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Linked S/O to Step Family Central

JYMCat's picture

I came across the Step Family Central Podcast yesterday. I don't know if it's been mentioned here before but I'm finding it to be pretty informative so far.

I sent S/O a link in his email (after telling him about it and getting the okay) and he told he would listen to it yesterday while he was eating his lunch. He didn't and I let it go because at least he is open to listening to it and I don't want to nag. He told me last night that he would listen to it before he went to bed and again, he didn't because he, "fell asleep after eating his snack". His computer is not in his room where his bed is so although I wanted to ask why couldn't you just eat the snack while listening to the podcast, I didn't. Again to avoid nagging him. Here's where I'm annoyed, he tells me this morning he's going to listen to it and asks me if a certain episode is the first episode. My response is no because the way itunes is set up, the LATEST episode is listed as #1 but not the very first episode ever done. He sent me a snapshot to show me he's listening to it but guess what? It's NOT the first episode. It's the episode he asked about and I told him it's not the first episode. I KNOW he started listening to that one because the subject matter interested him. First he tried to convince me that he was listening to that particular episode out of confusion. Even after I straight up told him, after he asked, that wasn't the first episode. So when he realizes I'm not buying it he finally admits the partial truth which is that he started it and wanted to finish it. I ask why bother to ask me if you're going to listen to whatever episode you want anyway. His response is "I don't know". UHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely HATE that answer because it's not a f****ing answer. I don't even CARE what episode he listens to first. WHY involve me and then ignore me? WTF is that? After he said "I don't know" I just sent him the mad face emoji and he asks what? I just said, I don't know back. He then asks me AGAIN which episode is the first episode and I respond I don't know again. I'm aware that my response probably wasn't the most mature. I think on some level I hope that it will help him understand what it feels like to be denied an answer but I'm probably being too optimistic about that.

This is constantly an issue I have with him. For example, we will be having a discussion and I'll try to clarify what he's saying to me by repeating it and he'll be like, that's not what I'm saying. So I ask him to clarify and he'll repeat himself and I'll tell him what it sounds like he's saying to me and I'll repeat what I said before and he'll say yeah thats what I'm saying. (confused?) So I'll ask, why did you say that you weren't saying that when I asked you the first time and his response is always "I don't know".

I don't know what to do about it. It is very frustrating and it makes it so that we constantly go around in circles during arguments or discussions and we never accomplish anything. I try not to get mad but I can't help but feel like he does it on purpose. In this situation I feel like it was completely unnecessary for him to ask what the first episode was. I feel like he went out of his way to ask me a question so that he could ignore it. I feel petty being so annoyed but I'm also aware that this particular instance is making me mad because this isn't the first time he's done something like this. I don't know what to say to him beyond, "Don't ask me questions you don't want the answer to".

Do any of you, if I haven't confused you, have any ideas of how to handle this? Not THIS situation but what seems to be a blatant attempt to give me the run around.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Newsflash: Men are not great communicators.

When I get in some kind of Twilight Zone warped endless loop with DH, I just tell myself "Stop using words, ChiefGrownup. Just stop."

From that point on I try to smile and nod and nothing more. Then at the end of whatever he's saying I ask the simplest question possible: "should I start the car now or not?"

Or I just pretend that episode of the Twilight Zone is over now, the credits are rolling, and let it go for now. Then I wait a suitable amount of time--could be half an hour to half a year--and try again. Often that second try goes just like butter. WTF?!?!?!? Who knows.

But the "Twilight Zone: Lost Podcast Horizon" episode you describe above I wouldn't let bother me. That would definitely be one I would let go of very early on. Let him figure it out. Or I might start talking about specific points from the podcast and sound so interesting he can't wait to hear it.

This is all assuming your DH is otherwise a super great guy and he's not deliberately gaslighting you or something.

JYMCat's picture

I guess I'll have to chalk this particular situation up to his bad communication skills but I honestly feel like he does this on purpose. When he thinks he's in trouble, regardless of whether he is or not, he does stuff like this. If I ask a question or make a statement that he perceives as an attack, this is the result.

I'm aware that there probably is diddly squat that I can do about it. I'm just not sure what to do for myself. I try to pick my battles and I guess part of that is being able to predict when a situation is going to get out of hand. In this instance, I wasn't aware that me saying, "that's not the first episode", in response to his snapshot was going to trigger his defense mechanisms.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Yeah, I have inadvertently "attacked" my DH, too, simply with word choice. It can be a male/female thing. Men really are sensitive to certain words or concepts that we girls perceive as simply normal conversation.

And vice versa, I guess.

Get the Debra Tannen book, He Said, She Said (think that's right title/name). You may not really master what she's saying, but at least you can realize it's not as personal as you thought it was.

It's very frustrating to find you've just launched a grenade when you thought all you were doing was ask if he'd like eggs with his pancakes.

Orange County Ca's picture

I suspect its much simpler. People, both men and women by the way, sometimes just don't assimilate information rapidly. As a community college teacher I went by the adage "Tell em what you're going to teach them, teach them, tell them what you taught them. I was teaching a class directed at all levels of intelligence and education - not just full time students.

If I want my wife to stop the car I'll say "Stop the car" three times without waiting for a response. She cannot process unexpected information quickly enough to stop a car quickly. People are like that. I don't get frustrated I just deal with it.

Try re-phrasing what he said instead of repeating it. Speak slowly, not mockingly slowly, but use fillers such as "ahhs" and "Ok's" to give his brain time to take in what's going on. "OK, what you said was you want me to pull the car over to the side of the road and stop, is that correct" instead of repeating "stop the car".

Now if he's doing it only during times of disagreement then the others are probably correct in their assessments.

Listen you married a dummy but he's a likeable dummy right?

JYMCat's picture

I have found that if I do not say something S/O said in the exact same words he used, he will accuse me of putting words in his mouth. No amount of me explaining that the words I used mean the same thing as the words he used, will convince him otherwise.