A Passive Aggressive Catch Phrase

Yes, there are “catch phrases” that seem to be inherent in most passive aggressives. Sometimes I think I’ll scream if I hear one more time “I’m such an idiot” with head hung low.  Lately I just say “Yeah, you are.”

Prime example. I think I mentioned we were down to one car because the other had broken down and it was going to cost about $400 just for parts. Before that car broke down I had mentioned about how low it was in the back and how it seemed to be coming up off the ground in the front, you know, like when something is heavily overloaded. The passive aggressive pretty much ignored me.  When he finally said the car was broken down, it was because of a leak in the air bag in the rear.

Evidently I wasn’t the only one that mentioned how low the back end was. His son also had asked him what he was carrying that was so heavy in the trunk. The passive aggressive ignored him also.

We’re moving today, and so yesterday I asked him how he planned on moving that car or I was calling someone to pay us $100 and haul it away. In order to do that we had to empty the vehicle and get all of his tools, etc. out of it.  Once we did that, miracle of miracles, the car’s just fine. LOL. He drove it to our new place without any problem at all! Come to find out he had approx. 200lbs. of tools in the trunk that consistently sat on the airbag until it just couldn’t take it anymore. Even having the car unusable was better than taking my suggestion that there was too much stuff in the trunk and removing some of it. We’ve been with only one car now for a couple of months.

And what did he say after his son and I reminded him that both of us tried to tell him? “I’m such an idiot. Don’t make me feel more embarrassed than I already am.” Hey Baby, you should be embarrassed! LOL, and I should be really pissed! Instead it’s just another prime example of passive aggressive behavior.

The other “catch phrase” that the passive aggressive boyfriend uses to get out of stuff, and this one also drives me crazy is “How do I do that? I’ve just never done that before.” This one is used for even the simplest of tasks. Just because you “never have” doesn’t mean “you can’t” is what I respond with now.

What kind of  passive aggressive catch phrases do you get? Does this sound familiar?

11 Responses

  1. Oh ya. “I’ll get to it as soon as I can”. Most people would interpert that to mean, “as soon as I have time” and put it on their list of stuff to do Ha! Now, I know…I learned that this could mean” I’ll do that when I can convince myself I WANT to do it” or it might mean ” I don’t know how to do that but I might learn how someday. I just don’t want to admit there’s something I don’t know how to do” or, last but not least “I’ll save it for when I need something from you and I need a bargaining chip”. Oh God, the list is long…..

    • Marilyn- Good to see you back! Isn’t it amazing how much these guys have in common? I mean, it’s almost “If you know one, you know them all”. LOL
      Thanks for your input.

  2. I love these “catch phrases.” I’m gradually learning to detach. If it is important enough to me, or involves something for the kids, or if it will negatively impact our financial well-being, I assume the responsibility. This prevents me from having to go in and do damage control later, which is even more stressful than just taking care of it myself in the first place. So, the new “catch phrases” are “I was just going to do that….” or “Here, I’ll help you with that….” once I have already started taking care of something he was supposed to do. It can be amusing to watch him squirm, because there is no accusation from me or question about why he didn’t follow through like he was supposed to. But he knows. Unfortunately, it does not result in him making significant changes.

    • Eykes- OMGosh, I got to the point that if I heard “I was just going to do that” one more time I was going to stick a sock in his mouth. LOL. I hate hearing that every time I either bring something up he should have already done, or I’m starting to do something. He reminds me of a little kid and his chores.

  3. Mine says, “OOOOh, OK, (hands covering his ears, and yelling) I’m responsible for EVERY THING THAT HAS EVER GONE WRONG SINCE December ##, 1947.”

    I say, “no, but you ARE a selfish idiot.”

    • rose- LOL. I had to laugh. I too have gotten where when he says “I’m such an idiot” there are times all I can say is “Yeah, you are”.

  4. Oh, and he says “I was just going to do that” too. LOL

    Usually that involves cleaning up some filth he created in the kitchen and two or three mealtimes have passed already.

    Me: “you didn’t just do it after dinner or just do it after breakfast, I’m ready to eat lunch now. how about cleaning up the s**t that you left here?” How many more meals are going to need to go by first before you accept responsibility?

    Him: sulks in and slams around cleaning up the mess he left; glares a dirty scowl at me. Then goes to his computer to chat inappropriately with Asian teenage girls. They at least understand how special he is.

    • rose- you crack me up! LOL. Although I must admit the fact that he “goes to his computer to chat inappropriately with Asian teenage girls” sounds a little sick. Mine doesn’t generally slam things around, he just jumps up and says how he was “just going to do that” when I’ve already started.

      Thanks for sharing. See, we really do have a lot in common. LOL

  5. “Where is ____________?” (fill in the blank). Mind you, he hasn’t even begun to try and locate ________ on his own yet and, chances are, he knows exactly where it is and if he doesn’t, it’s because he left it lying where he last used it. Either way, he’s more likely to locate it first than I am and, when he does locate it first, he’ll say nothing, allowing me to continue looking for it even after he’s found it, used it, and left it lying about again because my time and effort, unlike his, are not important and have no value. I vowed to myself not to fall for that one again and so, unless I can recall and tell him where I last saw it while keeping my butt pressed to the upholstery, my answer is “I don’t know.” Because I don’t know…and I don’t care.

    “I’ll take care of that later.” What he really means is that I, your Auntie, will take care it when I can no longer stand seeing it there where it doesn’t belong, right there in the hallway, where I’ve had to step over it numerous times today already, (or there in the doorway, where it caused me to danged near fall on my face when I tripped over it, or when I can’t stand smelling it any longer, or can’t stand knowing it needs to be done…yesterday, yet still hasn’t). That’s how he takes care of things: he doesn’t.

    “We’ll see.” Translation: He’s not interested, therefore it’s never gonna’ happen.

    “That’s the way I roll.” Yeah. Like a three-sided bowling ball.

    PS: Yes, I’m new here and I’ll tell you more about me and this sh*tty relationship I find myself stuck in later on. Right now, this stuff is much more fun than rehashing this horror that I’ve hashed and rehashed hundreds and hundreds of times in my mind over the months and years.

  6. I’m glad that all of you gals still SEEM sane, I go between sane and insane after 15 years of this crazy nonsense :)

    The following paragraph summarizes my almost daily life. The PA didn’t have time to respond because he was late… but if he did have time to respond it would have gone something like this… “Oh, I’m sorry DEAR, I didn’t know you wanted me to _________________”.

    Please read on… this is priceless…

    I rise every morning at 6 to put coffee on, wake the kids up for school & pack lunches. Last week I woke as usual by 6 to perform my morning tasks. Wacky Pants (a.k.a.) husband (PA/Narcissist) normally gets up at 7 so he can be to work by 8. He leaves for work by 7:15 and normally takes the kids down our 1/4 mile long driveway to catch the school bus. On this particular morning he had to get up at 6 because he had to catch an early flight to Chicago (for work). We woke up TOGETHER that morning. Wacky Pants jumped in the shower and I woke the children. My daughter asked if she could have 20 more minutes to sleep as she was up late the night before finishing a project for school. My little guy said that he was going to take 20 more as well. I told them that I would wake them back up in 20 minutes which would give them almost an hour to get ready. As the coffee was brewing, I decided to lay back down on the couch so I set my cell phone alarm for 20 minutes just in case I dozed off. Well, either I didn’t hit the “set” button on my cell or I slept right through my alarm but nonetheless, I didn’t get up. Well low and behold, at 7am, Wacky Pants came downstairs after showering, shaving and packing his suitcase in a completely SILENT home. He called from the kitchen and said “I’m going to take off, DEAR”. I JUMPED off the couch, half asleep, and looked at the clock. It said 7. I asked Wacky Pants if the kids were up. Wacky Pants replied “No, I didn’t wake them up”. I replied, “What? You didn’t get them up? Why? Why the hell didn’t you get them up???? I’m going to have to drive them to school because they’ll never be ready! I still have to make their lunches! They’re going to be late!!!!” Wacky Pants, as he’s looking at the time on his cell phone, replies “No, actually I’M going to be late!” Of course, the response he gave was in a VERY CALM, CONTROLLED AND SWEET AS CAN BE MANNER :) He literally left whistling a happy tune :)

    This wouldn’t seem like a justified reason to divorce someone now would it?? Hmmm, when you’re married to a PA/Narcissist, this behavior happens so frequently that you begin to lose control. It is cumulative! I am at my wits’ end with this character! I can relate to every post! The kicker is, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT WACKY PANTS IS REALLY LIKE BECAUSE HE ALWAYS SEEMS SO NICE AND CALM! He actually prides himself on being “passive”. LOL! He left out the AGGRESSIVE component! This makes my situation even more intolerable because when I leave, I’ll be the “bad guy”…. Does he want me to divorce him? It would seem that because he always expects me to be at his beck and call that he wouldn’t want me to leave but his actions indicate otherwise. Should I really care at this point what he wants or thinks? Of course not :)

    I have searched the internet for the answer to my only question…. does the PA consciously behave this way or is this unconscious? HELP :)

    • Hi Laura- Don’t know what you’ve decided to do in the three months since you posted here, but in answer to your question, I believe that it’s both, conscious and subconscious. I think sometimes in general, men
      don’t think like we do. It sounds by the way he remarked about the fact that “he” was going to be late, he was so completely self-absorbed, he probably didn’t even notice that the house was quiet while he got
      ready.

      There are many things that the passive aggressive does that I think are conscious, he just wouldn’t ever admit to it being a means to “get even” with something we’ve done, or some way we are, that he doesn’t like. I know
      when I bring things up to my passive aggressive, he swears he doesn’t know what I’m talking about, but shortly there after I will see that particular behavior change. They just find another way to express.

      I should also tell you that it’s not at all unusual for you to look like the crazy in your situation. Many passive aggressives have a way of looking so nice, calm and collected to the outside, while driving us nuts on the
      inside. Because we have a tendency to be pretty transparent, it looks like we’re nuts. LOL

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