It’s difficult to accept, but some people are so scared of being deeply loved, that they will unconsciously frustrate all steps towards intimacy with passive aggressive behaviors.
Probably you know already the multiple ways in which this passive aggression will rear its ugly face. Perhaps if we review some of them, we can begin to offer an strategy to understand how it happens and so reduce the damage. Let me count the ways…
We focus here on five destructive aspects of the relationship with your passive aggressive spouse:
1.- Mindset always focused on negative aspects of life: Your husband believes that life is a miserable experience and there is no joy to be expected, so he finds always lots to complain about.
Other people, mostly you, are to be blamed for his situation. He can do very little to change his world. Your positive suggestions will be ignored, because he needs to focus only on thoughts of disaster, misery and rejection.
TACTIC NUMBER 1: To balance this negative influence, keep a positive attitude, and remind yourself of the good things in your life you are grateful for. You have a choice: to be or not a victim of circumstances, and you’d prefer not to be a victim.
If you catch yourself diminishing your merits, then tell yourself to Stop! Do some breathing exercises and tell yourself how good you are at what you do.
Keep your good friends around, so they can also remind you of your good qualities.
2) Behavior that makes you confuse. As passive aggressive behavior is covered up with nice words and plausible excuses, you get confused often.
Your mind needs to make decisions while it is simultaneously receiving contradictory messages. He’ll describe his behavior as good intentioned, willing to help and support you, while at the same time he abandons all commitments at the first opportunity. Later he will give you a nice excuse and twist your brain another turn of the screw….
TACTIC NUMBER 2: Now you know where you are, because a healthy relationship would make you feel totally different. Look at your emotional pain as indicator of being in a relationship with a passive aggressive (PA) person. Your reality now is that another person is confusing and manipulating you! DO take your confusion seriously: go for a walk; do something alone; write in your diary; learn breathing exercises to calm your brain and heart; watch a positive romantic movie in TV; anything that fills you with mind clarity and peace is welcome!
3) Behavior that attacks projects because you love them: be ready to defend your beloved projects: Anything that provokes your enthusiasm and excitement is a target for his attacks, in the form of negative opinions, criticism and put down comments. Know why? Because he will perceive, correctly, that your projects are using attention that is now allocated to him, and will fight back.
TACTIC NUMBER 3: Don’t show any need for support from a PA partner, at least at the start up. The more detached you can be, the more protected you become from manipulations that will eventually disappoint you.
So, you need to present your heart’s desires in a way that is detached from the emotions they produce in you. If you can present the most exciting idea with a blank face, then you’ll likely to get what you want. Learn to control any visible emotional connection or desire, while you move ahead with your projects simultaneously.
4) Giving you the “Silent Treatment:” Keeping hours and days of silence towards you, is an expression of his anger or disapproval. Are you getting the cold shoulder, but you don’t know the reason? Is someone who’s normally eager to speak to you now keeping your conversations to the bare minimum? This can be hurtful, frustrating, and confusing.
TACTIC NUMBER 4: Asserting Yourself in a very serious way. If you can remember that this is his choice of method to control you, then you can be safer. You are not responsible for his behavior, he is deciding to be cold and distant and controlling. Again, detaching yourself, having your own projects and friends, will protect your core from the isolation forced unjustly on you. When you feel stronger, perhaps you would confront him, explaining the impact that this behavior has on you, and on the future of the relationship.
5) Always “not being completely there” In a time of need, the PA person will always be, as the saying goes: “an hour late, a dollar short, or a block away.” He does nothing when something is expected from him. He “was meaning to go with you to the doctor’s…but something else came up.” He can give you a dozen reasons why he could not do what he promised, leaving you confused between believing him, and listening to your hurt feelings.
TACTIC NUMBER 5: Clair the confusion in your brain! Each time he says that he “forgot”, substitute the words: “didn’t want to” instead of “forgot.” You then can properly realize what is going on, and can move on with your decisions. You put an end to the confusion and paralysis provoked by his mix of verbal good intentions and painful omissions.
Living with a person who relates in this way can induce pain, confusion and loneliness. Regardless of that, you might be very well looking at his positive aspects and trying to make a good effort to develop a stable and long term relationship. It will helpful to keep the five indicators in mind.