After thirteen years of marriage I recently learned I'm living in a passive-aggressive relationship. It would help to learn what pa behaviors can look like, so I can recognize them more readily and choose how to respond (i.e. gain back some control over my life).
So here's one to get it started-
the behavior: upon arriving home from being out together, I would go up to the front door and start looking in my purse to get my keys. Just as I found them and was ready to unlock the front door, my dh would come up from behind with key in hand, and unlock the door before I got my key into the lock.
the excuse: "I'm just helping."
the reality: I was being manipulated and it set me up to be dependent on him, which allowed him to be in CONTROL of the situation. I knew he would get to unlocking the door first, so I started standing at the door and WAITING for him, which caused me to feel helpless and dependent on him. I had to wait, and wait, and wait, and if I got sick of waiting and got my keys out, sure enough, there'd he be. Or I could just get my keys out to begin with to avoid feeling like I was helpless, and be angry that he had no respect for my efforts.
how it relates to pa: a "looks-ok-I'm-not-doing-anything-wrong" subtle manipulation of exerting control.
reality check: would my best girlfriend do that to me? No way! Anyone else I can think of would wait for me to unlock the door.
Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.