Fakeness – yes, I realise it’s not a real word. It is a real problem, though, in this day and age.
I’ve started to believe that it’s most endemic to the passive aggressive amongst us. Having been married to a passive aggressive man, I know a fair amount about this ‘condition’. For all his faults my ex-husband, let’s call him Gerald, was a lovely man. He was generous, kind and amiable. However, because of his inability to be honest with people, especially me, it affected our relationship so deeply that it ultimately led to our demise. No, I am not saying he was solely responsible for said demise, not at all. In a marriage you are responsible for 50% of what goes wrong. No more. No less.
Gerald’s inability to be honest with me led to him lying to me. I would eventually find out he was not honest and there would be an argument. I could not fathom the reasons why he would not just be honest with me from the outset. He claimed he did not want to hurt my feelings but it ended up being a complete abortion once I found out anyway. The logic escaped me and if you cannot appeal to my logic and reason, you will lose my trust and my respect. It’s a downward spiral to losing my love and it’s a one way journey.
This is not unique to Gerald, however and I see passive aggressive behaviour everywhere. I have stopped engaging it because it’s not worth it. As soon as you address the behaviour, you are confronted with something akin to a cornered wild animal, firstly because you’ve outed them from their lies and/or half truths and secondly, have the seeming audacity to say something to them – you are doing what they are unable to do and as a result, they resent you.
Another symptom of passive aggressiveness, in my experience and opinion, is substance abuse. They go hand in hand. (Taylor Harman concurs with this in his personality test called The Color Code – http://www.colorcode.com) I am not only speaking of narcotics or booze. I’ve seen passive aggressives abuse food and physical exercise to name just two. It is as a direct result of them bottling what they really should just get out in the open. There is so much truth to the simple saying: Better in than out. It seems simple. It probably isn’t. I’ve never had the benefit, though of any passive aggressive explain exactly why it’s so difficult. This is because the passive aggressive will deny that they even are passive aggressive.
It was this that ultimately led to the break up of my marriage. Gerald and I had even tried counselling and we were blessed with a truly wonderful psychologist. This is high praise indeed from someone who believes psychology is, for all intents and purposes, a soft science. Yes, yes, you may not agree, that’s fine, I don’t care, neither should you. In any event, our therapist was a revelation. The perfect mediator between two people who really did not even speak the same language. By the time Gerald and I were communicating effectively, it was too late. The battle lines had long since been drawn and blood had been spilled in the marriage field. This is what caused me the most sorrow. Had I known earlier, had we known earlier, would we have been able to save our marriage? Perhaps. However, though Gerald was present during the counselling (for about 25% of the time, mind you) he gave lip-service to our therapist, who noted as much in a private session. He was present but was not putting anything we learned into practice.
The reason Gerald provides to people who ask him why we divorced, I have subsequently come to learn, is; she would not have children. This is an indictment on a woman. It paints a picture that she is cold, selfish and not nurturing. At first I was angry. Then I was sad. The truth is, we had spoken of children in the early days of our marriage and I was willing to have them. This changed in direct proportion to how dishonest Gerald was with me. In the end, I was issued with an ultimatum during a late night drunken (him, not me) argument. “If you won’t have children, then I want a divorce.” I will never be able to effectively put into words what that did to me; at the time. However, it served to make my vision clear and my path sure. This was not the man who deserved to have me stay.
It took me two years and a rebound relationship to come to terms with what happened and make peace with it. I am very many things. Fake, however, is not one of them. I hold hard and fast to this and I speak my piece whether you like it or not. It has lost me many friends and acquaintances however, it’s also solidified relationships with those who are now true friends. Strong men and women who are honest and straightforward and this is incomparable.
Peel away the fake. Speak your mind and I guarantee your life will change. It won’t always be comfortable but that is how you grow.
Thank you for reading.