Marriage Builders®
Let me start off by saying I spend most of my time on the SAA boards. I have read most everything Dr. Harley has written. I also practice what Jesus teaches by forgiving people (my spouse) for their failures first instead of getting angry or yelling.

Any comments or criticisms are welcome because I can't figure out what to do anymore. I'm sick of apologizing. I'm tired of the emotional storms, anger and bitterness. I'm sick of being lonely and blamed. Could I just have one day without conflict? There never seems to be any peace. We bounce from one emotional crisis to another without end. I can see my marriage dying and I don�t care anymore. What little time we do have together is generally ruined by her being constantly upset or offended at stuff like:

1) Last month BIL and a cousin's business partnership erupted into a family feud which my wife became emotionally distraught over (her- �they are calling my brother a LIAR�). Wife had to get involved and my critique of her draft letter wasn't received well. I said it was too wordy and would be inflammatory. But it wasn't what I said it was �the way I said it� that made her upset. I apologize.

2) Approx 3 weeks ago 18 yr old son tells us his 19 yr old GF of 2 years is pregnant. They are both still living at respective homes. On top of it they waited so long to tell anyone the baby will be here 4/15/10. We asked in Dec. but they denied. This sent my wife into a tailspin for 4 days while she copes and of course is generally depressed and gets new Rx for anxiety which turns her into a zombie.

3) Wife goes out and buys new iPhone without POJA. I call her on it, she gets mad at me for not being happy for her. Finally after some carefully chosen words (no yelling) from me she sees the light and understands why I was upset (independent behavior) and offers apology.

4) 3/20/10 Wife goes away for weekend with 15 yr old daughter to the LAST cheerleading competition. She has been cheering for 8 years and it has become so unenjoyable for daughter and wife that I finally have wife�s support to not re-enroll daughter. Nevermind the $3000+ annual costs. I arrive at last event in a nick of time which upsets wife. In fact we didn�t have a set plan- just that I would be there for the show. Upon seeing wife, its obvious she is upset. She tells me so and tells me how �emotional� she is about this being the last competition and implying I wasn�t there to support her.

5) Wife returns home Sunday evening 3/21/10 and gets upset with me because I failed over the weekend to remove the box spring on our front porch. She brought this up two times while out of town expressing her �need� to not have a �Sanfor d & Sons� house. My defense: my tools were on loan to BIL so I had nothing to disassemble it with. After retrieving tools on Monday I take care of boxspring on Tuesday. This ruins the precious 2 hours that we could have spent together on Sunday evening.

6) Monday: wife has another �emotional� scared day because pregnant girlfriend did not feel the baby move for 4 hours which turns into a non-event. We usually talk daily while working but I was busy at work and didn�t call her this day. When I get home she looks miserable and defeated.

7) Yesterday: Wife expressing foul mood and frustrated that she can�t DVR American Idol because AT&T hardware is malfunctioning. Asks me why I didn�t fix it yet. God I hate that show.

8) This morning I ask if she can drive our 8 yr old to school. She declines and says too busy and has one appt at 8am. I ask half sarcastically how one appt is a busy day? Whoops. She is offended. Morning ruined so badly we don�t kiss goodbye. At this point I really don�t want to apologize because I know she thinks this is all my fault and I know I won�t be getting any kind words from her. I was all at once misunderstanding her answer, inquiring and being jokingly sarcastic. Kind of like Hey can we ever have a light and feel good playful day? Can I ever crack a joke without offending her? Guess not.

I called her at 3pm "Honey I'm sorry if I came across rudely this morning. I didn't understand what you meant when you said you were swamped but only had one appt."
Her: �Why couldn�t you have said that this morning when I got upset about it?�

The conversation devolves into silence. She asks what we should do? I reply, �The best thing we could do is for me to apologize for being rude (which I just did) and you to apologize for being so offended like �I�m sorry too for being so offended or overreacting or getting angry because I know you weren�t trying to be mean.� That�s all. But nope. She replies �I am NOT going to apologize for being offended. You were the one being rude �blah blah blah.� It�s obvious we are getting nowhere so we agree to table it for after work. No ownership from her. Just her demands on me to take 100% responsibility.

On top of all that I also have had 2 women crying in my office in the last 4 days adding to and overwhelming my emotional capacity. I think of myself as a fairly enlightened male and I understand the inner workings of female�s emotional worlds thanks to lots of reading, Dr. Harley, Mber forums, and For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women, Jeff Feldhahn but I have had enough.

I think about it from my view: for instance when I get home from work and I know my wife has been busy working and dinner is not even a thought yet, do I berate her for it? No. I offer to cook, or eat out or pick something up or � Not subject her to condemnation or anger.

Ladies, No offense intended but do you ever step out of your emotions, get a little perspective and say to yourself maybe �I should give my spouse a break for a day or a week?� I just can�t do this anymore. We never have fun anymore, just arguments and who said what and blame and me apologizing and her being unhappy. I don�t even like going home because every interaction is so draining. Help.
Question:


Would you & your wife be willing to use a Marriage Coach?
Also, can I be honest and say....

1) I am seeing quite a bit of DJ from you towards her (and females in general.)

2) Be thankful that she's sharing her concerns with you - even though they appear to be disjointed & highly emotional "complaints". At least she isn't in Withdrawl. That's much harder to deal with.



Quote
Ladies, No offense intended but do you ever step out of your emotions, get a little perspective and say to yourself maybe �I should give my spouse a break for a day or a week?�

I do it now and then. I should probably do it more.

I hate American Idol too smile

Your life is filled with melodrama, most of which is not of your own making. I wish I had words of wisdom, but I don't.
Posted By: CWMI Re: Rock and a hard place. How do I MBer this? - 03/24/10 11:02 PM
Did she ask for a critique of her letter?

Why don't you take care of stuff around the house? Go back and read what you've written...you're basically complaining that your wife isn't happy when you fail to do things. Um, there's a quick fix solution...do them! Or at least be honest that you will not.

Here's your problem, in a nutshell:

Quote
I think about it from my view
Bam!
Let's see - I can see her point about the bed on the porch, especially if she asked twice - hard to believe you couldn't find a couple of tools SOMEWHERE.

I would be very upset about the pregnancy too. That would put me in a bad mood for awhile.

Just in the nick of time for the cheerleading would make me PO'd.

Is the DVR fixed yet?

She apologized for getting the phone.

An appointment at 8:00AM makes one too busy to drive to school.

You DO sound like a good husband and father.

How is the SF going?

What would she do if you gave her the list and told her you are feeling like nothing you do is right and could she let up 3 days a week?
It sounds like they are in the Conflict state & the time is ripe for some Coaching sessions smile
Let me add to the continuing saga because in a post above people said it sounds like a state of conflict but they did not read closely enough. I am in a state of withdrawal. I feel like moving out.

It�s all too obvious that my main complaint is we do not spend enough UA time together. Dr. Harley wouldn't even want to coach us at this point because she won't say no to enough other things to make our marriage the priority it needs to be.

This week I asked her to write me one thing expressing her love to me. Nothing. But I know she had lots of time for extensive emails between her parents and aunt to mediate their never ending dispute that I pointed out has been going on since last year.

She works full time so the money is nice but Tuesday I asked her to make dinner. She didn�t. Too busy with work she said. So I wonder why is this NOT the same as her request to me to dispose of the boxspring? She asked for domestic support. When I forgot she let me know pointedly how upset she was which ruined the only 2 hours we had together over the entire weekend. When I tried to point out that I wasn�t going to let this ruin our evening together she hung up the phone on me. She didn�t get around to my request for domestic support (cooking) and if I would have gotten upset about that OMG look out. But my error, according to her views, wasn�t the same and she could not believe that I was trying to compare the two events. So once again I say sorry, sorry for forgetting to remove boxspring, sorry for comparing dinner to boxspring.

After the iPhone incident I could see what was coming next. No more talking to wife because she is too busy facebooking on her iPhone. I tried to tell her that her life cannot always be additive. We cannot have it all. Both full time jobs, a perfect lawn, a pool & hottub, watching all her tv shows Bones, American Idol, etc. be great parents to our 3 children and now a grandchild, go to the gym 3 x�s per week, and church, care for 2 dogs (one diabetic) & a cat, a non stop social life that she never says no to when her mostly single friends want to go to the club. Oh but she will text me from the bar at midnight about how much she loves me. crumbs. Another Chicago trip this time for her cousin�s son�s 1 year birthday party which took up 36 hours of a weekend. Is it obvious yet that her immediate & extended family have always been more important than our marriage and me?

In 2007 I used MBers as a tool to survive her adultery. It worked for me but she never bought into 15 hours of UA. Even after reading HNHN she continuously makes excuses that we have too much going on in our lives to find 15 hours together. So here I sit growing more distant every day. I�m trying hard to understand how a person justifies divorce. When is enough enough? I can see the patterns will never stop and I long for a spouse that will start with forgiveness and end with UA for our mutual needs. Someone who has tenderness as her MO.

Last night we tried to take a walk together. Upon leaving, our elderly dog exited the house with us but my plan was to leave him on the porch because he can�t keep up. Of course that plan wasn�t good enough for her so in an exasperated tone I said �Could we just do it my way once? I know the dog enjoys sitting on the porch.� Of course that ruined the rest of the night for us because she was upset over what she perceived as me trying to �win.�

This morning I tried to tell her about how lonely and sad I am. Her response was nothing but a sharp tongue, anger and refusing to take any ownership. I said �Honey, your adultery in 2007 broke my heart into thousands of pieces and right now I feel its being held together by bandaids.� She tells me I need to see a counselor to get over her adultery because she will not let me keep throwing it in her face since it has now been 2.5 years. I said �Honey I know this seems silly but I am jealous of the dog who gets your love and hugs every morning and night.� Her response was �Well the dog doesn�t give me a choice she just jumps into my arms.� Then I think about how I asked for SF the night before and was turned down because she was too tired. We all know I could never just not give her the choice.
Originally Posted by bigpicture
...we do not spend enough UA time together...she won't say no to enough other things to make our marriage the priority it needs to be...I know she had lots of time for extensive emails...She works full time...Too busy with work...I wasn�t going to let this ruin our evening together she hung up the phone on me...After the iPhone incident I could see what was coming next. No more talking to wife because she is too busy facebooking on her iPhone...a non stop social life that she never says no to when her mostly single friends want to go to the club. Oh but she will text me from the bar at midnight about how much she loves me...Another Chicago trip this time for her cousin�s son�s 1 year birthday party...In 2007 I used MBers as a tool to survive her adultery...So here I sit growing more distant every day. I�m trying hard to understand how a person justifies divorce...She tells me I need to see a counselor to get over her adultery because she will not let me keep throwing it in her face since it has now been 2.5 years...


Note 1:

Are you sure the adultery ever ended? Does she still work with the OM?

This doesn't sound like the lifestyle of a married woman. It sounds like the lifestyle of a cheater trying to wean herself off her husband and onto a new man while justifying it as an "exit affair".

The two of you will never be in love without 20+ hours of UA time per week. More like 30 at this point.

You sound as if you're still willing... but she's not. I cannot recommend in stronger terms that the two of you contact Jennifer Harley Chalmers for some coaching sessions. Or do a MarriageBuilders weekend. Obviously she's still the reluctant spouse... and the fact you're posting here says you're the willing spouse, but you're on the edge of being "done"...

Note 2:

You guys are Love-Busting each other into oblivion. I can understand based on what you've written why she doesn't want to spend 15 hours with you. You are both making that time extremely unpleasant for one another.

Do you have enough left in the tank to give a go one more time of an effective Plan A? Do you have enough energy left to verify that she's maintaining no contact with the other man, and hasn't started up a new affair? Or are you just done?
Basic questions: is she con'ting an affair? I have no concerns about that. It is over. She became a great liar but she was always honest outside that time frame. I have all access and have snooped.

ok how about another example. Friday we acted as if nothing really happened. We had pleasantries while passing by each other running separate errands, deliver kids, etc. One note of coincidence- Friday night had dinner & movie with 3 male friends. First one divorced 10 yrs ago, remarried and recently complained that his wife gets angry over "everything". Meanwhile his ex is badmouthing him on Facebook- still! After 10 years. 2nd one basically just finished his divorce, 3rd one is just starting it. No kidding. My wife commented that must mean the odds are with us to stay together- good sign.

Sat. went off well. Very well. I'll leave it at that.

Then today- SUnday, Easter Sunday. Arrived at church on time- quite a feat with this entourage. Wife in good spirits. Children suprisingly compliant and teenagers not frowning. Service was soso. Leaving church I tune in some incredible jazz and take the back roads to her mothers (more direct but slower) vs. the highway and BAM, she LB's with an AO about how hungry she is, "didn't I think! about which route to take" and blah blah blah irritated, bit-c-h-ing, moaning about the Sunday driver in front of us...I felt like screaming ITS SUNDAY EASTER SUNDAY FOR CHRISTS SAKE AND WE JUST CAME FROM CHURCH. All puns intended and the fact that the irony was lost on her just kills me.

I sat there sorta stunned like OMG how could you be upset when no matter which way we take it will be at most 10 minutes. I didn't say much just sorta shrugged and said IDK. I mean really do we have to POJA the route we take to f'n Grandmas house????? This is sorta what I meant last post about me letting the dog out and her insisting on her approach. She has to control basically every turn we take even when we have been there 3000 times before.

Upon arrival at G's house she approached me and said something about she knows it really wasn't necessary to flip out about that so ..... "lets not let it ruin our day". RIght. Not a I'm sorry honey please forgive me.. Nope. I just hope you can deal with it , basically code for don't embarrass me in front of my family. I went to the bathroom and cried.

I will try to talk to her tomorrow but only if her mood is ok or better. I'll let ya all know how it goes.
She sounds very immature and abusive and you sound like an enabler and a doormat. How will you ever get a better marriage if you let her go out with friends night after night spending more quality time with them than with you? For all you know, she is getting male attention when she barhops. Does she go out dancing with other guys?

Her moods are destructive and she sounds like she loves loves loves DRAMA.

But then, you love DRAMA too, since you can stand to be married to MRS DRAMA here.

She could care less who her moods hurt. Has she always been this selfish?
Originally Posted by Bubbles4U
She sounds very immature and abusive and you sound like an enabler and a doormat. How will you ever get a better marriage if you let her go out with friends night after night spending more quality time with them than with you? For all you know, she is getting male attention when she barhops. Does she go out dancing with other guys?

Her moods are destructive and she sounds like she loves loves loves DRAMA.

But then, you love DRAMA too, since you can stand to be married to MRS DRAMA here.

She could care less who her moods hurt. Has she always been this selfish?

B4U,
Thanks for your reply. Her nights out used to be very much for guys attention but that has changed and it really is for a 'girls' night nowadays.

But the reason I don't put up a fight about her ignoring our lack of quality time is because its a welcome respite for me from her anger and constant state of being irritated by e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. (see [url=http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2302743#Post2302743][/url]

Even just last night I was on the receiving end of more negative attitude which is just shocking since yesterday was the BIRTHDATE of our 1st grandchild. We waited all day at the hospital and the perfect ending of an absolutely beautiful granddaughter was tarnished because she was upset that I wasn't home when she got home. period. ITs like she just refuses to be happy, ever.
BP,

Congratulations, Grandpa!!!!

I see a mutual POV in your posts...

both you and your w choose the belief that one word, one action, one incident can ruin a whole day...week...month...

and I think it's this belief that you choose that will ruin your marriage.

Please choose differently.

You KNOW you can apologize and repair. You can let go once an apology is accepted and understood.

I think you keep this "ruin the whole day, weekend" thing as retaliation for her not apologizing...as you said, not owning what she does.

Well, you certainly don't require she does. In the car, when she AO'd, you can pull over and tell her, in front of the kids, "Angry outbursts hurt. I know you know this. When you apologize, I'll get back on the road, and we can have a great Easter together."

Calm, respectful, firm. It's what you require to continue.

You have a false payoff on "letting" her win, control everything, get her way...it feeds your addiction to resentment and to being controlled. Stop that...I know you did that in battling her A...do it now...because you're still fighting for your marriage.

And you're not fighting HER for it...

you're fighting yourself.

You don't say "Ouch" when she wounds...you expect to lose, cave, give in...when it's your own choice, your power...and internally, you talk yourself around it.

So choose differently. On the beginning of the walk, when you offer you don't want elder dog with you guys and she does, go back in the house after saying, "I look forward to walking with you when we come up with a way together we are happy with."

Do not ask for apologies from her. Make sure you're really owning your choices...because you may have been feeling stabbed in your love bank, in your heart, and half the time, you hold the knife and are looking at her.

Affirm and validate what she says as hers...She saw your lovely, needed radical honesty as you manipulating her, throwing her A "up in her face" again. Validate that for her. That HER POV is that...and yours was that you are holding yourself to acting from honesty...that you feel your love for her, your love bank, being held together by bandaids. That you are considering divorce, trying to find out when to say when, and keeping a score sheet of all your pain from her to help you let go of her emotionally.

Keep speaking honestly...tell her, "I know our marriage will eventually break apart without us playing together 20 hours a week. I know that for my half, I keep talking myself out of really doing it so that I can feel safe away from you. So I know I'm damaging our marriage, too."

Why do you punish yourself with "tarnishing" what only you can tarnish? Listen and repeat for your wife as an act of respect to yourself and the marriage. She was upset. Listen and hand back. Doesn't tarnish the day, the year, the marriage...respects your wife as a complete, separate human being.

As long as you believe she can ruin your expectations of what you want to feel in a day...she can keep proving you the victim.

Not what you want, BP. You're better, bigger, more powerful than that. She feels...and feelings pass. You feel and your feelings pass...and when you stop adding to her previous betrayal with your own...for NOT predetermining your own actions, progressive ones, holding yourself to stay radically, respectfully honest...then you're going to help her drain your love bank.

Remove yourself when she's verbally abusive. Period. You say, "That's abusive" and come back in 10 minutes. Each time you don't remove yourself, you're holding the knife, 'k?

I want you to stop your bleeding. Doesn't mean you'll save your marriage--doesn't mean she'll change--I guarantee your feelings will change when you really change your actions.

And your beliefs. And where your thoughts dwell.

You'll have to do this, anyway, if you guys do divorce. Unless you want to live in this blame game for all your life...and you will live in it, with anyone, everyone, until you stop participating in it.

There's new life in your life, BP. Birth and rebirth are possible...baby grandgirls rock!

LA
LA,
Great to hear from you again. Back in 2007 I recall a similar post from you about owning my stuff and radical honesty, etc. but let me say... Your posts are kind of a cryptic encoded message. I feel like I can only get a small glimpse into the meaning and that I have to re read it many times to find the solutions you are obviously presenting for me to learn. Its like I finally found the holy grail but I can't read Greek. Argh frustrating. But to quote George Castanza "Its not you, its me". I will keep digesting your message.

My very first impression is the moment 'in the car' when you suggest I pull over and address the problem immediately like when adults threaten to pull over to the kids in the back seat who are fighting.. I see this as going very badly. She would just come back with "I can't believe how disrespectful you treated me by stopping the car." Note- she is already super hyper sensitive to appearances. So any "appearence" in front of the kids that I wasn't treating her with the utmost respect would just bring more anger from her.... not sure where to go next. stuck.
And again LA, I really value your responses because I was thinking of visiting my marriage counselor but I feel its mostly just a vent session for me to feel "right" and validated by the counselor for $100. From one novice marriage builder to a MBer Oracle like LA I feel like only you can really provide insight that can move us off stuck. So thank you.
Posted By: Telly Re: Rock and a hard place. How do I MBer this? - 04/09/10 06:55 PM
Pssst! Hey bigpicture: I have a tip for you...

If you read LA's posts OUT LOUD to yourself, they are much easier to absorb. I don't know who this works, but it does... at least for me.

:-)
Thanks Telly, I will try that in the car ALONE.
Couple of thoughts:

Have you read up on boundaries? You don't need to take her abusive behavior. You need to figure out what your boundaries are and enforce them. There's a good thread around here, I'll see if I can find it.

Also, YOU are responsible for your happiness, not her. She can't ruin your day unless you LET her. You are giving her too much power over you. The only thing she should be allowed to affect is your love for her - and she seems to be doing a good enough job trampling that. Don't let her drag you down. If you need to, disengage. If she complains she's being disrespected say "I'm sorry but I will not allow myself to be treated this way." And hold firm.

Finally, I can see why she doesn't want to do UA time with you. It is unpleasant. Look at the walk with the dog story - you DID want it YOUR way - at the expense of how she wanted it. That's not POJA. Why would she want to take a walk with you if it's going to turn into a situation like that? You need to make UA time pleasant, and part of that is removing your expectations. Someone around here had a quote "Expectations are premeditated resentments." You're setting yourself up for resenting her.

What I see you saying is "Why can't she do it my way? I want a good time with her and THIS is how I want if. If she just did this everything would be great." That doesn't take into account what is great for her.

Do everything you can to make the little time you have together pleasant - and then she'll want more! Why should she want to make time for something unpleasant? Of course she isn't going to want to do it.
Thank you and Telly for doing a lot of work to understand my posts. You're not alone...I've heard that many times.

I don't do it on purpose. I try my best, go for clarity. I know I'm a lot of work.

I think, though, when something does resonate with you, then you will really know it was already in you. Not taking on what I'm saying as the truth--discovering it's already in you isn't easy. Just simple. Eventually.

You hit on something very close to my heart right now, BP. You considered my advice on allowing yourself to pull over the car and address the AO right then. Then you guessed what the outcome would be and to me, sounds like you would choose to not take the action based on the outcome.

As if you control your wife's reactions, her emotions and her reacting to her emotions. That's hers. Your life experience is based on YOUR choices...which if you make them based on the possible outcome, no longer are yours...that puts her directly in control of you, doesn't it?

Only, she didn't reach in to control you...as you've described many times her thwarting your desires...rather, that's you handing her what is really your power, your choices.

When you develop a code of conduct for yourself, from what you truly believe in, then act from your code, she can't control anything. And none of us controls the outcome...not in our power. We only control our part, our choices as to what actions we take.

Opening your mind (which is now habituated to conflict, contrariness and expected abuse) to other actions you can take, predetermining them...is the way you begin to habituate your mind to new choices by taking them.

When you pull over and address, in a loving, honest voice, you teach your children by example how to really love...not just love easy...love smooth. Not to conflict avoid, or to martyr, or to control someone else by smoothing over conflict. You teach them how to connect through conflict.

And if she does escalate in reaction, then you can turn the car around and go home. You can say, "I understand you're really hungry. I don't know if you intended to be disrespectful and hurtful. I do know that it's really important we honor one another. I know I've harmed our marriage a lot by not requiring you to acknowledge and apologize your acts of disrespect."

Anyone can help you move off stuck by sharing their strength and dedication to not reacting to possible outcomes. No oracle, no healer...that's all inside you. And maybe it's your inner oracle who's been in the business of predicting outcomes for you to make your choices from that you don't want to hear from anymore.

How many times have you not spoken honestly because an inner voice has said, "Wasted effort. Won't work. Won't change anything, anyway"?

Btw, the difference between threatening kids to pull over and pulling over is a big difference. You can't go back and do it...this is you predetermining for next time. Tell your wife your plans to do so if what happened on Sunday were to happen again. No threat...information to what you're committing yourself to doing for the marriage. Because it's number one to you, top priority.

And you can choose to keep that commitment because it keeps your vow to honor The Marriage...even when you don't feel right then like honoring your wife.

Respect is demonstrating you know your wife chooses her actions...her words...her responses...even when she feels otherwise...respect is honoring her own power, her equality to you, and holding true to your own code. Frees you from the blame game and can unleash a lot of loving feelings for your wife.

She's not your enemy. Her emotions are not your enemy. You are not your enemy. Your emotions are not your enemy.

Let her know when you don't feel heard, when you feel refuted when you share. Know you cannot be refuted and that you're responsible for hearing yourself, too. Just as much.

You have been a hero in your marriage...and it may be time for your wife to become the hero for awhile. Ask her for it. Tell her that you know you are strong and that you feel very weak and torn down right now. Reiterate what you said before about the affair and how you feel right now. Ask her plainly for her help in saving your marriage today.

Do not do so if you are foreseeing an outcome (which is a lie we tell ourselves). Do not do so if your intent is to get her to hurt enough to stop hurting you. Do not do so if you really don't want this marriage anymore, if you had a hidden expiration date on really recovering from her A and you're past it.

But please do so if you want to live to your code, experience freedom and understanding and to finally stop this cycle so you can meet her ENs from love, and eliminate your own LBs because that's now who you really are, anyway...

Then you can act from love, respect and intimacy, and experience that for yourself.

I bet a lot of what I'm saying now I said to you before...and I believe that in the last three years, there have been periods when you didn't feel controlled by her, continuously shot down and rejected by her...and during those times, you were not choosing your actions based on her at all.

Old habits are really difficult to break. You've just hit a new level, BP. Take the challenge. You're up to it, I promise.

LA
Given the phone conversation with her that I just had (where she hung up on me just after screaming in frustration) about how upset she is with �the way that you acted� yesterday during the hours of waiting-for-baby-time.. that we need help fast because this is a defining moment in our marriage where right now she feels I ruined what should have been a great day. And to quote her �� how many times I�m going to let you ruin another event before I say Fxxx IT!�

She says it should have been obvious to me that I should have gone back to the room to see son to show him I care before the birth. I know this is a DJ from her. What I was doing was being respectful of birth mother�s privacy during vulnerable time. Did she aske me anything like that? Nope. Honestly her head was mostly buried in new iPhone facebooking all her family and friends nonstop. Son could have come out during the 6 hours to say something too. He didn�t. So in her eyes I must not love him because I didn�t realize it and didn�t do it.

Let me add that the waiting time was hellish. Eight year old was obnoxious to nth degree. We tolerated. Waiting room was packed not allowing for closeness or conversations. I sat between a dominant personality who usurped conversations mostly and another man. She mostly sat in a one person chair. The Tiger Woods thing on the tv was distracting me. She admitted to feeling ill all day with stomach ache. I took a nap for awhile. I was never rude, I was available and receptive, we talked a little when she wasn't buried in iPhone or pressing her ear to the door telling everyone to be quiet so she could hear the birth... But somehow all these things, outside forces, external situations and environments get blamed on me for not "sharing" the time with her.

So after the noon phone conversation where she lets me know how important it is that I am there for the birth, and so I sense this and go to wait with her, I end up getting penalized for.

The kicker for her is I must not care because I wasn't home when she got home so I obviously have more important things to do than celebrate with her. Hmm could it be ok that I do have some other things going on too that require time. And let me define celebration as it would have been last night.

She was up since 6am nervous as all get out, which I barely caught onto.
Finally when she did get home it was 9pm and she was so exhausted she was going right to bed and said so. So we would have done nothing but climb in bed by ten oclock, she would have turned on the tv and fallen asleep and I would have been left alone and unhappy.

Its never POJA because we never have enough time to talk about all the judgements and expectations she has (her stuff) enough in order for me to satisfy them or come to agreement on a course of action. Its just her is what she expects and wants and then I don't live up to it and then shes mad instead of forgiving.
Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
BP,
I see a mutual POV in your posts...both you and your w choose the belief that one word, one action, one incident can ruin a whole day...week...month...
Yes I am going to play defense so you can pick it apart further so I can decode more ok?
Its not one thing.. its all of them day after day strung together that just continuously, umm, how do I say� continue.The negative spiral just feeds itself.
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and I think it's this belief that you choose that will ruin your marriage. Please choose differently.
The take away that I get as a Christian from Jesus is to forgive first, treat with kindness and love. I feel like my wifes MO is to get angry, treat with disrespect, accuse of not being attentive to her, and then wait til I apologize for said lack of attentiveness, before we can go back to a modicum of happiness.

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You KNOW you can apologize and repair. You can let go once an apology is accepted and understood. I think you keep this "ruin the whole day, weekend" thing as retaliation for her not apologizing...as you said, not owning what she does.
Thick brain here but yes I know I can let go. I do apologize regularly. She does not own her stuff, or rarely and barely. By capitualating to her anger I feel like I am trying to break the cycle of anger first. That I hope this will lead her to stop being angry. That it will allow her to see that the anger is not necessary. That even though she is upset I am still here to talk and address and work through it with her as my Gift from God and partner rather than returning anger. But I can�t even get enough respect to be trusted to decide on how to get to Grandma�s house.

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Well, you certainly don't require she does. In the car, when she AO'd, you can pull over and tell her, in front of the kids, "Angry outbursts hurt. I know you know this. When you apologize, I'll get back on the road, and we can have a great Easter together."
I will try to start this process by addressing (in safe time & place)how much AO�s HURT and DRAIN love banks. She needs to bone up on Lbing. But LA I feel somehow you will reprimand me for anything I say about what she should be doing right?
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Calm, respectful, firm.
Yes that is what I am trying to deliver and trying to get her to start with too.
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You have a false payoff on "letting" her win, control everything, get her way...it feeds your addiction to resentment and to being controlled.
Agree, agree but the more I try to bring honesty and ownership the more it seems like (to her) I am knitpicking because she won't own stuff so it makes me look like I am worming around being responsible for me.
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Stop that...I know you did that in battling her A...do it now...
I honestly don�t know if I did it or was successful at it or even what �it� was. Help.
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�because you're still fighting for your marriage.
I know dang it!
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And you're not fighting HER for it...
I know this too.

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you're fighting yourself.
Now I�m scared. Its all me?

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You don't say "Ouch" when she wounds...you expect to lose, cave, give in...when it's your own choice, your power...and internally, you talk yourself around it.
So I should say OUCH and then approach her with radical honesty right?

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So choose differently. On the beginning of the walk, when you offer you don't want elder dog with you guys and she does, go back in the house after saying, "I look forward to walking with you when we come up with a way together we are happy with."
POJA, I get it.

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Do not ask for apologies from her. Make sure you're really owning your choices...because you may have been feeling stabbed in your love bank, in your heart, and half the time, you hold the knife
Again very scary to be stabbing oneself! How? Help.
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Affirm and validate what she says as hers...She saw your lovely, needed radical honesty as you manipulating her, throwing her A "up in her face" again. Validate that for her. That HER POV is that...and yours was that you are holding yourself to acting from honesty...that you feel your love for her, your love bank, being held together by bandaids. That you are considering divorce, trying to find out when to say when, and keeping a score sheet of all your pain from her to help you let go of her emotionally.
uuhhh... ok. validate means listen without judgment, sharing honestly means ... ? probably more anger from her if I can't even share how my heart hurts without a DJ from her

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Keep speaking honestly...tell her, "I know our marriage will eventually break apart without us playing together 20 hours a week. I know that for my half, I keep talking myself out of really doing it so that I can feel safe away from you. So I know I'm damaging our marriage, too."
PORH I get it�

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Why do you punish yourself with "tarnishing" what only you can tarnish? Listen and repeat for your wife as an act of respect to yourself and the marriage. She was upset. Listen and hand back. Doesn't tarnish the day, the year, the marriage...respects your wife as a complete, separate human being.
This tedious process of repeating for understanding, clarification, and ownership only gets under her skin as me being condescending, un-feeling, and brings more anger from her in the form of disrespectful judgements like �You heard me the first time why are you repeating me instead of answering me?!!�. Not a path I see as useful.

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As long as you believe she can ruin your expectations of what you want to feel in a day...she can keep proving you the victim.
I am not letting her ruin my time anymore. This is why I feel like its time to move on. As I refuse to buy the ticket to her rollercoaster of emotional barrages, it causes me to appear to be callous and withdrawn which spirals with more anger from her. She has been exposed to the tool, methods, resources etc. She can choose to learn, grow and own but she continues to not do that, and I will not let that stop me from choosing to be a responsible, reasonable, adult with boundaries around myself anymore.

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Not what you want, BP. You're better, bigger, more powerful than that. She feels...and feelings pass�
Yes I am dang it and again I feel like I am leading down the path of 1) letting feelings pass as I know they will 2)leading down the path of ownership, honesty, respond with loving acceptance of my screwups and hers. Yet I feel like she just wants to lead us down the path of anger and fighting and I won�t go down there anymore with her.

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Remove yourself when she's verbally abusive. Period. You say, "That's abusive" and come back in 10 minutes. Each time you don't remove yourself, you're holding the knife, 'k?
Got it.

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I want you to stop your bleeding. Doesn't mean you'll save your marriage. --doesn't mean she'll change�
Most scared of this.
Don't miss the point--your w is not allowed to tell you don't care.

Ever.

That's the DJ...the abuse.

And I don't think it conveys what she really means, btw. Call her on it when she does it as an act of love and a desire to REALLY communicate.

Listen and repeat what you hear her saying...

"I hear you're fed up with my what I didn't do yesterday while we waited for <new grandbaby name> to be born. You feel I didn't show son I cared, wasn't assertive, didn't do what you wanted me to do, is that correct?"

Part by part. Then draw from your code..."I don't do mind-reading because I have a hard enough time with reading my own <smile>. I don't do mind-reading because it's disrespectful and it damages relationships. Son knows I care and you're right, I didn't work out ahead of time with DIL and son how they wanted my support today, other than I did what they asked of me...to be there for the birth of their first child. And we were.

And I don't think son loves me less because he didn't come out and invite us in, or tell us what he wanted or didn't want. I know we love each other.

You may feel differently. You may doubt your love for him because you didn't go in and show your son, your concern and care. Or that he feels less loved by you because you didn't talk to him ahead of time about the specifics of what he needed from you for the birth, if you were going to be with them as the baby was being born, or just during labor, or whatnot.

I don't know what you're feeling or thinking...and I want to know. I want to know you.

When you said �� how many times I�m going to let you ruin another event before I say Fxxx IT!" I felt deep shame and anger. I know I'm not powerful enough to ruin any event. I know that you aren't that powerful, either. I sure have acted as if you were. I was lying to you and myself. I'm sorry.

I know I have no control over your choice to say F'it or not...nor do you have control over my choice to say it or not. I'm not saying I will divorce you this year. I am saying it's not far from my mind because of the way you verbally abuse our marriage. Cursing is abusive. Requiring me to act in a certain way without telling of your expectations is abusive. It's a trap.

I know we're in crisis right now. I believe the only way we can save our marriage is to stop abusing one another. Mine is with silence, lying by omission. Yours is outright. Once we're safe for each other to really hear, I know we can build a new marriage."

I know you've checked to see she's not in contact with OM. She sounds very wayward, BP. She may have a new OM. Have you checked? Was she like this, too, in discounting and blaming you, just before and during her A?

My heart is with your marriage, BP. I see a lot of my DH in you, in what he doesn't say...and I wish very much for him to say what you have to your W.

I'm not giving you the word-for-word to say or write to your W (and I do think what is needed is a love letter like what I wrote). I'm showing you how to say what's in your heart and mind, with ownership and honesty. Respect and love.

And the heart of this conflict, this day, was two people who weren't safe enough to talk about their expectations for this day, to POJA what each would do and what celebration meant to them. Ahead of time. Do not discount (because she did) that you were present for the birth of your grandchild. So was she. Means a lot.

LA

Reminds me of bob pure I think who said... What would I do if I wasn't scared of outcomes?
I don't do offense and defense. I take your responses as all straight from you. I hear your posts as you struggling with your own reasoning, inside your head...which is honest and real. Not necessarily defensive. I'm okay with your responses. And appreciate you doing them.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
The take away that I get as a Christian from Jesus is to forgive first, treat with kindness and love. I feel like my wifes MO is to get angry, treat with disrespect, accuse of not being attentive to her, and then wait til I apologize for said lack of attentiveness, before we can go back to a modicum of happiness.

No, do not forgive first. You aren't Jesus. He does that for you...it's part of your relationship with him. With other humans, our equals, also made from his hand, we don't instantly forgive. We cannot. If we do, it's a lie.

I do understand cumulative resentment very well...I have that addiction, too. The signal you're getting that it's same stuff, different day is NOT what you think it is. It is you, inside, signaling that you are sick of not addressing the stuff. That if you addressed the stuff, singly, day by day, one incident at a time, and treat it as the momentary conflict it is, then you wouldn't have a whole day ruined. You have a choice in that. Your boundary enforcements answer that signal and you will stop having getting it.

So, our human forgiveness for each other is done through amends...we state what we did, why we did it and how and why we won't do it again. That is kindness, honesty, love and respect. Key part is that you must stop apologizing for what you didn't do. When you don't violate your code and you apologize, then you make all apologies (hers included) worthless.

Stop saying you're sorry when you do not believe you've violated your boundary or hers. Understand that this is part of true forgiveness, too.

Do not seek false happiness. Appeasement is not happiness. You don't even have the power to smooth the waters. She chooses to be appeased as much as you offering it. Stop lying through apologies. It's hurting you, her, and the marriage.

Do not fear her anger. Her anger isn't a threat to you. Her acting it out IS what you focus on. Respond with listen and repeat when she states her anger...and with boundary enforcements when she acts it out.

She can accuse you of inattention...listen and repeat is "I hear you feel I wasn't paying attention to your needs right now, didn't put you first, is that correct?"

Doesn't make it a fact...makes you respectful. And please remember, in yourself, people project. She was inattentive to you yesterday. She may accuse you of what she has done. Don't apologize for it. Speak truthfully, "I really do wish I'd known what you wanted me to do, what your expectations were of me."

There is real happiness in this...it's not manipulation or smoothing over, though you may experience that as the outcome. True intimacy is like that. Why we have the urge to make our spouses happy (when really we cannot), why we want to smooth the conflict. Connect through it, anyway.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
By capitualating to her anger I feel like I am trying to break the cycle of anger first. That I hope this will lead her to stop being angry. That it will allow her to see that the anger is not necessary. That even though she is upset I am still here to talk and address and work through it with her as my Gift from God and partner rather than returning anger. But I can�t even get enough respect to be trusted to decide on how to get to Grandma�s house.

By capitulating to her anger, you are trying to manipulate her anger. Again, that's disrespectful. Enforce against her acting out her anger. Her anger is necessary--it's coming from her, to her, about her own boundaries...something is being violated, crossed--and you trying to interrupt that information isn't loving or supportive. Her anger comes after her pain or fear. You're there to be present while she gets her own signals without attempting to control them.

Totally understandable why you feel so thwarted, controlled and taken over. A lot of it is you doing it to her, reflected back to you. Stop. Free yourself, 'k? Not in your power or your responsibility. Your job is to not be the true source of her unhappiness...and doing this, thwarting her signals, taking ownership of what isn't yours is being the source of her unhappiness. She can handle her own emotions...God didn't make her incomplete or defective, 'k? Get out of her way.

And stay present. You nailed what you are her Gift...know that. She is yours...when she acts out (abuses) that's when you no longer stay present. It's why you pull over the car and own immediately, "I just heard you say I can't be trusted to get us to Grandma's house, is that what you really said?"

Her anger isn't your enemy...and it comes less and less as she stops violating her own boundaries...get your eyes off of her actions and onto your own, 'k? To create and store resentment, to nurture and build it is the sin that breaks all our relationships...especially with God, our spouse, our children. It is how we worship an idol inside...it is the poison we take and then wait for the other person to die.

Do not do that which you will resent. You don't want your W to sooth away your anger at her abuse. You don't want the false modicum of happiness, relief, solace from the abuse...it will keep you from full, abundant love and happiness.

Don't put yourself down. You do not have a thick brain. You have a brain well-trained to hand you reactions to your emotions and hers instead of choices to act. It's a very quick, fast brain. Retrain it.

Stop with your false apologies and own and amend what you really do...even if she doesn't see you doing it. When you violate your code of respect by seeing her as worse or better than you, own it. When you violate your code of consideration and do not tell her when she is verbally abusive, own it. Apologize for the real stuff, not the coddling, 'k?

You do believe, I think, that if both of you were to have conflict, own and understand, then repair, that no one's whole day would be ruined, correct? Can you see where it would be enhanced? Intimacy deepened? That you both could rebuild the lost trust in each other? Takes time and consistency from you, for you, and The Marriage.

You are the leader...you lead.

Please understand you can certainly feel anger in response to her acting hers out. It's healthy--so you know she is crossing your boundary. Distinguish if your anger is coming from her violating your boundary...or you. Because if you feel anger (it's unjust she's angry right now!) from your thoughts, it's a signal your own DJ is causing your pain and anger, see?

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I will try to start this process by addressing (in safe time & place)how much AO�s HURT and DRAIN love banks. She needs to bone up on Lbing. But LA I feel somehow you will reprimand me for anything I say about what she should be doing right?

No, don't tell her AO's hurt and drain your love bank. She knows. You told her before. Respect she knows. Rather, when she DJs, SD's, AO's...state the boundary. "You're yelling and that's abusive." If she doesn't stop, you hold yourself to taking the next step, "I am feeling flooded with anger because you're still yelling. I'm removing myself for 20 minutes to calm down and then I'll be back to listen to you."

State the boundary violation and progressively enforce.

ROFLMAO about your expectation. Thank you for sharing it with me. See? You already know inside you what your sweet brain was trained to perceive and forecast the future. Retraining it into the present and reality is how you free yourself.

I understand how you hear me saying, "No, do it this way for best results" right now. I believe that will change over time. And you'll hear "That's what I really wanted to do and didn't."

smile

Yes, your focus on her actions...what she should've/would've/could've dones and "shouldn'ts"...is your unending source of nourishment for your growing resentment. Take your focus off her. Boundaries go around you.

I believe you focus on your calm respectful and firm communication. Do not try to get her to start that. You focus on listening and repeating to first understand, then to be understood.

Projection--we all do it. It's us signaling us about what we are denying. You don't own your stuff sometimes. You're gonna see how you don't through her. Look for it in you. You didn't share your expectations with her...it's going to hurt when she's says you failed her. You failed to share yours with hers. Ownership doesn't have blame...has responsibility.

"I feel nitpicked right now" is ownership.

"I hear you feel nitpicked, put down right now."

She can see you as worming out of your responsibility...know whether you really are or not. Respect she sees your actions differently right then. Her image of you is what she has power over...you don't. That can really suck when you're enmeshed in struggling to control each other's self-images...and it's wonderful when you stop, and begin to share your real selves.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
Now I�m scared. Its all me?

Define "it's"...if you mean, it's all about you (because you're the one here at MB), then yes. In this world, you are solely responsible for your choices, your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and perspective. All yours, all the time. Which means, you really matter. And you're limited to that control. So it really is all about you, all the time, in that regard.

smile

If you mean "it's" the conflict, the pain and fear, disconnection in your marriage right now...then no. Same rule of humans applies...you can only be half, no more than half, at any time. Sure got your signal of how much you fear being wrong, doing harm, being at the bad guy, eh?

You are the cause, control and cure for your own stuff. You cannot be of anyone else. Your influence, (the way you lead by example), is still subject to how much others allow your influence on them. Same for you--your wife cannot be so powerful as to influence you against your will...unless you open the door to HER influence on you really wide.

And in healthy marriages, we have wide doors...along with wide, aware eyes. You're going to get there, BP. No doubt. Don't open that door wide right now.

"Ouch" is radical honesty. See, you feel a pain inside...saying "Ouch" right then owns it. And it doesn't blame. You felt pain, your job to trace it...know it's origin and share. That's radical honesty. Did you hear saying "Ouch" before as alerting her that she's hurting you so she'll feel shame and stop?

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Again very scary to be stabbing oneself! How? Help.

I believe the same LBs Dr. Harley lists are also how we stab ourselves...especially DJs. Ask yourself if when your wife acts her anger out around you, do you assume the worst, that you are causing her anger? That it's about you? That would be self-stabbing...instead of asking from love, to really know, not assume.

LA

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Don't miss the point--your w is not allowed to tell you that you don't care or didn't care.

Ever.

That's the DJ...the abuse.

YEAH,
BP kept engaging wife with respectful honest communication. I called her out by stating that she cannot somehow judge that because my actions didn't live up to her expectations that it means in her world I don't care. She thinks because I made this mistake or that I didn't think to do x y or z that BP doesn't care enough or obviously doesn't love son or doesn't care enough about his family. I kept saying "that is NOT true" whenever this DJ was flung at me. Calmly.

hurray

But oh she is soooo hurt by my "actions" yesterday that "obviously" show I don't care about xy or z... ME "Wife, we each have our own ideas of what is important and we each need to put in 100% effort to come to AGREEMENT on our plan...

HER- "Well its obvious that you didn't care because you didn't listen to me about ...."

ME "It is not true that I don't care or didn't care. I may have made mistakes or taken actions that didn't meet your expectations. Remember when your parents advised that marriage is not 50/50, its 100/100%. But the corallary is that you still only get out 50% of what you want because we are compromising for each other to reach agreements so that IB does not ruin our marriage."
bigpicture,

I understand your position, having been there. Here's my perspective on you, and should support LA.

you are following a POJA suggestion by yourself, with limited or no reciprocation, and getting frustrated.
you are expecting respect for your point of view and are getting limited or no respect for your existence.

in my situation, XW's FIL was casper milquetoast to MIL's DJ and anger, and FIL was afraid to live on his own. XW had issues with me once I grew up to request respect, and expressed my point of view with her disrespect and demands, holding onto something and trying to bludgeon me with it for years. . .

In order to gain respect you have to ask for respect. The best way is to not engage with W when she is not respectful. . .you are engaging in a very submissive eay, which reinforces her outcomes in her behaviors. You are correct in saying she might not take ownership of her stuff, but that is NOT for you to enforce, which is your mistake. THat is for you to avoid, and for you to refuse to become dramatic.

my guess is that your W has borderline issues, or narcissistic issues, which could be disordered. . . i can't tell that well from the little here. But the best response to borderline issues, which A trademark behavior is making the other person the reasons for your behavior, is to refuse to accept her projection of her emotions onto you and your behavior.

That isn't the answer you want, but you can't make her be the answer you want. You can only defend your respect and behavior, specifically by not engaging in her DJ of your intentions.

SO, you need to figure out how to tell her that you will no longer converse with her or discuss with her any topic at any time when she DJ your intentions. Basically, she is making up reasons in her own head to NOT take responsibility for her behavior, and you have to NOT ACCEPT her behavior. ONce you tell her, you must follow along the advice with out regard to the outcome, otherwise, you are a masochist, or a martyr with no successful outcome expected. think about it. You need to figure out what you are responsible for, and ONLY apologize for that. then, you need to reflect that attempt at her back to her, by not taking responsibility for it, with "I'm sorry that you are feeling that way." If a personal attack starts, do not engage and say, " I will discuss with you when you can discuss calmly." and then phone down, or walk away, hide in basement if you have to. . . No agreements if you don't discuss, and say "I did not make that agreement! When you want agreement, please talk with me and i will be able to come to an agreement"

With borderline personality disorder, a person will refuse to take self responsibility, and will try to get others to take that responsibility for her. If so, the person does not have to regulate their own behavior. That makes interpersonal relationships very difficult on anything but a superficial level.

Likewise, you have to set a better example for your kids on how to NOT to be emotionally manipulated.

good luck.

widtty
WIFTT, LA, others,
Thanks for all your help. I was able to break the cycle substantially today during a heated exchange thanks to your insights and advice.


I was able to understand the inciting event as this;
ME "Honey if I don't make it to the hospital in time for the birth moment it won't be a big deal to me. What do you think I should do about our 8 yr old?"

What she heard "I don't care about seeing my grand baby born and I don't want to share this event with you."

Game over. Once I realized this, I could see the cycle of her assigning her emotional reactions to me as my motivations to be selfish.

And I didn�t apologize for anything that I knew wasn�t mine or real. A very good day for me.

It was weird watching her Djs and Aos crumble away as I held my ground. She still wouldn�t go so far as to �accept� my explanations and thought processes so there is probably more to come, that has to come.

****edit******

non MB material
did she say:
"I don't care about seeing my grand baby born and I don't want to share this event with you."

If she did say this, that was not what she heard.

She heard you just fine, what she twisted it into, to emotionally blackmail you, was what she stated.

there is a difference with people who operate with manipulative intentions, on what they heard, and then how to manipulate it to protect their ego. . . as fragile as it is. .

**edit**
wiftty


Again,
Thanks to everyone here for helping me establish boundaries against DJ's and AO's. I will investigate the book mentioned above too as I am a big reader.

On Saturday, during our only "discussion" about the events from Thursday, I was very clear and calm stating that I would not allow her to insult me by calling me things like delusional and stupid. And I doubt I would have been able to defend my boundaries like that... I may not have even recognized them for what they were (DJ's and AO's) if it weren't for the help from all you fellow MBers' so THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU

I really feel this has increased my knowledge 10 fold. For awhile I felt like...

Big Picture has been transformed into a DEFENDER OF MARRIAGE superhero.
Faster than an angry outburst.
More powerful than a disrespectful judgement.
Able to leap marital dischord in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a husband. It's a wife. It's Super-marriage!
HaHaHa! I think that just made my day. YAY for BigPicture. As you stand up for yourself your wife will increase in respect for you. No woman respects a man she can walk all over. You've been playing that game for too long and it just hurts you.

As she gains respect for you she will come to see you as an equal - worthy of partnership in marriage - where as now she sees you as something more like a minion or another child for her to direct and berate when you step out of line. I've seen this dynamic in other marriages: the husband meekly submits to the wife's abuse thinking it will make her happy. It doesn't, it just makes her think she HAS to berate him to get what she wants. It creates a vicious, abusive cycle.

You can change this, you've already started! Then little by little you can implement behaviors that will create that Super-Marriage.

Good for you BP!
Originally Posted by bigpicture
Big Picture has been transformed into a DEFENDER OF MARRIAGE superhero.
Faster than an angry outburst.
More powerful than a disrespectful judgement.
Able to leap marital dischord in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a husband. It's a wife. It's Super-marriage!

This is priceless. Thank you, BP.

I think you're a defender of your own love bank, too...you're protecting your love FOR her now...congratulations.

LA
I know Im late to the party, but I found that this has helped me not feel so bad, or let my wife withdraw units when she has an angry outburst.

***edit****

It is geared for people like me who feel that they are always tred on, hold resentment inside for a long time, don't man up when they are hurt, and then when things get to a boiling point they go Kablooey with all sorts of love busters. Then settle back down into the same pattern. It also helps you identify those personal things you need to protect, and how to set up boundaries to protect those things.

You can't stop your wife of AO's, or DJ's. You can stop yourself from these thing, you can protect yourself from the AO's and DJ's, and let her know when you have been hurt.

This is something I'm working on, changing myself is alot harder than telling someone else to change, and the results are much better.
BP,

***EDIT***

Will you post an update today, and include how you feel, in "I" statements? (You can cut and paste from markos's thread if you want).

smile

LA
***edit***
non MB reference
LA, I have been re-reading this thread for clarity. All the honesty you suggest has me thinking about years gone by when I/we had no idea of POJA, when both of our takers just kept telling us to take because no one was giving. She made IB to be with her family as her #1 priority (no leaving and cleaving per the Bible)so whenever I didn't come first with her (frequently)my resentments built up. I didn't get married to spend time with her parents which became our/my recreational time too because they have a boat, and Mom always cooking for an army so why don't we just stay for dinner too and... Her family just couldn't let go of her because she was so young (19) when we got pregnant and married... And I see how her Mom didn't want to let go because she didn't have intimacy with her own husband to go to... learned from her mother... To the point where I feel my 1st son was not even mine but rather raised in her parents environment.

Just realizing the amount of resentments coming to the surface that I have tried to stuff back for close to 2 decades... Now she finally understands leave&cleave logically but has replaced time with parents with work & socializing/working out with friends instead, not to mention running a household of our own 5.

For example, Wednesday she asked me (good POJA) if she could take time to workout with friends who ended up staying until 10pm watching American Idol. Thursday morning I said (in tears) that we are not working on our marriage. She said I didn't think they would stay so late. Thursday she was finally committed to UA for the marriage but even so it didn't happen until 10-11pm.

We listened to a pastor talk about having a blessed marriage, submitting to each other, trying to unravel "wives submit to your husbands as..." because I have been saying that I would like a submissive wife, not that I want a minion but that I want a wife who has a yielding heart instead of a bull in the china shop kind of attitude.

We read Mark1952 Space & Grace essay... discussed Easter Sunday AO which she freely admits was uncalled for... I admitted SD about walking the dog... went to bed and she initiated SF...

and then today all I can think is how empty I feel about being with her... but I recall my vows and promise to keep going... because really if 50% end up divorced and a large proportion are just staying in an unhappy marriage this just kinda seems like the human condition... This too shall pass.
***EDIT****
****edit****
Very good news from the (mid)western front. My fellow MBers here really helped me become a SUPER Mber by helping me see what her LBers are and were and to create strong boundaries against them. When I enforced those it was amazing to see the arguments we used to have be transformed into productive sharing sessions as described below. In addition I spell out two techniques that might help tremedously when one marriage partner is not on board with learning Mbers ways.


If you�ve been following along, you'd recall that my love bank was running on empty lately. For the last few weeks her job stress was overwhelming her, leading to lots of LBers and no time for UA.


In preface, I was very scared to be O&H about this message because she has a history of dismissing my feelings with DJ's rather than validating me. How would I tell her that my love bank was empty and that I wasn't really feeling "in love" without getting all kinds of AOs or abusive reactionary DJs with foul language? It wouldn�t be easy. I had already tried once and got shot down so badly that I thought it was hopeless.

??? As a side note, where does Dr. Harley describe the �active listening� process? Does this seem like a weak point in the program? Nowhere can I recall him pointing out how the receiver in the conversation needs to validate the other person�s statements of feeling. I suppose its sorta covered in the DJs areas because that is how it appears to me when its doesn�t happen. ???

Thursday night I tried again to describe how my heart felt like it was a thousand pieces being held together with bandaids and as soon as I mentioned that phrase she went directly to AOs because her DJ was that I was throwing the adultery in her face again as she puts it. Luckily I had prepared for this.

After staying the course through her AO (she left the room for 5 minutes) she came back and she talked more until it appeared she was finally out of words. I validated what she was saying and made sure she knew I heard her. Then I asked her if she was ready to listen. She was and I finally finished telling her what her AO had prevented me from being able to say for 2 weeks which was simply that 1) since the adultery I have felt very vulnerable 2)that lately we have not spent any time together 3)as a result my love bank has been empty for the last few weeks AND that I was bringing this up not to "throw" anything at her or insult her but so that we could proactively make plans for time together so we could feel "in love" again. She finally understood I was not trying to blame her again for the adultery, I was not trying to insult her because of it and that I wasn't even looking for her to apologize more for it which is what she kept defending by saying she has already apologized many times and wasn�t going to do so anymore. The message that I had been trying for 2 weeks to talk to her about was simply "here is how I feel and here is what I proactively want to do about it� but she would always go right to anger before she even heard me through.

In preparation for this "huge" conversation I created a technique that I hope everyone here might be able to use because it seemed to work wonderfully and might be useful for other MBers when one partner isn't interested in doing the hard work to learn this stuff themselves. As active MBers we want to help by teaching or educating them and we all know how that can go. My brainstorm was to use the idea of making our marriage a third person to us so that it wasn't me trying to make her do something but rather it was "Hey, this is what the marriage needs in order to be strong and healthy. It needs to be protected from LBers and it needs UA in order to meet ENs." It seems much easier in this style because now its not me demanding things.

In addition I wanted to help her see when she was engaging in AO and DJ because those LBers prevented us from making progress during arguments. But my conundrum was how could I point this out without sounding condescending? Again my solution here was to make myself a third party �MBer counselor� who would chime in during the discussion to guide us on the MBer ways. So when she would start a LBer I would say "Ok the third party MB counselor would say that you are engaging in ..." That really took the pressure off me and she could learn in the moment without getting mad at me for �correcting� her behaviors.

I prefaced this right up front telling her that I know how busy she is and she doesn't have time like I do to read and share here and do the studying needed so I wasn�t telling her things with rightousness but rather its coming from someone who has put in 3 years of studying MBers and who wants to share this stuff so we can have a great marriage. And in my prefacing I asked her to remember that I got a tatoo which is symbolic of us growing together so please remember that my goal is to have a great strong healthy marriage and that anything I educate her with I have already struggled to learn myself and that things I might point out may seem hurtful but that its for the greater good of �The Marriage.�

So the good news is we broke through these barriers on Thursday night (it took til 1am gheez) and my god did I have a great birthday weekend. Friday she came to see me for lunch, Sat was my birthday and my children gave me exactly the �presents� I was hoping for, a clean house and a mowed yard. My wife & I had a great time at Red Lobster and Sunday I got some free time for my own special projects. I am deeply indebted to everyone here for their help and advice. I am looking forward to repaying my wife at her birthday.

The biggest confirmation of our progress is this- At one point I (sarcastically) asked what Monday was going to be like for me since she was doing so much for me all weekend (she really went above and beyond with SF, ENs, UA). Her reply was �Well how could I expect you to give me what I want on my birthday if I don�t give you what you need on yours?!!� Viola- the negative cycle is broken. I can tell from that statement how much her thinking has changed. In addition she apologized for AOs and said she will work on that more. Just wonderful all over is how I feel today. Thanks for listening everyone.
Posted By: bigpicture Even Superheros lose battles - 10/01/12 09:32 PM
MBers, My mom said it best: "Son, you can be proud of the 21 years you were together, had 3 beautiful kids, and enjoyed many great times together. Blessings are ahead."

Needless to say, my wife filed for divorce on 8/28/12. I have a new apartment lease as of 10/1/12. I had so many hopes that my efforts would not be in vain but alas, I didn't succeed. My oldest is already out of our house with his own daughter and girlfriend. My 18 yr old DD has probably been most affected by this ordeal. My 10 yr old DS seems to be coping very well.

Me, good and bad days. Mostly ok. Today was bad because my incurable romantic part keeps thinking I can win her back. So I make her coffee and write her love notes and get back just what I should know - nothing but anger and venom. Its a sad day.



Originally Posted by bigpicture
Again,
Thanks to everyone here for helping me establish boundaries against DJ's and AO's. I will investigate the book mentioned above too as I am a big reader.

On Saturday, during our only "discussion" about the events from Thursday, I was very clear and calm stating that I would not allow her to insult me by calling me things like delusional and stupid. And I doubt I would have been able to defend my boundaries like that... I may not have even recognized them for what they were (DJ's and AO's) if it weren't for the help from all you fellow MBers' so THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU

I really feel this has increased my knowledge 10 fold. For awhile I felt like...

Big Picture has been transformed into a DEFENDER OF MARRIAGE superhero.
Faster than an angry outburst.
More powerful than a disrespectful judgement.
Able to leap marital dischord in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a husband. It's a wife. It's Super-marriage!
Posted By: Letty Re: Even Superheros lose battles - 10/03/12 02:48 AM
hello bigpicture. i have just read your thread, and am so sorry to hear your update. i don't have any words of wisdom to offer you, just ((((((PB)))))
Posted By: CWMI Re: Even Superheros lose battles - 10/03/12 03:01 AM
You got a lot of crap advice. Have you tried MB?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Even Superheros lose battles - 10/03/12 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by CWMI
You got a lot of crap advice. Have you tried MB?

He didn't try Marriage Builders. He used bits and pieces from every dog and cat program around. For example, he quotes parts of IMAGO above [validation] which, unfortunately, didn't even work for Harville Hendrix. I am sorry it didn't work out for you, bigpicture.
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