Author Topic: Silence in arguments  (Read 3072 times)

k9sedona

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Silence in arguments
« on: April 14, 2015, 08:41:32 am »
My mate is furious about something and won't tell me what (4 days now). I guessed at the issue yesterday and where appropriate, apologized. But the anger continues and frankly, she scares me. Her anger terrifies me. Last night I felt cornered. If I went to bed with her, I'd wake her up and if I didn't, she'd be mad that I didn't (we've had that discussion). I decided in the interest of self-care, that I wasn't going to inject myself into a scary situation (sleeping together) which this morning, felt good - Sunday night I couldn't catch my breath when she came in after me, I was so anxious. This morning, She did not storm down to the basement as is her pattern, which was a relief.

It takes 2 to be in a relationship and I can't read her mind. She "doesn't have anger issues", yet doomed conversations escalate quickly and loudly into black and white, all or nothing and I am the sole cause of our problems; what I do, say, who I am, etc. Yet, last week, we exchanged genuine "I love you" statements throughout the days, every day so to go from that to this is very confusing. I've asked her what is wrong in the past (as this is not a one-of situation) and get the "you don't know?","I'm not going to tell you" crap. I'm looking to do something different this time (again) but I don't know what... Any ideas?

What I think is: not communicating the problem is abuse, maintaining anger that she knows scares me is abuse, being angry if I do or don't sleep with her is nasty. Leaves me in quite the state of fear.

I'm really quite terrified of her anger - which can sometimes be described as rage.

Any thoughts?

momfellinglost

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Re: Silence in arguments
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 10:00:44 am »
 You need to take care of yourself and make a plan if you don't feel safe. You can't make someone else get help for things but you can get help for yourself. You should talk to a doctor or a councillor. The only thing you can do is to encourage her to seek help for issues. Stay safe sending your a hug wish there was words that I could say that would help more.

paulm

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Re: Silence in arguments
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 12:12:33 am »
Hello K9sedona. I agree with what Momfeelinglost has said. I also agree that what your spouse  is doing is a form of abuse and she may need some counseling, anger management etc. But maybe not. None of what is below is a criticism of anybody, it's just part of waht ended up working in my life and it may not work in anyone else's.

I can't offer you any great solutions. For a while , it seemed like my wife had some some anger management issues, but in hind sight it turned out that most of them were a) frustrations issues caused by a combination of a variety of factors including my illness and how our lives were progressing , b) how she had learned to argue while growing up and c) our combined inability to work together to solve the problems.

 I can tell you how my wife and I dealt with arguments, but I can't say that will work for you. There have been times when my wife and I just couldn't talk about our problems. Partly because some of the problems were long standing ones brought on by my having bipolar(re-occurring problems that my wife was fed up with) and partly because we didn't understand each others arguing process.

 I'm the type of guy who has to settle things now, my wife when she is mad, would rather not talk about it then and/or is not reasonable about it. ( Of course I'm the most reasonable guy in the world when I'm upset LOL) . She can also stay mad for a long time. That is just her nature, she's not abusive to me, providing I don't keep trying to keep arguing and/or find solutions while she is still mad.If I don't shut up, then all bets are off and it may take her a couple of days to get over her upset. I get upset much easier and more often than her, but then it's forgotten about. Both styles of getting mad or upset can be irritating.

 So for a while, I would write down what was upsetting me about her behaviour(refusal to discuss things, anger over my illness etc) and what I thought I had done wrong(or not). I would then wait until she was in a reasonable mood and give her the letter. Sometimes it was hard to not start the letter by saying " you're being a B**ch about this, but that seldom produced good results. Rather I would start out by saying that nothing I had wrote was necessarily correct, but that I would appreciate if she could think about the items and then we would discuss them latter.

 It didn't always work, but if I included a card saying I loved her etc, it often had a higher chance of success.  Nowadays, when we get into an argument, both of us usually quickly realize that it's going to be none productive and we agree to stop and put it off for a day or two and then come back to the topic.  We also had to learn NOT to say hurtfully things in the heat of the moment. We didn't call one another a dummy or stupid, but she would often say "oh you are just like your father", a comparison I didn't appreciate, or I might say, "well your like the rest of your family" and that didn't make her happy either.  When angry, both of us are quite capable of using words that can hurt, without them seeming to be abusive to an outsider.

 Other minor, but major things. My wife feels that I apologize too easily and thus feels that I will repeat the mistake and figure that an apology will get me off. I think that my wife doesn't apologize enough when she is wrong. In fact she so rarely sez that she is sorry that after 40 yrs I can still count on the fingers of one hand the number of times she has apologized to me.  Her viewpoint is that if she is wrong, then she will not repeat the behaviour and that is better than an apology. I don't entirely agree, but I understand her point.

 We did go through the "if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you etc etc" , but I discovered that I also had irritating little habits, like saying " Yes Dear" when I wasn't really listening or telling her I'm sorry I was late and then be late again that afternoon.

 I hope that you can find a solution. Take Care. paul m

Dragonfly

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Re: Silence in arguments
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 09:10:22 pm »
Hi, k9sedona,

I agree with momfellinglost about taking care of yourself.

Paul makes some really good points too. A lot of things he says make sense. I remember my parents arguing and getting nowhere. My Dad would get in her face and not let her think. She would give him the cold treatment for a few days. In short they wouldn't listen to each other and the communication was not good. My Mom sometimes said she wanted a divorce from my Dad. Where would she have gone since they had 6 kids and my Mother didn't know how to drive?

My husband and I used to fight too. I think it is normal with a married couple. I always told my husband that I didn't want to fight like my parents did. We didn't fight as much as them. We still had our moments though. I felt terrible what I put him through when I was sick because of my mental illness. I blame myself to this day. My family and friends told me my husband wasn't always easy either. That still doesn't excuse me. I guess I have to tell myself that I have an illness.

I think communicating with each other is very important. It is very difficult if your partner won't listen to you. Maybe you could see a counselor even though she probably wouldn't want to. You never know. They could maybe tell you some strategies of how to handle the situation with your mate. They could be someone who could be neutral and see both you and your wife's points of view. I am no expert.

I don't know if this will help you.

Dragonfly