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

Responses: 395


walking on eggshells

my long time boyfriend is nice 1 min. the next bites my head off. He never tells me i look nice . If he misplaces something its my fault and he never wants to talk about my feelings , i have to beg for any money, if i am upset or crying he doesnt even care, always telling me I cant do anything right, like the other night the dogs were barking and it sounded like someone at the door , i woke him and he told me the next time dont wake him, get a gun if i had too, like i said one minute nice as can be the next so mean, but has never hit me. or acted like he was going to hit me, i needed medication for high blood pressure and he told me that not to ask him for the money, I dont have a job due to illness and maybe its me, but i believe he is bipolar, I know he isnt cheating cause when he isnt at work he is home or were together , i try to do everything i can to please him , nevers says thank you, when i do something for him, any suggestions would be appreciated, and i honestly love him.

18 years of hell

My PA husband learned everything from his controllling mother and his PA father. He can never accept responsibility for anything. If something goes wrong, its always my fault. We have no communication. If I asked him a question he just ignores me. The TV is his life...what he lives for. He can't made a desicion to save his life. Hes lazy. We live in a old house that is falling down around us. He is always off helping others fix their homes. He got employee of the month at his job, because he is the biggest butt kisser there. No one would believe me when I say how mean and rude he is. Never remembers my birthday or anniversary. Not that I need anything special, but he can't even say happy birthday. For our FIRST anniversary I bought MYSELF a dozen roses. Sat in the kitchen alone eating the top of our wedding cake , while he watched TV. Withholds sex. Made me feel so ugly. Im so glad I found this. I never realized it wasn't all my fault till now.
—Guest Wide Awake

15 Years of hope

I was looking for psychological information because I was sure my husband had a problem. I am deeply sad to learn about this condition. I really wanted to find a cure for him. I do love him, but I cannot live like this anymore. I could never understand his behaviour but all that I have read has happened to me: We never go out (now I learn it was to punish me), no sex, no talking for weeks, blaming me for every single thing that went wrong or opposite to his desires, no gifts or a kind word in Xmass or Anniversaries. What I don't understand is if this people feels fear to dependency why when I propose to get divorce he said no. Are this pleople so twisted that they want to keep you around to only make you miserable? I am thinking on living him, sadly money is holding me. Wish me luck because I do want to be happy and today I learnt it will not be with him.

Free At Last

I dated a PA man off and on for many many years. I knew I was crazy and knew enough to know he was PA but just didn't know all of the is and outs of this PA personality. Knowledge did not keep me from the verge of going crazy from his ambiguous ways. He is skilled in leading a double life, the blame game, name calling and has the most calm way to say the most hurtful things. I must have lost my mind completely to deal with this foolishness for so long but when I tried to leave he would reel me back in with those kind ways that he so easily switched back and forth from. I lost so much weight and was so stressed dealing with that guy. I didn't recognize myself spiritually or physically. I knew that I knew better but I thought that love and forgiveness would conquer all. Week, love and forgiveness does NOT mean remaining in an oppressed relationship! Finally free
—Guest Finally Free but not without a price!

married the same PA 3 times! what a trap

Over the last 9 years I have married, and been tossed out by him...yeah stupid, but proof of the control, crazy-making, self esteem stripping tactics these sick people are so expert in using. He has tried to ruin my career (I'm a nurse) with help from one of his many "girls", after one of the divorces he filed...he is powerful, and as soon as I would get my life back together, he would weasel his way back in with promises, counseling...whatever it took till i trusted him again...then once i'm back...everything goes back to the norm...no communication, silent treatments, intolerance of and humiliating me in public because i am intelligent, and outgoing....there is no way to win with these people....yes, i love him. yes, i feel sorry for him...but he is 51 years old...when do they take responsibility and humble themselves enough to get help??? they don't! that is part of it. they tear you down, make it seem all your fault, and NEVER EVER CHANGE....RUN! RUN AND NEVER COME BACK!!!

PA man

My man will be angry with someone else and boom it comes at me. Or it could be something I did earlier (even a year ago) and he'll take a snipe. He feels that anger is a no-no and will not admit to being anger, ever.I've told him that expressing anger is okay. Only one time did I hear him say that he was mad about something, but it was long after the person who angered left the room. That person still doesn't know about it.What gets me about P-A people is that they think they're doing a "good and moral" thing. BUT- they're really not being honest and truthful to anyone, especially themselves. They also will act in a way that poises you as the bad guy because you appear more emotional or angry. Best thing to do is not express anger, but be firm and tell them exactly what they're doing. Also, say that it isn't healthy for them to hold stuff in. Withholding information makes them appear dishonest. Believe me, they do care about how they appear. That's why they play good cop-bad cop.
—Guest Change Can Happen


I could never explain or understand what was going on in my marriage of almost 18 years. I am an educated, intelligent person and I couldn't figure out how I always end up being the "bad" guy. We have been separated for over a yr. and can now file for divorce, but... he still cares for me and wants to get back together. He doesn't have the $, but just bought a dog and paid a hefty pet deposit. At least he does pay child support b/c he has to look like a loving family man on the outside! You should see the way he treats this dog. He never treated our children that way. It's sad!
—Guest wow

Long Winded Preacher

Husband a preacher, a good and knowledgeable teacher, but would preach so long he would not be invited back or assigned a church. He said it was HIS time, and was other's fault for taking so long with openning service like songs and prayers. Once he said another preacher had used his topic, and preached an hour anyway ! It was my fault if he was late for anything even if we were waiting for him. He was self-employed because employers didn't understand or appreciate him or his work.
—Guest time not important

Got Out and Never Looked Back

I lived with a PA for 10 yrs, allowed him to procreate, and got a divorce and a huge cockamay custody battle to show for it. He was all of those things and more, I believed he had Borderline Personality Disorder. They have many of these same traits. The blame, nothing ever his fault, my being a bad wife/mother, inability to hold a job-12 jobs in the 10 yrs we were married. Jealous of my relationship with my mother/sister/friends, he had none. I am so grateful he finally left. I never asked him to come back, just quickly started divorce proceedings. If he had not left I am sure I would be crazy for real by now! God bless all of you still in the relationship. If you finally understand them, you are then as crazy as they are. Get out before that happens!
—Guest GuestAngie

One Roller Coaster Ride

I have been duped. My life with my pa husband has been one roller coaster ride. I have lived with him for 28 years and have know him 34 years. Recently discovered he was pa and realize that he will not change. First, he refuses to hear me when I try to tell him what I have discovered. He refuses to listen to anything I have to say. My emotions have been on this ride for years. He always turns stuff back on me and refuses to take the blame for any of his actions/behavior. He has never really loved me and rarely tells me he loves me unless I say it first. Always pretends like he doesn't hear me when I am talking to him. He famous three words are " I don't know". This makes it easy for him to not accept responsibility. There has never been any intimacy or a real connect at all with us. The person I thought I married and knew is not the person at all. He is a time waster and procrastinates with everything. I now know that I have married the wrong man.
—Guest Annie

Shake your plumb tree.

I have short comings ,,my worst one is i have allowed so many PA, I'n my life.i love people just the wrong ones. Well after evaluating my friendships my family who many are PA. And even my marriage .i began what i call shaking my plumb tree. Gettin rid of all the prunes. It's not my responsibility to fix be part of or take the blame. I'm still not all the way there but boy life is better. I broke off friendships and relationships that for decades i felt i had to be I'n.I'm not a vitom anymore. I have beautiful horses and a lovely home and a wonderful son who is autistic.my husband at times is PA. But things have bottom so much better as i have let him know also that I'm ready to move on if he keeps pushing me away.i took charge. Toxic people hurt. Toxic people love to hate me. I'm no longer available. I would rather play with my animals and trim my roses totally alone that be with one more PA. funny ,when you end the relationship how they do or say anything to keep you. Iv moved on. :
—Guest Luv2rocku

Am I Too Insecure?

Sometimes I am not sure about my husband, a few years ago he betrayed our marriage, we received prayer where he admitted he had a "wondering eye problem" well its more than that, he has been unfaithful at other times too! I don't think he had sex but he's always looking for attention in general especially from women! He has given me the silent treatment- he is "silent defiant" and was diagnosed with ADHD, and what I call "macho"! He does fit the passive-aggressive characteristics as well, I do notice he is into himself always looking at himself in the mirror but not sure if he wants to look good for someone else or what! I feel insecure and can't wholeheartedly give in even after 16 years of marriage. I don't trust him and won't. So glad I ran into these articles. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt pains & stories it helps me understand my current situation better. I am sure they suffer in their craziness as well. Wishing you all the best in life. God bless us all!
—Guest cindee

Passive Aggressive Fiance

I met this wonderful woman but after 6 months she started attacking me. Like my family doesn't like you. Or my friends don't like you or you are negative and I'm wonderful and kind, or you treat your grandson wrong, or you’re not like your wonderful son-in-law who treats your daughter so nice. She manufactures weird statements about me. I do not criticize but instead have contacted a friend who has a PhD. and passed the PhD’s comments back to her. Now she rationalizes and projects unto me. Left her but she still calls and checks on me by having others call my cell phone. Could add much more!
—Guest rodgers7

Leaving Passive Aggressive Husband

Its hard to know where to begin. I have been imprisoned in this twisted up and down crazy marriage with a passive aggressive husband. I felt freedom and dread I felt when I stumbled across your passive aggressive articles. I lost my breath!! I was so desperate to find out why I have tried so hard and ended up continually in worse straights through each and every year. Everything my husband has anything to do with comes to destruction! No matter what, no matter who. He has not one friend or any hobbies at all. He has no interests but following me and taking on all the good things I achieve in my life. He sucks the life out of me and anyone he comes in contact with. He uses my eight year old son who is his other victim to control and get his way. He has no concern for what his actions and choices do to others. It is sick!! His whole family is this way. I had no idea because I had never experienced such cold hearted selfish behavior disguised as charm in my life. Its awful!!
—Guest freedom

Passive Aggressive Wife

Like many responding I see passive aggressive behavior in my spouse of 23 years. She gives me the silent treatment, withholds sex, no acknowledgment of my feelings and many other things. The difference is she wants out and I stand to lose the home I have maintained all these years as well as help pay off. I will need to come back later I can't do this now!

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