This time of year can be so stressful even when everything is “peachy”, but if your coping with the holidays and a passive aggressive spouse of significant other, it can be especially trying. The following are a few of my own “practice what I preach” suggestions for getting through to the New Year.
1). Try not to count on them for anything.If you’ve lived with a passive aggressive for any time at all, you know that they conveniently “forget”. They are very good at undermining your projects in the guise of “not on purpose”. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Try not to count on them to do anything out side of what you want them to do that minute with you. My passive aggressive puts the lights on the tree every year. I get the tree and ask him to trim if for me and get it in the house. If he’s willing to go with me to get the tree, then this is a natural progression. I lay the lights by the tree and ask him to put them on as soon as he has a minute. If I see him watching TV or sitting around, I ask if the lights are done. Usually I get the response of either “I thought I would do them tomorrow morning” or “I was just about to do them”. If the answer is too far in the future I ask why he can’t do them right then or explain that I need them done right away so I can get the rest of what I have to do done.
2). Do some of the holiday things you enjoy. The kids and I used to go to “Christmas in The Park” every year and we love it. We also used to drive around looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhoods that go all out. As the kids got older we started to lose track of some of those things, but I also quit because the passive aggressive BF didn’t want to do them. If you have things you enjoy with friends or your children through the holiday season, bring them back. You’re missing quality time that brings you some happiness and probably those around you as well. Don’t force the passive aggressive to participate, and accept it if he doesn’t want to. If you drag him along and he doesn’t want to do it, chances are he’ll ruin it for everyone. You may feel a little guilty when you first go out without him/her, especially if he’s working the guilt trip on you, but you’ll get better at it the more you do it. You need these special times in your life. Don’t let your partner’s lack of enthusiasm cheat you out of them.
3). Don’t expect compliments, etc. when you don’t get them normally. No matter how pretty you may feel dressed up for your Christmas party, if he doesn’t normally compliment you on how great you look, don’t expect them now. If you get a compliment that’s wonderful, it’s icing on the cake, but if you don’t you’ll have to be satisfied with the compliments of others to give your ego a little much needed stroking.
4). Don’t set yourself up for some romantic, thoughtful gift only to be disappointed. This is a biggie. If all you’ve gotten in the past are things like a new vacuum or a lawn mower, don’t expect some romantic, thoughtful gift for Christmas. We can always hope, but don’t put your heart in it. Since I’ve gotten older there isn’t really much I need or want, so anything is nice. When it comes to something I really have my heart set on, I usually have a plan to go get it myself after Christmas and it’s usually cheaper. Years ago I had wanted a jacket so bad. I told my ex (then husband) exactly what it was, where it was and how much it cost. He couldn’t go wrong. Did I get it? Not from him. A couple of days after Christmas I went right out and bought it myself. Sure it would have been nice if he’d have got it for me, if he actually cared enough to get me something I really wanted, but he didn’t. Instead of brooding about it and building resentment, I fixed it.
I’m just saying that we put up with enough in our lives without bringing added stress and disappointment to ourselves. If you can stick to the list above and then muster up a sense of humor, you’ll be a lot better off when it comes time to bring in 2009.
Filed under: coping, hidden feelings, mental health, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, personality disorders | Tagged: Christmas and the passive aggressive, coping with the passive aggressive, holidays and the passive aggressive, mental health, passive aggressive spouse |