5 Ways to Cope With a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

5 Ways to Cope With a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

Coping with a passive-aggressive spouse might be difficult because they tend to express their anger indirectly rather than addressing it on the spot.

It is, however, important to learn how you can cope with a passive-aggressive spouse to have a successful and happy marriage.

One way you can do this is to study your partner and identify their behavior patterns. 

Any passive-aggressive person usually has a unique behavioral design that might be difficult to pinpoint. 

However, careful study of your partner would help.

After studying your passive-aggressive partner, it would help if you also tried to understand why they behave that way.

A person can be passive-aggressive for a whole lot of reasons. 

Thus, you should try finding the cause and proffer a solution.

To manage a passive-aggressive spouse, you should also learn not to judge your spouse.

Instead of being judgmental, you should be clear about the situation and make your requests known openly. 

Being secretly judgmental would only make things worse.

Read on to learn easy ways you can cope with a passive-aggressive spouse.

Marriages & Couples Therapists in Colorado

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

(719) 345-2424
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

(719) 345-2424
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Study Your Partner and Identify Their Behavioral Patterns 

An effective way to cope with a passive-aggressive spouse is by making an effort to understand their behavior.

It is vital to make conscious efforts to understand your partner better.

It might be challenging to recognize passive aggression at first, but you can quickly learn your spouse's behavior with careful study.

Generally, you cannot get positive results from anything you do not consider a priority. 

As a married person, your first duty is to understand your spouse and find ways to manage their behaviors.

Everyone has flaws and unique behavioral patterns, so it is best to realize your spouse's behavior and work out what works best for you.

A passive-aggressive spouse may not directly express their anger, but they would give signs.

It would be best if you tried to read the characters your partner shows and their body language.

Instead of your partner who is passive-aggressive to express their feelings clearly, they might make funny side comments or act snobbish.

Thus, learning who your partner is and how they express their feelings is paramount to the success of your relationship, especially when they are passive-aggressive.

Find the Root Cause of Their Behavior

Generally, people do things for different reasons. 

A person might become passive-aggressive due to their justifiable personal reasons. 

hack to successfully cope with a passive-aggressive spouse is to find out the root cause of their behavior.

You might discover that someone has reprimanded your spouse for showing anger in the past.

It is likely to make them encounter challenges in finding the right way to express anger, thus, making them resolve to passive aggression.

Passive aggression might also be a result of repressed emotions.

When you constantly hurt your spouse, they begin to repress their anger and might become passive-aggressive.

Another thing that may cause passive aggression is low self-esteem. 

A person with low self-esteem might not be confident in expressing their feelings.

Passive aggression can also be a result of a sense of powerlessness. 

When someone feels they cannot control many situations, they tend to adopt coping mechanisms, which may include passive aggression.

You are one step closer to solving the problem when you identify why your spouse is passive-aggressive.

Try Not to Be Judgmental

It is usual for us as humans to judge people and their behaviors. 

However, we can train our brains to stop being judgmental. 

Coping with a passive-aggressive spouse is not the most straightforward task. 

However, being critical does not make it less challenging to handle. 

To cope with a passive-aggressive spouse, it would be best if you try not to judge them.

An excellent way to be less judgmental is to be empathetic. 

When you judge your spouse, you can curb it by viewing things from their perspective.

It will also help if you try to stay open-minded.

You can do this by interacting with people from different backgrounds.

When you broaden your horizon, you will better understand people, including your passive-aggressive spouse.

Everyone has flaws, and you should not judge people based on their shortcomings. 

You need to be more compassionate when dealing with a passive-aggressive spouse. 

Making dispassionate judgments about people would have you harming yourself and complicating the main issue.

Learn to be Realistic 

When you have a passive-aggressive spouse, you might have to accept this fact the way it is. 

It will help if you come to terms with the fact that your passive-aggressive spouse is unlikely to change.

It would be much easier to cope with a passive-aggressive spouse when you know their flaws.

You can achieve this by letting go of ideas of a "perfect marriage."

No two marriages are the same, and no marriage is perfect. 

The earlier you realize that everyone has their flaws, the easier it is for you to accept your partner and their shortcomings.

You can also achieve this by acknowledging that everyone tends to be "passive-aggressive." 

Some people might be better at managing this trait. 

However, while doing this, you should try not to enable your spouse but use it as a means to develop some empathy.

It might be painful to accept that your spouse has recurring traits of passive aggression.

Your passive-aggressive spouse might act loyal and sacrificial, making it more difficult to admit that they are passive-aggressive.

However, when you notice passive aggression, it is best to trust your intuition and accept the reality of the situation.

Don't Justify Their Unhealthy Behavior

Accepting the reality of the situation and finding ways to cope with a passive-aggressive spouse is not the same as enabling them. 

It is possible to understand your partner without making excuses for their bad behavior.

You enable your passive-aggressive spouse when you allow them to abuse you emotionally. 

You might feel it is easier to tolerate your passive-aggressive spouse instead of addressing the issue. 

The truth is that this would only accumulate problems in the future and allow your spouse to continue their passive aggression.

If you are lucky enough to notice your spouse's passive-aggression quickly, it is best to deal with it as soon as possible.

It would be best to confront your spouse and mention behaviors you will not condone. 

This way, you can stand up for yourself and others who might be affected by your spouse's behavior.

Understanding your spouse without justifying their behavior is an excellent way to deal with passive aggression. 

Enabling them would only help them maintain their unhealthy behavior.


We all have our toxic traits.

If your spouse's unhealthy trait is passive aggression, learning how to cope with passive-aggressiveness in the marriage becomes of the essence.

You can cope with them by studying your partner and understanding their behavioral pattern, finding the cause of their behavior, not being judgmental, being realistic about the situation, and not justifying their bad behavior.


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April 17th, 2024

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