Passive Aggressive Behavior

Is there any way to differentiate between passive aggressive behavior and ADD for those of us who have spouses who will absolutely not get tested?  Could ADD present itself as Passive Aggressive Behavior?

Wiki definition: Passive aggressive behavior can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, hostility masquerading as jokes, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.





My husband is hardly ever

My husband is hardly ever directly aggressive. He is expert on different forms of passive aggressive behaviour. He does not listen, does not communicate, does not look in the eye, does not answer, does not do stuff, avoids normal relationship closeness and any discussion or problem solving opportunity. No matter how rude he is, he very coldly and passive aggressively avoids his own responsibility.

I am sure it is adhd related. And it is not just a small thing - this is what makes him very rude and probably the main reason why I don't even feel like I love him anymore. Maybe this is temperament + adhd thing? My hubby was pretty withdrawn as a kid, not the punching type at all. So now as a grown up he does not possess the good social skills and normal empathy and is filled with some kind of anger, yet is unable to vent it so he nurtures his hatred (of women, of criticism, of change, of seeing unpleasant things, of developing onesself, of becoming responsible, of comforting others) not by shouting etc but by passive aggressive behaviour. For him, it is also a very big part of his ego that he is kind of flawless, so he tries to project this image of too nice a guy of himself. When I challenge this and tell him how incredibly rude and hurtful his behaviour is, that is one of the rare occasions when he sometimes really shows his anger actively. Most often even then he just glares at the ceiling and leaves the room. What a charmer.

I have given him ten thousand chances to change these things that really make me suffer and to do something about his many characteristics that have turned our marriage dynamic upside down. Again, his response has been passive aggressive - denial, avoidance and huge anger whenever I really get tired of that coldness and passive aggression and tell him to grow up, get tested and start acting responsible for his numerous issues that have made me depressed and unhappy.


This too is my situation.   I

This too is my situation.   I wish a specialist would give advice on the above situation.

In addition to the above, my husband's ADHD and passive aggressiveness is out of control.  He destroys property when he is angered, and hides and misplaces property in order to confound and confuse, also when he is angered.  He blames everyone for his choices, does not file tax returns, has a bad work ethic, and has turned pitting people against each other into a fine art.  Lately, he is getting a bit violent as he is using screaming as a threatening tool, pushes and shoves me at times, and once even slapped me.  I have had to lock up my bed room and the kids just to protect our property.  This is a serious psychological disability.



Hitting, shoving, and damaging property isn't ADHD behavior. Your spouse may have ADHD but this is being abusive. It is not ok to hit, shove, or use screaming to intimidate and control your wife. It is assault. It is verbal and physical spousal abuse. He sounds like he has some significant violence and anger management problems that may be related to ADHD but are not simply ADHD. 

Please consider the effect this must be having on your children, and you. Abusive people can and often do escalate. I am so concerned that you have to lock up your kids to protect them. Talk to someone who can help you, a counselor or friend. If he hits you again, call the police. You should not be with someone who is treating you this way. 

Best to you. 



Thank you for responding so

Thank you for responding so quickly.

My husband is an expert at psychological abuse.  Mostly, he insults and pushes and give you an example: I had a mastectomy (I don't have a reconstruction) and when we were in bed he told me that my single breast reminded him of a cow tit, and that he was not attracted to that, so he just could not get turned on; needless, to say that was the last time we slept in the same room.  This happened a few years ago but this is how he talks to me when he is not yelling.  He blames me for everything just everything, especially when I yell back, and that is why (for a very long time) I believed that I was the problem, that is, until I went to the center for abused women.  But, my husband does have ADHD as does my son (both have the inattentive kind).  I have read that severe cases of ADHD have co-psychological problems stemming from ADHD.  My husband was nearly 50 when he was diagnosed... a long time to develop terrible problems.  

After my husband slapped me, my son confronted him and told him he had to leave.  My son is now 22 and is mostly away at college, and my daughter is 18.   My husband did move to an apartment, but it was then that I picked up the mail (he usually picked up the mail, which goes to the post office), and found out he had not filed taxes for many years.  I don't know what happened to my letters from the government about the taxes because I never got them.  I suspect he was destroying them.  Needless to say, I was very upset, but then I also got the bank statements, and, after crunching the numbers with my son, we realized my husband could not afford to live at the apartment he was in and also pay all our bills.   So, I agreed that he could live in our downstairs walk-out finished basement bedroom.  Of course, the therapist at the abuse center advised only to get a divorce and to stay living apart, but I had to think of our finances, and I am, after all, a stay-at-home-mom, and the economy is not doing well.  

One thing though, and I noticed this while my husband was living away at the apartment,  I no longer lost things, nor did the children, and things didn't break anymore, and the plumbing didn't overflow, and the flower beds weren't soaked (not dew, but soaking, sopping, dripping wet) in the mornings, etc, etc.  But that all changed when my husband returned, all the problems started again: things seemed constantly lost or broken, floods in the basement, mysterious sand everywhere, etc., and we even had a spontaneous fire outside in my flower bed with no explanation as to how it started.  Now, containers in the storage room are spontaneously springing leaks (this worries me because we have combustible chemicals there.  This is why I decided to move as much as I could into the bed rooms, and to lock the rooms (not the stuff in the basement).  So far, if things are in the bed rooms nothing happens to them, but, of course, the bed rooms are now cluttered.  

Lately, despite the fact that I have hidden the fish food, my husband is overfeeding the gold fish (he must have bought some food).  He knows if he continues overfeeding the fish he will probably kill it, and I don't think there is anything I can do about that. Gold fish are suppose to live to be 40 years old...this one, sadly, may not.  Problems just go on and on.   I have also noticed that my husband tries to control our discussions so that they becomes a, "no I didn't, yes you did" argument.  He seem to get some of joy out of it, so I just won't allow the argument, but them he starts yelling to try to get it there.

I have given up hoping that my husband will get help by himself.  I have begged him to get group therapy and to ask his psychiatrist to recommend a good group (I have read that meds along with group therapy is the only thing that helps adults diagnosed with ADHD), but he won't do it.  He seems to think his ADHD medication and anti anxiety medication is all he needs.  I don't know how to get him to seek help.  My husband is a pathological liar and I never know whether he is telling the truth or telling lies.  These days, he spends from 12 to 15 hours on week days away from home, ostensibly at work even though, for some years now, he has had no promotion (he is an attorney).  I am lost, I feel I am walking on quick sand.  Please advise...what can I do to get him help?

With the ADD, more times than

With the ADD, more times than not, I see there is a disconnect in the eye contact. Spouse will be looking right at me when I'm talking to him but I can tell the eyes are blank-like, they are just staring in my direction, but not comprehending the words. Or he will start rapping his knuckles, or whistling. Or he will be standing in front of me, and his eyes are searching all corners of the room for nothing in particular. Basically, he hears me talking but in a totally distracted way. Or the ADD is purely conflict driven. He will ask a series of questions about one issue, each question getting progressively harder to answer, because there really is no correct answer. But he keeps wording the questions in a way so it turns out to be the kind of answer he wants to hear. But there is movement, outside of the eye contact.

When passive aggressive, the eye contact becomes more avoidance and non-existent. There is a deliberate ignoring and focusing on a completely bizarre task, like staring into a digital tablet or checkbook or television screen and not moving, nor answering, for several minutes or longer. The affect is so flat it's a passive aggressive way of letting me know I don't exist. There is no jittery action. It's almost like the toddler who shuts her eyes in a game of peek-a-boo, if she shuts it hard enough she thinks no one else will see her!