Explaining a Passive-Aggressive Marriage to Your Friends

Surviving a passive-aggressive marriage feels very lonely.

Many women are embarrassed by the decline in their relationship, especially since the nature of passive-aggression leaves the victim believing the problems are her fault. They try harder and harder to connect to and please their passive-aggressive husbands, to no avail, negatively effecting their own self-esteem while leaving them little time to stay connected to their friends.  This results in a lack of support system for the hurting wife, just when she needs one most.

By understanding passive-aggressive behavior, you have come to know that this behavior is not your fault.  With that very important knowledge in your toolbox, it’s time to start letting go of your embarrassment over the challenges in your marriage. It’s also time to reach out to the support system that has been waiting in the wings for you – your friends.  Your friends love you for you and want you to be happy; they can help.

Explaining a passive-aggressive marriage to your friends is important, however difficult, so that they know what you are going through and can help you get back to being a strong, confident you which in turn will help you improve your marriage.

You are not alone if you are uncomfortable telling your friends about your husband’s behavior.

Telling others about his poor treatment of you may feel like a betrayal, you don’t want your friends to hate your husband, because you don’t. You love him and want to defend and protect him.  That’s what marriage is about, right? But you don’t have to place blame or make him out to be the bad guy. What you do have to do is talk to them so you have support through the changes you are about to make.  Remember, they are your friends, trust them, and then be honest.  You owe it to yourself and to them.

Some ideas to explain what is a passive-aggressive marriage

  1. Choose one friend to talk to first, maybe your calmest or most level-headed friend, then enlist her support in talking to your other close friends.
  2. Talk to them in a group (of the friends you trust the most, you want to feel secure here). Plan a relaxing afternoon or evening together in an atmosphere where you can all talk openly. They’ve missed you, they will be happy to get together.
  3. Write down the things you want or need to explain to them, take a break, then go over it a few times to be sure it is correct and honest, but not defensive or blaming.
  4. Bring your favorite books or articles on passive-aggression so you can refer to them, or loan them to your friends – they may ask how to help you to survive a passive-aggressive marriage, or be concerned and want to know “do passive-aggressive men change?”
  5. Enlist the help of a relationship coach first. You can practice and get tips on your understanding and explanation, and have support through talking with your friends.

You are not alone in being the wife of a passive-aggressive husband, and you don’t have to be alone in your quest to improve your life and your marriage. Write down those points, call that solid girlfriend, book your favorite corner booth in that old standby restaurant, just get the support you need and deserve. And if you still need proof of this situation, get your husband take the Passive Aggressive Test.


About Nora Femenia

Nora Femenia, Ph.D, is the CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions and the author of the book The Art of Living with a Passive Aggressive Husband, a field guide for women that have to deal with passive aggression in their partners. Nora also post regularly to her blog Creative Conflicts. Visit her blog and join the community to discuss issues related to Conflicts, Relationships and receive Free her book “Breaking Free From The Silent Treatment”

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