How do I get my boyfriend to stop talking to me about war? I regard war the same way I regard farming.

How do I get my boyfriend to stop talking to me about war?

I regard war the same way I regard farming. I can aknowledge that it's inevitable and necessary, but I am glad that I am not the one who has to do it. I'm aware that I'm privileged and shelterd that I haven't been forced to be more familiar with it, and the onl way it impacts my life is indirectly and through the news. I don't look down on people who have no choice but to do it, but I wouldn't volunteer to it, and if you put a gun to my head and told me my only choices are to go fricking do it or get shot now, I would have to flip a coin about which one I'd rather choose. I would hang myself if that fate was forced upon me.

But if someone started to enthusiastically go into details in explaining to me what are the nuanced differences between different types of tractor enginges, my soul will depart from my body and I'll just have to focus full force in maintaining eye contact and nodding until the talking stops. I will retain none of this information. I don't WANT to retain any of this information. I do not want to know or learn it before someone puts a gun to my head and tells me that I will be forced to do so if I want to live. I feel the same way about tanks.

Everything I know about guns, tanks, war planes, trenches, and every single type of artillery I have learned against my will. I have learned it because my boyfriend wants to tell me about these things. I do not want him to tell me about these things.

How do I get him to stop?

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    "Hey Babe, I know you love this stuff and I'm happy for you, but I can't stand it. It makes me deeply uncomfortable even just knowing about it. Can we not talk about war stuff?"
    Then proceed to segway into another topic you too like.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'll have to figure out how to word this clearly enough. I tried to tell him that I don't want to hear talk about guns when we first started dating, and he needed me to define "what counts as a gun" because to him guns and tanks and other war machines are all completely different subjects, and just defining "anything that was specifically designed to kill human beings" was too broad because as far as he was concerned, that doesn't cover target pratice hobby guns.

      He is like a computer in this kind of things, he needs exact instructions to understand what you want from him. One comma in the wrong place, and he can't fathom what you're trying to talk about. I was raised in an environment where you had to learn to guess what people meant to say instead of fixating on the exact wording of how they said it, and he wasn't raised like that.

      I need to figure out the exact perfect phrasing of how to say this in a way that covers all of the things that I don't want to hear about, and ONLY the things I don't want to hear about.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I think the best thing to do is then actually workshop it with him. Getting him to understand the underlying issue and topics that broach it are two issues, but can be tackled together.
        Talk to him about the problem.
        >Hey, I want to talk about something that has been bothering me.
        Get into the what and why.
        >When you start talking about certain topics, it stresses me out and makes me feel awful. I don't like these topics as they're upsetting to me.
        And then go through each topic with him in and calculated, questioning, in depth manner. Bring him through each one and see if he can't connect the dot to the next ones.
        >Guns and war for a start, they make me uncomfortable and I don't like the thought of them. I don't want to stifle you, but I don't want to talk about that stuff, it's upsetting. It's also like that with...
        And then you link. See if he can't also link it through.
        It's going to seem like you're shutting him down if you're not also positive about his likes, guys like him (my assumptions here) love to gush about their niche ass autistic hobbies. He'll feel bad or frustrated if he feels you're trying to control him or just change his likes. Be positive about his enjoyment, but not the topic.

        I'll also critique or give feedback if you want to soundboard a basic set up for that conversation.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That's the tough part, I know that it's something that makes him happy, but I can't make myself enjoy them any more than I could convince him to enjoy literally anything else. I've tried talking to him about this before but I don't know what I've worded wrong since it doesn't stick and never manages to hold on for long. The way I was raised to handle these things is completely wrong, so trying to figure out how normal people talk about things like this is like trying to draw a giraffe when all you know about giraffes is that you don't know what a giraffe looks like.

          How do I make it not sound like I'm just handing him a list of Banned Subjects, that covers about 90% of things he wants to talk about?

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            You're doubting yourself too much for one.
            It is possible that he has heard your worries and mentally brushed off your anxieties, thinking things like "Well maybe this is fine" or "They don't tell me to stop, so it should be fine."
            I doubt it's mean spirited, but he's being a dumbo if this is the case.
            >How do I make it not sound like I'm just handing him a list of Banned Subjects, that covers about 90% of things he wants to talk about?
            Well there is a question of what you two do share in common when it comes to interests. Diverting conversation by adding in what makes you happy and comparing isn't a bad way to segway out of topics you dislike.
            If you have 0 middle ground, I wonder why you two date, but it's also not impossible to make new ground. I know you said you can't convince him to like different things, but you can make new memories with him. Doing things together that are special or focused on the two of you could be future talking points or open up avenues of interest.
            It does sound like your man is lowkey autistic, which is a deathknell for getting him away from his special interests, but if you two are struggling with common ground, you should communicate that.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's not his fault for brushing it off, I was raised completely wrong so I don't know how to communicate. The way I grew up, if I tried to tell someone something nicely, my family would act like they never heard me say anything at all, and if I tried to put my foot down and be assertive about it, I was being "bossy" and trying to act like a dictator, and therefore my requests could also be dismissed completely. So I don't know how to tell people things normally because telling people things has had a 0% success rate in my household.

            We don't frankly have much in common in interests. He dislikes pretty much everything that I enjoy, or doesn't understand why I'd care for it, just the same I dislike pretty much everything he enjoys. We have been trying very hard to find some sort of common ground, but haven't been able to come up with anything.

            To my knowledge he's not autistic. I was tested for autism multiple times as a kid and they never found traces of it, and he has never been even professionally suspected.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            You're explaining yourself fine right now to me. I get your problem and you've properly articulated it, unless you feel I'm missing the point/not hearing you. Does sound like a rough family though.

            I apologize if this is mean, but it sounds more like you two are dating out of need or loneliness rather than active love or interests. What do you like or love about him? That's something to hone in on, because hopefully it can lead to commonality.

            If he is also unable to relate to your interests, I do feel like some blame is on his inability to cooperate in a conversation. It's give and take, a flow that resonates with you both, but if he's unable to add/vibe to your likes and actively puts you off whenever he talks, then he needs to figure out how to mesh better. I'd say be blunt.
            >I feel like conversations bewteen us are draining and anxiety inducing. Mostly because of our topics but I also feel like I'm not being heard.
            If you really feel you're not getting through, just take it slow and try again. Ask him questions. Get his view on why he does what he does, and think how you can work with that.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I love him because he is a good-hearted man who also loves me. He puts in the work and effort to make things work even when I don't have the energy to do that in return. I literally could not make him dump me if I tried - and I DID try, before I went to therapy.

            Trying to find common ground is tricky because we're both constantly mutually surprised to learn that the other had never heard of something that the other one had considered common knowledge. I was baffled that he couldn't name a single Roman emperor (he HAD heard of julius Caesar when I asked, but hadn't known he had been an emperor), had never heard of Bedouins, or heard Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah". And he is constantly astonished to hear that I do not know the most basic military terminology or things about American gun culture. I have never been in military service and we are not americans.

            I like being in cities and around people and culture, and I struggle to endure being outdoors and enduring weather. He likes being outdoors and enduring weather, and struggles to endure cities and people. He was surprised to hear that "modern art is degeneracy and only pretty art is true art" is a nazi dogwhistle, and was baffled of how something that's "literally just objectively true" could be a dogwhistle.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            If you two are constantly surprised by the things you learn about the other, it sounds like you still have a lot of exploring to do between you two left to do.
            I still recommend that you do go out and do more things, build more memories, make more experiences together because doing so will allow you to hone in on those topics whenever you want to divert. It's going to be tricky to make him stop wanting to talk about these kind of things because it seems to be what he really likes, but if you're able to relate take it to another place and divert, you might be able to get out of these conversations. Plus it might be fun seeing if he takes to anything normally outside of his comfort zone. Just remember to do things he likes too.
            I know it sucks and it's anxiety inducing to hear these conversations, but it's likely impossible to make him just stop liking it all together. If you can't manage it still by diverting, you do have to actually just communicate. Take him, sit him down and just say "Hey, these conversations really suck for me."
            Again, if you want to soundboard or try to sound out that conversation, I'm willing to critique it/give feedback. There's no real getting around it, and it's impossible for me to make a conversation for you for your boyfriend, but I can at least try to help you sound it all out so you're confident in how you'll approach it.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            We've been trying to go out to do more things and build memories. We've found a lot of things that the other enjoys and the other can't stand at all, but haven't really found anything that both would genuinely like. He doesn't take to things outside of his comfort zone very well, and I haven't found anything within his comfort zone that I wouldn't find bleak and unappealing.

            I know that finding common ground is the only way, but I'm still at a loss of how to find common ground. We have only found a lot of stuff that the other likes and the other doesn't. We're both trying.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Probably dumping too many words at ya by this point, but hey good luck.
            It is okay to dislike shit your partner likes, hell it can even lead to fun dynamics, but if it's making you stressed or leading to anxiety, its shit. You really do need to tell him that.
            I recommend seeing if you can't find a part of his hobbies that you don't 100% hate in a film/video your interested in or something.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >I regard war the same way I regard farming. I can aknowledge that it's inevitable and necessary, but I am glad that I am not the one who has to do it
    Wars are completely unnecessary and only bring death and destruction
    Anyway, just tell him. Communication is key

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      We live in a country with a border with Russia. We don't have the privilege of considering war as "optional".

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Well, it's still an unncecessary endeavour, but I blame Putin for starting it in the first place

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Well I blame NATO for starting it in the first place because we won the cold war and the guy literally was trying to join with us and we could be doing space stuff in peace now but noo some weird conspiracy has to be afoot

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I don't know how to tell you this, but Russia's general level of respect for bordering countries' borders doesn't just predate NATO, nor was it something that came about during the Soviet Union. Russia's disrespect for other peoples' land and property predates Russia. My ancestors were raided for slaves in Novgorod before there WAS Russia.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >We
            But you are regurgitating history as rewritten by russians?

  3. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >I regard war the same way I regard farming. I can aknowledge that it's inevitable and necessary, but I am glad that I am not the one who has to do it. I'm aware that I'm privileged and shelterd that I haven't been forced to be more familiar with it, and the onl way it impacts my life is indirectly and through the news.

    Say that. This is clear language and it's not insulting to him or anything. It's a very normal request--and I say this as someone who has historical special interests about stuff that is really hard for others to hear about, and thinks that stuff deserves study. Most people don't find any reward in talking about horrible atrocities; you gotta get used to that.

    I would just tell him that you love him, you understand that this is a huge interest for him and something he knows a lot about, but that you cannot enjoy it and you'd rather he KNOW you can't enjoy it, because he wouldn't want to waste time teaching and debating with someone who isn't attentive. If he's sad about that, okay. If he flips out at you about it, he's in the wrong.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      So comparing it to farming might drive my point through?

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        I mean, I'm not sure exactly the best way to explain how you feel about it if you wanted to try to tell him that. It definitely made sense that you see both war and farming as terrible, hard labor that you don't want to do or imagine doing.

        In all honesty though, you don't really need to explain that part of it. Everyone knows war is violent and miserable. You don't enjoy thinking about it and you don't have a special interest in tanks or military garb or a certain period of history to cause you to overlook that. It's a waste of time for both of you to try to talk about it together when he could be reading about it or talking to another war nerd. I would just find a very kind way to say that.

  4. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >I regard war the same way I regard farming
    That works for me. I can also talk about farming for hours.

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