Part 2: Detecting Passive Aggressive Anger in Your Spouse
As your Christian Marriage Coaches and Counselors in Beaufort, SC, we understand that passive aggressive anger can be a real problem in Christian marriages. You might not even be aware that your spouse is exhibiting signs of this behavior, so we thought it would be helpful to instruct you about what signs you should look for to find out if this is a problem in your marriage.
Today we’ll look at five more signs of passive aggressive anger.
SIGN #6: IGNORANCE AND OMISSION – Imagine that you’re with your spouse and the two of you are taking part in an activity. It’s something your spouse knows how to do, but you’re not familiar with it and you make a mistake. When you ask why he or she didn’t assist you, you’re met with, “I thought you knew.” Feigning ignorance and omitting advice or information is passive aggressiveness at its worst, and at times it can have serious consequences.
SIGN #7: RAISING FALSE HOPES – When you talk with your spouse or ask questions, you can identify passive aggressive behavior if he or she is always getting your hopes up without delivering. Your spouse may often say things like, “I’ll be happy to do that for you,” and then they always refuse to follow through.
SIGN #8: BACKHANDED COMPLIMENTS – Backhanded compliments can leave you feeling deeply hurt by the things your spouse says. He or she will use these remarks to emotionally cut you very deeply. If you’re used to hearing things like, “Don’t worry, I prefer women with a little bit more to hold onto when I hug them” or if she says, “You’ve done so well in your career considering you only graduated from high school” then you know how bad these remarks can make you feel. There’s nothing complimentary about them at all.
SIGN #9: THE JOKE EXCUSE – Passive aggressive people will often use the joke excuse to give themselves permission to say anything that comes to their minds. Whether your spouse makes fun of how you look, what you say, or what you do for a living, they always follow it up with, “It was only a joke.” That hurts, and it’s not an excuse for saying something to crush someone else, especially your spouse.
SIGN #10: OVERLY CALM RESPONSES – The person who is often capable of getting the biggest rise out of you is your spouse. Perhaps yours starts arguments or says things that they know are going to anger you, and then they feign ignorance when you get upset and accuse you of overreacting. They’re completely calm, and you’re ready to fight. Those overly calm responses are a great way of celebrating the fact that they accomplished what they set out to do, which is to get you upset.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse into the types of behaviors that are typical for people who use passive aggressive anger, perhaps you can see your spouse exhibiting many of them. The frustration it causes you is very real, but it’s not something you should have to put up with. Help is available to you, and as your Christian Marriage Coaches and Counselors in Beaufort, SC, we’re here for you.
If you’d like to make an appointment to talk with us, please give us a call at 843-379-0288, or you can schedule an appointment with us online using our convenient online scheduler.
We believe God has great plans for your marriage, and we’d love to help you break through the passive aggressive behaviors so that you can identify what it will take to bring real healing to your marriage.