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Thread: Thoughts about this Argument

  1. #1
    RichLOX Guest

    Thoughts about this Argument

    Good day. I have not posted in awhile since things between my fiance and myself have been going pretty well. However, a few days ago, we had a big fight and I am not sure what I did to ignite this argument. I would like your comments about the situation. Was I being verbally/emotionally abusive??? Was I verbally/emotionally abused???

    My fiance and I have vastly differing political views...she is a conservative/republican and I am a liberal/democrat. Throughout our relationship, I have made it a point to avoid getting involved in any political discussions with my fiance as it never really ends up well. Also, I have never negatively judged my fiance with regard to her political views (they are her views and just as valid as my views). Whenever she starts to discuss anything, I try to swerve the conversation somewhere else. Anyways last night, we were talking about an American company that had a store in Puerto Rico (devastated by a hurricane earlier this year). I innocently said that the store was likely not doing well now due to the lack of electricity on the island. After I said that, my fiance became very upset, accusing me of being racist against the white race and bringing that racism to her (we are both white by the way). Obviously I was shocked and upset by this claim. So, I asked her why she felt this way and accused me of being racist. Her heated explanation was that since I make posts on Facebook, expressing my disagreement with a majority of President Trump's actions, I obviously hate President Trump because he is white and therefore I hate white people. Since I mentioned that much of Puerto Rice still has limited electricity, I brought my racism home to her. To further "prove" her point, she brought up an incident from a few months ago while we were watching a movie about aliens. She made the comment, wondering why the aliens could not learn English since they were so advanced technology-wise. I made an offhanded joke, saying "Let's build the wall, " referring to the proposed wall at the Mexican border. I made the comment as a joke and I apologized to her as the joke really upset her. However, she said today that I made that comment in an angry and vindictive way, proving my hatred of white people.

    As you could imagine, I took great issue with being called a racist. So, I expressed my total disagreement with her belief that I was racist and abusing her by bringing my racism home to her. From there, the argument grew into the her complaint that I never respect her opinion on anything and never compromise. Now, I will readily admit that compromise is important in any relationship. However in my relationship with her, it has been hard to compromise on many of her complaints since they stem from her perception of negative behaviors/thoughts on my part such as being racist against white people, trying to starve her (by not ALWAYS being the one to suggest we go grocery shopping) or even still being in love with my ex-wife (since I sat with her at our kids activities or did the occasional favor for her such as watching her and her husband's house while they were on vacation). She is SO adamant that her beliefs are correct and that I should admit these negative behaviors/thoughts and agree with her. Now, I cannot help but to get defensive and disagree with her, especially about such things as the racism thing or trying to starve her. So, there does not really appear to be any compromise in these situations (unless I am missing something).

    Was I being abusive in this situation??? Should I compromise and agree with her belief that I'm racist??? Was she abusive in this situation??? I welcome any and all thoughts on this topic. In retrospect, I'm not sure this is worthy of posting on this forum, but I appreciate you taking the time to read it (and possibly comment). If nothing else, it felt good to be able to vent about this, so THANK YOU!!!

  2. #2
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    Idk people have different points of view - values. Think the trick is rather than trying to shape a person's views after you've hooked up as a couple it is better to spend time getting to know them - looking at them with wide open eyes. Bottom line for me is that I can live with them as they are- not criticize or hope to transform them after I have hitched my wagon to theirs. Had some areas where my partner and I just did not agree - would argue back and forth, get heated and really push our personal views - not to mention each others buttons. Dealt with it by making these emotionally loaded topics off-bounds. Agreed that our entrenched opinions meant nothing good could come of us continuing to discuss them.

    Someone calling me a racist...would certainly give me reason for pause. Would ask them to explain why they were labelling me this way...would listen and act on their feedback ie if it had some foundation - I'd look at my behaviour and make the necessary changes - if it was just angry lashing out stuff based on distortions or nothing I would ignore it and refuse to engage in the conversation. Speaking for myself here - bit hypothetical in some ways - have never been called a racist and desperately hope I never am.

    Politics? Kinda avoid talking about this subject round here...too polarizing and divisive - outside our scope as a site catering for abuse survivours.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.


    Off for a while. Searching for the end of the tangle that is my life

  3. #3
    RichLOX Guest
    Jane: thanks for the repsonse.

    Basically, I spent a day and a half asking my fiance why she thought I was racist against white people. I asked for the explanation by using the need for us to communicate better (active listening, etc.). However, she just refused to offer up any explanation. She just kept stating that I needed to compromise by not bringing my racism to her in our home. So, I never received any explanation about why she thought this (and I still do not have any as of today). After arguing about this for over a day, I mentioned how this situation was just another example of the toxicity of our relationship. Once I stated that, she backed off of her racist statement, saying she did not think I was racist and that she could not really express what she felt. However a little time later, she accused my of emotional abuse by questioning our relationship after the whole "you're racist" episode. We have had other very serious issues that I stated gave me significant doubts about our relationship. And of course by doing this, my fiance labels me emotionally abusive.

    Now, I do not think questioning the validity of our relationship after being called a racist (among other episodes) is wrong of me. Am I being emotionally abusive by mentioning these doubts??? It is all very confusing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichLOX View Post
    I would like your comments about the situation. Was I being verbally/emotionally abusive??? Was I verbally/emotionally abused???
    idk, i think abuse is a complicated thing. some forms of abuse are crimes, and have legal definitions, like rape or assault. other forms of abuse dont have legal definitions, like emotional/verbal abuse. its not a crime, so everyone defines it differently, mostly based on how it affects them. and everyone is affected differently. for example, i was abused as a child, pretty mildly, but it was a lot more traumatic to me than a gang rape that happened when i was adult. that rape was obviously unpleasant, scary, i was taken at gunpoint and was sure they were gonna kill me when they're done - obviously a much more serious trauma than my childhood stuff. but it affected me a lot less than childhood stuff, cuz i was already an adult. i perceived it as just an unlucky incident, like an earthquake, happens, what you gonna do, and i moved on pretty quickly. while childhood stuff shaped my opinion of who i am as a person, and im still working on repairing the aftermath of that. so even though objectively the childhood trauma was milder - subjectively it affected me a lot more. i still have ptsd from childhood, but not from that gang rape.

    i think nobody can judge how serious someones trauma is, cuz of the above, its a subjective thing. so when someone comes here and says they experienced psychological trauma, bad enough to google a trauma recovery site - we trust them on it, and don't compare apples to oranges. after all, 25% of world population struggles with mental illness, which can increase or decrease impact of trauma. if you feel traumatized and in need of psychological support because your fiancee called you a racist - who are we to judge your reality and the depth of your trauma.

    however, we cant take your trauma more seriously than you yourself do. i remember your posts back from summer, you were saying your fiancee accuses you of financial abuse and is physically violent. now youre saying the relationship is toxic but that things are going pretty well despite that, except you're now having an argument over some remark you made that she perceived as racist. i understand that you're hurt and confused by this argument, need support navigating it. venting does help, hearing other peoples input helps as well, i genuinely hope you find a platform to do that, to sort through this argument. im just confused why you and your fiancee call these arguments "abuse."

    abuse and relationship difficulties are not the same thing. if you consent to something, accept it willingly, are more or less satisfied with how things are working out - thats not abuse, by definition. abuse is when someone is hurting you, but you are trapped and have no way to escape this situation without external help. while its happening, you need to be rescued - law enforcement, child/adult protective services, etc. once you managed to escape - you're often stuck with the aftermath of this trauma, and fort is the place where we talk about recovery from it. for example, people who were involved in domestic violence and now cant sleep, keep waking up in cold sweat, thinking that someone broke into their home. or people who were neglected as children and now cant help hoarding food, to be sure they'll always have enough. or people who were raped and now engage in prostitution cuz they feel they are nothing more than a sex object. talking of how we cope and recover from these issues is the purpose of this site.

    relationship difficulties, conflicts, grievances, arguments, etc - are just as serious, and require just as much support, but they are a whole other topic. im sorry your fiancee called you a racist, but it seems like neither you nor your fiancee perceive this relationship as abusive, since neither of you seem to want to escape it. if you yourself dont perceive whats happening as abuse - how can we?...
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  6. #5
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    Now, I do not think questioning the validity of our relationship after being called a racist (among other episodes) is wrong of me. Am I being emotionally abusive by mentioning these doubts??? It is all very confusing.
    Sometimes it helps me when I can attempt to consider another person’s perspective.

    I was in couples counseling with my ex, before he was an ex. One of the first things our T addressed with us was threats to end the relationship, or pseudo implications that one of us has one foot in the relationship and one foot out...needed to end immediately. She mentioned that if we deal with conflict by implying the relationship needs to be destroyed, that it was going to continue to be a destabilizing force for our relational dynamic and that there was going to be little she could do to help us. She was clear that we needed to use partnering language vs break up kind. T gave us clear instructions: No talk of ending the relationship. Behave as though this is a lasting relationship, period. In face of conflict, look for ways to draw closer, not speak words that cause division or doubt.

    She felt there was going to be no repair work for us to do if we behaved and thought with uncertainty. I realized, this made a whole lot of sense.

    We both did this, to be fair. Yet after that talk, whenever I felt uncertain about our relationship, I saved those thoughts for my solo session instead of speaking them out loud, as I now understood they were damaging.

    She taught me that words can be either damaging, bring us together, or neutral. I learned to categorize my words. It was easy to see my words of doubts were not strengthening us at all.

    There is in an abusive relationship, the ongoing threat of abandonment, or rejection, or devolving of the relationship. Usually that is followed by some repair period. After that is a honeymoon period. After that usually tension builds again. If the tension builds, and one responds to the tension by threatening to destabilize the whole relationship in some way... well, I can see how the affect can be considered compatible with an abusive pattern cycle.

    Personally, I think what kept me engaged in this pattern was fear of loss. I was afraid to lose what we did have, so kept expressing my displeasure, yet... nothing was changing except my displeasure continued. I guess I could not will us to be more compatible. I could not will him to respond to me the way I wished. I spent 5 or so years with him oscillating from a wonderful dynamic, to cycles of it devolving continuously. It naturally deteriorated though. Made me sad lots, still does. There was a lot of love between us, but I suppose we did trigger in each other lots of issues.
    Had I not created my whole world. I would certainly have died in other people’s. ~Anias Nin

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  8. #6
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    Other thing that took me a long time to see was that as an adult I had choices when I came to differences with my partner. Talking about differences here that kept coming up - that we could not reach some sort of peace on. Had the choice to stay (in effect accept things as they were) stop complaining about them cuz staying (and putting up with whatever it was) was my choice - no one was making me do this. Second option was to vote with my feet -leave. Have an example - my ex use to help himself to all my spare change - I hated it, grizzled about it but in the end decided it was not a deal breaker - made the choice to let it go...not sweat it. He got stuck into my minor kid - did it once and I left...knew I could not accept that - brush it aside.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.


    Off for a while. Searching for the end of the tangle that is my life

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