Identifying the Abuse Pattern in Passive Aggressive Personalities

How the Passive Aggressive Abuses Your Rights:

There are many ways in which people use power to control and abuse others. This is especially true of passive aggressive behavior, which is often about making the PA look his best, while taking power from others and making them look or feel bad.

Primary methods a passive aggressive person will use to control or violate, in order to protect themselves from rejection and/or confrontation.

Violating your Right to Know: He gives you unclear information, withholds information that you don’t “need” (like the finances), or gives you too little or too much information. With too little, you are left shaky and uncertain, realizing after he leaves that he didn’t really answer your question, or in fact made the situation look worse than you thought. This is where you may feel as if you’re expected to draw your own conclusions or “mind read.” With no information (“the silent treatment”) you feel like you’re walking on eggshells – or a mine field. When you are given too much information (anger attacks or blaming), you are not given time to speak, defend yourself, ask for clearer information, or set boundaries.

These are the main ways a passive aggressive husband exerts his crazy-making control over his partner and other people. Looking at them as your rights helps to understand this behavior as abusive – a denial of your personal rights to sanity, stability and respect.



You have the right to sanity and respect. Christ has declared that both husbands and wives are co-heirs of the fabulous inheritance he died to provide for them. In a Christian Marriage, both spouses are told to submit to one another out of “reverence” for Christ.

Creating instability (chaos) in your life is a primary method used by PAs to feel empowered. If they can make you insecure with their cryptic communication, contradictory behavior, lack of respect for financial or interpersonal boundaries, refusal to follow through on or take responsibility for their commitments, withdrawal of support when you are vulnerable, refusal to validate your feelings or look you in the eye, and chronic deceit, they feel like conquerors.

Husbands who have been made aware of their controlling and chaos producing behavior are expected to learn how to be different. Since they generally do not understand what it means to nurture and support others, they are expected to learn how to do so by going to God and getting help. They are expected to learn to stop withdrawing from those in need and stop putting people in the “dog house” as punishment for not meeting their unrealistic expectations. They must stop creating a mine field with their inconsistent behavior.

In Acts 5 we are shown that a wife must NOT submit to behaviors that are opposed to the life that God calls his born again children to, even if her husband wants her to. In fact, a godly wife is supposed to expose deceit, not cover it up. Sapphira died as a result of protecting her husband’s deceit. She was not responsible for his behavior, but she was responsible for hers.

Common Passive Aggressive Behaviors:


Ways to exert control over someone by creating chaos - insecurity and instability:


The passive aggressive might express anger outwardly as rage. However, there are many times when they will “covertly” express feelings of resentment towards others who did not meet their expectations (or did not give them the attention they felt entitled to). As a result of being taught, as a child, that anger is unacceptable, they go through life stuffing much of their anger, being accommodating and then sticking it to you in an under-handed way such as the following:

INSECURITY (EASILY THREATENED) - Evidence of their fragile egos, insecurity and how easily they get insulted:



“The passive-aggressive man may pretend to be sweet or compliant, but beneath his superficial demeanor lies a different core. He’s angry, petty, envious, and selfish.” (Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man,  by Scott Wetzler)

“Bullying is not limited to physical violence. It is a prolonged pattern of negative and repeated behaviors that overwhelm the target, degrading him or her to the point of powerlessness. It is an imbalance of power that, over time, wears down the victim.” (“In the Bully’s-eye” –