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You Say Passive, I Say Aggressive


Recognize these, Ashley and Kristin? Sound like someone that I might have dated (and has, at sometime, insulted you, too?)

According to the revised third edition (DSM-III-R, 1987), someone had PAPD if he displayed five or more of the following behaviors: (1) procrastinates, (2) sulks or argues when asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, (3) works inefficiently on unwanted tasks, (4) complains without justification of unreasonable demands, (5) “forgets” obligations, (6) believes he is doing a much better job than others think, (7) resents useful suggestions, (8) fails to do his share, or (9) unreasonably criticizes authority figures.
-Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope

It all began innocently enough by being dropped literally on my head in a parking lot. Had I known then what was in store for me, I might have run away screaming, but then again maybe not, I have no idea. It’s just a good damn thing that Sliding Doors was just a movie.

All that I do know is that I love my first son with all of my heart and soul, but I cannot stand his father. I could try and wax poetic about all of the good times that his father and I shared, but it would all be a lie: when I dated him, I had very, very few good times, mainly just more tolerable bad ones.

I like to think of him as that one relationship that we’ve all had (albeit not with the same person, that would just be weird.) that forced us to compromise who we are at the core of it all in order not to drive ourselves insane. When it’s all over and done with and we’ve moved on with our lives, we look back and cannot believe how foolishly we behaved. Most of us, with this firmly in our rearview mirror are able to hate The Ghost Of Things Past without having to revisit it week after week.

Because week after week, no matter how angry I am, I have to not only deal with this person, I am frequently forced to bite my tongue and swallow my pride in order to maintain peace for our son. AND I SWEAR, I AM NOT SOMEONE WHO ENJOYS HAVING TO BITE HER TONGUE (I know, you’re suprised).

He is the guy that snuck off and had The Sex with another female while I was pregnant. It was his car that left many a patch of rubber in front of my parents house, angry that I had comitted such sins as feeding the baby solids before 6 months of age, and daring to laugh at his hilariously angry reaction. He was and is always so angry. When I dared wear too much makeup to a Christmas party, he spent a good 20 minutes telling me how stupid I looked.
For the past four years, he has attended not one solitary event at his son’s school, because “that’s more my realm.”

Did he abuse me? Well, no, not really. I mean, we got into several physical altercations over the years, but trust me when I tell you that he was the one that was I wiped the rug with. Not for nothing did I have an older brother: he taught me how to kick asses and take names. I guess he was emotionally and verbally abusive, sort of, but you’re only hearing MY side of it, which means that you aren’t hearing the horrible things that I said to him.

I suppose that you could say that we really brought out the worst in each other, because that would be the 100% honest truth of the matter.

He’s honestly a wonderful father, who loves his son very, very much, so I am unable to find fault in their relationship (plus, I’ve been assured over and over that having no contact with his biological father would mess the kid right up). I respect him for that, really I do. He leaves me to do nearly all of the parenting, which is a good or a bad thing, depending entirely upon the situation (good when I sign the kid up for music lessons and choose his school BECAUSE I AM IN CONTROL, bad when it means that no matter what I’m doing, he is free to change plans at his whim THEN I AM NOT IN CONTROL AND I HATE THAT.).

The most irritating part of our relationship now, as it stands, is that he is text-book passive-aggressive, with at least six of the above mentioned characteristics. I’ve long since given up on fighting about it because it’s just not worth it for me, so I’ve decided that two can play at that game.

I don’t do it frequently at all, but now and again, I do something completely passive-aggressive (or is it just me being an asshole? Don’t know and don’t care) and am able to gain an insane amount of satisfaction by it.

For example: last weekend, after stating a time that he would pick Ben up by, he called 10 minutes BEFORE that time and extended the time by an hour and a half. Which would be no big deal, save for the plans we had postponed PRECISELY for the pickup time. So we headed out to do our errands after this, and instead of heading home so that we would be home in time for the later pick up time, instead we went to Lowe’s.

And then stopped for a leisurely cup of coffee.

We finally rolled home about an hour after the pickup time, only to be met by an irrate Nat, WHO WAS FLAMING THAT HE HAD HAD TO WAIT 30 MINUTES (he was late, too). Oh, did I laugh, OH did I laugh.

Of course, he paid me back the following day by not answering his phone when I called, but you know what? IT WAS SOOOO WORTH IT.

So, Internet Lovies, dish to Poor Aunt Becky, who was up all night with a teething baby who has a cold (the baby, not me. Well, me too, but the baby is more insufferable about it than I am.) (Poor, Poor Aunt Becky!). Tell me all about your worst relationship, or if that’s too hard to talk about, tell me something hilarious about someone you were in a relationship with (they had a foot fetish, they could only wear the color blue, whatever).

4 Comments to

“You Say Passive, I Say Aggressive”

  1. On November 16th, 2007 at 2:54 pm Kristin Says:

    You know far too much of my past relationship hilarity. Oh we can pick us some winners, huh? Some of my personal favorites are The messed up ex who is going to jail, the leg humper, Captain OldBalls and his hairy back, The guy that didn’t tell me he had a kid until date number 9, The cheating drummer, The one that make sex noises like he was constipated, The guy that didn’t take his pants all the way off…oh I could go on and on.

    And Ben’s Daddy – total PAPD – 100%

  2. On November 16th, 2007 at 3:00 pm Cara Says:

    I once dated a guy who was very, very nice but utterly clueless. He gave me socks for my birthday.

  3. On November 16th, 2007 at 3:35 pm Tony Says:

    There is one comment I would like to make: I had absolutely no contact with my biological father until about two months ago, and (with the acception of a few noted quirks) turned out just fine. About the biggest issue I have that I attribute to this fact is that I have an easier time forming friendships with women than I do men. Maybe it is just my dumb luck it turned out that way, but maybe not.

    Its actually probably a good thing I never knew my biofather. I’d probably have grown up smart, resenting authority AND have detailed knowledge of explosives.

  4. On November 16th, 2007 at 4:03 pm Ashley Says:

    Oh Becky…you know most of mine, the best of which was no doubt the incident in which my ex (in front of you) suggested I have a DIET Coke rather than a regular. Ahhh the insecure man is an ugly beast. There was also the well meaning ex (who you know all too well) who made some comment regarding how he could tell that I had never been with anyone who really loved me before. Umm…thanks?

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