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#2501407 04/23/11 05:55 PM
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There is so much that I need to talk about but for now I will try to keep it around the POJA.

My wife and I have been working on the MB course for about 3 months at this point. For many reasons that I will try to avoid at this point we have all but stopped. We have been in an ongoing dispute now for over three weeks with little to no EN's on either side being addressed. There are several extenuating circumstances that I can go over later but for now I want to focus on the POJA.

There are two areas I want some advice in. I am in the market for a new vehicle soon as the one I am driving is quickly breaking down. I have been looking in line for some ideas and have shared those with my wife over the past 4-6 weeks. Mostly I have been looking at new vehicles but I have also looked into used. I make well over a 6 figure income and we live a very comfortable life. The new vehicle I want is somewhat elaborate and perhaps even over the top. I want and feel as though I deserve a nice upgrade from what I have been driving for the past 8 years. My wifes vehicle is our main family one and it is loaded up with all the luxury items. She is VERY upset that I want to spend the money of the luxury items when they are not really needed. this is true however I feel as though I want them anyway. Selfish perhaps but still this is what I want. My wife doesn't work all that much so her income is fairly inconsistant, not sure that really matters but thought I would make sure you knew the whole story. We disagree with what I should be getting and are having trouble doing the POJA. In fact there has been little to no agreeing at all with little to no compromise from her. I have agreed that I will not get a 'loaded' vehicle and don't even need a new one, but she will not relent and tells me that I don't need anything more that an average vehicle. Not what I want and I feel as though I have already done some compromising at this point and she has not.... seems like a trivial thing but it is becoming a HUGE issue in our home.

Now a more significant POJA item. I have an opportunity (maybe) to get a job with a company that I have always wanted to work for. The money is similar not sure if it will be up or down a bit at this point. It is essentially my DREAM JOB and I want it at this point even though I have not been offered it yet. There is some travel required, how much is still not clear. At first it may be as hight as 40-50% but will drop to about 20% from what I can tell. I know this is a HUGE issue for my W and I also know that she will likely not enthusiastically endorse me accepting this position. From what I know about POJA that means I should turn it down.... but it is my dream job! How can I not hold it against her for that. She is already stating that it is a lose lose for her. If she agrees to me taking the job then she will have to accept the travel side but if she rejects it she will have to live with my recentment. I am not going to hate her but I will be very disappointed as this is what I have been striving for for a long time and now that it is here she is having second thoughts.

So how do you propose I use the POJA to serve both our needs? I want a new truck with some degree of luxury and she wants me to get a basic upgrade from the beater that I am using now. Second how can we use the POJA when my W feels that no matter what the decision she will be losing.

It is hard to make compromises with someone that has already made a decision about what the outcome will be.

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The problem with compromise is you both lose. Don't look for the compromise, look for the collaboration, something that gives you what you both want: something nice and fun for you that is within a budget she can feel happy with.

As to the job - you HAVE set it up for it to be lose/ lose for her. Do you see how that is unfair? Do you see how she may feel trapped and upset? "Let me get this job or else I will resent you forever".... There is no choice there.

As a married man, you lose the option to make decisions in a vacuum to solely please yourself. Any decision you make affects your wife. So clarify your goal.

Is your goal to have a nice car and your dream job? Or is it your goal to have a happy, successful marriage to the woman you love?

The two are not mutually exclusive, but if you prioritize your car and your job first, you will fail at your marriage. However if you prioritize your wife and her feelings and your marriage first, it will be MUCH more likely you can find happiness with your car and your job.

So where are you guys falling short?

Looking for a compromise is a problem.

Looking for what you or she has to give up is a problem.

Trying to determine solutions individually is a problem. The problem is identified individually - the solution is determined together.

When negotiating and POJAing - you are not supposed to come up with solutions on your own. Look at the article 4 Guidelines for a Successful Negotiation.

Guideline 1: Set ground rules to make negotiation pleasant and safe.

ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. If you cannot adhere to this guideline throughout the WHOLE negotiation then you will not succeed. Your conversation will turn into Love Buster city, plus you won't get anything resolved.

You feel your blood pressure rising you politely inform your wife you need the conversation to stop and you do what you need to do to calm down. You notice your wife starting to get upset you inform her you no longer feel safe, promise to revisit the issue and leave the room.

DH and I often have to let negotiations go and come back to them. POJA can take a while but it is ESSENTIAL it is done in a loving and safe manner.

Remember the goal of negotiating a POJA ISN'T to find a solution, it is to find a solution WHILE maintaining romantic love between you and your wife. You should come out of a negotiation feeling in love and happy with your spouse. If that isn't going to happen, stop and come back to it later.

Adhere to the ground rules:
Ground Rule #1:
Try to be pleasant and cheerful throughout negotiations
Ground Rule #2:
Put safety first-do not make demands, show disrespect,
or become angry when you negotiate, even if your spouse
makes demands, shows disrespect, or becomes angry with you
Ground Rule #3:
If you reach an impasse where you do not seem to be
getting anywhere, or if one of you is starting
to make demands, show disrespect, or become angry,
stop negotiating and come back to the issue later.

ONLY if you can maintain Guideline 1 can you proceed to Guideline 2:
Guideline 2: Identify the problem from both perspectives.

This is pure information gathering. Listen to your wife's thoughts, worries, fears, goals, desires in an active and open way. You are not debating here - you should be honestly desiring to understand HER perspective, because if you don't you won't get anywhere.

What amount of money on a car would she be comfortable with? Is it just the travel about the job she is worried about?

Then you go- identify your thoughts, desires and feelings. Do not try to one up her thoughts or feelings, inform her of your wishes without attempting to persuade or debate.

She should listen actively as you listened to her.

Do not leave this guideline until you can precisely sum up her position to her satisfaction and she can sum up yours.

The problem with most negotiations is that each person automatically jumps to their ideal solution to the problem. The solution that meets all THEIR needs and then they spend all their time arguing and debating their spouse's needs in an attempt to minimize them and prove that their solution is the 'right' one.

You've decided what kind of car you want, have justified why you deserve it and have minimized your wife's thoughts and feelings, rationalized and debated them away so that she seems unreasonable for wanting something different (hence why you thought it essential to include how much money you make - when it doesn't matter how much money you make it matters how your wife feels about it).

You have predetermined the solution, and are trying to prove to your wife why she is wrong. THIS is why your negotiation isn't getting anywhere. Doing this will make your wife feel unloved and unimportant in the decision making process.

She is doing the same, btw.

You both need to stop.

Solutions are found TOGETHER. Problems are identified individually.

You are keeping yourself from getting to Guideline 3, which is where stuff actually gets DONE.

Guideline 3: Brainstorm with abandon.

This is where you start to problem solve. You know her position, and she knows your's. Now you throw out any and every idea that can meet both of your wishes. Don't get emotionally attached to an idea this early on. Just come up with as many ways as possible that you can think of.

Don't try to do it in one night. Sleep on it, give it a few days - DH and I have had some POJAs go on for months... we suggest solutions, debate the pros and cons, see if we both like it and keep it, or if one of us has a problem with it we drop it. You cannot fall in love with a solution until you BOTH like it.

Finally, after you've brainstormed your little hearts out can you get to:

Guideline 4: Choose the solution that meets the conditions of the Policy of Joint Agreement -- mutual and enthusiastic agreement.

HERE is where you find the solution.

Not at the beginning.

Not when you're sitting alone in your office thinking, "Man I really want this job, this job is just perfect, what I've always wanted, how am I gonna get W to go along with this?"

It is difficult, and it takes a while to get the hang of. It can be frustrating, especially with constantly stopping and starting because you get hung up at step 1, but I can promise you that when executed well and consistently, after a while it is second nature, as easy as breathing, and you come out of negotiations MORE in love with your spouse!

Good Luck!


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Oh, and GET BACK TO MEETING EN'S.

POJA is MUCH more likely to be a success if it is done by two people who love and actively care for one another. It is the foundation to a successful negotiation.

No excuses.

She needs to be meeting your needs.

You need to be meeting hers.


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Placing your job/career ahead of your marriage is the quickest way to watch your marriage evaporate. BTDT

Dream Job = Fantasy / You have ZERO clue -

This "Dream Job" is your way of meeting some of your needs without allowing your wife to participate... Do you see this?

My bet is that you are seeking Admiration and you have probably not let your wife fill this need for you much since you've been married.... You've allowed your job/career/colleagues to fill your love bank of admiration instead.... This is why you still fantasize about "dream jobs" without recognising the trail of destruction you're allowing to occur in your marriage.

Your wife understands the REALIY of you being away from home by taking said "Dream Job" - I'm sure that is not a FANTASY of hers in any way.... It's more likely a nightmare of hers.

Perspective (seeing things through your wife's eyes) and Motive (understanding yourself) are important ingredients when setting the stage to POJA an issue.

I can help you with a simple POJA suggestion about the truck..... Agree to a reasonable $ figure to spend on a vehicle first. An amount that you are both enthusiastic about. Then find the vehicle that matches the $ amount.

When you agree to POJA, you do not leverage your position. You have equal voice and thought. The minute one of you uses leverage, it is no longer anything more than a manipulative game.





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Lid, the biggest problem I see here is your independent behavior. Both of these problems are a result of your insistence on gaining at her expense. Your dream job could easily become her nightmare and one has to ask why you would want your wife to suffer at your expense? I assure you that her resentment will last much much longer than yours since she will suffer the most. Your resentment will fade quickly, hers will last every day she has to live with your selfish choices.

My suggestion would be to put off negotiation until you become more skilled. Start with the small stuff first like grocery shopping before you tackle the tough stuff.

And I would strngly advise you to focus on the love buster of independent behavior. It is a sure fire love killer.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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[quote=MelodyLane
My suggestion would be to put off negotiation until you become more skilled. Start with the small stuff first like grocery shopping before you tackle the tough stuff. [/quote]

ML.. I agree in part with what you have said and I as much told her that I was being an IB'er. I do recognize that but in the meantime I still need to address the problem at hand.

If I had the luxury of putting off the tough stuff then I would, unfortunately reality gets in the way of luxury and I am faced with the impending decision as to what to do with or how to handle the decision regarding my career.

Vib... thanks for the help and guidance towards making the right decision

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LiD, you may get further if you drop the thinking of "What's best for me?" or "What's best for her?" and start making decisions based on "What's best for the marriage?"

Another thing I see in your post is that you apparently feel like your wife is standing in between you and what you want. But as a wife with a H like you (big IBer), I am guessing that she is actually standing between you and the things that will destroy your marriage. Doesn't sound so mean that way, does it?


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Originally Posted by Lost_in_Despair
ML.. I agree in part with what you have said and I as much told her that I was being an IB'er. I do recognize that but in the meantime I still need to address the problem at hand.

If I had the luxury of putting off the tough stuff then I would, unfortunately reality gets in the way of luxury and I am faced with the impending decision as to what to do with or how to handle the decision regarding my career.

And of course you realize that you should not take the job unless she enthusiastically agrees, right? This is not just about your "dreams" anymore. If taking that job will make her unhappy, you shouldn't take it because it would be her nightmare.

I will also tell you that taking the job will probably kill your marriage anyway, because of the travel. You won't be able to restore the love in your marriage if you aren't home every night. This could be the nail in the coffin of your marriage. Travel is very hard on GREAT marriages. I doubt yours would survive.

As far as the vehicle, you need to brainstorm until you find a vehicle that suits both your needs. If price is the issue for her, then find a price range that makes you BOTH happy and work from there. As Harley says, "brainstorm with abandon." As a person with indepdendent behavior, we tend to think in black and white. You just need to keep an open mind and consider other options that will benefit your marriage, not harm it.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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In addition to what everyone else has said, focus on being a TEAM with your wife.

You don't think money is an issue when it comes to you getting a new car. If your wife agreed, then money would be off the table. But your wife doesn't agree. Since your wife and marriage are more important than a car (at least they should be) then the price of the vehicle is back on the table.

If it matters to HER, then it matters to the marriage and thus, it should matter to YOU. If money is a concern for her, then it should be a concern for you. Her feelings are equally as valid as yours. They are just as much her finances as they are yours, and though your threshold of an acceptable expenditure is higher, it would be cruel to hold your wife to your threshold.

You have predetermined what kind of car you want, and now you identify yourself with that car. Your wife's rejection of the car is seen as a rejection of you and your worth. This is the problem with coming up with a solution on your own. You become invested in it and see it as a part of you. How can your wife argue with that?

Same with the job. You've decided that this job is how you will be most fulfilled, when this job isn't about you. It will affect your wife as much as it will affect you. By predetermining what the ideal solution is FOR YOU, you have made it so that any objection your wife has of the job is an objection and rejection of you. So she isn't safe in expressing her hesitations.

Any problem she has with the job, the car, or whatever issue you POJA is now no longer a matter of her feelings and comfort and desires, but rather it is cast in the light of accepting or rejecting her husband.

Talk about lose/lose.

So think about what it is you want.

Is it the features of the car? A certain aesthetic? Being able to feel rewarded for your hard work? What does the car represent? What values does it represent? What is its meaning to you?

What it is about the job that would be fulfilling? Is it the work involved? Is it the sense of accomplishment? Is it the admiration and respect it will garner? Is it the challenge? What values of yours does it express?

These are the things you should talk about. Not about why her objections or reservations are unreasonable or silly or unimportant.

But what do these things mean to you? How can you find other ways to achieve the same goals, express the same value, meet the same needs?

Maybe this job meets a need for admiration, but maybe your wife can meet that need instead. Maybe the job gives you a sense of fulfillment, but that fulfillment could also be achieved through volunteering with your family. Maybe the car reflects a certain status that you have achieved in life - maybe you can achieve that by spending less money or by saving up a certain amount for x months before purchasing, or opting for a longer repayment plan that fits into your budget.

When you distill what these solutions mean to you and what they reflect about your wants and desires, you can get to Guideline 2 and REALLY identify the problem, and only THEN can you reach a satisfactory agreement.

If you don't know WHAT it is you're fighting over you will never find the solution. Often, what we THINK is the problem, what we THINK is the issue is only masking what the true problem is.

This is why predetermining the solution doesn't work. It is why it hinders REAL negotiation and problem solving. Because then you argue why your solution is better than your spouses without ever really defining what the problem is. It is why you will both be left feeling unsatisfied.

The car you buy, the job you work, BOTH will affect your wife. They both will have an impact on her life. She gets a right to say if she is comfortable with that or not, and if you put your desires before her she will always know that she is less important than your car and your job. Your wife has just as much a right to determine the events of her life as you do.

Seeing her as a roadblock to achieving what YOU wants makes her your enemy.

Do you really want that?

Do you want the woman you love, the person you should care about more than anyone else in the world and who should love you the same, do you want that woman to be your enemy?

Because that's what Independent Behavior does. It creates enmity between you and the person you should cling to above all others. It puts her in the way of having the perfect life you crave, when really your life would be imperfect without her.


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Originally Posted by Lost_in_Despair
If I had the luxury of putting off the tough stuff then I would, unfortunately reality gets in the way of luxury and I am faced with the impending decision as to what to do with or how to handle the decision regarding my career.

What I hear you saying is, "I'm going to lose my current job". Is that a fact? Or?






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I agree 100% that Independent Behavior is showing it's ugly head in your situation....

I also believe that whenever the LB of IB has surfaced, there is a need we want met at the same time..... And bygolly, I'm going to see it gets met whether you want to meet it or not.

Key words I see;

MY Dream Job
I deserve
Luxury
I want and feel as though I deserve a nice upgrade
I want them anyway
Selfish perhaps but still this is what I want.
My wife doesn't work all that much - (Nice) frown

LID,,,So what do you see when I pull these out??




Last edited by HerPapaBear; 04/24/11 01:23 PM. Reason: fixed a line




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Originally Posted by Lost_in_Despair
It is hard to make compromises with someone that has already made a decision about what the outcome will be.

Out of your entire post, this one thing screams out louder than everything else.

I've seen many people show up on these forums and expect their spouse to compromise.
The art of negotiating, while using the MB Program, is not about compromise.
This is likely why you are FAILING with the Program.

Three months into the MB program and it's already on the shelf, speaks pretty loudly, wouldn't you agree????

Look, I'm not trying to beat you up. I was far worse to my dear wife than anything you've got happening. I'm speaking from experience. Experience that I'd love to see everyone else avoid.

You think you're ready for a dream job,,, and yet,,, you can't even handle getting your own marriage back on a successful course.

Do you even see that you're already asking your wife to throw her values about your marriage, as well as her honesty, out the window?
How, you might ask?
By expecting her to compromise them for the sake of what YOU want!!

She is willing to tell you what she is entusiastic about, and you are shooting down her honesty.....
I'm amazed she hasn't checked out of the marriage yet.
Then Again; Maybe she has and you're scratching your head trying to figure out why?

If I were you I'd be getting myass to the flower shop and picking up some roses, stopping by Halmark and getting a card and then I'd come home, get down on one knee and say,"I'm sorry for being such a fool", "Please forgive me and be patient with me while I learn to be a better husband through the MB Program".





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Originally Posted by HerPapaBear
How, you might ask?
By expecting her to compromise them for the sake of what YOU want!!

She is willing to tell you what she is entusiastic about, and you are shooting down her honesty.....

I think you're being a bit rough on the guy. I think he's having a hard time understanding POJA. In a way, POJA is a comprimise between both parties to reach a solution that is mutually fulfilling. I know no one likes the word compromise on here.

I don�t know how well he�s POJAed the truck issue. It seems like he brought to the table he has a very specific truck he want and had his sights set on it. He prob. Didn�t think it was much of a big deal since he earns a comfortable wage and he mentioned that his wife has a vehicle that has all the bells and whistles and he�s been driving the same car for 8 years that is now in constant need of repairs. So she said no and he got his feelings hurt.

He wants a truck that has a feel of luxury to it. She feels he doesn�t need a luxury truck.

Lost in Despair, sit down with her and negotiate.
�I would really like this truck. It costs X dollars. It will cost us roughly X amount a month. How do you feel about that?�
�I�m not comfortable with the cost. I think it�s too much a month.�
�Okay. How much would you be comfortable with me spending monthly on a truck?�

This way now you can go shopping for your truck, keep within the cost parameters, and you�re both happy. You did admit that perhaps what you wanted was a bit over the top. So you might have to come down a bit. If you go shopping towards the end of the year for new model used trucks you can usually get a fantastic deal. Do you want it from a dealership because of the warranty?

A traveling job that leaves you away from home over nights is a no no.


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I agree with thiss who say its not about the car but the feelings it inspires in you. I sense alot of resentment at yiur wife

How would you and your wife feel about both of you driving vehicles at the same level of luxury (or lack thereof)? Would that release some the resentment.

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As I understand it, the 'bells and whistles' in her car is for the family, and the family rarely ever rides in his vehicle, so who are the bells and whistles for?

What are the bells and whistles she is objecting to? You don't need to answer me here, I am not the judge of which are right for you, just think about what exactly she is objecting to, why she objects, and why you are fighting her on it.

She may not want you to be in attention-getting vehicle. What's wrong with that?


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Lost in Despair, CWMI brings up an important point. What exactly is she objecting to? Bells and whistles is really vague. Get specific, see what she specifically isn't comfortable with.

I'm low maintenence so for me bells and whistles are power steering, MP3 jack, power windows/locks, and AC.

Remember that in POJA it's okay for one of you to say no. And the negotiating table has to be open and comfortable enough for the person to say no without the other person getting mad. It takes both of you coming together to reach a decision that you are both happy about. So whether you or she comes to the table and says "I'd like X and Y, whatcha think?" The answer is not to get mad but to say, "Okay, well, what can we adjust so that you are happy about X and Y?"

Then yo high five, hug, and stay happily in love.




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Buy the truck you can pay for with cash that is set aside for vehicles, not from other projects.

Life is full of compromises.
You have to realize, and your wife has to realize, when you are compromising with each other, and when you are just compromising with reality.

The goal of POJA is to not compromise with each other, not to compromise your dreams, but to work together towards realistic things you can do right now, to serve those dreams, each other, and your marriage.

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Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
I'm low maintenence so for me bells and whistles are power steering, MP3 jack, power windows/locks, and AC.

I'm so low-maintenance that bells and whistles for me are tires and an engine, lol.

LiD, who picked out your wife's car?


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Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
Originally Posted by HerPapaBear
How, you might ask?
By expecting her to compromise them for the sake of what YOU want!!

She is willing to tell you what she is entusiastic about, and you are shooting down her honesty.....

I think you're being a bit rough on the guy. I think he's having a hard time understanding POJA. In a way, POJA is a comprimise between both parties to reach a solution that is mutually fulfilling. I know no one likes the word compromise on here.

Look KT, this guy hasn't even begun to restore love to his marriage and he's wanting to POJA a heavy issue like a job change??? I wasn't being hard on him at all.... I didn't even get into the fact that his first post on this thread was setting us up so we could see how unreasonable his wife is...

Without restoring romantic love in a marriage, POJA quickly turns into Disrespectful Judgements accompanied by Angry Outbursts and Selfish Demands.
This is why ML suggested he practice POJA in the grocery store... It's SO MUCH safer to begin with small items!

Until Romantic Love is acheived in a marriage, there is typically NO CARE and NO PROTECTION of one anothers feelings during POJA.
And until this love is restored, POJA can often end up becoming no more than a power struggle that creates more resentment.






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Agree. No one is being hard on him. He is being hard on his marriage, on the other hand. Great posts, PapaBear!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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