When my newly-diagnosed ADD husband and I were at our marriage counselor this week, I was a little surprised at how matter-of-factly she spoke to him about his passive aggressive behavior.
I never thought about it before. And I felt really stupid. He is. And over almost 24 years, I was pulled into the role of, first, the person who didn't want to "rock the boat," and then eventually the person who expressed the anger and bitterness. I was trying to be a good wife. I let him change who I was. Who I am.
This could be a unique situation to us, but is passive aggression related to ADD? I looked around and couldn't find anything firm, but I found one blog post from a mom who said her children were passive aggressive as adults, she believed, because as ADD kids, they were always stifled in expressing their anger, were always bailed out of situations, and relied too much on her, which turned to resentment. She actually was mourning that their relationships now were bad because of how she handled things.
When I read the forum posts here, at first I felt validated that I wasn't the only one in the world doing this. Now they just break my heart. Why would so many spouses want to hurt the people who are--or should be--the most important people in the world to them? ADD doesn't mean they can't think. If you treat people badly, you get "bad" back in return. Why would they do it?
I just realized I'm being very vague in what I'm talking about. Specific things that I've experienced over the years are not having my ideas taken seriously, not getting what I ask for--or maybe getting it 10 years later, never having him take responsibility for his actions (I didn't understand, I didn't see it, I didn't realize), dealing with silence and sullenness instead of getting to talk something out--and paying dearly even if it turned out to be a misunderstanding, getting blamed because I "took it wrong," having things I cared about be sabotaged so I'd give them up. I could look directly into his eyes with my eyes filled with tears and ask "please" or "please don't." It didnt' matter.
Could it be that growing up with ADD leads to passive aggression that grown-ups don't even realize they use as a coping mechanism or a way to manipulate their worlds?
He actually asked me if I could find a link between the two. Is there one?