Rebuilding trust in a passive-aggressive marriage is the most difficult step for a secure relationship!
The most wonderful part of a loving marriage is the ability to trust your mate—trust that he will be true to you emotionally; trust that she does what she says she will do; trust that your partner is the same person on the inside that he presents on the outside; trust that the other person has your best interest in mind.
This secure context basically creates safety, security, and a deeper capacity to love. It can heal past wounds of people with hurtful childhood attachments. When trust builds up this strong connection, we call it "earned emotional security..."
I always thought that this name represents all the work behind building up such a trustful bond, where most successful marriages root.
Perhaps the best way of describing a healthy marriage is one where both sides strive to create a safe emotional space for their spouse. If you don't understand this role of yours as actively working to build a safe emotional space that can contain both of you, then you are probably missing a big piece of having marital trust.
Needless to say, an abusive relationship is one where there is no trust. An abusive relationship is one in which one person is afraid to express his or her feelings and needs because that will bring attack instead of support.
We often don't express our needs for two reasons. Either we are afraid of rejection or we are afraid of feeling ashamed for having such needs. It is worst when our partner uses this information to scold or demean us. So, we clam up because there is no trust we will be still respected and helped by our partner after them knowing this aspect of us. This can be the root of prolonged silent treatments, the lack of trust in the partner's acceptance.
Another example may be of a passive-aggressive husband who lies. When he tells the truth about a matter where his behavior is less than expected, he risks paying a high price. His wife could yell and criticize him, so he deals with the problem by avoiding confrontation and continuing to lie.
Here we have one post on our blog, saying:
"It took me reading your blog over the last 2 years to realize my ex-husband, of 3 months, married for 33 yrs, had been doing this to me since the day we were married.
He has created a fine mess with this behavior since we would make major investments with $$ & then he would completely blame me when these items required time & effort to keep going.
I am now in the sole position of liquidating our mess since he apparently felt compelled when discussing the pros & cons of certain investments to not be honest about his TRUE feelings.
It’s called “tell them what YOU think they want to hear” instead of being honest & saying, “I think it will be difficult for these reasons…………………..”.
Thankfully our situation will still turn out profitable, but frankly, I realize the man had been lying to me since the start of our marriage. He now wonders "Why I can no longer trust him"!
It is necessary to have open, honest, respectful communication with each other on a regular basis. It is important that you keep your word, follow through on commitments, and always treat each other with respect. If you are feeling pain, communicate your experience to your partner without attacking or blaming him/her for your pain.
In another post example, confusing words and half-truths poison the communication and destroy trust:
"I’ve been living with my passive-aggressive husband 20 years who always give me double messages, getting me into permanent confusion.
It changed “my innocence thinking” to always be searching for the meaning behind his words. Out of desperation, and to know what was really our family's financial situation, I had to hack into his computer, and so discovered lots of expenses never shared with me, that caused a huge hole in our family income.
I started hating myself for having to do the sleuthing and realized that I haven’t developed into a better person since I’ve been with him. I am still married because of my 4 kids. It's a tragedy for me to stay with him living with no trust whatsoever...I just want to detach myself from him and not give out any emotions. I wish I don’t have emotions for him."
Trust and truth go hand in hand. That is why deception of any sort is the biggest trust killer. There is no such thing as a white lie. Being honest with your spouse includes telling the truth about where you were, whom you talked to, what you said, and where you spent money. Many marriages have been saved because both spouses committed to being honest, even if it involved painful truths. Being able to face each other with a painful truth is the best way to accept our vulnerability and ask the other person for acceptance. When a couple can express and meet each other's needs consistently this is one of the most powerful ways to build trust in a relationship.
Are you stuck in a cold war with your spouse? missing trust and acceptance between the two? Perhaps you could use a coaching session, providing you with steps to improve the situation? Find here the next steps to begin your coaching sessions!