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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.

UpNorthAgain Mon 29-Sep-14 16:55:34

Rainbow, this all sounds very familiar! My XH left the marriage emotionally some years before telling me he wanted a divorce. On the infrequent occasions he went out with DD and me he would stride on ahead or lag behind, and when I protested he would blame me for walking too quickly / slowly. Two weeks after serving me with the divorce papers I discovered that he was having an emotional affair with a woman he had met years previously on an HE course. Frankly, I didn't care if it was a physical affair too because I don't think that could have hurt me more.

My counsellor (who along with amazing friends kept me sane) explained to me once that because I had spent my marriage apologising and backing down in order to avoid the weapons-grade sulking being unleashed, my XH was expecting me to do the same during the divorce proceedings. My XH was wrong. My SHL and I took him all the way to FDR.

(Can't work out how to inset emoticons...help!)

StartinOverTheRainbow Mon 29-Sep-14 14:32:27

Oh yes, my ex left me too briefly because of my 'anger issues'. No, looking back he was having an emotional affair (and probably physical), and had distanced himself emotionally from the marriage and blaming me for everything. I couldn't even cough properly! No wonder I was angry, I had every right to be!

StartinOverTheRainbow Mon 29-Sep-14 14:29:08

'Women Who Love Too Much' should be on your reading list. Not books on what you think is wrong with him, leave that to a counselor.
I did the same with ex, read all the books, did loads of online research, booked specialist counselor's, the whole lot. He was my Project. The problem with Projects is that they won't change unless they want to, even when their own wife, family, and more than one counselor say exactly the same thing.
They know they are Projects too. It absolves them of taking responsibility for their own actions and life and how they affect other people and if it all still goes to pot, well then, it's your fault, you know. hmm

UpNorthAgain Mon 29-Sep-14 13:29:55

Right, this is the first tme ever that I have posted but when someone upthread said their PA ex had them reading anger management books I shouted, 'Yes, yes, yes!' out loud.

I was married to a PA for 18 years and with him for longer. It was only in the latter stages of our marriage that I realised he was PA, after googling 'sulking' - he could have won gold if sulking was an Olympic sport. The 'Living with a PA Man' book described my life exactly; the way a PA will wind you up and provoke you until you lose your temper, then punish you by accusing you of being an angry and unpleasant woman. We went for counselling at Relate at one point (wouldn't recommend them), and he totally suckered the counsellor into believing he was calm and rational and I was bonkers. As others have sad, he just paid lip service to the idea and never really engaged / became angry / cried etc.

He left me and our DD three years ago when I refused to relocate for the umpteenth time, and made the divorce a nightmare due to his PA shenanigans. It took me a long time to get over it, but I can truly, truly say that I am happier now than I have been for years. Family and friends comment on the change. I lost him and found me.

ilovelamp82 Mon 29-Sep-14 12:48:41

He went a couple of times. I asked him what he told them he was there for. He told them to work on his self esteem. Idiot!! He also took anti depressants for a week and then stopped because they made him feel 'funny'.

We went to our first social engagement where we were both present on the weekend where he followed me round telling me he missed us. He has no one else in his life. He made his bed, he can lie in it.

Cogito was right, the only real feelings I have now are of time wasted.

The kids and I get to live in a happy stress free environment 99% of the time.

I used to try and make it work for the kids but now I see that leaving him is the best thing I could have ever done for them. And I'm lucky that they're young enough not to have been affected.

JaceyBee Mon 29-Sep-14 12:32:03

Well done for getting rid of him OP, with a tiny baby as well, what a great example to set for others in the same situation! Glad life is so much better now smile

I bet he never really engaged with the counselling either did he? At least he's no longer your problem anyway!

ilovelamp82 Mon 29-Sep-14 10:41:44

Just looking at some other relationships threads which made me seek my own thread out from January to see what my mindset was like then.

It's been 9 months now since I kicked him out. Although he is still sulky, moany and tries to pick fights when I see him sometimes I can honestly say that life is so much better now he's gone.

I want to thank everyone for their advice at the time, especially Cogito. Without it I really think I would still be living that nightmare. I was really in an exhausted, vulnerable place at the time and you guys gave me strength and validation.

Thank you so much xx

ilovelamp82 Sat 25-Jan-14 20:20:53

My brother has gone home now, I've had a friend over but just sent her home as I have a headache from crying so much. I just want to be a year from now, when I know everything will be better. I'm not looking forward to everything I need to deal with. I am looking forward to being happy though.

Handywoman Sat 25-Jan-14 17:42:52

OP well done. You have done amazingly, even while you are so exhausted. I really feel for you. Sometimes things just take on momentum. Is your brother sticking around with you tonight? Where do you think H will go? Have a hug and half a wine from me.

ilovelamp82 Sat 25-Jan-14 15:08:41

So, he went off for work for a week. Staying in a hotel for a week, I stayed at home with a toddler (who has just started the dreaded tantrums) and a newborn, who likes to stay up all night. It's been unbelievably hard on my own with basically no sleep. He went to the doctors and got a prescription for anti depressants and started them and went to a counselling session this morning but it all kicked off before he left and I asked him not to come back after his counselling.

I locked him out the house, he tried to get in when he got back, obviously thinking I'm not serious. I had called my brother asking if he can travel to see me and give me a hug, so I told my husband that he could come in and get his stuff when my brother got here so that I could make sure he would leave again. I knew he wouldn't kick up a fuss in front of my brother and I knew he wouldn't leave and would just mess with my head more if my brother wasn't here.

I'm rambling again, but long and short of it is, he's gone. I'm glad that he's gone, I'm just worried about the logisitcal and financial side of things now. I just want to stay in my house, I don't have the energy at the moment to move elsewhere but I know that my husband can't afford to pay for somewhere else to live.

JetSetWilly Mon 13-Jan-14 23:33:24

I feel like I'm an intelligent person and the fact that I've been getting manipulated for so long has really thrown me. I don't know when my self esteem got so low that I let this behaviour become acceptable.

^^ it's because you're a nice person. Happens to a lot of us unfortunately.

You was me two years ago and I couldn't be happier now with him out of my life (somewhat we have two DCs)

The straw that broke the camels back moment was an argument about chilli con carne! But mumsnet terms helped me see the light

None of your story sounds good I'm afraid in fact it sounds very simar to mine.

Keep posting. I will answer any questions you have when I come back. Or pm me. Off to sleep now. Good luck op you can do it

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twinklestein Mon 13-Jan-14 23:19:21

Admitting that he's emotionally abusive and then saying he's not doing it on purpose is a essentially making a confession and then retracting it.

The point about abuse is that it is voluntary, intentional. If he can't admit that, then he's not actually admitted to being abusive at all.

Lack of self awareness may mean that an abusive person is not fully conscious of the reasons for their actions or indeed conscious of the full impact of them, but their actions are willed nonetheless.

He can stick post its round the whole house, what you really want him to do is acknowledge his behaviour and change it. That's a lot harder.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 13-Jan-14 23:16:40

There's often some 'last straw' moment and it can be something relatively trivial that triggers it. Feeling you've been had. Running out of patience. Looking at him with fresh eyes and not liking what you see. Talking about what he does and getting that shock face from a friend (or the MN board). Anything

ilovelamp82 Mon 13-Jan-14 23:09:10

Sorry about mistakes. Partly my phone being strange and partly because I'm tired.

ilovelamp82 Mon 13-Jan-14 23:06:38

You are right again Cogito. I feel like now my eyes have been opened I would be stupid to stick around. But then I've never outright said the things that I have this time. I've normally ended up somehow taken part of the blame and plodded along. I've told him that I'm not taking any if the blame anymore and that I won't accept any of this behaviour now that I see clearly what's happening.
The truth od the matter is I wasn't going to start makingararrangements to leave until next week when he's staying away anyway. Chances are if he's going to revert back, going on past experience, if it's no differentwill bebefore then anyway and then I can know I gave it one last chance

It feels different this time. I feel like my tolerance has hit its absolute limit and I won't accept any more, but then I realise how silly that would sound if I read it.

Well I've got my health visitor tomorrow and he has his doctors appointment on Wednesday. 6 days till he goes off for a week. If it's going to go wrong, it will by then, I'm sure.

Annie - it makes me sad to think if someone else feeling the way I feel. Have you considered counselling for yourself? Do you have kids? Feel free to PM me too x
I

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 13-Jan-14 22:37:34

Being charitable, he's sucking you back in. Being uncharitable, he's sucking you back in.

EA and PA doesn't mean that they are awful all the time. The whole reason you've stuck around this long is that you've seen regular flashes of the nice version of him (like notes, flowers and a bit of dinner) and, because you're an optimistic sort and because the idea of breaking up a relationship seems so daunting, you heave a sigh of relief and tell yourself... 'oh he's not so bad really'.

You can test it... there's no rush. Like factories that display big signs that say '46 DAYS SINCE THE LAST QUALITY FAILURE' you can start the clock running now and see how many days it is before he goes back to his preferred habits.

ilovelamp82 Mon 13-Jan-14 22:25:41

My head is such a mess. He admits that he is emotionally abusive and passive aggressive but not that he does these things on purpose. I came downstairs this morning to find post it notes stuck everywhere each with a different reason why he loves me. He came home after work today with a bunch of flowers and then made dinner. Is this him making the appropriate effort or is he just trying to suck me back in. He thinks I'm making him out to be a monster. Is he a monster? My head is all over the place.

Got a health visitor coming round tomorrow morning, so I'm going to ask her if she can arrange for a counsellor for me before my head explodes.

Sorry to ramble again.

Tinks42 Sun 12-Jan-14 19:05:51

I even read books on "anger management" for myself due to him winding me up to the point of wanting to burst. Now he's gone - also ran off with a woman that treats him far better, I'm back to my placid self grin

3mum Sun 12-Jan-14 16:59:55

Have been lurking on this thread. OP you mentioned that you have given this man 10 years of the prime years of your life. He won't change (and Cogito is right, he is an EA bully).

I gave my EA ex (who eventually buggered off with someone else) thirty years. Thirty years of running around after him, putting up with his complaints about the state of the house and the way I looked even though I did absolutely everything to do with the house and children whilst working too, running everything in mine and the children's lives around him and his moods, never ever even getting a thank you or a compliment.

Like you I tried everything to fix "our relationship. Books, new shared interests, holidays, changing myself and the way I behaved, you name it I tried it. I wouldn't give in and I kept plugging on. I almost lost myself completely along the way.

Splitting wasn't my choice, but it was the best thing which could have happened to me. Just being able to lead my life with my children in the way I want to is such a release. It's like getting out of jail. But boy do I get furious when I think of how I wasted all my youth with him. Don't be me. Get out before it's thirty years for you too.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 16:28:15

As does yours. smile Good luck

t3rr3gl35 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:27:51

I can honestly say that I never for a single second ever missed having him there.
Embrace the scary - you only get one shot at life and you should squeeze maximum joy out of it. 10 years on and I still feel the satisfaction of running a bath and knowing that I will be able to get in it and come out when I want to, not for whatever manufactured crisis he could think up to destroy a few moments peace. Or the sheer joy of putting/not putting on the TV and the freedom to watch something I choose. Cooking a meal and not having every item looked at with disdain and "constructive" comments on how they ought to have cooked or presented. Even better is the daily knowledge that I am, in fact, a decent, capable person who deserves to be treated well. smile You deserve to feel decent, capable and worthy of being loved too.

ilovelamp82 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:18:10

Wow! He sounds charming.

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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