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My boyfriend behaves passive aggressively when he is hurt by something


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Hi guys, my [23F] boyfriend [23M] have been dating for around 5.5 months. Before we dated we were friends for about 2.5 years, the last few months of those involving us having become best friends and then dating. I love him and we have a very loving relationship in most ways but unfortunately he can be very immature, and I end up questioning whether I am or am not doing the wrong thing, to the point that I don't even know what is right or wrong anymore.

 

The first example of him being passive aggressive was while we were still just friends. Him, myself and our friends all live in a dorm. It was a Saturday and we had breakfast together (I don't normally eat breakfast but did this one time to be able to see him before he left), and then he said he would be leaving at some point. By lunch time I assumed he had already left, so I asked my friend who lives next to me if he wanted to eat lunch with me. We went to the kitchen to grab lunch and then my (now) boyfriend walked in and I expressed being super surprised by him still being around. He then refused to sit with us, since there were no chairs (even though I went and grabbed him a chair), texted instead of talking to me when we were heating up our lunches and when he came back after eating in his room and I asked him why he didn't sit with us, he said he didn't feel well and then left. I then asked him online shortly after he left if he was feeling better and he didn't reply to me so I asked if he was annoyed at me for something. He continued to not reply until eventually, the late afternoon of the day after he finally wrote "no and yes respectively" and proceeded to say he was upset that I hadn't called him to have lunch with us since he specifically stayed later to eat lunch with me, even though he didn't tell me he was still around/planned to stay later and I made it clear that I was surprised. We resolved it pretty quickly as soon as I explained myself but it was a huge red flag which I know I should not have ignored.

 

Since then he has gotten passive aggressive on multiple occasions over petty things which he perceived I have wronged him by doing. For example:

  • Not coming back with him to the dorm between a single lecture break because I had to do something for the student club (didn't come back for the next lecture and then refused to have lunch with me)
  • Going to the supermarket slightly closer to us with our friend+her boyriend for groceries when no one had much time rather than the one in the shopping centre that he wanted to get a burger at -- the background here is I was going to go get groceries for a specific thing my friend and I were going to cook together, while he and her boyfriend apparently had plans to get a burger, but the girlfriend convinced him out of it and then didn't want to go to the far away supermarket, while my boyfriend assumed we were going to that one without cementing any plans with anyone. So a bit of an annoying situation but I was happy to go to whichever supermarket, and really didn't think it was a big deal since we were doing separate stuff anyway (he stared at his computer and said a cold goodbye as I left and then proceeded to text me that "our selfish asses couldn't go 1 min further so he could get a burger"-- even though he wasn't even going grocery shopping with us regardless so could've gone to get a burger alone)
  • Me drinking a single bottle of cider at a party (he doesn't drink and says it makes him feel "left out" even though I never get drunk) (made a brief comment about how he thought I don't pay for alcohol, which I never said, then sat on the deck of the cruise ship the whole night and refused to dance with us or interact with anyone even when we were outside)
  • Not having sex with him the night before he is doing his first surgery because we had just watched an episode of a show and I was very tired (proceeded to just be cold and weird and eventually texted me that he doesn't understand why I wouldn't want to do what he wanted on a night that is stressful for him)
  • Not having sex with him after he fell asleep at a holiday house we were in with our friends and didn't want to get up when I came to wake him because he was feeling sick, and came to bed after the rest of us watched a movie and it was too late/I was too tired for sex
  • other incidents relating to me not wanting sex
  • Building the first part of a communal dorm veggie patch project which I organised but he was part of without him while he was away in a class in the city
  • Asking him to decide for himself what needs to be done rather than constantly asking me, something that was recurrently happening when we were doing anything together, especially cooking, that I had to ask him for help if I wanted it rather than it being both of us working together to achieve something (said something along the lines of "forget it" and proceeded to be really distant and cold, developed into a huge argument)
  • Me telling him I would see how I go the next day with studying (we are in vet school and currently have 7 exams to study for) and let him know if he can come over, which he wanted to do, especially given he does not study much on his own as he lacks motivation. (was suddenly cold and sarcastic to me on messenger because of this until it became an argument because I became super anxious from his behaviour)
  • Most recently, today, on the train to the second of seven exams, I wanted to study (read through my notes one last time) and he was talking to me about all this stuff he bought online. I felt like I gave a few non-verbal cues that I really wanted to start studying after he was talking for a while, but he was about to continue another sentence and I cut him off saying "okay (name of bf) we must study, let's talk about it after". (he was then super distant, spoke in a weird tone when he asked me where we were for the exam, didn't look me in the eyes or anything. I was confused so admittedly didn't talk either, so we walked between transport etc. in silence and when we got to uni, instead of asking if I wanted to study in a particular spot that he did he just went "I'm going to go study in the chemistry building" and sped off, then said he won't sit next to me when we were sitting down in that building before the exam because he "needs to study"-- obviously referencing to what I said. Made me super anxious before and during the exam and caused an argument which now, 7 hours later, is still going and he won't acknowledge that he acted inappropriately)

 

We have plenty of arguments outside of this, for example he is vegan and I am not so he often picks fights with me about that, and we just seem to more often than not be bickering and fighting about one thing or another, I am not sure how much of that is due to us spending every waking minute which each other in our dorm and having all the same classes+spending weekends together but it is very exhausting.

 

To top this all off I have ROCD and relationship/social anxiety and I am half the time sitting around terrified that I have upset him in one petty way or another. When we argue I cannot get ahold of my anxiety and become reclusive and cannot hold a conversation, something that I feel has separated me from a lot of my prior friends, because we argue very often and so I am very often in this dysfunctional state.

Do you guys think I was equally/more in the wrong in these scenarios? And if not, is this behaviour that can be changed or is he just inherently immature/somewhat manipulative and I should just break up with him? We have two trips scheduled after exams and won't be back until mid-December, and I was planning on sticking it out through those trips and seeing if the lack of exam stress and more time to sort through things might help, but every time something like this happens I just want out.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Edited by pachzevel
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Most recently, today, on the train to the second of seven exams, I wanted to study (read through my notes one last time) and he was talking to me about all this stuff he bought online. I felt like I gave a few non-verbal cues that I really wanted to start studying after he was talking for a while, but he was about to continue another sentence and I cut him off saying "okay (name of bf) we must study, let's talk about it after". (he was then super distant, spoke in a weird tone when he asked me where we were for the exam, didn't look me in the eyes or anything. I was confused so admittedly didn't talk either, so we walked between transport etc. in silence and when we got to uni, instead of asking if I wanted to study in a particular spot that he did he just went "I'm going to go study in the chemistry building" and sped off, then said he won't sit next to me when we were sitting down in that building before the exam because he "needs to study"-- obviously referencing to what I said. Made me super anxious before and during the exam and caused an argument which now, 7 hours later, is still going and he won't acknowledge that he acted inappropriately)

He claims he was hurt because I said we need to study too abruptly/when he was mid-sentence (he was just about to start a new sentence though from my memory) and without telling him he can tell me about it later (even though I did but he apparently doesn't remember) and then didn't talk to him after (which is because I was scared/confused since he was acting so weird and when I get like that I get very anxious and struggle to talk to people))

^to continue from above post, forgot to explain why he was mad

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He is not passive aggressive he is a manipulative jerk! He does these things to punish you and keep you in line. He is emotionally abusive.

 

Get away from this guy. You will never win with him! You can never have a healthy relationship with this type of individual.

 

You really need to address why you have tolerated this garbage!

 

I do not see where any of your actions would be hurtful, yet you already know this.

Edited by Hollyj
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Agree with Holly. This is not being passive aggressive only.

People might be passive aggressive in an approach to an actual valid point , but this guy doesn’t have any valid points. He also has zero respect for you.

Why are you with him??

He was never a friend never mind a bf?

If you don’t behave in the illogical manner he expects you to , you get punished (in his passive aggressive way)

At least passive aggressive for now. The passive bit will stop at some point.

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Are you taking psychology at college. You seem to throw around a lot of labels. This is quite a laundry list of complaints about him after 22 weeks of dating. You are also blaming him for your "dysfunctional state".

 

Set him free and leave him alone. Don't worry about whatever pathology you think he has. Simply accept that you're incompatible. Focus on yourself and get whatever medical/therapeutic treatment and follow up you need to feel better. Consider alternative student housing.

 

my [23F] boyfriend [23M] have been dating for around 5.5 months.Him, myself and our friends all live in a dorm.

Since then he has gotten passive aggressive on multiple occasions over petty things

 

To top this all off I have ROCD and relationship/social anxiety and I am half the time sitting around terrified that I have upset him in one petty way or another. When we argue I cannot get ahold of my anxiety and become reclusive and cannot hold a conversation, something that I feel has separated me from a lot of my prior friends, because we argue very often and so I am very often in this dysfunctional state.

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If you want out this soon in a relationship, it's a good idea to end it. He sounds very manipulative. None of his reactions or actions are warranted and especially the ones relating to sex. That's just not okay. Ever.

 

As far as I'm concerned, you've done nothing wrong. No healthy relationship will have you walking around on eggshells.

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First thing you need to understand is that people do not change. What you see is exactly what you get.

 

This guy is manipulative, passive aggressive, you are fighting all the time.....why are you still even talking to him? What about this toxic dynamic that attracts you? Should have dumped him a long time ago and yes, please for the love of.....dump him and don't even think about taking him back if he pleads, begs, makes all kinds of rosy promises or otherwise pitches a fit at you. All the more reason to get away from him and stay away forever.

 

You have this long laundry list of bad behavior and conflict in such a short period of time, but can't seem to connect in your head that you need to walk away from that. Why is that? Until you sort that out, you really need to stay away from dating. You keep picking and clinging on to complete abusive losers. Figure it out before you become a statistic.

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Read some articles about leaving an emotional abuser, because you will need to be prepared for dealing with your own new psyche after being through such an ordeal, and to also be prepared to defend yourself against him. Since he is controlling, there's a strong chance he will continue his manipulation by threatening suicide, and you need to mentally prepare for that.

 

The fact you're posting here is proof that you don't trust your own judgement, since you've begun to believe you're the lousy person he believes you are, incapable of making wise decisions.

 

Be by yourself without the complications of a romance to rebuild yourself and concentrate on your studies. I'd suggest therapy if you can't overcome your anxiety and need help building your self-esteem, because if you don't, you will continue to allow yourself to be an easy target to abusers.

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You seem extremely anxious to me. I think half of those points might raise an eyebrow for the average person and the other half of those points wouldn't be an issue to many. If you find him so offensive, you really ought to limit your time spent with him. I think this person and you are not compatible and you don't seem to do a very good job validating him or respecting him either. I didn't sense that there was any mutual respect between the both of you. The bottomline is you both don't get along.

 

How do we move on from there? We move on as people by recognizing what doesn't work and finding new ways to make things work. This means redesigning what you feel is best in a partner and choosing people who are more in tune with you and on the same page. It also means acknowledging and respecting your differences with others and not getting angry over your differences.

 

Work on yourself and reducing that anxiety. You're coming across as very unstable and tense. This is a tense time anyway with your exams and schooling. Focus on school and don't get distracted with go-nowhere relationships or negative associations.

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When people see behavior like this the source is more than likely mental illness. He doesn't know how to cope properly but instead pouts, diverts blame, manipulates, and he assumes things in a negative light....I'm no therapist but I have had my share of dealing with people who are bi-polar. You are walking on eggshells as to not trigger him, and that is a typical reaction... so you are not to blame, you didn't do anything wrong and you are not going crazy.

 

For your own mental health end the relationship and stay away from him. Find ways to relax like yoga, or meditation, swimming, aroma therapy, etc.

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Are you taking psychology at college. You seem to throw around a lot of labels. This is quite a laundry list of complaints about him after 22 weeks of dating. You are also blaming him for your "dysfunctional state".

 

Set him free and leave him alone. Don't worry about whatever pathology you think he has. Simply accept that you're incompatible. Focus on yourself and get whatever medical/therapeutic treatment and follow up you need to feel better. Consider alternative student housing.

 

Huh? I never said he had any pathology whatsoever? Just as you don't need to be a doctor to get diagnosed with tetanus, I don't need to be a psychology major to have been diagnosed with anxiety and ROCD?

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To everyone else thank you so much for your responses. I think I have a lot to think about but definitely leaving this relationship seems like the only way to solve this mess. We had another 2 hour long argument last night (after he promised to not argue with me if he stayed over and I wanted to go to sleep early to study the next day and because I was getting sick) because I said no to sex since I was ill. So over this.

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To everyone else thank you so much for your responses. I think I have a lot to think about but definitely leaving this relationship seems like the only way to solve this mess. We had another 2 hour long argument last night (after he promised to not argue with me if he stayed over and I wanted to go to sleep early to study the next day and because I was getting sick) because I said no to sex since I was ill. So over this.

 

It's better not to have company over if you're needing to study. I think you're too accommodating and then having your expectations fail (expectations were unrealistic to start). I'm really sorry. The last thing you need is more stress during exams. It really does not sound to me like you (or either of you) are able to juggle a relationship with vet school. His level of ambition and motivation to do well might also have a hand in it. If he's not as passionate about becoming a vet, I think you rethink that kind of influence around you.

 

Keep your chin up and don't lose sight of your goals.

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Why don't you break up so you don't have to deal with him?

We had another 2 hour long argument last night (after he promised to not argue with me if he stayed over and I wanted to go to sleep early to study the next day and because I was getting sick because I said no to sex since I was ill.
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To everyone else thank you so much for your responses. I think I have a lot to think about but definitely leaving this relationship seems like the only way to solve this mess. We had another 2 hour long argument last night (after he promised to not argue with me if he stayed over and I wanted to go to sleep early to study the next day and because I was getting sick) because I said no to sex since I was ill. So over this.

 

The stress of everything must be awful for you. I agree you need to be done with this. I hope you feel better.

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