Some men go to great lengths to avoid conflict at home. Yet many of these same men are all about challenging things at work or with their friends. Another version of this is the man who is passive-aggressive at home, but not in other settings. What’s going on?
Many men only know how to disagree or challenge in a harsh way. With other men, this is not a problem – in fact, it may be expected and respected. Most men argue ideas with great passion. Two ideas enter the ring, only one leaves. It is how we do things. It is not, however, a good way to do things with the woman you love. Some men know this going into marriage, while others figure it out after a few bad fights. He sees three choices:
- Beat you up verbally
- Fight with one arm tied behind his back
- Avoid conflict
Most men have no stomach for the first option, and no interest in the second, making conflict avoidance the best choice. Passive-aggressive behaviour can be their frustration bleeding through.
His learning to communicate better and “fight fair” would help both of you, but don’t put it all on him. Understand his passion and drive come out in all parts of his life. Expecting him to disagree with you the way another woman would is asking him not to be a man. If he feels his choices are to act wimpy or not engage, guess which he will choose?
Look for a place in the middle. If he can soften his approach some, can you learn his aggression is not personal?
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’ve been known to argue for the fun of it.