Are you a passive aggressive man?

serious manHave you been told that you are a passive aggressive man?

Are you dealing with your wife's accusations now?

In our coaching practice we have discovered that some men using passive aggressive behaviors are emotionally unavailable because are trapped in a childhood situation They grew up without lots of emotional expressions, never learned to use them, and now, dealing with a wife, are often accused of acting emotionally unavailable by purpose.

Of course, it is not because they don't want to be expressive! It is because they never learned how to be! Or rejected open expressions of love because the environment classified those expressions as "sissified" and "not manly."

Perhaps you are under the constant claims of your wife, who feels lonely, not appreciated and left isolated by your silence? Or are you damaging the relationship by keeping important issues like finances out of the sharing with her?

Well, it's time to grow up...Normal, healthy people are not afraid of sharing and expressing love. If you are ready to take the jump and reach out of your self-created cave, there are ways to do it...

  • Lose your shame; you will love to be married and happy;
  • Forget the childhood labels: feeling your emotions is not "being sissy"
  • You know that you yourself feel want to stop the emotional starvation

Needing help? Here is a Coaching Session Offer to help you have your own change map to follow. Enjoy!

 

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How to Stop Being Passive Aggressive

Do you want to learn how to stop your own passive aggressive behavior? Perhaps you’re just now realizing that your past marriage struggles have had to do with your own behavior, or perhaps you've come to terms with the fact that you need help stopping some action that you didn't even know you were doing.
There are many sites that tell husbands how to identify their behavior and actions, and many sites that help wives identify it, too. You can even find internet resources for why passive aggression exists in the first place. However, very few resources help you, as the passive aggressive man, understand how to STOP your behavior. It’s like learning how a bomb is made, but not learning how to turn it off in time to save the world!
Your reasons for changing are your own, but the first step in your healing process is to accept the past and move forward. Don’t be beaten down by guilt or anger at how your passive aggression has hurt the marriage - focus on what you can actively do TODAY to change your life TOMORROW. So where do you start? What are your options? How can you change your behavior instead of just coping with it?
The best place to start with your own self and your own story:
Yes, you may have read a lot online about why passive aggressive people behave the way they do... in general. You need to look closer at yourself and see where your past pain lies. For some, this may mean some hard (but necessary) sessions with a professional grief or abuse counselor. Your past pain will often dictate how you react: so if you understand your past pain, you can almost predict which situations are going to set you off! Begin compiling knowledge about your “trigger” situations, and start thinking now about the bad and good ways of handling the emotions that surround that situation.
Need some help? Let’s look at an example of a reaction:
You realize that in your interactions with your wife, you often remember something one way, while she swears you did or said something another way. If you know that a common passive aggressive behavior is to defend, deny and rationalize, you’re on the right track to getting to know yourself better. In what ways might, say, last week’s interaction be a case of you rationalizing an event? A good sign of you doing this is that you don’t actually remember what happened, only what you suppose happened, based on “This is how I would act.”
Need more help identifying basic passive aggressive behaviors, and applying them to your situation? You can find all the information you need in our system, called “The 4 Steps Relief Plan for Passive Aggression!” You won’t just learn about how and why you act passive aggressively, but how to use that knowledge to STOP your passive aggression once and for all.
Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation (by clicking here), with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!
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Human Needs Frustration At The Root of Passive Aggression

How frustration of human needs is located at the root of passive aggression?

Let’s recover a bit of human needs theory:

We all human beings have vital needs that demand the cooperation of others to satisfy. Without others’ help we cannot survive, develop and grow into independent adults.

Through the vehicle of necessary interpersonal relationships, these human needs are expressed and satisfied. Of course, sex and love are important part of those needs. In this graphic you can see the needs and how they build up on each other…

Humans at birth have a family, so we can both survive childhood and feel important and loved by parents and relatives. This is the basic attitude necessary to grow up feeling loved and connected with others later.

Why the connection with others, including future sexual companions, is important? because growth as an adult person needs the interchange of actions and messages between people to cover all the basic needs.

In this way, consensual sex is an agreement by which both sides cooperate in getting their connection needs solved, and marriage becomes an alliance between two people who agree to support each other in the fulfillment of these basic needs, so they can develop completely into adulthood.

Human Needs Chart

In other words, we can understand different levels of human needs describing different human situations like the following ones:

humanneedspyramid

  1. We need many social connections, (variety) some of which are closer than others. We need to matter to others, be approved by and be held in high esteem by others.
  2. We need one significant, permanent and loving partner. If  we do not find one, we will have a deep craving and sense of something missing – even if we banish these feelings from our consciousness and refuse to acknowledge them – until we find such a partner.

For many people, some bonding needs are going unmet for long durations. This state of chronically unmet bonding needs can feel “normal.” or an acceptable fact of life... He or she may rationalize it as an aversion to sex, ineptitude at or disinterest in relationships. In other words, he or she experiences relationship pain but accepting somehow the responsibility for this frustration.

Looking at the basic frustration of connection skills that some men suffer, this is a skill that needs to be learned along life. All boys need both to learn how to connect with other men, the world of male companionship, and the very different sphere of learning how to connect with women, using relational skills to feel valued and appreciated.

In short, when this process is not done, he ends up seeing himself as rejected and isolated in a world where everybody else is connected...Passive aggression is the way of telling others that this person suffers due to the inhability to connect, and the way of compensating is getting even with the people assumed to be isolating him.

Isolated and frustrated young men are not new; what is new is the connection with deep wishes of “retribution” against their perceived isolation....we live in such an interconnected world that deprivation of basic human needs (as sexual needs)  are felt as a global attack against oneself.  The power of unmet human needs is real here.

What can be done to prevent this kind of behavior?

  • We need to be sure that we build emotional connections; that we care for each other in such a way we teach young people not only how to man a computer game but also how to express and share basic human needs language. We need to avoid bullying and all other ways of rejecting and ostracizing young people.
  • That hungers of the heart for love and connection are to be acknowledged and solved in everyday life; that we can’t ignore some kids’ starvation from connection because it will affect others that are not directly responsible for this starvation.
  • In a sense, we all have to take care of teaching our youngsters how to connect and relate to each other in an appreciative way, in such a way we nurture each other sense of self.

 

Nora Femenia, Ph.D. is the author of the book The Art of Living with a Passive Aggressive Husband, a field guide for women that have to deal with passive aggression from their partners.

Nora also posts regularly to her blog http://passiveaggressivehusband.com

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Why Men Don’t Get Their Needs Met

Fotolia_9267128_S.jpgman's needs

Looking at how can a man mature inside a relationship, we got curious about a situation you might recognize:
Why is it that now so many older women are leaving their marriage past mid-life?

Or why is the job of women to perform the couple's emotional management and when they get fed up, ask for a divorce?

Looking at the basic misunderstandings between both sides of a couple, the real divide called usually the "battle of the sexes..." is easy to see marriage as a deal where male and female can identify and try to get satisfaction to their human needs, counting with help from his/her partner.

Yes in theory, in life, there is always a difference:

We found that men are much more prone to ignore their own needs, thus getting more inclined to hidden frustrations and resentment when men don't get their needs met and later perhaps developing passive aggressive behaviors as the only way out.

The situation gets worse because this difference is completely ignored by women, and men give up fast trying to make her understand  his needs and so he resigns himself to a life of being not recognized, ignored and disrespected.

How do we get to this situation?

Among the steps that boys must pass through in their development into men there are two important lessons they must learn. The first of these is how to be aware of their mothers’ needs. This awareness is essential for him to be able to depend on her for the satisfaction of his needs. The second step is learning how to be upset about this dependency so to prepare for his future independence.

This permanent ambivalence between dependence and independence will cause the little boy oscillate between learning to be macho and be by himself (not “needing anyone”) and trying to learn how to connect with women. A man’s adult relationships revive the ambivalence he learned at his mother’s side: he is at ease with men, but needs somehow to manage the women in his life to feel completed.

This, then, is one of a man’s permanent developmental tasks: learning how to connect with other men, the world of male companionship, and the very different sphere of learning how to connect with women, traversing the interpersonal desert with his few skills to feel again respected and appreciated.

Here, the risk of not having the skills to connect is clear: the risk of inhabiting the unpleasant spaces of criticism, devaluation, rejection, and,  finally, isolation.

This ambivalence, generated by growing up as a male in the hands of his mother (a self-managing female, with perhaps a weak partner), produces anxiety and insecurity. The man is trained to depend on the next female in his life, his wife, to manage this insecurity. But he can’t reveal a word of this quandary:

  • How can a man admit his insecurity, when he has to project utter self-confidence to woo her?
  • How is he to share his basic anxiety if his prospective mate will be scared to death in the light of such revelations?

Thus, he has to carry on and feel like an impostor, ready to be discovered as a fake, and soon. Insecure, unacknowledged and emotionally torn. What is the worst part of this situation? That the wife doesn’t know a thing about this male predicament. She ignores how and when she is stressing him by making him feel "not good enough" over and over again....

Meanwhile, she has her own agenda. Instead of carefully listening to what her husband says, doesn’t say, or tries to say in a cryptic way, in her desperation for answers to marital conflicts, she listens to relationship experts who tell her "the characteristics of a bad husband and how to change him."

For the man this is just more of the same, “You aren’t good enough!”

Are you interested in getting more respect to your personal needs?

Do you feel gradually disrespected in public and at home?

Would you like to know how to reposition yourself and recover the power and respect you want to have?

WE ARE WORKING IN A NEW SERIES, THAT BEGINS HERE:

Please, look for the "Man's Brain Missing Manual"...See you there!

 

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Help, My Wife Says Im Passive Aggressive!

Im Passive Aggressive, according to my wife...I was reluctant to accept this, but she has read so many books and finally convinced me. Now I need to begin talking to her and sharing what I think....

Click here to take the Passive Aggressive Behavior Test

 

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Sad Letter From a Fed Up Wife

fed up wife

Do you have a fed up wife at home?

"I left my husband after 25 years of marriage due to him being PA. His behaviour had escalated out of all control until eventually the last 12 weeks of living together became almost unbearable for both me and our two teenage children. I did sit him down and explain how his behaviour was having a very bad impact on all family members and told him that I would be leaving within a few days. His answer to that was 'do as you want'!

I just could not stand the constant silent treatment, the stonewalling when I tried to express my worries and concerns, the Jekyl and Hide mood swings, the witholding of love and affection and what appeared to be outright rebelliousness like that of a 16 year old juvenile delinquent. He avoids confrontation with just about every human being he comes across. Work, family, friends, the lot. He avoids phone calls, he avoids any form of communication at all and when friends and family have visited he would sit in front of the tv and turn the volume up to max in order to drown their voices out. They would leave eventually feeling rejected, disappointed and completely disrespected and I would be left feeling really embarrassed for his behaviour. Our children were mortified at some of the things he did.

When I did leave, after making him quite aware of my intentions he had a nervous breakdown. He begged for forgiveness and told me how he was considering taking his own life because of me abandoning him. He convinced me that we should go to marriage guidance, which we did but even there he avoided any conversations. I didn't realize how good he really was at evading things, changing the subject and railroading any conversation so that we ended up discussing anything else but the topic we had started talking about. He is desperate for me and the kids to return home but I can't and won't because I don't see that much of a change in him. I will give him his dues, he brings me flowers every week, he sends me text messages full of romance and protestations of love but is it enough? I don't think so. When I have tried to speak to him recently about my feelings he is still shutting down and closing himself off using sentences like 'My heart tells me to let you go and find someone that can treat you the way you deserve to be treated but my heart wont allow me to do that because it would break in two if I ever thought you loved someone else'! and 'I don't know I am doing the things you say I am doing'!

'Do we really need to talk about my behavior and how it makes you feel, if you have a problem with me then keep it to yourself and dont burden me with it'!

My question is how do I get him to actually sit and listen? How do I get him to see that his PA behavior and the way he is unable to manage it is affecting his everyday life, relationships at work and with his immediate family? He has lost one job already because his answer to a demanding bosses request is to ring in sick just when the boss is expecting him to give his all during a busy period then tells the boss he is under so much stress at home it made him ill. He avoids taking any responsibility for his elderly mother and tells his whole family its because I keep him far too busy and don't approve of him visiting his own family. He actually uses me to cover for his inadequacies.

Since I left he is now in a financial bind. He has not managed his money well at all and has resorted to gambling and excessive tv watching to avoid dealing with the problems he has. He blames me leaving for the situation he is in.

Is there anything I can do at all for this man. I am starting individual therapy this week and hope this is going to help me personally.

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated."

Our reply:

So sorry to hear about your family's situation! Even when you are coming out of sheer misery and pain, you still have a long way to go....

My new ebook proposes a new understanding of the deep psychology of passive aggression... what I've found is that for some men, having experienced some childhood abuse or molestation is enough to keep them in the "Wounded Inner Child" situation for life.

You don't say anything about your husband's past, but it looks to me as if he doesn't really understand what is required of him to function as a grown up man. As much as you claim, demand, require and chastise him, the less he can deliver.....

He is now a cornered child, failing at marriage and work, making bad financial decisions....because the part of his brain in charge of rational decision making is not working. Like the emotional empathy side also.

Whatever happened to him, he probably either doesn't remember (it has become a part of his unconscious mind) or he can't talk about that experience. Is this experience what shaped his mindset into one of mistrust and reactive defense against intimacy and trusting other person like you.

All this explanation is not enough for you finding a magical solution....I'm sorry to say that there is not one.

The point is:

He needs to acknowledge that he doesn't have the foggiest idea what being a mature husband is; he needs to reconcile with the idea that he is not understanding the depth of your frustration (getting married to a man and finding a rebellious teen?) and your pain because the loneliness he condemned you to.

He was only believing that he could catch up with flowers and gifts, but really his Wounded Inner Child needs healing before anything else. As now, he is resentful, but lost.

And, he needs to start a plan for growing up. Perhaps it will not happen in time to prevent this divorce, but it should happen so he can have a better life. As it is now, frustrating everybody around because he feels a failure inside is no joke!

Please, get your own copy of the movie "BIG" with Tom Hanks, and realize that he was as he is now from way before you met him. He needs serious help to start healing; he could start by taking the Passive Aggression Test and facing the degree of his resistance to a healthier relationship.

Now, while he blames you for the divorce he will not be ready to use outside help to change. And he really needs to get some evaluation and plan for change now, before he continues destroying his own world.

Sending you all my best.

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Passive Aggression: Is This the Void In Your Relationship?

Is passive aggression the hidden hurt in your relationship?

Some households are not as happy as they could be. There is conflict on various emotional, verbal, perhaps physical levels. What behavior is causing these conflicts? Perhaps you think of yourself as the normal one, but your partner often complains about you, and you often think her as overly dramatic and emotional.

It’s understandable that these fights put you off. You may sit and listen but in your head you are wondering how much longer this fight will take, and you may ask yourself, "Why am I still letting myself stay in this situation, where I'm not wanted?"

passive aggression

What if there's more here than meets the eye? What if it's not that she doesn't want you, but that she's trying to make you understand something important, something that may either save or break the marriage? Is she worth staying and finding out for?

The common law of physics is that every action has an equal and opposition reaction. The same is true of relationships. Your wife’s reaction to you has been caused by an action that you did somewhere along the line, and the other way around.

Do you usually say to yourself “What I am doing here” when things get bad? If your wife becomes loud and defiant or demands apologies from you, do you feel that she has no right to speak to you that way?

Are you often impatient to get the conversation over with so that you can do what you think is best for both of you? Does your wife often say that you don’t understand her, that you don’t care about her feelings?

All of these things contribute to the widening gap between you and your wife. The days when the two of you could have a relaxing, enjoyable time at home together are fading.

How about answering this: what is really causing this gap between the two of you? Why are you drifting further apart? What is at stake?

Listen:

"For a long time, I was avoiding confrontation with my wife. She was so aggressive in telling me everything I did wrong that it made me feel like I’m not good enough for anything. Who wants to listen to that? Every fight we were in made me feel more isolated, more unwanted, more of a disappointment to her.

I found myself wishing she wouldn’t get so angry. I wished she could lovingly tell me that I hurt her, that she would know for sure that I didn’t mean any harm. I wished that she could show me that I hurt her in a way that made me want to change my behavior. Instead, she said it in a way that made me rationalize my behavior & protect myself from her vocal disappointment.

It’s different now.

One night I was by myself, going over our fight in my head, and I did a search on “passive aggressive.” This is what she was always calling me, and it was driving me crazy! I found this site, and instead of explaining to me why I should believe my wife, this little test was there to say: “Find out by yourself.”

I was amazed at how everything changed after that. Suddenly, a personalized solution for us as a couple was in our hands. For years, I’ve been silently struggling to find a way of living that makes us both feel safe and secure in the relationship; not in danger of losing each other, as I used to feel.

I’m learning now how to do these things, and home feels safer and happier because of it."

- Alan G., Ontario

Are you ready to find out the truth about this gap, the one your wife says is caused by passive aggression? Find out for yourself, like Alan did, by visiting our Passive Aggression Test here. Save your marriage today!

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

We can begin by you being invited to visit Conflict Coach to receive a complimentary consultation, followed with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!

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How Passive Aggression Sabotages Love in a Marriage

Is your wife’s most constant complaint that you never open up to her? Does she talk about your passive aggression? 

If so, we encourage you to pause with us for a moment. Let’s assume that whether or not you open up (and support emotionally) your wife the way she needs, if your wife feels isolated from you, it is a problem in the relationship because she will feel hurt by you and then be unable to support you in the way that you need.

So now there are two things to think about: do I or do I not open up to her? and how can I solve her feelings, either way?

A quick way to get an idea about your ability to open up now is to think back to whether you could have open conversations, feelings of anger included, when you were a child.

When you were a child, were you restricted from expressing anger toward your parents? If you had a need, and were feeling it keenly, what happened when you expressed it? If you were guilt-tripped for being too “needy,” shamed for being a baby or a whiner, you probably taught yourself to just shut up when you needed something from other people.

In order not to feel pity for yourself, you would have then taught yourself that repressing emotions and sucking things up was an admirable trait; a feat of skill, something only a manly man could achieve.

Still not sure – maybe some seems right, some not quite? Some other ways you can know that you had trouble opening up is that you would have shown your frustration in ambiguous ways. You might have destroyed your own toys, physically hurt yourself, or wet the bed. You may have also fallen behind in school, even if you were very smart.

If you can identify with this type of childhood, the real situation at home now is that these old defensive mechanisms are still at work, although your ways of not opening up may be different. You may be going silent for days or weeks, for example. The truth remains that just now, this behavior is destroying any intimacy you were able to build with your loved one. For now, she feels condemned to loneliness by your withdrawal and silent days, and you are trapped in a lonely jail of your own making.

Want to know how to walk out of this trap? Do you dare to look back to your past and identify the forces that here and now sabotage your marriage?

Here is your next step: take the Passive Aggressive Test. If you are found to have no passive aggressive behaviors, you know that there is something else going on to create a wound between you and your wife. And, in the event that some of your behaviors are passive aggressive, you will receive immediate options for healing your wounds.

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.We can begin by you visiting Conflict Coach to schedule a complimentary consultation, with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!

 

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Do You Have a Passive Aggression Problem?

Does this sound like a familiar train of thought to you: “I’ve always tried not to show any anger, so that love and acceptance are the only things in our relationship”?

If this is familiar, then your wife telling you that there’s a problem with your behavior comes as a huge surprise!

To you, this way of behaving (controlling your emotions at all times) is something you’ve learned since childhood. If your wife can’t accept that, tough luck, right?

Well, when it comes to the status of your marriage, it may be important to make a distinction between your personality (who you’ll always be) and your learned behavior (things that you’ve done since childhood, but may be having negative consequences). Why make this distinction? Simple. It’s making it clear that she has an issue with behavior that’s been learned (and can be unlearned) and not necessarily with you as a person, lover, or husband.

Let’s look at this learned behavior. Why don’t you want to show anger now? Probably because showing anger as a child or teen had negative consequences, right? Consequences you’re trying to avoid now by repressing bad emotions.

However, anger still comes up, and anger still has to go someplace. So, what you learned in childhood and what you may still do as an adult is channel that anger “underground,” so to speak. You found ways to stick it to your enemies in subtle ways.

Does this sound familiar to how your wife describes you – perhaps you’ve heard her say something like “You seem to be two people in the same body, one nice and one bad, like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide.”

This way of living is very difficult, for both you and your family. First, you need to deny your anger; then, you need to find subtle ways of letting off steam; then, both of these actions need to be denied by your rational self, who is in charge of saying, “I’ve never did such a thing! You blame me for these things, for being passive aggressive and sabotaging you, when all I’m doing here is protecting and providing for you!”

It could be that being honest would reveal too much of your anger, so you need to find ambiguous ways of avoiding certainty. That way, you never tell her outright that she did anything wrong, or that you’re unhappy with her because of this or that.

Logically she should be very happy with you as a husband – technically, you never point out her faults or correct her mistakes upfront, only in a sly way. However, she’s not happy feeling that you don't talk about anything that could improve your relationship, even helping her improve.... Are you committed to this marriage or not?

What is it she still needs from you? Is she still claiming companionship, intimacy and sharing? Those are dangerous words; as soon as you open up, you expect that someone will get hurt, and having fights every day is tiring.

But who says it’s dangerous. Who, really? If you listen hard enough, you may hear your parents’ voices.

Are you ready to see how much effect your childhood is having on your marriage? Ready to find out for yourself whether your wife’s claims of passive aggression are real?

Visit our Passive Aggressive Test here, and learn once and for all whether she’s right.

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today. We can begin by you visiting Conflict Coach to receive a  complimentary consultation, followed with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!

 

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What are the Results You Would Like to Have NOW

Dear Friend,

I'm working a a new book, and I need your help to figure out how much importance you give to certain issues.

Can I use five minutes of your time?

This is a list of five questions, only....no big sweat, but important for my work.

Thanks a lot!

Here is the survey:

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