I got rather long winded in Rekindling the Flame With A Passive Aggressive Pt. 1 yesterday, but here is part 2 as promised.
Upfront I would like to apologize to Dr. Harville Hendrix for being rather disrespectful yesterday when I referred to him as “this guy Hendrix”. I’ve since done a little more research and he’s quite the Ph.D and a best-selling author on relationships (which by the way I have updated the Recommended Reading List over the last few days, so you may want to take a look). A couple of his books look very interesting for the kind of relationships we’re in. I confess I haven’t read them yet as I just learned about them, but they look like they have strong possibilities and have received very good reviews.
Now, onto the “rest of the story”. LOL.
One thing Dr. Hendrix says besides that conflict in a relationship is natural is that “Divorce does not solve the problems of a relationship. We may get rid of our partners, but we keep our problems, carting them off to the next relationship.” Personally I’m not sure how much I agree with that statement. I’m facing problems now with my passive aggressive BF that I have never faced before in my life, like no “intimacy” for example. Oh sure I’ve had times in my life where you go to bed angry (a no-no) and nobody touches anybody, but I’ve never experienced it as a way of life. Yes we take our problems with us as far as any problems we personally have, but we don’t take their problems with us which is usually what divorce solves.
Researcher John Gottman, head of the Gottman Institute says he can spot couples with 90% accuracy that are doomed to fail. He says what happens is couples in midlife are exhausted from conflict. I can see where that would be the case. After awhile you get tired of beating your head against a wall. I know I myself just resigned myself to living this way.
He describes these couples as “These couples are alienated and avoidant. They are people you see in a restaurant who are not talking to each other. They raised kids together, but there is not much going on with each other and they realize their marriage is empty,” he says. “These couples stifle things and do not raise issues with their partner. Their marriages are a suppression of negative emotion and a lack of positive emotion. It is a very passive and distant relationship with no laughing, love or interest in each other. This style of suppression can cause intense loneliness that’s almost like dying.”
I think that last line describes it very well. How many of us involved with passive aggressive partners or spouses have felt so terribly isolated and alone? I think from the comments I get here and the research I’ve done, it is definitely a common symptom.
People ask themselves, or other people ask them “If you’re so unhappy, why don’t you leave?” or “Why didn’t you leave?” when it’s someone who has lived miserably for several years. I think we all know the answer to that.
Even though we know it’s futile, we can’t help holding on to the hope that things will change, that the man/woman we fell in love with will return, and we’ll live happily ever after. Another big reason people don’t leave after awhile is because, while it may be a state of unhappiness, it’s known. It’s a “comfort zone”. They just get tired of starting over.
One of the short videos on Dr. Hendrix’s website answers the question “What if my partner won’t work with me?” He says to do the work yourself then, which is what I’ve always said about therapy or counseling. If he/she won’t go to couples counseling than at least get help and support for yourself.
If you’ve decided you’re interested in “Rekindling the flame with your passive aggressive” I wish you all the success in the world. If it works please share with us what worked for you in the “comments” section. We’d all like to know. LOL.
Filed under: avoidant personality disorder, coping, hidden feelings, mental health, passive aggressive, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive spouse, personality disorders, psychology | Tagged: coping with a passive aggressive, hidden feelings, living with a passive aggressive, mental health, passive aggressive boyfriend, passive aggressive communication, passive aggressive relationships, passive aggressive spouse, sanity, spouses, withholding sex |