A discussion with PA Man…

So as you know, I read The Emotionally Destructive Marriage last week and it really made me realize how much I have changed in the last few years!

I have been angry, bitter, resentful, etc..And yes, a lot of that was because of the affair, and the aftermath…PA Man refusing to work with me on healing, to go to counseling…walking away when I was crying and begging him to open up to me….and I do feel I was justified in my anger.

But I have also realized that I was verbally abusive….yes. I’ll admit it. I WAS verbally abusive….I called him names like loser, jerk, sucker, jackass…you get the picture!

And yes, again, I do realize that A LOT of that was because I was hurting soooo badly after his betrayal…and it’s a pretty normal response.

BUT as a Christian, I know that I SHOULD have prayed and asked God to help me, to be my comforter and protector…but instead, I chose to become angry and bitter!

So after reading Leslie Vernicks book I decided I needed to apologize to PA Man for my actions….so Saturday afternoon I asked him if I could talk to him for a few minutes and he said “Sure.”

i started out by telling him about the book I had read, just bits and pieces, not everything….and I told him that I felt I owed him an apology for my behavior…Not necessarily for the time right after the affair came out…but for the last year or so….And so I did.

I told him I was sorry, that after reading this book I realized I have become verbally abusive, and I asked him if he would please forgive me…

A few things were said back and forth….but the whole gist of the story is…He never looked and me and said, “Yes, I forgive you” nor did he say, “And will you please forgive me, for the way I’ve acted?”

NOT that I was expecting him to…but still!?!?

I know some people won’t understand why I felt the need to do that….but I did it for ME!!!! Not PA Man…I knew he wouldn’t get it…remember, I’m dealing with the mentality of an 8 yr old here!

But I wanted to extend to him the same grace that God has extended to me…and I feel I did.

Part of what Leslie talks about Β in her book is about “staying well”…..IF you decide to stay with your spouse, do it with a heart of love, not romantic love, but love for a fellow human being…and that’s what I’m attempting to do. πŸ™‚

PA Man isn’t a BAD person….BUT he does lack empathy for others and is selfish, VERY selfish…though you don’t “see” it…it’s there.

After I apologized, he asked me about the book, so I explained that I really wanted to read it again before I discussed it with him, that I felt that I finally had found someone who understood what it was like living on our kind of marriage….

PA Man sits back in his chair, crosses his arms and says, “So what?? Are you going to give me a lot of rules to live by, Β is that what this is all about??”

I smiled at him and said, ” No, there are no rules for YOU, but there ARE rules for ME!!”

Always on the defensive….always looking to blame me…sigh…it IS the Passive Aggressive way of life.



19 thoughts on “A discussion with PA Man…

  1. …..and it continues. Sadly, his body language, his lack of being able to contribute anything loving towards you, but defense, defense, defense, says that although you are a kind and loving woman, who wants to love for HERSELF, he can’t even graciously accept the apology in the spirit it was given. That would be something that would have never happened in his FOO, for sure, and it doesn’t even occur to him that any of it might possibly be about YOU, it is ALL about him. Same old PA record. Obviously no volunteering to read any of the book that you have found ABOUT HIM basically, just “my mommy” will do all of the work to try to heal, I am fine. Blah, so sick of it all….

    Sorry, lonely, just a little ranty and angry on your behalf – and his, if only he could see that, but those blinkers are stuck fast, and they are not going anywhere, ever.

    • You are right! BUT I am getting wiser about all of this. And it makes me even more confident…which of course, HE won’t like, because he has no confidence at all!
      But he has to fix himself, I can’t do it for him!
      Thanks for your support Paula….it means the world to me!

  2. I love your posts. Gosh it all sounds so familiar, the way your guy acts and responds. Yes, why is it always always about them, and everything is always turned to blaim us. It’s so exhausting. You post great info, thanks!

    • Wornout….I think they all pretty much act the same, that’s whats so “comforting” about finding others who are going through the same thing! We support each other, and that helps in the day to day dealing with passive aggressives!
      PAs have to blame others because if not, they’d have to look at themselves…and that ain’t happening! LOL!

  3. Good for you, lonelywife. You are doing what is right regardless of the response you get.

    If he holds true to the PA profile, you know (at least one of the reasons) why he reacted the way he did, don’t you? You opened up the way for healing and intimacy. He can’t have that and now he will look like the bad guy for not responding to it. They don’t want to be considered the bad guys and as long as you are bad that is great. But when you are the one to ask forgiveness and open the way for them to approach you to ask for forgiveness, that’s a problem. They can’t handle actual intimacy and at that moment they can’t escape the exposure that they are the ones standing in the way of it. So as quick as you can – deflect, find some way to blame you for something, some way to shut it down and have it be your fault!

    • Yes, Seeing the light…I totally agree! Also, I feel that he has convinced himself that I’m trying to control him, and he’s not going to take it!
      I really do wish that there was a recovering PA that we could interview…just to get inside their head and know what they’re thinking!! LOL!

      • Lonely, I don’t think there is such a thing as a recovering PA..is there? Seriously, I don’t think they change their behavior at all. If my PAM were to start dating someone, I’m sure in the beginning he would employ much of the good etiquette that I’ve taught him and he would dazzle her with his newly discovered thoughtfulness but, ultimately, he would revert right back to his PA behaviors.

      • Exodus, mine changed the day after we were married. So attentive and caring before, cold and blaming afterwards. What a shock to the psyche. What did I do wrong? How can I fix this? Yep, started that early in my marriage.

    • lonelywife, LOL! πŸ˜€ So true, so very true. LOL! I’ll be chuckling over your response the rest of the night. Thank you. LOL! πŸ˜€

    • How about this? They go to the support group 10-20% of the time to say they tried and then after a few months, when someone asks, “How is your support group going?”, the PA man’s answer (with disdain and/or disgust): “Support group? Ha! They never supported me!”

  4. Oh gosh, just reading about your experience really turns my stomach. All I have is ‘ mother-son’ conversations with my PAM. WHat is it with these juvenile men??? ” rules to live by”? Please. My PAM accuses me of wanting him to live by MY rules and that I constantly call him names ( I think he’s referring to the PA label) and psychoanalyzing him all the time. He’s never touched a book on PA behavior and he won’t even look in their direction on the book shelf. Keeping a book on PA is like holding a crucifix up to a vampire! Keep that in mind Ladies. The next time you want the SOB (sorry for cursing) to stay away from you, just hold up a book on PA abuse!

  5. Not trying to defend his many hurtful actions, but just taking what you are saying at face value – if someone was verbally abusive to me for over a year – not talking about all the stuff that he did that made it happen – but just saying that if someone was verbally abusive to me – I think I would be defensive when this person first started trying to turn things around. You know what I mean – if you hit a child often, then any outstretched hand, even if given in love, will result in a knee-jerk reaction of avoidance. It takes time to retrain the mind.

    Not being PA myself, I would figure it out and accept the outstretched hand quite readily, especially given your circumstances. A PA person, however, would have great difficulty with that.

    I totally get your feelings and your reaction to him, but maybe you need to give him a little time to get used to your change in perspective.

    Again, not saying he is right or justified in any way, but maybe that he also needs time when you make changes to how you deal with him. Stand firm in dealing with his PA actions, but realize that, as with anyone, it may take a little time for him to stop expecting the worst, if you feel you really have been verbally abusive.

    Saying this in love for you, my friend. Just thinking of the possibilities in finding a good life again… DJ

    • I understand what you’re saying DJ…but when it comes to a PA…they don’t change…so no matter what I say or do, nothing will ever change with him.
      And I was only verbally abusive when we talked about the affair….no other time, and you know how the hurt and anger just wells up inside of you..the affair and it’s aftermath changed me…and I knew that apologizing to him was for me, so I could become the person I was BEFORE the affair.
      To be honest, I haven’t really talked about the affair, or been verbally abusive in months…and nothing has changed in all that time….so, as much as I can see you’d like to think that time might help repair this….sadly, it will not.
      Since I wrote this post 9 days ago…PA Man has never once brought it up. Not once has he said he appreciates me apologizing, not once has he said he notices the change in me…

      But thank you DJ for your suggestion to have patience with PA Man…I really do wish it would be exactly the way you have stated, but unfortunately, that won’t be the case.

      • I wish there was some way to make a difference in your situation… I hate to see my friend suffering. You deserve the best.

        We have talked about the possibility of Daniel being PA, but no, he isn’t – not by the descriptions you have posted here. Maybe he was just trying to bury his shame. He is still not consistently open, but we have had some good talks and he really tries to provide the best possible life for me. I just cannot forget, and I grieve the loss of the love story I thought I had. I think I just saw what I wanted to see all through the years. He is who he is and now my eyes are open. He has always viewed her as the love of his life and probably always will. We are together today because of the life and family we have together. We have chosen that over scarring a bunch of people in order to have the romantic dream of a lifetime.

  6. I understand DJ…I have thought that I can hang in there…make my own life, but stay married….now, I’m not so sure.
    It’s hard being married to someone who won’t open up, who won’t take the time to work with me when I’m feeling insecure…or as my name states..feeling very much alone.
    Time will tell…but it seems as more time goes along…the farther apart we grow.
    PA Man has had several “incidences” in the last few years which have led me to wonder if he was cheating again….it’s a sucky way to live, constantly watching, having your gut roar our “warning, warning, warning” over and over again…
    Just trying to decide what is best for me…and my kids.

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