Recovery is about learning to express our emotions in a healthy and articulate way. Instead of harboring resentments, holding grudges, and withholding communication, we learn to engage in healthy conversations which keeps both partners in a relationship informed. “Passive aggression,” writes Mindful, “is a symptoms of the fear of conflict. While someone’s passive aggressive behavior may make you instantly feel like you’re in the middle of a fight, that’s what he or she is trying to avoid.”
Recovery also gives us the tools to resolve conflict. When we become more secure in ourselves and our ability to express emotion, we are able to approach conflict without fear or insecurity. However, when passive aggression becomes part of the equation, it can stir up fiery emotions which root back to childhood. The article explains that “Passive aggressiveness often stems from one’s childhood experience with anger.” For example, children who witness big anger, or violent rage, are likely to grow up fearing the expression of anger in any form. On the contrary, in a childhood where anger simply wasn’t allowed, children are likely to grow up not being able to acknowledge anger or its underlying emotions. Whatever our beliefs about anger, we are prevented from learning that experiencing anger is okay and it can be communicated in a healthy manner.
Anger which is passively held against a partner threatens your personal recovery and the recovery of your relationship. Reaching a resolution or any kind of closure is hard to do, the article describes, “because the anger is always simmering, never rising to the surface to be confronted.”
Relationship recovery operates on the same timeline as personal recovery from addiction, alcoholism, or mental health disorders- one day at a time. In the early stages of recovery, you are becoming familiar with your own emotions and learning how to cope with the emotions of others. It is likely that you are going to experience conflict with your partner. Stay committed to working together in relationship counseling and together outside of relationship counseling. As time passes you will find that you don’t have a tolerance for passive aggression any longer and healthy communication becomes the norm.
Relationships can play an integral role in recovery. The treatment programs for substance use and mental health disorders at Avalon By the Sea include relationship counseling and practical group sessions for building healthy relationship techniques. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call us today at 1 888-958-7511.