The man with passive aggressive
behavior has to have someone to be the object of his covert hostility. He needs a woman whose expectations and demands he can resist as he plays out the dance he learned from in childhood. He can never be angry or show anger but he will stick it to her in under-handed ways. He chooses a woman who will agree to be on the receiving end of his disowned anger. She, of course, has no idea she has agreed to this until it is too late to turn back. He will resist giving her what she wants and needs which will set up a pattern of frustration in her and she will end up expressing the anger that he is unable to.
The biggest frustration in being with a passive aggressive man is that he never follows through on agreements and promises he has made. He will dodge responsibility for anything in the relationship while, at the same time make it look as if he is pulling his own weight and is a very loving partner. The sad thing is, a woman can be made to believe that she is loved and adored by a man who is completely unable to form an emotional connection with anyone. He ignores problems in the relationship, sees things through his own skewed sense of reality and if forced to deal with the problems will completely withdraw from the relationship. He will deny evidence of wrong doing, distort what you know to be real to fit his own agenda, minimize or lie so that his version of what is real seems more logical.
He communicates in a vague way in an attempt to sandbag his partner. He is inconsistent and ambiguous. He will say one thing and do another and then deny ever saying the first thing. He doesn’t communicate his needs and wishes in a clear way, expecting his partner to read his mind and meet his needs. After all, if she truly loved him she would just naturally know what he needs wouldn’t she? He will always withhold information about how he feels or what he has been up to and you can bet he has a hidden agenda for doing so. He has a fragile ego and can’t take the slightest criticism and will turn it back around on his partner and attempt to make her look like the person at fault.
If you confront him about his behavior he will sulk and use silence or walk completely way leaving you to deal with the problem alone. Don’t ever expect him to live up to his promises, obligations and responsibilities as far as the relationship or you are concerned. Watch out though if he thinks you have done something to him though. He will dole out punishment that outweighs the crime and you will feel as if you have been hit in the heart by a 2 x 4. He will become excessive in his need to get back at you and can obsess on it until he feels that the person who has done him wrong has been dealt with properly.
He has a genuine desire to connect with you emotionally but his fear of just such a connection causes me to be obstructive and engage in self-defeating habits. He will be very covert in his actions and it will only move him further and further from his desired relationship with his partner. A passive aggressive man will pull the rug out from under your life and as you lay with your head spinning he will deny any accusations of anger you make toward him and turn them all back on you. He is a genius when it comes to appearing innocent and only having good intentions and he does this in an attempt to have you believe that he is only acting with your best interest in mind.
He will NEVER admit to any wrongdoing, will make subtle ambiguous statements then deny altogether any hurtful intent. He will also DO little subtle hurtful things like being late for a dinner date or forgetting your birthday, then deny any harmful intent, accusing the other person of being overly sensitive. His game is to “get back” at someone he feels has wronged him by refusing any kind of cooperation with them. He will feign ignorance when confronted and will appear to be very hurt that you could think he would purposefully or intentionally do anything hurtful.
The passive aggressive man never looks internally and examines his role in a problem. He has to externalize it and blame others for having shortcomings. He lives in denial of his self-destructive behavior, the consequences of that behavior and the choices he has made that causes all his pain. He will turn his focus toward others and all the wrongs they have done to him. He feels immense anger and aggression because, in his mind, everyone else is crazy. All this aggression and anger is expressed indirectly and covertly and, at the great emotional harm of anyone attached to him.
The passive aggressive man shows little consideration of the time, feelings, standards or needs of others unless it fits his agenda to do so. To him you are an object to be used as a means to an end. Your only value is to feed his own emotional needs. He will stand in the way of you getting what you need and will then ignore or minimize your hurt feelings and anger. He has no idea how to compromise in a relationship and when faced with the demand that he make a compromise you will get the silent treatment.
He may be a workaholic, a womanizer, hooked on TV, caught in addictions or self-involved in getting his own needs met and not facing his own fears. He is angry where he shouldn’t be and not angry where he should be. He gives away his personal power when he doesn’t trust his feelings, he manipulates people with kindness, he makes excuses for those who deserve no excuses, and he displaces his angry feelings onto those who have done nothing to hurt him. He will regard a well-intended person with contempt based on his displaced anger and react in self-defeating ways.
He is confused and can’t understand why 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 he must give in to others. The man who copes with conflict by not being there has strong conflict over becoming dependent on someone else. He wants the attention and attachment that comes with loving someone but fears losing his independence to his partner. He absolutely can’t be with anyone emotionally. He wants love and attention but avoids it because he fears it will destroy him.
The man with passive aggressive actions is a master manipulator when it comes to getting his partner to doubt herself and feel guilty for questioning or confronting him. He very talented at getting her to fall for his apologies, accept his excuses and focus on his charm rather than deal with the issue directly. He blames her for creating the problem and keeps her focused on her anger rather than his own ineptitude. He keeps his partner held hostage by the hope that he will change. He may give into her and clean up his act after a blow up for several weeks, but then it’s back to business as usual.
Is there hope for change when dealing with a passive aggressive man? Only if he is willing to acknowledge his own shortcomings and contributions to the problems that exist in his relationships. Facing old wounds, looking internally instead of externally to find the cause of problems in his life will help him form deeper emotional bonds with a higher sense of emotional safety for himself.