How Deceitful Can A Passive Aggressive Be?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this game, the answer is “I don’t know Ladybeams, how deceitful can a passive aggressive be?” My answer is…”Pretty damn deceitful”.

For those of you who haven’t been with me since the beginning, I’ve always said that even tho my passive aggressive BF was a passive aggressive, the one thing he had going for him was I could trust him. He was honest and did have integrity. I wasn’t worried about him cheating, etc like a lot of the stories I get here.

Boy was I wrong! We have been together, engaged since shortly after we got together, for 11 yrs. going on 12. I just found out a few nights ago that he is still married to what I thought was his ex-wife. Merry Christmas to me! LOL

Here all this time I thought we were having times like Thanksgiving etc. with his kids and ex-wife. It turns out he was having those times with his wife and his girlfriend! How do you keep a secret like that for so friggin’ long? I’m just incredulous!

The person that accidentally spilled the beans says “Oh they don’t feel like they’re married, blah, blah” like that’s supposed to make me feel better. Ha, ha. Of course I had to ask him about it. He did nothing, said nothing, but hung his head like the usual passive aggressive who gets caught at something stupid. Do to timing, etc. I let him know that it wasn’t over. Then today I mentioned that fact that he thought so little of me, not only could he not come up with something to say for himself, but he thought so little of me he didn’t even bother to apologize.

Head hung low, he says he thought of nothing else for the last 24 hours about how terrible of a person he was. I let him know he was right. I did not do the usual “you are not a bad person”. I said yes, you are.

We have basically only been roommates for a long time as it is, so I’m not really sure what I’m going to end up doing about this, other than make him squirm, but I will deal with it after I truly get done processing it, which I haven’t got there yet.


58 Responses

  1. Oh Ladybeams..I am SO sorry you learned this about your PA. That is possibly the cruelist thing I have heard yet.
    I have to say the one who spilled the beans to you hit the nail right on the head. The PA’s have no remorse for what they do, who they hurt, or even care about the consequenses of their actions.That is just not in them. They are out for only what they can get for themselves. They are children. Very selfish children!
    I am sure he felt very smug to himself that he had 2 relationships that he had “conquered” with his covert tactics…saying to himself ” WoW I have a wife and a girlfriend..aren’t I just the best!” And when he was finally caught he probably thought…”oops”, and was hurridly thinking to himself how he would manipulate this to make himself look good or an excuse to make you feel sorry for him. There is no excuse!!!!!! Plain and simple.
    It has nothing to do with how someone else feels to them. It has nothing to do with consideration of another human being. It has everything to do with winning for themselves. I am just devastated that there are so many people with this personality out there that think that mutilating another person’s heart and soul is just a game to them for the sake of staying safe from something that happened in their past that they cannot work through and get over once and for all. But then, that takes a lot of soul searching, professional help, and a desire to actually do it. If they don’t want to… Life for them stays forever in their past hurts—-unless THEY change it for themselves. But honestly, I don’t think they can. It has become a lifestyle for them. If they did the work to change themselves, that would mean they would be vulnerable when they NEED so desparately to stay safe. I have great sorrow for them all. But that doesn’t mean I am not appalled by their actions.
    What you have just shared is just the most outrageous thing I have heard yet.—- for 12 years!!?!!!?? (I am shaking my head in disbelief)
    You didn’t deserve this, not ever, not now, not Ever!
    I will pray that you can gain knowledge, strength and understanding with all this. I know the anger is there and well it should be….you have been threatened….but take great care to use that anger in a constructive way.

    • jmarie- Thanks so much for your comment and your understanding. It helps to be able to talk about it, which I did with my kids while they were here. I was surprised at how understanding they were, of him. LOL. They just feel like he’s been a really good guy to me, and if we’re just living basically as roommates anyhow, why not just keep him like a roommate? He has been quite helpful with my mother, etc. and put up with more than any normal man would have. Still mulling things over in my mind.

  2. I think deceitful should be their first names. It is so normal for any PA to play these games. Oh, I am so sorry that this happened to you.

  3. I too am coping with the holiday blues. The PA in my life, after endless cycles of broken promises, anger, and apologies finally walked out. Of course, he has never taken responsibility for his actions beyond verbally agreeing (in an apologetic state) that they are a problem. When he is angry, I am blamed for being too critical, too demanding, and too confrontational; when he feels hostile but more “polite,” he describes our perpetual conflict as one of “incompatible personalities.”

    It is difficult to accept or even comprehend how one who has been receiving support and “second” chances (I use quotes, because obviously it happened more than once) for several years can simply abandon a relationship. I always confronted him about the PA behavior, but now that he is gone, I have moments of doubt and guilt. He told me again and again that I drove him to be deeply unhappy and that he needed to leave for the sake of self-preservation.

    He claimed that his broken promises stemmed from the best intentions but a weak will; it took me a long time to realize that he did not have the best of intentions, but he had an extremely strong will. In fact, he did not have intentions at all, per se; he behaved according to his moods and feelings.

    And yes, he had a problematic relationship with the truth, a la distortion, minimization, and omission. He treated others with the same passive-aggression, but because he was closest to me, I was the most aware of it. At the end, however, he was convinced that nobody else could or would have a problem with his behavior except for me; to everyone else, he was “Mr. Nice Guy.”

    I am sorry to hear about the huge breach of trust committed by your PA. Trust seems to be a concept that simply cannot be explained to or perhaps even experienced by a PA. In other words, he fundamentally regards you as his enemy, not his friend. At core, you are a problem to be “managed,” not a person to be cherished.

    • nmpa- Thank you so much for your comment. Welcome!

      Sorry to hear at this time of year, your PA chose to go. It always seems harder at the holidays. We always hope things will be good “this year”, like it’s ever going to be different. While I’m sure it’s painful, try not to second guess yourself (guilt, etc). Give it a little time while you grieve, and then I am sure you will realize what a favor he did you. I’m sure if you confronted him concerning his PA behavior, and you knew when he was playing his games, he probably did leave out of self-preservation, to preserve his Passive aggressive personality.

      The biggest weapon they have is we against ourselves. Don’t let him turn everything around on you. That’s what they do best. If you’ve read enough of the comments here, you’ll see how happy the ones of us are that got out from under the control of the PA and are living much happier and freer lives.

      Good luck to you. Feel free to come and comment any time. We get some great discussions here with support, feedback, ideas. Hope you find it helpful.

  4. Oh Ladybeams, this is unbelievable. I am so sorry to hear this, and am sending you huge hugs. He is clearly a very damaged person. Wish I could do so much more, just as you have supported so many of us through tough times.

    What always makes me so sad, and so angry, is that even when something this huge happens, a PA will still simply sit there and do nothing, waiting for you to make a move. They can’t even begin to think that something this major deserves a serious and immediate response.

    But please just think of yourself, and your own well being right now. Be as good to yourself as you can. We are all sending you strength and support.

    • Jane- Thank you so much! I’m so lucky to have so much support and so many friends here who care and understand. I appreciate it more than you know.

  5. Ladybeams – I have no idea if this information is some sort of proverbial straw to the camel’s back…

    I’m going to be blunt and forthright here and ask the question that popped into my head when I read your post. My question is “What IS a deal breaker for you?” If you are okay with staying with him now that you know this, what would be the ‘final straw’? I ask b/c I’m curious and b/c I’m concerned. I understand all that comes along with our situations; especially the idea of so much time invested and all the intricate nuances that take hard work to unravel and untangle from; how it’s appears ‘easier’ to just ‘accept’ and ‘stay’ …

    I hope you find a place of peace for yourself and truly, fully take care of yourself under these new circumstances.

    I also have another question… What the hell does his WIFE think about this?????? How did she stand for this???? That is just dumbfounding to me (and believe me, that same sort of ‘ignore, accept, deny, be stagnant’ junk is SO PREVALENT in my situation too…
    Humans baffle me, truly.

    • I have to say that many people who see only the passiveness in a PA find it hard to accept that the PA could be anything but the kind of person the PA wants them to see. That in itself is deceiptful. The PA stays safe, loved and cared for that way. They have the ultimate control of other people.
      The people you reach out to for support make it very difficult to feel believed in what we -as those who experience this kind of partner- are trying to say to them, or share because they are blinded by the outward “goodness” they see in the PA. They don’t want to hear anything (as is their right) from us who are actually experiencing the confusion/abuse which is part of the persona of the PA .
      Even the pschologists who have been duped by the PA cannot see it. It makes for a very lonely existance for us. But we all know in our hearts what is right and what is wrong.
      You can scream from the mountain tops about it all and not too many will listen. They don’t live it. I know this first hand. For the most part people want to see the best in people. I know I do and that is why I stayed so long. But their comes a time (and each person is different) when enough is enough and we take back our lives which have been ultimately controlled/changed by the PA.
      Peggy, my “deal breaker” was finally when he did go for help and didn’t practice with me the help he was getting. He made it perfectly clear to me that I wasn’t worth his effort, when I was doing all I could to be better for him. There has to be (in my mind anyway) a recipricol aspect to it all…and there wasn’t. THAT was my deal breaker!
      If by continually allowing him to tell you he is trying, when you see no evidence of it, (“actions speak louder than words”) then you are falling for his ruse again and again and you are no longer protecting yourself or thinking for yourself. Can he truly be trusted in my case NO. Trust in what he said flew out the window a long time ago, but I just kept on believing him and would ultimately pay the price of losing my youth, my independence, my belief in myself, and unfortunately my own true personality.
      We are told to protect ourselves and not let them affect us…get real! It does affect those who want the feeling of being cared about (and everyone does). We are told that we will be alone in our struggle. SO TRUE! We are told to “accept” them for who they are. We do that for a very long time..too long, because we are intrenched in their agenda for themselves and are blinded by it. We let “who we are” become more of “who they are” instead of being independent of them. We are told that forgiving them for their weaknesses will make us feel better about ourselves…and it does, but it doesn’t correct what is wrong in the relationship.The PA has to work at themselves and make it visible to those they profess to love. They make those changes based on WANTING it to change. To the PA it is a one- way street when we want to experience a two -way street.
      When struggling with a life with a PA, It becomes a feeling of losing oneself for the sake of another. It becomes too comfortable for us to just “go along” and accept it. Ultimately if you want to live an authentic life it then becomes a prison for you. Your self-esteem is damaged because you LET it happen to yourself rather than fighting for what you believe is right and good for you.
      They (the PA) will always be who they are. I truly believe there is no changing an ingrained PA. YOU have to decide who YOU are or who YOU want to be. I am sad to report in my instance that he doesn’t want -nor will -change for me. That is the grief I am dealing with: the death of a relationship that “could have been better” if he just wanted to work at it.
      After the confusion set in, I began believing that what other people think was more important than what I think. I wanted to be accepted as a good person. I knew I was, but something was still feeling very wrong. I was giving up my individuality, my sassiness, myself. I was giving up my beliefs at the expense of trying to look good. MY GOD I became just like him.
      I realized that it had to stop NOW! I became someone I didn’t want to be. Someone who wasn’t living according to what I believed….I was living according to what others would think of me… JUST LIKE HIM. Now I believe:
      “If you live your life according to what is only accepted by others and their beliefs, then you won’t be living your life, you will be living theirs.”
      I know I will face difficulties, but now I can grow by my own beliefs and be who I truly am and want to be.
      As for him, I can’t say what he will do. He’s now on his own. He can be as deceiptful as he wants to be. As for me, the world is my canvas and I have yet to paint my masterpiece. My honest opinion is this: and it is only MY opinion…take it or leave it….

      If you don’t have reciprical effort in a relationship, if you don’t have honesty, openess or consideration jointly, if you can’t lay it on the line in what you want, need or desire in life with your partner. If you or your partner do not work to make the other feel good about being together. And if you can’t be yourself in the relationship…RUN, don’t walk, to the nearest door and never look back.

      • jmarie expressed what happens to those living with a PA better than I have ever seen before. Her narrative is a reflection of my experience. I always was sassy and vocal about who I was but as the years wore on I became more and more angry. Ultimately I could not tell the difference between a real issue or the confused resentment of years of beating my head on a brick wall.
        When I finally let go I was in a state of relief for 5 years. I was very joyful! When I divorced him, he was totally bewildered. He did not understand. He blamed everything and everyone else, but not himself. Even now he says I divorced him because he was not there for me. I don’t discuss it because I learned a long time ago that he will deny his behavior or not understand that his behavior had such devastating consequences.
        He fooled the marriage counselor, who told me I was “overreacting,” a word he had directed at me many times.
        Of course, I shouldn’t have been surprised that he fooled others so easily; he fooled me for a lot of years. By the time we got to counseling, it was way too late in our relationship.
        There were times he would apologize for hurting me and ask for forgiveness. Of course I would forgive, but his idea of forgiveness was a “free pass.” He never really made an effort to “change” which is the idea behind accepting forgiveness. He never intended to change; this behavior was just another way to keep control. Another deceit.
        I think jmarie is right that most PAs cannot or will not change. I know that with my ex-husband, his changing would mean that he has to deal with a mountain of hurt from his childhood — he does not realize how free he would be if he did that!
        At any rate, we all pay the price for reinforcing their behavior. My grown son plays the same game with me. My daughter-in-law loves it because it gives her an excuse to make me a scapegoat. I have lots of friends who love my genuine self.
        Ladybeams, whatever you decide, please know that even though the future may be hard, you have done well founding this blog–we are all with you.

        • Elleke,
          Bravo! Well said. Especially about beating your head against a wall. As Ronald Reagan once said..”Break down that wall”…
          And Ladybeams, Know this…. we all know the devastation you must feel now that the information about your PA was discovered by you. Know that we are all behind you 110% NO MATTER WHAT YOU CHOOSE. Thank you for this blog!!!!!!!!!
          Yes, we are all in this together either looking for a way to manage out relationships or to learn from and heal ourselves. We must stand up for what we believe as individuals. Know that we appreciate you for what this blog has given us…a way to vent and most importantly…get back the person we want to be. The person we used to be. I think we can be pretty sure that if our mistakes in all of what we accepted and dealt with are not learned well, we will make the same mistake again. I, for one, have learned my lesson and I think I will be able to spot a PA from a mile away from here on out. LOL

          • jmarie- thank you all for letting me know the blog has been of good service. I know it has done so much for me sharing feelings and ideas, analogies (Peggy) LOL. I love you all and appreciate you being here so much I just can’t express it enough.

        • Elleke- Thank you. I appreciate the support. In my answer to Peggy I explain where I am now, what my thinking is.

          I’m sorry to hear your son has picked up on the father’s sins. I try my best to warn people with children about that happening. It is all too common. Children practice the examples they have been shown, and sometimes they aren’t very good examples. I’m glad to hear you have true friends that appreciate you for who you really are. We all need that kind of a support system.

      • jmarie- Thank you as always for your insight. Hopefully you have helped to open another PA victim’s eyes.

    • Peggy- As far as the straw, this isn’t it. What would be the straw? Cheating.

      These two haven’t been man and wife for many, many years, and neither consider themselves as married. I think, and from what I was told, they are both just too lazy to do the paperwork. Now whether that is true or not I have no idea, but I do know how they have been and how they act around each other.

      We really have been nothing more than roommates for a few years now, so at this point in time I don’t find it necessary to change that. I’ve always said I have stayed with him out of convenience. He has been very helpful when it comes to my mother, etc. I don’t have time in my life right now for anything else anyhow. I have been clearing my way through stuff left undone from the past, one by one, and if I get caught up, then I will consider what and who I truly want in my life.

      Now it appears we will be moving back into my mobile home that I had sold, but the guy defaulted on. On his way out he is totally gutting it. I could use his help with the repairs, expenses, moving, etc… and besides him, I get his son who has been in construction for years. I know this sounds terrible, but I guess I’m just not done with him yet. LOL. After this last thing, there really isn’t much more he can do to hurt me. I’m pretty numb at this point. So, I might as well work things for my advantage, and when it doesn’t work for me anymore, that will be the straw to break the camel’s back.

  6. Even after years of coping with one passive-aggressive or another, I still cannot truly understand how a passive-aggresive personality thinks or feels. It seems that a PA derives satisfaction from “pulling the rug out”–it proves that you need him (to follow through) more than he needs you. Furthermore, you “deserve” this kind of treatment because his resentment toward you proves that you are the guilty party in all interactions.

    Fortunately, you are not financially dependent on your passive-aggressive. If you are–as I am/was–I can honestly say that it is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make. The passive-aggressive will have the ultimate power to “ruin” your life by simply disappearing and leaving you with the bills, and he won’t hesitate to use it–after all, you can’t expect him to give up his own happiness just for *you*, right? All of the promises that he made not to put you in this position, which convinced you to trust him in the first place, will be absolutely meaningless.

    Once you realize that he does *not* have your back and never did, the panic sets in. You have convinced yourself so many times that he is a good, albeit misguided, individual at heart–with his willing help–that you will be totally shocked, though not surprised.

    The moral of the story: There is *no* security with a passive-aggressive. He simply does not feel responsibility toward you. If you trade the happiness of a healthy relationship for the stability of remaining with a passive-aggressive, there is a high chance that you will end up with neither.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to share my thoughts. It helps to know that other people understand. I have my issues, but it isn’t a personal failure that I could not “make” a passive-aggressive individual happy. In fact, his belief that I “made” him unhappy, against his own will, proves that neither I nor anyone else could “make” him happy. Sadly, he still doesn’t understand that it is his evasion of responsibility that causes him to feel perpetually out of control.

    The one scenario that I fear–what if he is right? What if he becomes involved with someone who’s “reasonable” and everything else that he accused me of not being, and then I discover that his passive-aggressiveness *was* my fault? I know that it’s unlikely and even unrealistic, but still…

    • nmpa- You are so right. Being financially dependent is always a problem and many victims stay with a passive aggressive for exactly that reason, although I have to say on this blog, more often than not, the victim is the one paying the bills and the passive aggressive thinks he/she should be “kept”. LOL. A few have passed through here where she used her money to pay bills, etc. and he kept his money to himself.

      Like I have said before, don’t second guess yourself. If he does find someone new, it will probably “appear” on the outside like everything is rosey, but you and I know the truth, that anyone involved with a passive aggressive has a rocky future at best ahead of them. The only people more “reasonable” than we all have been would have to be an absolute doormat, and guess what? The passive aggressive doesn’t like those either. LOL

  7. I just realized that my boyfriend of two years is passive aggressive… We live together, but things seem horrible… At least most of it is explained now… But please tell me… Is there any hope? Is it worth it?

    • Kristal- Welcome and thanks for sharing.

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s rarely worth it and it rarely gets fixed with a passive aggressive. You’re lucky you only have 2 yrs. in. If things are horrible, and he doesn’t want to admit to being part of the problem, then get out now. When he realizes he’s losing you, he may become all sweet and suck you back in, but unfortunately this usually only lasts long enough for him to believe he has you hooked again. As you read through the pages of these comments, you will find several who have tried counseling and giving the PA the benefit of the doubt, only to have the counselors manipulated by the PA, or the PA to continue saying he will work on getting better but never actually doing anything to make things better.

      Life is too short to spend so much of it unhappy. You have a brand new year, maybe it’s time for a brand new life. Please feel free to comment anytime and share what you’re going through. We’re all here to learn from and support each other.

  8. My newest saying about my prior life with my PA;
    “I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt, and in the end he took all the benefits and left me with all the doubt.” I’m pretty proud of myself for coining that one.

    Kristal- take a cue from Forrest Gump: RUN KRISTAL RUN! 🙂

    Yes, it feels a bit ‘fun’ and ‘special’ to be ‘the one’ who he ‘chose’ – it feels all wonderful and special that you are getting to be ‘so close’ to him ; he’s sort of addicting b/c every so often – just at the right (wrong? you can’t really tell can you?) time he will do something ‘of value’ to or for you and you’ll think “Oh! There’s hope!”

    Start imagining him as a nickel slot machine. Start imagining that you are spending a nickel every time you do something for him; keep a tab. Then, when a moment comes that you feel that ‘icky’, ‘wait a minute I don’t feel right moment’, imagine yourself pulling that slot arm down – and there’s no payout (or maybe there’s a 10-20 cent payout), and then start tallying the nickels you put in AGAIN… what’s that balance sheet look like??? I’d be willing to bet that your spare change jar gets lighter instead of heavier…

    Unraveling from a PA is a S U C K Y, horrible process; it’s admitting – and acting upon- the undeniable knowing that he ain’t ever going to ‘pay out’ – and the hard part is to just walk away- knowing you lost a lot of nickels…

    I stayed for well over a decade too long, but since I’ve gotten away and unraveled, I’ve been richer than I’ve ever been.

    That inkling you have about him now WILL NOT CHANGE.

    I wish you strength, luck, and a strong conviction.

    • So tell me Peggy, How DO you unravel from the PA? I seem to think it will take a long long time for me. I don’t want it to, but you can’t rush the healing process can you? Otherwise, you will do something dumb to yourself and have a relapse. Then you have to start all over again.

      Right now I am in what I want to call the “numb” stage. I know who I am, what I want to see happen, and who I want to be, but each day is exhausting just getting one thing done that matters to my progress. I do get it done, but there is so much on my plate, I just cringe at the magnitude of it all. But I try to give myself the kudos I deserve when I do get something done that is forward moving. I guess that’s normal right?

      I have to say to myself all the time, “I’ve put that parachute on to save myself”. I can’t tell you how much your analogy about the plane crash has helped me!!!!

      I must have lost a lot of nickles in all this in the form of my dreams (which will never come to fruition with a PA)… my youth (married late and now in my late 50’s)… my future (what’s that? was always “his” future he thought of)… my security (divorce proceedings indicate his greed now)… and my self esteem (that is the one that is most important to get back…all the rest will fall into place then). And all of this loss due to falling for the PA persona that is destructive to any relationship, if you let it. And I let it… just as sure as the sun shines in the sky.

      As you have quoted Forrest Gump so well…I see it as ” Stupid is as Stupid does”. It hurts to know I allowed it to happen to me. But by the time I understood it well enough to know what was going on…so much was lost….!

      It isn’t going to be easy gaining all the things back from what I lost in this unhealthy relationship, I assure you! but since I lost it, it’s up to me to find it…..problem is right now… how? I am lost.
      Come on Peggy….give me a good talking to would ya!? I need some….something right now. This is a crappy feeling.
      I’ve had people throw it in my face saying “you did it to yourself”…..”you should have known better”…”It’s your own fault”….”what? I can’t see it in him. You must be crazy” ….”you know you are hurting him don’t you?”…”It was your decision to divorce him so get over it”…yadda yadda yadda.

      Hell, I know I got involved with a PA. And for far too long. I know I did dumb things, I know I made many mistakes. I know all these things and it doesn’t feel good, but it is the truth! I’ve accepted it as a huge mistake I made. It’s up to me to repair it now. And that is exactly what I am trying to do….so why do people question someone who is TRYING TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIFE? Makes no sense to me. I just think they need to put it where the sun don’t shine. Any ideas.???

      jmarie (on a down day….the roller coaster of emotions is still working fine it seems)

      • jmarie- I find your post beautifully written and wonderfully ironic. Beautiful because it’s forthright, direct and honest (all things that PA’s can’t be!); ironic b/c you wrote it in a dark hour and all I see are the very clear bright things that you wrote and I bet you don’t see… allow me to illuminate.

        One thing I have done (with moderate success; I still have my days/weeks too) is to start to recognize in myself the ‘ying/yang’ of my experience. I too invested all those coins – you defined SO WELL (dreams, youth, future) – and lost just as wholly as you have. I’m not going to mince words or sugarcoat the sh*t; the reality and deep pain of that is real and deep. HOWEVER- I have also come to recognize how rich I feel when I have an OPPOSITE experience of any size.

        Did you ever watch Survivor??? The first (second?) season the participants did not plan well at all and ended up quite hungry at one point; hungry enough that the producers decided to give them plain white rice. I recall vividly watching them darn near worship that rice, devour it- truly, fully enjoy it… and I also remember feeling oddly envious of them; they seemed to be getting such immense joy from WHITE RICE!!! And they seemed so very much in the moment – they were so grateful.

        In my three years of unraveling I would have to say that the thing that has had the most powerful, positive impact on me is when I’ve been able to notice, note and celebrate my ‘white rice’ moments. Moments that had I never been involved w/ a PA I’d most certainly would have taken for granted and not noticed, celebrated or been grateful for.

        Does that make sense? I am not implying that EVERY mundane moment be exhaulted… and I certainly expect more out of my life than living on white rice (been there, done that!)… but I am encouraging you to start paying attention to the heart, courage, soul, strength and love that DOES pop into your life.

        Allow me to provide an example; below is an exact copy of your post, only I erased the dark, and left the light… I guess you could say I strained the hurt and left the white rice… read it in ‘white rice’ words…

        “So tell me Peggy, How DO you unravel from the PA? I will heal. you have to start all over again.

        Right now I know who I am, what I want to see happen, and who I want to be. each day is getting one thing done that matters to my progress. I do get it done,I give myself the kudos I deserve / I do get something done that is forward moving. normal

        I say “ put that parachute on to save myself”. I can’t tell you how much your analogy about the plane crash has helped me!!!!

        I must have lost a lot of nickles. all the rest will fall into place just as sure as the sun shines in the sky.

        I allowed it to happen to me. It isn’t going to be easy gaining all the things back . it’s up to me to find it.
        give me a good talking to.

        I know I did dumb things, I know I made many mistakes. I know the truth! I’ve accepted it It’s up to me to repair it And that is exactly what Makes sense to me.

        jmarie is still working fine.

        Read it… out loud… and smile. (psst; there’s rice stuck in your teeth).

        • p.s.
          Concrete example-
          During my years w/ my PA there was always undefined (until I did my research) resistance to sit down family meals; I always, always, ALWAYS felt like I was telling him how much it meant for me to share a meal… and somehow it always, always, ALWAYS ended up being a hugely tiresome PROJECT to get it to actually happen. I’m not talking holiday or company-coming-over meals; I’m talking REGULAR DINNER! I was always baffled at how exhausted I’d be when we’d finally sit down for a meal together (and there were only THREE of us!!!!!!); I thought there was something deeply flawed with me – how can a fully physically capable woman wind up so spent from something everyone else on the planet seems to pull off nightly????

          It was seriously so difficult to make happen that I stopped trying, and I was deeply, deeply sad and stressed about it; daily meals together for me was (is) a HUGE priority for me (we all have our things, eh?).

          Shortly after we separated, I ended up making a meal for a larger group of people (neighbors) and in the middle of the preparation I suddenly realized how EASY it was; how simple and easy it was… and how the other adults were HELPING… and the wash of gratitude and the feeling of community I got that night was like having white rice after 20 days of starvation.

          I hadn’t done my research about PA yet – but when I finally learned about it- my ‘dinner dilemma’ suddenly snapped into clear focus- it was fertile, fertile PA sniper ground. I had expressed how deeply important gathering for a family meal was to me; he told me over and over and over how much he agreed… and then during mealtime he’d set two of the three dishes, then suddenly have to be back at his computer, etc etc etc… and it was all so subtle that I didn’t notice, and I in turn was beating myself up for not being able to keep up w/ the Jones dinner-wise!

          To this day-and I truly believe for the rest of my life – whenever I sit down with my child, or my child plus guests- I get this rush of gratitude, comfort and pride that is deeper and richer than it ever would have been had I not had the unfortunate prior experiences. It happened to me just tonight; my kid and I ended up having a quick supper of soup and sandwich b/f leaving for an event – but I insisted we take the time to eat face to face – and when we did take that 10 minutes, that feeling rushed through me again, and I looked up and said “You know what, this is the best part of my day, right here, right now, with you.” I said it out loud, and she beamed back at me… and then as if on cue when we got into the car the Trace Atkins song “You’re gonna miss this” came on, and I thought to myself “I ain’t missin’ one thing; I’m in this moment.”

          And from this day on I’ll be thinking “Oh! Here it is, another white rice moment!” 🙂

          • Peggy,
            YES as always you make PERFECT sense to me.
            Yes, I watched Survivor and remember the episode you speak about very distinctly….I understand so very clearly what you are saying with another one of your most helpful analogies..
            What I should do….is have:
            WHITE RICE MOMENTS: Those moments which are opposite from what we got with the pa. The feeling of GRATITUDE and JOY even though they may be fleeting…note them and celebrate them.
            Ahh yes I have moments like that:
            – Looking at nature. being in nature, Seeing the greatness of God in nature.
            – Laughing about what my little dog does when he’s being silly
            – Seeing a smile directed at me.
            and Many Many more….

            I understood your story about being exhausted when sitting down to the table..I never understood why I felt the same way so often…only mine was of an importantance in another way…

            Without going into detail. I see you saying, and correct me if I am wrong…

            Live in the moment… Note and celebrate those “White Rice” moments…Dream whatever you want. and try to make it happen.
            That, I would imagine is very close to “HOPE with ACTION”.

            Thanks Peggy. Sometimes we tend to get ourselves in a hole sometimes and you threw me down a rope..but you didn’t stop there…you encouraged me to climb out. You showed me (by your illumination of my positives) that you had Faith in me and you let me do the climbing out on my own. You are definitely my “white rice” moment for today.
            ps.. Do you remember the Survivor espisode where they realized the dirty chicken feed actually had POPCORN in it …
            (Somedays I feel like the dirty chicken feed)
            They were so excited in that discovery? Here is this chicken feed and the discovery turned out to be just what they needed to boost their moral and feed them.
            You are not only my White Rice moment, but the wonderful Popcorn in my chicken feed for today..

        • Peggy- LOL. That was great. I pick ‘white rice out of my teeth’ every day. Maybe not from my relationship with the PA, but the PA probably helps me to truly appreciate my good relationships. Love it!

      • jmarie- Hey You! Don’t you dare beat yourself up because you didn’t catch on sooner, or because you fell in the trap.
        First of all, that’s where we all are, and it was a trap, sure as if you put a piece of cheese out for a mouse and he gets his head chopped off when he goes to bite it. (Oh Peggy, you and your analogies are having an influence. LOL). When we blame ourselves, it’s a win for their side. It wasn’t “your own fault”. It was fraud! Outright fraud. They made us think we were getting one thing all along knowing we were getting something else. And when people say stupid things like “it was your idea to get the divorce so get over it” don’t you ever want to look them square in the eye and say “Yeah, and I still love him. Why do you think that was?” Ahhh, never mind. I’m not very good at not giving a shot back when I’ve been shot at. LOL.

        You pucker up Lady! You can do this and be much “happier ever after”. Start with “true” friends you have, if you don’t have any, start over. Join a church and get involved, take a class you’ve always wanted to take where you’ll have fun and meet new people. Heck, even a bowling league or a garden club, go back to school, anything that will involve you in something you care about, surround you with new people that won’t judge your past. You’ve already written a book, join a group of writers. Google “meetups” and your city, state. You’ll find all kinds of groups that meet on a regular basis for whatever subject your interested in, where you will meet people that immediately you have something in common with. You can end up so busy, and so happy and fulfilled just getting into all that you are interested in and care about, that you won’t have time to worry about anything else. LOL. It’s amazing how open and loving people are when you are open to receiving.

        Now, come on, we all need to have a pity party once in awhile, (personally I like a little Vodka to go with that now and then), but there’s a whole world out there looking for us. We just need to be easier to find! Love ya, jmarie. We all have our “down days”. The good thing about those is the only direction from there is up!

    • Peggy- You crack me up! You come up with some of the best stuff. LOL. Another great analogy to live by.

  9. Thanks for the warm welcome, Ladybeams. I’m beginning to accept that the passive-aggressive individual harbors an incredible amount of anger and resentment. Unfortunately, the only target/trigger he could ever identify was me. He used to cite his resentment as an excuse for not changing inconsiderate behavior, e.g., “I feel so much anger and resentment that I don’t feel like treating you with respect.” Of course, nothing was more important or more final than his feelings. He actually seemed puzzled by the idea that a person can control his actions, even if he cannot control his feelings. And yes, at the beginning, he claimed that he did *not* like submissive partners who were dependent on his approval. Ironic, right?

    • mmpa- Glad you made it back! and yes, it is very ironic. There is no pleasing, no matter what you do.

      When he’s said about having so much anger and resentment toward you, have you ever said anything like “Ok, let’s get all the cards on the table. What makes you so angry, why are you so resentful?” and make him spell it out? I have a feeling you wouldn’t get much out of him, because just as you say, it’s only an excuse.

      Good for you for seeing through his controlling ways. You’re on the way UP!

      • Yes, I encouraged/requested/challenged him to air his grievances…and the anger and resentment stemmed from me “criticizing and controlling” him by confronting him on his PA behavior *plus* everything else that he disliked about his life. After reflecting on all of his complaints, he admitted that he was unfairly blaming me. Unfortunately, that admission did not stop the blame or significantly alter the cycle, which went something like this: He felt angry and resentful when I confronted him, so he blamed me. In justifying the blame, he became even more angry and resentful thinking about all the ways in which I caused him to be unhappy. I would then confront him about the blame…Rinse and repeat, with every cycle amplifying the negativity.

  10. Wow! Glad and sad I found this blog!
    I am the Fiance’ of a PA.
    Seems like not many men are on the receiving end.

    All the stories sound all too familiar.
    I got blamed for her financial woes, her total loss of her income producing property, due to foreclosure, and recently, I am being blamed for her suicide attempt.
    After 2.5 years we are seperated…
    I knew something was up when I noticed she NEVER took responsibility for problems and NEVER apologized for anything.
    Everything was all my fault.
    This is her to a tee!
    More later as I have alot to share.

    Good to be here and wish all a Happy Year!

    • ONO- I think there are a lot of men with PA women, they just aren’t as expressive as the women are with PA men. Welcome to you! Always a pleasure, well not really a pleasure to find another victim, but it’s nice to hear from a man now and then. Personally I think a PA woman can be more detrimental and dangerous than a PA man. A woman has a lot of tricks at her disposal under normal circumstances, let alone if they are a passive aggressive.

      Thank you for dropping in. Looking forward to the rest of your story. Hopefully you will find this to be a very supportive website, because whether man or woman, being involved with a passive aggressive is no fun.

  11. Walking away after spending all those nickels…that describes it to a T. How does one detach when the passive-aggressive, during the separation process, continues to act in hurtful ways (e.g., blaming me, making “innocent” inflammatory comments, refusing to communicate to resolve logistics)? If a PA has succeeded in abandoning a relationship, shouldn’t he be satisfied? At what point, if any, will he act “nice” again?

    He justifies his responses as a pre-emptive defense against the inappropriate/malicious intentions that he assumes I harbor against him. According to him, he is “protecting” himself by not giving me the chance to “act on” those intentions. For my part, I’m grieved by the fact that he treats me as if I were…him. He seems to have no appreciation, no recognition even, of the effort that I have made over the years, to be supportive and understanding in the face of *his* constant hostility.

    How can I detach myself so that him projecting his own emotions onto me (instead of perceiving me as a separate and different individual) doesn’t strike so deeply?

    • Hi nmpa,
      Striking deeply…yes it does! It isn’t a good feeling, but life deals us a lot of bad sometimes. Letting him make you feel bad is letting him win control over your feelings.

      I don’t think he should feel satisfied at all in abandoning the relationship. What he won’t admit to is that he had something to do with what happened. That is something he just won’t face. He will have to deal with those issues by himself …..but will he?… probably not. He’s always right, right? (I’m being sarcastic)

      He may not be completely at fault…God knows I made my mistakes too. I have to face up to my faults myself as well.

      …Do you really think he will ever be “nice”? He acts like a child in the grocery store wanting the toy he can’t have. He really needs to detach from us, but since he knows no other way that what he has always been, and since they just have to be in control they do those malicious things to get to us, pull us in, and then continue the same status quo. Walk away. It isn’t worth the heartache.

      Their personalities are a form of brain washing they do to keep themselves protected and to keep us under their control because they don’t know any other way. Yet, you know, I do feel great sorrow for them. They have this personality from their past that they just can’t control in themselves. How sad is that? I can be patient, I can accept, I can forgive them for it and I can have sorrow for them, but it doesn’t make me want to allow them to hurt me any longer.

      They seem to “assume” much and understand little. Since they want to be so much in control of the situation (except themselves), they continue all the little tricks that USED TO make us crazy, confused, wondering, wishing and hoping for change. DON’T let them assume anything! Don’t let them blame you for what is clearly their problem. I know, easier said than done! But since mine is out, I no longer give him any ammo to shoot me with (so to speak). No communication, nothing to let him know what would allow him to “get to me”.

      In the meantime, I am feeling the feelings I have in all of this and it isn’t easy sometimes, that’s for sure. Focus on what you lost and grieve those things.

      In the beginning you want him to make it better by the actions he could have taken to improve the relationship. But if he doesn’t want to, there is nothing you can do to make him want to.

      You then get to a point that is perhaps the hardest to do…make a choice. Once that choice is made, the hard part just gets worse (always darkest before the dawn)..Just as in the relationship, you have always been to blame, right? Well, don’t think it stops there…others will blame you too and try to shame you, because they can’t “see” it in him. There’s where he wins the acadamy award for best actor. He not only has convinced you that you are crazy, but has convinced others that you are as well. Will it ever stop…..? YES. in time. I can always have HOPE can’t I? and you can too.

      I don’t see a PA giving any appreciation or recognition of anything you have done for him in the past. So where does that leave you? I think, it leaves you in a place that you can give yourself the kudos you need.
      As for me, I would rather give myself kudos than continue wanting and wishing and hoping to get them from him, as I have in the past. Remember he is a “slot machine that just doesn’t pay out” as Peggy says…. God Bless her analogies….!!! She has helped me immensely. I love it when people can talk through something, don’t you?

      Just my opinion…stay strong nmpa

    • nmpa- I know how much it hurts when they do this. The father of my children did the same to me. He would accuse me of doing things I could never even think of because I was not as deceitful as him. I could not believe someone I had been married to for so long could know me so little, but the accusations have nothing to do with us. It is them, and their dishonest and deceitful nature thinking everyone is built like them.

      If he is continuing to be hurtful to you, I would think detaching would be that much easier. I know with mine, I would start to miss him, and then he would open his mouth. Best thing he ever did for reminding me why I was getting out. As long as you remember who you are, and what you believe in, you can start letting his comments roll off your back just like a duck and water. Chances are he will never act nice again because he knows he has lost control over you. The less control, the more vindictive and angry he will become, until he just finally gives up or gets distracted by a new victim.

      The more you can keep control of yourself, the more you can think about the bad way he has and is treating you, the better off you’ll be. I know it hurts, but you just have to keep moving toward a much better future. “Keep your eye on the prize” so to speak.

    • Thanks for your support and insight, jmarie and Ladybeams. You are 100% right. The PA, after much stalling and backtracking, agreed to a face-to-face discussion (to resolve the logistics of our separation) for the first time since he walked out. There were moments when he was “nice.” He made an inside joke, and I saw what I had valued in the relationship–the rapport of a shared history, the good times. Then we began discussing the logistics, and I saw what had crippled the relationship throughout–his attitude of “me, my needs, and my rights.” I realized that the good was the “dressing” and the bad was the “skeleton” (sorry for mixing metaphors!). That isn’t to say that the dressing wasn’t real or appealing or pleasant–after all, who doesn’t love dressing? But dressing doesn’t change what’s underneath, which was a fundamental lack of mutual trust and commitment. Furthermore, there is *no* connection, no inherent relation, no either/or/but between the two! A car can have shiny paint *and* a bad engine. Recognizing the disconnect between these attributes and detaching them in my own thoughts and feelings–which had combined them into one cognitively dissonant mess–allowed me to see the “big picture” in a way that finally made sense.

      • nmpa- Good for you. Sounds like you are making great progress, and fast. It’s amazing isn’t it how well we can see once we take off the rose colored glasses?

  12. And no…I think that he can act “nice,” but he can’t truly *be* nice. Before the meeting, I validated myself (in writing), and it definitely felt a lot better than seeking his validation (which was a frustrating and ultimately futile process). In fact, I’ve realized that he *cannot* validate me–regardless of what he says–because he does not agree that these values are valid. It would be like a miser praising your generosity: If the praise is false, it isn’t validation. If the praise is true, it indicates that you have more in common with the miser than you think!

    • nmpa- Very good. Looking for validation from self and elsewhere instead of him is a huge step. Good for you!

  13. Thanks! I’m still struggling to cope with the PA games, which he continues to play, but envisioning my life *without* him looks better and better! As for his unhelpful and even spiteful behavior…like water off a duck’s back, right? I just have to remember that it isn’t personal.

    Kristal and ONO, run! You cannot change somebody who takes no responsibility and makes no effort to improve your relationship. Don’t be fooled by the illusion that you can convince, inspire, or otherwise “get” this individual to care deeply and significantly about you, thus motivating him or her to change.

    • nmpa- Glad to hear things are improving for you, even if it’s just the way you look at them. After all, that’s a big part of the battle, aye? And thanks for your shout out to share with others. Maybe if we keep sharing what we know, we can save a few along the way. LOL.

  14. The biggest mistake that I made was ignoring my own judgment–you know, the voice of reason that says, “This is off.” And by the time experience confirmed that judgment, I was too involved in the relationship to simply walk away. That kind of second-guessing is especially dangerous when you’re involved with a passive-aggressive, because he will sell you a version of reality that’s different from your own. Before long you’ll find yourself facing a constant choice between believing him and trusting yourself. Trusting yourself means the end of the relationship, so you give it a little more time, you run interference on your own judgment, you persuade yourself that you’re not choosing to stay in a bad relationship, you’re just waiting for more information before you decide whether it’s bad or not…

    Run, run, run! You’re not making the decisions in this relationship; do you want to be at the mercy of your partner when s/he decides to end it? Trust me, it’s not a good place to be.

    • nmpa- I think we all make the mistake of second guessing ourselves. We fall in love, we want to believe this person is as good as we thought, and we give them the benefit of the doubt until we just can’t ignore it anymore. Even when if smacks us in the face, many of us stay anyhow for what ever reason. Then you look back and realize “OMGosh it’s been 10 yrs, or 20, or whatever” time it is you can’t get back, and have gone without the loving relationship you know is possible, it’s just not this one.

      I agree with you nmpa, life is too short. If you are really unhappy and involved with a passive aggressive, there isn’t much hope of it ever getting better. Thanks for the good advice.

  15. nmpa,
    That has got to be the ONE thing that delayed my decision…”ignoring my own judgement” once I felt it was “off”.

    Beautifully written! – in explaining the reasons for staying in something that is wrong for you.

    The longer you stay in something that is not right, the more you become “stuck”. You keep saying to yourself, “oh I can help him/her understand. You try to show the pa “the error of their ways” and you try to change them….or at the very least you give them far too much time to let what you say to them sink in. IT WON’T! Because what they do works for them.

    At one point I felt I was becoming JUST LIKE HIM. (I started to mirror my captor as is what happens in a prison type situation.)
    Time continued, nothing changed and even got worse. Your belief in what is good is threatened and you become angry. You can’t understand why the PA can’t understand what you are asking for…….and the kicker is that they can’t understand because they haven’t had the experience of being vulnerable and know what loving and sharing is. Or…they simply don’t want to understand because they are not capable of doing the introspection needed to make things better for the two of you.

    If a PA always wants to be right….makes excuses, delays doing something (procrastinates), doesn’t stay on subject during converstations(skirts the issue),gets defensive at the slightest things, sulks, pouts, and gives you the silent treatment, and otherwise withholds God knows what from you….Do you really think the PA WANTS to change when it has worked so well in the past.???

    Yes, the questioning of yourself and your beliefs AND THE TIME YOU WASTE DOING THAT will be your downfall. That is where your self esteem is lost.

    Giving them the chance to get help if they will do it, and for them to experience that “ah ha” moment within themselves…..will be a long wait. It was for me. He just wouldn’t work for himself. I don’t think he cared enough about “us” or me. (But he said he was “Trying” yet I didn’t see or feel it—-his actions and words didn’t match)

    It hurts like the dickens, but now it’s my “grieving” time, “move on” time, “starting over” time. and it is pretty difficult….but I have to get to a better place and that is my goal right now…Healing the loss of my dream, my youth and my future as it could have been.
    And I’m taking my own sweet time in doing it and with God’s help I will be fine.

  16. But they are not always like that all of the time?

    Is it possible to have PA symptoms but to also be capable of being affectionate, nice and in love with you?

    What do you do when it is clearly there but it is not so cut and dry?

    • annemarie- Well, My Dear, it is actually there all the time, you’re just not always privy to it. That is how they suck us in.

      The answer to you question is yes. Yes, they can make you feel like they are in love with you, and they are very capable of being affectionate when it suits their needs, but if they think they have you all that can change in a minute. Don’t think for a minute they are actually emotionally attached to you, because they are not. They don’t have the capability. They just know how to play the game.

      If you are involved with a PA save yourself. It really is cut and dry if you start paying attention to when he is really affectionate. Is it usually when he wants you to do something? or when he might feel like he’s losing you? Or maybe when he feels that he might have done something, and while he won’t apologize, he’ll make some affectionate effort to win you over?

      Be careful, My Dear, we’ve all been there, done that.

    • SLOT MACHINE thinking is rearing it’s ugly head!

      Annemarie- this is EXACTLY how they keep us sitting in front of them, putting in more coins, pulling the lever one more time because SOMETIME, SOMEWHERE it’s going to ‘payoff’.

      Yet we all know that the odds of us winning at that slot machine are little to none – and even if we did ‘win’ sometimes we’d still end up spending a lot more money than we went in with in the long run.

      Really take a hard look at what you wrote and are saying. Would you say that same thing about a job? That it’s okay to go to it all the time even though they only hand you a paycheck SOMETIMES for SOME of the hours you worked?

      Or- saying that you keep driving a car that SOMETIMES is reliable, but on most days it won’t start or will breakdown mid-trip?

      I’m being blunt and direct, mostly b/c I lived in that thought pattern for nearly two decades and it was no good.

      Re-define your expectations of how you want a relationship to feel. It is perfectly acceptable to expect someone to be reliable and consistent in their care and love for you.

      • Peggy- All right! You go, Lady! I love the way you have of just coming out and saying it how it is. Thanks as always, for your input. We can all use that advice.

  17. Divorce and the Passive Aggressive….
    Story to follow once it is final…you aren’t going to want to miss this one!
    I’ve had my ups and downs, but I am still kickin’…just thought I would check in so you didn’t think I had forgotten you…

    • jmarie- hahaha, I was thinking the same. All of a sudden life has really gotten in my way! Glad to hear from you, My Friend.

  18. I appreciate reading all of these experiences with the Passive Aggressive male. I married someone I thought was the man of my dreams. We dated for 2 years and I was the happiest I’d ever been on my wedding day. Within a month he starts withholding sex because he’s tired…or stressed…or busy on a project.. What little sex we had was the tap on the shoulder in the middle of the night and then it’s done. Other issues began to creep in; many behaviors you’re all familiar with. By the time I filed for divorce, we hadn’t had sex in 5 months. We were married for a year. What gnaws at me the most is not catching the clues to his PA until after the marriage. Although I got out of the marriage quickly, dealing with someone with PA behaviors is still disturbing. They mess with your mind and self-esteem.

    • Lee B- Thanks for sharing. I hope others are smart enough after reading your comment here to get out quick. Unfortunately for so many it takes years of blaming ourselves before we realize it’s not us. Good for you! Obviously if you haven’t had sex for the last 5 months of a marriage that is only 12 months long, there is a big problem!

      I understand about you not seeing it before you got married. First of all, we are never schooled in what to look for. 2) that’s their M.O. They suck us in by putting up this great facade, and then when they are secure they have us, they show their true colors. It’s like marrying Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. You can’t beat yourself up because you didn’t spot it. Really, when you think about it, who would have known? And you are right. They are death to our self esteem, and as for our minds, I don’t know about you, but I look at men a little more suspiciously now.

      Thank you so much again for your input. Feel free to join the conversation anytime.

  19. Hello, everyone! I haven’t posted since January, but now, five months later, I feel compelled to say, “There is hope.” Being left by the passive-aggressive was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. All of a sudden, the time, the energy, the hope, and the aspirations I had toward this individual and our relationship were transferred back to where it belongs–me. I was the one who needed to be saved. Not being in the presence of someone who is fundamentally dissatisfied is more liberating than I can describe. Breaking up was hard, but staying together (as “together” as one can be with a passive-aggressive) would have been harder. And frankly, once I was sure that it was over, I didn’t look back. It’s like waking up from a dream–or maybe like sobering up. I can finally think straight, which I could not under the influence of the passive-aggressive. It’s unfortunate, but there is nothing more addictive than a bad relationship with intermittent good times. This is why we spend years trying to “help” other people when we should be helping ourselves. So for all of you who are wondering whether to stay or go (because with your patience and understanding, s/he might change!), run, run, run! Show yourself that same patience and understanding–that enthusiasm–that you are so willing to give to someone else. The pastures are indeed greener on the other side.

  20. Amen! You sum it all up very, very, very well. The pastures are not only greener, they also have beautiful flowers, awesome waterfalls and are teaming with glorious life! You are EXACTLY right about the ‘addictive’ part and about the ‘sobering up’ part – and about the awesome affect of focusing your energy back onto yourself. Breaking free is really, really, really tough and really, really, REALLY worth it.

    • Thank you, Peggy! And to all of you who question whether you are the cause of your partner’s passive-aggressive attitude and behavior–you are not. It is truly not you. I am no longer in the life of the passive-aggressive whom I knew, yet he still tries to control me and seizes every opportunity to demonstrate that he now possesses the upper hand. Frankly, the only word that can describe it is “shameless.” I’m mystified, but not surprised. Without dramatizing in the least, it honestly strikes me as the manifestation of an abusive tendency. Sobering, isn’t it?

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