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Passive agressive DH

(21 Posts)
kikiliki Thu 07-Feb-13 22:05:00

My DH is a bit passive agressive. Mainly this manifests as procrastination and has resulted in me generally running of the family, finances and home. e.g. when he took over the bills at one point, we had solicitors letters within 2 months, despite being more than able to cover our outgoings. He just hadn't paid them properly.

When he has decided he's responsible for a job and hasn't done it, he has a very special way of blaming his procrastination on my asking/reminding him to do it, as in he's too upset over me reminding him he'd not done it to do it. confused

He struggles generally with making decisions, because he seems to fear the possibility of missing out on something. So I generally run the family, plan events, holidays etc, and he goes along with them. When I ask him if he'd like to do anything, or is happy with what we're doing, generally he'll say he's ok, though he's quite moody and it's not always beleivable, just looking at his body language. If I push him about his lack of proactivity, he says it's because I won't let him make decisions. However sometimes, for example, he'll say I want to do X and I'll go yeah that's sounds good/fine, and he'll not do it, saying later that I really didn't want him to do whatever it was.

We don't really have sex, not for years, partly because he can't relax enough to orgasm, and partly because we just never seem to go to bed at the same time - lately he falls asleep on the sofa and will sleep there for the first few hours.

We've been together 11 years and have a 6 year old. Up till 18 months ago, DH worked away half of the week, which gave me space. Now he works close enough that he's home every night. On top of that I've got a much more demanding job than before, now being the main earner.

I am getting to the stage where I need things to come to a head one way or the other. However if I try to talk to him about his behaviour, he turns it around back to me. Of course, some of it is true, but we still need to be able to talk about this and work out some joint way to deal with what is now in my eyes a pretty rubbish situation. I am very very fond of him, but I can't be doing with this any more.

So how do I get him to agree to couples counselling without him withdrawing even further or using this as a further example of bullying behaviour by me?

CharlotteCollinsislost Thu 07-Feb-13 22:48:39

Couples counselling won't help if he's twisting everything so that you're to blame, and much happier focussing on your problems than his own.

Dryjuice25 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:49:43

Your DH sounds like he is at best suffering with low self esteem and at worst, passive aggressive. You say he turns the blame round on you and "..some of it it's true.." Do you tend to micro-manage him when he is in charge of a delegated task? Could this be the reason why he seems to feel/think that he is not good enough or he might mess things up,and hence likes to have very little responsibility in the running of the household.

You say you're now the main earner? Did he experience some kind of career blow that knocked off his confidence rendering feelings of inadequacy in various areas of his life.

I think it's time to have a serious chat about why he is behaving like this. Has he always been on the quite side?

kikiliki Thu 07-Feb-13 23:30:28

Thanks for both of your replies

When I say that "some of it is true" I can be quite intense and will backseat drive if things don't get done, but I don't micromanage, because I can't. If a job gets done I'm happy - e.g. he wants to organise mortgages and I've consistently gone along with his decisions on this over the years, but that doesn't stop him procrastinating over it. He's been planning our latest remortgage for 10 months now, despite having made the initial decision of who to go with back when he started.

He's always been like it though. When we met we both suffered from depression. I was divorcing and was failing a postgraduate degree. He was self-employed and hadn't done his tax returns or paid his accountant and had just lost his main contract. He took a couple of years to get back on his feet and get permanent work. When he did find a job, it was because my family helped him. It paid well, but not as much as before. Unfortunately that place closed, though we got more than a year's warning. I pushed him into looking for a closer job and he got one just in the nick of time. Unfortunately wages aren't quite as high round here so he's on a similar wage but full time hours. He procrastinates at work too, and seems to be constantly fire fighting stuff that he could have done way ahead of time. He took a lot longer to get better too, and kept putting off any therapy etc. He's probably still depressed to be honest.

In the meantime I worked very hard to get well taking up private therapy and making use of local free counselling resources. I started a 2nd career 7 years ago and have moved up to middle management. My wages just passed his last year.

He does a lot with our DD and as I said before I am very very fond of him. He's loyal and a good friend. I just feel like I need to carry him and I can find him quite moody (however so am I, I think). He has also improved a fair bit lately, in lots of little ways, e.g. he wanted a dog and we got one about 8 years ago, which became my responsibility, and just in the last year he's started walking it etc, without me making him.

Besides this would be my 2nd divorce and I already know what a massive upheaval and financial drain it is. It's not that he's changed, it's more that I have

kikiliki Thu 07-Feb-13 23:33:53

Reading my last post back, I am probably a right ball buster, to be honest!

Dryjuice25 Thu 07-Feb-13 23:37:41

Maybe it's time for him to acknowledge the depression and get medical help for it?

kikiliki Thu 07-Feb-13 23:43:03

He only just came off meds a couple of years ago, so he did get help. He just shied away from any kind of talk therapy, but I think therapy is a far more long term solution than pills on their own. He's definitely much much better than when I met him.

kikiliki Thu 07-Feb-13 23:43:30

... or is he?

Dryjuice25 Thu 07-Feb-13 23:44:20

He is "loyal and a good friend" and you say you're very very fond of him. If the feeling is mutual then I don't see why devorce is relevant op. He probably is not the most organised man or is a bit depressed. You say he is a good father too.

I thing you should have a heart to heart about his lack of organisation or "aggression" as you call it

Dryjuice25 Thu 07-Feb-13 23:47:17

You say he is better than he was when you met. So you knew what the score was then? You shouldn't complain now if you knew he was like this from the beginning!!

kikiliki Thu 07-Feb-13 23:58:25

Well it feels like "agression" because he is so moody.

The way it feels is that he needs me to make the decisions because then he isn't at fault if they don't turn out right. It also gives him the luxury of being critical and he does grumble about how things are.

I do all food cooking, including both packed lunches, most of the housework and half of the childcare. I organise all bills apart from mortgage, deal with sorting tradesmen, taking out the bins, organising childcare, kids parties etc. He insists on a sun holiday but won't organise one, so I book and pay for one each year, and will get feedback on it from him as to whether it makes the grade (I'm more of a homebody so don't have his standards when it comes to this kind of thing). If we go out it's at my suggestion and he'll want me to pick where we go and pay.

He also has a wierd sense of entitlement over other things. We both replaced our cars recently (old bangers for newer old cars). I got mine after his. He took the keys and drove it from day one (it's a bigger car than the one he got, his was a gift from my dad), leaving me to use his car. I can understand the justification in that he commutes 50 miles a day and I drive 2 miles to and from the station, but he just took it without discussion. He then didn't MOT his car, assuring me that it was done.

If I bring any of this kind of thing up, he rolls his eyes and huffs like a teenager.

Dryjuice25 Fri 08-Feb-13 00:10:41

I get your point now. Reading your last OP and what you have to do even got me exhausted. He is out of order at times and he just seems to take you for granted at so many levels. I don't get why he is lying about his MOT confused and you do ALL the cooking!!! He needs to pull his weight too!!

I hope you sort it out with him so he understands he can't keep doing what he is doing now or he'll lose you. I get your resentment.

Good luck

Oh God, after reading your first post I was thinking just dump him, life's too fucking short. Having read the rest I haven't changed my mind. I'm as exhausted as Dryjuice. This guy needs to become a man, not an entitled manchild, I'm sorry.

I spent too long hoping things would get better and I can't bear seeing capable, strong, intelligent, lovely women doing the same...

Dryjuice25 Fri 08-Feb-13 00:52:27

Have reread your op. He is fucking very passive aggressive in a nasty way really. He lets you do everything and then grumbles about it!! You must be so fucking exhausted.

MarjorieAntrobus Fri 08-Feb-13 01:01:31

This sounds exhausting, and the no-sex-for-years sounds like you no longer live as a couple, but more like disagreeing flatmates.

Where do you want to go with it OP?

mantlepiece Fri 08-Feb-13 01:10:37

For me I think your relationship started out broken. It is a golden rule for people post divorce and suffering the fallout to stay single until you are through the trauma and ensuing depression.

Unfortunately you have married and had a child with someone you met at your lowest ebb.

You are now well and functioning as a whole person and he is still the person he was then.

You can pick over the nitty gritty and personal slights but I feel this is the nub of the matter.

I think you know this and feel guilty and that is why you are busting a gut to hold it all together, but it was over as soon as you realised this.

You need to end this sooner rather than later, because it will end, and as you have a child better to do it before it becomes unbearable and you can still talk to each other.

He insists on a sun holiday but won't organise one, so I book and pay for one each year, and will get feedback on it from him as to whether it makes the grade May I just say, no no no no. He is being an arse.

I have a colleague who married a lovely man. She made his packed lunches until one day he told her he didn't like how she did it. She never made him another lunch. In twenty years. Once your DH said he didn't like a holiday you organised, I'd say organise one you want (in the UK, a staycation, whatever) and he can suck it up.

izzyizin Fri 08-Feb-13 01:35:37

Having read your OP and subsequent responses, I'm entirely of a mind wth tall.

Other than as someone who's worthy of whinging about ad infinitum, what is the point of your h?

If you divorce online it won't be financially draining and any upheaval can be kept to a minimum.

garlicblocks Fri 08-Feb-13 03:49:27

Oh, god, I'm like him!!! shock blush Luckily for the rest of the world, I'm single ... and piss my self off with my passive-aggressive procrastination and nit-picking negativity. I hope to glean some useful info from your replies!

I'm a total last-minute merchant, too, as I gather your H is. Unlike him I have a good insight into why I'm like this, but haven't yet found a sustainable way of overcoming it. I am depressed, despite taking my meds and doing my exercises (they help, btw.) I wouldn't blame anyone for divorcing someone like me.

Try laying it all out to him, complete with rock-solid ultimatum. I fear the response may be frenzied avoidance until the very last minute - but you need to assert your right to a reasonable life with minimum head-fuckery, while also knowing you've done as much as you could. You can't let someone suck the life out of you for too much longer.

Springdiva Fri 08-Feb-13 18:26:36

He is the one who needs counselling, not both of you. There is something wrong in his makeup.

Perhaps even he can see he has 'issues' - eg taking YOUR car, wanting holidays which he can't organise and no sex? Something wrong that he needs to solve.

kikiliki Fri 26-Apr-13 22:27:40

Just to come back to this. I ended up having a bit of a heart to heart with H about a month ago, and things have improved a bit. He's pulling his weight more and we even managed a shag! He's not keen on the idea of counselling though. We'll see how it goes.

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