Passive Abusive

I recently used the words “passive-aggressive”. I use to hate the phrase – I thought it was something invented by women to label men to make them look bad. However, over the years I have come to see that it’s a very real thing, and that for some men it’s a very ugly and hateful way of treating their wife. To add to the problem, the men who do this will deny they are doing anything at all.

Passive-aggressive is using procrastination, feigned forgetfulness, claims of busyness, and the like to avoid doing things that should be done. It’s hurting someone by not doing something they need to have done, or doing it too late, or not well enough. It’s ignoring real issues, or down playing something that is important. Personally, I see it as wimping out. Rather than dealing with things that are bothering him, the passive-aggressive man takes out his anger in some unrelated way, all the while claiming he is not angry and nothing is wrong. He won’t stand up to his wife where he needs to, or is upset by what she does or does not do (including, in many instances, sex) and rather than confronting the issue he hurts her by refusing to do what she needs him to do in some other area.

Passive-aggressive is not loving. In my mind it’s actually a not-so-subtle form of abuse. It’s also a great way to destroy a marriage. I know it’s easier than dealing with problems, but if you want to have a long, healthy marriage, don’t do it.

7 Comments on “Passive Abusive

  1. This sounds like me. I never thought of it like this. I need to, and will repent.

  2. My Ex is a passive-aggressive. It was her contribution to the destruction of our marriage. My straightforward angry responses, out of the frustration one feels for this sly, calculating and underhanded mental abuse, was my contribution. I’ll never forget the day the counsellor I was seeing told me about passive agressive behaviour- I didn’t even know what it was. She taught me how to deal with it and I learned so well how to deal with it that when my precious one found herself working alongside a passive agressive I was able to guide her into how to disarm him. Within her first year he began to fear her and would work harder with her than he would with anyone else. He’s still a PA and she has to teach new workers how to deal with him, but 5 years later his ways are ineffective and so he is retiring! Resist the Devil and he will flee!
    Seriously, I think Satan is a PA. It would really fit him well. Think about how The Nacash deceived The Adam by telling them the truth. Classic PA behaviour, that.

  3. Merv,

    It seems to me, from reading your reply before mine, that I could be perceived as saying you are behaving like Satan.

    That is not a truthful perception because you wish to repent for recognizing this beahviour in yourself. That is the way a Christian should react when brought to the recognition of Sin in himself.

    I want to encourage you to seek help in this. Yes, repent and confess this to your own precious one. Find out about this beahviour and ask her to help you deal wiht it. In other words, invite her into your repentance to help you and her in bringing your marriage to the high place of joy and delight it can be for learning how to be consistently good, exactly as you were created to be!
    Be encouraged! Your God will accept your repentance! And He will renew your mind so that you, too, will have the mind of Christ and come to know the deep things of God for having His spirit inside of you, where His Son said His kingdom is!

  4. I am very cautious about how I use the word abuse, and this is a good time to be cautious. It seems that strong desire to create a correlation between the word husband and abuse and we would do better to avoid this.

    I actually think there are much better explanations for this type of behavious than abuse. Of course, anything can turn abusive if someone pushes it to an extreme with the right motives. But these cases it seems there may likely be a mental disorder involved, and that is whole other subject that requires its own column.

    The problem with this is that I can already see the wives reading this column and salivating at the idea of their husbands coming home and accusing them of abuse. There are more constructive ways of discussing this issue.

  5. @Take Two – I am also careful when I use the word abuse, and I feel it is not only acceptable, but necessary in this case. I’ve seen some men who are very much harming their wives this way.

    I have no desire to say husband=abusive, but neither will I shy away from the fact that it does occur. If we see evil and don’t address it, are we not guilty as well? Can my words be misused? Of course. Can my words show someone that they are acting in a way that is unacceptable? Seems the first comment shows they can. As I am speaking to men, I address the things men need to hear.

  6. I think women are just as guilty as men in this area. We just are different about it. We go out of our way do tiny things to hurt, to show contempt, and to vent frustrations, but try to play them off as nothing when caught. We act sweet, but do little cutting things behind thier back.

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