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.