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Passive Aggressive Obstructionism

Does Your Spouse Keep You Waiting?


Mother consoling daughter as father sits with son on sofa
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Obstructionism is the deliberate obstruction of progress. The passive aggressive person obstructs progress by resisting following through with expectations in interpersonal relationships.

We all enter into marriage with certain expections and the belief that those expectations will be met. Some reasonable expectations, some unreasonble expections. It is reasonable to expect respect, intimacy, concern and consideration for our feelings, needs and desires.

If you marry someone with passive aggressive personality disorder even the most reasonable expectation will go unmet. The trick to making a relationship with the passive aggressive work is not letting go of your expections but, letting go of the idea that your expectation will be met.

Below are a couple examples obstructionistic behaviors:

  1. You’ve decided to buy your first home. You’ve planned and saved for this special event and the time has finally come. You be the process of looking for the perfect home but every home you look at your spouse has an issue with. The bathrooms are too small, the kitchen needs to be updated, the neighborhood is not in the right location.

    No matter where you look or what you find, you can’t satisfy your spouse…no house fits his/her long list of requirements. More than likely your spouse doesn’t want to buy a home or doesn’t want to buy a home for you. If the passive aggressive knows you want a new home they will work over time keeping you from getting a new home.

  2. You have your first child. The two of you have always talked about what having a child would be like. Your spouse seemed excited about becoming a parent but once the baby is born his/her actions don’t say otherwise.

    A passive aggressive will have a hard time bonding with a child. He/she will not be able to put a child’s needs before their own need. And, the passive aggressive will be especially distant with you and the child if they know bonding as a family is important to you.

Living with the passive aggressive means living with constant anticipation. Once they have identified what you want, you can bet they will keep you waiting.

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