How to Deal With Passive Aggressive Behavior in Your Partner

Dealing with passive aggressive behavior is not only frustrating, but it can result in long-simmering problems between two people. If your partner resorts to passive aggressive behavior, you need to address it as soon as possible. If you don't, you could begin a pattern where you and your partner avoid problems rather than deal with them.

First, recognize passive aggressive behavior so that you can combat it. If someone makes comments, exaggerates problems, complains about not receiving enough attention, doesn't keep promises, blames other people for their problems or avoids obligations, then your partner could be bringing passive aggressive behavior into your relationship.

If you're wondering how to deal with passive aggressive behavior, the first thing to realize is that your partner's behavior is not your fault. If things go wrong in your partner's life or if they're acting negative or making comments, you should know that their inability to take responsibility for the problems and issues in their life is not a cue for you to sweep in and fix things. Spending time feeling guilt or upset about this will not solve anything.

Learn how to play the passive aggressive behavior game: be direct with your partner about how you're feeling. Stay focused when it comes to bringing up the issues you've seen, and explain how you would like your partner to communicate with you. Don't play the blame game, but be sure to be specific about what upsets you. Responding to passive aggressive behavior with more passive aggressive behavior will only make the problem worse and could place a wedge between you and your loved one.

Though you may be frustrated with your partner's passive aggressive behavior, you want to be aware that this behavior isn't malicious. In many cases, a partner has learned this is the only way to communicate. Thus, you want to be understanding when it comes to your partner and explain that you want to help them with this issue. Explain the effects of passive aggressive behavior on you, your loved one and on the relationship. This will help the two of you grow as a couple and will allow you to talk openly about your fear, concerns and goals.

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