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

Responses: 395


A passive aggressive can drive people around him/her crazy and seem sincerely dismayed when confronted with their behavior. Due to the passive aggressive s own lack of insight into their feelings the passive aggressive often feels that others misunderstand them or, are holding them to unreasonable standards. They do not react kindly when their bad behavior is pointed out to them. Passive aggressive behavior is often called "crazy making" behavior. What does or did your spouse do that made you feel like you were going crazy?

If you need real life support for a question or problem, please post to theDivorce Support Forum for feedback from others..

It Is Hard To Live With

My partner is passive aggressive. I have just realized this; he is constantly tired and says he can’t sleep unless he reads his book which means no love or passion for me!! I have tried to initiate it but have been called selfish etc. oh I have worked so I have given up many a night. I have cried into my pillow about this but I feel somewhat empowered that i have discovered this website. I thought it was just me, he is also a serious binge drinker and for 8 days at a time I support him when he is scared of dying through the drink we live with his parents we are in our 40 s life is such a nightmare at the moment I feel absolutely broken.
—Guest salma

Just realized after 20 years!

My wife seems the calmest most self-controlled person you could wish to meet. After reading about P A I now realize that maybe some of the accidents and incidents for which she never apologized are not so accidental after all. These are the traits I notice. Always late keeps you waiting every time always a good excuse though. Blames everyone else mainly her dad for all her previous failures. His fault she did badly in school, his fault she did not have the career she wanted. His fault she married the wrong people. Starts hobbies and courses etc but never finishes them, my fault not hers. Always complies with any request for help but never actually completes the task. Had an affair with some poor sucker much younger than her. Not her fault my fault I drove her to it. Refuses to state what she wants until you suggest something and then wants the opposite. Has an uncanny way of interpreting simple statements out of context to make you feel bad and guilty. With-holds sex. Is never wrong.
—Guest Packman

What a relief!

When I met my husband, me & everyone who saw how he treated me on the outside agreed he was the nicest most giving person in the world. So after 5 years of marriage, I seriously beleived I was the crazy one for not being happy in our relationship. He would cheat & blame his friends, not follow through on promises to change, and was so careless with my trust, bills, punctuality and even would have sex with me after drinking when I was asleep...and blamed me! This article is a god send! It is sums up every problem we have ever encountered in our relationship. Im going to slowly withdraw & take on a spectator role whole we continue counseling, but at least I know what to expect now. Even after sharing this article with him, he said he could see some similarities, then blamed the writer of being bitter source of info, & me for being on a page that had the word divorce for the web address... I was at a true loss for word as he spoke & by how well he fit the article.(denial, victim..etc)
—Guest Floored

Understanding what lies behind behaviour

I am still recovering several years after the end of over twenty years of marriage with a passive aggressive man. It is crazy-making and profoundly abusive. What helped me realize that I had to get out was when he admitted that he didn't view me as a person but rather as a means to an end and when he was not accountable for his actions. Passive identify themselves as being victims especially when they are at their most abusive. They do not have insight into their behaviour and will consistently justify it.
—Guest Sara

Am I Passive Aggressive?

I think I might be pa..I was always critical of my bf..he could never give me enough..I've always felt like if you want something done right you have to do it yourself..I hardly ever complimented him..was very jealous and needy but I've always been a good communicator..my father was very strict and controlling when I was a child..and I am a chronic procrastinator..always late..I'm glad I can put a labe on my behaviors and I can admit the problem..which is the first step to recovery..great article
—Guest ithinkimightbe

It Was Killing Me

We were married for 10 years, in counseling for 5! My sis-in-law thought she might kill me and suggested getting out-the counselor also recommended the same. As most of you may have discovered, the PA will make every promise presented to them but has no intention of fulfilling one of them. I became to totally different person after we divorced and have re-discovered how life is meant to be lived. In the beginning it was gang-busters (living with her) but the erosion started almost immediately after we settled into our married life. And the most telling thing is--I knew prior to our marriage that it was going to be a bad mistake. But we all have the ability to change our partner, don't we? I read about people who subject themselves to physical abuse (mostly women) and can not suggest strongly enough that they vacate themselves from the situation at the earliest possible moment. Don't wait another day!

I'm Not Crazy!

OMG, thanks for the heads up! I have been in a 32 yr dance of dysfunction. Always a caregiver, I hooked up with the adult child of an alcoholic at 19. At first he seemed so loving & sensitive but gradually the PA behaviors seeped in. I didn't realize the magnitude of the dysfunction or how insanely deep rooted it was. I noticed how completely screwed up his family dynamics were but I thought he was different. Well, I was right - he was different! I just didn't understand the impact & breadth of his own dysfunction or that it would fester & boil over the years. I have turned myself inside out trying to figure out a way to "heal" this wounded soul. Nothing is EVER enough. The PA is pathological in his narcism. The world revolves around him & he cant bear to be asked to look at his own behavior. There have been fleeting moments where I thought change might occur, but nothing ever lasts- he's too frail to be introspective. The penultimate VICTIM. If you find a PA RUN for you LIFE!

Grateful to Jesus!

I've been divorced for a year (married for two - together for 4). I'm JUST NOW figuring out that my ex is PA. I feel so much better and relieved. I thought his behavior only had to do w/ things from his past (he suffers from PTSD, alcoholism and depression), that I never equated it to PA. He single handidly destroyed my relationships w/family and friends, all the while denying that he says bad things about me to them. He is self-employed and has a lot of down time around the holidays and winter (Nov-Feb). I told him that he should get a part-time job to help w/the bills during that time (I worked full time AND took care of every aspect of the house). He turned it around that I wasn't being "supportive" of his company and that I was a "dream dasher." It got to the point where I figured out that this behavior was HIM and not ME (even though I didn't have a name for it). He is now broke most of the time, living in a filthy house & can blame me until the cows come home. I'M FREE!
—Guest On my own happy

This Is My Husband!

This is my husband 1000% he treated me like this for years, everything was my fault, never his. We seperated so many times I can't even count. I had two breakdowns because of him and the way he treated me. I finally got away from him, I had to move 500 miles away but I am happier and I don't have to put up with him or his bahavior any more. He refuses to give me a divorce but right now I don't care I am just glad to be away from him.


Thought I was the one---felt so empty---but I prayed a lot and have the Lord in my life who is healing my broken spirit! My husband has been so cold, cruel, and heartless since June. But I still remember how much love I have---guess I Just love all the time---even if it hurts to be so giving. Yes it still can hurt when he forgets our 21 years together but the worst is he hurt our son. I pray my son will not have this disorder. Only God can work miracles. My experience with my spouse---I never loved or had a connection with you. All you are good for is sex....you cook good and we had some good trips. He talks about me, for it comes back to me. What I thought was cool, calm, conservative, was cold, cruel, calculating.....not he acts if though we never existed. I am so happy to know that "he" is the one who made me nuts....although I am nuts to put up with all that "jumping thru hoops" all those years---with no love in return. A one way love affair.

Tiffany Thank You

What you said IS my wife. I am so glad that you realized what you are doing. My wife lost her parents in her teens and has not REALLY ever dealt with it I believe. You give me hope because you realize and are willing to share how you think and your challenges. Thank you.
—Guest brian111


I have been married to my college sweetheart for 17 years. I broke up with him over this behavior when we were kids. We got back together when he "changed." Things were good for the first 5 years. Slowly, with the pressures of life, he has returned to his default. He gets ANGRY at me if I expect anything of him. Our fence is rotting. He never has sex with me. He is not affectionate. He has been icing me out for years. If I try to bring any of this up, it's never the right time, or I'm doing it the wrong way. I worked hard in therapy to try to change my behaviors (criticism, etc.), and it did absolutely no good. We have seen 7! I finally realized that I am not the problem, but I don't know how to get away! I am now disabled, in suffering health, and lucky to be working from home. I feel that I will never be healthy again unless I leave this abusive relationship. The problem is, no one will believe me becs he is a saint. I will have to do it all alone.
—Guest Cannot Take it Anymore

Wow, this article is Godsent

My wife, who I love so very much is about to turn in our divorce paperwork. I don't know if she has EVER let me in really. I just know when I read about passive aggressive behavior in this article it is 90% her! It blows my mind. I have had such a tough time figuring her out and wondering why I have been so mad! She lost her Dad when she was 15 and her Mom at 17. Since then she really struggled and I don't think ever really dealt with that huge life experience. I think it is very difficult for her to let anyone in. She now does not believe in our faith and church, which she used to love, she acts as if I am not important at all anymore. It just blows my mind how dead on this article is in relation to my wife's behavior. What a selfish set of attitudes and behaviors! It is NEVER her fault EVER. I am so glad I found this. Please share more stories and experiences. The comments on here have helped me feel better tremendously. And those that are passive agressive, give us more insights!
—Guest Brian


I thought I was going insane, ready for the nuthouse! Reading all these entries brought tears flooding! What a relief! 20 yrs, 5 kids. Intimidation for not giving him what he wanted; debt/money issues were always my fault though he refused to budget; cars neglected to point of costly repairs; child removed from FT kinder & day care to run rampant (imagine Harold's Purple Crayon as a permanent marker around the house & toothpaste all over dog and walls); refusing emotional needs of kids & terrorizing them til I intervened only to have him turn on me; blocking my lifetime dream though he supported it 100% prior to marriage; isolating me from family and friends, constantly telling me my feelings are WRONG,.... Just making me feel like I was never good enough to be a mom, wife, caretaker, successful educator, etc. This information and sharing page has really lifted me up and cleared my mind of sooo much. I'm not perfect, but I'm not as bad as I have been made to believe I am! sigh!
—Guest Victoria2011

Do I Need to Leave?

My husband doesn't speak, withholds sex, and blames me for everything. I just wonder what is going on with him. He says I don't keep the house clean enough, but when I clean it, it still doesn't change his behavior. Do I need to get out of this situation?
—Guest My fault

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