Sometimes you'll hear from other "experts" that passive aggression is not emotional abuse. This is wrong!
This conclusion can limit your resources and limit the way you think about your relationship with a passive aggressive husband. Passive aggression (as you know) is about control and command of the relationship. This behavior not only disconnects you from your husband - it keeps you isolated and ostracized as "punishment" or "retaliation." As a result, a person who uses passive aggressive behaviors on others is actively producing pain, by controlling the interactions and what they mean ("I will do this to create that effect").
Here are some traits of passive aggression (from Buzzle)
- "It is observed that passive aggressive people often indulge in fights with their near and dear ones. They, actually, invent ways to start quarrels with a close friend or a relative. This is because, they fear intimacy. They are afraid of getting too intimate with others.
- Another common fear shown by passive aggressive people is the dread of dependency on others. In order to beat such trepidation, they try to control and command others.
- Passive aggressive traits victims rarely hold themselves responsible for any wrong deed that they actually have done. Most of the time, they are found to blame others for the things that go wrong because of them. And the worse, they want others to be punished for their baseless obligations.
- People suffering from passive aggressive traits are found switching between hostile rebelliousness and contrition. They keep on making exaggerated and persistent complaints of their misfortune. They are often sullen and argumentative."
As you can see, these are all behaviors that engage in and produce psychological trauma, anxiety, depression and fear in the receiver - the definition of emotional abuse! For some, realizing and accepting that passive aggression is emotional abuse can be a new and forbidding territory, but for others, this conclusion is nothing new. However, it is a realization that needs to take place in order to name the abuse for what it is.