Late Divorce and Passive Aggression: are they connected?

Couple unhappy

Looking at the link between late divorce and passive aggression

There are two pieces of information I’m connecting. Many times, when one of our readers decide to leave the site, she offers her answer to the “Why are you leaving this site?” question.

And the answer is…”I left him…” or “I finally divorced.” Having known the women posting in our blog, I know that she is past her fifties, even in her sixties.  This is part of what now is called “late divorce,” when the parties separate after a long marriage, of more than 30 years. 

If you read over and over again the postings on our blog you can watch each person’s deep anguish, and hear the same questions again…

It goes back to: Why are not my own needs taken care of in this marriage? And this question repeats over and over again.

How to acknowledge women’s needs? how to solve them with dignity and care?

There is perhaps a tendency in women now above their fifties to have received an education centered on dedication to others, self-abnegation and  waiting for things to improve…

Are we perhaps the products of a generation that refused to accept and defend the fact that women have their own needs?

They have been denied and covered for so long, in the hope they would become extinct, that now is quite a surprise to realize the needs for love and connection never died, or went underground or got forgotten.

Our needs for real companionship, for tender love and real skin to skin touch are here, as ever. How could we think that they would be postponed and whiter away? Who told us that it was possible to wait and wait without starving?   This looks like a generation of women starved of the real nurturing of intense, real, person to person connections, necessary to live life to the fullest. 

The problem is that women have waited for too long the love never delivered as promised, and now they believe it is impossible to find satisfaction to those old needs.

With the perception that our constant frustration was accepted as the normal state of affairs, the rage appears against such unnecessary and useless frustration.

Why are those people leaving old marriages? Why now and not before? Perhaps there is one answer:

Basically because the end of the line is here; and you decided not to wait any more. Does he want to continue offering this complete absence of emotional connection as always? it’s no more acceptable. 

There is a going back to the dignity of being single, of not keeping up with a facade of a marriage where there is not the basic sexual communication to guarantee a minimum of love…

This group of women, starved of good loving communication and good sex, prefers to live alone, and so stop the pretense of companionship where there is only solitude. 

Being in the truth, finally, brings a healthy sense of self-respect. And we have a real story for you to read on…here!

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!

  • cindy

    Wow does this article ever hit home. When I read this article I felt
    like I was reading a script from my own life. Funny thing…lately I
    have been seriously contemplating leaving my PA counterpart…married 15
    years, found out in 2012 that he had been having an ‘emotional affair’
    with a woman for the past 7 years!!!…I was devastated, took him back
    in hopes of a renewed, refreshed marriage…of course nothing changed,
    in fact, it has become worse. No sex, no kissing, no touching, no
    conversation, NOTHING. As this article says…I’m getting tired…I am
    57 and I want more…and as long as I continue this ‘wishful thinking’
    mode…nothing will happen. The man at work who has been giving me a
    lot of attention and is genuinely a really nice guy is looking better
    and better. I am almost there…I feel it.

  • M

    I am married almost 20 years. I had thought I was crazy for many years because my husband would always deny doing whatever it was that would upset me. Finally, I started writing it all down. After seven plus years, rereading my journals, I know I am not crazy. 1 1/2 years ago my loneliness was too much to bear. I asked my husband for help. I said to him, I feel so lonely please help me. He looked at me and said, that sounds like your problem. Now, I am at peace with me being alone. But I have no desire to improve things in my marriage. I have no desire to converse with him, sit by him , be with him. He never talked much with me anyway or engaged in activities with me. Now, I have no desire to even try. Sex…. Ugh. For years it was three times a night four to five nights a week. This past June I finally said enough…. I need to sleep! There is no intimacy with the sex… Just him doing his thing. I just don’t want it anymore. Not sure what the heck is wrong with me because otherwise he is a good father to out two teenage boys. I really feel he is passive aggressive. But then he acts so nice to me. There is just no consistency whatsoever. I know he thinks it’s all me……. Hope this makes sense and I don’t sound like I am whining. Thanks for listening.

  • Connie Wetzler

    My marriage ended just a week ago after 20 years of him not growing and of course when you have one partner who does not grow and you have the drive to be the peacemaker and the “glue” that holds the family together you end up doing all the work. I am 44, have “mad” relationship skills… thanks to my “teacher”. I have no regrets. I will see the subtleties in other men from now on. I am now moving on with my teenage daughter and starting fresh. I have learned self-worth and self-love and just how valuable and strong I really am in the last couple years of marriage. I HAD to know my value before I could leave. And I didn’t have a choice really, cause he got really scary when we agreed to separate but live on the same property. He even got more into his online fantasy video game addiction (yes, I am a “gamer-widow”!), if that was even possible and made no attempt whatsoever to continue (or feign) looking for a job so he could move out. Trust your intuition! I literally feared for my life. Time to go! So, 5 1/2 months later, it is finished. My daughter and I moved out of state and he’s perfectly happy to do whatever he wants. I even received an attachment in an email with his personal credit card statement, part of which was expenses for upgrading our home (now sold) but the other was over $2,000. in online gaming! I was a bit confused. I was wondering if he realized that he attached his entire statement. Was this a joke? Was he rubbing it in my face that this is what he traded in his family for? In divorce all marital debt is split. Unfortunately half of the credit card debt with our joint acct. was all his gaming… over $4,500.! Yup! More “paying” for HIS problem. So, time to leave that in the past, too ;) Good luck everybody with your PA!

  • Done Waiting

    I have been married for 26 years.. I am divorcing my husband no matter what.. There is no reason to continue the 26 year lie… Actually our anniversary is Sunday and maybe I can give him the papers as a present to me… We live together still and he is in this room as I type this. I can’t stand him anymore..

  • Done Waiting

    I have always known there was something wrong with him. It’s even sadder to now know it’s a real disorder, and that I have been waiting for him for 26 years. I wish I could take photos and post all the unfinished projects, or list all the trips and visits to friends houses I have taken alone, or all the excuses why he can’t go or finish all the projects. I always wondered how a man can live the way he does. Also, the fact that he has no friends or hobbies. He can sit and stare at the computer all day. I really don’t care what he’s doing on the computer.. I haven’t been attracted to the man in years, I never understood why he wouldn’t leave. Incredible the things I have read, all describing him. What an ass I am, I have been thinking about this for years. There was an incident Saturday that was the last straw, and I told him what a loser he is and I am selling everything. I told him I want a divorce and wake up every morning making comments to let him know this isn’t going away..

  • Done Waiting

    How come you have to pay it, I am going to the courts tomorrow to get a legal separation. From there on all debt is separate, at least I thought. I’ll know tomorrow. It’s so weird that I am finding all of these women who have been married for 20+ years and are filing for divorce because of a PA husband. This is crazy to me, I just started researching over the past two days. I guess I am really shocked still. He’s the father of my two sons we have lived together 26 years. He sleeps on the couch and I get the bedroom, a living arrangement that just evolved after the first 6 months of marriage. I was OK with the room mate situation, but No more. I want to date and be happy.

  • Connie Wetzler

    I have to pay for it because he has a lawyer who likes to threaten to take me to court, as we are settling out of court as it is cheaper, every time I show him something is not legal. I had to fire my lawyer as she just took money, all the money I had and I even had to get a personal loan for that, and she did nothing for me. I had no choice. In Alaska all debt is divided equally. I researched and found a distinction between marital debt and debt that was incurred that is extensive and did not support the family. But he has 16K in student loan debt and his lawyer said if he took me to court I’d have to pay half of that as well.
    I just learned what PA was last summer then I learned from Dr. George Simon’s website and book “In Sheep’s Clothing” about covert-aggressive character disturbed individuals. They choose to abuse. They do not want to change. It is NOT a defense like traditional psychology tells us which makes victims out of people as we are told to make excuses for their (chosen) behavior.
    We agreed to separate but then he made no effort to get his finances in order or anything else and then he really lost touch with reality. I chose life. So, I live. If I had known about PA years ago, I still may not have had the expertise and knowledge of Dr. George Simon’s work and still tried to “work it out”, all by myself, as usual.

  • Connie Wetzler

    Also there is no such thing as legal separation in Alaska. It is not recognized, neither is alimony. I lucked out because of the types of retirement he had being civilian as well as federal. I had to pay a QDRO specialist and go through all kinds of withholding abuse from my x just to the paperwork for this. He even lied about a very large life insurance policy and survivor benefits with his first retirement, which he currently receives. I am receiving a percentage of that now until QDRO begins and so far he is paying me, as ordered by the nice lady judge ;)

  • WritesinPJ’s

    The years catch up with you. You reach for something, see a hand that is much to old to be yours, and you realize you’re gathering the moments left of your life.

    The other driving factor is the toll it’s taking on my physical health. My mind says to keep trying, and my body continues to break down.

    http://www.mylifeinpajamas.wordpress.com (recovery from passive aggressive abuse)

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