How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jen Helant Your Own Question

Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
13551071
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Jen Helant is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been married several years. It is my wifes fourth marriage.

Resolved Question:

I have been married several years. It is my wife's fourth marriage. I need help understanding a pattern of behaviors that my wife has exhibited since I have known her. During the course of our marriage, my wife will initially support decisions we make, then unceremoniously withdraw her support. For example: I recently took a second job to help makes ends meet. My wife was aware and supportive of the process and even celebrated my getting the job. Shortly after starting the job she began to criticize me about having the job and how it was interfering with our lives. She is pressuring me to quit, even though she knows that we need the money.

This is not the first time she has done this. She will also support purchases, like a new car that I bought over two years ago that she test drove with me and supported the decision to buy it. Now she resents the car payment and the fact that "I" bought the car. Even though she encouraged me to buy it and did not agree with choosing a vehicle that was less expensive.

Would this be considered passive-agressive behavior? Or what? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 2 years ago.

Could be passive aggressive behavior if she is not being truthful about the way she feels when she encourages and celebrates these things.Maybe she feels bad to say No, but deep down does not want it, so she leaves it to you to make the decision hoping you will make the one that she is truly thinking and when you do not she resents it. Some people do not say there true feelings because they feel they do not want to tell their partner what to do. What they really want is the partner to make the decision they really want, but without telling them. They feel if they tell them it is just like controlling them and they want someone who thinks the same. Could be the issue. However, could also be that in the moment she is truly happy, but does not look at the future consequences then when it leads to unpleasant consequences she is not happy and blames you. A lot of people remember what the other person did, but they forget what they did. Therefore blaming the other for the problem or issue with the new situation. I see you tried talking to her and she gets defensive. Try saying things like" Remember when we agreed on...." for example. It must be difficult for you because you would be worried about getting blamed for things that you both agreed on. Have a heart to heart and let her know that you want to make important decisions together and sometimes you both may agree or not, but you want to find a solution that works for both of you. However, it makes life difficult when she changes on you. Tell her that if she is not happy with a decision during the process to talk to you and let you know even when it is after the fact. Let her know you always want to include her in the decisions and never want to make them alone. You will be responsible for the decision and she needs to be as well whether good or bad. Try to talk in this matter that way she will put her defense down and listen. Do not blame or point fingers or say you said or did this or that. This only makes people defensive. Try talking in the manner I mentioned, so she can put her guard down. I hope this was helpful and brought some insight. I wish you all the best!

Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency