It’s so strange how a passive aggressive man doesn’t need to say the actual words, but can clearly convey that you’ve offended, displeased, missed the mark, done something wrong, not done enough etc., and yet utterly deny that he feels that way until he provokes a reaction. Wordless, he can still show that he disregards, disrespects, and manage to diminish, deny, and damage. Once your frustration, loneliness, sadness, confusion, longing, or angry pain reaches a reaction level, his denial is instantly replaced with accusations aimed lethally to blame you for his behavior.
Over the years, I’ve told my husband that I do want to know if I let him down, if I disappoint him, if I frustrate, anger, offend, or hurt him. I told him that I want to know because I care about him, and because I recognize that I have faults, weaknesses, and blind spots.
The deal is that I want him to care enough to communicate his feelings in a way that’s intended to improve our relationship, in a way that’s delivered in a foundation of love and respect, not flung out like angry monkey turds from a verbal machine gun once he feels entitled to blast me. This seems to be the ultimate purpose of his withdrawals and withholding times.