A passive aggressive partner will often employ sabotage as a means of getting what they want in a relationship.
For example, a passive aggressive partner may do a bad job when asked to clean the house, so that the other person will “learn” that if they need something done, they should do it themselves.
Another example is sabotage of a diet or other plans for self-improvement. The PA partner might bring home sweets and encourage the dieter to indulge. This kind of sabotage is so childish that it seems unbelievable, but it is a PA’s way of keeping the person to themselves and preventing them from being attractive to others.
Similarly, the PA may sabotage the projects and goals that threaten the PA’s status in the home or relationship. They may use emotional barbs, often disguised as humor, to bring their partner’s self-esteem down and discourage them gaining power and status.
This behavior needs to be stopped in its tracks, but how do you stop sabotage when it is so subtle?
Go with your gut feeling on things. If you sense that you are being manipulated, or that your goals and projects seem to be taking forever despite your efforts, consider your situation. Recognize patterns in your partner’s behavior that may be clues to sabotage.
It is important to not only recognize the behavior but also communicate with your partner how it effects you and your needs. Ask them to look at their behavior in a serious light and let them see that there are implications that putt he relationship in danger. Do not accept the blame for the behavior, because passive aggression is not caused by outside factors – it is their problem. The only thing you are responsible for is your reaction to the behavior and the choices you make in confronting your partner.