My BF won't STFU about WWII and today I had a huge meltdown at him.
questionzzz · 28/10/2019 00:44
BF of one year is a teacher, no kids of his own, and very sweet and lovely. I know ppl always say that but he really is. Very gentle, animal lover, vegetarian etc.
Also a huge history nerd (in his own words), espcially WWII and the American Civil War. Now generally I don't mind that- I did A-level in History and have a fairly solid grasp of the historical outline, I think, although I have specialized in another field of social science.
He usually does go on a bit about the historical documentaries he has watched or books he has read, kinda does go on and on a bit. Again, I generally don't mind that. I have two kids, and I actually appreciate dating someone who does most of the conversational "heavy lifting".
The last couple of weeks however I felt the WWII stuff was reaching a particular intensity. I can't quite describe it. Like he literally wouldn't shut up about it, except during actual sex. I started dropping hints, eg a few nights ago on the phone, he was at it again and I said ok I feel sleepy now and gotta go, listening to you go on about WWII is a sleeping pill hahaha making ajoke of it, but I did end the conversation. I've also mentioned that you know there are other atrocities and terrible things, human beings are pretty good at doing appalling things to each other, have you heard of Rwnad, the Khmer Rouge, Kosovo etc, and he would say something like, yes but in terms of sheer numbers, the Germans blah blah blah blah.
Anyway today we only had three hours to spend together. Our time naturally limited due to the fact I have kids and am a lone parent. We were also planning on doing something else after intimacy. So we're dressed and ready to start the other thing, and he gets on about WWII. I glance at the clock.
Now I really don't know why i didn't say look, stop talking about WWII, we said we would do this other thing, can we do it please (it's cringey, just an art project we're suppsed to be working on- which was his idea by the way and he bought all the supplies etc for). I just listened, thinking he's gonna stop soon. Surely he can't go on.
, It's not just the length of time, as I listen to him babble on, I feel he has this creepy insidious admiration for the Germans? Like he's talking about this amazing war? And he wants me to admit that this was the most significant and incredible event in modern history? he didn't say it in so many words, like he didn't actually directly say "and weren't the Nazis incredible", but I almost felt that where he's heading?
About 20 minutes I did say a few times can we please stop talking about this, and my voice was getting a bit emotional and upset, but he seemed to be stuck in his head, and didn;t seem to hear me.
At the 45 minute mark I got up started putting on my outdoor clothes to leave while having a completely insanely angry meltdown. I can't remember quite what I said but certainly Fuck off, don't touch me, i can' stand you, what are you trying to accomplish, are you trying to get me to admire the Germans and WWII - what is your fucking problem, all in there.
He was completely horrified and shocked. He says he has no idea I was becoming agitated and upset. Certainly no admiration for nazis. WWII was appalling. He asks me what else is going on. I have my fair share of life's stressors, but this is the first time I've had a reaction like this to him, just sheer insane anger. I tell him it's you,, I;m angry at you, don;t try to blame other things, you weren't istening to me.
He acknowledges he wasn't listening to me. Eventually we make up.
WIBU to be so angry? Actually I had a vision of hitting him while I was angry, police officers arresting me and asking me why I was violent, and me saying because he wouldn't stop talking about WWII.
How crazy is that?
Zaphodsotherhead · 29/10/2019 13:21
I'm all for having all-consuming interests (I have a couple of my own), but the desire to info-dump on someone who is clearly showing no interest at all, and is, in fact, telling the dumper to shut up now goes seriously into the 'disrespect' category.
Why does his desire to yammer on trump OPs desire for him to shut up? More to the point why does he think it does?
KindOranges · 29/10/2019 14:52
because there was a more direct and clear way of communicating your displeasure without resorting to acting like a child
Like when the OP specifically said 'Please stop talking about this, and let's get on with the project' after he'd been banging on about the Nazis for twenty minutes?
AufderAutobahn · 30/10/2019 08:16
My ex was like this. A lovely, kind, gentle man, very intelligent but would talk for ages about very specialised topics such as a political party's education policy or how they made certain makes of vehicle more efficient, with seemingly no awareness of the other person's own interest in the subject. I would often find him chatting to members of my family, often minutes after meeting them, about the makes of certain lorries or computer programmes, eg my teenage cousins or 19 yo sister. It was like he had so much knowledge of some subjects that it burst out of him and he had to info-dump it on anyone who appeared sympathetic. It was like a desperate need to have his cleverness recognised. A lot of it was down to insecurity, I think. Unfortunately I never found a way to stop him talking, he was so determined to do it. He would hate it if I hinted that I had lost interest, eg if I tried to distract him he would be hurt and annoyed. I think I actually did tell him to shut up but he was hurt, and it seemed to make him more determined to keep talking. However, looking back, maybe I should have done what you did. I'm afraid his talkativeness and my irritation only got worse. I think it actually caused me to have a very short attention span as even now I can't bear hearing people talk for extended periods of time. Your BF may have enough self awareness not to keep going on and on about the same subject in future. I'm sure he was so absorbed in his monologue he just didn't notice he was upsetting you but I don't think you were at all unreasonable.
WillLokireturn · 30/10/2019 09:56
I don't think this is a big deal. You got annoyed with him droning on about one subject all the time ( likely his class are doing a project in it). You had a row/ melt down as his incessant talking about same subject , and that particular topic, was starting to hurt your head.
So what? He needed telling and you need to be able to tell him. He needs to listen first time and pick up those cues that the other person doesn't wish to participate in that topic at that time.
Just make sure that you both move forward, by explaining it gets painful being talked at for 45 mins, its not a two way conversation and if you ask him to stop or change the subject, then he needs to respect that. Your mind gets to rest too. Particularly on such a distressing topic
Conversation is mutually chosen not railroaded (nor continued espec when you're not in the mood to discuss gory details of huge war atrocities/ how amazing organised Nazis were to murder millions so efficiently, hardly making relaxing pleasant memories together in your few precious hours). You wanted to do the art project and focus on that.
WillLokireturn · 30/10/2019 10:15
OP I'm not surprised you got distressed when he went on about such an upsetting subject at a time you didn't want to think or talk about it.
If it helps, I once lost my rag with a lovely it bf who I had a wonderfully mature relationship with. It's no big deal if it leads to better communication.
Bf used to go on and on about same subjects, we'd discussed for months.... but he became a bore about it and wouldn't hear my "that's enough now dear, you're repeating yourself, Iet's think about the lovely things we've to do now"
One day morning, after another hour of him waxing lyrical on at me & DC one Sat morning, (DCs couldn't get a word in either , I was trying to get them ready)..... I walked out of the room and I burst into tears with a "Shut up! Shut up! You won't shut up!! . I have enough to think about right now WITHOUT YOUR SHIT IN MY HEAD!!! Stop it!!!!"
At the time we were both shocked, but we talked later following hours of stunned silence from us both.... about how conversation should be two way, or to read the signs including me saying 'change the subject please'.
Ps. '"Don't put your shit in my head" 😂😁 later became a jokey shortcut for 'darling it's become an unwelcome one way barrage.... so stop droning on please .... It's hurting my head". Remembered affectionately now, but it took me shout/crying that I couldn't take it anymore for him to realise he could be self absorbed & monologue without noticing others had agency too.
kalinkafoxtrot45 · 30/10/2019 10:35
I had a BF like this once, except he was obsessed by the Soviets in WW2. Even his former friends avoid him now because he drones on at them and won’t be stopped, and actually gets angry when someone tries to change the subject.
Another friend is obsessed by Napoleon and has to be prevented from reciting his speeches loudly in public places. At least he’ll take a telling, but he can be EXHAUSTING.
I have a history geek DP and he doesn’t do any of this, despite the WW2 Luftwaffe being his specialist subject.
Regardless of the subject, the red flag is him ignoring your pleas to stop. No wonder you snapped. If this pattern repeats, I’d be reconsidering the relationship.
questionzzz · 31/10/2019 12:17
Hi everyone, just an update:
I find others sharing their experiences of having a meltdown at their loved ones talking too much so helpful! Thanks for that and reassures me I'm not crazy.
We have talked every night since then- WWII never came up except once he said, almost randomly, the Nazis were monstrous, every time I think they couldn't be worse, I learn something worse about them. They didn't charge under-5s for the train to Aushwitz! But they charged everyone else! and then he quickly changed the subject.
I do miss him and he says he misses me, so I think we'll go back to our usual dating pattern soon- at least we're planning to. And get started on the art project :D
I'm not going to go down the path of suggesting professional help for him- as others pointed out, it's a fairly "young" relationship I just don't think it would appropriate for me, and he could just easily ask me to go for anger management or something, which I would not appreciate at all. I do know that if this continues or becomes a pattern, we'll break it off, whoever takes the initiative, doesn't matter.
I really believe that the intensity of the WWII stuff over the last few days was triggered by the school work (it has always been one of his passions)- i remembered later we went through a phase of bird reproductive systems and in particular duck penii and the coquilla or whatever it's called, but that never bothered me as much in fact I found it hilarious. Not so much WWII obviously.
Lastly for the great reveal: what was the art project?
Following one of Bob Ross's youtube online painting tutorials.
And curtain :)
GreenyEye · 31/10/2019 14:15
being talked at can certainly be a sign of an abusive partner.
When my ExH talked, I was expected to shut up and give him my undivided attention, at no point walk away (even if I needed to pee or see to the children), interrupt or otherwise try and steer the conversation... any attempt of this would devolve into being told I didnt care about him and to fuck off.. and then further abuse would follow.
I dont think what the OP is experiencing here is anything like that.
I wouldn't say either of them were abusive, but her BF does need a bit of a nudge to understand that if she asks him to be quiet, he needs to finish his monologue!
WillLokireturn · 01/11/2019 09:10
Great update OP.
I was one of the PPs who shared a similar out of character melt down to my bf's constant prolonged monolguing one morning! I'm sure it was the distressing topic matter also that got to you that time. It will be helpful to bf in the long run that you point out when it's a long one way repeated monologue and no longer a conversation AND that you're not his pupil but are instead an adult with whom he has an equal relationship who's capable of choosing what you want to focus on or talk about that day.
Just a thought, he's developed this style by not being (politely) challenged. Does he have a parent or sibling (or even ex partner) that is hard of hearing? My DM monologues ignoring cues such as "mum, I'm tired and just want some peace/ to read/ to cook tea now.." (Followed by walking out the room, turning away and pulling newspaper up...!!) . Bless her She still continues as DM is used to not needing cues of when someone is interested in the conversation or participating - so she doesn't require nods, two way conversations or other verbal encouragers to continue talking - because my DDad is very hard of hearing (and sometimes naughtily randomly says Yes Dear approx 20 minute intervals even though he has no idea what she's saying!). It'll be that or that bf's so much in "lecture teaching mode" he's inappropriately going into, when he shouldn't with his adult partner.
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