I was a Passive aggressive MM‘s "entitlement to freedom" while in a committed relationship.Had I known that...then....I would NOT have NOT gotten emotionally involved.Everything he did to her...he did to me in spades.I wanted to KILL him by the time i wised up.
One of the hardest patterns of behavior for all of us to deal with is passive aggressive behavior. Passive aggressive behavior happens when the person avoids responsibility and attempts to control others to keep them away through his passivity and withdrawal. It is a dynamic born of fear of being controlled, fear of confrontation, hidden anger and an inability to deal straight with people.
Passive aggressive behavior is complex and takes many forms. We all have passive behavior that comes up when we don‘t want to deal with conflict directly or do a task. We all hedge, fudge and remain noncommittal on issues some of the time. That‘s normal. It‘s only when repeated passivity creates severe issues for others setting up continual tension and anger in the household that it becomes a serious problem that should be addressed. Common examples of this habitual, passive retreat style of dealing with confrontation and stress include:
- The person who says one thing but means the opposite.
- The man who acts passive but aggressively gets his own way by not doing what is wanted.
- The boss who squelches his anger then strikes out indirectly. (Perhaps by withdrawing.)
- The woman who says yes when she means no; then gets cold feet and refuses to follow through.
- The teenager who agrees up front then doesn‘t do what he agreed to.
- The client who schedules an appointment but does not show up.
- The person who fears self assertion and confrontation, but says no by sidestepping responsibility.
- Anyone in the family who creatively gets out of doing his or her part of the chores.
- The Mr. Nice Guy who puts on the sweet face to agree, then does what he darn well pleases.
- The student who procrastinates with studying and does poorly in school.
- The parent who refuses to discipline the children and insists on the spouse being the ‘heavy.‘
- The bored housewife who refuses to clean the house or cook for her family.
- The person who refuses to hear criticism, discuss his problems or read books about the issue.
- The dad who pushes one child hard but allows the other child to get out of responsibility.
- The not ready to be committed man wanting someone there for him but feels entitled to his freedom.
- Any individual who spends his effort into under achieving in school, in relationships and in life!
What all of these people have in common is that the significant people in their life become very, very angry at their resistant behavior. The negative energy in the relationship boomerangs from one partner to the other resulting in an unhappy relationship.
The man with passive aggressive behavior needs someone to be the object of his hidden hostility. He needs an adversary whose expectations and demands he can resist as he plays out the dance he learned from his parents. He chooses a woman who will agree to be on the receiving end of his disowned anger. He resists her in small ways setting up a pattern of frustration so that she gets to express the anger that he cannot.
The biggest irritant in being with a passive aggressive man is that he doesn‘t follow through on his agreements and promises. He dodges responsibility while insisting he‘s pulling his weight. He procrastinates, takes on big projects but doesn‘t finish them then feels put upon or hostile if someone else tries to finish it. He often ignores reality as to his irresponsibility and withdrawal. He denies evidence, distorts minimalizes or lies to make his version of reality seem logical.
He may have multiple relationships with women as a way of keeping distant from one fully committed relationship. He is confused about which woman he wants and stays caught between the two women in his life not being able to commit fully to either. He is confused and can‘t understand why the women get so angry with him. He feels others demand too much of him so resists in overt and subtle ways and feels deprived if must give in to others. The man who copes with conflict by not being there has strong conflict over dependency. He desperately wants attention but fears being swallowed up by the partner. He can‘t be alone and live without a woman in his life, but can‘t be with partner emotionally. He‘s caught in a Catch 22--wanting affection but avoiding it because he fears it as his destruction. He resents feeling dependent on the woman so must keep her off guard. He makes his partner feel like a nothing through his neglect or irritability but he keeps her around because he needs her. His script is ‘Be here for me, but don‘t come too close and don‘t burden me with your needs or expectations.‘
He has such strong fears of intimacy deep in his unconscious mind so he must set barriers up to prevent a deep emotional connection. He is clever at derailing intimacy when it comes up by tuning out his partner and changing the subject. He must withhold part of himself to feel safe and may withdraw sexually. Closeness and intimacy during sex may make him feel vulnerable and panicked bringing forth his deepest fears of dependency upon a woman. The passive aggressive man lives an internal loneliness; he wants to be with the woman but stays confused whether she is the right partner for him or not. He is scared and insecure causing him to seek contact with a partner but scared and insecure to fully commit.
Add in Commitment phobia, Narcissism, and/or a Casanova Complex...and I think you can be REST assured...you WILL BE CHEATED ON...or used by this type of man.Especially if you add to the problem with your own issues.
How the Woman‘s Needs Contributes to the Unhealthy Dynamics of the Relationship
Passive aggressive behavior does not happen in a vacuum; it requires a partner to bounce things off of. This problems exists between people--one who resists and one who gets frustrated. The need for a woman to choose and remain with a passive aggressive partner is a dynamic that is set up in her childhood. The little girl learns this pattern in childhood observing her parents. One parent withdraws and frustrates the spouse who becomes angry. The little girl learns to take care of others and get depressed when they don‘t appreciate it. Desperately she wants the parents to change but cannot express her deep frustration.
When she grows up, the woman unconsciously chooses men who will play out the familiar patterns of her childhood of retreat and attack. She falls for the man‘s charm, his neediness or sense of poise and togetherness and ignores his real lack of connection with others. If the man‘s hostility and withdrawal is left unchallenged, the woman‘s doubt in herself grows. His failures become her failures. The harder she works on the relationship, the cleverer he is in eluding her. Her life is in continual uproar as she mulls over the inconsistencies in daily events. He feels threatened and insecure and withdraws, she gets angry. She gets angry, he withdraws and the unresolved conflict boomerangs between then. Relationships, which do not allow straight talk, frankness and appropriate expression of anger become destructive.
The woman living with a passive aggressive man goes back and forth between three roles--the Rescuer, the Victim or the Manager. Living with the passive aggressive man pushes the woman into frustration and anger as a major dynamic in day-to-day conflict. When she cannot get her needs met, she becomes the Blamer, the Bitch, and the Rager, which then makes the man feel very insecure in the relationship. She is caught in her role as a martyr-victim, codependent rescuer or controlling manager as she does not know how to do anything different. She rides the emotional roller coaster as she always wants more from her man--more commitment, more cooperation and more doing what he says he will do. Her self-esteem erodes as her frustration and anger turn to rage as she feels guilty about the intensity and destructiveness of her aggression. She may repeat choosing passive aggressive men in several relationships until she learns how her own neediness sets her up for relationship failure.
DID I EVER!