4 Things to Expect WhenDivorcing a Passive Aggressive Spouse

Keep Your Expectations Low When Divorcing a Passive Aggressive

Middle aged couple having a disagreement
Gary John Norman/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you are married to a passive aggressive then you probably already have a sense of what will come once you decide to divorce that passive aggressive. You may believe that divorcing a passive aggressive will once and for all mean no longer dealing with the repercussions of his/her odd behavior.

In the long-run, it will. In the short-term, you need to expect the passive aggressive to dig in their heels and make life even more miserable.

The passive aggressive's relationship skills become even more ineffective once a divorce is filed than they were before. Throw in divorce attorneys and the family court system and the reality of what you thought divorce would be will fly out the window.

4 Things to Expect From the Passive Aggressive During Divorce:

1. The passive aggressive is forgetful.

They forget court dates, they forget to respond to interrogatories, and they forget whatever they need to, to slow down the divorce process. When divorcing a passive aggressive expect the process to take more time than is usual and to cost more than you had planned to spend.

2. The passive aggressive is short on negotiating skills.

They will want to mediate the divorce but then refuse to negotiate a divorce settlement. They will agree to a settlement then change their mind. They will quibble over who pays how much for the mediator when it was them who insisted  on mediation, to begin with.

Just like during the marriage you will expend a lot of energy on solving conflict with not much to show for your effort except wasted time and emotional stress.

3. If you have children, the passive aggressive will want custody.

Well, maybe not so much want custody, but definitely use that tactic as a way to punish you for leaving and what better way to punish than to threaten your relationship with your children.

Expect a custody battle but don't fear one. When push comes to shove the passive aggressive will return to old, self-defeating behaviors. They won't show for court dates and when they lose custody, most will fail to show for visitation.

4. Once the divorce is final and you have a final divorce decree expect the passive aggressive to defy what is ordered by the court.

If the passive aggressive is ordered to pay child support expect them to either slow leak the payments every month or not pay at all. If there are marital assets to be split expect to make a few trips back to court. Just as in marriage, the passive aggressive will be slow to follow through on anything they promised to do. During and after divorce passive aggressive obstructionism runs rampant and can run your life if your spouse knows how to manipulate the family court system.

In conclusion, there is the potential for a high conflict divorce when divorcing a passive aggressive. The problems you dealt with during the marriage will only become worse during divorce. Your passive aggressive will blame you and use the family court system to express anger toward you. Knowing there is a battle ahead helps you arm yourself with information that will help you protect not only your legal rights but your emotional health.

More on Passive Aggressive Behavior:

  • Passive Aggressive Behavior: A Form of Covert Abuse
  • What is Passive Aggressive Behavior?
  • The Role Anger Plays in Passive Aggressive Behavior
  • Why Does the Passive Aggressive Withhold Sex to Punish?
  • What Kind of Woman Marries a Passive Man?