at blah blah? Aggh haggh he says. How about that purple sky out there? Aggh hagghh.

    I just laughed at how rediculous it all was.

    Left the Adult child, the adult PA and the house. Took the teenager, my dignity and positive attitude on what I can accomplish on my own without his BS and LEFT!

    Running as fast as I can. Will continue to running until I get far away from this PA.

    • Dear SSL- Welcome and thanks for sharing.

      Wow, 26 years is a long time. It sounds like you’re quite accomplished in your own right without him. I bet he wishes he had listened to you about the house now, aye? I have a long time investor client that I tried and tried to warn but he didn’t listen either. I’m a Realtor and rode the S & L ride also. This guy was an old time investor and does everything the old ways. I guess he was just too far behind to get out of the way of the tidal wave. Anyway, sorry. I digress…

      What did he ever say about saying ahhg haggh, but then never doing anything? I have to say it is the typical Passive aggressive response just to appease you at the moment. My first inclination would be to do what you did and put the sign up, tell him to pop it on the MLS, and pretty much take control. I don’t understand why he blew his top. It’s not like you hadn’t said anything to him about it. Is your house paid off? Are you still responsible on the loan? I’m sure you know all this, but sometimes there’s little details we don’t worry about until it’s too late, especially if he gets to a point he can’t make a house payment. Of course he may have been afraid if you sold the house 1) you may leave him 2) you may get rid of your adult child by getting a smaller place (which by the way I’ve done both, so sometimes those feelings are valid. LOL) but he should have discussed the reasons for not selling with you.

      You were very smart to find your way by keeping a journal. Any kind of support helps, and when you keep a journal you can actually watch the patterns emerge. I always hate to see a family break up, but sometimes it’s necessary to preserve the sanity in yourself, and more importantly in your children. It sounds like you have a good attitude about what you can accomplish and what you can do with the rest of your life. I have to say I can’t blame you for running. Some of us just wonder in our own situations “what took so long?”

      Please feel free to stop by and let us know how it’s going. Of course once you leave and get their attention, that’s when a lot of times the games they played to get you to start with, start all over again. Reading what you say here, it doesn’t sound like you’ll fall for that again. Good luck to you in the new “rest of your life.”

    • You were just not compatible

  6. We tried ‘talking’ 3 weeks ago. I stated what could have been, 3 years ago, if we had ‘sold’ the house back then. Money in the bank, no marks on our credit, could have moved to a larger city with more jobs….blah blah. And you know what the PA says to me?

    “If you had TOLD me that, we could have done that”.

    Wow! If I had known that! I thought to my self! Ha! I guess the joke was on me?

    Then I told him, I did tell him that. And he just confirmed that Living with the WALL is better than with him because I can at least lean on the wall. I can’t him! I told him he made me feel like I was CRAZY! Who the HELL have I been talking to for the past 3 years?

    I told him that he needs a professional and to leave me alone. I am done.

    • SSL- Boy, isn’t that just typical passive aggressive behavior? Once they’re “outed” for not listening or communicating, then it’s the “poor me. I’m so bad I guess I’ll just eat worms” routine. Ohhhh, I hate that! When my passive aggressive BF gets on that “Oh I’m so stupid” routine it’s really hard not to say “Yeah, you are.” But I know that would do absolutely nothing constructive. From everything you said in your prior comment, I can easily see how you tried to resolve the problem with him regarding the house. He knows it too, that’s why he switched to the “wall” routine.

      Your comment about a professional makes me curious. Have you ever talked to him about getting professional help or the passive aggressive personality? Just curious. Sometimes when we wait so long and there’s been so much stress, and resentment, there just isn’t enough love left to try anything else. Unfortunately, the odds are not in the favor of the passive aggressive ever changing even with help, so sometimes it’s easy to feel like “what’s the point?”

      Congratualtions on moving in a positive direction with your life. I’m sure it will be better for your teenager also. Hopefully you two are able to talk about what happened and why so your teenager can understand how not to handle a relationship when it’s their turn.

  7. More than perhaps any other psychological condition, PA behavior patterns are consistant. I’m am still amazed to read that so many of us can report so many similar behaviors. Why aren’t more professionals addressing this issue when it effects so many of us? I keep thinking that I’ll see Dr. Drew or even Dr. Phil( who annoys me more than he should be able to) take this on but so far I haven’t seen anything. Dr. Drew would be my preference. Maybe we should approach him. Get this out in the open more. Most of us have been able to connect this behavior with our PA’s childhood. Overcoming 30+ years of this effecting someone’s life is debilitating to both the PA and anyone who cares about them. This needs to be brought to light more.

    • Hi Marilyn- I don’t know why we don’t hear more about it in the public eye, except that it was removed from the book that covers all personality disorders for doctors. From what I understand it wasn’t removed because it doesn’t exist. It was removed because the description and diagnostics were to vague. Supposedly they are correcting some issues, doing more research and then will re-enter it into the book. I’m sure the doctor’s you mention above would be very interested in the subject if they realized how many people’s lives have been terribly affected by a passive aggressive. I agree with you that many people still don’t even have a clue.

  8. Thank you ladybeams and SSL for your comments! I have a similar situation to SSL’s. I’ve trying to get my husband to fix up the house so it can be sold (too expensive for us) for the past THREE YEARS. He procrastinates, watches TV, and will not do anything. I started keeping a journal of his behaviors and sullen, angry moods 2 years ago. It has been eye-opening to look back and re-read my journal and finally realize that he is passive aggressive! He has no communication skills, ignores me, will cut me off if I try to talk, is sullen, quietly angry, hides in his basement man-cave, stubborn, etc. etc. But in front of a family member or neighbor, etc. he is just as sweet as pie and fairly talkative! It blows my mind! Our house will be put up for sale next spring whether he likes it or not. He probably thinks I will then leave him (3 years ago this was not true, but it is true now!) I would like to leave now and take my teenager with me (we have to young adult kids…they do pay rent to us which is helpful). Here’s the problem…we need both of our incomes to pay for this house. If I leave he will be unable to make payments on mortgage/heloc/utilities, etc. So to protect our credit/home I have to stay here until the house is actually sold….yuck…most likely a year from now. Can you please tell me how I can live with this bitter old grouch until I move out? Thanks, I am so happy I found your blog.

    • Hi LCG- Welcome! Thanks for joining us.

      You’re situation sounds extremely similar to SSL. Well, at least you see how it went for her. I don’t know what her situation is regarding title to the house, etc. but it sounds like her husband wouldn’t be able to make the payments, etc. without her either. You’re very smart to think about how his losing the house could have an impact on your credit, etc. also.

      I’m glad to hear you have a plan to sell your house regardless of how he feels about it, although like SSL he’s gotten you to put it off thus far. I hate to tell you ladies, but you cannot count on him to do anything to aid you in your plan. Anything you want done to the house you are either going to have to do yourself or get someone to do it for you. Since you said your house is too expensive for you, I assume you really don’t have the money to just hire someone to get things done, but what you can do is if you have older kids at home, it’s amazing what you can get them to do to help you. There are a lot of things they and their friends haven’t done before that you may have to show them how, but they’ll think it’s fun because it’s something new. Also, they’re willing to “barter” like for pizza, etc. If you have girls they’ll help you clean out almost anything if they can pick a few things for a “hope chest” or for their first apartment. You may have to get a little creative for some of the bigger things. Craig’s List is a great source for getting cheap labor and their in almost every city in America, all you have to do is sign up and post your ad. It’s all free.

      As far as how to get along for the next year or so while you’re getting things squared away, it’s often tougher when you have a plan and you’re just having to wait it out. Bring your sense of humor with you, and your lunch. LOL. It’s going to take a lot of patience now that you know what you want to do. You can be doing a lot of the little things and basically just ignore him to a certain extent. Have you ever heard that saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” (not that I’m saying he’s your enemy) but you treat them differently. All of a sudden you’re “sweet as pie” and they become your new “best friend”. Just try and keep things at a “game” level where you’re the cat and he’s the mouse. I don’t know what it is, but if you can make a game with yourself on “how often can I act extremely happy when he’s being extremely grouchy?” or “how often can I just throw him often by acting up when he’s down?” it seems to make it easier, at least for me. They say to “act” it until you “get it” for self confidence and everything else. I don’t see why it can’t work in these circumstances. If you take everything lighthearted, knowing he’s going to be an ass, then you’ll be amazed at how little he can get to you, because he can’t surprise you by this anymore. You already know.

      That’s good that the kids pay rent. It teaches them responsibility and what it’s going to be like in the real world. My main concern there is I hope you have a good line of communication with them and you need to pay attention making sure they are not copying their father’s passive aggressive attitudes. I have found that many times it will only be one out of a few, but there usually is one and if you catch it early you may be able to counter act it. Nobody wants their children to be the nightmare for someone else that we’ve had to live with. Obviously it leads down a road of futility and unhappiness.

      I’m happy you found my blog also, and I hope you’ll come back and let us know how it’s going. Just like you identified with SSL, there may be someone else out there in your situation watching what you do to see what they should or shouldn’t do. None of us are clinical psychologists here (but then they don’t have much luck with passive aggressives either. LOL), but we can help each other and learn from each other’s sharing. Good luck to you. I know it can be a long road ahead of you, but it sounds like you’re on the right track.

  9. Thanks for your quick reply! It’s great to be able to “talk” to someone about him. I am respectful enough of him that I have NEVER told ANYONE what a sullen, moody man he really is. BTW, we’ve been married for nearly 25 years! I could say, what is it about all of us that we are with our spouses for DECADES before seeing the light? But I think I know why….we hit menopause and suddenly the veil is lifted! The kids are nearly out of the nest and we can see the future…and it don’t look so great.

    Actually, we do have enough money to do some house fix-ups. I have had the driveway sealcoated, painters out for estimates, called a realtor and got a market analysis, etc. All of this was arranged by me. My goodness, how he tried to sabotage these plans, as I’m sure you can imagine!

    Yes, I have started decluttering and getting rid of stuff. It makes me feel like I’m moving forward. But I can’t touch his stuff in garage or basement. He has to do that and he is King of the procrastinators. No, my kids will not help me, I’ve asked and asked and asked. They may be passive aggressive also. I have warned them that in January their rooms/closets will be decluttered and cleaned by me.

    I will try and take your advice about acting happy when he’s grouchy. Sounds like a good game. I do dread going home to him at end of workday. I never know what mood to expect. Here is my mantra as I drive home from work: ”stay calm, do not criticize or argue, do not get angry or upset, do not expect anything from him, do not want anything from him….’cause buddy, I got your number and it’s almost up!”

    • Good Morning LCG- Wow, way to make things happen. Yes I can imagine the things he’s tried to do to waylay your plans but it sounds like you’re plowing right them. Good for you. I do understand about not touching the basement or the garage. Your husband sounds like my BF in the way that when the deadline is so far away, they figure they have all the time in the world. Same with the kids. It’s just not tangible for them. I was actually moving things into the storage pod before my son got his stuff together, and the BF didn’t start until just a couple of weeks before the “drop-dead” date and then he was in a panic. I did just what you are doing and just worked around them.

      Your “mantra” sounds great. LOL. I’m sure it works too. Nothing like giving yourself a gentle reminder all the way home. The main thing is once he sees you’re no longer reacting to some of his tactics, he’ll have to either give them up, or unfortunately, try something else. One good thing to keep in mind is to try to “expect the unexpected” so that you don’t get caught off guard.

      Good luck keeping the peace, if for nothing more than your own sanity. When you approach him like a game piece and a little humor, the stress on you is so much less and being married to a PA, that’s something we all need.

      • I’m just now getting over the sick feeling long enough to chime in. I’ve spent nearly 19 years married to my best friend and college sweetheart and I’m on the verge of completely losing my mind. I don’t even know where to start, but I have 3 precious children who’ve been raised in a loving home with two loving parents whose lives would be devastated if I didn’t continue to “suck it up” and keep going. I’m known for my positive, sunny disposition and valued for my talents and professional abilities, but I am truly going crazy and spending most of my energy trying to maintain a good front. My husband is aware of some of these feelings as of this week and is now acting extra bizarre. I even reached out to him with a heartfelt email the other day while we were both at work, and his response was to call from his cell phone with ” so, how’s your day going?” WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “How is my day going?” I thought. I asked if he’d received the email and he had. No response and he hasn’t mentioned it again. He will NOT communicate with me, which is relatively new. He’s consistently refused to adequately communicate with his parents, which has caused me a lot of grief. I’m always the bad person, the one who can’t seem to make them happy. My parents died over 10 years ago in their eary 50′s and I’d LOVE for them to reach out. Do they? No – they only call him on his cell phone. I’ll call them, and then it’s all fine, but no phone calls to our house. Now my husband won’t communicate to me, too. I think it’s because of the parent/wife cross-fire and he can’t deal with it. He won’t help in the ways I ask him to. I’ve taken on a mountain of responsibility as a result and am officially exhausted from carrying the load of a full-time job and three small children. We started off so positive, with hopes and dreams and lots of togetherness. Where did it go??? One major thing I noted upon my discovery of the passive-aggressive husband is the withholding of sex. It started on our honeymoom! He doesn’t make a deal of withholding, he just can’t explain why he’s NEVER in the mood. No initiation – it completely vanished from sight. I was chased the whole time we dated and couldn’t wait to finally be married, then wham! He can be so considerate is so many ways, which is why I’m left feeling so completely stunned by the lack of sexual interest and the avoidance/resistance routine to several large issues that have become extremely stressful for our family, especially his work schedule. I’ve been asking him to PLEASE try to adjust his work schedule for FIVE YEARS. I seem to have no trouble being able to be accomodating – I’ve become a professional accomodater. That is one of my major jobs – make it all work. I’m tired of being looked at like I have three heads. I’m a talented, intelligent person and I’m at my wits end. I feel I am loved and am constantly reminded how loved I am, but if he loves me so much, why the constant pain from not getting any satisfaction when expressing sincere problems. I do this is a nice way. I’m not a yeller. I ask, I reason, I explain, I say “please” and “it’s because I love you” and I still get nothing in return. This week has been horrible. If he would yell at me I’d be thrilled. I’d die for any kind of genuine response at all. This would cause any sane person to go crazy. There aren’t enought meds out there to go with this flow.

        • SLS- Good morning and a big Welcome.

          19 years is a long time. Do you think he’s just really started acting out, or do you think you’re just finally getting tired enough to recognize it all. I would say from the sound of some of your comments, it’s probably the latter. It’s always harder to go through this stuff also when you have small children. They take so much energy and then to have enough energy for this kind of relationship is damn near impossible. LOL. I don’t know how you’ve managed for as long as you have. You must have really loved this guy. (Of course how many of us wish we could have married our high school sweethearts?).

          Have you brought up couples counseling to him or anything like that yet? Obviously he’s like most PAs and not going to discuss your relationship with you like an adult. And if you’re thinking about meds, maybe it’s time you started thinking about your options and if it’s time to let go. I don’t necessarily advocate that, but I’m also not inclined to advise someone to stay in a relationship that’s tearing them to shreds. Another thing you’ll want to give some thought to is if his kind of behavior is damaging your children. They need to be able to grow up feeling free to communicate their feelings, not withholding conversation as a way of getting even with someone.

          As you read here, you can’t count on them to help with or do anything, and if they do do something they don’t want to do they’ll just screw it up so you don’t ask them again. I don’t see the mountains of responsibilities going away anytime soon. When it comes to lack of communication with his family, that’s what they do. Not only are they afraid of emotional ties, they don’t know how to truly connect that way and with people they could conceivably care about.

          I wish there was more I could do to help, as you truly sound desperate in your situation. Hopefully you’ll find some helpful suggestions here and some solitude in some of the comments knowing you’re not alone and hearing what some of the others are either going through, or have been where you are. Feel free to comment here anytime. I don’t know what kind of support you have outside of here (hopefully a lot of friends, etc.) but we will definitely give our support here, so feel free to comment anytime you feel the need.

  10. I have been with my partner for 8 years now and have really only just opened my eyes to how PA he has actually been.
    It manifests in very ‘small’ strange ways to large ‘important’ matters.
    Small ways could be – refusing to change his jeans or t-shirt after I spot he’s spilled something on them and suggest he should change before he goes out – forgetting an important date or event – refusing to tell me his work sequel (We have NEVER been on vaccation because he refuses to commit to dates incase ‘work comes in’.
    Lies about the stupidest of things knowing full well I know the truth.. the lie gets bigger and bigger until there is an argument and then I am the one who is told is unreasonable and making a mountain out of a mole hill!
    We got engaged after I suggested we get married Jan 1st 2009 – 3 months of trying to get him to commit to a DATE – just a date.. no huge wedding as I was already told that would never happen – He refused to even talk about it. He didn’t say a word for months so I stopped wearing my ring, he still didn’t mention it, never even asked where the ring was. THEN I discover last month he had recently had a 6 month affair with a local woman – I decided to swollow what pride I has left and wanted to give it another go (why I don’t know) He spoke to me about his feelings for the first time in a long time and said he loved me and wanted to come back, that things would be different now we both knew what the other needed (I needed security and he needed more sex – go figure!)
    It’s only been a few weeks since this all came out so I’m still feeling pretty raw BUT – He’s back to the same old routine, refuses to talk about the future to the point the he physically turns his back on me. pretends to be asleep or leaves hours early for ‘work’
    Sadly I’m coming to the conclusion We’ll never marry, or move home, or have children, I’ll always have the feeling he may just leave today or tomorrow, he has ‘his’ life and I have mine.
    Is there any hope? Or am I deluding myself?
    I’m such a mess and at the moment pretty fearful of the future.

    • Hi ToxicShock- Welcome to the site and conversation.

      You asked, so I’m going to tell you straight up- Run! It’s quite obvious he has no intention on carrying through with his promises and if he’s cheated on you already, I doubt that he’ll be faithful for years to come. They are really good at hooking us in with their ways of letting us think we’re going to get what we want, but as you said you’re already back to the same old crap. I’m afraid that’s how it will always be. Also his turning his back on you is a very typical PA behavior. You may have the feeling that it’s happening now because of you pushing the issue of a future, but I assure you if it wasn’t that it would be something else. I’m actually very surprised that he would be stating he needs more sex. Most of the time their lack of sex in a relationship is from their own withholding. I know with my passive aggressive, as soon as I quit initiating sex, it stopped completely even though I would tell him over and over I needed him to reach for me once in awhile, or that it was ok for him to make a move.

      I’m sorry to say but if I were you I would follow your gut instinct. If you want the commitment of marriage, children, etc. and it’s been 8 years already, I would say you have done your time. There is a man out there that is looking for a woman that wants all of those things because he does and he’ll be happy to discuss and actually do them with you because he loves you so much. Allow yourself to be happy. If you stay where you are, do what you’ve always done, you’re just going to get more of what you’ve always gotten. (Not sure about the grammar there. LOL)

      Good luck in what ever you decide. Feel free to come back and share how you’re doing or let off a little steam if need be. We all learn from or at the very least support each other. You have to when you’re all kind of in the same boat. LOL

    • Toxicshock,
      DON’T DO IT TO YOURSELF!!!!!

      Run like the devil’s chasing you! You can do it! Love yourself! Read your sisters’ stories and get ghost!! You can do it! We can do it!

      Unless of course you are willing to put up with many, many more years of what you have now, realizing that he most probably will never change.

      Be strong sisters!! We can do it.

      Ladybeams, I love this blog; wish I’d discovered 2 years ago when I thought I was the crazy one!
      Peace
      CeCe

      • CeCe- Thanks so much for the sage advice for Toxicshock. I hope she comes back to see it.

        Also, thanks for the compliment. Obviously you’ve learned you weren’t the “crazy one” after all. LOL. Good for you. You’re right. We can be strong, and almost every day some one new joins our group here. By sharing, supporting each other, and all of us standing together it makes us pretty hard to beat down.

        Thank you again for the comment and would love to hear how you finally escaped, or what the turning point was for you when you decided you had had enough.

  11. I am so glad I found this site! Thank you!

    It’s been a few weeks since I wrote and have read the responses. It feels good to have some sort of place to go and see other’s responses and situations with a PA.

    Update on me is that we have been seeing a counselor over the past 2 months. I almost threw in the towel and called off the counselor 2 weeks ago because it was disturbing me the day of the meeting and then it disturbed me all weekend long over the things the counselor would say. I don’t know how many 26 year marriages she has counseld. but anyway…I was disturbed. He, the PA, saw that I did not show up for last meeting. All weekend long he texted me to see him, to talk. After 26 years of marriage, he knows how to work me.

    So the last couple weeks I went back to counseling with him.

    I’m accepting the fact, he is who he is. A PA. I am who I am. The house is in both our names and it is ‘toast’ so to speak. His inconsideration of my financial future or my job prospects due to working in the financial field are slim… It’s hard for a woman to accept the fact that the person she married when she was 18 years old and spent all this time with would bury their head in the ground over ‘to sell’ or ‘not to sell’!

    Anyway it is ‘toast’. And what I’ve learned is that people don’t do things ‘to you’ they ‘do things for themselves’. You’re probably right, he was affraid If we sold 3-4 years ago, that I’d leave him. What I should have done was filed divorce and forced him to sell. But I didn’t.

    So I am looking at the fact that I’ve spent 26 years with this man. Yes, he is making an effort to redeem himself in the typical, it’s a ‘Honeymoon’ fashion. I do love him and yes it’s hard emotionally to watch your child miss his daddy.

    My new solution is to seperate the house bills from personal bills. We have a new checking account that requires deposits each paycheck to equal each one’s share of the bills, split down the middle.

    The teenager will graduate in 3 years. Hopefully get into college or join military.

    I will make my 401k healthy, before taxes, over the next 3 years. Save as much money as possible, by sharing our now ‘downscaled’ lifestyle. I told him to do the same. But whatever he does with his ‘leftover’ money is all his to decide what to do with! And so is mine! No more comingling of funds. I did that for 26 years. What an idiot!!!!! Women, take control of your financial future. He won’t.

    He could care less that his credit is in the toilet. He works in a field that they don’t care what his credit looks like. And as far as he’s concerned, he would live in a single wide mobile home, happily, as long as I’m there next to him….ha ha…

    Question is, is that what I want? And that my friends is ‘He$$ to the NO’!

    • Hi SSL- So glad you made it back and I’m glad you’re getting good use out of the site.

      You know, My Dear, if you’re not happy with your therapist, you can always look for another one. It’s not a “one size fits all” and sometimes it just doesn’t work with one personality-wise. If you and your husband are seeing this counselor separately than it should be easier for you to see someone you feel good with. You didn’t say exactly what was said that bothered you or why it bothered you. If it bothered you because of having to face some truths you’ve let hide away all these years, than it’s a good thing. If it’s because you feel the counselor is not connecting with you or your situation, that’s not so good. How is the husband dealing with the counselor? Is the counselor making him deal with his stuff?

      You are right about a woman having to take care of her finances. I’m sure I’ve said here often that a woman should have her own little savings somewhere that the husband knows nothing about. You just never know. Unfortunately for a lot of us we start out that way and then end up using it all for some household emergency. That’s not what it’s for people. It sounds like your getting a handle on everything now. Who is going to be responsible to pay the household bills? (I mean actually see to it they get paid). I hope that’s you. You know if it’s him it won’t be long you’ll be finding out he skipped this bill or hasn’t paid that one. That’s just how they are, especially if he thinks hurting your credit is a way to keep you. It’s also good that you’ll be able to show you pay for your 401K yourself, otherwise if or when you split, he’s entitled to half. Just like you said, co-mingled funds.

      I wish you all the luck in the world with the counseling etc. It would be wonderful if it could get you guys back on the right track. 26 years is a long time, and it’s even more so when you still love him.
      Be good to yourself, and stop back to say “hi” anytime. Love hearing people who are digging their way out. It’s inspiring. Of course if you need to talk about when it seems to be going downhill, feel free to vent then also. Maybe we can help hold you up. LOL

  12. Oh, on the selling of the house. Over the past 3-4 years, I put his ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard (he’s a relator), he pulls it out. He puts the house on MLS at a price that is top of the market and at an asking price over what anyone would buy it for, he is constantly busy so he did not have to confront the issue. It was on MLS afterall, right?

    Unless, he is in your corner, it is not going to happen.

    I did visit a divorce lawyer 3 weeks ago who informed me, back 3-4 years ago when we might have been able to ‘Save’ the house- he could have gotten a court order for him to pay me his half of the mortgage. Divorce decree could have ordered him to sell the house and it would not have been his listing. Meaning he would not have had total control of the price/listing of the house.

    He is trying to mend his ways…but now we have a yard sale to sell the remaining stuff in the house. His stuff, I have one thing over there.
    because I moved to a place that only accomadated my teenager and I.

    It still irritates me, that again, I have made his transition smooth. From the house to the apartment. Everything is all set up for him. And when I think too hard on this, I ask myself, why am I such an idiot?

    I told him a month ago that he needed to find a nice place for the three of us…that this place was too small. That he could find the place, pay the deposit and get the electric on, moving truck, etc… just like I had to for this small apartment the teenager and I are in… this is what disturbes me. Why am I the one who sets things all up for us. It’s always been this way. He makes less money than I do, but any little bit would help.

    I didn’t go through on the divorce because of the $1k retainer. He has not given me one red cent since I left him. But he has buttered me up with the assistance of the counselor. It feels like a coup. Think thats how you spell it…

    • Dear SSL- Well, hopefully the lawyer told you basically what to do from here on instead of just what you should have done that you can’t do anything about now. LOL. Good old hindsight 20/20 can tell you that. It’s good that you went to talk to one and get an idea of cost, etc.

      Don’t beat yourself up too bad for helping him so much. When you’ve done it for as long as you have for him, it’s like any other habit. It’s hard to break, but you need to. Not only for you but for him also. Maybe if he is stuck to deal with his own lack of action and the consequences he’ll be forced to do something. He should be getting a clue now that you and your child aren’t living with him anymore. If he starts talking reconciling, just tell him it’s obvious he’s not serious or he would be doing something about having a place large enough for all of you to live together. I hate to say it, but you’ve come this far. This is sort of where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak. If you feel like that counselor is working against you and not making your husband realize his lack of responsibility in the relationship, then it’s definitely time to find your own counselor that will support you and what’s best for you and your teenager. I’m sure you already know the teenage years are already hard to keep them on the right path. It’ll help a lot when you’re good with the path your on also.

      Your in my thoughts and prayers, and good luck. Just think, you’ve got a good start. He has a choice on where it goes from here. He’s lucky after all these years you can still say you love him.

  13. Hi there – I recently have been evaluating some of my past relationships and am realizing that I often end up with passive aggressive men. These are usually long, drawn out affairs that lack true commitment. I am now in therapy to try and get to the root of what my role in choosing this type of partner is – and why I stay so long.
    Is it normal for a PA person to have longlasting committed relationships? the reason I ask is I have observed my own relationships with PA men last years…. but are stormy with breakups etc etc and never really “commit”. A few do get into “committed” relationships but they do not seem to last even 6 months.
    Just wondering if there is a trend here. The last PA man I dated over a period of 5 years is now in a “new, committed” relationship with someone and I am running for the hills – in my experience these types don’t stay committed long (whether or not the girlfriends know this or not i have no idea) and begin contacting me to “hang out”. Before long (historically), i’m sucked back in.
    This was a very helpful website – thanks!

    • Hi Shannon- Glad you decided to join us. Welcome.

      PA men do commit as best they can. My PA told me when we got together he was a “sticker” meaning he would never leave once he gets into something. The difference is even if they do commit, they don’t know how to connect, which means they really never commit from the heart. Even though we’ve been together for 10 years there is always some lame excuse for not getting married, which after being with him I don’t want to any more, but the bottom line remains the same.

      Glad to hear you’re in therapy. We do have a tendency to keep going back to the same type of men, and what ever you can do to break that cycle is a good thing.

      Please stop by again and let us know how you’re doing. I’m glad you find the site helpful. It’s from everyone’s contributions to the whole.

  14. thanks :)
    the times i find it a real struggle are when I feel like I spent years trying with someone who will “do better” for another or with another. reading your blog and looking at the situation as a whole help me realize that…. I got the best, there is no “do better” that lasts. maybe try harder, maybe manipulate better or use different words…. i got very jealous when i found out my ex is in a new relationship, and seems to be trying harder with her. i can step back and say – k this is really an illusion i am making up, they likely have the same dynamic (or will after the honeymoon phase ends). right now that’s what gives me the most struggle.
    :)

    • Hi Shannon- So glad to see you again, and if it helps any, you’re absolutely right. This is only the beginning. Remember how it was with the two of you in the beginning? Did you ever ask him what was the longest he’d been in a relationship? Or why those relationships broke up? Not to worry. You may think he’s trying harder, but he’s probably just using the same old tactics that have worked for him in the past, and once that’s over, it’ll be over. Trust me, you’re not missing anything.

      Go out and celebrate life! Celebrate who you are! Celebrate your freedom! I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t worry about what he’s doing. Remind yourself how lucky you are that you’re not like so many of us here that only learn after years of wasted years. U go girl! You now have a chance to write a new script. Choose high self-worth and better treatment, and now you’re smart enough to not get caught in that trap again.

      Write down on a piece of paper exactly (exactly) what you want in a man, and then send it out to the Universe. I know, you probably think I’m crazy, but I’ve actually seen it work. LOL. I’m serious. All of a sudden different men will start appearing before you, or in a different way than you had seen them before, and while it may take a little while, you will find what you’re looking for. That’s why I said be exact. You know that old saying “Be careful what you wish for”.

      Good luck My Dear, and remember every day that you are special. You deserve to be treated as such.

  15. Hi there, have just come out of a 3 month relationship and am still spinning from the experience.
    He intensely declared loved very early on but within weeks was ignoring me, passively complying but never acting upon things.
    Would do anything to avoid discussing “what was wrong”.
    In some ways I felt like he had odd expectations of what I was and I wasn’t living up to them so he was disappointed.
    He had spoken a lot about his past and in particular his dysfunctional relationship with his father, who apparently showed him no love.
    He has a very high powered job within mental health, oh the irony, and he feels very stressed and often blamed others at work. He drinks 12 cups of coffee a day and has the worst diet imaginable but I wouldn’t have dared pointed that out to him.
    But at the end of the day we broke up. I lashed out at him out of pure frustration and that was the end. He then blamed me, saying I was self absorbed and not interested in his life.
    Thanks for your site- I have concluded he was probably PA, maybe a mix of a few things, but very glad I was able to step away so soon after reading of some of the long term suffering of women on this site.

    • Deb- Thanks for sharing your story and yes, it sounds like he definitely fit the category of a PA. If all it took was one upset and he walked away, he wasn’t worth sticking around for. Good for you that you were lucky enough to break away. A lot of times they come back with all the right words until they’ve got you hooked again, and then it’s the same crap. Good for you. At least you spot the signs fast. Good luck to you and come back and say “hi” once in awhile. LOL

  16. I grew up with a sister who would give the family the silent treatment on occasion. I can remember my parents saying “Just don’t pay attention to her.” So, I grew up learning to go on with my life while my sister sulked or stormed about, trying to intimidate everyone around her.

    Fast forward many years. I met a wonderful man when I was 50. Quiet, polite, generous, had a job (LOL). We got along great. At first it was “Anything you want.” “Whatever you want to do.” I thought it was great, until I realized that if I got my way with whatever I wanted, I paid a price.

    We moved into together 3 years after we met. Two weeks after that he didn’t talk to me for a week. I had no idea why. I tried to talk to him, but the more I talked, the worse it got.

    The second time I got the silent treatment was about six months later. Another week. I decided to take my parents advise (“Don’t pay any attention…”) and went about my business. Oh, he doesn’t eat when he’s at home during these silent treatments, either. But, every evening I would ask him quite calmly “Are you eating tonite?” He’d shake his head no and then I’d make a complete dinner anyway – for myself.

    A few times I just left the house and said “I’m going out for dinner.” and left him there to sulk. I didn’t try to talk to him, didn’t try to find out what was “wrong” or anything.

    I still didn’t connect this with PA behavior. I just thought he was moody. A few years later, a friend remarked about her husband being PA and I had to admit that I really didn’t understand PA behavior. She started explaining it to me and I’ll be damned… I was living with it!

    Over the last 10 years, there have been many, many PA episodes LOL. I’m the bad guy. If I want something and say it, I can be pretty sure I’ll never get it (and this includes material as well as emotional things). The absolute very worst thing that could ever happen would be for me to get MY way. He is not about to let that happen for anything.

    When we first met, I’d cook him dinner and he wouldn’t say anything about it. Not even a thank you. I asked him once “Didn’t you like it?” He said yes, it was good. I said “Don’t you normally thank people for cooking dinner for you?” He said no. We had this huge conversation about how I felt he should at least thank me and he said “If I thank you EVERY night for dinner, it’ll just be a daily thing and it won’t mean much.” I said “Well, it WILL mean something to me!”

    Same thing with “I love you”… if he tells me all the time time that he loves me, it won’t mean as much. So, in the last 10 years, he has voluntarily said “I love you” maybe three times. I got tired of not hearing it back, so it’s not in my vocabulary, either.

    Last year I was getting the silent treatment during Father’s Day. I’d bought him a gift and card, but didn’t give it to him. Later he said something about “What did you get me for Father’s Day?” I said “Nothing… you weren’t talking to me, so I wasn’t buying you anything.” LOL

    He never makes decisions. He let’s happen whatever is going to happen and that’s his decision. If things turn out bad, it’s my fault, somehow.

    So, I’ve finally learned. If he wants to pout, he pouts. I ignore him. If he says something that blames me for the outcome of something HE did not bother to make a decision on, I challenge him.

    His PA behavior is a daily occurrence, but he only acts out a few times a year. So, every six months or so, I can count on getting reamed with everything I’ve done wrong for the last six months and how I’m the fault of everything.

    I’ve learned to put up with it, ignore it and laugh at it (eventually). I’m 60 years old… I’m not going anywhere. LOL

    • Hi Karen- Thanks for leaving your story. Boy, isn’t it typical? That’s how they reel us all in. They start out so loving, kind, get us hooked, and then, the cutoff. I can’t believe he had the stamina to make believe for 3 years before he let his true side show, although I have told a couple of people on here, if you’re not living with the PA yet, don’t! LOL. It’s funny that you didn’t see the connection between his behavior and your sister’s. It’s too bad they don’t pull this crap before we’re really involved so we had an honest look at what we were in for. The one thing about you is at least you had experience with that type through your sibling so you’ve developed a way to cope with it. I think it’s great! LOL.

      I especially love it that you go out for dinner sometimes when he’s sulking instead of letting it bog you down. We all need to take a page from your book. If more people married to PA’s would go ahead and live their lives instead of letting the PA manipulate how we’re going to live, we would be a lot better off.

      My passive aggressive BF doesn’t make decisions either. I’m afraid I’ve gotten where I just do and most of the time don’t ask. There aren’t really any decisions left for him to make anymore that would affect me one way or the other. Through the years I’ve taken care of that. Leaving anything to him was just too dangerous to my well-being.

      I hope we hear more from you. It sounds like you have a great sense of humor, which is the only way I’ve been able to cope, that and a prayer. LOL. I’m sure your story will help us all get a little of our courage back. Happy Holidays.

    • I am just now learning to detach. Your ability to ignore the behavior and get on with your life seems to work. I am a 57 year old woman who has been married to this man for 20 years. I am also raising a granddaughter and cannot leave because I have no retirement. For 5 years, I have been pulling back. Realizing he is not going to do anything to help our marriage. It is me that will have to change. I have to expect NOTHING from him. He is like a nice neighbor. People see him as sweet and kind, but the fact is he has no backbone to do anything. I am the one who decides anything….he is merely in the background. Now that he is home full time, it drives me crazy. He undoes any discipline or teaching opportunity, I have done for my granddaughter. I am the bad guy because PA will wait on that child hand and foot. I hate being with him. I would leave in a second, if I had any retirement. The only thing I know to do is to simply detach. His lack of interest is good now instead of painful. I can do what I want! By detaching, I save my sanity. My granddaughter loves her Papa, she has lost her family and we are all she has. He uses her against my and my “rules” like not staying up to text on the phone all hours of the night. He really sucks at being a Dad. So are there any place or meetings I can go to to learn to detach?

      • Welcome Victoria- I’m so sorry to hear your granddaughter has lost her family. I’m sure that’s been very hard on everyone. You didn’t say how old your granddaughter is?

        I’m sorry to hear your husband works against you instead of with you regarding the parenting aspect. Children learn at an extremely early age who they can get what from (how to manipulate people, situations). That’s not to say your granddaughter is bad, it’s just a natural instinct they all have, and they all do it until they learn it isn’t getting them anywhere. Maybe your husband is “over compensating” your granddaughter because of the situation. It happens all the time. Have you tried sitting and talking with him about what bad things could happen in the future for her if you don’t set limits now? You might try explaining to him that if he really loves her, he would want the best for her, now and in the future. How will she be able to deal with outside disappointments and choices if he never lets her learn that stuff at home?

        As for where to go to learn to detach, I would suggest group therapy and Al-Anon. Group therapy classes through your local mental health department are usually relatively cheap. Al-Anon may ask for a donation, but it’s usually only a couple of bucks, usually well worth it for the support, etc. you get out of it. They all are people trying to learn how to live their lives in spite of the alcoholic, and are very good at teaching about detaching. Sometimes you may have to visit a couple of different groups to find the one you’re comfortable in. It’s ok that your husband isn’t an alcoholic. You can explain your situation and I’m sure you’ll be welcomed. (At least that’s been my experience). One of the group therapy classes I took through my mental health dept. was assertiveness training. It has been so helpful through the years as far as letting people know what I would or would not accept without being aggressive or nasty about it. Being able to articulate what you need and want can make such a difference.

        Good luck Victoria. Feel free to stop by anytime. We’d love to hear how you’re making out. It’s so tough even for couples that have a good marriage when the man retires and is home all of the time.

  17. I am glad to find this site. I wish there were a meetup group in the area regarding this, to talk to someone living with this.

    I have been married to my PA husband for 21 years. He had a bad childhood but seemed to be a sweet person. However, I became the “mommy” he never had, he depended on me for almost everything. Fast forward 8 years to when we finally had a baby and bought a house: I found myself exhausted from picking up his slack.

    At age 40 he got himself tested (at my insistence) and found out he had ADHD and a learning disability (NVLD). That explained some behavior but not the attitude that developed later on, which was the PA. I had been seeing the passive, but for the last 7 years or so, I have seen the aggressive. He is sullen, withholding of simple courtesies, kindness, and graces (I too have to ask for thank you’s, etc.).

    He shows normal affection to our son, but treats me as if I have a contagious disease (I don’t!!). I have read about how in the old days one punishment of a “wayward” woman was shunning, which meant no one talked to her. I feel shunned now, and it is very painful. No hello when I come home, no pat or hug, even if I have hurt myself there is no “are you ok” or other expression of kindness. Yet, he can act perfectly normal to our son.

    I am in a dilemma, have asked him to leave and he says yes, then doesn’t (no surprise). We have been to couples therapy, 5 different ones, and he refuses to cooperate and says the marriage is over. He manages to blame me for his problems and says he is staying for our son. I am attractive with many friends, hobbies, and a good job. He has no friends, is unemployed, and corresponds with (only) Chinese women on the internet, calling them “friends”. (We are not Chinese).

    When we go on vacation, he is sullen and angry while my son and I laugh and have fun. Yet he tells counsellors that our problems are simply from personality differences, that “it takes two to make a problem” myth. Yes, it is a myth and we all know it! When one partner is trying to be positive and make things work and the other is blocking and resisting at every turn, please don’t give me that standard therapists’ mantra about us both having to change, etc. The only change I can make would be to find a way to get him out when he refuses!

    He is the type (PA) to make us both pay for a lawyer and exhaust our son’s college savings just to not let me have my way. If you can’t act, why not obstruct? He has initiated a lawsuit against his former employer for firing him, while he stays home all day but allows me to work full time and come home to do the cooking. No call about what can he do for dinner, even though (or maybe because) I have asked.

    Sorry, this is years of frustration being explained. If anyone knows how I can get him out without upsetting my son who loves his Dad, please let me know!!

    • Inilash- Welcome to the site. You don’t ever have to be sorry for leaving a comment and telling us what you’re going through. That’s what this site is meant to be and hopefully between all of us here, we can maybe help each other cope.

      I’m sorry to say, but it looks as though the more depressed and unhappy with himself he becomes, the more he’s going to take it out on you. Not only have you replace the “mommy he never had” but as he dislikes himself more, you’re also the “disapproving mommy” even if it’s only in his mind. If you’ve got time you should read the blog post I did titled “A Different Concept on Why Passive Aggressives Withold Sex”. It’s a very interesting concept this doctor has on how they look at us and that whole “mommy” thing.

      As far as him getting out, he probably never will. When my kids father and I split I had to leave our house and take the kids and go. That was the only way. Like you 1) he wouldn’t ever go 2) if he did he would just come back when ever he wanted. He made me sign a quitclaim (a deed) giving him the house just so I could get my children’s belongings. He ended up losing the house in foreclosure.

      If you are really thinking about splitting, and you think he will exhaust all your resources to fight you, then you may want to download the e-book I have on the free gift page. Just click on the link toward the bottom that says about “Leaving a Passive Aggressive Relationship”. It’s pretty good about telling you what steps to take and how to go about it. One thing you need to be aware of is that your son sees all this going on between you and your husband. What do you think that may do to his relationships with girls/women when he gets older? I’m sure he loves his father very much, but is this the kind of example that is good for him to grow up with? I don’t think you would want his girlfriend or wife to be saying these same things in the future about your son.

      As far as someone live to talk to about this, even if your husband didn’t like any of the counselors you were going to, if you did have one you liked you should keep going. He probably didn’t like them because they caught on to his games, which means they were probably pretty good. LOL. Also, you might try calling your county mental health dept. or clinic. They may know of some support groups that could help you with your situation. You might try an “assertive, but still be nice” class to help you get some of your strength back. Usually things like that aren’t too expensive, or they’re done on a sliding scale for fees based on what you can afford.

      Also don’t forget to sign up for the FREE teleseminar with Nora and my self on January 19. You can sign up here. You’ll get a chance to ask a question and here it discussed live during the call. All the details are on the sign up page.

      Please, feel free to come by anytime and blow your top, or comment, or ask a question, what ever you need at the time. There are a few of us check in and out here, and we’re all here to help as much as we can.

  18. I’ve read a few posts in this blog, but wanted to comment and have some reply’s regarding my situation I’m currently in.

    I’m a 38 yr-old male, been married for 12 years with 3 kids (8,5 and 4)…our marriage started out pretty rocky…she wanted to be a dentist, so after our wedding, we moved where she could continue college and begin preparation for dental school. While we were there, she took the DAT (entrance exam) 5 to 6 times and kept missing the acceptance score by 1 point. We were there for almost 2 years and I was offered my old job back with a promotion and a raise…by this time she had been done with school for almost a year and not doing anything, but hoping to pass and get into dental school. I suggested that maybe she should try something else, another career…finally we left and moved back and I know she felt defeated…we started a family soon after…

    My wife has never been the emotional type person…she’s always had a hard time expressing her feelings towards me or showing me any affection, even before we got married. I on the other hand freely give my love and affection to her and my kids. It’s always been my responsibility to initiate intimacy with my wife, expect for when she wanted to become pregnant, then I couldn’t keep her at bay…

    I’ve grown to accept this trait of my wife has, but it’s come at a price…I desire to have a reconfirmation that she loves me and it would be nice to have her express her love to me from time to time…when I bring this up to her…i get the response that “I’m an adult, get over it!” I will admit to you guys, years of this shunning and not meeting my emotional needs has probably made me a little ‘passive aggressive’…meaning I will agree to do something, just to make her happy and maybe through that I can get what I need from her, and when I don’t…I don’t get violent or ‘angry’, but I will sulk for awhile, but I can get over it pretty quickly and move on.

    So a year and a half ago, out of the blue she wanted a separation…I suggested therapy and we went, and I let it all be about me, after all I had to be doing something wrong to have her want a separation. I was confused. She was a stay-at-home mom, and I still made sure that I helped out around the house, b/c I know being a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids is a full-time job…so I would do laundry, clean the kitchen, give baths..ect. She was/is involved in a moms group at our Church and once a week she would meet friends out for drinks and dinner and I always encourage her to be active outside the house…I’m not the overbearing protective husband…We give each other space.

    Counseling wasn’t working out…my wife is on anti-depressant medicine, her mother is bi-polar, and our therapist seemed afraid to confront her on any issue…my wife is very, very good at manipulating a conversation. I on the other hand, have a difficult time articulating my feelings and sometimes I have get the foot-in-mouth syndrome and say things that didn’t come out right and she’ll pounce on that and use it against me.

    We stopped going to counseling and our pastor recommended psychotherapy (whatever that is) after meeting with her privately…she starts going February 5th to a therapist he recommended.

    Recently, she wanted to start back to work and she started at a dentist office (remember, she wanted to be a dentist) one day a week and eventually they hired her full-time. In the mean time, she started taking on-line classes for International Relations…I am supportive of that and have encouraged her to do so…So now, the burden of working full-time, taking online classes and dropping comments to me that she is “supposed” to be the dentist and not working for one, has put her in a mood I’ve never seen.
    Out of the blue, about 8 months ago, she started rejecting my initiations in regard to sex…with really rude comments…I guess she thought that since she was working full-time and now school, sex would be on the back burner…and it’s not like I demanded sex every-night…I would initiated sex once a week…friday night or an evening when I knew she wasn’t swamped with school. So our sex life has virtually become non-existent.

    So now, we argue about sex…we may get a babysitter and we’ll go out and have a good time, only to get home and my advances are shot down…after months of this I have become angry, very out of character for me…it seems like she knows what to do to get a negative response out of me and then she’ll use that against me the next time by with-holding sex and using that against me.

    And when I react to her rejections, she plays it off like all I want is sex from her…like she’s a prostitute as she says…so I internalize what I’m doing wrong…am I a sex addict? Is she right? I hate what she’s doing to me…it’s not fair…sometimes I wanna have sex, just to feel her touch me…

    I do love her, but I’m growing tired of this…

    Sorry for the long post, I’m just trying to wrap my mind around this and figure it out…thanks for listening…

    • Tommy- Welcome. It’s always nice to hear from the male side of things. I know there are a lot married to passive aggressive women, just like so many of us women with passive aggressive men. We just don’t hear from that many. Thanks for sharing with us.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with you wanting sexual relations with your wife at other times than just to procreate, and all of us need affection and to feel loved. Wanting sex once a week certainly does not make you a sex addict. Trust me, there are many women here that would be happy if they could get their men to initiate sex even once a month. LOL.

      It’s great to hear that you two have talked to your pastor and she’s starting therapy. You also should get a good therapist, not because you are wrong, but because you need some support on your side that can validate your feelings and make you stronger in the fact that you are normal and ok. It sounds like her tactics have beaten you down pretty good. It also sounds like she holds a great resentment toward you concerning her failure to be a dentist. Some women aren’t really big on sex to start with, but once that kind of resentment starts working it’s way into a relationship, the woman will tend to detach emotionally which in turn causes her to detach sexually. Many of them will go ahead and have sex, but lay there like a dead fish and say “go ahead”. LOL. Real good for romance, aye?

      While it’s always easier to blame someone else for our shortcomings, if she took that test 5 or 6 times and still couldn’t make it, that is not your fault. Maybe she’s one of these people that freezes during testing, or maybe she sabotages herself even subconsciously so she doesn’t pass. Many people are afraid of success. If she can’t pass, and you moved her away, she has a built in excuse. Isn’t there anywhere near you that she can take the test again? or go back to school to refresh and take the test again? Now that she’s been working for a dentist, she may be in a better position to pass. If she really wants or wanted to be a dentist that bad, she could figure something out. I’m sure there’s more than one dental school and dental licensing board in the country.

      How is she toward your kids now that she has them? Is it just you that she takes her anger out on? Have you tried to just sit down and talk it out? Telling her that you would really like to understand why she is so angry, why she won’t accept affection from you, and how she really feels about your relationship together? Let her go first. No matter what you want to say in response, don’t, just listen. Then when she’s through, repeat the problem(s) and ask her if you are “getting it”, if you understand the problem correctly. Then let her know how much you love her, and ask her in her mind what you can do to “fix” it. Repeat that and ask her if you’re understanding her correctly.

      Now it’s your turn. (Seek first to understand, then be understood). Let her know that you really still love her and want to make this work. Then let her know how you feel when she rejects you, how much it hurts you, and you would like to work out a solution for both of you. What ideas does she have that the two of you could work out a solution together? Suggest to her that if both of you start concentrating on a solution instead of concentrating only on the problem, maybe you could both still be happy.

      Tommy, I need to warn you here you may get answers you don’t like. You said she’s always had a hard time expressing any affection. This usually only gets worse with the passage of time. The passive aggressive person has to really want to break the cycle their in. Hopefully therapy will help that, but if you two have already separated once, don’t be surprised if that’s the only solution she can come up with now. That’s a very real possibility and you need to be prepared.

      Good luck to you. I hope this helps a little. Feel free to leave a comment anytime, or just share with us how things are going. Sometimes it helps just to get it out, like you did this time. It’s a lot of work being involved with someone who never learned how to be affectionate and doesn’t care to start. You might want to be thinking about if you really want to stay in this relationship if things are going to go on the way they have been.

  19. I did notice your abrupt brush off of our personal conversations some months ago. That’s okay, I am used to it. Most are sick and tired of my “saw”. Your reaction (or lack thereof) to the then current P/A behaviors of my daughter-in-law (hereinafter referred to as “DIL”) was exhitibiting/inflicting towards and upon me was surprising, but again, I understand. You have more important activities than to listen to someone like me who is truly seeking support. My family (a/k/a loved ones) and close friends have done the same. I took your hint the same as I have taken those I thought I could rely on for support and stopped attempting to reach out. Bottom line for me is concluding that until a person becomes the victim of a P/A themselves, the problem really isn’t as bad as the victim makes it seem. It’s the human condition that’s to blame; i.e. it couldn’t happen to me.

    Well, I will liven up your blog today. The DIL is still at her nasty, evil game to make me pay the debt her abandoning mother, loser father and his P/A family inflicted upon her and taught her. If I am not mistaken P/A behaviors are learned….

    In September, if you will recall, I had asked my son to accompany me to the grave of my deceased son (his own brother) to honor his memory on his birthday. Son agreed. On the Thursday prior to the weekend he had agreed to come home, he texted me to say he wouldn’t be coming because he was going to spend the weekend trying to figure out how to get out of his lousy marriage and that he ‘d make it up to me somehow. Some have told me he was using that as a device to shield himself from being scorned for failing to meet his “obligation”. Others have said he is learning P/A behaviors. I believe the DIL didn’t want him to participate in his own family’s “events” and was making a big stink to keep him from coming. P/A’s are good at that, aren’t they? While I will probably never know the true reason he renigged on his commitment, I responded to it by telling him how sorry I was about the situation and that if he needed our help, he knew where we were. Oddly enough, by the following Monday, all the ills of the marriage had been cured – everything was “fine” – his word. Okay, fine; I said not a word of scorn, doubt or skepticism even though I felt he’d lied. Why did he feel he needed to lie? He needed to lie because he couldn’t admit to me or us his wife was making his life miserable to keep him away from his own family. Ya think?

    Yes, I was angry and hurt. Since recognizing the patterns of behavior she exhibited (only took me years of blaming myself) were P/A, I realized there was an opportunity for me to prove myself. I wanted to help her. Once I understood what was afoot, I felt sure I could help her overcome the bondage a P/A lives with. Over the past couple years, I had written journals to her in which I discuss every P/A incident I’d encountered with her. In those journals, I beg her to let me and us help her overcome them. All the journal entries were an outreach. I wrote every word with a true heart, as a mother imperfect, with respect for the prison she had placed herself in.

    On that Monday, I made copies of the journals. I sent a set to her and a set to her family. In the copies I sent to her family, I asked for someone to admit the problem, help us all own it so that we can help her overcome it. On the copies I sent to her, I told her to read with comprehension for in all those words was a message of love and respect, caring and desire to be a guiding hand for her. Did she want to lose her beloved husband because of it? That change is never easy but on the other side of it for her would be a dawn of freedom, self-confidence, self-esteem, strength. I told her I would wait patiently with my hand out stretched with respect and courage and love and the purest desire to pull her up and away from the ugly shield. My son was incensed. Her family never responded. She denied vehemently she had any such thing as passive aggressive disorder. I sunk with the boat. I felt like I had drowned.

    My birthday (which unluckily happens also to be the DIL’s birthday) rolled around. I got the usual card (in an envelope addressed only by my last name) in the mail 2 weeks early. Oh, hello? Aren’t we subtle?? (And, mind you, she sends cards to my husband addressed affectionatley to “Papa”.) The actual day landed mid-week. They, of course, had plans to be elsewhere (meaning with her family; no big.) on the weekend. Okay, fine. Hey, I told my son, I am hardly interested in celebrating another year with more wrinkles and heightened forgetfulness. I did not scorn, criticize,expect or ask for them to visit. Good thing, huh? Was I angry and hurt? Of course!

    A little back tracking:

    Last year while son was in overseas, she was here with bells on on Thanksgiving morning accompanied by her equally P/A aunt. She walked in dressed in her Christmas regalia – Santa hat, pretty red party dress……and, she delivered a Christmas card – onThanksgiving day??? We left the card unopened on the table. A few days later, I got an email from son asking if we’d gotten the card. I asked what card – but I knew then that something was up. I went upstairs and opened the card. There she was in a professional photo – dressed the very same way as she had been on T’day. However, she was kneeling and flanked by their two dogs. The caption beneath said: “Merry Christmas from the ‘_________ Family”. Our son was not in the picture. Where’s the “_______ Family”. What message was she attempting to convey? Showed the card to my husband who simply tossed it aside without comment. Checked my email later that day and again son was asking about the stupid card. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about to make him squirm while knowing full well they were both in on the “joke”. Imagine that???? I, as usual, was the only one to pick up on it. It made me cry almost as hard and as much as I have cried and still cry over the death of my other son. I knew, as well, that there was a message in that card other than the good Christmas wishes. From time to time in the ensuing year, I pondered several times the real message she was trying to send.

    Fast Forward:

    Thanksgiving this year. Much to my surprise, my husband suggested we take a mini-vacation to Vegas. Off we went without telling anyone other than a dog sitter. My husband said he hoped they’d make a surprise visit because they’d be the one’s surprised. We didn’t find out until a month later that they did come – a neighbor said she saw them hanging around our front steps when she’d come back from an emergency grocery trip. They, neither of them have ever mentioned they’d come to see us only to find us not at home. The joke was on them…….

    Don’t worry, the juciest part is coming, I am getting to it. Hope you aren’t falling asleep.

    Keep in mind, since the day she met our son, her goal has been to get pregnant. He was dead set against it all along and as recently as his birthday, summer ’09. So sure was she that she would change her husband’s mind that in a moment of anger a few years earlier, she threatened us with the “if you don’t behave, you’ll never see your grand kids.” I told her I took that threat seriously – her face went blank – she knew she’d blown her cover…..that’s a P/A for you, right?

    We had little to no contact with them from September to December. We purposely stayed quiet. As my husband said, don’t worry, when he needs something, we’ll hear from him. I ached to hear from him, but succeeded in stopping myself from making contact. As sure as the sun rises, out of the blue on a Sunday morning the first weekend of December, son calls. I thwarted his attempt to make contact (after first checking to make sure all was well) by telling him we were busy and we’d call back.

    Not more than 5 minutes passed before they called again. “Where’s dad?” son asked without even saying hello or any greeting. Well, son, he worked till midnight and is still sleeping or WAS sleeping. “Get him on the phone. We have an exciting announcement.” Can you guess? Yep, we are going to have a baby. I was horrified and called him a stupid s__t. My husband told him he’d regret it. He hung up in our faces. To demonstrate how good she is, we could hear her in the background saying – “that’s your family; shame on you” to her husband. Wow such benevolent respect for your husband’s family.

    Get this, on Xmas eve day, her grandfather called. At first he insisted that I get my husband on the phone, too. When I told him that husband had worked till 1 a.m. and util the phone rang, he had been sleeping; hopefully the call hadn’t wakened him. Without apology for the disturbance, he started out by saying he didn’t know what our problem was with our son and didn’t want to know. I told him immediately we had no problem with our son. He went on – their annual family gathering was that evening and they wanted us there. Sorry, I apoligized, but we must necessarily decline your gracious invitation on the grounds that husband had to work that evening. For once, I was thinking on my feet.

    Christmas morning, son called to say they were on the way to see us. Husband took the call. I was still so incensed over the pregnancy, that I left fearing my own self and the actions I might take when I saw her. They stayed less than an hour. Husband had to go to church, youngest was watching his new TV, I was gone. What was here for them? All they wanted was to show her – duh??? They were cheated out of the enjoyment of rubbing our noses in her victory.

    Oops, not so fast. A warming trend in our relationship occured in January coincidental to the typical winter thaw…….I’d been scorned enough by loved ones and others that a baby is an innocent – that I needed to put aside my own heartbreak for the sake of that baby. My conscience gave me strength. They came up for a weekend. By then she must have been at least 2-1/2 months pregnant or more. She wasn’t showing. Son said she’d been “spotting”/ bleeding. I was alarmed and horrified – she’d not been to a doctor on the premise that the military medical office hadn’t answered their phones when she’d tried to call. My radar was in full sensory operation. I smelled the rat in Denmark………..

    Things worked on my mind. Things had been said like, we weren’t even trying or the medical office didn’t answer the phone, there was no baby, she’s not taking her over the counter prenatal vitamins like she should, she’s not showing, she’s spotting, don’t ask questions, ma; we don’t know the due date yet, she hasn’t seen a doctor. The previous year’s Christmas card came to mind – I finally got and knew what her message was – she was telling us the next year it really would be “The ____________ Family”. She had to announce pregnancy this year; after all, she had set the goal to become pregnant.

    WE all are convinced that she faked the pregnancy and hoped that by the time she absolutely had to see a doctor or else blow her cover, she hoped she’d really be pregnant. Son couldn’t admit he knew he’d been hoodwinked that is why he was so defensive about questions. He aided an abetted her fantasy by lieing about her having a miscarriage.

    Hope you enjoy the read.

    They left on Sunday afteroon. Son called Monday to tell us they had an appointment that Thursday. They visited again the next weekend. In a quiet moment with son, I asked how things went. He hung his head and looked away. I know my son and I knew something was wrong. He was quiet for a minute or two then said – they couldn’t find the baby; there was no baby. When I asked questions like had the doctor done a follow up pregnancy test to verify she was pregnant. He got very defensive and told me not to ask a lot of bs questions and cautioned me not to say anything to her.

    • Mother-In-Law- My Dearest Mother-In-Law, I’m sorry if I said anything that gave you the impression I was “brushing you off”. I don’t know what that would be, but it certainly wasn’t my intention. The last email I sent we were talking about your t-shirt idea for the baby. Whatever I said that gave you that idea, I’m very sorry. I thought you left me. LOL. I keep in contact with a couple of people here through email, and I would never just leave you “hung out to dry” so to speak. I totally understand how it is to have your family think you’re nuts, or you’re making too much out of the passive aggressive actions of a loved one. I would never intentionally give that same impression to someone else going through it.

      Now, on to your comment. Thanks first of all for sharing. I wondered how things are going. I didn’t email directly because of not wanting to intrude, not because I haven’t thought of you, often. This girl has serious problems. You know, so many of the old tricks of the past you think are outdated, it always amazes me how many are still the same as it was back in the day for us. The girls that still think they can trap a guy by getting pregnant, the ones that pretend to be pregnant that aren’t. When it comes to male-female relationships, we really haven’t progressed much at all, even though each generation thinks things are different in the time they’re living.

      While I am sorry for your son as I’m sure he got swept up in the excitement of a new baby, even though he originally didn’t want to have children, because you just can’t help it once it happens, this can only be looked at as a blessing. It looks like the Angels are protecting your son even if he himself can’t or won’t. For 1, this shows him at what great lengths she is willing to go to get what she wants and 2) it should show him how really damaged she is. I’m sure he doesn’t want to admit any of the above and probably gets so defensive because he feels so foolish. I think we all tend to get defensive and lash out when we feel like we’ve been duped. He probably really hates admitting anything to you because you have tried to warn him all along. At least you’re the good mom who was asking the kind of questions to try and help him instead of the kind that just gloats in “I told you so”, however tempting that might have been. LOL. (I know it would be for me). At least now he has a chance to rethink his situation and take better precautions if that’s what he choses to do. It’ll be interesting to see what direction this goes next. Unfortunately, he sounds very sensitive to her feelings of disappointment, etc. She may be pulling the “broken and helpless” card that gets a man every time.

      Please My Dear, let me know what happens. I am very interested in how you are doing as I know it’s an ongoing battle and many times a very isolating one. And if you ever want to converse privately, I am here. It may take me a few hours to get back to you, but I’ll answer (and try not to upset you more than you are. LOL). The last thing I want to do is be another one that turns their back. Besides, I’m in a PA relationship too, and you know how they say “misery loves company”. LOL

  20. There seems to be many overlapping behaviors going on around me with my family…trying to understand five grown kids and a husband plus the extended members, via the original family members, is a full time job …today however I am concerned more with one thing that has happened and I want to put a stop to it before it ruins my relationship with a grown daughter. I think this is a P/A thing. Let me know if I am wrong and maybe point me in the right direction…
    Family all came together to support our younger daughter in a fund raising walk for a national group that supports research into her medical condition.
    This happened on the same day as another child’s anniversary…no one remembered…we spent the day at the zoo, thanking friends and family for participating, walking around the zoo and enjoying the day…later my husband and I invited everyone for a quick meal at a local place…the spouse and young child of our daughter were invited and they met us there…all seemed fine…we talked, laughed, ate, and then we all went our own way. Today, three days later, the fact that it was an anniversary for the older daughter came out…her husband had called to ask if my husband and I would care to do an overnight sitting with the baby so he could plan a special night for their anniversary…we said yes of course..we love spending time with them and getting such a chunk of time with the baby is a bonus…anyway it dawned on my husband and I that we had forgotten the day…it was the same day as the walk…we had spent the entire day with friends, family, which included our daughter, walking around with us, and she did not say anything to either of us. Today when we were ask to sit was the first time we realized this…now we feel pretty bad, but this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened…not the forgetting, but the obvious refusal to remind anyone of anything…We have five kids, three who have had major health issues, two of whom will have lifelong issues ..as hard as I try I can not remember every thing that goes on in my adult children’s lives….I do remember the birthday’s of everyone and major holidays…is it to much to expect them to remind their parents of other special days?

    • fedup- First of all, welcome! And then, yes in my opinion, this is definitely passive aggressive behavior. It does sound like you have a very full plate. If your daughter was with you that day it would have been very easy for her to say something like “You know Mom, today is so-and-so’s and my anniversary too.” Everyone would have wished them a happy anniversary, they would have had their 10 minutes of recognition, perhaps a little toast or something when you went to eat, and everyone could have been happy. Instead she chose to be a victim. She’s probably been miserable ever since and probably made her husband miserable also. LOL.

      I’m sure that you have already apologized profusely for the oversight, but I would also try to nip the behavior in the bud by asking her why she chose not to mention it (which it was her choice). She may say she didn’t want to take the spotlight away from the one who was doing the fundraiser, but that’s a pretty lame excuse, especially if she’s going to be upset that no one remembered. If she does use that, I would just let her know you could have celebrated both given the chance.

      While it may make things uncomfortable, the only way to deal with this kind of thing is to bring it out in the open. You said it’s happened before. If they know how you feel (that you can’t possibly remember everything for everyone) and they know you are going to confront them instead of letting them hide behind the behavior, hopefully it should stop. In the meantime, you may want to use your calendar that comes with your email provider to mark it down for next year. LOL.

      I hope this helps a little. It’s not just our mate that can be passive aggressive at times. Kids are naturals at parent manipulation. LOL. Feel free to comment anytime. Thanks for sharing with us.

  21. I just found this website after my PA father returned home from work and immediately started engaging in a passive aggressive dialogue about me, both directly to me and also speaking about me within obvious earshot, wanting me to hear what he has to say about me to my mother. Every day he will come home and will have nothing but negative or PA things to say. He will either look for something undone or out of place in the house, like unwashed dishes, and ask why I haven’t done them, or how if I can find 5 minutes in my day to do them it would be great (knowing well off that I am part-time employed), or “Whose dishes are those?” and if they aren’t mine, he will say, “Well I don’t care whose they are, you need to help clean”. If everything is in perfect condition, the only other thing he will ask is, “What have you done today? Did you accomplish anything today? Why don’t you find a job? I Hear McDonald’s is hiring”…and variations of this.

    Even when employed he will say, “that’s great, now you can start looking for a real job”. Everything he says about me to others, and when speaking to me, is critical. In college he literally apologized a roommate he had never met before, saying he’s sorry for my “inconsistencies”. Often in public he will slyly make a remark about my employment status or lack of direction, even to family and friends or his own coworkers – right when I am standing there next to him. His concern is legitimate but his method of trying to apologize for my supposedly pathetic existence is so inappropriate that I’ve seen family members squirm and even look at him with an appalled face and try to defend me.

    While it appears it’s all about financial status – even when I was younger – 21 or so – we were in the supermarket and I suggested a certain (feminine) alcoholic beverage to him. A man standing near us chuckled to himself and my father just glanced at him, then me, then said with a grin, “Look, people are laughing at you”. I don’t even know how to interpret that.

    For so long I’ve been struggling to understand why I have such low self-esteem (often to the point where I blush if someone simply talks to me), believe I have no special talent or worth, or that I’ll never be good enough. I sometimes confront my father on how rude and hurtful he can be, and it always ends up with him smiling and laughing at me, acting like I am being foolish. Thus I’ve resorted to total silence and avoiding him at all costs. The self esteem kills me, making me not know what I want to do or can do in a professional world, making me feel like a perpetual child. At the same time, that is often what fuels my father’s comments, which at the same time keep me from feeling good enough or smart enough to achieve anything (despite having two BA’s from a very selective college). I don’t know what to think anymore, want to get out of this house but feel so debilitated, help!

    • Kari- OMgosh, Kari, I am so sorry it has taken me so long to approve your comment so it would show up and then it took so long for me to get back to you. Please forgive me. I would let comments show as soon as they are written, but I get so much spam that I just can’t do that, otherwise the blog would be useless.

      I feel so bad when I hear about passive aggressive parents who are doing these things to their children, of any age. It’s bad enough when we pick a boyfriend or spouse that berates us, but a parent is supposed to be encouraging and edifying. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

      It sounds like you must be an intelligent lady, 2 BA’s and all. We just need to get you a little “thicker skin”. LOL. It sounds like the weaker you appear to be, the more your father likes to beat up on you, figuratively speaking. No offense, but your father sounds not only passive aggressive, but like an ignorant bully. Trust me, you can’t afford to keep taking personal hits to your self esteem and letting him do this to you. There won’t be anything left!

      The first thing you need to do is surround yourself with friends who like you, who see your worth. If you don’t have any, get some. Go to church (if you’re a believer), volunteer for an organization you care about, anything where you can meet people and get back to being social.

      If there are mental health services through your county mental health dept., start seeing a therapist or get involved with group therapy. I know if you’re unemployed you can’t afford a therapist, but a county health dept. does all that stuff on a “sliding scale” based on how much money you make, etc. That can be a great source of support. Try and get into an assertiveness class. It’s unbelievable what power that can give you for dealing with your father. I speak from first hand experience.

      Then, last but not necessarily least, read this blog post on building a “ Self Esteem File“. Going to a prestigious college, you should have a lot to put in there and it will bring you great comfort and support when your father pulls his shenanigans.

      Please feel free to come back and join us any time. Now that you’ve been approved, your comments will show up right away and I’m sure you’ll get support from more than just me here.

  22. Hi Ladybeams,

    Thank you for responding. I definitely understand the need to wait and filter due to spam. And thank you for reading all of this, you are so helpful and this community’s experiences/feedback are beyond informative. I feel like I have been looking for something like this for years!

    I’m not sure if I am too sensitive or what. My father’s belittling and PA behavior has gone on my entire life. He used to call me (and my siblings) “worthless”, etc, even when we were just 6 or 7 years old. Personally, I might expect that from some undereducated hillbilly but the man is a physician. So yes, this bullying behavior has gone on forever – you definitely hit the nail on the head with the bullying.

    I want to emphasize that I absolutely stand up for myself. Moreso in the past before I began to distance myself (i.e. a few months ago). I would be very assertive, call him out on what he was saying, ask why he felt the need to say that, ask him to please be nicer about something, or tell him flat out that he is being rude or passive aggressive, that you can’t treat people like that, etc. I wouldn’t do this in a pouty way either – but it seemed like he enjoyed this sort of arguing, like I said, he would end up smiling as he argued with me. That, or he would (as many people here have experienced) try to turn it on me, tell me I made a mountain out of a molehill, and laugh at me for being silly, then try to mumble and get his last words in, and walk away.

    Another instance occurred today. Parents went to a play, and when they returned I was in the kitchen. I had just pulled out a can of tuna from a cabinet and walked over to the counter to mix in pickles, etc. Mom starts chatting with me, then dad comes in, first words out of his mouth are “Can you help me with something? ……can you help me close these cabinet doors?”… and continued to say something (I WISH I could remember his exact words) extremely passive aggressive with clearly a rude tone in his voice about it. He went off talking about the family pitching in, how he tells all of us to do it, how its just a little favor he is asking. This description in any other sense sounds totally reasonable, but the PA-ness was so obvious that my Mom immediately responded, “Stop, that’s not what you really mean. Why don’t you just say it? Say can you please close the cabinets?”.

    It’s just crazy, like he wants to pick fights. It’s helpful that I’ve got a handful of great, close friends, some of whom I am just starting to open up about these PA issues with, and they’ve all been so supportive. It’s funny – you think you’re the only one in this boat and have no idea how to describe these things because these PA’s make you feel stupid or insane, but when you discuss this with others experiencing the same hell it’s like someone flipped a light switch!

    I’m about to click on that Self Esteem File and look for ways to get out of here to avoid more hits to my SE. Any further advice is so so appreciated, thank you so much Ladybeams!

    • Kari- I can understand how you must just want to go a little nuts when your father acts as he does. LOL. I’m glad to hear your mother was so forthright regarding the cabinets. It shows someone besides you notices what he’s doing.

      You were right when you stated that you used to stand up to him more, but that he seemed to enjoy that kind of arguing even though he would belittle you. Most of the time that’s all a passive aggressive is trying to do is get a reaction. If you don’t react, they try another tactic because the one they are using no longer works. Even this crap of “Can you help me with something? (knowing he’s reeling you in), it’s all part of the game. As you detach from him and he is able to get to you less and less with his current tactics, if you’re on the look out, you will notice a change in his game plan. And if you can look at it almost like a game, and with a little humor, you’ll do just fine. LOL. You can still ask him directly about his behavior, but instead of a challenge, make it more like you need his help to understand. Once you turn the tables, his MO will be less aimed in your direction and he’ll be looking for a new target.

      Hope you found the info regarding the Self Esteem file useful. I just added to mine today. I had a really nice letter from a lady who was part of a project I was involved with. It’s nice to go back and read how you’re not so incompetent after all. LOL.

      Take care and drop by when ever you feel the urge. Love to hear how you’re doing.

  23. It’s so strange; communication and courtesy are tossed out the window when I walk in the door from work. It’s like point, counter point, and confront me without confronting me. If I try and carry on a conversation I am ignored. When interacting with the kids she tries to distract and disrupt. If I turn on the TV in the great room she turns on the tv in the kitchen. If I complain that the two TV can’t be on at the same time and turn the main one off, she turns the TV in the kitchen off, plays the victim and goes into our room and slams the door. I am so lost. I refuse to be a victim and I am not going to be a victimizer… What is this? I need some help with this, if not for my sake for the kids.

    • TJ- Welcome, and thanks for sharing.

      Unfortunately, common courtesy flies out the window even in a regular relationship, putting passive aggressive behavior aside. People forget common courtesy that they would give their friends, but never their loved ones. It never ceases to amaze me.

      I have to ask this as a matter of “getting back to basics” but have you tried talking to her with no TV and no kids? Maybe ask her if she’s feeling neglected or if there is something you can do to make her happier? Or if there is something she’s upset about so you can try and fix it? That’s just basic “marriage 101″. If she tries to beg off “No nothing’s wrong” then ask her about her behavior. Hit it straight on, look her dead in the face, and see how she reacts. Of course be careful not to accuse her. Just say you “noticed” (she turns on the TV when you turn on the TV, or “you feel like when you try to talk to her she’s ignoring you”) Is she willing to discuss things with you if you take the initiative, or does she just clam up and pull some kind of passive aggressive behavior?

      YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! You should not be a victim, nor allow her to act like she is the victim. If she refuses to discuss things with you, maybe you could suggest couples counseling. If she is willing, it will be up to you to find the counselor. Be sure as you call around to ask if they are familiar with passive aggressive behavior, as many will not acknowledge it. You need someone who understands what you’re up against. If she won’t go to a counselor, you may want one for yourself as part of your support system. Then, especially if you have children, you may want to consider what your next step might be, either leaving her with the children so they don’t become passive aggressive, or educating your children what passive aggressive behavior is, so they recognize it and they don’t become involved in a passive aggressive relationship.

      I hope this helps a little. It’s very important you have a good support system behind you, be it your guy friends, family, therapist, what ever, so you don’t lose track of what a good person you are. A passive aggressive has a way of stripping self esteem and common sense from us.

      Feel free to stop by anytime. Maybe you can lend a man’s point of view and you may learn a little about how a woman thinks. LOL.

      • i’m glad to have stumbled across ur blog! I’m not sure what all I’ve been dealing with….i’m trying hard to find out what my mother is passive aggressive, covert aggressive, narcissist or plain attention seeking. But for the longest I can remember I have been struggling with my parents fighting over everything and I was always pulled into it to mediate, listen and problem solve since even as early as I was 10! I’m 34 now and have a lovely marriage and about to have my first baby this november….but this still continues to haunt me. I was exceptionally sad this morning after my mom had another showdown with me and left me crying and am I glad to find a place where I can seek some help!
        My mother has always been someone who calls everyone in the world wrong, she has a problem with everyone from the maid to the gardner to my dad’s colleagues to her own siblings. She has never accepted she is wrong! Never! She has for the longest portrayed herself as the victim and my dad as the villian….n when me and my sis were kids we knew no better. we were simply manipulated! today as we are adults and have opinions its hard to see what she has done and continues to do. I feel my dad too had a role in not checking her behavious….he always escaped and withdrew…he would keep working late hrs and we had to deal with mom’s crazy histrionics and drama. And now it makes me so sad to see that they live in hatred of each other. My mom is constantly bickering about everythign and my dad hates her. I wish they had seperated earlier on!
        Both me and my sister still struggle with my moms behaviour. My dad is very understanding with us. But my mom still thinks its all about her….she’s constantly on a trip of how everyone is out to screw her and how she is always a victim…she’s always seekign attention. She keeps talking even if u dont listen, she has never truly listened to our problems or helped us….its almost like she;s not even interested or able to get past herself. I think she still compares herself with us….if I say i hurt myself and am in pain…she would say oh I had it worse when blah blah happened…n soon enough she’s sharing a story abt herself for the umpteenth time.
        I am very worried now because she wants to come n stay with us when the baby arrives and I am scared. I dont want any tension with a newborn and I want to experience the joy of being a mother fully without having these distractions. She screamed and cried today because I asked her to come after the baby is born and she wanted to come a month before.Well I thought I migh get into emergency c section with the stress and have a preemie!!
        I dont know how to handle all this and I feel like I am done…I am 34…I want out and I just want a normal peaceful life which has no shades of such dysfunctionality.
        I would appreciate any help in understanding my mother and how best to cope going forward. Thanks

        • Vintalk- Hi and Welcome! I hope this isn’t too late. Congratulations on the new baby you are about to receive. It’s unfortunate that it can’t be a blissful time for you as it should be.

          My personal take on this is the same as if it was a husband, co-worker, etc. I know it’s harder when it’s a parent that you want so desperately to love, but for your own family’s peace and your peace of mind, you have to start emotionally detaching from your mother just as you would anyone else that would hurt you. You are 34 now, having your own family, living in your own home, you don’t have to let her in except when you want her there. You already understand from growing up with her that she’s all drama and yelling, etc. It shouldn’t surprise you that she’s the same now. The difference is that, even though you are still and always will be her daughter, you are a grown, adult woman now. You have the right to set your boundaries and to protect your family and home. If she can’t abide by your wishes in your home, you have the right not to have her there.

          I hope you have some support, either friends, other family, even a therapist. A class in “assertiveness training” wouldn’t hurt either. Think about what you are willing to put up with and what you aren’t, explain it to her, and then let her know that in your house, that’s the way it is. Stay as calm and matter-of-factly as you can as you have the discussion. Let her know that you love her, but now your own family’s well being has to come first. It would be a shame if she can’t respect that causing you to have to see much less of each other.

          You may be surprised that once she sees she cannot manipulate you anymore, she won’t use those tactics. I remember the first time I told my mother how she had used guilt trips all my life and I wasn’t going to take it anymore, she moved on to my sister. LOL. I have to remind her every once in awhile because old habits die hard, but she gets it.

          Good luck, and hopefully others may have some suggestions also. Feel free to come back and let us know how you’re doing.

          • WHOA! Let’s back up slightly here… am I the only one who can HEAR the description of Vintak’s DAD???? “Works late hours”, “Withdraws from confrontation.” CAREFUL ladies – be careful that we aren’t missing a giant key here. Sounds to me like Dad is exhibiting some classic covert crazy makings… DAD sounds PA to me – which makes Mom LOOK and ACT wicked… I’m not saying that Mom isn’t messed up, but careful that we dissect where the chaos may be stemming from.

            Let’s take a harder look please.

          • Peggy- Very good, I may have missed that, or was ‘assuming’ the working late was due to what was going on at home, not vice versa. Very good point. Well Vintak’s Dad, which is it?

  24. What am I to do?

    I think I may have the exact opposite problem as most people here. For years I’ve stumbled along through life tayloring responses according to what I think is acceptable at the time. Tayloring responses… Not actually initiating, or offering an opinion… Rather, lying in wait for the appropriate data to be accumulated so that I may then make the “informed” response. Yes ladies, I am a Passive Aggressive, and I’ve wandered into this den of hatred for one reason only… Help! I need help! As of last night, my behavior has officially cost me and my family everything. Specifically, the family itself. My fiance’ just walked out the door last night, amid a quality dramatic presentation by me. Crying, pleading, choking, throwing things, falling down… All the things you’d expect from a 5 year old. I guess I saw my life walking away with her, and had to pull all the stops to try and stop it. I’ve done everything imaginable to this woman, and still she stuck by me. The behavior is classic, I never “intended” to hurt or demean her in any way. But there would always come the moment that I realize I in fact had, or even was at that very moment. I’ve never taken her feelings into consideration when it really counted. I deliver my apologies, which are heartfelt when I make them. But without fail, I never seem to be able to make the changes in those really important areas, marking one more rule in my list of things not to do or say instead. The past 6 months have been the real hard part. The fights seem endless, taking short breaks for rest before launching into another row. I’ve felt the pressure of being called out, build to the point that I lose control. While I’ve never physically attacked her, I have definately taken my aggression out on everthing around us. Walls, glasses, appliances, even myself, have been used as either targets, projectiles, or both in my selfish need to vent frustration. This, as you may expect, is very frightening to her, as well it should be. As much as I sit here and say that I’d never hurt her like that, it’s only a thin line between rage, and unfocused blind fury. I scare the hell out of me just thinking about what I’m capable of. I’m looking for help to manage these feelings/behaviors. I’m reading all kinds of blogs, posts, and articles on the subject, but only read about how to get back at people like me, or how to leave… how to live any kind of decent life after being affected by me. While it’s a relief to know that she has people out there who will listen to her, and help her cope with what I’ve done, Where’s the P/A who is managing things successfully? Where’s the spouse who can tell everyone how they suffered, and he changed his patterns and behavior. Where the hell can I gain insight on how to approach this monster!!! I feel if I endeavor to beat this thing unarmed, I’m doomed to failure. Please show me just one story of someone who has come through this thing. How can I show her how much I love her; let her see the light she truly does bring to my life. Please help me to see how my behaviors affect everyone around me. what did I say to cause such suffering? How is my daughter affected at the loss of the only truly good, wholesome, mother figure she’s had in her life. At 7 years old, I’m afraid this change could derail her emotionally. It’s bad enough I’ve started to see my bad behavior in her, let alone the hurt this will all cause. This loss will go to justify, or give fuel to these behaviors.

    • J.D. Halen- Good morning. I would hope this isn’t a “den of hate”, but welcome. I’m glad you have the courage to tread where others fear to go. LOL.

      The first thing I would suggest is some anger management classes. I don’t know if you’ve tried anything on your own, but they would definitely help give you some alternative, more appropriate responses for your anger and frustrations. If what you are doing scares you, and your fiance, think what it must be doing to your daughter. What’s worse, is if she becomes immune and decides acting like you do will get her what she wants. If you are close to her at all, which at 7 most little girls are still “Daddy’s girls” you should sit down and talk to her about how that isn’t the way to handle things. Explain to her that it alienates people. That there are more mature, better ways to handle things and that you are working on controlling yourself also.

      I have to ask you, why is your fiance your fiance and not your wife? It sounds like you have been together for awhile. Is it the typical passive -aggressive can’t completely commit thing? Or is there another reason?

      I think if you want your fiance to know and understand where you really stand, the comment you wrote here is a great place to start. It’s beautiful, honest, and explains quite a bit about what is going on inside you. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been so candid with her in a conversation. Most passive aggressives just clam up, and we, as the other half of the relationship have no idea what is making you behave as you do.

      I think if you are serious about truly recognizing how much your own behavior is hurting you, you may want to start seeing a therapist, to start exploring where the behavior stems from. Were either of your parents passive aggressive? Are you holding a grudge or resentment against a non-loving or nurturing mother that through the years has turned into a pot of rapidly, boiling water? Once you call around and find a therapist who is familiar with passive aggressiveness, you have to actually do the homework. You cannot spend the sessions just manipulating her, saying what you think she wants to hear, or it won’t do you, your fiance, your daughter, or your wallet any good. You have to actually work on yourself to bring about the kind of changes you want. So many PAs agree to counseling, etc because the wife begs them to go, then they go home from a session and don’t even try some of the suggestions from the therapist. It’s just the same old thing. You will only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.

      If your daughter is already developing some of your bad habits, trust me, it won’t get better as she gets to be a teenager. Those years are hard enough naturally without the interference of a dysfunctional family.

      I hope that you will feel comfortable coming back again and letting us know how you’re doing. My normal advice would be to your fiance, and in all honesty I would tell her to run for the nearest exit as fast as she can. As I said, the comment you posted is beautiful, and if you are truly sincere, maybe you are one of the ones that will make it through. Good luck.

      • I’m back!
        Two weeks into her being gone, and I have only now discovered a few small clues to where I was going wrong specifically. There have been fights, and there have been realizations. I’m becoming aware of what depths I’ve taken her to emotionally. I see her reaction to everyone else changing and becoming more intense, and I know that 90% of the anger she’s letting out belongs to me. I’ve been fortunate to see myself in others lately. While this may seem a vein or selfish statement to make, I assure you it’s quite opposite. We had begun to discuss and evaluate our relationship, moment by moment, with intent on my finally coming clear on many of the issues that we’ve had. I have realized, that while there was many truths in our relationship, the lies I’ve told, and the hurt I’ve dealt her has poisoned those truths. She cannot trust in ANYTHING; past or present, that I’ve said or done. My efforts in any way, the few times I’ve expressed my feelings, they’re all for nothing cause the truth can’t be distinguished from the falsehoods. Since beginning to come honest with my actions I had begun to have an easier time communicating with her. But then there are the setbacks; the relapses that take any feeling of progress and turn it on its heels. The small victories and hope are replaced by despair, and helplessness. How many times can I get back up and dust myself off? How many more times can she feel so unimportant before shutting the door? when is it understandable to stumble when your dealing with something as big as this? All questions, of which I have no answers, or ideas. last night an altercation broke out between her and someone else… that fight immediately put me on the hot seat and I shared in the responsibility for someone elses action. Now I hear the most hurtful thing of all that I did was not offer any console for her… even though I was being blasted for my part in someone elses garbage. how can I be loving and supportive through that… I just don’t know how.

        • everything i wrote here yesterday…. forget it!
          she’s gone, for good this time. apparently this condition works in ways even she couldn’t see…
          she hates me, just like all of you hate your pa’s.
          nothing left now but to save her the trouble of ever having to deal with me again. I bid you all farewell. I hope you enjoyed sharing in my shame; its been a real “hoot” for me!
          so long…

          • J.D. Halen- OMGosh, I am so sorry. It really sounded like you were making progress! I even answered your last post today.

            Trust me, none of us “hate our PAs”. It becomes a situation of survival, them or us. None of us, I can assure you, enjoyed ‘sharing in your shame”. If anything we wanted to help because you seemed genuine in your wanting to change and fix things. But here again, you can not blame us for what happened between you and her. You started this mess a long time ago, and it takes a long time to fix it. Someone asked a psychologist one time after cheating on his wife and he was so repentive, “how long will it take?” His reply was “it takes whatever it takes for however long it takes”.

            Trust is such an easy thing for the most of us. We fall in love and we give it freely and whole heartedly. You break that trust, (that you will care for us, watch our back, love us, etc) it takes a long time and a lot of work to get it back. If the situation was reversed, you would feel the same. If this is all you have to put into getting her back, then that’s all she wrote, but no one is laughing at you here. Feel the victim all you may.

        • Hi J.D.- Now you know how it feels to be a wife. LOL. Guys come home from work upset over the day and we have no clue what we did wrong when they start taking it out on us. But, I digress. Just kidding. Had to throw that in there. And yes, even though you got included in her “altercation” with someone else, she’s actually upset with that person. The altercation may have drawn similarities to something that had happened with you in the past, which is why you were on the ‘hot seat’ along with this other person, but what she needed was for her to change that image of you by telling her how she was (probably) right, and to listen and console her, to let her know everything would be alright.

          I have to tell you (confess), when I’m upset with someone else, I do have a tendency to take it out on my passive aggressive boyfriend. He really could stop that if he ever just acted like he was sympathetic or even interested in what I was saying. LOL. I will tell him my ‘tale of woe’ and give him a (short) time to react, and when he doesn’t, or acts like it doesn”t matter to him, I make it matter to him. LOL. I give him something he can relate to. I know it’s not right, but he’s closest, and he doesn’t seem to care, so he gets it.

          It sounds like you’ve been working so hard, and I commend you. I’m glad there are good times when you realize what you are doing and try to fix it. For this last one, now you have a female’s perspective. I hope it helps in the future. Need any more advice, don’t hesitate to ask. LOL. Glad to hear from you again, always.

  25. These stories I have been reading on this blog are so similar to mine. I am 62 years old, have been married 23 years to a PA man – got married to him when I was 39 – he seemed very sweet, considerate, etc and for a couple of years all was mostly ok (except the sex which he would start, but often not carry on with! – he would actually say it was HIM but made it feel as if it might really be me! ) . He also used to work very late at his office (yes he WAS at the office and was not having an affair because I could always phone him there, and sometimes I did) and he often used to go out drinking with his mates and arrive back late. I often felt very lonely in the early years between Monday and Friday as he was hardly ever there! He was never abusive or violent though – and we did go on some nice holidays and meals out, and he did socialise with his friends and mine. However, I always had this uneasy feeling that the marriage was emotionally very lacking in whatever was needed . I am rather ashamed to say that after only 3 years I started a relationship myself with another man – and I see this man still (now as a friend, not a lover) who is a very good friend and source of emotional support. My husband was often very “awkward” and argumentative and generally displayed all the frustrating PA behaviour described so well by contributors to this blog. In particular, he would say he would do something and then NOT do it !! (and then get very angry if I mentioned it) I can now recall that I often used to just walk out of the room and “hide” in our bedroom – rather than argue back – then after a while he would come in and be very apologetic. After 14 years, in 2002 he (along with others in his company ) was made redundant because of a takeover, he got good redundancy payout and set up as self-employed, working from home. Our loft was converted into a room for his office. From this point on, he switched off as a marriage partner, no more holidays, no meals out together – and I accepted it thinking it was because he needed to devote all his energies to his business. However, if we did by chance have any visitors or people staying at the house, he was absolutely sweet and charming to them, and he had no problem going out for meals when we had visitors to take out . So, to outsiders, everything looked happy and normal. In 2005 he actually told me he was not happy with our relationship, said it was not anything I had done, but he did not want to go away with me or socialise with my friends and family ( he said he felt awkward socially.) He had often told me that his parents brought him up in a socially isolated way, not encouraging friends, and I had always felt sorry for him, and made allowances for his behaviour because of this. He always sounded quite indignant against his parents at the way they had treated him. This probably explains why I put up with his behaviour for so long. NOW, having read up on PA behaviour, I realise that this is classic “blaming” behaviour, so typical of PA types!! I forgot to mention that he has always been very distant with his family. One of his tricks was that when any of his family e-mailed him, he just did not reply! If they phoned him, then of course he could not get out of responding- and he was always full of friendliness and charm on the phone. But he would NEVER contact any of his family himself – it was always reactive. never proactive. He stated that he always wanted to keep a distance from his family. He has 2 sisters and 2 brothers. However, he has always been very kind and caring to my own very elderly mother. He is a paradox . Or is it Jeckell and Hyde?

    Fortunately, as time went on, I developed a life of my own outside the marriage – I play the piano and sing in a choir and I go on musical holidays and events with friends. This, together with my other man (whom I kept secret) kept me sane! I am so relieved we did not have children – I have read the accounts from wives who have to keep the family going with a PA husband, and it must be so difficult, and I wonder about the negative effect on children. Last August 2010 I came across a description of PA behaviour for the first time -completely by chance (I had never heard of it before) and I got a terrible shock when i realised that this described my husband exactly. This made me decide to separate from him as I realised he was never going to change and that life with him would not improve. . Fortunately he seemed almost eager to agree to a separation and we have been able to do it fairly amicably – we are selling the house (mortgage is paid off) and are buying separate flats . I have not mentioned that I know he suffers from PA personality disorder. But I think he has an awareness himself because during our separation discussions he said “I think that you will be mentally much better off without me and my particular personality- I am not suited to marriage” He also said “I know I am difficult to live with” So- he seems to be a rarity : a PA man who acknowledges that the fault lies with him! But I think he is only being co-operative because the separation is something HE wants as badly as I do. He said to me “If there is anything you need any help with in the future, let me know” Ha! I am wise to that! I am not going to fall for the procrastination game after we are separated. I will not ask him for anything.

    • Maggie- Hi and Welcome! It’s so nice to hear from someone who is actually going through with getting out and not having to face all the demons, so to speak. I’m sorry that it took you so long to realize what you were dealing with, but alas, now you know and you are moving on. Believe it or not, many of these men know what they are doing and it is very possible that your husband “gets it”. He could well know he has caused the anguish, and while he may not change, or acknowledge it, it does sound like he realizes it.

      You are very fortunate that he’s not playing the role of the victim here.
      I wish you the best of luck and feel free to drop by anytime to let us know how you are doing. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Being free from the PA is lovely….but the behavior goes on even after separation. I wonder if I will ever be free….

  27. Wish you had been around 20 years ago. I wouldn’t have carried the guilt that I have for so long. I was married to a PA man for 18 years and thought that I was crazy when I made the decision to take the kids and a few personal items and leave. I feel such vindication after reading so many of these posts. Keep up the good work!

    • Griz- Good for you. Just sorry you felt guilty about it. You probably did one of the best decisions possible for your kids, especially if you don’t want them to act just like him. I’m so happy for you that you’re finally getting some freedom from that after being here. It never was you.

  28. Its been 2 yrs since i found this blog, having lived with my ex husband’s PA for 8 miserable years. I just wanted to stop by and let you all know what life is like when you’ve left them. I kicked him out 2 years ago when i discovered a whole pack of lies regarding him and a girl I and he taught at school. I went through a couple of weeks of grief for losing someone I once loved, but other than that life just got better and better. The stress of wondering what was actually happening was gone, the lies were gone, the air in my house was breathable again, my kids came out of their room and we laughed as a family again. We could do what we wanted without the disapproving looks thrown at us and there wasnt some waste of space sat in the corner playing computer games any longer, doing zip to help.

    I started feeling better and caring how I looked again. My energy returned. I found someone else – he aint perfect but he aint PA either. I took control and went to court and forced my ex to pay up what he owes until debts are cleared, and he is so PA he doesnt bother getting his own solicitor so just agrees to give the house to me. BUT, his PA is still a total pain in my side when it comes to finalising the court order. I dont trust him to post it as it will always have ‘got lost’ – ie he hasnt even signed the papers, so demanded he bring them to me so I can hand them to my solicitor myself. Each week they were at home, at school, with his boss (why??), until I started a 2nd court proceeding and then he jumped. Such a waste of energy.

    My message to anyone going through this is firstly to leave if you financially can, and secondly not to negotiate anything unless its through a solicitor. PAs will manipulate you forever, esp once you have left them – you’re now so low priority they do even less and thrive on you asking for stuff they should have done just so they can say no and frustrate you further. Take control, go to court, force them to take responsibility legally and live your life under your terms.

    • Well done, Geat Stuff I know soon I too will have a fantastic life. Just gotta get the next weeks of pain out of the way and life will be full of roses once again. Hugest thanks for letting us all know that there is life after these destructive and non caring people. Best Wishes for you and your families future. and thank you again Max

    • thank you for a look into the future. I am almost there. PA not agreeing with the divorce….dragging his feet on every issue. It has been a long 19 months now. But to know that is what can be on the other side of the door, gives me hope to hang in there. I long to not have the heaviness around me. To feel happy again and not worry about the sulking, mood swings, excuses and lies. Thank you for the insight, it gives new wid under my wings.

  29. Just had to vent. I can’t even remember if I’ve posted anything on this site before, so excuse me if I repeat myself.
    I would love to understand if my husband is passive agressive or the victim.
    One example – Every evening is the same. He comes home from work, eats, picks the show on the t.v., then very soon after falls asleep in front of the t.v. Since no one else can really use the room with him sleeping there snoring, I will suggest that he go to bed. Nothing happens. I will ask again. Nothing happens. This goes on for a few more times, with me still asking nicely, but he knows he has got me upset. Then (this is how I feel it works) when he feels that it is his idea, not doing what I asked, he finally hauls his butt off to bed. I am so beyond tired of feeling like this man’s mother substitute. Putting her little boy to bed. It would be so simple for him to excuse himself when he gets tired, go to the bedroom, watch t.v. in there, and fall asleep. But no, instead I have been dealing with this behavior (plus other examples) for over 26 years.

    He has always had this “woe as me” “poor me, pity me” sort of aura. He has our kids (all grown) convinced that he is the all suffering husband, who works endless hours, only to be unloved and unappreciated by their mother. And so it goes on and on.

    There, I vented. Any view points, advice. I am so very tired of dealing with this.

    Thank You.

    • Missy- Hi and welcome back! (Although I’m never sure if that’s a good thing or not).

      It’s quite obvious from your statement above that your husband doesn’t mind putting you out by falling asleep in front of the TV. If everyone “tip-toes” around him and doesn’t use the room in fear of waking him up, what would be his motivation to move? He’s already comfortable and everyone lets him sleep there.

      As far as him playing the “victim” to your children, that is something passive aggressive’s do best. They always consider themselves to be the victim. All I can suggest there is I would hope you are close with your children and you can talk to them about proper grown up behavior, and diffuse some of passive aggessive behavior. This is an on-going thing.

      Good luck to you. Feel free to “vent” any time. LOL

    • Missy- Hi and welcome!

      I’m sure you are so sweet when you try to wake him the first few times, and I commend you, but if this is
      the nightly routine, I don’t think I would worry about whether he’s sleeping or not to use the room. If you
      just went ahead with your regular life, as if he wasn’t there, you would probably get a lot farther. He only
      sleeps there because he can. If you all acted as you would normally and if the noise bothered him, he would
      go to bed. We all have a tendency to cater to the passive aggressive and they live happily ever after, while
      we give in, suffer, compromise, whatever. Trust me, if he gets uncomfortable enough, he’ll leave on his own.

      Good luck. I do the same thing, or I used to. As the passive aggressive boyfriend started sleeping later and later, and interfering with the rest of my life, I start with normal things when I’m ready, not when he finally pulls his butt out of bed.

    • HI there, yes I do believe he has a problem with PA. My Father once advised me that this was not a dress rehersal, we only get one shot at this. You may wish to ask youself if this is how you saw your life being and if not can you change it either in your mariage or out ? This is your life, enjoy ;-)

  30. Oh, goodness, 26 years! My partner is doing this sleeping on the couch from 20:30 onwards for the last two years and I am sick of it. However, after starting my therapy and doing lots of reading I firgured out why I am so depressive, unhappy, loneley, and so on. I AM NOT LIVING MY LIFE. MY LIFE. It doens’t even matter with whom I am sharing it, it is about me being ME. For the past half year I am quite succeeding in doing so and I Do no longer feel wrong about myself when he calls me egoistic for reading a book on my iPad on the couch while he is watching TV and then falls asleep in 10 minutes. I have been working hard on my self esteem and self awareness. Refinding my life values and minimum requirements of my relationship. I feel so much better and so less hurt.

    About the couch sleeping? My strategy was alike yours and it made me feel awfull, like a mother of my second child and most of all, when he was turning tables, I was the bad guy at home who was angry at him while he was just doing what he needed.

    And he is right. If he is doing what he claims to need, then so will I. In fact it is the only way to feel happy with yourself: keeping your needs fullfilled. In pratice that means I wake him up telling him
    I am going to take a shower and then to bed. When I come out of the bathroom, I wake him and tell him I am off to bed. Calm and with a strong feeling of doing the right thing – for me and being fair to him, not just running out (as he does with the sleeping). The next day I don’t ask when he came to bed. It is his responsibility to go when HE thinks it is time for him. This means somewhere between 01:00 and 04:30 at night.

    Does it sound indifferent? No, I am not. How I feel about this happening 2-4 times a week? I feel ok. I remain in balance and do not get angry when I peacefully tell him that I feel alone, rejected in and doubtfull about our relationship when he behaves like this. He is not responsible for those feelings, I am. So I do what I can do in my relationship with him to feel ok. What he wants to do to remain in this relationship is up to him. I have told him my wish has never been to go to bed alone so often. We will see how much he respects that. If it isn’t going to be enough for me – I know that when I will leave him at some point, that along with the other reasons, they are a truth based on my reality, (and not anymore) not based upon the wrong expectations.

    I try to be me, and let him be him. Only then I will wake up from the dream I once CREATED on my head that was based upon the potentional of us and our relationship. Not on reality. Sadly.

    Good luck!

    • Ann- Hi and thank you for sharing. In the end I think what you are saying is something we all are either learning or have learned, and that is we only have control over ourselves. We cannot change them and to be brutally honest, it’s not someone else’s job to make us happy. We really are the only ones that have control over that. You sound like you have a good start.

      I will say you are very kind to wake him up and let him know you’re going to bed. I think after I did that once or twice and he didn’t come to bed with me, I don’t think I would bother telling him any more. That’s just another way the passive aggressive withholds sex.

      Good luck to you, and feel free to stop by anytime. Always love to hear from someone making progress.

  31. Wow! I stumbled upon this blog…I have been in a relationship with a guy for about 6 months. We are both divorced – I am 50 and he is 51. Everything I am reading here about PA is him to a tee!!! As a matter of fact, we are scheduled to meet with a relationship counselor. I was seriously beginning to think that I am the cause of the problems because he is masterful at making me think I don’t understand or want to validate his feelings. I don’t even need to give specific examples because they are all already posted…the BIG question is………..can this be resolved for him? Can a person who is PA become NON PA?

    • TMagic- Hi. Welcome to our little group here. I am sorry to say, especially if the examples here fit your guy “to a tee” that no, there isn’t much hope. Many passive aggressives agree to counseling, rarely do they follow what the therapist has to offer. They either 1) manipulate the therapist and try to make out you’re the one who is crazy 2) they agree to do the “homework” while in the therapist’s office, but don’t change anything at all once they get home 3) when they get “pressured” to perform, they quit.

      If after only 6 months you are starting to second guess yourself already, it’s time to run.

      Feel free to drop back anytime and let us know what you decide to do. Good luck.

      • Hi TMagic

        I too stumbled across this site not too long ago, I too am early 50′s and I must say this site saved my sanity. My ex’s last wife is on seriouse dugs for mental illness, it took me a while to realise why. After 18 months in a relationship, I also thought I was going crazy, now yes I feel a pain and yearning to have him around, it wondeful to share your life, have I been tempted to call, Yes however I know the price I will have to pay for a relationship with him is wayyyy tooo high for me so Nope I’m cute, fun and there are a heap of other fish in the sea :-) Run please for your own sanity, then in 6 months please give us all an update as to how well you are doing and describe the fantastic guy you are with ;-) Best Wishes Max, I hope to here from you sooner rather than later ref the new man ;-)

  32. I’m 34 and I live with an emotionally distant husband and it is heartbreaking.
    He is a Consultant psychiatrst.
    My husband wants to do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. He doesn’t like to be questioned or challenged. He is self-centered and self-absorbed. His time is his time; his activities are his activities, and his life is centered on being a rewarding expert or a specialist. He is very dedicated at the work place and is emotionally absent when he is home.
    We’ve been married 10 years and the emotional distance has been a gradual progression for the past couple of months. It is to the point that we are ‘like separated’ but living under the same roof. That is very difficult way to live.
    He does not show me affection, does not express anything emotional to me, refuses to resolve the smallest of conflicts – even denying there is a conflict. If I gently try to express hurt or injustice, he says nothing at all or gets aggressive physically or try to discard what I’m trying to say as a piece of filth. He doesn’t care or not interested in the things I say, doesn’t give a damn how I see things and my likes and dislikes and certainly has no desire to share anything about his life with me. It is like two passengers having a chat while they wait, on some general topic. There are NO private talks or closeness. The only things we can have a conversation about are unemotional topics, such as the weather, or the news or general episodes in his work place. He tolerates my showing him affection and yet, he generally acts as if he doesn’t like me at all.As a family, to outsiders we could be a good example or an inspiration. One happy family. And we have everything. Everything except emotional closeness or the intimacy or the chemistry or whatever the definition which you could give to it.
    It’s like my pain does not affect him in ANY way. Of course my pain does not affect him because it’s my pain, not his. Why should it affect him? The only time he pays me any attention is when HE wants to talk about something or wants to get something done. The only other time he will pay me any mind is when he only wants sex. I feel like his roommate who has sex when he wants. It’s completely obvious he does not love me.
    I am so alone in my marriage and it hurt.
    And he likes to make me feel like I’m crazy or out of control with my emotions. Maybe this is because he doesn’t know how to show healthy emotion.
    We’ve been married for 10 years and pretty much most of those years have been difficult because my husband and I are so different.
    He has no commitment, no compromise and not a least sacrifice. There were days that I cried almost in agony over being lonely. I have always been a passionate, kind, and communicative person but with my husband I have none of that.
    And now I know that it is because his Passive Aggressive nature, he thinks he’s perfect and I’m not… plain and simple. Everything is my fault. He is cold and calculating and almost keeps score of what I do wrong.
    The only thing I can say that is good is the way he shows affection to our kids.
    I won’t even say how long it has been since we were intimate and that breaks my heart because I am a very passionate person but I cannot be that way toward him, my husband. And I feel like I’m also drifting further and further away from him and I’m also growing shy and cold towards affection and it scares me.
    I could understand feeling alone if I’m single, but being married and feeling alone is the most horrible feeling of all. I’ve been feeling physically ill sleeping next to a man with his back to me every single night WITH his arms folded in front of him.
    I know… there is no help for someone that has a Passive Aggressive nature because…..they don’t think or know that anything is wrong with them. It’s everybody else that has the problem…
    And it is even worse when a professional gets PA.
    I don’t know how long I will carry on this. I am always hoping my husband will finally have time for me. I love my husband and sometimes feel sorry for him because he’s unaware of his actions but at the same time his emotional distant is breaking my spirit and I’m too weak and fragile to cope or deal with it.I just wish my husband were more supportive and appreciative.

  33. I have been dating a man for the past 9 months & am so madly in love with him that I can’t even see. I am 60 & honestly felt like this was the first relationship where I was blissfully happy & loved back. Yes there were the crazy irrational outbursts but not too often & also a little avoidance & lies (mostly about silly things that didn’t need to be lied about). But the sex was off the charts amazing and often and he was so affectionate & romantic. Again..more than any relationship I have been in. I had surgery 8 weeks ago and he took care of me for 2 weeks & then when I was able to take care of myself he informed me that he had to go to Vegas for a little while to take care of his teenage daughter whose mother couldn’t handle anymore (failing school, drinking, promiscuous etc). We had been living together for about 5 weeks by then & he made it sound like it would be a few weeks to a month. The first week he was gone he was very attentive but after that the PA behavior escalated….he would go 2 days with no contact & when I would call him he made me feel guilty because of the stress of dealing with his daughter. He kept promising to Skype or phone sex but always had an excuse not to. When he was here he brought me flowers or sent me cards or made me cute videos all the time & since he has been gone…not a thing from him. I have sent him packages & cards &he always appreciates them but I get nothing in return but lots of “I love you”s. Then he took a very good job that means he will most likely live there for years but he still wants to be together & visit each other. But every time I try to talk to him about visiting (only an hour flt awaY) he always has some excuse. Next weekend is my birthday & he knows it would mean the world to me for him to come & he backed out of that too. We broke up a couple days ago over that & he wants to try again. I told him I would think about it but even though I know he will say he will change & then not do it–why is it so hard for me to end it? When he isn’t being PA, we have an amazing time together. I wish I could hate him cause this would be easier but I love him & actually feel sorry for him…parents really screwed him up.

  34. Snap ! Mine too, wonderful guy, great sex, incredibly dumb stupid little lies, when he was good he was great BUT OH those lies. If he is lying about a small thing how do you know he is not lying about the larger items ? THis was my breaking point. He is incredibly likeable, smart and a great guy … “on the Surface” underneath I have no idea what goes on. I do know his ex wife is on seriouse medication for mental issues, when she married him she was fine. I had a choice, stay and tollerate the lies you find out about and ignore the factthat the ones you do nto find out about probably exist, stay and potentially become a Mental Case on seiouse medication OR Leave as fast you can, take the 1 and only hit on pain and remorse, felling sorry for myself and build on my self esteem. Being with him had me thinking I was going nutts, what was wrong with me, why did I create so much for these small lies. Here I now am in pain, building myself back up, seeking out friends and even if I don’t feel like smiling making sure I do. One day I will find the smiles are for real, I have back my self respect and self esteem and life is once again a breeze. I am a very intellegent sucessful woman, retired at 41, no kinds and incredibly independant and today I am 52, good body not bad looking and I got trapped…. however not for too long and not with too much damage done. My advise to you run, run as fast as you can, get out of there, take the pain for the long term gain. You darned well deserve an awful lot better and trust me you will find it ;-) Bestest Wishes and Kind thoughts Maxine

    • I need to keep reading comments like yours Maxine–ones from those who have made it through and come out the other side in a better place. We are officially broken up but I miss him so much that I cry every day. It’s horrible and I just want the “good him” back without this crazy behavior. I have a very hard time staying away and still fine myself finding some stupid excuse to email or text him–sometimes he responds, sometimes not. He has moved on and I have not. I have such a hard time accepting that and I am sure he has a new girlfriend (translation: victim) who he is charming the pants off of like he did me. And now being away gives me some perspective and I strongly suspect he was cheating on me too. I feel so pathetic still being in love with him.
      After he gave me the BS excuse why he couldn’t visit me for my birthday I got a birhday card from him that made me burst into sobs. It was all about how lucky we were to find each other..I was his one true love…best friend and the mushiest BS you have ever read. If only his actions matched his words. How can there be such a disconnect??? It has me crazy. I know I am in the grieving process and going through all the stages. I know I have issues myself with loss. I have started to see a therapist but i mostly just cry during the whole hour. I want so much to get over him and at the same time I want to be with him. I should be happy that I dodged a bullet unlike all these other women who gave 25 years of their life to their PA men. I have very nicely tried to point out some of the issues I think he has but of course he goes nuts and says I am bitter blah, blah. I think there is a bit of the narcissist along with his PA.
      I am so appreciative of sites like this one and also http://www.outofthefog.net for all the support. It is just going to take a long time to deal with the loss of my dream. Thank you for your kind remarks–they mean more than you know.

  35. Now after leaving and moving to my support, my P.A husband could care less about me and our sons. Anyhow I have found this great book on healing after being with a P.A. Breaking Passive Aggressive cycles written by Dee Brown. I cried just reading the first few pages because the author validated everything I have been through for 10 long years. I recommend it to all my sisters struggling with the crazy world of P.A. Much love to you all
    Amanda

  36. I dated a passive aggressive man. He was very volitile when I had feelings and emotions. He didn’t like to be pushed into doing anything and didn’t try to make an effort with my son. He was very laid back, to the point of being disassociated with feelings. He loved to go out and do things, but once things became too emotional he ran into another woman’s arms…. Not feeling sorry for me at all. He blamed me for every outburst he had, hung up on me constantly and told me he would change, with small attempts that never became much of anything. After he attempted to make small changes, he through them in my face as if they were huge!!! He put me down, called my names, put other women’s needs first, put down my looks and smell. He told me other women were “hot”, including an ex and did not connect intimately. I fell in love with this man and it is tough to get out! Watch the warning signs. The biggest one is the tell how how perfect they were in their past relationships never exposing much about their past. They will tell you the past is the past. That way you can’t figure them out.

    • The past is the past! Wow. DId that hit home. That is all my husband says to me. Especially during our maritial counseling sessions. Always bringing up the past. Can’t you leave it alone!
      Thank you for the reminder as to why I filed for divorce. Whatever you decide, make that decision based on what is good for you and your son. It hurts, I know all too well. I hung in there for 29yrs before I filed and calling it quits. Although, this will probably be the longest divorce process in history….he keeps dragging his feet and throwing up road blocks every step of the way!

  37. A few days ago, I had a bit of an epiphany. I think my husband has a passive aggressive personality. I can look back now and see that he has acted passive aggressive toward me in the past but I didn’t realize it then. I’ve been researching it some though and he does do a lot of the things someone with a PA personality does. Since I realized this, it’s becoming more and more glaringly obvious to me.

    For example, today while our son was watching tv and our daughter was napping, I took the opportunity to finish cleaning up some Halloween decorations. Some were in the garage where he was working on project. I was out there packing a box and he went outside to do something, then came back in and the following conversation took place.

    Him: I’ve been meaning to ask you if you ran over a hose with the lawnmower.

    Me: Um, not that I’m aware of.

    H: The one by the trailers.

    M: I could have I guess, but I don’t remember doing it.

    H: Well, someone did it.

    Then he left the garage.

    Classic passive aggressive.

    In the past, I would have immediately felt guilty, sure that I had actually done it. Annoyed with myself that I did it. Sad that I disappointed him by ruining a hose and causing him more stress. Stupid for not realizing it. I would have let myself take the blame and beat myself up a little over it.

    But after he went back outside, I just got mad.

    For one, we are the only two who have mowed our grass lately so it was obviously one of us who did it.

    Two. If he knows FOR SURE that he didn’t do it, then obviously I did it. I know there was a hose out there but I also know that I made sure not to mow that area because I didn’t want to run it over and the last time I mowed I knew that I had forgotten to pick it up.

    Three. He’s the one that left it out there in the grass in the first place so how is it my fault if I happened to not see it in the tall grass, if I did indeed run it over? Since he put it there, shouldn’t he take responsibility for picking it up? Um, yeah.

    Four. Confronting me about the hose and then immediately leaving the garage with “someone did it” obviously shows that he blames me for it.

    Five. He mowed the grass the last time and I specifically remember seeing him in that area. He probably did it.

    Six. It’s a hose. An old hose, no less that’s been sitting out there in the grass for months. Who the hell REALLY cares? Is it worth a fight? Is it the end of the world? Honestly, it’s so old it probably needed replaced anyways.

    So now I don’t know what to do. Do I let it slide? Do I confront him about it and tell him how it made me feel? Honestly, I’d rather just forget it because it’s such a stupid thing to get in an argument over. But it’s not really about the hose – it’s the underlying message of blame and guilt. I also feel like he’s been doing this more and more lately and it’s not fair to me. Maybe he’s always been this way but I didn’t realize it. I do think he does it to others more than he ever has to me and that’s part of the reason he doesn’t have many friends, but it seems like he’s doing it to me all the time now which is putting me on the defensive and on edge. By not saying anything, I let the anger over it build up until I finally do say something about some other similar incident that is bound to happen. I know how the conversation will go because any time I’ve confronted him about things like this lately, he just gets mad, claims I’m being crazy, says I’m making him resentful and ends the conversation with “I guess I just can’t do anything right.”

    Which are all classic passive aggressive moves.

    I just don’t know how to handle this. No matter what I do or say, he puts the blame back on me. I’m definitely willing to learn to work with his personality trait – especially if he agrees to receive help and work on it himself, but I don’t know where to start.

    • Carrie, OMG, that conversation could have happened in my house! Not the specifics (a hose and a lawnmower), but pick any other inanimate objects/subjects that have no realy major consquence, and you’ve captured what I deal with randomly to a tee!

      The fact that you are left standing there going “what the hell just happened” is classic! And I do the EXACT same thing – I think through the actual facts (i.e., he mowed last, it’s only the two of us that could have done it, why not have an actual ADULT conversation about it – why be so coy???!!!).

      The sad thing is that by reading everyone else’s posts, I am totally getting the picture that (a) I am not losing my mind, (b) he’s not going the change, (c) there is no “right” way to respond to these outbursts because literally NOTHING we say will “fix” it – and anything we say will simply be used for more fodder for the PA to get just that much more aggitated. It’s really becoming so much clearer to me reading through some of these posts. On the one hand – I wish I was reading things like “oh, if you just do a, b and c, things will get better”. But on the other hand, better to be reading the “truth” and figure it out and then make an informed decision – I’m just thinking life is way too short to keep feeling this way. I wish you well my sister in PA hell!

  38. You are being abused because he doesn’t like who he is and he is taking it out on you. He has some sort of guilt and shame going on internally to treat you in this manner. A man who is on the right path would never treat you this way. If I were you, instead of putting up with it, I would separate from him until he learned how to have respect for me. Even if that means moving into another room. Focus on your relationship with God and stay string in that. Leave this man to his own demons. You can’t fix him!! Much love to you and your inner woman power!! Kenna

    • Am now out of my abusive relationship and going strong!!! I met a new man who is God focused. We are doing amazingly well.

  39. Thank you for a great blog. It’s destiny I find it right now, at this time when I try to really leave a marriage that has lasted 32 years. I’ve tried before but always been sucked in by the incredible ability of beiieving everytime, this time it will be different. It will not be different.
    It is refreshing to read how subtle the behaviors can be to trap a person into losing their gut instinct, their intuition.

    • I hope you got out…I did two weeks ago and the peace of mind is incredible..just not having to deal with the silent treatment and the constant complaining is a blessing…I’m looking for a job now and I know I will get one, find a place to live..right now I’m staying with a friend until I get a job..then things will start to really change for me…it’s not going to be easy going forward, for I still need to get a lawyer….BUT I CAN DO IT.

  40. Okay, okay. I have read everything I can on the web about PA men for the last 2 days (I am sick in bed). I have had my suspicions. Then I found this. Mind you I have never written on a site before so excuse if my “bloggie manners” are left wanting.
    Out of everything I have read, the one common thread I feel in my own life is when many say, “I felt like I was going crazy”. I can’t tell you how many times I have said that out loud to myself or to a friend in the last few years.
    I married him because he was quiet and soft around the edges. Stable and a great lover. I am still unsure of wether he IS a PA so help! Oh wow I don’t know where to begin. Maybe with me and ,my expectations of marriage and family. Growing up mine fell apart. My father was a wealthy business man that cheated on my “small town” mother. I wanted someome loyal and suttle. Unlike dad.
    27 years later we have a huge home and 4 children. I wanted 6. I loved children and wondered did I love that more. Anyway, I worked as a teacher for 6 years and then we had our first son. Two more boys came and them a girl! It was my joy everyday to wake and thank God I could stay home with them. We did everything together. I just loved it and so I thought he did too.
    For 20 years or so I begged and pleaded with him to kick me out of “the boys club”. He did not seem to “connect” with the boys. You know that kind of Arghhhhhh, beat your chest stuff.
    I home schooled all of them I had so much fun. When he said we had no money for vacays I set out to find ways to make money. I began speaking and advising new home school mothers for a fee. You gotta get a gander at this; a mom with 4 kids under 7, nursing the youngest and at the same time counseling a mom while the rest were kept in line though my training. And that is just it; MY training. I read every book I could get my hands on about mothering, schooling, dicipline, family ect. When I attempted to implement anything I thought I had him on board but as I worked through some of them he never followed up and in some cases even laughed during family meetings and let the boys get roudy and mocking. Through the years I have made calendars to let him know when we did things without him so he could ask the kids questions. Most of the time it was obvious he was bored. I can’t tell you all the ways I tried to glue them together and help us all love each other and work as a team. He batted away so many I lost count. Including the one when I surprised him with $400 I had saved to help him join in on scuba lessons with the 2 oldest boys. “No” he said, never giving me any REAL answer. And so it went, “Scouting was dumb, we always get out too late on the boat so it’s not worth it, I can’t do that now I have to finish remodeling the kitchen or tile the floor or mow the lawn, I know I have every tool known to man but I can’t take you anywhere for our anniversary- we don’t have the money.” I believe he has frustrated me through the kids. Always speaking opinionated when parents had parties where kids drank and the police came, but just laught it off when someone called the police when a fight broke out at my son’s party. I cleaned up all the bottles and cans the next morning. I don’t know if this is what I see in him. This PA problem is a little hard to pin down. I guess I just blew the first rule…too long. Sorry!

    • It wasn’t long. I have been in my marriage to a man the same way. Always to someone else, wonderful, charm and a dream to be with. But @home, don’t ask for help, there was always something else that had to be done. Vacations were unheard of..we went on 6 out of 30 years! I planned and saved for all of them. No honey, you have a PA. Have you had a partner? No, just another body and a means to help support, but only monetarily. The emotional is not there. Always aloof. There but not really there. I have been married 30 yrs, applied for a divorce and now he is being soo nice to me, I know it is just a ploy. I have done all by myself, not one ounce of help in raising our sons. You definitely have a PA.

  41. Almost there,
    Can’t tell you how much your validation means. Happy to hear from a “lifer.” This is such a “shifty” personality flaw. Mostly, he does help. He fixes things even before I ask.He fill my car with gas. He used to make me coffee on the weekends (that is before he moved out 6 months ago). If I needed something done he almost always helped. But then, last night he asks to take the “girls” out for dinner. What girls I ask, and he says my daughter and her friends. Hulloooo, I am a girl too! Then I wake up this morning and on my kitchen counter is the bill I incurred from a hospital stay all layed out for my kids to see and left just for me. Not to mention its the bill from this summer when I couldn’t take it anymore and took 3 sleeping pills. He made me stay in a mental hospital for 5 days and then told me he wanted me to go to a rehab place. I am NOT a drug addict. I just wanted to get his attention. So I went for a month. He moved out while I was there. The ebb and flow of his behavior does seem to fit the bill huh?

    • He’s moved out! That is the best news. He will try to discount everything you do. It is a typical move, putting the bill for the children to see. Mine will not move, it will take a court order and letter from a lawyer. More money for me to spend…..He is building his case against you so he looks like the good guy. I have found PA’s to be highly intelligent and are “dumb as a fox”. Their cunningness and menipulations are well planned and thought out. They do not do empathy well nor do the want any one else to steal the spot light from them. Remember “a wolf in sheeps clothing wil always be a wolf on the inside”.

  42. I think you are right they are very intelligent. How are you finding it so easy to leave? I have known him for 31 years. How does that just evaporate?

  43. It doesn’t just evaporate. I still care for him and at times love him. I have decided my health is more important to me. You see my PA is abusive, emotionally and physically. The physical abusive started 3 yrs ago, has stopped for now, but he has a temper and is jealous. I can not take the chance that is he will never do it again. Our sons are grown, he doesn’t have to hold back the physical abuse. One day he will hurt me and I may not be able to leave or get help.

  44. You must think me nuts to not have known I was married to a PA for 38 yrs, Actually its 42 yrs of known him. I have never spoken to anyone about my life, because if I was to say anything to family or friends the few that we have NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE ME….and my husband knew it…I HATE HIM for he knows exactly what he is doing to me…I was the idiot who stayed because of the kids…would take his crap so their would be no fights in the house, continueously protect the kids from one of his letures…sent me kids away to college so they could get away from the constant crittism…..ONE MORE WEEK and I’m leaving this hell hole…I’ve know this man for 42 yrs of my life…I’m 58 I will not spend my old age married to a monster who takes joy in seeing the pain he is causing in my eyes….He has sucked the life and soul out of me for the last time..one week and I’m gone…

    • Well done you ;-) I got away about a year ago, however it is not easy breaking away, as you said no one would ever believe you and I for a long time though it was me. It is difficult building a life for yourself, however it is soooooo worth it. I am free to laugh, cry, sing do whatever I wish without constant put downs, accusations and statements that I was unstable and almost mental torture. Ha ha ha and here I am looking good, feeling good and having a jolly good time. I found the people on this site a huge help, stay with it – there are days you may consider going back – DON’T.

      Be the wonderful mother, the most glorious friend and the most perfect person that you know you are.

      Best Wishes, Hugs, Love n Heaps of Good Will are being sent from me to you, coz I know you are worth it, I know you are a strong woman and a wonderful person. Catcha here when ever you need me. Maxine (New Zealand) (ha ha ha you see it is the world over, not just any one country.

  45. Liliana – good for you. We have all been fooled by the PA. Do not blame yourself. Learn from the lesson.

    • Hi: Pam

      Thank you so much for your support, It’s only been two weeks and I have enjoyed the peace and the relief of not having to deal with him. He hasn’t called and that is great, but I know it will change, but I am strong and will do this.
      Take care again thank you

  46. Right now I feel as if I am losing my mind. During our 17 years of marriage I had often referred to my husband as “passive-aggressive” because of his actions; i.e. muttering hurtful things under his breath, being put out whenever he was asked to do something, acting like a child, lying about everything under the sun, etc….but I have to admit I didn’t really know what that term meant. Well now I do, and now I know he truly is PA. His head games and withholding of affection have been, I am sure, a major cause of my Agoraphobia returning after 20+ years of remission. I feel that if I could leave the house I would run like the wind and never look back, but for the past 2 years I haven’t been able to drive anymore. That, and he wrecked my car…on purpose? I can’t say but I am actually beginning to believe so. I can’t sleep, and am so depressed I want to go to sleep and not wake up actually…I told him this, and he replied that he’d “had a bad day, too”, then proceeded to tell me how crappy the guys at his work are, and how they sabotage whatever work he’s trying to do. (Of course, nothing is ever his fault.) Thanks for reducing the fact that I would rather die than be here to having a “bad day”. I haven’t had the insurance to go to a therapist because it was “too expensive” to put me on his policy at work, so he had insurance he never uses and I am left to suffer through my illness with no help.
    I know I have to leave him, but am fearful that doing so would end with some violent action on his part. Does anyone know how I can leave without having to be afraid of him?? Thanks for listening.

  47. Hi you are not alone, when I found this site that in itself was such a huge relief. I thought I was going crazy, I though of suicide BUT I am damned well not going to let someone like my ex take anything for from me, he took years from me, my self respect, my strength, changed my personality, leaving me feeling so alone and unwanted and unlovable, I truly though the world did not need me. I had never felt this way before, HE does not deserve YOU. You are a strong woman, you were before him and you can be again. My advise is spend time with yourself, go inside yourself, you cannot have survived this long without being such a strong woman, find the You, that you were before him, feed her, build upon her. Then leave, get out of the state, start a new life, the life you want, the life you choose for the wonderful woman you are. I am in New Zealand, we are every where, we are all hurting but there is life after these people and a life worth living. It is there only for our taking. 3 things which cannot be changed, History, the Truth and Another person… anything and everything else is possible and this is my truest hope and wish for you. Best wishes, All my Love and Hope should be winging itself across the water to you. Maxine

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