Passive Aggressive Behaviors in Marriage

Understanding Your Passive Aggressive Spouse

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Passive Aggressive Behavior Explained


What is passive aggressive behavior? A learned behavior that keeps a person from expressing anger in a healthy manner. The passive aggressive person is an angry, spiteful person who outwardly appears friendly, kind and caring.

If you are involved with a passive aggressive you will find yourself frustrated and feeling like you’ve done something wrong that keeps the passive aggressive from being able to relate to you emotionally.

The most prevalent negative behavior a passive aggressive will display is withholding intimacy or withdrawing emotionally. The passive aggressive withdraws during conflict leaving you feeling as if you are responsible for solving all problems yourself. That is the most difficult aspect of being married to a passive aggressive, the feeling that you and you alone are responsible for whether or not the marriage works.

The passive aggressive will also withhold as a form of covert abuse. They can’t express anger so to punish they withhold something they think you want. It may be sex, chores around the house or communication. Whatever it is, if they know you want or need it, they will make sure you don’t get it.

  • Passive Aggressive Behavior: A Form of Covert Abuse
  • The Role Anger Plays in Passive Aggressive Behavior
  • Is Your Passive Aggressive Husband Withholding Sex?
  • Is Your Spouse Passive Aggressive?


    Marrying the Passive Aggressive Person


    Passive aggressive behavior is not gender specific but is more likely found in women due to being socialized to not openly express their anger. Since women are more likely to be passive aggressive men they are more often the victims of the passive aggressive.

    Men who are damaged emotionally are more likely to attract a woman who is damaged emotionally.

    Women and men who are forgiving, love unconditionally, have low self-esteem are sitting ducks the passive aggressive. The passive aggressive will seek them out because no healthy person would put up with the covert emotional abuse doled out by the passive aggressive.

    • What Kind of Woman Marries The Passive Aggressive Man?


    Becoming Passive Aggressive:


    Passive Aggressives are raised in an environment in which the healthy expression of anger is discouraged. Martin Kantor suggests three areas that contribute to passive-aggressive anger in individuals: conflicts about dependency, control, and competition. If you don't learn healthy coping strategies and skills as a child how can you grow into an emotionally healthy adult?

    • Why Does the Passive Aggressive Play the Victim Card?
    • Ambiguity and the Passive Aggressive
    • Fear of Dependency and the Passive Aggressive
    • The Fear of Expressing Anger
    • Passive Aggressive Obstructionism


    Recovering From Passive Aggressive Behavior:


    The passive aggressive has very little insight into their own behavior. Most of us can reflect upon and dissect why we behave the way we do. We can identify and change bad behaviors. The passive aggressive is not secure enough in himself/herself to do so.

    They do not see themselves as the one with a problem. They see themselves as the victim of others with problems.

    Most passive aggressive people are forced into therapy by a wife/husband who finally say, “enough is enough. You go to therapy or I’m out of here.” Some passive aggressive people end up in therapy due to their discomfort over perceived wrongs done to them by others. Whatever the reason, intensive psychotherapy is the only hope of ever overcoming passive aggressive behavior.

    • How To Recovery From Passive Aggressive Behavior?