passive-aggressive behaviourPosted on 08/15/10, 06:03 am
What I want to discuss today is passive-aggressive behaviour and estrangement. Before your estrangement with your daughter or son, were they capable of expressing their anger verbally? or did they express their anger in some kind of passive-aggressive manner (silent treatment, not cleaning their room after you told them to, forgetting to take the rubbish out, etc) ?
Reply #1 08/15/10 1:20pm
I always got the silent treatment. After she moved out on her own she did not respond to my phone calls or e-mails. She telephoned after several weeks of my call and come up with stupid excuses like her phone was not working (they own businesses, so I can't see that happening) or her computer didn't work (she uses it for business and investments, etc. I can't see that happening either. When I called her up on her excuses she stopped calling all together. I don't recall ever arguing with her. She would pretend things were o.k and be indifferent. It is the indifference that hurts the most.
Reply #2 08/15/10 1:39pm
Yes, I definately saw passive-agressive types of behavior more than just having an honest discussion. If I were to say or do anything wrong in her eyes this wall would go up immediately and she would act like I was not even there. I always felt like we were walking on egg shells when she was around. She treats everyone like this, so she has a problem maintaining friendships.
Reply #3 08/15/10 7:15pm
I now look back on my ES time living with us, his parents, til age 26. And I can see how he was silent or resisting us. But we did not think that was out of the ordinary for him - thought it was normal behaviour for a guy finding his way into adult hood. Now I think differently.
After he moved out and then married the next year, that is when things changed. The E has been 5 years now, every since their first child was born. Actually we went through almost 2 years of him not talking to us at all. No returned calls, emails, etc. (He does live far from us now)
But when they (ES & DIL) started talking to us again. We visited for a week and he even apologized for how he made us suffer during that time. He said he just had to find out answers he was seeking without explaining. [He changed from a Christian to an agnostic/athiest] That was a big change for all of us.
Anway things were good for a while.
But he has now returned to the silent treatment again. And they are expecting our second GD this month. But they will not return calls, emails, or keep us up to date. That basically has gone on for 3 months.
So the pattern I see too is a passive-agressive-angry behaviour. They seem like they both want to control us. They want to keep us in suspence: "when will they talk to us, answer us, they control the strings"
Yes, my husband & I both feel like we are walking on egg shells. We never know what will offend our DIL next and then our ES takes us for her and her family. Her last email to me last month was to tell me she does not have time to make me happy and to stop talking/writing to her Mom (I wrote one email to her Mom this last year and that was only to ask if she was going to have a baby shower for the new GD)
We are very good grandparents. We send gifts, we send cards, when we vacation or travel we always get a gift for our GD and send to her. The 5 times we have been together, we play with her, read to her, take her shopping. We do not deserve this treatment.
But that is where it is. And they being in control is the thing that seems to stick out. It is like the privilege of talking or seeing our GD (over web cam) is a carrot they occasionally will offer. But not now.
I have not talked to GD since May. We just wonder what they tell her.
Reply #4 08/16/10 1:24am
My son was very outspoken about his anger. I think where things went wrong - was that I was not outspoken about my anger and that sort of set the stage for what happened - the estrangement..
When I did verbalize my anger - and set my boundaries in no uncertain terms - he has been quite different. We talk now - and it is better now.
Reply #5 08/16/10 12:45pm
hi, my son used to say things like, it's the least you can do, meaning to say all the problems i'd caused him (I haven't) means i owe him. it has always been that he likes his own way, if you challenge he has an answer for everything. yes and they do use actions rather than words. basically for some reason the kids haven't matured emotionally, i matured late but wasn't a pain like my son has been to me in the last 2 years or so. and on and off before that. basically i think theres no excuse for bad behaviour. and until they, kids adults, mature, we can't get thru. its a question of waiting and hoping. i didn't tune into my Dad till i was 30 and when he passed away, i started tuning into my Mum. But i hadn't been hateful to them inbetween like my son has to me. so tough love is the order of the day. Run things how you want them to be if they don't like it tough. if we keep showing our tummies to be tickled by them even when they've done wrong, then they learn nothing. we are simply rewarding bad behaviour with niceness and love. it doesn't work like that, just think if that was your partner or best friend you'd say or do something wouldn't you?
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