Sibling Rivalry and Passive Aggression

Sometimes doesn’t show up for years. Sometimes a lot of years. Sometimes it blindsides you and you never see it coming. That’s where we are today.

My passive aggressive boyfriend grew up in a home with a brother just a few years younger than him, 2 sisters, then a sister who is 9 years younger, and finally a “menopause” baby boy who is 16 years younger.

They grew up most the time on a farm, or moving around, and the father ruled with an “iron fist”, literally. Nowadays he would definitely be prosecuted for child abuse. Some of the stories I’ve heard are incredible. I just never thought about any of them applying to anyone but my BF.

The BF joined the service right out of high school, as they did back then (he’s kind of old. LOL). That of course leaves the next boy to pick up the slack. The BF gets back from Viet Nam, hangs out for a year and takes off for California. As I’ve explained many times on this blog, there is not really an emotional connection with a passive aggressive. Once he took off for California he never called anyone in the family, not Mom, not siblings, not anyone. So who does Daddy rule next? The next brother.

When his Mom got up there in age, he started going back to see her every year on her birthday and of course it was like a family reunion, and he was like the prodigal son. He did this for several years. I even went with him the first couple of years we were together. Great Mother, great family, and I felt so accepted. The father had passed long before I came along. When the BF was out of work and money was tight, I still made sure he went every year even though we couldn’t afford for both of us to go.

The PABF’s mom passed a couple of years ago. I don’t think he’s been in touch with anyone since. I keep in touch with his youngest sister, email his sister that’s the second oldest, and that’s about it. We had to call his brother last week for a HUGE favor. They were always really close when they were younger. This is when you find out passive aggressive behavior runs in the family.

The BF’s brother said “Sure. Just give me a couple days because I’m on my way out of town in the morning. I’ll take care of it as soon as I get back”. We waited. Come 5 days later, the BF put in a call to him. No answer, no call back. Tuesday the same. It doesn’t take a brick to hit me in the head to start getting a clue, but I was still holding onto a little bit of hope. Today’s Wednesday. No word.

Why not just say “no” to start with? Why not even make up a lie as to why not, and then say no? Because this is how a passive aggressive gets even. This is so typical passive aggressive behavior. They say sure, or yes, and then blow you off. Sound familiar? Screw up people’s lives by doing that? Hell ya.

I learned a new lesson about passive aggressiveness this week. I learned that the odds are if the one in your life is passive aggressive, it probably runs in their family. It makes sense. If it’s a passive aggressive parent that caused your loved one’s behavior, then the siblings also have been influenced by that same parent. Many times it’s the passive aggressive parent they take after or admire, because children are very smart. They see how that type of behavior works for the parent using it. If a parent was so rigid in their discipline as to cause your loved one to be passive aggressive, there’s no reason to believe that the siblings would be any different. Drawing from my own childhood, my sister and I were treated completely different and we were two girls. I never gave a thought that the next boy in line would probably receive the same treatment that caused my BF’s passive aggressiveness.

I’ve learned another meaning to “dysfunctional family”.


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