1. Does your spouse says or do mean things with a smile on his face?

2. Does your “loving” partner verbally comply with your requests but miss the mark, when it comes to follow-through?

3. Does he drive you crazy by consistently postponing or procrastinating doing something that he has promised to do?

4. Does she blow you off with one word answers like “Whatever”?


Maybe… maybe… all she wants is to duck some task. Or, it could be that your spouse is angry and wants to punish you.

In any event, it is for sure that she doesn’t want to face the consequence of your wrath.

Her avoidant behavior, or his, or yours, may come from an underlying fear of being rejected.

The funny thing, is that regardless of who is the perpetrator, be it she or he or you, the scheme often seems to work, for the moment.


 No longer identified as a personality disorder, there’s no denying that  PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE personality quirks exist and that they poses a challenge for many of us in our daily lives.

People who regularly resort to avoiding arguments in this way are masters of frustrating others. They can cause ultimate havoc in their intimate relationships.

Their partners have problems identifying and explaining what they are even complaining about.

BEWARE: It takes a while, but every one of these “GOTCHA” tactics can be relationship killers.

An example:
“Megan” asked her husband, “Theo,” to pick up the dry cleaning from the store on his way home from work. She explains that she has to work in the kids’ school all day and that the dress she needs to wear to the party that night, needs to be picked up.

He smiles, assures her that he’s got it handled and tells her to have a nice day.

He “forgets” to pick up her dress. Never mind that she suspects he hates that dress. The cleaner has closed for the day.

“Megan” complains how this is just another of Theo’s “manipulative” behaviors. She calls it his “calculated inefficiency.”

He’s taught her, with his actions or lack of them, that she can’t count on him to do what he says. So, now she’s stopped asking for the help she needs.

“Great,” he thinks.

Now, however, a new problem has been created. Megan begins to exercise her very own brand of “GOTCHAS.” She seethes, with a smile on her face… and avoids him in the bedroom.

And/or hides his TV remote.

Next time: In a more perfect New Year, how to make a relationship work with someone in spite of  passive-aggressive quirks.

Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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