I sort of got into it with my therapist today.
A problem I’ve had throughout my love life has been getting women to agree with me on all my opinions. If you disagree with my stance on something I feel passionate about, I take it as a personal attack. I then think we’re not a united front and mismatched. But I also think you’re lying about your position. That, under sodium pentothal and a heat lamp, you would admit that my stance on the topic was, in fact, your stance.
So, to sum up – you’re disagreeing with me to intentionally spar. This means that you really hate me, because why wouldn’t you just say, “Hey, that’s a really great opinion!”? So, since you hate me – I have to attack you to defend myself.
Once again – you know I’m right. You don’t want to concede I’m right. You make up a bullshit opposing position. I don’t believe you and try to get you to admit you’re lying. I get increasingly upset that you won’t admit you’re lying. I accuse you of horribly malicious stuff.
Can you imagine you’re dating me and just have a different opinion on a topic where I believe I’m right? After a few experiences with my insanity, you’re going to keep those viewpoints to yourself. And you’re going to feel that I don’t respect or acknowledge your thoughts. Basically, I’m going to make you feel like shit.
Welcome to my crazy.
I was telling my therapist all about this today – and just to put a few points in my good-guy column, I know this is nuts. I understand how this is all in my head and not appropriate behavior and that it can damage relationships. Plus, it’s plain not fair to my partner.
However, I never do any of it on purpose. I’m not trying to be combative. In the moment where you’re sharing a different viewpoint – I actually think you’re lying.
During therapy I wanted to work on me not needing my girlfriend to agree with me on every little topic. And also to not see every differing opinion as a personal attack. Even though I may think she’s wrong, she may think she’s right, and it’s okay to make room for her beliefs.
We worked on some basic active listening skills and what to do when I’m caught up in the moment and feeling attacked. I wanted to go back to the psychological roots of why I was doing this in the first place. Finally, she said, “I don’t think you’re listening to me.” That got me super pissed because I was listening.
“I’ve heard and agreed with each strategy you just discussed. I can tell you everything you just said if you’d like me to repeat it.”
Sure, go ahead.
(after repeating almost verbatim what she had said) – I was agreeing with you but I kept wanting to go back to the roots of the issue instead of strategies to cope when it comes up.
Okay, so clearly you were listening. But why would I think you weren’t?
Because while you were talking I was inside my head trying to figure out the roots of my issue, and at the same time processing your strategies. I can do both simultaneously.
That’s amazing. However, again, why did I think you weren’t listening?
My eyes were closed and I was inside my head trying to work this thing out myself. And I kept changing the topic to going back to what I wanted to talk about.
Right, we weren’t having a conversation. You were trying to control the direction of the session to get to where you wanted. You evaluated every strategy I gave you, and since you agreed with me, you immediately moved on to the next topic.
Ah – yes, that’s true.
So, that’s not a conversation, D.J.
But as soon as I agree with you, can’t we just move on?
– fin –
It’s time for me to learn that a conversation is not a monologue or rant of my thoughts. That’s merely performance. I need to be able to take in other people’s ideas and really digest them with them. This is intimacy and connectedness.
Strangely enough, to coworkers or friends I’m okay with your having a different stance on something. But when we’re dating (or married) you better damn well agree on everything I believe. Or else!
Yep – sadly, I have to own that this is me. But hopefully not for long.