What Lurks Beneath the Shadows of an Abusive Passive-Aggressive Relationship?

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The toxicity of it all!

Saying, “Fine, whatever,” when it’s not fine, or answering, “If that’s what you want,” if the person is not supportive. Also claiming, “I’m not angry,” when the person is burning up inside. These are some of the most infuriating passive-aggressive statements that you might encounter in your marriage.

It’s not just irritating but unhealthy in all forms of relationships. Passive-aggressive statements are the exact opposite of proper communication. Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC once said, “Relationships in and of themselves do not create mental illness.” However, he adds, “When we suffer in our relationships, it can be difficult to move forward from past hurt and trauma.”

The science behind the attitude

Medical experts define an individual having a passive-aggressive attitude as somehow who seems to agree or comply appropriately; however, their behaviors say otherwise. Furthermore, the behavioral manifestations of negativity, aggression, and resentment are evidenced by stubbornness, failure to communicate, and procrastination.

Spotting a passive-aggressive attitude

How would you know if your partner is becoming passive-aggressive about a particular situation? Some of the telltale signs of being passive-aggressive are:

  1. Becoming illogical and inconsistent
  2. Uncomfortable to be with
  3. Hostility is expressed indirectly
  4. Repetition of the pretense

While people are guilty of uttering a passive-aggressive line ever quite so often, there is such a thing as a pathological behavior of being passive-aggressive. It is the kind that dwells within the walls of your home and may present different personas.

Unveiling what lies beneath the shadows

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Passive-aggressive doesn’t fully present itself elaborately that one considers it normal. However, it is not. And worse, if the partner becomes continually unaware that the occurrence deliberately exists, the abuser heightens the act until it gets really ugly and becomes detrimental to the relationship. So what are the classic passive-aggressive misdemeanors that lurk around marriage?

  1. Silence

Can you hear that? No? Well, you should because it is the sound of a relationship falling apart. Silence is already a strong statement. Saying nothing on the brink of an argument or a misunderstanding is already saying a lot. When your partner gives you the cold shoulder every time there’s something important to talk about, he or she is becoming unreasonable and deliberately does not want to communicate. Simply put it as, “You did something wrong but you have to figure it out.” Then the silent treatment ensues.

The act of not wanting to communicate and letting the other person “guess” what is going has the intention of unsettling the harmonious balance of your relationship which results to withholding the partner’s intimacy with each other. By being silent and letting you figure things out on your own, your partner is already punishing you untowardly. Silence in itself is already an abuse of power and authority in the relationship.

  1. Sarcasm

Another puzzling passive-aggressive behavior that makes you want to pull your hair out altogether is sarcasm. We probably have used sarcastic remarks a couple of times in our lives for various reasons. However, sarcasm inside marriage can express undeclared hostility. When your partner often articulates critical comments that are masking as a joke, that person is already showing displeasure. Sarcasm intends to preserve a mental superiority in the relationship to the point of making you feel and look terrible. If confronted, the partner will activate denial mode by saying, “I’m just playing with you,” or, “Sheesh, you’re so sensitive.”

  1. Yes, not really

Considered as one of the most prevalent, widely-used and widely-spoken passive-aggressive statements in a relationship, is the tug-of-war between a “Yes” that’s masking as a “No.” the yes-but-not-really statement usually happens in long-term relationships wherein the couple has already given up on fixing problems. To avoid any forms of unwanted confrontation and argument, the person might simply agree with the other. Example, if the wife asks the husband to do something and the man agrees, yet at the end of the day, there was no follow-through, the husband was passive-aggressive when he said, “Yes” in the first place. “Being in an abusive relationship is incredibly confusing, and multiple myths about abuse can make it difficult to identify when it happens to you.” Brandy Parris, MA, LMHC explains.

The unresolved psychological disorder

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If the partner does not recognize the existence passive-aggressiveness during its early occurrence, it may develop into a form of violence that may dismantle a relationship. Passive-aggressive is a sneaky little rat that bores holes through a healthy relationship; it keeps on chewing until the foundation becomes brittle and eventually breaks down. When that happens, “If emotions become heightened, it’s a good idea to implement a safe word prior to the discussion which indicates that one of the partners needs to take a break,” Michelle Smith, LMHC advises.