Yes. I've been telling you to separate since he is not eliminating these lovebusters, isn't following the POJA, and it's effecting you very badly emotionally. Have you read the articles I posted to you about "When to Call it Quits"?
Yes, I have. I connect with Steve for guidance as he has full view of what is going on by having talked with DH. He doesn�t recommend a separation as it could further drive us apart in our family dynamic situation.
If you don't separate, you need to get into the online program, ASAP. Your husband needs to talk to Dr. Harley himself.
I asked Steve about this and he said it certainly wouldn�t hurt. That we would be hearing the same things we are hearing from him. I have asked DH what he thinks about it and I�m getting a now canned answer of he is thinking about it.
And he's not enthusiastic about NOT seeing SD21, so what is the plan to get to something you are BOTH enthusiastic about?
The default of not being in enthusiastic agreement about not doing something is ... do nothing until it's negotiated. And it's up to him to negotiate for something he wants to do. He's still seeing his daughter anyway apparently.
There is nothing being doing about this situation now. Steve has instructed me to not put him in a position where he feels like he needs to choose between her and I for right now.
I feel for you. I come from a different situation but something that is similar. I am 30 years old and have been with my husband for 9 years but we have only been married for 9 months. My husband a VERY hard time controlling his outbursts and in the past year has actually gotten to the point to where he has walked me back into a wall and other smaller things. It is like he has to be in control and tries to be intimidating.
I am not an innocent party, I will push him back and I argue back with him to stand up for myself but I know that both wrongs are certainly not making a right. The constant tug of war gets exhausting.
We do not have any children but I can only imagine how you're feeling. I sometimes get treated like this from his family, like my husband can only do right and that I am always wrong and I get cold shoulders sometimes and one of his family members actually missed our wedding, not because they didn't agree with us getting married but for a situation that was caused by someone else related to the wedding.
I think you're absolutely correct, children will push boundaries and if they know they can get the reaction or the reward that they want, they will certainly continue to do it. My best friend shared with me a few days something that her therapist said to her regarding her relationship and issues they were having...
"There is no right or wrong in a relationship but there should be clear boundaries so all parties can UNDERSTAND one another and show support."
I think this is true and it is something I am certainly struggling with. The reason why there is no right or wrong is because we are ALL entitled to our feelings and our opinions. The first time we tell the opposite party that they're in the wrong, they become defensive and we fight more. I have been told that instead of fighting we should walk away and visit the issue a day later after we have been able to cool off (which I think you said you did that) and try to come up with solutions and boundaries.
Clearly there are a few problems going on here, you're not feeling respected by your husband and his children and you're also feeling as though you are being abused. I hope that the sessions will help him to understand how and why you are feeling. I think you should continue to try to prove to his children that you respect them, you respect the relationship they have with their father and that you would like to be a part of their lives... Truth is most of the time when something hard happens, they may be forced to turn to you and you don't want to have a grudge against them just in case.
Just a quick question- are their mothers involved in the situation? Could it also be possible that the other parent is helping create hostility and nastiness towards you too? If there is a possibility do you think you could set boundaries with her too and maybe talk to her and let her know where you stand. You're not trying to replace her and whatever happened in your husband's past is just that but that you want a healthier outcome for the children, no matter what their age is.
I truly hope the situation gets better and that you do not end your marriage because of children. Just always remember to watch out for your safety- if you ever feel unsafe leave and separate yourself or call for help if need be. Good luck!
I am glad you are posting for help on this site. It provides invaluable perspectives from all those that contribute. I have found that the coaching with Steve has really helped me and I am trying to get DH on board with the online program. On the coaching calls, Steve was able to reason with DH to show him why his AOs were really not effective in him solving his problem causing his frustration. He is making an effort to not have them any longer. What I am finding is that my DH is not fully on board with the program. My challenge is to get him onboard.
I am not going to address separation, that is up to you.
Steve didn�t suggest this as we do not have children together and a separation may be seen by DH as more of a relief from the stress of our conflict.
However, as you are in the house there are some other things you could try.
I GREATLY appreciate your willingness to provide your input!!!!
1) Clearly you have an issue with DD21. I don't think you will get him to POJA this while you all are in the Withdrawal Conflict stage. I think right now he is using that as a way to escape/provoke you. Another strategy would be to say "Thanks for letting me know. Will you be home for dinner?/Would you like to watch Game of Thrones when you get back?"
Make it a non issue...FOR NOW. I just read the whole thread and I think if you were not experiencing Love Busters and had your needs met, you would be able to come up with some guidelines on him and his daughter visiting (visit 1 time per week or something). But in the mean time you 1) Don't cause DD21 to be a Love Buster and 2) then meet a need of his after.
Yes, I do have an issue with her and you are correct that we will not be able to POJA this while we are in so much turmoil. I don�t think he is trying to provoke me. He tries to hide what he can, I believe, because he doesn�t want me to hurt. I think he really just wants a relationship with his grandkids and a relationship with me. I would not mind her coming over if she respected me as her dad�s wife and gave thoughtfulness to her dad about the situation. I was reading the book LoveBusters and found a snippit that fits this very situation. It�s in chapter 12 � Resolving conflict over children � Your daughter�s a thief and a liar. The only difference is that DH doesn�t see that he needs to stand up against her. He has blinders on that prevent him from seeing how a well thought out solution will benefit him, me, SD21 and the grandkids in the future. He is insecure about the love his daughter has for him just as SD21 is insecure about the love of her son. (One reason she doesn�t like me is because she thinks GS2 loves me more than her)
2) Kids: The dish cleaning issue. Clearly that one night it didn't work out. I have that at my house..nobody thought they were in charge so they each did their dishes but nobody did the rest of the kitchen. So you say to DH: I was thinking about that time where the dishes didn't get done and I think it was because nobody felt they were in charge. I think it would be good if we sit down with the kids and see if they can come up with a system for who is in charge of kitchen clean up. We could have an adult be the captain and then kids be in charge of dishwasher/sink/table or have one person be in charge for a week. If we get the kids involved they will feel invested in the solution."
Basically you are having the family POJA a solution.
Great idea! Steve suggested that I start a list of �issues� and start working through the POJA. Our problem is that we get stuck in the brainstorming stage. Steve said when we get stuck we need to default to go to him. We haven�t been doing that so I am going to try to push a few issues through the process to see if we can find an enthusiastic agreement for a couple to show DH this can work.
3) The eating with the mouth closed:
"DH, I have been thinking about how we can help CHILD with the chewing issue. I want to balance working on the issue without her thinking we are staring at her the whole mean waiting for her to fail. I was thinking if you see her do it, you could give me a non-verbal signal such as a hand squeeze and then I will do the same to her. I think it will take the embarrassment out of it but still let her know. Also a reward system might be good."
This is a non AO/DJ way to get him to change the way he acts while taking into account his valid point.
You are absolutely a saint! You have no idea how much I appreciate getting words to actually say to him that fits the program. This one will go on my list too. We have tried this approach without a �plan� so to speak. DHs problem is that she is still doing it even after all the reminders. He wants to punish her because he feels she is deliberately disobeying. He does not feel she has gotten better. I do feel like she has gotten better. I do see how discouraged she is when he stares her down and she just falls apart from the anger he displays.
4) Is your home a place he wants to be? I know he is Love Busting and not meeting your needs, but to have some hope of turning this around you have to really try to stop the Love Busters yourself. Re-read this whole posting and gather some stock phrases you can use. "Thanks for letting me know." "How would you feel if..." Because if he feels unsafe with you, he isn't going to want to be with you at home. You may feel like "Hey, I do all the work and he doesn't have to do any"...well maybe at first. Hopefully he will turn around. If he doesn't, then you know you tried your hardest.
I often use the �How would you feel if�� phrase. I need to start using the �Thanks for letting me know� phrase more than I do. I know I have a lot to clean up on my side of the street. I have already set up a plan (per Steve�s request) on how I can meet DHs ENs. I will continue to control only what I can control.
5a) You might feel like you are meeting his needs but are seeing no changes. Keep in mind two things:
A) Even if you are meeting his needs correctly, you have to keep making deposits in his love bank to get that negative balance above 0 and regains that in love feeling.
Yes, on a daily basis I make sure that I do at least two kind things if not more. I am actively working on removing clutter from the house (I have had two garage sales and will have another this weekend as well as the weekend after). I reference 'my plan' daily to keep focus on what he needs.
B)Are you meeting his needs the way he wants them?
At this point I would assume I am not meeting them in all the ways he wants. I am reluctant to do some of them as they are at my expense.
5)It is good that he is talking to Steve Harley. Lots of people won't even do that.
Well� he was talking to Steve. He still has not gotten back with me about having another call. Steve said I needed to express an urgent need to move forward so I did yesterday. His response was only that that he got my email. Steve wants me to focus on the goal and reiterate the goal to DH. We both want a mutually enjoyable relationship and it can be accomplished only if we proactively follow a plan.
Steve says that when you avoid conflict you cannot advance the relationship. DH sees conflict as a negative. I know that conflict is an opportunity and many perspectives are valuable in the solving of the conflict. Steve thinks that DH may feel inadequate if he cannot see a solution to the conflict. This is where Steve was adamant that Steve is to be our �go-to� guy when we get stuck.
As for me, I have been sleeping on the couch and inquired Steve as to if I should continue this. He said that if I was doing it to try to teach DH a lesson I should not stay. This is not the case for me. I sleep on the couch because DH is so cold and distant from me and being that close to him and being shut out hurts me deeper. Steve didn�t recommend me going back to our room because of the energy it would take away from me to get through the neglect. He said if my energy gets much lower there will be no hope for a recovery.