Marriage Builders®
Posted By: bigpicture Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 07:17 PM
Dear Spouse,
I wasn't acting out a malevolent desire to NOT be with you last night. I was just talking to you about the situation. In the kitchen when you told daughter about your desire to hear it, to me it sounded like you might have wanted to listen to it (Chip Ingrahm's Living On The Edge radio program) alone so I asked you about it nicely. Also I had a busy evening of serving other people and needed some time to myself for a few minutes.

Did part of your negative attitude begin when you thought I was being irresponsible for sitting at my desk when son age 10 was upstairs in bed? If that made you upset you should know that contrary to your judgment about what I should have been doing, he told me point blank last night "You are the best Dad in the world." because I had already made him feel cared-for when I was with him.

It reminds me of how I over-reacted to what I interpreted your intentions to be at A restaurant. After we spoke about it and you explained your reasoning I apologized for taking such offense.



You sent me this definition (of agape love) ? I learned this in 2007. Last night, Chip Ingrahm said agape love is: giving love to someone who deserves it least, at great personal sacrifice. Thats what I did in 2007, sacrificed my own well-being for our family. I know what I did. If you want to claim you do this too that's fine, I hope you are doing it for us too. But I am not going to disrespectfully and intentionally insult and hurt you by saying you don't know what it means. Your understanding of agape is yours alone, not for me to judge. Your disrespectful judgment in your text message to me that says I don't know what agape means hurts me deeply.



I asked you what you took away from the program we listened to and your reply is how husband (me) isn't a good leader. Then you said my heart has not changed. Does The Lords Prayer say "Point out your spouse's faults so they will change so you can be happy" or does it say

...forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us



My take away from the program is that servant-leadership is very difficult, I believe Chip said "impossible". He also said lots of things about wives affirming their husbands but your success or failure in your role is not for me to worry about.

When you confessed your sins to your Dad what was his response? Would you say he acted as a mature Christian by understanding it is not our role as humans to judge? When I insulted your mom by writing that she has a harsh judgmental attitude what was her response? More harsh judgments against me.

A mature Christian attitude is that we each use the new information to improve our own behavior in our God given roles, not use it against a spouse to point out their failures. I feel disrespected, insulted and hurt again by your rude, judgmental words that I am a poor leader. If you intend to use our Christian educational moments to continue judging how I am a failure then I don't want to continue in our marriage.

And judging that my heart has not changed will only provide more justification for divorce instead of promoting one-ness through forgiving.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 07:36 PM
Are you using the Marriage Builders program? It sounds like you do not have a good grasp on lovebusters or the danger of the concept of "sacrifice."

I am not exactly sure what you are asking in your post? Are you asking for help with the program?

Quote
Did part of your negative attitude begin when you thought I was being irresponsible for sitting at my desk when son age 10 was upstairs in bed? If that made you upset you should know that contrary to your judgment about what I should have been doing, he told me point blank last night "You are the best Dad in the world." because I had already made him feel cared-for when I was with him.

The solution to upsetting your wife is not to argue with her, but to stop doing the things that upset her.
Posted By: CWMI Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 07:37 PM
What exactly is your question here? Is this letter full of DJs?

Then, yes.
Posted By: markos Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 08:09 PM
The ladies are right, big; this letter is an attempt to educate your wife, and as such it is a massive withdrawal from her love bank.

It sounds like you guys have a lot of unresolved issues and spend a lot of silent times due to conflict. The solution is to learn to handle the conflict in a way that leads to a solution you are both happy about. That's a difficult path to navigate, especially when either or both husband or wife is used to addressing problems with demands, disrespect, or anger. But it is a skill that can be learned, with a little bit of feedback when you are stepping off the path, as you are doing here.

I find that disrespectful judgments are like minefields. As a former (current?) clueless husband, it is very easy to say something that is disrespectful without realizing it. There is no hope at all in trying to go back and explain why my wife shouldn't have taken it that way or why I didn't mean it that way. The solution is to learn what bothers my wife and what she perceives as disrespectful, and stop doing it!

One major important tip: if you are talking to your wife about what you feel she "should" be doing, you are engaging in a disrespectful judgment. Even if you think it's what God or Jesus or the Bible says she "should" be doing. Let God handle that. You "should" not be doing that, as it's not your job, and you are stepping outside your God-given role as a husband when you try to educate your wife.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 09:39 PM
I am not trying to educate my wife. I am drawing boundaries around myself against her DJs towards me.

1st paragraph:
Last night at 10pm she asked/invited me to listen to a program with her on the radio. When I talked to her about a mutual plan to do such, she DJ'd that I wasn't interested at all, got mad and gave me attitude for the rest of the night. We listened to it right then despite not POJA-ing.

2nd paragraph:
We POJAd that I would put son to bed. She DJ'd for how I was not putting our son to bed the way she would have wanted it to be. But she wasn't home prior to that. I took him to the doctor while she went to the gym to workout.

4th paragraph:
We listened to the radio program where they spoke about agape love. This morning I asked her what she got out of the program. She said YOU don't know what agape means. DJ! and incredibly insulting given how I plan A'd her for 6 months during her affair.

This is after I had made her coffee (deposit in her love bank), folded the laundry that by POJA she was supposed to do, and gave her a nice V-day card on her desk.

This morning I got no affection, no "good morning", no thanks, but plenty of DJ's about what a poor leader I am and how I don't know what agape means.

Come again MBers. And thank you.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 09:46 PM
ML,
We have dialoged here before and I feel I am doing exactly as you have suggested- not perpetuating the negative cycles that are destroying our marriage by standing up for my boundaries, speaking honestly and openly without anger or malice. Expressing my feelings without LBers.

We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:03 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
ML,
We have dialoged here before and I feel I am doing exactly as you have suggested- not perpetuating the negative cycles that are destroying our marriage by standing up for my boundaries, speaking honestly and openly without anger or malice. Expressing my feelings without LBers.

We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.

I disagree you are doing as I suggested. You are both engaging in ALOT of lovebusters. How far did you get into those lessons?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:14 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
This is after I had made her coffee (deposit in her love bank), folded the laundry that by POJA she was supposed to do, and gave her a nice V-day card on her desk.

This morning I got no affection, no "good morning", no thanks, but plenty of DJ's about what a poor leader I am and how I don't know what agape means.

Come again MBers. And thank you.

bigpicture, my suggestion would be to use this program in more comprehensive manner. You are both doing little things wrong that are creating big problems. You know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to really benefit from the program.

For example, you sure do lecture and "educate" alot, which is a big lovebuster. You are also engaging in the practice of SACRIFICE which - AS YOU CAN SEE - only leads to resentment. You mention several times here how you have done things for her, therefore she OWES you. And that is exactly how people who sacrifice act, they keep score and when the score is not even, they become demanding and resentful. Dr Harley calls them renters. If you didn't want to fold the clothes, then you shouldn't have done it. And if you didn't want to give her a Valentines card, you shouldn't have done that either. Doing so has made you feel like she owes you something.

Granted, she is lovebusting you too, but on the other hand, you are not taking her complaints seriously. She doesn't like the way you put your son to bed and instead of listening to her complaint [which is an opportunity for you do it better] you argued with her.

So that is where I would begin. Start by eliminating the lovebusters. Go through the chapters together and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter. You can also download the questionaires online for free. If I were you, I would get the workbook, Five Steps to Romantic Love, because it has all of the forms.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:16 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.

She is supposed to be telling you what she doesn't like about you, in a respectful way. And vice versa. That gives you an opportunity to change those faults.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:26 PM
I gave her my LBers-AO's and DJs.

She gave me hers- Annoying habits and DJ's. Then she retracted the DJs after she realized the example she was using was about her saying no to me for asking for 15 hours of UA! Good grief.

I gave her my ENs-Affection and being nice during our interactions.

She didn't give me hers.

I didn't sacrifice to make her coffee or give her a card or fold the laundry. I did it willingly to deposit in her love bank. No expectations.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by bigpicture
We listened to a program together. I asked her what she thought of it. Thats it. I didn't use the information against her to point out her faults but she had plenty of bad things to say about me.

She is supposed to be telling you what she doesn't like about you, in a respectful way. And vice versa. That gives you an opportunity to change those faults.

Thats exactly it. She doesn't do so respectfully. Thats why my letter is defending my boundaries against her DJ's!
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:32 PM
The other day we watched a DVD to improve your marriage.

I shared my feeling/observation/thought with her as in "Something they said in the DVD made me think that could be the reason I have been withdrawing from you lately."

This comment launched us into 2 hours of her AO's and DJ's. She was basically telling me that my comment wasn't valid because I was only considering the past 4 weeks and not our whole marriage. The DJ was as plain as my nose. It is not a safe environment for me to share my feelings in.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
This comment launched us into 2 hours of her AO's and DJ's. She was basically telling me that my comment wasn't valid because I was only considering the past 4 weeks and not our whole marriage. The DJ was as plain as my nose. It is not a safe environment for me to share my feelings in.

I guess I am talking to the wall? crazy Did you read my post?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:36 PM
reposting in case you missed it:

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
bigpicture, my suggestion would be to use this program in more comprehensive manner. You are both doing little things wrong that are creating big problems. You know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to really benefit from the program.

For example, you sure do lecture and "educate" alot, which is a big lovebuster. You are also engaging in the practice of SACRIFICE which - AS YOU CAN SEE - only leads to resentment. You mention several times here how you have done things for her, therefore she OWES you. And that is exactly how people who sacrifice act, they keep score and when the score is not even, they become demanding and resentful. Dr Harley calls them renters. If you didn't want to fold the clothes, then you shouldn't have done it. And if you didn't want to give her a Valentines card, you shouldn't have done that either. Doing so has made you feel like she owes you something.

Granted, she is lovebusting you too, but on the other hand, you are not taking her complaints seriously. She doesn't like the way you put your son to bed and instead of listening to her complaint [which is an opportunity for you do it better] you argued with her.

So that is where I would begin. Start by eliminating the lovebusters. Go through the chapters together and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter. You can also download the questionaires online for free. If I were you, I would get the workbook, Five Steps to Romantic Love, because it has all of the forms.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:37 PM
Start wtih the book Lovebusters. Read it together. Do the lessons.
Posted By: CWMI Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 10:39 PM
Here, I will rewrite it for you, if only to help you see how to say the same thing without DJs. Consider everything in black to be trashed, everything in red is my comments or your writing which is fine to keep.

Originally Posted by bigpicture
Dear Spouse,
I wasn't acting out a malevolent desire to NOT be with you last night. I am sorry if it seemed that I didn't want to be with you last night. I was just talking to you about the situation. In the kitchen when you told daughter about your desire to hear it, to me it sounded like you might have wanted to listen to it (Chip Ingrahm's Living On The Edge radio program) alone so I asked you about it nicely. Also I had a busy evening of serving other people and needed some time to myself for a few minutes. I misunderstood your intent, and allowed myself to get wrapped up in other things.

Did part of your negative attitude begin when you thought I was being irresponsible for sitting at my desk when son age 10 was upstairs in bed? If that made you upset you should know that contrary to your judgment about what I should have been doing, he told me point blank last night "You are the best Dad in the world." because I had already made him feel cared-for when I was with him.I am also sorry that I continue to do things that you find annoying, and I will try to stop doing them in the future.

It The events of last night reminds me of how I over-reacted to what I interpreted your intentions to be at A restaurant. After we spoke about it and you explained your reasoning I apologized for taking such offense.



You sent me this definition (of agape love) ? I learned this in 2007. Last night, Chip Ingrahm said agape love is: giving love to someone who deserves it least, at great personal sacrifice. Thats what I did in 2007, sacrificed my own well-being for our family. I know what I did. If you want to claim you do this too that's fine, I hope you are doing it for us too. But I am not going to disrespectfully and intentionally insult and hurt you by saying you don't know what it means. Your understanding of agape is yours alone, not for me to judge. Your disrespectful judgment in your text message to me that says I don't know what agape means hurts me deeply.



I asked you what you took away from the program we listened to and your reply is how husband (me) isn't a good leader. Then you said my heart has not changed. Does The Lords Prayer say "Point out your spouse's faults so they will change so you can be happy" or does it say

...forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us



My take away from the program is that servant-leadership is very difficult, I believe Chip said "impossible". He also said lots of things about wives affirming their husbands but your success or failure in your role is not for me to worry about.

I understand that you want me to be a leader for this family, and that is what I would like, as well. I am working on it, and I appreciate your support and patience.

When you confessed your sins to your Dad what was his response? Would you say he acted as a mature Christian by understanding it is not our role as humans to judge? When I insulted your mom by writing that she has a harsh judgmental attitude what was her response? More harsh judgments against me.

A mature Christian attitude is that we each use the new information to improve our own behavior in our God given roles, not use it against a spouse to point out their failures. I feel disrespected, insulted and hurt again by your rude, judgmental words that I am a poor leader. If you intend to use our Christian educational moments to continue judging how I am a failure then I don't want to continue in our marriage.

And judging that my heart has not changed will only provide more justification for divorce instead of promoting one-ness through forgiving.

Love, Big
Posted By: Prisca Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 11:11 PM
Quote
If you intend to use our Christian educational moments to continue judging how I am a failure then I don't want to continue in our marriage.

And judging that my heart has not changed will only provide more justification for divorce instead of promoting one-ness through forgiving.
Threats of divorce will get you nowhere. It is a major DJ, and Dr. Harley says to never do it.

And ... are you not also judging her for what a failure she is? Are her DJs the only ones that matter?
Posted By: markos Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 11:16 PM
big,

regardless of what your wife is doing, you are still engaging in a lot of disrespectful judgments.

The reason the program is not working for you is that you are still committing these love busters. This program doesn't work if you don't eliminate disrespectful judgments. Your wife is not willing to do that right now, but she might be if you would eliminate yours and start making some love bank deposits. You can turn this around if you will focus on changing the things that you need to change. A husband has great potential to win his wife over if he will focus on the changes he needs to make and not focus so hard on the changes she needs to make.

Does that make any sense?

Would you like any help learning to identify the love busters you are committing? Because you are engaging in a lot of them. That's the reason your wife is so withdrawn from you and your marriage is unhappy.

I don't know what in the world you mean by "defending your boundaries." If you feel disrespected, all you need to do is let your wife know, later "I felt disrespected when you said ..." Or "I don't like it when you ..." If you write a big long letter then you'll commit love busters, I guarantee it, so KNOCK IT OFF.

Would you like some help turning this around?
Posted By: markos Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 11:18 PM
And, bigpicture, it's not disrespectful when your wife lets you know she doesn't feel cared for. She's not "judging your heart"; her LOVE BANK is computing your score, and she's letting you know how you are doing. Right now you are in the negative. You've got to change yourself in order to improve how she feels.
Posted By: markos Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 11:20 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
The other day we watched a DVD to improve your marriage.

I shared my feeling/observation/thought with her as in "Something they said in the DVD made me think that could be the reason I have been withdrawing from you lately."

This comment launched us into 2 hours of her AO's and DJ's.

You recognize you were at fault for your comment, right? You made a disrespectful comment that translated to "You are not what I was hoping for in marriage." This route to marital improvement for husbands is absolutely doomed to failure.

You're welcome to continue on the doomed to failure route, but we'd love to help you get on the road to marital improvement. It's going to start with you being a lot harder on yourself about your love busters.
Posted By: Prisca Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 11:28 PM
Quote
The Lords Prayer say "Point out your spouse's faults so they will change so you can be happy" or does it say

...forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us

Ironic, since you do not sound very forgiving.

In this program, you are supposed to point out each others' faults, so that you can change to make your spouse happy.

Are you doing Marriage Builders?

Also, if you want to get into scripture, the Lord says "Husbands, love your wives as you love your own body." It doesn't say "Husbands, love your wives in a way that is convenient to you, and that requires no changes on your part."
Posted By: Prisca Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 02/14/12 11:34 PM
Quote
The Lords Prayer say "Point out your spouse's faults so they will change so you can be happy" or does it say

...forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us
More scripture:
"If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." Matthew 18:15
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 06:42 PM
Below is an Instant Messenger conversation with my wife.
Looking for MBer opinions

Wife (Mar 19 11:12 AM): How do you think our weekend was? together, I mean. How do you feel about it?

Husband (Mar 19 11:12 AM): it was better than average. What do you think?

Wife (Mar 19 11:17 AM): Ya, I agree, it was better than average (considering what average has been for a while now)
I guess...I have some negative feelings that I need to get off my chest. Do you want me to tell you now, or later tonight

Husband (Mar 19 11:17 AM):now is better i think

Wife (Mar 19 11:18 AM): There were some good times...but I feel the good times was when I was putting the majority of the effort forth to meet your needs. There were a few times where I felt you were withdrawn (at the bar) and a few times were I completely disrespected how you acted

Husband (Mar 19 11:19 AM): oh?

Wife (Mar 19 11:21 AM): Does a basketball game (that you are able to pause) really take priority over your hurt nephew?

Husband (Mar 19 11:25 AM):not if you couldn't have helped him

Wife (Mar 19 11:26 AM): How would you feel if I decided that I was too busy talking or dancing with someone to help our hurt family member? That was a weak answer and it kind of disgusts me that you say that. Why would I want to be with someone like that?

Husband (Mar 19 11:27 AM): If someone was hurt and you asked for my help then I would help. At that moment I asked for your help so I could watch the game. Otherwise I would have gone outside to check on nephew. If you were overwhelmed then all you had to do was say no that you could not help and I would have gone outside.

Wife (Mar 19 11:28 AM):I really can't believe you. How could you be so heartless? I was blown away by hearing you say that....I was so blown away by seeing you and your Dad sit on your [censored] doing absolutely nothing to help because you would rather see the basketball game......that you could pause on DVR. I have no respect for that behavior at all.......absolutely none. But you think I should respect you anyway?

Husband (Mar 19 11:34 AM): I think we communicated about the situation and agreed on the course of action.

Wife (Mar 19 11:35 AM): How so? From what I remember....you sat on your [censored] watching the game while I ran out to see how hurt nephew was.....there was no communication what so ever except the obvious disappointed look I gave you as I ran outside to see what happened

ME: After son and niece told us about it I specifically asked you if you could check it out and you said yes

Wife (Mar 19 11:39 AM): If that is how you want to see the situation....then I guess you can see it whatever the way you want. I am letting you know that I was very disappointed in your actions. If you want to continue to excuse yourself as you always do....then go right ahead. But I will continue to have little to no respect for you.

Husband (Mar 19 11:39 AM): Thats not how I see it, that�s what I did. I asked you for your help.

Wife (Mar 19 11:40 AM): In a situation like that, that is NOT an excuse.

Husband (Mar 19 11:39 AM): I am not giving you excuses. If you couldn't help nephew or replied "no" then I would have gone outside.

Wife (Mar 19 11:41 AM): In a situation where I need to let the dog out, or grab something for your parents, or help the kids get a shoe on.....then yes. That is acceptable. But when our son runs in and lets us know nephew is hurt and you do NOTHING......yeah, that is an excuse. Honestly, seeing what you are writing and how you truly feel about this.......I don't even know what to say.... I don't know why I stay with you

Wife signs out of IM in emotional fit. Wife signs back in.

Wife (Mar 19 11:46 AM): Your heart is cold. I respect men who have love in their hearts for other people and animals. I don't see that very often from you.

Husband (Mar 19 11:47 AM): So you don't recall me asking for your help?
Wife (Mar 19 11:48 AM): No, I remember you telling the kids to ask me. My first instinct is to run out to find out about nephew.....not ask YOU to do it. Yours is too tell them to get me so you can watch your STUPID basketball game.

Husband (Mar 19 11:51 AM): I know it was hectic then so you probably don't recall I was out of my chair when we spoke about it.

Wife (Mar 19 11:52 AM): NO YOU WERE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU didnt move your [censored] off the damn couch. That is why I was SOOO disgusted by you. You are more interested in defending your actions than caring about how little respect I have for you. The bottom line is that it didn't really bother you that nephew was hurt.....it was more important to see the game. You had no way of knowing if nephew was knocked out on the ground outside.....you had no idea....and from what I believe, you didn't care all that much. You are proving that to me by your words and the way you are defending yourself. Most respected men would have not given a [censored] about the game and ran out to make sure that their nephew was ok. No.......not you!

Husband (Mar 19 12:02 PM):I'm sorry I acted disrespectful

Wife (Mar 19 12:03 PM): I want to believe you husband, but history tells me you are not telling me the truth. Its not just the way you acted that bothers me.....its how you really feel. Your lack of true empathy for people and animals.
It is not something that I will ever respect.

Husband (Mar 19 12:08 PM): Was that all you wanted to address?

Wife (Mar 19 12:10 PM): no, but I can tell by your response that you don't mean it. Thanks again for the NO response.
If you choose not to respond to what I said about wanting to believe you, but I don't....... than I have no other choice than to believe that we have made no progress in our marriage in the past few months.

Husband (Mar 19 12:14 PM):What can I say when you said it is something you will never respect?

Wife (Mar 19 12:15 PM):well saying nothing sure helps but you are right.....I can't make you truly care about other people, our family or animals. That has to come within.......and from what I see......you don't really care except about your needs

Wife (Mar 19 12:29 PM): I started this off by saying how I felt about a certain situation. Instead of looking at how you acted....you immediately defend your really crappy actions. A real man would have realized how selfish that looked and would have admitted his mistake. This is why I have very little respect for you. Everyone makes mistakes......everyone. Everyone can at some point can come off looking insensitive. Even me. Instead of trying to understand me, looking at how insensitive that you came off, and letting me know that you see how that looked and NOT wanting to be viewed that way ever again.... you just defend your actions. That is not a sign of a mature man who wants to be the best he can be. That is a sign of a selfish, and self-centered person.......

Husband (Mar 19 12:42 PM): I see what you are saying. Of course I don't want to appear insensitive.

Wife (Mar 19 12:45 PM): I don't want you to appear insensitive, but I also don't want you to BE insensitive. It may not come naturally to you, because you are a man, but you have the ability Chris. I have seen it. It really is whether you want it or you don't.

Husband (Mar 19 12:47 PM): ok thanks for letting me know, I will work on it.

Wife (Mar 19 12:50 PM): That answer would have been very well received in our first minute of this conversation. I hope you can see how all this could have been avoided. I am not saying give me fake responses...but if you would seek to understand how I felt about it, this did not have to get so ugly. I feel beaten down by this ONE issue......
I think this is one of those situations where you just listen. Don't defend, don't justify. Just find out what she wants. She wants a man who will put people before some basket ball game.

Her delivery is poor, but it's pretty clear what she wants. She wanted you to help your nephew.

You can be 100% correct in your facts, perhaps even win the battle during the conversation. But at what cost?

Time for the POJA. Instead of arguing about who did what and what is in one another heart, negotiate an agreement.

Validate what she's saying. I.E. if I understand what you are saying, you are saying you wanted me to pause the game and check on my nephew. Is that correct?

Once you have the subject correct, then get down to negotiating an agreement. It might be something as simple as the one who notices someone needs help engages the other so you BOTH are responding.

I.E. DW, I don't always think of helping in the same ways you do. So can we agree that if you think I should help, then make a specific invitation, such as, DH, come with me to check on _______.

Focus on the behaviors, not the intentions. If she wants you to help, then she has may have to make a respectful request.

You can tell her she may be right, she probably notices these things more than you do, so you rely on her to bring these situations to your attention and provide good advice.

It may be too much to expect that you'll just automatically get out of your chair, pause the game and go. But if she asks, I think you can be ready to respond, side by side with her.

Focus on solutions, not who has the other's number. Solutions that work for both you and your W.
Posted By: CWMI Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 08:13 PM
Have you two looked into the MB program yet?

This is my opinion on your conversation: I feel like your wife is saying that she wants you to be engaged istead of checked-out and selfish. It was selfish of you to pass along the cry for help to her. I probably feel that way because my H was like that, thought nothing of passing all the work of children onto me so he could enjoy his relaxation time. Women naturally respond to children, as do checked-in men who do not feel entitled to ignore the kids.

What to do now: Start responding yourself to calls for attention that are made to you! Do not pass the buck on to her, you should only inquire for her assistance, not for her to take over and leave you out of it entirely. Tell her it was unfair and unmanly of you to put her in that position, you knew she would rush out there.

I agree with much of what EE says, but I think he missed the part where YOU were the recipient of the original call for help, and you simply sat there and hollared for your wife to answer your call.

Tell your wife to speak up early and often so that you can learn to be less selfish. That's what I had to do with my H, and now he jumps at children requests, even if we're both just lounging around. We are still working on some other things in this area, but I can tell you, effort scores major points to help overcome sporadic shortcomings. What my H did was apologize for not responding, made heroic efforts to be more aware and responsive instead of leaving it all to me, and in turn I quit resenting him for leaving it all to me and began to enjoy 'taking over' to give him relaxation time when he could just veg.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 09:06 PM
Let me add that I don't watch tv normally. My wife is the one who consumes Idol, Bachelor/ette, Jersey Shore, Hills, Buffy, Angel, etc.

I was watching this particular game because it was my university alma mater. She knew that. I asked her to watch it with me. I invited my Dad over because he likes college hoops. I am not a sports freak at all. I could care less about 99% of it. I engage our children regularly. I would not leave kid duties to my spouse because I need to veg out. We have a 20 year old, 17 yr old, 10 yr old and a granddaughter and I am active with all of them as a grand/father. So this is not a pattern she is trying to get me to break for the last 10 years. It was a one off incident where I asked her to check on the injured child because this was a special event for me. Not to mention that we were put into this situation by my brother/sister in-law who dropped their children off at my house unbeknownst to me with zero communication to me.

I do laundry, clean kitchen, cook when needed, fix cars, pools, do taxes, etc. This is not about me being selfish or un-caring or insensitive.
My answer to all of this is, so what?

This is about learning behaviors that will build a strong marriage. Justifying your perspective doesn't accomplish that.

Do you want to defend yourself or build a marriage? You can only choose one.
Posted By: CWMI Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 09:33 PM
She said: you don't really care except about your needs.

You ought to look at that, not from your perspective, but hers.

You threw something at her that you did not feel like responding to, and you knew she would help a kid. You were lazy and selfish. You can't be either in an MB marriage.


So, how much of MB do you know?
Posted By: CWMI Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 09:46 PM
I would also recommend POJAing special events where you want out of anything except being warned of a fire. I do not think, according your W's own words, that you are actually doing enough for her to offer it, so you will have to ask and respect if the answer is no.

I am guessing that since the boy's grandfather was in the room as well, that you come from a line of insensitive oblivious men. Good news is that you can rise above your raising!
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 09:50 PM
I know 90% of MBers.

I asked her to check on the injured child because this was a special event for me. She agreed. If she needed something otherwise she didn't communicate that. I was doing POJA, not being selfish.
Are you really looking for 3rd party views, or only 3rd party views that agree with you?

You obviously didn't POJA. She resents the way things turned out.

Of, if I take you at your word and she enthusiastically agreed to this, she no longer agrees and by the POJA, you have to go back and re-negotiate.

So again, are you really looking for 3rd party views, or do you just want someone to agree with you?
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 10:19 PM
CWMI,
Your sarcasm is not appreciated. Your assumptions about my family heritage are insensitive and rude. Your interpretations of the facts are incorrect. This was my nephew. I am grandfather to another. It was my Dad with me, not the boy's grandfather.

When the children came in with news, I immediately addressed it with my spouse. I didn't ignore anything. I asked her for help. She agreed. If she would have communicated to me some other plan or her need, I would have gladly gone out to help. She didn't communicate verbally, instead she assumed me to be uncaring.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 10:19 PM
EE,
How do we go back in time to renegotiate POJA?
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 10:22 PM
Also,
If she had been watching the season finale of ??? and an emergency arose with children, I would have been happy to take the lead without prompting, no big deal.
Posted By: CWMI Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 10:23 PM
It was your brother's child? Your father is not your brother's father? So not your brother's children's grandfather?

Just trying to figure out the family tree. It is helpful if you include things like 'half-brother' in descriptions so we know if people listed as relatives don't include other listed relatives as family...not that that would be an excuse to ignore a hurting child.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 10:37 PM
CWMI, Please don't reply to my thread anymore.
Posted By: markos Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
Wife (Mar 19 11:21 AM): Does a basketball game (that you are able to pause) really take priority over your hurt nephew?

You should have stopped right there.

She was being mildly disrespectful here, to be sure. But she is also giving you valid information (a complaint), and if you'd take and act on that information, she'd become much happier with you, and you'd have a happier marriage.

Here's Dr. Harley's advice for this situation:

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley
But even though she made an abusive remark, you can end the cycle of abuse before it begins if you don't accelerate negativity (that means, matching her abuse with abuse of your own). What you should do is ignore the abuse on her side, and in your own mind re-translate what she said to be "I would prefer it if you would dry the dishes this way, instead of the way you are drying them."

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5067b_qa.html

So even though your wife was a little disrespectful, she is cluing you in to something extremely important: YOUR BEHAVIOR IS MAKING IT HARD FOR HER TO ADMIRE YOU. Reword her complaint as follows: "When you don't put games on television aside to help with children in the family, it destroys the feelings of admiration I have for you." If you are like most men, admiration is an important emotional need for you, so this is valuable information, because women find it harder to meet men's emotional needs unless men make the circumstances just right. She is telling you how to make the circumstances just right.

If you want a HAPPY marriage, this is what you have to do.

The rest of the conversation is just the escalation of conflict, which is always a great way to make massive love bank withdrawals.
Posted By: markos Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 11:40 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
I know 90% of MBers.

I asked her to check on the injured child because this was a special event for me. She agreed. If she needed something otherwise she didn't communicate that. I was doing POJA, not being selfish.

Okay, so she tried it your way, and found out that that won't work for her. So, from now on, no more arrangements where you can't be interrupted. You now know she doesn't like it, so unless you can think of some new circumstance in which she would be enthusiastic about the idea, don't make the request, or she will feel like you are demanding; she will feel pressure to cave and capitulate to this situation that she clearly doesn't like.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 11:46 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
I know 90% of MBers.

I asked her to check on the injured child because this was a special event for me. She agreed. If she needed something otherwise she didn't communicate that. I was doing POJA, not being selfish.

Have you ever considered using MArriage Builders? It is clear to me that you don't care very much about your wife's complaints and I am sure she rightly sees that too;. When your wife tells you something upsets her it is an opportunity for you to STOP doing the thing that upsets her. Instead, you make excuses and justifications for why it is ok that you did that. THAT APPROACH MISSES THE POINT.

What you are doing is like arguing with the bank who sends you an overdraft notice. What happens if you don't GET the notice? That is what your wife did. She is notifying you of an OVERDRAFT in your bank account. Arguing with her will not resolve the overdraft.

The POINT is that your behavior is very upsetting to her and if you want to stop upsetting her then you need to stop it. I would be just as disgusted if some man sat on his [censored] and watched a stupid game when a child was hurt. It would reflect a very uncaring person. That is how she views it. What you did then caused huge lovebank withdrawals and then your RESPONSE made it even worse when you played dodgeball with her.

Do you want your wife to be in love with you? Or do you care?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/19/12 11:50 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
EE,
How do we go back in time to renegotiate POJA?

You don't go back in time. If any person is unhappy with the agreement, the deal is OFF. She told you that deal was off. She explained this to you. She never expected that her nephew was going to get hurt when that deal was made and is expressing her disatisfaction with your behavior.

And all you had to do was LEARN from what she said in order to mitigate the situation, but you didn't. You made the situation worse.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 07:12 PM
How does this sound to everyone?

From husband to Wife,
Regarding the situation with our nephew, we each have our own perception of what happened and our own judgments about what was correct behavior and what was unacceptable. You are correct that men don�t have the same nurturing attitudes that women have which sets the stage for us to disagree from the start because of gender. But it doesn�t mean I don�t care about him or that I have a cold heart. It�s just not identical to yours and it means I won�t take the same actions as you would. So I would appreciate if you can stop expecting me to do things as you would do and instead communicate your feelings.

I did talk to you when children came in with the announcement. You thought I was being selfish by asking you to do it. So instead of taking all the responsibility upon yourself and then being upset with me for not fulfilling your expectations, you could have said
A) �I know this game is important to you so I will see what is wrong outside. �
B) �I�m busy in the kitchen right now, could you check it out?�
C) �Can you help me check on him?�

I need you to focus on the behaviors you want to see with clear communication. If you want help, then make a respectful request.
I understand you think I acted unloving. But can you also see it from my point of view? If you would have been watching the season finale of your favorite tv show I would have happily responded to situations with children without even needing a request from you.

If you were overwhelmed with things in the kitchen all you had to do was say �No I can�t right now� and I would have gone outside.

I can understand there are two sides, that both people can be right in a given situation, based on their perception of what happened. I think I made an honest request for your help, you think I didn't respond appropriately.

You are right we are having this constant tension that seems to stem from �If you cared, you would do x.�

Instead can we try, �I know you don�t see it the same as me but if you could do x that would help.�

The first way is an insult to me. The second way acknowledges we are different and communicates your needs.
Sounds condescending and snippy to me. And I'm not even already mad at you.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 07:59 PM
Sounds snotty and defensive to me. And doesn't solve the problem.

You are still trying to be right instead of behaving in a way that inspires love and respect from your wife. All you do by arguing the point is drain her lovebank EVEN MORE by showing hre you don't CARE about her perspective. You need to quit while you are behind!! Stop digging the hole deeper!!

STOP DEBATING WITH YOUR WIFE!! All she is doing is informing you that you are making lovebank withdrawals. That is your opportunity to take steps to STOP the blood bath. When the bank sends you an overdraft notice do you argue and continue to write hot checks? Or do you stop writing hot checks and make a deposit??? crazy sheeesh!!

A better response:

Dear Wife,

I apologize for dismissing your opinion. Your opinion matters to me and I very much want you to be in love with me and to admire me as a man.

I am sorry I behaved in a thoughtless manner, putting the needs of our nephew behind my desire to watch a sports game. I will try to do better in the future. I apologize for arguing with you and thank you for pointing out to me how I can behave in a manner than inspires your love rather than your contempt.

all my love, bigpicture..
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 08:26 PM
ML's version sounds like my giver appeasing her taker. MBers are supposed to negotiate with each others takers so that both are happy. Not sacrifice or roll over and just tell her she is right.

Her disrespect stems from her opinion that "If you cared, if you loved me, if you x then you would y."

The problem stemmed from lack of communication to reach POJA, not a rude LBer.

I have no problem trying to understand how I can improve my behavior but I cannot accept her DJ that I do not care about my family.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 08:42 PM
It is not her "taker" when you informs you of annoying behavior. She is informing you of lovebank withdrawals. And you can either stop annoying her and protect the love in your marriage or you can keep annoying her and destroy the love in your marriage.

That is your choice. But debating with her instead of trying to make her happy is not going to help your marriage. She has made a complaint and a complaint is an irritation in a bad marriage or an opportunity to change in a good marriage. We can see where a complaint stands in your marriage, it is an irritation which warrants dismissal, condescension and ARGUMENT. That is becuase you don't understand this program.

The problem with you is that you know just enough about Marriage Builders to be dangerous but not enough to actually help your marriage. And you have been here for FIVE YEARS.

My suggestion to you since do-it-yourself hasn't worked is to sign up for the MB online course and really learn the program. You need hands on GUIDANCE from a professional coach because you do not GET it.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
ML's version sounds like my giver appeasing her taker. MBers are supposed to negotiate with each others takers so that both are happy. Not sacrifice or roll over and just tell her she is right.

Just a suggestion for you. Why not find someone who has a GOOD MARRIAGE around here and understands Marriage Builders and ask them how to do it? And sign up for the Marriage Builders course. Your best thinking has wrecked your own marriage so maybe its time to admit you don't know what you are doing. You still have a bad marriage after 5 years.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you don't understand the program. I was slow on the uptake too. I came here in 2001 and didn't go through the program until 2007. I still did not understand the POJA after all those years on this board until I went through the course. There is no shame in admitting you need help. YOU NEED MORE HELP THAN THIS FORUM PROVIDES.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:18 PM
Right now making her happy seems to require agreeing that I didn't live up to HER expectations which were not communicated except after the fact with a disrespectful judgment that

"husband must not care because if he did care he would have acted how I wanted him to".

ML, I have no problem with your letter but I am not going to let her off the hook for not communicating her needs which would have led to POJA, and avoided her DJ of me not caring about our family. As she said, anyone can appear insensitive in a given moment. Rather than talk to me she assumed I don't care.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:27 PM
Markos,
What does this mean?
Originally Posted by markos
... because women find it harder to meet men's emotional needs unless men make the circumstances just right. She is telling you how to make the circumstances just right.

You make it sound like you are letting women off the hook for MBing.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:37 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
ML, I have no problem with your letter but I am not going to let her off the hook for not communicating her needs which would have led to POJA, and avoided her DJ of me not caring about our family. As she said, anyone can appear insensitive in a given moment. Rather than talk to me she assumed I don't care.

I think you should just educate her on the error of her ways and put her in her place. That will really help your marriage. You don't have the power to put her "on the hook" and the suggestion that you DO is a disrespectful judgment on your part. Being disrespectful in response to her disrespect is NOT an appropriate response that is going to create love in your marriage. You are still OBSESSED with the goal of being "right" rather than behaving in ways that create love in your marriage. Lose the debate!

Recognize this in your post above:

Originally Posted by disrespectful judgements
A disrespectful judgment occurs whenever one spouse tries to impose a system of values and beliefs on the other. When a husband tries to force his point of view on his wife, he's just asking for trouble. When a wife assumes that her own views are right and her husband is woefully misguided -- and tells him so -- she enters a minefield.

In most cases, a disrespectful judgment is simply a sophisticated way of getting what one spouse wants from the other. But even when there are the purest motives, it's still a stupid and abusive strategy. It's stupid because it doesn't work, and it's abusive because it causes unhappiness. If we think we have the right -- even the responsibility -- to impose our view on our spouses, our efforts will almost invariably be interpreted as personally threatening, arrogant, rude, and incredibly disrespectful. That's when we make sizable withdrawals from the Love Bank.
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3402_disrespect.html

Are you ignoring my comments about getting professional help?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
Markos,
What does this mean?
Originally Posted by markos
... because women find it harder to meet men's emotional needs unless men make the circumstances just right. She is telling you how to make the circumstances just right.

You make it sound like you are letting women off the hook for MBing.

He is telling you that women are different from men. Shocking, I know! grin
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:43 PM
Why don't you both take the Disrespectful judgment questionaire tonight and exchange them when you are finished? That might help you see how disrespectful you are and vice versa:


Disrespectful Judgments Questionnaire
Circle the number that best represents your feelings about the way your spouse tries to influence your attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. If you circle a number greater than 1 for any question, try to think of an example that you can share with your spouse and write it on a sheet of paper.

1. Does your spouse ever try to "straighten you out?"


Almost Never---------------Sometimes----------Much of the Time
1----------2----------3----------4----------5----------6----------7


2. Does your spouse ever lecture you instead of respectfully discussing issues?


Almost Never---------------Sometimes----------Much of the Time
1----------2----------3----------4----------5----------6----------7


3. Does your spouse seem to feel that his or her opinion is superior to yours?


Almost Never---------------Sometimes----------Much of the Time
1----------2----------3----------4----------5----------6----------7


4. When you and your spouse discuss an issue, does he or she interrupt you or talk so much that you are prevented from having a chance to explain your position?


Almost Never---------------Sometimes----------Much of the Time
1----------2----------3----------4----------5----------6----------7

5. Are you afraid to discuss your points of view with your spouse?

Almost Never---------------Sometimes----------Much of the Time
1----------2----------3----------4----------5----------6----------7


6. Does your spouse ever ridicule your point of view?


Almost Never---------------Sometimes----------Much of the Time
1----------2----------3----------4----------5----------6----------7


The scoring for this questionnaire is simple. Unless all of your spouse's answers are "1," you're probably engaging in disrespectful judgments. Almost all of us are guilty of this Love Buster from time to time; so don't be alarmed if you get some twos or threes. But if your spouse gave you any fours, fives, sixes, or sevens, you're at risk to lose your spouse's love for you because your disrespectful judgments are rising to the level of abuse.

If your spouse identifies you as one who makes disrespectful judgments, you may be tempted to make yet another disrespectful judgment and claim that he or she is wrong! Resist that temptation at all costs because in every case of abuse, the victim is a far better judge of its existence than the perpetrator. Take his or her word for it, and start working on a plan to eliminate whatever it is your spouse interprets as disrespect.

When we try to impose our opinions on our spouses, we imply that they have poor judgment. That's disrespectful. We may not say this in so many words, but it's the clear message that they hear. If we valued their judgment more, we might question our own opinions. What if they're right, and we're wrong?

article and questionaire here: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3402_disrespect.html

Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:54 PM
ML,
Your CAPITAL letters are generally considered offensive among etiquette savvy internet users.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/netiquette-rules.html

Please refrain from YELLING at people looking for help here.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 09:57 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
ML,
Your CAPITAL letters are generally considered offensive among etiquette savvy internet users.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/netiquette-rules.html

Please refrain from YELLING at people looking for help here.

But that doesn't address my posts. Did you read my posts? Or are you ignoring them? ARE YOU LISTENING?
I agree with Melody that you should take the course or sign up for phone counselling with one of the Harleys. Or you can be like me, not take the course, not do phone counselling, and be here 10 years later without having created a mutually satisfying marriage.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 10:07 PM
bp, I will make a deal with you. I will stop using CAPS if you start listening and paying attention to our posts. It is very offensive when we take the time and trouble to post to you and it is ignored or brushed aside for your own solution.

We should not have to teach a 5 year veteran about this program, but several of us are willing to help you if you will listen. If you aren't going to listen and take the advice from the folks who know the program, then I am not going to waste my time here.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
...Your best thinking has wrecked your own marriage so maybe its time to admit you don't know what you are doing. You still have a bad marriage after 5 years.

Shocking. My wife and I are having a problem with something that happened. She would be more insulted than I am if she read your comments that imply she would have stuck around 5 more years in a horrible relationship. In fact we are together because we both see each other growing and learning how to get better at this, contrary to your presumptive and demeaning comments.
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
bp, I will make a deal with you. I will stop using CAPS if you start listening and paying attention to our posts. It is very offensive when we take the time and trouble to post to you and it is ignored or brushed aside for your own solution.

We should not have to teach a 5 year veteran about this program, but several of us are willing to help you if you will listen. If you aren't going to listen and take the advice from the folks who know the program, then I am not going to waste my time here.


ML, are you employed by MBers? Because otherwise it seems we should all be addressing you as Queen MBer. I see the root of the problem is you are offended I am not following your advice:capitulate because her complaint is valid. I do agree, you should stop wasting your time here.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 11:14 PM
Quote
Shocking. My wife and I are having a problem with something that happened. She would be more insulted than I am if she read your comments that imply she would have stuck around 5 more years in a horrible relationship. In fact we are together because we both see each other growing and learning how to get better at this, contrary to your presumptive and demeaning comments.

The proof is in the pudding, though. This isn't an isolated situation, but a matter of skill level in accepting and understanding complaints from your wife. All one has to do is read your disrespectful, dismissive comments to your wife. The fact that you deem her complaint as not �valid� tells me you don�t understand what you are doing and need help.

Your wife gave you a valid complaint and your response is to argue and deflect. There is no excuse for being so unskilled and thoughtless 5 years after joining Marriage Builders. That is lovebusters 101. Like Dr Harley says "complaints are an irritation in a bad marriage, and an opportunity for improvement in a good marriage."

Others here would be remiss if the lack of skill level was not pointed out. That is not an "insult" but a valid critique of your skills that you need to hear.

And you do want to improve, don't you? How can you improve if others don't show you how?
Originally Posted by bigpicture
[

ML, are you employed by MBers? Because otherwise it seems we should all be addressing you as Queen MBer. I see the root of the problem is you are offended I am not following your advice:capitulate because her complaint is valid. I do agree, you should stop wasting your time here.

I am not employed by Marriage Builders, but I do have a very happy, passionate marriage because of Marriage Builders. And was attempting to help you have the same. to no avail.. crazy When someone has been here for 5 years and still doesn't get it, there is probably a reason why. They don't pay attention. I see that happening here.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/20/12 11:19 PM
BP, this article touches on the issue of complaints in marriage. It should be a real eye opener:

Complaining in Marriage

Dear Dr. Harley,

My wife says that she wishes she could talk to me about the things
she is dissatisfied with in our marriage, so they could be addressed.
But when she does talk to me about these things, I get frustrated
because it seems like she is never happy with me. The progress I
make doesn't seem to matter.

I often see her explaining what she is upset about as complaining and
only focusing on the negative. I don't often feel like she has
recognized the good things about us. I want her to be more positive.
I think she complains too much and does not see the good in some
situations. I want her perspective to change, but she doesn't think
she has to do something different to make this happen.

Thanks for your help.

R.D.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear R.D.

On average, women complain far more often than men, in both good and
bad marriages. But there is a difference in how the complaints are
received in those marriages. In good marriages, a complaint is
regarded as a problem to be solved with wisdom and compassion. In
bad marriages, a complaint is viewed as an unnecessary irritant --
something that should be either ignored or reacted to with anger and
disrespect.

Remember what a complaint is -- it's a reminder that you are losing
love units in your account in your wife's Love Bank. She is simply
giving you accurate information about the present state of your
relationship. While it may be discouraging to hear that you are
losing ground, to be kept in the dark about such losses would be
worse in the long run.


More than anything else, your wife wants to be in love with you, and
you want her to be in love with you. So to achieve that crucial
objective you must know when her love for you is being threatened by
behavior that makes her unhappy. If your marriage has any hope of
recovery, she must tell you how she feels about your behavior, and
you must make corrections to eliminate her negative reactions.

Your wife's high incidence of negative reactions simply reflects the
number of issues that have yet to be resolved in your marriage. If
you want her to be more positive, you must address those issues, and
eliminate them one at a time. You've had success in the past, and
she has been very encouraged when that happens. But when you seem
to be overwhelmed by it all, and tell her that she must learn to be
more positive, she feels hopeless because there remain many issues
that must be resolved if she is to be happy and in love with you.

The harder you try to become sensitive to your wife reactions, the
more successful you will become in doing what it takes to make her
happy. The more you try to avoid anger, replacing it with empathy
(an effort to try to understand how your wife feels without being
defensive), the more your wife will feel your care for her, and
that in itself will make massive Love Bank deposits.

Remember, all of your efforts on your wife's behalf make a
difference in the way you think and behave. You are rerouting
neural pathways in your brain that will make it easier for you to
care for her in the future. While it may seem like a lot of
effort now, in the future, it will be almost effortless to address
your wife's complaints, and solve her problems with compassion.
Originally Posted by bigpicture
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
bp, I will make a deal with you. I will stop using CAPS if you start listening and paying attention to our posts. It is very offensive when we take the time and trouble to post to you and it is ignored or brushed aside for your own solution.

We should not have to teach a 5 year veteran about this program, but several of us are willing to help you if you will listen. If you aren't going to listen and take the advice from the folks who know the program, then I am not going to waste my time here.


ML, are you employed by MBers? Because otherwise it seems we should all be addressing you as Queen MBer. I see the root of the problem is you are offended I am not following your advice:capitulate because her complaint is valid. I do agree, you should stop wasting your time here.

Wow, the real BP reveals himself? Is this how you respond to your DW when she touches a nerve? Obviously, Queen Mel's (lol!) posts are dead-on or you wouldn't be resorting to childish name-calling and lame insults. I've heard others lamblast ML and other excellent posters when they hit too close to home. I've also seen these same posters either run away whining about how mean MB is and spin their lies OR they come back and admit that they were wrong and continue to grow strong in MB based marriages. Which will you be?

ML and others have been doing their best to get you to "see" how you're screwing up your marriage with your resentment and stubbornness. Wake up man and smell the coffee. And quit being so obnoxious. Nobody here is against you, we're just FOR your marriage. Be nice!
Posted By: NewEveryDay Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/21/12 03:17 AM
bp, that sure was an attention-getting letter! I'm 38, got married really young, at 21, and only made 15 years in 2010, so your dates got my attention, too. Celebrated 18 years in 1/1009, does that mean you got married when you were 15 and 17? That would explain a lot, young people can fight, BTDT! Like two puppies fighting over getting to be the winning puppy.

Anyway, about the letter. I love Dr. H's writing style, he writes in a way that takes all the blame out. So I can hear it instead of feeling defensive. Do you like that about his writing style too? How about we apply that to your letter, translate it to just sharing your Openness and Honesty. Because you two have the same goals, right, and two heads are better than one? I wish I was married and had a loving spouse to work stuff through with. Ah, well, such is life.

From husband to Wife,
Regarding the situation with our nephew, we each have our own perception of what happened and our own judgments about what was correct behavior and what was unacceptable.


Wow honey, it amazes me how the two of us see the same situation so differently! But I am enjoying learning to see the world from your eyes, and sharing my world with you. I love how close we feel to each other.

You are correct that men don�t have the same nurturing attitudes that women have which sets the stage for us to disagree from the start because of gender. But it doesn�t mean I don�t care about him or that I have a cold heart. It�s just not identical to yours and it means I won�t take the same actions as you would. So I would appreciate if you can stop expecting me to do things as you would do and instead communicate your feelings.

I did talk to you when children came in with the announcement. You thought I was being selfish by asking you to do it.


I know what the children were asking for was a big deal to you. That must be frustrating, when want things a certain way for the kids, and want me to make that so, and I don't see the value in it. [See, I didn't follow it with a "but." I just described how I saw it and let it be. It doesn't matter who was right or whatever.]

instead of taking all the responsibility upon yourself and then being upset with me for not fulfilling your expectations, you could have said
A) �I know this game is important to you so I will see what is wrong outside. �
B) �I�m busy in the kitchen right now, could you check it out?�
C) �Can you help me check on him?�

I need you to focus on the behaviors you want to see with clear communication. If you want help, then make a respectful request.


It drives me nuts when you don't tell me what you want, and then expect me to know. I don't know, but I want to understand you. We're a team, just ask me for what you need, and if I don't want to do it I'll tell you so you can decide what to do from there.


I understand you think I acted unloving. But can you also see it from my point of view? If you would have been watching the season finale of your favorite tv show I would have happily responded to situations with children without even needing a request from you.

If you were overwhelmed with things in the kitchen all you had to do was say �No I can�t right now� and I would have gone outside.

I can understand there are two sides, that both people can be right in a given situation, based on their perception of what happened. I think I made an honest request for your help, you think I didn't respond appropriately.

You are right we are having this constant tension that seems to stem from �If you cared, you would do x.�

Instead can we try, �I know you don�t see it the same as me but if you could do x that would help.�

The first way is an insult to me. The second way acknowledges we are different and communicates your needs.


And now you're all mad. I know it shouldn't bother me, that everyone feels mad sometimes. But it is bugging me. How about we relax over a cup of tea or something, and settle down. Can I have a hug? [Can I have a hug fixes all kinds of issues ;)]

What do you think?
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/21/12 04:00 PM
NeD,
Thanks for reminding me of my good fortune! I appreciate your time and helpful tone. **edit**

I have not sent such letter to my DW. Its obvious how it will come across. So I am trying to talk with her about how she could have helped me act in that situation. I already apologized for acting unloving. My real beef is a constant judgment my wife makes that I must not care because I did x.

Instead of communicating to me during the moment she judges, then brings it up later how disappointed she is with me. The other weekend we took the family skiing for the day, got a hotel, pool time, hot tub, played with grandbaby, 10pm pizza dinner, etc. Her last comment to me that day before bed was "I'm upset you were not more engaged with our family." This was a 11:30 at night.

I was shocked to say the least. What else can a husband do if an all day and night family event isn't enough engagement? For all of our years together I have been unable to establish my boundaries. When it comes to family, my wife has no boundaries. Same as her mother. To illustrate, her parents once brought home a dog from another state and dropped it on our doorstep.
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/21/12 05:25 PM
Have you read the book love busters? Or his needs her needs? How about His needs her needs for parents? (which is a really good one .. touches base on inlaws REALLY well)

They make great UA time ... reading them outloud together after kids are in bed while you cuddle up together. Provides oppertunity to discuss different marital approaches using the MB tools in a much clearer format than what you can find on the site.

MNG
Posted By: NewEveryDay Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/22/12 03:36 AM
bp man I'm glad to be here, seeing folks change their situations over time. As you all make new patterns, the old woulds will heal and be forgotten. So I wouldn't worry so much about last weekend. Does your W respond to humor? Your W sounds like really super hard on herself, not allowing herself to ask for help. Am I right that she feels guilty that she can't be everything for your kids, so she lashes out at you to assuage her guilt?

The respectful persuasion article shows a great way to introduce new ideas. Like how much it benefits the kids how mothers and fathers parent differently. If they had two parents both with a involved style or a laid back style, it would be a bad combination. Instead together your kids get the best of both worlds, get both protection and the opportunity to develop autonomy. It doesn't get any better than that. In addition to respectful persuasion, you can set the example in love. Like letting her know when you fall short of your own expectations, and how you let it sink back into perspective and enjoy the rest of the day. What do you think?
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 06:18 PM
NED,
It would be great if she responded to humor, but alas, not so much. I don't think she is "super hard" on herself or feeling guilty. The real problem imho is she cannot say no, to anything. Her parents finally retired, went to Florida for a month so she agreed to watch 3 more cats for her parents, besides our own 2 dogs and cat. She just adds more stress on top of her already 50+ hours of work instead of saying no. Yet she won't even discuss options for animal care with me or possibly addressing this burden with her parents. How much you bet I end up getting blamed for acting "uncaring" towards an animal next week? I can't even scold our dog (a stray that SHE adopted without my input) for pooping in the house, which he does daily!

Can you provide a link to the Respectful Persuasion article, I couldn't seem to find it.

As far as suffering a set back and then bouncing back to enjoy the rest of the day... The incident regarding my nephew last Saturday was our only topic of "conversation" again last night, for another hour, a previous morning she cried through because she was so distraught over my behavior and all week of no loving interactions between us due to it all. To say that her emotions overwhelm her would be an understatement.

I can't remember the last time she smiled or was really happy. I feel like we have the chicken and egg conundrum. She wants my "heart to be in it" and says I need to change, and I feel my heart isn't in it because she is so rarely positive about anything.

She is starting to appreciate the fact that we each bring different things to the childrens' upbringing but that doesn't seem to be helping her accept me. Instead the judgments continue that if I do X I must not care. Nothing seems to click in her brain that I thought about the situation differently so I acted differently. Just that I didn't meet her expectations.

Everyone here was saying just apologize - done- even to my brother-in-law about it. So I am not trying to avoid taking responsibility. But what I am trying to do is get her to realize that she can still be nice to me while rushing to action. Somehow she has this impression that it was too much of an emergency for us to take a moment to communicate nicely as in "Spouse can you help me?" I commented that during an emergency is when we need to communicate the most! That was a lead balloon.
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 06:42 PM
Any good reason that you couldn't do the online program or home study program, and have your wife on board?

Have you sold this program as something that she can benefit from, or have you solely wielded as a weapon to get your way?

You see, I tend to agree that your wife has some disrespectful stances towards you... but you are just as disrespectful.

An objective, professional observer and adviser who has access to both sides - and will do so objectively - will be something that SHE will respond to better, not to mention, you need it, too.
BigPicture -

I'm late to the party, forgive me if I misunderstand any of the circumstances and accidentally get something wrong here.

Piecing the story together as I remember it:
You had plans to watch this basketball game and invited your Father over. This was scheduled in advance and had your wife's blessing.

During the game, one of your kids ran into the house to say "nephew" is hurt!

You turned to wife and said "Honey, do you mind handling that?" - and she did.

Is that roughly correct?

You seem to think that the fact that you said "Honey, do you mind handling that" - and that she then handled it indicates that this was a negotiated outcome. I think that is where the issue lies as that was not a negotiation.

From Wife's point of view, I'm guessing this was a CRISIS moment (capitalized to emphasize, not to shout). In her mind, I am thinking she was thinking 'crisis, no time to talk, no time to complain, no time to discuss - must check on nephew asap to see if he is ok'

From her point of view, there was a crisis and you not only did nothing; you placed the burden of responsibility on her without her consent (though it appears obvious that she'd have run out to check on Nephew even if you were running out to check on nephew as well).

So, this was not a negotiation (I'm no lovebuster expert, but it seems more like a selfish demand by you than a poja's resolution).

In my life, I have behaved exactly as you've behaved in this specific circumstance many times. Many, many times. All I can say, for me personally (this may not apply to you) is that as I 'woke up', got more plugged in with my family and began to see my wife's needs and feelings as equally important to mine; I now look back and can only see my past actions as selfish and disconnected.

One thing that was lacking (if I recall correctly) from your text conversation was that when your wife was accusing you of being heartless and not really caring if nephew was ok - you never once said (again, that I remember) "Hold on a second, I love nephew and care for him a great deal!"

Sorry for the novel!
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 07:00 PM
HHH,
We are currently reading Fighting For Your Marriage so there isn't time in her schedule to implement more. She is already way behind at work and is putting in lots of overtime.

Last night during the latest dressing down she gave me, she let me know in no uncertain terms that she believes her Dad and her two brothers would 'never' act like I did in the moment, like they have never made mistakes or acted rudely in their lives. We know that isn't true.

Another example, Last Saturday we went out to a bar for St. Pattys, where of course her brothers and their group of friends were. This group of guys still act like they are in college even though they are all over 35 now. One of them thinks its funny to "slap" me in my privates. Another one whom I approached to engage in friendly conversation with shoved a sandwich in my mouth. fun bunch let me tell you.

After the evening was over my wife told me how disappointed she was with how I acted!
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 07:33 PM
TDB,
Thanks for the input and time to read all this stuff.

Its obviously hard to convey what daily life is like and people have this impression I "don't get it" when it comes to her feelings but I do. I survived her affair and that crisis moved my heart and soul to understand how I was missing the boat. It was a real change in me. And that adds to my frustrations because I am home every night helping my family, chores, homework, kp duty, etc etc. I don't go out drinking, I don't have guys night poker, I ride my bike to work so I don't need to workout separately, I don't do much except attend her social calendar, most of which is spent with her extended family, and support my family and household needs.

In conversation I have emphasized how much I care for nephew. My brother in law and I have spent much time together and he knows I care for his children as they are over frequently to play with my 10 yr old. There isn't a pattern of me neglecting people or animals. 10 years ago maybe, not today.
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 08:24 PM
Well, BP...

If your wife is such a horrible spouse who Love Busts you so constantly, who is so terrible at meeting your needs...


Then why not just divorce?

From the story you are selling about your wife, that's the only solution I can find.



However, the reality is much different than what you are selling - what you are reflecting is just as bad as what she is doing... and it's why you are stuck in this pattern.

The second pattern you have is making a lot of excuses while you whine, while doing a lot of nothing (and/or nothing helpful) about it.


I strongly suggest you quit making excuses and enroll in either the online program or the home study course both of which come with phone support.


Why? Because all you are doing here is spinning your wheels and giving weak, bullcrap excuses as to why you do eveyrthing right and she's all wrong.


I'd be interested to see if you were so dismissive about advice that you paid to recieve.


Give me one good reason why posters should voluntarily give you their time, which could be spent with people who will accept the help they are given, or with their families, while you blog about how freaking horrible your wife is and how you never do anything wrong... and continue to dismiss the solid Marriage Builders advice you are being given?

How are YOU going to improve your marriage? YOU are here, your wife is not. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TODAY?
Posted By: bigpicture Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 09:42 PM
HHH,
What am I doing?

We just fired our marriage counselor because at $130/hour we expected him to say more than 10 words. In four sessions the only advice we got was "Keep you anger levels below a 5."

I was reading an article recently which nailed modern counseling on the head, that therapy is about getting your feelings out to an empathetic listener whereas in the past it was more about telling people what they should do or change.

She just finished 7 Habits of Effective Families. We are reading Fighting For Your Marriage. I am trying to introduce POJA. We have been listening to Chip Ingraham on Marriage. I filled out my EN and LB questionnaires, she only did the LBers.

She listened to HNHN again on audio book. Oh yeah I am reading Sacred Love too.

What else can we do?
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 09:59 PM
Well, one thought is this;

Your approach thus far has prepared you both the be a "jack of all trades, master of none."

You are reading all these different books that are different authors and different approaches.

It would be best for you to sit down and focus on ONE approach, and learn to apply that MASTERFULLY.

Admittedly, I have a bias towards Marriage Builders. It's worked for me and for my peers here, and the proof is in the pudding there; if this program is applied correctly, IT WORKS!

If your wife only filled out the Love Busters questionnaire, then focus on what she gave you and eliminate those love busters.

You, sir, must take the lead and sell this program as THE ONE which will improve your marriage.

You sell it by meeting her needs the best you can, and by eliminating your own love busters. Introduce Radical Honesty; if these family activities are destroying your love for her, TELL HER, sir. TELL HER.

"Dear, I hate these outings. Because I hate doing them, and I do them to make you happy, it actually destroys my love for you. I cannot participate in the activities to make you happy when they make me miserable - and I will no longer expect that you partake in activities that you do not like. Not only that, I will no longer participate in activities that you do not like."


You have to be the light and the example. Show her how this benefits HER first, and let her follow your lead.

Put the other books aside and buy Love Busters.

Once you have a solid MB foundation for your thinking, those other books may be useful (so long as you keep them within the framework of Marriage Builders). Until then, they are just going to make a mess of things.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 03/23/12 10:38 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
She listened to HNHN again on audio book. Oh yeah I am reading Sacred Love too.

What else can we do?

Why don't you stick to the one program that really does work? MB is the only program, I am aware of, whose goal is to restore the romantic love and really does work. And it doesn't work if you piecemeal it. It works every time if you do use it. You have been floundering around with this for years now, why not just stick to one thing that really WORKS? Harley has a demonstrated record of success with proven results. Here is his answer when asked on this forum if his program works:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
When I found that the model I've developed had helped over 90% of those I was counseling, I gave up my career as a college professor and started counseling full-time. At the time, I didn't assume that it would save all of the marriages it seemed to help, because I felt there were factors beyond a couple's control. But after 35 years of experience with this model, I'm not convinced that it works with 100% of couples who follow it. I've yet to witness one couple out of the tens of thousands I've seen, that did not experience a healthy and happy marriage by following this model. Personally, I feel it's the only answer to the question, how can a couple have a great marriage for life?

But it's very difficult to prove that one model of marital satisfaction is superior to another. The ultimate test is to randomly assign couples to various models and to measure their marital satisfaction after the provisions of each model have been implemented.

The training of therapists is a huge problem: How can we be sure that the therapist assigned to each model was properly trained? And there's also the problem of representation and random assignment: Does the group of volunteer couples represent the population at large? And is the assignment to treatment groups really random? There's also the ethical problem of assigning couples to a control group where they receive no effective treatment. When they divorce, does the researcher bear any responsibility? Finally, if someone who has a stake in the outcome does the research, it usually shows that their approach is best. Shouldn't studies of alternative models of marital satisfaction be conducted by those neutral to the outcome?

My own personal experience led me to the model I've been using for the past 35 years. But that's not proof of it's superiority over other models. What I need is objective studies conducted by those who have no bias that compare this model to others. That's hard to find even among those who have published hundreds of articles on martial therapy.

But I can direct you to three studies that support my enthusiasm. They all deal with my book, His Needs, Her Needs, the popular application of my model, and the effect it has on couples that read it.

The readers of Marriage Partnership Magazine were asked which self-help book on marriage helped their marriages the most. In that survey, His Needs, Her Needs came out on top. I didn't know that the survey was even being conducted, so when I called the editor after the results came in, I was curious to know more. He told me that it not only was the top choice, but it was far ahead of second place (Ron R. Lee. Best Books for a Better Marriage: Reader's Survey . Marriage Partnership Magazine, Spring 1998).

In a national survey that I sponsored, people were asked if any self-help book on marriage solved their marital problems. Out of 57 books that were read, only three were reported to have actually solved marital problems. The three were the Bible, James Dobson's Love for a Lifetime, and His Needs, Her Needs (Lynn Hanacek Gravel. Americans and Marriage: National Survey of US Adults. Barna Research Group, 2001).

Finally, five out of six couples that read His Needs Her Needs were found to experience significant improvement in marital satisfaction (Julie D. Braswell. The Impact of Reading a Self-Help Book on the Topic of Gender Differences on One's Perceived Quality of Marriage. Doctoral Dissertation, 1998, Azusa Pacific University.

Granted, these findings are not conclusive evidence that the model I use is superior to every other model of marital satisfaction. But when you find one that works for every couple that actually follows it, you have to be impressed. And coming as I did from almost zero effectiveness to almost complete success, I can't begin to tell you how convinced I am that it's the solution to a very difficult problem we face in our society.
Posted By: bigpicture Quick - here is another Moment gone wrong - 03/24/12 05:03 PM


The setting: Recall the dog that "we" adopted, she had been kenneling him to prevent poop in the house. We were out to dinner last night, she didn't kennel the dog for whatever reason, he [censored] (and I use that word expressively because it was 4-5 piles of crap on the newest carpet in the house)...My reaction was to help, help with disgusting chore... whatever, Fast forward to this morning, Nice morning, we fell asleep on our awesome couches, she brought me coffee YAH, pleases and thankyous all around, pleasant, tv together, POJA'd doing laundry next, I bring cold wrinkled laundry from dryer up to bedroom, FAIL.

Here is what I can understand. Her expectation was to use the dryer to un-wrinkle clothes. When she expressed this preference I said OK, I will re-dry the shirts after I sort out the socks that don't need to be "re-dryed to un-wrinkle" them. I proceeded to do so, and more laundry, and I stayed engaged with her the whole time, trying to discuss, not LB, not get angry, just laundry NO BIG DEAL

For the next 30 minutes nothing I could say or do would be the end of it. First she is upset that I don't respect her opinion to second I won't accept her way as possibly more efficient so she is mad. All while I am DOING laundry. She left the house without saying goodbye, told me how I acted so uncaring and felt unloved.

Help, I don't have this power over her.0 That I could be the source of all these emotional drains.

Have you considered using the MB program? When do-it-yourself doesn't work, how about trying something that has worked for others?
Originally Posted by bigpicture
The setting: Recall the dog that "we" adopted, she had been kenneling him to prevent poop in the house. We were out to dinner last night, she didn't kennel the dog for whatever reason, he [censored] (and I use that word expressively because it was 4-5 piles of crap on the newest carpet in the house)...My reaction was to help, help with disgusting chore... whatever, Fast forward to this morning, Nice morning, we fell asleep on our awesome couches, she brought me coffee YAH, pleases and thankyous all around, pleasant, tv together, POJA'd doing laundry next, I bring cold wrinkled laundry from dryer up to bedroom, FAIL.

Here is what I can understand. Her expectation was to use the dryer to un-wrinkle clothes. When she expressed this preference I said OK, I will re-dry the shirts after I sort out the socks that don't need to be "re-dryed to un-wrinkle" them. I proceeded to do so, and more laundry, and I stayed engaged with her the whole time, trying to discuss, not LB, not get angry, just laundry NO BIG DEAL

For the next 30 minutes nothing I could say or do would be the end of it. First she is upset that I don't respect her opinion to second I won't accept her way as possibly more efficient so she is mad. All while I am DOING laundry. She left the house without saying goodbye, told me how I acted so uncaring and felt unloved.

Help, I don't have this power over her.0 That I could be the source of all these emotional drains.

The problem, BP, is that you constantly engage in Disresepctful Judgements when your wife tries to communicate her feelings to you ("you don't respect her opinion");

Quote
In the final analysis, disrespectful judgments represent an effort to force our spouses to give us what we want in marriage, but it's often cleverly disguised. Instead of making an outright demand, we present our problem as if it were really our spouse's personal shortcoming. We try to "straighten out" our spouse in an effort to get our way.

At the time we rationalize our disrespect by convincing ourselves that we're doing our spouses a big favor, to lift them from the darkness of their confusion into the light of our superior perspective. If they would only follow our advice, we tell ourselves, they could avoid many of life's pitfalls-and we would also get what we want.

A disrespectful judgment occurs whenever one spouse tries to impose a system of values and beliefs on the other. When a husband tries to force his point of view on his wife, he's just asking for trouble. When a wife assumes that her own views are right and her husband is woefully misguided -- and tells him so -- she enters a minefield.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3402_disrespect.html


If your wife tells you how she feels about something, your job is to listen. Not to argue. Not to justify. Not to "explain."

She thinks and feels what she thinks and feels - and your job is to try to reach a point of Enthusastic Agreement in solving the problem.

Nothing else.


If you cannot reach Enthusastic Agreement without arguing, then the conversation must end until you can again discuss it without being unpleasant.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3350_guide.html
BP, It seems to me you don't like being told what to do (I don't like it either.)

Quote
Here is what I can understand. Her expectation was to use the dryer to un-wrinkle clothes. When she expressed this preference I said OK, I will re-dry the shirts after I sort out the socks that don't need to be "re-dryed to un-wrinkle" them. I proceeded to do so, and more laundry, and I stayed engaged with her the whole time, trying to discuss, not LB, not get angry, just laundry NO BIG DEAL

What exactly were you discussing? The laundry? What ever for? Do you think laundry talk will deposit conversation EN's in your wife's LB?

If it was no big deal, why didn't you just take all of the clothes (socks included) back to the drier?

What if when she told you she wanted to redry the clothes b/c it was the easiest way to get the wrinkles out, and you simply made her idea your idea? Her desire, your desire? Switch it around in your mind and pretend that it was your idea.





















Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Looking for third party views on DJs - 10/01/12 10:59 PM
Originally Posted by bigpicture
HHH,
We are currently reading Fighting For Your Marriage so there isn't time in her schedule to implement more. She is already way behind at work and is putting in lots of overtime.

Like you told us in March, you didn't have time to read Lovebusters or get into the MB program because you were busy reading "Fighting for your Marriage."
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