Needless Arguments

I had a big argument with Barry a couple nights ago. I was trying to get him to acknowledge that the cancer was back and that there was a tumor growing on his neck. I told him how frustrated I was that I had to deal with the outside real world by myself while he sat in his chair and pretended everything was fine.

Then Barry says, “Why are you continuing this useless argument?”

I agreed and said, “You’re right. There is no point trying to communicate with you. You win. Good night.” I went to bed, alone.

An argument is only useless if the person is not listening. By telling me that we were having a useless argument, he was admitting that he was not listening nor did he intend to at any point. No listening equals no communication. No communication equals no relationship. It really is that simple.

I want the world to understand this: an argument is an attempt to communicate. Maybe not the best or most mature, but an attempt nonetheless. If you are sitting at the kitchen table arguing with someone, in a twisted way, that is actually a good sign. That person sees themselves as having a relationship with you and is making the effort to communicate with you. When they quietly push their chair away from the table, get up, walk out the door, and lock it behind them, you are in deep trouble. Because they are done with you. The relationship is over. It is probably beyond repair.

Think of a business situation. The person the boss needs to worry about is not the one in his/her office screaming in his/her face. No. The person the boss needs to worry about is the person they blew off last week, refusing to talk to. When the good employee suddenly gets reaaaaalllllll quiet, they have probably given up on you and your organization. Their resume is now likely on every job-hunting website they can find. They are done with you.

Silence is not agreement! That is a top-of-the-food-chain mistake to make. Only people with unearned privilege seriously believe that silence is assent. The rest of us know better.

I have almost nothing left to say to Barry. I’m sure he just thinks I have an attitude problem. I am forced to live in the real world and handle all the responsibilities. My confrontation was a last-ditch effort to get him on the same page as myself. You see, I do not have the option of living in his delusional world. I have to function. When I lose my mind and end up putting him in a nursing home, maybe, just maybe he will get it. Or maybe not. Either way, real communication with him is clearly a useless effort. He said so.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

3 responses to “Needless Arguments”

  1. Ninasusan says :

    So what is the next step? Doesn’t sound like he is willing to put anything into it? Is a nursing home a real possibility. You are right….when the conversation stops there really is no where to go!

    • cdhoagpurple says :

      Why am I just now getting the email that you replied? Odd. Right now, we are moving because I cannot take care of him and the house. But this is a stop-gap measure. Eventually, he will be in a nursing home because I will be unable to take sufficient care of him. Maybe in a year. The man I married is gone. My heart is broken.

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