So today I went down to the local Borders books on lunch, took a little walk, which I needed to do anyway. I picked myself up some books to help myself out a little.
Titles, you ask?
'Living with the Passive Aggressive Man' by Scott Wetzler, PhD
'Why Does He Do That?' by Lundy Bancroft
I went online and checked out Amazon.com and read some reader reviews and two of them for the first book pointed people to the second book as well, since the first book seems to lay part of the onus on living a better life with this type of man on the female partner. *BUZZZZZZZ* Thank you for playing. Homegirl don't play that game. I am not into being told that I have to "understand" certain things about my partner and "learn to work with them". When have you EVER read a book FOR MEN about WOMEN that tells them to LIVE WITH IT. No....all of them tell the guy that women are emotional and that they probably need medication or therapy, to be sensitive and understanding until she can get the help she needs. Sorry. Same rules apply on both ends of the playing field.
Now let's look at that metaphor - playing field. Yes, I seem to end up talking about my relationship - to my partner and to my friends - as a game or a contest with points on either side. Even that I think of it as something that has "sides" is probably a big hint that something is rotten in Denmark. It should not be that way. It should be "us", with some "him" and "her" in there as well. Not "my side" and "your side" or "he said", "she said". I can't stand feeling like I have to earn points back. And the worst part is that he flatly denies that is the case, yet constantly makes me feel like there is a lot of work to be done to get back to a "status quo" (my words, not his.)
I got these books because I live with a passive-aggressive man. I thought my father was passive-aggressive. Uh-uh. No way. He is passive. He just doesn't get angry. He sometimes refuses to get angry. He doesn't try to control my mother, never has. She is uncontrollable. She is bi-polar (what they used to call "Manic-Depressive". The only thing that controls her are drugs, and even then......not so much. He never got angry when I was a kid. He never stopped her from doing anything, never put his foot down with anything, never tried to make her go places or do things, or not go places or not do things. The thing with Passive Aggression is that the person SAYS one thing, but MEANS something that is almost entirely the opposite. The short version is that he makes me feel INSANE. My dad never made me (or my mom) feel insane - just inadequate. I literally feel like I am going nuts. I moved about 4 years ago. Since that time, I have gone to therapy three separate times for stress and depression, gained about 60 pounds, gone to my doc for mood issues and been prescribed anti-depressant meds, developed thyroid issues (and now am on thyroid hormone replacement for life), developed TMJ due to stress, had insomnia and stomach problems - most of these are due to or exacerbated by stress. Most of the stress was caused either directly or indirectly by my partner. Money issues that go unsolved and, seemingly, not taken seriously enough. Lack of attention to my requests and needs. Neglect of responsibilties - blamed on stress or lack of reciprocity. Basically, I am made out to be the cause of all the problems - not directly like, "you are at fault, it is all your fault." More like, "there is no need to assign blame here......you just don't understand certain things." Of course, those "certain things" that I need to "understand" are never clearly explained or defined. Leaving me thinking, " is there something I missed? Are there things that I am supposed to know that I didn't pay attention to or write down or something? What am I not hearing here?" Because the message is so repetitive it wears you down and you begin to feel like, well he has said this same thing so many times....it HAS to be something I am not doing or doing wrong! It is insidious. And the worst part is that I have tremendous difficulty thinking that he even is AWARE that he is doing this. He has a wonderful, generous heart.
How the hell did I get here and how the hell do I fix it? That is the bottom line.