Broken heart...it's my own fault...any help understanding a passive aggressive male please?

L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#1
The passive aggressive male is genuinely the love of my life. We live 400 miles apart - much of our time is apart, sending texts, emails and phoning each other. Getting together is magical but not often. Not young love - both in our late forties. Him divorced. Me widowed. Pen pals for seven years before we finally met and seemed to fit together like hand and glove.

We are incredibly similar in some aspects but our emotional make-up and expression is different. I'm one of life's communicators. Very open, honest, express my emotions easily.

If I'm pushed I can be a firebrand but without malice - a brief firework display that's over in minutes. (I can't cope with sulking and moods. I had a narcissistic parent who used to make us tiptoe around their silent rage as if there was a sniper in the house. A heavy, unspoken ice hung in the air for days.)

He's what I believe to be passive aggressive in nature. He broods - can withdraw and sulk for long periods if he feels criticism or 'under-appreciation' from any quarter - work colleagues, friends etc. If things go wrong in day-to-day life he seems to spiral inwards and dwell on them before he can consider working to resolve them.

He gets angry but the anger has no voice....a dominating and cruel father possibly taught him to swallow down his feelings.

He's defensive if he feels anything in his behaviour is challenged. For example, I asked him once on the phone "Are you okay? You seem a little distant lately." He reacted to this like assault - told me he gave me ten times more texts and calls than any other woman - and then told me he was cutting me down to ONE text per day so I'd really know what distant meant. He only backtracked when I pointed out he was plotting to punish me. My birthday a week later passed without a word from him, so I assume that was silent vengeance.

I can accept how he's made up - I just want to understand him better. I am loyal and will climb in the trench with anyone to help, so when he withdraws I can't cope with it.

Sooo..I was full moon-induced emotional...and feeling low and pretty miserable with Shingles. I dragged myself to a hospital appointment, which didn't go well. Our usual texts were flying back and forth until his car failed its MOT. I knew the work was financially an issue and set about planning how I could help. He went quiet, so I sent him a message telling him something to raise a smile - he replied "Don't care - still sulking."

I didn't pursue it - I told him to get in touch when he'd finished sulking. The following day, a message from him late evening saying "Nearly stopped sulking".

I was hurt to the core. I wanted to talk...wanted to help...and I knew it was only me being punished for his misfortune. I knew he'd have a smile and chat for work colleagues. If he'd been with me, we could have talked...or rowed...but you're limited how you can show you're in pain with 400 miles between you. In frustration, I sent a text saying I knew the sulking was only for my benefit and it hurt...so "I'm out".

I wish I'd refined that angry thought and put "I'm out of patience" but it ended up a hot-headed goodbye.

He replied with "Stunned - are you kidding?".....followed by "And for the first time you disappoint me, though obviously not vice versa. So be it then."

I tried contact today - a text asking why he shut me out and hurt me. His response was it was "too late for dialogue. You're out. I won't be told that twice."

We adore each other - were planning growing old together - but I have no idea how to communicate further - or if the door will remain forever shut now to spite me.

Any help please? Thoughts?

Feels like a bereavement.
 
P

PaulDUK

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
70
Location
UK
#2
Hun, the distance is playing a game but there is far too much on text and I think you are start eating away at each other. Do you speak on the phone much? "he gave me ten times more texts and calls than any other woman", it would pee anyone off, but did he mean it in the way you read it? Maybe things are misread and you both jump on the defensive and are cold in your response and it becomes a downward spiral?

I don't know enough about your relationship, that's just how I read it.

Here for you hun xxxxx
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#3
Yes, we talk a lot on the phone.

Fired him an angry text because he was busy sulking for two days.

He doesn't process challenging emotions well. Honestly? I thought he'd pick up the phone rather than just accept a relationship end with "So be it."

He can express love, warmth, humour, gentleness, kindness - that's fine. But any challenge to his behaviour and he rolls up like a hedgehog.

He doesn't want us to be over - our investment in this is equal - but he had to reject me today and take me at my word because....
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#4
Hun, the distance is playing a game but there is far too much on text and I think you are start eating away at each other. Do you speak on the phone much? "he gave me ten times more texts and calls than any other woman", it would pee anyone off, but did he mean it in the way you read it? Maybe things are misread and you both jump on the defensive and are cold in your response and it becomes a downward spiral?

I don't know enough about your relationship, that's just how I read it.

Here for you hun xxxxx
His defensiveness and fury about "Are you okay - you seem distant" was on the phone. He got angry and hung up. Largely why I feel a call won't help this now.
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
32,218
Location
Magical fairy wonderland xxxx
#5
hi xx i don't feel grown up enough to answer this but i wanted to send you oodles of love support and cuddles ,because you are a nice person and have been very kind to me hugs
love Lu xxxx :hug:
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#6
Don't ever grow up Lu - it's seriously overrated ;)

Thank you for the hugs - that was lovely xx
 
P

PaulDUK

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
70
Location
UK
#7
Hun,

It is easy for it to become tit for tat on messages, you need to arrange a meet and agree when one of you sends a message the other finds puzzling or makes them feel threatened or attacked, you pick the phone up and discuss.

The fact you deal with things in different ways shouldn't be a threat to your relationship, if you work together it could be a strength of you as a couple?

I don't know whether it is a simple communication problem and it's the medium you are using to communicate, it appears that way to me.

It is just my opinion and that may be way off the mark :-(.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
782
#8
A difficult situation, as you clearly know his 'passive aggressive' nature and in spite of it, you are still attached to him, which shows a strong bond between you, in my eyes.
I have to say the way he responds does come across infantile - he even openly admits to 'sulking'. Ultimately, it's not your responsibility to enable someone to be able to face up to their emotions and take their own responsibility, no?
He does come across a little proud, as often men are, as he sounds like he won't accept you going back on what you said when you said 'I'm out'. From here, I'd say, give it a little time and space, and try to re-connect (you probably thought of that already but not sure what other advice I could give)
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#9
Paul, in a moment of frustration, I ended it with 'I'm out'.

That will of hurt him to the core. Stupid and insensitive and not meant on my part. I just didn't want to be taken for granted...parked up and put on hold for two days whilst he moped about his car.

My message wasn't ambiguous - I chucked our relationship under a bus thinking it would shake him to come and rescue it.

Not sure if he knows that and is punishing me - or he's processing it in the same way he inwardly spirals on any and every setback.
 
P

PaulDUK

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
70
Location
UK
#10
A difficult situation, as you clearly know his 'passive aggressive' nature and in spite of it, you are still attached to him, which shows a strong bond between you, in my eyes.
I have to say the way he responds does come across infantile - he even openly admits to 'sulking'. Ultimately, it's not your responsibility to enable someone to be able to face up to their emotions and take their own responsibility, no?
He does come across a little proud, as often men are, as he sounds like he won't accept you going back on what you said when you said 'I'm out'. From here, I'd say, give it a little time and space, and try to re-connect (you probably thought of that already but not sure what other advice I could give)
Hi Dewey,

From a man's perspective I would say space and time is the wrong answer, although I accept everyone is different. I think a meet (and I appreciate the distance) or at least a phone call is needed and a lot of honesty. Whether he fells he can participate in that is another question that only Lunar can answer. But for me, leaving this to dwell would only cause more frustration and anger inside.

Not saying I am right, it is my view on Lunar's situation.

Paul xxxxx
 
P

PaulDUK

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
70
Location
UK
#11
Paul, in a moment of frustration, I ended it with 'I'm out'.

That will of hurt him to the core. Stupid and insensitive and not meant on my part. I just didn't want to be taken for granted...parked up and put on hold for two days whilst he moped about his car.

My message wasn't ambiguous - I chucked our relationship under a bus thinking it would shake him to come and rescue it.

Not sure if he knows that and is punishing me - or he's processing it in the same way he inwardly spirals on any and every setback.
Have you told him you said that trying to provoke a reaction or just left it there?
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
782
#12
Paul, in a moment of frustration, I ended it with 'I'm out'.

That will of hurt him to the core. Stupid and insensitive and not meant on my part.
But then what else are you supposed to do, if he's 'sulking' as he puts it and not engaging with you on any meaningful level.
I actually think you are self-deprecating when you call yourself 'stupid' and 'insensitive' in the given situation. I think any one would get frustrated in such circumstances - I certainly would.

I just didn't want to be taken for granted...parked up and put on hold for two days whilst he moped about his car.
And that's fair enough. Why should you be put on hold in that way?


My message wasn't ambiguous - I chucked our relationship under a bus thinking it would shake him to come and rescue it.
Not sure if he knows that and is punishing me - or he's processing it in the same way he inwardly spirals on any and every setback.
I think that his frustrations at you for saying that are really actually only a small part of the whole equation from what you say.
I don't know his full story, I only know what you've said, but it sounds like he carries a lot of frustration and self-frustration for not being able to handle situations with you better. He probably knows he was literally inviting you to say 'I'm out', but he feels frustrated because he lacks the emotional tools to deal with situations regarding you better.
He probably does value you a great deal, from what you've said, but is at a loss, as men can be, as to how to make that known to you in what he does. And perhaps you want to be shown it more by him than what is currently done.
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#13
A difficult situation, as you clearly know his 'passive aggressive' nature and in spite of it, you are still attached to him, which shows a strong bond between you, in my eyes.
I have to say the way he responds does come across infantile - he even openly admits to 'sulking'. Ultimately, it's not your responsibility to enable someone to be able to face up to their emotions and take their own responsibility, no?
He does come across a little proud, as often men are, as he sounds like he won't accept you going back on what you said when you said 'I'm out'. From here, I'd say, give it a little time and space, and try to re-connect (you probably thought of that already but not sure what other advice I could give)
Dewey, thank you.

Part of me feels that he needs time to calm down, evaluate what we both stand to lose and wait for him to get in touch.

If I phone - the tables will be turned in true passive aggressive style...it will be my fault...he won't have done anything to hurt me...my behaviour was wrong...

Honestly?

I'd rather walk away than pander to the child-like foot stomping that demands everything his way.

If I pursue him - which is what he wants - he's controlling me.

And no - I won't have that or live with it, regardless of how much I love him.
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
782
#14
Hi Dewey,

From a man's perspective I would say space and time is the wrong answer, although I accept everyone is different. I think a meet (and I appreciate the distance) or at least a phone call is needed and a lot of honesty. Whether he fells he can participate in that is another question that only Lunar can answer. But for me, leaving this to dwell would only cause more frustration and anger inside.

Not saying I am right, it is my view on Lunar's situation.

Paul xxxxx
You're right. Messages are a poor way of dealing with such a situation.

Yes, I can see what you mean about the dwelling on it causing it to escalate further.
xxx
 
P

PaulDUK

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
70
Location
UK
#15
Lunar,

You both need to talk darling, discuss what winds you both up and you need to be open with him about what does you. It sounds to me like you both love each other very much, but the way this has developed and if that is historical, it is not healthy and will just cause you both pain. From an outsider it appears petty, but I know when you are living it, it is anything but.

Talk it through and try as much as you can to find a solution, if there isn't one, you can't carry on like this.

xxxxx
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#16
I don't know his full story, I only know what you've said, but it sounds like he carries a lot of frustration and self-frustration for not being able to handle situations with you better. He probably knows he was literally inviting you to say 'I'm out', but he feels frustrated because he lacks the emotional tools to deal with situations regarding you better.

We've only ever argued once (about him seeming distant).

Our communication is normally exceptional. We're close - happy.

The only caveat to that statement is that I'm laid-back, understanding, good humoured - and consequently demand nothing.

He knows something has triggered that unusual response from me - but he's afraid or anguished at the prospect of finding himself lacking.

Strange really - he says he loves my 'self awareness'...but I never see that quality in him.
 
P

PaulDUK

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
70
Location
UK
#17
I don't know his full story, I only know what you've said, but it sounds like he carries a lot of frustration and self-frustration for not being able to handle situations with you better. He probably knows he was literally inviting you to say 'I'm out', but he feels frustrated because he lacks the emotional tools to deal with situations regarding you better.

We've only ever argued once (about him seeming distant).

Our communication is normally exceptional. We're close - happy.

The only caveat to that statement is that I'm laid-back, understanding, good humoured - and consequently demand nothing.

He knows something has triggered that unusual response from me - but he's afraid or anguished at the prospect of finding himself lacking.

Strange really - he says he loves my 'self awareness'...but I never see that quality in him.
Perhaps he loves it as he's seen something you have and he doesn't and wants to encompass that and learn how to be that way?
 
L

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
#18
If the relationship can only work if I have no needs or complaints - it can't work.

Maybe guys, I just tell him he's the love of my life and I didn't mean it.

And let the chips will fall where they may.

If he doesn't reciprocate - that's that...and it'll hurt less now than later down the road.
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
782
#19
We've only ever argued once (about him seeming distant).

Our communication is normally exceptional. We're close - happy.

The only caveat to that statement is that I'm laid-back, understanding, good humoured - and consequently demand nothing.

He knows something has triggered that unusual response from me - but he's afraid or anguished at the prospect of finding himself lacking.

Strange really - he says he loves my 'self awareness'...but I never see that quality in him.
Sounds like you've got something worth fighting for then.