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Crazy Arguments (Or I am not losing my mind)

February 4, 2012

Having re-read Lundy Bancroft’s book several times and thinking about his concepts, a couple of things have been true paradigm shifts for me. One is Lundy’s comments about arguments:

You may find that each disagreement with your partner is unique and can start in any of a thousand ways, yet it can only arrive at four or five different endings — all of them bad. Your gnawing sensation of futility and inevitably is actually coming from the abusive man’s thinking about verbal conflict. His outlook makes it impossible for an argument to proceed toward anything other than the fulfilment of his wishes — or towards nowhere at all.

He goes on to lists four features of this outlook:

  1. The abuser goal is to win
  2. The abuser knows you are wrong
  3. The abuser will use a stunning array of tactics to win (“to discredit your perspective, especially your grievances”)
  4. The abuser will get his way – either in the argument or later

If you aren’t sure this is your arguments, read the examples in this book. You will either see yourself clearly in the sample arguments (like I did!) or you won’t. I can’t explain how these sort of arguments can get twisted around but boy can they.

Another thing that my hubby does is use these sorts of tactics in “normal everyday” conversations. He tries to turn everything into a argument and then often if I don’t agree with his points (#2) he uses starts off on how argumentative I am (#3?). This can happen in a discussion of the weather!

Fascinating, but very frustrating to live with. Very.

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