The Passive Aggressive Covertly Rebels

He doesn’t tell me that he resents the hell out of me because I work from home, but he is a passive aggressive that is covertly rebelling. LOL.

I don’t know how many of you have had teenagers, but when they rebel, it’s pretty open and you deal with it. When a passive aggressive rebels it’s very covertly, and you either miss it or you figure out how to deal with it as it comes. My passive aggressive, I just let him know I’m on to him.

We have a deal, so to speak. First off, he’s the one that let me know when he first moved in with me, taking out the trash was a “man” thing. Ok. I was raised like that. Except the last several years has been a “it’s trash nite” “I know. I’ll get in the morning” sleep through the morning, I take out the trash. Then it’s “it’s trash nite” “I know. I’ll take it out in the morning” “Yeah, but you don’t get up in the morning so maybe you should put it out tonite”. Sigh, sulk, do it. Or…not do it and the famous passive aggressive “Oh I forgot. I’m such an idiot” (head hanging low thing).

Since the passive aggressive BF has been working, there has been basically an unspoken rule that when he’s off on the weekends he cooks and does the dishes, and I work. This last weekend I guess he decided he didn’t like that arrangement. I did all the grocery shopping and said about it would be great if he cooked blah, blah, blah. All he had to do was cook and it’s in a crockpot, so it’s not that tough. Evidently he didn’t appreciate cooking Saturday nite because the dishes stayed in the sink from Saturday, Sunday until I did them Monday morning. I had put all the food away, emptied the dish drain, etc. All he had to do was the little bit of dishes and cook Sunday nite, which he usually does. Evidently that was too much.

I would rather he just bitched at me so I could respond instead of this stupid, passive aggressive stuff. I treat him as if he works his butt off all week and he takes first priority over everything. The truth is he barely works part time and he has plenty of time off, so you would think the weekend wouldn’t kill him!

God forbid we should interrupt football for chores. By the way, my rear view mirror is hanging from the windshield absolutely useless, (he usually fixes it) because the passive aggressive covertly rebels.


8 Responses

  1. Oh, the truth that is spoken here! This is one area – the covert rebelling- that is pervasive across situations; married, not married, divorced, co-parents, co-workers, co-conspirators… it never goes away no matter what relationship you have with your PA; that is the ‘acceptance’ part we are encouraged to get to ; but just b/c we learn to ‘accept’ that they are PA doesn’t mean we have to continue to engage in it’s ripple affect. I’ve learned and practiced how to decrease its’ power…

    I am constantly doing that visualizing thing that I tend to mention in other posts (frog in water, crashing/burning plane) and when we start talking covert rebellion I am always flashing that image of a child in a grocery store who stages a ‘sit in’ in the middle of the aisle as a form of rebellion.

    You know, the kid who is pe-od that you won’t let him have the giant box of Tasty Sugar Coated in Sugar Snap cereal so he plops himself down in the middle of the aisle and magically, exponentially triples his own mass. If you try to pick him up he’s suddenly gone from weighing 25 lbs to 150 lbs? Yeah, that kid. A PA in training. He may or may not be wailing while he’s doing it – but he’s doing it. Solid, stagnant and stubborn. Determined to stay there until the ice cream melts, the pot roast rots and the next shift of stock boys clock in – and out. And boy, if you engage in battle with him, he’s going to win, win, win b/c he successfully stalls you and saps some (or all) of your energy or you give in just to get it done.

    That, my friends, is how a PA operates. Stonewalling, stagnating, going utterly motionless – even to the degree of self destruction – and until you learn to see it and recognize it, you’re a victim of it.

    Once you can see that the behavior is no different than that stubborn kid, you can start to choose your response… and that is where your real progress starts. Learning to not engage, not ‘feed’ or reward the silent tantrum is a challenge, but oh boy is it ‘doable’ and freeing and rewarding. It takes time and practice… and ongoing vigilance to break old habits and establish new, better ones for yourself.

    And we all have been there with old habits… we’ve tried everything, haven’t we? Tried ‘helping’, we’ve tried ignoring but staying, we’ve tried yelling and screaming, we’ve tried being passive aggressive back to them… and none of it has a whole lot of affect. The only thing that does actually eventually work is to simply, literally, walk away, walk around, go past, move on. Neutral and non-reactive.

    Ladybeams, I say you hit up the thrift store and stock up on extra garbage bins; when the one that he’s supposed to take out gets full, just start filling another one next to it! Simply stating with no emotion ‘It is your job to take the garbage out. It’s your choice when you take it out. I am hoping you get around to taking it out soon. Having it in here is in the way and it has an odor. Having it taken out would get rid of that problem.’

    Cuz we all know that when we finally leave the kid sitting in the aisle and turn the corner to keep shopping that kid will either eventually have to get active… “I am not buying you that cereal. I am going to continue shopping so that I get the shopping done on time. It is your choice to sit here. Sitting here makes it tough for others to get to the cereal. I will be around the corner in the next aisle. If you choose to stay sitting here you will be sitting here all alone. I hope you choose to come find me.”

    And what happens???? ….

    • I know exactly what is “supposed to happen”. Problem is- I’ve tried all that and then some and he still sits in the aisle and bemoans his not getting what he wants. Poor BABY. I not only am going into the next aisle, but I will be leaving the store all together. Thanks Peggy for a most enlightened view of it all. I am there just watching the child fuss and letting him. When I leave the store, he can simply buy his own “tasty sugar coated in sugar snap cereal” …..

      • jmarie- Love it! You go girl! Peggy’s analogies are great aren’t they?

        • Ladybeams,
          I cannot think of a better analogy than what Peggy gave us about the crashed plane. I will hold it and I know I will use it quite often I am sure. It only takes reaching out for support you need and In time – even from perfect strangers- we can know we are not alone.

          • jmarie- You’re so right, we’re not alone. I’ll tell you, I don’t know what I would do without all of you out there. Sharing stories and lives has been a sanity keeper for me. The support and encouragement are priceless.

    • Peggy- It is so great to read your comments. Thank you. Very insightful and I’m sure inspiring to more than just me. I’ll be totally honest. I won’t be leaving anytime soon, but it has been on my mind more recently. So in the meantime I will spew here and know that people identify with what they are going through.

      I love your idea about getting more trash bins. LOL. I did do that for the recycling and I couldn’t believe what lengths he went to to screw that up. When it comes to playing the game, I can be really good. LOL. Just sometimes I have a tendency to forget to treat it like the game it is. That’s ok. It’s comments like yours that helps me get my mojo back. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. And we all know that what actually happens is that some naive newcomer finds him in the aisle, feels sorry for him, and opens a wallet to pay for the cereal… at least it’s not our wallets and we’re no longer naive, right???? FREEDOM Is the greatest gift of breaking free from a PA. While some new recruit is setting up ‘rescue PA shop’ we are home eating ice cream and sipping wine… HEE HEE!

    • Peggy- Why, yes I am. LOL.

      You’re right. There is always someone that will come along and hug up your stubborn kid and tell you what an abusive parent you are. Little do they know…

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