Woman in Long Distance Relationship With Passive Aggressive Man


cancer crab line drawing
Dear Elsa,

I am in limbo. Six years ago, I had a wonderful relationship with a man who was moral, honest and had extremely wonderful communication skills. We were so happy, but we couldn’t be together. He lived in West Virginia and I in Louisiana. We tried for over a year to maintain a long-distance relationship… to no avail.

Seven months ago, he found me on MySpace. After a few weeks of talking on the phone, we decided to give it another try. Things were going so well; he was making plans to move here and live with my daughter and I. But recently, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse. We are having nonsensical arguments and spending several days at a time without speaking to each other. At this point, I’m not even sure if we are still dating or not.

By way of explanation, he is passive aggressive. He never gets angry, every fight is my fault, he doesn’t take responsibility for his words or actions, he doesn’t follow through on his promises, and he never lets me know where I stand. He evades questions and dodges every issue. To add to this problem, I have recently started going to counseling for co-dependency… which, of course, means that I’m “stuck in love” and wishing like all heck that I could do something to “fix” him.

That is the real question… is there any hope here? We are both intelligent people, and I am already getting help. He, at least on some level already, knows he has some “issues” but when I spoke the words passive aggressive to him he immediately became defensive and combative. I know he’s in denial. Is there anything I can do beside walk away from him? Is there any way I can give him a nudge in the right direction?

Long Distance Girlfriend
United States

Dear Girlfriend,

Your man sounds a mess but never mind that. Forget his denial – how about your own? Because it seems you left out or glossed over some major pieces of information here, and in other places you just sound plain confused.

For example, you say you had a fabulous “extremely wonderful” relationship with a man who could communicate. Two paragraphs later you say he evades questions and keeps you guessing. Huh? That is a profound disconnect and when you are suffering this kind of confusion, you’ve no business trying to diagnose the other.

Is there hope for your relationship? I don’t think so. This sounds like the relationship that never was. Because who is grounded in reality here? It’s not you and it’s certainly not him. Making plans to be with you is not being with you, is it? I think this man is wasting your time. And that’s your fault, because you’re the one who keeps picking up the phone to take part in this train wreck. But I don’t think you’re going to be able to do it for long. Know why?

It’s because Saturn is transiting your first house, begging you to work on yourself. And you are co-operating by going to therapy, which is good. Because I’m sure you’re going to hear this same kind of message here there and everywhere. And ultimately I think this will be enough to keep you on the right path and lead you out of this.

Good luck.

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