Am I Living with a Passive-Aggressive Man?

An unlikely, but newsworthy, top story:

“Passive-aggressive men drive their partners crazy daily!”

Are you being driven crazy by the behaviors of a passive-aggressive man? Read below and see.

Yes, of course, passive-aggressive behaviors are not limited to men. But for today’s post, I want to focus on them because, often, we women have deep-seated inclinations to believe we can nurture anyone out of anything. It’s that old thing: once we’re married or living together, he’ll change. Or, he’ll feel safe and settle down. Or, …you fill in the blanks for yourself.

Then, you step into full-time, supposedly committed, bliss together, and find that you cannot do enough, take on enough, or put up with enough to get the PA (Passive-Aggressive) behavior to stop. And, it’s true: passive-aggressive men drive their partners crazy daily!

So, how do you know if you are living with a  man with PA traits and  tendencies? Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you tell him what you want, it makes it more likely you won’t get it.
  • You think you are working as partners, but he fails to include you in critical details.
  • He agrees on a plan and talks a good game. Then, he shows up three hours late, or not at all, with no apologies.
  • He makes a promise, fails to live up to it and then somehow makes it your fault.
  • He shuts you down when you want to talk about a problem, and magically turns the focus onto how he can get what he wants.
  • He treats your relationship as a power struggle he’s going to win.
  • He’s always the victim of misunderstandings and other people’s behaviors…in his own mind!
  • He frequently makes you doubt yourself and question your sanity.
  • You too often feel emotionally bruised and become unwilling to engage.
  • You back off asking anything of him because it invariably ends up becoming another opportunity for him to blame you.
  • It feels as though anger is close to his surface and ready to pounce on you.
  • He WILL NOT say what he really means.
  • He’s very good at selling himself, while withholding himself from you.
  • There is a big gap between who he pretends to be and how he acts.
  • Doing nothing, he hides behind innocence and good intentions while insisting he is pulling his weight.
  • He keeps you confused, uncertain, and walking on eggshells. Sometimes, it seems to you to be his life work!
  • He is mostly–maybe even aggressively–“resistant to you, to intimacy, to responsibility and to reason”*.

Recognize anyone? Don’t panic!

[success] My free Passive-Aggressive Checklist will help you clearly identify whether or not the behavior that is crazy-making is, in fact, passive-aggressive.


Do not feel defeated, stuck or imprisoned by being in relationship with a passive-aggressive man.  Learn. Grow. Develop. Step up to the challenge and step into a healthier way of being with yourself and others. You can do it. And, you’ll be so happy you did, whether you end up staying with him or not!

Living with or working with a passive-aggressive man can be transforming. With the right help, you can learn SO much about yourself, and develop the strong values, vision, boundaries and skills to feel whole, powerful and confident in any relationship. Yes, it takes time, energy and willingness and you’re worth it.

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor, is the author of Stop! That’s Crazy-Making: How to Quit Playing the Passive-Aggressive Game.  She works with clients worldwide through Zoom Private Video. If you are ready to move forward in life, you can book a 1-hour introductory appointment right now! And, yes, she can help you manage your relationship with a passive-aggressive man more effectively!


* from Living with the Passive Aggressive Man by Scott Wexler 

Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than thirty years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.

What folks have said…
You have no idea how much that helped – thank you so much – I wish you love., peace and a night filled with stars and sweet dreams xx Thank you for this excellent video. It was so helpful. Hard subject matter that you explained clearly and truthfully. I appreciate you and the knowledge that you are sharing.
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