Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Broom What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/20/10 04:33 PM
My wife and I have been through a lot and we are still together, but in looking back I can see that the root cause of all our problems has always been my inability to meet her need for financial support. I imagine my wife would disagree with that assessment, but most fights we've had start over my financial support. I can't meet her need for financial support. We're comfortably middle class, but she wants more than that. It's in her nature to be driven, and she is what I classify as "high maintenance". That term has a negative connotation, but she'll freely admit that about herself. She want's nice stuff, nice trips/vacations, a nice car to drive, a nice house, etc. She didn't come from that type of background, her's was a middle class upbringing, but she was married once before and her first husband had money. That marriage only lasted about 3 years and they had an amicable divorce. My family is somewhat upper middle class and I am part of a business that is owned and operated by my father and I (I have a sister who also has an interest in the business through a family trust). This is what no doubt played a big part in my being acceptable to her when we first met and dated. Since our marriage my financial support has never met her expectations and furthermore she feels that there is a lot more I could be doing to force my father to make sure I fullfil her EN for financial support. So not only am I failing to meet her EN for financial support she also feels that I am not standing up for our family to my father so that we all can benefit financially. This is just as sore of a point in our marriage today as it ever has been and is the biggest single threat to our marriage. As we know from reading Dr. Harley an unfulfilled EN is a cancer that simply doesn't go away, and yet I can't control father nor the economy in order to met her need. Everything else I do to meet her EN's doesn't count because as long as she feels there is more I could do to meet her financial needs that will always overshadow everything else.

I suppose the only solution to my delimma is to convince her that I am doing everything possible to meet this need. My problem with this is that she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners. I�m not opposed to sole ownership, and ultimately that is what will happen, but our two timetables aren�t the same. There is some validity to her position but she also isn�t the most savvy when it comes to financial and business decisions. There are good reasons for me to remain affiliated with my father in business, and she�s not opposed to that either, as long as I am able to meet her need for financial support, which as I�ve said I�ve always failed to do...
Wow, Broom, that's really interesting. I heard an expression like that, that you can move up, but not back down. Based on my experience with MB, I think time together doing things you all like can really bring folks together. Does your W currently work in this business or in this field? Maybe there are some solutions that would work for all of you. Like you said, you are trying to convince her you are doing everything possible, but that'sa solo effort, I think you two need some more sollaboration, working together. I think it would be easier to brainstorm and see as a family what else you all want to be doing. What do you think?
Hi Broom! Welcome to MB!

Originally Posted by Broom
I suppose the only solution to my delimma is to convince her that I am doing everything possible to meet this need.


You could do this, but her need STILL won't be met. You may say - but that is irrational. You want to try to rationalize her out of needing this need. The thing about needs is that they are irrational. They are based on feelings. You can reason all you want, the fact of the matter is, she has this need and you must fill it as best you can.

I know the economy is tough and things aren't great. The solution to meeting ENs is Negotiation. You use the The 4 Guidelines for Successful Negotiation.

Dr. Harley has said frequently, that a man must work to achieve the lifestyle his wife wants. Now this may require going back to school or retraining. Often a woman will agree to a temporary setback for the promise of a more secure financial future. So I would suggest that you two read through the guidelines and actually sit down and clearly define the problem as you both see it. Make sure you are on the same page. Often, in this phase DH and I will find out that our assumptions of what the other really wants is wrong or off in some way. It makes it hard to find a solution if you aren't absolutely CRYSTAL clear on what meeting the need for FS LOOKS like for your wife and why she wants that - what her values are on this issue.

Then brainstorm to find solutions. You want to brainstorm like crazy. Every hairbrained idea you can think of to achieve the financial goals you have. Going back to school. Building a new business on your own. A hybrid plan incorporating different elements over a plan of years. You may even need to spend a few weeks or so marinating ideas in the brainstorming phase. Schedule brainstorming sessions.

Watching you ACTIVELY look for a solution to meet her needs is much better than having you try to 'reason' with her. I would say that though this doesn't achieve the dollar amount she needs for FS, just the fact that you are seeing her need as valid and working to actually achieve that goal would probably be more meaningful than saying "This is the best I can do, you just need to wait until it gets better."

Together you need to come up with a timeline you can BOTH agree on.

Remember, this negotiation needs to be safe. You must ABSOLUTELY avoid Disrespectful Judgement like saying she isn't business savvy enough to figure this out. If you are uncomfortable with a solution, you can say that - but telling her a certain idea is 'naive' will get her back up.

The principle of the Policy of Joint Agreement needs to pervade the argument.

Somehow - the two of you need to find a way to meet this need in a way that satisfies both of you.

I don't know what that solution will be - but I have no doubt with the MB principles that the two of you could find the solution if you ACTIVELY work to find it.
Also - I would implement the complete MB system. It creates a romantic love that makes solutions easier to find. This includes:

Meeting needs (all her other needs while you work on FS)
Avoiding lovebusters
15 hours+ of UA time every week
Radical Honesty.

That will get you a long way to a successful negotiation mindset.
Broom;
Has you income stayed basically the same since you met/dated/married your wife?

What were her expectations for your M? You have always been a solid worker/ honest earner?

Do you have any emotional needs re; this issue? (supporting your family?) What emotional needs does your W continually meet for you?

IMHO, ...in this economy, it is totally foolish to ruin a buisness strategy/partnership that is solid, in hopes of creating an unproven strategy to increase cash flow.

Radical honesty. Do not provoke a "confrontation" with your father, for god's sake, based on a motive of greed.

You have made an excellent choice to come here, broom. You are at a very crutial point in your M. Take your time, learn the entire MB system and proceed with caution.


Also the usual
Ages?
How long married?
Any children?
Ages?

Does your W work out of the home?
Is she in school?
in my opinion she's spoiled, used to getting what she wants and when she wants, especially in her previous marriage...you're right, she probably pegged you as "rich" by being part ownership of a family business, which meant that she'll be able to pick up where she left off.

as a husband and father, if what you make as a salary is supporting your family comfortably, then you're doing your obligation as a husband and father...if that means she's not keeping up with the kardashians then so be it.

If she wants to drive the top of the line cars and vacation at the top end resorts and live a beverly hills lifestyle, then she needs to go back to school or get a better paying job herself...i'd be damned if i would work my azz off, change careers or go back to school to keep her happy, b/c truth be told...you'll never make her happy...she needs to learn to be happy and content with what she's got and thankful she has a husband who can provide what's needed for his family.
Originally Posted by mr_anderson
in my opinion she's spoiled, used to getting what she wants and when she wants, especially in her previous marriage...you're right, she probably pegged you as "rich" by being part ownership of a family business, which meant that she'll be able to pick up where she left off.

as a husband and father, if what you make as a salary is supporting your family comfortably, then you're doing your obligation as a husband and father...if that means she's not keeping up with the kardashians then so be it.

If she wants to drive the top of the line cars and vacation at the top end resorts and live a beverly hills lifestyle, then she needs to go back to school or get a better paying job herself...i'd be damned if i would work my azz off, change careers or go back to school to keep her happy, b/c truth be told...you'll never make her happy...she needs to learn to be happy and content with what she's got and thankful she has a husband who can provide what's needed for his family.


Just so you know, Broom - ALL of this advice is a Disrespectful Judgement. It's fine for Mr. A to say all this and say how he'd act in this situation - but if YOU were to have this attitude, talk this way or act this way with your wife it would be a HUGE love buster. And I mean HUGE. This is absolutely NOT Marriage Builder's advice.

This advice will destroy love between you and your wife and will damage your marriage.

It isn't your job to 'teach' your wife how to 'learn' to be happy and content with what she got.

I fully believe you can find a way to meet her needs and maintain Romantic Love in your marriage USING MB.

As a man in a very similar situation (does not meet wife's pre-marriage expectations for what I would be able to provide financially), I offer the following perspetive.

It doesn't matter whether you or anyone else would view her EN for FS as unreasonable or excessive. She feels how she feels. Which is not required to be rational or reasonable.

You have a few choices. You can work like heck to meet her need. Push push push every day in every way to maximize your wealth and income. Even if this causes friction with your father. Show her that her EN is very important to you. Because you love her and want her to be happy. You may never meet her EN for FS. But you will be secure in knowing you tried to satisfy her need. Who knows, you may surprise yourself and get there sooner than you expect!

You can tell yourself that her need is unreasonable. Refuse to push as hard as possible, in order to avoid conflict with your father, risk to the business, etc. Your marriage will suffer, because you are quite clearly not meeting one of her most important ENs. But you may view that as the lesser of 2 evils.

You can divorce her, because you simply cannot tolerate being burdened by her being so high maintenance. However, if you want to avoid conflict with your father, imagine how he is going to react when her divorce lawyer quite properly asks that she be given a piece of the business. Especially when her lawyer starts arguing "the father is basically retired, my husband does all the work, unrelated partners would already have arranged for the senior partner to be bought out by the junior partner, but this family has refused to do that so they can pay me less in our divorce settlement"!

I am not suggesting you have to do what she wants. But Dr. Harley is not wrong to assert that if you aren't even trying to address her concerns, then you can't be surprised if she isn't as romantically devoted to you as you wish she was. Remember, her material ambitions were probably not totally unknown to you before you got married. You agreed to marry a high maintenance woman. So this is not entirely her fault.
Lets look at it from another viewpoint.

NEEDS.

There are many needs such as financial support, domestic support,, sexual needs, etc in a marriage.

Lets compare your wifes financial support need to sexual needs.

Your wife wants financial support but AT A HIGH LEVEL. She wants lots of money to blow and spend. If this is classified as a NEED and not a WANT then we should compare it with the sexual need.

Sex is a need in marriage. But what if a husband THINKS THAT HE NEEDS sex every day. What if he FEELS THAT HE NEEDS anal sex. What if he REALLY FEELS HE NEEDS three way sex. What if he FEELS LIKE HE NEEDS to go swinging and have sex there.

Are these valid NEEDS? Or not?

Needs are not just what one spouse FEELS or WANTS.

True needs are needs. Basic needs of life.

This wife is going way beyond needs, what she is asking could be harmful for the family just like this man in my example who needs to have anal sex every day. That could cause harm.

IF a need causes HARM, is it a good need or a bad need? Are there good and bad needs?
If my husband suddenly came to me and told me he feels he has this great need for anal sex every night, I would not be able to meet this need. I would not attempt to meet this need. I would not want to meet this need. In fact I would question his "need".

If he became unhappy because i was not eagerly meeting this need then we would have to have a talk. "Need meeting" in marriage that causes pain, disruption or harm are not worth meeting.
I agree bubbles- you should not let yourself be abused in order to meet needs- but that is not what I am suggesting. For a particular sex need you know rift away you aren't comfortable with it- but has this couple fully explored and negotiated and brainstorm to even see if there is a way to meet this need? I think they'd be surprised if they actually TALKED about this and negotiated honestly.
Originally Posted by Bubbles4U
Lets look at it from another viewpoint.

NEEDS.

There are many needs such as financial support, domestic support,, sexual needs, etc in a marriage.

Lets compare your wifes financial support need to sexual needs.

Your wife wants financial support but AT A HIGH LEVEL. She wants lots of money to blow and spend. If this is classified as a NEED and not a WANT then we should compare it with the sexual need.

Sex is a need in marriage. But what if a husband THINKS THAT HE NEEDS sex every day. What if he FEELS THAT HE NEEDS anal sex. What if he REALLY FEELS HE NEEDS three way sex. What if he FEELS LIKE HE NEEDS to go swinging and have sex there.

Are these valid NEEDS? Or not?

Needs are not just what one spouse FEELS or WANTS.

True needs are needs. Basic needs of life.

This wife is going way beyond needs, what she is asking could be harmful for the family just like this man in my example who needs to have anal sex every day. That could cause harm.

IF a need causes HARM, is it a good need or a bad need? Are there good and bad needs?
clap clap clap
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 12:36 AM
Have you filled out the ENQ, did she give you a dollar amount that she wants you to make?

How about this one, the financial support inventory? http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi4504_fsi.html

Why do you say this:

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I can see that the root cause of all our problems has always been my inability to meet her need for financial support. I imagine my wife would disagree with that assessment

and this:

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she also feels that I am not standing up for our family to my father

I caution you to make sure you're focused on fixing the right thing. It may not be money; it may be that she needs you to be independent from your FOO to respect you as the head of your household.
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I agree bubbles- you should not let yourself be abused in order to meet needs


And see...I consider it "financial" abuse when a spouse wants above and beyond what is needed to be comfortable...literally off the back of someone else (their spouse).

also...

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My problem with this is that she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners.


seriously???

Wrong..wrong...wrong.

I see character flaws in this woman.

committed

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My problem with this is that she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners.

That is not the only solution - that is her solution, but have the explored and REALLY brainstormed to find a solution they are both happy with? Obviously not.

I think there is one out there.

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And see...I consider it "financial" abuse when a spouse wants above and beyond what is needed to be comfortable...literally off the back of someone else (their spouse).

That is because your definition of comfortable is different than this woman's. Personally it is way beyond my definition of comfortable, too. But - that is her definition of comfortable. It is a DJ to get her to change that definition.

Also I doubt it is abuse - as it seems she believes that when her husband takes over the business she will attain her level of comfort, which indicates to me that he has the earning potential to achieve what her comfort level is.

Is it abuse when a husband has a need for DS? He's gaining a clean house at the expense of his wife's time - often as she's on her hands and knees scrubbing the floors.

Thus - some Radical Honesty, Pure Negotiation, meeting of needs, etc, can get them a LONG way towards a mutually enthusiastic agreement.

There are many possible solutions. Often a woman with a high need for FS will agree to a temporary setback, or to get a job for a temporarily specified amount of time to achieve her comfort level of FS in the understanding that by a certain time, her husband will be able to provide that.

She MAY be willing to work, providing certain criteria and circumstances are met. For example, her husband speaks with his father and they lay out a time line for transitioning leadership of the company. That is one possible solution. I am sure there are others.

So what if this woman has character flaws - HE as her HUSBAND cannot iron them out - unless he wants to destroy the love they have in their marriage.

He CANNOT change her.

I think that

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she also feels that I am not standing up for our family to my father


this has a lot more to do with it than just a dollar amount. This indicates she has a need for ambition and that is ok too. Dr. Harley recently addressed this in his radio show. Women sometimes want their husbands to have a certain level of ambition, coupled with FS.

He needs to have a radically honest and safe conversation where they explore WHAT precisely it is she needs and they negotiate how he can meet that need.
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Is it abuse when a husband has a need for DS? He's gaining a clean house at the expense of his wife's time - often as she's on her hands and knees scrubbing the floors.


I believe that his WAS an issue that a poster took to Dr. Harley. Husband wanted the house scoured for errant crumbs and the chairs lined up in a certain way. If I remember correctly Dr. Harley told the husband that if HE wanted it done to this degree...that it was on HIM to either do it or hire it out to be done. He couldn't expect his wife to do it to HIS degree.

So even Dr. Harley thinks that sometimes its on the person who wants it to get it done....and not expect the spouse to meet a need.

In the hands a user..the expectations of having needs met could be abused.

committed
This is true - which is why negotiation is necessary. It doesn't matter who meets the need but that it is met. If DS is a high need Dr. Harley advises hiring out for help.

A spouse should DO HIS BEST to meet the need and failing that find a way to ensure that need be met. All I am saying is that there are avenues that the OP has not explored. All possibilities have not been exhausted. There are indications that he isn't even clear on what exactly her need is.

They probably think they have negotiated, but seeing only 2 ways to solve the problem and arguing about them back and forth isn't negotiation.

The solution isn't to do it his way, or her way but find a way they both like. I don't think she is being abusive, this isn't anal sex, this is achieving a certain lifestyle. A lifestyle he IS capable of achieving.

He isn't a poor Mexican immigrant with no command of English that she is expecting to run a Fortune 500. (That would be an abusive equivalent, IMHO). Heck - it doesn't even sound like she wants him to work 80+ hours a week, which is equally abusive.

I wouldn't be surprised if she WERE willing to take a temporary setback or even work herself, if she had SOME indication that her husband were ACTIVELY addressing her needs instead of saying "This is the best I can do, I can't do anymore". Especially when he's not even clear on whether the best he can do is even remotely addressing the problem.

I'm not advocating he kill himself to meet her need.

I am advocating clear, loving discussion of what their expectations are and using MB style Negotiation to meet those expectations. There IS at least one avenue they haven't used to solve this problem: and that is MB. Until they've gone down this road and the wife says "I don't care if you kill yourself trying you MUST make X dollars and I refuse to do anything to help you" then lets give her the benefit of the doubt.

They need the whole MB package in order to do that right. But it can be done.
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
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I agree bubbles- you should not let yourself be abused in order to meet needs


And see...I consider it "financial" abuse when a spouse wants above and beyond what is needed to be comfortable...literally off the back of someone else (their spouse).

also...

Quote
My problem with this is that she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners.


seriously???

Wrong..wrong...wrong.

I see character flaws in this woman.

committed

Sometimes a spouse is just unreasonable. I had a similar situation in that my now XH wanted me to get a job and I just felt like it was the most ridiculous 'need' of his ever. He made a very excellent income but wanted me to work for ever changing reasons. A new boat. An expensive vacation. So I didn't 'sit on the internet all day.' There was no amount of convincing him that I was NOT sitting on the net all day. No amount of convincing him that my need to care for my home and family was just as important as him having a new boat.

I had people on here trying to convince me that I should get a job to make now XH happy....the trouble is I know him very very well and he would have never been happy. If I got a job it would then have been 'well you don't make enough.' And I would still have been doing all the DS and childcare...and he would expect that because of course my job would not be as important as his...

Sometimes there is just no pleasing people.

I would not destroy a FOO relationship for someone who clearly values things over people.
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
[quote]

I believe that his WAS an issue that a poster took to Dr. Harley. Husband wanted the house scoured for errant crumbs and the chairs lined up in a certain way. If I remember correctly Dr. Harley told the husband that if HE wanted it done to this degree...that it was on HIM to either do it or hire it out to be done. He couldn't expect his wife to do it to HIS degree.

So even Dr. Harley thinks that sometimes its on the person who wants it to get it done....and not expect the spouse to meet a need.


committed
You do remember correctly. I was leaning tword Vibrissa on this one, (good advice VB). but this is an issue that stuck with me last night. It is the difference between a need and a want.


BROOM, first; hear this.... You are NOT your wifes x husband!. Toss that thought out a high window. You are not expected to be him, nor be like him, or provide like him. what a yucky idea. skeptical

You are your own man/husband/father (?) with needs, too. You have to use your gut and common sense to provide for your family.
Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 03:33 PM
I really appreciate all the feedback I've been given. I really like the ideas regarding using MB philosophy in regards to realizing that my wife's expectations are an accurate portrayal of how she feels and that whether or not I agree with those expectations if I want to remain married to her, and more importantly remain happily married to her, I need to figure out how to meet her expectations or at least satisfy her in how she sees my efforts to meet those needs.
My understanding of meeting needs is that the couple should look at it as a "team" approach. In any sports team at any given time a specific member or members may be givng more...ie a goalie when the other team's offense is outstanding. In order to assure that goals aren't scored, the goalie must really put himself out there during the times the ball is nearby. If the ball is always being shot at goal, then the team needs to reconfigure and come up with a plan because the current one isn't working and the goalie is getting tired. It isn't just the the goalie's problem and it isn't any one person's fault.

IRL, if your family needs more income to be comfortable for all included then the "team" needs to change it's approach. That doesn't translate into you taking on your dad. It does however, mean you need to discuss what is needed and ways to get there.

I am dealing with this now, where hurt feelings tend to cloud judgements and we get defensive when something is changed. In a team, players are hurt or angry when they are moved or removed but if they are truly team players, they realize the benefit and cheer from the sidelines.

Recognizing her need as a valid one could go a long way.
Some of the replies to this have been appalling!! I see no reason to think this wife is abusive or values people over things. To use Bubble's scenario...it's more like a husband wanting anal sex because his wife is having anal sex with someone else, so shouldn't he get some? Seriously, ridiculous. I didn't see anything about the poster working himself to the bone while his wife sits on her throne and complains. THAT was not in his post. There was a lot in his post that totally seemed like valid stuff for his wife to be upset about. I don't even see where she is asking him to WORK MORE!!! Just get paid fairly for what he is already doing. That's abusive?? Wow.

All the time a spouse is at work is time that they are filling only one need for their spouse: FS. You can't fill any other needs while you work. You CAN get a lot of your own needs filled when you work. You can get admiration, conversation etc. What I gather is that Broom is working for less than he deserves because of family dynamics. (Is he getting admiration from his Father or other family members for working so hard?? hmmm) Broom's father and FOO is getting more FS from Broom because they are paying him less than they could or should. (Broom alluded to the fact that he has some reason to let things be this way) He is taking time and money away from his own family. Now, some wives might be okay with that. I don't know many...but whatever, doesn't matter. His wife isn't okay with it. Broom was blaming it on her need for nice things. BUT are we sure she isn't just frustrated that she could have nicer things IF her husband was getting his fair share for work he is doing? Work that, I assume, takes him away from his family? If a spouse is making less money than he should in order to keep other people happy...that does not make for a happy marriage and it doesn't have all that much to do with wanting to drive a nice car.

Broom-in your post you describe you and your wife as "comfortably middle class" and you parents as "upper middle class" so your parents are doing better in the FS department than you guys, right? Also, your sister is getting FS from the family business now or in the future and she doesn't actually do any work? These are really tricky dynamics and your wife doesn't have to be bad in any way to be upset by them. Your FOO doesn't have to be bad for these to dynamics to be in place. I think this situation is pretty commonplace. I am not surprised that most your fights are about this topic...

Broom, I read your update. It sounds like you are on the right track. If you can truly have an honest conversation with your wife you may be surprised at what you guys can come up with. It's a good sign that you didn't come back and get defensive smile

Originally Posted by Broom
I really appreciate all the feedback I've been given. I really like the ideas regarding using MB philosophy in regards to realizing that my wife's expectations are an accurate portrayal of how she feels and that whether or not I agree with those expectations if I want to remain married to her, and more importantly remain happily married to her, I need to figure out how to meet her expectations or at least satisfy her in how she sees my efforts to meet those needs.


Exactly, Broom! This is the heart of Marriage Builders.

Just realize that this program is a whole system. The parts interlock to create a whole. So you need to work on this need, and ensure that you avoid Love Busters. You need to be Radically Honest about your thoughts and feelings. You also must be making it a goal to hit a minimum of 15 hours of Undivided attention time together.

All this together creates a loving, caring environment where you can actually HAVE the conversation you need to have. You gotta kinda work on a little bit of all of it at once.

It takes time, and patience, and care, but you can get there!
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Just get paid fairly for what he is already doing. That's abusive?? Wow.

Where do you get that?

He said My problem with this is that she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners.

There are 3 people that have an interest in this business and she wants him to get the others out so that he is sole owner.

I see that as manipulative and hostile...which constitutes abuse in my opinion.

committed
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 06:07 PM
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
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Just get paid fairly for what he is already doing. That's abusive?? Wow.

Where do you get that?

He said My problem with this is that she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners.

There are 3 people that have an interest in this business and she wants him to get the others out so that he is sole owner.

I see that as manipulative and hostile...which constitutes abuse in my opinion.

committed

I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she doesn't know how to state what she needs. I'm telling you, Broom, to my ear this whole thing sounds like your wife wants a husband who is THE MAN. Not such a bad thing to want. Big, powerful men are tres sexy!

I don't know much about your personality, so I'll ask you: are you a peace-keeper, conflict-avoider type? If you are, that could be the actual 'problem' in your marriage, that your W has lost respect for you in small increments over the years when she sees you back down (or just not stand up) and that could be why she encourages you to have a knock-down with your father. The lack-of-respect bucket is full and she wants it dumped all at once.

You can turn that around without turning into a jerk or getting into big conflicts. I won't go on, in case I'm way off.

Anyway...have you two done the ENQ, LBQ, and the other financial inventory I linked earlier? It sounds like your wife is fully out of withdrawal, is that your assessment? Will she do these with you?
Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by wannatry
Broom-in your post you describe you and your wife as "comfortably middle class" and you parents as "upper middle class" so your parents are doing better in the FS department than you guys, right? Also, your sister is getting FS from the family business now or in the future and she doesn't actually do any work? These are really tricky dynamics and your wife doesn't have to be bad in any way to be upset by them. Your FOO doesn't have to be bad for these to dynamics to be in place. I think this situation is pretty commonplace. I am not surprised that most your fights are about this topic...


Yours was a very insightful post. Much of what you've said is dead on and much of the dynamic is due to how my wife perceives my father and extended family gaining from my work. While I don't totally agree with my wife's perceptions there is a lot of truth to them. I'm sure this is a common dynamic in family businesses.

Most of the conflict in my marriage has been the result of my refusing to validate my wife's need for FS and to address it in a way that satisfied her expectations. I felt her need was excessive and the way I dealt with her created a huge amount of turmoil in the marriage. I justified my position by believing I was doing as much as I could and that our situation was good and slowly getting better. That's all well and good but as we know from MB my wife's perception is what matters when it comes to making her happy or at least satisfied with my efforts. I've learned through MB and through experience that you've got to work with other people's perceptions, especially in such an intimate relationship as marriage. I am trying.
She wants that, because she feels it is the only way to get the financial support she needs.

She, obviously, feels her husband is being treated unfairly and is not standing up for himself.

She wants her need met and only sees one way to get it, this is because she hasn't brainstormed. She is wanting to take extreme measures because she is probably at the limit of what she can take as far as this need not being met.

She is probably at this extreme because she feels no one is on her side - even anonymous people she doesn't even know are condemning her on only a few hundred words of her husband's side of the story.

Yes, people can be abusive, and it is important to stop abuse. But the abuse label gets thrown around too easily sometimes.


Is there any evidence, in anything Broom has stated, that full implementation of MB WON'T fix the problem? Any reason at all to believe that if proper care and consideration were shown, if her husband truly sought to devise a plan (not actually meet, but just come up with a plan of actions to meet her need) that she wouldn't be responsive to this? That she wouldn't be capable of productive negotiation?

Why are we throwing her under the bus before she's even been given the chance? Why are we focusing on her when Broom is the one that needs help? How does saying she is a horrible person (when there is arguably little evidence that makes THAT observation an open and shut case) help Broom in ANY way?

Those of you calling his wife abusive and manipulative and flawed (though aren't we all) what is your advice to Broom? Serious MB advice? That he leave, without even trying? That he say "sorry not gonna even try to find a way to meet this need" (when all avenues of resolution haven't even come close to being pursued) then watch his marriage erode?
Broom, I don't have specific FS advice. But one of the cornerstones of MB is that every....EVERY need is equally valid. So what that means is, like V said, if FS is an EN then a spouse works like the dickens to meet it...period. If an EN is SF then the spouse works like the dickens to meet it....period. Same with DS, Conversation, etc. When we take one EN out of the mix and say, "well THIS one is different...." Then ALL of MB starts to crumble.

All ten are all equal, or the rest doesn't stand. And yes, I admit to saying that with my own EN's in mind too. There is no nice sounding "reason" for not consistently trying to meet any of them.
Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 06:23 PM
Originally Posted by CWMII
don't know much about your personality, so I'll ask you: are you a peace-keeper, conflict-avoider type? If you are, that could be the actual 'problem' in your marriage, that your W has lost respect for you in small increments over the years when she sees you back down (or just not stand up) and that could be why she encourages you to have a knock-down with your father. The lack-of-respect bucket is full and she wants it dumped all at once.


As a child of divorce I am most definitely the conflict avoident peace-keeper of the family. And you're right she's had just about enough of that. If you go back and check out some of my history here you'll see where she had withdrawn from me before, but we did make it through that period to become reunited again, but as I've said in this thread the same threat exists and continues to put a strain on our relationship.
Broom how are you doing in other elements of MB?

How is your Radical Honesty? Are you completely Open with your thoughts, feelings, expectations, dreams for the future, view of the present?

How are you doing on Love Busters?

How are you doing on UA time?

From your more recent posts, I think this is less about a dollar amount of money, but needing to see in you a man that is confident, strong, and willing to put his immediate family's needs above catering to his extended family. Someone that will speak up and demonstrate some ambition.

She is probably seeing you as a bit of a doormat. No woman want's to be married to a doormat.

It may be less: I need so much money; and more: I need a man who believes enough in himself and values me and his family enough to have courage to get his fair share.

Making your wife 'suffer' in order to keep peace in your family of origin communicates the idea that your birth family is more important to you than your wife and children.

Now I am not advocating burning bridges, but would it be reasonable for you to approach your father and request more compensation, in possible trade for increased responsibility? Would it be possible for you to go to your father and begin talking about what the transition of power in this company will look like and what the time table for that is? Even if it is a few years out.
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 06:35 PM
Originally Posted by Broom
Originally Posted by CWMII
don't know much about your personality, so I'll ask you: are you a peace-keeper, conflict-avoider type? If you are, that could be the actual 'problem' in your marriage, that your W has lost respect for you in small increments over the years when she sees you back down (or just not stand up) and that could be why she encourages you to have a knock-down with your father. The lack-of-respect bucket is full and she wants it dumped all at once.


As a child of divorce I am most definitely the conflict avoident peace-keeper of the family. And you're right she's had just about enough of that. If you go back and check out some of my history here you'll see where she had withdrawn from me before, but we did make it through that period to become reunited again, but as I've said in this thread the same threat exists and continues to put a strain on our relationship.

Okay. My H and I have been through this, where I practically hated him for the way he appeared to just lay down for everyone else and it frustrated me that I didn't get the same treatment, but more than that it frustrated me that he essentially forced ME to lay down with him, against my will.

Do you want me to share some small things that have made a huge difference to me in how I see him? Everyone is different, so I don't know if the things that turned my head will turn your wife's, but I figure it's worth a shot. smile
Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 08:12 PM
Anything either of you have to add would be greatly appreciated. I think you two have a pretty good grasp of the situation.
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 09:24 PM
For me, every time he considered my feelings ABOVE ANYONE ELSE'S, it made a huge impact on my LB$. Very simple things, like complaining to a waiter if I'd mentioned something amiss to him. Or saying no to someone's request to borrow something (or someone, like him!) if he knew I wouldn't agree to it.

I don't know about you, but my H was more concerned with being nice to waiters, telemarketers, friends, extended family, than he was with standing up for himself or me. It was maddening.

Every little minor chance you have to show her that you will protect her from intruders, take it. You don't have to turn into a mean old man to do this, you only have to be firm and strong. If my H is any indication, I can assure you that it gets easier with practice. Intruders are anyone who hijack your family's resources, whether it be time, money, things, headspace...

Every little minor chance that you have to show her that you value her happiness over anyone else's, take it. For example, let's say your father wants you to stay late at work to take care of something, and you've already made plans to take your wife out that evening. (You are doing that, aren't you?) Either your dad is going to be upset, or your wife. NEVER let it be your wife.

There are lots and lots of opportunities every day for someone to be unhappy. Keep the motto that it will never be you or your wife, and you should be able to fill that LB$ and make the rest of the program easier to implement.

Just look for little opportunities to be a Knight for your wife, even if it's just flagging down a waiter to get her a new fork. If she is not accustomed to being protected and cared for by you, it will knock her socks off. Well, it did me. smile

Posted By: themud Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 10:02 PM
CWMI,

This is what is wrong with society... the whole knight in shining armour. Is it unreasonable to want my wife to have NO cellulite on her A$$ then? Or how about no wrinkles?

I am betting that his dad started the company, right? I bet his dad has busted his a$$ for decades to get it to a level that he can hire family and pay them a comfortable income to live and work. I bet that the way he wants to give money to his daughter is his business and he has his reasons and doesn't have to be accountable to broom's wife for it. I'm betting that broom's wife hasn't earned a nickle from broom's dad. Even if broom has been working there 10 years, I bet broom is making 2x what the longest term employee (non-family) is making, plus extra perks. If his dad was smart he would make broom work twice as hard from the bottom up for cents on the dollar until broom could run the company in his sleep with one side of his brain tied behind his back. Know why? Because if broom's wife had ANY delayed gratification training she would realize that at some point broom WILL be running the company. And all the respect that she gives broom and his dad NOW, WILL PAY BACK IN SPADES in the future, at a time when she will look at all the $hat she wants now and think how immature she was when she disrespected her FIL's hardwork and her husbands determination to learn to run that compnay.

If he is 45 yr old or younger HE HASN'T EARNED HIS WAY TO RUN THAT COMPANY. And I'll bet my life savings that he hasn't earned where he is now compared to some longstanding employees.

Ever see where dad let's junior run the company and he runs it into the ground b/c he never earned it, he was given it or given the opportunity and screwed it. Better to not marry a contentious wife than to have all the gold in the world, because she will depart with it.
Posted By: themud Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 10:07 PM
Broom,

Want my opinion? Sit down with your dad man to man and tell him it is your goal to run that company some day and you need to learn which end of the toilet scrubber to hold, to toughest logistics... and START BUSTING YOU A-- OFF LEARNING 2X WHAT EVERY EMPLOYEE KNOWS and how to anticipate EVERYTHING RELATED TO THAT BUSINESS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE.

At the same time, sit down with Queen Of-D-Nile and tell her you sat down with your dad and have a long range plan with him. Tell her that at this point two in the bush is more profitable than one in the hand, that this is a marathon, you can be 5 feet and 200lbs and be leading the marathon 100 feet from the start but another mile and you'll be last, that it's slow and steady, and you can win the prize.
Broom, just go to your wife and talk to her with an open mind and no agenda. She might be accustomed to having to fight to get her point across, so a calm conversation might be hard at first.

What are her biggest complaints? You haven't told us if you work long hours or if you have to be at the beck and call of the business. We don't really have much to go on. I only ask because it would be really good if you went to her with a few of the things regarding the business that bother her and tell her what you are going to do differently from now on. Of course, you can always ask her smile But it sounds like she is pretty fed up and wants you to change everything...

What is going on with you and the family business? Do you put your father and the business before your family? If so, stop now and tell your wife what you are doing.

It's hard to give advice without more details smile I did try to read between the lines, but I gave you all I had. You can post more details and get our take, or read all you can about MB concepts...or both smile Definitely start getting your 15 hours of UA time!!
Originally Posted by themud
CWMI,

This is what is wrong with society... the whole knight in shining armour. Is it unreasonable to want my wife to have NO cellulite on her A$$ then? Or how about no wrinkles?

I am betting that his dad started the company, right? I bet his dad has busted his a$$ for decades to get it to a level that he can hire family and pay them a comfortable income to live and work. I bet that the way he wants to give money to his daughter is his business and he has his reasons and doesn't have to be accountable to broom's wife for it. I'm betting that broom's wife hasn't earned a nickle from broom's dad. Even if broom has been working there 10 years, I bet broom is making 2x what the longest term employee (non-family) is making, plus extra perks. If his dad was smart he would make broom work twice as hard from the bottom up for cents on the dollar until broom could run the company in his sleep with one side of his brain tied behind his back. Know why? Because if broom's wife had ANY delayed gratification training she would realize that at some point broom WILL be running the company. And all the respect that she gives broom and his dad NOW, WILL PAY BACK IN SPADES in the future, at a time when she will look at all the $hat she wants now and think how immature she was when she disrespected her FIL's hardwork and her husbands determination to learn to run that compnay.

If he is 45 yr old or younger HE HASN'T EARNED HIS WAY TO RUN THAT COMPANY. And I'll bet my life savings that he hasn't earned where he is now compared to some longstanding employees.

Ever see where dad let's junior run the company and he runs it into the ground b/c he never earned it, he was given it or given the opportunity and screwed it. Better to not marry a contentious wife than to have all the gold in the world, because she will depart with it.

This may all be true! But we don't have enough details to know. What if he isn't getting paid 2X what other employees make? We need more details.
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by themud
CWMI,

This is what is wrong with society... the whole knight in shining armour. Is it unreasonable to want my wife to have NO cellulite on her A$$ then? Or how about no wrinkles?

I am betting that his dad started the company, right? I bet his dad has busted his a$$ for decades to get it to a level that he can hire family and pay them a comfortable income to live and work. I bet that the way he wants to give money to his daughter is his business and he has his reasons and doesn't have to be accountable to broom's wife for it. I'm betting that broom's wife hasn't earned a nickle from broom's dad. Even if broom has been working there 10 years, I bet broom is making 2x what the longest term employee (non-family) is making, plus extra perks. If his dad was smart he would make broom work twice as hard from the bottom up for cents on the dollar until broom could run the company in his sleep with one side of his brain tied behind his back. Know why? Because if broom's wife had ANY delayed gratification training she would realize that at some point broom WILL be running the company. And all the respect that she gives broom and his dad NOW, WILL PAY BACK IN SPADES in the future, at a time when she will look at all the $hat she wants now and think how immature she was when she disrespected her FIL's hardwork and her husbands determination to learn to run that compnay.

If he is 45 yr old or younger HE HASN'T EARNED HIS WAY TO RUN THAT COMPANY. And I'll bet my life savings that he hasn't earned where he is now compared to some longstanding employees.

Ever see where dad let's junior run the company and he runs it into the ground b/c he never earned it, he was given it or given the opportunity and screwed it. Better to not marry a contentious wife than to have all the gold in the world, because she will depart with it.

What part of this has anything to do with building a marriage? It sounds like you're recommending that he go back in time and not have married her. How is that helpful?
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/21/10 10:39 PM
Originally Posted by themud
CWMI,

This is what is wrong with society... the whole knight in shining armour. Is it unreasonable to want my wife to have NO cellulite on her A$$ then? Or how about no wrinkles?

What in the world does fetching a fork or telling people no have to do with BIOLOGY? Do you not realize that one is an action one takes, and the other is acted upon them? If your wife refuses to use moisturizer or eat right, you have an actionable complaint. But what biology does to aging cells is beyond her control. Sorry.
Broom, how many years have you been working at the company?

Do you have children?

Does your wife work?

What is the dollar amount per year your wife thinks would make her happy? And if you don't have children young enough that requires a parent to stay home, how much financially is she contributing?

How many hours a week are you working now?

Do you guys have a budget set out that shows exactly how much is needed for the necessities (mortgage, utilities, etc) and how much is spent on niceties (hair salon trips, DVD purchases, dates out, manicures, golfing equipment, etc)
My family is somewhat upper middle class and I am part of a business that is owned and operated by my father and I (I have a sister who also has an interest in the business through a family trust). This is what no doubt played a big part in my being acceptable to her when we first met and dated.

she feels that there is a lot more I could be doing to force my father to make sure I fullfil her EN for financial support.

she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners

These things are just ugly, ugly, ugly.

She wants a lifestyle at the expense of his father and I find it deplorable that he isn't shutting this down.

committed
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
My family is somewhat upper middle class and I am part of a business that is owned and operated by my father and I (I have a sister who also has an interest in the business through a family trust). This is what no doubt played a big part in my being acceptable to her when we first met and dated.

she feels that there is a lot more I could be doing to force my father to make sure I fullfil her EN for financial support.

she wants me to have a major confrontation with my father over the business, get him out of it, and then proceed with us as the sole owners

These things are just ugly, ugly, ugly.

She wants a lifestyle at the expense of his father and I find it deplorable that he isn't shutting this down.

committed

He isn't shutting it down because of this:

Quote
I can see that the root cause of all our problems has always been my inability to meet her need for financial support. I imagine my wife would disagree with that assessment

He's speculating. He thinks his wife doesn't like him because of money. THINKS.
Posted By: kerala Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 01:56 AM
Broom, how clearly (if ever) has your wife told you that she would like you to have a confrontation with your father and get him out of the business? That was a pretty specific statement you attributed to her so it would helpful to know if that is also speculation on your part, or she has actually said that.
Also, we don't know what role exactly he plays at the company. Some have speculated that he is a relatively new, non-integral employee that gets paid twice as much as older more experienced employees. OR he could do most of the work for not enough pay and be sacrificing his family's needs to enrich his father and sister. We don't know. It may even be totally valid and rational for his wife to think he should just take over the company. What if he has been doing most of the work almost single-handedly for many years? We don't have the details. Almost all posters phrase early posts to make sure they don't look like the bad guy. If his wife would disagree with his assessment (as he said she probably would) I want her assessment, or even his interpretation of her assessment, before calling her actions "ugly". She may very well want something unreasonable, but if Broom hasn't taken her thoughts seriously and partnered with her it is totally possible that she doesn't even understand the full dynamics of the situation. Seriously, I am sure we all know men and woman that will work hard to please other people while their families suffer. I can't even count the number of people that do this. Actually, people that put their spouses and children first just may be in the minority, it seems to me sometimes.
This has just run into a mess of speculation.
There is no way we can advise Broom, without details.

Guessing about important facts is pure bloviation.
This has become a guessing game.

How old are you?
How old is she?
Do you have any kids?
Ages?
Mutual? Step?
How long married?
Previous M's? (both)
Have you taken a complete inventory of MB questionares?
Have you read any of Dr. H's books?

Does your W work outside the home?
How long has your family built this buisness?
What are the dynamics of this buisness that is crutial to consider before you make any "confrontations"?

Many posters donate much of their free time to help others. We are not here to play "Ask five questions". Firing off advice withouth knowing more info than what has been given is speculation at best.
This could possibly be the same wife that wanted to end the marriage in 2006 but wanted to stay in the marital home (WITH him) so that he could support her in the style to which she had become accustomed.

They were separated but living together, she had her some "hobbies" that she thought he should financially support.

He had made comment in the past that she freely admitted that she would take advantage of him as long as he let her.

She actually thought it would be no big deal to live together after the divorce. She didn't want to suffer financially with the divorce. MrRollieEyes

Hopefully he will spread some light on the not so clear parts of his original post.

commited
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
This could possibly be the same wife that wanted to end the marriage in 2006 but wanted to stay in the marital home (WITH him) so that he could support her in the style to which she had become accustomed.

They were separated but living together, she had her some "hobbies" that she thought he should financially support.

He had made comment in the past that she freely admitted that she would take advantage of him as long as he let her.

She actually thought it would be no big deal to live together after the divorce. She didn't want to suffer financially with the divorce. MrRollieEyes

Hopefully he will spread some light on the not so clear parts of his original post.

commited

Where are you getting this? Did I miss something?
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 03:42 PM
Originally Posted by wannatry
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
This could possibly be the same wife that wanted to end the marriage in 2006 but wanted to stay in the marital home (WITH him) so that he could support her in the style to which she had become accustomed.

They were separated but living together, she had her some "hobbies" that she thought he should financially support.

He had made comment in the past that she freely admitted that she would take advantage of him as long as he let her.

She actually thought it would be no big deal to live together after the divorce. She didn't want to suffer financially with the divorce. MrRollieEyes

Hopefully he will spread some light on the not so clear parts of his original post.

commited

Where are you getting this? Did I miss something?

Broom's posting history. All that was in his first post back in 06.
Originally Posted by CWMI
Originally Posted by wannatry
Originally Posted by committedandlovi
This could possibly be the same wife that wanted to end the marriage in 2006 but wanted to stay in the marital home (WITH him) so that he could support her in the style to which she had become accustomed.

They were separated but living together, she had her some "hobbies" that she thought he should financially support.

He had made comment in the past that she freely admitted that she would take advantage of him as long as he let her.

She actually thought it would be no big deal to live together after the divorce. She didn't want to suffer financially with the divorce. MrRollieEyes

Hopefully he will spread some light on the not so clear parts of his original post.

commited

Where are you getting this? Did I miss something?

Broom's posting history. All that was in his first post back in 06.

Thanks, I went back and read that first post. More of the same! I still don't understand where the (mis?)characterizations of the wife are coming from! I have EVEN MORE sympathy for her now. Broom sounds like he knows that and is quite contrite. What I got out of it is that she devoted herself to her kids and family while they were young while her husband LIED to her about his work (with the family business) and his WAGES. So, she was sacrificing her earning potential and career advancement to stay home and take care of the kids and do the majority of the housework while her husband LIED ABOUT HIS WAGES. He mentions that he started helping more around the house after the separation, which means he wasn't helping her much before. What the heck am I missing here?? How does it help Broom to criticize his wife? She may not have been doing everything right, but most of us didn't before we found MB. I didn't read all the posts, but many posters want to look like the "good guy" once they start getting criticism and post additional negative details about their spouse. But Reading these "first" posts is pretty illuminating...

Wow!!
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 06:58 PM
Broom: how are the chances of you NOT working in the family business? Have you considered it? Could you get the same sweet deal as your sister, and do your business elsewhere?
Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 07:37 PM
You asked for it...

My wife and I are in our mid-40�s
married 16yrs
2 sons 14, 11
this is her second marriage and my first...

My wife and I have a lot of history in our marriage and much of it is bad. I carry most of the blame for this primarily because I had no idea about how to deal with her needs from our marriage from the very beginning. My wife is a very combative person. I am the opposite of this. I'm sure on some level she liked that about me because it makes me easy for her to control simply by being herself. She was very careful not to be this way prior to our getting married, although I wasn't taken by surprise by her assertiveness after the fact, I was however taken by surprise by the sever increase and direction her assertiveness took after we were married. Looking back I can see where she was making strong compromises with me in regards to FS and confronting my family: No honeymoon � just a weekend trip to a local B&B. No diamond engagement ring, we bought our own bands with our own money. We lived in her modest home for the first 5 years of marriage, before our first home upgrade. My pay in the family business was modest at first and raises were slow in coming. When she felt I needed to step up and didn�t she felt justified in being extremely assertive, to the point of being verbally abusive. I felt duped by her. This pattern began the day we got married and I simply had no clue what to do about it or how to deal with her. She used every tool at her command to motivate me to stand up for us (withholding sex, being mean or nice to the point of verbal abuse, you name it she pretty much did it). I finally started telling her what she wanted to hear just to get her to leave me alone. Naturally over time this approach stopped working and the pattern would continue, but renewed. I should also say my wife suffers from depression and has long taken medication for this. She�s never been diagnosed bipolar, but her behavior would usually coincide with her monthly cycle and those where the times when the abuse was worst and occasionally would become physical (nothing that would leave a mark but she has struck me on occasion when she�d get mad enough). Her behavior justified in my mind my behavior towards her. A cycle of resentment began in both of us. We had 2 children and moved twice (both upgrades) during this intense period. She had a career but retired right before our first child was born. We went to a lot of MC, to no avail because neither of us changed fundamentally what we were doing. Me resenting her need for FS and her resenting my failure to fulfill that need and stand up for our family. 6 years ago we separated. We lived together but not as husband and wife. She began a new carrier/hobby during our separation and began to exert herself as an independent person again. I discovered MB and read HNHN and it really helped open my eyes to what had always been wrong in our marriage. Due to me being pragmatic and the fact that I still loved my wife I figured we were all better off living together but separated. This went on for 18 months. No sex, no interaction, just me trying to commit more for the family. After those 18 months she made the move to reconnect with me as husband and wife. I�d pretty much given up on it at that point so I was really surprised by that. The last 4 � years haven�t been perfect but I approach our marriage in a more MB fashion, and so we�re still together. I�d stopped lying to her prior to the separation, but I didn�t let go of the resentment. I did that during the separation after I began to understand MB. Today my wife owns 2 businesses that I bought for her out of money I provided (through good investments I�d made during our marriage). Her businesses don�t make any money though, they break even, but she is able to finance certain things she likes in life (primarily wardrobe, jewelry, and accessories). Also her businesses are a way for her to asset herself as an independent and valued person in her own right and in the community. I�m in a much better position with the family business and feel positive that the future has promise for me financially and stability even in this uncertain economy. A sore point for her is that I haven�t had a �raise� in 7 years. The truth is I�ve done well to maintain my income in that period, but she has a hard time seeing it that way. Last year I leased a vehicle for her that she absolutely can not stand. Putting her in it turned out to be a major love buster. At the time I figured it was a pretty nice car (a loaded Ford Explorer) and that her old car (a loaded Suburban that was beginning to get some miles on it) needed to be replaced. Turns out I would have done better to simply purchase the Suburban outright through my business but I didn�t and she really objects to the Explorer. My justification is I was being frugal while providing the family with a new reliable nice car. She was thinking more along the lines of a Range Rover or Mercedes. Part of her ire is that she�s getting older and she feels she deserves a nice car, she�s compromised enough and it�s due her. She�s also still pushing for more income. That�s never changed but she sees my father and she also feels it�s due. She continues to carry a lot of resentment about our past. I don�t blame her for this. It was all pretty bad, but at some point you�ve either got to let it go or do something about it. I�m pretty tired of it all too and I�ll never go down that road with her or anyone else again. It�s easy for me to love bust when she starts to push for the things she feels are her due. I recognize though that MB is the best way for me to go in order for us to succeed together. She�s somewhat aware of MB but she really isn�t interested in pursuing something along the lines of therapy with me. All in all I�m comfortable working MB on my own with her. It�s gotten me this far, but due to our circumstances making our marriage work is a challenge.
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 08:07 PM
Broom, does she understand that MB is not therapy? It is a behavior-based plan. Zero naval-gazing. smile

How much IB are you doing? You do realize that choosing a car for her to drive was IB, right?

You may be comfortable (in your own conflict-avoidant way) with working MB solo, but it will not be successful unless you BOTH participate. You two appear to have a huge commitment to each other. Use that to jump off to a better marriage, a fantastic marriage.

How would you feel about asking her to read the basic concepts? You could print them out and present them to her for her perusal, and ask her to share her thoughts on the concepts when she's finished. Honestly, it sounds like you both are looking for a way to make this work. I think a consensual acceptance of the basic concepts is a good starting point for true implementation of the entire program.

Basic concepts.
LBQ
ENQ
RC and FS inventories

In that order.

Will you step out of your comfort zone long enough to make effective improvement to your marriage? You both deserve to thrive.

(*important notice* Have the concepts ready for her, but do not force them on her. Don't throw them down and say, "Here, you need to read this and give me a 3-5 page report on it when you're done." Try something like, "I know you've heard me talk about MB before. I've been learning a lot more about it lately, and honestly, I think it is just what we need to rise to the next level in our marriage and in our family. I love you, and I want to be the kind of husband that MB describes. But I don't know if that is what you want. Would you read through the basic concepts and give me your thoughts on it? Does it describe what you'd like our marriage to be like?")
You purchased a car for her without her input. This is a serious IB/LB and I think most people would be upset by it. You may have done it because you didn't want to buy the type of car she wanted, but it sounds like you didn't attempt to negotiate. You could have told her an amount you were comfortable spending. From there, she could have possibly suggested ways to add more money into the budget (maybe by spending less on other things) and found a car that fit her taste within that budget. By purchasing a car she didn't want for her, you communicated that you don't care about her feelings.

If you told her you engaged in IB because you wanted to be frugal, it is not surprise that she would respond by saying, why don't you ask for a raise. A 2% raise every year for 7 years could have made up the difference between a Ford and a Mercedes.

The businesses she runs are not locked in to only breaking even for forever. You may consider helping her come up with a solution to make them profitable. If she takes pride in running them like you say she does, I am sure she would be happy to find a way to make them profitable.

I could be wrong but it seems like you don't show her that you hear her concerns and care about her input. I would suggest working on the POJA.
Thanks for such a detailed and honest post. What kind of input are you looking for? It looks like Love Busters are a big problem for you guys, have you read Love Busters?

Before I knew better (and afterwards, to be honest) I committed a lot of love busters. So did my DH. He committed enough that I was done with our marriage. Something that really clicked with both of us after reading Love Busters is this: even if you have a reasonable want, need or request committing a love buster in order to get what you want or to punish your spouse for not giving you what you want you are wrong. You have been partly been focusing on what your wife wants and has wanted. All those things were okay and valid, but she committed major love busters when she didn't get what she wanted and needed. You did the same. You mention throughout your post that many of your actions were due to resentment and not being able to let go of the past, and yet you are very frustrated that she can't or won't let go...

The only solution is to read the MB material and apply it diligently. If your wife won't participate, then do it yourself and come here for feedback. It is pretty clear from your post that you haven't internalized the concepts yet (it is hard and can take a while). Your post is full of Disrespectful Judgments and you justify not giving your wife's needs consideration when you don't think they are valid or acceptable.

Only you can decide how long you want to work on things on your own. I think if you really read and absorb the material and come here for feedback you may be able to really meet your wife's needs and avoid love busters. If you can do that for a while you may be able to get your wife on board to try Marriage Builders together. Ask her all the time what she wants and needs from you. Take her answers seriously and don't get defensive.

Honestly, though, there is often a cycle of love busters. In your post it is clear that her love busters are often (always?) in reaction to yours and vice versa. You may be able to break the cycle all by yourself. If you are open and honest, if you take her wants and needs into serious consideration etc. you may find that the yelling and attacks subside. She is love busting you in order to punish you or attempt to get her needs met. That doesn't make it okay, but it does give you tools to stop it by yourself.

Am I understanding this correctly: you bought/traded her car without her enthusiastic agreement? Did you even consult her? What made you choose a Ford Explorer? Why didn't she pick her own car? You could have bought a nice used Mercedes or other more luxurious vehicle, there were many possible solutions to that problem. I keep getting the impression from your posts that it isn't just the car she is driving that's the problem but how exactly she ended up with that car...and house, and lifestyle...Are you willing to completely change how you are interacting with your wife?

Unless the business was in the red or making ZERO profit for 7 years, which I suppose is possible in this economy, or you were getting some sort of deferred compensation above and beyond what other shareholders (who aren't working employees) in the company are getting, it is unacceptable for you to not get or request a raise in 7 years. Your wife is right smile
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/22/10 08:16 PM
My H traded my car in without my knowledge, and I lost my pool cue, that was in the trunk, that I'd had since I was eighteen years old, in the process.

Dang, now I'm mad.
Posted By: themud Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/23/10 08:51 PM
Broom,

You poor thing. You had buy your wedding rings with your own money? You could only afford B&B and nobody flipped for a 2 week honeymoom in Hawaii?

Sorry, that was mean.

Look. It's good you made some money in your investments help buy some businesses for W. Sit her down and tell her that she is only breaking even, when she can turn her businesses into what you dad has, you have no problem conceding to her requests. She can buy a Range Rover through her biz right? Not making enough? Huh... guess it's hard running a profitable business, can't she give your dad that respect?

I haven't had a raise from my business... ever!!! I do enjoy the perks of making more profit. I'm betting you and W get more perks than you are aware of... sick days, mental health days, vacation time dinners out. Who pays for dinners out with your parents? Dad I'll bet, how often do you do that? Or how much "stuff" do you have that was bought by dad that is in your house? Most of us get squat from our parents and infact pay for our parents dinner when we go out with them.

Car input? Most cars have a 30 day return... you could have taken it back. Tell her to use her income to trade in for a mercedes, I had no idea that at xx age you "deserve" a nice new luxury car.

Where's Melody when you need her................
I don't know what part of the planet you live. But here in the US, you own the car the day you sign the papers. There's no 3 day cooling off period, not to mention 30 days.

I believe cooling off periods only apply to door to door or telephone sales. (Now some states my allow a cooling off period, but I seriously doubt it.)

Therefore, once you sign the sales contract, unless there is a problem with financing, you own the car, period.

I'd like to see what state allows one 30 days to return the car. Unless that's built into the deal, it's an urban legend, and bears no resemblance to actual contract law.
Posted By: CWMI Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 09/23/10 09:55 PM
EE, you would be surprised by the number of people who successfully return cars after one or two days. Car dealers want business. In that short of a time period (before titling), I can say IME (three dealerships, which is 75% of my experience with car dealerships) that you can return a car, voiding the entire purchase, but usually minus any down payment you paid directly to the dealership unless you purchase a different car from them upon returning the first.

Contract law doesn't really matter in a business where repeat and referral is so vital. The managers will tear up a contract to get a future customer.

The salesguys HATE it. But it happens.
Originally Posted by CWMI
EE, you would be surprised by the number of people who successfully return cars after one or two days. Car dealers want business. In that short of a time period (before titling), I can say IME (three dealerships, which is 75% of my experience with car dealerships) that you can return a car, voiding the entire purchase, but usually minus any down payment you paid directly to the dealership unless you purchase a different car from them upon returning the first.

Contract law doesn't really matter in a business where repeat and referral is so vital. The managers will tear up a contract to get a future customer.

The salesguys HATE it. But it happens.

Sure, they may be able to return the car for another. But if they buy a new car, they are either trading it in, or selling it back, usually at a loss.

I'd hardly call that returning the car.

I'd hardly call that having X number of days to do it. If a dealership does it, it's because it's for their benefit, not because of some consumer protection.

As a former Army officer, I've seen soldiers bitten by that sort of Latrine Lawyer advice from their fellow soldiers. They end up owning the car, and their buddy who told them they have three days or 30 days or whatever is not on the hook for the car.
Broom, it's been awhile... do you have an update? I'm curious because in my (now defunct) marriage, my ex had an entitlement personality. Basically, he'd pulled himself out of the ghetto (that was true) now it was time to live the good life. Unfortunately, his appetites outgrew our income and after too long of being sole supporter (3 jobs) I put my foot down. This issue ruined our (already troubled) marriage.

I have a very hard time understanding the desire for luxury things based only on "I deserve it." I do like to buy nicer things when they will last longer or fit better, but I hate debt.

Not saying your wife is wrong to want nicer stuff, but I've always had the mindset that if I want something I can't afford, I work extra, save, or readjust my expectations, so it�s just hard for me to understand why she would blame you for not having what she wants.

That said, I'd like to go back to what CWMI said awhile back-- especially since your wife is aggressive and successful (even if not extremely profitable) with her businesses. If you tend towards being conflict avoidant, standing up for her and the kids in little ways like CWMI mentioned can go a long way towards making her feel valued and loved. Her feeling more valued and loved goes a long way toward her being satisfied with what you make (and with more of your decisions). At least it did for me, long ago. Didn�t last though. Eventually, my opinions and thoughts fell to the bottom of the priority list. And whether or not your wife is �right� to want greater level of FS, doing what you can to show her she is at the top of your priority list goes a long way. Since kicking your dad out of the business he built doesn�t appear to be a smart decision there are many other little smart decisions you can make to improve things.
Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 02/14/12 08:54 PM
Time for an update.

Everything is pretty much the same. Well actually things have kinda gotten worse. The primary dynamics are the same, but those old resentments have led to new developments and the economy has also had it's impact on all involved.

First off my wife's two business have been economically unsuccessful. She started out with her first business and decided after a few years to purchase another. At the time she consulted in me regarding the purchase and I advised against it, but she was able at the time to finance the purchase through her existing business. The price was minimal ($3000), but my position was that since her existing business at best broke even (she was working full time for no pay so factoring in compensation for her time the case could be made the business operated at a loss) the last thing she needed was another business that would require more of her time and provide no income. Anyway she bought it and last summer both businesses hit rock bottom. We were able to get the person she purchased the second business from to take it back no questions asked. After pumping more cash into her original operation we were able to keep it solvent. All total we are down $200K with no real chance for recovering any of those funds. All through this my wife's contention has been that if I were being compensated at the same level as my father the loss of those funds would be inconsequential.

Secondly I have discovered that my wife has had at least one inappropriate relationship with another man whom she has employed (and continues to employ) as a handyman. A disgruntled former employee of hers called me and stated they were having an affair. Whether or not a PA occurred the relationship was definitely inappropriate because I caught her in several lies regarding this person. I have also suspected other behaviors of her's to be inappropriate. An old female friend of her's came back into her life a couple of years ago and while the two of them were at our house last year, and had been drinking, my wife had her friend spend the night and actually tried get me to agree to having the two of them sleep in the same bed with me. She did this with our two sons home in the house probably overhearing some if not all of what was said (they were drunk and kind of loud). I couldn't figure out if she wanted me to have sex with her friend, or a threesome, or (and this is probably the most likely case) just have the three of us sleep in the same bed because it was convenient (didn't have to make her friend sleep on the sofa or have to make up the guest bed)? I was appalled and told my wife that her friend was sleeping in the guest room and she could do whatever she (my wife) liked.

My wife has always been diagnosed with depression and takes prescription medication for it. She has also always been a drinker. When she was pregnant and the kids were little she quit but began drinking fairly heavily around about the time of our initial separation now seven years ago. I also drink but I seem to have a much better control of it than she. A couple of years ago she got a DUI while driving home after work after she had been at one of her employee's house. This is another example of suspicious behavior on her part because whatever she was doing was inappropriate for a married woman.

I don't see much point on attempting to uncover all of her misdeeds. I'm no saint either but I've never had any inappropriate relationships outside our marriage, but my understanding of MB leads me to understand what pushes people in the direction of infidelity. I have no interest in supporting my wife leading a life that doesn't include me though and as a result I have investigated divorce. The bad news there is that since my wife has no income when I divorce her I'll assume all the debt and have to provide her with whatever spousal support the judge deems necessary. I also realize that I have enabled all of her bad behavior. Were I to divorce her I have no doubt that she would quit drinking, get a real job (she has a college degree and is certainly employable), and in actuality become a better person. It is her resentment of our entire situation that is leading her to be so self destructive. It is because I know how capable she can be that I don't doubt that she would land on her feet were we to separate. I don't believe that her infidelities became physical because I do know her pretty well, but certainly the opportunity has been there and her anger and resentment towards me would not act as a preventative for doing something that she knows would cause me much pain and anguish.

Where I stand now is pretty much as an outside observer. So much has happened to us both that the thought of not having my wife in my life doesn't bother me. I'm a good looking guy. I'm young and in good shape. I have a pretty wide support network in my career and in life. Even with an ex-wife living on my nickel I could pursue another relationship. To be honest though right now I don't see that as being high on my list of priorities. I've lived the last seven years without a meaningful spousal relationship and as I get older the need isn't as strong as it once was. I'm more concerned about the kids. The oldest would deal with a divorce fairly well, but we're currently having a great deal of trouble with him being disrespectful. I'm not surprised by this given the state of his life the last seven years. The youngest would want to side with his mother. I contemplate all this in the event I get fed up enough with things and just divorce my wife. I've considered pursuing the infidelities and her DUI, but all that would do would be to strengthen my custody position and truth be told there I wouldn't want to force the kids into a position where they feel they have to choose between us. The best bet with a divorce I can see would be just to end it and take the debt and pay her whatever I have to going forward. Then accept joint custody realizing that in all probability the kids would end up with me and see her whenever they and she likes.

I can also keep on going the way I am. Her remaining business will soon fail and I'm not going to invest anymore money into it on anyone's behalf (her, her creditors, landlord, etc.). I really don't have anymore money in savings so that point is moot. I do have my interest in the family business, but that has been locked up in a family trust and while I'm sure if we do divorce her lawyer will attempt to pursue some form of recompense from it my understanding is that it is beyond her or even my ability to take. The trust only pays out income made and the trustee (my father) can structure that in such a way that nothing comes out. She could I suppose attempt to place some form of assignment against future payouts, but maybe if she goes in that direction that's when I fully lawyer up and show her just how nasty and spiteful I can be. We don't live in a huge town and there are steps I can take to make it difficult for her to hire local quality attorneys and out of town lawyers might reconsider taking her case given all of the circumstances. I could be overstating my position in a divorce, but to be honest if I divorce her whatever I have to pay would probably be well worth the cost. I haven't done all this because right now we're pretty much at rock bottom and I'm curious to see how everything plays out. If she expects to live her life the way it's been going the past seven years, well that's going to be pretty hard for her to do if she expects me to pay for it. Business is very egalitarian. When the money is gone the doors close. A lifestyle built upon said business and what it provides stops soon thereafter. Then you either figure out how to pay the bills you've got or else the bank steps in and does with it has to do.

I don't know maybe I'll print off this thread and let her read it. She's not one to respond well when backed into a corner, but she's put herself there and if she wants me to help get her out she's going to have to offer me something too. If our past resentments are too much for her to overcome, well the courts are there to handle that too.
An assignment on future trust income won't work for her.

1. Almost any trust worth it's salt has creditor protection (spendthrift) clauses forbidding the assignment of any monies to creditors.

2. There's no way to mandate a distribution....so even it she could somehow get rights to distributions (say your beneficiary interests have matured and you, today, could go in and withdraw the whole amount), your father could hold the distribution back and THEN send her a K1 for her share of the income (thus forcing her to pay income taxes on money she didn't receive).

Posted By: Broom Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 06/01/12 07:16 PM
Well we've closed her business. In doing so we've moved a huge volume of stuff to our home that my wife claims she'll sell via ebay. My wife has withdrawn from me primarily I believe because she feels she's been forced out of business. Forced out by a landlord she feels wouldn't work with her on reducing her rent (she was under a lease) and forced out by me since I refused to continue to finance her operation. I would characterize her behavior as that of a wayward spouse who has been forced to end the affair (figuratively and literally). None of this sits well with me because I don't think I'm willing to do what it is going to take to "win" my wife back to me.

There are changes taking place within my family business that will no doubt be upsetting for my wife in that she feels I should benefit far greater from the business than I do. My wife knows changes are coming but neither one of us has pushed the sharing of information regarding the business between the two of us. This is not a recipe for building a better marriage, but I don't see much give on her part in regards to what her expectations are from the business. She'll take concessions because in this regard she has no choice, but if her expectations aren't met she'll be resentful towards me because of the outcome. So I continue to wait, but it would be nice to feel like I was working towards something better...
Did you POJA closing down the business?
Posted By: Prisca Re: What if you can't meet an emotional need? - 06/02/12 04:06 AM
The businesses were opened at his expense, without his enthusiastic agreement. She violated POJA by opening them.

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley, Dr. Harley, Taking Generosity One Step Too Far in Love Busters
I explained to her that when the Policy of Joint Agreement has been violated, and a decision has been made without a joint agreement, a couple must correct the decision as quickly as possible.

Since the opening of the business was a violation of POJA, the violation must be corrected. Meaning, the business cannot stay open.
Originally Posted by Prisca
The businesses were opened at his expense, without his enthusiastic agreement. She violated POJA by opening them.

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley, Dr. Harley, Taking Generosity One Step Too Far in Love Busters
I explained to her that when the Policy of Joint Agreement has been violated, and a decision has been made without a joint agreement, a couple must correct the decision as quickly as possible.

Since the opening of the business was a violation of POJA, the violation must be corrected. Meaning, the business cannot stay open.

Totally agree and thanks for the information. So Broom are you and your wife going to use POJA from now on?
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