Originally Posted by Dadof3greatkids
I played a part in creating this dynamic. I enjoy debating and my job requires me to do it often. My wife is very smart and a native English speaker, but just does not have the same debating skills that I have. I think years of me twisting arguments to win a battle are losing me the war. She has learned that if she loses it, she "wins" the debate. I realize that and now try to respond to her feelings rather than pick apart the minutia of the point she is making. That has helped other topics we discuss, e.g., kids and mmoney. However, when it comes to "us" and my feelings she quickly spirals into yelling.
So far the best answer is for me just to shut up when she starts losing it or (more often) just not bring up the subject of what I expect in our relationship. Honestly, most of her complaints of specific conduct are valid. However, when we are talking about us the specific issue discussion turns into a character assassination. This does not happen when we talk about the kids or money.
You are showing serious signs of self awareness. Which is seriously good. It’s your ego that knows all about winning a debate but if the goal is to win, it sure as heck means that you intend the person you are debating with to lose.
So in order for you to win and them to lose, you WILL change your position. Even if it’s a most fundamental position on which your whole initial debate depended upon. Where your wife is going wrong is in not recognising that in you and simply walking away from your debate and leaving you “hanging”.
The type of behaviour you have is extremely frustrating for the person you are debating with. And out of that frustration can come a very high level of anger and if you, in your “debate” get right under your wife’s skin such that you wound her she may very well retaliate with acts of aggression to “Hurt you back”. In fact her telling you she doesn’t love you could very well be a defence mechanism. It sure was when I told my wife I didn’t love her just before we split. What I meant was that I withdraw my love from her because to love her became too painful for me. I hope that makes sense to you.
Your debating skills should be turned from I win/you lose to I win/You win. Because as sure as you know very well, for you to Win is for you to Lose! The only result that works is Win/Win and that’s what you must head for.
You already have a fairly well developed observer consciousness, you observe your “ego in action” very well. Guess how to develop your ego consciousness even further? Read Awareness: Amazon.co.uk: Anthony De Mello: Books
After a little while your wife will see very big changes in you. The dynamics between the two of you will change. And then she will begin to change.
And always, but always go for Win/Win because it’s the only thing that works long term.