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How do you deal with a passive husband?

Anytime I mention something that I'm a bit upset about to my husband, he says sorry, then shuts down and won't talk to me for a week. If he does talk with me it's about very superficial stuff. I can't tell if he's passive or stubborn and mad at me for getting mad at me. It's irritating having to walk on eggshells for a week or more bcuz he got his feelings hurt. Anyone else have a hubby like this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:02 PM on Aug. 30, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (9)
  • Not a husband, but my SO is like that and it drives me insane. When we first got together I thought it was wonderful to find a sensitive man, now I find myself wanting to tell him to man up. No advice, but good luck.

    Answer by lilbit837 at 9:07 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • I don't mean to sound rude, but didn't you know this about him before you married him? Passivity to me is annoying and I try to help those with that issue. But it's their issue and they are the ones to come to terms with it. All you can do is encourage him to be himself and not to hold back. Try asking him direct questions about why he feels the way he does. If he can't do it on his own, then you better get used to it. You can't make a person do what they don't want to do. At the same time you could explain to him that it's frustrating to you he feels the need to apologize for things that he's not even responsible for. Encourage him to stand up for what he really feels and to tap into what he really wants. It may help. GL.

    Answer by geminigirl18 at 9:08 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Honestly, dh was a little like this when we were dating. I almost didn't marry him because of it. I honestly started walking out telling him I was done with it and told him the least he could do is respond back. I had yelled at him about something stupid, I KNEW it was stupid, he KNEW it, but all he did was apologize. So I told him I'd rather he tell me I was being a bitch and that if he couldn't respond at all then this wasn't going to work. Now, do I recommend that method? NO, especially not AFTER the vows. But this straight forward approach is what got him to open up to me and to start not avoiding EVERY confrontation. Maybe you just need to be blatantly honest with him. Failing that, I would definately consider counseling, it isn't fair that you have to walk on eggshells, and it isn't fair that for some reason he doesn't feel comfortable getting into a disagreement.

    Answer by Petie at 9:36 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • it may have been that he wasn't raised in a household where talking about your feelings, or problems when they arose, was encouraged. I know a lot of men that shut down like that and won't talk about it unless they feel ready. I wouldn't push him, that will only make him resent something ELSE that he thinks you may not like him for. try complimenting him on a lot of the good stuff he does for you. when you guys hit some really good days, sit him down and be like, "hey, I've been meaning to talk to you." just don't let it come off like you're mad or disappointed with him. Sounds like he may have some esteem issues. let him know you love him, you married him so I'm assuming that parts true! Lol luck to you!

    Answer by Adeline1210 at 9:36 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Maybe he doesn't like to hear you beat yourself up?

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 9:44 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • There is a book called How to Live with a Passive Aggressive man. There are some great websites too. Just google "Passive aggressive"

    Answer by admckenzie at 9:58 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • be sure to let him know while you appreciate the apology, its really the not talking to you for weeks that bothers you. if the issue is resolved enough, then why can't it be forgotten so that things can move on?? evaluate all aspects of the situation, to the way you confront to the details of how he responds and how things progress from start to....what he considers finish.

    Answer by m4m4 at 10:11 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Whats wrong with having a man who adores you,whats wrong with living in a household where everyone speaks normal ,no cursing or swearing, my DH doesn't yell,even if I get upset,my DH will walk the dog,and come back with ice-cream for me.I rather have my sweet DH,than a man screaming in my face and calling me names,like 1 poster said ,she wish her husband would get mad and call her a b.... sometimes. My DH respects me enough to learn how to speak to me,call it passive ,if you want,I call it respectful,maturity,and love,and setting an example for our children.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:12 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Anon :12, I did not say I wanted him to call me that sometimes. I said in that specific situation I would have preferred that to the reaction I got. ANY reaction would have been better than what I got.

    There is a huge difference between screaming and yelling, and ignoring the person for a week. Anyone who has been with someone who acts like that knows that a little yelling would be a welcome change.

    Answer by Petie at 6:40 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

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