Divorcing Passive-Aggressive Men and Women

passive aggressive men
Women and Divorce
Wendi Schuller
Author of
The Global Guide to Divorce

Divorce with a passive-aggressive partner can be particularly aggravating.

They seeming are going along with the whole process, yet are sabotaging it.

They agree to check on their pension plan or to bring paperwork to the divorce sessions, but “forget.” The use of the word “forget” may be frequent as a way of avoiding responsibilities or tasks that they do not wish to perform.

Passive-aggressive people can prolong divorce hearings by purposely not following through with something as a way to get back at you. This retaliation bumps up legal costs.

They avoid confrontations and do not directly express intense emotions.

They have a calm demeanour which hides the hostility lurking beneath the surface. Actions are ruled by anger since they do not voice it out loud. They may refuse to sign the divorce papers or at the last minute disagree with how assets are divided, instead of stating objections earlier. It is difficult to know what they are thinking and if they are amenable to negotiations, since the silent treatment is their specialty. Ask what is wrong and a curt “nothing” may be the reply.

They do not communicate well, so give and take is difficult. They are not expressing opinions which complicates divorce arrangements.

He or she may “forget” about a visitation,

Co-parenting with a passive-aggressive ex is challenging. They play the blame game and may hold you as the villain, who ruined their life.

The divorce was caused 100% by you and now you will be punished, indirectly of course.

You might receive maintenance on time, but in the wrong amount. It is wise to have maintenance and child support sent directly from his bank account to yours, to leave him out of the loop.

Then one does not have GFY (Go F*** Yourself) written in the check memos as one woman did.

He or she may “forget” about a visitation, or pick up the kids late when you have a date. Having the pickup and drop off at a neutral location is prudent. One former couple has theirs at the paternal grandparents’ house, so his being late or forgetting is not an issue. The children have fun and the mother is not stressed.

Have a detailed Parenting Plan to lessen complications post-divorce when the passive-aggressive parent may try to get back at you through the children.

Have shared time clearly stated and clarify holiday arrangements. The passive-aggressive person sees themselves as the victim in life and you want to avoid this drama.

There are various online calendar sites where parents can mark activities and events so the kids’ schedules are available to both parents. This reduces accusations that the other parent was not informed of happenings in their youngsters’ lives.

When communicating with the passive-aggressive parent avoid emotions, particularly anger.

Ignore their subtle putdowns and just state the facts. Keep e-mails business like and to the point. Passive-aggressive people often have low self-esteem and may attempt to build themselves up by tearing you down.

Have someone available for the kids to talk with, because the other parent may be making mean “jokes” or offhand comments about you. The least interactions that you can have with this difficult ex-spouse, the better.



Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).

Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.

She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.


  1. Hi Soila,
    Nice name where did that come from ?.
    Good idea, I’m at a loose end right at this moment, I live in southern Italy and it’s too hot to go outside, so why not, do it now, whilst I am still a teensy bit cross with him for ignoring my last note with my questionnaire for my wife to answer, he has advised her to ignore me and not reply. URGH !!.
    Law Society website here I come.
    I will post an update as and when.
    Take care.

  2. I am presently going through one hell of a divorce, but instead of my soon to be ex-wife causing the problems, it is her completely arrogant and lying, solicitor. He sends emails, where the only truth in the email is my name and the date, he says that they are from my wife, but she denies that she would even make up such stupid questions. He is obviously trying very hard to wind me up and to an extent, it is working, but I have kept all of his notes and presented them to the court as well as informing him that I will be reporting him with the evidence to the law society, this has made him even more arrogant and he is now behaving in a totally out of control manner. The problem is as I see it, is that he believes every word I say about the money my wife has stolen from me and is just trying to drag this simple divorce out to increase his fee, after all, the money she is paying him is not really hers, so why should he not have a bigger share, MY OPINION. I could write a horror story, just using his emails, I have tried many times to get her to offload him, but she is like a lap dog hanging onto his every word. He has a twitter account and the other day I noted over two hundred ”self-congratulatory” messages on there, all written by him saying how clever he is. I personally think that he is a very dangerous NARCISSIST, his bill at the end of all this will have to come out of stolen money, so effectively, although I am the applicant, I will end up being the loser. I hate solicitors, I have yet to ever meet an honest one, evil people.

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