Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

How to recognise and survive a passive aggressive relationship

When I think about it now, the man I married and spent my life with was always hot headed, irrational and possessive but I chose not to see it.  We do that don't we?  We meet people and then we ignore all of their flaws because we want to see only the good in people, we want to believe in true love and meeting that special someone you can spend the whole of the rest of your time on earth.  If there's one thing that life has taught me about the passive aggressive relationship it's that you can never win.  I have literally trawled the internet and read books seeking to find the person who managed to stay in a successful relationship despite having a partner who was passive aggressive. Often the problem with passive aggressive personalities is that the cause is so deep seated they're often not aware of their own controlling behaviour. 

I think it can almost be an involuntary compulsion to control and if you couple that with a heady hint of a narcissistic personality then they're so far to believing that they are perfect and everyone else is at fault that they'll never acknowledge control or indeed ever doing anything that was less than perfect behaviour.  In my own personal case even the alcoholism was justified as being something he had to do to remain married to me.

People with control issues, particularly passive aggressive personalities can often be the loveliest most charming people you could hope to meet, they will lavish you with gifts (they want others to know how perfect they are) but often they'll set you up to fail at something and that can be quite difficult to understand, for instance they'll forget that special date that you had booked and if you confront them they'll just deny all knowledge and then they may huff or strop so you feel that it's your fault until you actually start questioning if you ever had the conversation.  They really do thrive on you thinking it's all your fault but if you are reading this and nodding along let me just say now, it's not your fault, you didn't do anything wrong and this is all part of the game of control.

Let me give you another example of control which is so subtle that you can mistake it for someone being in love with you, so you're out with friends and you get text messages asking when you are coming home, they miss you so much, they can't survive without you for hours, they want you to come home so they can love you and hug you and be with you, you are their world.  Let me just put this out there as being a huge warning sign.  In the 15 years of my marriage I've lost count of the times when I felt I had to go home from nights out because of the above or angry calls because there was nothing for dinner or they couldn't remember how to order dinner, when I look at these things now I ask myself if I was actually crazy myself, a grown up adult should always be able to source food/cook something/have a few hours on their own.

If dear reader you are in this kind of situation please don't ever let yourself feel that you are anything less than good enough, I've struggled for years thinking I am a bad person and not good enough and I would hate others to go through the same thing, I guess that's one reason I chose to record this journey, to get it out there, because the victims of silent control might not have bruises but that doesn't mean the damage isn't there.  I don't wish to be categorised as a victim however, I am most definitely an expert in survival and no matter what happens in my future I'm going to survive and grow and flourish like the sparkly person I have inside of me.
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