Why do we have to live in difficult relationships?

difficult relationshipIF LIFE IS LEARNING, what is that you need to learn in difficult relationships?

The basics of learning in life are given to us in that school called “relationships.”


We all need relationships to survive at birth and later to develop and thrive. Human relationships serve the purpose of mutual support and reciprocal confirmation of our worth as human beings.

Is in this give and take of acceptance and confirmation, that we get to build a strong sense of self. Confirmation messages tell the little person growing up the assurance that he or she is accepted, loved and thus, integrated into and belonging to some collective: “our family,” “our marriage.” Children yearn to hear: “You are one of us, because you look like your father, or mother, of granny Beth...” And grown ups cherish someone telling them: “I love you; you are important to me.”

The problem is, few people know this truth....They think that relationships are built to be happy, not to learn...so when things go sour, the get distraught and upset. The saddest cases are of those couples living in emotionally empty marriages, with emotional abuse or passive aggression as their lot. Don't they have a right to be happy? Yes, but it will not happen by wishing to be happy, but by going through the conflict situation and learning the lessons...

How many times do you see people refusing to accept confrontation and conflict as a part of relationships? They hide the differences, and refuse to engage in a clean confrontation as many times as they can...and so perpetuate conflict, make eternal enemies and reap unhappiness.

So, what is this new “conflict frame” I want to offer to you here?

People start conflict, not because they initially want to destroy the connection with their significant Other, but because they need some missing confirmation from their significant Other.

We are always moved by our needs, and the search for satisfaction of those needs….In the case of the need for love and connection, (supposed to be satisfied by the marriage contract itself), either this confirmation of the other person’s love and undying interest on us is spontaneously provided, and we thrive, or it has to be pulled out of the Other, by means of some confrontation.

But we can’t avoid searching for elements of love that can feed our need!

Conflict is the activity that allows us to define our needs.

By confronting each other, we get to know what we want, what is that we reject, and basically to know who we are. Reciprocal confrontation helps us to know how others see us, and to compare that image with how we see ourselves, and manage the difference.

Fair or positive conflict is the activity that allows us to negotiate our inclusions without anger and doing so, reciprocally, we get to know who we are, how others see us, what is what they love and reject in us, how we are evolving as perceived by others, and basically, helps us know who we are becoming.

In short, this is what you need to know about the role of conflict in your life:

Conflict is inevitable, so accept it in your life. Don’t be surprised or scared by it, BUT LEARN HOW TO INCLUDE CONFLICT INTO THE SKILLS TO BE LEARNED:

  • how to use the connection with another person to grow up
  • how to tolerate , be patient, listen to the other side’s perspective

If you would like to know about a way to fight with love and respect, here is some useful step by step information.

  1. janet, 06 May, 2013

    Don’t we all wish we received this “handbook” when we very young!! All behaviours are a sign of “unmet” needs(wounding) from poor parenting…..whether we are the passive aggressive partner who learned to get their needs met with isolating themselves and avoiding expectations because of too much intrusiveness in their childhood or for the other partner who is likely a co-dependent who felt abandoned/rejected/neglected/not heard on some level….hence that person desires to overhelp/fix in order to counteract…..once all of this is “unearthed” for each person self-acceptance/love is more easily achieved I have discovered….when one is firmly entrenched in those identities which is also the “false ego” it’s hard to not judge the other person for their behaviours which hurt us deeply….I have discovered that once you begin “soothing” and “providing” for your own needs and making peace with what wasn’t when you were young you are better able to love/accept yourself without judgment….and hence that can be provided to the other…understanding this will help to alleviate the conflict that occurs between the partners……with full self-acceptance/love one can let go of the “negative” virtues replacing them with the positive virtues….this creates “safety” within the relationship…..how I wish I had known all of this before marriage or at least into the marriage….it has taken me 4 years of being separated to learn this lesson…..

  2. janet, 06 May, 2013

    Don’t we all wish we received this “handbook” when we very young!! All behaviours are a sign of “unmet” needs(wounding) from poor parenting…..whether we are the passive aggressive partner who learned to get their needs met with isolating themselves and avoiding expectations because of too much intrusiveness in their childhood or for the other partner who is likely a co-dependent who felt abandoned/rejected/neglected/not heard on some level….hence that person desires to overhelp/fix in order to counteract…..once all of this is “unearthed” for each person self-acceptance/love is more easily achieved I have discovered….when one is firmly entrenched in those identities which is also the “false ego” it’s hard to not judge the other person for their behaviours which hurt us deeply….I have discovered that once you begin “soothing” and “providing” for your own needs and making peace with what wasn’t when you were young you are better able to love/accept yourself without judgment….and hence that can be provided to the other…understanding this will help to alleviate the conflict that occurs between the partners……with full self-acceptance/love one can let go of the “negative” virtues replacing them with the positive virtues….this creates “safety” within the relationship…..how I wish I had known all of this before marriage or at least into the marriage….it has taken me 4 years of being separated to learn this lesson…..

  3. Nora Femenia, 06 May, 2013

    Dear Janet,
    your message really touches my heart…I’m coming from the same place, why it took so long to understand? and the answer my oversoul provided is:
    silly, you were too young! and that lesson was far away in your future!
    In short, no cheating: first you make the mistakes, then you learn and work on the frustration, anguish, pain, anger, loneliness as you can! That is the real work to be done: go through the painful emotions; bear with them, sort them out, process and forgive…and then you have your lesson! Now, you have earned your lesson! If you had the “manual” before hand, you could have avoided the process of learning through pain, but, where is your inner learning?
    Sigh! remembering that we are not so much to be happy, but to learn how to be happy by being at peace with ourselves…..
    Lovely to talk with you, feels like having a good friend! thanks

  4. kawabi, 06 May, 2013

    Thanks for the “affirmation” Nora…as always! This epiphany only came to me this morning when I awoke….perhaps after reading for a second time the book “The Four Agreements”…years ago it irritated me but perhaps I took something in at a deeper level this past weekend….this morning I awoke with the understanding of self acceptance/love at a much deeper level….for not just myself but also for where my husband was coming from….our parents too were coming from what they knew….we were all doing the best we could as my therapist told me a few years ago….but I feel eerily at peace today Nora!!(lol)…It’s like I have “crossed over”(lol)…it does take desiring to learn and understand …emotional maturity is one of the keys too! Boundaries are a biggy and I have begun re-reading one of my two books on that and yet today my boundaries were crossed twice….I said to myself “oh Janet how could you”…..so I have a lot to relearn in that department…I have looked at my past and how I have been used/walked in because I was taught to be compliant as a female….I do feel that I have “earned” my lesson Nora!! And once you truly understand it won’t happen again and I have to believe I will only invite emotionally healthy people into my life….I have no energy/time for the drama anymore…..the peace is quite outstanding Nora!! It’s taken me 4 years of ardent work to reach this place….one day the book will be written Nora!!

  5. Jay, 07 May, 2013

    Your thoughts attract what you get, so many women that end up with passive aggressive men are by thinking negatively about not wanting this type of guy. Thinking of what you do not want will get you what you do not want.

  6. Terry Graves, 27 May, 2013

    I have a different perspective. I believe a married a passive-aggressive because his behavior is something I recognize from childhood. In contrast, before I married, when a man treated me with interest and respect, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know if I am in repetition compulsion; I do know that being with a PA, uncomfortable and painful as it is, is what I know how to do.

  7. Terry Graves, 27 May, 2013

    I have a different perspective. I believe a married a passive-aggressive because his behavior is something I recognize from childhood. In contrast, before I married, when a man treated me with interest and respect, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know if I am in repetition compulsion; I do know that being with a PA, uncomfortable and painful as it is, is what I know how to do.

  8. kawabi, 10 June, 2013

    Sadly it is because there is familiarity from our childhood wiht this type of man….that’s the quasi gift in all of it….to return to your early life so that you can process that pain….and then grow forward…..to know that a relationship between a man and a woman doesn’t have to be this “pa” model….to determine the part as women we play in these relationships…..that we need to feel needed….and finally being able to grow up realizing we have worth and value and get step out of this life experience to embrace a new way.

Copyright © Passive Aggressive Husband
%d bloggers like this: