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AIBU?

My BF won't STFU about WWII and today I had a huge meltdown at him.

241 replies

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 00:44

Long-

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.
WTF happened?
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?

OP posts:
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Fairylea · 28/10/2019 09:44

I’m not sure why people get so offended when autism is suggested. Fixating on a special interest and not being able to read when someone is disinterested are classic symptoms of autism. Yes of course it’s more complex than that - I’ve been through years of battling for a diagnosis for my son (who attends an autism specific specialist school) so I fully understand the whole ins and outs of what constitutes an asd diagnosis but it’s ridiculous to suggest someone is being ignorant to suggest autism in these circumstances. It’s ignorant NOT to suggest it!

Funny enough World War 2 and the Nazis / Holocaust is something that seems to absolutely fascinate a lot of people with autism - myself included. I think it’s the whole indoctrination / social brainwashing aspect. Who knows.

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Fairylea · 28/10/2019 09:47

Also I am Shock at the comment that someone can’t have autism and be a teacher. How ridiculous. Plenty of people with autism are teachers, doctors, shop workers, all kinds of jobs where they have to interact with people. It’s a spectrum and some people with asd are better at reading people than others. Some have such severe needs they will never work and will always need 24 hour care. It is a very complex condition - if you have met one person with autism, you have met ONE person with autism. So they say.

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notapizzaeater · 28/10/2019 09:48

I'm jumping on the band wagon took this sounds just like my ASC 17 yr old. He genuinely can't see why you're not fascinated by the same subject fir hours and hours ,,,,

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LannieDuck · 28/10/2019 09:52

If he's otherwise a kind, thoughtful guy, and if he's been surprised and apologetic after your reaction, I would put it down to just simply not realising what he was doing.

Have a calm, straight-forward conversation about how it's just too much. You may have been interested to start with, but he's spoken about it so long that he's becoming a bore on the subject.

See if he can change. Now he realises, what he does about it next will be important.

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Wehttam · 28/10/2019 09:52

He sounds slightly Aspergers to me. Definitely on the spectrum is
IF his obsession is as bad as you say.

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SarahNade · 28/10/2019 10:16

@MrsMaiselsMuff Talking at length nonstop about a fixation, and not seeing social cues are TWO symptoms, not just the one. It is ignorant to claim mentioning Aspergers is wrong, especially based on two very big major symptoms. You obviously have no/limited experience with Aspergers so you are talking out of ignorance.

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SarahNade · 28/10/2019 10:20

@penisbeakers Being an arsehole and being aspergers are not mutally exclusive. To go on about a subject, non-stop for 45 (fourty-five) minutes is indicative of something more serious than 'just being an arsehole'.

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penisbeakers · 28/10/2019 10:25

@SarahNade, no, it's not. It's a possibility, but oddly enough some people are just wankers.

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JanMeyer · 28/10/2019 10:29

Yes, I know he isn’t diagnosed but he should look into it. I’m certain he has it.

Oh, this is mumsnet armchair diagnosing at it's finest, you're certain a guy you've never met has Aspergers based on a post on the internet? 😡 Not all people who drone on for 45 minutes about their interests are autistic you know. People seem to have lost sight of the fact that it's possible to be socially awkward without being autistic. But oh no, lets rush in with the "he must be on the spectrum" comments.

I'm equally sick of the my husband/boyfriend/friend isn't diagnosed but I'm sure he's autistic/has Aspergers/on the spectrum. People who diagnose themselves are annoying but there's something extra annoying about people who diagnose their relatives and friends.

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BalloonWhisk · 28/10/2019 10:32

But does it matter ultimately whether he's on the autistic spectrum or just a bore who's used to dominating the conversational space with his pet subject du jour? The effect on the OP is the same, being talked at at length by a man who isn't listening to her, in the fairly early stages of a relationship.

I say this as the godmother of a late teenager who is on the autistic spectrum, but who worked very hard, with his mother's help, for years in his earlier teens, to learn how to notice and respond to social cues that he was boring someone with his pet subject (currently Brexit). I don't underestimate the ongoing effort that takes, either, but he is intellectually capable of understanding that this is not how conversation works.

And I'm also the daughter of someone who is almost certainly on the autistic spectrum, but undiagnosed, and whose endless monologues on random topics of interest to no one but himself (I'm talking about things like his own dental work, with which he once harangued a pair of total strangers in a car park at a tourist attraction, having discovered they shared a dentist, for almost forty minutes) had a huge negative impact on our childhoods (I have a memory of long country walk during which I was an eight year old captive to a two-hour account of the mortgage finance for our house) and on my now elderly-mother, who has no idea (because for her generation, men were expected and allowed to dominate conversations, and women didn't challenge them or interrupt) that it isn't normal to be married to someone who is completely incapable of a normal conversation.

The OP should look at the series of heartbreaking long-running threads on Mn by posters married to people with autism.

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DaisyDreaming · 28/10/2019 10:33

He sounds so much like my ex who has ocd and asd! A special interest really did get stuck in his head (not ww2 but similar), he is probably still talking about it to this day

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DaisyDreaming · 28/10/2019 10:34

I think now you’ve told him how it makes you feel it’s make or break time as to whether he continues this. I’m guessing he will always be like it though even if the subject shifts he will still have a fixation with one subject

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ShinyGiratina · 28/10/2019 10:44

Whether this behaviour is caused by the ASD or poor learned behaviours is a bit of a moot point, the real issue is how far are you prepared to go to accept this behaviour? How much time and energy are you prepared to waste/ invest on seeing if his behaviour is changable so it's tolerable?

BTW my 8yo has loved WW2 since he saw a reinactment day when he was 4, and loves dry, detailed documentaries in tedious detail about strategy and weapons. He's on a waiting list for ASD assessment for a variety of reasons. I tell him explicitly when I've reached overload and I need quiet or a change of subject... we then move on to Minecraft... Grin

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JanMeyer · 28/10/2019 10:46

He sounds slightly Aspergers to me. Definitely on the spectrum is IF his obsession is as bad as you say.

There's no such thing as being "slightly Aspergers." A person either has it or they don't. And if a person had Aspergers, they'd be on the spectrum. But you're wrong anyway, having a major obsession doesn't mean a person is autistic. It is possible to be obsessed with something and not be autistic. The presence of such a strong interest doesn't equal "definitely on the spectrum." For one thing there's a bit more to autism than that.

Being an arsehole and being aspergers are not mutally exclusive.

That's funny, you lecturing other people saying they know nothing about Aspergers whilst you use the phrase "being Aspergers." People HAVE Aspergers. You can't be Aspergers. You can be autistic though.
And no, being a huge bore who drones on for 45 minutes is not necessarily a symptom of Aspergers. Some people are just boring, doesn't make them autistic.

Also I am shock at the comment that someone can’t have autism and be a teacher.

They didn't say autistic people can't be teachers though, they said that if his (alleged) ASD was so severe he couldn't pick up on simple social cues then he couldn't be a teacher. That's a very different (and vaild) comment to saying that an autistic person couldn't be a teacher.

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GhoulieBat · 28/10/2019 10:48

Also I am shock at the comment that someone can’t have autism and be a teacher. How ridiculous. Plenty of people with autism are teachers, doctors, shop workers, all kinds of jobs where they have to interact with people. It’s a spectrum and some people with asd are better at reading people than others. Some have such severe needs they will never work and will always need 24 hour care. It is a very complex condition - if you have met one person with autism, you have met ONE person with autism. So they say.

Exactly. That's why I didn't say having autism meant you couldn't be a teacher - I said it couldn't be particularly severe. I know someone with ASD who is considered high-functioning but he's not able to hold down anything but a very basic, menial packing job (despite being very intelligent) because of difficulties interacting with colleagues, for example. Yes lots of autistic people are teachers and do many other jobs, but they would have to be able to handle listening to other people and interacting with colleagues in meeting etc., so it would be the mild end, people who can learn to listen and handle interaction. This man's behaviour with OP is quite extreme and I suspect as a teacher he'd have problems if he was like that at work.

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SarahNade · 28/10/2019 11:00

@JanMeyer I'm not lecturing anyone. On the contrary, you appear to be the one doing the lecturing. Another poster said it was 'ignorant' to even mention aspergers, I (and someone else I might add) said it isn't ignorant at all. Also, you knew exactly what I meant when I said 'being' aspergers, in the same line as 'being' an arsehole. I think you are simply being a pedant in search of an argument.

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billy1966 · 28/10/2019 11:01

OP,

I can understand how you were driven to be so upset.

However, I would be very very pissed off that he is so lacking in self awareness that he could go on and on to drive you to such a level of frustration.

I love history, I find it fascinating.......

But he sounds like a massive bore and a complete pain in the ear.

I think you need to state clearly that he is boring the arse off you.

If he doesn't take it on board. Dump him.

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KindOranges · 28/10/2019 11:03

Whether this behaviour is caused by the ASD or poor learned behaviours is a bit of a moot point, the real issue is how far are you prepared to go to accept this behaviour? How much time and energy are you prepared to waste/ invest on seeing if his behaviour is changeable so it's tolerable?

Yes, this exactly. I know what my own answer would be.

And yes, of course people with autism can be teachers. I have a good friend who is a very popular university lecturer who got a diagnosis in his late 40s. His courses are lively and over-subscribed, but his diagnosis is very obvious to me (it was I who suggested he pursue one) at times.

I was running late for a class recently and texted to ask him to tell the students who were in the room that I would be there in a minute, as he was in the lecture theatre next door -- when I got to the room, he had put a very strange, military-style note on the door that said

PROFESSOR ORANGES IS ON HER WAY.
Do NOT LEAVE!
Class is NOT CANCELLED!!!

None of us ever use titles and surnames in the department, far less this kind of shouty tone! t was as if he was barking orders at a mutinying regiment, when in fact this was a group of nice, committed finalists who weren't planning to sneak off on a spree...

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GhoulieBat · 28/10/2019 11:06

SarahNade, you were wrong about a few things and that was pointed out. Shouting "pedant" is kind of childish - you could just acknowledge it? You misrepresented what I said - you could say sorry?

Also you shouldn't assume what other people know/don't know about ASD. I'm surrounded by it, both my DC have traits, I've been told I have it too (by an NHS psychologist, not just anyone) but I'm not sure a diagnosis is what I want. Some experts are concerned that it is being over-diagnosed, or disgnosed in cases that are so mild that the diagnosis does more harm than good. Armchair diagnosis is rife online and in RL and that is an issue.

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CarolDanvers · 28/10/2019 11:06

I'm reminded of my ds when he gets started about trains, he's autistic though. Any chance of that?

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KanelbulleKing · 28/10/2019 11:08

And he can't have ASD that severe if he works as a teacher - that requires a good understanding of social norms and interaction.

Nonsense. My DD has ASD and sounds just like the OP's partner. She's a teacher and she's brilliant at it.

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JanMeyer · 28/10/2019 11:10

Another poster said it was 'ignorant' to even mention aspergers, I (and someone else I might add) said it isn't ignorant at all. Also, you knew exactly what I meant when I said 'being' aspergers, in the same line as 'being' an arsehole. I think you are simply being a pedant in search of an argument.

But it is ignorant to suggest Aspergers everytime someone posts that their boyfriend is lacking in social skills, and it's tiresome too. Like I said in my previous post it is possible to be socially awķward and not be autistic.
And no, I didn't "know exactly what you meant." How would I? I'm not a mindreader. I see it all the time on here, people saying a person is ASD or Aspergers. And as an autistic pedant it ticks me off.

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CarolDanvers · 28/10/2019 11:11

Why is autism always trotted out to explain away a man's shitty behaviour towards a woman?

It isn't. It's just something to consider. Why shouldn't it be?

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TailsoftheManyPaws · 28/10/2019 11:11

Exploding about WWII talk seems pretty mild to me.
Last week I threatened divorce if DH persisted in playing recordings of baroque recorder music for 10 seconds longer. I couldn't leave the room as I was slightly desperately making a curtain in the only space large enough to do so.

'But I thought you'd like it! I find it relaxing!'

And I find it like someone persistently drumming their fingers on my head, DH. Isn't it odd how different we all are, hmm?

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SarahNade · 28/10/2019 11:13

@GhoulieBat Not only did I not get anything wrong, I never even REPLIED to anything you wrote! Perhaps you could apologise for having the wrong poster? Unless you are also posting under JanMeyer or penisbeaker, I never commented on anything you said, so how could I have 'misrepresented' what someone who I have never replied to, said? Perhaps you could say sorry?

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