How to deal with a passive-aggressive partner

passive aggressive

A relationship between two people is said to be passive-aggressive if one person tries to control and manipulate the other person by making little comments that are insinuating or implying that their partner is not good enough on some or many levels,  but without saying it directly.

A passive aggressive person will be controlling and have a tendency to want to criticise their partner for example but without doing it directly. This type of person may be throwing little remarks that are annoying enough to trigger or provoke their partner or send them into a rollercoaster of rage, anger and negative emotions without being direct about their intentions.

The cause or reason for passive agressive behaviour:


Passive-aggressive behaviour involves a person who is not willing to take the initiative in dealing with a conflict. He/she will remain passive and defer it to the other party or attack them in every moi le indirect way without being honest about the alleged issue.

The reason for it could be because some people find it difficult to communicate in a relationship. Little do they know that, not communicating may be the most difficult thing to do, as it leads to even more conflict.

Another possible reason for this type of behaviour is because the passive aggressive person may think that they’re being sarcastic, ironic or hilarious by encoding their words or by being indirect about whatever issue they have with their partner. However if it takes time for their partner to decode their message or understand That it was an attack rather than a « joke » then it can become very upsetting.

The problem with passive aggressive behaviour, is that most times it is done calmly and in a subtle way. So the person that is being attacked doesn’t realise the true meaning, until they focus on the topic or subject enough and it takes time for them to see that they are being provoked, which can make it all confusing and cause even more drama and arguments. 

How to stop yourself from being passive-aggressive with your partner:


There are times when we need to show more of what we feel about things and to express ourselves clearly. The best way of stopping yourself from being passive aggressive and upsetting your loved ones and pushing their limits, is by taking control of your emotions and thoughts. 


Check out our article about how to manage your anger in an argument by clicking here. The less angry you are and the less serious you are about the matter at hand, the more likely you are to give a calm, civilised and polite chance to you partner to explain their actions or words without becoming passive aggressive with them.

Passive-aggressive behaviour can be very annoying and people are not always able to understand why you would behave in that way, depending on their personality type.

It can also lead to a lot of unnecessary tension between the parties concerned or cause the relationship to deteriorate especially if they don’t communicate well with each other. That’s why it is important to learn to communicate in a more effective way without being rude or offending your partner with unnecessary sarcastic comments that may look funny to you but enraging to them. 

How to deal with a passive aggressive partner?


Confront them:

The best way to deal with passive aggressive people is by confronting them about their behaviour and how it can be triggering to you. Try to persuade them with logic instead of fighting with them.

Be careful when you shut them down or when you tell them off, as they will probably be expecting you to laugh at their jokes rather than turn on them. 

Return the favour:


If you want you can choose to give them a taste of their own medicine by doing the same thing to them. However be careful as this could affect the relationship negatively if they don’t take it well. 
Returning bad behaviour with another type of bad behaviour can only hurt the relationship and is never a good idea.

So you may want to think about about it twice before you do it. Plus your partner could find your type of passive aggressive behaviour not so upsetting anyway depending on his personality type. 

Explain that self-deprecation can only go so far:


Explain to your partner why making so many jokes to fault you, your looks or character can only go so far. Explain why it’s not always funny and how you like to feel appreciated and desired more than being mocked, ridiculed or being taken for a fool in your romantic relationship.

It is understandable and they may able to see why their behaviour is unacceptable and out of line. 

Bottom line:

Don’t fall for passive-aggressive behaviour as this can lead to settling down with a partner who may think you’re not all that.
A passive-aggressive person may seem like a nice person at first. But if you know how to identify them, you will be able to counter their behaviour effectively.

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