My husband is incredibly insensitive - is it verbal abuse?
Ever since we met, my husband of two years and I have had a very difficult time discussing topics we don't agree on- particularly when I am approaching him about something I am unhappy with. We had a particularly frustrating argument this evening.
These arguments never begin with huge problems- they are small things. However, my husband loves to debate. He gets heated and excited. You can tell he's enjoying himself just for the debate aspect, and that takes over any sort of focus on talking about something that's bothering his wife. He interrupts me, he brings up philosophical arguments that go way above and beyond the topic at hand, and he smiles and laughs. Even if I am brought to tears, he smiles and laughs. He even laughs AT me for disagreeing with him or not addressing the argument he's making (which is often way off topic from what my concern is) and accuses me of being too "emo."
For example, this past weekend he got a speeding ticket on his motorcycle. He was going more than 25 over in a 55. It's his second speeding ticket of the year, and just recently he told me he couldn't get a second one because it would bring him too high on his points on his license. When he got his motorcycle last summer, I was very worried. I am not a fan of motorcycles, but I didn't stop him. He promised up and down to me that he would be safe and wouldn't speed excessively. I asked him about the ticket because I want him to know that going 80-something in a 55 is not my idea of safe.
My husband's reaction to this was to delve into the argument that he is in control and knows what is safe. He also argued that speed limits are too low, that the US should be like Germany, and that he will argue the courts to no end if they try to take his license. When I explained that I think laws should be obeyed regardless of whether you think they are right or not (because you can be fined/ticketed/thrown in jail whether your opinion is in agreement or not!), to which he argued that I can't just let any establishment that exists impose laws on me that I don't agree with. Ergo, I am weak for obeying laws.
At this point I just felt like no matter what I said, his mind was on debate mode. He was interrupting me. I just stopped responding, and he launched into a story about a credit card company he had closed an account with. I didn't respond once- I had no interest! He went on and on as if nothing was wrong. I ran an errand and got back into the car, and he wanted to go to dinner. At this point I told him I didn't want to go into public because he was having a grand old time and I was on the verge of tears. His response was to laugh and say, "yes I AM having a good time!" My being on the verge of tears was entirely ignored. He didn't seem to care one bit, so long as he was having fun.
From there the argument degraded. I told him he was insensitive and explained (calmly) that I don't think he understands sensitivity and insensitivity. I feel like it is a social standard that he just doesn't get. He asked me to define insensitivity (which I did to the best of my ability in my upset state and without a dictionary), then two minutes later asked me to do it again as if he hadn't asked earlier. He asks me questions and doesn't even listen to my responses!
I have a very hard time committing the details of a conversation to memory as it is going on. My husband often accuses me of not knowing what I said because I can't correctly quote it back to him. Ultimately, we degrade to yelling at one another. If I slam a car door, he judges me for it and says I'm irrational. If I swear, he judges me for it and says I am being more immoral than he. He pushes me to a point where I feel backed into a corner and bullied and then uses my coping mechanisms (slamming a door, crying quietly) as excuses to exit.
He left me crying in our kitchen after this argument and went out to get food. He came home as though nothing had happened. I'm sick and tired of being run around in circles to defend myself and try to be heard over his philosophical debates and self-righteous tirades. He's impossible to argue with and he preys on my weaknesses in conversation (and I'm a very intelligent, strong communicator- I just can't go as fast and furious as he wants me to).
He told me tonight that in order to debate, I SHOULD be able to respond quickly. Basically, I'm not fast enough to argue with him.
As a wife, am I required to fight HIS way? Am I supposed to be subjected to philosophical debate instead of being able to air my feelings & concerns & worries?
Seriously, 95% of the time we're a happy, healthy couple. When there's something that I believe is truly worth discussing, it seems to degrade quickly into this cycle. It especially hurts my feelings when he laughs at me. He always says he's not laughing at ME, he's laughing at something more specific. But does it matter? He laughs at what I say, what I do, how I react, how I think- if it's not up to par with how he is.
It truly hurts me. How do I stop this?