Having had a rant in my last post, I thought I’d offer a more constructive point of view. I’m not sharing this out of malice. It is just opinion. I hope that I can help someone else close to this kind of situation protect themselves from the pain. I suspect though that it will only reach those already experiencing this pit of agony who are, like I was, too close to the trees. I have no plans to write on any of these topics again.
I keep reading about Passive Aggression. It’s typical for an INTJ personality to obsessively find out every tiny detail about a subject they become interested in.
This truly is not a subject I would ever have chosen to explore and the more I read the more bells ring in my memory and the more horrified I get that people can actually behave this way. The behavior is covert abuse and it is brutal and dishonest.
There are so many articles on the subject and they all are very consistent, except in regard to what kind of personality ends up with this kind of person. I recall reading them in the early days after bomb drop and I understood , but I didn’t really understand. As has been said, “a healthy mind will never understand a sick mind”. I am starting to grasp exactly what that means and as such the articles are evoking more and more horror as to what I really was dancing with and to the fact that what I perceived to be a health loving relationship was actually abuse and is recognised as such.
Firstly my now ex-husband also admitted to being codependant. Another word for Codependency is Covert Narcissism and like most Narcissists they can be extremely charming. In the case of codependancy the Narcissistic supply is your attention and love which fuels their, “need to be needed”. But I digress.
The passive aggressive man also comes across as charming, caring and easy going.
Most of us may have come across passive aggressive people sometimes in our lives, without actually realizing it.
This is because the passive aggressive man has a charming and caring nature which hides their actual nature. With this charming nature, they are also able to attract women towards them. However, the actual nature of husbands will come up sometime or the other in a relationship. However, it is difficult to actually diagnose the problem because they let out their anger in a passive and subtle manner. They do it in such a tactful manner, the wife starts thinking that the problem is actually with her.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/passive-aggressive-husband.html
She did tell me that she’d wished I’d never met this individual. It’s taken me four years and a bucket load of pain, self reflection and tears to agree.
A Passive Aggressive Fears Conflict:
It should have been a red flag that my husband didn’t argue, but as I wasn’t aware of how dysfunctional people can be I never questioned it. When I say, didn’t argue I mean he would just shut down, completely. It is impossible have debate with someone who refuses to respond. It got to the point where we just didn’t have any arguments. In hindsight one of us would bring up something and within a sentence he would redirect the conversation or I would say no, and that was the end of the discussion. This didn’t bother me because I preferred the non confrontation. I know that very early on I realised that arguing was not his thing and changed my behavior.
I also remember, very early on in our relationship, when I was trying to bring up some or other issue with him and he was shutting down, I got so mad that I threw a mug at him. I have to point out that I almost never show or feel anger. It’s just not in my nature. In fact, as an INTJ, I base everything on what is logical and anger is unconstructive. As a result I was horrified at myself. I have subsequently read that this is the kind of response Passive Aggressive people often elicit in people close to them. It just wasn’t in my nature to repeat that incident, so at least it wasn’t a repeating scenario in our relationship. In our 15 years together I think I saw him express anger exactly once at it lasted only seconds. It appears that avoiding arguments at all costs is what Passive Aggressives do.
It would seem reasonable to assume that they are just easy going and willing to go along with the flow and that is how it appears to the person on the receiving end. That isn’t however how it is. What’s really going on is that they are slowly building up resentment and in the typical Passive Aggressive way they won’t take ownership of their part in this dynamic and so they blame you. When they’ve built up enough resentment then they explode.
I guess it helped that he knew, and actually told me when he was leaving, that he is Conflict Avoidant. I had no cooking clue and I probably would have taken a lot longer to recognise it. I continue to be completely shocked that people adopt these coping mechanisms, they are completely illogical. An INTJ is more inclined to just call a spade a spade and get on with it.
I guess the final display of avoidant behaviour was when he wouldn’t just come out and tell me he wanted a divorce. He told everyone else in the neighbourhood though, and they told me.
A Passive Aggressive Blames:
I’ve mentioned this above as one of the results of fearing conflict. They may blame, but they will never openly express that. Not until they explode anyway. Even when they explode, and you ask for specifics, they can’t or won’t actually tell you what they blame you for. I suspect this is combination of more avoidance and the fact that the resentment build up for so long over so many things that they’ve forgotten half of them.
The result is your marriage dies without warning and you have no idea why!
They run around telling the world that is was your fault and behaving like the victim. He left amid an affair so this is also fuzzy because people in affairs blame shift to justify their behavior anyway, which escalates the pain. That is described perfectly on the “about divorce” website here
A Passive Aggressive Fears Dependency
A quote from this article entitled My Abuser – Covert Passive Aggressive: A Grown Man With a Child’s Ego
He/she will dodge responsibility for anything in the relationship while at the same time making it look as if he/she is pulling his/her own weight and is a very loving partner. The sad thing is, you can be made to believe that you are loved and adored by a person who is completely unable to form an emotional connection with anyone.
Those of us who form normal honest loving feelings don’t understand this. It sure as hell shocked me to the very core when he dropped the bomb on my life. I’m left wondering how many times he has actually done this. I know of at least two incidents, including ours, of where he dropped everything and ran from his life. I’m left wondering if there was a person involved in the prior incident, since I am well aware that he also lies by omission, and am therefore fairly sure that I was only given some of the details.
A Passive Aggressive Feigns Forgetfulness
He wasn’t as bad as some spouses with this, but it was present nevertheless. I always had the funny feeling that something was off but never managed to put my finger on it. I guess he was better at picking things that were hard for me to verify. I know that I used to ask him if he had downloaded the reports for the nightwatchmen or checked that he was arriving on time and I would be assured that he had done so, but he never did it. I always felt guilty because I always felt like I was nagging. These are common feelings for Passive Aggressive spouses.
I got the height of this tactic after bomb drop. Firstly he forgot the two exams I was writing a day after he walked out. I assumed this was forgetfulness (from someone who could remember things going back 15 years!!?). You then learn that Passive Aggressives forget in order to punish and it becomes so obvious. So now I also know why he sent my birthday as one of the suggested dates to visit the divorce lawyer and then denied doing it. This is intentional behavior and it IS abusive.
A Passive Aggressive plays the victim
He went to IC (Individual Counseling) for just long enough for the IC to condone his exit from the marriage. This is actually quite common among people who run from relationships. I always find it sad when another spouse on the receiving end of the bomb drop gets all hopeful because they think that their spouse is actually working on themselves, only to discover that they aren’t in therapy long enough for anything useful and usually spend the time explaining how their spouse is the reason they need to leave their marriage.
He made it clear to me that I was to blame when he offered marriage counseling, so that I could, quote unquote, “understand”!!!
A Passive Aggressive becomes a pathological liar
The Passive Aggressive starts with little minor lies to avoid awkward conversations. This behaviour escalates to the point where they can look you in the eye and lie about significant things. I particularly enjoyed the day he looked me in the eye and lied about having another woman when he knew perfectly well that I already knew that the relationship was a physical affair. Even if he hadn’t already admitted the affair to mutual friends it was pretty hard to miss her Silver car parked every night where he was staying.
It started smaller though. Way smaller. You first begin to notice the lies by omission. They will tell you about events or things that happened in their day but they leave out relevant information. You find out that they, “FORGOT” to mention rather important aspects of what happened. It is only through repetition that you start to realise that maybe something smells a little.
Then he starts lying about finances. I ask him if bills were paid and he says they are. I then find out that they were not. He tells me he has paid the tax man then the tax man attaches his pension because of non payment. A loan from the bank he claims is paid. I get the call from the debt collectors. He tells me he has phoned them and it is sorted then the debt collectors arrive to attach his things.
When, 9 months after he moved out, he still hadn’t collected his possessions and after several warnings that I would throw them out if he didn’t collect them, I did. I opened his unopened post as I chucked it, just in case there was something important in there. I have never seen so many letters of final demand in my life. There must have been 30 of them. There had been no mention to me that we are having cash flow issues and he was buying things as though there was no problem, but he was also quietly running up a huge rates bill without my knowledge which I discovered when they came to switch off the water.
Of course I also got the blame for him not making it from month to month. Funny. I’m paying for what both of us used to and I’m making it from month to month alone.
This behaviour reminds me of a middle age man in a green Mercedes that used to rent our cottage. The debt collectors used to come looking for him too.
I don’t know if you just become more aware of these things as time progresses. It really felt like this behaviour was minor and got steadily worse.
He would never share his feelings with me, even if I asked. I now wonder if this too was some symptom or way to keep his distance.
This is the man I adored and loved with all my heart that I was honoring my wedding vows with and supporting through all the drama?! I can only be grateful that I didn’t give him time to get nasty with the divorce. The emotional rape that I felt, and continue to have flashbacks of, is agony enough without that also being an issue.
It’s like being married to a turd that is packaged in a nice little ornamental box covered in perfume and flowers But it is sitting in the sun gathering pressure in it’s little dark box until it explodes and takes everything with it. The covert nature of all the interactions makes figuring out what happened a lot like trying to piece together a puzzle made from exploded shit.
The memories I formed in my marriage were of the pretty little box and had he died would have been the memories I kept. Having your memories rewritten and erased has to be the most painful experience of my life and while I’m healing very well and have a fantastic life it feels like a piece of my soul was torn out in the explosion.
As an aside, I am fairly sure that I was married to an ISFJ as described here I am greatly amused when Hipster INTJ mentions that they are the type most attracted to INTJs. She also mentions that the ISFJ will tell the INTJ that they need therapy, which he did. Maybe that’s another mystery solved. I’m disturbed that my ideal companion is a Feeling type. Argh!!! *Screams histerically* *runs away*.
“Hipster INTJ”, ha ha! Makes me laugh every time. Fabulous joke.
How can someone that is this dishonest with themselves and others possibly love anyone? I don’t think they are capable, but it sure as hell looks like love to the real victim.
He had little or no therapy for these issues because this was obviously my fault. Runs into another life, taking the debt with him. I’m watching with interest because I suspect that when the Karma bus arrives there is going to be a spectacular collision.