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The solution is for both of you to learn how to negotiate mutually beneficial solutions. Are you ready to get to work? We have already heard about how bad she is. Making more posts about that is a distraction from looking for solutions. Are you able to put aside your complaints long enough to learn how to resolve your problems?


"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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For most of these disagreements once she calmed down and realized that she was not going to get what she wanted then they weren't really an issue anymore after that. That's why I don't know about the idea that just because my wife acts like she is really serious about something then I automatically need to drop what I'm doing and permanently change my habits more in line with what she wants.


So, because she gives up and withdraws, you think that means she didn't want it in the first place? And even if she did, she doesn't anymore? A woman can only take so much rejection.

Honesty and negotiation will get you much MUCH further than deception and resentful appeasement. She asks for so much because you give so little. I know you will see a decrease in her complaints if you address them. Even if by addressing them you only say, "I can't do that, hon, but I am willing to do this. Would you be willing to see if that works for you?" She is likely so accustomed to not being really heard or considered that this alone will cause her to swoon.

My husband is a perfectionist and I'm not, and we worked it out. Perhaps like your wife, my H expected me to SEE the things he saw in the tiny details (mainly having to do with DS), and it took years to find the compatibility balance in there. He would not have relaxed on this issue, I don't think, if I had approached it solely as his problem and that I didn't care.

You write in a very chauvinistic manner, btw. You might want to look into that.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
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hey! I have a novel idea!! Instead of working the program, lets talk the problem to DEATH!! laugh


"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: MelodyLane
hey! I have a novel idea!! Instead of working the program, lets talk the problem to DEATH!! laugh



Hey, now! Talking it to death helped me work it. Some of us folks are slow. laugh


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
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Believe me, I am not talking about YOU. You might have talked alot, but you were working out SOLUTIONS while learning the program.


"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: grimreaper

The reason it sounded like a controlling demand to me was because she didn't just say it bothered her and then wait for me to respond; she was basically saying, "Either do what I say or else I will leave you." There was no opportunity for any real joint agreement I could feel good about because she did not even listen to or try to understand my point of view at all and was not willing to take no for an answer. Maybe drinking was a bad example to bring up because it is a touchy subject for some people and some real alcoholics probably could use a strong intervention so I guess it makes me look like the bad guy and some people will mostly sympathize with my wife in this case.

However, my wife has given me similar ultimatums at least 8 other times I can remember and I already called her bluff for about half of them when I felt like my back was completely against the wall. Also there were many times she didn't make any threats but when I disagreed with her she threw a fit and then I was in the doghouse for a while. For most of these disagreements once she calmed down and realized that she was not going to get what she wanted then they weren't really an issue anymore after that. That's why I don't know about the idea that just because my wife acts like she is really serious about something then I automatically need to drop what I'm doing and permanently change my habits more in line with what she wants.

Sure there probably is some point where every single complaint someone can come up with has been heard. However, it seems like some women are relatively high maintenance and have a much longer list of things they want and expect than others. Where is it supposed to end? For example, should men basically be trained to think and act the way women typically do? Also, there are personality differences because my wife is a perfectionist and is very fussy about minor details but I am naturally lazy and I just don't care about many things she thinks are so important. At least at work I can prioritize but when I get home it seems like everything is suddenly important all the time. My point is that I think trying to do everything my wife asks for will only make things worse in my case because it will mostly be at my expense and I will eventually lose motivation to keep up the charade. I will do what I can to try to apply some of these ideas but what I think would probably help the most for me at first is simply being more honest and working on negotiation and trying to reach joint agreements.


Grim, you are really painting yourself as the victim here. It took me a long time to realize this and I learned it through Marriage Builders and you can too - for every problem that you list, you are 50% responsible. You are responsible because you haven't figured out how to talk to your wife about it, how to come up with a solution, or how to draw appropriate boundaries. You haven't helped her be in love with you enough to want to make things better. The tools are here, all of them, but you need to learn them and put them into practice.

You don't know how long your wife's complaint list is because you haven't worked on it. The complaint list will become shorter as she becomes more in love with you. But, she can't fall more in love with you if you make no effort to resolve complaints.

Listen to the radio show and radio archives, I found them very valuable for learning. Consider sending a question in for the radio show, too, it can be really helpful to hear Dr Harley respond to your specific concern.

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
The solution is for both of you to learn how to negotiate mutually beneficial solutions. Are you ready to get to work? We have already heard about how bad she is. Making more posts about that is a distraction from looking for solutions. Are you able to put aside your complaints long enough to learn how to resolve your problems?


Originally Posted By: CWMI
So, because she gives up and withdraws, you think that means she didn't want it in the first place? And even if she did, she doesn't anymore? A woman can only take so much rejection....She asks for so much because you give so little. I know you will see a decrease in her complaints if you address them. Even if by addressing them you only say, "I can't do that


Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
hey! I have a novel idea!! Instead of working the program, lets talk the problem to DEATH!!


I wasn't trying to say that I don't want to do anything to improve the situation because it is mostly my wife's fault. Right now I'm still trying to understand what the worst problems are and what possible solutions there are. Personally I think that some of our unresolved disagreements have not had any lasting negative impact on the way my wife feels about me so I want to focus on the issues that will really make a positive difference. What my wife says she wants and what she really wants are not necessarily the same things sometimes. For example, I think she basically wants to feel supported and cared for but she doesn't really need me to stop watching sports in order for this to happen. However, because she sees me watching football or basketball for six hours straight that's what she will react to and say she hates it when I do this. In this case, simply cutting back on the amount of time I spend watching TV will not solve the problem by itself. I think one thing that needs to happen, if possible, is for the quality of our time together to improve somehow or else it will not last and we will eventually end up doing our own thing most of the time.


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So have you both filled out the EN questionnaires?

So you know exactly what her top needs are?

Also I would do the lovebuster questionnaires.

Then you can proceed with a plan.


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Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I see you doing a lot of ONE-SIDED strategizing here. That won't get you too far.

If you want to change your marriage, I would put aside all your thinking and start working the program.

Start with this article: How to Create Your Own Plan to Resolve Conflicts and Restore Love to Your Marriage

and then order these books and follow the lessons within them:

Lovebusters
His Needs, Her Needs
Five Steps to Romantic Love workbook

They sell them cheap on this website. If you will put aside your own thinking and start using the program, you will see a huge difference in your marriage. Start with the book, Lovebusters and at the same time pull out the undivided attention worksheet in the back of your workbook and make copies. Sit down with your wife once a week and schedule out 20+ hours of UA time. This will make the fastest, most dramatic changes in your marriage.

The Policy of Undivided Attention

I would also download and take the Marital Problem analysis questionaire so you can ID the top problems in your marriage: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi4500_resource.html


"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: BrainHurts
So have you both filled out the EN questionnaires?...So you know exactly what her top needs are?...Also I would do the lovebuster questionnaires...Then you can proceed with a plan.


Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
I see you doing a lot of ONE-SIDED strategizing here. That won't get you too far...If you want to change your marriage, I would put aside all your thinking and start working the program...If you will put aside your own thinking and start using the program, you will see a huge difference in your marriage. Start with the book, Lovebusters and at the same time pull out the undivided attention worksheet in the back of your workbook and make copies. Sit down with your wife once a week and schedule out 20+ hours of UA time. This will make the fastest, most dramatic changes in your marriage.


My wife basically has no interest in filling out any forms, reading these books, or creating a rigid schedule ahead of time so it will have to be my own one-sided strategy unless I can get her to see the value of this program somehow. I have already read "His Needs, Her Needs" and "Love Busters" and I feel like I already have a fairly good idea of what my wife has found lacking on my part: 1. Affection, 2. Conversation, 3. Honesty, 4. Domestic Support. She also complains about what she considers annoying habits. We already usually spend Friday nights together; I could definitely try to spend more time with her during the rest of the week and be careful about the way I react to her nagging and criticism.

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What's your plan to meet her needs?

To stop your annoying habits? You need to start filling her lovebank.
How will you do this?
Have you read this?
Rules that Guide Good Habit Formation in Marriage


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
What's your plan to meet her needs?...To stop your annoying habits? You need to start filling her lovebank...How will you do this?...Have you read this?
Rules that Guide Good Habit Formation in Marriage


My plan is to increase our UA time together to 15-20 hours per week and work on negotiation, being more honest, and trying to reach joint agreements in cases where I'm not happy about something. I think that would already be more than enough change on my part because as far as I can tell my wife's love bank is already much higher than mine and I am the one in a state of withdrawal where I don't even like to be around my wife very much anymore and I don't really want to listen to what she has to say most of the time. I think overcoming love busters is the biggest challenge right now because like Dr. Harley says these behaviors often make sense to people and they think they have a right to act this way and don't necessarily realize how much damage these things can do to their relationship.

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Do you want to be right or do you want to stay married?


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Do you want to be right or do you want to stay married?


Why can't I do both? I don't expect my wife to agree with me in every case but if being married means that I'm never allowed to have my own opinions that are different from her opinions then I definitely don't want to stay married in that case.

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Originally Posted By: grimreaper
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Do you want to be right or do you want to stay married?


Why can't I do both? I don't expect my wife to agree with me in every case but if being married means that I'm never allowed to have my own opinions that are different from her opinions then I definitely don't want to stay married in that case.


What exactly are you saying here? Of course you should be able to hold your own opinions, but you cannot hurt your spouse with them, nor should she do so with you. My H and I hold very different opions on how clean the house should be and who should be responsible to keep it to the other's standards, and we negotiaited a way for both of us to be happy...it takes honoring your spouse's opinion, and doing what you can to get them what they want without sacrificing yourself.

It ain't rocket surgery, lol.

Your wife does not have the abilility to stop you from having opinions. You have the abilility to choose to listen to someone else's opinion and validate it, instead of discarding it because it is not your own. Think about that.


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Originally Posted By: grimreaper
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Do you want to be right or do you want to stay married?


Why can't I do both? I don't expect my wife to agree with me in every case but if being married means that I'm never allowed to have my own opinions that are different from her opinions then I definitely don't want to stay married in that case.


grim, have you read what Dr. Harley says about Respectful Persuasion? And have you read Dr. Harley's Four Guidelines to Successful Negotiation?

Of course you can hold your opinions; you have to learn to do that without being disrespectful to your wife's differing opinions. And vice versa. The methods to do this are here on this site.

Hold your tongue until you learn to express yourself without disrespect. This program does not work if you do not eliminate disrespect on your part.


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: markos
...grim, have you read what Dr. Harley says about Respectful Persuasion? And have you read Dr. Harley's Four Guidelines to Successful Negotiation?...Of course you can hold your opinions; you have to learn to do that without being disrespectful to your wife's differing opinions...Hold your tongue until you learn to express yourself without disrespect.


Originally Posted By: CWMI
What exactly are you saying here? Of course you should be able to hold your own opinions, but you cannot hurt your spouse with them...we negotiaited a way for both of us to be happy...it takes honoring your spouse's opinion, and doing what you can to get them what they want without sacrificing yourself...Your wife does not have the abilility to stop you from having opinions. You have the abilility to choose to listen to someone else's opinion and validate it, instead of discarding it because it is not your own.


What I meant by that is simply that my wife has displayed a general "my way or the highway" attitude for so long and about some things that are so petty or pointless to worry so much about that the threat of losing my marriage doesn't necessarily sound bad to me anymore because I am getting tired of all the irritation. Actually, I think completely suppressing your own opinions for fear of what your spouse will think directly violates the principles of radical honesty and joint agreement and will mostly lead to love bank withdrawals. I have read the negotiation guidelines; I already try to avoid showing any disrespect toward my wife and I try to listen to her and be as nice as possible even though I don't feel like it sometimes. If anything, I have probably tried to be too nice which mostly resulted in me feeling built up resentment while my wife didn't have any way of knowing about it.

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GR, yes, there are people here whose spouses were not on board at first. Yes, there are cases where people were able to take skeptical spouses and turn them around to seeing the value of the MB system.

One way to do that is to refrain from any love busters. That shows your spouse that MB benefits them by helping them get a less irritating spouse. Another way is to never behave in a way that benefits yourself at your spouse's expense. That shows them another benefit of MB to them, in having a less selfish spouse. Once your spouse sees how much better you are after you have implemented the MB system, you have a good chance of enticing them to implement some aspects of MB themselves.

Or better yet, call the Harleys and arrange for phone counselling. That way they are the ones encouraging your spouse to implement MB, and you are not costing yourself love bank points by trying to edcuate your spouse as to the advantages of MB.


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Bump. Hi, grim, why don't we talk about you for a minute instead of other people? smile

I get the idea from the other thread you are posting on that one opinion you hold that is offensive to your wife goes something like this:

"My wife shouldn't feel that porn is such a problem."

There's a problem with this opinion. It's not just an opinion; it's a criticism. Any time you tell your wife how she should feel, that's a disrespectful judgment.

Here's the same opinion without criticism:

"I have no problem with porn. I enjoy it, and it doesn't bother me for either one of us to use it."

I haven't heard Dr. Harley say this specifically about porn, but I have heard him make comments in Joyce's presence to the effect that "Sure, I wouldn't mind having multiple wives. That'd be great for a man. The reason I don't do it is it would offend and hurt my wife terribly." See how he combines his opinion with thoughtfulness toward his wife? That's why he and Joyce have been in love throughout their 45+ year marriage.


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: markos
Bump. Hi, grim, why don't we talk about you for a minute instead of other people? smile

I get the idea from the other thread you are posting on that one opinion you hold that is offensive to your wife goes something like this:

"My wife shouldn't feel that porn is such a problem."

There's a problem with this opinion. It's not just an opinion; it's a criticism. Any time you tell your wife how she should feel, that's a disrespectful judgment.

Here's the same opinion without criticism:

"I have no problem with porn. I enjoy it, and it doesn't bother me for either one of us to use it."

I haven't heard Dr. Harley say this specifically about porn, but I have heard him make comments in Joyce's presence to the effect that "Sure, I wouldn't mind having multiple wives. That'd be great for a man. The reason I don't do it is it would offend and hurt my wife terribly." See how he combines his opinion with thoughtfulness toward his wife? That's why he and Joyce have been in love throughout their 45+ year marriage.


What bothers me about this topic is some of the ignorance, denial, and dishonesty surrounding it so that's why I commented on the other thread until I was censored. Basically my opinion is that it's not my fault if I naturally like porn and I know I'm not the only one (it sounds like a majority of men do) so that's why I think it's unrealistic for my wife to think it's completely wrong for me to like it when it is not something where I had any choice in the matter. However, I don't want to fight with her over this anymore because I'm tired of it and it's not worth the hassle so as far as I'm concerned she can go ahead and think she is absolutely right and snoop on my computers and phone all she wants if that will make her feel better and I'll just keep my true feelings to myself because that's the only thing that seems to work in this case.


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