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Passive-aggressive or am I going mad?

(13 Posts)
rufussmum Tue 07-May-13 18:39:14

Anyone know anything about passive-aggressive behaviour?
My DH is a really, really 'nice' man. Everyone says so. A bit quiet and perhaps a tad on the passive side, but I have always regarded him as a 'better' person than me ifswim.
Despite 17 years together I still feel that I don't really know him, he often seems to be on another planet. I am the one who wants to make plans, get things done, organise stuff but somehow we rarely seem to get anywhere. He is good at forgetting small things - he works away Mon to Fri and every weekend I feel as if I have to start all over again telling him what's going on in my life.
He never instigates anything, especially things he knows I would like to do. He has never once organised, booked or planned a holiday or a special treat/outing. I feel as if I have to fight for everything and resort to anger to get him to 'hear' me.
He thinks it is Ok to do things he knows I won't like and not tell me - to avoid a row, he says. Then I find out and get angry anyway.
He had a couple of affairs in his first marriage, because first wife went off sex and 'told' him to find someone else. He has often told me that if I don't want sex he will find someone who does. Self justification I suppose. Not sure if he ever has. Hasn't mentioned it for some time.
Anyway, upshot is I feel disorientated, angry and frustrated most of the time and am beginning to hate myself.
Thanks for listening.

wizzler Tue 07-May-13 18:40:56

Whats in this relationship for you?

bigbuttons Tue 07-May-13 18:43:36

doesn't matter what label you give him, he's a crap partner. Why are you with him?

rufussmum Tue 07-May-13 19:07:18

Ok, he's generous, has been a good step dad to my son, we have been together for years, he works hard and looks after his own grown up children, he's financially responsible, picks up the dog poo and loves food-shopping. I am not so young any more and do not want to get old on my own. Pathetic, I know.
I have been in a couple of abusive relationships in the past and DH is nothing like those men.
Am afraid that I am just a really nasty and spiteful shrew. Feel very depressed most of the time and get angry very easily, but only with DH. I just want him to hear me, I think.

kittybiscuits Tue 07-May-13 19:24:48

Hi OP, your first post insn't a lot to go on, with regards to passive aggression - your examples could be indicators. There is an ebook on Amazon called 'The Silent Marriage'. My partner is passive aggressive to the extreme, and this book described him to a tee. Sorry I haven't sussed out how to link yet.

rufussmum Tue 07-May-13 20:10:38

Thanks Kitty will look at the book.

startlife Tue 07-May-13 21:57:58

I could have written your read the book as you may find it helpful.It helps to determine if your H is PA but doesn't offer much advice to deal with his behaviour.

What was his childhood like? Does he have close friends? My H had a highly aggressive and abusive mother, he finds it hard to form close friendships even though everyone who meets him thinks he just so lovely.I always thought my H was so steady, his emotions seemed so balanced but I have only just realised that of course he gets angry, like everyone else, however he never shows it.

When I have raised the issue of PA behaviour he is highly defensive and blaming, somehow it will always be my fault.Its draining being in a PA relationship, I feel as if I can't move forwards as it sucks so much energy from me.

I'm at the early stages of noticing his behaviour, so no solutions, I think I've always known something was not quite right but couldn't describe the behaviour until I came to MN.

kittybiscuits Tue 07-May-13 22:27:06

YY startlife to lots of your comments. Sorry I was so brief before OP - I wasn't in private. The book doesn't tell you how to deal with PA - my friend read the follow up book that is supposed to address this, but she said it's crap. And really, it's very difficult to live with PA and there's no magic wand. Mine is also a big drinker - it's a common combination. It's very hard to address anything with a PA partner - it does not matter how you approach things, all that comes back is denial and counter accusations, in my experience. We did some couples therapy - it really wasn't productive. There, as everywhere, he was perceived as the nice, kind, quiet and sensitive guy and me as the shrieking over the top mad woman. But there is no doubt that shitty little strokes keep coming in my direction, and if I point them out I am crazy/paranoid etc.

Support is very important when you live with this kind of craziness. It's very important to stay grounded and not get lost in stuff you can never get to the bottom of. Things I have found helpful are keeping texts and voicemails to listen to again, and keeping a record of events. Helps me to keep a grip on reality. It would be good to know more about your situation rufussmum

GingerBeer1234 Wed 08-May-13 17:45:07

I don't know an awful lot about PA behaviour but thanks to counselling and lots of reading this year, I've started to slowly wake up to the fact that my DH is a pretty classic PA. Some of your post really resonates , particularly about having to get angry to get 'heard' - I think I've been living like that for years. It's exhausting and draining, I know.

I can't seem to do links but do have a look at the EA thread - under 'get your angries' out, there's a very eyeopening (for me anyway!) section on PA behaviour, including what the man can do about it. I read this, and found it helpful, as it spelled out exactly what was happening in our marriage. And if you do a Google search on PA man, angry woman dyanamic, you should find more info. Understanding the patterns of behaviour can help you realise that you're not going mad but that there IS something wrong.

I found counselling helpful btw, to sort out some boundaries of behaviour - his and mine. Getting angry is all part of the same cycle, if that makes sense. It's very, very hard, but if you can stay calm and practical (and insistent on what you want), you can perhaps improve things enough to make life better. Not always, but it might be a start.
Good luck.

rufussmum Wed 08-May-13 20:34:48

Thanks everyone. Trouble is I have lost interest in getting what I want and am feeling increasingly lethargic about doing anything that involves DH. He knows how I feel as I have explained many times how upset his bahaviour makes me feel. No change and I don't hold out much hope for change in the future.

JustinBsMum Wed 08-May-13 22:09:57

What if you just arrange the holidays for yourself, and anything else you fancy. Just leave him home alone. You can't change him but see if you enjoy doing stuff alone and find a fulfilling life that way then decide whether you prefer being on your own or not.

chrome100 Thu 09-May-13 06:37:02

I'm sorry but when "picks up the dog poo" becomes one of a man's selling points that should tell you something!

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 06:44:49

Sorry to say but the affairs in previous marriage made me wonder what's going on when he's away Monday-Friday. Is it always to the same place?

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