Dealing with Passive Aggression from Your Spouse
It goes without saying that no couple should ever resort to violence in their marriage. Christ is likened like a spouse in the church. Christ’s love for the Church was shown by His willingness to die for her. A marriage should be the same way. Neither the church nor the world is shown in the best light when married couples fail to love and respect one another.
Abusive behavior that takes the form of passive aggression.
Passive-aggressive conduct from one partner toward the other is one example of how a marriage might fail to reflect Christ. Because of its covert nature, passive violence may be difficult to identify. It might be anything as simple as a snide remark, or as serious as an assault on the victim’s sense of self in front of others. However, we are also capable of harsher manifestations, such as an aggressive grip of the arm or a pointless brawl after a joyful occasion. Passive aggressive behavior is abusive regardless of the context in which it is shown. If left uncontrolled, passive aggressive behavior may severely undermine a marriage. To be the most effective representatives of Christ in the world, we need to love ourselves and God enough to take the necessary steps to find a solution. What options does a victimized partner have when confronted with passive aggression? Six strategies for coping with your partner’s passive aggressive behavior:
Firstly, Pray About It
God is the most competent party to discuss this matter with. The Holy Spirit may provide insight into the emotional problem or hurt that may be at the root of passive hostility. Your better half will not be able to solve a problem they have no way of identifying. If your partner is unable to identify the source of the problem, you should pray for the Holy Spirit to do so. Spend some quality time together in prayer. Talk about how your relationship is suffering as a result of this conduct. Get them to recall that they promised to love, honor, and cherish you on your wedding day. Using passive-aggressive behavior is a violation of their marital vows.
Take the Battle to Them
If the victim of the passive aggressive behavior is a wife, the church may wrongly conclude that she should submit to her abusive husband. God, on the other hand, never has to give in to someone who is being abusive to their partner. Confront your partner with the reality while yet showing affection. Give some concrete instances of passive aggressiveness in your marriage that you have seen. Make use of “I” statements to convey your message that this behavior will not be permitted. A partner who has to be brought to their senses might sometimes be convinced by a frank discussion of their behavior. However, if the passive aggressiveness persists, you may want assistance from other parties to get the desired outcome.
Your partner may require accountability if, despite being questioned, they continue to place blame or reject responsibility. You should pray together and have your spouse talk to a more seasoned Christian in your church or a close friend about this. Their advice on how to put an end to this conduct may be invaluable. Ask your partner to hold them responsible and arrange to meet up with them in person or over the phone to discuss how things are going. However, before they come back for a checkup, they need to know whether the behavior has improved. If the situation hasn’t changed, document it or provide specific instances of the unacceptable conduct. Tell your accountability partner about your marriage. The group may then discuss potential solutions to the problem. Make sure the person your partner confides in is responsible enough to preserve the secret and provide constructive suggestions for correcting the situation.
Seek Outside Assistance
You and your partner may require professional assistance in processing the harm that this passive aggression may have caused, in addition to holding one another accountable. Passive hostility is difficult to take seriously since it leaves no visible signs of wrongdoing. But a harmful remark or deed may harm your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. There’s a chance it might hurt your sense of self-worth and make it harder to form positive bonds with other people. Seek for a local counselor who can help you both figure out what’s going on and then work with you to heal your minds and hearts. This conduct is probably the result of unresolved feelings of loss, despair, or rage. Care for oneself and one’s partner requires prompt attention to these difficulties and their resolution. Give your marriage the time and attention it needs to recover from this problem.
Tell your pastor that your spouse is refusing to go to therapy or make any changes in their conduct. While this may sound drastic, if your spouse is a church leader, they may need to rethink their role as a result of the strain on your marriage. Every member of society, including the leader’s own family, ought to be treated with love and respect. If he doesn’t change after you’ve addressed him, take him to a church leader who can give him impartial advice. As such, this is the correct method for dealing with sin. However, churches will often look the other way in order to maintain leadership stability. Communicate with your pastor about ways your spouse may improve communication with the church. Set a certain date by which something must happen. If they are unable to address their differences by the deadline, they may need to spend some time apart. God does not approve of divorce, but he also doesn’t approve of couples that treat one other badly.
Separation should be the very last option in a marriage, but it may speed up the healing process and help both partners gain perspective. The frequency with which the conduct occurs should be considered. Is this something that happens sometimes, or does it happen frequently? It’s healthy for couples to take a break every so often and then share what they’ve learned about each other during that time apart. Talk to God about the things you learned from Him. Do you know of any history that would explain this behavior?
Construct a plan of action to follow if the conduct persists. Create a written plan that both you and your partner can refer to often. Please pray that God would prompt them to carry out these recommendations. If this problem isn’t addressed, the marriage will suffer. In addition to helping yourself, your partner, and your kids immensely, you will be providing a wonderful service to the world if you put in the effort to stop this habit. This shows that you do not want to keep causing trouble and setting a bad example for your kids.
Passive aggressiveness is abusive and should not be accepted, yet it is possible to change the other person’s behavior. Don’t lose faith in your marriage’s potential just because you’re going through a rough patch. You’ll end up with a healthy marriage and a higher standard of personal growth.