From all the correspondence, postings and requests we receive, the overwhelming majority are desperate wives complaining about their husbands. We have initiated this blog, which reaches sometimes 500 hits a day, to help those wives find ways of preserving their marriages and diminish or control the relationship pain so as to get to a place of peace and understanding. And, in the extreme cases where the wife wants to leave the relationship, we also provide support for this process.
Guess what? Here and there, we receive a letter from a husband, asking: what about my situation? Do you have any advice for the victim of a passive aggressive wife? Or my loneliness and suffering have to be ignored?
So, here is your initial response. More will come, of course, but this is the first take on this issue…how can you recognize a PA wife?
The main challenge to think about this question comes from traditional female education about being passive and obedient. Girls are still socialized in this way in many parts of the world; and being subservient and self-denying is accepted and encouraged. How can you be any more obedient? Or…how do you show your anger by being obedient, if being obedient is showing off how a “good wife” you are?
Well, you can be too obedient….you can kill any initiative from your side which risks making your husband feel not valued or appreciated. He will not have anything to complain about, or at the same time, anything to rejoice about!
One of the favorite arenas is the sexual arena. If the wife always waits for him to take the iniciative, is she being complacent or saying that she is not really interested? This question will appear in the mind of the husband, and after some time, he will begin to feel under appreciated.
Again, how do you denounce this? How do you complain about “perfect wife behavior,” taken to the extremes?
The few husbands already telling are describing a passivity that leaves all initiatives on their shoulders, a blank acceptance that smothers all enthusiasm and the impossibility to comment on relational issues with her without having a tantrum.
Perhaps we should think about the modalities of passive aggression used by a wife to express her anger without words. Perhaps you have other examples to share?