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Given the phone conversation with her that I just had (where she hung up on me just after screaming in frustration) about how upset she is with �the way that you acted� yesterday during the hours of waiting-for-baby-time.. that we need help fast because this is a defining moment in our marriage where right now she feels I ruined what should have been a great day. And to quote her �� how many times I�m going to let you ruin another event before I say Fxxx IT!�

She says it should have been obvious to me that I should have gone back to the room to see son to show him I care before the birth. I know this is a DJ from her. What I was doing was being respectful of birth mother�s privacy during vulnerable time. Did she aske me anything like that? Nope. Honestly her head was mostly buried in new iPhone facebooking all her family and friends nonstop. Son could have come out during the 6 hours to say something too. He didn�t. So in her eyes I must not love him because I didn�t realize it and didn�t do it.

Let me add that the waiting time was hellish. Eight year old was obnoxious to nth degree. We tolerated. Waiting room was packed not allowing for closeness or conversations. I sat between a dominant personality who usurped conversations mostly and another man. She mostly sat in a one person chair. The Tiger Woods thing on the tv was distracting me. She admitted to feeling ill all day with stomach ache. I took a nap for awhile. I was never rude, I was available and receptive, we talked a little when she wasn't buried in iPhone or pressing her ear to the door telling everyone to be quiet so she could hear the birth... But somehow all these things, outside forces, external situations and environments get blamed on me for not "sharing" the time with her.

So after the noon phone conversation where she lets me know how important it is that I am there for the birth, and so I sense this and go to wait with her, I end up getting penalized for.

The kicker for her is I must not care because I wasn't home when she got home so I obviously have more important things to do than celebrate with her. Hmm could it be ok that I do have some other things going on too that require time. And let me define celebration as it would have been last night.

She was up since 6am nervous as all get out, which I barely caught onto.
Finally when she did get home it was 9pm and she was so exhausted she was going right to bed and said so. So we would have done nothing but climb in bed by ten oclock, she would have turned on the tv and fallen asleep and I would have been left alone and unhappy.

Its never POJA because we never have enough time to talk about all the judgements and expectations she has (her stuff) enough in order for me to satisfy them or come to agreement on a course of action. Its just her is what she expects and wants and then I don't live up to it and then shes mad instead of forgiving.


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Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
BP,
I see a mutual POV in your posts...both you and your w choose the belief that one word, one action, one incident can ruin a whole day...week...month...
Yes I am going to play defense so you can pick it apart further so I can decode more ok?
Its not one thing.. its all of them day after day strung together that just continuously, umm, how do I say� continue.The negative spiral just feeds itself.
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and I think it's this belief that you choose that will ruin your marriage. Please choose differently.
The take away that I get as a Christian from Jesus is to forgive first, treat with kindness and love. I feel like my wifes MO is to get angry, treat with disrespect, accuse of not being attentive to her, and then wait til I apologize for said lack of attentiveness, before we can go back to a modicum of happiness.

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You KNOW you can apologize and repair. You can let go once an apology is accepted and understood. I think you keep this "ruin the whole day, weekend" thing as retaliation for her not apologizing...as you said, not owning what she does.
Thick brain here but yes I know I can let go. I do apologize regularly. She does not own her stuff, or rarely and barely. By capitualating to her anger I feel like I am trying to break the cycle of anger first. That I hope this will lead her to stop being angry. That it will allow her to see that the anger is not necessary. That even though she is upset I am still here to talk and address and work through it with her as my Gift from God and partner rather than returning anger. But I can�t even get enough respect to be trusted to decide on how to get to Grandma�s house.

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Well, you certainly don't require she does. In the car, when she AO'd, you can pull over and tell her, in front of the kids, "Angry outbursts hurt. I know you know this. When you apologize, I'll get back on the road, and we can have a great Easter together."
I will try to start this process by addressing (in safe time & place)how much AO�s HURT and DRAIN love banks. She needs to bone up on Lbing. But LA I feel somehow you will reprimand me for anything I say about what she should be doing right?
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Calm, respectful, firm.
Yes that is what I am trying to deliver and trying to get her to start with too.
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You have a false payoff on "letting" her win, control everything, get her way...it feeds your addiction to resentment and to being controlled.
Agree, agree but the more I try to bring honesty and ownership the more it seems like (to her) I am knitpicking because she won't own stuff so it makes me look like I am worming around being responsible for me.
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Stop that...I know you did that in battling her A...do it now...
I honestly don�t know if I did it or was successful at it or even what �it� was. Help.
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�because you're still fighting for your marriage.
I know dang it!
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And you're not fighting HER for it...
I know this too.

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you're fighting yourself.
Now I�m scared. Its all me?

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You don't say "Ouch" when she wounds...you expect to lose, cave, give in...when it's your own choice, your power...and internally, you talk yourself around it.
So I should say OUCH and then approach her with radical honesty right?

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So choose differently. On the beginning of the walk, when you offer you don't want elder dog with you guys and she does, go back in the house after saying, "I look forward to walking with you when we come up with a way together we are happy with."
POJA, I get it.

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Do not ask for apologies from her. Make sure you're really owning your choices...because you may have been feeling stabbed in your love bank, in your heart, and half the time, you hold the knife
Again very scary to be stabbing oneself! How? Help.
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Affirm and validate what she says as hers...She saw your lovely, needed radical honesty as you manipulating her, throwing her A "up in her face" again. Validate that for her. That HER POV is that...and yours was that you are holding yourself to acting from honesty...that you feel your love for her, your love bank, being held together by bandaids. That you are considering divorce, trying to find out when to say when, and keeping a score sheet of all your pain from her to help you let go of her emotionally.
uuhhh... ok. validate means listen without judgment, sharing honestly means ... ? probably more anger from her if I can't even share how my heart hurts without a DJ from her

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Keep speaking honestly...tell her, "I know our marriage will eventually break apart without us playing together 20 hours a week. I know that for my half, I keep talking myself out of really doing it so that I can feel safe away from you. So I know I'm damaging our marriage, too."
PORH I get it�

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Why do you punish yourself with "tarnishing" what only you can tarnish? Listen and repeat for your wife as an act of respect to yourself and the marriage. She was upset. Listen and hand back. Doesn't tarnish the day, the year, the marriage...respects your wife as a complete, separate human being.
This tedious process of repeating for understanding, clarification, and ownership only gets under her skin as me being condescending, un-feeling, and brings more anger from her in the form of disrespectful judgements like �You heard me the first time why are you repeating me instead of answering me?!!�. Not a path I see as useful.

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As long as you believe she can ruin your expectations of what you want to feel in a day...she can keep proving you the victim.
I am not letting her ruin my time anymore. This is why I feel like its time to move on. As I refuse to buy the ticket to her rollercoaster of emotional barrages, it causes me to appear to be callous and withdrawn which spirals with more anger from her. She has been exposed to the tool, methods, resources etc. She can choose to learn, grow and own but she continues to not do that, and I will not let that stop me from choosing to be a responsible, reasonable, adult with boundaries around myself anymore.

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Not what you want, BP. You're better, bigger, more powerful than that. She feels...and feelings pass�
Yes I am dang it and again I feel like I am leading down the path of 1) letting feelings pass as I know they will 2)leading down the path of ownership, honesty, respond with loving acceptance of my screwups and hers. Yet I feel like she just wants to lead us down the path of anger and fighting and I won�t go down there anymore with her.

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Remove yourself when she's verbally abusive. Period. You say, "That's abusive" and come back in 10 minutes. Each time you don't remove yourself, you're holding the knife, 'k?
Got it.

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I want you to stop your bleeding. Doesn't mean you'll save your marriage. --doesn't mean she'll change�
Most scared of this.


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Don't miss the point--your w is not allowed to tell you don't care.

Ever.

That's the DJ...the abuse.

And I don't think it conveys what she really means, btw. Call her on it when she does it as an act of love and a desire to REALLY communicate.

Listen and repeat what you hear her saying...

"I hear you're fed up with my what I didn't do yesterday while we waited for <new grandbaby name> to be born. You feel I didn't show son I cared, wasn't assertive, didn't do what you wanted me to do, is that correct?"

Part by part. Then draw from your code..."I don't do mind-reading because I have a hard enough time with reading my own <smile>. I don't do mind-reading because it's disrespectful and it damages relationships. Son knows I care and you're right, I didn't work out ahead of time with DIL and son how they wanted my support today, other than I did what they asked of me...to be there for the birth of their first child. And we were.

And I don't think son loves me less because he didn't come out and invite us in, or tell us what he wanted or didn't want. I know we love each other.

You may feel differently. You may doubt your love for him because you didn't go in and show your son, your concern and care. Or that he feels less loved by you because you didn't talk to him ahead of time about the specifics of what he needed from you for the birth, if you were going to be with them as the baby was being born, or just during labor, or whatnot.

I don't know what you're feeling or thinking...and I want to know. I want to know you.

When you said �� how many times I�m going to let you ruin another event before I say Fxxx IT!" I felt deep shame and anger. I know I'm not powerful enough to ruin any event. I know that you aren't that powerful, either. I sure have acted as if you were. I was lying to you and myself. I'm sorry.

I know I have no control over your choice to say F'it or not...nor do you have control over my choice to say it or not. I'm not saying I will divorce you this year. I am saying it's not far from my mind because of the way you verbally abuse our marriage. Cursing is abusive. Requiring me to act in a certain way without telling of your expectations is abusive. It's a trap.

I know we're in crisis right now. I believe the only way we can save our marriage is to stop abusing one another. Mine is with silence, lying by omission. Yours is outright. Once we're safe for each other to really hear, I know we can build a new marriage."

I know you've checked to see she's not in contact with OM. She sounds very wayward, BP. She may have a new OM. Have you checked? Was she like this, too, in discounting and blaming you, just before and during her A?

My heart is with your marriage, BP. I see a lot of my DH in you, in what he doesn't say...and I wish very much for him to say what you have to your W.

I'm not giving you the word-for-word to say or write to your W (and I do think what is needed is a love letter like what I wrote). I'm showing you how to say what's in your heart and mind, with ownership and honesty. Respect and love.

And the heart of this conflict, this day, was two people who weren't safe enough to talk about their expectations for this day, to POJA what each would do and what celebration meant to them. Ahead of time. Do not discount (because she did) that you were present for the birth of your grandchild. So was she. Means a lot.

LA


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Reminds me of bob pure I think who said... What would I do if I wasn't scared of outcomes?


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I don't do offense and defense. I take your responses as all straight from you. I hear your posts as you struggling with your own reasoning, inside your head...which is honest and real. Not necessarily defensive. I'm okay with your responses. And appreciate you doing them.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
The take away that I get as a Christian from Jesus is to forgive first, treat with kindness and love. I feel like my wifes MO is to get angry, treat with disrespect, accuse of not being attentive to her, and then wait til I apologize for said lack of attentiveness, before we can go back to a modicum of happiness.

No, do not forgive first. You aren't Jesus. He does that for you...it's part of your relationship with him. With other humans, our equals, also made from his hand, we don't instantly forgive. We cannot. If we do, it's a lie.

I do understand cumulative resentment very well...I have that addiction, too. The signal you're getting that it's same stuff, different day is NOT what you think it is. It is you, inside, signaling that you are sick of not addressing the stuff. That if you addressed the stuff, singly, day by day, one incident at a time, and treat it as the momentary conflict it is, then you wouldn't have a whole day ruined. You have a choice in that. Your boundary enforcements answer that signal and you will stop having getting it.

So, our human forgiveness for each other is done through amends...we state what we did, why we did it and how and why we won't do it again. That is kindness, honesty, love and respect. Key part is that you must stop apologizing for what you didn't do. When you don't violate your code and you apologize, then you make all apologies (hers included) worthless.

Stop saying you're sorry when you do not believe you've violated your boundary or hers. Understand that this is part of true forgiveness, too.

Do not seek false happiness. Appeasement is not happiness. You don't even have the power to smooth the waters. She chooses to be appeased as much as you offering it. Stop lying through apologies. It's hurting you, her, and the marriage.

Do not fear her anger. Her anger isn't a threat to you. Her acting it out IS what you focus on. Respond with listen and repeat when she states her anger...and with boundary enforcements when she acts it out.

She can accuse you of inattention...listen and repeat is "I hear you feel I wasn't paying attention to your needs right now, didn't put you first, is that correct?"

Doesn't make it a fact...makes you respectful. And please remember, in yourself, people project. She was inattentive to you yesterday. She may accuse you of what she has done. Don't apologize for it. Speak truthfully, "I really do wish I'd known what you wanted me to do, what your expectations were of me."

There is real happiness in this...it's not manipulation or smoothing over, though you may experience that as the outcome. True intimacy is like that. Why we have the urge to make our spouses happy (when really we cannot), why we want to smooth the conflict. Connect through it, anyway.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
By capitualating to her anger I feel like I am trying to break the cycle of anger first. That I hope this will lead her to stop being angry. That it will allow her to see that the anger is not necessary. That even though she is upset I am still here to talk and address and work through it with her as my Gift from God and partner rather than returning anger. But I can�t even get enough respect to be trusted to decide on how to get to Grandma�s house.

By capitulating to her anger, you are trying to manipulate her anger. Again, that's disrespectful. Enforce against her acting out her anger. Her anger is necessary--it's coming from her, to her, about her own boundaries...something is being violated, crossed--and you trying to interrupt that information isn't loving or supportive. Her anger comes after her pain or fear. You're there to be present while she gets her own signals without attempting to control them.

Totally understandable why you feel so thwarted, controlled and taken over. A lot of it is you doing it to her, reflected back to you. Stop. Free yourself, 'k? Not in your power or your responsibility. Your job is to not be the true source of her unhappiness...and doing this, thwarting her signals, taking ownership of what isn't yours is being the source of her unhappiness. She can handle her own emotions...God didn't make her incomplete or defective, 'k? Get out of her way.

And stay present. You nailed what you are her Gift...know that. She is yours...when she acts out (abuses) that's when you no longer stay present. It's why you pull over the car and own immediately, "I just heard you say I can't be trusted to get us to Grandma's house, is that what you really said?"

Her anger isn't your enemy...and it comes less and less as she stops violating her own boundaries...get your eyes off of her actions and onto your own, 'k? To create and store resentment, to nurture and build it is the sin that breaks all our relationships...especially with God, our spouse, our children. It is how we worship an idol inside...it is the poison we take and then wait for the other person to die.

Do not do that which you will resent. You don't want your W to sooth away your anger at her abuse. You don't want the false modicum of happiness, relief, solace from the abuse...it will keep you from full, abundant love and happiness.

Don't put yourself down. You do not have a thick brain. You have a brain well-trained to hand you reactions to your emotions and hers instead of choices to act. It's a very quick, fast brain. Retrain it.

Stop with your false apologies and own and amend what you really do...even if she doesn't see you doing it. When you violate your code of respect by seeing her as worse or better than you, own it. When you violate your code of consideration and do not tell her when she is verbally abusive, own it. Apologize for the real stuff, not the coddling, 'k?

You do believe, I think, that if both of you were to have conflict, own and understand, then repair, that no one's whole day would be ruined, correct? Can you see where it would be enhanced? Intimacy deepened? That you both could rebuild the lost trust in each other? Takes time and consistency from you, for you, and The Marriage.

You are the leader...you lead.

Please understand you can certainly feel anger in response to her acting hers out. It's healthy--so you know she is crossing your boundary. Distinguish if your anger is coming from her violating your boundary...or you. Because if you feel anger (it's unjust she's angry right now!) from your thoughts, it's a signal your own DJ is causing your pain and anger, see?

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I will try to start this process by addressing (in safe time & place)how much AO�s HURT and DRAIN love banks. She needs to bone up on Lbing. But LA I feel somehow you will reprimand me for anything I say about what she should be doing right?

No, don't tell her AO's hurt and drain your love bank. She knows. You told her before. Respect she knows. Rather, when she DJs, SD's, AO's...state the boundary. "You're yelling and that's abusive." If she doesn't stop, you hold yourself to taking the next step, "I am feeling flooded with anger because you're still yelling. I'm removing myself for 20 minutes to calm down and then I'll be back to listen to you."

State the boundary violation and progressively enforce.

ROFLMAO about your expectation. Thank you for sharing it with me. See? You already know inside you what your sweet brain was trained to perceive and forecast the future. Retraining it into the present and reality is how you free yourself.

I understand how you hear me saying, "No, do it this way for best results" right now. I believe that will change over time. And you'll hear "That's what I really wanted to do and didn't."

smile

Yes, your focus on her actions...what she should've/would've/could've dones and "shouldn'ts"...is your unending source of nourishment for your growing resentment. Take your focus off her. Boundaries go around you.

I believe you focus on your calm respectful and firm communication. Do not try to get her to start that. You focus on listening and repeating to first understand, then to be understood.

Projection--we all do it. It's us signaling us about what we are denying. You don't own your stuff sometimes. You're gonna see how you don't through her. Look for it in you. You didn't share your expectations with her...it's going to hurt when she's says you failed her. You failed to share yours with hers. Ownership doesn't have blame...has responsibility.

"I feel nitpicked right now" is ownership.

"I hear you feel nitpicked, put down right now."

She can see you as worming out of your responsibility...know whether you really are or not. Respect she sees your actions differently right then. Her image of you is what she has power over...you don't. That can really suck when you're enmeshed in struggling to control each other's self-images...and it's wonderful when you stop, and begin to share your real selves.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
Now I�m scared. Its all me?

Define "it's"...if you mean, it's all about you (because you're the one here at MB), then yes. In this world, you are solely responsible for your choices, your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and perspective. All yours, all the time. Which means, you really matter. And you're limited to that control. So it really is all about you, all the time, in that regard.

smile

If you mean "it's" the conflict, the pain and fear, disconnection in your marriage right now...then no. Same rule of humans applies...you can only be half, no more than half, at any time. Sure got your signal of how much you fear being wrong, doing harm, being at the bad guy, eh?

You are the cause, control and cure for your own stuff. You cannot be of anyone else. Your influence, (the way you lead by example), is still subject to how much others allow your influence on them. Same for you--your wife cannot be so powerful as to influence you against your will...unless you open the door to HER influence on you really wide.

And in healthy marriages, we have wide doors...along with wide, aware eyes. You're going to get there, BP. No doubt. Don't open that door wide right now.

"Ouch" is radical honesty. See, you feel a pain inside...saying "Ouch" right then owns it. And it doesn't blame. You felt pain, your job to trace it...know it's origin and share. That's radical honesty. Did you hear saying "Ouch" before as alerting her that she's hurting you so she'll feel shame and stop?

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Again very scary to be stabbing oneself! How? Help.

I believe the same LBs Dr. Harley lists are also how we stab ourselves...especially DJs. Ask yourself if when your wife acts her anger out around you, do you assume the worst, that you are causing her anger? That it's about you? That would be self-stabbing...instead of asking from love, to really know, not assume.

LA


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Don't miss the point--your w is not allowed to tell you that you don't care or didn't care.

Ever.

That's the DJ...the abuse.

YEAH,
BP kept engaging wife with respectful honest communication. I called her out by stating that she cannot somehow judge that because my actions didn't live up to her expectations that it means in her world I don't care. She thinks because I made this mistake or that I didn't think to do x y or z that BP doesn't care enough or obviously doesn't love son or doesn't care enough about his family. I kept saying "that is NOT true" whenever this DJ was flung at me. Calmly.

hurray

But oh she is soooo hurt by my "actions" yesterday that "obviously" show I don't care about xy or z... ME "Wife, we each have our own ideas of what is important and we each need to put in 100% effort to come to AGREEMENT on our plan...

HER- "Well its obvious that you didn't care because you didn't listen to me about ...."

ME "It is not true that I don't care or didn't care. I may have made mistakes or taken actions that didn't meet your expectations. Remember when your parents advised that marriage is not 50/50, its 100/100%. But the corallary is that you still only get out 50% of what you want because we are compromising for each other to reach agreements so that IB does not ruin our marriage."


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bigpicture,

I understand your position, having been there. Here's my perspective on you, and should support LA.

you are following a POJA suggestion by yourself, with limited or no reciprocation, and getting frustrated.
you are expecting respect for your point of view and are getting limited or no respect for your existence.

in my situation, XW's FIL was casper milquetoast to MIL's DJ and anger, and FIL was afraid to live on his own. XW had issues with me once I grew up to request respect, and expressed my point of view with her disrespect and demands, holding onto something and trying to bludgeon me with it for years. . .

In order to gain respect you have to ask for respect. The best way is to not engage with W when she is not respectful. . .you are engaging in a very submissive eay, which reinforces her outcomes in her behaviors. You are correct in saying she might not take ownership of her stuff, but that is NOT for you to enforce, which is your mistake. THat is for you to avoid, and for you to refuse to become dramatic.

my guess is that your W has borderline issues, or narcissistic issues, which could be disordered. . . i can't tell that well from the little here. But the best response to borderline issues, which A trademark behavior is making the other person the reasons for your behavior, is to refuse to accept her projection of her emotions onto you and your behavior.

That isn't the answer you want, but you can't make her be the answer you want. You can only defend your respect and behavior, specifically by not engaging in her DJ of your intentions.

SO, you need to figure out how to tell her that you will no longer converse with her or discuss with her any topic at any time when she DJ your intentions. Basically, she is making up reasons in her own head to NOT take responsibility for her behavior, and you have to NOT ACCEPT her behavior. ONce you tell her, you must follow along the advice with out regard to the outcome, otherwise, you are a masochist, or a martyr with no successful outcome expected. think about it. You need to figure out what you are responsible for, and ONLY apologize for that. then, you need to reflect that attempt at her back to her, by not taking responsibility for it, with "I'm sorry that you are feeling that way." If a personal attack starts, do not engage and say, " I will discuss with you when you can discuss calmly." and then phone down, or walk away, hide in basement if you have to. . . No agreements if you don't discuss, and say "I did not make that agreement! When you want agreement, please talk with me and i will be able to come to an agreement"

With borderline personality disorder, a person will refuse to take self responsibility, and will try to get others to take that responsibility for her. If so, the person does not have to regulate their own behavior. That makes interpersonal relationships very difficult on anything but a superficial level.

Likewise, you have to set a better example for your kids on how to NOT to be emotionally manipulated.

good luck.

widtty


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WIFTT, LA, others,
Thanks for all your help. I was able to break the cycle substantially today during a heated exchange thanks to your insights and advice.


I was able to understand the inciting event as this;
ME "Honey if I don't make it to the hospital in time for the birth moment it won't be a big deal to me. What do you think I should do about our 8 yr old?"

What she heard "I don't care about seeing my grand baby born and I don't want to share this event with you."

Game over. Once I realized this, I could see the cycle of her assigning her emotional reactions to me as my motivations to be selfish.

And I didn�t apologize for anything that I knew wasn�t mine or real. A very good day for me.

It was weird watching her Djs and Aos crumble away as I held my ground. She still wouldn�t go so far as to �accept� my explanations and thought processes so there is probably more to come, that has to come.



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****edit******

non MB material

Last edited by JustUss; 10/01/12 04:04 PM.
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did she say:
"I don't care about seeing my grand baby born and I don't want to share this event with you."

If she did say this, that was not what she heard.

She heard you just fine, what she twisted it into, to emotionally blackmail you, was what she stated.

there is a difference with people who operate with manipulative intentions, on what they heard, and then how to manipulate it to protect their ego. . . as fragile as it is. .

**edit**
wiftty



Last edited by MBLBanker; 10/04/12 05:58 AM. Reason: Removing reference to non-MB material

Learning from your own mistakes creates experience, learning from books creates knowledge, combining the two together creates wisdom => You start with a full bag of luck, and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
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Again,
Thanks to everyone here for helping me establish boundaries against DJ's and AO's. I will investigate the book mentioned above too as I am a big reader.

On Saturday, during our only "discussion" about the events from Thursday, I was very clear and calm stating that I would not allow her to insult me by calling me things like delusional and stupid. And I doubt I would have been able to defend my boundaries like that... I may not have even recognized them for what they were (DJ's and AO's) if it weren't for the help from all you fellow MBers' so THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU

I really feel this has increased my knowledge 10 fold. For awhile I felt like...

Big Picture has been transformed into a DEFENDER OF MARRIAGE superhero.
Faster than an angry outburst.
More powerful than a disrespectful judgement.
Able to leap marital dischord in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a husband. It's a wife. It's Super-marriage!


God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
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HaHaHa! I think that just made my day. YAY for BigPicture. As you stand up for yourself your wife will increase in respect for you. No woman respects a man she can walk all over. You've been playing that game for too long and it just hurts you.

As she gains respect for you she will come to see you as an equal - worthy of partnership in marriage - where as now she sees you as something more like a minion or another child for her to direct and berate when you step out of line. I've seen this dynamic in other marriages: the husband meekly submits to the wife's abuse thinking it will make her happy. It doesn't, it just makes her think she HAS to berate him to get what she wants. It creates a vicious, abusive cycle.

You can change this, you've already started! Then little by little you can implement behaviors that will create that Super-Marriage.

Good for you BP!


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Originally Posted by bigpicture
Big Picture has been transformed into a DEFENDER OF MARRIAGE superhero.
Faster than an angry outburst.
More powerful than a disrespectful judgement.
Able to leap marital dischord in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a husband. It's a wife. It's Super-marriage!

This is priceless. Thank you, BP.

I think you're a defender of your own love bank, too...you're protecting your love FOR her now...congratulations.

LA

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I know Im late to the party, but I found that this has helped me not feel so bad, or let my wife withdraw units when she has an angry outburst.

***edit****

It is geared for people like me who feel that they are always tred on, hold resentment inside for a long time, don't man up when they are hurt, and then when things get to a boiling point they go Kablooey with all sorts of love busters. Then settle back down into the same pattern. It also helps you identify those personal things you need to protect, and how to set up boundaries to protect those things.

You can't stop your wife of AO's, or DJ's. You can stop yourself from these thing, you can protect yourself from the AO's and DJ's, and let her know when you have been hurt.

This is something I'm working on, changing myself is alot harder than telling someone else to change, and the results are much better.

Last edited by JustUss; 10/01/12 03:56 PM. Reason: non MB advice
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BP,

***EDIT***

Will you post an update today, and include how you feel, in "I" statements? (You can cut and paste from markos's thread if you want).

smile

LA

Last edited by JustUss; 10/01/12 03:40 PM. Reason: non MB ref
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***edit***
non MB reference

Last edited by JustUss; 10/01/12 03:43 PM.
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LA, I have been re-reading this thread for clarity. All the honesty you suggest has me thinking about years gone by when I/we had no idea of POJA, when both of our takers just kept telling us to take because no one was giving. She made IB to be with her family as her #1 priority (no leaving and cleaving per the Bible)so whenever I didn't come first with her (frequently)my resentments built up. I didn't get married to spend time with her parents which became our/my recreational time too because they have a boat, and Mom always cooking for an army so why don't we just stay for dinner too and... Her family just couldn't let go of her because she was so young (19) when we got pregnant and married... And I see how her Mom didn't want to let go because she didn't have intimacy with her own husband to go to... learned from her mother... To the point where I feel my 1st son was not even mine but rather raised in her parents environment.

Just realizing the amount of resentments coming to the surface that I have tried to stuff back for close to 2 decades... Now she finally understands leave&cleave logically but has replaced time with parents with work & socializing/working out with friends instead, not to mention running a household of our own 5.

For example, Wednesday she asked me (good POJA) if she could take time to workout with friends who ended up staying until 10pm watching American Idol. Thursday morning I said (in tears) that we are not working on our marriage. She said I didn't think they would stay so late. Thursday she was finally committed to UA for the marriage but even so it didn't happen until 10-11pm.

We listened to a pastor talk about having a blessed marriage, submitting to each other, trying to unravel "wives submit to your husbands as..." because I have been saying that I would like a submissive wife, not that I want a minion but that I want a wife who has a yielding heart instead of a bull in the china shop kind of attitude.

We read Mark1952 Space & Grace essay... discussed Easter Sunday AO which she freely admits was uncalled for... I admitted SD about walking the dog... went to bed and she initiated SF...

and then today all I can think is how empty I feel about being with her... but I recall my vows and promise to keep going... because really if 50% end up divorced and a large proportion are just staying in an unhappy marriage this just kinda seems like the human condition... This too shall pass.


God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
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***EDIT****

Last edited by JustUss; 10/01/12 03:48 PM. Reason: non MB reference

God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
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****edit****

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Very good news from the (mid)western front. My fellow MBers here really helped me become a SUPER Mber by helping me see what her LBers are and were and to create strong boundaries against them. When I enforced those it was amazing to see the arguments we used to have be transformed into productive sharing sessions as described below. In addition I spell out two techniques that might help tremedously when one marriage partner is not on board with learning Mbers ways.


If you�ve been following along, you'd recall that my love bank was running on empty lately. For the last few weeks her job stress was overwhelming her, leading to lots of LBers and no time for UA.


In preface, I was very scared to be O&H about this message because she has a history of dismissing my feelings with DJ's rather than validating me. How would I tell her that my love bank was empty and that I wasn't really feeling "in love" without getting all kinds of AOs or abusive reactionary DJs with foul language? It wouldn�t be easy. I had already tried once and got shot down so badly that I thought it was hopeless.

??? As a side note, where does Dr. Harley describe the �active listening� process? Does this seem like a weak point in the program? Nowhere can I recall him pointing out how the receiver in the conversation needs to validate the other person�s statements of feeling. I suppose its sorta covered in the DJs areas because that is how it appears to me when its doesn�t happen. ???

Thursday night I tried again to describe how my heart felt like it was a thousand pieces being held together with bandaids and as soon as I mentioned that phrase she went directly to AOs because her DJ was that I was throwing the adultery in her face again as she puts it. Luckily I had prepared for this.

After staying the course through her AO (she left the room for 5 minutes) she came back and she talked more until it appeared she was finally out of words. I validated what she was saying and made sure she knew I heard her. Then I asked her if she was ready to listen. She was and I finally finished telling her what her AO had prevented me from being able to say for 2 weeks which was simply that 1) since the adultery I have felt very vulnerable 2)that lately we have not spent any time together 3)as a result my love bank has been empty for the last few weeks AND that I was bringing this up not to "throw" anything at her or insult her but so that we could proactively make plans for time together so we could feel "in love" again. She finally understood I was not trying to blame her again for the adultery, I was not trying to insult her because of it and that I wasn't even looking for her to apologize more for it which is what she kept defending by saying she has already apologized many times and wasn�t going to do so anymore. The message that I had been trying for 2 weeks to talk to her about was simply "here is how I feel and here is what I proactively want to do about it� but she would always go right to anger before she even heard me through.

In preparation for this "huge" conversation I created a technique that I hope everyone here might be able to use because it seemed to work wonderfully and might be useful for other MBers when one partner isn't interested in doing the hard work to learn this stuff themselves. As active MBers we want to help by teaching or educating them and we all know how that can go. My brainstorm was to use the idea of making our marriage a third person to us so that it wasn't me trying to make her do something but rather it was "Hey, this is what the marriage needs in order to be strong and healthy. It needs to be protected from LBers and it needs UA in order to meet ENs." It seems much easier in this style because now its not me demanding things.

In addition I wanted to help her see when she was engaging in AO and DJ because those LBers prevented us from making progress during arguments. But my conundrum was how could I point this out without sounding condescending? Again my solution here was to make myself a third party �MBer counselor� who would chime in during the discussion to guide us on the MBer ways. So when she would start a LBer I would say "Ok the third party MB counselor would say that you are engaging in ..." That really took the pressure off me and she could learn in the moment without getting mad at me for �correcting� her behaviors.

I prefaced this right up front telling her that I know how busy she is and she doesn't have time like I do to read and share here and do the studying needed so I wasn�t telling her things with rightousness but rather its coming from someone who has put in 3 years of studying MBers and who wants to share this stuff so we can have a great marriage. And in my prefacing I asked her to remember that I got a tatoo which is symbolic of us growing together so please remember that my goal is to have a great strong healthy marriage and that anything I educate her with I have already struggled to learn myself and that things I might point out may seem hurtful but that its for the greater good of �The Marriage.�

So the good news is we broke through these barriers on Thursday night (it took til 1am gheez) and my god did I have a great birthday weekend. Friday she came to see me for lunch, Sat was my birthday and my children gave me exactly the �presents� I was hoping for, a clean house and a mowed yard. My wife & I had a great time at Red Lobster and Sunday I got some free time for my own special projects. I am deeply indebted to everyone here for their help and advice. I am looking forward to repaying my wife at her birthday.

The biggest confirmation of our progress is this- At one point I (sarcastically) asked what Monday was going to be like for me since she was doing so much for me all weekend (she really went above and beyond with SF, ENs, UA). Her reply was �Well how could I expect you to give me what I want on my birthday if I don�t give you what you need on yours?!!� Viola- the negative cycle is broken. I can tell from that statement how much her thinking has changed. In addition she apologized for AOs and said she will work on that more. Just wonderful all over is how I feel today. Thanks for listening everyone.


God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
Me:husband 42
wife, 40
married 1/12/1991
3 children, 1 granddaughter
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