Results from Creative Conflict Resolutions’ Passive Aggressive Test shows that 80% men prefer to “clam up” and hide their true thoughts from their wives.

Is this you?

A very common way of describing “clamming up” is to say that it is self-protection, and as the husband, you see it as a good way to avoid conflict altogether: if you don’t say what you really think, you can’t get in trouble, right? The problem is that avoiding conflict in this way blocks self-expression, and ends up making strangers of two people who should be aiming at self-discovery and mutual appreciation.

Why is it so important to recognize when you’re clamming up to avoid conflict? Well, a common (and unfortunate) fantasy is that by repressing your conflict-causing opinions, you make them disappear. Avoiding sharing personal feelings because you think there’s a risk of rejection is very classic behavior for a passive aggressive husband.

Whoa! A passive aggressive husband? Not you, you say?

What happens is that your wife perceives a deep layer of disregard: you prefer not to talk, restricting necessary information for her to get to know you. Another layer is one of perceived contempt: “he doesn’t tell me because he considers me an inferior, a lower level person, etc.”
So, it ends up building contempt! What was a self-protective behavior becomes an attack to the spouse.

That’s why its passive aggressive.

“Hold up!” you’re saying to yourself. “Do I really do this? It can’t be, there are other reasons.” If you suspect or have heard that you are passive aggressive, you’re probably trying to come up with a way to answer what other reasons there are. Even if this is new to you, you may still be asking questions like:

When does my behavior become “passive aggressive”?
When am I allowed to keep things to myself, because I’m “grumpy”?

Your questions are good ones. But even for emotionally healthy men, there can be an insistent urge to hide your true feelings and opinions. This is often culturally dictated or passed down as a “virtue” in your family. But avoiding talking about your deep feelings and opinions is still a passive aggressive behavior towards your wife, because it leaves her in the dark about your intentions. Imagine having to do a project at work with a colleague, except that the other person never tells you want they think, feel or want to do with their share of the work. Would anything get done? No, you’d have to do all the work yourself to ensure a good job of it. That’s your wife right now.

The way of avoiding offending the other is to signal: “I’d prefer now not to talk, perhaps later”? But remember: if you don’t come back to talk later, you’re only digging a deeper hole! Adults keep the promises they make. You’re an adult, right? You’re certainly married to one.

If you want to learn whether your behavior represents a pattern of passive aggressive behavior, study yourself. Learn to be self-aware of what you are saying when you say it. Your marriage may depend on it!

Author's Bio: 

Nora Femenia is a relationship expert who has studied human interactions and behaviors, what makes us tick, in countries around the world. Her aim is to increase the quality of love-based relationships by focusing on healing passive aggressive behaviors and other toxic practices.

You can take Creative Conflict’s FREE Passive Aggressive Test at to determine your passive aggressive quotient, removing the current crisis in the home revolving around your question, "Am I passive aggressive?"

Creative Conflict’s NOW OFFERS a ground-breaking Passive Aggressive System, a complete program intended to identify and transform the communication style by eliminating the need for passive aggression in marriages and replacing it with love and compassion.