Why passive aggressive behavior makes you feel crazy

So last night, I had a conversation with my husband that left me feeling crazy, absolutely insane.  (Note the subtitle on my blog:  the insanity of passive aggression.)

I brought up that we had had a conversation Thursday night (see post before last), that he sulked about all day Friday, and then said nothing about on Saturday (see previous post).  I told him that behavior like this is what made me feel like we couldn’t get any closer, that made me feel like I was married to a little boy.

What ensued was just crazy.  I’m not even going to try to recreate it.  I don’t know how to handle these things.  I hurt so badly, I want so much more, I feel so frustrated, so pent up inside, I feel crazy, so I don’t even know if I say the right things.  (BTW – he didn’t deny sulking.)

He told me things like, he works his butt off and then I don’t appreciate him and I tell him he’s not a good provider.  So, I asked him if he was content with our financial situation.  He said, no, and then I said, and I’m supposed to be, even if you’re not?  So then we argued about financial stuff.

He said he does everything and nobody around here does anything.  Oh, except the laundry.  I just wanted to scream!  I pretty much did.  It made me want to stop doing everything I actually do do.  I tried to tell him all the stuff I did.

He told me I wasn’t affectionate.  He told me that he didn’t have sex with me all these  years because he didn’t know I wanted sex.  (I am really, really, really curious here:  can someone PLEASE tell me…  don’t most guys pretty much want sex all the time?  If there’s even a slight chance they might get to have sex, won’t they pretty much push that and see what they can get?  Do all the guys out there wait for the woman to say she wants sex?  This might be TMI, but a couple of times at work, men I work with let me know they would be more than happy to sleep with me.  I didn’t offer it.   And I didn’t accept.  So I am just wondering, lots of guys do want sex and don’t just wait around for it, right?  Or am I really confused here?  And BTW – I pretty much want sex all the time and have for years and years and years.  And if he didn’t know that, he doesn’t know me at all.  Or doesn’t care.)

Anyhow, back to the conversation…  it was the usual …. he wants to give me what I need …  everything is my fault…  except when I got sarcastic and told him he could blame it all on me – I messed up the kids, the financial situation is my fault, the whole sex thing is my fault, the dilapidated house is my fault, I’ll take responsibility and I’ll never bring it up again – then he said he was responsible.  But in the conversation up to that point, he was blaming everything, yet again, on me.

Finally, in tears, I told him I had just wanted him to love me and to take care of me.  I had given him everything I could.  And then I told him I couldn’t talk about it anymore that night.

I took my shower and cried and cried and cried.  I felt absolutely insane.  I felt crazy.  I felt like I should be hauled off and locked up.  I prayed and prayed, asking God, please don’t let me be crazy.  Of course, when I got into bed, he was already asleep.  This morning all he said to me was, “I hope you have a nice day.”

So I was wondering, what EXACTLY about passive aggressive behavior makes you crazy?

Then I was reading in “The Language of Letting Go” and I found the answer in this paragraph:  “Today, I will be open to giving and receiving the healthiest love possible.  I will watch for discrepancies between words and behaviors that confuse me and make me feel crazy.  When that happens, I will understand that I am not crazy; I am in the midst of a discrepancy.”

There is my answer:  the discrepancy between words and behaviors.   That is why passive aggressive behavior makes you feel crazy.

This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, money, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, relationships and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Why passive aggressive behavior makes you feel crazy

  1. Those words are like a huge flashlight! The discrepancy between words and behaviors…
    I remember the day I realized it was his discrepancy & not mine, as I had been led to believe for too long. It was also the same day I agreed with him when he accused me of thinking I was better than him. When he yelled across the house that my problem was I thought I was better than him, I yelled back, “You bet your ass I am.” Of course, he pounded me for it, but I actually believed myself. I realized I was better, not necessarily better than him (pre-escape thinking), but better than he had given me. It was the beginning of our end. Thank goodness!

  2. I told mine all the time actions speak louder than words. You can say you are going to want to or working on something forever unless you really act on what you say it means nothing. He would tell me they didn’t and that there was nothing wrong with the way he did as long as he intended on doing it at some point and time it was fine. He felt I should just wait forever for him to fix things and make them right. He told me this that some people stay with people their whole life waiting on the other person to change and get better.

  3. Pingback: In Defense of LIKE « Deliberate Donkey

  4. One Day At A Time says:

    I am just learning of this passive aggressive amazement stuff and I can not stop reading about it. It’s sad really is sad to think that someone will damage a relationship when they could be so loved. I am guessing that it’s the craziness of it all…. at least now I am more confused than I started. I’m so new at this…. just overly new but I think I have been married to a passive aggressive man for 22 years. It’s pure craziness!!! I just heard of it in a therapy session and I just started reading about it. I never knew anything like this existed. I am sick.

    • Yes, it really is so crazy! They want to be loved, just like we do, but they sabotage relationships, so there can’t be a loving relationship. I understand the sick feeling. Maybe it is because the situation is hopeless? But keep reading, keep researching – it really does help to understand what is going on. And then you can make your decisions about how you want to handle YOUR life. Good luck and let me know how it goes for you.

    • joe miller says:

      Oh my! This is the first time I have researched PA, I am not crazy! I’m in the 4th year of my second marriage and promised myself I would do everything and anything to make this work. My wife is a wonderful woman but it seems to get worse everyday. The discrepancy of words and actions, the double standards, withholding sex (sex is nonexistent without her drinking), and turning it all around so i’m the one with a problem. My hands are shaking now while I type. I feel like running! Should I?

      • Joe – I don’t know you or your wife, so I can’t tell you whether to run or not. But do look at the right hand column of my blog – “Getting out.” :} I would suggest, though, talking to a therapist about your situation before you throw in the towel. He/she would be able to offer more than I can. Even if you don’t do that, please go to Al-Anon. I found Al-Anon very helpful to learn better how to detach and to do what I needed to do for me. And, then, yes, maybe you do need to run. If the only time she has sex with you is when she is drunk, that is pretty unhealthy. I wish you well. Let me know how things go for you.

  5. Lynne says:

    I’m sitting here bawling…looking for some answers and found this post. I have been with my husband for almost 25 years…but it was only recently I realized why our marriage has always been so difficult. I know he is PA…my therapist told me this years ago. I went to therapy because he truly convinced me I was the crazy one…impossible to please, emotional, unappreciative. He mastered the ability to turn it all back onto me. And it is so sad to know how many years I let him do this to me…question my own mental health and my emotions. We were on the brink of divorce when he (like many times before) said all the right things. Only, it’s really no different. He talks in circles, he is so confusing, always a whirlwind…just barged into the house, grabbed my youngest, and hopped on a train to the city….after deciding last night we would not go. “But the train leaves in 3 minutes…we have to go.” So now I am sitting here, my skin is itchy, my heart is racing, I can’t catch my breath. It’s not the idea that he went to the city without me…it’s the craziness that he does everything. HE cancelled the trip to the city last night!!! When I got angry because of his unpredictability…he does what he does best “you’re fucking crazy…you know that.” Then sent me texts telling me how mean I am because I yelled at him “for just wanting a nice day with our son.” I have no job, my family adores him, I am so lost…I can’t stop crying. It’s been so long since I let him make me feel this way. What can you do when you husband is like this and turns it back on you all the time? He is a master at making me feel stupid for having any expectations of normalcy.

    • Try to do your best to detach. Do what you have to do for YOU. Take care of yourself. Don’t plan your life around him. Look out for YOU. I know this sounds contrary to what we believe we should do to be “good” wives. But these situations are different; passive aggressive behavior is different than a normal relationship. You are NOT crazy!!! Your therapist knows that. Go back and talk to your therapist for your sake. Do what you need to do for you, for your children. You don’t have to believe the things he says to you when they are not true. I KNOW this is hard! Believe me, I know!!! You are not crazy. You are not stupid. Try not to get sucked into his games, his manipulations. Do what you need to do for you!!! Do you need to find a job? Just because your family adores him does not make him good. There are plenty of people who adore my husband. That does not make him a good husband to me. Don’t worry about what your family thinks. Take good care of yourself!!!

  6. Maibritt says:

    Thank you for starting this post about Passive Aggressive husbands.
    I have just recently left my PA husband – the breaking point was when his abuse became physical- and I understod that there was nothing left to save. BEFORE that devastating day when he punched me repeatedly and threatend to crash the car with me in it – I had done everything one can think of to try to save our marriage from all his disfunctions – disfunctions he had me believeing were my faults entirely… He has done everything from leaving nude photos of his ex-wife in our family album, lied about a vacation with his best friend – who turned out to be his ex-gf, ; he glorifies his previous relationships and partners while putting me down – he also does this in emails and conversations with them – then lets me find out about it by coincidence, leaving me feeling like a huge moron. He has made me believe that his addiction to RAPE PORN ( some of this being KILL rape porn) was brought on by ME, because I am such a terrible person…. He “diagnoses” me with mental illness every time I try to reason with him. Also, when things are “good” and I thought the anger was gone…. It’s not surpricing that the physical abuse was my fault too… and that the only thing wrong with him was that he married me… OMG, is it any wonder I am trying to recover now?…. On top of this he has convinced my parents and brother, that I have only been a tourment as a wife, and that I set him up to marry him so I could get kids and then divorce a rich doctor…. and my family doesn’t doubt this fine doctor and Lt. Col , first of all because of his status, but most of all because he is kind, sweet and charming when we are with others, or he is without me.
    I know how hard I have tried to save us – counselling, forgiveness, turning things inward etc… I know I am not everything he has tried to make me into – I understand he is the PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE one who finds pleasure in sabotaging our relationship and family. Now I move on with our small children.

  7. Debbie says:

    Ladies let do something about this for us. I have been married to a pa for 19 yrs. I left Sunday morning while he was at church had to move in with my sister , now I am living with my daughter. Ladies we need to get places like houses for these women who have been stuck in a pa relationship and just now recognize it and has no where to go! Please help me and we can help each other

  8. Tricia says:

    I was in a relationship with a passive aggressive man about 12 years ago and did not even know what it was. We saw eachother for almost two years with some breaks of avoidance in between.
    He would get mad and avoid me sometimes for long periods, then call me out of the blue apologizing. He would say,”it wasn’t you, it was me”.
    Anytime we were physically together , he was the sweetest and kindest person, made me feel like he loved me but would never say it. Then one last time he shut me out just for asking if he was seeing someone else. Did not answer my calls for a month or two . Finally,I was at my end, confused and felt hurt. When he finally called me, I told him I was done and could no longer see him, even though I really wanted to. He was very upset, telling me that he loved me and you don’t just walk out on someone you love . Really?
    I loved him so much it hurt, but I let myself move on, only too soon.
    Got married to someone else, not realizing that The love I had for my ex-boyfriend (the PA) would not go away.
    Here I am 10 years later talking to him on Facebook , back to the same feelings. Am I crazy?
    I think he’s the only man I have ever loved.. BTW, I am in the process of divorce. I have learned that you can’t help who you love and can’t move on into another relationship if you still love that person . It’s not fair to anyone involved. After I read all about passive aggressive personality, it described him exactly and now I have a better understanding of how difficult it is for him to express his feelings. I also now know how better to approach him.

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