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#2868402 10/25/15 10:01 PM
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My husband and I have been married for 13 years and have 4 kids. We have alllllllways struggled. It's never been easy, it's never been truly good. It makes me sad to say that but it's true. Our early issues have to do with addiction. He was a heavy drinker, light drug user, and a smoker. I'm a teetotaler who has never smoked. I've always been clear with him that I wasn't ok with his drinking, drugs, or smoking. He told me when we were dating that he didn't want to do any of that and that he wanted me to help him quit. He's quit drinking almost entirely, drugs completely, but he's never quit smoking. He's lied about all of it about a million times, we've had more fights over it than I can count. But I'm kind of more resigned to the smoking thing now than I once was, since the rest for the most part is gone (he's lied about drinking when I've gone out of town several times). The trust issues from all of that are still an issue.

But our main issues now are that I've kind of matured and changed, and he hasn't. I was 19 when we got married. I didn't know who I was or how I felt about things, although the Ive always kind of been a goody two shoes. Well, I've become even more.... What's the word? Conservative? I don't like to watch racy movies, I don't like crude humor, I don't like swearing, I value my faith and my church community. I would love to have a faith based marriage, and do feel envious of couples who do.

My husband is... Just not interested. He wants to do what he wants to do, and watch what he wants to watch and swear and smoke. He'll go to church with us, sometimes begrudgingly, but he doesn't want to do much else with it.

Honestly, it just feels like I'm married to someone I wouldn't even choose to be friends with. I admit, most of the changes have been mine, but he did tell me he wanted to be different when we got married.

He's also never been thoughtful or romantic. Not even when we dated. My first Mother's Day he left the house the morning of and went to Walgreens and brought me back a lady's shaver. And that's about how thoughtful he's been in general throughout our marriage.

As a dad, he loves our kids fiercely. But he rarely has time for them because his job is so stressful and requires such long hours. He's more of a hands-off dad and very not sentimental. He had to be out of town for our daughter's 10th birthday recently, and didn't acknowledge it except to FaceTime her before bed. I was really sad that he hadn't written her a note she could have woken up to, or gotten a small, but thoughtful gift to say sorry for missing it.

Yes, most of this I knew when we got married and I don't have much excuse for going through with it except to say that I was struggling emotionally and was very fearful of being rejected by him. I definitely have issues as well.

Lest I sound like a saint in all of this: I have been extremely critical and angry for a long time now. I'm just fed up with him, and frankly I don't like him. I've also almost entirely stopped having sex with him, which could be its own letter altogether. He has been very demanding about it and shamed me over it but I'm to a point now that I don't even care. It feels really wrong to have sex with him when I don't even like him and we have no relationship or intimacy. I really do feel awful saying that. I want a good marriage, especially with the man I've been with and who is the father of my children. But at this point I feel like the only thing that would satisfy me is a MIGHTY CHANGE in him. And that seems exceedingly unlikely, and maybe even unfair to ask.

Can anyone offer any advice?

For what it's worth, I've read his needs her needs. It was really good but we haven't implemented it. My husband says he's willing to work on things, but won't be able to make much time until next year, when he could leave his contract at his job for something less demanding. Leaving his contract early would end his career, but I do think he could manage his time off better than he does.

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There is a lot that needs to happen here, but I would start by him never being away from you overnight any more. There is no way to meet each other's emotional needs when you are away from each other overnight, and it is a lifestyle that leads to infidelity.


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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Thanks markos. I am back seeking more advice. He actually agreed to try MB And we bought the online course today, so that's good news.

Other good news: there's no infidelity. At least I really don't think so on his end; I know there's never been any on my end. Also he did end up changing jobs and although he leaves before we get up in the morning, he's home by 5 every night for the most part.

The main things I'm wondering if I can get a little feedback from you guys on is 1. UA time 2. Sex and 3. Mixed faith marriage

1. We have 4 kids. I 100% agree that they should not take priority over our marriage, but I also feel like they also need our UA. We try to do date nights with one kid at a time twice a week (so they each go every other week with alternating parents). I don't want to give that up. I also have routines at night with the kids that take up a decent amount of time: scriptures as a family and a read aloud chapter book together. My husband likes to go to bed at 9, which is only 30 minutes after I finish everything up with the kids. And two of them are a little older (11 and 13) so an earlier bedtime would be a little crazy. Having said that, I do absolutely want to spend a lot more alone time than I currently do with my husband. We have date night on Friday most weeks, and we can definitely be more consistent with that. I'm just not sure how to get the 25(!!!!) a week of UA in. That just sounds crazy at this moment.

2. I want to have a great sex life, I do. But right now I am not at all attracted to him and sex sounds like a punishment. I do find him physically attractive but I literally do not like him or really have much respect for him. Do I just power through right now or am I allowed to wait until I actually WANT to again?

3. I feel like mixed faith (in this case faith/no faith) marriages don't get covered much by MB. My faith informs everything I do, how I want to raise my kids, and who I want to be. I just am having trouble wrapping my head around how to make this work.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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Did you buy online course #2 or #3?

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Quote:
The main things I'm wondering if I can get a little feedback from you guys on is 1. UA time 2. Sex and 3. Mixed faith marriage


1. You are going to have to do better at making your M your #1 priority. Sacrificing your M for the sake of the kids doesn't make a good M. And a bad M then effects the kids. This is one where you will need to make some big changes.

2. The attraction and desire will return IF you can get the appropriate UA time in ... and implement the rest of Dr Harley's principles. Are there LBs in your relationship that are causing this lack of intimacy?

3. Mixed faiths can create more conflicts but if you and your H have a true MB marriage then you can work together to find working solutions. This shouldn't be an issue if you develop the habit of brainstorming and negotiating.

How much of the program have you really implemented in your M?


Me: 57 Her: 54
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Originally Posted By: 13yearsdowm

We try to do date nights with one kid at a time twice a week (so they each go every other week with alternating parents). I don't want to give that up. I also have routines at night with the kids that take up a decent amount of time: scriptures as a family and a read aloud chapter book together. My husband likes to go to bed at 9, which is only 30 minutes after I finish everything up with the kids. I just am having trouble wrapping my head around how to make this work.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Advice is simple. You made a vow to God to honour your marriage above all else. You're not. You're putting extra time into your children that is leaching from your marriage. Your non-Christian husband is surely confused by that too.

Here's what we do: kids attend a practicing Christian school all day which includes mass, in bed by 7:30pm, and we spend 7:30pm until 9pm alone (whether in bed or out, if there's a babysitter). Lots of God in a day, but time to honour our vows. Not only that, but we SHOW the children what that covenant looks like in practice.

I can hardly think of an adult complaining their parents were too in love to read scriptures until 9 each night.

Your priorities are clearly not your marriage, what can YOU do to change this?

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Originally Posted By: 13yearsdowm
We try to do date nights with one kid at a time twice a week (so they each go every other week with alternating parents).


Perhaps I am misreading this but if you are trying to do date night with a child in tow, that will absolutely not work.


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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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I thought we were getting everything. But now I'm not sure after your question.

Your Current Order:
NAME PRICE PROPERTIES QTY SUBTOTAL
His Needs, Her Needs 12 Lesson Course AND Love Busters 12 Lesson Course
$397.00 TYPE Course
1 $397.0


Me: 33
Him: 38
M: 14 years
Our boys: 13 and 3
Our girls: 11 and 5
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Originally Posted By: MrAlias
Quote:
The main things I'm wondering if I can get a little feedback from you guys on is 1. UA time 2. Sex and 3. Mixed faith marriage


1. You are going to have to do better at making your M your #1 priority. Sacrificing your M for the sake of the kids doesn't make a good M. And a bad M then effects the kids. This is one where you will need to make some big changes.

2. The attraction and desire will return IF you can get the appropriate UA time in ... and implement the rest of Dr Harley's principles. Are there LBs in your relationship that are causing this lack of intimacy?

3. Mixed faiths can create more conflicts but if you and your H have a true MB marriage then you can work together to find working solutions. This shouldn't be an issue if you develop the habit of brainstorming and negotiating.

How much of the program have you really implemented in your M?


1. I agree with you. I guess I feel like I'm not OVERdoing it with my kids so I'm not sure where to get that amount of time from. I know that we can do better than we are, no question. I don't see where to get 25 hours a week. Dr Harley's estimate for how much time is left in a week (after work and sleep) is 52 hours. Devoting 25 hours to private time would leave 25 hours for absolutely everything else. Time with our kids, time with family as a whole, 'meal prep, eating, cleaning, personal hygiene, errands, paying bills, kids activities (there's only one that they go to in the evenings, the rest are done when H is still at work). Just doing the math, I am not getting it.

2. There are definite LBs galore. From me, mainly AO and some DJ. From him, tons of IA, AH, and some AO.

3. Good to hear.

At this moment, none. We did try it years ago and began implementing but it didn't stick. Bought the course yesterday and plan to work through immediately.


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Originally Posted By: BrainHurts

Did you read this article?

Also, here Anger Management 101


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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You did get the whole course which is online program #2.

Online program #3 comes with accountability and private forum access to Dr. H.

I was just wondering which option you chose.

I agree with the previous posters about putting your marriage first and modeling that covenant relationship. It came before the kids and it's the foundation for your family.

For what it's worth, we do scriptures at dinner. The later it gets in the evening, we have no energy left to put forward our best selves for each other. When you were dating, did you read scriptures together every night? Would that have driven you to marry?

It is great that your husband is home in the evenings now. Obviously you can't override your husband's agency in regards to religion, but the program will teach you how to handle that without distespect and judgment, and create compatibility in the rest of your relationship, back to how you felt when you decided to marry.

For me, Following MB rules IS practicing religious beliefs. If done right, we direct our highest charitable efforts toward our spouse. Our children see a great model of charity, respect, teamwork, functionality plus the passion God designed for the bounds of marriage. It puts things in the right order. What is the point of reading scripture, if we can't put it in practice with our spouse? Strong marriages create strong families. smile

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Originally Posted By: alis


Advice is simple. You made a vow to God to honour your marriage above all else. You're not. You're putting extra time into your children that is leaching from your marriage. Your non-Christian husband is surely confused by that too.

Here's what we do: kids attend a practicing Christian school all day which includes mass, in bed by 7:30pm, and we spend 7:30pm until 9pm alone (whether in bed or out, if there's a babysitter). Lots of God in a day, but time to honour our vows. Not only that, but we SHOW the children what that covenant looks like in practice.

I can hardly think of an adult complaining their parents were too in love to read scriptures until 9 each night.

Your priorities are clearly not your marriage, what can YOU do to change this?


I can't see getting my kids ready for bed and in bed at that time. I understand it works for you but two of my kids are older and a 730 bedtime would be nuts. I even feel like 830 is early for them, but they get some time to read alone after they get in bed so whatever. Also just squeezing everything in that time would be hard: dinner, dinner clean up, showers, bedtime routine, dad spending time with them etc.

To be clear, I am NOT giving my kids even close to 15 hrs a week of UA, nor is it my goal to. I feel like I'm kind of giving them the minimum I can feel good about as it is. The additional time I could dedicate to private time with my husband would have to come from somewhere else: streamlining meal routines, cleaning, wasted time here and there, etc. Sciptures take 15 min a night on average. I feel it's important, and don't feel it takes up that much time. Our read aloud chapter book is maybe 20 min.

Look I'm not trying to be argumentative, I know that you guys feel strongly that people who feel this way are wrong just based on reading other threads but surely you see that basic math and physics come into play.

Let's just say I could do 1.5 hours per night by sending my teen and preteen to bed at 730. That's still only 10.5 hours a week. Add a long date night Friday (4 hours) I'm at 13 hours. Even if I did ANOTHER long date night on Saturday, that's still only 15.5 hours, and I'm supposed to get to 25. Literally how??


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Originally Posted By: living_well
Originally Posted By: 13yearsdowm
We try to do date nights with one kid at a time twice a week (so they each go every other week with alternating parents).


Perhaps I am misreading this but if you are trying to do date night with a child in tow, that will absolutely not work.


No, this is alone time with each child. Generally how we do it is on tuesdays or Wednesdays I take one and and my husband takes one kid and we do something fun. With just them. (Separately, this is one parent- one kid). We alternate so that each kid goes every other week, with alternating parents-- so with mom and 2 weeks later with dada and 2 weeks later with mom, etc) This generally is 1-2 hours, averaging 1.5 I guess. That is literally the only truly 1 on1 time they get, and I think that's painfully low.


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We don't know right or wrong based on 'reading other threads.' Most of the people who post here have LIVED IT. Many of us, like you, thought it was impossible to have that much UA time, and we cut corners. And we paid for it, because our marriages did not get better.

We know from experience the difference between dedicating to the UA time or not. I personally feel more in love with my H in a matter of days when we are getting adequate UA, and vice versa, it is that impactful to the lovebank.

I have 3 kids. I don't read to the every night, and we often go on dates in the evenings. They are smart, well adjusted kids. They are all in advanced classes and have friends. So, we advise you because we know it CAN be done. You need to start looking for the solution instead of the problems.

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Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts

Did you read this article?

Also, here Anger Management 101


Yes, and while I agree with it in theory, I'm having trouble with the number of hours I'm expected to be alone with my husband.


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Originally Posted By: 13yearsdowm
1. We have 4 kids. I 100% agree that they should not take priority over our marriage, but I also feel like they also need our UA. We try to do date nights with one kid at a time twice a week (so they each go every other week with alternating parents). I don't want to give that up. I also have routines at night with the kids that take up a decent amount of time: scriptures as a family and a read aloud chapter book together. My husband likes to go to bed at 9, which is only 30 minutes after I finish everything up with the kids. And two of them are a little older (11 and 13) so an earlier bedtime would be a little crazy. Having said that, I do absolutely want to spend a lot more alone time than I currently do with my husband. We have date night on Friday most weeks, and we can definitely be more consistent with that. I'm just not sure how to get the 25(!!!!) a week of UA in. That just sounds crazy at this moment.

The thing you have to do is schedule your UA time together FIRST, then fit everything else in around it. This is Dr. Harley's recommendation. Markos and I have 8 kids, and this is the only way it will work. If you don't schedule your UA first, other things tend to creep in and take over your time.

Schedule 4, 4 hour dates outside of the house each week. Then schedule 15 hours to spend with your children as a family. Then schedule everything else. The time is there, you just have to schedule it.

Quote:
2. I want to have a great sex life, I do. But right now I am not at all attracted to him and sex sounds like a punishment. I do find him physically attractive but I literally do not like him or really have much respect for him. Do I just power through right now or am I allowed to wait until I actually WANT to again?

Hold off on sex until you feel like it. You don't want to create a sexual aversion. But, if you start getting the UA hours in each week, and there are no lovebusters, you will start to feel like it.

Quote:
3. I feel like mixed faith (in this case faith/no faith) marriages don't get covered much by MB. My faith informs everything I do, how I want to raise my kids, and who I want to be. I just am having trouble wrapping my head around how to make this work.

MB addresses this. When you are following the Policy of Joint Agreement, it doesn't matter if your faiths are different. I know it's hard to wrap your head around right now, but this is solvable. First, agree to never do anything unless your spouse is enthusiastic. Second, start getting your UA in. Once those two things are done, your marriage will be in a better place and you will be able to brainstorm ideas on how to raise your children in a way that makes you both happy. Check out Dr. Harley's book He Wins, She Wins to learn how all this works.


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Dr. Harley says: "You have 168 hours every week (24x7) to schedule for something. I highly recommend 8 hours of sleep a night, so that leaves 112 waking hours. Getting ready for the day, and going to bed at night may require, say, 12 hours, and work plus commute may take another 50 hours. That leaves 50 more hours to spend doing what you value most, and 15 of those hours should be dedicated to maintaining a passionate and fulfilling marriage." The Policy of Undivided Attention

You can certainly get 25 hours out of that 50 hours that is left, and still have 25 hours left over for your kids and other obligations.


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FWIW, it's more important for a child's security, happiness and wellbeing that their parents are happily married than it is for them to spend individual one-on-one time with each parent. We used to do the one-on-one dates with each child, too. They are much happier today now that markos and I are in love than they were then.

The best gift you can give your children is to have a romantic marriage with your husband.


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Originally Posted By: unwritten
We don't know right or wrong based on 'reading other threads.' Most of the people who post here have LIVED IT. Many of us, like you, thought it was impossible to have that much UA time, and we cut corners. And we paid for it, because our marriages did not get better.

We know from experience the difference between dedicating to the UA time or not. I personally feel more in love with my H in a matter of days when we are getting adequate UA, and vice versa, it is that impactful to the lovebank.

I have 3 kids. I don't read to the every night, and we often go on dates in the evenings. They are smart, well adjusted kids. They are all in advanced classes and have friends. So, we advise you because we know it CAN be done. You need to start looking for the solution instead of the problems.


Haha, I meant by MY reading other threads, I can tell that you think people are wrong who have a hard time with this concept. Sorry, I've been typing on my phone which always makes me lazy about how to say things so it's less clear. smile


Me: 33
Him: 38
M: 14 years
Our boys: 13 and 3
Our girls: 11 and 5
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