We Can't Fight to Connect When There is Passive Aggression
We Can’t Fight to Connect When There is Passive Aggression For more information about stopping passive aggression, please visit Passive Aggressive SystemWhen we communicate with our partner, we are attempting to connect withhim or her on a deeper, more intimate emotional level.What’s funny is, this is true of a hurled insult as well as a hug.That means that when you are fighting, say, over which way is best topunish your children for misbehavior, you are not just fighting to establishhouse rules. As hard as it may be to wrap your head around it, your brain isalso trying to renew some feeling of being connected - it knows you are ableto fight with each other because you are emotionally close enough to do so.
In that case, wouldn’t you say that an angry connection is better than theindifference between strangers? Which association would you rather havewith the person you married?Now you’re probably thinking, “What about the really serious fights?”Usually, after a serious fight, you fall into despair about the future of therelationship, right? However, thinking of a serious fight as our brainssearching for intimate connection can help us override that sense that“fighting equals division.” If you begin to think about fighting in this negativeway, the relationship can suffer even more - each of you avoid raising issuesthat will cause conflict, inhibiting any possible growth.In Hold Me Tight, Dr. Susan Johnson (a research expert on intimacy) statesthat it makes sense scientifically that couples fight over silly things. Beneaththe content of what partners say to one another in fights, each wants to beassured of their value in relation to the other.What happens when one of the partners has learned to do passiveaggression since childhood? It becomes a weapon of sabotage - by“defending” against and “avoiding” both anger and love, the passiveaggressive person refuses to answer those questions his partner is asking.Given his inability to feel a deep connection with anyone, because of hischildhood trauma, he can’t connect with others or feel others’ need forconnection.His partner can escalate the search for a positive response by continuing thefight, but the passive aggressive husband will retreat more and moreuntil finally abandoning the interaction. He will say his partner is “full ofanger” or “making all this drama,” or whatever reasons he can give himselfto cover up the fact that he can’t feel any compassion for her distress.Sadly there is no way to nurture the abandoned partner when this passiveaggression happens. Some wives call it “the wall of silence,” referring theircommunal sensation of knocking at a wall without any emotional response.The perception of being let down and ignored in their need for reassurance isdifficult to avoid.
Because we can see fighting as the intent to make the other person payattention to us, and to make them answer the question, “Are you connectedwith me?” we can also see passive aggression as making a mockery of thisintent. The husband will retreat and he will never confirm that heunderstands the deep need for connection motivating the confrontation.Fighting is a way of making the other person pay attention to us; it is aweird form of re-connecting. If your ability to re-connect with your partner,via fighting or loving, is being thwarted by passive aggression, the very lifeof the relationship is being threatened. That is why, if your relationship isimportant and something you want to strive to keep alive, it is importantthat you work toward stopping passive aggression in the marriage NOW.If you are not clear where this healing of the relationship would start, wehave many resources for you to begin with: ● A Passive Aggressive System specifically designed for the passive aggressive husband himself. ● A coaching session with Coach Nora to assess your options. ● “Recovering From Passive Aggression,” and “The Art of Living with a Passive Aggressive Husband” two books specifically for women married to passive aggressive men. ● A Passive Aggressive Test for men to determine if they are using passive aggression in their interactions.Don’t wait a minute longer for things to “just get better.” All relationshipsrequire effort, both on your side and his. That is why we often suggest thatyou take advantage of both the resources for you, and the resources foryour husband.Neil Warner is the “relationship guru,” and his main focus is to increase thequality of love-based relationship experiences. You don’t have to suffer in anunhealthy relationship one more minute. Let Neil share his tools with youtoday! You can begin with The Art of Living with a Passive AggressiveHusband, or with the Passive Aggressive System for men. Receive a planfor action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link andget started now!