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Anyone else have a partner with an oppositional confrontational debate style

(22 Posts)
fucksakefay Tue 26-Sep-17 00:26:38

I like finding things in common and reaching a mutual consensus in discussions.
My DH likes chucking in several controversial opinions and debating in an oppositional style. He loves a really controversial debate. It makes me feel agitated and unsettled.
We've just had yet another argument where I feel personally attacked by his style of discussion. (Over our opinions of Dr Foster!!!)
Anyone else live with this and how do you deal with it?

GallicosCats Tue 26-Sep-17 00:36:55

My DH started out like this. He soon calmed down when he realised it upset me and I didn't enjoy having my carefully thought out opinions roundly and randomly trashed. In my book, real debate only happens when your ideas are listened to instead of contradicted. I think the adversarial model of debate has a lot to answer for.

TL;DR: if your DH won't listen to your point of view, he's being a prat.

Allabitmuchisntit Tue 26-Sep-17 00:43:04

I did have a partner exactly like this.
I ended up avoiding certain topics with him because I knew any chat about it would turn into a full blown heated debate! It was as if he couldn't stand not being agreed with and had to try and make you see things his way.

It was exhausting.

StarfishSeahorse Tue 26-Sep-17 00:47:42

Sounds like a bully who stamps on you because he wants to be ‘right’, it’s tiresome to deal with someone who thinks every opinion they spout is a cold hard fact.

ifcatscouldtalk Tue 26-Sep-17 00:48:44

I work with someone whose debating style always feels somewhat aggressive and confrontational to me. I'm no shrinking violet but I have felt exhausted being in the same room as this man.
My coping mechanism was to avoid debate and agree with everything he said .

esk1mo Tue 26-Sep-17 00:52:05

sounds like most of the posters in AIBU

Slimthistime Tue 26-Sep-17 00:53:26

My dad does this
We are low contact because he's an arse but I have to say, even in low contact I get a sense that he would secretly like to try to have a row, does that make sense? He's done with my mum all his life. I don't get it. A row over a tv show is one he'd start, and if the other person in the conversation remains calm, he'll still go into personal attack mode. Could start a fight in a empty room.

Some people like rows, I'm not one of them. I dated two guys who did this in what I call a "lab rat" way - they think they're getting to know you better by your reaction. To be fair, they might have stopped if I asked but I just didn't date them again.

I think this kind of thing leads to a lot of confusion as well. You can easily think that someone's moral compass is leading a totally different way. If I'm going to play Devils advocate in a discussion, I say so.

sporadicrains Tue 26-Sep-17 00:54:00

OMG, yes, I'm married to one of those. Everything you talk about has to be disagreed with for the sheer sake of it. He'll go out of his way to take the opposite view and really likes to get his teeth into a confrontational debate about the most minor things. Drives me bloody mad sometimes.

tallwivglasses Tue 26-Sep-17 00:54:59

In answer to your original question OP. Yes, I've experienced this. It got tedious very quickly. I occasionally wonder if he ever heard a single word I said...

Slimthistime Tue 26-Sep-17 01:03:02

I think if I had a DH like this, assuming they were otherwise lovely, it end up being that I'd be very quiet and have a very limited range of discussion topics with them.

sporadicrains Tue 26-Sep-17 01:23:25

It isn't even discussion topics, usually it's entirely trivial day-to-day remarks. This evening I went to get some cheese and crackers and mentioned the crackers might be stale as the packet had been opened a couple of weeks.
I got a "Well of course they're ok - they haven't been opened that long" in an incredulous 'don't be so ridiculous' tone of voice. Just constant disagreement with everything. Getting sick of it to be honest.

MistressDeeCee Tue 26-Sep-17 02:05:09

He loves a really controversial debate. It makes me feel agitated and unsettled. We've just had yet another argument where I feel personally attacked by his style of discussion

Yeah I had this with my ex. 4 years out of my life I'll never get back. Leaving him was the best thing ever, although he tried to hassle me for ages afterwards. Honestly it was akin to a radio that had been playing loudly for ages, aggravating me...then leaning forward and switching it off. Just like that..blessed, utter peace

OH now is lovely...as in not an opinionated know it all dickhead who HAS to be right and relishes arguing and upset, and likes the 'captive audience' of a woman (easier to upset in their neanderthal minds) who can't get away from their opinionated oppressiveness

Added to that - its boring. & they don't change. Good luck finding ways to deal with it

PhyllisWig Tue 26-Sep-17 04:27:06

Yes a bit. We both love a good argue about politics and the state of the world. We tend to differing ends of the spectrum in any case but he often sets out to have a view to oppose mine just because......

It can be tiring and can cause proper rows. Sometimes I refuse to engage with it and passive aggressively just agree with him which makes him mad.

That said, we're only like this on external topics so I only engage when I'm up to it. Day to day life is calm and full of consensus. We also don't allow each other to fester on things.

Slimthistime Tue 26-Sep-17 10:03:39

I remember finding out that this behaviour had a name and thinking "can't we just call it "being a pain in the ass" "?

maddiemookins16mum Tue 26-Sep-17 10:27:26

Does this mean argumentative?

PerfumeIsAMessage Tue 26-Sep-17 10:30:01

Don't excuse his bullying twattiness by giving it a pseudo-scientific name when what it is is a determination to win an argument at all costs by throwing in devil's advocate arguments to refute yours (thereby trying to make you feel uneducated about the issue and plain wrong)

AnyFucker Tue 26-Sep-17 11:30:07

You mean he is a twat ?

alltouchedout Tue 26-Sep-17 11:35:16

DH and I have fluctuating debate styles, as in sometimes we fancy a long, cosy, non confrontational chat, sometimes we hiss at each other with the venom of opposing politicians, sometimes we act like kids on a playground competing for the most ridiculous insult, sometimes we are sarcastic, sometimes we are passionate and emotional and flabbergasted that the other one doesn't agree with us 100%... The point is, if I am being eye rolly and sarcastic and DH asks me to stop, I will; if he is being Mr Despatch Box and I ask him to stop, he does. Any debate style is OK if you're both OK with it.

Roomba Tue 26-Sep-17 13:22:52

My ex was like this, it was utterly exhausting. We had to have a long drawn out intellectual 'debate' on every aspect of everything. It ruined enjoyment of any conversation, whatever the subject. His father is exactly the same (he's a university professor who deals with everyone as if they were his undergrad students). It's painful.

I forget what it was like until I have to have a chat with him about something, such as the DCs needs. Within minutes he has launched into a debate - he's not even trying to have an argument, he just doesn't know how to have a normal conversation - and I get this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I try as deal with him by text or email as much as possible as a result.

Doobigetta Tue 26-Sep-17 14:14:58

Not so much aggressive or confrontational, but he does have a tendency to nitpick and be very precise when I'm just idly speculating about things or have exhausted my knowledge of a random topic, and it is irritating and does lead to arguments sometimes. I don't think it's abusive, it's just an annoying habit deriving from a certain personality type, and that people sometimes relax too much with a partner where they might be more careful with someone else to avoid annoying them.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Tue 26-Sep-17 14:38:17

I'm a bit like this - I get it from my mum. If you mention an idea to my mum she will then question and question it until you refine your ideas. It can be incredibly useful... Or send me into a murderous rage! Unfortunately, I now do it to DH without even realising! It's not meant to be argumentative and I certainly don't start from a standpoint of thinking he's wrong and I'm right... But if his ideas can't even stand up to a little challenge from me...!

Slimthistime Tue 26-Sep-17 15:44:52

Lorelai, I'm curious to know what you mean.

So if a friend said "I'm starting a campaign to oppose more house building in the area" - do you mean if you wanted more house building, you'd try to talk them out of it in an aggressive way?

Or do you mean if someone said "I'm leaving my job and starting a new business" you'd question them heavily and aggressively?

For me if it was the former, I'd calmly say "I can't back you up because I believe xyz", if the latter I'd assume they'd done their homework and say "that's great".

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