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

(79 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 09:20:18

What sort of things does he do that lead you to conclude he is passive aggressive?

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 09:20:21

Why have you been reading around the subject and ordering books?

It sounds like you're taking this on as a personal project.

KouignAmann Sat 11-Jan-14 09:43:00

Anything less than this and I will not stick around

This is the nub of it. Your DH behaves in a way he is comfortable and familiar with but it makes you unhappy because it is unpleasant to live with a PA person. You have identified this and he has realised that unless he changes you will call time on the marriage. Hopefully he can learn some better ways of expressing himself and things will improve. But will you have to police him? Can he permanently change or will he slide back into PA behaviour after the fuss has died down?

What are his parents like? Would you like a marriage like theirs?

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 09:43:40

I have been reading about it because I have only just really realised that this is what the problem is. It's givenme a llittle bit of relief that I'm not going mad. I've ordered books because I want to know how to handle the situation so as to ultimately end up with a happy life (or as close as is possible)

I know that I can no longer live the life that we're living but I also realise that given my husbands horrendous childhood I don't want to just desert him, I want to give him the opportunity to get better so long as he is willing to really try. As seems to be the nature with this behaviour, I'm all he has and despite living a life on eggshells, I do love him but have come to the end of my patience.

I've always thought I knew what passive aggressive was and knew that he wasn't very good at communicating with me despite my efforts and knew he was an unhappy person, whixh given his childhood, I could completely understand and sympathise why.

I just want a happy life and would just let things go. But they build up until I statt to think "what am I doing here?"

Sorry if I'm rambling.

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 09:49:20

No, you're not rambling. But it seems like a lot of effort on your part to accommodate your husband behaving like a twat!

His childhood might explain how he feels at times. But he is an adult and he chooses his behaviour.

And I say that as someone from an abusive childhood. He probably would benefit from some counselling, but you shouldn't be walking on eggshells and your children should not be growing up in that environment.

So he changes or he goes. It's not up to you to change to accommodate him.

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 09:57:50

That's exactly what I'm thinking. I have now realised that i have spent too long just taking the brunt of his behaviour and need him to take control of making things better without me having to chase him. That in itself is scary. It's frustrating because if he doesn't get this sorted than I know we have to split up, which will ultimately leave us all unhappy. I want him to know thatI will support him so long as he works hard long term at this.

Oh I know I'm rambling but my head really is all over the place. It's difficult to have the future of my relationship in someone else's hands and not knowing whether he is going to put the effort in to fixing himself that I need him to or if he is just going to pay me a lot of lip service.

I definitely do not want a marriage like his parents. His mother has passed away now, but laterly they were both alcoholics. Interestingly my husband has often told me yhat his parents should have split up earlier and that his mother used to talk to him anout all her marital problems when he was young.

This is so hard. I know that this is not fault and I want to help him but ultimately know he can only help himself. I don't want to split our family. And I don't want him to be alone because his parents messed him up.

I want him living a successful well rounded life to be the 2 fingers to his parents that they deserve.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:00:44

You still haven't said what constitutes PA behaviour. You say you're 'on eggshells' and that is often the result of living with Emotional Abuse (psychological bullying) rather than PA. Very, very common in fact.

Custardo Sat 11-Jan-14 10:02:33

yeah i agree with cogito

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 10:03:29

we have to split up, which will ultimately leave us all unhappy

It won't. It really, really won't. It just feels like it would at at the moment. But you wouldn't be unhappy - at least, not for long.

I don't want him to be alone because his parents messed him up.


I want him living a successful well rounded life to be the 2 fingers to his parents that they deserve.

That's sort of what I was getting at with the 'project' comment, I think. He has got to not want to be alone because his parents messed him up and he has got to want to live a successful well rounded life. It's not enough that you want it. It's not something you can do for him, and it's not something you can effect in his head. He has got to realise it himself and until he does, it won't change.

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 10:04:20

Yes, I think cogito might have a point too.

ElizabethBathory Sat 11-Jan-14 10:07:10

If he's agreed to go to counselling and actually goes without you having to badger him that's a good start op.

But I'm concerned at the way you seem to think of passive aggressive behaviour as some kind of "condition" in itself. It's not, it's just another way of treating those you love badly. Your thread title is basically the same as saying 'does anyone have any positive stories about having a nasty husband' - it doesn't quite make sense.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:08:27

She bears the brunt of his behaviour, he says he's going to get help, there's the convenient excuse of an unhappy childhood and the net result is a partner that is leaving in a state of fear/anxiety, frantically trying to find a psychological rationale and 'fix' whilst, at the same time, feeling guilty about the whole thing because a) she wants to keep the family together and b) she's 'all he has'.

If this doesn't turn out to be EA I'll eat my hat.

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:12:43

Maybe walking on eggshells isn't the right way to express it. My husband is never outright argumentative with me and definitely never physical (in some ways it would be better if he just hit me because I would know it was the right thing to leave) it's more a case of me constantly trying to make our home a happy environment so that he doesn't moan or eyeroll or the like. It just seems that there isn't a thing in the world that he doesn't have something negative or cynical to say about (this is so opposite to me). On doing some reading it's the "forgetting, procrastinating, moaning, sulleness, non communicative etc that are so constant that drive me to despair but make me feel like I'm going mad because each individual incident isnt that big a deal but the repetitiveness of being ignored when I tell him what is bothering me is so hurtful and cumulative if that makes any sense.

I'm really sorry if this isn't coming out right. I'm a private person when it comes to my family so I've never spoken to anyone about this.

HorsePetal Sat 11-Jan-14 10:13:34

OP Cogito us spot on. Can you give us one or two examples of his PA behaviour?

HorsePetal Sat 11-Jan-14 10:15:33

So you feel as if you are constantly trying (and failing) to make him happy?

What does he do when something isn't 'right'? Shout? Criticise? Belittle you?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:20:47

OP you are being shamelessly manipulated. By making out he's never happy he keeps you in a constant state of anxiety, running yourself ragged trying to please and avoid confrontation. You feel like you're going mad because your confidence is low, your judgement impaired and you stick around hoping he has MH problems and isn't just a miserable bastard.

His technique is PA but his motive, I suggest, is to bully you into submission. He may not be giving you a black eye but, if anything, what he's doing to you is worse.

Oh.... and the counselling will be given lipservice only. Why would he want to change when he is in full control?

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:21:33

No. He doesn't shout or belittle me. This is what's so confusing. If he were to outright come out and argue with me, I would be able to deal with that. But it seems that as he can't handle confrontation if he feels slighted in some way he doesn't say it to me, he just quietly seethes and then takes it out on me some way later like only getting 2 out of 3 things from the shop despite me offering to write the things down because he "forgot" something the last time.

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 10:25:15

I think Cog's hat might be safe...

FolkGirl Sat 11-Jan-14 10:25:47

Quietly seethes and then looks for other ways to get his own back..?


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

He deliberately tries to wind you up by only buying 2 out of 3 things on the list. He is a bully!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 10:29:45

Sorry OP, you're being set up to fail so that you try harder next time to avoid the seething, sulking and petty retributions. It's bloody nasty behaviour and, rather than tiptoeing about pleasing him or finding him therapists, you need to stand up to him every single time.


ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:29:58

This is what I fear. It's hard for me to not chase him up about this counselling but I know that I can't and his actions regarding this are the decision as to whether I should stay.

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.

Am I being completely niave though, from what I have read until recently passive aggressive behaviour was classed as a disorder. Wouldn't that imply that it was more of an affliction that has been engrained him since childhood that he will just need to work hard at understanding in order to change his behaviours. I know he needs to feel it rather than me fix it for him, but don't I owe it to my family to give him that opportunity to fix it or am I really being that niave?

ilovelamp82 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:33:02

This is so crazy to me and a lot to take in. I've been a long time lurker and read so much about these women in ea relationships. I sit and think why would you stay with someone like that. Never thinking that that's the situation I'm in myself.

HorsePetal Sat 11-Jan-14 10:33:32

I've no idea whether it's classed as an affliction or not (I very much doubt it though).

Don't be fooled however into thinking that your husband is unable to control his behaviour.

He has complete control over it and is using it to control you. It's working perfectly for him.

If I were you OP I'd be very very angry indeed

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