I'm new here. End of my tether. It's a long one but I'll try and keep it short. And please don't judge me, as I'm not fully innocent in this. I just need some support as I've lost myself.
Been with my partner 18 years. We were pretty happy till the subject of children came up. Many arguments later he agreed as the only other option was to split. Fell pregnant, woke him to tell him and his response was 'hope you're happy now'. Sadly I lost that baby at 11 weeks. He consoled me but also initially refused to try again. After going to counselling (just me) and a lot of begging he agreed and I again fell pregnant. Very limited interest in the pregnancy but when he was born he took to fatherhood like a duck to water. I then had another 3 years later. Although we had good times I felt a simmering resentment from him that we were living my life not his. We drifted so far apart. Every evening he would be up in his attic, smoking cannabis (he smokes it daily) and I would be downstairs. I started chatting on twitter and without any intention whatsoever started talking to a man. I don't know what I was thinking. I was just swept away with the attention and an affair happened. It was discovered about 8 months in. He told everyone we knew to shame me and show that I was a 'cheating whore'. Our world fell apart and I am so ashamed of myself for being the sort of woman that could do that but through counselling I grew a better understanding of why. I can't justify it in anyway. He eventually agreed to Relate. It did help, it helped us see how we'd got where we had. It showed how we were both at fault, me for obvious reasons and him for withdrawing, smoking weed, not being a partner for me. She suggested he needed psychotherapy and CBT to work on childhood issues. He doesn't think he needs to. I knew it would never be easy but 3 and a half years on I live on eggshells. He has frequent moods. Almost daily. I do my best but I get really affected by them. I feel responsible for them. He often accuses me of not being affectionate but I am, as much as a full time working mother of 2 has the energy for. He actually very rarely initiates affection. I think he mixes it up with sex. I've noticed that his mood is better if we've had sex. I feel he needs to find peace in himself, to be happy and the rest will follow. But he doesn't agree. So we are stuck in this limbo. What do I do? I'm thinking of going back to counselling, again! Thank you so much for reading this, if you've made it to the end.
Living on eggshells is no way to exist.
Perhaps you guys should have split after the affair. Do you want to go back to counselling or do you want the relationship to be over?
Has your counsellor mentioned that your DP may be passive-aggressive? Do some reading around that on Google., as I believe your DP fits some of that description to be honest.
Sounds like he doesn't see you as a separate person with your own needs. Most women do want children (I say that as someone who didn't want and don't have children myself) so how could he resent you saying you did want them?
It's okay for someone not to want children, but he said he didn't want them then said he DID want them as an alternative to splitting up. WHY didn't he want to split up if he realised you wanted different things? If it's because he loves you, fine, but it doesn't sound like he is trying to understand your feelings at all.
I am rambling, sorry. Here's what screams "passive-aggressive" to me:-
* Says no to children but does not want you to split so you can find someone who does.
* "Agrees" to children (though in his heart he has not really)
* Childish grudging "hope you're happy now" comment when you get pregnant.
* Refused to try again despite originally agreeing to children.
* Made you beg for children after originally agreeing to it.
* Simmering resentment from him instead of discussing like adults.
* Emotionally stonewalling you by being in the attic smoking dope.
* Doesn't think he needs help/therapy even though relationship not working.
* You have an affair because you are in such a bad place. You admitted wrong, owned the responsibility, etc. He just used it as a stick to beat you with (going public with it, calling you names). Now he feels he has upper hand/moral high ground and is milking that.
* He has frequent daily moods, which make you live on eggshells.
* He criticises you for not having energy (how much does he help you out when he's not smoking dope by the way?)
* He sulks like a child until you have sex and then he cheers up for a bit.
Wow. I don't know, OP!
I would certainly go back to counselling myself even if he won't go. I think you need that input to get balance.
If he won't work on the relationship and is befuddling his head with drugs and sulks like a child, I don't see how you can sort anything out.
What are your feelings about the relationship overall?
What are his good points? Is it worth it over all? Would you stay with him if he never changes?
Sorry I haven't got better advice to offer, just some food for thought.
3. Disguised Relational Hostility
Examples: The silent treatment. The invisible treatment. Social exclusion. Neglect. Sullen resentment. Indirectly hurting something or someone of importance to the targeted person.
Possible Intention(s): Express anger or resentment. Punishment. Purposely creating negative and disconcerting environment. Putting the targeted recipient off balance. Attempting to create insecurity.
article continues after advertisement
4. Disguised Psychological Manipulation
Examples: Lying. Excuse making. Two faced. Backstabbing. Deliberate button pushing. Negative or discomforting surprises. Blaming the victim for causing their own victimization. Deformation of the truth. Mixed messages to keep recipient off balance. Strategic disclosure or withholding of key information. Exaggeration. Understatement. One-sided bias of issue.
Possible Intention(s): Deception and Intrigue. Avoidance of responsibility. Manipulate facts of the issue. Distort perception for easier persuasion and control. Misdirection to take focus off of the real issue.
Examples: Unreasonable blaming. Targeting recipient’s soft spot. Holding another responsible for the passive-aggressive’s happiness and success. Holding another responsible for the passive-aggressive’s unhappiness and failures.
Possible Intention(s): Targeting the recipient’s emotional weaknesses and vulnerability. Manipulate and coerce the recipient into ceding unreasonable requests and demands.
Examples: Procrastination. Forgetting. Stonewalling. Withholding resources or information. Unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape. Excuse making. Broken agreements. Lack of follow through.
Possible Intention(s): Avoiding responsibility, duty, and obligations. Maintaining power and control by imposing many hoops to jump through. Passive competitiveness making life more difficult for others. Purposely blocking others’ success. Jealousy of others’ success.
Examples: Stubbornness. Rigidity. Inefficiency, complication, incompletion, or ruination of task.
Possible Intentions(s): Power struggle. Passive combativeness. “Victory” is gained from the frustrated efforts and negative emotions of the recipient.
8. Underhanded Sabotage
Examples: Purposely undermine tasks, projects, activities, deadlines or agreements. Causing harm or loss materially. Overspending. Wrecking positive chemistry interpersonally, socially or professionally. Deliberate disclosure of harmful information. Deliberate obstruction of communication and endeavors.
Possible Intention(s): Covertly express anger, hostility, and resentment towards an individual, group, or organization. Channeling unspoken gripe or unresolved past issues. Personal, social, or professional jealously. Subtly administering punishment or revenge.
9. Self-Punishment (“I’ll show YOU”)
Examples: Quitting. Deliberate failure. Addiction. Self-harm.
Possible Intention(s): Hurting another by hurting oneself. Aiming to frustrate, frighten, or pain someone. Appeal to sympathy. Drama. Wanting and needing attention. A cry for help on deeper issues (might require strong intervention).
Examples: Exaggerated or imagined personal issues. Exaggerated or imagined health issues. Dependency. Co-dependency. Deliberate frailty to elicit sympathy and favor. Playing weak, powerless, or martyr.
Possible Intention(s): Designed to exploit the recipient’s good will, guilty conscience, sense of duty and obligation, or protective and nurturing instinct.
Although passive-aggressive people are not pleasant to deal with, there are many effective skills and strategies you can employ to minimize their damage and gain their cooperation, while increasing your own confidence, composure, and problem-solving prowess. In my book (click on title): “How to Successfully Handle Passive-Aggressive People”, you can learn how to maintain composure, ways to be proactive instead of reactive, seven powerful strategies to handle passive-aggressive behavior, three types of humor to disarm negativity, and seven types of power you can utilize to compel cooperation.
You are hurting each other.
Put your energies into organising a pleasant life for you and your children.
Join the discussion
Please login first.