You may be experiencing abuse, but not realize it, because their strategy of expressing hostility is covert and manipulative, leading to conflict and intimacy problems.
According to the American Psychological Association passive-aggression was considered a personality disorder in the DSM-IV: This behavior commonly reflects hostility which the individual feels he dare not express openly.
Your fury is theirs, while they may calmly ask, “Why are you getting so angry? Passive-aggressive partners are generally codependent, and like codependents, suffer from shame and low self-esteem.
Their behavior is designed to please to appease and counter to control.
Because a passive-aggressive person is indirect, it may be hard to recognize what’s going on, but it’s essential that you recognize whom you’re dealing with.
Look for a pervasive pattern of several of the above symptoms, and monitor your feelings.
This is why they blame others, unaware of the problems they’re causing.
They refuse to take responsibility for anything, and distort reality, rationalize, blame, make excuses, minimize, deny, or flat out lie about their behavior or the promises or agreements they’ve made.
We all engage in some of these behaviors some of the time, but when there’s a pervasive pattern of multiple symptoms, it’s likely that you’re dealing with passive-aggression.
Rather than say no or address their anger, they forget your birthday or the plans you’ve discussed, or forget to put gas in the car, pickup your prescription, or fix the leaky toilet. They’re avoidant and don’t like schedules or deadlines.
It’s another form of rebellion, so they delay and delay with endless excuses.
Not only that, you step into the role of parent – the very one your partner is rebelling against. It’s far better to address noncompliance and problems in the relationship directly.
Don’t be vague, drop hints, blame, or allow yourself to pay back in kind. Frame it in terms of “We have a problem,” not “You are the problem,” which is shaming.