How to deal with a passive aggressive husband?
with a lot of patience…..and plan B always handy!
Perhaps you have been following this conversation for some time, and now you realize that we are always developing ideas about this particular situation…we have offered you solutions that cover a wide spectrum of possibilities.
Basically now, we understand this behavior as a childhood-learned defensive strategy. He has grown up under some kind of parental attitudes that prevented him from expressing his anger, and thus developed this shell to cover it up. Instead of confronting, explaining his needs and getting some agreement with other people, he decides it’s not worth it and proceeds to do his own thing. Of course, being oblivious to the fact that he is pushing his now partner away!
If you try to negotiate with him, thinking that he is a grown up man you are dealing with, sorry, but you are wrong….he is a kid (a resentful one) inside. So, let’s do the refresher course on how to deal with him:
Have a Plan B: review your life, dust your basic life mission and refresh your goals. You need to have a happy productive life, with him or without him. This will give you lots of good things to do and so take the pressure off him. You are not expecting him to be all the source of your happiness! Given that you have your own fun and interesting things to do, he will be forced to stop doing passive aggression only to get back at you for the hurt his parents did to him…
By taking the pressure off, you give him some space between your projects and his automatic response of negativity and procrastination. In this space, the question: “do I have to frustrate her always or can I have some of the same fun she has?” probably will pop in his mind…Is vital to this strategy that you show how happy and interested you are in your projects…so he can’t imagine how could he destroy your joy. The purpose is to leave him alone as soon as he is doing passive aggressive behaviors, while you continue with your own life…Here, being left alone means being left behind, and he is not as silly as to appreciate being left alone. He wants company too!
So, be clear that he will be included as soon as he can be agreeable, kind and participative in common projects. Tell him: “as soon as you are ready to enjoy this activity, no grudges or silence or resentment included, you are in!” and be ready to slam the door.
OK, are you telling me that this is too harsh to do? well, let’s go back to AskNora, read the postings there and let me know what you want to do…Do you want to pick the role of the passive aggressive husband victim? Or do you want to try something different?
Anyhow, if you want to refresh the basic concepts about passive aggression, here is more to read….and a good book indeed!