We talk on the phone about things we've done or seen that day, some of which are cool, some of which are gripes.
But we can't "discuss" anything controversial or anything we might disagree on because Matt turns it into a fight...except he says, "So YOU DO want to fight about this!" and blames it on me.
Example: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I just picked it up at the post office this morning and read about 90ish pages this morning before finally putting it down and sleeping for a few hours. Here is a description of novel at the bottom of the linked page.
It's written from the perspective of a woman and covers topics such as religious fanaticism, control over one's own body, control over another's body, control of information, and privileges like reading and space and privacy and time and and memories and control.
At first Matt thought it was a very cool-sounding book, until he realized slowly that it was first perspective of a woman. Immediately, he didn't think the book was as interesting as before because it was "feministic" according to his words.
I explained that it isn't feminist literature. It isn't pro-women or for women's superiority or critical of men. It's story through a female about a truly fucked up world. Everyone in the story is restricted and unhappy for various reasons and that it was MORE than just a story written from a woman's point of view, and should be examined and thought of more than just the shell of its author and the main character.
But we can't have conversations like that. We can't talk about anything in which we disagree because he thinks I debate it into the dust and I think he's too close-minded and afraid to talk about anything outside of his little microchasm. It's almost as if he puts mental tags on topics or ideas and if they are flagged, he disagrees with them flat-out, without even discussing why or how he came upon that decision.
He's a brick walking through life, completely stone-hard and un-porous of anything around him. If he disagrees with other things, he smashes them into oblivion. Other bricks he gets along with and fits right into a long brick wall that closes off anything differing from him.
He says, "I only like to read things that are from a balanced perspective." Those things very rarely exist. You shouldn't be closed to reading things that differ because if nothing else, it strengthens your own beliefs because you have reaffirmed them and reforged them in the fires of adversity.
I don't expect him to read feminist literature or pick up an African-American writer series.
But I do expect to be able to TALK to the man I'm going to marry. I am not going to live my life in an environment where I can't bring up "flagged" topics or sit in silence when they happen to come up themselves. Who else can you talk to about anything if it isn't the person to whom you are supposed to be the closest?
Moreover, I don't want to be blamed for starting fights or turning conversations into fights when I only want to tell him what I think and hear what his opinion is. He's the one that makes it a fight by becoming inflammatory, adversarial, and aggressive.