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Dear Spouse,
I wasn't acting out a malevolent desire to NOT be with you last night. I was just talking to you about the situation. In the kitchen when you told daughter about your desire to hear it, to me it sounded like you might have wanted to listen to it (Chip Ingrahm's Living On The Edge radio program) alone so I asked you about it nicely. Also I had a busy evening of serving other people and needed some time to myself for a few minutes.

Did part of your negative attitude begin when you thought I was being irresponsible for sitting at my desk when son age 10 was upstairs in bed? If that made you upset you should know that contrary to your judgment about what I should have been doing, he told me point blank last night "You are the best Dad in the world." because I had already made him feel cared-for when I was with him.

It reminds me of how I over-reacted to what I interpreted your intentions to be at A restaurant. After we spoke about it and you explained your reasoning I apologized for taking such offense.



You sent me this definition (of agape love) ? I learned this in 2007. Last night, Chip Ingrahm said agape love is: giving love to someone who deserves it least, at great personal sacrifice. Thats what I did in 2007, sacrificed my own well-being for our family. I know what I did. If you want to claim you do this too that's fine, I hope you are doing it for us too. But I am not going to disrespectfully and intentionally insult and hurt you by saying you don't know what it means. Your understanding of agape is yours alone, not for me to judge. Your disrespectful judgment in your text message to me that says I don't know what agape means hurts me deeply.



I asked you what you took away from the program we listened to and your reply is how husband (me) isn't a good leader. Then you said my heart has not changed. Does The Lords Prayer say "Point out your spouse's faults so they will change so you can be happy" or does it say

...forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us



My take away from the program is that servant-leadership is very difficult, I believe Chip said "impossible". He also said lots of things about wives affirming their husbands but your success or failure in your role is not for me to worry about.

When you confessed your sins to your Dad what was his response? Would you say he acted as a mature Christian by understanding it is not our role as humans to judge? When I insulted your mom by writing that she has a harsh judgmental attitude what was her response? More harsh judgments against me.

A mature Christian attitude is that we each use the new information to improve our own behavior in our God given roles, not use it against a spouse to point out their failures. I feel disrespected, insulted and hurt again by your rude, judgmental words that I am a poor leader. If you intend to use our Christian educational moments to continue judging how I am a failure then I don't want to continue in our marriage.

And judging that my heart has not changed will only provide more justification for divorce instead of promoting one-ness through forgiving.

Last edited by bigpicture; 02/14/12 02:55 PM.

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Are you using the Marriage Builders program? It sounds like you do not have a good grasp on lovebusters or the danger of the concept of "sacrifice."

I am not exactly sure what you are asking in your post? Are you asking for help with the program?

Quote
Did part of your negative attitude begin when you thought I was being irresponsible for sitting at my desk when son age 10 was upstairs in bed? If that made you upset you should know that contrary to your judgment about what I should have been doing, he told me point blank last night "You are the best Dad in the world." because I had already made him feel cared-for when I was with him.

The solution to upsetting your wife is not to argue with her, but to stop doing the things that upset her.


"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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What exactly is your question here? Is this letter full of DJs?

Then, yes.


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The ladies are right, big; this letter is an attempt to educate your wife, and as such it is a massive withdrawal from her love bank.

It sounds like you guys have a lot of unresolved issues and spend a lot of silent times due to conflict. The solution is to learn to handle the conflict in a way that leads to a solution you are both happy about. That's a difficult path to navigate, especially when either or both husband or wife is used to addressing problems with demands, disrespect, or anger. But it is a skill that can be learned, with a little bit of feedback when you are stepping off the path, as you are doing here.

I find that disrespectful judgments are like minefields. As a former (current?) clueless husband, it is very easy to say something that is disrespectful without realizing it. There is no hope at all in trying to go back and explain why my wife shouldn't have taken it that way or why I didn't mean it that way. The solution is to learn what bothers my wife and what she perceives as disrespectful, and stop doing it!

One major important tip: if you are talking to your wife about what you feel she "should" be doing, you are engaging in a disrespectful judgment. Even if you think it's what God or Jesus or the Bible says she "should" be doing. Let God handle that. You "should" not be doing that, as it's not your job, and you are stepping outside your God-given role as a husband when you try to educate your wife.

Last edited by markos; 02/14/12 02:34 PM. Reason: minefields, not mindfields

If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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I am not trying to educate my wife. I am drawing boundaries around myself against her DJs towards me.

1st paragraph:
Last night at 10pm she asked/invited me to listen to a program with her on the radio. When I talked to her about a mutual plan to do such, she DJ'd that I wasn't interested at all, got mad and gave me attitude for the rest of the night. We listened to it right then despite not POJA-ing.

2nd paragraph:
We POJAd that I would put son to bed. She DJ'd for how I was not putting our son to bed the way she would have wanted it to be. But she wasn't home prior to that. I took him to the doctor while she went to the gym to workout.

4th paragraph:
We listened to the radio program where they spoke about agape love. This morning I asked her what she got out of the program. She said YOU don't know what agape means. DJ! and incredibly insulting given how I plan A'd her for 6 months during her affair.

This is after I had made her coffee (deposit in her love bank), folded the laundry that by POJA she was supposed to do, and gave her a nice V-day card on her desk.

This morning I got no affection, no "good morning", no thanks, but plenty of DJ's about what a poor leader I am and how I don't know what agape means.

Come again MBers. And thank you.


God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
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ML,
We have dialoged here before and I feel I am doing exactly as you have suggested- not perpetuating the negative cycles that are destroying our marriage by standing up for my boundaries, speaking honestly and openly without anger or malice. Expressing my feelings without LBers.

We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.


God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
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Originally Posted by bigpicture
ML,
We have dialoged here before and I feel I am doing exactly as you have suggested- not perpetuating the negative cycles that are destroying our marriage by standing up for my boundaries, speaking honestly and openly without anger or malice. Expressing my feelings without LBers.

We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.

I disagree you are doing as I suggested. You are both engaging in ALOT of lovebusters. How far did you get into those lessons?


"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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Originally Posted by bigpicture
This is after I had made her coffee (deposit in her love bank), folded the laundry that by POJA she was supposed to do, and gave her a nice V-day card on her desk.

This morning I got no affection, no "good morning", no thanks, but plenty of DJ's about what a poor leader I am and how I don't know what agape means.

Come again MBers. And thank you.

bigpicture, my suggestion would be to use this program in more comprehensive manner. You are both doing little things wrong that are creating big problems. You know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to really benefit from the program.

For example, you sure do lecture and "educate" alot, which is a big lovebuster. You are also engaging in the practice of SACRIFICE which - AS YOU CAN SEE - only leads to resentment. You mention several times here how you have done things for her, therefore she OWES you. And that is exactly how people who sacrifice act, they keep score and when the score is not even, they become demanding and resentful. Dr Harley calls them renters. If you didn't want to fold the clothes, then you shouldn't have done it. And if you didn't want to give her a Valentines card, you shouldn't have done that either. Doing so has made you feel like she owes you something.

Granted, she is lovebusting you too, but on the other hand, you are not taking her complaints seriously. She doesn't like the way you put your son to bed and instead of listening to her complaint [which is an opportunity for you do it better] you argued with her.

So that is where I would begin. Start by eliminating the lovebusters. Go through the chapters together and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter. You can also download the questionaires online for free. If I were you, I would get the workbook, Five Steps to Romantic Love, because it has all of the forms.


"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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Originally Posted by bigpicture
We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.

She is supposed to be telling you what she doesn't like about you, in a respectful way. And vice versa. That gives you an opportunity to change those faults.


"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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I gave her my LBers-AO's and DJs.

She gave me hers- Annoying habits and DJ's. Then she retracted the DJs after she realized the example she was using was about her saying no to me for asking for 15 hours of UA! Good grief.

I gave her my ENs-Affection and being nice during our interactions.

She didn't give me hers.

I didn't sacrifice to make her coffee or give her a card or fold the laundry. I did it willingly to deposit in her love bank. No expectations.


God's goal for marriage: Become ONE! How? MBer methods.
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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by bigpicture
We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.

She is supposed to be telling you what she doesn't like about you, in a respectful way. And vice versa. That gives you an opportunity to change those faults.

Thats exactly it. She doesn't do so respectfully. Thats why my letter is defending my boundaries against her DJ's!


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The other day we watched a DVD to improve your marriage.

I shared my feeling/observation/thought with her as in "Something they said in the DVD made me think that could be the reason I have been withdrawing from you lately."

This comment launched us into 2 hours of her AO's and DJ's. She was basically telling me that my comment wasn't valid because I was only considering the past 4 weeks and not our whole marriage. The DJ was as plain as my nose. It is not a safe environment for me to share my feelings in.

Last edited by bigpicture; 02/14/12 04:33 PM.

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Originally Posted by bigpicture
This comment launched us into 2 hours of her AO's and DJ's. She was basically telling me that my comment wasn't valid because I was only considering the past 4 weeks and not our whole marriage. The DJ was as plain as my nose. It is not a safe environment for me to share my feelings in.

I guess I am talking to the wall? crazy Did you read my post?


"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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reposting in case you missed it:

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
bigpicture, my suggestion would be to use this program in more comprehensive manner. You are both doing little things wrong that are creating big problems. You know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to really benefit from the program.

For example, you sure do lecture and "educate" alot, which is a big lovebuster. You are also engaging in the practice of SACRIFICE which - AS YOU CAN SEE - only leads to resentment. You mention several times here how you have done things for her, therefore she OWES you. And that is exactly how people who sacrifice act, they keep score and when the score is not even, they become demanding and resentful. Dr Harley calls them renters. If you didn't want to fold the clothes, then you shouldn't have done it. And if you didn't want to give her a Valentines card, you shouldn't have done that either. Doing so has made you feel like she owes you something.

Granted, she is lovebusting you too, but on the other hand, you are not taking her complaints seriously. She doesn't like the way you put your son to bed and instead of listening to her complaint [which is an opportunity for you do it better] you argued with her.

So that is where I would begin. Start by eliminating the lovebusters. Go through the chapters together and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter. You can also download the questionaires online for free. If I were you, I would get the workbook, Five Steps to Romantic Love, because it has all of the forms.


"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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Start wtih the book Lovebusters. Read it together. Do the lessons.


"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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Here, I will rewrite it for you, if only to help you see how to say the same thing without DJs. Consider everything in black to be trashed, everything in red is my comments or your writing which is fine to keep.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
Dear Spouse,
I wasn't acting out a malevolent desire to NOT be with you last night. I am sorry if it seemed that I didn't want to be with you last night. I was just talking to you about the situation. In the kitchen when you told daughter about your desire to hear it, to me it sounded like you might have wanted to listen to it (Chip Ingrahm's Living On The Edge radio program) alone so I asked you about it nicely. Also I had a busy evening of serving other people and needed some time to myself for a few minutes. I misunderstood your intent, and allowed myself to get wrapped up in other things.

Did part of your negative attitude begin when you thought I was being irresponsible for sitting at my desk when son age 10 was upstairs in bed? If that made you upset you should know that contrary to your judgment about what I should have been doing, he told me point blank last night "You are the best Dad in the world." because I had already made him feel cared-for when I was with him.I am also sorry that I continue to do things that you find annoying, and I will try to stop doing them in the future.

It The events of last night reminds me of how I over-reacted to what I interpreted your intentions to be at A restaurant. After we spoke about it and you explained your reasoning I apologized for taking such offense.



You sent me this definition (of agape love) ? I learned this in 2007. Last night, Chip Ingrahm said agape love is: giving love to someone who deserves it least, at great personal sacrifice. Thats what I did in 2007, sacrificed my own well-being for our family. I know what I did. If you want to claim you do this too that's fine, I hope you are doing it for us too. But I am not going to disrespectfully and intentionally insult and hurt you by saying you don't know what it means. Your understanding of agape is yours alone, not for me to judge. Your disrespectful judgment in your text message to me that says I don't know what agape means hurts me deeply.



I asked you what you took away from the program we listened to and your reply is how husband (me) isn't a good leader. Then you said my heart has not changed. Does The Lords Prayer say "Point out your spouse's faults so they will change so you can be happy" or does it say

...forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us



My take away from the program is that servant-leadership is very difficult, I believe Chip said "impossible". He also said lots of things about wives affirming their husbands but your success or failure in your role is not for me to worry about.

I understand that you want me to be a leader for this family, and that is what I would like, as well. I am working on it, and I appreciate your support and patience.

When you confessed your sins to your Dad what was his response? Would you say he acted as a mature Christian by understanding it is not our role as humans to judge? When I insulted your mom by writing that she has a harsh judgmental attitude what was her response? More harsh judgments against me.

A mature Christian attitude is that we each use the new information to improve our own behavior in our God given roles, not use it against a spouse to point out their failures. I feel disrespected, insulted and hurt again by your rude, judgmental words that I am a poor leader. If you intend to use our Christian educational moments to continue judging how I am a failure then I don't want to continue in our marriage.

And judging that my heart has not changed will only provide more justification for divorce instead of promoting one-ness through forgiving.

Love, Big


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If you intend to use our Christian educational moments to continue judging how I am a failure then I don't want to continue in our marriage.

And judging that my heart has not changed will only provide more justification for divorce instead of promoting one-ness through forgiving.
Threats of divorce will get you nowhere. It is a major DJ, and Dr. Harley says to never do it.

And ... are you not also judging her for what a failure she is? Are her DJs the only ones that matter?


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big,

regardless of what your wife is doing, you are still engaging in a lot of disrespectful judgments.

The reason the program is not working for you is that you are still committing these love busters. This program doesn't work if you don't eliminate disrespectful judgments. Your wife is not willing to do that right now, but she might be if you would eliminate yours and start making some love bank deposits. You can turn this around if you will focus on changing the things that you need to change. A husband has great potential to win his wife over if he will focus on the changes he needs to make and not focus so hard on the changes she needs to make.

Does that make any sense?

Would you like any help learning to identify the love busters you are committing? Because you are engaging in a lot of them. That's the reason your wife is so withdrawn from you and your marriage is unhappy.

I don't know what in the world you mean by "defending your boundaries." If you feel disrespected, all you need to do is let your wife know, later "I felt disrespected when you said ..." Or "I don't like it when you ..." If you write a big long letter then you'll commit love busters, I guarantee it, so KNOCK IT OFF.

Would you like some help turning this around?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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And, bigpicture, it's not disrespectful when your wife lets you know she doesn't feel cared for. She's not "judging your heart"; her LOVE BANK is computing your score, and she's letting you know how you are doing. Right now you are in the negative. You've got to change yourself in order to improve how she feels.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted by bigpicture
The other day we watched a DVD to improve your marriage.

I shared my feeling/observation/thought with her as in "Something they said in the DVD made me think that could be the reason I have been withdrawing from you lately."

This comment launched us into 2 hours of her AO's and DJ's.

You recognize you were at fault for your comment, right? You made a disrespectful comment that translated to "You are not what I was hoping for in marriage." This route to marital improvement for husbands is absolutely doomed to failure.

You're welcome to continue on the doomed to failure route, but we'd love to help you get on the road to marital improvement. It's going to start with you being a lot harder on yourself about your love busters.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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