Memories of the Passive Aggressive Relationship

Many times what keeps us sucked into a relationship with a passive aggressive are the memories of how it “used to be”.  We remember how things were in the beginning. We remember the person we fell in love with before they started showing their passive aggressive behavior. We keep hoping we can get that person back, recapturing what we’ve lost.

Memories are something that we have for a lifetime.  There are some instances when all we really want to do is forget about the world and move on with our lives.  If you’re thinking about a divorce, this can be the most difficult time of your life and remembering only the good things can make it even more difficult.

Obviously, it will depend on how long you were married as to how many good and bad memories you have. For some people they may be getting divorced after many long years of marriage. For them, they will have had their share of ups and downs and it is important for them to hold onto the good memories so that they can keep a positive attitude towards life.  At the same time, you need to be able to remember the things that have happened that are causing you to think about divorce as a solution in the first place. It is remembering all the passive aggressive behavior, the sabotaging, and making you crazy, that will  help maintain your strength to do what you feel you must.

When you are going through a divorce, it will seem like everything will bring up a familiar memory to you. You will want to make sure that you are going to be able to deal with those times and all the feelings that come along with it.  You may have to find a way to cope with them and get past the things that remind you of the ‘good old days’.

There are many times when you are going to have these feelings of old memories come rushing back. You will have the comfort of these memories as long as you are able to control the way that they make you feel. You want to be able to keep these memories in the back of your mind but you also want to be able to get past the bad feelings that some of these memories can leave for you.

If you are looking to try and forget the memories of your life that you had before your divorce, it may be an uphill battle. It can be pretty tough to wipe a shared lifetime out of your mind and heart. You do not want to forget the good times that you have endured especially if those memories included children. At the same time, you want to be able to look back on those times with happiness and not be disappointed or upset by them.

You should remember that you will have many new memories to make for yourself and your family. You want to take comfort in the fact that you still have a life to live and you want to make the most of the life that you have now. You want to go on and continue to enjoy the good things in life as much as you can. In time, you will find it easier to let go of the past and get started with the new beginning that you are about to go through.

The hardest thing that you can do is shut out the memories that you have created with someone that you loved even if now you are no longer in love with that person.  You will want to grow with these memories and find ways to accept the fact that the past is gone. You now have to live for the future and what it holds in store for you.  A divorce is not the end of the world should you decide to go that way. You will just have to find ways to move past the hurt and get to the good stuff that lies ahead.

How do you handle the memories associated with your passive aggressive boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse? Have you aligned yourself with the fact that the “way it was” may not ever be again “the way it is”?

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34 Responses

  1. I have NEVER had a need to understand anything more than I have had to understand my relationship with a PA man. I should add that since I have this need I have also become aware that not only is he passive aggressive, but I have come to realize he is also narcissistic, sociopathic and committmentphobic. I have this need to understand because I have never had a relationship with anyone who even comes near to being as dysfunctional as he is so I had no experience in recognizing the behaviors let alone know what I needed to do or even if there was anything I could do. The most natural thing for all of us here to do, seemingly, is double down on our efforts to make our realtionships work. The worst thing about being involved with them is discovering that no matter what we do we aren’t going to fix them. I have just recently discovered that in fact the more I try the worse he gets. He sees me now as a threat…a trap…I’m expecting something from him that he won’t ever be able to provide….long term…Sure he was everything I dreamed of in the beginning but that was so he could have what he needed for as long as I would provide it without expecting anything permanent. When it comes round to his part, he will find every reason in the book to be GONE! I am in the stages of accepting that I was wrong about believing that love conquers all and that standing by your man isn’t worth much with him. I need to find a way to recover and survive without expecting anything from him or live without him.

    • Marilyn- Welcome back! Thanks for your input. You say that your PA is not only PA, but a ton of other stuff rolled into one. Maybe that is why the passive aggressive disorder is having such a hard time getting recognized on it’s own. So many of the symptoms, causes, etc. fit so many other categories, that it’s become like the “character actor” next to “the lead”. It’s an interesting concept.

      I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do regarding your relationship, although I do have to tell you for your own mental health and to get on with what your life could be, I would hope you would find your way to look at other avenues. Really, if you are feeling like this now, so unloved and unappreciated, where will you be in 5 yrs if you stay with him?

      Love to you and I appreciate your keeping in touch. Trust me, you’re not the only one who has trouble letting go.

      • I know myself well enough to know that if I really wanted to let go I would. What I want is to FIX….to keep the best part of this man I care about and FIX the rest. I’m a “fixer”. I am drawn by what I read in his eyes which is “please see what I really could be….please don’t give up on me…please help me…please believe in me..”. He has developed coping skills to make up for a lack of positive developmental needs in his childhood. In many ways his parents abandoned him…abandoned his needs and he has a deep fear that if he loves and needs ANYONE it will happen again. This is not meant to provide him an excuse. He needs to change. He needs to make the effort tio change. He knows it and slowly…very slowly…he does. So I stay and watch. It is a fascinating drama.

        • marilyn- God knows I wish you all the luck in the world. LOL. Feel free to share how it’s going. You have more patience and hope than most.

    • The thing is, with a PA you work SO HARD. But your frame of reference is off because you’re thinking like a normal person.

      If he ignores a request, you make an effort to better articulate what you want or need. After all, you think, normal people don’t just ignore something like when you leave a voice mail asking about getting together. Over time with mine i’d find myself saying things like “It is very important to me that you stop ignoring me.” or “When i call to discuss a problem, here is what i need you to say.”

      Worst is when you repeatedly offer a stronger and stronger guarentee of love and security. You forgive lies, you make excuses, you make a huge effort to express your feelings, you tell him what you love about him. You think so so so hard about what he might need in order to feel secure enough to stop messing around with your head and be a normal partner.

      • Wow. AMEN! You described it PERFECTLY. PERFECTLY. I am a proud member of the FPAF (Failed Passive Aggressive Fixer) club; just coined that myself. I can proudly say that I earned my degree and graduated from it and will never, ever, ever be caught up like that again.

        I spent fourteen years in EXACTLY these behaviors under EXACTLY the same circumstances. I couldn’t identify it because I came from a PA Free background therefore it got REALLY bad before I even recognized it as an issue. It was like not recognizing cancer until Stage 4 b/c there was no education about prevention. I grew up in a stable, loving home with reasonable, drama free parents.

        I’ve done a good amount of research to try and pinpoint how / why I made the choice (notice how I take MY accountability for my end of the relationship) to be with – and stay with- a PA man because I didn’t have clinical dysfunction in my past yet I ended up in a 14 year relationship that was highly dysfunctional. That baffled me (and scared me) for a long time after we split. Learning to trust my instincts again (something I sorely ignored in my relationship!) was an awesome and sometimes brutal personal journey but I’m now bursting with personal peace and it’s grand!

        I read somewhere that passive aggressives attract and get attracted to people who fully commit to relationships. There’s MY answer. I totally committed to the whole thing – even long after I should have stepped out and away.

        Good luck to every one of you on the journey to reset your lives and earn your FPAF degree. 🙂

        • And it’s a catch-22 because the harder you try and the more committment you show, the worse it is for the PA. He doesn’t want attachment or commitment or dependence. You articulate your needs not realizing he does not want to know what you need. You show your commitment not realizing he is scared of it. He plans to punish you for wanting the commitment and articulating the needs.

          In essence you sign your emotional death warrant every time you request love, support, or care from a PA. Every time you ask for something he resents you more and is planning the next punishment.

        • Hi Peggy- So glad to hear from you! I love that FPAF. Terrific. I’m sure so many of us feel like part of that club. One thing about my passive aggressive BF, and I think that’s just because we were older when we got together, is I’ve never figured I could “fix” him. I only think I escaped that because of learning a long time ago you can’t walk into a relationship hoping or figuring that someone will change. You have to take them at who they are now, not who you think they could or should be. The thing that throws us with a PA is in the beginning most of the time, the person they show us isn’t the person they really are.

          Thanks again for your response.

      • dmg- So true, and the harder you work toward making them feel better, the more they figure they have you sucked in and take that as a sign they can treat you even worse. It’s almost like those “hard to get” games we all played in high school, only they never grew out of it.

    • Marilyn wrote: “I have just recently discovered that in fact the more I try the worse he gets.”

      Yes! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen into this trap. Just to hear someone else describe it is…is…liberating.

      Oh man I’m so glad I found this site!

  2. I think that when we love the pa we are really loving them for who they are in essence. When we realize they are pa we think they are playing at affecting a positive bahvior. With my ex, there is an aspect of him that is very positive. It remains until there is something triggers his resistance. For him there are a lot of triggers. He does not want any change. No conflict among the family. No “making trouble where there isn’t any” (which means standing up for oneself). No dilemmas. I know why he got this way, but that does not help me.
    He was fine when we were first married because of the euphoria, but the more he had to deal with real life the more pa he expressed. The euphoria of love was true pa anyway, so he was not out of his ken. He just did not want to deal with the real world, which was out of the realm of his reality.
    So, my good memories are mine alone, with my myriad of feelings. I let his be the fanciful ones even though we share the events.
    It is easy for me to get back to his way of thinking about the past if I don’t keep my guard up.
    It is a shame that forgiveness must come with emergency blinkers on, but that is the reality of it. My emergency signals are on all the time when I think about him. It is a shame to me that it took over 20 years for them to be activated.
    I continue to analyze myself to see how I reinforced his pa behavior. This has freed me up to admit that I was wrong about him, but that I was right in what I expected from marriage. So even though my behavior was dreadful sometimes, it was not entirely unjustified. More than regretting my behavior, I regret the necessity for it and my part in making the dynamic that made it necessary.

    • Elleke- God Bless you. It sounds like even though you gave so many years to this man that you have really taken a fair look at what transpired over the years. While accepting some responsibility is admirable, you can’t let them make you feel guilty either. Like you say, it’s a shame that the behavior of a passive aggressive seems to bring out the worst in us on occasion. Take me for instance. I hate to be a nag, but there are times the PA BF turns me into the biggest nag ever. Every guy’s worst nightmare. LOL. It’s just “cause and effect”.

      Thank you so much for your input here, and especially about the “emergency blinkers”. It would be great if we had a pair of those to warn us before we got too involved with a PA to start with. You take care of yourself and please, feel free to input anytime.

    • “I was wrong about him, but I was right in what I expected from marriage”- that statement is an incredible, wonderful expression and should be printed on a t-shirt, coffee mug and dragged as a banner behind an airplane on game day.

      That whole paragraph is impressive. Accountability, ‘forward movement’, personal growth leading to personal empowerment – it’s all in that paragraph.

      • Isn’t it weird that breaking up with a PA seems, overall to be very empowering?

        I realized today that my self esteem has skyrocketed. I had to go to another office for work, and i made myself dress nicely and wear makeup. I didn’t flirt with anyone, but made a huge point to smile and be friendly. I just smile more now. It saddens me how the neglect and withdrawal from one man had made me question myself and my own worth. I thought there had to be something wrong with me to be getting that kind of treatment from a man who claimed to be so crazy about me.

        Here is what else i’ve been doing to heal. I’ve written him tons of emails. I don’t know or care if he reads them but I’ve made a point to give myself the luxury of being able to say what I want to say and work through my feelings without giving him a chance to answer. I don’t want to hear anything he may have to say because i know now he is a liar and untrustworthy and manipulative and not a good person where women are concerned.

        Even if i am alone for the rest of my life, which at my age may happen, I know now I never have to feel that way again. Even if i’m lonely i never have to feel ignored and neglected. Even if i have nobody to talk to, I never have to be in a position of calling somebody who shows zero care or empathy. I never again have to feel the anxiety, stress, discomfort, and overall sadness and frustration a pa gives you.

        • DMG, Might you share how old you are? I’m 67 and I know that a big part of my hurt is connected to the thought that indeed, yes, I may be alone for the rest of my life. I had never been real concerned about that before but now I’m angry that I’ve invested two years of the life I value to someone who pretended to be someone he’s not. He’s stolen something I valued…my self condidence about my own judgement.

          • 41.

            The thing i realized is in this case i was alone. I did not have a partner who loved and supported me. I did not have a partner who was honest with me who i could trust, he’d in fact lied about the fact he was living with another woman when we met. I did not have somebody who lifted me up or was ever available to me when i needed him. I didn’t have somebody I could trust and feel comfortable around. I did not have somebody I could depend on.

            It’s better to be alone then to have somebody who says he loves you and turns away every time you need something. Then you get the sadness of being ignored and frustrated and miserable at the treatment you’re getting in ADDITION to whatever you needed/wanted from him.

            One thing mine told me still resonates. He told me when he got married, his wife had been scared one of his exes would burst into their wedding and ‘protest’ it and ruin their ceremony. I thought later, how awfully awfully sad for her to be so insecure in his love and so insecure and fearful in her relationship that her wedding was marked by a fear like that rather than a sense of impending security and comfort.

          • dmg- It’s really sad it didn’t happen. Might have saved his current wife a lot of grief. LOL. One thing a man of deception never wants to happen is his current becoming friends with an ex. LOL.

          • marilyn- Read my response to dmg below. Thanks for your input here. I think that’s a very real fear of many of us getting up in age a bit, but I also don’t think it should dictate us. Good grief, you have so much to offer. A normal man with just normal challenges would be proud.

        • dmg- I’m so glad you are feeling so much better about yourself and about life. You sound like someone just released from shackles, enjoying your first breath of fresh air.

          I’ve always been one that advocates writing a letter to someone who has wronged you to get your feelings out, even if you never mail it, so I totally understand how you feel about the emails. Just remember at some point you need to let go completely. You can’t “step into the future if you’ve got a foot stuck in the past”.

          I’m sure with your self esteem climbing, your smiley and friendly personality, you won’t have any problem at all. I read all the time of people clear up in their 80’s finding the “love of their lives”, so I never give age any credence when it comes to finding the right person, or just happiness in general. Now’s your chance to shine, Woman! LOL

          • Well I write the emails rather than call or text because I don’t want a response. To be honest I use an old yahoo mail account he had, and i have no idea if he even checks it so i have no guarentee he reads them and I don’t care. The point of writing them is to get out what I need to say without having to have contact with him. I never want to have contact with him again and this is the first time in 7 years i’ve been able to say that.

            This is awful but I really wish his wife did find out. Then she’d get alimony maybe. I feel like he should have to pay for what he did. Not in an angry, revenge, not-letting-go way, but he’s all about how he deserves to be happy all the while stealing other people’s happiness.

          • dmg- Good for you on the “no contact”. It actually is great therapy to be able to write and get things out. Once you hit the “send” button it’s so much easier to let go.

            Stealing other people’s happiness is one of the things they do best. Once you’re on to them and they can’t get it from you any more, they move on to the next victim. It sounds like you are making it through. Another little bit of encouragement for the rest of us. LOL.

  3. Some very profound thoughts there, Elleke. You obviously have given your relationship a lot of thought.

    • Thanks so much for your affirmation to you and to ladybeams. I have found solace in this blog site. It has comforted me beyond anything I expected.
      I do analyze a lot—believe it or not the last romantic relationship I had was with a PA man AGAIN. Must be in the water I drink.

      • Elleke- LOL. That was pretty good “in the water”. I do think though by now you should start to be able to recognize the signs of passive aggressiveness enough not to get trapped again. You might want to look at why you keep getting attracted to this kind of man. Sometimes we just keep going for the same kind of man until we make a really conscious effort to break the cycle.

        So happy that this site helps give you a little peace. God bless.

        • I think I do recognize the signs now. Actually this last romance and the years it cost me over wondering what went wrong and living with my sister were what spurred my latest analysis. I

          was reading a novel wherein a character was very like the man I had been involved with.The author made a revealing remark about how a man of a certain culture was definitely passive-agressive–it hit me like a bebe between the eyes. That was when I realized what a godsend the breakup had been.

          I had prided myself prior to getting to know him on my insights about people. Had a hard time believing that I was duped AGAIN. I was in my 40s at the time.

          As to why I am attracted to them, I can only attribute it to my upbringing from my pa mother and alcoholic father.

          Mostly these men start by being attracted to me with my responding. My therapist told me that these guys are attracted to strong, independent women who fully commit to relationships. I believe that the charm goes a long way because I usually believe what they say.

          Also this last romance is many years gone by. Had some reasons why there have not been others. I looked back on my adolescence and noticed that only one relationship was not with a pa.

          Now, although I am open to a new relationship, I will have to keep pa behavior at the forefront of my inclinations because I don’t intend to have any more pa relationships.

          • Elleke- Thanks for sharing. If you have roamed around this site much, I’m sure you’ve noticed the posts I’ve done about passive aggressive parents effect on their children. Because you say your mother was PA, could you share with us how you think her passive aggressiveness influences the decisions you make today in your own relationships? If you would rather not, that’s fine, but I think it would be very interesting to get it from someone who’s actually been there. Thank you so much.

      • Elleke wrote: “-believe it or not the last romantic relationship I had was with a PA man AGAIN.”

        Ouch. That’s a “worry” of mine. I have always felt, if (when) I leave my husband, I have no hope or expectation of finding a partner because I don’t trust myself to discern normal from faux-normal.

        But then I read your follow-up post and I’m encouraged by your positive attitude and your willingness to stay open to new relationships. I love the idea of staying true to who we are – people who take others at their word, people who believe good relationships are worth the risk, people who aren’t cynical all the time because someone in our past chose to be hurtful. I WANT to be the person who fully commits to a relationship…WITH someone who fully commits. I want to be that person even if I never have another relationship again in my life. Does that make sense? I want to believe in the possibility of it all.

        That’s what’s so hard about relationships with PA’s; they create an atmosphere wherein it’s impossible to fully commit. We have to constantly disconnect in order to maintain our sanity. And we know first-hand that doesn’t work as far as relationships go.

  4. This is a hard question.

    My analysis of my life this time around has led me to some significant insights with regard to my birth family. Prior to this I was not aware of my mother’s being pa when I was a child.

    Since living with my sister I realize how much they are alike. It has been another major revelation. Much of my behavior when I was younger is now understandable to me. I didn’t know I was being jerked around; I thought I was tilting at windmills. I was angry at my parents most of the time.

    As far as my mother ‘s influencing my decisons since I have been an adult, she has not. (She died in 2004, pa to the end.) I guess you could say that her influence was to make me my own person.

    I always wanted to be free to make my own decisions even when I was a child. My parents were both rigid in their expectations of “girls'” behavior. I wanted a little leeway.

    Some of their expectations were outrageous, like not giggling too loud. Others were based on mother’s arbitrary view of the world, a predatory place. Black and white thinking.

    When I married and left home, I was so glad to be able to make my own decisions based on my own standards (which were very moral). I call remembering her expectations “playing tapes” in my head.

    When I was making decisions I was not playing her tapes. I was relying on myself and it felt good until I realized that my marriage had put me into an impossible situation.

    In essence I think what happened with my mother was that she jerked us around according to what would make her feel “right” or in control while we were at home. I was a horrible teenager with my acting out. She used the children as a buffer against my father.

    And then she was alone with my father after he retired and the pa behavior grew. She had deferred to him all our lives and after they were alone, deferring meant she was the one who would feel the brunt of his decisions all by herself.

    This led to a suicide attempt in 1987. When she awoke she wanted my dad to make the decisions for her once again. She did not want to be responsible for what happened to her. After all he should have gotten the point.

    I was furious with her. She did this when my son was home on furlough from the army with his fiancee and the timing was not lost on her.

    She was a hypochondriac because being sick meant getting the attention she needed. My father, of course, did do extra special things for her. But the other children and I were not fooled.

    This is where she influenced my decisions. I was deeply offended by her trying to get attention from her children in this way. What went on between my dad and her was one thing but I could not go over to her house and tend to her when she had a sore foot, a tooth pulled. Nor could I give her the kind of attention she wanted with a job, kids and household duties. (She did help me by having my children over when I was working sometimes. That gave her access to my sympathy. I was not ungrateful for her help. I just wished that she was upbeat and happy instead of so “needy.”) When I occasionally accommodated her sick needs it was a negative experience because she was a little tyrant with her demands.

    So I DECIDED NOT TO ACCOMMODATE HER.

    This decision not to encourage her infirmities was permanent once I made it. She never understood but I didn’t care. Considering that she would fudge the truth, tell one adult child one story and another adutl child the exact opposite or sneakily put one of us on the spot to get something she wanted, I had had enough.

    Before she passed away, she played the victim very well. She thought family decisions should be made by her needs only. She told us we were discounting her if 6 of us had decided together after a discussion that a certain thing was to be done and she was the only one who did not agree. We were putting her at the bottom of the “totem pole.”

    She would faint and never try to get up because someone would have to come to her aid. (Her medicine lowered her blood pressure. She never took precautions to keep from passing out.) She would demand someone hold on to her when she was out shopping. She refused to use the motorized cart at the grocery store because it put the responsibility on someone else.

    I think you get the picture. My decisions regarding these activities were to force the situation most of the time. When she demanded, I reminded her that if she said please and thank you she would get better response. I made her ride the motorized cart. I told her that she could try to get up from the floor after fainting. I gave her assistance but I insisted that she was not helping herself by her neglect of precautions.

    Needless to say she was not pleased with me at the end of her life. She was 81 years old and she was not going to change. But since her behavior had escalated, I didn’t think it was fair to my disabled ill daughter for her grandmother to hijack my attention away from my priorities. My attention to her was on my own terms. (So sad because she was a very talented and likeable woman.)

    I would say that having pa for mother (and the alcoholic father could have been pa, although I think he was rather a loner who felt overwhelmed by the presence of too many people in the house) has influenced my character more than my decisions. My pa ex-husband, pa sister and pa son have come up against a barrier to their behavior in me.

    I don’t know if this is a good thing. It feels right to me, though. I feel just as obstreperous as I did as a teenager except I hope I have more maturity (and more personal power) to deal with pa (being honest with my sister after writing in this blog and feeling its support have solidified this determination.)

    Not sure if the barrier I put up will change anyone, but it will at least let them know they will be frustrated while playing thier games. If they want to stay away, that is okay. I can save my energy that way as I have other friends who are as healthy as I am.

    The answer for me in relationships to tread warily. Since I realized that my last romance was with a pa, I know that I must not invest too heavily in what is said and more on what is not said. Pay attention to the little clues. See someone’s interactions with those besides yourself. Get to know their family and their exes (Ooh!) if you can and get to know their children. Watch how they handle interpersonal conflict. I BELIEVE THIS VIEWPOINT CAME FROM MY COPING IN THE MARRIAGE rather than from my mother.

    Hope this is revealing.

    • Elleke- Wow, thank you so much! Very enlightening, and oh, so much of which I’m sure many of us wish we could do. You are one of the lucky ones who seems to look at this very matter-of-fact rather than over emotionally. Good for you. That by itself is half the battle. Letting the PAs in your life know you are on to their games and they won’t be tolerated is really what you have to do in order to save your own sanity and self esteem.

      I totally get what you are saying about your mother. LOL. I too am not letting my mother get away with half her shinannigans either. (She lives with us) I don’t know when she decided I was “slave material” but she’s finding out I’m not going for it.

      I really appreciate the time you took to share with us. Please, feel free anytime. Sounds like you have definitely had your share of PA exposure to give some insight as to what has worked for you and what has not.

  5. What a helpful site.

    I just exited a 7 year “relationship” with a PA. It was 7 years of lies, broken promises, being ignored, being neglected, being strung along with promises that things would change.

    I was kept at bay all the time. He was ambiguity personified. Everything was vague–plans, future, intentions towards me.

    I quickly learned the way to not get something was to ask for it. I was blown away reading another comment about a woman who drafted a heartfelt email to her boyfriend or husband and wanted him to reply and he said that he’d gotten it but refused to discuss its contents. Mine did the same thing!

    When we met he told me he was single, but it turned out he was living with another woman. He apologized for lying and said he’d just fallen so hard for me he pursued me anyway. I told him to break up with her and then call me. Over the next three years he’d call or email or text. I’d ask if he was still shacked up and he said yes so I told him to get lost. He’d leave and come back again and again and again. He told me about plans he had to leave her, how he was going to move for his job and not bring her. Never happened. He told me he’d never marry her and then he did.

    I quit speaking to him or seeing him for several years. I told him to buzz off and that i was sick of his mindgames. A year after he married her he called me and begged to see me. I agreed and he told me he’d made a huge mistake, regretted it and that he loved me. He spent hours apologizing and saying he had never regretted anything in his life as much as what he’d done to me. I told him, “Go home. Get divorced. We can work on a relationship but you must work hard for me to regain my trust in you.”

    I never saw him again. Oh, I heard from him. You ladies will all nodd along with this.

    “I want to see you before Memorial Day”
    Memorial Day comes and goes. He calls RIGHT AFTER Memorial Day. I’m angry and resentful that he has not kept a promise. Oh…we never had a definite plan to see each other.

    “What is your day like June 11 or 12″ A specific day he asked about. I told him I was free, off work both days. I called several times asking him what he wanted to do. He didn’t answer the phone when i called, ignored my texts. The days came and went. He was ‘busy” at work, and oh why didn’t i respect and understand how busy he was.

    “Ok work is busy but i’d like to see you the first week in August”. He calls AUGUST 8th! He was busy, didn’t i get it?

    By then I was a mess. He said he loved me but we never spent time together. He wanted a relationship but never worked on it. And the seperation he was supposed to get? Yup. Hadn’t focused on it. I raged, I yelled, I left vitriolic voice mails and sent abusive texts by the truckload. I was out of control furious.

    Now he’s seperated but told me my anger and abuse and disrespect of him had made a relationship impossible. See, it was all my fault for getting angry and resentful. I drove him away, i abused him. No mention of the lies and abuse and neglect that i’d suffered. It was allllll about my reaction to the abuse.

    Oh, and the poor unloved wife he just left? He lived with her for 8 years before marrying her. Strung her along. Slept on the couch. Refused to set a wedding date. She finally demanded one and he agreed……but refused to formally propose. Finally proposed and then went on a honeymoon, to a place he’d never wanted to visit but oh, it was HER IDEA and where she wanted to go.

    No more. Never again.

    • dmg- Man, what a jerk! (No offense). You were doing so good as long as you kept telling him to get lost. LOL. Isn’t that just the way! Aren’t you glad you weren’t married to him, or lose more time than you have already? If it makes you feel any better, just imagine if you were the woman he did end up marrying? For at least the 7 yrs. you were part of his life, he spent that time basically cheating on her. Even if you didn’t spend a lot of time together, emotionally or otherwise that is what he’s been doing. Now that you aren’t an option any more, he’ll probably just pick up with someone else, or maybe he already has and that’s why a relationship with you now “is impossible”.

      You are lucky to have him out of your life and smart to keep it that way. Anytime any of us goes through a passive aggressive relationship, or any kind of bad relationship, the biggest thing we can do for ourselves is learn from it so we recognize the signs early next time.

      Thank you so much for sharing. Feel free to comment anytime. Just as you said about reading about the email from another woman to her pa here, someone may read your story and identify also.

      • The worst thing i realize now is how calculated and deliberate things were. I think at first you assume the ambiguity and vague plans and promises are just either him being forgetful or not *really* caring about seeing you. Now i realize he knew all along what he was doing to me.

        I also realized the more “wise” i got to his ways, the more he’d lay down challenges.

        One time he called and asked if i wanted to have dinner on a specific date. I said ok and asked for a specific time that he wanted to meet. He said “7:15”.

        Phone rings at 7:15 and he’s in another state. I asked him WTF he was doing miles away from where we were supposed to meet, and he says “Oh, I said i’d call you at 7:15, not that we were definitely meeting at 7:15.” I was enraged (this was about 2 years into it) and he said “Well i could not make it at 7:15 my meeting ran late.” I asked why not just call and cancel if a meeting ran late, and he said “Well i didn’t want to cancel. I want to see you.” I said “Ok, so you knew you said we were meeting at 7:15, you just chose to not show up and not call.”

        Multiply that scenario times about 50 or so times. You just start questioning your own sanity until you realize how totally crazy and abnormal the person is who actually sets out to create a scenario like that.

        • dmg- In another state?! LOL. Oh my gosh. Didn’t he know he was in another state before 7:15, whether his meeting ran late of not? Oh you poor girl. I don’t know how you took it as long as you did.

          • That is the thing. He got out of a meeting at 6:00. He could have called then and said “I’m sorry but the meeting ran late and I have to cancel.” Why not do that? Well that is how every other normal person on the planet handles that kind of thing right?

            But he was so petrified of conflict, so petrified of being yelled at, he’d figure out a way to turn it around and make it my fault. If he said “I never said we were meeting at 7:15” then he could make me think I was crazy or wrong and I wouldn’t get mad at him.

            I took it because I thought I loved him, and because it was so far out of the realm of normal, I had no frame of reference as to what to do. It’s like with normal people, if they don’t want to see you, they just don’t! They don’t call and ask for a date and then ruin it just to show they dislike you.

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