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How should you handle a passive aggressive husband?

We all have moments where we don’t want to do our task or directly deal with conflict. It is normal to be passive at times. But if it’s a repeated behavior, it can create many issues and develops tension in the household.

Firstly, never blame yourself for your husband’s behavior. Take note that the behavior of someone with passive aggressive personality isn’t just a reaction to how you behave towards him. It is his “normal” response to everything and not just you in particular.

So how should I handle it?

Follow the following points:

  1. Never reward his behavior: Recognize that he is not a victim. Do not fall for his drama of being the “good guy”, “victim”, or “martyr”. It’s his way of trying to control you. He will continuously use this tactic if he sees that it works all the time.

  2. Be vocal and direct: Speak to him when he starts acting up. For instance, if he ends up not doing what he said he would do, tell him he was the one who said he would do it. And that you did not impose it upon him to do so.

  3. If he can’t be direct with you, act like you don’t get it: Often, a passive aggressive husband will only drop hints of what they want you to do for them instead of telling you directly. It’s like he expects you to read his mind. So, whenever he does this, act like you don’t get it so he’ll have no choice but to say it to you.

  4. Suggest that you both seek counseling: He needs counseling to overcome his passive aggressive behavior. And counseling can give you the strength to deal with your husband’s behavior and ways to effectively communicate with him. If he refuses counseling, seeking a counselor even on your own would be of great help to you.

  5. Always remind yourself that you are not the cause of his behavior: This pattern of behavior developed over time and was there before you married him. The only role you can play is to make him realize the damage his behavior is causing to your relationship. Let your husband see the impact of such behavior on people around him, not just you. Until he learns this himself, he will never modify his behavior.

As A Last Resort...

If nothing works, and you know this is tearing your marriage apart - tell him you’re considering separation. If this is the only way to get his full attention and realize the serious issues his behavior is causing to your marriage then discuss this with him. A counselor can also help you decide whether it’s an appropriate action.

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