I often log onto CM to vent about my DH and end up finding a recent post that describes my exact issue so well that I just read through those comments and feel better. Often the comments advise talking to DH to discuss/ resolve the issue and I agree 100% that going to the source of the problem and talking things out is the best method. However I'm at my wits end. I'm hoping if I describe our typical fight you wonderful ladies can help me pinpoint where I am going wrong here...
His immediate reaction to any complaint I have regarding his behavior (i.e., staying out until 3am etc...unacceptable stuff- I'm really not nitpicking) is to become defensive and rebound with a complaint about something I did wrong. Then I'll apologize for whatever issue he brought up about me and say I will try to do better or fix it and then ask if we can refocus on the initial problem.
He then gets offended and says I never thank him for all of the other things he does I only complain about the things he doesn't do....here's where it gets difficult for me...because we both work full time and therefore need to share household chores...and I NEVER get a thank you for the chores I do but he expects to be thanked for the ones he does.
I then count to 10, breathe deeply, say I do appreciate everything he does around the house and again try to refocus on the initial issue. At this point, his finial tactic is to bring up something from an argument we had years ago and demand and I apologize. Here's where I lose it and walk away cursing myself out for thinking I could have an adult conversation with him. Unfortunately I fight is not over. For days he will avoid me and snap at me as though "that thing" I said years ago in the midst of fighting killed his childhood puppy.
After about a week, the tension will fade, things go back to normal and he stays out until 3am again, which this time I ignore because I cannot subject my nerves or my children to another battle.
UPDATE: THANK YOU ThAnk YoU thank you ladies!!!! Thank you to everyone that took the time to read my long post and offer advice. I spent some time googling "how to deal with a passive-aggressive spouse" and all of the advice you lovely ladies provided was right on. DH tried to pick a fight this past weekend and -using all of my newfound tactics- it was over in record time and we are getting along better than we have in a long time. <3