How do you stop the arguing?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Vic10, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Vic10

    Vic10 Registered User

    Feb 18, 2017
    Its like we are going round in circles.
    I try responding, reassuring, saying nothing, walking away but it makes no difference he just won’t stop. It’s destroying us.
    I know this is a symptom but how do you deal with it?
    We have never argued in 30 years, this started 2 weeks ago and hasn’t stopped since.
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
  3. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    I agree, distracting is a useful strategy, I know how tough this is, I really do. What happens if you agree with him and say you are off to make a cup of tea?
    warmest, all sympathy, Kindred.
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    If it started suddenly does he have an infection? Even a simple virus can do this.
    Otherwise, do you know what the trigger is?
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Yes. If the arguing started out of the blue it might be caused by an infection which doesn`t present any other symptoms. It`s the first thing to think about.

    I was shocked the first time I was told my husband had a urinary tract infection [ UTI ] because there was no obvious sign.

    Otherwise, there could be a trigger as previously said or, worst case scenario, a downturn.

    If you can, agree with everything said as long as it won`t become harmful.
  6. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
    Hi @Vic10 ,
    I am afraid I can't help you since all what seems to work for others in the same situation doesn't seem to work for you.
    When my OH starts arguing, my walking away is enough for him to stop.
    Your GP might be helpful .
    If you had never had arguments for thirty years and your OH suddenly changed his behavior few weeks ago, there may be a medical reason .
    I' sorry for you
    Arguing is always unpleasant, but being forced to take part in an argument with someone who does not reason is unbearable.
  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree that you should look at medical reasons for this sudden arguing. Is it possible to make non-committal responses, such as "Oh", "Really? I didn't know." "that's interesting/ different"? I used to ask my mother if she wanted a cup of coffee. That sometimes worked. Or I would walk away, saying I was going to the toilet.

    It must be so upsetting to you. My mother and I were extremely close so when she started verbally (and eventually physically) attacking me, it was massively difficult for me.
  8. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    My OH is the same it comes and goes but it is best to try and agree if possible. It’s natural to try and reason but it’s usually hopeless. I’ve had 6 years on and off.
  9. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    #9 northumbrian_k, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    Engaging in an argument will not work and you are as likely to find that the words uttered by your partner get turned round and attributed to you. Compassionate communication is a good idea but hard to achieve in everyday situations. If I agree with my wife that doesn't stop her ranting. If I am non-committal or try to ignore it then I'm in the wrong for not answering. Typically my wife will ask me where we have to take the dog to to do 'that thing'. If I say that we don't have to take him anywhere then she'll ask why I said that we did, and so on. Mince pies have been good for distraction recently but there's only so many one can eat and the season for them is nearly over...

    It is really difficult to avoid arguments but a complete waste of time to get drawn in. You have my sympathy trying to deal with what I hope will be a stage to move beyond at some undetermined future point.
  10. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    South Northwest
    #10 Andrew_McP, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    Sometimes nothing works, especially when I'm too tired and tetchy to focus, or the anger is related to something that really needs doing right now (like toilet stuff) or soon (like appointments or getting back to blummin' sleep!) But the most effective tactic when my mother goes off the deep end is to mirror her concerns. Whatever she says -- however ugly -- agree with it and make it clear I agree with her 100%. Sometimes I'll even be so horrible about myself (the usual problem) that she tells me I'm not that bad!

    Basically it's a game and the prize is getting a bit of calm. If you can try and see it that way, no matter how hard that can be, it helps you cope. Square breathing helps too, when you feel you just can't bear it any more. Close your eyes and inhale, hold, exhale, hold, all taking four seconds each. Repeat until you feel more in control.

    Which all makes it sound like I'm good at handling it. Four years into this journey with Mum's turbulent dementia I still feel like a clueless beginner half the time. The rest of the time I'm too busy beating my head against a brick wall to care. ;-)

    Good luck.
  11. Loopiloo

    Loopiloo Registered User

    May 10, 2010
    This is a very difficult aspect of dementia and many of us experience Particularly hard when it is the opposite of what the person was before dementia I. sometimes was drawn into the argument. It can be unavoidable. Distractions can work but it can be trial and error. Sometimes one thing works sometimes not and so on. I have been through it all and have no easy answer.

    Sometimes I thought how you cope with it is trial and error and lots of tolerance and patience. tory research both mine and my husbands

    It can hep if you have an interest you can follow.Lose yourself in it. I used to draw and paint but that became impossible.Then I started Family History research mine and my husbands. Also local social history.I would talk about it to him. I don't know how much he took in or was interest in. But at least it shut him up for a while as I blethered on! Often I turned the TV on which I never liked during the day but he would have watched a fly crawl up the screen! Or music as he was musical.

    Or find something for him to do. He came very possessive about washing the dishes and other things in the kitchen.

    But often nothing worked.

    My sympathy and empathy to those going through this stage.

    Loo xxx
    \\\loo xxx

    My sympa

  12. Loopiloo

    Loopiloo Registered User

    May 10, 2010
  13. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    When my husband would not let go of what he saw as a problem and was ready, willing and able to keep on all day I would just calmly say ‘I’m sorry you feel that way” and walk away. I usually went to make tea. I always felt that saying sorry (hopefully) made him see I understood and sympathised with his problem even though I could not or he would not let me solve it.
  14. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    #14 Lawson58, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    Firstly, you need to rule out any medical reasons for the change in behavior and deal with it.

    Secondly, it takes two to have a conversation, a discussion or an argument. You need to be able to disengage from this situation and then develop a very thick skin which takes practice, patience and time.

    When OH gets argumentative, I often quite deliberately tune out and my range of 'hmmmms', really? and other responses has become very extensive. Often this sort of behavior is childish so I use strategies that I would use in managing a child. That is not being disrespectful, just accepting the reality of the situation.

    When he has been really bad, I have very firmly but always calmly told him to stop talking. He knows from the tone of my voice that I am not going to be messed with and he will usually back off. I know it mightn't work for everybody but anything is worth a try.

    If he persists in continuing with the argument, I just tell him that I am not going to tolerate this, grab my keys and go out for half an hour. I generally get some peace afterwards. Just remember that he can only 'argue' with you if you are engaged in it. Let him argue with himself.
  15. One Moment At A Time

    One Moment At A Time Registered User

    Jan 4, 2019
    Dear Person thanks for reaching out. I'm a 58 yrs., old male, with early stages of demencia, I'm medicated & regularly have consultation with health profesionals, I must admit I too at times ague with my beloved wife for insignificate issues, what irritates me at times I start a conversation and "get sought" because I can't remember "this or that", my wife and I been married for over 35 yrs., (I love her dearly, she's very special, indeed she's a "Staint", I have apologized to her so many times, thanks to my Higher Power at present I could drive & manage my fannacies every day I thank the God of my understanding for been alive, feeling useful, having a wonderful wife, two children & two Treasures (grandsons 8 & 10 yrs., old), many times during the day I pray "The Serenity Prayer", ** I know there will come a time I will have to turn over to my beloved wife the keys of our car & the management of my finances issues, thank you so much for "leading me your ears & having tolerance", be safe and best wishes -- One Day At A Time.
  16. Orientate

    Orientate Registered User

    Apr 20, 2011
    After 10 years of looking after my wife I realise that it takes 2 to argue. By agreeing to whatever is said It does not really matter in the wider scheme of things. If they say black is white then that is what it is. When on walks my wife used to get it into her head that she wanted to go in a particular direction. I would go with her and then gradually bring her round to the direction I wanted. I appreciate that it can be frustrating but if you cannot influence something then accept it.
  17. Vitesse

    Vitesse Registered User

    Oct 26, 2016
    This all sounds so familiar! In the past, we hardly ever argued, but in the last year it has become much more difficult. In truth, I try to follow the good advice on these pages, and keep calm, patient etc. That’s OK for a few days, and then I blow!! The discussions are always the same, and some days I can placate my husband, but other days there is no chance.
    My main problem is that I know I should do better, be understanding, and I feel guilty for not managing to do that. Reading the guidelines makes me feel even worse!!
  18. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    We are humans. Vitesse, not robots or superheros and its impossible to manage it 100% of the time. We all blow at times.
    Dont feel guilty
  19. Mrs Ozz

    Mrs Ozz Registered User

    Apr 20, 2011
    Oh it all sounds so familiar to me too, and it’s so good to think that I’m not the only one struggling to cope with the arguments,stubbornness and feeling so guilty most of the time. Keep smiling!!
  20. Teddy1960

    Teddy1960 Registered User

    Oct 24, 2018

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