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

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by sunflowergirl, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. lesliesue

    lesliesue New Member

    I hope you get to a place where you want to be. You deserve to be happy and at peace. It does sound like your husband is angry or at least very unhappy. I think sometimes people want to be miserable and want everyone around them to be miserable, too. Mikie, it kind of sounds like your ex was like that. You are strong and I am happy you are content.

    Les
  2. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    My husband was a total control freak, except that he never controlled himself! He was not only passive aggressive, he was in my face aggressive. I too am a Christian and took my vows seriously. However the aggression accelerated and he became a danger to me. I asked him to get counseling. He refused. I separated from him but never divorced him.

    I read everything I could get my hands on that dealt with aggression, control, and emotional and verbal abuse patterns. The books that really helped me stand my ground were by Patricia Evans. She has a number of very good books that make what is going on crystal clear and help you get an understanding of what is very hard to grasp, which is, how the aggressor actually feels more connected to you as they are ripping you to shreds.

    When I say I held my ground, I mean it. He tried everything to get back together BUT getting counseling. He tried to get me to go to counseling with him. NO WAY! It wasn't a marriage problem it was a personal problem. Them trying to get you to go and share half the blame is a game they play.

    Anyhow after a full ten years...one entire decade of being separated and me not even talking to him but once a year, he finally gave in and go the help he needed. After two years of him getting help, learning about why he does stuff etc., he turned into a truly wonderful man. We were able to reunite and have been happy together ever since.

    I am glad I stood up for myself and I am glad he benefited. Otherwise he would be older and emotionally stupid. Now he is older, wiser and happy.

    My outcome is more rare. Usually they don't change their stripes. But you just never know. And I agree with Mikie on getting help for yourself. Knowledge is power.
  3. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    "He tried to get me to go to counseling with him. NO WAY! It wasn't a marriage problem it was a personal problem. Them trying to get you to go and share half the blame is a game they play."

    Hi MicheleK, excellent post. Yeah, I've been around that share half the blame stuff as well. I never fell for it either. Better to back away than to buy into these kinds of denials.
  4. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I feel so alone with all of this until I got the book on passive aggressive. As I said before everything started to fall into place and I understood what was happening when he did what he did.

    He's slowly reading the book, and is SLOWLY looking for a counselor. He realizes now he's got stuffed down anger which he brought from his early teen years. I supported him for all those years, making excuses for everything, mostly feeling I MUST be to blame. There's so much on the internet to read on this subject.

    He controls his anger and has never reached out to strike me, although we get into terrible yelling matches. I'm not proud of that, but I realize he was baiting me, then he could withdraw into his own corner to tell himself I WAS the fault. I NEED to let things go and let God do the work. I forget so much of the time that God tells us to be patient and WAIT. It's hard.

    Michele. That was along time to be separated and then get back together.

    And I have to add that he's NEVER, EVER, EVER taken the blame for anything or apologized for his behavior over the years. Even now that his eyes are being opened. We're told in the bible to forgive but it's hard to forgive when it's never even brought up or admitted that there was anything wrong on his part.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/07/2013]
  5. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    Hi Sunflower,

    It is rare for a controlling person to apologize, except when they use an apology as a "tool" to regain control by fooling you into thinking they were sincere.

    It's all about fear and feeling small. They feel very small and project everything onto you. Can I ask what the name of the book is that you found helpful? I like to know these sort of things for the many who are out there living the nightmare in a relationship. Dealing with hundreds of hundreds of patients, I run into this relationship pattern over and over again. And when one patient is ill and has a mate with these problems it creates an atmosphere that a patient cannot have the chance to get well due to a steady stream of emotional stress. I like to have references of resources such as books, which may enlighten them on what is really going on in their mates mind.

    I am glad your husband has never gotten physical with you. Mine did just once by shoving me across the room where I hit the stove and my foot got broken. He just went into a rage and that was the result. It was quite unlike him and shocking.

    The thing is, when you live with someone who is angry inside all the time, the sheer anger inside them is a seething seed that could at any time burst open. Even God warned Cain who was deeply angry and jealous of his brother Abel, that if he did not get control of that anger and change his ways, real trouble was going to come from him. If you are a bible reader you know how that ended up.

    Also in the case of King Saul and David. If not for God protecting David he would not have been around.

    In the Proverbs there are many warnings against anger and what it does to those who are constant companions of an angry person. In the books of Samuel, Chronicles etc., it shows the wisdom David used in not believing Saul when he would have times of feeling contrite and apologizing sincerely in those moments.

    So there is some wisdom to be gleaned in the bible and I personally tried to balance it all when I made my decision. And yes! It was a very long separation and if I wasn't truly dedicated to trying my personal best to live up to the standards set out in the bible and reinforced by Jesus in Matthew 19, there is no way I would have stayed married and been open to a reunion. NO WAY! It was a personal decision where I tried to protect myself, help my husband the only safe way I could see to do so, and stay true to my faith.

    I don't envy any person trying to live by bible standards in such situations or in these days when doing so actually leads others to view you as crazy to do so.

    Had my husband not truly changed I would have gone on living my life as a separated married woman with a clear conscience. Though there are scars inside me from the early years with him, and of course our relationship is not free from the consequences of his actions (and taking 10 years to really take good action), as each day passes with his new patterns it has helped with the healing.

    I wish things would have been different but my dignity and my safety have no price. Our dignity is a god given right. No one has the right to trample on it relentlessly.

    I wish the very best for you. Hugs, Michele
  6. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    Oh Sunflower, I forgot to say that it is a good sign that he is slowly reading the book and thinking about counseling. This means he has taken you seriously and does not want to lose you. If he keeps it up of course. But recognize that him doing that (if it is being done out of a pure motive) is a very brave act for him. It means he may be willing to face up to his biggest fears which he has kept buried inside him and pushed others away from him so that they do not find our his biggest secret fears. xo
  7. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    The name of the book is "Living with the passive aggressive man" by Scott Wetzler.

    I tried to explain to him last night that it's anxiety and fear that's been controlling him for years. We have to face it head on and not run from whatever has been bothering him.

    In all these years he's never made one friend. Made excuses to myself as to why. I've stuck with him thru thick and thin and he knows that if we separate he would be truly alone. I've told him for years that he's got a giant wall up around him and NO ONE can get close to him. He has to learn how to break that wall down. I feel sorry for him that he can't open up.

    I've learned from this book that he's basically a scared little boy inside. I think he was attracted to me from the beginning because I'm a more open, giving person. He reminds me of my parents.....my dad was always busy working and never communicated with me (probably didn't know how) and my mother was a type of passive aggressive. I remember once she wouldn't speak to my father or me for almost 2 weeks. Talk about walking on eggshells and feeling very very uncomfortable.
  8. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    Thanks for the name of the book. I have not read it, but I will get a copy of it for my library and read it.

    I think it's just wonderful that you not only are standing up to him but doing so with understanding and offering to stand by him if he will get the help and do the work. That says a lot about who you are as a person. And you are not doing it blindly. You are coming at it from a strong place inside you.

    Strength and compassion is a powerful combination. Most feel one thing or the other. When we learn to use them together very good things can come out of our efforts.

    Our mates deciding to do the work it will take to change what has been eroding our marriages, their mates, and really most of all themselves, is the beginning of the process of change. It's not easy going through that process with them, but it's a heck of a lot easier than living with them walking on egg shells and not being able to be ourselves.

    I'm hoping for a good outcome for you. 45 years of marriage is a lot of investment. If he can turn it around, it would be great.

    I can't imagine living from a place of anxiety and fear all my life. And to not have made one close friend, wow! As I see it from what you have presented, you hold all the cards...and they are all aces!
  9. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Yea! Now that's he's almost finished with reading the book on PA, he won't waste time but will be able to jump right in. He's making a list of things he has to work on (that's a big help) and he's actually asked me to contribute to the list.

    Something he said the other night has now made me pause. He's feeling deprived in his life and how he never gets to do what he wants to do. All these years I've not felt that he could be angry at how me having FM/CFS could be affecting him. We need to discuss this and then he can talk with his doctor about it. He's also admitted to me that he gets very sarcastic in his replies to me.....which becomes like gasoline tossed onto a flame.

    I've been praying for God to open some doors for both of us for healing.
  10. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I have large lumps on both sides of my hips. I also have positional vertigo so only sleep on my left side. I sleep on a heating pad to help. But recently I started having sciatic pain.......talk about pain!!!!! After applying ice on the hurting points, I watched some Youtube videos on how to stretch the muscles that cause this. Some days it seems to help and it also helps the side of the hips....other times I seem to have to stretch a great deal.

    What I'm saying is go do a search on stretching those muscles and it may help.
  11. luigi21

    luigi21 Member

    Good 2 read your post and its nothing short of a miracle that you've got your hubby 2admit he has a problem. As you've probably read passive aggressives are so covert their like trying to pin down a shadow. They also one of the hardest personalties to change specifically because they never admit that their the one with the problem always making you look like the one 'out of control'
    my sister,brother,and mother behave this way and now at the age of 38ive had to make a decision to detach. Although it can be lonely its sheer peace in comparison to the head twistng mind games they play and may i add enjoy. Always looking fof an angle. Swinging between self assigned victim role to saint. That they make 'you' look nuts and usually get their own way. Yeah dont miss that. If you choose to stay in your marriage not only have you got to how to learn to deal with these crazy making behaviour but also to lookat you and find out what it is about your own personality that was attracted to and stayed with such a man. After all you can only but change ypurself. Ive had to do this and am continuing the journey i wish you well.
  12. words

    words New Member

    I feel the pain... esp. the older women here re this topic. Several ex. of older women who found new lives are in this one by Patricia Evans, "Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out". Her book before that was The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it & respond" - another good one is "You Don't Have To Take It" - a woman's guide to confronting emotional abuse at work.

    Another consideration is the abuser might be a borderline, as in borderline personality disorder.

    And careful with "counseling"- as Evans points out repeatedly, many marriage counselors & counselors in general may "know" about verbal abuse but, well, not so much.

    Good luck, all. Oh, myself? Man-free since '91 & LOVING IT. =)
  13. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    My husband has had one session with a counselor who explained everything I've been trying to make him understand for years. Honestly.....he came home almost changed!!!!! He's been much nicer to me and hence I'm also nicer to him. It's like a peace has suddenly decended on this house.

    He's supposed to get another appt.....he put it off.....Hmmmmm? I've reminded him again he needs to call on tuesday.
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Just as an alcoholic needs AA, a P/A needs therapy. One session won't suffice.

    Love, Mikie