Me, Tony Robbins, And The Passive Aggressive

You read it right. LOL. This post is about me, Tony Robbins, and the Passive aggressive. No, I wasn’t lucky enough to meet Tony in person like on his show “Breakthrough” or anything like that. I had bought a couple of his tape programs awhile back and was revisiting them. Of course Tony is great in the fact that he believes we need to live with passion, with “juice” as he calls it. One of the sets of tapes I was listening to goes through every aspect of your life, including relationships. Uh-oh.

Being involved with a passive passive aggressive, like many of you in long term relationships with same, there hasn’t been any “passion” here in a long time. Passion kind of flies out the window on the wings of lack of intimacy and affection, or bolts out the door with the lack of responsibility.

I’ve been with my passive aggressive boyfriend for 11 yrs. now. We have had sex once in the last year, probably 2 or 3 times in the last several years. Why? Because I got tired of always being the aggressor and quit.  For him, being passive aggressive, withholding sex is a regular part of their passive aggressive behavior, so it’s no big deal to him. I started this blog saying that I have learned to just “go with the flow” and for where I am and what I’m doing in my life, this hasn’t really bothered me. He doesn’t place a lot of demands on me (although he really does, he just does it covertly), and so it works out well for both of us.

Listening to Tony Robbins about living with passion has made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I’ve been doing the exercises for relationships just like I’ve been doing the exercises on Goal Setting or any other part of my life that I’m trying to improve.  This one gets a little tough.

Many of you ask me when you know it’s time to leave the relationship. I’ll tell you I am finding that out first hand the hard way. My first instinct when some of you write what you’re going through, especially if you have children, is to tell you to run as far and as fast as possible for the best exit. Yet I had 3 kids when the passive aggressive boyfriend and I got together, although I didn’t realize what I was dealing with until a few years into it. I worry all the time that my son who was the youngest at the time, is passive aggressive. I hope not. But through these exercises I’m learning how tough, but yet how necessary some of these changes may be.

Tony Robbins says some relationships go through 4 killing stages.

  1. The first is “resistance” where your passive aggressive does something that raises the hair on the back of your neck. You wish they wouldn’t do it, but you don’t say anything.
  2. The second is “resentment” where your passive aggressive tells the same old story, or does the same thing you hate over and over, your skin crawls, but you still don’t say anything.
  3. The third is “rejection” where you take all this “stuff” that has been building up, your passive aggressive does something, and you kind of “over react” or find little things to nit-pick about. Tony says by this time we have “stacked” so much stuff and we get really angry. If  you don’t split at this point, then you reach
  4. The fourth thing that will kill a relationship which is repression. This is where I am. I’ve done all three above. This is where, yeah you love him, he’s an okay guy, a great “roommate” but there is no passion, not for the relationship, not for life. There is no fulfillment.

Tony Robbins says you have to get honest about what your goals, values, etc. are and what your mates goals, values are, and if they just are not aligned, you need to do something about it. If your needs aren’t getting met in any area of your life, whether that’s intimacy or responsibilities, or what ever it may be, chances are you are not meeting your mates needs either (of course we all know it’s almost impossible to fill the needs for a passive aggressive). He does say that you just can’t flit from one relationship to another because you can never run away from you, but if you’re in a relationship that is killing your spirit, even though it’s scary, even though it takes courage to step out on your own, if you ever want to have a life that is personally fulfilling and live a life with passion, you need be honest with yourself and with your partner. The life you’re living isn’t fair to either of you. I know I don’t fulfill my passive aggressive’s needs, and I know I do it out of a type of revenge. Really, that’s no way to live life.

I’m working on that. Usually I don’t have such a hard time bringing up things up to him like this, but maybe I’m afraid once I do this time, I might just decide it’s time to let go. Or do I stay because it’s “convenient”?

Why are you still there? or when did you decide it was time to leave? Love to hear how you made the decision. Me, Tony Robbins, and the Passive aggressive. Will we make it through this one?




10 Responses

  1. WOW, what a great post Ladybeams!
    Exactly how I feel. I’ve been through all the stages too. In the third stage-as you mentioned- I got very angry. I’ve now lost that anger and at times I find it sneaking back in only because I understand ‘him’ so much better. It is as if my eyes are wide open now. I am ultra aware now of what he is doing and not doing and how he clings to his addiction of me and how he is not doing this because he wants to or because it is the right thing to do for himself, but because he “needs” me too much.

    Because of the fact he is getting counseling, I have given him time to try to work with it; which of course he is “forgetting” to do, still making “excuses”, “scewing” the information to fit his own needs and make himself look good, and still “lies” to me about many things.
    I have told him that what he is doing is not enough for me and that although I care about him I no longer love him and not really sure I ever did love him because of our background and how quickly we married. But I believed I loved him. I am at a point that it is all coming to an end. As an adult I am not rushing. I’m being as respectful and caring as I can be with him.

    Falling into love, or what I did when I met him- falling into the “idea” of love and the fairy tale of “happily ever after” was wrong. Reality and Real Life had to smack me right in the face before I knew our relationship was not a good one. That took many years. I had to look at a very important thing…where the heck were all MY problems coming from- to not be able to stick this out, accept him as he was and do my own thing anyway–or to just leave him. Why was I so blind, scared, or not able to do what had to be done when I realized how bad this relationship had gotten.

    I realized after all the soul searching and my background, I found my biggest problem lay with the 15 year old little girl in me- that after many years of struggling to understand my father- she began this fantasy that she was to do what was right for “him” no matter what. I/she lived with that for over 40 years and went through 2 other husbands in the process of that time. The only time I couldn’t accept the fairy tale belief was when I was physically abused and my daughter threatened by one husband or when another was unfaithful. I wondered why now I could allow this emotional abuse not be as important as the other forms of abuse I had experienced.

    I realized that the 15 yr old me had re-accepted the fantasy again and was controlling my thinking. She became very strong. I had to deal with that. She held so tightly to the false belief of what she was told as a girl by her father:
    “That she wouldn’t amount to anything if she didn’t do as she was told, he (her father) would look bad because of her actions, and she would be a bad person for doing it and no one would like her”.

    This became most important driving force for her. She wanted to be the “good little girl” for her father and others. When in actuality she was already good, yet She was being stifled in her expressions and feelings about it all. She wasn’t allowed to express herself the way she needed to.

    The adult ME does not feel that way (about stifling expression) and has helped the 15 yr old ME to see this and I have told her I would take care of what was good for us now in an adult way. And she can remain the good person I know she is. I would always let her speak her mind and I will listen, but the “adult ME” will handle whatever comes our way. She can just be her sweet self now and not fear what other people think because I think she is wonderful just the way she is and I understand where she came from in her thinking.

    Sounds a bit silly to some, I am sure, but it has made me stronger to know where it came from, how it happened and why I allowed it to continue.

    I have 3 little girls in me (10yrs, 13 yrs, & 15 yrs old). They all have their own issues that I had to talk to them about and I have allowed them to feel the hurt from their past and -as the adult- have assured them that I will now be there for them always and I will protect them from any further hurt. I have given them time to realize that what they went through was what children go through who have a disfunctional family member they have to deal with. They are not bad, they were just doing what they had to do in the moment to feel comfortable or secure, since they were unable to control their environment due to the adults controlling that for them.

    They all tried to protect themselves the only way they knew how at the time. They latched on to the only beliefs they could at the time…what they were told.

    But now that I am the adult, I can take on the adult responsibility and protect them from further hurt by speaking up for them and not letting them worry so much about what others think or say. I am doing all this for them because I am the adult.

    They also had to understand that what the adults said to them were their beliefs. Because the adults- who had so much influence over them – were expressing their beliefs from their past. They learned that the adults were dealing with their own little people inside them who were directing them also. They forgave the adults for it. Now they can let go of the false beliefs and move on.

    So why do I stay ? For convenience and time to nurture and forgive my own spirit which got confused in all this chaos of living with a PA. My 15yr old became very strong and still wants to control at times. She is the most insecure fearful little girl, but I am here now. She needs a lot of love.

    Yes, the innerbonding is working. That’s how I stay here until I am ready. Every part of me is ready. Every little girl in me who has been confused and hurt and insecure is ready. They can let me protect and nurture them now. And I will.

    They just need some time to adjust to me dealing with it all. They have to see that they can feel secure and trust me again and not to worry. All the problems, all the emotions, all the fear and insecurity- I will deal with- with them and for them.

    And we will find our Passions again that every one is talking about. My 10 yr old already has ideas…good for her! (she was my little adventurous one), but she too has to be given guidance as well.

    No, I have not lost my mind. I do not have multiple personalities….I have to laugh because it DOES sound that way, oh well whatever….Have a great day to all !!

    • jmarie- Thanks so much for your comment. Glad you liked the post.

      I think it’s great the way you are delving back into your past to realize the things that were said and done to you that need correcting and/or understanding now that you are an adult. So many things go into shaping us in adulthood. If we can just go back and look at things now, and take them for what they truly were instead of how we see them through a child’s eyes, it goes along way toward understanding ourselves. It also helps toward forgiving those who hurt us, many times through ignorance rather than intention.

      I’m sorry your hubby spends so much time in his PA state, even with a counselor. I was keeping my fingers crossed maybe he was one that the therapy would actually work. It sounds more like now he’s going through the motions just to appease you instead of really trying to integrate changing into your lives. At least you know in your heart you gave it a shot. Nothing to feel guilty over there.

      How’s the sale of your book coming? I’ll have to look and see if I put it on the recommended reading list after I posted about it that time. Take care of yourself, and glad to see you’re still here. I always appreciate hearing from you.

      • Hi ladybeams,
        Yes, I thought (or should I say dreamed) that he wanted to work on himself for the betterment of the relationship….but he doesn’t. He does everything in his power to keep me “hanging” on, and staying. And all that is doing is making me resentful because he is not “trying” on his part. Oh, of course he says he is, but he isn’t. I can not see anything that has changed concerning his communication.
        Yes, I did give it a try and I can always be glad I did. There will never be any “what ifs” later on. It is a good closure to it all for me….an acceptance, so to speak.
        My book …..”My Life My Understanding: Truth, Choice, and Courage”, has developed into a FAR NEWER MEANING for me as the author. I have yet to get my first royalty check from it. When I do, I will then know how it is going. Should be by next month.
        The book was written when i was just learning about the struggles and what I faced. It was written with and during the confusion I faced. After the period of time since publishing, I may just have to write Volume 2 since the confusion is now gone and Understanding more. The Courage is now what I am dealing with and a lot of things have developed since that time. LOL. Thanks for asking about it.
        Have smiles in your day,

        • jmarie- Well, I’m sorry it didn’t work out the way you had hoped. I should say “we had hoped” cuz I was right there with you. LOL. It sounded so promising in the beginning, but then I guess it always does, aye? But you’re right. At least now you gave every chance, you saw the outcome. That’s it. No guilt about not giving it that one last try. You did it. Now the rest of your story is up to you. I mean it always was, but …

          Good luck My Dear on your book. I hope it’s a best seller. I think once you’re through it all you should write a sequel. Something about the rest of the learning and coming out on the other side. I always look forward to your points of view on things, so I hope once you are through it, you don’t forget us. LOL. Take care of yourself, all of you.

          • Thanks Ladybeams for being here. Getting through it (the breakup) will be another journey for me, another challenge, and another learning experience. Fear of it? You darn right…at times. But I can’t let fear or trepidation stop me in what I have to do. I know what I have to do.
            One of my friends (who lives too darn far away for daily contact) said four little words to me. She said “You did it before”. That’s all she said, but those four words she spoke and the tone in her voice were as if she was giving me a long pep talk. It was that of true belief in me and made me feel so very supported. I hold her and her openess close to my heart.
            Your blog has been like another friend who understands and supports and listens. Thanks.

            Some friends or aquaintances will not want to be involved with your problems (and that is their right). Some will steer clear, or become very superficial in their dealings with you and some will judge and tell you their opinion. That’s fine. It’s their opinion, but it comes from their beliefs..not yours. If they don’t want to understand the problem, how can they judge it?

            A few question to all the readers…

            1. When you began your journey of understanding about Passive Aggressiveness in your partner and your own involvement with it; even your own contribution to the problem, why you felt the way you do (all the hurts, confusion, anger,and crazy-making)…, and you tried to explain it to your friends or family…How were you acknowledged by them?……..

            2. If you had relationships with friends together with your PA partner, how were you acknowledged from those friends when you tried to talk to them about your problem?…….

            Did they believe you?

            Did they see the PA in the way your expressed to them? Was their vision different from yours?
            Were you ignored or told you it would all be fine or that you were crazy?

            Did they want to support you– ie: Offer to talk – anytime, a place to stay, go out to a movie or lunch with you, etc…?

            Did they want to listen to you and try to understand by asking questions?

            Did they invalidate you and tell you to “get over it?”

            I could ask many more questions, but it would be interesting to hear some of your answers. I know that what other people feel about you is theirs to deal with, and if they don’t tell you how they feel about it all, you are just guessing at what they feel—

            There is a time of insecurity in all this PA relationship struggle that we all face that would be best addressed with examples; due to all the advice out there that says to “build your own support network”.

            Just another way to learn from others…….

          • jmarie- Once again, thanks for some great input. With your permission I would like to make your questions a “post” making you the “guest blogger”. I’m afraid not enough people will see it here to answer your questions. I too am interested in the different answers.

            I know for myself, the only ones I really say anything to about the BF being a passive aggressive, is my children. Because all they ever see is basically how calm and mellow he is, and I’m the strong, bitchy one, they basically blow me off. LOL. I can’t really say as I blame them because they never see all that I see. As far as they are concerned he’s very good to me, and for starting out resenting the heck out of him, they have all grown to really care about him to an extent. I did try to tell his youngest son once, trying to help him understand why he feels so disconnected from his father, but he was half drunk and wouldn’t even pretend to listen. Instead took it as a competition on who knew his father better. Really a shame since his mother was a total alcoholic and then having a passive aggressive father, this kid is really messed up, but he won’t listen and learn. He never will get it I’m afraid.

            As far as mutual friends, I never talk to them about the BF being passive aggressive. He is truly a “guys guy” and every body loves him. Half would just look at me like they do a whiny, bitchy wife, the other half would say “I told you so”. Not that they ever said he was passive aggressive, just that he wasn’t for me.

            I don’t know if you read it, but you said about examples on how to build your support network. I did a really good post on building a “self-esteem file” that gives great examples on what to do. You may want to read it during those times you feel a little insecure. I know they say to look back at the things you have accomplished in the past for strength for the future, as your friend said, but we do have a tendency because we don’t have the same youth on our side when we thought we were invincible, we don’t always seem to have the courage we once did. After years of being emotionally knocked around, we forget how strong we can really be. We realize as we get older we are mortal.

            Let me know what you think about the ‘self esteem file’ and then please, let me know if it’s ok if I post your questions. Love hearing from you jmarie. As a little bribe, we’ll repost about your book too. LOL Love ya.

  2. I left my husband emotionally a long time before I left him physically. I had come to resent him. It wasn’t him so much. He never claimed to be anyone different. He never had any real ambition. When I discovered that I had ambition within me and a desire to better my life and the lives of my children, the distance between us grew. He was supportive of me, but I wished he was the one with the need to succeed not me. I grew angry but I used that anger to keep me motivated to finish my education. I think my last two children have suffered because we have not been a family. But the bottom line is I am so relieved to be out of the relationship, because I don’t feel angry and tense every day. I still have anger because I feel that he let me down. I feel like he let our youngest son down by being so passive. I worry about my son because of the way he is choosing to live his life, but he is a sweet loving person and I have to let him make his own decisions. He too suffers from an acute lack of ambition I’m sure aggravated by the use of marijuana. I am planning for retirement, building a house that is mortgage free, and being in an area of the state that has a lot of recreational, social, and cultural opportunities. I am learning to live on my own. Yes I do talk to myself at times, but enjoy weekly outings with friends. I have 4 children who are doing well and I look forward to living closer to them. I do feel sad that a relationship will not be in my future, but then I see a lot of people just putting up with each other. I think I would rather live the life I am living now than go back to the frustration of the life I was living. Best wishes to you for a happy and fulfilling future.

  3. Hello…
    3 Years ago, I decided to leave my boyfriend of 6 years. Honestly, we are both passive agressive, so, can you imagine how it can work out? Things just gets swept under the carpet all the time, and we hardly ever argue about anything. There’s kindness, love, but no passion, romance just never sparks.

    Looking back, I’m certainly glad that we finally both are willing to leave the relationship. Although I’m still working through my own passive agressiveness, and I’m fairly new to Tony Robbins, I believe that love is worth much more than that…
    So all the best to ya… ❤

    • Jennifer- Welcome and thank you for sharing. It’s great that you realized that you were passive aggressive also and decided to do something about it. Tony Robbins is terrific and I’m sure you will find a lot through him that can help you, along with a good therapist.

      May I ask you, you say about the love and kindness but no passion, did you two ever have sex? I know this is pretty personal, and I know you don’t have to answer, but I can’t help but be curious. For us who are married or involved with someone who is passive aggressive, one of the ways they get to us is by holding back sex. If there are two passive aggressives together, do they both hold back? Is that what you mean by “no passion”? I hope you don’t mind me asking. I guess you could say I believe in that old adage “the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask”. Please forgive me if I offend you. I don’t mean it to be.

  4. I made the decision to leave 3 years back, but to leave after my houngest goes off to college. I said 6.5 more yrs. Now i am at 4. My kids have had severe illnesses and other significant traumas in their lives and to uproot them and turn their world more upaide down for my benefit, just seems to much for them to handle right now. Me too. But i have a plan. I am emotionally distancing myself, getting more involved in the community, in essence, allowing myself to flourish, so that ehen the time comes, i will be ready to step out and not have to deal eith my own emotional baggage. I am in counseling and learni g ways to resolve conflict within areas that i can control and how to deal with those areas that i cant.

    My guy is a great guy in so many ways. We talk a lot, he makes me laugh and for the most part he lushes me to be my best, but my how quickly the tides turn when he is held accountable. He turns the table on me and somehow I’m the one doing wrong? Ugh, I’m so past this, but i refuse to stay quiet. Perhaps i shouldn’t poke the bear, but i refuse to acquiesce and accept his behavior as ok, esp when his teenage kids are watching and listening.
    So i wait, and plan. And he knows my plan to leave, but he acts like he doesnt care. Truth is, i dont care much anymore. We have been together almost 19 years and have dealt with his infidelities, lies, and emotional abuse way too long. Im tired and ready for a new life.

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