How to argue with Mr. Always Right

A Reader Participation Post

Here’s a “biggest marital problem” sent to me by a reader:

My husband is aggressive, rude, and is always right and I am always wrong. Therefore I no longer have serious conversations with him. I try to avoid talking about anything that he might find upsetting, even though it may be something that is upsetting to me. We basically don’t have a relationship. I desperately would like to have a relationship, but I honestly don’t know if my husband is capable of it. I just agree with what he says. If I don’t he gets very angry and says that I just want to argue. If I ask him questions he gets angry too, so I will just ask him one question if I want to know something. If I don’t like or don’t understand his answer, I won’t say anything because that makes him very angry. What should I do?

Readers: This is all you. Can you help this reader with her biggest marital problem?

438 comments… add one

  • Amy April 20, 2016, 1:57 am

    Talking doesn’t work with a self absorbed narcissist. Thats most of the problem…no communication…and when there is talk you are always wrong. I live it everyday. If i say something I’m wrong..if I don’t say anything I’m wrong. So~ my choice is to leave with my kids. 7 years of trying to be patient, understanding, and loving to someone that verbally and emotionally abuses is enough. I’m done walking on eggshells and everyone scattering to their corners when he comes home…..leaving is the only option.

    • Courtney April 22, 2016, 5:20 pm

      I’m doing the exact same thing after 7 years… I am not aloud to have feeling because they are always wrong…he has successfully just pushed my dad out of the picture 2 days ago and today I’ve been calling lawyers and getting everything around to divorce and leave him. … it is abusive it’s verbally and emotionally abusive…. thank goodness it hasn’t gotten physical but I’m not waiting around for that either

      • Janice April 22, 2016, 6:43 pm

        It has been said before here: read Patricia Evan’s book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”. There is another good book called ” Why Does He Do That”, a bit more heavy going but knows the subject of abusive men

  • Kelly April 20, 2016, 1:53 pm

    He sounds abusive – I would get out now

  • Glenda April 24, 2016, 9:57 pm

    I’m searching for what to do. Been with him for 5 years….married 4 years. Separated for 3 months last year as he wanted a woman who would be a submissive to his thoughts of swinglife. So far he hasn’t brought that back up but at 60 years old…..admit it….who wants to be alone and start again? I’m so sad as he is almost 65 and pretty sure bipolar as he is at everyone’s beckon call but mine. He is too busy helping his friends to go to our boat on Lake Mead every weekend. I’m at a loss but think he is bipolar!

  • Linda May 5, 2016, 11:19 pm

    How to respond when you are trying to have a conversation and you get “don’t talk to me right now”?

    • zoo June 22, 2016, 12:56 am

      I get the same so I got a cat and I talk to her and let him do his thing. Or sometimes I just fall asleep. Basically, I do what I would do if he was not sitting there. It’s not a permanent solution, but if you can’t do anything else, at least you have gotten some joy from your cat and some rest while you are figuring out what the permanent resolution will be. Just make sure that if you get a pet, the pet is included in your resolution. (As in don’t leave the poor cat there and move out!) And BTW. my man has been diagnosed as bipolar.

  • Janice May 5, 2016, 11:32 pm

    Try saying the same thing to him some time and see if there’s a difference. Then consider, how that makes you feel.

  • Lnda May 6, 2016, 1:33 am

    r, afraid to leave name? Maybe hurt? That’s what this site is for. I’ve been with my high school sweetheart for45 years and 3 grown children over 35 are doing well. Life isn’t perfect as YOU must know. Any constructive feedback on how to get a guy to listen to what a woman’s concerns are when he is stressed from his own problems?

  • Janice May 6, 2016, 2:21 am

    Forget it. Mr Right won’t listen. Those are his terms and he calls all the shots

  • Janice May 7, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Basically every Mr Always Right is simply an anusive Man. Most of them never change and changing is a long hard road. It’s easier for them to keep taki g it out on us, or someone else like us, should we have the courage to leave.

  • Rue May 13, 2016, 8:56 pm


  • Linda May 14, 2016, 1:02 am

    I am 60+ married 45 years 3 kids 3 grandsons. Adore them all. Baby girl is dads girl and has her dads personality treated like a queen. I tried so hard for that girl after 2 boys and thought she would be my girl. Two older brothers a mix of us both. Oldest always expected to be perfect so his son from ex wife treated poorly as hate for his ex by his dad. His second son had done ok so nothing is ever said to him. I married a perfectionist I guess. I see that now!! If this is you and you are young stop trying to please him to keep your sanity. Mine is gone and only want to survive my days now. You don’t want to be me. My kids are grown. I’ll do what I can for my grandsons hope they survive their parents problems that I can no longer change. I will not be a puppet any longer yet thank my ability to survive to do better. Take care of your kids when they are learning relationships. It might not save yours but it might make them have better ones.

  • Jo May 23, 2016, 7:15 pm

    Rrrhhhh you poor woman u….xxx
    Id get a gun myself and stick it up his arse…

    Your waisted on this man, look after yourself get out, get mo re friends, slowley make yourself with things you enjoy and spend as little time with him….then when he srarts your happy in your life and hes wondering whys there no affect this will change him as he wants ur attention only tnen engage with him ge will tealise sooner or later….be happy v thats your b g oal do one thing a day u lov e then all of a sudden your stronger happy and life will be great xxx big hugs u lovley women. Joanne

  • sanka June 6, 2016, 10:09 am

    women need best friends or at least one… very seldom do you have one in a spouse. true, certain things you can’t solve with a bestie, however, MOST things you can. Men who are ‘right’ are desperate for control, more than likely because they are being controlled by either work, bosses, other friends who are better than them in certain things, e.g. sports. They know women are naturally more sensitive…a.k.a.’weaker’, and therefore play their ‘strength card’ through being ‘right’. They are not as successful in life as they wished they would have been by their age, and this sense of failure sets in. hearing from their ‘partner’ that they’re wrong….(about anything-at this point) is probably not helping their ‘failing’ ego at all. what to do….well…reaching out online is a start! understanding that you can’t and shouldn’t have to go through this alone is important. Women need conversation that is constructive, not destructive. Positive focus is essential. running away is easy, but it doesn’t solve anything. it could bring on so many more problems. court, child custody… depression, poverty….you have to ask yourself….have I really tried everything? Men don’t always like to admit problems….not to anyone, for fear of it being used against them in the future at some unexpected ambush….. they think women are ‘weak’…. anyways… trying to work on relationship strengths instead of highlighting its failures may be the better route. If you focus on making the best parts awesome, then maybe in a short time, conversation can open to a more relaxed level….two questions, then perhaps three next time…. we are women, naturally ‘nurturing’…. if this fails, at least you will know that you’ve really done your best and can move on to the future with peace and acceptance of whatever life brings next.

  • Dee June 9, 2016, 7:47 pm

    Yeah in 46 and been with hubby 25years 24 married. We never can discuss anything.. He plays games every where we go.. Phone games and Xbox games at home..I never get complimented on anything.. I’m always wrong..I don’t get kissed but once in a blue moon.. Just pecks. I had to tell him i was unhappy last night just to get him to cuddled with me.. What the hell is wrong.. I have a grandchild and my son will be 24 this year.. When do I get to be a sex object again.. I get cussed and told how dumb I am.i want a man who loves to go places once in awhile and loves me and wants me not kiddie games on his phone and at home.. We go out to a nice place to eat with his hands

  • Jamie June 15, 2016, 12:48 am

    Just divorced after 34 years of being married to a man JUST like this. It got to the point where I didn’t even attempt conversation. Sadly, i didnt realize his nasty, degrading comments coupled with extreme anger and yelling was actually verbal abuse with a heavy dose of being a bully! Well, I woke up when I looked in the mirror and saw what he was turning me into and hated it. He had me yelling back, just to try to be heard and crying always out of hurt and frustration. Wanted to do counseling, but he said he had absolutely nothing to work on, but that i should go because i had a lot of issues. Wow. That was it, i was done. Now trying to work on my new life. More good days than bad. Starting to like myself again. A new beginning! I wish you the best, whatever decision you make….to stay or go.

    • Max June 23, 2016, 5:21 am

      Thanks Jamie, I read yours and i decided to write this small message with tears pouring down from my eyes, I just turned 40, i have never had a relationship, basically started everything late in my life, i then met my partner and gave up everything for what i thought was love, and gave him everything, i am worst every day because i feel so, so very stupid, like i have been knocked out cold, i had a good career and i gave it up because he wanted me to. I have been such a fool, i simple never saw him coming!? i saw the signs when we had our first child. two weeks old, we found ourselves on the sofa and he had the bed all to himself, he wanted children I did not want children, but he was desperate for them, he is older so i thought that must be it.
      and so i decided we must talk long and hard about the responsibilities of having a child and he was all for it, but his behaviour afterward was remarkable frightening, when i first saw ‘that side’ the side i never seen before i was so very scared and worried, i thought ‘what the hell have i got myself into, i also feel very trap because i am now with child. Soon he would take me further away from my friends and I will have another child and my nightmare would start all over again and it did and he takes everything over, I am not allowed to make any decision for myself or our kids, if you were to meet this man you would be talking to the calmest and soothing being you have every talked to…you would never know how dirty is mouth is, I do not swear, he is verbally and emotionally abusive to me. I am fighting every which way to belong; to be heard because I got girls and I do not want them to believe that this is the way it should be. My children are now yelling at us telling us to stop arguing, I use to cry all the time and found that I do not do it anymore, I simply cannot anymore, but it still doesn’t give me the courage or the power I need to feel worthy, to get up and do! I do not want my children to see a weak mother, so when he starts on me I give him all that I got and shame him for using dirty words in the presence of our kids. I know the only way is out, but how do you do that without affecting the kids and when all you do now is crawl.

  • Janice June 15, 2016, 1:41 am

    Good on you Jamie!

  • Mary June 16, 2016, 3:01 pm

    I am 61 tomorrow and my husband 72 in Nov. One minute we talk about the day and then he explodes all out the blue for no reason. When i say Čalm down don’t shout it makes things worse and he gets louder and more aggressive to the point he scares me and I clam up and think best not to say anything. So he wins again!. Fed up with walking on eggshells daily. Does he have a mental health problem, maybe?

  • Janice June 16, 2016, 7:30 pm

    Mary, if he’s always been like this, I’d say he’s just abusive towards you. There’s a great literature on this. Start by reading Patricia Evans, The Verbalky Abusive Relationship.

  • Janice June 17, 2016, 5:00 am

    Some things go beyond language with the Mr Always Right who lives with me. He offered a far out opininion on The Sopranos. Reckoned Tony made up a story about his childhood. I said, I don’t think so. He said in tones that made my head ring and gave me a headache: “Well, that’s My Opinion. I’m entitled to my opinion”. I replied, bravely: “Yes, you ARE entitled to your opinion but I don’t agree.” When you’re Always Right opinions count as facts and cannot be challenged without being strongly rebuked..

  • teri eddy June 19, 2016, 5:34 pm

    Only recently, since we have both retired, it has been hard living together without ever having an honest conversation.

    However, my husband said something the other day about real men stick up for themselves.

    I realized it is his fear of domination that makes him act out when trying to resolve any issues between us.

    I suspect this behaviour comes from being bullied when young.

    I can’t change his attitude. I just stopped expecting better behaviour from him.

  • Janice June 19, 2016, 6:09 pm

    Teri Eddy, I am in the same situation. Retiring with Mr Always Right is so bad I’ve felt motivated to work harder than ever to deal with his dominating behaviour. There are many good books available. I pretty well see through him now. Best strategy is to say as little as possible to him and star as far away from him as I can, without being rude. He cannot and won’t change and his behaviour wil harm me, if I let it.

  • Leh June 24, 2016, 8:56 am

    My husband is upset with anything I do. If I tell him I’m doing something for lunch, he calls his mom to make sure I’m doing it right. He kicked me in the back a couple of days ago coz he asked me a question and I didn’t know the answer. I don’t know if I love him anymore. I have mixed feelings about moving. I recently moved to his hometown thinking we may be happier here. It’s just backfired. I can’t go for help anywhere. What do I do


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