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Passive Aggressive Husband (15 Signs You Have One & Dealing With It)

Last updated on June 7, 2022 by Sonya Schwartz

Do you find yourself arguing with your husband a lot? Perhaps you show frustration and anger differently to the way he does? Do you think your husband is passive-aggressive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is here to help you. A lot of people are passive aggressive in situations that anger them. Others that aren't passive aggressive find it difficult to get through to them, to really sort out the issue between them and move on positively. Being in a relationship, and especially being married to someone that's passive aggressive can take its toll.

So, this article is here to help you to recognize if your partner is passive aggressive, and guide you through some ways in which you can try and deal with your partner. Hopefully, after reading this article you will be ready to face your husband and nip the passive-aggressive behavior in the bud once and for all - hopefully, the amount your arguing will decrease too!

How Can You Tell If Your Partner Is Passive Aggressive?

The first thing we're going to do is take a look at some of the ways you might be able to tell if your partner is passive aggressive or not. If you are reading this article, then you will probably be certain that your partner shows passive aggression, but it's useful to take a look at the signs to be sure, just in case your husband has a personality disorder or something similar.

Signs Of Passive Aggresive Behaviour

1 . Never Takes Responsibility For His Actions

A person with passive aggressive behavior will never take responsibility for their own actions, especially not when they are actions that have hurt someone else. They will blame you for anything that goes wrong, even if it's their fault and you haven't done anything wrong - you could even be the one that they upset. They will never admit that their actions were wrong, and until you tell them you take the blame for what happened, they won't be able to move on from it. Even if you explain to them what they have done wrong, they will make excuses in an attempt to cover their wrongdoings. Ultimately, a passive aggressive person will always make sure you're the one in the wrong.

2 . He Doesn't Make Effort, Unless It's Something He Wants To Do

Someone with passive aggressive behavior will seemingly be awful at doing things they don't necessarily want to do. For example, if a passive aggressive person hates doing the laundry or cleaning the house, they will put minimal effort into doing these things, and you will probably end up re-doing it for them. They are showing you how little they care about these things and they will expect you to do it for them. They will do such an awful and incompetent job of things that you will never ask them to do it again, and you may find yourself taking on nearly every household chore. They're being manipulative because this was their desired outcome.

3 . He Will Be The Victim In Every Situation

As we touched on above, someone with passive aggressive behavior doesn't take any responsibility for their actions and tries to blame others for the problems they cause. However, they also manage to make themselves the victim in every situation they can. They want people to feel sorry for them and show compassion towards them. Even when they are the ones in the wrong, they are able to spin the situation so they look like the one that's been hard done by.

4 . They Will Never Admit That They Are Angry

4 . They Will Never Admit That They Are Angry

Passive aggressive people show their anger at situations in an indirect way, unlike others that show anger directly. Therefore, a person that has passive aggressive behavior will never admit that they are angry because of a situation. They refuse to be open about the fact they have been angered or annoyed about something, but they will exhibit behaviors of stubbornness and might even give you the silent treatment if you're the one they are angry with. You won't be able to have a conversation about the problem, instead, they will shut down.

10 Ways You Can Deal With A Passive Aggressive Spouse

If you're certain that you are in a relationship with someone that shows passive aggression, there are some ways you can deal with it. You can even change the person's behavior over time so that they start to show their anger or upset in a different way. Take a look at the ten ways you can deal with passive aggression below, and give them a go.

1 . Don't Let Them Get To You

This sounds a lot easier than it is, and I understand that, but it's something you will need to work on. If you are married to a passive aggressive person, you need to make sure that their behavior doesn't affect you too much, otherwise, you might also start to take on passive aggressive behaviors. It can be useful to rationalize your partner's actions and realize that they are only responding in this way because they have something wrong with them. Every time your partner shows passive aggression towards you, you can walk away or try your best to understand why they are acting the way they are, otherwise, it will really get to you and you will find yourself getting upset and frustrated with them.

2 . Stop Yourself From Re-doing Tasks They Were Supposed To Do

Above, we looked at the fact your partner will half-heartedly do the tasks they have been given because they don't want to do them. If we look at cleaning the house as an example, your partner might first procrastinate to clean the house. Then, when they finally get around to cleaning, they might put minimal effort in, so that the house doesn't get any better, - they are doing this in the hope that you will re-do it for them. If you know that you do this, stop doing it immediately. It's not your responsibility to take on extra household chores because they haven't done a good job. As soon as you stop re-doing the tasks that your partner has done a bad job, they might start to complain that the house looks untidy. When they do, you can simply reply by saying something like, "well, that was your job". As soon as they realize that you aren't going to make everything nice for them, they will start to put more effort into it. They might also realize how hard you work maintaining such a lovely environment.

3 . Directly Tell Them When They Have Done Something Wrong

You shouldn't have to deal with the kind of behavior that your partner is exhibiting, so don't let it happen. Passive aggressive people normally avoid confrontation, because they prefer to deal with things and show their anger indirectly. It's your job not to stoop to their level - be direct with them. If you treat your partner passively aggressively, the two of you will simply go round in circles, never getting anywhere or solving any problems. You need to be direct with your spouse and tell them when they are doing things that anger you or upset you. you need to be specific about the way in which your partner has angered you if you are ever going to get through to them. As soon as they do something you aren't happy with, bring it up. Invite them to speak with you about it.

4 . Praise Them For The Things They Do Well

It's important that you praise your passive aggressive partner when they do things well, or they listen to your feelings when they have upset or angered you. At the end of the day, you aren't going to establish a healthy marriage if you are constantly confronting your partner about the negative things they are doing. When they have taken something on board that you have said, it's vital that you commend them for it. Praise them as much as possible when they are open with you about their negative feelings or put effort into doing a task you know they don't want to do or admit they are wrong in a situation. Your partner will start to learn that when they are more direct with you, they get praise for it. They want to be praised and loved by you, so they will start to act in a more direct and positive way with you.

5 . Don't Take The Blame Anymore

5 . Don't Take The Blame Anymore

One of the best ways you can stop your partner exhibiting passive aggressive behavior is to stop accepting the blame when he blames you. Every time you accept the blame for something you haven't done wrong, you are accepting their passive aggression. Stop taking the blame or letting them make you feel guilty. When they try to blame you, simply say that you don't accept it and you're not sorry for something you didn't to - because you shouldn't be. Your communication over the issue might come to a standstill for a bit, but yourspouse might also realize they are the ones in the wrong, and they need to take the blame.

6 . Set Boundaries Of What You Will and Won't Accept

If you set boundaries on what you will and won't accept from your partner when it comes to your partner's behavior, this can make managing it a lot easier. Have a good think about what is acceptable to you, and what isn't. You might be able to get on quite well with some aspects of your partner's behavior, and some of them you just won't be able to handle. Choose which kind of behaviors are unacceptable to you and which are making your life difficult, and make sure you set these as your boundaries. After you have decided which behaviors you won't tolerate, you can let your partner know. Hopefully, he will adhere to these boundaries and work on these aspects of himself.

7 . Tell Your Partner How Difficult You Find The Way He Acts

Your spouse might not even realize that he is acting in a passive aggressive way - this is normally the case with people who have always shown passive aggressive behavior. Your partner might simply think that the two of you are just having marriage problems, he might not realize he is causing them due to the way he acts. So, you need to tell him how the way he acts makes you feel. Your spouse isn't out to hurt you, and once he realizes that he is upsetting you, he might work on his behavior and try to change it.

8 . Try To Help Your Partner Open Up To You

People are passive aggressive because they feel like they can't be open, or they don't know how to be. You can help your partner to be more open with you by creating a safe environment for him. You will need to make sure that whenever he does open up to you or tries to, you encourage it and you make him feel like his feelings are being listened to. This guy might have never had someone to be open with, so it might take him some time. You can tell him that you want to listen, you want to help him and you appreciate him being open with you. When he does try to be open with you, make sure you don't turn it into an argument - keep it peaceful and calm.

9 . See A Professional

If you are finding it particularly difficult to deal with your spouse's behavior, it might be a good idea to see a therapist, or marriage counselor/marriage educator. You can go by yourself to talk to someone with no judgment but it's best to go with your spouse and try to sort through your feelings together. Sometimes couples find it easier to speak openly with each other when there is someone there to guide them through it and be a mediator.

10 . Respect Yourself

10 . Respect Yourself

You need to always remember to respect yourself. You don't have to accept your husband's behavior, especially if it isn't changing. You shouldn't stay in a marriage that you aren't happy in. Of course, you should try all of the methods available to you first to make it better and work through it, but always remember to stay happy within yourself and within the relationship - if you're not, leaving might be your only option.


I really hope this article has provided some of the ways you can deal with your passive aggressive spouse, and I hope you can work through it together and have a long and healthy marriage.

Did you like this article? If you did, please let us know in the comments.

Do you feel like all you think about is him, but he only thinks about himself?
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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

2 comments on “Passive Aggressive Husband (15 Signs You Have One & Dealing With It)”

  1. Being in a relationship with a passive-aggressive person is horrible. I can't imagine a worse person to be married to. They never meet the most basic expectations, chronically procrastinate, shirk responsibilities, make excuses, give the silent treatment, and blame others for everything that's wrong. And they will talk behind their spouse's back and cause a calm person to become frustrated and hysterical. My husband is passive-aggressive 24 hours a day and it's unbearable. In addition he uses procrastination and withholding as a way to punish people. If you want something fixed he'll make you wait a year - no joke. He has put off repairing the grout in our bathroom to the point the wall in the shower caved in, we have a garage door that doesn't open so now the garage is unusable, he didn't fix one of our toilets for one year and when he finally did it took him a few second to do it, he refused to let us plug in our new refrigerator for a year just to punish us for some unknown reason, claiming refrigerators have to be "wired in". When my son who is an engineer came home to visit he told his father to cut it out and plugged it in. My passive-aggressive husband kept using the fireplace even though the chimney inspector told him it needed to be repaired and despite the fact we all told him to stop using it. Now we have a badly cracked flue and an unusable fireplace, he also watches the water softener leak and does nothing about it, and he still insists on using the shower in the bathroom with a hole in it even though we have another shower to use. He sees water come through the floor into the kitchen but loves watching us all get upset by his behavior. And if you call a repair man he'll refuse to pay him just so he keeps control of the chaos. Passive-aggressive people don't have normal behavior and they are aren't conducive to a harmonious home.
    The best thing is to avoid having relationships with them at all costs. Go to couples therapy before you get married so you'll have help identifying these types of people as they rarely change. I'm not an expert but it seems their behavior is deeply ingrained and they have little insight, plus they get a pay-off for creating havoc. They thrive on negativity whereas most normal people gravitate toward cooperation and harmony.

    1. You are 100% correct. I didn't know what was wrong with my husband until it had gotten so bad that we are now separated after a dozen years of marriage.

      He was never malicious, but some of the things he refused to do, near the end of it all, were the requests to make me happy, most of which were menial.

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