4 Reasons Marriage To a Passive Aggressive Spouse Is So Lonely

Married to a passive aggressive? Here is why you feel so lonely.

Loneliness in marriage

Marriage can be an extremely pleasurable experience unless you are married to a passive aggressive. If you are married to a passive aggressive, marriage can be painfully lonely.

Think about it? Who isn’t happy and satisfied when sharing fun activities with their spouse? Snuggling during a movie at home, exploring new places during vacations or, bonding over the birth of a child.

Those are the things that bring spouses closer together and make marriage something most of us aspire to one day participate in.

Here is the problem; marriage isn’t all fun and joy. It’s riddled with conflict and, at no time, do we want to feel more connected and cared about than during conflict with our spouse. And that is something that those married to a passive aggressive spouse don’t experience.

People who suffer from passive aggressive behavior have a hard time expressing their feelings verbally. This results in them suppressing any negative emotions they may experience. Instead of express negative emotions verbally they project those feelings in their behaviors toward a spouse. 

Most passive aggressives won’t punch you in the face but the way they express their covert anger at you can cause you to feel as if you’ve been kicked in the gut. They show their anger by withholding something they know you want, through procrastination, stubbornness and obstructionism. 

You may not have witnessed this behavior before marriage because passive aggressives also have a tendency to agree with and comply to everything they feel you want.

Right up until they are no longer able to hold in their pent-up anger from years of agreeing and complying with. When they get to that point, no one can be more defiant that the passive aggressive. That is when the disconnection and loss of emotional intimacy is most felt by those married to a passive aggressive spouse.

 

 

The Passive Aggressive Doesn't Show Up Emotionally

 

Marriage is a contract, one you enter into expecting to get your needs met during the good times and bad. Passive aggressive people are fairly handy at showing up and meeting needs during the good times, not so much during the bad times.

Their fear of conflict coupled with their fear of forming emotional connections keeps them from being a fully engaged marital partner. Want to feel emotionally abandoned? Try to engage in conflict with a passive aggressive spouse!

For a marriage to succeed it requires intimacy, self-sacrifice and emotional investment on the part of both spouses. The passive aggressive spouse is child-like in their emotional connection with anyone. For that reason, they love to play but also pout when they feel you are expecting more than they are willing to give.

They can form an intimate connection, up to a certain point. They can be self-sacrificing, up to a certain point. They can make an emotional investment, up to a certain point. If a spouse always stops short of giving what you need, especially during times of conflict, a marriage can be very lonely.

 

4 Ways The Passive Aggressive Promote Loneliness During Conflict

 

1. During an argument, a time when you are being expressive and showing emotions, the passive aggressive views you as overly aggressive. It isn’t seen as a need by them as your need to connect with them and solve a problem. The passive aggressive sees it as a personal attack. The passive aggressives refusal to engage in conflict leave you, their spouse feeling lonely and responsible for all the marital problems. 

2. The more expressive and emotional you become the calmer and more logical the passive aggressive appears to become. The more logical they appear to become the more desperate you feel emotionally due to feeling of being cut off or dismissed.

Although the passive aggressive appears to be calm and logical they aren't. What they are is terrified and, in their head desperately looking for a way out of the conflict.

Their superior attitude of logic and calm allows them an excuse for shutting you down and refusing to engage with you. 

As a result, conflicts don't get resolved, you are left reeling in negative emotions and they are left feeling relieved they've escaped engaging. 

3. The more detached the passive aggressive appears to be during conflict the more anxiety you begin to feel over the realization that this person is not emotionally invested. This is the most important person in your life, refusing to do what other couples are able to navigate…marital conflict and connect emotionally.

The passive aggressive is capable of making a connection but only up to a certain point. When they begin to feel unsafe with their own skewed emotions they disconnect and leave you with more anxiety and doubt in yourself and the relationship. 

4. The passive aggressive retreats completely and you are left to pick up the pieces. Nothing gets resolved, problems continue AND you have been sent a clear message that regardless of how much you are willing to invest in the marriage, the passive aggressive will only go so far.

A lonely, lonely place to be. It’s called rejection! The passive aggressive doesn’t see it that way, though. To you, it feels like a rejection of you and your needs. To the passive aggressive it is a rejection of your emotions. They like you; they even love you, as long as the waters aren’t muddied with your pesky emotions and any expectations on your part that they connect emotionally.

 

The Pay-Off For The Passive Aggressive Spouse

 

Here is the twisted logic behind the passive aggressive’s need to remain, calm and logical during times of conflict. 

1. The passive aggressive fears rejection, engaging and sharing their emotions during conflict means risking rejection by you. They desperately need you to stroke their fragile ego, to mirror back to them how worthy they are of love and admiration. The thought of you being upset with them and possibly rejecting them in some way is tantamount to emotional destruction if faced head on.

 

2. The more the passive aggressive refuses to engage, the more effort you put into getting them to engage. They love that effort. In their mind, the more you try, the more you admire and love them. They will keep you hanging on and trying to connect with them out of their own need to be loved, not out of any concern for your feelings. 

3. The more you attempt to engage them the louder your message to them that you want and love them. The passive aggressive gets what they need, the easing of their fear of rejection. You are left hung out to dry with increasing anxiety over the increasing evidence that you are the only one invested in the marriage.

Whew! This kind of twisted response to your efforts to solve problems in the marriage leaves you feeling, not only lonely but angry, unhappy and most assuredly confused about the state of your marriage.

Marriage to someone with passive aggressive tendencies can cause you to question your self-worth and your right to someone caring about your feelings. The passive aggressive wants nothing more than to stifle you and your needs in favor of getting their needs met. Don’t buy into their emotionally deficient message!