Hi there, I suffer from passive aggression

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Oct 22, 2006, 3:44:56 AM10/22/06
to Passive Aggression
Well, I've just recently learned that I suffer from passive aggressive
personality disorder. What a shock to the system, I tell ya. To
suddenly find out that everything you've been doing your whole life has
been a lie, 'cause you've been lying to yourself as much as you've been
lying to others.

I have a partner, Deidre, who has her own share of emotional issues
relating back to her childhood. I used to think that I was the strong
one in our partnership, that I was her 'rock'. But now I find out I've
still got a huge amount of personal issues to deal with myself; issues
which I didn't even know I had, and yet have been with me since

In my research on the internet to find out all I can about this
disorder, I found that it's only a disorder when it negatively and
adversely affects your life, career and relationships, as well as
including a lot of depression. Well, I didn't have a lot of
depression, but I certainly had a lot of negative effects on my life,
and it's time to deal with it.

I also found that there's no good discussion groups on the internet for
passive aggressives. There needs to be. So I created one. I have a
lot of experience running mailing lists and discussion groups, so it
wasn't a problem.

Now to start 'advertising' and promoting it.

If you are passive aggressive, or you know someone who is, or you live
with someone who is, or if you want to simply learn more about it, then
welcome. This group is for you to talk about passive aggression, and
help you to understand it and deal with it.


Dec 16, 2006, 9:21:21 AM12/16/06
to Passive Aggression
I applaude you for admitting to yourself that you are a passive
aggressive person and that this is a problem in your life. I am a wife
of a PA who is losing hope. I've been trying to convince my husband to
get help, but my suggestions for help are always just stared at back at
me. I read a book about passive aggressiveness, and their suggestion at
the end of the book is make a choice for yourself. Basically, ask
yourself if you're in or out, 'cause your PA might not be. The book
also talked about how to get help. The PA himself needs to admit that
he has a problem. The PA needs to not be pressured into it. They also
talked about how there can be a relapse with the treatment. There are
days I wish my husband can just take a pill. There are days also that I
just want to shake him and just slap him around to make him realize
that he's hurting me. It seems like passive aggressiveness is different
in it's own situation. I don't know what your situation is, but you are
the only one who can help yourself. Mine, my husband, constantly lies
to me. I'm always catching him with a lie. He boldly lies to me about
working late, he even convinces his co-workers to call me to lie to me.
He's not having an affair, not yet anyway. Though my intuitions tell me
that he already has. It's kind of hard to play his game when he's out
of town. (He's in the Navy, which makes it worst.) When I call him on
his cell phone, he doesn't pick up. I'm starting to lose myself, I'm
starting not to like myself. I'm an intelligent and strong woman, he
makes me look like a piece of rug he can just step into and cleaned his
shoes with. I confront him each time he does this to me, he's not even
apologetic anymore. Our last argument about this problem, he said that
I'm lucky he still comes home to me. A big blow to my ego. He only not
wants to hurt me emotionally, he wants me to go down with him.
Unfortunately, my husband treats everybody like this. He's a ticking
time bomb at work. That's how we found out he's passive aggressive. He
had a big fight with his chief, instead of the chief getting in trouble
for almost strangling him, he's the one who got admitted to the psych
ward for days. I was not aware at the time that he keeps resenting to
do what his chief tells him to do. Worst of it all, since he didn't get
his chief in trouble for almost killing him, he took matters in his own
hands by taking Motrin and pretending he's trying to kill himself to
get his command's attention. I was so naive about his problem back
then. Actually, he still says that I am, that I do not understand him
at all. That no one does. I thought at one time, I finally got him to
open up to me. Only to disappoint myself. Sadly, I'm not the only he's
doing this to, our six year old is affected too now. He yells at her
and tries to control her. I'm lost for words most of the time he has
his episodes at home. Actually, I'm completely lost now. I think I've
given up. I asked him to leave the house last night. I know he'll come
back, but I don't know if i even want him to.
So, to you, I don't know you, but I know what the consequences are of
your actions. You can hurt the person who truly cares for you. The
person who only want to help you. The stranger next to you. The driver
of the next car next to you who you're mad at because the same colored
car cut you off the other day. So you try without thinking that you
have your daughter in the car, to cut the other guy off too. ( One of
my husband's situation.) Like what I said, I don't know you, and I
don't know what you've done so far to hurt yourself, but I applaude you
for confronting it.

Alan Howard

Dec 16, 2006, 3:31:40 PM12/16/06
to passivea...@googlegroups.com
Hello irabferdez.  Welcome to the group.

I really do understand your pain, as I have been the one causing that same pain in others over the years.  However, I've never been as bad as your husband seems to be, so I can only applaud you for your strength in staying as long as you have.

One of the really amazing dynamics of relationships is that people are attracted to their opposites, those who balance them.  This dynamic works in mysterious ways, and often without the participants' knowledge or understanding.  So a lazy woman might be with an active man, or a quiet man will be with a talkative woman, or a man who resents taking orders will be with a woman who gives orders...

Passive aggression (PA) goes way back to childhood, and is a result of controlling and abusive parents who prevented the expression of negative emotions in the child.  The child grows up learning that expressing emotions is a punishable offence, and so they don't.  But they also have a feeling of helplessness and anger about their situation, and yet have no control or authority to do anything about it.  And so they end up becoming the 'rebellious teenager', who agrees to doing what they're told, but finds ways of sabotaging it in order to establish their own sense of control with the situation.

Partners of PAs often have a strong tendency to take on more responsibility in their lives.  It's because of this trait that the PA is attracted to them - they feel they can relax while their partner does all the work.  Ironically, it's also the cause of conflict which results in PA behaviour.

When the more responsible partner feels like they're doing all the work, they end up asking more from the PA because they feel the PA isn't keeping up their share of responsibilities.  And so, when they ask more, the PA sees them as becoming more demanding, which triggers off the PA behaviour.

Partners of PAs are generally hard workers, responsible volunteers, and contributors to society in some way.  At home they often take charge, but end up becoming furious at the PA partner for being unreliable and insensitive.

One of the best things you can do for a PA is to understand what they're actually going through, and why.  Treat them as if they are ill - because they are - and be kinder to them.  Ask for them to give only what they're willing to give, and be happy with that. 

At the same time, you can talk with them about the high standards that you are placing on yourself.  Move away from those high standards and start lowering your standards.  You'll start to relax more as a result, even if it's a hard thing to do less in your life.  And, because your PA partner is an 'expert' on doing less, they can help you find the balance in your own life.  Find more hobbies or interests to take up your spare time. 

Even more ironically, when you stop asking your PA partner to do more, and you start doing less yourself, they'll feel less pressured.  When less demands are being placed on them, they have nothing to be PA about, and it gives them space to be more loving.

The way my own partner and I have looked at this is to understand the balance that relationships bring to each other.  She's been able to understand that she demands a lot of herself and others, which had resulted in me feeling pressured to live up to her expectations of activity and responsibility, which triggered my passive aggression. 

I hate being pressured, or living under a cloud of high expectations, and yet I hadn't learnt the art of assertive communication, and so I was unable to express my needs because of how I was punished as a child for expressing those needs....

When you can be less demanding about responsibilities, he'll have less reason to be passive aggressive.  When you can talk to him about how you want to change your habits and do less, he'll be more open to helping you.  He's a master of 'doing less'!  When you can start to relate to each other more, you can encourage him to talk more about his feelings, by understanding the nature of his history.  When he feels encouraged to open up and be more honest to you, he'll start to be more honest to himself.  When you can talk to him about how his own pain has affected you, he'll begin to see things from your point of view because there's less need for him to be defensive. 

In order to create change, someone has to start the ball rolling.  From what you've described, he's unlikely to be the one to start, so it has to be you.

Of course, you could just leave him as well...  but then you will have missed out on the opportunity for both of you to grow from this experience. 

Everyone has issues in their lives.  Relationships help us acknowledge our issues and heal them.  Relationships end because the issues either haven't been acknowledged, or they certainly haven't been healed.  They'll stay there to affect us in the next relationship...

I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do.  I'm here to help along the way.


Alan Howard
Website: http://alanzeyes.blogspot.com


Dec 22, 2006, 6:21:03 PM12/22/06
to Passive Aggression

However, I've been there, done that. Being with a PA is restless. YOU
have to do all the work. Like what Alan have said, we have to
understand each other and I have to learn to lower my expectations. My
only question is, when does it become about ME? When is my time up? I
do not think at this point that there is a rainbow after all of this.
It takes a lot of energy to understand and try to help a PA. It's like
walking in egg shells all the time. And even if the PA is aware of his
problem, if he wants to be manipulative, he'll be passive with you
first, tell you that he will try to understand, that he will go to
counselling, he'll tell you what you want to hear. And then, pull the
rug under you. He'll just out of nowhere be aggressive because he
didn't get his way. Being involved in a PA is like riding a roller
coaster. If your stomach isn't strong enough, you'll end up throwing up
at the end of the ride. I think what I'm trying to say is that, there
is no balance in a relationship with a PA. The person trying to help is
the who still ends up doing most of the work, or the understanding.
It's being deceited most of the time. Being cheated all the time. Being
the toilet all the time.

I guess, it's really good luck to me. My husband did come back, he did
tell me the things I want to hear. I still gave him a moving out date.


Dec 26, 2006, 9:48:39 AM12/26/06
to Passive Aggression
As I have told my husband to go for the last time, he finally had
opened up to me and told me what was bothering him. I'm still pissed
off that as a result of this, I'm the one who looked or seemed at
fault. He told me, that the reason why he's acting up is because I have
taken all the responsibilities, which left him nothing to do. He said,
I've controlled the bills getting paid, doing all the chores around the
house, basically, everything I guess. He felt left out making the
decisions. My defense is: How would I have known about this problem if
he didn't tell me. He figured that since I'm doing everything that he
should just let me be and that he should not care anymore. As a result
he said, he felt he confused because he knows I'm doing this for our
family, but at the same time he felt his aggression that he should just
not care at all. Basically, keep hurting me, keep going out late at
night, not answer my calls, not care about spending our money, not care
about what I have to say, or not care who he's hurting. He said, at a
point of his aggression against me, he felt that he didn't want to be
with me anymore. That he had made his mind to leave me. Only to feel
more confused because he knows that I care, and he knows that he will
lose a lot by leaving. And also, he felt uneasy just leaving me.
After our discussion, I couldn't help but question myself. What have I
done to deserve all of this? What am I still doing standing here
listening to what could be his lies again? And how dare he blame me for
being responsible or controlling for everything he had abandoned? All
I've been for the past seven years of marriage is a good wife. Doing
what I have promised to God when I married him. I don't have any bad
habits, I think about our family first before myself. He took advantage
of me. He took everything away from me and spun me around first and
then dump me when I needed him the most. And now, that I stood up for
myself, and told him to go, he tells me I'm the one to blame he's the
way he is to me. I guess, there was a point when I have told myself, if
he's not going to take responsibility, I should because I'm in this
marriage. And since he's in the Navy, I'm always left out doing most of
it anyway. He misunderstood my strenght as his weakness. He felt left
out because I have been strong enough to show him I can do it on my
own, so he told himself, that since I can that I don't need him anymore
so he should not care at all whether he hurts me or not. We have come
to a conclusion on some of our issues, the more emotional stuff, is
still out there. He's more aware now of what he's doing. He's still not
apologetic though. That's why I feel that he's really blaming me for
this whole thing. Blaming me for falling out of love with me. Falling
out of love with the only person who truly cares and loves him. Me, I
don't think I'm over the fact that I'm to blamed. It's not fair that
he's mad at me, and I don't know about it because he doesn't tell me.
He didn't give a chance to correct what I've done wrong by not telling
me. And I feel that all I've done is for the best of us, not to hurt
him or show him how weak he is. All I can say is, being a PA is self
destructive, looking for the way out, looking for someone to blame. I
know I'm just mad right now. I will get over this. It's hard to accept
the truth when it's right in your face. Maybe, I did cause this, but
I'm not the root of it. He is in counselling. I did tell him he can
stay. We're making compromises, I'm still questioning the sincerity of
his confessions, I'm not ready to let go yet, I'm trying to help him
but he's the only one who can truly he can help himself by opening up.

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