Are you a passive-aggressive husband?
Miscommunication in marriage is a common problem. Men and women, depending on the ways they were raised or how their parents communicated, can both talk in ways that don’t always fit the bill for making communication easy and comfortable for both. Often, men are accused of not being “open” enough, and sometimes, they are also labeled as “passive-aggressive” by their frustrated wives.
Whether or not men think they are talking enough and supporting their wives emotionally, there is still the fact that some women feel the communication in the marriage is not sufficient. It is as if a whole generation of boomers (and perhaps even younger people) never understood how to fulfill each other communication needs; now, they get into couple conflicts about this gap.
If women remain feeling isolated and not listened to enough, marital grief is present – plain and simple. Can this situation be improved? Coach Nora, through years of research, family mediation, and finding innovative solutions that work, believes that this situation can be turned on its head. First, the label of “passive aggression” must be dealt with; the one that is now so easy to attach to men's behavior. How true can be that being reserved, non-communicative and harboring hidden anger is only part of a person’s personality? Conversely, how much of that “personality” is a conflict-causing trait that he may have picked up or learned a long time ago without realizing it? Here we believe that negative traits hurting your relationship are learned very early in life.
Coach Nora is exploring this question deeper by studying childhood experiences. Their research has led to interesting conclusions in the realm of passive-aggressive psychology. In discovering what is a personality trait and what is a defensive behavior in a relationship, Coach Nora proposes that passive aggression may be largely dependent on the attachment model learned within the child’s relationship to their guardian.
For example, when a man was a child, was he restricted from expressing his anger toward his parents? If he had a need and was feeling it keenly, what happened when he expressed it? If he was guilt-tripped for being too “needy,” shamed for being a baby or a whiner, he probably taught himself to just shut up when he needed something from other people. In order not to feel pity for himself, he would have then taught himself that repressing emotions and sucking things up was an admirable trait - a feat of skill, something only a "manly man" could achieve.
A future passive aggressive man, in order to learn how to control himself and not open up, would have shown his frustration in ambiguous ways, like falling behind in school, even when being very smart.
Coach Nora is using her findings to help the passive-aggressive man heal the behaviors that are causing miscommunication and pain in his marriage. She helps a man identify the lessons of his childhood, and appraise the real situation at his home, where these old defensive mechanisms may still be at work. For example, he may be going silent for days or weeks, reflecting the lessons he taught himself in childhood. The truth remains that this behavior is destroying any intimacy he was able to build within his marriage. His wife feels condemned to loneliness by his withdrawal and silent days, and the man himself ends up trapped in a lonely jail of his own making.
If a husband wants to know how to solve this frustrating challenge, Coach Nora invites him to identify here and now what inner forces are sabotaging his marriage.
It is now possible to take a free, short online test on our new website, Passive Aggressive Test. The test is an intelligent strategy for getting to know a husband’s personalized answers and communication style; whether the results are normal, passive-aggressive, or mixed, he can know exactly where he is on the spectrum, and this crucial definition can then be explained to the frustrated partner.
For men interested in assessing themselves and learning how to heal loneliness and conflict in their marriage, the next step is simple: take the Passive Aggressive Test!
If a husband is found to have no passive-aggressive behaviors, he will know that there is another issue creating a wound between him and his wife. Alternately, in the event that some of his behaviors are passive-aggressive, he will receive immediate options for improvement from Coach Nora's growing collection of resources.
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