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Passive aggressive anyone

Newimprvmodel's picture

So tonight we decide to go out for dinner. A quick bite out. DH then says he needs to call the daughter he just visited. "I won't be on long. Just a few minutes."  He goes outside on the front porch. Ten minutes tops. 
I'm inside thinking what the hell??  He rarely would speak to her and now he purposely does it as we are going out together and has to announce it?  Am I being punished?  I think I am. 
ok guys. I didn't hold anything back. I let it all out. He does understand why I don't like her. He thinks I need to keep an open mind.  We talked. Went to dinner. Things are better but I really got pissed off by HIS behavior. Like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I just hate feeling this way. 

ESMOD's picture

My concern would not have been "passive aggressive".. honestly, it probably wouldn't occur to him that it would even bother you.. people can be clueless.. and sometimes we overthink another person's intent.

What i WOULD be concerned about is that he had some "business" to settle with her.. some answer to give her on some ask.. money... time.. IDK.. but it's like he had to give her an answer on something.. and it was a fairly urgent thing for him to get back to her on.   Maybe money.. maybe a more grand trip to see him.. I would be on edge over that.. not if he was trying to "get my goat".. because.. if he is your partner and he loves you.. why would he want to punish you?  that's not a hallmark of a good partner.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Leaving you at the table in a restaurant....secrets (maybe about money?) was this guy still single when you found him? I agree with Esmod that he probably wasn't doing it intentionally just to stick it to you for a specific offense. I think it's because he sucks as a partner and probably isn't thinking about your feelings at all. 

CajunMom's picture

10 minutes? Intentional or not (and I'll also agree I think he was just being a doofus, not meaning to hurt you), you don't leave the dinner table for a phone call unless it's an emergency. Like ESMOD, I'd be concerned more about WHAT the call was about than what he did. (But I would call out that crap move). 


2Tired4Drama's picture

Did DH walk out on your home's front porch before you left for restaurant, or did he leave you sitting in the restaurant alone and went out on the restaurant front porch?  I think it was at your home, right?

If he did it on your front porch before you left for dinner I might be of the opinion that he did that to keep you from hearing the conversation because he knows it upsets you. Being Devil's Advocate, in his mind he probably believed he was being thoughtful.  I mean, if he had done the call in front of you, he knows it probably would have upset you. So maybe he gets a Brownie point for at least considering your reaction and keeping SD's drama away from you.  That's a positive!

Here's where you can build on that: Don't tell him what you really think about SD. Ever. No parent wants to hear that their kid is selfish, rude, etc. Even when they know it's true. Like it or not, that's a fact. 

As for keeping an open mind, per DH's wishes, you are not required to do that. And that's a fact, too. There is no reason you have to make your life/psyche a welcome mat for SD to stomp on. Just make it VERY clear to DH that anything that is related to your home, your finances or your time (holidays, etc.) is something you both decide as a couple, not just him. And SD doesn't get to run the show, AT ALL, including his actions. 

Now, you don't have to like her, you don't have to consider her anything other than an annoying appendage your DH can't rid himself of, but you don't need to denigrate her either. Truly learn how to disengage and behave like a gray rock whenever the subject of SD comes up. If it doesn't affect you, your home, your finances or your time then a standard response of , "Hmm." or "That's nice." or "Oh well." will suffice when the subject of SD comes up. Then change the subject or walk out of the room. 

It's not easy. I have been at it for many years now and I still find myself slipping once in awhile. It is a bit harder once grandskids are on scene since they are at an innocent age but I also know I will play no significant role in their lives and do not want to be caught up in drama with SD.

I have asked my SO how the gskids are doing from time to time since they are still small children and I know my SO cares deeply for them as a grandpa. But even on the rare occasion I asked, it seemed to be a loaded question since he so rarely hears from SD. I can see he is visibly upset when he replies, "I haven't heard anything."  I have begun to stop asking about them. It is a hard line to dance since I don't want to appear uncaring (about small children who he loves) but on the other hand, I don't want to cause him anxiety or sadness by bringing them up. 

But I NEVER ask about SD or her DH since I really don't give a damn. And I never say anything negative about SD since she really doesn't affect our day-to-day life. I have never met a more heartless, selfish, self-absorbed lying piece of crap in my life, but I have never said that to my SO. 

I would suggest you practice disengagement more consciously. When you are ready to pop and confront your DH about something, come on here and vent about it instead.  Do it every day if you have to. You may find it very cathartic to write things out and get other's sympathetic responses. 

The alternative is to keep being hurt, hate feeling the way you do, and drive a wedge between you and your DH. In a way, that means SD is being successful at her antics.

Don't let her. 


Catmom024's picture

Why did he have to leave the house to make the phone call?  My SO does that because everything between him and SD has to be a secret.   

MorningMia's picture

Did they have the phone call pre-arranged? Had he forgotten to call her earlier? If you two decided suddenly to go out to dinner (not pre-planned?) and he had previously spoken with his daughter about calling her around that time, that might explain it. He might have gone outside because, knowing you don't like her, he might not want to expose you to the conversation or might not want to irritate you (well, that didn't work) or feel judged. I say this being in your shoes and I have accepted my DH usually speaking to the youngest SD when I'm not around or out of my earshot--it is fine because I would judge what I was hearing from this end and I decided my life is more pleasant when I don't hear the calls, while I also recognize DH deserves private conversations with his kids. Then there is the other SD who goes through periods of calling DH for marathon calls only around our dinner time, very much like her mother used to do. It feels purposely done and seems to be about control. Now, that one--I just motion to DH that we're ready to eat. 

Only you know your SO and whether or not he tends toward passive aggressive behavior or not.  What did he say when you confronted him? 

Merry's picture

I've had to confront my DH's behavior too, and he still seems to think he can do whatever he wants and I'll just wait for him. In your case, I very likely would have taken myself out to dinner while he called his daughter.

I'm all for DH having a relationship with his kids (who are generally too busy for him) but I'll not inconvenience myself to accommodate his impulsivity or lack of basic manners.

Rags's picture

There isn't anything that we hid from each other. Though upon occassion when one or the other of us is on for a marathon catch up session with an old friend, we will excuse ourselves to go to another room.

Then... we update each other when we get done.

If this does not pass the smell test, then call him out on it.

BobbyDazzler's picture

Why did he have to call her 'right then and there'? What's the secret? As someone else mentioned, is it about finances?? Seems off. I don't blame you for letting it all out.