Depression- A Side Effect Of Passive Aggressive Relationships

I always thought depression was completely debilitating. When I was quite young, my mother had a couple of “breakdowns” and she would just lay in bed, staring out to space. I can remember standing beside her big queen sized bed, trying to talk to her and her never blinking, never doing anything that gave a sign she ever heard me or even knew I was there. My father would come in and usher me out saying my mom needed to rest. That’s what I thought depression was.

I never knew it could basically sneak up on you. I never realized you could be depressed without really knowing it. I was thinking I was feeling lazy or fatigued because I’ve gained so much weight, or not getting enough sleep. Of course these things are contributing factors, but these are symptoms. I cry at the drop of a hat lately. I thought I was just more sensitive or emotional in my old age. I’ve always been a sap for movies, cards or anything else that evoked emotion. It’s just gotten to be more often and less controllable is all.

Lately I have really been missing the loving interaction that usually takes place between a man and a woman who supposedly love each other. Being with a passive aggressive boyfriend I’ve been used to not having that, as anyone who has been in a relationship with a passive aggressive partner knows they withhold love and affection as a means of punishment and manipulation. For years I have been able to ignore it and not let it effect me much, but I’m afraid lately I’ve been losing the battle.

I hear a certain song on the radio and I can actually “feel” what it use to feel like to feel like the song says. Does that make sense? The song says “I can’t wait to get you home, watch your black dress hit the floor” and I start to feel the excitement of when you’re in love and can’t wait to be close to each other, skin touching skin. It makes me sad to think those days may be over, even though I know I’m partly responsible. When he started withholding sex and affection, I pulled back also. I wonder sometimes if he ever feels the same way. All I can think of as I write that is “Well he started it!” How childish is that. LOL.

The last 2 or 3 weeks when I go to church Sunday mornings, all I seem to do through the whole service is cry. It’s exhausting! It’s also very relieving. It’s like when I was young and would cry and my father would just hold me, comforting me, letting me feel loved and like everything would be okay. My father’s been passed on for years, so I can’t go there anymore. Until this started happening, I had no clue. I know I’ve been stressed because of the situation we’re in, but depressed? Me? Noooooo.

After falling apart at church today, I decided two things. One is that depression is probably a lot more common than we think it is. It actually is a “side effect” of living and loving someone who is passive aggressive. The second thing I decided is now that I know it’s there, I better get a handle on it so it doesn’t destroy me. For tonight, I’m going to allow myself to feel it, accept it, and then tomorrow I’ll get over it. I’ll share with you how tomorrow. For starters “things always look better in the morning”.

Any suggestions?


18 Responses

  1. I find that organizing my things gets me out of a black mood. Something as simple getting rid of the used kleenex in my purse and putting stuff back into my makeup bag. If I am super depressed I put on my headset to some great music and just clean. The tunes enter my soul and do their up lifting and I can clean by rote. After all you really don;t have to think while dusting or scrubbing you hands just do the work. Before you know it one area of your life is in order and it makes the rest seem bearable. Hope this helps.

  2. […] Top Posts Examples of Passive Aggressive BehaviorA Way To Cope With A Passive Aggressive SpouseDefinition of the Passive Aggressive…Effects of The Passive Aggressive ParentThe Passive Aggressive and Emotional ConnectionsIntimacy, Emotion And The Passive Aggressive…Recommended ReadingWhen A Passive Aggressive Witholds SexAbout This Blog…Depression- A Side Effect Of Passive Aggressive Relationships […]

  3. Realizing you are living with a PA is half the battle. The other half is realizing things will never change, get better or allow you to find the intimacy you so desire within. These people cannot give, just take. After 32 yrs. of marriage, I left. The thought of another possible 20 yrs. of this was too painful. Remarkably since he left, I’ve become a new person. Sure there are up & downs days, but my life is finally going in the right direction…..opposite of what is was. Bless you!

    • Debbie- Thank you so much for your input, and from all my research I would have to agree. For the most part a passive aggressive never recognizes or admits they have anything to do with what’s wrong in a relationship. If they never admit it, they don’t have to fix it.

      It sounds like you made the right choice for you. I’m so happy for you and glad you have put up these words of encouragement for others. Drop in anytime.

    • Congratulations on having the courage to get out. I am 34 years into this marriage and I’ve known since about year 4 it’s wasn’t right. I didn’t see any of the signs dating…but I’ve lived a lonely life since. WE are into day 5 of not coming out of the room or talking unless necessary. It’s a painful way to live. I have friends and two children and 2 grandchildren who love me so that helps. I’ve stayed because I left my job 28 years ago to care for our kids and take care of children in my home. Now I have no pension, and will have to work as long as parents will have me. My self esteem has diminished early on and I’ve always been afriad to be alone…funny it’s the one thing I actually am. My husband quit his job…without discussing that with me and without a plan. He did get another job but it only lasted 5 years. Now he is self employed and I feel more trapped then ever…and more resentment…it’s a terrible way to live.

  4. I keep being told a suitable antidote for depression is to ‘learn something new’. Maybe get hold of a book on drawing, and go out of the house to sketch? Yesterday I was feeling a bit down, and bought a couple of books from Amazon. They were books I’ve been meaning to get for ages, so I don’t feel guilty about them. I know what you mean — I’ve always felt I’m not a sufferer from depression, as I usually still manage to enjoy life… but at times I feel really tired and down, and the net result is the same.

    • Hey Diddums! So good to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and for your input.

      I think that’s a great idea. Learning something new definitely moves your mind in a different direction. Another thing I was always told to do was to volunteer. I used to do this alot when I was young, not as a course of getting out of depression but as a natural course of action, and I loved it! I always felt so fortunate afterward. It’s like if you’re stressed over bills, etc. and you go volunteer in a soup kitchen. You learn in a real hurry all you have to be grateful for.

  5. This is where I am currently at. I have actually lost weight, as I never really feel like eating. I am not sleeping, either. It takes all the energy I can muster to get out of the house at all. I feel better when I do, but it feels short lived. I pretty much live my days, including the weekends, the same. I get up, usher a kid or two to school, make food for them, change diapers, do laundry, pick up toys, cook dinner, usher kids to sports practices, watch my husband on his computer working or browsing the net, then go to bed. Everyday.

    Tonight I am going to meet up with a friend I have not seen in a while for a drink. Usually when I plan something like this, it winds up getting canceled because someone gets sick, or a schedule conflict with husband’s work, or he will make me feel so guilty for doing something for ME, that I bail. Last week I drove 2 hours to see a friend and visit with my old office (that holds most of the positive memories of my adult life outside of kids/family/marriage). I had the entire day to myself, but instead of making the most of it, I drove back home, spending more time in the car than actually outside of it, because I felt guilty for being gone. I came back home to a messy house, husband on the computer and nothing had changed. It made me sad. The next night, my husband left overnight to visit a friend 45 minutes away. He feels entitled to it, no guilt. Why can’t I feel like that? I am losing who I am, all of those things I used to enjoy. I rarely see people and when I do, the fun feeling never lasts very long, so I will go a long time before making plans to get out again. This just sucks.

    • Freaking Out- Oh Sweetheart, I totally understand how you feel. We were not meant to get into marriage to go off and do things by ourselves, but this situation is different, and if you don’t learn to get over the guilt, you’ll go crazy instead. Not really a better alternative. And really, does he make you feel guilty, or you just do a pretty good job all on your own?

      When I met my PA, he was very social, or so I thought, and a lot of fun. Now that we’ve been together for (quite) awhile, I can’t drag him out. I too used to feel guilty, and I still do when I first leave, etc. but I don’t let it stop me. They make the choices they make, and we need to do what’s good for us. Like you say, you came back home and everything was just how you left it, and he (if he was still on the computer) probably barely knew you were gone. Sometimes we do more damage to ourselves than they do. Why? Because we’re really well trained. LOL. You said he went out over nite. I would be waiting at the door and “throwing a fit” doesn’t even describe how I would be acting. How can you let him get away with that? Aren’t you a “pretty good person” (cuz none of us are perfect)? Don’t you behave when you go out (I mean your not sleeping somewhere else, right?)? So don’t you deserve to be treated with respect? As long as you continue to be the martyr and then let him treat you like you are, that’s all you’re going to get.

      If you feel guilty when you go out, then turn the radio on in the car and start singing to your favorite tunes so you don’t hear that voice in your head. When you’re out with friends, live in the moment like you may never see them again (of course this part comes from an “older lady” whose friends are dropping like flies. LOL). If it makes you feel so much better to be out with your friends, and let them be sort of your support system, then do it. (Just don’t drink (too much)and drive). I used to think all this stuff about taking care of yourself first was crap, and selfish, until I heard if you aren’t happy yourself how can you make anyone happy around you? and it works! You have a lot more tolerance, a lot more strength.

      You need to just remember what you used to like to do, what fun you had with the people that you were (are) friends with, and start recapturing some of that. If he tries to make you feel guilty just tell him you did nothing wrong and you refuse to accept any guilt. He’ll quit. Once he knows it’s not working on you anymore, he won’t do it anymore.

      And get into a support group, or find a good therapist. It always helps to have someone validate our feelings that it’s not us that’s a little “off”.

      Good luck, and I hope we hear from you again. Let us know if any of this helps at all, or if you discover something that worked for you really well, please share. LOL

  6. […] To this day, I have yet to see a story where women actually benefit from this behavior. Women who undercut and insult other women in order to gain jobs, popularity, or even just an ego boost, rarely find themselves happy in their lives. In fact, this article right here suggests that passive aggressive behavior has the side effect of de… […]

  7. I’ve currently been married to my PA husband for almost three years and I’m also experiencing debilitating clinical depression. I’ve never been like this in my life, even after my first marriage ended because he cheated on me. I can only think that this depression is due to dealing with my PA husband. Last night he came into the room where I was sleeping, turned on the light and cussed me out. Then later when we were arguing, he pretended like it never happened. This is not the first time he’s done that. He doesn’t take any responsibility for anything, just blames me. I told him he is abusive, which of course he doesn’t believe. He told me I’m abusive. That’s another favorite trick of his. He takes whatever I say to him and turns it around on me. Doesn’t matter what it is, he turns around and says it back to me. I want to leave.

    • @Jennifer, I don’t normally comment on blog posts, but almost everything you said sounds like my life. Being woken up by an angry spouse, turning everything around on me, all of it. I hope since you posted this comment you have been able to figure out the best way for you to find happiness again.

      As for me, I’m looking for a new job out of town so I can leave him. I’ve been putting up with this for 20 years and finally got myself to a place where I can see what’s really going on at home. Time for me to go. I’m done.

      • Hi CherryB- Good for you! I wish you every success. It’s never too late to be happy. Let us know how you’re doing. Take care and God Bless your new journey.

    • I hope this isn’t taken incorrectly but I’m a man with MDD and have just realized after 9 years of crazy, that my wife is passive aggressive. I told her I wasn’t happy and being fulfilled after trying my butt off the the past 18 months….. only to see her stonewall, or withhold, or muniplulate and all the other examples mentioned. Thas was on Aug 28, she took my kids and left on 9/4 and has now turned into a person I am completely shocked by,,,, pure hatred and evil….I haven’t seen or talked to my kids in 33 days. She has filed false D.V. allegations and is on a complete character destroying campain…… The crazy thing is, I truly love her even now, I feel sorry for her… she must be so tore up internally and no matter how much i want to be mad and almost hate her i can. I once again try to change to accomodate my failures in our relationship….right, she has never admitted wrong much less taken responsibility or tried to change something…. Okay, you all get the point I just wish i would have seen it earlier and maybe could have helped us differently…..Now it’s the kids i worry about.

      • Dear John, I hope things have improved at least to the point of being able to see your kids since you wrote this. To be perfectly honest, don’t beat yourself up about the relationship. Many times, with a passive aggressive, especially a female, absolutely nothing you could have done would make a difference.

        As far as the children, if you have the ability, you may want to get them into counseling, or you go with them for family counseling. They need to know that they are ok, even if the behavior of others makes them feel like they aren’t. Once she feels she has control of the kids, she may not handle their emotional needs or be very nurturing, which children desperately need.

        I hope for everyone’s sake your ex has calmed down and for the kids sake, she is able to be at least civil to you. They also need their father. If she won’t let you see them, or rarely, go to court and get visitation rights. Good luck.

  8. It is strangely comforting to know there are others out there going through the exact same thing. It is wearing me down, I can’t sleep and I spend more time crying than laughing. I’m not myself anymore. He will be head-over-heels in love one day, showing affection, telling me he loves and needs me. The next day he is cold, withdrawn and ignores me. I beg for affection and he gets angry and leaves. After time, it just wears you down. I’m sorry for everyone else that experiences this too. You’re not alone. I haven’t learned how to cope in order to maintain my emotional stability….but if I do, I will share. Good-luck to all of you, you have value and are not worthless, no matter how much your partner makes you feel that way.

  9. I never really attributed my depression to my husband. I thought it was me. I was the big mean angry person. And it made me feel bad I was such an “angry” person

    • Hi Kay,
      Isn’t it amazing, especially when we love them, how we are always so quick and willing to take the blame? It’s like a little kid getting beat by their parents. They keep telling themselves if they were just
      better kids, their parents would love them and stop beating them.

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