Why Are You So Passive Aggressive?

Don’t you just want to ask them that sometimes? Of course most of the time they don’t know. Usually they don’t even know they are passive aggressive unless they really care and have noticed they seem to be very self sabotaging. (I do enjoy a visit from one lady here who is working on getting a handle on it as she knows she is) Most, if you could really get them to open up  and talk with you about it, really don’t have a clue. That’s why you need to calmly(LOL) point it out when they are behaving in a passive aggressive manor.

I don’t tell my BF he’s being a passive aggressive butthead. I ask him “What is it about blah, blah, blah that bothers you?”

“What are you talking about? Blah, blah doesn’t bother me.”

“Then why do you get that look on your face as if you’re disgusted and you let out that sigh as if you’re being put out?”

“I didn’t do that”.

“Yes you did. I just wondered why?”

Usually that’s the end of the discussion, and sometimes the end of the behavior. He moves on to something else. Like I said, lately it’s the family dog. LOL.

The other thing I haven’t quite figured out an answer for except to mutter under my breath is when I ask him about doing something. He’s been off work for a few months now, but there hasn’t been much yard work or anything else done. The back yard grass had gotten so long the animals could completely hide in there and you couldn’t see them. When I finally mentioned it the answer was the same I’ve heard so many times “I was planning on getting to that tomorrow”.

No matter what I mention, he’s always just getting ready to do it, was going to do it, or is going to do it whenever. He never lets me know that he’s never even given it a thought.

Do you ever feel like their mother or father? I do at times. I have to admit it’s like role playing. I remind him of things that have to be done, he reacts like the kid that doesn’t want to get in trouble.

From the research I’ve done, they say if you want to make any headway with a passive aggressive spouse or partner, you have to make them feel safe to open up and express their feelings. I know myself there are times when the BF tells me he doesn’t say anything because I’ll get mad. He’s probably right, but over and above that, it leads them right back to their childhood when they were afraid of parental disapproval or abandonment if they expressed themselves.

While the behavior once you know what your looking for is pretty easy to spot, it’s really pretty complex. That’s probably why it’s so hard to fix. All those childhood years when we’re all developing and yet passive aggressives were not allowed to express a need for love, displeasure in anything, living with the anxiety of parental disapproval and abandonment. While it was common when you’re my age not to talk back, etc. we all dealt with it differently, and there were different degrees to how starved a child is for love, etc.

When a passive aggressive does things to us, whether understanding why they are doing  it or not, it hurts. Understanding that they are passing on feelings to our relationships that they never got over with their parents doesn’t make it any easier. Your choices seem to me to be to either accept them for how they are, and if you truly feel like you love them so much you can’t get away, this alone will help a lot, or you leave. If you start looking at their behavior and expecting it to be what it is, but you accept them for the kind of people they are, while it is a little detached, it will save you a ton of heartache.


25 Responses

  1. Al-anon has this saying, which they call the 3 C’s: “I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t control it.” I think this is true for mental illness as well as addiction. Often, any attempt to manage the illness doesn’t help, and really just makes you miserable.

    I think that detachment is the key, as you say. That, and taking care of yourself.

    • Val- I think the 3 C’s are a great mantra. If we all remembered those, I’m sure it would help. I know I’ll be keeping that in my mind. I think we all try, especially women, thinking we can “cure it”.
      I know I fell for a lot of the wrong men thinking I could “fix” them. It took me quite awhile to go with the “what you see is what you get” and sometimes it’s worse. LOL.

  2. Everything in this blog rings true about my boyfriend. Here is my question, and the thing that has me feeling gaslit constantly: Are they just too scared to tell you that they can’t stand you, don’t want you around, etc., or is it that it has absolutely nothing to do with you at all and they’re just playing out some drama in their own heads and may actually really enjoy you if they were even able to tune into any emotion at all? I don’t even know if that question makes any sense. I’ve never felt so insane before, but I also know that I truly do love him. Thanks for everything you’ve written. I look forward to reading more.

  3. expatsophie- Yes the question makes perfect sense and is all too common amongst people involved with a passive aggressive partner.

    Unfortunately their behavior more often than not, has nothing to do with you. Passive aggressives have a deep rooted trust issue that won’t let them become too dependent on anyone else. It scares them too much.

    You’re right about wondering if they can tune in to any emotion at all. Most of the time they are very emotionally disconnected. It doesn’t really have anything to do with whether they want us around or not. If you read my post about the “definition of a passive aggressive” it explains a bit about them emotionally.

    Have you asked your boyfriend how he feels? Maybe it’s time to get the cards out on the table. Unfortunately they don’t like the “talks” which is also a safety issue, but you may at least get a brief answer out of him.

    Good luck. Check in and let me know how you’re doing. How long have you been with your BF?

  4. I am writing to you in the hope that my message can be of some use to the victims of pa’s who use your site for support. If you think my message will be helpful to people please feel free to send it to anyone you think will benefit from what I have to say or post it to on a message board.

    I am a 43 year-old man. I have been with my wife for nearly 24 years (we have been married about half of that period) and until today I was passive aggressive. The main expression of my pa behaviour was in lying. I lied constantly and repeatedly about anything and everything, as a means to control and manipulate my wife. The depth of my evil and destructive behaviour extended to failing to support my wife through fertility treatments, interfering in her attempts to have therapy to cure a crippling phobia, destroying one career and severely damaging a second. Her unhappiness has been so prolonged and so deep that she knows the Samaritan’s telephone number by heart and our previous telephone service provider offered the Samaritan’s as one of our list of discount numbers because I reduced my wife to seeking their help so regularly. In addition to lying and being evasive I fully expressed other typical pa traits such as breaking promises, being obstructive in getting things done, pretending to be unable to keep commitments, playing power games about availability by switching my phone off or “forgetting” to take it with me, sabotaging my own career etc etc. Even though I knew I was behaving badly I allowed my wife to spend years of her life soul-searching and looking for answers in her own past and her own personality. After nearly two decades of taking herself to pieces and putting herself back together again, after exhausting every other possibility, in the last five years or so she finally began to think that maybe I was the problem. I denied it repeatedly even though I knew that it was the truth. Finally about 2 and a half years ago she found, by chance, a magazine article that described pa men. All the pieces came together for her and she verified what it said about the characteristics of pa men by reading websites like yours. She told me about pa personalities in the belief that I would be happy to know and recognise myself and that I would begin to do something about it. She was wrong. Even though I was busted, I continued to behave in exactly the same way, adding further to her agony and despair. Now, I have finally decided to own up and come clean, to take responsibility for my decisions and actions and to burn my bridges by emailing you and other similar people who try to help and support pa victims. I do not know what proportion of men have a true pa disorder in the sense that they are incapable of behaving in an open loving way. I suspect, based on my own experience, that it is a very small fraction of the whole. It is hard to imagine other pa men behaving worse than me, and in my case it was a choice so I doubt that severity of abusive behaviour is a good guide to whether a pa man is choosing his behaviour or has a true inability to behave well. I chose to do it for decades and now I have chosen to stop. To any victim who is reads this message I would say this. Ask your abuser “Is it can’t or won’t? Can you truly not control your behaviour, or do you just not want to?” I am a very intelligent man. I rarely lose arguments or debates (even when I don’t resort to lying), but I never found a way round that question when my wife asked it. If the answer is “can’t” then your abuser needs help and you need to consider your position carefully. If the answer is “won’t”, as it was in my case and as I suspect it will be in the majority of cases, then the solution is equally clear. “I don’t want to” is simply not a reason for anything. It took me a long time to accept responsibility and stop being pa, but it was nothing more, in the end, than making a choice. Don’t let your pa abuser cloud this simplicity. I say this to pa men like me who are behaving that way by choice: the game’s up, your cover is blown, if someone as dedicated to the behaviour as me can stop then so can you. But don’t try to pretend that you can’t stop if what you really mean is that you don’t want to. Ask yourself this – would you admit the way you behave to anyone else? If you can stop, but you’re just choosing not to, then stop lying when you say it’s hard, stop expecting anyone to feel sorry for you and take responsibility for your choice.

    AT (not my real initials)

    • AT- Welcome and I am so happy you decided to take the time to write this. It’s always helpful to hear the other side of the story to help us try to understand what is really going on. I have to say your comment almost made me cry.

      I don’t know what made you decide to change your behavior, but I am so happy to hear you have made the decision and decided to fix it. So many passive aggressive people refuse 1)to admit they have any kind of problem 2) refuse to do anything to actually change for any real period of time.

      I’m sure your wife is very grateful to hear you finally say it’s not her. I’m just sorry that it took so long and she went through so much first. Thanks for the advice for others living with a passive aggressive. Now the only problem would be getting them to answer the question “if they want to change or if they can’t change”, honestly.

      Please stop by anytime and let us know how the change is coming and how you and your wife are doing. You may find out now that all the cards are on the table, you have a chance to fall in love all over again. Good luck to you.

    • Hi AT,
      Thank you for being so real. I am married to a PA for 25 yrs. and 4 children later. He has done everything that you have done. He has gone as far as making up things about me to other people so he won’t look bad for what he is doing. He turns everything around on me and I’m left being so confused. Let me ask you, he has had behaviors like he is having an affair. He has pulled away from me sexually, he will leave the house and say he is going for a soda and come back 1 1/2 hours later, the phone will ring, I answer it they hang up. Is this him being PA because he knows it will piss me off or he is doing something wrong? When I confront him, he always puts it back on me. He says things like, your always accusing me, you never trust me, you have a problem. I don’t know what to make of it. He puts my kids before me, he treats my daughter like she is his wife and has talked dirty to her. he knows this bothers me and does it more. I have confronted him on what he is doing and he denies it. I am so totally confused as to what is going on. Him and his parents are not close, when you see them together they act like strangers to one another. He will not emotionally connect with me and blames me that I have a problem. I have picked myself apart and analyzed myself so much, that I think I m messed up. I was in counseling for a year and I am back in counseling again, I am slowly seeing things for the first time, and I am very angry for what he has done to me and our family. I am at the point where I am wanting to leave, I was always convicted to stay married until death do you part, but I can’t take it anymore and I am tired of being blamed by him for what he does and how I react to him. He is crazy as my counselor puts it! Any suggestions or insights you can give me?


      • HM- Thanks for sharing your story. Welcome. You asked for any suggestions. Here’s one. RUN! I know you were asking AT, and I hope he answers you. I don’t know if he still reads this blog as I haven’t heard from him since this one post, but I couldn’t help buy reply.

        It’s great that you’re back in counseling. We all need some support and someone to validate our feelings that it’s NOT US whose crazy. It sounds like he’s not only passive aggressive but mean.

        It also sounds like you should be getting your children away from your husband. If he’s talking dirty to your daughter and treating her like his wife, who knows how far he will go? Unfortunately with children, especially if it’s a parent doing inappropriate things to them, they don’t often tell until after the fact. They don’t want to alienate the parent that’s doing the actions, or cause problems between their two parents. When my ex was sexually molesting my oldest daughter when she was 12, it took her having a breakdown to tell me. She’s 27 now, been in years of therapy and still hasn’t gotten over it. The self esteem issues, the self sabatoge, the damage lasts a really long time. By staying in this relationship, what do you think you are teaching your children about how their relationships should be? They learn much more by example than anything we can ever say to them. It’s not fair the way they suffer for our mistakes.

        I hope you stay in counseling this time and get the support you need to stand tall against what he’s trying to do to you. I couldn’t really say if he’s cheating because so much PA behavior can look and feel like that, but usually you can go with your gut instinct on that one. If he has all the behavior of a cheater, and you really feel like he is, it’s very possible he may be. That’s another all too familiar MO, is for the cheater to turn it back around on the spouse so they feel they are in the wrong for even thinking such a thing. More often than not, your gut instinct will put you on the right track, especially if you’re not normally the crazy jealous type.

        Please feel free to stop by and leave a comment or share what’s happening with you anytime. I would be interested in AT’s answer from his perspective. I hope he decides to reply. In the meantime, glad to hear your getting yourself together, for the sake of your 4 children.

    • AT, one question: what satisfaction did you get from wasting someone else’s life, and your own?

  5. I have known for years now that my spouse is PA. I’m currently in therapy and hope to get to this issue eventually…
    in the meantime I would like to vent and see if anyone can help me with some things???
    Recently (last couple of months) if I ask my husband to pick up our Soccer Kid from an event… he arrives late, gets lost, really lost (with simple directions) and royally ticks off our friends. We have a carpool (on occasion) for 3 or 4 girls who attend the same things.
    Recently when my spouse got lost, the girls were over and hour late getting home. I had parents calling me wondering where their kids are!
    Then I fell for it again, although I asked my husband to get the girls… and he said YES he showed up over an hour late.
    I know he wants me to NOT ask him and do this myself but it ticks me off so much that I can’t stand to be in the same room with him.
    This is just one of many things that I go through and would like some help with coping!

    • Heath Barnes- Welcome to the club! LOL.

      Unfortunately, asking a passive aggressive to do something he so obviously doesn’t want to do will never bring about different results. The only thing they’re totally dependable about is being undependable. You really cannot trust them to be truly responsible for much, not bills, not chores, and certainly not with your children. While I totally understand how it ticks you off not to be able to do such a normal parent thing, it’s your children that are suffering while you’re playing with this power war. With a PA, you won’t win. Sorry. I wish I had better news than that, but that’s just how the game is played.

      If you really want to save yourself a lot of aggrevation, you’ll just have to accept the fact that picking up your children is just one (of probably many) things you can’t ask him to do. When you’re living with a passive aggressive the saying “if you want things done right do them yourself” is probably the most appropriate quote for the situation that you’ll ever find. To keep hitting your head against a wall by continuing to ask him will end up hurting you more than it will ever hurt him.

      This is one of the ways of coping. It also starts the ball rolling for becoming a little less emotionally attached, which is another coping skill that is necessary most of the time in order to keep your sanity.

      I’m glad to hear you’re in therapy. That should help you a lot and give you some of the support that you will need to stay in your relationship. When your husband pulls this kind of thing it’s also best to call him out on it. You might want to say to him “It’s become quite obvious by your actions you don’t want to pick up the kids. May I ask you why?”

      It should be interesting to hear his answer. When he tries to say he doesn’t mind, just remind him of what he’s done and let him know his actions tell you otherwise.

      Good luck and come back anytime. Let us know how you’re doing. I hope this helps a little.

  6. A Trueman
    Very Interesting to hear what a PA man has to say. Your letter left me wanting more info. You tell us that you have stopped the PA behaviors and I applaude you for that but tell us are you still together with your wife? Have you apologized? What are you doing to reconnect with her? Is it working? Has she lost trust in you? How are you participating in the marriage now and how did you disconnect before?

    What do you feel is the cause of your PA behavior? Were you abandoned or rejected by a parent?


  7. Heath Barnes:
    You can’t change him. You can only change yourself and your reactions to him. I say tell him to quit the PA behaviors. Take no excuses. Ask if he wants to participate in the marriage as equal partners or as a leadened cannonball dragging the marriage down? I told my husband that I am too old to continue this PA game and that I give up, he has won. I told him that I have lost trust and that I do not trust that he will participate, that he will be reliable or dependable or that he will get things done in a timely manner or done correctly. He has taught me that he is lazy, sullen, untrustworthy, and a backstabber. That is not the kind of man I want or will tolerate for a marriage partner.

    Get your feet on the ground and start moving forward. Establish your financial independence. Get your own bank account and sock away enough money to get out and live on if necessary. Do not expect him to change but do offer him the opportunity. Do not sit there waiting for him or waiting for the next assault on your sanity. Life is too short to be unhappy with a PA spouse. For every step forward I took he pushed me two steps back. I have wasted my entire adult life with a man who is locked in an adolescent emotional state and does not know how to be a loving husband.
    Get out now if your can.

  8. I am so glad I stumbled across this site. I am currently going thru a divorce with a pa spouse – he served me my papers today. I moved out a year ago for a new job – with the intention of moving back at some point. I was hoping the time apart would help us or make him miss me and demonstrate that emotion I was craving. He supported the move-or so he said- only to turn around and make snide remarks to me and friends. Within months, he would tell me how much he missed me, how he was lonely, and bored. Then, when we’d discuss dates for me to come home he’d tell me no that I needed to stay here and he didn’t want to “waste” the money.

    The 8years living together felt like “crazy making”. I never knew if I was suppose to talk, not talk, try to initiate intimacy, stay in a different room, etc. I never knew when we got home at the end of the day if he would talk to me or ignore me for the night. We’d often go to bed “okay” and when we’d get up for work he would ignore. So often I cried to myself wondering what I did during the night to cause him to be mad at me in the moring. We don’t have children from the union…he lied about wanting to have children but waited till after I did some minor infertility treatments to share with me that he nevers wants kids and no we can’t adopt.

    Yes, the divorce hurts and no I wouldn’t encourage anyone to get a divorce. For me, it was leave or lose my mind. I had lost so much of me that my girlfriends were afraid of the depression I was exhibiting, not acknowledged by me. He is the one who filed (notifying of his intent by text). I cried for awhile and begged, pleaded, etc. I event told him I’d tolerate his abuse if he would let me move home. All of this was answered with a no.

    It’s been several months now and I can honestly say I love waking up each day knowing that I control and dictate my own happiness. I don’t have to walk on eggshells. I enjoy that if I wear an outfit or hang out with a friend I can enjoy the moment. He would always have a snide remark about how ugly or screwed up my friends were. No one’s perfect and now I don’t have him telling me that everyday.

    I hope one day I will stop the voice in the back of my mind from asking, “What was wrong with me that he couldn’t love me?” Most days I get that it is him. The hard days are when I look at pictures on vacation and see those brief moments of happiness and some love.

    Thanks for listening. I am just starting to understand what I have lived with and adjusting to him filing for divorce.

    • Dear New Kid- Welcome and congratulations on your new lease on life! I know it doesn’t seem like it when your heart is breaking, but he probably did you the biggest favor by divorcing you. Now you have a chance to get your head back on straight, maybe one day have the children you want, and actually enjoy yourself. I’m so glad you decided to leave your story as you are an inspiration to those who have not been able to make the move.

      The one thing I would suggest is that you put everything away that has anything to do with vacations together, etc. in some deep, dark corner of a closet somewhere (Actually you should throw them away, but I know that’s really tough). As time passes our minds have a way of playing down all the times we’ve cried and been hurt and we slip into this false reality that there was a time when things were right. In a relationship with a passive aggressive partner, things were never really right. The final result was always lurking in the background waiting to come out.

      Some day you will find the man who will love you the way you want and deserve to be loved. Just remember, the real Mr. Right can’t come into your life until you let go of Mr. Wrong. At least having gone through this it’ll be easier to spot the “red flags” the next time.

      Good luck to you on all your new adventures and stop in and let us know how you are doing. Like I said, for many you are an inspiration that there is more out there and we deserve it!

  9. I am a 35 yr old female. I just found out two weeks ago that I am a Passive Aggressive. I always thought I was different from other people but could not really describe it. I knew I had SERIOUS problems with people of authority. I truly develop a HATE for them. I don’t care how nice, how fair, how accomidating they are…I eventually will find a way to hate them and have other people in the office hating them. But, I brushed this off to mean that I knew more than them, and how dare they ask or challenge anthing that I do. I felt it was insulting to me for them to correct me. I am a perfectionist and felt I was doing everything perfect. As I worked for them I would meet every deadline, go above and beyond, etc. If they would question anything, again I would feel insulted and would then began to “rebel”. And this is the crazy part that I can’t explain. I would forget deadlines (I didn’t think on purpose)…always late for work and meetings. I would have a presentation to make and call off sick. I am truly crazy and had no idea I was doing it on purpose…I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get it together. I would then start to panic and feel that I had to come up with lies to protect my reputation…

    Oh, and relationships….please!!! I am a manipulator. I don’t even look at men for intimacy. I only use intimacy as a means to an end. And let me tell you something crazy. I have over the years watched porn, wrote a book of porn, become a phone sex operator…to learn more….I read about sex…You would think that I am a nympho. But no. Not at all. If fact, I don’t really even like sex. I have just perfected my sex skills so much that I blow men away when they are with me. So, they want it…and want it…and want it. All the while, I am setting him up to do anything I ask of him. Money, home improvements, homework, whatever I need. And how dare they not do what I have requested. There will definetly be no sex. And if he really doesn’t come through the next time….I will cut him off completely…and a lot of times…he has no idea why.

    Now I can say all of this now that I know what I have been doing all this time. I didn’t “know” conciously that I was doing this for a reason. In fact, people always tell me they wish they could just cut guys off like that and not develop deep relationships with men. I thought I was the lucky one that I have not let men run over me like the other girls do.

    I am on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. I am an alcoholic and chain smoke pot. But if you were to meet me…you would have no idea. I am attractive, well groomed (always), well spoken, well educated (I have so many degrees it is sickening), everyone that meets me wants me to be their best friend…But I began the art of manipulating you from the first time you see me. Its crazy!!!

    My past…my mother has mental illness…very angry, rude, anti-social woman with no friends and she is very controlling and I was never able to tell her no. She didn’t let us use that word. If she said to do something…you did it. No questions asked.

    My father, who was controlled by my mother,died when I was 17 and he was 44 of lung cancer. This was the beginning of the end for me.

    Ok, now I know I am passive aggressive and have been trying to really open my eyes to my actions toward other people. But even though I am trying…I can’t seem to turn it off. I can’t turn off the “charm” although it is fake and I know it.

    Oh well, I am going to continue to try.

    • Hello Nikki Nicole- and welcome! It’s always nice to hear from the other side of the fence. Thank you for leaving your comment and being so honest.

      It sounds like you have taken the time to know yourself pretty well. It also sounds like your inability to emotionally connect has caused you a lot of pain. The one big ray of sunshine is that you realize you have a problem and what that problem is. Unfortunately it isn’t easy changing life long habits, but if you’re willing to try like you say, I have complete faith you can do it. One of the first steps is realizing when you are using that behavior and doing something else instead. If you can become as open and honest with your relationships as you were here, I’m sure that will take you a long way toward the healing you’re looking for.

      I’m sorry to hear about your father, but if he was also totally dominated by your mother it doesn’t sound like he served as a roll model for fighting against that kind of behavior. It’s not unusual for one parent in a family to completely control while the other sits back and lets it happen. My BF’s parents were that way. His father was a dictator to the family, and the mom, while sympathetic, never stood up to him. Lacking someone to show you the way out, it’s easy to slip in to “self defense” mode and do what ever is necessary to protect yourself.

      If you’re on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, then I assume you are already seeing a therapist. You may want to ask about a support group. I find being able to discuss problems in a group of like minded people a great place of encouragement and ideas for beating what ever the problem is. Try not to get discouraged too soon. You have had some of these habits for years. It’s sort of like losing weight that has crept on for years. You don’t lose it over night.

      I applaud you for having the courage to step out into the light and admit your flaws and then, over and above that, be willing to take them on. Just try to keep your “eye on the prize” as they say. In the long run all your hard work will be worth it to bring you the kind of life you deserve. Just remember you’re worth it.

      Please stop in again and let us know how it’s going. I have my fingers crossed for you.

    • Wow Nikki your story is very interesting. The way we live is a habit and you can change it but it is difficult. Just realizing that you are passive aggressive is a big step I think. Knowing that you are missing something in life and wanting to change is a huge step. Practice sharing yourself for no gain and for no control. Find satisfaction in giving without getting anything in return.
      It sounds like when your father died, it was something your could not control and you decided to shield yourself from future hurts by always being in control. Or maybe you hurt so much that it turned to anger at the loss and you struck outward just wanting to hurt others. Do you see sharing yourself as a weakness? Do you see meeting the demands and requests and meeting the expectations of others as something to be fought against and conquered? Do you see cooperation as a weakness? Do you withhold information about yourself because it might make you feel vulnerable? or it might lead to an emotional closeness? Then you might be your own worst enemy…keeping yourself from happiness and success. Why do you think you don’t deserve happiness? Why are you still living in the past? Step into the light…..happiness is your responsibility and is yours for the taking. You are an adult now and you make your own present and future. Procrastination is the devil. You don’t drown by falling in water but by staying there. Decide what you want specifically, make goals and write them down. Now take steps to reach them. Practice and you can become who you want to be. Whining about the past is just procrastination. Blaming the past or others or fate is just procrastination and a waste of time. Your happiness is your own responsibility. I have faith in you and if you want to really feel and experience life and love then you have to be a part of it and share yourself. There will be bumps along the way but the joy out weighs the sadness. It is better to feel than to be numb and feel nothing. You might begin by thinking of others instead of yourself. Start making connections. Do something to bring joy to someone…maybe just a compliment and ask someone for help or an opinion…share yourself for no gain and it will bring you closer to others and that will bring you joy. Join a club or group. Take a step forward and join life instead of peering in from you secret hideaway.

      • o Nikki: When I read your suggestion to share myself for no gain…my first thought was, what other reason would make me want to become close to someone or share myself. I thought of volunteering…however, I only vonlunteered to look good to other people. So, I will have to start to try to do as suggested.
        Do you see sharing yourself as a weakness?
        o Nikki: I feel that I have developed two different personalities. The Passive person I share with people in authority or people I feel are in someway a threat to me. For example, smarter, cuter, etc. I share the aggressive side more with people that “really” know me. My family and close friends.
        o Do you see meeting the demands and requests and meeting the expectations of others as something to be fought against and conquered?
        o Nikki: I don’t see it as a weakness as long as that person is meeting my demands and request more. For example, if someone is demanding of me and I have nothing to gain…I don’t want to do it. But, if the demand is coming from someone of authority…I agree to some demands and feel ok with doing them. However, I will reach a point when I do not want to try as hard anymore to please this person…and that is when I start to have resentment towards that person. I want them to stop expecting me to be great all the time. I want them to leave me alone. I can’t explain it really….
        o Do you see cooperation as a weakness?
        Nikki: If I have began to resist your authority…yes.
        o Do you withhold information about yourself because it might make you feelvulnerable?
        o Nikki: No, actually I don’t share information because I don’t really know what to share. Do I share that I am a chain smoking crazy lady? Cause that is how I feel. Or do I share that I am intelligence, my humor, my fashion, love of animals…well now I think I know everything and think I am cute. Ok, so do I share some good and some bad?
        o or it might lead to an emotional closeness?
        o Nikki: The fear of emotional closeness I think comes from two things, my fear of being abandoned by that person. And, I fear that will find out the “real” me (angry, moody, lazy, stubborn, messy, etc) and be out the door. And I believe that it has happened several times when I tried to get close…the door was closed in my face. So, maybe I close the door first…I have to give this more thought.
        o Then you might be your own worst enemy…keeping yourself from happiness and success. Why do you think you don’t deserve happiness?
        o Nikki: I think I deserve happiness…b ut what is happeness? I don’t look at happiness as relationships and doing for others. I view happiness as getting what I want when I want it. And ya better watch out if I don’t get it.
        o Why are you still living in the past?
        o Nikki: Ok, this is where I start to disagree with you. Living in the past-NO-affected by the past, perhaps. I believe I put a small bit of my past in my blog…just to give you background. I am screwed up today. I am not worried about yesterday…I am trying to not be screwed up tomorrow…That’s it and all.

      • Hi Arborgreen! Nice to see you back and what great and inspiring suggestions. Thanks for the input. How is it going for you these days? Hope all is better.

        Nikki Nicole- I thought you did a great job answering all those questions. Very insightful. I can understand the “fear of being abandoned” issue. Between my divorce and my oldest daughter losing her father while she was quite young, she appears very needy and hates to let go. We all deal with stuff in different ways. I don’t think you necessarily have to live in the past, but the past can’t help but influence who we are today. It’s a matter of learning to let go of that part of the past that harms us, either by holding us back or bringing around unwanted behavior in our personalities.

        I think volunteering is an excellent way to start giving without the “what’s in it for me” thing. When you quit looking for the material rewards the spiritual rewards are so much greater.

        I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself for feeling that way at work, as most employees are in it for something, be it a promotion or bigger paycheck. I think to a certain extent that is normal. I think you may be just a little short-sighted. Everything your boss asks you to do is like a building block and even if you can’t see anything in it for you at the time, all those blocks build on each other. While you may not see the results of your work today, tomorrow could be all balloons and bubbles full of how great you are. A little “delayed gratification” is good for all of us.

        One of the biggies, I would say, is try to watch what you say to yourself, you know those “little voices in our heads”. We do more damage with our own self-talk than anyone could ever do to us. When you start to tell yourself you hate someone or you’re resenting them asking for something, try controlling what you tell yourself. When you catch yourself hearing yourself speak hateful or mean things, put a concious stop to it and start telling yourself something good. Some of the people I’ve hated the most I started Blessing, just to stop the damage I was causing myself.

        I’m with Arborgreen. I have faith you can do it too. If you have as much control as you do about the things you’re doing now that you don’t like, you’ve got enough control to change to the things you do.

  10. People act and behave and do what feels comfortable to them. Habits are comfortable, they feel good and are so difficult to change. We are all a bit unnerved with trying new things, meeting new people but we act out a role the way we know we should step by step until it becomes second nature and it begins to feel comfortable. I do think that you must substitute one habit for something else to change it. Maybe you stop smoking and start jogging or stop drinking alcohol and start gardening. But just because you do one selfless act once in a while or do something out of character does not mean that it becomes a habit or that it gets easier. You have opted for alcohol and smoking weed to fill the habit void and the relationship void. You will give yourself to alcohol and weed and let it take over. You have found that this habit of disappearing is easier than dealing with people. You just refuse to be a part of life. Intimacy and personal relationships are not controllable. They are difficult, they are always challenging. Relationships are ever changing and ever challenging even a 35+ year old marriage. You are afraid of being hurt and have opted out of really giving yourself or finding yourself. You are like a spy on a case, it is all pretend, you are aloof, in control. You are smart enough to fool everyone and in the end you will exit without remorse and be left alone with your alcohol and weed and wonder why you are alone.
    My husband is a good man in many ways but he never learned how to relate to people on more than a surface level. When it comes to the deep feelings, he opts out. He says he feels but he never verbalizes it to anyone in a compliment or saying their name or volunteering to help, or asking a question to show interest. He is damaged, scarred and I doubt that he can ever really get much deeper. He can buy me flowers and candy and do nice things for me but he can not be intimate. He feels a tug to reject and avoid and rarely speaks first. There is a line he can not cross. He can say the right things, he can do the surface actions that appear affectionate but he can not get across that line into intimacy. I notice that when he is trying really hard that he is very negative and critical of things like comments about television ads or sitcom situations. I don’t know what it all means except the bottom line is that he can not change because it is a conforting habit for him and it is all he knows and he takes comfort in that. I am too old to live the rest of my life with his procrastination, negativity, and avoidance of intimacy, or pretend affection. I want to feel desired, to know that I am loved and that I am in a relationship with someone I can trust, with someone who is dependable and reliable, someone who is a team player and can pick up the slack without being nagged if the situation calls for it, someone who I know will be there through thick and thin. What kind of person do you admire? What do you want in your life? What is your goal? What kind of person do you want to be? Unless you know what you want and what your goal is….you are just going in circles in the desert.

    The fact that you acknowledge that you have a problem means that there is hope. But the hope of change does not come without work. Many people want change, few are willing to work for it.

    • Yeah Arborgreen- How good to have you back! Hope all is well with you and thanks for leaving the very good comment. I certainly can’t blame you for what you want out of your relationship. I think that’s what we all want. All of us just have a hard time picking the person that’s most able to give it to us. Once you have been deeply involved with a passive aggressive it sure becomes easy to spot the behavior. It’s too bad we don’t always pay attention to those darn red flags. LOL.

      Thanks again for stopping by. Love hearing from you.

  11. My last post was for Nikki
    This one is for HM

    Run, run, run. Get away, change your last name, get an unlisted phone number, move as far away as possible. Get a lawyer!!!! Ask yourself. Do you want to live this way for the rest of your life? Would you like to feel desired and wanted? Is he a team player helping you achieve? Do you feel like he is a rebellious teenager and you are his mother? Does he avoid intimacy and reject you? Have you questioned yourself and tried harder and harder for less and less? It will be difficult to leave so get your ducks in a row. Be very quiet. Do not threaten, do not argue. It no longer matters how he feels and wants but rather what you want and need. Keep your daughter safe. Do not leave them alone. How she relates to men is learned from her father and how he treats you and how you react to it. If you allow his behavior to undermine affection and intimacy then she will do the same. Do not let this cycle repeat itself. Leave.

    • Arborgreen- Thank you. I feel the same. So many times we won’t take the steps to help ourselves, but it is definitely our duty to protect our children. If you’re being covertly abused people by a passive aggressive spouse or partner, if you won’t save yourself, save your kids.

      Thanks again for your input. I love conversation from people who “know” and have been through it and gotten to the other side. It’s inspiring for those who are still not sure or afraid to choose saving themselves.

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