When a person is in a relationship with a passive-aggressive partner, they must fully assess their goals. An understanding of this behaviour is important, and it is the key to finding workable solutions for the couple. If they cannot get past the barrier, their relationship will survive only if both are amenable to daily frustration. Looking at a person's family relationships often helps to discover ways to combat it.
Many relationship behaviours are taught, and a person with this type of relationship issue has generally learned it from one of their parents. The parent that does not exhibit the behaviour may have learned how to cope with it, or they may have learned to ignore it. Either way, a solution must be found in the current relationship if it is to weather over time. It helps if both people are willing to recognize this as a destructive relationship behaviour, and both must be willing to work on solving the issue.
When a person refuses to even acknowledge a behaviour, there is little chance of solving it to the satisfaction of both parties. A patient person may be willing to learn coping mechanisms, but patience only lasts a finite time. Rather than living with the issue, the person may decide it is better to preserve their own sanity and leave. This helps justify the behaviour of the passive-aggressive partner, and it reinforces their belief that their partner never cared for them.
Many relationship issues come down to how a person grew up, but that does not mean the behaviour must continue. Change is difficult, but it can be done with support from a willing partner. If both people in the relationship are willing to try, their lives together may see a massive improvement as they find their own coping mechanisms.