Passive Aggressive Husband

Could your passive aggressive husband's opposition serve you?


In this week, we feel grateful...many people believe it feels good to acknowledge when things go well. To say thank you when people help you or are nice to you.  To express when you feel appreciative of something that makes your life obviously richer or natural, right?

Reversing the thought, I would love to ask: Do we have to be grateful for the challenges we encountered? And if this is so, can we be grateful for the conflicts presented by your ever passive-aggressive acting husband?

You are going to say: "Nora, don't go there....your thinking is wrong here!" I got inspired by this poem, originally shared by Patrick Di Fruscia at G+


Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times,
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
By Author Unknown
*Stay Strong & Live with Passion"

So, next time you are ready to complain (and justly so...) take a second to stop and think: What if this difficult response from him is making me clever and stronger? What if it builds in me the strength and resilience I will need later in life? Once you turn around the perception of an incident with your passive-aggressive husband, from something that hurts or diminishes you, to something that empowers you, then you are on your way to appreciating everything that happens in your life as a gift!

If, perhaps, my proposal here is too harsh for you, and you feel that I'm abandoning you to the pain of another Thanksgiving holiday without solutions to your marital distress...I'm inviting you to get your complimentary coaching session with me. Just write a comment below and I will answer!

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Reply to  Valerie
9 years ago

Hi Valerie- it is so hard to find others that truly understand how abusive and downright heartbreaking it is to be married to a passive aggressive man for so many years. I was married to one for 25 and had four children with him. My own mom sided with my ex she felt so sorry for him because he is a master manipulator she eventually saw the light and now supports me. The one thing I’ve learned here on this site is to remember it is to try to see my ex as an angry mistreated child and that he is more miserable than I am. I have the ability to forgive he doesn’t and without help will stay stuck in this cycle forever. My advice is to find other wives who understand because it’s so validating to know that you are not alone it took many of us many years of trying to fix our marriages before we realized we can’t do the work for our spouse. Hang in there.. you learned many lessons and grew so strong thru that relationship. You will fill this new emptiness with good people who can actually say what they mean and connect in a healthy way. Thank you for sharing:)Lisa

Reply to  carie
9 years ago

Hi Carie,
thanks for your message, and sorry for your situation. Perhaps now that you are healing, his sense that he can be useful for you is diminishing….and he goes back to the hidden feeling of “never being good enough”
You can see how severely limited is he, with very few connections, and now at risk of losing you. Perhaps if you could understand how crippled he is, and how dependent he is from your approval…there could be some possibility of improving the situation. You have to understand: even if he has some complaints about the marriage, as you have them too, he is incapable to show his frustration to you. He doesn’t have the words to explain to you what is hurting him…the only behavior he knows that is safe (so his hidden anger doesn’t hurts you or him) is to abandon the situation.
Can you do a little test? next time you have to talk to him, make an appreciative comment? you could mention that you appreciate him having health insurance, that helped so much with your recovery…or you could get some pictures from the happy first months of marriage, hang them on the wall, and tell yourself, and to him, that you appreciate having had such a good experience with him.
Whatever positive aspect you can find in him, is good to appreciate…Try this experience for 2 weeks; forget critiques and don’t say a word about him being mean, a liar, etc….and focus only on his positive aspects. If, and this is a big IF, he is not so far gone into hurt and contempt, you can see a change in his behavior. I keep saying that somewhere there is a small boy very mistreated, that doesn’t believe he is “good enough for you.”
If you could snap out of demanding behaviors from him, and appreciate when you are given those behaviors spontaneously and not under duress, you could see changes. If you want to pursue this strategy deeper, perhaps you can book your coaching session at

9 years ago

I’ve just found this information. I’ve been married to a man for 2 years, we’re both in our 50s, second marriage. He seemed so perfect at first, so helpful in every way, especially because I was in the throes of lyme disease. Now that I’ve been healing for the past 6 months, he’s different. Mean. A liar. Hides money matters. Walks away and doesn’t talk to me. I had to have him move out. He promised he was going to be a better husband, blamed his stressful job for his meanness. But he’s never going to leave that job. He only complains about it. He forgot my birthday last week and laughed about it. I need his health insurance and feel so awful to have chosen a non-loving man. He didn’t have friends, one son doesn’t talk to him and he doesn’t have a relationship with his brother who lives close by! Reading your articles here, it’s beginning to make sense, all of it. My friends thought he was the perfect guy too. I married him in the first year of knowing him. He wanted his own room in my house. He’d come home from work many nights and not even say hello to me. Along with the illness I feel beat down for something I didn’t do. I know I have to look at myself now, and pull myself together. Thank you for the information.

9 years ago

I just found your blog. I am happy to know there are others out there. I was married for 26 years, thought I was losing my mind, forever…never had a good conversation or a promise kept. I eventually became bitter and acted pretty badly. I left because I knew I couldn’t be that person who was looked upon as such a bad lady. I am kind and caring and did everything for my husband, almost begging him for love. I have cried MUCH more these past 3 months, now that we are apart, than I did EVEN when I was with him. After all, he was my dream, I wouldn’t want to go back, but I feel I lost everything, because he was my focus…there was no me. It is very hard to cope and somedays I wonder if it will ever get better. My husband has told everyone I blindsided him. That is so untrue , but they didn’t know what I lived with.

Reply to  Maria
9 years ago

Dear Maria,
great to know that you could overcome this situation and now feel stronger and more resilient! Learn your lesson, pat yourself on the shoulder because you reacted in a very smart way…and seek all the joy and happiness opportunities you can grab. You have earned them! thanks again for writing!

Reply to  Coach Nora
9 years ago

i understand what you are pointing out. i do realize that i wasn’t going crazy or loosing my mind. so in a way im thankful for seeing the light that it was his behaviors the made me feel that way. and now being separated from him , i have more self a stem and a hell of lot more motivation to do things with my life .

9 years ago

Dear friends,
thanks for all your postings. I do understand that mine is a huge request! it asks for you to take a step back, look at your situation and ask: what good can come from this pain? It is a brave question, but when you can ask that to yourself, you are half way out of the abuse…That is the point I tried to propose….Get yourself together, ask what is the meaning of the abuse, understand what learning you get from it…and move on! I want to find you on the other side of abuse, the side of self-esteem and self-love.
Thanks again for sharing your comments with us…

9 years ago

In a way i agree with Lisa. I have been married to a pa man for over 20 years now….we just now separated but , I in a way are thankful for seeing light but living with him all theses years have did a number on my mental and physical health….I am starting to get my self together , but its hard to forget all the things he has put me through… both of my sons see what his passive aggressive behavior is like. its time to end this type of madness in my life and move on.

Madeleine Kalas
9 years ago

Please i want to know how can i accept this difficut situation…my passive aggressive husband has wanted to get a divorce since last november; but the judges in the spiritual court have not made a decision yet … i am waiting … but we are still living together and sharing the same home…i feel sad ,i love him very much

9 years ago

I tried being thankful in my marriage to my passive aggressive husband of 25 years. However it is only now that I am divorced from him that I can truly be thankful. I am thankful for all of the lessons I learned the strength to trust my own self when I could not trust him. I’m thankful that the sick cycle of abuse has finally ended. It has been almost 2 years now and I am still working on forgiveness. I think without gods help I would not be able to forgive him for the years he So deceitfully and silently tricked me into Giving to him. My question is how can you help the grown kids see what took place during their lives and the marriage without bashing their dad? Thank you for all of your great advice it’s literally confirmed to me everything I suspected for years, lisa

Deanna Nesbit
9 years ago

Let me know of your short-term and long term plans.

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