Sanctuary for the Abused

Sunday, March 08, 2015


from this terrific blog

I’ve been asked what to expect once you’ve decided you’re leaving the passive aggressive spouse or partner. Being passive aggressive, they can actually move in two or three different directions, but they are still pretty predictable once you are prepared for all and can figure in which way he/she is moving.

I should warn you that if this is your choice, you should be well prepared ahead of time. The things that are very important to you you should slowly be packing away somewhere so they are easy to move out fast once you break the news. Remember that most stuff is just that, stuff. It can be replaced. Things that belonged to your grandmother cannot. Be real on what you really want and need.

Squirrel some money away. You don’t have to take thousands from the grocery money every month, but $20 here, $20 there, adds up. No matter what they say about “Money not buying happiness” it makes life a whole lot easier if you have some, even if you’re just moving in with family.

If you’re leaving the passive aggressive, you cannot expect him to be co-operative. He may, if he’s the 1st kind I’m going to talk about below, but don’t expect it. He’s used to punishing you for his parents mistakes, he’s certainly not going to be easier on you now that he figures in his mind that you’ve “wronged” him.

1) The first kind of passive aggressive will just pretty basically walk away. Think about it. He was never really connected to you anyway. The reason you’re probably leaving is because there’s no affection any more, no intimacy, not much of anything. It’s a little bruising to our ego that he doesn’t even try to get us back, but it’s the way they are. Even if his heart is breaking inside, you will probably never know it. He would never admit. He’ll not do anything to fix it. He is the victim. This is also one of the ways he figures he can punish you. He just moves on.

2) The second way they can act once you’ve decided you’re leaving the passive aggressive, is actually rather hostile. You’re the bitch, he could never please you, get your stuff and get out, you can take your stuff, but only your stuff and nothing else. If you remember, almost everything in your marriage that went wrong was “your fault” whether he cheated on you, or constantly belittled you, what ever it was, don’t expect that to change. And don’t expect them to co-operate in any way. Many times they will fight for something during the divorce that they don’t even want, just to keep you from getting it. At least when you get the blame this time, it will have a better ending in sight.

3) Then there’s the passive aggressive that is oh, so sorry. He’ll change. He’ll do what ever you want, just come back home (or let him come home). “I wouldn’t have been that way if you had just…” and it’s still all about what you did wrong. If they agree to change, or see a therapist or what ever it is you’re asking of them, it is usually only a temporary ploy. The same kind of temporary ploy they used to land you in the first place. Once they feel they are back on secure ground, all the changes go out the window.

It is not unusual to be talking about what needs to happen with a passive aggressive, you’re to the point that you’re willing to share a house again, and he will turn the tables on you. All of a sudden, he isn’t sure he wants to come back, or he wants you to concede that most everything is your fault and you will change. Remember, the bottom line of almost any passive aggressive is that everything is always someone else’s fault. They rarely take any responsibility for anything going wrong, in their marriage, in their job, in their lives.

If you have children, you can either expect him to fight for custody, and should he win, within a short time you’ll get the kids most of the time anyway, because generally he doesn’t really want them all the time. He just wants to punish you. Or, he will rarely see them, or be late for every visitation, or call frequently to change plans. Really not much different then when you were married to him and he “forgot” to pick up the kids, etc. The only difference now is you don’t have to live with it 24/7. Don’t think he’s going to be any different once you’ve left him than he always was.

I hope this helps a little. Of course each situation is different because each person is different. These are just the basics. If you have any comments or questions, feel free. The one thing I will say about leaving a passive aggressive is that once you are out for good, I haven’t known a whole lot of the “escapees” that would go back.

(NOTE: Passive Aggressive Personality disorder was rolled INTO Narcissistic Personality Disorder a few years ago.  PA is now a component of NPD)


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shared by Barbara at 12:45 AM



Thank you so very much for this insight. I'm just now preparing to leave for good in the next couple weeks. I can't even discuss it with him and be reasonable, I just have to leave but I guess I shouldn't be surprised we could never work out anything--no reason this would be different. I basically put him out three years ago and he acted exactly like scenario #1, why I got back together I'll never know---but I'm out for good this time. Here's hoping that if he's going to respond in typical PA behavior, it's #1 again.

3:59 PM  

Hmmm this looks like my parent's marriage. They are still married...25 yrs.

2:43 AM  

Describes my soon to be x. He has been pretending I don't exist but like your article said, it's not much different from our 28 yr. marriage. He hardly sees our sons but when he does he drops at least one of his poor mes. He tells everyone that doesn't matter how much he didn't want a divorce yet has never said that to me once. He is nasty and vindictive when I have to see him but sad and a victim when I'm not around. I am so thankful to be getting off the crazy train. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to finally realize it wasn't me!Thanks for the article, it's validating!

6:02 AM  

Just divorced from a passive aggressive husband- the irony is he divorced me for my anger issues- I could not figure out what was wrong with him- 5 years he was kind/ attentive/ loving but just did not like sex- I presumed he was an abused child!- he used to avoid me/ spy
Y on me from the kitchen/ avoid sitting next to me on the sofa- he would Hovver above family life and never emotionally connect. He would give empty promises and drop bombs and if I reacted to him he would sweetly smile- he was so kind and caring but so distant and cold and I could not work out what was going on- I felt more and more alone and the more I reached for him the less he was there. I would curl up in my bed and he would simply ask if I would be better with so,eone else. He lied constantly to me, avoided sex yet was addicted to porn, lied about Facebook yet used it continuously, like he had two separate lives. He was great with the kids but was like Peter pan. I was the bad cop he was the good cop!- if we argued he would just walk out leaving me alone and his phone would be turned off for weeks!- I am apparently the angry aggressive nutter- before I met him I had my own home and professional job- I now am a shadow of who I was- I took up smoking/ suffer chronic fatigue/ was left with all responsibilities/ have been through the most bitter divorce my solicitor has ever seen in 10 years- he has moved on to someone new whilst I cry wondering what happened to Mr nice guy who I thought I married- it was all fake and I am tagged as the angry nutter!!!- yet I know it was not me who did this but him- he just drives off with a smile whilst I am left ripping at the seams.

4:50 PM  

I have been married to a Passive Aggressive woman for 30 years. Withheld sex on our honeymoon. Carried "emotional" affairs. Those escalated to full blown sexual affairs. She denies the sex part but I feel sure. Will she EVER come clean if I press this or will the lies just keep spewing forth? Either way I am out of my mind with the lying, manipulation, celibacy. Kids are grown and on their own. She is a pathological lier. I take my vows seriously but at one point I was driven so low that I has very close to taking my own life. (I am ok now) Is this fixable? She left for a week and I felt like a weight was lifted off my life. She has agreed to go to counseling and "maybe sees herself in the article I gave her to read. Incidentally, her dysfunctional siblings were both diagnosed with PS disorder. Everything I have read says they don't change. Is that true for most? I don't want to spend the next 30 years the way I spent the last 30.
Thanks for any insight.

2:33 AM  

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