Does it seem like the person you married has changed? Do they no longer like to curl up with you on the sofa and cuddle? Has your sex life diminished and all but disappeared? Have they started making comments about your appearance or things that you do in a non-confrontational, yet hurtful manner?
These are often signs that your spouse has issues of their own they are not sure how to address. Rather than opening up and sharing with you what is wrong, they keep things to themselves. This can cause them to develop feelings of resentment towards you because, in their mind, you do not understand what they are going through.
However, it can be difficult to know what your spouse is going through when they are not open to sharing what is wrong. In turn, this can make you feel like you have done something wrong. You can start to question things you have said during normal conversations.
Part of the reason they might be responding this way is they do not how to openly share their feelings. They may feel like if they tell you something you will laugh at them or tell them they are making a “big deal” out of nothing. Yet to them, whatever the issue is can be a major obstacle that is not only affecting communications but your relationship.
In general, passive aggressive behaviour is not normal when married or in any relationship. There can be a host of different causes of why someone has started acting this way. For instance, your spouse’s parents could have been passive aggressive towards each other. As such, your spouse may view passive aggressiveness as a normal aspect of being married.
Another underlying cause for this type of behaviour could stem from jealousy. For example, you recently received a major job promotion and salary increase after being at your new job for a year. Your spouse, on the other hand, has been at the same job for five years and has been passed over for every promotion opportunity.
To find out exactly what is wrong and causing your spouse to behave in this manner can require individual and marriage counselling. It is often a good idea for you to meet with a counsellor first to discuss what is going on in your marriage. Your counsellor can help provide insight to help you figure out the best way to approach your spouse about going to counselling.
Even if your spouse initially refuses, it does not mean you cannot continue counselling to learn different techniques and methods on how to respond to your spouse’s passive aggressiveness. Hopefully, eventually, you can open their eyes and get them to realize their behaviour is hurting your marriage. Once they accept something is wrong, then they are more open to exploring the underlying causes through counselling.
If you are in a passive aggressive relationship and need help, please feel free to contact Toronto individual and marriage counsellor, Ellen Starr at (416) 488-3102 today!