How to Manage Passive Resistance?

There is a nice letter asking to comment on "passive resistance activities" as in, "how can I manage one of my husband's favorite tricks, such as over-promising and never delivering, keeping his passivity and making me believe that he "forgot"?

Perhaps there is a way...Given that passive-aggressive people generally operate most effectively when they are in one-on-one conversations, its spell is contingent upon intimate conversations, one to one. In this tight environment, anyone can twist, deny, change what they said. What if we get a witness?

If no one is around to hear the conversation, no one will be able to support your account of what him or you agreed upon. Likely, you will scratch your head and wonder what just happened with his promises, and have to start from square one again when the progress you were expecting has not been achieved.

The two-step solution?

a) Have either a witness or a record:

Make sure you either have a witness with you in all major discussions (those requiring accountability),
or that you reduce your discussions/agreements to writing (emails), or that you take some notes of the meeting and keep them handy. Passive-aggressive people cannot manipulate black and white facts, and this method will expose the one who manipulated the situation.

b) Confront:
If you feel strong enough, it is wise to tactfully confront the passive-aggressive spouse and share the facts with him as you have recorded. He may not stop his passive aggressive behavior completely, but if he knows that you are on to checking the facts, he will be far less likely to try it on you again. And it will help your brain not to get confused by his messages.

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.


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