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Does anyone have a positive story about having a passive aggressive husband?

(74 Posts)
ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 09:15:34

After much research, we have discovered that my husband is in fact a passive aggressive. I have been doing as much reading as I can online on the subject and ordered some books but as of yet I haven't managed to find an outcome that is positive.

My husband admits that he is a passive aggressive, which I understand to be the worst bit. He has agreed to go to counselling. I have told him that so long as he is wholeheartedly commited to counselling and sorting out the problem then I will completelt support him. Anything less than this and I will not stick around.

I so want it to work though as we have 2 gorgeous boys and I want to avoid splitting up our family, but I am yet to find a case that has resulted in the husband and wife staying together.

Thanks in advance - this is a really scary time for me and I don't really have anyone to talk to in real life abojt it. I'm also pretty embarrassed.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:35:13

Tell me.... does he show exactly the same behaviour with strangers, colleagues, friends as he does towards you? Does he seethe? Ignore? Get his own back in petty ways? Does he see himself as superior or feel he deserves special treatment? Does he tend to blame others and accuse them of picking on him rather than take responsibility for his mistakes?

What you owe to your family btw is a calm and positive environment. Your DCs are currently growing up in an atmosphere where we all tiptoe round Dad in case we upset him. They are learning that women are unimportant & should park their own needs, feelings and opinions in favour of 'the man'. They may adopt people-pleasing behaviour or have low standards and settle for abusive treatment from a partner in turn

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 10:35:17

That's how it works though ilovelamp sad

I used to post on here championing my lovely, wonderful husband. Then I discovered his infidelities. Then I started to see my relationship for what it was and realised that he was emotionally and financially abusive.

I'd considered myself really lucky to have one of the good, if not perfect, ones until it transpired he was anything but!

HorsePetal Sat 11-Jan-14 10:36:26

Don't be hard on yourself, you have been conditioned by your husband to accept his behaviour and to view it as your fault, your problem.

So now you just need to change your own thinking.

Forget about the 'self-help' books and counselling - he won't ever change.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:39:52

BTW... you are an intelligent person. Please don't think that what's happening makes you a fool or naive. I'm sure you are also a resourceful and successful person. I expect people would describe you as very capable and 'together'. I say all that because you are clearly not a quitter. You are used to solving problems rather than giving up. You are valiantly trying to rationalise all of this and find fixes long after the point when someone else would have walked. You are kind, optimistic and tenacious..... strengths all...... but sadly, he is exploiting all of those to his own ends.

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:43:38

I am definitely angry. I have definitely reached the point whereby I am not taking responsibility for this anymore.My eyes have been opened. I just wanted tto know if anyone was aware of someone going to counselling and managing to actually sort this or if there really is no end in sight other splitting up.

Thank you to everyone responding. It's quite a head!@*$ which is hard to reason when it is just me dealing with it and trying to talk things through with my husband.

He tells me that he agrees with every aspect of being a passive aggressive except for forgetting to do things 'on purpose".

I told him that I don't believe him. Every other point describing a passive aggressive is accurate to a tee, it's scary. Why would that be the only thing that wasn't true. But it's hard for me to believe that he would do things on purpose to hurt me. Not that I don't believe it. It's just really hard to have come to this realisation about someone I love and who I thought loved me.

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:49:11

Thanks everyone for responding. I however need to get ready to go out with friends for lunch. Much needed. I haven't been out for a long time. Not a controlling thing.I have a 3 week old and suffered a really bad pregnancy. Would love a few cocktails after all these revelations but my gorgeous little breast feeding monkey has other ideas.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:49:13

As I said before PA is a tactic & not necessarily a disorder. As to whether it's deliberately to hurt you, that's why I asked how he relates to others. If he can behave reasonably with others but saves his 'PA' behaviour for home then it is more likely to be a conscious choice... aimed at you specifically... than some ingrained trait.

I'm sure there are people who change through counselling. But they have to embrace it fully, accept they are at fault, accept they have to change and then carry it through in practice in a consistent and wholehearted manner. It's encouraging that he appears to accept he is in the wrong. However, EA (and other) bullies will often promise to reform if they think the game is up simply as a delaying tactic. Very common that they wait for the dust to settle and then go back to old tricks.

HorsePetal Sat 11-Jan-14 10:54:36

I honestly think that you should stop using the term 'passive aggressive' here.

Because it sounds like a rather 'soft' term for what is actually happening and also reinforces the notion that this is not his fault, outside of his control (which is utter bollocks of course)

Your husband is a controlling, manipulative, childish, sulky bully.

He's not like this at work, or with his mates or the neighbours. He's only like this with YOU.

It's a lot to take in and to come to terms with but it's very unlikely he will ever change. The only thing you can now change is how you respond to it.

You have done a very brave thing coming on here and has been mentioned already you are clearly a very capable, articulate and clever woman.

Why not show him this thread (now that WOULD be wonderfully PA wink) then ask him to move out for a few days/weeks to give you some time to think about what you are going to do next.

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Sat 11-Jan-14 11:06:57

"But it's hard for me to believe that he would do things on purpose to hurt me"

This will be because you are normal and he is an EA bully.

I couldn't believe my ex was deliberately hurting me, because that's not what you do to people you claim to love. Then when we were splitting up and discussing a particular example of his behaviour, when he had disrupted a holiday with my friends, he said "but you deserved it."

His behaviour was a choice. I suspect your H is the same.

KouignAmann Sat 11-Jan-14 17:40:52

What do you mean by positive OP?
My XH was passive aggressive and I put up with it for many years. Once I saw the light I left and am very happy with a lovely DP who treats me very well and we haven't ever had a serious argument in over two years just me being snappy and him being lovely which I think is a very positive story.
But I have a feeling you mean "Can you reassure me he can be fixed and life carry on as it is now but nicer?"

Tinks42 Sat 11-Jan-14 18:08:03

I'd look up gaslighting OP, if you haven't done so already, very subtle EA. It sounds like you are trying to cure something that just cant be cured and honing too much into one thing. Try looking at a bigger picture where he's concerned.

Tinks42 Sat 11-Jan-14 18:10:41

I'd look up gaslighting OP, if you haven't done so already, very subtle EA. It sounds like you are trying to cure something that just cant be cured and honing too much into one thing. Try looking at a bigger picture where he's concerned.

MissMagic Sat 11-Jan-14 19:51:27

My DH is passive aggressive and has been for our 10 year relationship. I can really relate to some of the things you mention - procrastination, forgetting to do things, constant negativity and sulking. I had never experienced this sort of behaviour before and was completely at a loss what to do for the first 9 years.

He also used to pay me back for things he wasn't happy about by being passive aggressive. There was a lot of door slamming, things thrown around (although never violence towards me), driving off in the car at night to make a point. The confusing thing for me was that to most people he came across as kind, gentle and easy going. It took me up until last year to realise that I wasn't going mad, and actually he did have a problem.

His mother also used to confide her marital problems in him, and his parents had a very volatile relationship. The whole family is hugely emotional and depressive and I get the feeling that he felt as a child that he had to be the strong one and hold it all together.

Things were so bad between us last year, I couldn't handle it any more.I gave him an ultimatum, either we were going to split up or he had to sort out his problems. We have two small children who he loves with all his heart and I think the thought of the family breaking up shocked him into realising he had to change.

He finally started to accept that he is passive aggressive - I don't know if this is the right term, other posters have mentioned EA and I think this may apply to my DH too. He has been to hypnotherapy/CBT and started to take a low dose of anti depressants. This seems to have helped massively. I have told him that if there is anything he is not happy with then he has to tell me directly, no more sulking or passive aggressive behaviour.

We are still getting there, he has not completely changed but he is definitely making progress. I think the turning point was when he accepted he did have a problem, and realised he needed to do something about it or he was going to lose his family. Sorry for the long post - it was really to just say that I understand where you are coming from and I do think people can change if they are willing to make the effort.

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 15:26:49

I can't believe how stupid I've been. There's definitely elements of gaslighting too. Literally read about it last night and then experienced it first hand this morning. It really is like a fog has been lifted. It is just one thing after another. I'm getting lots of promises to change quickly followed by one thing after another. I think he's confused because I'm calling him out on everything. He tries to give an excuse or reason foe his behaviour and when I don't accept it.

It's hard because I know he doesn't want to deal with life the way he does. He doesn't want to be like his Dad but I can now see that this is how he's handled himself for so long he can't figure out another way to be, even when explained to him.

I fear that this is unavoidably not going to end the wat I had hoped. He is working away from home next week. He was going to drive each day as I have a newborn and a toddler to look after butbi have asked him to get a hotel for a week so I can really gain some proper perspective and get things sorted. He does have a doctor's appointment this week though and I'm genuinely intrigued to hear what he says happened.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 15:33:53

It's not stupid to want to see the best in someone. However, 'he doesn't want to deal with life the way he does' is incorrect. He deals with life just fine when it's anyone but you in front of him. All you want is for him to extend you the same courtesy and that should be a simple enough task for a life-partner that he claims to love. If it's not happening, it's out of choice.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 15:36:26

BTW... he will tell you that the doctor has concluded he is not PA or EA but under great stress and it's because you are being so unreasonable and attacking him. Or words to that effect

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 15:47:54

You are right of course. I've been aware that he will saythat wwhen he comes back from the doctor. Ive said as much to him to his face. I've basically been waiting 2 weeks for this appointment to come round to see if I was going to be proved right. It's only in the mean time that the fog has truly been lifted.

Thanks Cogito. Really appreciate your responses and advice. Have you been through something similar yourself?

t3rr3gl35 Sun 12-Jan-14 15:49:26

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship where the actions were largely passive aggressive for 25 years. I too, believed that I needed to give him the opportunity to fix it. Again. And again. And again. Finally, I LTB. You owe it to your family to let them see you happy, not emotionally being ground into mince in front of them daily.

My final straw was realising that I was walking on eggshells around my children too - they had grown up believing that nothing i did was good enough. 10 years after leaving him, I'm still working on redefining my relationship with them and it's bloody difficult. For the sake of your future relationship with your family, get angry.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 15:56:29

Something similar. I was a lot younger but made the big mistake of hitching my wagon to someone who had 'issues' and wasting a full 12 years keeping the peace & thinking that his dreadful behaviour was not something he could control. For me the fog only lifted after he left me for someone else. I have dents in the backs of my legs from kicking myself... smile

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 15:56:55

Thanks. I am angry and sad but I'm also just slightly relieved and detached now. I'm just done. I'm looking forward to him going to work tomorrofiguring out what to do next. I agree that I've been think ing that I have to give him chances to fix it for tge sake of my kids. Not really thinking about how much better a Mum I will be when I don't have to be stressing about whatever thibf he's got me stressing about that day.

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 15:57:25

Sorry about spelling mistakes. Not sure what my phone is doing.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 16:01:32

You definitely won't miss the stress, the second-guessing or hearing his key in the lock and wondering if Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde will walk through the door today. Leaves a big hole in your life nevertheless and, for me, the hardest thing to come to terms with was it had all been such a waste of my time

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:03:17

Glad you got out. Thanks for your help. I think without the advice on here this could potentially have dragged out a lot longer.

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:07:13

I know I will miss having someone there. As sick as that sounds. And I wouldn't have my perfect little kids if it weren't for him. But he has taken a decade from me. Probably the prime years of my life. It's scary to think ofbbeing on my own but not as scary as still living this life in another 10 years wondering what happened to my life.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 16:15:57

Sadly, I didn't get out I was chucked out. smile After years of being the sympathetic listening ear for all his 'issues' and putting up with his crap he replaced me with someone new. All that the running around, clearing up his emotional messes and concern and self-sacrifice had earned me in the end was his contempt. And the new woman? .... 'she treats me better than you ever did.' Ungrateful wretch.

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