Holidays- A Passive Aggressive’s Paradise

fireworksI feel like I owe each of you an apology. I should have warned everyone ahead of time that holidays are a passive aggressive’s paradise. I hope each of you survived the 4th, or for my friends in Canada, the 1st of July. I don’t know about Canada, but for most of us here in the states, the 4th turned into a 3 day weekend, which when you’re involved with a passive aggressive can be way too much time off.

While many of you might not think about the 4th of July as a holiday like you do Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is still a time for the passive aggressive to take center stage in “forgetting”, procrastinating, and anything else that has to do with sabotaging any holiday plans you may have.  Usually I try to put up a pre-holiday reminder to expect this and things to do to keep our cool when it happens. This year, maybe because the passive aggressive BF had Fri. off instead of Monday, I missed it.  Sorry.

For me, as usual when I want something to go exactly as planned, I did all the BBQing and did the salads, etc. The only thing I asked of my passive aggressive was to go pick up charcoal because it’s in twin bags and heavy. Told him exactly where to go and let him know how much it was going to cost. Friday went by, Saturday went by, finally Sunday I asked him again to please go pick it up as I needed it to BBQ that night, and Monday he would be back to work and not feel like picking it up. What I forgot to mention was lighter fluid as to me the two go hand in hand, thankfully we had enough to get through the weekend.

How did you all do? If you celebrate the holiday (US or Canada) have you learned how true the old adage is “if you want things done right, do them yourself”? Or are you one of the lucky ones whose passive aggressive actually helps fulfill holiday plans? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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12 Responses

  1. Ladybeams,
    You do know that how you let him affect you will be your downfall, right? You definitely have it right about how they put off, put off, procrastinate etc..I can see that, but have you ever told him how it makes you feel when he does the “putting things off”. Is your BF the kind that doesn’t think anything is wrong with him? Does he refuse to get help? If he is that kind, and he makes no effort to change his behavior, then unless you can let go of how “what he does” affect you, you will be in for a long frustrating life.
    You probably remember, I am the woman that has a husband that IS getting help. My job is to confront him calmly and matter-of-factly about HOW he makes me feel when he does something that is ultimately one of the famous PA games. In a way it is working, but I am also seeing him struggle with trying to work around his old ways and get to me in a different way than he has been so used to doing. In the past those things that were easy for him (because they pushed my buttons) are now being revised by him in other ways.
    Living with a PA is one of the most difficult things in the world. Living with a negativistic, narsassistic, PA is even worse, I know. Living with one that thinks nothing is wrong with him has got to be a living hell.
    I am lucky that mine has admitted he feels the relationship is worth him getting help to make it better. I am still in a PA relationship however and it can be entertaining to watch him squirm with trying everything he can to transfer all blame to me (I don’t let him), and am keeping track of what works and what doesn’t in this neverending struggle of his to grow up. And, this is going to be published someday. I’m no psychologist or doctor…just one woman’s view. I think PA’s have to admit to it first, seek help second, and third walk the walk with the work to help himself.
    The fourth of July for us was just another day. I learned a long time ago that planning anything with a PA is fruitless most of the time. When I am left with all the work to do. I just say “no way” and go and do something more fun elsewhere. Why would I want to stress myself out doing it all. The moment the friends would arrive, he would completely immerse himself in what he wanted to talk about and I would be left with all the work….no attention to what needs to be done to entertain..etc. you get the gist. We haven’t had holidays with all the decorations etc..for a very long time..I celebrate in my heart however, alone.
    It is a struggle…I know. All those years I showed all my emotion about things to him..but it didn’t sink in…but when I am dealing with him matter-of -factly with no emotion (even though deep inside there’s plenty) I think it is changing things a bit. Try it. Don’t stress over it and walk away when you need to. Lots of care to you ladybeams..hang in there…we’re all in this together.
    jmarie

  2. NINE DIDNT GO TO THE NEIGHBORS FOR THE 4TH CELEBRATION WITH THE KIDS AND I, CUZ HE HAD TO GET THE STUFF OUT OF THE OTHER HOUSE WE R MOVING OUT OF.
    ATLEAST THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT ALL DAY AND NIGHT. WHEN I GOT HOME HE WAS LAYING AROUND AND I ASKED HIM IF HE GOT EVERYTHING OUT YET AS IT HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE FOR HIM OF COURSE CUZ HE KNOWS IT MAKES ME UPSET MY STUFF IS STILL THERE,..
    HE SAID TO ME, “NO” AND I ASKED HIM WHY..HE SAID “CUZ U HAD THE KEY”. I WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO MAD~ I SAID U MEAN TO TELL ME I WAS RIGHT NEXT DOOR AND U COULDNT HAVE CAME OVER TO GET THE KEY? OK SO THEN I DROPPED IT.
    THEN THE NEXT DAY HE CALLS FROM WORK AND HE SAYS HE DOESNT HAVE MONEY TO GET HOME FROM WORK FOR GAS SO HE WAS GOIN TO ASK SOMEONE FOR HELP..AND YA HE NEVER CALLED FROM THEN ON I DIDNT SEE HIM UNTIL TONIGHT AND I ASKED HIM WHY HE DIDNT CALL HE SAID HE COULDNT AND WELL, OK U ALL HE WORKS AT A HOSPITAL AND THERE R 100S OF PHONES SO YET ANOTHER LIE. SO ANYWAYS..LAUGHABLE ISNT IT? IF I DIDNT FEEL LIKE IM DYING HERE WITH HIM AND FEEL SO STUCK IT WOULD BE FUNNY. THX FOR BEING THERE N LETTING ME KNOW IM NOT ALONE ,,,,,GINA

    • Gina- No not really laughable. He’s gone all night and day and didn’t even call? After his last call I would be frantic wondering if something happened to him. What was he doing all night? At least that would be my first question. You don’t think he’s messing around do you?

      As for the key episode, yeah, that’s so typical PA. He probably resents even having to move your stuff, just doesn’t say it, so he’s “punishing” you.

      Good luck and you are definitely not alone, although the passive aggressive does his best to isolate us. Feel free to drop back by anytime you need a place to vent a little.

  3. Last year the Fourth of July was the best I could have possibly spent with my narcisstic, PA. and there was every indication that it was the best one he had ever known as well. We watched fireworks together shot off over our lake, from our pontoon boat along with about 80 other boats enjoying the festivities. There is something even more dramatic about fireworks over water. The sound echoing and the colors reflected in the water make it especially impressive and I believe it was an especially memorable evening for him too. The drama of it seemed to provide him an inner excitement which ended in a seemingly spontanteous need for a passionate romp in private. Spontanaiety is something I had only seen once before with this man…the day we were singing along with a favorite song on the car radio and he jumped out at a stop sign to dance in the street. That is the fun side of him. I live for those days. Fast forward to this year. Granted a work obligation prevented us spending much of the day or evening together but we might have been able to catch part of the fireworks if he’d have made the effort. He didn’t and my gut feeling is he was afraid that enjoying that particular evening again would have presented additional proof that he could indeed enjoy a holiday…he might indeed be able to “connect” with a woman…he might bond with someone over something pleasurable….he might be able to love but OH GOD, WAIT! That would mean that he was vulnerable and that would just not be allowed. So, in the end, neither of us extracted much of anything from the day. I spent all of it watching other people enjoying it. I could have been included in other people’s plans but the only thing I wanted was a repeat of last year…with this man that I spend entirely too much time trying to understand.

    • Hi Marilyn- Good luck finding that again. You know what they say. Knowledge is power and you have surely been studying enough. I think that once we move up on the scale from casual to a relationship it’s like a double edge sword. It’s a good thing that we’re growing closer, loving more, etc. The downside is we grow closer, more loving, etc.

      Thanks for your input, as always, happy to hear from you.

  4. Ah my dear friends, as one who is married to a passive aggressive for over 36 years, let me tell you it doesn’t change for the better it just escalates til you don’t know if you have any real thought in your own head.
    Everything is about the PA. Is he going to like…..? Is he going to want/don’t want to do…….? Will he enjoy this…..? Not enjoy….? Will he help this time??? LOL on that one, has he ever Helped???Just think of how much time you spend trying to understand this person, who wants no part of being understood. They have NO EMPATHY and therefore cannot GET what you are feeling. That is foreign to them. So if you have a “good moment” with them. Just enjoy it. Don’t analyze it, don’t try to recreate it, just tuck it away in your heart as a fond memory to be enjoyed when YOU want to.

    • Joan- Thank you. You are so right on. A good, practical suggestion. You must have the patience of a saint being married to a passive aggressive for 36 yrs. You are so racking up points in heaven. LOL.

      Thanks for the great advice.

  5. So, we gathered at the home of one of my friends, just a new friend. I have not a lot of information about the condition of her marriage….we are all outside at the porch, ready to begin grilling hotdogs for the children, when I can hear her asking her husband: “you do have a new gas bottle ready for the barbecue, do you? it was your only task!!!!”
    Luckily, the store was nearby, we lost only 15′ and the kids had their food as if nothing happened.
    But I was there, witnessing the breakdown of her trust on his ability to share tasks at home. It was sad!
    Didn’t had the courage to ask her how often this behavior was there at her home. Perhaps in the future, I will…not at the 4th party.

    • Noreen- Isn’t this just so typical? To people who don’t realize the behavior, it would seem like such a small thing, a one-time mistake. To those of us who are all to aware of the passive aggressive tendencies to sabotage, it’s “one more thing”. You’re right. I don’t think I would have brought it up right then either. That’s all you need is to get a new friend and ruin her party. LOL.

      Thanks for sharing your story. We’ve got a million of them don’t we? LOL

    • Noreen,
      Being on the other side watching someone struggle with what she is going through must have been very difficult for you to watch.
      May I ask… would you be willing to share your gut reactions at the moment of your witnessing this typical PA behaviour with his wife?
      Have a wonderful day and stay happy.
      jmarie

  6. Every year on the third Saturday of July we have our big cook-out and invite everyone we know.
    He will do somethings, but will ‘punish’ me when I least expect it, for example–withholding any physical affection of any kind–or disappearing during the cookout for hours at a time and when he reappears not offering or explaining himself and getting belligerent when I confront him. This year has been the worst because I gave him a deadline and we’re in marriage counseling so we’re at war because while he doesn’t want a divorce he thinks there’s nothing wrong with his behavior (including neglect, withholding all affection, and treating me like I’m invisible) and he has my family AND the therapist completely snowed.
    Because I have health issues I am financially dependent on him. Because my family thinks I shouldn’t rock the boat because he’s successfully painted himself as a long-suffering victim and I’m a nagging bitch, I have no support from my family.
    I’m squirreling away money and have started a self-esteem folder. I have friends who can help me out temporarily and when I’m ready I’m out of there.

    • Peachycat- Oh my gosh, Good for you! I am so happy to hear you are taking action for yourself inspite of your circumstances. God Bless you!

      Snowing your family, friends, therapists, is what passive aggressives do best. You know, I tell people on here all the time to seek therapy, but many like you haven’t found this site before they started, so they don’t understand you have to interview therapists just like any other employee. Many are totally unaware of passive aggressive personalities because it’s not in their “book”. That is one of the reasons therapy seldom works with a passive aggressive, because they can completely snow the therapist. I am so glad to hear you are so well aware of what is happening.

      It is also great that you have started a self-esteem file. As it grows, it will become your best friend in times of self doubt, of his “crazy making”. Ohhh, if you were close enough I would just hug you. “She gets it!”

      I wish you the best of luck and don’t you pull that money (nest egg) for anything, not an emergency, not anything. It’s like that doesn’t exist except for building on. If things come up, and he has no other choice, he’ll deal with it. Don’t you. Once you start giving in, they start wondering where it came from etc. and you may never get another chance.

      Please feel free to come back and let us know how you are doing. Definitely an inspiration to others who are in similar situations and feel there is no way out. Thank you, thank you for your comment.

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