How to deal with a passive aggressive husband

leave a passive aggressive man

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!

 

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!

  • Mari

    Thank you very much for this. Very helpful, indeed! I have found, over the years, trying to convince him to do family activities, or trips ends up making all of us miserable; he usually found a way to make the trip as unenjoyable as possible, if he went, when he didn’t want to. I’m focusing on making plans, without this crazy dynamic, and if he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to; I’ll have fun on my own. I know it will cause so much less stress in the long run, and the trip won’t be ruined. I have waited for him to be cooperative for years, and I’m done. I want and need and deserve to have a good life, and am going to do the things that make me fulfilled

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