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Anyone else made to feel like a loon when arguing?

(26 Posts)
pickledparsnip Thu 18-Aug-11 20:50:04

Is it just my partner or does anyone else feel like a nutjob when arguing? Had another one of our many rows this eve and get increasingly frustrated that he just doesn't listen or ever see things from my point of view. I get visibly frustrated and annoyed and he looks at me like I'm a loon and just keeps saying "Look at you, what the heck is wrong with you?" This just fans the flames in my book, sets me off even more. Aarggggggggggggggh. Twat. I may well be a bit mental, but that's mostly down to him!

boudiccasSideKick Thu 18-Aug-11 20:52:34

Totally sympathise! My DP is same. Passive aggressive sod!

pickledparsnip Thu 18-Aug-11 20:53:57

Oh good, not just mine then. It drives me up the sodding wall, and only makes me more bloody frustrated and angry!

boudiccasSideKick Thu 18-Aug-11 20:57:54

Sorry, had to go answer phone. My DP is the same as yours. "I only said (or mumbled in his case, grrrr) and now look, are you PMT or somthing! No, actually you pissed me off with your underhand barbed comments.

cornflowers Thu 18-Aug-11 21:02:25

Yes, I had an ex who used to do that. It made me feel very self-conscious and confused, I would completely lose my train of thought. I think it's actually very nasty.

boudiccasSideKick Thu 18-Aug-11 21:03:04

It also usually ends up with him "packing" and going back to his dads because I've become to unreasonable, lol.... I now pack em first! Guess what, he doesnt go!

boudiccasSideKick Thu 18-Aug-11 21:10:36

Be as "insane" as you like, stand up to him sweetheart x

boudiccasSideKick Thu 18-Aug-11 21:15:13

Bit concerned about "many argurments though" does he do anything else?

pickledparsnip Thu 18-Aug-11 21:34:09

Thank you x

No doesn't do anything else. I used to be with a real bastard before him, very emotionally abusive. He isn't at all like him apart form when he makes out I'm a bit of a loon, ex used to do that too. We are not in a good place right now anyway. Have pretty much broken up but still living together. We have a young son and have been trying to raise him togetehr under the same roof, but it's just not working. It's becoming a toxic atmosphere for us all.

boudiccasSideKick Thu 18-Aug-11 21:41:11

Oh Parsnip, I'm so sorry for your situation. Mine is just a twit sometimes and we're together. I've never had to do what you're doing and hopefully someone will come along in a mo that has. Guess money and stuff come into it. If its any help none whatsoever that kind of situation is very unworkable. Lots of hugs though for you to get out the other end.

pickledparsnip Thu 18-Aug-11 22:23:00

Thank you boudicca. It's a bugger. Trying to do the best for our son, but I think it will be best if we don't live together. What's worse, parents staying together but arguing, or breaking up and living apart? I can't decide.

pickledparsnip Thu 18-Aug-11 22:23:28

Thank you for your kind words

atosilis Fri 19-Aug-11 10:58:20

My H and I can't ever have a disagreement without him immediately ratcheting up the volume. I can stand my ground on my opinion but ladies, understand, it is the wrong opinion.

garlicbutter Fri 19-Aug-11 15:13:33

Hi, Parsnip. It is emotional abuse, even if it's not as bad as your previous twat. I'm glad you're working your way out of it. It is worse for the kids to grow up in an unhappy marriage; I looked for some research on this for another thread today, and found loads from trustworthy sources. The big point, I think, was that ongoing rows/silences at home are more damaging to DC than changes in circumstance, like divorce.

Meanwhile, have you tried altering your responses? When somebody's pushing your buttons, it can feel like a crazy person has taken over your body grin After I started counselling, I learned to 'deactivate' my buttons and respond assertively to all the digs. It was worth it for the satisfaction of watching him try to figure out what just happened wink

Squitten Fri 19-Aug-11 15:32:45

Apart is always better. My parents did the whole "together for the kids" deal and it was horrible. I grew into a shouty person with my DH and my kids. I'm aware of it now and try to keep it in check but I so wish I hadn't grown up in that environment

LongGoneBeforeDaylight Fri 19-Aug-11 17:42:42

GarlicButter, can you explain more about the techniques you use to do that? DP and I both have short fuses and I would love to know how to deactivate buttons!

garlicbutter Fri 19-Aug-11 20:30:54

Yep, take a look at this assertiveness primer. Please read the whole thing, then revisit the paragraphs on Fogging and Negative Assertion.

They are both ways of defusing somebody who's trying to get a rise out of you by criticising. I think of them as "Yes Dear" techniques wink

Take a look at this post, where BreakFree tried it for the first time last night smile

Some other good bits are a slow, deep breath and count to ten before responding (yes, make him wait.) The breath puts you back in charge of your voice, and the counting lets you look at the situation rationally instead of doing a knee-jerk.

Counsellors teach you to imagine an invisible shield, which protects you from all the barbs and arrows of verbal attack. It's best done with a trained counsellor, but you can do it yourself. Do it when you feel calm and safe. Breathe nice and slow, then imagine your shield (mine's made of blue light, yours can be whatever you choose.) Your shield expands and contracts wherever you are - in the car, it sits snugly round you; in a big hall there can be several yards of space, but it always covers and protects you completely. If you like, you may furnish and decorate it to your liking. The important thing is that it's all yours, and it's safe.

You can flick up your shield at will. As soon as anyone has a go at you, get your shield round you and just watch as those nasty words some flying at you, only to bounce away without touching you. I like to think some of them bounce right back at the speaker! It's nice to see them being hurt by their own bullshit wink

Another counsellor's trick is the thumb-in-palm memory jogger. To do this, think of a time when you felt perfectly at ease, calm, happy, safe and secure. Really recall where you were, what you could hear, see and smell, and how you felt. Hold it. Press the thumb of one hand firmly into the palm of the other - count to at least ten. This fixes your safe feeling in that gesture - any time from now, if you feel unsafe, press the same thumb into the same palm to regain your feeling of being at ease.

Oops, didn't mean this to be so long! Do have a read of the assertiveness page smile

LongGoneBeforeDaylight Sat 20-Aug-11 17:13:54

Thank you for this. I have read everything you have recommended and it's all really interesting. I am not in an abusive relationship but my DP and I drive each other up the wall when we argue and we both come away with that confused feeling, so this is really helpful!

garlicbutter Sat 20-Aug-11 19:24:34

smile Good! Hope it works well for you smile

judgejudyforpm Sat 20-Aug-11 21:02:18

DP and I also clash like the titans. Sometimes think I must be going off the rails. He remains calm but I'm usually sure he's the one who's set me off in the first place, I think confused. will read your recommendations too. Not looking for any "free" advice here but would it make me act out in a nasty way more? I'm probably coming up to the menopause now and blame that.

garlicbutter Sat 20-Aug-11 21:06:29

would it make me act out in a nasty way more? - No, it's all about staying safe and being 'Adult' instead of 'Child' or 'Parent'. Adults can have cracking rows, too, the difference is Adults don't lose control of themselves or aim to hurt smile

judgejudyforpm Sat 20-Aug-11 21:38:33

Right, so what you're saying is the "child" loses control?

garlicbutter Sat 20-Aug-11 21:55:39

Have a look at the assertiveness primer that LGBD read. In rows that go wrong, you usually have two 'Chlidren' rowing - with all the name-calling, tantrumming and other behaviours we love so much in DC grin or one Child and a Parent, who is critical and dominating. Both can behave irrationally.

If you're interested in this stuff, the two books by Eric Berne are Games People Play and What Do You Say After You Say Hello smile

judgejudyforpm Sat 20-Aug-11 21:59:10

Great, thanks garlicbutter, recon we have a parent/child one going on blush and guess who's the child.

<off she toddles>

garlicbutter Sat 20-Aug-11 22:10:25

Don't get over-excited now, it's nearly bedtime grin

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