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Readers Respond: What Passive Aggressive Behaviors Have You Seen In Your Spouse?

Responses: 395


Run For Your Life!

I’ve been married to my husband for 6 years, he was the most attentive, kind, patient man I’d ever known until 1 year after we get married. Now he no longer wants sex, tells me he’s thru with it. I went without it for 3 years, only to find out he was using porn in my place. He has made me go from confidant, outgoing, intelligent, to disabled with generalized anxiety and chronic depression. I barely am able to leave my home. I cry all day. He’s called me fat, told me I was disgusting, constantly tells everyone I’m crazy, he’s not doing anything, I catch him in lies daily, lies about everything. He has never completed one task at my home in 6 years. If this sounds like you RUN FOR YOUR LIFE...if anyone can help me, please write.

The M.E. Connection!

Fascinated to read post about the person who now suffers with M.E. I too developed M.E. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), what a perfect way for my body to express how living with his behavior as hard going. Fortunately I had the insight after a year or so that he was in fact making me ill. He made me feel guilty about being ill and was no help whatsoever, and yet he wrote beautiful words in cards to me that just didn't stack up to his behavior towards me. When I told him I wanted out of the relationship after trying for 7 years to make it work, I went out for a walk and felt a strong urge to run with the liberation; it was then that I saw in 3D how it was true, he had made me ill. My health mirrored exactly what was going on in my life. I am 8 months on, separated but can't get him out the house yet; the M.E. is just slightly there now and I now know that once he is gone so will the rest of the M.E. Don't wait until you get sick like I did, you have to get them out of your life!
—Guest Runningblindwitheyeswideopen

Ever Fallen in Love?

I just got out of a devastating breakup with a girl who fit every characteristic that I had held for years as my ideal. She spent the first eight weeks going well out of her way to spend hours and hours on end with me, exhibiting kindness and consideration. Still, I found it hard to be honest with her about the depth of my feelings, and when I finally did, she took it as license to stop talking to me completely. When I finally got her to reconnect, she insisted that she had felt pressured and manipulated by me the entire time, and that my feelings were in no way her responsibility. She accused me of being possessive, and suggested that I improve my communication skills. All of this came out of nowhere and made me feel like complete crap for weeks afterward. All I want is to talk to her again, to acquiesce and settle for being friends, but I know just how humiliating that would be, and reading this page has helped me realize that it would only enable her to continue the cycle of abuse.
—Guest JoyGrenade

I'm Trapped Forever

I don't know how much more I can take. I always say this but I keep on taking it. We have been married 15 years now and have 4 children. He can be so sweet and loving and we can have a whole week of marital bliss. Then I will share some concern I have about his behavior and he becomes cruel and hardened. He will say something to put me down or Point out all the things I've supposedly done wrong or just get really and leave to go play a video games while I am crying. How can he say he loves me one minute and then act like I'm his worst enemy the next? He is very helpful with the children but if they start to cry about something he gets really angry and yells at them. Sometimes I wish he would be a little more abusive or unfaithful so I could justify leaving him. I'm so tired of being on this roller coaster and crying my eyes out. Note from the Divorce Support Guide...Why are you choosing to share a problem you have with his behavior during a period of "marital bliss?" If he is on his best behavior and things are going well, that is not a good time to choose to criticize him. Maybe he also feels that your criticism of his behavior is cruel just as you feel his it is cruel for him to point out what is wrong with you.
—Guest Sofrustrated

Have Had Enough!

My passive aggressive husband has robbed me of my passions, hardened my heart, I am going to take our four kids and leave and if he has to sleep in the street because he refuses to be independent and responsible I will still sleep soundly because it isn't my responsibility to be his. I've nothing left in my relationship except anger and bitterness towards him. Don't ever marry a passive aggressive person unless you intend to break your spirit for yourself.
—Guest Pissed off

Wow, And I Thought It Was Me!

Just out of a 4 year relationship with a guy that I had to walk on eggshells around. We both loved each other very much so this is still hard but I got to the point where I was so drained by his neediness, his distractions, his reactiveness and his inability to stick to any kind of plan or agreement, that I had to make the decision to quit. He is now seeing a lady (from a 25 year abusive relationship) who will serve as his motivator and energy supply. I now have to rebuild myself from the huge loss of self esteem and go forward, making sure I don't show any signs of passive aggressive behavior because he would mirror what I was feeling right back at me, making me concerned that I may be passive aggressive. It's so good to find a label for this because i feel i was so subtly manipulated around the issues, I find strength knowing it probably wasn't me. That feeling that everything was a higher priority than me and being criticised in areas that even he lacked in and huge lack of communication. I can move on now.
—Guest Jo

Passive Aggressive Partner

I am so relieved that I have found out about pa. I've been with my partner for over 5 years now and it had been bad right from the start. I've had everything, the moods, the silent treatment, withdrawing affection. He's told me that I would make a bad mother because I didn't put any basil in the pasta sauce, that I'm unadventurous and boring (even though I moved continents for him). Every waking moment of the day is spent trying to keep him happy and I'm tired of it. It's exhausting. At first I couldn't cope and his dad kept telling me to stick it out, that his mom abandoned him as a kid and he has problems, and just to give him time. Now he is blaming me because he has to work, says he hates his life and he feels trapped. Won't discuss marriage or children and has taken to binge-drinking most days during the week. Of course, it's all my fault. It's got so bad that I've thought about suicide as I felt that it is my fault and that he would be better without me being alive.
—Guest anon

Gladly Out of It!

Thankfully I am now longer with my PA boyfriend but still have to negotiate the withholding/destructive patterns as we have twin boys together. It is amazing to see how he behaves towards them is now the full range of tactics that he used to use on me - mobile switched off, arrangements made and broken, moody and sullen behaviour if they don't do what he wants, when he wants it. Fortunately they are 14 and call him on some of this behaviour but I do worry that this self destructive behaviour will leave them with a impaired relationship with him and, ultimately might damage their own future intimate relationships. Anyone any advice?

In Hell For 28 Years

I have spent 28 years trying to be smarter, thinner, more attractive. 28 years trying to work more hours, keep a cleaner house, cook better meals. 28 years trying to find some way to make this man love me!! I worked, raised two kids, had dinner on the table every night.....and he will tell anyone who will listen how he does EVERYTHING - This is the man who went two exactly 3 parent teacher conferences, but always had time for the bar and friends. This is the man who rolled over and went to sleep when I asked him to go out and get me an antacid at 2 am because I was 8 months pregnant and in tears. We were on the east coast for HIS brother's wedding and he sent me out, on my own, in a strange town. The only thing I have ever been able to count on him for is that he will be 100% unavailable when I need him. Well, the divorce papers are ready to be filed next week and I am on my way to freedom! Of course, he is making the entire process miserable and doing his best victim routine!
—Guest Soon to be Free!

Crazy Making and the Silent Treatment

After daring to get angry and confront my boyfriend about his inappropriate behaviour I got everything turned round on me. No matter how much evidence I gave it was my fault for not believing him and he refused to talk about it that made me angry and verbally abusive so I became the crazy one. I finally got him to meet with me again but he had to bring one of his female friends along to abuse me and do all his talking. I now realise this was all to sabotage my attempts and making him deal with the issue and communicate and punish me.
—Guest Sarah

Passive aggresive behavior

I am divorced from my husband now, but the only conclusion I could get to is that he was a bottomless pit that could never be filled. I tried to please him all the time to his irrational demands. If I would walk away from an argument then I didn`t care enough. He wanted to cut all the ties I had with my friends and family by telling lies to me and them. He also cheated on me several times. He moved onto another victim and yet tried to cheat on her too. I have lost track of all the broken promises. He never followed trough on anything. Not only me but even friends and at work. He is an alcoholic but doesn`t want to admit it, but he will comment on other people`s drinking habits. He had a real Dr, Jeckel and Mr. Hide personality and I just could`t keep up with that. It felt that I was the one at fault all the time and the feeling of going crazy wasn`t far off in my mind all the time.Isn`t there a way to stop this kind of people in doing harm to others.
—Guest Riana

Help For Passive Aggressives

There is help for guys, all behaviors and beliefs are usually formed in the first 7 years of life. You were not born this way. Go find a good therapist who is trained in Timeline/NLP and Hypnosis. You can get quite a bit of work done in a few sessions which will really change your old behaviors. Just because you are passive aggressive doesn’t devalue you as a human. People who are in relationships with passive aggressives also need to look at their co-dependency issues and be responsible for their choices, and of course you can change too, and attract a different relationship next time. It shouldn’t be about judging but getting help.
—Guest Kelly Hypno/NLP Prac

Classive Passive Aggressive

I have been with him for 7 mos. He was so wonderful and sweet. So passive and patient. He is very quiet and rarely talks unless talked to, rarely wants sex unless I initiate. I noticed early on that he would say sarcastic remarks every now & then which was inconsistent to his passiveness. Then noticed he would go into these sulking modes very easily and get defensive and argumentative when I didn't even say anything mean! Then I noticed he would procrastinate and be stubborn at times. He does anything for me and says "your the boss; but at times I felt like he was defying me! I noticed HE NEVER got angry. But when he finally did, he would hate himself for it and cry and feel that he was broken. I wondered what the heck was wrong with him? I then continued to feel empty and neglected but didn't know why. I would try to communicate this to him and he would get sad and shut me out for hours, weeks!!! I can't take it anymore. I am a nervous wreck over it!I left him but I'm afraid he will be back!

Feeling Empowered!

A weight has been lifted off my shoulders reading this. Had heard ex being described by others as passive aggressive but never really understood what it meant (wanted to sound knowledgeable!). Now that I understand that I haven't been ungrateful and crazy all those times I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and feel SOO much better. This understanding is allowing me to mentally put some of the behaviors aside and not allow myself to be dragged into his game. I feel so much stronger and empowered now. Thanks
—Guest Whiteport


It has been 30 years of living with this man who sees himself as a saint. This saint has consistently told me that I am inadequate in every way at almost every opportunity. Has had one girlfriend after another in his mind and in his heart but will not go to the physical point because that would destroy his self image as a saint. But he flaunts them in my face whenever he feels like it. When I finally have had more than I can stand, and he feels that he might lose me (his security blanket/whipping boy), he will then apologize and tell me how sorry he is and how, although he may not have loved me in the past, he now realizes that he does really love me and it will never happen again. He is so sincere and believable that I have always felt bad and trusted him again. Some of us are just slow learners! I can't take any more. I don't know exactly what I want to do about it but I know that I can no longer believe him or trust my own judgement. I am now finding myself becoming abusive
—Guest Lynne

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