Listening to what my passive aggressive husband says is a strange business. When he speaks casual words in the kind of nonchalant tone that other people in my life use for relaxing and every day conversation, my ears pick up, and my inner radar scans what I’m hearing and sensing. When he says things in a kind of serious tone, it’s the opposite almost.
Little words about his plans for the day, mentioning offhand something he ‘needs’ (often meaning he’ll buy it without further discussion), certain sighs or tones of voice, or at times his silence that ignores something I said as he immediately changes the subject as though it hadn’t been said, these all get my attention.
As I sit and try to sort this out, the lessons of past history run through my thoughts like a polluted river with a dark undertow. He speaks about his faith in passionate terms of conviction, and yet to my ears they ring as a kind of pseudo conviction, because I’ve experienced the disparity in how he treats me.
Hearing as I was trying to fall asleep that he wanted to tell me again that he was sorry, really sorry, and that he really did love me, caused a stress response in my body, but no sense of deep belief. Just sadness and fatigue.