Your relationship is struggling or breaking down because behaviors like:
- Unexpected, unprovoked outbursts that are disproportionate to the issue.
- Isolation or pouting, or retreating into his world.
- Being oblivious to or just denying your feelings.
- Ignoring or blocking you from communication.
- Being sensitive and caring one minute; acting aggressive the next.
But there’s one more thing that is probably affecting you as well, something we need to get out into the open – sex, or the lack thereof.
Sex, and the intimacy created through it, are part of our basic human needs.
We connect emotionally by connecting physically, not only through hand holding, back-rubs and kissing, but also through sex. A passive aggressive marriage, however, can often become a sexless marriage.
Why is it that so many wives complain of being in a sexless marriage?
In a passive aggressive marriage, sex is one way a husband can control not only the intimacy level, but also the behaviors and emotions of his wife.
If your passive aggressive husband is feeling unhappy (hurt, confused, threatened, cornered, pressured, anything) he uses his behavior to punish you for your “offending deeds.” One of his most effective behaviors is to withhold sex.
By withholding sex, your husband not only pulls away from you, stopping whatever is happening that he feels is hurting him, but he also manages to punish you by making you feel unworthy, unattractive, confused, lonely, and unwanted. He knows the turmoil this will cause for you and likely your reactions to it, both of which serve the purpose of controlling you and meeting his needs for significance (you try to chase or entice him) and security (if he pulls back you can’t hurt him).
Another variation of this passive aggressive behavioral theme is unsatisfying sex. You may be having sex with your husband, but he is withholding satisfaction from you – reaching orgasm without taking you there, acting distant or displeased during sex, or shutting down and pulling away during or directly after. These behaviors create the same effect – blocking or destroying the intimacy and wreaking havoc on your emotions.
Sex is a strong tool used by the passive aggressive man in either way. If these situations sound familiar to you, acknowledge them for what they are – passive aggressive – and start making changes in your relationship today. Working on a passive aggressive relationship with the tools, coaching and resources available to you can help with all the hurtful behaviors your husband is using.