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11/21/2010 06:57 PM

What does passive-aggressive behavior look like?

Posts: 248

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.

Post edited by: mindful, at: 11/21/2010 07:01 PM


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