About 7 months ago, one of my wonderful readers took the opportunity to submit a great guest post about her experiences with a passive aggressive partner. You can read it here: Starting Over.
Here’s the second part to that post, telling more of her story about her relationship with a passive aggressive man.
Train Wreck by ‘girlFriday’
Living with a passive aggressive man that refuses to take responsibility for his attitudes, actions, or problems is like being in a train wreck in slow motion. You feel helpless. You see the train slowly chugging along, and then you notice the conductor falling asleep. You try to wake him, but he falls asleep again. The train picks up speed, and as the train gains momentum it goes around a sharp corner. You yell and scream to no avail. Since the conductor is asleep, the train derails and wrecks. Our train derailed many years ago, the train has wrecked, the carnage is lying on the ground. Some can be rescued, some can’t. People look on in horror. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to help.
How did I discover I was living with a passive aggressive man? How did it affect me? When did it start?
It started in the beginning of our relationship, but I didn’t realize it. I pursued him more than he pursued me. I was very much attracted to him. I was anxious to get married. I was in an abusive marriage 6 years previously, and I ended up picking the opposite end of the pendulum. As I felt the biological time clock ticking, I look back and realize I probably “persuaded” him to marry me. How do I know this? As our marriage became more emotionally distant and we argued more, he often asked “why did you marry me?” I always answered “because I loved you…” When I asked “Why did you marry me?” he could never give me an answer. He just shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t know…” Once he told me he married me out of guilt. I felt devastated.
Back to the train leaving the station. Six weeks after we married, I became pregnant with our first child. I was elated. I always wanted a large family. The train chugged along, the babies kept coming, one after another. They kept me busy, working. The babies adored me. They needed me. My husband worked long hours, I took care of the children and the house.
After a few years, I started longing for the affection and companionship that was missing. I started longing for more than cooing with the babies. I wanted dark, snuggly nights. I wanted romance. I wanted companionship. I wanted someone I could share my dreams and aspirations with. I wanted to work with him together. I wanted him to want me.
At first his excuses were “my gosh, we have so many children, they need us. We don’t have the money. I’m tired.” I would get discouraged, but I accepted his excuses. I allowed the excuses. Sometimes I cried and would get mad. I begged, I pleaded, and I wrote lists. His response was “Isn’t this why you wanted so many children? To keep you company?” The words stung. I blamed it all on myself. I had already been in an abusive relationship before and figured I didn’t deserve to be treated with respect.
Wanting a large family, I always dreamed of happy times with husband and wife playing in the park with their large brood of children. The large family happened, but the happy times never existed. Then the children started getting bigger, expressing their opinions, becoming harder to deal with. There was much controversy in disciplining the children. I became angrier as the years passed. I felt “stuck” in a dead marriage, but I felt helpless because you can’t make another person change. I felt helpless because I didn’t have the means of making it on my own with so many young children. I didn’t want to make it on my own. I wanted a loving relationship with mutual respect and adoration.
Many times I felt like I was the crazy one because why couldn’t I just be happy by myself? Why couldn’t I be happy without companionship? What was my problem? I even prayed fervently for God to take those desires out of my heart. He was happy being by himself, looking off aimlessly into the distance. He enjoyed my “physical presence of being around” but he did not want to interact with me. Oh, trivial talk about cars, weather, work schedules, etc. were easy. But don’t dare talk about emotions or needs I would get complete shut down and silence.
If things didn’t go as expected, there was much anger, and I would always try to calm him down. Again, I blamed it on myself. If only I had trained the children better, if only I had the energy to make his favorite meals every night. If only, if only, if only…. Maybe he wouldn’t get so angry. The interesting observation is that if he got angry, I remained calm and tried to subdue his anger. I tried to help him figure out why he was so angry. If I got angry, he got angry back at me, and then I felt even worse.
We tried marriage counseling again. We talked to the Pastor and wife at church. We talked to other couples. I bought books. I bought teaching tapes. We went to seminars. I kept trying and trying to figure out how to make our relationship work. I would end up crying, and he would say “yes, I know I should do…..” He would do it for a day and then revert back to his normal habits. I would get my hopes up with the tiny bit of faith, and then my hopes were dashed into the ground. There was no accountability.
I switched my affections to work, friends, and trying to socialize by myself. Deep inside I was slowly dying. I found I had nothing to look forward to and tried to create “things” that would excite me, impassion me, and spur me on. We moved to a bigger house, I bought farm animals, my business increased, I worked more. I slowly started distancing myself from being hurt. We were two good buddies living in the same house. Many times I felt like he was the 10th child. I had to be responsible for it all. He even referred to “babysitting the children.” Does a father babysit his own children?
I started to try and find “me”. The train began to derail. It was headed for an inevitable crash.
Thanks for reading! Please add your own thoughts below.
Don't forget to subscribe for new posts sent to you by email!