Passive Aggressive Husband

Everybody wants to have a happy Valentine’s Day with their loved one, and yet if you have marital problems, this seemingly simple aspiration seems to become a vast challenge, even a test. How could you have a good Valentine’s Day if your husband is often sulking and has a tendency to forget making plans or get you a present for this particular day? You might even be ready for disappointment thinking that he will forget the day!

You can still enjoy the day, and I don’t mean that you should go and get a massage for yourself and then have some lonely chocolate (although that would be a nice and well-deserved treat). You can use this opportunity to be the one romancing your husband, and giving him a pleasant surprise, for men often complain about how they are the ones supposed to do all the work around this occasion.

You can prepare his favorite meal or invite him to a restaurant. Make it a date and do not pressure him into being in charge. Tell him how nice and sharp he looks; remind him of the things you love about him and of one or two things he has done recently that you appreciate.

You should be honest and affectionate with your comments, so that he feels recognized and appreciated. For the sake of the holiday and of the reasons why you are doing this (because you love your husband, because you want to have a good day, etc.) avoid criticizing him. Keep in mind that if you criticize him, he’ll feel attacked and will be likely to start deflecting blame via clamming up… do not let this happen because then you could start to get upset and if your temper gets the best of you, then an argument will ensue and two things will happen: one, that your husband will have “further proof” that you easily lose control and that it is you who is abusive, and two, that you will end up with exactly the bad memory of a Valentine’s day that you were seeking to avoid.

Remember that passive-aggressive people are not the most willing to apologize for their mistakes, so avoid this conundrum.

It might seem like a lot to ask, but you could actually benefit from giving him a little something. Yes, a present. It does not have to be the newest, most expensive set of tools out in the market, but something simple and well thought-out. Here you are tapping into his desire to be recognized and the surprise value that it would have.

Now, here is the most challenging part of this proposal… after all the work that organizing a date can represent, and particularly if you have difficulties with managing confrontations... you should not expect anything in exchange for the date. Detach yourself from any expectation.

I can hear you groaning....Why this part of the recommendation is here? Don't you deserve some appreciation also? Because in this way you are freeing him to be himself, not forced by a compulsory tit for tat behavior...So you are giving him a chance to relax and let his guard down, perhaps even talk to you more openly. Wouldn’t that be a better Valentine’s gift than a bunch of soon-to-wither flowers?

NoraNora Femenia is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Visit her blog and signup free to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! Go now to
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13 years ago

I really get what is being said about your “Valentines Day/Passive Aggressive, but let’s face it PA don’t do Valentines Day because it means they are showing you affection, attention, getting what you desperately want/need etc. from the relationship. The only problem w/PA’s is that they don’t want to make you happy because they are so miserable themselves. Happiness is out of the ? for both partners. It’s really hard to want to do anything for a PA after they have treated you for yrs. like you are basically nothing except the resident housekeeper for them. My ? is at what point do you realize “misery loves company” & cut bait so you can find someone who will love & want to care for you like a normal “man” does.

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