Passive Aggressive Husband

How does passive aggression kill the communication and love in a relationship? Wives of passive aggressive husbands share their stories.

He has done a lot of the following behaviors to me:

  • Saying he will do something and not doing it;
  • Doing something half-assed, and then blaming me for attacking him when I confront him;
  • Never taking responsibility for things that go wrong;
  • Defiant against authority and social mores, always criticizing those who have power in church, government, at his job;
  • Gets back at people secretively - like shooting the neighbors car with a BB gun and then denying having done it;
  • Lying to save himself or avoid punishment;
  • Having an affair and saying it was caused by me not giving him affection.

When I confront him about any of this, or god forbid confront him about being passive aggressive, he says I'm "out to make him wrong" (his hidden anger, from when his family would make him the scapegoat). And that's where the conversation stops! If we're unable to move beyond this communication wall, our relationship is going to end, and badly.

- Madeline


My husband and I have a lot of communication problems because of his passive aggression. He often forgets conversations we've had, denies they happened, or denies any fact from them that would make him wrong. I've taken to writing things down, repeating them verbatim, or printing email records to prove that I'm not as crazy as he says.

I feel like I can't talk to him even then, because he's continually passing judgement on what I'm thinking and doing at the moment, showing me that I don't pass his evaluations and expectations.

It's like a constant mental game of chess - I'm always on the defensive, while he thinks the opposite. Meanwhile, we shouldn't be competing or playing games at all! Failure to communicate honestly and openly is breaking up our relationship.

- Eden


His passive aggression is making our lives hell. The simple things like saying "I'll do this," and then actually doing it, are lost. He uses his passive aggressive communication/language as a way to make me feel demanding (when he doesn't do things he said he would) or abusive (confronting him about how many times he's let me down).

He is bitter and jealous of anyone else's achievements, and either criticizes them constantly or refuses to talk to them at all. He continually gripes about not being recognized for his hard work, when he's not really putting in any more effort than I am.

He mumbles so I can't tell whether he's insulting me or others, and he's distant, even when we're in the same room.

Help me!

- Georgia

What can you do to deal with this sad state of affairs? There are lots of resources here in this blog, as well as coaching available.


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, offering you a coaching session to deal with hubby's passive aggression!.
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12 years ago

What do you do when you are happy to do what is asked of you, but to do so would reward/reinforce the sociopathic way in which the request was made,( rude, spiteful, wheedling, haughty, &c.)? I keep feeling as if I’m doing more harm than good by complying with reasonable requests made in an unreasonable way, and am setting us both up for years of misery.

12 years ago

I hate to admit it, but I am the passive aggressive husband. I love my wife very much and want to change for her. but nothing seems to be effective what do I do. Bob

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