After 45 years of marriage I've recently read up on passive aggressive

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sunflowergirl, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    This was an eye opener for me in so many ways, and explained the ellusiveness my husband always had.......wondering if I was just imagining things, etc. Wondering if I was the problem, putting the blame always on myself. Thank goodness there's always the internet to research things.

    I've never received understanding for everything associated with FM/CFS, and over the years of dealing with everything I find I've got a HUGE amount of anger built up towards him. I'm positive this constant stress contributes greatly to how I feel. I'm 68 and too old and too incapable of living on my own. Some days I can't hardly function or get to the store.

    Anyone else involved with a passive aggressive significant other? I would be interested in hearing how others cope with this.
  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    My ex was passive-aggressive. They do leave you wondering what the heck is going on, and will deny there is a problem but the way they act indicates otherwise. It can make you feel a little crazy. And underneath it all there seemed to be a lot of anger or resentment from my husband, which he always denied however.

    Anyways, I found I am much better off without him than with him. We split up 10 years ago. It was hard but am so glad we did. I'm 61 now. I have had lots of days when I was too sick or exhausted to function or get out of the house (more often than not), but never regretted leaving him. I have just had to plan my life to do what I absolutely have to when I have the energy. I'm much better off without all that crazy-making stress.

    There's an excellent book called "Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft. It talks about men who are physically abusive, but also just emotionally abusive too, e.g., passive -aggressive. It's really a mind-opener and a fascinating read. I told my sister to read it because her husband could be very cruel to her and she was always making excuses for him (he had a bad childhood, blah blah blah) and Bancroft tears that excuse apart. The book opened her eyes and she began to demand to be treated better, or she was going leave. And it worked. She does alcohol and drug conseling and now recommends this book to clients with abusive spouses.

    Good luck - there's no easy answer - but knowledge is power -

  3. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    I'll look into it now. I bought a book 2 months ago, Living with the passive aggressive man by Scott Wetzler. That really confirmed a lot of what I had suspected. My husband is a loner and a procrastinator something awful. As he gets older he yells a lot!!!! We always seem to be in a battle and that's not good for me.......or actually him either. And yes, I made excuses for him right from the friends, to co workers, to family. I defended him loyally. What a waste of time and energy.
  4. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    If he yells a lot, is it possible he has low testosterone?
    Some men go through andropause badly and end up grouchy and depressed. A telltale sign is a guy who yells at the TV.
  5. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    He's yelled for years, and I just learned to live with it and yell back. Terrible way to live.

    Yesterday morning he had to come home from work to check the electrical because we had a whole room out. He yelled at me from the office phone with everyone around him, then he yelled when he got home again for at least 20 min. I was prepared and had my little tape recorder going. I just played it for him.....about 3 min. and he refused to listen anymore. And as usual he says he's got to stop it his behavior but being a passive aggressive I know it will never happen.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    My ex is still acting out at 72 with his now family. It took years for me to understand his behavior. He would not get help so it was futile to continue our marriage. P/A's cannot be helped unless they are willing to seek help. Most do not as they feel so threatened after building up layers of armor over years of sickness.

    They are like shape shifters. If you call them on something, they will deflect to something else. Each time they make others uncomfortable, it hits their pleasure center in their brains and they become addicted to their behavior. They use their behavior to try to protect what they truly fear is their own inferiority. Better to act out and push people away than to become vulnerable to those who love them.

    I hate to sound so negative but if a P/A isn't willing to work on himself, run, don't walk, away. At the very least, get help in dealing with him. In my case, there were children. I chose security for them but at the price of living in a very disfunctional family. It was a lose/lose situation. It took years for me to get strong enough to leave.

    My prayers go out to anyone dealing with a P/A.

    Love, Mikie
  7. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    My friends have told me for years (at least 25) to leave him. But I'm a "rescurer" and felt I could help and change him. I'm a christian and I made promises in front of God when we married to stay together thru good and bad times, in sickness and health, til death do us part.

    Interesting what you said that when they make someone uncomfortable they get pleasure from it. Did you learn that somewhere?

    In reading my book I found out that certain personalities like me are like a magnet to PA....and without knowing it we feel we can help them. But like you said, they really don't want to be helped. Now I see my two grown sons showing PA signs. It's quite common that at least one child will become PA if one of the parents are.

    I'm trying to release everything to God......only he can help us and help my husband to find a good counselor.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/01/2013]
  8. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    You can't change your husband, you can only change yourself. You said something about your type of personality being a magnet for a P/A person. Well it works the other way too - he was a magnet for you.

    I found for me the most important thing was to find out why I had tolerated this behavior for so long. I could make no changes until I worked on myself with a good counselor.

    So I think rather than waiting for your husband to find a good counselor (which may never happen), you should find one for yourself.

    Looking back I can see I spent many years trying to change my ex. It was a waste of energy and plus I was directing all my attention to him, and not to understanding myself and my own behavior. I found at the bottom was low self-esteem, that old standby, which led me to believe I didn't deserve anything better and which allowed me to tolerate and accept being treated badly. It wasn't until I chipped away at that belief and began to rebuild my self-esteem, realized I did deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, that I found the courage (as Mikie put it) to leave him.

    Psychology Today has a link for finding therapists:

    I found a very good one through them so you might want to check it out.

  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The only help I got was when I started therapy for myself.

    I found out about addiction to dysfunctional behavior reading about P/A's online. I don't think it's a pleasure center for P/A behavior as much as it's a pleasure center for control. P/A's are control freaks. They use their P/A behavior to control others and their lives. I truly do not believe they can be helped. Sorry to sound so negative but my shrink said there are too many layers, like an onion, to ever get to the center of their problem.

    I loved my ex so much but we were married young and I didn't know anything. I married for love and, I thought, for life. I made my vows too and expected to stick to them. I didn't, however, vow to martyr myself to his sickness. I stuck with him through sickness until it was obvious I had to leave. I think it was Dear Abby who said to ask, "Am I better off with him or without him?" Sometimes, we have to make very difficult choices. The point is that they are our choices. We can stay, knowing what we know, or we can leave for our own health and sanity. It isn't an easy choice to make. That's why therapy is so important.

    Best of luck to you.

    Love, Mikie
  10. lesliesue

    lesliesue New Member

    It really is so true about the layers. I think a lot of P/A people are in denial about their behavior and blame other people for things. They dig deeper and deeper. I agree it is bad self esteem, too. They can't possibly take responsibility for their actions because it would confirm what they suspect....they are crap. So they get defensive and P/A. I have a lot of that in my family of origin. Many, many years of therapy has helped.

  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    P/A's never take responsibility for their actions. My ex's favorite explaination for something was, "It just happened." No, it didn't just "happen." He made the choice to do it. This included having affairs with other women. My shrink said it's like "the devil made him do it." He never will be a responsible person. His last affair led to a second marraige and he's now driving her nuts. In retrospect, she did me a favor. It was the last straw which caused me to leave. I struggled to make it on my own when I finally did leave but I've never regretted it. I live a peaceful life by myself which doesn't include a lot of luxury but a lot of peace of mind and spirit.

    Of course, each person has to make her own decision and what was right for me may not be right for anyone else. I don't think a person can do it without support and getting therapy will make whatever decision easier and leave less wondering afterward whether the right decision was made. Best of luck to you in whatever you do.

    Love, Mikie
  12. lesliesue

    lesliesue New Member

    Mikie, that is one seriously lame excuse. It reminds me of my son. He is young and immature (because he's young ; ) . But he has tried that for an excuse. Not going to fly. To be in a relationship with someone using that as an excuse sounds like endless frustration and sadness. I am happy he is your EX.

    Same for you, Jam. It does sound like you got the best of the deal not being with your Ex anymore.
  13. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    I HAVE to get to the point where I release it all. I know he's NOT going to change and at this point in his life (72) he's happy living by himself in his own little world.

    I'm trying hard to get energy so I can get out and make new friends and a life for myself, by myself. I know things would be different if I didn't carry around FM/CFS baggage.

    I've been slowly selling things on ETSY what I've collected over the years. This is a lot of work but I can do this all on the computer. I know that IF we sell the house and split up I can't take all this with me, nor do I want to.
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    BTW, Jam, I came home from work one day and he had traded in my car and had my new one in the drive. Talk about your control freak! My new one was a red Corvette and, I guess, he thought that made it OK. It didn't. I'm driving a 10 year old Highlander and am happier than I ever was back when I was married.

    Also, BTW, I am never lonely even though I'm alone. I was always lonely in my marriage because my ex pushed me away emotionally.

    Love, Mikie
  15. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    But I agree on the loneliness. When our kids were home there was always activity but even when they visit and leave I feel a terrible aloneness and it takes a few days to get used to it.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/04/2013]
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Should never feel lonely in her marriage. A husband should be her best friend with her best interests at heart. With P/A's, their wives, and other family members, are often pawns in their secret little agendas. P/A's love to have separate little lives, even if only in their minds. They simply cannot commit to be partners in a family in which everyone is involved in healthy ways.

    My ex gave me two beautiful daughters whom I love, as well as two beloved SIL's and a great little grandson. Sum total is that I am blessed and came out a winner. I don't dwell on what might have been. It's just too sad and useless. I try to live in the present and enjoy today.

    My ex never wanted a divorce but he wanted to continue to have affairs. He was willing to pay all the bills for me to stay. He bought me a new convertible just before I filed for the divorce. I negotiated that he had to pay for it as I never wanted it and couldn't afford it. I stayed in the house for three years after he moved out until my younger daughter was out of college so she would have a home in between semesters to come home to and we would have health insurance. He paid for me to go back to school to finish my degree. In court, waiting our turn, he tried to convince me he couldn't go through with the divorce. I told him not to tell that to the judge. It was a typical dramatic ploy to control the whole thing.

    He is convinced we will someday be together again. Give me a break! He keeps wanting to come visit me in FL and I tell him no. I'm sure all this is part of a plot to upset his current wife as well as me. I am a no drama mamma and need my peace of mind. Living alone suits me just fine.

    Love, Mikie
  17. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    Your ex, your life, and the health issues that seem to always hit you. Yes, you did the right thing in getting him out of your life.

    That's what I want at this stage in my life....peace. I started giving things to the thrift store last year....I mean big time. Things that I had collected and loved but I realized if I moved/downsized I needed to lighten up. My husband just stood at the sidelines watching all that went every other day to charity. I told him I was giving things away because down the road we would be moving on. Typical fashion for him....he never said boo about anything, just retreated back to his own little world.

    He's got a terrible habit and I've called him on it so many times. We all have conversations in our head (that's normal) but when he's outside doing something (even just sweeping) I see his lips moving when he thinks he's not being observed! I told him he better not do this at work!!!!! Personally, I think he's angry at me or the world in general but denies the whole thing.
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    We all have our own "size" when it comes to our lives which best fit us. If we are overrun with things in homes that are a burden to care for, our lives are too big for us and drain our energy. If our lives become too small and we don't have physical room and mental room, we become stifled. When we find just the right balance, we know that it fits us (just call me Goldilocks :)

    Most of the time, my life is now just right but when I get sick or tired, even this feels too big for me and I get overwhelmed. I wait to feel better and do what I can and, somehow, it all works out. I used to have a very social life and dated a lot after the divorce but now, I don't like to go out in the evenings. By then, I'm tired and can't take a lot of noise nor confusion. I sowed my wild oats and am now content.

    Yes, I guess you could say I'm at peace. I wish peace and love for everyone.

    Love, Mikie
  19. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Goldilocks. :) -- Thanks for your (and everybody's) contributions on this thread. Has been educational and helpful!
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    How are you? Haven't been spending as much time here as usual but haven't seen you around for a while. I hope life is being good to you.

    Love, Mikie