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?
Branleuse · 28/10/2019 08:44
@penisbeakers incredible that someone talking about someone going on and on incessantly about their special interest, to the exclusion of everything else, then being shocked and unaware that the other person was bored/ annoyed, that aspergers might be mentioned?
If someone posted something about typical diabetes symptoms and someone suggested diabetes would you also roll your eyes?
Zaphodsotherhead · 28/10/2019 08:46
He sounds like my friend's ASD son, only with him it's Brexit, and it's 24/7.
Sounds like you may have grown up in an ASD family and you've normalised (for want of a better word) the constant obsession and talking, so you're not seeing him as someone else might.
He won't change, because he can't. It's not his fault.
HuntingCuns · 28/10/2019 08:57
Another one who thinks it sounds like a classic case of undiagnosed ASD, OP.
IM very extensive E, with these 'special interests', you largely have to let them wash over you. They are very intense while they last (and can be very long-lasting), but they do end. At least WWII is vaguely interesting, unlike some of my son's special interests (a misnomer if ever there was one).
Someone who tends towards 'special interests' won't understand subtle hints about stopping. Even if you say very clearly: "we have talked about this topic for long enough, and I would now like us to talk about something else", they will still bang on about their special interest because they find it well nigh impossible to put themselves into the shoes of someone who is only marginally interested. It's just something you have to live with (or can choose not to, obviously - but you won't change them).
dottiedodah · 28/10/2019 08:58
I dont think YABU at all! I personally hate anything at all to do with the war! My Dad served in Egypt and saved someone from drowning .He never went on and on about his time there though . Its just the fact that war films bore me to tears , although I appreciate the sacrifices made .Surely we need to move on ! He sounds like this is his "pet " subject though .To be talking about it while you are getting it on seems a bit weird to say the least!
YouTheCat · 28/10/2019 09:01
I'm surrounded by autism. He does sound like he could be on the spectrum. Whether he is or not though, he needs to learn some social cues and maybe limit how long he talks about his area of interest unless the conversation is going both ways.
My kids are both on the spectrum. My Dad was pretty definitely on the spectrum (he could go on for hours without taking a breath). I'm very probably on the spectrum though I tend to just think obsessively about stuff and did, in fact, have about 6 months of total obsession over WWII.
GruciusMalfoy · 28/10/2019 09:06
My son's autistic, and when I spoke to his diagnosing clinician about my brother she said "it certainly sounds like today he may be diagnosed too". I am mot saying he is definitely on the spectrum.
My brother sounds really similar to your partner. And the absolute obsession over their special interests can be mentally exhausting. So I totally understand your outburst, OP. I go the other way, shut down and manage to block it out to a point. Unless you've listened to someone drone on and on for weeks over a subject, where the conversation is entirely one sided, I don't think you can understand what it's like.
GhoulieBat · 28/10/2019 09:10
Oh OP! You're getting a hard time here but I have to admit I'd probably have done similar. It's not as if it was a one-off - it had built up and up and had been irritating you for a while, and it seems to me like you did tell him clearly - you said "can we please stop talking about this" several times and appeared agitated, but he didn't listen.
A meltdown / angry rant is not good, but it can happen if you try multiple times to get through to someone politely/on a normal level and they take no notice. It's a horrible feeling being ignored, especially by someone who's supposed to care about you, and it does make you angry. I don't mean you should just get to dictate to him to shut up, but he could have stopped and said "Oh I didn't realise I'd been going on so much, why don't you like me talking about this?" and you could have discussed it.
Obviously he doesn't sound like he has that much awareness. I don't know about ASD, it might or might not be, but there are plenty of people who are just self-absorbed and like banging on about their interests.
If I was in your shoes it would be over I think. I'd apologise but also probably decide it's not working if he drones on and ignores you to the point where you lose it. Also I HATE war and especially WW2 as a topic - yes important and interesting in some ways, but depressing and (to me) deathly dull at length. Beaten only by WW1 for things that make me glaze over.
As for admiring the Nazis, he probably does at some level but without realising it. Or maybe not "admire" but have an obsession with them and feel drawn to them.
Armchair psychology I know but IME the people who have the gentlest, most animal-loving and wouldn't-hurt-a-fly type exterior are not always like that all the way through. Some may be, but often I think needing to be seen like that suggests a suppression of a darker side. Or that if they are like that, any negativity has no way to be consciously expressed and so it channels itself somehow.
Zaphodsotherhead · 28/10/2019 09:18
RantyAnty - in this case, because he sounds exactly like my friend's son. He's 25 and she's at her wit's end. He's not abusive, he just talks, all day AT her and doesn't care if she's even listening. He just needs to talk.
And this man sounds just like him.
GhoulieBat · 28/10/2019 09:22
Also even if you have ASD you still may be able to learn to spot when someone has had enough of listening to you, or learn that conversations are meant to be 2-way and to listen to the other person. It doesn't just excuse this behaviour, unless it's more severe. And he can't have ASD that severe if he works as a teacher - that requires a good understanding of social norms and interaction.
MrsMaiselsMuff · 28/10/2019 09:22
There's a lot more to autism than having very deep interests and going on about them. It's ignorant to suggest he has it based on one symptom.
The Nazis were incredible. The subtle but targeted rise to power of Hitler, and the way everyone bar the socialists was oblivious to it, is incredible. It is beyond belief that it was allowed to happen. Incredible is not always a form of praise.
Provincialbelle · 28/10/2019 09:23
WWII is one of the most intently studied events in history (probably only religiously significant events would be on the same level) so he’s not alone. Personally I have always found WW1 more interesting at least in part for that very reason.
Agree there’s a touch of autism in his blinkered obsession (being unable to read your reaction for example), but actually he sounds much more like a typical teacher!! One close family member exasperates the rest of us because she can never be seen to be wrong (mortified when I correct her occasional historical misunderstandings) and every place any of us ever visit results in a lecture from her about what we should / should not see, why her holiday there was slightly better than ours etc. A few of the older generation are better at shutting her down it has to be said.
Amammi · 28/10/2019 09:23
You are being very hard on yourself OP. Whether he’s just a bore, on the spectrum or completely self obsessed he’s not as gentle and lovely as you seemed to think. Anyone who can dominate a conversation like that has a fairly hefty ego. You were exploding as the life practically was being sucked out of you - you are a bit player in the life of the central character - him - and maybe a bit of self preservation instinct kicked in to get you out of the situation. I’d think long and hard about whether you want this relationship and why. What are you getting out of the situation? Is it just learnt behaviour patterns from childhood that feel comfortable. If you had a real problem would he be able to give of himself enough to support you or is it a one way street?
penisbeakers · 28/10/2019 09:27
@Branleuse it's also flung around as a reason for people behaving like arseholes, because you know, everyone know folks with autism are difficult arseholes.
They're not but there's a fucking stereotype and it's OLD.
it's entirely possible he could just be a dick.
katewhinesalot · 28/10/2019 09:33
You pressure cooker exploded.
Apologise, explain you realise that you should have handled it differently by telling him earlier how boring and tedious it was but that it's now got to the point that it could be a deal breaker. Discuss how it's going to be from now on and don't give the resentment a chance to grow. Tell him kindly to shut up when he needs to.
It may be too late to rescue the relationship now. In future stop things in their tracks before you explode and get to this point..
Wheat2Harvest · 28/10/2019 09:37
Sounds like he’s a fascist. Dump him.
It sounds more like he is on the autistic spectrum (and is high-functioning) than a fascist. People with autism often fixate on a specific subject. I have a relative with ASD who talks about nothing but African political systems.
supersop60 · 28/10/2019 09:40
Ah - my DP is rather like this. He will go through phases of different topics though, and with each one he'll do endless research and then talk at me about what he's found, wants to do etc. When we had our guttering etc done, I thought I might have done him physical harm if he said 'soffits' one more time.
He also does not hear me when he's on a roll. I have to say his name several times very loudly to get him to stop. We've been together 20 years and I've learned to deal with it.
OP you still have time to rescue this, and you'll have to be very clear as PP have said.
DefConOne · 28/10/2019 09:41
My daughter has Aspergers and manages not to bore people with her interests. And she is 12. Maybe it is because she is female and has learnt social skills. If we are using stereotypes I could say this is typical teacher behaviour but that would be rude, wouldn’t it.
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