10 Questions- How I Live With A Passive Aggressive

hair pulling


Ok. As promised here are my answers to the original “10 Questions- How Do You Live With A Passive Aggressive?

Believe it or not, I actually pursued my passive aggressive boyfriend. He was so savvy he didn’t even realize I was hitting on him at first. LOL. I should have got my first clue when it came out that he hadn’t been with a woman (or at least not had a girlfriend) in 5 yrs.

1) How long did it take for you to realize his/her idea of sharing a marriage was different than yours? that he/she was on another wavelength? What was your “aha” moment? I probably knew in the first year or so. I’m one who likes to discuss the future, etc. and I realized we just weren’t headed in the same direction emotionally.

What or how did you feel about that? I was pissed. LOL. I immediately started to detach so I wouldn’t be so emotionally involved.

2) Why do you think this man/woman is in your life? Do you think it was “an act of God” or something in him/her triggered something in you? I do think things happen for a reason. I knew him for about a year before we started dating as he frequented my establishment.

Can you link a trait in you or in him/her that attracted you strongly enough to marry him/her? I think I was attracted to his sense of humor, and I also think there was a physical chemistry there, altho he sort of looks like Garfield. I still enjoy looking at him.

3) How did you deal with the mismatch between your ideal marriage and what you got? was there a learning process? Like I said, I was pissed. I didn’t understand how someone could be so loving and complimentary, etc. one minute but not be able to commit to anything the next.  The learning process was a lot of research concerning passive aggressive behavior,  and to quit looking through “rose-colored glasses.”

4) What would you say is the worst aspect of  being involved with a passive aggressive partner/spouse is? (anger, loneliness, ?) When do you feel it the most? My passive aggressive boyfriend is very inhibited. Raised very strict. Since he is so inhibited, I find myself holding back. Many things I think should be open between a man and a woman in a relationship are not. I probably feel it most when I want to reach out and play with him sexually, which should be great for both of us, but I don’t. In the past I wouldn’t have thought twice.

5) Of all the strategies you’ve tried to change their passive aggressive behavior or your situation, which was the most useful? What was the silliest? I would say the most useful strategy I’ve used is approaching a subject through the “back door” so to speak. We will be talking about something where he feels safe and the conversation is going well. If I get an opportunity to bring up an issue as if it’s flowing free from the conversation we’re having, sometimes we will be able to continue talking instead of him clamming up. The silliest strategy I’ve ever used is threatening him. Instead of trying to change something so I won’t “quit saying I love you” etc., he just accepts it and life goes on as it always has.

I’m going to stop this here for today. It already is getting pretty long and if I finish, we’ll be here all day. LOL. I will put Part 2 up tomorrow morning. I already have it done, so there won’t be any delay, but it makes it double the length, so for now, I know you all have more important things to do. LOL.

Feel free to comment below. I love your input. If you haven’t answered the “10 Questions- How Do You Live With A Passive Aggressive?” yourself feel free to do it now. It’s never too late. LOL


8 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing, Ladybeams. Love your crazymaker image.

    Oh, yeah, one of the most infuriating qualities of a PA is their ability to appear as if “it’s all good.”

    Looking forward to part 2.

    • Colette- Thought that image was pretty good myself. Looks just like me. LOL.

      The words “clueless” and “oblivious” come to mind.

      Thanks for your response.

  2. My Question Is why WOULD you live with a PA? Why?

    • Genta- LOL. Trust me, it’s not by choice Honey. LOL. The problem is usually when you first fall for someone, you don’t realize they are passive aggressive. When you do realize it, it’s usually too late, you’re already too involved just to pick up and leave. It’s not like they wear a big old sign on their forehead “Warning: I am a PA and I will eat your self esteem for breakfast”. LOL. For some it takes a long time to get out, to give up hope that someday things will work.

      Thank you for your input. You haven’t ever had that problem, aye?

  3. Wow, I pursued my PA husband too! We were friends first and he seemed like the warmest, sweetest man!

    • Christy- LOL. Kinda makes you feel like “be careful what you wish for” aye? That’s what I mean. Sometimes it’s so hard to spot a PA because they are so different in the beginning. We don’t realize what we’ve gotten ourselves into until it’s too late. Sometimes I feel like “Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby”. (I don’t know if you’re old enough to be familiar with the story. You can “google” it).

      Take care. Thanks for your input. Nothing like trapping ourselves, aye? LOL

  4. 1) How long did it take for you to realize his/her idea of sharing a marriage was different than yours? that he/she was on another wavelength? What was your “aha” moment?
    I knew before we were married that it would be hard, but I didn’t really understand that he was only concerned about himself. My “aha” moment came 9 years into the marriage when I witnessed him set up his boss to be publicly humiliated. He did it in such a calculated way but was able to pretend that it was simply an oversight. I really understood that he was a snake in the grass and that much of what he pretended was accidental was actually planned.
    What or how did you feel about that?
    I lost my sympathy for him and realized that he needed the relationship to be adversarial. I finally understood that partnership/relationship was not his goal.
    2) Why do you think this man/woman is in your life? Do you think it was “an act of God” or something in him/her triggered something in you?
    I was raised to be a co-dependent caretaker. Men with low self esteem and poor ability to communicate and maintain relationships are drawn to me. I fall for the drama that they need me to help them realize their potential. That has been true, but at great cost to me and my dreams. I never witnessed a healthy marriage and was able to pass off emotional abuse as normal.
    Can you link a trait in you or in him/her that attracted you strongly enough to marry him/her?
    I married my first PA trying to win my father’s approval. He had a way of making me feel guilty – like his life wouldn’t be good if I didn’t stay. I also was trying to get validation as a woman. He was considered a good catch and I needed to land a good husband and of course everyone thought he was great. I did not want to marry the second one, but was pregnant and already a single mom, barely getting by. I felt like I would either have to get married or have an abortion. I knew we weren’t really right for each other. It seemed like the best choice I could make at the time. I actually started spending time with him because I wasn’t ready for a serious relationship, and he never tried to interfere with my personal business. Neither one of us really expected the relationship to be long term.
    3) How did you deal with the mismatch between your ideal marriage and what you got? was there a learning process?
    The issues were my anger and depression. It was always me who had the problem, so I had good reason to learn about depression, personalities, drama and repeated cycles. I tackled my baggage and began to change as a person. I grew and he didn’t want to grow with me. Terrified of change he dug in his heels as I drifted farther away. I discovered feminism and began to assert myself and let him know that if he would not be my partner in an equitable and fulfilling relationship, he would end up alone.
    4) What would you say is the worst aspect of being involved with a passive aggressive partner/spouse is? (anger, loneliness, ?) When do you feel it the most?

    The most painful thing is the damage to the kids. He allied himself with them and refused to be a parent. I got stuck with the discipline while he taught them that I was a B*#ch who has to be placated. I wanted them to know how a healthy marriage functions. They didn’t learn integrity or to take responsibility for their lives.
    Aside from the kids the deceptions and lack of trust has been the worst. Lies, hiding, pretending he doesn’t know that the relationship has problems or the roof is leaking when he is standing in a puddle. The most painful deception is our sex life. He has never wanted to be a good lover to me, and has unlimited excuses for it. The thought that he, as my husband, should be considerate and attentive to MY needs doesn’t really exist.
    5) Of all the strategies you’ve tried to change their passive aggressive behavior or your situation, which was the most useful? What was the silliest?
    There are two things that work. I must point out the PA behavior as it is happening and label his defenses as denial, clouding the issue, changing the subject etc. Then I remind him of the topic of the conversation and insist that we deal only with that subject. I have printed out other women’s stories and comments and highlighted the parts that really resonate with our situation. This has affected him very deeply, as he is now an admitted PA trying to get at the roots of his behavior.
    The second thing was that I had to tell him that I would leave and then really do it. He needed to experience that loneliness and also know what it is like to be responsible for everything in the house. He learned some hard lessons during those periods that he couldn’t have internalized, had I been there.
    The silliest was writing REJECT on a picture of myself and then writing comments in a girlie magazine that he had been hiding (unnecessarily) from me.
    6) If you’re planning on staying with this passive aggressive partner/spouse, how do you see your own personal development in the future?
    The only thing that works is to state what I want for my life and go for it. If it is something that requires his participation, I let him know what the consequence will be if he chooses to ignore it. Then I follow through – even if it means moving out
    I am finishing my degree and planning a life in which I will no longer have to be dependent on this man. This is something that has to be done for my sanity, regardless of staying in the marriage or not. To sit and wallow in the unhappiness of the marriage is just giving my power away. No excuses – I am responsible for my own happiness. If I choose to trade intimacy and trust for financial security and health insurance, it would be cowardly to blame my husband.
    7) Do you think you have some special powers to deal with him/her, some special understanding? What “powers” or understanding would that be?

    “Special powers” doesn’t seem realistic as I am very practical. I am a straight shooter who has had to learn not to stuff my feelings or cover for his behavior. The resentment and bitterness built up for a long time, and I still have a hard time being gentle with my observations. The hardest thing is to refrain from being mean and getting him back for the hurt. The thing that gets me through is faith that no matter how this turns out, I will be OK. Be true to myself and all else will fall into place.
    And what about your needs? how do you feed your needs for love and connection, for recognition and for continuous personal growth?
    This is inner work. The most important thing to remind myself is that happiness does not come from the outside. We can simply choose to be satisfied with where we are in our lives. Setting goals for the future and working to make them manifest is time well spent, as long as you can accept that your life is what you have made it to be. Everything comes to us by invitation so putting expectations on a person who has a history of failing me is an invitation for disappointment.
    I have friends and colleagues who provide the emotional support and connection that he cannot. I have been unable to reconcile myself to a façade of a marriage, and will leave permanently in the event that we are unable to make real progress on this issue.
    9) What is his/her weakest aspect, the one that endears him/her to you (and possibly makes you stay to help him/her, or makes you feel guilty about leaving).
    He has had to face many of his fears over these 20+ years. Sometimes he has the ability to man up and tackle them himself even though he is really scared. He hates change but has experienced enough of it that stagnation is also undesirable. I am probably the biggest challenge he has undertaken and his ability to recognize the richness that I bring to his life is endearing. He hates that I force him to be responsible and own his stuff, but he is also grateful for the growth and understanding he has gained.
    10) What about the future? How do you see old age for the two of you? What about you if he/she continues to frustrate some of your present needs now? How are you going to replace what he/she is not providing for the shared life of you two?

    That is unknown at this point. He has done some counseling, and we did a little marriage counseling. This is a transition period, where I am getting my financial viability together and he is working on the PA/codependency thing. His personality has been so repressed that no one really knows who he is or what type of person he will become.

    I have set a limited number of important issues that must be resolved if I am to stay. Some progress has been made, but there is a lot of backsliding. Looking too far into the future just depresses me, so I break it down into smaller chunks. Less than a year to graduation and then it will be time to seriously evaluate how much progress has been made and how much more can be expected. I can compromise on some things if my most intimate needs are being met – otherwise what is the point of being married? I could be happy alone and I think I could find a loving partner, if it comes to that.

    • Linda- Thank you so much for sharing with us and answering the “10 Questions“.

      I find your answers very uplifting and encouraging. While you said it has taken you 20+ yrs. to be where you are, maybe some here can learn faster through your basically setting the course with what you have accomplished. I think for many of the women caught up in a PA relationship that feel they cannot get out, is due to the lack of financial stability. Many could go back to school as you are doing, or even get out and get a part time job just to get back into the workforce a little and start to regain a little of their independence. For the ones that basically are truly trapped due to health issues, etc. I think you are very encouraging concerning learning self-love. For so many of us, if we didn’t place everyone else’s opinions of us above our own, we wouldn’t stand for a lot of what we do when it comes to how we are treated.

      And finally, I think it’s great that you realize that just because the relationship you are in has taken it’s toll, that there is still life out there, and the possibility of a better one does exist, if that’s what comes.

      Thank you again. Feel free to comment anytime. We all need to support each other and lift each other up. Something some of us may not get anywhere else.

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