He says what I want to hear, but does what he wants to do

Have you ever been in this situation?

He constantly devalues me (little put downs but he is always “just joking”). He says what I want to hear and does what he wants to do then makes me crazy with “Well I thought we were just having a conversation. I didn’t realize that you thought we had come to an agreement”.

How do you know you are being devalued by this dual behavior? when your words, projects and proposals are not taken seriously…he can agree with you this moment, but “forget” what you say as it was never said next minute.

If you want to have some certainty in a particular situation: “We’ll go to my parents’ this Sunday for dinner,” is probable that the dinner invitation will be renegotiated over and over again ad nauseam….

You will never hear him saying: “at what time do you want to leave for your parents’ dinner?” or any other reference to this event. There will be no references, and so when you have to bring it up, he can be utterly surprised and shocked of you sneaking this invitation on him, when he was totally ignorant of such plans….

Really maddening? Yes.

Surprising? Well, not at all!

Why not? because fogginess over agreements is one of the best tricks of a passive aggressive husband to keep you confused and frustrated. If a clear YES will do, you will get every other answer but a yes. This is such a successful method of sabotaging trust in a relationship, that is basically a tell tale indicator of PA behavior in your own husband.

Your self-defense step has to be clearly defined:
Get your own deadline fixed in your mind. If his answer is still vague 48 hours before the event, cancel it or make the firm decision to go alone. Suspending the wait, or killing the expectation that he will appear at the last minute will help you in having clarity in your life, and knowing where you stand.

If he appears at the last minute, you can be happily surprised and enjoy his company…with no emotional burden to you; because you will not expect him coming, you will not be disappointed if he cancels his visit.

I’m the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don’t have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

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About Nora Femenia

Nora Femenia, Ph.D, is the CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions and the author of the book: "The Art of Living with a Passive Aggressive Husband," a field guide for women that have to deal with passive aggression in their partners. Nora also posts regularly on her blog Creative Conflicts. Visit her blog and join the community to discuss issues related to Conflicts, Relationships and receive also Free her book “Breaking Free From The Silent Treatment.” You are warmly welcomed here, because we care for your happiness!

  • OpheliaW

    I’ve known him since I was 15, and since then I’ve been aware of his behaviour.We have two kids, now in their teens. I’m 34 now, slowly and painfully finding my own feet in this marriage.
    While at times I was really believing that he was making progress and becoming more communicative and less sneaky, it has dawned on me and has become increasingly obvious that he has simply changed the behaviours I had confronted, to more insidious ones.

    He developed other ways of manipulating me which are more difficult for me to confront. This has resulted in me being continually confused and scared of him, to the point I no longer know what is real any more.

    I tried to leave him, and asked him for a divorce, and he was able to turn the whole thing back on me, making me feel guilty of everything negative in our marriage; threatened to tell his truth to the kids so they would end up hating me, and finally ended up saying the he couldn’t live without me. After I being so despicable, according to his description, he loves me? and says that nobody else will love me as he does?
    I was so confused that finally relented and decided to stay with him; nothing has changed, but he is enjoying my depression and confusion! acts as if nothing happened and he has to take care of a poor confused wife, which is me!
    I still know that I should be wishing to be alone, without him, but scares me the fact that I can’t think clearly now. I end up not knowing what I really want!
    If I want out, perhaps I don’t have the energy to carve out a new life for me…
    I’m resigned to accept that he is as he is, I will not hope for any change….being as he is, I can’t have any trust in what he says, because I know that he is confusing me on purpose… he can make everything sound so reasonable from his point of view, that I end up rejecting my own ideas all the time.

    Perhaps if he sometimes could hit me, I would get the picture better…He has never hit me, although sometimes it would be better for my brain if he did. I still think that he is doing a terrible control grab on my life, and my brain and my feelings. I will end up not knowing what or who I am….

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