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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:
KindOranges · 28/10/2019 13:35

@Angi1979, are you on glue? Or do you usually think that men's listening problems need to be sorted out by women's emotional labour, or that women should apologise to men for not having facilitated curing male failings or issues? Hmm

Helmetbymidnight · 28/10/2019 13:35

him ignoring her, droning on and on for 45 mins without listening or watching her once = fine

op= abuser

dont be idiotic, angi

SlightlyStaleCocoPops · 28/10/2019 13:37

Nah I get it OP. I had a boyfriend who was like this about stuff he was into. At first I found it endearing, but it became ALL he would talk about. If I tried to change the subject, he would turn it back round. I tried telling him that I didn't want to hear about it for the umpteenth time that day, he wouldn't listen. Eventually I just started actively ignoring him and would even turn my back to him during conversations. He would just keep talking.

TresDesolee · 28/10/2019 13:38

Oh sorry I see you’ve now clarified it wasn’t a prolonged screaming outburst! Apologies. I think you were well within your rights to express frustration

billy1966 · 28/10/2019 13:41

OP was most certainly not abusive.

She was pissed off with her ear being bent having asked after 20 minutes could they start their project.

Being talked at for 45 minutes is not nice.

He needs to STFU and listen to the OP or she will die of boredom.


BeesKnees4 · 28/10/2019 13:43

Why do MN need to label and/or diagnose everyone? Some people are just boring/obnoxious/oblivious/rude!
He sounds a typical mansplaining bore.

Angi1979 · 28/10/2019 13:46

KingOranges she didn't say " stop talking about wsr" that's the point. I nowadays am very straight forwards wmd tell people how I feel/ what I want. If people then don't listen, I choose not to speak to them again (expect the kids- obviously lol). I don't scream abuse though- no need. It's served me well. If you say what you do/ don't want you'll find more often than not you get it. Normally men listen- but only if you say directly, not hinting at what you want. Sometimes I find other women don't like my directness but that's okay. I'd never have had the confidence and communication slills or assertiveness to start my own business or employ others before- now it seems totally normal. I never have a 1-2 year relationship go suddenly sour- either they're gone early or I keep them around as they're suitable.

EstebanTheMagnificent · 28/10/2019 13:47

I might look up various coping mechanisms as some ppl suggested, just to make the communication work better.

The thing is, you shouldn’t need coping mechanisms to deal with a partner of a year (less, really, based on how infrequently you have been seeing each other). I’m not going to wade into the issue of autism but I can tell you from experience of several people with these sorts of obsessive fixations that they often get worse, not better, as the person gets older. It really depends whether you think you can live with that.

obligations · 28/10/2019 13:54

BeesKnees4 in fairness, there are people on here with personal experience of ASD who are well placed to recognise the characteristics (eg of perseveration). Nobody is diagnosing him, just bringing their experience to bear on the situation - it might be helpful for the OP.

KindOranges · 28/10/2019 13:59

Am I doomed to relationships with men who either talk too much or not at all? Ugh. What is wrong with me

Sorry, OP, didn't mean to depress you, and of course there's nothing remotely wrong with you. I just thought from your posts that you had probably been more forgiving of your boyfriend's monologuing than many others would have been, precisely because of your grumpily silent ex that it may be that it took longer to strike you as a problem because you were all 'Excellent a nice, talkative man!'

@Angi1979, the OP did explicitly ask him to stop. He didn't.

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.

CruCru · 28/10/2019 14:03

I have no idea whether this guy has autism. I do think you should break up with him. Rambling on for 45 minutes with pretty much no response from the other person isn’t fun. It’s only going to get worse the longer you date him.

Helmetbymidnight · 28/10/2019 14:06

you called the op an abuser. thats not being 'straightforward' - thats being ridiculous.

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 14:07

@KindOranges- thank you- your last post made me laugh - although now I have become teary again ughghgh maybe I am crying all the time. I need to get off this computer and go do some actual work.

@Angi1979 I did say, both in the original post and later, that I did say to him to stop talking about the war and can we please start the project. He didn't seem to hear. Maybe I should have said it more loudly, more assertively, repeatedly, but I did actually say it. I didn't repeat it at the time because he literally didn't seem to hear me and I was weirded out by that, and I realised also my voice was getting wobbly and I didn't want to cry and look totally crazy over him talking too much. Which in the end I did.

No screaming and shouting. More like angry crying and cursing.

OP posts:
obligations · 28/10/2019 14:08

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.

Why does this not stack up? It's wholly understandable if it is because the man is autistic. Plenty of people have strategies whereby they manage disabilities (of partners and children as well as themselves). Autism is a social disability, and perhaps if there was greater understanding autistic people wouldn't find themselves as isolated as many do. I think the OP sounds really understanding and full of self respect and is in a good position to be able to explain what went wrong to her BF and maybe put some sort of signal in place for when he's doing this unwelcome behaviour again. All the 'LTB' comments are a bit stupid if she's having a nice time in general with this guy. OP - hope it works out. IME it would be good if you could explain why you got so upset and tell your boyfriend that in future when you ask him to stop talking so much about something if he could respect that.

Charley50 · 28/10/2019 14:12

I know someone who isn't autistic but who will happily drone on for hours and hours and the subjects he is interested in. He just loves the sound of his own voice and is not particularly interested in listening to others.
He is also the type of person I imagine women who have been with a 'silent type' would go for, as initially his ability to talk would appear engaging.
I think it's fucking rude to talk AT someone for 40 minutes, whatever the topic.

ThanksItHasPockets · 28/10/2019 14:17

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.

It sounds like this is something that you would have learnt about him much sooner if your relationship had started in different circumstances and without the limitations on time together. For that reason I don't think it's helpful to think of him as a boyfriend of a year - in terms of the amount of extended time that you have had together it's more like a matter of months. You shouldn't have to 'cope with' or 'manage' your boyfriend in such a young relationship, and it sounds like this foible is (understandably) a particular trigger for you given your experiences with your own family. So, if this incident had happened on the fifth or tenth date - would you have continued seeing him?

questionzzz · 28/10/2019 14:27

I definitely understand about not having spent that much time with him anyway- which is also another reason why I feel it's not "my place" to suggest pursuing a medical route,

If it had happened earlier on, well I guess I would have stopped seeing him. Like if he was actually making me so angry that i was crying and cursing at the fifth date, yeah I'd like to think I have enough self-respect to call it a day.

the problem is after slightly over a year (regardless of the actual physical hours), I have become quite attached to him, and he to me (so he says- like I say, he quite capable of expressing himself the right way the right time too!)), and as I mentioned, I was quite worried at the thought of losing him over this later when I was home.

OP posts:
KindOranges · 28/10/2019 14:33

but I can tell you from experience of several people with these sorts of obsessive fixations that they often get worse, not better, as the person gets older.

Absolutely. My father is far more obsessive and far more routine-bound than he was when he was younger, and the monologues and complete inability to judge his audience ('Is this person who has asked about an evening class I did really interested in getting instead a 20-minute explanation of where to get the best parking in the vicinity instead?') are far worse.

And my friend, who is only in his early 50s, has, even in the four years I've known him, become more reluctant to move outside the world of his obsessions, and actually engage with anything new. Unfortunately, he has young children, and simply does not engage with them. He loves them, but is a poor parent.

MaybeDoctor · 28/10/2019 14:33

There is something very oppressive about a person who dominates the airspace to the extent that no one else can speak. It is simply a variant of verbal bullying.

I can understand your reaction. I had a university friend who could speak for England. I called by her room once and said hello to her in the open doorway. She began speaking, hours passed and my day (that I needed for finals revision!) was rapidly diminishing, but I had no idea how to get away. In the end I burst into tears - probably through hunger and exhaustion! She looked very concerned and told me that I needed to go home as I must be suffering from a nervous breakdown Hmm. I was only 20 at the time but these days I would just cut in after 15 minutes and say 'Sorry, I've got to go', then go!

But if he's your boyfriend (long term partner, spouse...) then it becomes more difficult to just go.

motherogod · 28/10/2019 14:40

questionzzz it sounds like you want this to work out. Can't you just have a chat with him about what happened and suggest a future strategy so he knows when he has overstepped the mark? It would seem a bit wasteful to 'dump'/break up with him over one very weird incident. If he is unwilling to accept how upset he made you and how it wasn't acceptable to you, well then that might be the time to consider breaking up with him. The people egging you on to split up with him are just drama-lamas getting their kicks from other people's lives

GrimDamnFanjo · 28/10/2019 15:33

He could be very nervous with you and the ww2 stuff is a subject he feels safe with to make conversation?
I'd give him another chance and have a date which gives you lots to discuss together like to a film, museum etc

bluebeck · 28/10/2019 15:37

Oh it's only been a year, I would bin him off. This will get worse with age, not better.

CruCru · 28/10/2019 15:38

The thing is, he could be nervous or awkward. However, they’ve been seeing each other for a year so I’d have to wonder how long it would take him to relax. This seems like really hard work.

HeadLikeAFuckinOrange · 28/10/2019 15:40

You could play him this @questionzzz and hope he gets the hint? Grin

EvaHarknessRose · 28/10/2019 15:55

He hasn't been going down any internet rabbit holes has he? The kind that might subtly groom and radicalise those people with a historical interest?

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