We hear this question all the time, here and there. Well intentioned wives ask this question out of their loving hearts, still assuming that this kind of change is possible. They need any bit of hope they can get so much! Let’s try an answer here:
First, he needs to want to change, but really, he doesn’t want to drop this behavior at all. It’s his favorite defense against the world and demanding intruders like women in their lives…
If there is some behavior we really know, because is too frequent, is that functioning using passive aggression is not a choice; some people have learned from very early that is safer to play dead and be noncommittal in any personal relationship. Probably, they have been hurt before, so now they don’t risk opening up.
For them this behavior is functional behavior, allowing them to imagine that in this way they are protected from probable harm coming from other people.
Besides, going down to the dynamics of any couple, a passive aggressive husband is very cozy with you functioning as his complement and covering up the difference between what he promises and what he delivers…
So, is there no hope? What can you do? Well, you can change your own responses, and thus force him to adapt to the new situation created by your new behavior….And then, voila! You have change!
Do you want an example?
Usually, you go around him tiptoeing and walking on eggshells up until he gives a superficial consent to some project. Even then, you are not sure he will deliver…if you use your own old behavior, then you will be there waiting for him to deliver.
The new behavior is telling him that you expect him to deliver, but just in case he can’t, for some reason, you have plan B lined up.
When he produces finally his answer, (as you have moved on pursuing this project without being stuck waiting for his delayed response) you can either adopt his solution so discarding your Plan B, or if your own solution is still better, use your own solution and move ahead. No regrets, no guilt, no procrastination!
This behavior takes away his power of controlling you through postponement and confusion, thus inviting him to come up with some new behavior to answer your actions. Here you have moved him to change, right?
What if you still feel that you have no power whatsoever to implement this approach? Or you feel that you can’t do anything that could frustrate him? Well, you need more than this article; you need to read “Passive Aggressive Husband,” and get all the support you can muster in order to push yourself to grow!
BECAUSE if you don’t reach out and get some strong help, your marital situation will only get worst, you will lose your time and your energy doing the same thing that doesn’t help you now (“bear and grin,” perhaps?) and your promised change is not coming by itself.
No, he will not spontaneously change; you need to change your behavior towards him; if you can’t do it alone, please, get help reading our postings, our ebooks and posting here your questions to get some realistic, easy to apply suggestions to recover yourself. Good luck!