Questions and Answers about Passive Aggression

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Sometimes, we need to share ideas with other people as to understand completely some conflictive issues...getting feedback helps us put issues in perspective. In this blog, we usually propose to you some texts that you can read and think about by yourself...

Now, this is a different take: you have here a dialogue with questions and answers about the main issues of PA Behaviors. Perhaps this way of interaction can help you get clarity, or start a discussion, or get you thinking about a new angle....

Whatever your response, you are always welcome to post here your reactions. We will follow through, of course, with more back and forth about how, why, and what of managing this very difficult challenge with loved ones who hide under passive aggression....Our constant purpose is to help you develop a healthy self esteem...Enjoy the answers, and thanks for keeping connected with this blog!


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  1. Reading over a lot of these comments over the past few hours I noticed that quite a few ladies mention divorcing and remarrying the PA a few years later or separating the PA for period of time with intention that emotional /spiritual marriage was over only to end up back under the same roof and the same or worse circumstances at the hands of the PA. I, too, am a member of this club. Is this a typical action for a pa when faced with the reality of losing another mother figure?

  2. I am going through the process of divorcing my PA Marine husband right now. Girl, I have to tell you that a year ago (and also 3 years ago) I found myself in much the same practical financial /conundrum that you are facing now. Being the enabling optimist and good wife I was determined to be, I counted on a plan and agreement we made together that I was going to stop working and go back to school full time.
    I wish I could have even imagined in my wildest nightmares how much worse things would get as a result of that decision to trust him AGAIN. It gave him the knowledge that I was willing to buy his bs in a way that made me vulnerable (as you should be able to be with your spouse!). And vulnerable me changed the the entire game. I no longer had the option of cutting my losses if he dared screw up too terribly badly for too long a period without action and attention.

    I stayed in it after that because I had cut off my own legs and become dependent on someone that I never ever fully
    fully trusted to think as a “we” or make rational, well informed decisions. The budget and haveousehold finances that we used to fight over because of his atrocious spending habits became fights over “his” money… Now, I only have a roof over my head as I sit here writing this because another Marine brought to his command’s attention the fact that he was leaving me to go on deployment in 2 weeks (this was last September)with no place to live, no source of income, no money, no car, about to undergo the first in a series of left and right major shoulder surgeries, AND NEWLY SHOCKED BY GETTING SERVED WITH DIVORCE PAPERS! His command charged him with abandonment and gave me a house on base. He still has found a way to make that my fault, by the way. And now he holds me in purgatory as I am physically unable to move myself after surgery, living off 300 monthly, and dealing with serious debt and mind games thanks to him and his very litigious lawyer.

    PS without kids or real property this divorce shouldn’t be in the double digits of lawyer bills (mine) and unsettled a year later.

    Whatever you need to do, do it. Even it means squirreling away 20 bucks a week, you can prevent yourself from the hell of losing yourself and your identity, independence, serenity, sense of humor and being tortured by a constant state of anxiety because part of you knows that it doesn’t matter what his mood is tonight – you gave up your power when you knew better and now you’re stuck.

  3. Uh oh. I think we all are seeing the young brides that we once were in this.
    The first thing that I wish I had known is that my intuition is AWESOME (something worn down into dust to the point where I was riddled with self doubt and debilitating anxiety until circumstances kept us from even having contact for more than 3 months).
    If you feel like something isn’t “quite right” o- you’re right. The fact that you are even looking at a website like this means that your subconscious mind is screaming for you to pay attention.

    A couple things to notice: The fact that If there are urgent things around the house that he is ignoring means that a) he’s not on top of his responsibilities b) if he usually or sometimes is, then it’s acts like refusing to listen (communicate) or complete (getting you either more worked up with frustration, feeling of emotional apathy from spouse) is ideal for him to act out the role of overbearing mother and rebellious child.

    I will say, I believe that my ex husband loved me the best way he knew how to…. It just was soul sucking in the end. Your husband not connecting to you or your child could be indicative of a more serious personality disorder (examples being narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, disassociative personality, sociopathic personality, and even psychopathic personality disorder). Folks with these disorders rarely are aware on a conscious level. They simply apply highly sharpened skills of deceit in personal interactions as a method for obtaining a way to meet their own needs.

  4. “If you are in a religious environment, you could even receive the message: don’t fight against him, accept him as he is, and love him….which of course will confirm the entrapment, force you to accept the slow crazy-making and self-destruction in the name of submission to your husband. ”

    Thanks for your thoughts, I agree completely. My spouse came from a mixed religion family, father an atheist and very devout christian mother. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that we need to pray for our marriage and that we need to only consider “christian” counselors. We need as a couple to consider daily devotions and give our lives to God for healing. I believe that my FIl was the passive aggressive and my MIL relied on the bible and her children and friends for emotional support. I keep fighting the belief that prayer alone will resolve the issues in my marriage, especially after the light bulb went on last month that I have been married to a PA for 20 years. I have always said I do not want to end up like my MIL, extremely lonely in a marriage and having to rely on her children for emotional fulfillment. She put her spouse on a pedestal, never fought against him and accepted him as he was. She ended up lonely, broke, no personal identity, and moved a thousand miles away from her grandchildren and friends because she thought as a godly wife she was doing the right thing. And now my husband is following in his footsteps and I refuse to end up like her. Although I do believe in prayer, I highly doubt prayer is going to fix a PA marriage.

  5. please please don t stay even one more day. you ve already wasted 11 years of your life on him. what is the point of staying? he is not going to change. how can you continue to love this man when you receive no love in return? i know it is hard to go it alone but trust and pray to God for help and to guide you and plan your escape to a free and new life full of brilliant possibilities, a new man and children. your ideal man is out there waiting for you to find him so don t keep him waiting too long. hey life is for living so go make happiness happen, good luck and love

  6. I am in the same situation. My husband is a police officer so I always thought his anger and not willing to show any emotion was because of his line of work but I’m glad I stumbled upon the helpful articles on PA. We have been married for 11yrs and things continue to get worse. I feel so alone, lonely and depressed. I grew up in a very loving Christian home (opposite from him). He shows no affection towards me and never wants to talk about sex or have sex (with me anyway) he’s had multiple affairs but always denies the fact that he did been though I have proof. If I ask him about his job or anything he blows up and I see the devil come out of him. When we got married I wanted to wait to have children until I was about 30yrs old well, turns out he doesn’t push the issue and all he says is well I don’t want to get you pregnant because when you leave me I will have to pay you child support and that’s not happening. Now I am 39yrs old married to a PA cop. I want out but I quit my job over a year ago and returned to school full time to finish my degree. He made sure I have no money and my car is under his name only and we still live in a town home we have been renting since we got married. I feel helpless and I just want out before I am too old to have kids. Help!

  7. When I got marriage around 5 years ago I was so in love, excited, motivated, proud of my new husband. He was in the military and I am from different country. I came here and learn the best I could English, still learning.. with time I started notice that when we had an argument and I talk with emotion could be sad, angry, etc.. he always looked calm. When sometimes I cried for a problem between us or for something that I share about my life that made me sad, never had a hugh or a nice words to me. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have that emotional support when to me have an spouse is to support in all the ways we can specially emotionally. We are not connected. During all these years probably I cried more than I smile, most of the time feeling confused, guilty, sad, and always is me the one that is trying to make things better, if I thought was my fault or not I will be the one trying to talk, in these 5 years he never tried to talk to me In a warm way, never I heard a Sorry from him. with time I became depressed, got more and more angry, because every time that we had a problem and I got sad excited etc he says that I want to fight so he ignores me, I cry I feel desparate I insist to talk and what he give me at the moment is the silent treatment. He would go to the computer, tv, or put his headphones so when I am talking he doesn’t hear me. I went trough that all the time. Now we have 2 beautiful kids, things got worse since then, In my 2 pregnancies I didn’t have of course the emotional support I was needing, nothing, I felt like I was getting punished without being mean, of with words. I complaint so many times then why he never said nice words about having our kids, even then he didn’t correct me and say I was wrong.. When I asked or ask to do something around the house he would say “ok” and will take long time to do it, when my mothers birthday we took her to eat out only the 3 of us and because he is really forgetfull I reminded him before he got home to tell her happy birthday he said ok but he didn’t. After like 2 hours we went to the restaurant for 2 hours and never told her happy birthday when they supposed to have a good relationship. Before I used to look for recipes online, new stuff to cook, asking friends etc, because the kitchen is not my thing but is not bad, well everytime I cook he doesn’t eat or ask me to give him little. That is all the time. I have more stories but will take you to much time to read. My point is I feel really disappointed, very lonely, Ignored, without motivation, confused and feeling like Im going crazy.. I am glad that I found this website with info about passive aggressive because I think my husband is emotionally univalable.. Blue

  8. Hi Everyone,,, I am from England and was married to what I believe is a PA man for 26 years before I finally left him. I had a very lonely life with him. I never really understood what was happening until I came across this site in 2010. I used to say to my friends and family that every now and then you have to ‘kick your man back into touch’ because this was exactly what I had to do to reconnect. He would do something to cause a problem between us i.e. come home late without telling me or texting me, promise something that he did not fulfil etc., I would re-act with anger then he would withdraw , then I would eventually get so fed up with the silence approach him and say “This is silly , why are you not talking to me , can’t we just forget this and get along?”. This would result in us making up and all would be well for a few weeks…….. until the next time! And every time I believed that things would get better. I left him after 14 years of marriage and he was absolutely devasted , crying and distressed and yet when I did return we still did the same old dance…. I show him love,,, he pulls away by causing a row , or lets me down… I pull away and he comes running to me with words of love. I have had a very very lonely life, he often would not even sit on the sofa beside me but chose to sit on the floor! When I cooked a meal he would say he was not hungry and would eat his later so I ate alone Or he would eat his meal with me very quickly so I was still eating mine. I know this sounds crazy and yes it really was! It really was like living with a 6 year child! His whole mindset was only concerned with ‘get backs’ I can remember often saying to him “Everyone makes mistakes… I make mistakes I am only human” I would purposely point out silly things I did because I knew how low his self esteem was. However nothing really helps men like this its like a disease and I don’t even know if they can be helped. I tried to talk to him about his behaviour but he has not the mentality to understand why he is like he is. He always missed me terribly when we were apart… could not wait for me to return and yet after only 24 hours of being intimate would push me away with the biggest storm you could ever imagine. I actually really loved him because I could see who he should have been but he never really made a man and it took all of my strength to finally leave for good and not look back. I don’t feel anything for him now , I do feel sad for me though because I gave up so much of my life and received nothing in return.

  9. I pretty sure the answer is yes, I have the exact same problem

  10. Madnbreezy says

    you’ve just described my life..15years and 2 beautiful girls later..still the same. so tired of being tired and bewildered by his actions/responses/way of thinking. i dream of a day without having this part of my life but sad to have my girls lose their dad.

  11. Madnbreezy says

    you’ve just described my life..15years and 2 beautiful girls later..still the same. so tired of being tired and bewildered by his actions/responses/way of thinking. i dream of a day without having this part of my life but sad to have my girls lose their dad.

  12. Judy Deitrick says

    Can someone help me? I read all these comments and it makes me feel like I am overreacting and my husband isn’t passive-aggressive, yet there are times when I swear he is. I feel like I’m the one who is crazy. I know I am co-dependent, and because of this I don’t trust my own feelings. My husband isn’t abusive, he helps around the house, he keeps his responsibilities and so on. Its just that he refuses to connect to me or our daughter emotionally. When we argue, there is no conflict resolution and he never says he is sorry for anything. He refuses to acknowledge any hurtful words or that he dismisses feelings. Its never his fault. There are things that need urgent attention at our house and he refuses to listen or complete the task. Is this normal behavior or am I dealing with a pa?

  13. Now is the time for you to heal and grow so that you will become more differentiated and attract someone with a higher differentiation level than the person you first married. I can recommend a very difficult read but a very different way than most marriage therapists teach. The book, “Passionate Marriage” by Dr. David Schnarch. I’ve read that book many times and though I don’t agree with everything Dr. Schnarch writes about, the information I’ve been able to glean has been invaluable. You don’t have to be married to learn something from this book and growing is painful but well-worth the difficulty because you will be able to recognize and interpret those “red flags” before you get anywhere close to another person again.

    I am thrilled to know you are so much happier now on your own. Keep up the good work.

  14. One thing to remember is that the relationship you had with your daughter’s father was not the only relationship she saw. Everyone can look around them and witness other examples of how to treat people, how to act, how to care for themselves as individuals. The trick is to take from these better examples and incorporate them into our lives. For instance, we grew up with plenty of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. During this time, I also observed in other real-time families (not just TV families) that love, support, and being cherished was very important and I tucked this information away. When I would see the look on my siblings faces as they hurt and as I felt my own physical/emotional hurt when I was abused by our parents, I vowed that I would never, ever do these things to my children because I witnessed a much better way to deal with issues than the method of abusively attacking your own flesh and blood. Having said this, I have also forgiven my parents for avoiding the choices that were healthy, ones they would surely have witnessed with their peers, reading articles, even seeing better examples on TV. Forgiveness works wonders and if your spouse had forgiven the abusers in his life and looked to better examples, perhaps that chance to have a less troubled marriage could have been had. Forgiveness needs to be brought to the forefront of these discussions as well as foraging for better examples because those example are out there to find.

  15. anon please says

    You hit the nail on the head! I always feel as if I’m the only adult in this relationship.  This is one of the reasons I’ll end the marriage.  Not only does he not support me emotionally; but I need to carry all the adult responsibilities with him constantly trying to sabatouge (sp?) my efforts.  How much easier it’ll be when I can make decisions without his interference.

  16. anon please says

    When I think of my PA husband’s actions (or more accurately described inactions) I think mentally he is still a toddler – totally egocentric and just developmentally doesn’t get that other’s needs are important.  Except that toddlers learn and are fascinated by the world.  He doesn’t want to learn and retreats from experiencing life as much as possible.

  17. anon please says

    I have a similar question.  I want to end our marriage, but have young children.  I am waiting for them to be old enough to be responsible for themselves so they won’t be endangered by his inattention while they are with him before file for divorce (counting the months…..).  But I also have the fear that my husband may start to direct his PA behavior towards our children as they grow older.

  18. I have a question which I hope somebody can answer.  I was married for 16 years to a man who is text book passive aggressive.  I only figured it out a couple of years ago after years of wondering why my marriage was so hollow and empty.  Once I had a name for it, I started responding to his behaviors appropriately.  However, once I ceased playing his mind-games, he upped and left the marriage.  We are now getting divorced which, in reality, will be better for me in the long run.  Not dealing with his behavior is such a relief, more so than I could have dreamed. While divorce sucks, I’m so much happier and more positive without him around, even though I still deal with him because of our kids (who, surprise surprise, he is almost always late to pick up from me!!)

    So I understand the who, where, why, and what of PA behavior and understand that I was basically a target for his represssed hostility.  But my question is this: now that I’m not around for him to use as an emotional punch-bag, what happens to his anger?  He was always Mr Awesome Super Nice Guy to everybody else, it was only me who saw his true nature – dare he show his true self to those who remain in his circle?  Or is it that now he is living alone he can rest assured that nobody is trying to “control him” now.  Will his anger go away with his solitary new life or will it find another outlet?

    I guess I’m just interested to hear theories on how PAs exercise their need to sabotage and control when they are living on their lonesome?

  19. anonplease says

    I’m ready to divorce my PA husband.  However, we have 2 small children. I have not yet filed for divorce because I fear for their safety while they are in his care.  I have consulted (several) divorce lawyers, and all have told me that joint custody will be awarded in our state.  As a responsible parent, I cannot allow their safety to be compromised.  (Joint custody would mean they would spend evenings, weekends, and vacations in his care.)
    One of my husband’s persistant PA behaviors is to NEVER be responsible for the children.  Passive Aggressive is a term I was recently introduced to, which perfectly describes my husband.  I am in my initial stages of research, but have not found any information focussing on PA parents.  Other than waiting for my younger child to grow to an age where she can be somewhat responsible for herself, I do not see any options.  Any suggestions would be most appreciated. 

  20. Yes I undestood what you said here 4 months ago….just getting back to this site the other day….I find myself constantly growing and shifting….I realize I am better without him but still have not found permanent work which is beginning to frighten me….I know I need to focus back on the Imago dialogue I learned
    in therapy…..using those “I” statements……thankfully I had an opportunity to text him the other month about a lot of things after he came to the house to get a few his bike out of the garage…..there was so much locked inside me that he never allowed me to speak….it was always “later”…..anyway after that he wrote back with “I’m glad you have me all figured out”……sarcasm to be sure…..and “pa’s” hate to think someone sees through them although at the same time they don’t really care…..there is an aspect of them that is “sub-human”…..and it’s realizing we all have life lessons to learn….I have learned mine and I suspect his will come in later life….I just want to get full time work and get physically in shape again…..the past 3 years on and off the couch have taken a lot out of me…..what’s interesting is how the mind will go back to the thought “how does he treat me like this after all I have done for him”…..but I believe taking the lemons in your life and making lemonade out of them is the key….to move on with great success and I do know that part of him will be glad when I meet someone else….and the fact he can think that says he doesn’t resonate to even that kind of step with another person….that he doens’t operate on a moral level…..but I know I want to be able to build an emotionally healthy relationship one day….to experience what that truly looks like and to show my daughter that also and to be able to move forward with pride in my step…..thankfully our daughter lives 2000 miles away… you know this process is so many steps forward then backwards and then forwards again.

  21. Well, Peter Pan was a happy camper in his prolonged childhood….here I’m not so sure. We all are in this path to grow and develop into complete adult persons, and basically he refuses to go ahead with this program. Learning to detach from this toxic fantasy mindset is quite an effort, because we are bonding and trying to get near, according to the program we have for living in a good marriage….What is so hurtful is that the basic deception tells you that yes, you will have a grown up companion to trust and bond with, at the same time he is digging his trenches of separation and isolation and reserve and secrecy.It’s a double message (“you are married now, you have a husband”) at the same tme (prepare to be alone, because I will never be your slave, your etc…”)
    According to Bateson, when you receive contradictory messages at the same time, with no disclaimer (“this might be seen as crazy, but forgive me the contradiction…”) and for a long time, it is crazy-making. It can reduce your mind to a state of chronic confusion, self-loathing, brain fog and loss of the sense of your own person. If you are in a religious environment, you could even receive the message: don’t fight against him, accept him as he is, and love him….which of course will confirm the entrapment, force you to accept the slow crazy-making and self-destruction in the name of submission to your husband.
    Not easy situation to understand and react against, of course! Sometimes you need to begin by reacting against the religious education; to claim a bit more of personal space to decide what to do, based on your own personal needs and feelings, and then gather the courage to start again. Quite a life lesson!

  22. Like you I felt what I was doing by staying at home was for “us”….he told the therapist he wanted me to stay at home with our daughter so I would bond with her….as if I would have stayed for that reason….I stayed because I felt it was the right thing to do….I think he wanted me to bond as he never had with his own mother….and he wanted to look like the good guy in therapy….being supportive and all….but they can end up sabotaging so much of our life because they can’t handle the responsibility of “real” life….they prefer the fantasy model.

    A year and a half ago he said he wasn’t going to be a slave to me or the corporate world(he had been fired as he reacted badly when his female boss put the moves on him)…..I couldn’t believe it….I told him everything I did came from love but for him he had felt a slave….but now I realize that’s “his” issue not mine….it’s learnng over time not to carry what is theirs to carry….my therapist gave me a few books on co-dependency and I found myself in those pages….through all of that I found myself. And I will not allow another person to mistreat me like this again…..yes there were a lot of good times but once the responsibility of parenthood appeared he began caving….he did not grow in the role of husband/father….why? Because “pa’s” are “boys”…..they suffer from the “peter pan” syndrome!

  23. I think they can only love as they are capable which you said….my husband sent me a christmas card saying he would continue to love my spirit….I heaved it into the garbage….I thought “what a hypocrite”….his way of letting me down easy…all this from a guy and which I have texted him about lately….a guy who decades ago was into a cultish type organization….the idea was we need to live in the country….he had wheat stashed in the basement….he said I might never see my parents again….then he went behind my back and then said he was going to leave me back then….I brough in the troops and then he backed down but he wasn’t that happy…..then down the road the drinking began and the retreats to this place in the states carried on for a total of 13 years until he realized the joke was on him….something I read in one of his emails years ago which he doesn’t know I read….but he would never admit that to me as he would look the fool….I had to do everything to protect our daughter and maintain our life and lifestyle…thankfully I told him to leave 3 years ago due to his drinking and the pain I could no longer endure….he went behind my back to tell our daughter who lived in another province although I found out right before he saw her and I told her what was going on….it was very difficult and has taken the past 3 years to help both of us heal while he avoided and kept saying “oh these are your issues”…..these “pa’s” are so good at denying and denying the denial…..they can care on a superficial and very emotionally immature way but the way a real husband should.  It was something he said to me one time 3 years ago….”I love you too but not the way a husband should”….and of course I could hear him at times looking back taling to his mother….so her face passed over mine many a time and he calls all of this “psycho-babble”….so after awhile one has to cut their losses and not allow the rest of this wonderful life of ours to be consumed by someone who is not capable of true love. Best of luck!

  24. Like you I had never heard about passive aggressive behaviour….he spent years saying I was so “controlling”…my past though included what would be classified as abandonment at 9 months of age when I was hospitalized and in those days visiting hours are not what they are today….so as my first therapist said when a child loses site of their parents face whether in the wild or as humans we fear death…..being in the hopsital also resulted in intense fears of doctors which all emerged after the birth of our daughter…..prior to that I had no indication of that….so he would have make comments to me like “if I don’t get to do what I want to do then I will leave”….well without being able to identify back then that connected with my bandonment issue….my welfare as well as my daughter’s welfare were important to me and somehow we stumbled through that time but over the past 8 years or so he began drinking a lot….he used to go away on retreats and golf trips with the guys….in many cases I was more relaxed when he was gone and got a lot more done……he even used to comment “see you do better when I’m not around”…..but I didn’t want to see it or hear it….I believed in marriage and still could never believe that after the dysfunctional family he grew up in that he would treat me the way he did although I know he never saw it and it’s only been through the past 3 years of therapy and reading a good many books that I was able to piece this nightmare together… as Dr. Nora said we forgot about our right to happiness and respect in our first decision to stay….although for me I had no idea where my underlying fear was coming from then….within an abandonment issue lies rejection also so having a husband want to leave you makes you feel worthless although my therapist helped me to realize it was the old wound that he was triggering….and this presented an opportunity to heal and integrate that wound…..with my husband he denies everything….but he had issues with his mother which he still denies and now says he has a good relationship with his mother….but now I understand about transferrence also and how her face passed over mine when control popped up…..he will say I’m a great mother…..why….well because he didn’t have one so regardless of what is going on with them now it doesn’t negate what she did to him when he was little….meet my expectations and you will receive love….and that was only when the dad wasn’t around as he saw that as turning boys into girls sadly.  So lots of confused messages he received…..It’s quite the process though to figure this minefield called “passive aggressive” out….I read an article on line called “Get your Angries out”…..see if you can find it because it really helps you to figure this out…it took us a both a long time to figure this out but we have and so my aim is to educate any other woman I run into about this syndrome.  I really appreciated the last article via this website where it summed it up in 3 easy steps….it doesn’t matter what we do they don’t resonate to that…..they resonate to their ideal which is a person who asks them not to accept responsibility and who honours their need for privacy and desire to be in the cave whenever they feel like it….no woman will ever fit for them because of this unless she is benign, laid back and non-interfering. So big “salute” to you and the new road you are on!

  25. Hi Sydney51:  I now realize my ex wanted me for my brain, then resented it & I now realize was jealous of my career success.  I always believed what WE were doing was for US, not me.  He always jumped on the bandwagon, but then deliberately, I now realize tried to sabotage every-thing!  Why?  I am now left trying to understand.  I only now realize it is what it is!  I truly wish you the best……….the material things aren’t worth it if you can’t enjoy it together & are secretly resented for all of it.  Love, Goldy55

  26. Hi:  I truly hope & wish the best for you.  I loved being married & never wanted a divorce, but I realized one day I was literally dieing inside.  The loneliness was so deep.  I had repeatedly tried w/love & understanding to believe there was a good man inside.  Unfortunately, I had to come to the realization my ex’s hurt & anger from his tragic childhood was so deep & behavior which he continued to deny, so ingrained, that I would be in an early grave if I didn’t leave.  As Oprah once said “Love doesn’t Hurt”.  I don’t believe that any of the women on this site who have left their marriages of 20+ yrs. did so lightly without trying everything in their power to change the dynamics of what was actually going on within their own lives.  I honestly hope you are one of the success stories.  With Love, Goldy55

  27. sydney51 says

     Dear Goldy, Thank you so much. You are so right. I am so close to the situation that my ability to detach an look at what is happening objectively is sometimes impossible. The way everything is turned around and I’m suddenly at fault for reacting in an angry way to his paybacks. I know what he is doing but So hard when you worked in the field and know better but still unable to respond in a more constructive way- makes me question everything. He does acknowledge some of what he does-is leaving tomorrow for a workshop in Maryland with Dr Steven Stosney.I hope it helps him. He met with an attorney yesterday and has called several times since then- very sad. I think he realizes the financial loss he will experience and hoping for reconciliation. I can’t trust anything he says or does now. The last straw was when he posted photos of me on facebook that were very unflattering. When I asked him to remove them, he told me it was HIS facebook. I said but it’s my photos and I would like for you to remove them as they embarrass me. He came to me later and said that he had removed them- I didn’t check to make sure. 4 months later- just as we were to meet with a realtor to look at a house at the lake (my dream) he mentioned the photos.  He hadn’t deleted them- just moved them to another album and when I expressed my hurt, he told me he had never said he would delete them- a lie.  It’s all so self-destructive. Maybe on some level he cares about me- as much as he is capable- but I am no longer willing to have anyone in my life that would Deliberately hurt me as he does- repeatedly.

  28. Hi Sydney: I, too, went back w/doubts after ending our 5 yr marriage; my mother & Catholic Church issues pushed me back.  Daughter born 5 yrs. later, but also realized I was not mom to 2, not 1.  Never read PA books until 3 yrs. ago……start of divorce for good.  One thing you need to accept about PA’s is they are TOTAL LIERS.  A good friend who is a Psychol. & never knew anything about my marriage, but I sought out after filing told me straight out “GET OUT THIS GET’S WORSE W/AGE”……it was exactly what was/had been going on.  STOP BLAMING YOURSELF……….you were too close to the situation…….not acting like your PHD. & shouldn’t need it to live w/your spouse! We were by then married 33 yrs.  Love, Goldy55

  29. Hi Nora, I’ve read your response several times and understand/appreciate your assessment of my needs and lessons to be learned. I think that more information re: my background might be helpful to know. I had no understanding of PA behavior the first 15 years of my marriage- had never heard of it and was a stay at home mother – no internet- just trying to make this second marriage work. I was divorced the first time after 5 years, by my high school sweetheart who left me for his tennis partner- and married her 3 months later. We had a 3 year old son. I remarried my PA husband about 3 years later. Still very naive, but self esteem was better. After 15 years of a very confusing/difficult marriage- and my self/esteem now non-existent, I returned to school to finish my degree- went to counseling and began to understand what PA is all about- origins, etc… I also began to understand how I was conditioned to be so tolerant of bad behavior and the lack of respect shown to me with regard to my feelings, etc. As my understanding increased so did the conflict- I received my degree in social work- began to work in an intensive care unit at a hospital- primarily doing assessments and discharge planning, and we divorced. We still had two children at home -ages 12 and 16. We were apart for about 2 years and during that time there was more counseling and I began to work on a CD unit- taught assertiveness classes, and my own voice became much stronger as I learned to set boundaries, and have a very low tolerance for bad behavior. At the same time I became a very strong advocate for my clients and their right to be heard and valued- helping them to identify their own needs and what they would and would not accept in a relationship. My ex-husband seemed to respect the new me and so did I. He was reading and acknowledging the past, the family dynamics, and his desire to be free of destructive patterns. We reunited with hope for all of us – not just the children, and for a time it was good- not perfect, as there were some incidents, but I responded differently, and was able to express myself more clearly and see the subtle efforts to control for what they were. Eventually, I had a solid private practice that I enjoyed very much. He and I are both retired now, and the past 3 years has been extremely difficult, as he had a very high profile job with a lot of responsibility. He has been grieving the loss of his identity and feelings of relevancy, and his need for control has increased. As I have been at home much of the time with our 5 grandchildren and other activities, it has become much worse. The final incident occurred- the boundary crossed- and the marriage is over now. Though it is the right thing to do- the only thing to do at this point, there are still feelings of shame, embarrassment, loss (as it wasn’t all bad), and the guilt. I have now put my children through this- twice. Not the role model I would have hoped to be- and certainly there is guilt too about having the inability to speak assertively/calmly to him in the heat of the moment- (eg. using I messages) which triggered more anger and payback. Though I taught those skills I was not always able to “practice what I preach.” Nora, I have long been aware that love should not hurt, and that all of us have the basic right to have our feelings and opinions respected- just very- very slow to give up hope on this- my third failed marriage.

  30. Welcome sydney51,
    is painful to watch you castigating yourself about the fact that, being a SW, you couldn’t appreciate better the situation you were in. I don’t know the reasons that brought you back to this man, having paid the price of divorcing him…but I know that there are lessons to be learned even in this PA “relationship”
    Perhaps revaluing your own needs, and searching for satisfaction of those needs was not authorized for you, and you needed to gain permission?
    Having the theory of how to do therapy is not enough; we do therapy as we are…I think that you had to do a long personal learning process to be the therapist who really understands and defends her client’s rights to have a happy and satisfactory life.
    Before this learning, you did not have permission to be clear about your needs, and never had the right to defend them. When you came back, you were thinking on your children’s needs, never on your need to be loved and respected.
    Hope you are learning the lesson now…how are you going to tell other people now how do you want to be treated? and tell the world that you are not anymore going to accept rejection, coldness and isolation because now, you know that they are not parts of real love?

  31. sydney51 says

    Hi, new to this website, and thank you all so much for the information and support – PA is so subtle that it is difficult to describe to others – but you all know what it is and what it’s like to live with a PA….. I am currently separated and in the process of leaving a  total of a 32 year old marriage.  Divorced him at 19 years and then unfortunately remarried two years later and now ending it after 13 years. I knew better than to remarry and everything within me was saying “Don’t do it” but I did anyway- our son and daugther were hurting from the divorce and I thought I was wiser and stronger so I tried again.  To add to the guilt- I’m a licenced clinical social worker- a therapist- so why did I go back? Grieving now the loss of 32 years of my life with someone who was incapable of loving.  No respect for me- no trust in him- lies- obstructing any dreams/desires I might have- and all tied up with his mother who was an angry hypochondriac who shamed him and withheld affection.  I was just a substitute for his mom- an object- not a person and grieving the loss of what could have been- heart is broken. 

  32. wife to pa says

    I think Nora is trying to help those of us with PA husbands who choose to stay in the marriage and want to know tools and are able to learn them, heal from hurt and be strong and may be find happiness as well from husband or from withing ourselves…

  33. I now realize I “hooked up” w/my PA because of my relationship w/my own mom.  She was always disappointed in my grades, college drop-out, etc.  It took 2+ yrs. of separation, lots of time spent alone reading & reading.  I actually ended up in a terrific career, but not until I married my PA (age 22 yrs) & built myself up.  He was jealous, I now realize, but I was finally being told I was smart & a hard worker who climbed the corporate ladder.  I am divorced, but still have to see him on occassion & he is “meaner” than I could ever imagine.  Of course, he is 59 & living alone in an apartment!  Just as long as he’s no where close to me.  My daughter & I are still trying to heal from this mess.  She feels sorry for him, but she will realize, as she grows older, he did this to himself.  I strongly encourage you to teach your daughter, w/o pointing fingers at him, how important it is to tell people how their behavior hurts or encourages good feelings based on the situation.  After all PA behavior is “Hiding true feelings”.  Luv, Goldy55

  34. Hi:  I don’t recommend this only because you will find yourself playing the very same game he has done to you.  In the end, you will inevitably continue to hurt yourself.  I only say this because you are already feeling the pain of his ingrained behavior & the only person who will loose at this game will be yourself.  Do you get what I’m saying?  I realize the temptation, but you are trying to heal yourself & move on.  Besides you don’t want your daughter learning this behavior is OK.  Please re-think this for your own self & your child.  Luv, Goldy55

  35. The key is discovering what in our own pasts caused this “hook up”….as women until we know this we could draw the same type of man….wives of “pa’s” play a part in how they learned to please growing up as they watched their own parents play out their marraige. This is where therapy is helpful.

  36. I believe treating them as they have treated us is the only way for them to learn although I have read that one needs to be “direct” with them…for now I figure I will avoid and withdraw from any communication he sends me….to let him feel how it feels to feel shut out

  37. As women I believe we are born to nurture and hence try and improve things…..women more easily work on themselves….I think men’s egos are much larger than us so for them to consider changing would take a big leap of faith…..I’ve learned a lot about the “false ego” via therapy and traits that we “disown” in childhood….so I see things more clearly now after being separated for 3 years….it is like coming out of a fog….once you begin to take charge of your own life… makes the matter worse….being a stay at home mom all these years made it worse in this regard…..I believe my husband would still be living here if I hadn’t told him to leave….he wanted out but didn’t have the courage to deal with that….I however could not endure the avoidance and withdrawal….the guy who sat in his cave in front of the tv…..I know I still have a lot to resolve as I still have anger and emotion….my irritation for his lack of initiation to change himself….to not be willing to see he needs to change and improve….he places limitations on his growth because he perceives he doesn’t want marriage….he underachieves within relationships….and I recognize now that his entire biological family is like this….he learned from his own dad that how you deal with a woman’s needs and demands is to escape them. What a great role model for our daughter….a man who won’t do all he can to improve himself…thankfully she turned out well….represses her emotions somewhat but other than that she’s great…she’s launched and is working in another province. He keeps looking for freedom….initially he thought getting away from me was the answer….that I was the source of all of his problems….what arrogance….now it’s that he just needs the piece of paper…..always something else….being out of work for nearly 2 years though he doesn’t have the funds to pay legal bills…he wanted to divorce me on an online website if you can believe it…my lawyer said “don’t fall for it”….but it’s the easy way out for him….he doesn’t like conflict….sitting in a lawyer’s office causes conflict…I got things going over a year ago but then sat back and said “how did I get stuck into paying for all of this crap”….so I stopped….his comment over a year ago was that he didn’t want to feel “enslaved” to me or to the corporate world….all of this goes back to feeling “enslaved” to his mother growing up…and now he’s the executor of her will and taking care of different aspects of her life….the woman who caused all the problems is still reeling in her son and he is at some level still waiting for her to love him….while all along he had a loving family to love him…..the emotional imprint of the past is the deepest though and the inner child will constantly be trying to find a way to integrate it…to heal it…..

  38. Thankfully you have time to process the past, present and future by yourself….that is the gift right now….I don’t know if I could have done what you are doing within the same house….my growth grew from having him out of the house….I was truly left with myself and all the anxiety that arose from that….we both I have learned have attachment issues from our past and the result just plays out differently….we are opposite sides of the same coin….but the difference with “pa’s” is that they won’t accept responsibility due to shame/blame from their past….they avoid what they see as “conflict” because it brings up a past that was probably filled with a lot of yelling and screaming…..”pa’s” don’t feel they can preserve themselves within a relationship….they feel smothered…..they want love and attention but they push against it because it asks something of them…..which happened in their past….and which they don’t always achieve….so they place limitations on themselves….they are underachievers….keeps them safe from being judged a failure… husband even lost his job nearly 2 years ago because his female boss began to put the moves on him…..initially he told me he tried to find another job….another sign that he can’t handle conflict….eventually he blew up at her….and then he was dismissed from the company….he’s brilliant at his career but look at what happened….he’s trashed his family and then he lost his job….I’m not too sure what else in the way of personal things would have to happen for him to wake up…..he has deep issues with wanting to be “Free”….something that has been there since the beginning….but it’s needing to be free of his “mother issues”….which get superimposed on me without him realizing it…..there were times when he would say “can I go now,can I go now”….I now hear the 10 year old boy talking to his mother….times when he would do something perceived as wrong in the world and his comment would be “what, are they going to spank me”….the little boy is alive and well inside there….until the emotional imprint of the mother is integrated it will continue to show up….

  39. I understand the concept that her identity was wrapped up in his….when combined with other aspects in your past along with being a stay at home mom this can happen….my therapist had me read books about “co-dependency”….the end of the story there was that “through co-dependency I found myself”…..when you don’t have a separate life/identity beyond the home one essentially feeds off the other person….even if you are out there volunteering or being involved with your children’s activities you are still not having your own separate identity….after reading another book my therapist recommended on “boundaries” I understood more also….the type of women who live with these type of men have been raised I believe to think that whatever shows up they have to accept…..essentially we become “doormats”…..after I asked my husband to leave I began to experience what I later found out was “anxiety”…..this wasn’t caused by him but only triggered by him….the original wound happened in childhood when as a young infant I experienced “abandonment” while in a hospital sick….parents in those days weren’t allowed in like they are in these days…..this does result in trauma and when the right circumstances play out the anxiety arises…..I kept all the blinds in the house…it was like everything hurt….there was too much stimuli….I would shop late at night when it was dark outside and be sure to shop where nobody would know me….I didn’t want to have to respond to the question of “how are you?” This woman would benefit from a deeper form of analysis….”emdr” therapy…where it takes you into the right brain to release the trauma as the left brain isn’t capable of doing that…..or going to someone who does current/past life regression.  

  40. Their “little boy” inside always shifts responsibility to you….inside them is the statement “you can’t make me do that”…..emotional connections bring up pain from their childhood when they had tried to do things to get the attention and love of their mothers and it didn’t happen him….they usually received shame and blame so connection for them is painful….for us disconnect is painful….they do want love at a certain level but push against it as their learned behaviour was that it asked something of them growing up…..The greatest gift that comes out of all of this is finding “yourself”….with enough therapy and reading of the right books you begin to see through everything and realize you weren’t crazy all these years… in the end you find yourself….and these light bulb moments will continue to happen…..until “pa’s” have  had enough of living with themselves they won’t change…..they have no desire for self improvement because then they have to admit that they are deficient which is what they heard in childhood….it takes them back to their past where they experienced the shame and blame……my separated husband said last May that he didn’t want to think he had to be a better husband/father….doesn’t that say a lot….he doesn’t ask himself why he feels that way…..I have recently put it together that “pa’s” place limitations on their growth….they are “underachievers” because that’s a safe place to live….low expectations….and the women they live with have high expectations usually…..high standards…..and they don’t feel they can live up to it so they give up trying….they can’t handle conflict….they suffer from very low self esteem and our self esteem has gone down by living with them….thankfully once they are out of the house your self esteem will slowly return with the right support of therapy and friends and good books!

  41. All of this is so true…….the problem originated in childhood and their “10 year old” is still making excuses for themselves….because they aren’t able to accept responsibility….shame and blame were two areas that most “pa’s” grew up with….controlling mothers and ineffective fathers…..until one discovers sites on passive aggressive you think you are going crazy….they are so skillful at putting everything on you that you begin to doubt yourself….and the type of women who are with these types of men are very giving women….as one woman mentioned we end up being “earth mothers”….but no healthy man wants an “earth mother”…..until the veil of their own mothers stop being laid over top of ours they will remain stuck in their childhood… therapy my husband has admitted to causing me adversity and not giving me anything over the past few years….but he has never been willing to get into his own life…..once again the issue of not being able to accept responsibility for himself showed up when he commented that my daughter and I would shut him out if he didn’t return to the traditional family unit….I asked him to leave nearly 3 years ago because he was always out at night with the guys drinking… was never the fact that he shut himself out….no it was going to be dumped on us……these types of men are very good at manipulating the truth…..they avoid anything that would hold them accountable….thankfully our daughter is an amazing young woman as I sheltered her from the storms growing up…..I’ve even had sessions done with an angel reader to figure out a lot of this and they are so on about him…..that his issues about freedom are all about his mother…his issues with intimacy the same thing…..your comment about blaming those of us who tried to trust him enough to marry him is so accurate….and you are right we are the best thing that ever happened to them!

  42. So true…the “earth mom” is right on target….we want to be “wives” not second mothers….they are needy but are terrified of becoming dependent, of being swallowed up…..over time they can push against sex also as it too makes them dependent…these types of men will never be free until they learn to give from a healthy place…..I read in a book about co-dependency  that “through co-dependency I found myself”….once you rediscover your lost self your self-esteem will rise again….as will your health….by the way this post was for Sandra …replied to the wrong entry…sorry!

  43. I’ve been separated from my “pa” for nearly 3 years….I have learned a lot….initially due to my anxiety(abandonment issue for me)….I had a phone therapist….then through a friend connected with a therapist in my city who helped me immensely….have done my “emdr” therapy….am in a much better place although my abandonment issue stills causes me anxiety….it was hard to know what was going on I agree….the silent treatment….the excuses….never being willing to accept responsibility….being resistent….I have learned though that it’s really the 10 year old boy who is having unresolved conflict with his mother….his anger is misdirected….he has issues with dependency, conflict and intimacy….won’t seek out therapy for himself….thinks it’s great that all of this has helped me….which of course is a subtle way of making me feel it’s all my issue…..but this is where the “pa’s” don’t accept responsibility….they feel if they have to give into anything that they are depriving themselves….I think as long as you keep learning about yourself that you will recognize the red flags….red flags would be a man who is just too charming, and it would be watching for all those “pa” characteristics. It’s remembering too that we all have emotional imprints from our past and until fully integrated they will keep popping up….the pa’s problem is one of denial….the 10 year old boy fears punishment and blame and shame which is what happened to him growing up….so unfortunately for the women in their life it’s the veil of the mother that passes over our faces when control arises from us….these types of men I don’t feel fully understand what “love” is….they push against love because in their past it asked something of them…..their little boy inside is saying “you can’t make me do that”.  Have you ever read the book “How to Get The Love You Want”?

  44. Hi Goldy, So right you are and so true.  I never linked her issues to his PA until now, since I am reviewing the past in depth to get a better handle on everything and try and make sense out of the senseless.  I now believe her issues were caused by his PA.  I wish I could talk to her about this, but she would shoot me before I could say a word since she blames me for their marriage ending.  Little does she know that I actually did her a huge favor.  Not only does he remember things as he wants, but he also remembers things differently 2 seconds after they happen, with me there as a witness.  Unbelievable!  It is amazing to hear him recount a situation when I know the real details.  Sad too.  The one annoying thing that is still taking place is he is a major contrarian.  Drives me batty.  So much so that I avoid talking to him at all costs.  The negativity is gut wrenching.  Another item I have been thinking about is something I read in “Living with a PA Man”.  It talked about the wife starting hobbies to escape.  It mentioned jewelry making.  Funny, I have been involved in antique doll collecting, jewelry making, miniatures for adult collectors and other crafts.  Why!  Because it gives me a time consuming outlet, allows me to attend shows out of town and be with “normal” people and I receive praise and compliments from others which is something I never receive at home.  He calls my products and trips a waste of time and money.  Only wants to know how much profit I made.  Never compliments the items, but quick to point out any flaw or correction that needs to be fixed.  Ugh!  Later, L.

  45. Hi Lyndsay:  I believe it’s all related if you really think about it.  Panic attacks are really feeling “out of control”. In a PA relationship, you have no control over anything. In a normal, loving marriage a loving spouse reponds w/love or kindness to the other spouse.  In a PA marriage, it’s one spouse always doing for another; yet never getting anything positive back.  I’ve never had a “panic” attack; don’t want one.  I do have a strong sense of “self” though thanks to my career along with handling all of our money management issues through out our marriage.  My husband wanted none of it.  I built 2 homes w/no input from him; wasn’t interested.  So you see even though I got nothing from him emotionally, I as growing stronger by simply handling these major items by myself.  I did all the research & saw all projects to completion.  I really believe he had always hoped I would fail at something; I thank God that didn’t happen.  Like I said, it was really a very lonely marriage.  I was always on my own; resulting in building a strong sense of self!  The book talks about “re-writing marriage memories”….my ex did this.  7 or 8 yrs. ago, he told me I didn’t sub-contract out a vacation home we built.  I was shocked when he said this to me since the guys on the crew couldn’t understand my ex’s lack of interest.  I replyed to my spouse “and who did?” He now states he never said that, but the sad fact was he was “re-writing” our marital memories!  When I recently read “Why marriages Fail” this was one of the areas covered.  Luv, Goldy55

  46. Thanks Goldy.  Right now, I am taking day by day.  I believe eventually he will say something to the effect of “Well are you over being my friend and want to get back to normal” or “Have you gotten over being upset and put all that BS stuff about my being allergic to marriage behind you”.  Because, if he does I promise all hell will break loose.  So, until then I just glide along with my day and stay out of the way.  No trust, no respect, no love, no passion, no security, no romance, no future just hour by hour of wondering when the next big change will happen.  Not a great way to live but at least we are civil to each other and no one in our public world is the wiser.  I am trying to work on dealing with the depression.  I just wish I could control the bouts better so my day is not spent in bed. Thanks for being there.  L

  47. Hi Lyndsay:  I’m really happy for you; yet really sad too.  I was reading an article I took off the Internet last yr.  It was about a woman so depressed she spent the last 2 yrs. in bed.  One day, she realized “depression” is nothing more than denying “reality”.  It’s hoping, wishing etc. etc. things would be different, opposite of, “reality”.  It still hurts & the depression doesn’t just go away immediately, but when you really think about it denying reality is what we’ve been doing…………for yrs.  The’re jerks who aren’t capable of caring for someone deeply.  Sure they can have a relationship, but it wasn’t what I signed up for.  I realize my marriage did have some good by allowing me to get away from a disapproving mom…….allowing me the time to find a career passion.  I still had to come home from work though; never getting what I wanted or expected from my marriage.  My PA ex couldn’t settle an arguement; right fighter.  He would get violent suddenly w/no warning.  Frightening, you bet!  I realize how lazy he really is!  All respects.  We have several real estate investments; he’s walked away from it all…..yet by law he gets 50%.  His life!
    I heard a good quote recently about forgiveness……it’s giving up the hope the past could be any different!  Luv, Goldy55  PS  I only wish I could tell you how far people like this will go to destroy you, but I can’t on this site!  It’s really sick!

  48. Hi Goldy,  I’ve been meaning to ask.  Do you know if agoraphoia can be caused from living with a PA husband?  My husband’s “X” developed panic attacks about 10 years into their marriage, that was eventually diagnosed as agoraphoia and as a result stopped driving and has not since 1984.  Her indentity was wrapped around his and she was a stay at home mom.  So, because she still does not know he is PA, I am wondering if her issues were caused by his PA personality?  Hugs, L

  49. Hi Goldy,  I totally agree.  As I said, I knew something was wrong when I got back from the honeymoon and wondered where my wonderful finace’ was and who was this man who called himself my husband.  The first time he yelled at me I thought I would die.  He is a master at never being at fault.  He twisted arguments and rehashed them until I had to apologize.  Our famous saying was “we are always walking on eggshells”, my fault again.  So, the beginning of 2010 I took ill (surgery complication) and several issues became crystal clear.  The end of 2010 I dismissed a covert aggressive staffer of 10 years.  What a nightmare living through that was at work.  To get a handle on her and prepare for the process I read “In Sheep’s Clothing”.  In the section I read about “Passive Aggressive” light bulbs went off.  So, I read books about that problem.  By January 2011 I was ready to discuss this new information with hubby.  He listened, denied, never meant anything by it, will work on changing and would go to couple’s counseling.  I found out that one cannot easily change how they are wired.  I did tell him I had to emotionally divorce him in order to stay.  He said that was fine.  By June, some improvement.  I was very detached.  By Sept. full relapse.  I told him I wanted out.  I went into “friends only” mode.  By Dec. I told him I am in and will remain in “friends only” mode and he must not think of me or treat me as a wife, since that is the reason we don’t get a long.  He agreed.  That agreement has been in effect for 3 weeks and all is well.  However, alone I am still processing the past, present and future by myself.  That’s why this site is a blessing.  Thanks, L

  50. Lyndsay; new comment section is @ bottom of page

  51. I found everytime we replyed to each other the “reply box” got smaller & smaller – 1″….it’s why I went to “Comment section”. I’m replying in “reply now” must re-set it!  My ex’s behavior got really bad especially the last 2 yrs.  I realize he felt something had changed w/me although I was still doing everything the same.  I had come to the realization I was finally getting out & no longer had the energy to go out of my way for him which is always the way it was.  He must have really sensed something was up, but didn’t realize I had now emotionally completely checked out… a robot, I guess is the best way I could explain it.  There so selfish they feel they are loosing something, but all we’re doing is acting the way they have treated us all of these yrs.  No longer the “fools” we had been!  Luv, Goldy55

  52. Hi Goldy,  Where is the new comment section?  I can’t locate it to continue with our posts.  Yes, now it is strictly a business deal.  However, he is on his best behavior because he does not want me to leave.  I, on the other hand, still zig when he zags to be alone as much as possible.  I still have the blues over what I lost/that I never had.  Funny how that can make sense.  We found out his daughter is also PA.  Her husband of 2 yrs. has already left her twice and she has miscarried twice in addition.  Very sad!  L.

  53. Lyndsay:  I think so many women/men who are on this site come to realize it’s the “covert” message they send over the yrs.  My husband is very funny, yet I’ve not seen him smile @ me in 20 yrs.  He can be a real joker w/everyone else.  He comes off as a great guy.  His idea of being funny w/me is through “sarcasm”.  When my mom died 10 yrs. ago from Alzheimers, I was having a bad day;  he was complaining to me when I mentioned just having a rough day.  His reply “people die everyday, Goldy, “F” deal w/it”.  This is the “real teddy” bear; the guy my mom adopted almost like her own.  She refused to talk to me about our problems after I divorced him/moved home telling me ” I don’t want to know I really like “ex”.  Terrific!  I hope she’s reeling in her grave right now!  The problem with PA is there are differing degrees of it; I’m sure you & I have developed our own PA issues to deal w/these guys…….that’s what I didn’t like about myself anymore.  Trust me the book will settle it for you even open your eyes even more.  I realized he was “re-writing” marriage memories which I didn’t understand at the time…… I know how bad things truly were even when I was still trying to figure out a way to improve things..  My husband was shocked when I told him we were done.  It was the night before my daughter’s graduation from the Naval Academy.  The look on his face was priceless!  I had waited 20 yrs to say that to him & it was worth every single second!  He would have lived the rest of our lives w/me as the status quo………….he had no intention of “having a wonderful life”. Shortly after Dr. Phil came on the air he was doing a story on divorce & he said “you know when it’s over because there’s no emotion, no anger…………it’s strictly a business deal”……it was exactly how I felt!  Luv, Goldy55

  54. Lyndsay I’m going to reply in the new comment section.  I only have a 1″ space not left to reply!  Website needs fixing!

  55. I just ordered the book on Amazon, thanks.  I am not sure if others had this problem, but one of the reasons I don’t plan to try and rekindle the marriage is because I feel like I live with a 17 year old. As though emotionally, I am the only adult in the room.  I married at 18, divorced at 23, because he was too young for that type of committment.  Even though he wanted to get back together a year later.  At 25 my husband and I started a long distance romance that lasted until we married when I was 29.  The long distance part and the fact we married 3 mo after his divorce was final (in the courts for 3 years), now I believe that kept me at bay from his “true” personality.  He is 8 yrs. older than me.  We have no kids together.  Thankfully!  I am also curious if anyone else has the issue of their spouse with PA not having any sense of humor?  He is always very serious towards me, quick to find fault, likes to point out what needs to be done but won’t do anything.  Will not make a decision about what restaurant we go to, ever.  Refers to other women he knows well as his “girlfriends” and loves to tell me about them even though I know for sure their relationships are platonic.  When his mom passed, his entire extended family stoped having anything to do with us.  Very odd!  He does not cheat, drink or do any drugs.  Very clean cut and by the book.  I have never been able to just relax and be myself in 25 years.  He always critques my behavior or actions.  If I was anything but 100% happy toward him, we had an issue.  It’s like he cannot process conflict or negativity or even my having a bad day.  If I am ill, forget about it, he either tries to convince me I am really not that ill or he says he is now ill and can’t help me recover.  However, in all fairness he has had to help me through some illnesses along the way, but afterward he was an absolute bear to live with.  I did ask him why he asks me what’s wrong with a furrowed brow and turned down smile.  Not a warm fuzzy there.  About 6 mo. before we got married his mom asked me when I was going to move out so he could date others and hopefully marry someone with money.
    Recently we were discussing the fact I tried to leave him 6 mo after we got married and he did and said everything he could to make me stay.  Then he admitted he really did not care if “I” left for not, he just did not want his “X” to say “I told you it wouldn’t last”.  I sure did not feel good after I heard that comment.  Thanks, L

  56. Lyndsay there is a really good book I read last week!  I would like to suggest you get it, share it w/your husand or read it alone.  “Why marriages succeed or fail” (and how you can make yours last) by John Gottman, Ph.D. It was probably one of 20 books I read on the failure of my marriage.  I’m suggesting it because it also offers self-tests which help both you/him to see if there’s still a chance to make this work. In my case there were no positives for staying; nada! The ‘loneliness” was so deep I couldn’t imagine living like that for even more one day.   Like Nora’s site claims, there are ways to live w/this, but!  This book goes much more in-debth & I think you will either realize there might be something to fix or it’s a done deal !  Gottman’s 30+ yr. research on marriage has allowed him to predict w/94% accuracy which marriages won’t make it, why/why not!  This is the book where I realized that there never was going to be a chance we could have made it.  I wish this book had been on the market 35 yrs. ago; it would have saved me so much hurt.  I will tie my daughter down to a chair & make her read it before she marry’s anyone, litterally!  If he won’t read it, I think you might find your answer.  PS  One book I read had 6 reasons listed why people get married, not one of them had “love” in the sentence; why I was so shocked I don’t know….call me old fashion!

  57. Talk about coincidences!  My ex’s father also very mean; I learned after marrying him, but not to me.  Since ex didn’t seem to have any interest in his family which I didn’t understand, I made a point of having his dad for dinner once a wk or so.  I was working full time, dad lived a mile or so away so would call him to drive up the nights I new I would be home earlier.  I also made ALL the attempts with his sisters throughout the marriage believing this is what one does when they marry into a family.  The last 3 home never made attempt to do anything w/dad……..something I didn’t get at the time.  We didn’t have our daugher until we were married 10 yrs; I had divorced my ex once already 5 yrs. earlier due to his PA behavior.  Unfortuantely, I had to move home for a yr w/MOM because country was in a recession, at the time.  My Co. had put me on part-time (3 days) instead of full time; after selling house I moved back until economy got better.  After a yr. of his begging, pleading, crying & My MOM pressuring me again; I GAVE IN DESPITE MY DOUBTS.  Bingo, guess what……6 mo. back to same crap!  Like you said; some good times, but mostly not!  His Dad died 3 days after X-mas 1 yr.  I also did his X-mas cards including having him out for big dinner 2 wks before X-mas while we decorated tree w/our 2 yr. old.  He also spent every Thanksgiving & X-mas Eve w/us & my family.  Ex’s sister had dad on X-mas eve last yr. for couple hrs. before my house; it was clear he wouldn’t make it longer! Ex’s dad was so mean to all kids by this time, they called my ex & said “you need to make sure dad showers 1x week;  he would take our daughter along to order him to shower!  He died 7 hrs. later that yr; he had developed severe dementia over a few months; he clearly needed a nursing home………….which I thank god we didn’t have to go through!  I’ll never be sorry I did what I did!

  58. cont.  I have read a lot about the symptoms and some apply to my situation.  I am going to list the ones I have lived with (before I put my foot down and said No More or I will leave).  1.  Will not start conversations unless it’s about him or his interests.  2.  Ask for help and he gets upset or is allergic to whatever I ask.  3.  Hot tempered.  4.  I am an annoyance.  5.  When I talk his mind wanders away.  6.  He always wants me to apologize for the trivial things.  7.  Accuses me of “verbally attacking” if what I say is anything but positive.  8.  Wants an overabundance of praise and compliments.  9.  Wants thanks for even taking out the trash.  10.  I did not dare ask for help with household chores till we had been married almost 20 years.  to be con’t.

  59. Hi Goldy,  Wow!  Thanks so much for sharing.  Interesting how having this connection allows me not only some peace, but also a great outlet to vent. When he was 13, my husband’s father passed of a sudden heart attack at the age of 45.  His mother, 43, also a PA (along with 2 of her 5 sisters), went into a mean spirited depression and never remarried, she passed at 88 in 2006.  In the last 2 yrs. of her life, I was her helper (A-Z) while she was in assisted living.  He would not take care of anything for her.  They never got along.  Faked it at best.  L

  60. Hi Lyndsay:  It’s called “love”… were in love.  Problem is PA people can’t “love” they are broken inside…..something from childhood.  My husband’s mom died at age 10, breast cancer, he was youngest of 5.  2 older girls were already married; out of the house.  They are normal; I get along great w/them.  The 3 who were home are screwed up royally.  Husband’s older brother by 7 yrs. is on 4th divorce; he destroyed all 5 kids from lst 2 marriages.  Sister 3 yrs. older than ex is on Marriage #3; she’s also I now realize nuts.  I don’t get it.  I know it was tough, but I realize many people came to help w/kids after mom died, but they became narcissict expecting people to make them happy!  You have to understand all of this in order to heal & find a new healthy relationship, if you decide that’s what you want in your life.  We also have one problem we were born with; we have somehow been able to deal with childhood issues to love again; they can’t. 

  61. Swe908 1981z says

    Hi Goldy55,  Thank you so very much for sharing this very very helpful information.  So far the reading I have done have given me pause after just about every paragraph as I see my life in the pages.  As for a divorce, when I mentioned it about 5 years ago, way before I had a clue of what the issues really meant, I was told “You can leave with what you came with, NOTHING.”  
    Interesting, my mom and I never got along either.  She is semi-narcissistic.    She wants me to stay with him because I send her a check every month to help out and she does not want that benefit to stop.  No, I don’t have anyone to talk to that understands or even knows all the details.  I choke up when I think about sharing because I feel like the “stupid” one for getting into and staying in this marriage.  I will write more later.  Thanks, L

  62. Hi Lyndsay:  I didn’t read any of the books before he left; just ended up figuring it out.  After he left & I started to read, I was blown away literally as to “how I could have been such a fool”.  I knew deep down almost from the start of our marriage that something was terribly wrong, but I never had any family support to get him out of my life; never said much anyways.   Now that I’m divorced, my sister still talks to him.  For some reason, they can’t imagine a guy who looks & acts like a teddy bear, in front of them, as possibly doing some of the things I told them he did.  I’m past that though since Oprah said she literally had to clean out her life, family & friends, to keep focused.  I realize now how “F” dysfunctional my own family is. I love them, but I keep my distance.  You might really benefit from Oprah’s fall program called “Life Classes”…….they were just as good or better than a shrink.  You can still watch them @ her website.  They were for me the final piece of healing from this mess.  I still have issues going with this idiot, but the classes show you how to deal w/this from the inside out.  I found this site, Oprah & reading several of Dr. Gottman’s books on marriage & relationships terrific.  I feel almost like a library on this topic, but it was best thing I’ve done for myself over the last 2 yrs going through this divorce.  The worst part is the damage to my daughter; I realize she is PA also.  I don’t put up w/it though.  I call her out since I feel if I don’t she will never have a decent relationship unless she recognizes what it is. Unfortunately, she is living in Okinawa now; I had planned on leaving as soon as she graduated.  My hope she wouldn’t have been so affected by waiting was wrong.  Ex & daughter  are in China for X-mas; she suddenly adopted his “dislike” of X-mas several yrs. ago. My sister mentioned to me she had talked to my ex & asked if he was going to take X-mas cookies to our daughter (my sister is 27 yrs. older than me); mind you no one, including daughter, told me ex is going to spend X-mas in China w/daughter…….not my kid or ex.  Also, ex is suppose to be snow plowing…………guess if I get a blizzard I’ll be waiting until 12/28 to get drive-way cleared. Who does that……ruin X-mas for their kids. It was his lack of help, complaining about work for them that finally ruined them for her.  Mind he didn’t do any of the work, just sat on couch, internet, probably porn too & complained if I asked for a minute of his  time. I love X-mas so last night I made cookies & gave most to the neighbors.He can’t take that from me; don’t let him take anything more from you! They can’t stand to see you happy; they hate it.  I told my daughter to have a good time in China.  After thinking about it I decided to respect her wishes about X-mas  & decided not to send the Cookies & a few things I had bought for her. I’m not doing this because I want to be mean, but her & I have had several discussions the last few months about family & traditons & their importance in life.  I can’t imagine where I went wrong on this one, but for some reason she no longer cares about any of it.  I thought I was being a good wife & parent by creating traditions when you start a family……..somewhere I really feel I went wrong somewhere.  That’s one that will haunt me for the ages..  Ex can’t stand to see me happy or to do anything that makes me happy.  I really am enjoying this relationship now since I finally get it.Can’t wait though for the day I don’t have to have anything to do w/him, if that ever comes.  Oh Well, I have contact rarely which is still too much.  Makes him completely miserable by being my ol’e self, a glass 1/2 full, type of person.  He was always glass 1/2 empty. I get it now.  I can only imagine how hard it is to live w/this guy instead of being able to close the door behind you.  I suggest you make your long range plans even though I know how very hard it is when your living w/the neg. energy constantly.  I’ll forewarn you w/the divorce……….he will make your life impossible…..drag it out as long as legally possible.  If you work for him; there’s obviously ownership there(yours).  Quietly get some good legal advice NOW by a qualified Attorney to deal w/a business type divorce; not just anyone will do.  Also, they need to have domestic violence exper. since this is what we are talking about here….even if he isn’t physical, yet.  There’s no 50/50 w/these guys believe me.  Also make sure your prospective Attorn. doesn’t take advantage of the fact you are coming from a DV situation & take advantage of you by dragging it out too,because of what you will be coming from……..I am going through this right now w/mine.  I kept really good written records though; did most everything through email & KEPT THEM ALL FOR PROOF EXPECIALLY AFTER I FIGURED OUT WHAT ATTOR. WAS DOING.  (LONG STORY) The ol’e story of “knowledge is power” in the case of the PA it really, really is both for dealing/healing yourself & handling this yahoo!  Try to, if you can, calmly detach yourself from him over time.  Amazing how will find your earlier self; I haven’t felt this good ever.  I was too young to realize how damaging these yahoo’s are to your soul.  The funny thing in my case is, a few yrs. ago, I sought help from a Dr. who asked me to take a serious of tests, it didn’t have anything to do w/my problem, but I consented.  The results showed I had an extremely “high IQ” which as I said to him at the time “great I’ll tell my 16 yr. old daughter….she thinks her mom is a complete idiot”.  Boy O’ Boy, now I realize just how smart I really am.  I was so “in deep” w/this bad marriage that the bell still didn’t really go off; I know I’m an intelligent women, but after all these yrs. frankly I didn’t feel intelligent anymore.  Now when I deal w/my ex, I realize I’m always a step ahead of him.  It was God’s little way of trying to get through to me, but I didn’t see it at the time.  Watch out for these little “bits” that come your way……..quite out of the blue.  I remember thinking, at the time, what does this have to do w/the issue I came for.  The Dr. was doing “research” of some type for a project.  God wanted me to know I still had power;of the mind!  Use it!  I’m telling you this now, knowing you still have a hard road ahead of you.  When I read your letter, I was there 2 yrs. ago, but you are already reading & understanding what you are going to have to do to move onto your real path in life.  You will get where I am at today.  I know it is far from easy……especially living w/him.  It sounds like you have someone to help you, if I’m reading the last few posts from Jmlebow.  I literally didn’t have anyone.  My best friend of 36 yrs. had no idea what I was living under.  She has been a good friend; she also has the greatest husband who I’ve known just as long.  She really doesn’t or comprehend how I could live so long, but she does get a lot of it.  I know there really is a God because, although I don’t attend Church anymore,somehow as I review & discuss this w/myself…………the answers always seem to come at the right time. I was thinking of leaving this site just because I feel good, but if my experience can help someone else w/this issue, I’ll stay on.  Hope some of this helps. Also, one more thing, I finally now understand how I ended up getting involved w/him & staying with him.  My mom, I remember, was always disappointed w/me.  I didn’t do extremely well in school & didn’t like to read books very much.  I dropped out of College; always a disappointment to her.  I finally realize I stayed in a bad marriage due to this attitude; never feeling I did enough always felt like I disappointed him.  I was the best damn wife & mother you could be………………God told me when I learned my IQ.  I knew I was a good person, but didn’t see what he wanted me to finally see…………I was very intelligent.  My mom had to drop our of school in the 7th grade to work due to the depression & she absolutely loved to read!  See what we do to our kids?  Your Enough!  I had so much going in my career once I found my passion; I had other people constantly calling me or my boss wanting to steal me away.  I just didn’t get it!

  63. Thanks for your comments.  I rely on books and reading posts to help me cope and find support.  I don’t feel comfortable sharing the details with anyone I know.  Yes, I also feel my life has been wasted with him, although there were some great times and experiences, yet quickly extinguished by his covert abuse.  If I said “no more” I would be shown the door and the locks would be changed.  Not an option for me right now.  A couple years ago, during a conversation I made the comment; “Oh, he loves her, but he’s not in love with her and my husband said “What’s the difference”.  Needless to say, my first thought was “oh oh”.  Little did I know that he could not associate either option to me.  Now, I wonder why it took me so long to realize that. L

  64. Thanks Nora.  I appreciate your help. JML

  65. Yup, it just happened again.  I wonder why the site keeps messing up?

  66. Thanks Goldy55.  I just put the email address and changed the guest spot to initials, but it posted the email name anyway.  I was just more surprised than anything.

  67. The above post is about me, Lyndsay, not Jmlebow.  Sorry the wrong name has still not been corrected as she has asked.

  68. I hope to bring you some type of peace with this message.  The letters in your on screen name are meaningless to the rest of us; unless you feel they should mean something to me/us.  Frankly, I’m more confused as to why you feel you would be recognized……..I simply can’t make heads or tails out of what your concerned about.

  69. I am wondering why the w/benefits.  I”m assuming it means “sex”  Sex is so emotional for women; this is the one thing I would consider as “non negotiable”.  I couldn’t even consider the thought of sex w/my ex when I realized how much of my life had been wasted w/him.  I still love sex…………just not with him.  I, too, was extremely depressed living like this for 33 yrs.  It was amazing that when I finally said “enough is enough” & he moved out….my depression left with him.  Good Luck!  I also loved being married, but he was not & never going to be the one.  As Oprah says “Love does not Hurt”.

  70. I’ve tried to edit this, but can’t. Let me ask for help tomorrow. thanks

  71. I don’t want anyone to think the name is related to the contents of the post.  I am helping a close friend who did not want her name used.  

  72. Hello, Please remove name on this post.

  73. First time for me commenting.  I have been married 25 yrs.  I spent all of 2011 facing the fact that my husband is PA and discussing the A-Z about that with him.  He made promises to change but cannot.  His mother was PA, his daughter may be and his grandson (9) has been diagnosed with ODD (a precursor to PA).  So, last week I let him know I will stay – but as friends only because he is allergic to anyone who has the title of mom or wife.  Well, you would think I let him out of jail.  He has been so upbeat, helpful, happy, talkative, friendly and I am just stunned.  I let him know I will not allow him to control me, talk mean to me, have attitude with me and treat me in a demeaning manner.  So, we will see how long this lasts.  I also let him know it this truce as friends with benefits does not work, I will move out.  I also have to add that after loosing my will to live and living in a depression for 25 years, I really did not see what other option I had.  I am one who is still crying over what we could have/should have had.  He is a professional, works hard, everyone loves him, has lots of friends, no vices and presents a great appearance.  No one knows about this except his brother, sister in law, son and daughter in law.  Now I have to figure out a new way to live.  This has not been a fun 1/4 century by any means.  I am still reeling from this change.  I hope things go well.  I also manage his practice (since 1985) so my job is with him.  Ugh!  Thanks, J

  74. Yes Sandra they are very charming, at first.  The key to finding another man like this is taking any new relationship extremely slow.  Time is not on their side; they can’t “pretend” forever.  I remember my ex making some “inappropriate” comments which should have been, yet were “red flags”  to me.  It’s just I was used to being forgiving, like most women are, easy.  If he pushes you faster than your ready this is a “huge red flag”. They are really very neady; wanting an “earth mom”.  We are giving as women, but this is where you must be careful.  A real man doesn’t want an “earth mom”; he wants to be the giver in the relationship.  I know this sounds like the opposite of us, but it is the truth.  You should only give back, but less than he does.  Once you set the tone of constantly giving yet notice little “coming” back to you you’ll find yourself in another PA relationship.  Every book I’ve read on “what men want” says they don”t want an earth mom…………in fact you’ll chase a good, normal man away.  Keep sex out of your new relationship for a few months since a PA man will have non of it.  Besides sex for us is “emotional”; for men it’s biological & he will be happy to wait until you are ready.  I don’t believe you will get involved with another;based on your experience if you only keep your self-esteem high.  If you pursue another relationship while “lonely” inside; you need to be very careful since that is what they are looking for.  Also, beware of men who had a tragic childhood; this is where the majority of PA behavior starts.  Good luck, Hon! 

  75. Please can someone point out what the “red flag” warning signs are?  I was married to a PA man for 26 years.  I separated from him a year ago and I am still in recovery.  I never understood what was really going on in my marriage but nothing was ever resolved and I would always be the one to make up with him because I was so fed up of the silent treatment. My husbands behaviour actually got worse and worse and he began to fly into rages over the tiniest thing …. I knew that what he was raging at was not the real issue but I could never find out what he really was angry about because he would not open up to me.  He always let me down , came home late when he should have been early,,, came in early when he was going to be late… forgot the shopping I asked him to pick up…. forgot to tell me he would be late home (this only required a mobile text message)… Bought me a deep fat fryer for a Christmas present when I had asked for a silver locket!… Bless!!!.. Married to this man was a cold and lonely place…. I am so much happier now that I live on my own.  I am terrified of meeting a man like this again though and I think it is difficult to know if they are PA because my husband was very charming and kind when I met him… typical ‘no problem’ man……  How willl I know ?  Help?

  76. I wonder if men in PA relationships are less likely to admidt it?  I think I was for a very long time. We go to court tomorrow, had it not been for my 23 year
    investment in our home I would split but I love where we live, I worked very hard to make it what it is,  and had hoped we could live together in retirement. Though the signs were there had I not looked passed with love’s eyes. She was shy, private, and somewhat withdrawn with one or two close friends, she was smart  and good looking, what’s not to like?
    Over time some of the PA  behaviors started such as: The silent treatment, leaving the room when I come in, seldom says I’m sorry, withholds sex, takes little responsibility, puts words in my mouth,  calls me nasty names, never willing to talk over problems, sarcasm, insults, and did say she is mean to me?  I have been seeing a councilor  for about a year, I have found mySELF again with the help of a loving family and my many wonderful friends. I am also blessed with 2 year old grand children, twins that is. I have much to live for and much left to give. I am starting to write poems again. As of now let the forgiving, healing of body and soul begin!

    Peace & Love

  77. Dear Offstart:  I congrat. you on making one of the hardest decisions in life; leaving a long term marriage.  I know how long & hard I thought about it even while still trying, hoping & even begging God to help me some how still save a “bad marriage”.  I know how that sounds, but I believe anyone in this position goes through the same thing.  You obviously took your marriage vows seriously or you would have been gone long  ago.  I will warn you while you will find yourself much better off  mentally & healthwise over the long haul; your life during the divorce process from a PA man will be hell!  Please do whatever you can to keep yourself focused, calm & remember life will get better. I remember about 1 yr. into the divorce I started to cry one day & didn’t stop crying for weeks.  It dawned on me finally I hadn’t cried in almost 20 yrs.  My parents both died from long drawn out illness’s, I suffered an accident which permently injured me & had to quit working in a career I loved & kept me sane all w/o shedding a tear.  My now  ex’s behavior got even worse when I really needed to count on him’; I learned you can’t ever count on a PA man for anything. I finally feel human again & really welcome my emotions………long ago buried.  He is still the same angry man still trying to get me & blaming me for “breaking up our family”.  My advice keep conversations short, the little phone contact the better, but do everything by email & keep them filed. Finally, read, read & read to understand how you found yourself meeting/marrying this type of person & learning how to heal from this; it takes a lot of forgiving……yourself & others You need to learn the “red flags” that will show up while dating & when they start to usually present themselves in any future relationships you should choose to enter.  Good Luck, Hon!  I wish you the best. 

  78. Goldy55–I am reading about myself, except I am trying to get the divorce, finally! I am also being manipulated beyond belief, and I know that I use PA behavior myself, as I have had to learn to survive over these 29 years! I also stayed thinking it better for the kids, only to learn “what a mistake!” I am also speaking to my own father for the 1st time on a regular basis in over 20 years. He also engineered this; it took me until now to realize it and understand why. Thank you so much for opening up about this, as it has helped me make my “up in the air” decisions. Have a great life! I plan to, from here on.

  79. I’ve been getting your PA infor. for the last 2 yrs & I’ve recently noticed how you are trying to teach the many of us w/PA spouses how to live w/them in spite of their “horrible treatment”.  I recently received my divorce which took 2 yrs. due to his constant manipulation of the system; we had been married for 33 yrs.  While I complement you on your advice & wisdom on how to “help” the many of us who have been saddled w/this problem through marriage, I’m not sure how helpful it can be when the PA person deems it his “right” to behave in this fashion.  I do believe we have found ourselves in this situation because the majority of us came from some type of “abusive” family relationship already & although there might have been some type of “red flag” while dating; we had become so used to this during our childhood that we simply had learned to ignore or overlook some actions/behaviors as simply “that’s life” or normal.  Unfortunately, we later learn it isn’t normal, but by then there may be children or others to think about instead of just heading for the “exit”.  This info. may be helpful to those who really believe they are still in “love” w/the PA spouse, although, I have to ? if any of us really have experienced true love in this lifetime at all.  I believe most PA spouses are physically abusive only because they have such a lack of respect for “humans” already & will do almost anything to get their way.  How do you “heal” while still married or living w/the PA since they are in a constant state of “denial” of their behavior or what effect it has on those who are suppose to be “closest” to them.  I stayed w/my PA for the sake of our child, but now I see how damaged she is & how she has little or no interest in dating again.  Her lst serious boyfriend turned out to be abusive & I blamed myself.  She saw my husband attack me only once, but when I spoke w/her about her boyfriend & running from these types of people she said to me “but you stayed”.  I wanted  to scream since I believed up until that time she had “saw or heard nothing”.  I was dead wrong!  She was 14 when that happened & 21 when her boyfriend of 6 mo. had hurt her.  I didn’t want to tell her that I was going to leave her dad as soon as she finished high school, but when she received a scholarship to one of this country’s finest academies I didn’t leave because I knew her college yrs would be like living in a “pressure cooker” & a divorce would have been too much for her to deal with.  Now that I am divorced & her’s & mine relationship is starting to heal, I feel it is my job to teach her about what a true “loving marriage relationship” should look like.  I don’t mean by doing this to demean her father; he has already done this to himself just by his “outrageous & hurtful” behavior he displayed while going through our divorce.  She has told me the “hurtful & denegrating words” he told her about me after I initiated the divorce; I wasn’t surprised one bit since I’d been living w/this secret for 33 yrs by myself.  Never once have I said anything to her about our life together except to say “what you saw that day wasn’t the lst or 2nd time it had happened”, but she has seen & heard lst hand from the horse’s mouth what he is really all about.  I already knew from experience that he would show his true colors to the outside world after I left him; he didn’t disappoint.  He has destroyed all relationships from his childhood & on.  He will die alone.  When I originally told him if he didn’t go for counseling that there didn’t stand a chance that I would even consider staying & saying that even if he went to counseling, I still wouldn’t guarantee I would stay, he said “I won’t go because their going to blame me for everything”……………I wonder Why!  I didn’t have an answer for him, but we’ll never know.
    Yes, Nora as you repeated have said in your “blog”, I have always believed his problem originated during his childhood, but for someone to go through life constantly blaming the one who “tried to trust” him enough to marry him…there is no excuse for his repeated hurtful behavior to destroy the best thing that ever happend to him!

  80. I have tried for 10 years to have a healthy happy marriage what a joke. The minute he gets close or “feels” anything for me he pulls away and thats it. We havn’t had sex for a year now and he dosn’t seem to care the slightest. Sex was a joke anyway he rarely wanted it face to face cause that ment he would have to look at me and “feel” something. I dont recal making love to him in 10 years of marriage for him it was just sex mentions where stuffed away or stopped and then I was punished cause he felt something. I am so tired of the silent treatment,cold shoulder,wanting everything done for him but laughing when something for me went undone. I can see even asking for anything he gets his back up like I asked for gold,or diamonds instead of just pass the butter. I am tired of being dismissed,ignored,and basically living like room mates or strangers. Loving a passive aggressive man is a waste of time cause he just dosn’t care if you love him or not just do everything for him and then get lost.

  81. Dear Nora, after our skype call on saturday evening, and after reading your book Recovering from Passive Aggression, I feel full of tools to make a positive change in my relationship with my passive aggressive partner. It is a great relief to know that now when he says something aggressive to me, or when he gives me the silent treatment. I know how to respond!. I already managed to stop letting him accuse me or blame me for things I couldn’t control. Thank you so much for your widsom. Greetings from Buenos Aires. J.

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