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Relationships can be incredibly tricky and, at times, navigating an issue that arises can seem almost impossible.
Passive aggression is a powerful tool used by people to subconsciously express anger or resentment without directly communicating their feelings, something couples acknowledge in hushed tones if they talk about it at all.
These hidden dynamics, often brushed aside due to the embarrassment associated with them, have far-reaching implications that go beyond our romantic relationships.
With this in mind, we would like to share 15 unexpected tales of passive aggression that occur behind closed doors.
Let’s take a closer look into how these stories illustrate why communication matters when it comes to solving relationship problems!
#1. Throwing Wet Towels in Bed
A pet peeve of many parents is their kids leaving wet towels on the ground.
On any day, if you walk into a house with kids, you will likely hear a parent tell their child to hang their towel.
One parent grew tired of the reminders and decided on another way to get the point across.
They picked up the wet towel and would put it in the kid’s bed.
Now the bed would be wet when it came time to go to bed.
#2. Labeling Things Left on The Counter
Many people get angry when dirty dishes are left on the counter when the dishwasher is there.
The same goes for items that go in the refrigerator that are not put away.
One Mom, tired of cleaning up after everyone, put sticky notes on the items and left things be.
The notes said things like, “This goes in the dishwasher,” “This goes in the trash,” and “This goes in the fridge.”
#3. The Silent Treatment
This is a classic way of communicating disapproval in a relationship. It’s when one partner stops talking to the other, or gives them the cold shoulder over an argument or disagreement.
The silent treatment can be incredibly hurtful and cause lasting damage if left unchecked, as it communicates that your feelings aren’t important.
#4. Making Flow Charts
Many people mentioned how they use flow charts to get their point across.
All these cases are made to be Yes/No questions and always lead back to the same answer.
For example, “Did you use the toilet?”. If yes, the next step is “put the seat down.”
If the answer was no, the next step is “put the seat down.”
#5. Toddler Slamming Cabinet Doors
Most of the examples are behaviors between adults. But here is a hilarious one involving a toddler.
One person shared how they tend to leave the doors and drawers of their kitchen cabinets open.
Their toddler comes into the kitchen and slams the doors and drawers shut, letting his parents know they need to close them.
#6. Only Doing Your Own Laundry
When you do the laundry, it is assumed you will do it for everyone.
But some passive aggressive people have resorted to only doing their own loads, as a silent way to show they’re unhappy with their partner.
#7. Leaving Hair on Shower Wall
Women know that strands of hair falling out in the shower is a part of life.
Some will proactively take the clumps, put them in a pile, and throw them in the trash.
Others buy a device to put over the drain that collects the hairs so they can easily throw them out.
But some women do nothing. And the men in their lives eventually draw the line.
One example of a spouse’s passive aggressive behavior was gathering all the hair and sticking it to the shower wall for his spouse to find.
I’m unsure if this will be a good enough reminder for her to throw out her hair.
#8. Making Only One Side of The Bed
How is this for passive aggressive behavior? One person got tired of always making the bed, so they decided only to make their side.
While this is some great outside-the-box thinking, I’m not sure it will result in the intended consequence.
#9. Non-Answers and Half-Answers
Another way passive aggressiveness can rear its ugly head is when a partner responds to questions with noncommittal, vague answers or doesn’t answer at all.
This type of behavior communicates that your feelings are important enough for them to ignore you altogether, which can be incredibly hurtful.
#10. Turning Off The Lights
Many people get furious when others leave a room without turning out the lights.
One person’s passive aggressive behavior is to go into the room that person is in and turn those lights out.
#11. Putting Toilet Paper Rolls in the Drawer
Nothing is more annoying than sitting down to go the bathroom and finding no toilet paper, just an empty roll.
One person was fed up and decided to collect the empty rolls and put them in their spouse’s underwear drawer as a reminder to put a new roll out.
#12. Taking Out The Trash
Usually, the man is responsible for taking out the trash. In one case, the wife was tired of her husband not doing this.
So she gathered all the trash in the house and piled it up against the door to leave.
Now he had no choice but to take out the trash.
#13. Alexa Commands
Technology is great for making life easier and can also be used for passive aggressive behavior.
One person said she goes to bed before her spouse, and when she does, and there is a load of clothes in the washer, she sets a reminder on their Alexa.
But not the type of reminder you think.
She sets the reminder to say her husband’s name and then “put the clothes in the dryer.”
#14. Playing the Blame Game
Couples often pass the blame back and forth when one of them is in the wrong.
Instead of admitting their mistake, they will use passive-aggressive phrases such as “That’s what you get for…” or “You should have known better.”
This type of behavior creates an atmosphere of guilt and tension in the relationship, as one partner is constantly trying to make the other feel bad for a mistake they made.
#15. Refusing To Communicate
Passive aggression can also manifest itself in a refusal to communicate.
One partner might ignore messages or calls from their significant other or pretend not to hear when they’re addressed directly.
They may take a long time to respond to their partner’s questions or offer vague answers that don’t address the issue.
This type of behavior creates an environment where true communication is difficult and leaves the other person feeling ignored or unimportant in the relationship.
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Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.