Boundaries and detachment.
When he asks me to do something or when he wants something, I will only do it if it is good for me. Not in a selfish, spiteful way, but in a healthy way. If I have time to do it, I will. If I have energy, whether physical or emotional, to do it, I will. But if it, whatever it may be, is more than I have to give or, sometimes, even more than I want to give, I tell him no.
I used to give, no matter what. But that was taking everything from me, especially since my “tank” was never “refilled.” The life was being sucked out of me.
And I detach. His problems, his dramas are his. They’re not mine. I have better things to do with my time than sort his life out for him. I’m not his mommy. He is a grown man – in theory, anyway!
I do try to be kind and considerate. I try to be reasonable. But I also try to recognize his tactics and not be drawn into them.
I’ve learned that I need to do the next best thing for me, whether it is exercise, or laundry, or email, or time with my daughters, or a hobby, or whatever. I try to focus my thoughts, my energy, my time on things other than him.
I try to be as healthy – mentally, emotionally – as I can. I don’t do these things perfectly by any means! But this is what I strive for.
Does this make the relationship better? I don’t know. Can a relationship with a passive aggressive person be better?
Is it better for me? Yes.