Thinks everything is an argument

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Cascade

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Thinks everything is an argument
« on: February 06, 2017, 03:24:57 PM »
My husband thinks that so many of the things I say are argumentative.  I will give you an example. My husband tells me that two different people told him that a meeting ends at different times. So I say, maybe they vary from week to week. He says, no, they never vary. Then I said maybe one of them is wrong then. Even though I said both of these things in a calm and relaxed tone, he took that as me trying to start an argument with him. Does this sound like I was trying to start an argument? Sometimes it seems like he takes nearly everything I say that way. I know he wants me to talk to him more but it's like he wants me to treat him like a four year old child, where I just say "wow", and "that's interesting" and agree with him. How can a real conversation even happen like that?

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coyote

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 03:32:37 PM »
Cascade,
It is hard and since I don't know you specific situation is hard hard to give specific advice. All I can say is my uPPDw has done this to me before. I have just said something like "no, I'm just trying to talk. If you are going to get abusive we don't have to talk." Over time she has gotten the idea that if she starts being mean of accusing me of things I'm not doing, or trying to read my mind, I will disengage. Slow but sure she has stopped. I hope this helps.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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Cascade

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 03:40:09 PM »
My husband is the one that is usually disengaging, over what seems to me to be nothing. It feels almost like he's trying to train me to always agree with him or something, by walking away when I say something he doesn't like.

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coyote

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 03:42:40 PM »
Have you actually tried to call him on it, something like, "you know I love you and want a relationship. It is really hard when you disengage just because I seem to not agree with you. What's up with that?"
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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hellobliss

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 05:36:21 PM »
"I'm not going to argue with you" was the number one response to any attempt to work out our issues, finances, child-rearing, weekend plans, retirement plans.

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redfish

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 05:43:23 PM »
My ex did that, had to be contrary. Nothing I said in response to something he'd say was acceptable. I was always wrong. I was 'lower' than him therefore my observations were useless. I think he just wanted an audience.

On a side note- he also once told me he started arguments on purpose so the times that ordinary conversations  with him being contrary turned into arguments, I think it was on purpose him being contrary solely to start a fight. He's also admitted in the past to liking being angry because he likes 'the rush of it'. So he needs his anger fix.

That's my experience with contrariness.
If Cinderella went back to pick up her shoe she never would've become a princess

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Foreignwoman

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 06:09:03 PM »
My husband is the one that is usually disengaging, over what seems to me to be nothing. It feels almost like he's trying to train me to always agree with him or something, by walking away when I say something he doesn't like.

This sounds all very familiar. Sometimes I think my DH has traits too, because he walks away everytime a conversation gets difficult. It's not often the case, but he walks away period. That's difficult for me.

FW
Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

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bruceli

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 06:40:26 PM »
IME, it is/becomes and argument when it goes in the direction of things she doesn't want to hear or it is about her changing behaviors.
One will never fulfill their destiny or truly be free, until they can let go of the illusion of control.

Fair doesn't mean equal.

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Cascade

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 03:27:18 PM »
Quote
He's also admitted in the past to liking being angry because he likes 'the rush of it'. So he needs his anger fix.

Mine said basically the same thing, in one of his rare honest moments.

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waking up

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 11:02:54 PM »
I'm sure some of them must enjoy arguing. Maybe it is an adrenaline rush for them or something.

My FIL would often contradict everything I said. First he would try baiting me, and if I ignored the bait he would then start contradicting. He would contradict for no reason,  and he was often illogical and presented "facts" that were obviously not true. I could never understand why he did this, but maybe he did enjoy it. Or maybe it was used as a way to control people. He was unable to control me (unlike everyone else in the family) so he kept trying and trying to do this to me.

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Sesame

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 02:35:57 AM »
I have not been directly accused of starting an argument, but like waking up^ I have had my uNMIL constantly try to bait me or otherwise drag me into an argument over the pettiest things. My go-to response is grey rock and medium chill. Seems to work in most cases.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2017, 04:40:33 PM »
stbxuPDh when he doesn't agree with what I'm telling him: "I don't have to put up with this!" and walks away.

If I have a different opinion, or he asks me for my opinion on something and it's not what he wanted me to say, "stop arguing with me!"

I ask, how can my opinion, which you asked for by the way, be considered an argument? He replies "It just is!"  :stars:
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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randompanda

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2017, 07:58:37 AM »
NPDexbf used to go through phases of this, where he would disagree with literally everything I said and start a fight over it. Even if I said it was sunny outside, he would say I was wrong, and that it was raining.

It was pure baiting. I think he just loved hearing himself argue so much, it was something he actively pursued for his own entertainment. He used to brag how his family always thought he should be a prosecutor. I don't think they meant it as a compliment!

If I didn't automatically agree with him, he would start pacing the room and  arguing his case like an attorney in a courtroom, and saying that I "obviously didn't understand what he said", because how could I possibly disagree with him now that he's laid out his ironclad argument.

I would usually just let it go at that point, but over the years I got so fed up with constantly being challenged that I would say, "You know what? I understood every word you said, because I am not an idiot. I just happen to disagree with you."

That would lead to him storming out of the room.

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static-pallor

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2017, 08:58:02 PM »
My ex would do the same at times, see things as me criticizing him, being condescending to him, or trying to fight, when I was not at all!

There was one time in particular that I remember where he was really frustrated about something, probably work related, on top of a small disagreement we were also having. Well I had told him that maybe he should take a step back, take some deep breaths and have some water. I said that through text, meaning no particular tone or way, other than genuinely suggesting a way to calm down, and he mocked me by repeating what I wrote and then told me to fuck off.... He thought I was being condescending!

While I don't believe your statements were argumentative, I can see the frustration when innocent words or conversations become taken out of context. I think in a sense, it's not so much the tone sometimes that they see as trying to start an argument, but also that you maybe aren't going along with or agreeing with them/their points. They may feel challenged or belittled if you try to point out "well maybe..." or other things when they personally feel so strongly or right in one way about something or a situation. Like you aren't taking "their side" when really, you're just trying to give a different view and have a general/normal conversation naturally.

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Cascade

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 02:14:58 PM »
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They may feel challenged or belittled if you try to point out "well maybe..." or other things when they personally feel so strongly or right in one way about something or a situation. Like you aren't taking "their side" when really, you're just trying to give a different view and have a general/normal conversation naturally.
Yes, he has even accused me of not taking his side. I think he would be happier with a Stepford type of robot wife.

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NoVacancy

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2017, 07:27:36 PM »
Cascade,

Yes, and mine responded much like static pallor'a PD. In his mind the way I replied meant I was questioning his ability to read people, didn't want to give him any credit or just wanting to disagree with him.

In reality, given your example, what  my unpdexh really wanted was to be the victim of the two people giving him two different times for the meeting to end. The kind of reasoning you offered in your example took that away from him--he couldn't be the victim anymore if it he has to consider this wasn't done intentionally to him.  My ex did not like any viewpoint that took away his ability to be a victim.

It's very exhausting trying to engage, and even more so when the attempt is turned into something negative.

If this helps at all, my counselor has given me noncommittal phrases to use which help immensely (when I remember to use them):

-that's an interesting idea
-that's something I'll have to think about

Also, reply with any truth to what they've said.  Ex:  He says "I asked you 3 different times to start the dishwasher this morning.  I can't believe you can't listen...blah, blah, drama, drama, list of everything you've ever done wrong, etc)."  You might reply:  "You're right I did forget to start the dishwasher this morning."  No reason, no excuse, nothing else but acknowledge that truth.

Good luck to you--at least you know you're not alone in this!
 

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Phantom Muse

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2017, 08:07:13 PM »
My uNPD/BPDSO gets upset EVERY time I disagree with him-- even if it's over something terribly trivial and benign-- like my taste in music vs. his taste.  I have said nothing incendiary ("I prefer the second song they played" when he likes the first song that was played), but still he either shuts down or goes into a mini-rage.  It's ridiculous.

Sadly, I've begun to keep my mouth shut and not share my opinions about these sorts of things.  Because it feels "artificial" for me to do that, I've begun to step away from him and focus on my friendships with other people.  It just feels more affirming and positive.  He just sees every opinion not shared as a criticism or character fault.  He must feel so badly about himself that he takes this so deeply to heart.  It's very sad.  I agree with Cascade; I think my SO wants an obedient robot for a partner, not me.

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static-pallor

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2017, 07:28:00 PM »
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They may feel challenged or belittled if you try to point out "well maybe..." or other things when they personally feel so strongly or right in one way about something or a situation. Like you aren't taking "their side" when really, you're just trying to give a different view and have a general/normal conversation naturally.
Yes, he has even accused me of not taking his side. I think he would be happier with a Stepford type of robot wife.

My ex would claim I was against him on things at times, that I look at things so negatively, or like I was making him out to be some bad guy. Or flip it on me as like "it's all about you!" when he felt some way and I happened to also feel or see something some perhaps OTHER way. But we should have been able to have neutral conversations at points, cause some things really didn't HAVE to blow up but they did. But that's apart of their nature. It's actually rather defensive if you think about it. I said to myself before "what kind of a woman is he looking for then!?" after we ended, because I was as loving, understanding and patient with him, as I ever could have humanly been. So I totally get your remark about the robot wife/partner because I've thought and felt the same. 

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Lighthousegirl

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2017, 02:29:06 AM »
Yes, my experience is exactly the same as Phantom Muse and in the end i stopped saying things. I couldn't initiate a conversation without him responding as if i was attacking him. I started really watching what i said/asked to make sure he couldnt feel attacked - but he still did so. And eventually i gave up initiating conversation at all, as it was a way of preventing these uncomfortable moody interactions.
I am now blamed - as well as for everything else - for making him ill because i 'sent him to coventry' (didnt speak to him) Of course i did speak to him, if he asked me a question i could answer i did. But as the therapist pointed out, he accuses you of things you did - you went silent, but when you spoke that was wrong too. So yet again you are in a no- win situation."
So is the 'paranoia' and defensive reaction malicious, or can they not see that we are not the enemy? Why would i want to attack him with every conversation we had?

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Phantom Muse

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Re: Thinks everything is an argument
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2017, 10:51:01 AM »
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So is the 'paranoia' and defensive reaction malicious, or can they not see that we are not the enemy? Why would i want to attack him with every conversation we had?

I actually think their response has very little-- if anything-- to do with what we say or don't say.  I think some (many?) PDs have an internal script that runs through their heads, and their "reality" needs to match that script.  If what we say matches, we get a positive response.  If not, we are on the receiving end of their anger or hissy fit.  I no longer think my uNPD/BPDSO reserves his bad behavior just for me.  In fact, I am certain he's been doing things this way for years with people who were close to him.

In the end, I am now aware of some of his triggers-- alcohol, being awakened from sleep, and some particular conversation subjects-- so I avoid him when he drinks, send him home if he's tired (or leave if I am at his place).  I also avoid certain conversation subjects.  I know it's not ideal, but it's what I've got.   Gratefully-- and I am VERY grateful-- I no longer think I am the problem.  That helps SO much!