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My husband liked the audio books better.

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I'm sad to say that there were some good days, and there were some bad days. My husband does not want to do the program or read the books. He is of the opinion that this is just my 'latest thing' and that it has, in fact, damaged our relationship. The MB program and the books are now a LB for him.

He says I don't listen to how he feels and he can't express himself. He is incorrect, because I do want to hear his feelings and point of view, but to sit there and listen to it expressed in a manner that is loaded with LB and blame toward me, I can't do. I have told him this is abusive and I won't do it. He agrees that it is abusive, but can't seem to change it. I have heard what he's said about how he feels I've treated him, and it makes me very sad. He wants me to understand and not be defensive. While this is exactly what's in my heart to do, I haven't been able to do it because of the blame, DJ and AO attached to his expression.

At this point we are both in a state of withdrawal. But at least not talking to each other means no arguing.

I've been investigating my choices, which are few. At this point, I'm sad to say, my plan is to accept that our marriage is basically a business partnership. We will likely live our own independent lives within this framework. It's not the happy, joyful marriage I want, but it's not that bad.

I understand that, should I decide to separate at this juncture or in the future, it will most likely mean divorce.

I THANK everyone who took the time to read my posts and offer thoughtful and heartfelt advise. Unless my husband changes his mind about getting in the program, I don't expect I'll be posting again, as I don't want to waste anyone's time. I really do appreciate all the time and effort you folks have spent on us.

I will continue to listen to the radio show, because it does me good. And I will continue to work on myself to improve at refraining from DJ, SD & AO, because I want to be a better person.

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Fret less, I don't know how old you are, but unless you are on your deathbed there is still life to live. Staying in a miserable relationship will cause mental and physical health issues and you will not have a happy fulfilling life. You would be better off alone than in a marriage where you are being abused through massive lovebusting behavior, with a spouse who has no intention or desire to change that behavior (or incentive since there is clearly no repercussion to it for him, other than your ongoing unhappiness which does not seem to be enough). Please reconsider living this way for the rest of your life.

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Fretless, please keep posting, and please stay in touch with Dr. Harley. We still have advice that can help you when your husband refuses to do the program.


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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Markos, Thank you so much. I am glad to say things appear to be turning around. My husband emerged from withdrawal. He had a lot to express, which was pretty charged. I was still enough in withdrawal to sit and listen without defending or commenting. The venting seemed to do him good. We're back on track and have spent several really good days recouperating and getting lots of backed up jobs done.

My next step is to again welcome him to read the books with me. Wish me luck. He reads before bed, so I also read, one of my Dr. Harley books. He knows I want to do this program, and he did listen while I read aloud chapter 1 of HW,SW. So I'm going slow, but keeping a focus. Wish me luck! :-)

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A week later we are still doing well. Taking it slow and careful. Into chapter 3 of HW,SW. The dueling dictators part, I feel, was a good chapter to read, for both of us. And I think him hearing Dr. Harley's views on 'happy wife, happy life' and 'husband's capitulating' was good. So he understands nobody is out to make a 'yes Dear' husband out of him.

Continuing to get caught up on house and property jobs. Had one fun day out visiting a friend. We've had some minor conflicts, but we both approached the situations with caution, patience, a quiet voice, and loving care.

So far, so good! :-) (What a difference we both feel in body, mind and soul now that the arguing and LB has stopped.)

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Another update: still continuing to do very well! Both of us have been practicing the POJA and getting better at it. Also doing better at communicating, and therefore understanding each other's perspectives.

No more AO at all. DJ are very scarce these days too. Since communicating has been a positive experience lately, we do more of it. Conversation has become a fair dialog now, with each getting a chance to talk, and each listening better and really trying to understand the other.

EN have been front burner and getting met in fun ways. We've both been working really hard, but we're enjoying doing jobs around the place. (Rural homestead living - summer in full swing, and autumn just around the corner makes it a heavy work time). We're making time for breaks in the schedule, to go do something fun. Hiking together to explore our property a little more, or taking a ride down one of the dirt roads we've never been on.

The turnaround is truly amazing. My husband has done an outstanding job of changing the things that were really hurting me. And I've been changing my ways as well; No AO or DJ, being more patient, and trying make him feel that I'm always glad to see him.

I know we still have work to do, and I still listen to the radio show to keep myself from backsliding.

Just wanted to share some good news. :-)

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How much UA time are you getting a week?


FWW/BW (me)
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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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We're getting the minimum of 15 hours, doing fun stuff, but usually spending more hours than that. We're also spending many more hours working together.

Overall, going very well. I'm still noticing areas in myself where I haven't followed the POJA. So when I notice it, I usually describe it to him, and the reframe the event in the way I think I should have handled it. And he will chime in with his perspective on it.

So far, so good.

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In my opinion, if they are 3 years old and people are still arguing, they should not get married. Sometimes people expect that after the wedding will be better, will not

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Originally Posted By: 991
In my opinion, if they are 3 years old and people are still arguing, they should not get married. Sometimes people expect that after the wedding will be better, will not

What on earth are you talking about?


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Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: 991
In my opinion, if they are 3 years old and people are still arguing, they should not get married. Sometimes people expect that after the wedding will be better, will not

What on earth are you talking about?

I'm confused by this comment too.

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Another update. Still doing very well.

I am amazed at the turnaround in our marriage. It has become very easy to get along with my husband. My heart brims over with love for him. Our life together is filled with joy, looking forward to the future, and really enjoying life. :-) What a difference. Not so long ago, I was considering giving up everything we'd worked so hard for because I was desperate to get away from him and all the fighting.

I know this is a DJ, but I want to illustrate some of the changes my husband has made. He used to be very OCD about everything. He would just about follow me around offering me advice on how he does things, with the implication that it would be good if I did it those things the same way. He has stopped doing this.

I've noticed that on the occasions that he does offer some commentary about a job I'm doing, that I don't get upset and defensive like I used to. Stepping back and analyzing it, I see a difference in how he is offering his input. He used to watch me, interrupt me, and 'lecture' me about the subject and the preferred methods. With the result being that I would lose enthusiasm for the project, feel micromanaged and scrutinized, and lose love for him.

I have noticed that what he does now, instead of say, offering me a tool and going into a long explanation about why I should want it and how I should use it...now he'll just bring a tool, set it down off to the side, and with a smile on his face say 'I put that such-and-such there in case you need it', and he'll walk away and go back to what he was doing. Often I do use the tool he offered, and find it helpful. Sometimes I don't, because whatever I was doing was working for me. And this doesn't seem to bother him! So his presentation and interaction has really changed.

Not long ago, he was on the phone with a friend of ours. He was talking about differences between partners. He described how I do things very different from how he does them. He said that it used to really bother him because he tends to do one job, start to finish, and then clean up before moving on to another job. I, on the other hand, am always multitasking. I have several jobs going on at the same time. I heard him say something like '...it used to drive nuts. But I realized that if I just let her go, the thing that is bugging me WILL get taken care of. I might prefer it get taken care of RIGHT NOW, but if I leave her alone, and let her work the way she works best, it WILL get taken care of.' It was really good to hear that!

His leaving me to do my work, at my speed, and in my own way has made a huge difference in how much I can get done! It has also made it easier for me to see my shortcomings. I never realized it before, but now I'm aware that I leave things all over the place! I make quite a mess! In the past, I think he used to pick up after me while I was working. It was confusing for me because I would lose things! (I know I left those pliers right there, where did they go?) So now, I'm more likely to be more orderly about my work, and if something is in his way, he'll either move it and tell me he's moving it, or he'll ask if that particular thing needs to be right there. We address it and go on without it becoming a long discussion or an argument.

One of our past arguments was that he would blame me for his lack of productivity. He claimed he was always sidetracked doing things for me. I pointed out to him that most of these sidetracks were not requested by me, and in fact were an interference to me. I suggested that if he focused on his work and left me to mine, perhaps he would get more accomplished.

His positive changes have also made it more likely that I'll ask for his help. In the past, I would do everything possible (short of risking injury) to do a thing myself and avoid asking for his help. Because he was usually already way more involved in my work than I preferred already. He says he likes helping me, and it makes him feel good to be of assistance. So these days, because his demeanor has changed, I'm more likely to request assistance, knowing that the interaction won't result in a fight, will make us both feel good, and will facilitate getting things done.

I still have to work at consciously redirecting my patterns and thoughts with regard to independent behavior and the POJA. I make a point now of sharing my thoughts on an idea and getting his input before just jumping into action (as I would have done in the past). This means no surprises for him, and a lot less work for me.

So that was a much longer post than I intended! I've had this rolling around in the back of my head, and wanted to share it because it may help someone else.

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Hi Fret, I never replied to you but have been reading a lot. It's so nice to see a couple working together for a common goal and to learn that it is working!

Thanks for posting all the helpful tips! I am actually reading them as tips for me to handle my teenage son laugh I tend to be OCD as well, and although my intention is good, often times I catch myself trying to lure him into doing things I want him to do the way I want him to do.

Lately I stopped doing that as well. I still guide him and give him 'lectures' at times, but the frequency has dropped significantly, and it seems to be bringing out some positive results.

So happy your marriage has turned around and is going strong! hurray

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A lot has happened since I last posted. We did well for a while, and then things slowly got crazier and crazier. I had done a lot of work on my angry outbursts, and I improved a lot. (I used a heart rate monitor to work on relaxing myself, and I was surprised how easy it was to do, once I got the hang of it). My husband's angry outbursts got worse, and the lecturing got worse. After a while of listening to this, I would either have my own angry outburst, or go to leave to avoid having one. If I would attempt to leave, my husband would get even angrier, but also would be pleading with me to stay. He became perpetually angry with me and would say things that hurt my feelings a lot. If we talked about this, he would get angry that I was splitting hairs on words and accuse me of constantly criticizing him. He would tell me that two different statements meant the same thing, when they clearly did not.

Things took a chilling turn one evening. We had had another argument, and made peace, and he had made the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich for me that I had ever tasted! I said as much, and he replied "good isn't it? You can't even taste the arsenic, can you?" with a devilish smirk on his face. I was sure he was joking, but the look on his face sent a chill up my spine. Later that night I asked him "so how long before the arsenic kicks in?". He flatly replied, without even looking at me "I don't know what you're talking about". ! At that point, I started documenting all arguments and interactions. I marked my calendar, and sent emails to myself documenting any disagreement we had. I did not believe he would really harm me, but I wanted some record in case I was wrong.

Because it was evident that he was very depressed, paranoid, defensive and fearful, I couldn't bring myself to leave him. It was strange because it was an intolerable situation, and yet I knew he was in trouble and I couldn't abandon him. He wouldn't seek help, or accept help, and blamed everything on me. I told him we needed to separate, but I had no real plan on how to do it. Because of his state, I eventually got a tent, that I intended to pitch in the backyard so that I could separate, but still be there. Of course, this wasn't a good plan, but it turned out I didn't need to pitch the tent.

He ended up having two incidents that seemed like heart attacks. We got him to a clinic, and after an xray, they determined he had mild COPD. But the nurse practitioner noted that some of his symptoms could not be from COPD. He had a numb cheek and a numb thumb that would come and go. I tried to get him to go to the ER, because I was worried about stroke. He would not go because we do not have health insurance, and he hoped it was a pinched nerve and would sort itself out. The nurse practitioner said it looked more neurological to her, but without imaging she could not determine what the problem was.

My husband continued on about a week more, and during that week he lost most of the ability in his right hand and arm. Toward the end of the week, he went to speak with me on two occasions, and what came out was not words! Still, he refused to go to the ER. He was annoyed and agitated at his loss of ability. Finally, on the Sunday night at the end of the week, he seemed to calm down. He was sweet and agreed to go seek help the following day.

So the next day (Monday) we drove to an ER and they gave him a CT scan. To our shock, it was not a stroke, but a brain tumor! He was given a battery of tests throughout the week, and given IV steroids to bring down brain swelling. His demeanor completely changed when the swelling was quelled! I got my husband back! On that Friday he had brain surgery and they removed a 3 cm x 3 cm tumor that was sitting on his left frontal and parietal lobes. After the surgery, my husband was his old self again, regained his speech and the use of his right hand and arm.

I did hear him tell a doctor that he had been having trouble with words for a long time; he couldn't find the right words. He had developed an annoying habit of telling me the same stories over and over again. The day after his surgery, he told me six stories in a row that I had never heard. The pressure on his brain had disabled almost half of his left hemisphere. After the tumor was out, and the pressure was relieved, he suddenly felt as if doors had been opened to rooms of memories that had been locked away for a long time. It was as if life had become increasingly cloudy and dark, and it happened so slowly that the dark became his norm. And now, it was a sunny day and everything in the world was beautiful!

Since that day in the ER, we have had no trouble between us. No arguments, and nothing but love and care between us. Unfortunately, the tumor they removed was a glioblastoma, which is a nasty one. His attitude is good, and we are taking the treatment course, to be followed by him being fitted for an Optune cap, which has made a huge difference in the outcome of GBM diagnosis in the last year or two.

In retrospect, I should have seen that something was wrong, but I attributed it to depression. I think if we had lived near family and friends, others would have seen the change in him and he might have gotten treatment sooner. I doubt it would have made much difference in the outcome, however.

Regardless, today I have my husband back, and I treasure every moment.

So, I wanted to post this update to let you know what happened, and also in case any other folks out there dealing with behavior that might actually be a medical problem.

And I appreciate any and all prayers that my husband's treatment is successful and his good health is restored.

Last edited by fretless; 08/25/18 10:13 PM.
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My brother was found to have that same type of brain cancer this year. It was very advanced by the time they discovered it and because this is the UK (socialised medicine), they refused to treat. It caused depression, mood swings and then loss of fine motor skills. He also became a hoarder.

Yes, treasure every moment. I'm so sorry to hear your DH is ill.


3 adult children
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I'm very sorry to hear of your husband's diagnosis. Prayers that his treatment goes well.

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Thank you so much JenDee.

living_well, I am so sorry your brother did not receive treatment! In the US, there are states that have refused to take part in President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act. Unfortunately, we live in one of those states. The most basic insurance costs 1 1/2 times our income, so we are uninsured. We have been blessed that a hospital 100 miles away has a brain tumor center and also has a mission statement that says they will treat all, without regard to their ability to pay. It is only through many Christians who truly walk the talk that my husband is receiving treatment. I am sure we'll have medical bills the rest of our lives, but I'm so thankful they are treating my husband. There is no 'thing' I want more than him.

Are there any Christian hospitals outside your healthcare system where you can seek help?

One new development in the treatment of glioblastoma is the Optune. An electro-magnetic device that inhibits the brain cancer cells' ability to multiply. Our doctors are very enthusiastic about this new device, as it has increased the survival rate for glioblastoma patients.

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living_well, I am so sorry your brother did not receive treatment! In the US, there are states that have refused to take part in President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act. Unfortunately, we live in one of those states. The most basic insurance costs 1 1/2 times our income, so we are uninsured. We have been blessed that a hospital 100 miles away has a brain tumor center and also has a mission statement that says they will treat all, without regard to their ability to pay. It is only through many Christians who truly walk the talk that my husband is receiving treatment. I am sure we'll have medical bills the rest of our lives, but I'm so thankful they are treating my husband. There is no 'thing' I want more than him.

Are there any Christian hospitals outside your healthcare system where you can seek help?

One new development in the treatment of glioblastoma is the Optune. An electro-magnetic device that inhibits the brain cancer cells' ability to multiply. Our doctors are very enthusiastic about this new device, as it has increased the survival rate for glioblastoma patients.


Thank you fretless. My brother died about four weeks ago. It was a gentle and very easy death. His condition was terminal as the tumour was large. Everyone got a chance to visit him and say goodbye. US doctors are trained to keep treating no matter what the prognosis. Very different medical philosophy from the UK. You might want to get some statistics of possible outcomes from the doctors before bankrupting yourselves.


3 adult children
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So sorry for your loss living_well. hug


FWW/BW (me)
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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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