I don’t think I am, but I am a savage from the mean streets of Detroit, so I could be mistaken.
According to all of the forums I have read about verbal abuse, I am probably verbally abusive in my relationship. This is not an admission of guilt or denial. Not yet. Let’s dig around for a bit..
I have a temper. I do the same things when I get angry. I either yell and curse or I withdraw. I don’t really enjoy arguing in my relationship (at least not consciously). It takes a toll on me. I feel the stress of it in my entire body. I get headaches from stress. I am a naturally anxious person, so arguments flick the anxiety switch on and it pretty much stays on until the conflict is resolved.
However, I am not one to give in, especially if I feel I am right. Also, I am very good at holding on to my anger (i.e. bad at calming down). So either we are going back and forth and I am trying to show you where you messed up, or I am not engaging because I know that arguing is futile in my anger and I just need time to calm down to rationally hash this out.
Discussions turn into arguments with me pretty quickly. All it really takes is a passionate disagreement. Then I find myself trying to logic you into my way of thinking. It never works. But that’s why I think subconsciously I may get some kind of thrill in the fight.
I enjoy winning. I am a gamer. It is a natural trait for a gamer to enjoy winning. And games, at least compared to life, are easy to win. It’s safe to say I am addicted to gaming. Something inside me craves whatever it is progression in a game provides.
I enjoy competition, especially if I can win. I will drop my plans to play Settlers of Catan any day of the week. I have been playing since college. I can’t say so about many things, but I have mastered Settlers of Catan. I teach everyone I spend an evening with how to play and then I pound them into the ground for thinking they could take on their master. So come get you some sometime.
These traits are no good for relationships. A competitive spirit and the will to win has no place in an argument with your significant other.
I know this to be true, yet I still do battle. The bell rings and I use every weapon at my disposal. Especially profanity. This is where things get a bit tricky. I don’t say things to my woman like “You ain’t shit, bitch”, “Fuck you”, “Eat a dick!”, or “Cunt!”. I may have said “well fuck you then” a time or two. It’s always defensive. It’s when something she said somehow penetrated my man armor, such as implying that I am somehow not good enough for her. I know we fake it well, but we feel too.
Anyway, mostly I swear when the anger reaches a boil and I am unable to suppress the bad words. If you read my tweets, you know I am a vulgar person deep down. The words are always there but my Bruce Banner keeps them hidden. When tensions are running high, an innocent statement like “Where are we going?” goes Incredible Hulk and becomes “Where the fuck are we fucking going!?”
Whenever that happens, she stops and gives me a look. If looks could kill and reincarnation was possible, I would have lived a hundred lives.
The words that follow the look: “You’re not going to talk to me like that!”
My usual response: “You’re not going to tell me how to talk!”
If the argument was progressive in any way at all up to this point, this is when it falls off the rails.
So.. Is that verbal abuse? I think it depends on who you ask. My woman was taught not to let someone (especially a man) swear at her. However, if you are over 18, you can cuss at me all day and I won’t flinch. I had an alcoholic stepmother and I attended elementary and middle school in the inner city. Cuss words directed at me lost their sting in my adolescence. If anything, I’ll just try to come back with better cuss words than yours.
A woman who swears probably won’t feel verbally abused. My woman, however, is a delicate flower. My savagery accidentally stomps out her feelings on a daily basis. That’s one way to tell it. The other way is that she does not want to be the kind of person who uses profanity. She projects much of what she wants in her life onto me. When I break that mold, she tries to reel me back in, not knowing that I wasn’t there to begin with.
I love her, so more often than not I cave. I tell her that I won’t use profanity when fighting with her. And then I do it again. It’s exhausting. After reading about verbal abuse on forums, I told her today that it’s probably never going to stop happening, so she either needs to learn to deal with it or leave. It’s that simple. Don’t take nobody’s abuse.
To be continued..