Passive Aggression Hurts
anonymous Asks ...
My husband does this total passive aggressive thing, it's not really his fault cause if you would ever meet his mother you could see that e learned from a master. I love him and he is a good guy with this fairly annoying and sometimes destabilizing flaw. I am trying to get him to stop by labeling the behavior whenever it occurs but this is only increasing the tension between us Is there anything I can do to help him learn healthier conflict resolution?
Jim LaPierre Says ...
My challenge to your husband would be that being passive aggressive shows a lack of integrity. Typically the person who engages in this behavior is being hurtful in a manner that allows them to avoid being accountable for what they say and do. My suggestion to you would be to ask what he means by what he says. Check in with him, "It sounds like you're saying ______, is that what you mean to say?" Folks who are passive aggressive often fear conflict and instead get digs in. I'd encourage you to explain how his behavior impacts you emotionally. He may fear conflict - which makes resolving conflict very problematic. Don't wait for him to engage in the behavior - have a conversation about how you can make changes in the ways in which you communicate. Good luck!