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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5807
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi kate, Please let me ask... as you know my husband has aggressive

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Hi kate, Please let me ask... as you know my husband has aggressive tendencies. At first, I handled it without feeding into it. Than,....I let him have it. Reasoning away, explaining, pointing out all passive aggressive tendencies, ect.. Im not getting any response, but why do I do it? There is no right way to act, and its not so easy to walk away because staying silent feels like eating dirt sometimes, and I must speak up.. A no welcome
Hi Dee,

It is very easy to fall into the trap of responding to someone who is hurting you. That is particularly true if the person has a personality disorder. One of the common symptoms of personality disorders is that the person targets you and tries to create emotional upheaval. Conflict is welcome rather than communicating and getting along in a healthy way. The person with a personality disorder enjoys your response, which is why it is always a good idea to try to refrain from responding, as hard as that is.

Try to see walking away or distracting yourself as a strong response. You are basically denying your husband exactly what he wants which is for you to be upset and feel out of control. If you don't give him that, then he becomes frustrated. It seems odd, but that is the best way to deal with the situation so you maintain control.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know that so well and am even telling myself this as he is raging. IN THE MOMENT I am telling myself not to give him the satisfaction. But, I cant always do that and feel sane.

DOES HE RELALLY WANT ME ABUSING HIN LIKE HE IS DOING TO ME? Ultimately he wants control. But, in this case, he got more than he bargained for. Whatt I mean is, the all out dragged out explanation and criticism from me in the end couldnt be what he bargained for. Could he really be enjoying all this? its enjoyable to have your wife tell you whats wrong with you and constantly set limits? The way I needed to talk to him today would make anyone feel small. Only a sadist would enjoy this. Im baffled.

He might feel comfortable with you telling him these things because that is how he was treated as a child. It might have been the only way he got attention. A person who acts like your husband does learns it from somewhere, and most likely it was in his childhood that he learned to like what he does and the response you give him. That seems odd, but when a child learns the only way they will get the attention they crave is to act out, they do it. It is frustrating to you, no doubt. But until he is willing to change, it may be the only way he relates.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He will never be ready to change. Thank you Kate, he gets attention. Its funny because that's one of the things I told him today. I told him that I couldn't imagine what kind of environment his grew up in where he had to act aggressive or withdrawal. His pattern.


You're welcome, Dee. Hang in there.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

:) have a good weekend. He went away on business today. Yipee

You too, Dee! Take care.


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