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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.


Keep in mind that in the MB program that go get from Withdrawal to Intimacy, you have to go through Conflict. Conflict is actually a sign of progress! Withdrawal means that you are avoiding, won't let him/her meet your needs, and are making no active steps to improving the relationship. Conflict means that you are making an effort to meet each others needs, but aren't quite doing it right. Intimacy means that you are meeting the needs the way the other person wants them met.

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Originally Posted by wipedout
I sent him this text.
"I would like to go to dinner together. Without a full enthusiastic agreement about a solution to our concerns about [DD11]'s chewing issue I do not feel comfortable. I agree with you that it is a problem and would like to address it so it can be eliminated. She feels like you watch her to mess up and your anger about it hurts her and me. "

.


I would be more gentle in the honesty and include some positivity.

Maybe something like:
"I would love to go to dinner together. Great idea! May I request that you don't address DD regarding the chewing issue at dinner. I will be watching and will give her a hand squeeze if I see her chewing. I will talk to her privately about that. Can't wait for the Spaghetti (or whatever you were having)!"

Last edited by wannabophim; 06/13/13 01:21 PM.
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Originally Posted by Prisca
Dr. Harley would tell you to separate, wipedout. I know you are probably tired of me saying it, but it IS what HE would tell you to do.

He's not meeting your EN, he lovebusts you, he doesn't follow POJA, and he doesn't show any real signs of changing that. Now he tells you he's done.

You are essentially Plan A'ing him.

You cannot emotionally take this much longer.
I am considering this again. I would like to write Dr. Harley again to see what he says around this. Thanks Prisca for caring for me.

Originally Posted by LifetimeLearner
Originally Posted by wipedout
DH said he is done. He doesn't have the energy for all the conflict. He doesn't have a positive outlook on the goal being able to be accomplished. He keeps saying it is never going to work. He says he thinks we can be great friends but we can't live life together.

I agree with Prisca. He gave you the answer here to the proposition of creating a mutually fulfilling marriage.
Then why is he still at home? I do see him holding his anger and trying to practice the POJA. He shuts it down with the small fuse Steve suggested. I get emotional and should shut it down prior to him doing it. This is where I am not following the rules and I need to change that.

Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by wipedout
She can breathe fine through her nose and she is capable of chewing with her mouth closed. I implanted on my own showing her videos on the subject to show her I am not the only one to find it disgusting. She says she gets the point. We will see if it makes an impact. Reminding her is getting nowhere so other means must be addressed.

This is straying pretty far from your marriage but it does need to be addressed. Habits take 30 days to learn and good table manners are just habit. Share the responsibility with her of making the changes (tell her you were not attentive enough when she was little).

Always be the one to sit opposite her during meals and agree a secret signal that the two of you will use. Something like putting your napkin to your mouth when you see her slip up. Gentle and loving reminders for a month will change this, and she will be so grateful to you.
Unfortunately this is not straying from the marriage. This is a big deal for DH. I am okay with correcting it. I agree with your view. If my video sharing has helped along with small reminders I hope this habit will be a thing of the past and will not be an issue in the marriage.

Originally Posted by wannabophim
Keep in mind that in the MB program that go get from Withdrawal to Intimacy, you have to go through Conflict. Conflict is actually a sign of progress! Withdrawal means that you are avoiding, won't let him/her meet your needs, and are making no active steps to improving the relationship. Conflict means that you are making an effort to meet each others needs, but aren't quite doing it right. Intimacy means that you are meeting the needs the way the other person wants them met.
EXACTLY!!!! This is so true!!!! I know it, Steve knows it, you know it and many other people know it. He took SD11 and himself about an hour away to stay at his parents because he wanted to be away from the stress at home. I want progress! It makes me not feel cared for. I know he doesn't like the stress. I don't either. I went 4.5 days without eating because the thought made me sick. I want normal back but I want the issues resolved. He seems to want to float over problems and hope they disappear.

Originally Posted by wannabophim
Originally Posted by wipedout
I sent him this text.
"I would like to go to dinner together. Without a full enthusiastic agreement about a solution to our concerns about [DD11]'s chewing issue I do not feel comfortable. I agree with you that it is a problem and would like to address it so it can be eliminated. She feels like you watch her to mess up and your anger about it hurts her and me. ".

I would be more gentle in the honesty and include some positivity.
Maybe something like:
"I would love to go to dinner together. Great idea! May I request that you don't address DD regarding the chewing issue at dinner. I will be watching and will give her a hand squeeze if I see her chewing. I will talk to her privately about that. Can't wait for the Spaghetti (or whatever you were having)!"
I could use someone speaking into my ear with every interaction with him. I feel like I can�t say the right words. I know how I feel and what I mean, I often say it wrong. That's not my intention. I just want to be heard!

Last night he came home from his parents. I had cleaned out the garage significantly, taken some items to Goodwill, cleaned the shower, washed the sheets and some clothes and put away several things that I had out on Thursday and Friday. I asked him how his weekend went and chatted with him about what he did and what I did. I took a shower and got the sheets on the bed. I lay in bed as I would have done before all this tension came. I had been sleeping on the couch because his coldness and distant behavior hurt so bad to be next to him. When he was gone, I slept in the bed and it felt good. I missed my room and the comfort of sheets so I had decided I would get in bed first and maybe he would get the idea and go sleep on the couch himself. That was not the case. He put away his travel items and it was apparent he was coming to bed with me. I fell asleep and woke to him touching me(non-sexual)! This is HUGE! I grabbed his hand and held it tight in place. I asked him this morning if he was touching me and he said yes as I was afraid it was a dream. I grabbed him and pulled him down to be closer to me. It is the man I use to have. The only problem is that the conflict is still there and needs resolved. He will be happy to avoid it, but all it will do is make him more mad because the kids are still not obeying like he think they should and other things that need POJAed.

How do I get him onboard for the online program? I want him to seek MB people when he is frustrated or stuck. What he has been doing hasn�t worked and it will continue to not work.

What is it that make men want to seek out help from here? I really don't feel a separation will do it because he has so much lossed love for me and there is so much tension between us he may try to say it is a relief and be happy he doesn't have to deal with the stress. Steve agreed with me on this but I will seek Dr. Harley's comments.

My kids will be with their dad for the whole month of July and they seem to be the majority of what triggers his stress. In my ideal world, I want to use July as a time to get back on the program and really sink our time into it. At least to POJA the major kid issues so we are on the same page when they get back.


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To get him on board, you has to think there is an incentive. Right now, all he thinks of it is you having veto power. So he's not seeing any benefit for him to do the program.


Husband (me) 39
Wife 36
Daughter 21
Daughter 19
Son 14
Daughter 10
Son 8 (autistic)

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So now he is communicating with me and not being as cold. Last night he did make a decision against something I have expressed we need to discuss further. He did ask it in the form of a question but I know if I would have brought up conflict he would be mad. I know that is a DJ but I can assure you this is what would happen. He wants everything to be a bed of roses and his way. When I disagree, it is conflict and he wants to avoid it. So now that I have avoided conflict he is starting to give me affection. The only problem is that it is received with resentment. The alternative is worse. Cold, bitter and distant behavior from him. I suppose this is plan A. I want him to come on here and engage with the forum to get help. I want the online program so someone can help keep him accountable. Does this mean I should finish plan A to get him to fall back in love with me and then change the locks on him?

It is hard to tell if I am doing my part and the result is his ability to provide affiction to me or if he is finally stepping up and doing his part. Last night his affection led further but I don't want it unless he really works on the marriage. I did go through with it but it is empty to me. He is on the edge of leaving and that is far from him showing me he has care and concern for me.


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I don't quite understand. Did he decide to not do something or not discuss something? Is it something that bothers you or something you need that he's deciding to not do something about? Is it a past mistake you want to discuss or a current problem?

To avoid conflict, or more to the point avoid taking care of things that bother you, is not worth doing just to keep the peace.

If you begin a new page by keeping your complaints to yourself, then you are already building with a crumbling foundation. The thing is, bring up your complaints without Lovebusters because your complaints need to be addressed and resolved. And so does his.



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Originally Posted by LifetimeLearner
I don't quite understand. Did he decide to not do something or not discuss something? Is it something that bothers you or something you need that he's deciding to not do something about? Is it a past mistake you want to discuss or a current problem?
Sorry for the confusion LL. The decision he made was SD11 staying home alone. We have discussed this in the past. Originally he was against her staying at home, but when she saw that my kids D12 & DD13 did it she wanted to also. Then DH and his ex agreed she could stay home, nothing was ever discussed with me until SD11 asked to stay home with my girls and I felt blindsided. It was not discussed with me prior to telling SD11 she could stay at home alone. I have tried to discuss this with DH telling him I didn�t want them to all be alone because when the three of them are together they fight and it is usually DD12 that suffers from the other two being brats. From that, an arguement arose stopping communcation on the issue.

On top of the kids fighting, the perspective he doesn�t know is that I feel that if we are paying for daycare she needs care. Why are we paying for someone to care for her if it is okay that she stay home alone? Last school year I broached the subject of her riding the bus home instead of daycare. My kids get off the bus at 3:00 and his daughter would have gotten off the bus at 4:10. I would go into work early but leave the office around 3:30 or so. Sometimes later, sometimes earlier. I have a very flexible employer. DH said that I was not always home by the time she got off the bus and he didn�t want her there without an adult. I told him I would make sure I was there and he pointed out how I have not been consistent on being home with my girls. (Gee thanks dad) DD is 13, not 11! Yes, I am angry, bitter and hold resentment for that.

On Monday, he had told SD11 she could stay at home in the evening without talking to me. This is when he 'asked'. He had already decided it but 'asked' me as a formality. Its just another POJA issue that has been added to our list. I have started a POJA list that sits on the counter in the bathroom.

That is the thing, he wants to avoid conflict. There are past, present and future issues that we need to POJA. How can I continue to bring up all these POJA issues we need to resolve over and over again? It is frustrating that it seems he is doing the least to make this marriage work. The issues we are working on are the ones he has brought up. He doesn�t want to resolve them using POJA, he just wants them resolved and continues to be frustrated when the issues continue.

We were discussing one issue and he shut it down with our �small� fuse. Then he retreated to stay with his parents for the weekend. In hindsight, I should have been the one to blow the fuse as I felt he was having a DJ in our conversation. Instead I was agitated and made a bad choice to continue talking. So, I have a list of issues we need to POJA. They sit collecting dust.

Originally Posted by LifetimeLearner
To avoid conflict, or more to the point avoid taking care of things that bother you, is not worth doing just to keep the peace.

If you begin a new page by keeping your complaints to yourself, then you are already building with a crumbling foundation. The thing is, bring up your complaints without Lovebusters because your complaints need to be addressed and resolved. And so does his.
I'm wondering if I need to start a new foundation with someone else who is willing to build a strong foundation. Yes, dealing with the conflict is key. He avoids them. Steve said DH views conflict as negative. I also have lovebusters I need to control. I can work with him if he would see that he also has lovebusters he needs to control but he doesn�t take ownership of his. I understand mistakes will happen. This is a new process for us but if we don't practice we will never get better. The only one he takes ownership of is AOs. Those are easy to identify. DJs and SDs often are not easy to detect, especially when it is new to us. I am trying to read though LoveBusters to get a better handle on cleaning up my side of the street.

On the online program..... if I can get him onboard with it, will the accountability partner be in a better place to help push him to work through these issus? Will they call him and check up on him to make sure he is doing his part? Steve is good but we have to initiate contact. I come here for input and perspective. I'm not sure if he does much of anything. DH lets his frustration stew in his head and to use his terms 'lives in a bubble' avoiding conflict and expecting life to be okay. (He said that Steve 'lives in a bubble') He says, we could be great friends but we can't live life together. He avoids conflict with SD21 and he is avoiding it with me. I must say, I hate conflict but I know it is a part of life and ignoring it will not make it go away. Some of it can be stuffed but there is only so much that can be without exploding.

So, at this current point in time, my questions are around the online program. I am not sharing my conflict with him at the moment because I want him to be onboard and move forward. It is not the way I want to live our relationship, it is just to get him moving forward in some way rather than running away.


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There's a lot here to respond to, but just one for now. The advantage of the online accountability is to be able to get Dr. Harley's advice/coaching. However, that program also requires a bit of initiative. The steps needed to be taken can be just as easily ignored with either the online accountability or the coaching, as well as ignoring advice from the forum.




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I spoke with Joyce this morning and she didn't indicate from what I told her that I should separate.

LL you said there is a lot to respond to. Did you have anything to add to above?

We have tried to start negeotating. It first started with the topic of follow-through. This branched off of the topic of the kids following the rules and doing as they are told. After making it to the brainstorming stage for follow-though, communications were shut down by DH because I became on the defensive. He was asking for clarification on one of my brainstorming ideas and when I provided my perception I felt he was arguing with what I meant. Lesson learned to shut it down before he does. Don�t get on the defensive as it will lead to nowhere. When we returned to discussing the issue, DH wanted to add to his perception. His perception was that he doesn�t have a problem with follow-though, that it is my problem and I needed to deal with it. I simply noted this and moved to the next issue. How am I supposed to respond to that?

Second question, the next issue we addressed was the kids following the rules. When I was explaining my perspective he told me I was looking at it too broad. Isn�t that a DJ??? I can look at it however I want! I shut it down by telling him I wanted to contact Steve. Problem is, that was two days ago and Steve has not returned my call. How can I respectfully explain that was a DJ?


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I talked to Steve and he said that DHs response that it was my problem to deal with was only inviting behavior we are trying to avoid. I told him of DHs reluctance to have a call with him as he feels I'm the one that needs the help. Steve helped me by telling me we needed to have calls even if they are just check points to ensure we are on the right path and that both of us should be in attendance as he wants each of us to hear what he is saying to the other person.

With Steve's guidance, I was able to get DH on board with having a call today! I hope this weekend will be a good one.


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I feel alone and unsupported.


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He left yesterday. I don't know if it is for good or not. Yesterday he escalated and I shut down. My kids are going to their dads for a month.


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He had an AO?


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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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Yes, well sort of. We were at Kohls getting shorts for DD13 and SD11. SD11 saw a pair and tried them on. DD13 liked them when she saw them on her so she tried them on. Prior to shopping, DH and I agreed 2 pairs each. They both had several. When they were done I told DD to pick two. She picked the matching pair of SD11. DD12 & DD13 will be going to their dads tomorrow for a month then school starts. The shorts are too short to wear to school. SD11 was whining because she wanted the shorts but didn't want DD13 to have ones that matched. DH said to me this SD11 tried them on first. I said DD13 was going to her dads who lives 40 mins away and they won't see each other. He argued that he would never allow SD11 to pick something if one of my daughters picked it first.

I stayed silent. Anger was within me. Just the night before SD11 saw DD13 doing a pattern on pottery and she copied off of her technique. DD13 doesn't mind because she understands that it is not only a complement but also is not threatened by the gesture. In my silence I could hear the MB principles. We should do nothing. I was angry and kept quiet staring trying to figure out what to do. DH stands to his feet grabs both shorts and yells "I'm sick of this crap". He then tried to demand his view. I told him to not argue in front of the kids. He told them to go. I walked away. I told DD13 she could get three shorts as long as none were the problem ones. DH didn't care because we purchase all clothing per court order for my kids but he only buys half for his.

We left in silence. We went home. He took SD11 to SD21 house for a planned sleepover. I took anxiety meds and fell asleep watching a movie with DD12. While I was asleep, he came in and packed a suitcase. So when I woke I saw he had done that and knew he wasn't coming back that night. No word from him in 24 hours and around 4:00 today he comes home and goes into our room, shutting the door. I went in after a little while to get something out of the closet. He called my name and when I answered he said he was moving out because he can't do this anymore. I simply said OK. He said he would get with me once he found a place to get the rest of his stuff.

My question to the community, do I change the garage code so he can't get in at all? Do I toss his stuff to the curb and tell him to come get it? Do I hold out hope that he needs time to process? I don't think he is capable of letting his selfish desires aside for the marriage.


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Yeah... um.

It seems neither one of you is respectful to the other, and you pit your children against each other.

Quote
Prior to shopping, DH and I agreed 2 pairs each.

...

He then tried to demand his view. I told him to not argue in front of the kids. He told them to go. I walked away. I told DD13 she could get three shorts as long as none were the problem ones.


Le sigh.

And what follows that is a justification for the IB you CHOSE to commit to punish him for daring to get angry.


"Harumph. I'll show YOU!"


/facepalm


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I see it closely to HHH. Seems you two swing from dueling dictatorship to anarchy then back again.

Don't block him from moving out with a power play, not unless you want to escalate the situation. One of the main things of the MB principles is about winning each other over, not forcing or controlling each other. Sometimes it begins with one spouse deciding to not engage in Lovebusters any more to start the healing.

In your situation, if he cools off and comes back, I think it would benefit you to start out with weekly appointments with SH. Did SH ever suggest weekly appointments for the first month?

You could also write to Dr. Harley and talk with him on the radio show. Just think, a free 30-45 minute counseling session where you get some actionable items to do if you choose.



xFWW(me)-48
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It was not an I'll show you. Prior when we agreed he said it was okay for DD13 to get more. I'm the one that said I'll just have them each get two.

Do you mean my power play of changing the garage code?


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Originally Posted by wipedout
It was not an I'll show you. Prior when we agreed he said it was okay for DD13 to get more.
Quote
I'm the one that said I'll just have them each get two.
Do you mean my power play of changing the garage code?

This is the power play the poster is talking about about.

You went to the store with this in place....you placated your daughter with not getting a pair like his daughter's choice, by telling her that she could then get 3 pair.

Did you ask him if he agreed with that decision?

Donuts to dollars it isn't about that anyway.

Some blended families just don't work. EVERY struggle going on in that house revolves around the children. I would say that you don't like his and he doesn't like yours. You think his are brats and he thinks yours are brats....just sayin'.

Some people just can't do it...doesn't make it wrong ...it is what is is.

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No. They're talking about how y'all agreed to 2 pairs and you decided the kiddo will now get 3 pairs without his input. I'm not sure about the matching clothes issue. I don't like my kids all having matching clothes. I think you might have asked him if he preferred to take the pair back and exchange them for a different pair. He obviously wasn't enthusiastic at that point.

He's also saying he feels you don't treat the kids equally, he's not being respected.

Why were you angry about the one child emulating the art technique of the other child? That is how art is taught and that is how one learns style and techniques before they are able to create their own style.


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Son 8 (autistic)

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I apologize for being unclear.

The "power play" is about the garage. It's like blocking someone from leaving when they are angry and forcing them to deal with a situation. You can't force it, no matter how right it would be for him to deal with this in a different way.

Your good choices include calmly letting him know that you're willing to do your part to make the marriage work, that you want a mutually fulfilling marriage, and so on or to not say a thing to him. To choose to "make" him stay by blocking him from moving his stuff out is a bit on the coercive side.

As far as what I think about the specific interchange about the clothes and all that, all I can say is that this was nothing like negotiating for mutually enthusiastic agreement.





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D-Day~23-May-11
NC- 14-Apr-11
1 DS 15
Online course July '11 to July '12
17 sessions with S. Harley Feb '12 to Sep '12
Divorced Jan 21, 2013
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