Have you ever been in this situation?
He constantly devalues me (little put downs but he is always “just joking”). He says what I want to hear and does what he wants to do then makes me crazy with “Well I thought we were just having a conversation. I didn’t realize that you thought we had come to an agreement”.
How do you know you are being devalued by this dual behavior? when your words, projects and proposals are not taken seriously…he can agree with you this moment, but “forget” what you say as it was never said next minute.
If you want to have some certainty in a particular situation: “We’ll go to my parents’ this Sunday for dinner,” is probable that the dinner invitation will be renegotiated over and over again ad nauseam….
You will never hear him saying: “at what time do you want to leave for your parents’ dinner?” or any other reference to this event. There will be no references, and so when you have to bring it up, he can be utterly surprised and shocked of you sneaking this invitation on him, when he was totally ignorant of such plans….
Really maddening? Yes.
Surprising? Well, not at all!
Why not? because fogginess over agreements is one of the best tricks of a passive aggressive husband to keep you confused and frustrated. If a clear YES will do, you will get every other answer but a yes. This is such a successful method of sabotaging trust in a relationship, that is basically a tell-tale indicator of PA behavior in your own husband.
Your self-defense step has to be clearly defined:
Get your own deadline fixed in your mind. If his answer is still vague 48 hours before the event, cancel it or make the firm decision to go alone. Suspending the wait, or killing the expectation that he will appear at the last-minute will help you in having clarity in your life, and knowing where you stand.
If he appears at the last-minute, you can be happily surprised and enjoy his company…with no emotional burden to you; because you will not expect him coming, you will not be disappointed if he cancels his visit. Of course, this is only a defensive behavior, to protect yourself from disappointment, but does not faces the root problem. If you want to know what we offer to moderate and transform passive aggressive behaviors, you can read the 4 steps to FREE Your Marriage of Passive-Aggression, here.