Spouse is canny with words and can talk rings around me due to his nature and legal training. I have learned a method to deal with the knee-jerk verbal abuse when he doesn't get his own way right that second. I hope it helps others.

Spouse: *snapped out mean sentence*

Me: Say that again.

Spouse: *repeats mean sentence, somewhat less vehemently*

Me: Repeat, please. I keep a diary and I want to write all the words down correctly.

Now and then, he's still on the boil so I ask him to repeat it once more. By this point, the impression sinks in and silence reigns for a little while. He might resume a conversation as if nothing untoward has occurred or keep silent until he or I leave the room. It's a method that has worked more than once.

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@NeedsHelpWithMom I certainly commiserate with you and understand how you feel. With great age and dementia/ALZ, I think, comes bravery or maybe foolhardiness. They know we won't hit them. It's an awful testament to the human condition.

@Geaton777 Ooooh, yes, teens are a challenge! They're frighteningly smart and witty without the gravitas of years to leaven their tongue. If you made them think, good! :)

@Countrymouse Yes, it works many times and you're welcome.

@AlvaDeer It's exhausting to fight all the time for me and yet others revel in it, so disparate personalities out there. I'm beyond the point where I think variety is the spice of life. All I want is peace, dead peaceful peace. :D


Really great technique! Love it. Have tried it on mom but when she is in a ‘hell bent’ mood, she just keeps repeating what she said with absolutely no qualms and looks at me like I have two heads. Like, what she is saying is perfectly normal.

My mom can be more persistent than an attorney! Hahaha. That’s when I choose to walk away. No point in spinning my wheels and going nowhere, and ultimately causing my blood pressure to rise!

I still can’t figure some things out. As soon as I walk off, then she doesn’t bring up the subject anymore. She’ll get this smug look like, ‘mission accomplished’, I got her riled up, almost like the topic was never of any importance, more about wanting to be in control, being able to push my buttons and so forth, a power struggle, if you will. Does that make sense? Or do you understand how I feel?

Teenagers? And it works? Good for you! I’m really impressed! That’s like a small miracle. Curious? Boys or girls. Girls are so emotional as teens, hormones! I had fairly good communication with my girls as teens but there times they would have just stormed off with eyes rolling had I done that, even though this technique is extremely thought provoking.

As teens they sometimes needed times to process situations before discussing. I learned to allow them to have that time or else we would have gone round for round, spinning our wheels and going nowhere! Parenting teens is a challenge and we learn as much as they do. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we learn as much from our kids as they learn from us.

Heh heh I've used that technique on my mouthy teenagers and cranky DH. I just keep saying, "Can you repeat that?", "I'm sorry, what?", until they realize what I'm doing.

What an excellent technique! - causing him to reflect, not challenging or retaliating.

I can think of other situations that might be a good approach with, too. Thank you :)

This is masterful. When you have to repeat something awful it makes you actually THINK about what you said. Third time has to be REALLY just an embarrassment to yourself when you have anything left upstairs at all. I don't even think you NEED the diary. It does just at the end to kind of smile and gently say "thanks, my hearing is getting so bad. I wanted to be sure I heard you right".
I love you shared this. We can help ourselves so much when we just don't allow outselves to be pulled into the fray we cannot win.

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