Marriage Builders®
Posted By: mariposa06 Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 03:21 PM
I keep running into a brick wall it seems when trying to voice things that have upset me or that are wrong. Everytime I do it seems DH makes the comment that something is always bothering me. He then tunes me out and gets angry with me for bringing it up. We have these incidences now maybe once every couple of weeks. Still he also comments that we have a couple days of calm and then I'm bringing up something else and that he's tired of them. Following marriage builders I've tried to vary my approach thinking I must be voicing it in a way that is making him feel nagged or attacked. I seem to be failing at doing this though.

I find myself avoiding and putting off sharing my feelings because of his reaction to it which I know is not a good approach. Last night after he reacted that way to something I was trying to discuss with him I told him when he did that it made me feel like he didn't care about my feelings or that he expected me to never be unhappy with anything. I even asked how he would prefer I approach him and what about how I was currently approaching it was wrong to him hoping to gain insight into how to change my side of things to prevent the same situation next time and he said he didn't know. Ugh!

I'm just so frustrated with it and not sure how I should better approach it.



Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 03:31 PM
Originally Posted by hopestrengthens
I keep running into a brick wall it seems when trying to voice things that have upset me or that are wrong. Everytime I do it seems DH makes the comment that something is always bothering me. He then tunes me out and gets angry with me for bringing it up. We have these incidences now maybe once every couple of weeks. Still he also comments that we have a couple days of calm and then I'm bringing up something else and that he's tired of them. Following marriage builders I've tried to vary my approach thinking I must be voicing it in a way that is making him feel nagged or attacked. I seem to be failing at doing this though.

I find myself avoiding and putting off sharing my feelings because of his reaction to it which I know is not a good approach. Last night after he reacted that way to something I was trying to discuss with him I told him when he did that it made me feel like he didn't care about my feelings or that he expected me to never be unhappy with anything. I even asked how he would prefer I approach him and what about how I was currently approaching it was wrong to him hoping to gain insight into how to change my side of things to prevent the same situation next time and he said he didn't know. Ugh!

I'm just so frustrated with it and not sure how I should better approach it.


You might want to keep your threads all together so we can read your complete story.

Is your DH still out of work? Most men take alot of pride in being the care giver of the family. Is he struggling with this?

Also how are you doing on your physically attractiveness? Have you lost the extra weight? Are you still working on that?

Can you give us an examples of what you're "sharing" with him? Are you using any DJs? How's your timing when you bring it to his attention?

How is your UA time?
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 07:29 PM
Do you just present complaints, or do you present solutions? For every one thing you tell him he's doing wrong, do you tell him 10 things he's doing right?

If the majority of your interactions are about how you think/feel/believe he's not cutting it, I can see how he would dread hearing from you.

If affirmation is important to him, and he hears more about what you believe he's doing wrong, then it's going to be tough on him.

What is he doing right? Can you focus as much if not more of your attention on those things, in order to make the suggestions for improvement more palatable?
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 07:33 PM
I think you heard similar advice three months ago:

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2602531#Post2602531

That 20 hours a week should be very pleasurable time for him.

If you are spending 20 hours a week doing things you both find pleasing, I suspect he'll be more able to hear what you are asking for.

But you can't get there if you don't have the solid foundation of mutually satisfying UA.

Think of when you were dating. I doubt you tried to change how he did things, or have tough, deep conversations.

Date your husband again, and he'll be more able to hear the difficult things.

If the majority of what you present is difficult to hear things, without the necessary UA, you'll keep getting the response he is giving.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 08:39 PM
Hope, you are on the right track, but are doing this out of order. I would focus more on falling in love again and using the POJA before you tackle tough complaints.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 08:40 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
Do you just present complaints, or do you present solutions? For every one thing you tell him he's doing wrong, do you tell him 10 things he's doing right?

If the majority of your interactions are about how you think/feel/believe he's not cutting it, I can see how he would dread hearing from you.

If affirmation is important to him, and he hears more about what you believe he's doing wrong, then it's going to be tough on him.

What is he doing right? Can you focus as much if not more of your attention on those things, in order to make the suggestions for improvement more palatable?

She shouldn't have to do any of that to get him to change his behavior that makes her unhappy. A complaint is an opportunity for improvement in a good marriage and an irritation in a bad marriage. I agree with your subsequent post that she needs to improve her marriage in order to make him more receptive to complaints.

Hope, show this to your husband: Complaining in Marriage
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:06 PM
I believe that's the case when the love bank is in good condition. (As you said.) To bolster what you said, if the love bank is overdrawn due to her love busters, which I think she mentioned at the beginning of the thread, she has to cover the overdrafts so to speak before she can do this.

Just as you said above, she needs to focus more on falling in love than working on difficult complaints.

If she's overdrawn the love bank, then her complaints likely will fall on deaf ears.

Remember, Dr H says love is not conditional. If he's not in love with her, then her complaints are not going to help him fall in love with her.

I do agree, ultimately he has to work on his part too. But if he's in withdrawal, then her complaints are not going to move him into intimacy.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
I believe that's the case when the love bank is in good condition. (As you said.) To bolster what you said, if the love bank is overdrawn due to her love busters, which I think she mentioned at the beginning of the thread, she has to cover the overdrafts so to speak before she can do this.

Ok. And the way to do that is to stop lovebusters and work to restore the love in their marriage. She doesn't need to do anything more to express a complaint.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:25 PM
Yet Dr H also describes withdrawal as follows:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3615_state.html

Quote
your Taker suggests a new approach to the problem: Withdrawal. It tries to convince you that your spouse is not worth the effort, and you should engage in emotional divorce.

In the state of Withdrawal, spouses no longer feel emotionally bonded or in love, and emotional defenses are raised. Neither one wants to try to meet the other's needs, and both have given up on attempts to get their own needs met by the other. One becomes two. They are completely independent, united only in living arrangements, finances and childrearing, although they often have to keep up appearances for neighbors and friends.

Dr Harley suggests the way to entice her husband out of withdrawal is not more complaints, but an olive branch.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3620_state.html

So while what you write may be good for a husband in conflict or intimacy, it will not work on the husband who is in withdrawal.

So while you do quote, Dr H, I don't think the letter you quote is analogous with the circumstance here.

I believe her husband is in withdrawal and the plan to entice him out of that state is the proper advice in this case.

Once they are both in conflict or intimacy, then she'll stand a better chance to have her complaints addressed.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
Dr Harley suggests the way to entice her husband out of withdrawal is not more complaints, but an olive branch.

Yes, we already know this, which is why I told her:

Originally Posted by Melodylane
Hope, you are on the right track, but are doing this out of order. I would focus more on falling in love again and using the POJA before you tackle tough complaints.

Nowhere have I ever heard Harley suggest this:

Originally Posted by EnlightenedEx
Do you just present complaints, or do you present solutions? For every one thing you tell him he's doing wrong, do you tell him 10 things he's doing right?

If the majority of your interactions are about how you think/feel/believe he's not cutting it, I can see how he would dread hearing from you.

If affirmation is important to him, and he hears more about what you believe he's doing wrong, then it's going to be tough on him.

In fact, I have been through the MB course and we were never told we had to produce solutions or tell our spouse "10 things she is doing right" in order to express a complaint. What we were told is to follow the steps to create romantic love, eliminate lovebusters, learn to use the POJA and present complaints in a non-critical way.

The article link I posted addresses the best way to address complaints.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:48 PM
I should add that we were specifically told not to come up with unilateral "solutions" but to negotiate a solution WITH our spouse that made us both happy.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:51 PM
You don't restore love by concentrating on what someone does wrong. Especially if admiration is one of their needs.

Therefore, if she's trying to meet needs AND one of his needs is admiration, expressing those 10 things is one example of how she might meet a legitimate need and get to the point where he is out of withdrawal and in a place where her complaint will be effective.

However, if he's still in withdrawal, then her complaints will simply drive him FURTHER into withdrawal.

Dr Harley may not have said what I said they way I said it. But he did say that to get someone out of withdrawal, meet their needs.

It's possible, based on her description of the events, that admiration is a need of his she is not meeting.

I simply have provided a suggestion that meeting that need is a path to give her complaints some traction at a later date.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 09:56 PM
The way that you restore love is to follow the program as it is subcribed. We don't need to add to or take away from that process. It works just fine as it is!
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
It's possible, based on her description of the events, that admiration is a need of his she is not meeting.

Meeting the need of admiration does not mean that you withhold complaints. It only means that you do it without criticizing. Here is what Harley would tell her husband:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley in Complaining in Marriage
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.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/03/12 10:16 PM
hope, I went back and read your other thread. Are you doing the UA time? How is that going?

Originally Posted by hopestrenghtens
From some other complaints he brought up I'm going to guess that Admiration is a top need for him and I've done an awful job meeting it. I've done a lot of the opposite with criticism instead. Bad I know. Trying to get in the habit of praising him instead. So used to not that I bypass a moment and realize it a little while after. Is it still okay to say it then or does it make it seem like an afterthought? Also feels awkward to gush to him about something as I'm not used to it even though I may be thinking it on the inside. I'm worried it then just seems fake to him. Do I do it anyway or just keep it toned down as it gets more habit and less awkward and he begins to believe that I mean it?

New habits are going to feel awkward at first. It is OK if you feel fake at first, as long as the praise is sincere. I would do this anyway and get into that habit. Anytime he does something that makes you happy, be sure and point that out.

When you do have a complaint, it needs to be done without criticism.

I would also ask him to fill out this questionaire: Marital Problem Analysis Questionnaire You should full it out too and exchange the forms.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 01:22 PM
ML, so what you are saying is what I've been saying in this thread.

She believes she has not met his need for admiration. She says it herself in another thread.

She doesn't write to us about how she is meeting the need. Rather she is writing about how she has complaints.

From her description, he is likely in withdrawal.

I agree with you, she has to have a way to voice her complaints. I am simply saying she will not get any traction as long as she is not meeting his EN for admiration.

I believe this particular dynamic makes for a tough situation. If she complains, especially if she complains in a fashion that is critical, then he will remain in withdrawal.

But I also believe that even if she complains in a Dr H approved manner, it will be ineffective due to his current state of withdrawal.

Recall the state of withdrawal is one where the spouse in withdrawal really doesn't want to meet any needs. In such a state, it's unlikely that complaints will be considered by him.

Now we can argue that he puts his marriage at risk, and I would agree. The problem is, a spouse in withdrawal really doesn't care. They've tried to get their needs met, and the other spouse hasn't done that, so they retreat to withdrawal. Any complaints while in withdrawal will simply hit a wall, not receptive ears.

She will have to entice him to conflict to even get a hearing, and perhaps intimacy to get to where she wants to be.

But as long as he is in withdrawal, I believe complaints will only drive him deeper into withdrawal.

I'm not saying she can't complain. I'm saying she has to pick the time and method AND ensure he's in an emotional state where he is receptive to such complaints.

From her own description, he is not yet there.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 02:23 PM
EE, the most important thing for her right now is to focus on getting 20 hours of UA time per week meeting the top 4 intimate emotional needs. Until that happens, nothing will work because romantic love cannot be created without that step.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 02:28 PM
Which is what I said in one of the first two posts. I said he wasn't in love with her, and as long as that's the case, her complaints will not matter to him.
Posted By: SugarCane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 02:50 PM
This post was as alleged (below) to be a personal attack, so I am deleting it.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 02:51 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
Which is what I said in one of the first two posts. I said he wasn't in love with her, and as long as that's the case, her complaints will not matter to him.

Actually you said this, which is not MB advice:

Originally Posted by EnlightenedEx
Do you just present complaints, or do you present solutions? For every one thing you tell him he's doing wrong, do you tell him 10 things he's doing right?

She shouldn't be presenting solutions and she doesn't need to tell him 10 things he is doing right in order to make a complaint. So lets be clear on that, ok?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 02:59 PM
Originally Posted by SugarCane
[
I can see that you are going to argue this to death even though the original poster made one post to this thread and disappeared. You are going to argue and argue "solutions according to Enlightened Ex" and claim that your arguments are really the same as Dr Harley's advice, when really it is not.

Agree. Instead of helping this poster with MB concepts, we have to waste time educating a poster who should know better.
Posted By: JustUss Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 03:31 PM
PLEASE stick to Dr Harley's concepts & principles when advising those still struggling with their marriages!!
Posted By: holdingontoit Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 07:52 PM
Please help me understand how proposing solutions differs from brainstorming solutions? Is that not part of POJA? Proposing is not demanding unilaterally that one's spouse adopt any or all of the proposals. Is the key to follow the list of proposed solutions with something along the lines of "but if none of these appeal to you, I am happy to hear proposals from you to see if I could be enthusiastic about them"?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 08:16 PM
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Please help me understand how proposing solutions differs from brainstorming solutions? Is that not part of POJA? Proposing is not demanding unilaterally that one's spouse adopt any or all of the proposals. Is the key to follow the list of proposed solutions with something along the lines of "but if none of these appeal to you, I am happy to hear proposals from you to see if I could be enthusiastic about them"?

Show me where one has to present a solution AND come up with 10 praises for every complaint in order to bring a complaint to a spouse? Do you have a link? Help me understand where or why I have to do that? You have heard from TWO members on this thread who have been through the MB program and have no idea where in the world that came from?

When my H does something that annoys me, I don't have to present a solution or come up with 10 good things he does, all I do is respectfully explain the problem. Solutions are discussed together, not reached unilaterally.

EE seems to have a basic issue with a wife making any complaints:
Originally Posted by enlightenedex
"Do you just present complaints, or do you present solutions?"
Posted By: SugarCane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Please help me understand how proposing solutions differs from brainstorming solutions? Is that not part of POJA? Proposing is not demanding unilaterally that one's spouse adopt any or all of the proposals. Is the key to follow the list of proposed solutions with something along the lines of "but if none of these appeal to you, I am happy to hear proposals from you to see if I could be enthusiastic about them"?
Could you elaborate on this please, hold? Did somebody here rule this out, or suggest that they are different? Whose argument are you addressing?
Posted By: holdingontoit Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 09:35 PM
Just trying to see if I understand. The key is that complaints should be welcomed by both spouses, even if the complaining spouse has no suggestion on how to improve the situation? Because complaints provide information that enables the listener to avoid Love Busters or to make more Love Bank deposits. And then the couple can discuss solutions together. Without either spouse proposing unilateral solutions?
Posted By: MrWondering Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 09:45 PM
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Just trying to see if I understand. The key is that complaints should be welcomed by both spouses, even if the complaining spouse has no suggestion on how to improve the situation? Because complaints provide information that enables the listener to avoid Love Busters or to make more Love Bank deposits. And then the couple can discuss solutions together. Without either spouse proposing unilateral solutions?


Sure beats posting your complaints to total strangers on the internet for 10 years. <wink> (I'm teasing you)

Welcome back Holding....could you shoot me an email at my address in my sig line. Gotta question for you completely unrelated to this thread.

Mr. Wondering
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:06 PM
Exactly, if you are against proposting solutions, how can you be FOR the POJA.

And folks are saying I am the one who doesn't understand MB.

I assumed nothing. The OP said that she didn't meet his need for admiration very well in the other thread.

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Please help me understand how proposing solutions differs from brainstorming solutions? Is that not part of POJA? Proposing is not demanding unilaterally that one's spouse adopt any or all of the proposals. Is the key to follow the list of proposed solutions with something along the lines of "but if none of these appeal to you, I am happy to hear proposals from you to see if I could be enthusiastic about them"?
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:14 PM
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Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:26 PM
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Posted By: SugarCane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:28 PM
I'm removing this, too. I'm not arguing any more!
Posted By: SugarCane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:30 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
So please stop with your projections and follow the TOS here. Your personal attack here is against the TOS.
EE, if you will point out which parts of my post are a personal attack I will edit.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:34 PM
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Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:40 PM
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Posted By: SugarCane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:40 PM
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Posted By: MBsurvivor Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:51 PM
This debate will end now and we will get back to helping this poster with Marriage Builders concepts! Debating with others about very basic concepts does not help this poster, who by the way, has not been back. Familiarize yourself with the concepts before posting on these threads again.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/04/12 10:56 PM
moderator's note: stop disrupting this thread!
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/08/12 06:10 AM
I'm sorry it seems I abandoned my own thread. I just didn't get a chance to get back to it that day. I didn't expect to come back and find so many responses so I'm going to try to get through them a little now and a little later today.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/08/12 06:42 AM
Quote
You might want to keep your threads all together so we can read your complete story.

Is your DH still out of work? Most men take alot of pride in being the care giver of the family. Is he struggling with this?

Also how are you doing on your physically attractiveness? Have you lost the extra weight? Are you still working on that?

Can you give us an examples of what you're "sharing" with him? Are you using any DJs? How's your timing when you bring it to his attention?

How is your UA time?

Sorry it had been a bit since I'd updated my last one and since this seemed like a new issue I thought I'd make a new topic.

No. DH is back to work. He started back the beginning of April. He had been struggling with this before that point though.

I am very close to my healthy goal weight which would be the weight I was when we were dating. So yes still chipping away at that.

Examples. I'm trying to remember what was brought up then, but my brain is a little tired now at the end of my long shift at work and it's not coming to me. Often the things I'm responding to are DH's LB's and I know that's what happened that led to this post. I just don't remember now what specifically it was he said that hurt my feelings. When he makes a LB as long as it's not an AO, I tell him that it hurt my feelings and how it made me feel. With AO's I let him calm down and then tell him the same. Often during those it's because he's called me a name that wasn't so nice. Going over the conversations I can occassionally find that in my frustration I also LB'ed him, but the majority of the time I have a good handle on not doing the same.

I'm thinking next time it will be good for me to post the whole thing and let you all pick apart it and maybe find ones I'm missing. I will make sure to do that.

Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/08/12 07:09 PM
Good job on meeting his need for PA.

Yes bring us the conversation.

Do you have the book Lovebusters? I would get this pronto.
Have you done this? Love Busters Questionnaire
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/09/12 01:49 PM
Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Good job on meeting his need for PA.

Yes bring us the conversation.

Do you have the book Lovebusters? I would get this pronto.
Have you done this? Love Busters Questionnaire

Yes. I do. No I haven't filled out the questionnaire. I think it is definitely a good time to do that. DH hadn't been very on board before and has been coming around and I think would now be more receptive to doing that.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/09/12 01:59 PM
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
Do you just present complaints, or do you present solutions? For every one thing you tell him he's doing wrong, do you tell him 10 things he's doing right?

If the majority of your interactions are about how you think/feel/believe he's not cutting it, I can see how he would dread hearing from you.

If affirmation is important to him, and he hears more about what you believe he's doing wrong, then it's going to be tough on him.

What is he doing right? Can you focus as much if not more of your attention on those things, in order to make the suggestions for improvement more palatable?

Sometimes when I see a solution yes I do. When it's just something I'd like him to not continue to do, no. I compliment him and am making an effort to positively comment on the things he does well. I don't know if it's quite working out to be 1 negative for every 10 positives though. There's definitely room for improvement on positives. I had gone so long with just letting good things go without a word that I'm still forming the habit of making sure to comment when he does something good so I still miss opportunities where later I realize I forgot to say thank you or compliment him on this or that that I noticed.

No. The majority are not about the bad. They used to be and sometimes I think maybe that's why he's a bit touchy about it now, that maybe he thinks I'm gonna start on a complaint tirade again.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/09/12 02:47 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
hope, I went back and read your other thread. Are you doing the UA time? How is that going?

Thanks for the articles cited.

UA time is going well. With him being back at work and DD now out of preschool for the summer we aren't getting as much outside of the house. We had been using the mornings she was there to spend out.

Now that we are paying sitters for time we are both at work and money is still tight, we may get out of the house about once a week depending on budget and sitters.

Melody, I think you and someone else mentioned DH maybe still being withdrawn. I'm not really seeing that, but maybe he is some of the time. During these times it feels more like conflict. I say this because his actions and the changes from a few months ago when I started following Marriage Builders has been huge. I can't say exactly that he is fully in love with me again, but it feels like we are on the path and that his love bank is out of the red. Our time together is less awkward than it was before and often feels like we are in a state of intimacy. Just last night after he got home from work we spent several hours talking and laughing. He asked things about my life where just a few months back he'd have barely listened to me, contributing little to the conversation, focusing more on TV, his computer or whatever book he was reading and never really seemed interested in me and my life. His drive for SF also seemed really low then and now we have gotten back to the average frequency and sometimes more of how it was early on in our marriage.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/09/12 03:05 PM
hope, that is awesome! I would focus more on getting in your 15 hours of UA. Find a way to make that work. I am in a romantic, passionate marriage and we can tell a decided difference when we drop below 15 hours. When you fall in love again, you won't be willing to forgo any of your time and will be finding ways to make it happen. So stick with it!

You are doing great!
Posted By: Prisca Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/10/12 09:04 PM
Quote
Going over the conversations I can occassionally find that in my frustration I also LB'ed him, but the majority of the time I have a good handle on not doing the same.
Would your husband agree that you have a handle on it the majority of the time?
Posted By: Prisca Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/10/12 09:08 PM
How many hours UA are you getting? What is the quality?
Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/11/12 03:11 AM
Listen to this radio clip. Dr. Harley talks about the importance of UA and eliminating lovebusters to have that romantic love.

Radio clip on building romantic love
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/12/12 03:04 AM
Originally Posted by Prisca
Would your husband agree that you have a handle on it the majority of the time?

That's a good question. I'm not sure. That may be and I do know how I see it doesn't matter if he does see them that way. During or even when I ask he isn't really pointing out anything just the vague comment that I always seem unhappy about something or that he's always doing something wrong. I haven't gotten him to read the LB's book so I'm not sure he could explain them specifically to me in that way.

I think since things are going much better now it's time I gently present Marriage Builder's again to him. Very good time for me to ask him to fill out the worksheets for me to have to know what he thinks I need to work on.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/12/12 03:23 AM
Originally Posted by Prisca
How many hours UA are you getting? What is the quality?

We are getting 15 to 20 per week. Some weeks more, some weeks like this one is looking less. This one less because Saturday he didn't feel well, Sunday I had an awful migraine and today he went to bed around the same time DD did because he has a very early out of town meeting to get to in the morning. I am trying to make up for that though. I've canceled plans I had for tomorrow for us to spend together instead.

Not sure what you mean by quality? A good amount of that time is spent doing things at home versus out and I know it's preferred to have time out. It's only because of financial challenges of sitters that it is that way. Weeks when we have access to family or friends who take her for nothing or a trade we take advantage of having more time out. When me and DH were dating though we didn't spend a lot of nights out. We spent most of our time at each other's houses. Mostly his because he lived on his own. We liked the private time just us without crowds of other people and distractions.

Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/12/12 03:24 AM
Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Listen to this radio clip. Dr. Harley talks about the importance of UA and eliminating lovebusters to have that romantic love.

Radio clip on building romantic love

I really liked that clip. Thanks!
Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Feeling frustrated - 06/12/12 04:09 AM
Originally Posted by hopestrengthens
Originally Posted by Prisca
How many hours UA are you getting? What is the quality?

We are getting 15 to 20 per week. Some weeks more, some weeks like this one is looking less. This one less because Saturday he didn't feel well, Sunday I had an awful migraine and today he went to bed around the same time DD did because he has a very early out of town meeting to get to in the morning. I am trying to make up for that though. I've canceled plans I had for tomorrow for us to spend together instead.

Not sure what you mean by quality? A good amount of that time is spent doing things at home versus out and I know it's preferred to have time out. It's only because of financial challenges of sitters that it is that way. Weeks when we have access to family or friends who take her for nothing or a trade we take advantage of having more time out. When me and DH were dating though we didn't spend a lot of nights out. We spent most of our time at each other's houses. Mostly his because he lived on his own. We liked the private time just us without crowds of other people and distractions.

Here's an excellent thread by Mel on The Critical importance on the policy of UA

Dr. H says UA time should be spent meeting your spouses most intimate EN, which are SF, IC, RC and Affection.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 05:03 PM
I am long overdue for an update. Things have been continuing to go well with the occasional bump or bad few days. I feel like most of the time I am able to figure out what went wrong and put the train back on the track so it hadn't seemed noteworthy to post here. I have updated my posting name as one I thought was more unique.

The latest bump in the road occurred last week. Me and DH are trying to get back on track financially after him being unemployed for so long. Things are getting there with a ways to go. It seems when one thing gets paid another unexpected bill happens. Well I got paid and was paying towards some small bills. DH has a hospital bill that we hadn't paid anything towards and I went to make the payment. It wouldn't let me. I texted him to ask him if he had done it already because it wasn't letting me. He had a major AO getting mad at me for handling his bills and that he didn't want me paying for his stuff. The AO caught me completely off guard since I thought he'd be happy to know we were getting a few things caught up and mostly in general because he hadn't had an AO like that in months and the things he said just seemed to come out of nowhere. I did think I probably should have informed him first and gotten his agreement before handling those things. Even still it did feel to me that something else must be behind his reaction.

I had to work that evening and when I came home I tried to talk to him about it. He started to become angry again until it came out exactly why it was. The day before my mom had come up and watched DD while I went to work. I chatted with her a bit before I left. My mom had asked how we were doing financially as they have loaned us money knowing we were struggling to catch up. I had mentioned DH had just had his state truck inspection and it needed new tires to pass so that ended up being a costly thing and that luckily one of our credit cards that was just in my name we were able to put them on to cover them. Well, it turned out that when DH had gotten home my mom had said to him that she heard his truck had needed more stuff. She asked him why how come if he was now working he couldn't pay for his own stuff and I was paying for it....

Yeah... That night I had thought he seemed a little off, but he hadn't told me that occurred when I asked if he was okay. He just had said he was tired. So after he calmed he told me he was angry that he thought I had talked badly to my mom about him, that he felt they thought he was just their failure son in law, that he was worried I thought of him that way and that that was how he was feeling about himself by not fully being able to provide for his family like he thought he should.

I have not spoken to my mom yet, but plan to tomorrow when I'm off about her comments and how I am not happy that she spoke to him that way or turned what I said that way.

I am at a loss at how to help DH feel better about his feelings of failing his family. I certainly don't see him that way and financial support is not one of my top needs. How do I make sure he knows that?





Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 05:48 PM
mariposa, there are a couple of things going on here. The first thing is your husband's angry outbursts. That is the kiss of death. He needs to work on that NOW. I would get that lovebuster under control PRONTO. It does not matter WHAT your mother said or you said, he should never have another angry outburst. There is no excuse for an AO. That lovebuster will undo all the progress you make in your marriage.

The next issue I see is your not following the POJA. Never do anything without the enthusiastic agreement of your spouse.

And lastly, what your mother said to your husband was disrespectful and hurtful. I would address that with her.

Quote
I am at a loss at how to help DH feel better about his feelings of failing his family.

He will feel better when he gets back on his feet financially. You can't make him feel better, but you can continue to treat him with love and respect. It is important for him to support his family so I wouldn't dismiss that and tell him its not important. It really is important.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 08:03 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
mariposa, there are a couple of things going on here. The first thing is your husband's angry outbursts. That is the kiss of death. He needs to work on that NOW. I would get that lovebuster under control PRONTO. It does not matter WHAT your mother said or you said, he should never have another angry outburst. There is no excuse for an AO. That lovebuster will undo all the progress you make in your marriage.

Yeah. He has always been bad about the AO's. As we have been working on things he has improved them and they are definitely not nonexistent, but much less frequent than before. I know that is definitely not where it should be, but I do think the progress he is making is going well.

Quote
The next issue I see is your not following the POJA. Never do anything without the enthusiastic agreement of your spouse.

Yes definitely my thought there after it happened. POJA is definitely something I'm striving to do. Learning and putting it into practice all the time after the habit of not is definitely harder than I thought it would be even after reading the many posts from others here struggling with it too.

Quote
He will feel better when he gets back on his feet financially. You can't make him feel better, but you can continue to treat him with love and respect. It is important for him to support his family so I wouldn't dismiss that and tell him its not important. It really is important.

I don't dismiss it. I know how important that is to him and the hit being unemployed and relying on my income only affected him.

Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 08:05 PM
POJA was very, very hard for me too, mariposa. crazy Just stick with it and it will soon become a habit!

And if your husband needs help with angry outbursts he might want to look into angerbusters. That is an excellent program I hear.

You are definitely on the right track!
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 09:06 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
POJA was very, very hard for me too, mariposa. crazy Just stick with it and it will soon become a habit!

And if your husband needs help with angry outbursts he might want to look into angerbusters. That is an excellent program I hear.

You are definitely on the right track!


Thanks! I will have to look into that program.
Posted By: Jhamila Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 11:23 PM
Love your new screenname, Mariposa! butterfly, right? here's a sad little imitation:

<>;<>

I agree with ML's advice, your H's anger will prevent the solving of every other marital problem, and needs to be resolved right away. I wish there were AngerBusters in our city! Anyway, my H has been in AM classes for about 5 weeks now, and we have some similar issues to yours I think. It's been difficult for us to resolve conflicts, too.

Just wanted to say Hi and that I'm rooting for you! smile
Posted By: Jhamila Re: Feeling frustrated - 07/29/12 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by mariposa06
I keep running into a brick wall it seems when trying to voice things that have upset me or that are wrong. Everytime I do it seems DH makes the comment that something is always bothering me. He then tunes me out and gets angry with me for bringing it up. We have these incidences now maybe once every couple of weeks. Still he also comments that we have a couple days of calm and then I'm bringing up something else and that he's tired of them. Following marriage builders I've tried to vary my approach thinking I must be voicing it in a way that is making him feel nagged or attacked. I seem to be failing at doing this though.

I find myself avoiding and putting off sharing my feelings because of his reaction to it which I know is not a good approach. Last night after he reacted that way to something I was trying to discuss with him I told him when he did that it made me feel like he didn't care about my feelings or that he expected me to never be unhappy with anything. I even asked how he would prefer I approach him and what about how I was currently approaching it was wrong to him hoping to gain insight into how to change my side of things to prevent the same situation next time and he said he didn't know. Ugh!

I'm just so frustrated with it and not sure how I should better approach it.


Mariposa, here's a letter I received from Dr. Harley when I wrote him with (nearly) the same question you pose here. I hope it helps you!

Originally Posted by Zhamila
Hi Zhamila,

You bring up a very important point that I am actually writing about for an article in the next newsletter � how to get along with your wife. The problem that most men face is that their wives get upset about things they would not be upset about. When their wives tell them that it upsets them (makes love bank withdrawals) they have a choice. They can either accommodate their wife�s sensitivities and preserve Love Bank balances, or keep doing insensitive things and lose their love. In your case, your husband has chosen to lose your love for him. The Policy of Joint Agreement helps men avoid that mistake by forcing them to do only what their wives enthusiastically agree with. It helps maintain their wife�s Love Bank balance.

During your dating period, your husband may have violated the Policy of Joint Agreement in your favor. He may have done whatever it was to make you happy even if it was at his expense (win-lose). That strategy is what I call the renter�s strategy. It�s a man�s early effort to gain a woman�s love. But as soon as the woman is committed to him in marriage, he decides to change the win-lose outcome to his advantage and to her disadvantage. He wins and she loses. That�s one of the reasons I encourage dating couples to spend considerable time talking about the POJA and the four guidelines to successful negotiation before they marry.

He must learn not to do anything she wants if it�s not something that he would also enjoy. He also learns to avoid doing anything that she would not enthusiastically agree to, not as a sacrifice, but as simply being thoughtful. Your husband has never learned that lesson, and your marriage may end because of it. However, there�s always a chance that he can see its wisdom and change his approach to marital problem-solving. My next article will explain all of this, so if he�s willing to read it, he may see the light. Otherwise, your marriage will not survive.

Best wishes,
Dr. Harley
Posted By: Jhamila Re: Feeling frustrated - 08/02/12 01:31 AM
Moderator's: If it's not OK to post letters of advice from Dr. Harley, would you please let me know? If so, I will remove it and say "Sorry!"

Thanks, Zhamila
Posted By: JustUss Re: Feeling frustrated - 08/02/12 04:04 AM
It's OK!! smile
Posted By: Jhamila Re: Feeling frustrated - 08/02/12 11:23 PM
Originally Posted by JustUss
It's OK!! smile


THANK YOU! blush
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 08/04/12 03:32 PM
Yes it means butterfly. Thanks for sharing your letter with me. It's great to hear input from others going through similar situations and problems.
Posted By: Jhamila Re: Feeling frustrated - 08/04/12 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by mariposa06
Yes it means butterfly. Thanks for sharing your letter with me. It's great to hear input from others going through similar situations and problems.


smile

Yes, I guess having company thru the tough times is a close 2nd to not having any tough times to begin with! wink
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 12/08/12 04:20 PM
Thought it was time to update here. Things have been going along okay. Bumps here and there when we've gotten off plan or gone without getting in enough UA time.

Our latest major bump is DH lost his job again last week. He was fired for being late to work. A consistent problem for him because he often oversleeps no matter how loud or many alarms it seems he has tried using. Days that I am there I am able to make sure he wakes up on time, but we haven't found a good solution for days I'm not and this was a day I had already left for work.


We're both worried about the lack of money that we will soon be dealing with living off just my income which will not be able to cover all of the bills. We had a discussion that started to get a little heated, but we stopped and took a break before it became a fight and then revisited it after a bit. He is willing to take any job that comes his way like he did with this last one. He says as a temporary thing to have money that should trump whether it really is one we'd both be happy for him to have so he had started to get upset. After we revisited I said for temporary okay, but it would depend when the job opportunity came up what other factors may be and if all of it was one we could both agree on for even temporary. He said he could agree with that and he wouldn't take one without talking it over with me first which is what I had been worried he was saying before he got upset.

We also discussed moving back home and living with family until we were back on our feet. I really love the area we live in now and the 2 hour distance separating us from any family drama. That area is small with little there for us and our DD. I would really miss living where we are, my friends, the places, etc. It was getting late so we didn't end up getting into it much. DH has never been too happy living here specifically, but does like all the things we have here for us and DD. Jobs that he qualifies for and that would pay well are very slim right now so the lack of enough income may temporarily cause us to have to consider it.

Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Feeling frustrated - 12/08/12 05:00 PM
Originally Posted by mariposa06
Thought it was time to update here. Things have been going along okay. Bumps here and there when we've gotten off plan or gone without getting in enough UA time.

Our latest major bump is DH lost his job again last week. He was fired for being late to work. A consistent problem for him because he often oversleeps no matter how loud or many alarms it seems he has tried using. Days that I am there I am able to make sure he wakes up on time, but we haven't found a good solution for days I'm not and this was a day I had already left for work.


We're both worried about the lack of money that we will soon be dealing with living off just my income which will not be able to cover all of the bills. We had a discussion that started to get a little heated, but we stopped and took a break before it became a fight and then revisited it after a bit. He is willing to take any job that comes his way like he did with this last one. He says as a temporary thing to have money that should trump whether it really is one we'd both be happy for him to have so he had started to get upset. After we revisited I said for temporary okay, but it would depend when the job opportunity came up what other factors may be and if all of it was one we could both agree on for even temporary. He said he could agree with that and he wouldn't take one without talking it over with me first which is what I had been worried he was saying before he got upset.

We also discussed moving back home and living with family until we were back on our feet. I really love the area we live in now and the 2 hour distance separating us from any family drama. That area is small with little there for us and our DD. I would really miss living where we are, my friends, the places, etc. It was getting late so we didn't end up getting into it much. DH has never been too happy living here specifically, but does like all the things we have here for us and DD. Jobs that he qualifies for and that would pay well are very slim right now so the lack of enough income may temporarily cause us to have to consider it.
What his plan to stop being late to work? If he has a chronic problem with tardiness he needs to get a handle on this.
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: Feeling frustrated - 12/16/12 03:54 AM
I don't know and we hadn't really gotten into it discussing it yet. He hasn't found a replacement job yet even though a few prospects do sound promising.

I'm at a loss at what else may help. He had been doing well on mornings when he'd fallen asleep at a decent time and slept well, but he has a lot of trouble with insomnia and then his schedule and routine gets thrown off.

He's seen a doctor who sent him for a sleep study. They found he just has mild sleep apnea and recommended repeating one in a few years to see if it has worsened to the point he'd need a CPAP. DH is opposed to sleeping meds and the doctor didn't want to start him on any right away if other changes could help instead.

Posted By: mariposa06 In Crisis Please Help! - 01/16/13 05:07 PM
In crisis and need help. Somehow things have unraveled to the point where DH is ready and planning to leave. I think he is serious.

He says things for him are not getting better. He feels he is a burden on me now for having to rely on my income and feels by staying he is just using me. He feels we are incompatible, always have been and he doesn't see that changing.

As this has gotten to this point I have verified without a doubt that he is not cheating. He very rarely goes anywhere alone and when he does I have been able to verify he was there and to reach him anytime. He doesn't get on his computer much to do anything except watch movies and job hunting. The only phone usage is to play a few apps on his phone and occasional texts to his guy friends.

What brought this on I think has been the lack of job and funds has been weighing on us. There has been very little really quality UA time and none outside of home. We have both reverted to some bad habits and had some really bad fights. Yes, I know I helped put us here.

I need help getting out of this mess. What do I do? I know if I can't keep him from leaving it will be that much harder to get him to come back. He says maybe we just need a break and we could work on things while living separately, but from being here and my own feelings I don't think that is best. That is just probably gonna push us further away.

What should I do to convince him to stay. I know the discussions on convincing him to fully try MB with me and how I know if we both do it we can turn this around and basic trying to talk him out of leaving is just making it probably worse. So I have decided no more of that, but what do I do instead?

If he does just up and leave because I won't discuss the logistics of him leaving what do I do? He keeps trying to work out a separation and I have been telling him I won't discuss that, but he says he still will and I'm just making it more difficult. So if he does just leave how should I handle that?
Posted By: mariposa06 Re: In Crisis Please Help! - 01/19/13 07:38 PM
Was hoping my lack of notifications was wrong and I'd check in to find a bunch of help. No luck. DH is here but I gather he'll just leave if we don't work out a separation. It's leading to him just getting more frustrated with me because he says by not working with him on this I am just reinforcing that it's only my way and about what I want. I'm at a loss. All I know is to pull myself in check and Plan A him to prove its worth it. I'm having difficulty doing that.

It hurts and I want to save this. I think I'm pushing more though than pulling back. I guess I need to remind myself that he is still here and he can still change his mind and my actions will be the only thing that help that.
Posted By: BrainHurts Re: In Crisis Please Help! - 01/19/13 11:15 PM
Can you afford the online program or MB coaching?
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