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passive-agressive man in my life

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I must admit I am a slow learner, but I'm sure most of you who read this will be amazed HOW slow.


I have been married almost 12 years to a man I originally thought was gentle, well-mannered, non-confrontational and kind, a bit of a bumbler, sometimes self-depracating, not very mechanical or spatial and very honest.


I have come to realize through therapy and reading that I am married to an extremely passive aggressive man who will do anything to avoid conflict, appears bumbling and inept purposely so he is never asked to DO anything, is very covert and sneaky about doing, not doing and saying things which hurt, demean and undermine me, attempting to build a negative self-image of myself, engages in "gaslighting" all day, every day, denies what he says or does in the very next breath, and the list goes on and on.


I am writing on this forum because my life has become very isolated as a result of this relationship. We moved six years ago to a state miles away from both families, and early on in the relationship he insisted we didn't "need" other people or friends like most people because we enjoyed each other so much. He disliked my friends and said he wasn't very comfortable around them.


When I first met him I was taken with how many groups he was involved in, his playing raquetball three times a week, how many people he knew, how outgoing he appeared to be, how involved in family he seemed, how open to life he looked to be.


Almost immediately he dropped out of raquetball, stopped eating sensibly, drank every evening til he was tipsy and insisted on eating after 8 p.m., quit going to his groups and resigned positions with them (later said those activities were ways of meeting women and he had me now so what did he need them for?), the people he'd introduced me to wished me "good luck" in a variety of strange ways when he told them we were getting married, I noticed how superficial his family involvements really were (he was always "on" when we were with family as if he were in a sitcom) and his "openess" to life dimmed to a daily routine of shower, shaving, going to work, coming home to a drink in his hand within 60 second, late meals, TV or time on the computer with little or no conversation with me, and to bed by 8 p.m.


I'm 15 years younger and very sociable and slowly my life fell away from me and I felt trapped in a vicious cycle of living this man's life.


I partially "left" him for a year five years after we were married, and took a room in San Francisco where I lived while I worked the northern California area, and during that year I lost weight, regained a sense of self and made friends and started living a life again.


He "retired" after we were married a little over two years and by the time I "left" him and told him he needed to go back to work I was working three jobs. That Christmas I lived in the city he went to Washington to visit his sons and family and I stayed home and worked. He finally found a job and we moved to Arizona as a result, and luckily I was able to switch territories in my job.


The month we moved to AZ and I had to move out of my little room in S.F. I was desolate. I realized I had allowed myself to become trapped in this marriage. I couldn't fail another marriage. I fell into a deep depression, developed fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, degenerative disc disease and within two years of the move I was 100% disabled.


That was five years ago. In 2003 I had a complete breakdown and was very ill in addition to the pain and depression, and I have struggled the past two years to regain my strength and get well. In March of this year I had a breakthrough with the depression taking Wellbutrin, but I am now on high blood pressure meds, meds for irregular heartbeat, high cholestrol, thyroid, Aricept for cognitive problems and two pain medicines.


This man enjoyed treating me as an invalid, actually got off on my illness, and has started treating me even worse since I am getting better. I stiopped driving for over two years and he would chauffeur me everywhere, mostly to doctor appointments.


This summer, after starting to get better and receiving counseling I insisted on getting an inexpensive car just for me and I cannot work because I receive Social Secutiry disability, but I am going to try to do some home health care part time, taking older people to appointments, helping them shop, etc.


I am truly trapped as my income is only $1,000 a month, but finally I have given up the charade that we have a marriage and I have a separate bedroom. When I finally insisted on eating at a more reasonable time to better manage my weight, he countered by stopping eating altogether.


His responsibility in the house was keeping the kitchen clean, and I knew his stopping eating meant something, but it took six weeks for him to get around to it. He brought it up be saying "Don't you think we should discuss how to handle your dishes from your dinners?" I laughed and said "If you mean you shouldn't have to clean up the kitchen since you stopped eating that's fine with me." "Good," he said and walked away.


That is my life. I have asked him to stop patting me on the head because it makes me feel like a dog, but he keeps doing it and then says "Oh I forgot, you hate that don't you?"


Our sex life stopped in the second year of our marriage. He told me he just wasn't interested. The truth was he was unable. I asked him to see a doctor. He said no. I never thought I'd be so young and never have someone hold me in their arms and kiss me or make love to me again. I'm not unattractive, I've been mistaken for Elizabeth Taylor and I'm built like her, when she was slender that is. I am starved for affection, but not from him.


He has gained enormous amounts of weight, is bulbous and unattractive, seldom showers or shaves, walked around naked all the time until I told him I was offended having to eat breakfast with him naked at the table.


He hired a handyman to come hook up our DVD rather than take the time to figure it out. I used to jump in and do the mechanical stuff, but he said I was just trying to make him feel inept.


Early on he told me several stories about how his ex-wife Helen hated it when he did "this or that" and how he'd do it just to annoy her. Now I am the brunt of those actions. He used to tell me Helen made him feel so inept. That's because he is.


If anything can be accomplished by using a spreadsheet, he's 100% into it. thereforeeee our finances and taxes and bills and medical expenses and everything else are spreadsheeted to death.


On his old computer when I first met him I found a spread sheet he did for a date he had, listing "walk on the beach," "make dinner", "hold hands", "drink wine", "play music" and "make love", all in their proper order. He found me looking at it and was outraged.


We have files on everything and our garage is filled with file cabinets, and until last year there were files that were 20 years old. He'll make a file for a disposable camera, with receipts and film developing receipts. We have bankers boxes filled with unorganized receipts for everything from dog food to grass seed to taxes and medical records.


He sits for hours daily at his computer, for now he is 80% retired. But when he goes to work in his $400 jackets and expensive ties, driving his 2004 Mustang convertible 5-speed, acting for all the world like a normal person, people would die to know what he's really like.


I wanted to die up until five months ago. I constantly entertained death as a way to escape. Now I want to live and am finding ways to still live even in this horrible situation.


Yesterday he said "So you've decided not to talk to me anymore?" I said "I've decided not to have conversations with you anymore."


And I won't. Does anyone else out there know what its like to live with a man who is so sneakily mean all the time? I just need people to talk to.

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if i had money, i'd fly righ to az, pick you up, and get you the heck outta that world. if i were you, i would leave..right now... with the cloths on your back. leave it ALL behind, the marriage, the un clean dishes, the files.. all of it. Health is # 1, without it we just ARENT. This man and this life has jeopordized your health, and he gains JOY from that!

I know its easy for me to just tell you to leave, but what will you gain from staying?

Im just 24, so its hard for me to give concrete advice on long-term marriages and abuse, but you only live one time, ONE SHOT on this wet planet, dont waste it on someone who simply is a waste himself.

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Your reply made tears spring to my eyes.....I have never shared any of this with another human being except my doctor, and certainly not in such detail. Thanks you from the bottom of my heart for those sweet thoughts.


You made my day and gave me hope.

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Not to sound too much like your spreadsheeting excuse of a husband, but how about sitting down, and writing the pro's and con's of staying. Im sure the negative things far outweigh the positive. Look on the bright side, you still have your health, and you don't sound like you have kids in the house. What is keeping you?


Of course you will have to start over in a small appartment, but you can move closer to your family, have support, and feel the sun shining in your life again. All it is going to take from you is the big step - to leave. Don't spend you life in this rut. You owe it to yourself to have a good life, it is the only one you have!

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I know *exactly* how you feel.


Your story brought tears to my eyes, not only for it's content, but how closely related it has been to mine. I gained weight, I lost my job (due to a black eye he gave me) lost myself.


Can you tell me, do you stay because of the disability? Lack of money to go? Do you want to go?

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