A particularly judgmental person named Bill responded to this post from one of the best bloggers on passive aggressive abuse. You can read his comments in full, but particularly I addressed the following: “The more you ruminate about how much you hate him, the more he will continue to meet your expectations. You have spent three years bemoaning him on the internet behind his back; no wonder your relationship is in the toilet. If these feelings were addressed with him openly, maybe he would be able to change some of his behavior. Instead, you repress your true feelings and immaturely and passive-aggressively take your problems to an anonymous forum. Grow up and talk to your husband about these feelings. Show him this blog! If you truly feel this way, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it and certainly shouldn’t hide it from your partner.“
My response is below:
I agree that bad marriages aren’t a good way for kids to grow up. I felt that way as a kid growing up in a bad marriage, and despite my best intentions and efforts, it was a painful awakening to realize that I’d repeated the pattern. I can’t imagine anyone plans to have a bad marriage.
I disagree that anonymous blogging is passive aggressive. That’s one perspective, but many others find it to be a process for growth, clarity, and support. Passive aggressive is aggressive; it’s sugar coated hostile aggression disguised in ambiguity and pleasantness. It’s also so mind twisting that over time, you lose confidence in your own thoughts, feelings, choices, and reality.
Those who actually read this blog, know that this blogger has openly communicated her feelings to her husband. Those who really understand what deeply passive aggressive people are like, realize that open and honest communications typically don’t alter their thinking or behavior. This isn’t just my opinion, but the consensus of professionals that work with them.
The woman that writes this blog has been on a slow and steady path of growth. This blog has been an essential part of her growth and recovery. Passive aggressive people are driven to sabotage and undermine things that make their partners happy or help them in essential ways; therefore, it would be self-sabotage to share it with him.
For the record, I have a blog and it’s not a secret to my family. It’s anonymous to protect my kids and my husband. My kids deserve that privacy, but they also express encouragement to me for my blog. My teenagers (i.e. dependents) read your response here. The older one quietly commented, “The problem is that he obviously doesn’t understand.” The younger teen said, “He’s the immature one.” Their opinions were expressed before hearing any of my thoughts. I only asked them to read what you had to say.
I discuss the options of stay vs. go with my kids, and what the currently available choices would mean. They support me if I need to leave their father, but prefer that I stay and that stability is maintained while they’re in school etc. I express my feelings openly to my husband, including my goals to recover physical health and financial independence with the goal of making separation reasonably viable. I tell my husband that my hope is that he’d work on his part so that we could heal our marriage, but if he chooses not to, then I’ll keep working at recovery until I can separate from him. It does absolutely nothing to change his behaviors. He wants us to stay together, but doesn’t change or get help. His intentions are good, but his behaviors are undermining to everyone.
My husband does know I blog about recovery from passive aggressive abuse, but doesn’t read my blog (although I’ve never told him that he couldn’t). He’s never asked for the name of it, or the link. He acknowledges that he’s passive aggressive, and we’ve been in and out of professional counseling over the years. In my particular case, it shoots down your theory that direct communication about the relationship (or the blog) would make any difference.