By Chris Seiter

Published on January 9th, 2023

Is your ex girlfriend exhibiting passive aggressive behavior?  If so, then don’t feel you are like the only guy who has a girlfriend that chooses to push back in such a way.  Indeed, you may find that interacting with her about the breakup is both confusing and frustrating.  Invariably, you are likely asking yourself why she is acting this way.

Passive Aggressive Behavior Defined

So what does it mean when we say an ex is passive aggressive.  So let’s start with the basics.  I think you have a good idea what aggressive means.  When your ex is getting aggressive with you, she may be emotionally very direct, even loud to the point where she is in your face. Her behavior may also take on the form of physical aggression.  But if she is exhibiting qualities of passiveness, then what you might see is an ex girlfriend who is more quiet and not responding or taking a firm position about what is going on with the relationship.

Hence, if you combine these two possible behavioral outcomes, what you end up with is an ex girlfriend who is acting like she is not upset or frustrated, but is saying things in such a way (e.g. tone) or using body language in such a manner (e.g. sulking) that it becomes evident after awhile that she is taking a defensive, indirect posture to the extent that there is a disconnect in her words versus actions.

Does this sound like how your ex is behaving? If so, you are probably wondering why she is acting this way.  Well, let me give you the short answer first, then I will go into the various reasons why she has elected to take on this type of demeanor.  You should also check out my Ex Recovery Program to help you with all of the challenges you will need to overcome.

In brief, the key reason why your ex girlfriend is exhibiting passive aggressive behaviors is because she would rather not confront you directly with what is bothering her.  She may have strategically decided that she would take a defensive posture as a way of expressing her frustration and dissatisfaction with what is going on in the relationship as a means of conveying to you that things are not right in her world.

The 3 Top Reasons Why Your Ex Girlfriend is Being Passive Aggressive

There are usually multiple reasons why your ex is taking on this type of attitude. Let’s examine them in a bit more detail since understanding what drives your ex girlfriend’s behavior can help you with overcoming the core problem.

1. It Is In Her Nature To Behave This Way

Your girlfriend may be reluctant to talk openly and directly about her feelings because she doesn’t at the time wish to rock the boat.  She may be biding her time to discover whether you will start to see for yourself the issue (s) that is bothering her in the hope that you will acknowledge your own shortfalls, without her having to directly point them out.  This kind of reaction may be wired into her state of being and is very much part of her personality.

2. Your Ex May Still Be Harboring A lot of Resentment

She may still be very upset and angry and resentful.  So as you have occasions to interact with her, she may feel compelled to act in a passive aggressive manner.  With all that has gone down, she may be far from ready to shoot straight with you and open up for fear of being hurt again.  In this way, she is seeking to protect herself from further emotional harm, but doing it in a way that puts up an emotional barrier which is difficult to penetrate.

3. Your Ex Girlfriend May Be Using This Approach As an Ex Back Tactic

This approach of shutting you out may have worked before.  So instead of ramping the emotions and arguments up, she adopts this more defensive strategy to allow for a cooling off period.  Her thinking may be it is wiser to avoid any more large confrontations so the relationship is not losing more ground. But we are all human and cannot always hide our true feelings about matters that are important to us.  So as she seeks to keep things dialed down, a bit of cynicism may creep into her tone and facial expressions which contributes to the disconnect you are picking up on.

What Should You Do When Your Ex Girlfriend Acts in the Manner?

While it may be frustrating to you when your ex girlfriend is giving you a big dose of passive aggressive reactions, you should not respond in kind.  Nor should you get angry and attack her for not showing an openness to talk in a genuine manner. It will become crystal clear with you that she is acting differently and avoiding confrontation.  You should not fall into the trap of reacting negatively as it will only ratchet things up and prolong the ex recovery process

It is better to take the high road.  What I mean by that is you should show her kindness and don’t call her out on it.  Your goal is to keep the conversation going and allow her to hopefully drop the passive aggressive act and speak plainly to you about what is on her mind.  Only through this approach will you get to the crux of the problem.

Chances are you have no idea what is bothering her, but you can pick up from her behavior, tone, and attitude that something is off.  She is taking on the emotional posture of passive aggressiveness because deep down she want to open up and have a honest discussion without fear of making things worse.

Your job is to nurture this along and if she does open up, be a good listener and avoid judging her or becoming defensive.  Let her have her say.  Let your ex girlfriend get what is on her mind out into the open.  Only then will the two of you be able to work toward making meaningful changes in the relationship.	

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