How much nasty behavior is in a passive aggressive marriage?

Do you find yourself the target of nasty behavior?

After having presented several angles of the passive-aggressive behavior hurting so many marriages,

we want to answer the deep "Why does he behave in this way?" question.




Perhaps we need to refresh here some of the stronger indicators of passive-aggressive behavior:

  • having a generally negative attitude towards others

  • going against other people’s wishes and beliefs, on principle

  • forgetting, complaining, rejecting a priori other people’s ideas

  • giving sarcastic comments and feedback

  • blaming other people for his own problems

Is a lot of negative responses...and sometimes this person can be exhausting your patience always coming out with the worst possible angle for any circumstance.

What do you need to read, here, is his mental model of the world:

Others can’t be trusted; I need to defend myself from others;

nobody is good enough for me to respect, value, or cherish him/her;

don't expect anybody to value or respect you...etc.”

Where is this model coming from? Your partner may have not learned how to be in an equal, mature relationship because of unresolved personal pain and repressed anger from childhood, as you can learn from knowing the story of his family.

Now, we are on the right path! now you are going to discover who primed him to be so defensive, so suspicious of other human beings around him, including you: the first relationship was with his mother or caretaker!  We know a lot now about attachments, and perhaps you read our first article here.

Now, you need to learn how to read people with insecure attachments:

If they were shaped by early experiences in which they could not expect constant attention from their mother to solve such basic needs as eating, being held, soothed, and comforted, the model of human interaction they learn is: “Others can fail you and let you starve to death; is better not to trust, take care of your things yourself, and don’t let anybody get so near as to frustrate you.”

It is from this very primal model that your partner manages his world: he has only this restricted view of relationships to apply when adjusting and creating relationships with other people

The main point of this article is to make clear that passive-aggressive behavior indicates having an unhealthy personality, based on a faulty childhood model of the world.

If you really look at your partner using this frame, you will begin to see a child dealing with challenges he can’t manage (as the emotional demands of a grown-up spouse) using his only and one strategy: retreat, hide, clam up, withdraw into his cave.

And if you push him to deliver, you can get the whole gamut: negative, sarcastic comments and put-downs, blaming “everyone but me,” promising but not delivering, and a wide variety of clever procrastination and sabotages to activities you want and he can’t enjoy.

Need more suggestions about what to do to manage this rebel child you have at home? Perhaps the information here can help you?

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  1. Dear missed,
    Yours is such a sad story! is so hard to think that he knew he was dying and even then he could not have a considerate attitude towards you, his caretaker. Given this mean, selfish and vindictive attitude of his, the worst thing that could happen to you would be to get stuck on the thought that all your love has been squandered. Really, you have done the best job you could do, and now is the best time to leave everything behind you. As he tried to make you poorer and to limit your life the most he could, it is your duty to enlarge your life and bring as much joy as you can…I’d suggest that you can begin by cleaning the house of all his things that you can give away or trash. Think of it as a symbolic cleaning, where you take all the negativity he left behind to its right place: the dumpster.
    After that, change the house, paint walls, move furniture and find the best spaces for you and your hobbies. This is called “recovering your home for health and peace.” Will take some time, but keep going cleaning all his things.

    Wish that you can find a better life.

  2. You can always trust google, right? is waiting for you!

  3. Alex Scotto says

    What about if is it a Passive Agressive Wife Instead? Any suggestion please.

  4. missed out on alot says

    My PA husband passed away 2 weeks ago. He got sick with brain cancer and ended up needing me to take care of everything for him which I did. Now I feel so betrayed because I found out while taking care of him all of the lies that I suspected were true. Even in the face of death he could not let go of the need to get back at me for things I never did to him. He tried to give our house and all our things away behind my back. He assigned all his life insurance to his kids and he tried to get me stuck with a line of credit to pay back without me knowing. Fortunately none of that happened. I also found out he was watching pornography and was signed up on Match. com even though he never contacted anyone. When I confronted him he just said nothing or tried to blame it off on my self esteem problems. I had really hoped for a change in the face of death and I had hoped he would see how much I loved him at the end but never did or if he did he never said. He did say once that I did not deserve all the things he did to me.