Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Passive-Aggressive

A comment on the last post pointed out that certain behavior appeared quite passive-aggressive on W’s part. Why yes, yes he and I are both experts at passive-aggressive behavior. For my part, I learned it from the master himself, my dad. Not sure where W picked it up.

In thinking about it, I went to Wikipedia and found the following list of common behaviors of passive-aggressives. I have marked those behaviors of which I am often guilty with an @ and those of W with a &.

• Ambiguity @ &
• Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness @ &
• Blaming others @
• Chronic lateness and forgetfulness &
• Complaining @
• Does not express hostility or anger openly @ &
• Fear of competition
• Fear of dependency @
• Fear of intimacy &
• Fears authority @ &
• Fosters chaos @
• Intentional inefficiency @ &
• Making excuses and lying @
• Obstructionism &
• Procrastination @ &
• Resentment @ &
• Resists suggestions from others @ &
• Sarcasm @ &
• Sullenness &

I’m 14 for 19 and W is 13 for 19. We have quite the makings of a volatile relationship with all the passive-aggression brewing. Now of course this is only my perception. W’s perception might be vastly different although I am sure he would agree that I can be the passive-aggressive queen at times. W and I each excel at different areas of passive-aggressive behavior. I am expert at sarcasm, blaming others, complaining, fostering chaos in subtle yet evil ways. W has practically made a vocation out of sullenness, intentional inefficiency and procrastination. Together, we are just one big mass of resentment and miscommunication.

This is why we so desperately need marital counseling if we are to have a chance at making this work. It is also our passive-aggressive behavior that has led us to the stalemate of having two counselors recommended to us three weeks ago but no effort made to contact either of them. We are in a hole and continue digging, not a good strategy by any means.

3 comments:

FTN said...

I agree... the "avoiders" that I see in blogworld that have marital problems are probably more in need of marital counseling than anyone else.

Emily said...

I agree. And I don't get it. When people are so unhappy, what's so very bad about having another person to mediate a bit and help pin down what the issues are and suggestion some potential solutions?

Are they afraid of the exposure? Of the truth-telling? Or is it just inertia?

trueself said...

In our case, W thinks marital counseling is not necessary because as he sees it, he doesn't have any problem. Only I have a problem so I need to work on it, get myself "fixed" so that I don't have any problem either.
We got the names of the counselers when he was trying to be generous and indulge my desire to go to counseling together. However, like I said, since getting the information no further movement has occurred which is as much my fault as his.