You can’t believe that your spouse is doing it again.
Before you know it, it’s already out of your mouth: ‘Sure, do whatever you want. It’s not like you ever care about what I think anyway.’
Deep down, you know that it was a sideways jab at him. But you feel so frustrated that you don’t know how else to say to him. Passive-aggression has become a problem. Your interactions with your partner have become more bitter and unpleasant. You just don’t know how to not be passive-aggressive in your marriage.
If you often find yourself in this type of situation then this article can get you and your relationship back on track. Get the answers that you need and finally understand why passive-aggressive behavior persists and the three simple steps to stop it from ruining your marriage.
Believe me, there is a way out of it. From first-hand experience, I know that passive-aggressive behavior can worsen and also get better. If you know that a healthy, loving and strong relationship is what you want to have then you need to stop everything and soak in what I’m about to share with you. You have a chance to stop this cycle and it starts now.
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5 Reasons Why Being Passive-Aggressive Is Bad
If you want to change bad behavior, it’s good to know what effects it has on your life. The clearer you see how detrimental it is to you and the ones you love, the more likely you’re to stop it. That’s why we’re looking at the effects of passive-aggressiveness.
This section is not for the faint of heart, I’m telling you the truth and you won’t like it. You might find yourself being defensive and denying what I’m saying. Don’t do it. It’s your chance to change. With that said, let’s get going.
A relationship will thrive when you stop nurturing your fears and insecurities.- Jachym Jerie
1. There’s No Honesty
You can’t be honest with your spouse because you’re afraid of conflict. Instead, you go along with his habits and actions that you don’t approve of. Since you’re agreeing to something that isn’t your truth, the misalignment will eventually show itself through passive-aggression towards your spouse.
How do you expect to build a relationship that fulfills you when you can’t be honest?
Instead, you’re eroding the trust your spouse has in you.
2. You’re Hurting And You Won’t Heal
Being passive-aggressive keeps you stuck with the hurt that you keep buried underneath. Instead of diving into your emotions, you spread your hurt by hurting your partner. How many times have we heard of resentment leading to couples doing the nastiest things for revenge? That’s how love can turn into something that destructive. The only way to not go down that path is by working through the hurt and stopping the disempowerment towards each other.
As long as you don’t face what needs to be addressed, your behavior won’t change. That’s how you keep yourself and your relationship stuck.
You won’t find a loving relationship if you don’t heal this.
3. You’re Hurting Your Partner
Your partner suffers from your passive-aggressive behavior. They feel alone, attacked, abandoned, and neglected. It sucks. But because you do it in a way that’s hard to notice, they may even blame themselves. They could be asking themselves: ‘What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I make my partner happy?’
The person that you’re supposed to love is hurting because of how you’re showing up in this relationship.
4. You’re Poisoning The Relationship
A relationship can be a sacred place. A space where you feel loved, cherished, valued, and respected. It can rejuvenate and uplift you. But it won’t and will never be that if you keep your passive-aggressive behavior.
Because your passive-aggression is based on insecurities. This behavior has no root in love and compassion. That’s why it can’t bring you to a loving place.
Your spouse is on guard because they’re afraid that you’re going to act up again. Who’s on guard in a healthy relationship? No one. Because it’s not healthy.
5. You’ll Stay Unhappy
Because you can’t say what you actually want, you go along with whatever your spouse says and then punish them for it. You’re unhappy with how things are but you won’t change a thing about it.
Just think about your last breath on this planet. Will you be looking at a life that has been lived in a way that is fully true to you, or will you be looking at a life you wish you didn’t have lived in this way? The choice is yours. It starts now.
By now you might be wondering: ‘If my passive-aggressiveness is so bad for my marriage, why am I doing it in the first place?’ We’ll look at possible reasons in the next part.
Why Am I Passive-Aggressive to My Husband?
We are not our thoughts, emotions, perceptions, behaviors and not even our personalities.- Jachym Jerie
Let’s be clear: you are not passive-aggressive. Your behavior is passive-aggressive. There’s a world of difference between you as a person and your behavior. But what gets you to behave passive-aggressively?
1. You Learned It
No one is born with a passive-aggressive attitude. It’s learned. Either by watching how your parents dealt with conflict, or by you adapting it yourself. Either way, it’s something that’s learned and if it’s learned, it can be changed.
2. You’re Scared of Conflict
Let’s be honest: if you could handle conflict like a champ, you wouldn’t need passive-aggression to get your point across. You’d just tell your spouse and work your way through conflict with an open heart and an open mind. But you aren’t doing that. Why? Because you’re scared.
It’s ok to be scared. Everyone is scared of something at some point in their life. It’s your belief that it’s not ok to feel scared that’s part of the issue.
3. You Don’t Know How to Process Emotions
You get angry because your spouse is doing something wrong. You don’t know what to do with this anger so you shove it down. But before you know it, you’re leaving a snide remark here and there. The anger is spilling into your relationship. Your inability to deal with your emotions leads to those emotions taking over and controlling you.
4. You View Anger as Bad
Many people who are being passive-aggressive believe that anger is bad. Because of this view, you can’t allow yourself to feel it. If you did, you’d ‘be bad’ for having it. This leads to suppression of anger and with it the same consequences happen as I’ve described in the previous section.
Anger is a normal human emotion. We all have it. Embrace it so you learn to work with it rather than have it control you. Within The Cherished Wife Program we help you to make peace with your emotions. We show you how they can enrich your life and relationship instead of being negative.
Your man wants a woman who’s in touch with her emotions. It makes you very attractive to him because you bring a different perspective into the relationship. Want to be able to work through your emotions with ease and be more vulnerable with your partner? You can apply to reserve your spot here.
What Makes Me Passive-Aggressive
By now you might be wondering, what specifically is even considered passive-aggressive behavior. Healthline has a neat list:
“Signs of this type of behavior include:
- frequently criticizing or protesting
- being disagreeable or irritable
- procrastinating or being forgetful
- performing tasks inefficiently
- acting hostile or cynical
- acting stubborn
- blaming others
- complaining about being unappreciated
- displaying resentment over the demands of others”
Are you doing any of these? Most of the time passive-aggression flies under the radar of what people would call being aggressive. That’s why it has the word ‘passive’ in it. You don’t outright attack someone. Instead, you stab them in the back and pretend you didn’t do anything.
I know, reading this far must have been hard even if you kept an open heart and mind. If you’ve made it this far, well done. It’s necessary to be honest with this behavior.
Because honesty is the antidote to passive-aggression. When you’re not honest with yourself, that’s when this behavior creeps up.
Let’s now look at finding a resolution to the problem.
How to Stop Being Passive-Aggressive Towards My Husband in 3 Steps
What we suppress will control us, what we embrace we get to transform.- Natasha & Jachym Jerie
Follow the three simple steps to find out how to not be passive-aggressive in your marriage anymore. They are simple, but they’re not necessarily easy. They do take commitment from you. But when you stick to them, your life will change for the better.
Step #1: Be Honest With Yourself
You’ve taken the first step by reading the effects of passive-aggressiveness, so well done!
But this step isn’t complete if you’re not really honest with yourself. You have to recognize your own pattern. I know it’s hard to look at it. It’s difficult to admit that you’ve been hurting your partner. It’s hard to realize that you’re scared. But when you do, you get the power you’ve given away back to you.
If you struggle with being honest with yourself about your actions and the impact it has had on your spouse, then start with how it has impacted you.
I for one used to be quite passive-aggressive. Before I did it to Jachym, I endured it for years in my childhood. It consisted of walking on eggshells so that I wouldn’t get lashed out at. I experienced first hand from a parent, what it feels like to get blamed, annoyed at and other unpleasant things without having done anything wrong at all.
Funny enough, I took on that behavior and started doing the same to Jachym. Instead of bringing up things that bothered me in mature and serious conversation, I would say it in a hurtful way that broke our trust and respect.
Whenever I spazzed out at Jachym, it wasn’t nice for me at all. In fact, it was because I was unhappy and dissatisfied that I was even acting that way. I was frustrated inside. I felt helpless and didn’t know how else to express the discomfort within. But does that give anyone the excuse to hurt their spouse and be passive-aggressive?
It is our responsibility to know what it is that we’re feeling and then to process and express them in a productive way. If we are sharing our life and world with our partner, we owe them this much.
Behind all that passive aggression, it really came down to my inability to communicate in our relationship. It took me several years to learn to speak up and feel that I’m worthy enough to actually ask Jachym for help and support rather than blame him.
That’s what can save your marriage too. There are key skills that form the foundation of a healthy and loving relationship. If you want to learn them and start implementing them in your relationship then apply for your spot in our incredible Cherished Wife Program. No one should be stuck in a relationship where they feel stuck and don’t know how to get out of a passive-aggressive cycle. Break the pattern for good and get back to the love that you deserve.
Step #2: Start Feeling Your Emotions And Expressing Them
Passive-aggressiveness thrives on you not being in tune with your emotions. To stop the behavior, you have to get in touch with how you actually feel. What feelings are evoked in you when your spouse does something that you don’t like? Be honest with yourself and really feel it.
You have to dig into yourself to do that and start feeling your body. We know that it can be scary. But you can do it. Within our The Cherished Wife Program we teach women how they can be totally in touch with their emotions. We guide them step-by-step so that they can take charge of their life and their relationships. It will literally transform your relationship.
Emotions are a gift. They’re beautiful. If you can show your husband your true emotions and be vulnerable, it’ll deepen the relationship enormously.
Step #3: Don’t Tolerate Your Own Behavior Anymore
When you realize you’re getting passive-aggressive, tell yourself to stop! You do not want to keep nurturing this trait in you. Instead, you want to start communicating with your partner what you actually feel in this moment.
It makes sense that you bring your partner on board with this process and let him know what you’re up to. Tell him that you’re committed to changing this pattern and that you’d appreciate it if he could help you through with it. Now you’re facing this pattern together as a team, rather than it controlling the relationship.
If you do slip and go back to being passive-aggressive, the next section is for you.
How to Stop Being Passive-Aggressive Towards My Husband in 3 Steps
Apologies show that we’ve done something wrong and that we recognize that. Apologizing can often feel difficult but it’s always worth it. Why? Because it brings you closer together as a couple.
There’s no doubt that it takes vulnerability, courage and honesty to do it. So how do you best apologize in a way where you both move on together from the passive-aggression? Read on to find out.
Never apologize because it’s expected of you. Apologize because you mean it. To do that you have to be honest with yourself. Once you realize your mistake and you want to apologize for your passive-aggressive behavior, communicate it clearly and honestly.
The worst apologies are the ones that are half-hearted. Below you find the steps that will help you to make an apology that hits home.
Take Full Responsibility
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.- Benjamin Franklin
There’s nothing worse than an apology that doesn’t show that you take ownership of what has happened.
Here’s how you own it:
‘I was passive-aggressive today. I’m sorry. I take full ownership of what has happened. I don’t know what exactly went wrong yet, but maybe we can look at it together.’
And here’s how you don’t do it:
‘I wasn’t nice today, but you know I just felt a bit under the weather. And how you talked to me was also not nice.’
If you apologize like this, you’re not taking any responsibility. You’re diluting the message and blaming your spouse on top of that. Stay away from this. Be clear and concise. Otherwise you won’t stop your passive-aggressive behavior.
Be Clear That You’re Committed to Change
An apology without any actions means nothing. If you’re going to stay passive-aggressive, you’re better off not apologizing.
Because an apology implies that you’re learning from the experience. When you repeat the same mistake over and over again, it shows that you haven’t learned.
That’s why it’s vital that you see how you play the game of being passive-aggressive within your marriage and learn to stop it. It’s the key to unlock real change that brings you and your partner together.
We all make mistakes and when it comes to relationships, it’s no exception. But you always have the power to turn things around. By learning the reasons behind your passive aggressive behavior and by taking the three steps we outlined to stop this destructive pattern, it is possible.
Making a change in your habits might sound hard, especially when passive aggression has become a ‘norm’ in your relationship. The key is in slowing down and detaching enough to actually see the truth.
So many marriages break down because one or both partners are unwilling to be honest with themselves and their partner. Don’t let that happen to you.
Choose for this to be the turning point for your relationship. Sure, passive aggression isn’t necessarily a good thing. But you can use this opportunity to heal and get back on the same page with your spouse.
Sometimes that honesty might help you realize that you can’t do it on your own completely. So reach out to a professional. Ask your partner for support. Because when there’s love, it’s worth fighting for.
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