I feel your pain Drew, let me give some advise you don’t want to take.
I love a good argument with some shouting, red faces, maybe even a few items thrown. While I’ve not run into such a pair as you describe, I’ve run into a few who were close. My solution is to listen for their next argument, slight, or whatever seems to get them going - then push it all night long.
It usually makes me think (which I feel is the whole reason to argue - get the gray matter churning) and once in a while works on the other party too.
I’m with your wife - it is no longer worth it to attempt to fix things with certain people.
Just after we got here (2004), I stopped into my non-union grocery [OT - not important -we used it always until they got sold and cut their products by 2/3rds into crap, doubled their prices and the union store connected their tracking your shopping habits card to their gas - the one the non-union store gas outlet used also has habit of jacking up prices, alas the union store’s gas is the cheapest going - so until a job/employment happens here, we shop the union thug store] to pick up a few items I needed to make dinner better. Since it was a small, mostly fruit and veggie order, apparently the young turk behind me thought I was a liberal loon. Now, the set up - it had been a terrible day - one of the reasons that late in the day, I was still shopping for groceries and it was still in the midst of evil bushitlerburtonco endless illegal immoral wars (which btw, are still going on - don’t forget we still have Army family, they are still getting deployed, even to Kosovo (home by Christmas), Kuwait and Irag - don’t believe the state media bs).
So stellar liberal that he is points to The Globe which has a massive front page ‘scoop’ that Laura Bush claims W is drinking again - which (yes, you guessed it) led to the Iraq War (kindly forget about those 22 reasons Bush laid out to the UN and Congress) and he asks me how I feel, now that the reason for the Iraq War is explained.
I pondered (in this order) - punching him out until bloody on the floor, asking if alcoholics ever get sober in his world (I’m a sober alcoholic, it’s personal that some think addicts can never recover, most especially if they are conservatives), asking if the fact that my son, my 3 nephews and a son-in-law were on active duty and my husband and daughter just got off active duty was an implication that they are mindless bots who are too stupid to realize that the wars they are fighting are the result of a drunken alky or if he really thought that The Globe was a worthwhile news media to get solid, factual information from.
Then I realized, if I said anything at all he’d go back to his liberal loon friends and bemoan being attacked by a vile conservative and still not even think about what a single thing I said at all. Ever. So I smiled at the cashier and said, I hope your day hasn’t been as bad as mine. Never even acknowledged he said a damn thing or even existed.
There are people who matter to try and you should work with, there are people who aren’t even worth a second of concern.
You and your wife model what you believe in and go look for someone else to bowl with.
Offer them punch and cookies,works every time.