My husband has this thing about making jokes at all the wrong places and times. And, so many of you know how this goes, if I tell him that what he just said or did was rude or interrupting what I’m trying to accomplish, he doesn’t own it. Instead, there are a few things he might do. He might just ignore the entire scenario, he might make more jokes and have the attitude of “what are you going to do about it, huh?!”, or he might get irritated. There have been maybe ten times when he laughs and says, “you’re right; that wasn’t helpful,” but then he continues to laugh to himself or smirk.
It gets even more frustrating if this happens when we are in a group with others. I will see people exchange glances when he interrupts me to make a joke. And certainly, that’s not the moment to say anything to him. It would make a scene.
I have a theory that a lot of it is because his trying to stimulate himself. I can see that, but he cannot. He doesn’t know all that much about adhd and the many ways it can manifest. What little he had learned about it has already faded to the background for him. And pointing it out, “I wonder if you interrupting me with a joke on something unrelated is an adhd symptom for you?” would not go over well. And these days, I don’t care too much about educating him. He doesn’t care about personal growth and has said so.
Me being frustrated in the moment doesn’t change his reaction. He doesn’t show empathy or remorse. So saying, “when you interrupt with a joke, I feel like you see this conversation with me as a bother,” will not change anything. In fact, he will play it off like I’m being too sensitive or making a big deal about a little joke. But this happens enough that it isn’t me. It’s frustrating to not just me, but others as well who also try to talk to him.
I could respond to his deflection and minimization by calling them what they are, but that will bring more anger on his end and more turning it around to me. There is no way to get through because he doesn’t want to change.
And I’m tired of trying to open his eyes.
So what should my response be? I’m ready to draw a boundary on this for my own sake, but mostly for myself. I expect no change whatsoever on his end. So “boundary” is a loose term here. I mostly want to take some sort of purposeful action that validates my experience with him, but also shows that I won’t be walked all over.
So I could just silently stare at him and give a long pause to the point of awkwardness, but that doesn’t feel satisfactory to me. Too passive. Any ideas?