Does the Meaning of Passive Aggression is lack of love?

self esteemWhat is the meaning of this difficult behavior: the meaning of passive aggression in your marriage? Is the contrary of love? If it not hatred? what is it? perhaps control?

Although emotional abusers are not always out to destroy those around them, they are out to control them. Because they have their own ideas about what is right, and how they want things to be, they see themselves as enforcers of the "right way."

Once you accept that you are in this world to control others and make them do the right things, as you conceive them to be right, comes the real battle. Spouses have ridiculous ideas about being grown up people able to make their own decisions, so you need to find a way to impose control on them. Perhaps is this the first step transforming into the controlling, domineering party of this couple?

If a logical description of how things should happen is not enough for the other person to comply, then the season is open for other ways of breaking the non-cooperative spouse's will. What better way to control someone than to make them doubt their own perceptions???

What better way is there than to diminish her to the point that she has such a low self esteem as not to challenge male power? to reduce her to be dependent on money and all important family decision-making?

At the final stage, emotional-abuse victims become so convinced they are worthless, that they believe no one else could possible want them, either as lovers, friends or employers. Therefore, they "naturally" stay in abusive situations because they sincerely believe they have nowhere else to go.

We can recognize the end point of this de-humanizing process when she declares that her ultimate fear is that of being all alone. If the idea of being alone is extremely frightening, it is because her sense of self as a valuable individual has been totally demolished. Now, she can "gladly" give him complete control of family decisions about her, her children and her own future.

The toxic payoff is that now in the family there is a paradoxical "state of peace," and supposedly the controlling husband is happy because he can reign in his own domain unchallenged.

If the children are not completely brainwashed, sooner or later they will want to be independent and make their own decisions, and here comes a painful break: to be able to grow up as adults, they need to leave their mother in the emotional prison that her marriage is. Or perhaps they can challenge their father and obtain some measure of independence for their mother also.

This is a sad picture; the end point of the fight for marriage control is the destruction of one spouse by means of abuse, attacks and rejection, so to get obedience.

This control battle, in all its different shapes and styles is going on in each household around us. Can we recognize its existence in our daily lives?

And how do we respond to the push for complete control in a way that respects the other person's humanity while setting good boundaries around each one?

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

 

  1. Alice T., 17 August, 2009

    I find this issue very important to me:
    My very first battle with my husband was about his idea of “female submission,” that he got from church. This is the one request that terrified me, because what does it mean? that I should have no ideas of my own? that I can’t choose anything before his blessing?

    For him is a natural part of our marriage; for me is little by little asfixtiating me.

    Submission to a husband feels like a death sentence for the person you know you are. Submission to a passive aggressive husband is the same as being swallowed up.

    What he is doing here, I finally got it, is to protect himself from the idea that opening up and agreeing with me is losing his control (at least, the total control he wants).

    And he can’t allow himself to lose control, so off he goes in another rant about me being disloyal, disobedient and challenging his authority! Or punishes me with silent treatment for a month…

    Tom has on many occasions told me that he has such fear of “losing himself” if he is vulnerable with me.

    Which for me, is the essence of a good marriage: where we both trust the other so much, we can give up all our power and not be harmed, because the other loves us!

    He has a difficult time separating me from his own person, and from that fear comes control. As much as he tries to control me, he doesn’t trust me, and the situation gets worse: I don’t like to live with a person who doesn’t trust me…how to get out of this trap? the only way is for him to abandon his idea of marriage=male control over wife;
    and this will not happen soon!

    To feel like a grown up woman I need to know I’m in control over my decisions, because my health, and happiness and my future are all decided in what I choose to do every day….by taking good care of myself. There’s really nothing better I can decide on, and nobody else should be in control of that!

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