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

241 replies

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.
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:
Zaphodsotherhead · 28/10/2019 11:14

I think raising the idea of OP's partner being on the spectrum is perfectly valid. It can be easier to deal with behaviours if we know that the person doing it genuinely has a problem reading social reactions rather than that he's just a complete bore who thinks the world should revolve around his interests.

There are coping strategies if he's on the spectrum. If he isn't, then what the hell were his parents thinking letting him get to this age without teaching him that he's not the centre of the world?

Saying this as someone who just split up with an ASD man after eight years. It can get worse with age, OP...

Deadringer · 28/10/2019 11:15

You way over reacted op, but maybe he will stfu about it now and you can carry on as normal. My DD gets a bit obsessed about stuff and goes on an on about it, I listen to her as best i can because no one else will and she is my daughter, I don't think I could stick it from a dp though.

SarahNade · 28/10/2019 11:16

But it is ignorant to suggest Aspergers everytime someone posts that their boyfriend is lacking in social skills.

Actually, no, it is not. That in itself, is an ignorant comment. When someone goes on without pausing for 45 minutes about a subject they are fixated on and talk about every single day, AND miss social cues, that is two main symptoms and thus, fair to mention. It is reasonable to suggest it as a possibility. I think most people would understand that by 'being' aspergers I meant having it.

fairybeagle · 28/10/2019 11:20

Christ what a ridiculous over reaction! Poor guy was just talking about his interests/hobby.
Like a pp said why didn't you just ask him directly to stop or tell him out right it was getting a bit much/you were fed up? People aren't mind readers.
My brother is a history nerd and also very interested in WWII. He talks about the nazis and what they did, tactics etc, and sounds similar to your bf. He is in no way a Nazi sympathiser, I think it's just the way they talk about wars/history.
I'd be worried by the way you snapped. Try and make a real effort to be more direct abo what you want and don't want so your anger does build up like that again.
I can't help thinking that if this was a thread the other way round it would be full of LTB!

CurbsideProphet · 28/10/2019 11:20

I hate being monologued at. I have relatives who do this and I have felt physically exhausted from being in their presence.
I couldn't be in a relationship with someone who did that

Quartz2208 · 28/10/2019 11:23

I think you had a panic attack because you felt trapped. You asked him to stop talking, you stopped engaging and he still didn’t notice you were unhappy so your flight/fight response kicked in.

It may just be talking but that doesn’t mean you don’t feel hemmed in and trapped by him talking at you.

KanelbulleKing · 28/10/2019 11:25

I've mastered the art of not listening to my DD. I just carry on with what I'm doing and throw in the occasional acknowledgment noise as she carries on with her wall of words. it's what keeps me sane.

managedmis · 28/10/2019 11:26

Might he be autistic? Just throwing it out there.

Might be something to consider

managedmis · 28/10/2019 11:26



MerryDeath · 28/10/2019 11:32

sounds annoying. my DP can most certainly bore on regardless of how much i tell him i don't care. he's not autistic he's just got tunnel vision, but could your man be? not that that means you have to put up with it. he's unlikely to change so chuck him while you are able to!

GhoulieBat · 28/10/2019 11:48

Full aologies Sarahnade!
Still don't agree with you but you are totally right I got the wrong poster and you didn't misrepresent me, someone else did. I had wrongly assumes Janmeyer was addressing comments form the same person.

PippiDeLena · 28/10/2019 11:52

Wow, no wonder you exploded after being lectured at for 45 minutes straight. And he had the cheek to ask you if something else was going on in your life to make you react like that! Wow.

Have you decided what you're going to do OP?

GhoulieBat · 28/10/2019 11:52

Kanebulleking that sounds useful! I do just tell my DC I need them to stop talking for a bit (sometimes with comedy wailing and tearing of hair)

DS is actually worse for going on about esoteric subjects, but better and understanding I need him to stop. DD just randomly witters on about anything and everything, like a stream of consciousness and just doesn't stop.

"DD can you stop talking for a bit, I just need some peace and quiet for 20 mins"

"OK mum but just blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ...."


Branleuse · 28/10/2019 12:20

i think its horrible when people describe clearly autistic tendencies or behaviours as "shitty behaviour"

Not being able to read social cues or not noticing others becoming bored or upset is not a shitty behaviour. Carrying on when you KNOW someone doesnt want to hear it is shitty, but not picking up on social cues is a common marker for an autistic spectrum condition.

Having a thorough expertise on a subject to the exclusion of all other interests, and monologuing about it, is not shitty behaviour. Its a common marker for an autistic spectrum condition, and one of the reasons that autistic people can become socially isolated because most neurotypical people dont like this. Hell, a lot of autistic people have no interest in listening to this either. It can be a social problem and outlets need to be found for a person to be able to talk about their interests (the internet is a godsend for this) It is not however, shitty behaviour, and to say that people use autism as an excuse or reason to explain shitty behaviour is quite ableist and offensive.
You wouldnt accuse someone in a wheelchair who wouldnt walk when you needed them to of shitty behaviour, so can people please quit it for autism, which is not a personal choice either.

When someone mentions a couple of big shiny red flags for autism, and some autistic people say "hey, dont you think maybe hes autistic/aspie", its hurtful and annoying that people so often chime in with OMG, hes probably just shitty, why does everyone mention autism all the time.
Maybe because its actually not that uncommon, and maybe you need to understand that a lot of the people you have avoided or ostracised your whole life because you felt they lacked social skills, might actually be on the autistic spectrum, and we are finding a lot of these people now.
Its much better if someone is monologuing at you to say can we take a break, I really need to do something else, or I cant deal with this conversation right now, could you maybe write it down instead. Or "have you considered joining a forum or club about this for people who are just as interested", or even "give me a break, youve been going on about this for ages now"
Rather than boil up resentment, not saying anything until you explode in rage, and the guy had no bloody idea because you were trying to be polite and they assumed that meant you were ok with it.

Sometimes people just need others to be clear and direct with them. Not rude, necessarily, but he needs to find a better outlet for his current favourite topic, as we all so often do

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 12:32

Hi everyone,
Just to clarify a few questions: history is his special interest (and one of his "teachables" or whatever they call it)- however over the past year, he has not exclusively talked about WWII. He is quite talkative, we generally have a good coversation about all sorts of things: literature, current affairs, social justice, movies etc.
And I also have to add, ironically enough, his talkativeness was very much one of the reasons I continued dating him! My ex (father of my kids) and only other really significant long-term partner had become a grumpy, surly, taciturn guy (and also committing dv)- sitting around in heavy sullen silence was one of the hallmarks of the last few years of our marriage before it went to hell, and then I dated a bunch of fellas who seemed to expect me to "entertain" them- so going out with this guy, I found the easy bubbly conversation quite a relief.
The other thing is we don't spend that much time together anyway- during school year we can barely manage twice a week, a few hours each time, and during summer a bit more than that, with the odd overnight here and there. So the conversation never had a chance to stretch out unreasonably.
The WWII thing became very pronounced over the past couple of weeks, so what one poster said above about Remembrance day triggering it kinda makes sense to me.
I did not conflate Germans=Nazis, I too have seen the movies and know that #notallGermans. However I may have written German as a shorthand for "the German state".
My personal opinion is that as fascinating as WWII is as a subject of study, there is a somehwat unhealthy glamorization of it (and, ahem, the Nazis and ALL THAT INCREDIBLE POWER AND MILITARY SKILL) in our school system, media and society at large, at the expense of children never learning that guess what, there have been and are other villains other than the nazis running around doing terrible stuff on the global stage (hello US interference and postcolonialism...).

yes the date was to consist of sex and art project. Sorry I know it's cringey :D The fact that he was able to hold off talking about WWII, and was able to say and do the right things, until the sex part was over makes me think he quite capable of prioritzing and categorizing his interests in the moment.
Having said that, we did make up, and once I was home I found myself actually worried that he will, as someposters suggested he might, break up with me when he had second thoughts. So I did engage with him some more (I didn't say sorry though) and I think we are in a better place now. I really don't want him to feel he has to be on eggshells around me - I've been that partner and it's awful. generally we/I am very comfortable and relaxed around him, and that afternoon was the first time I had ever exploded at him like that. I wasn't shouting and screaming though- more like cursing/crying.

I don't have anything to say about the possibility of being on the spectrum, I don't think it's my place to mention it to him, but I might look up various coping mechanisms as some ppl suggested, just to make the communication work better.

Thanks everybody!

OP posts:
KindOranges · 28/10/2019 12:32

I think comparing it to someone in a wheelchair who won't walk is at all comparable, @Branleuse, even though I agree that 'shitty behaviour' is also a complete misnomer here. The issue is ultimately that, whatever the cause of this man's monologuing and inability to read normal social cues of boredom, the effect on the OP is the same. She gets talked at and is bored, frustrated and angry. Whether or not she wants to be in a relationship with someone who is tone deaf to normal conversational interaction, and where she will have to say 'Stop talking about this now' in order to be heard, is obviously a matter for her, but it being understandable and OK and able to be managed if it's autism rather than gendered entitlement to conversational space doesn't stack up for me.

ThreeLittleDots · 28/10/2019 12:41

I don't think it's my place to mention it to him

Why wouldn't you? He could access support that would benefit him? It's nothing shameful.

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 12:59

I dunno, I don't feel it appropriate to suggest to a fully-functioning self-sufficient adult that they might look into a diagnosis- espcially when he's not socially isolated or lacking information himself on how to access resources and support. he has a fairly healthy network of his own (parents, extended family, old and new friends). I don't think i would appreciate it if he told me to get professional help for whatever issue I was going through. (eg crying over divorce papers coming through, - crying over my ex asking for the kids to travel with him, angry with my dd/ds etc) (I don't cry that much, though, honestly, I know this thread makes it sound like I'm always crying but I'm not :))

OP posts:
questionzzz · 28/10/2019 13:08

"Rather than boil up resentment, not saying anything until you explode in rage, and the guy had no bloody idea because you were trying to be polite and they assumed that meant you were ok with it."

I just have to repeat that at the 20 minute mark I did interject in a somewhat wobbly/upset voice asking him to stop and can we start on the project please. He really didnt seem to hear me and I was sitting right next to him. It was kinda weird.

OP posts:
KindOranges · 28/10/2019 13:13

I dunno, I don't feel it appropriate to suggest to a fully-functioning self-sufficient adult that they might look into a diagnosis- espcially when he's not socially isolated or lacking information himself on how to access resources and support.

But you've been sleeping with this man for a year, and it's a serious relationship, right? You see a potential future together? He's just behaved in a way that many posters see as indicative of a specific condition. If this is the case, are you prepared for a lifetime of dealing with similar monologuing and other behaviour which may only manifest itself once you are able to spend more time together? The silence of your ex is not the only kind of unhappy couple dynamic there is.

The fact that he's a functional adult is neither here nor there. My friend's husband got a diagnosis on her prompting in his late 40s. I was the one who suggested my friend and colleague investigated a diagnosis in his 40s. These are people who would probably get picked up far younger now.

Angi1979 · 28/10/2019 13:15

Worse than unreasonable, you're an abuser. Would you think it okay if he shouted at you and verbally abused you due to you being a bore? Instead of being honest and talking the issue through, you let it build up and boil over. If that's a habit you often have you might want to seek counselling. I used to be the same- during my first marriage i allowed nothing arguments to boil over and hit my husband in the face, making his nose bleed and even kicked him in the groin once! It was a terrible thing I said out of spite in anger that ended our marriage, though. Don't fall into the trap many of us do with the best intentions. Talk honestly about your feelings as they occur. Change is possible. As for your current relationship, it seems you lack common interests, have little respect for him and try to blame him when you've been the abuser. He's clearly used to this as you gas lighted him into saying it was his fault ("he admitted he wasn't listening") so think long and hard about what is best for you both. Talk to him and apologise and admit wrongdoing and assure him he's not to blame whatever you decide- but don't stay together out of guilt or pity. Maybe, if you want to be together, relationship counselling? Good luck and positive vibes to you- you asked the question which implies you know something is not right and needs to change. Stay positive.

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 13:29

I didn't shout (see above)- I can't physically shout when I'm that angry. I did say fuck off while crying. I didn't cause him any fear - apart from that of storming off and never seeing him again. I was physically turned away from him and averting my face while cursing/crying. he tried to take my arm and I said (said, not screamed) don't fucking touch me- which he respected, btw. Then I started feeling barfy and had to sit down for a bit and calm down. Very different from actually hitting someone and abuse.
He didn't listen to me when I asked him to stop the first time round- I am not making that up or gaslighting him.
We do have common interests (art project!)- and I respect him- but the WWII really dominated us these past weeks. I really don't know how things will unfold from here.

I don't know about the long-term. On a personal level, I've stopped really tryng to think and plan long-term about things, try to live and enjoy the moment a bit more. I do care about him, and I do see potential for long-term. Unless the WWII thing goes on. Like I say, over the past year, this has been the worst instance, it's never been like this.

OP posts:
honeyloops · 28/10/2019 13:32

Wow Angi - I don't think one instance of her being angry because he wasn't reading her (perfectly reasonable, considering) cues constitues abusive behaviour.

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 13:34

"The silence of your ex is not the only kind of unhappy couple dynamic there is."

Oh god that's so depressing. Am I doomed to relationships with men who either talk too much or not at all? Ugh. What is wrong with me.

OP posts:
TresDesolee · 28/10/2019 13:34

Maybe not the point of the thread really but OP I get what you’re saying about there being something a bit ‘off’ with the way lots of people obsess over WWII. I do it myself a bit - I find it completely fascinating but I also know i’m not always doing it for the right reasons - nobody really needs to know about the exact texture of the Normandy bocage 75 years later. It’s like picking a scab. I think it’s partly because Britain was on the right side of such a titanic, binary good vs evil struggle, and it’s not often we can say that. But there is also something kind of prurient in focusing on the mechanistic details of the Holocaust. Holocaust awareness is genuinely important but the right way to do that is to read about the people who died in it and to really see them as individual humans, and to really try to understand how German society arrived at a point where those things were happening in plain sight, and to try to take those learnings into the present to challenge any dehumanising attitudes now - not to pore over the Auschwitz railway timetables.

It sounds like your DP might not be very curious about why he’s doing this. He can come up with lots of reasons why it’s interesting (and it is) but can’t explain why he’s so personally drawn to it.

I can see why you got frustrated, although you probably crossed the line with a prolonged screaming outburst Grin

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