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Originally Posted By: Dr Harley in Effective Marriage Counseling

"When I see a couple for the first time, I let them know that my program will require a minimum of fifteen hours a week of their time. If they can't dedicate that much time while I'm counseling them, I suggest they find another counselor because my plan won't work without it."


I am reading Dr Harleys new book Effective Marriage Counseling and in it, he says the above. He won't even SEE a couple unless they commit to the 15 hrs per week because he says the program won't work without it!

I am discovering this is very true. My H and I used to spend 20+ hrs a week together and in the past year that has slacked off tremendously. I can tell the difference. We discussed this recently and are actually now sitting down scheduling our UA time.

In the book, Dr Harley also says that the fastest way to fall in love is to schedule 15 hours of UA per week to meet the top needs of Affection, Sexual fulfillment, Rec Companionship and conversation. Those are the needs that get the biggest bang for the buck. I think Mark typed out this part. I will go look for it.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Mark wrote this over on the EN forum [thanks Mark! smile ]:

If I said the SF trumps all other consider5ations, that was not quite what I intended. But there are 4 intimate emotional needs. These are, SF, Affection, RC and Conversation. These are the ones that inevitably make the largest Love Bank deposits and the ones Dr Harley says that he focuses the majority of attention on.

Again, this is what Dr Harley says in his new book, Effective Marriage Counseling:
Quote:
So when I try to help a couple restore their love for each other, in spite of what they report in the Emotional Needs Questionnaire, I focus most of my attention on the four intimate emotional needs.
Not my words, but the doctor's.

These four create intimacy. When we think our relationship is romantic, these are the ones we consider and not things like DS or FS. We don't fall in love with someone because they earn a lot of money. The four INTIMATE emotional needs make a serious contribution to everyone's love bank.


So it isn't a case of sex being the overriding EN that trumps all else, but that the four intimate emotional needs, taken together are the fastest way to make serious Love Bank deposits and should be the things concentrated on during the time couples spend together, in other words, their UA time as we call it around here.

What this does is to meet these ENs which are more difficult if not impossible to meet in any other way and ensure that they are being met. Seldom does a person fall in love with someone based entirely on how he or she looks or based on the fact that they keep a tidy house. It is the INTIMATE emotional needs that we would call an affair if they are being met outside of the marriage. No one would bat an eye at having a maid clean the floor while you're at work two days per week. But if that maid spent hours golfing with a guy, we'd all see the problem at once.

Also from the book:
Quote:
Less lovemaking and recreational companionship from the wife leads to even less conversation and aff4ection by him. The downward spiral continues until there is little or no affection, conversation, recreational companionship or sexual fulfillment. When these needs are not being met, the feeling of love evaporates and a romantic relationship ceases to exist.


And
Quote:
:I have yet to witness a single failure (to restore the feeling of love)* when I've been able to motivate a couple to meet these four emotional needs for each other.*
(My addition to clarify the subject of the paragraph rather than typing the entire page from the book)

He concludes the section which is in the chapter on the Policy of Undivided Attention with this:
Quote:
:As we go back to my definition of a romantic relationship, remember that it consists of two parts: two people in love (par1) who meet each other's emotional needs for intimacy (part 2). Since meeting the needs for intimacy is the quickest and most effective way to restore love, it makes sense to begin with that goal when counseling a couple. Once a couple actually meets those needs for each other, it's only a matter of time before enough Love Bank deposits are made to trigger romantic love. When this happens, meeting intimate emotional needs becomes almost effortless, making ever increasing Love Bank deposits. This is the reason that the very (the doctor's emphasis, not mine) quickest and most effective way for a couple to make Love Bank deposits is to be in a romantic relationship.


I'm not suggesting at all that any other EN is unimportant or even less important than these four. But the doctor feels so strongly that they are the fastest way to make Love Bank deposits that they are the ones he tells other counselors to focus on getting couples to meet for each other.

Also realize that this is the section on the Policy of Undivided Attention. If you asked the question, "What should we do during our UA time?" the answer would be, "Meet the ENs of Recreational Companionship, Conversation, Affection and Sexual Fulfillment." This does not vary based on the results of the ENQ since these are the four intimate emotional needs that cannot be met at other times or with a lot of people around and should not be met by any other person in our lives. What specifically we do together to meet those four ENs during our UA time can vary from couple to couple. This is where the REI form comes into play and where improved communication between us might result in higher quality UA time for both of us, but the reason for the time is, according to Dr Harley, to meet the four INTIMATE emotional needs and not simply to have fun or to meet other ENs that do not leead to and at the same time result from intimacy.

I can meet my wife's EN for FS by going to work. I can improve on it by working overtime. I cannot meet her EN of Conversation and she cannot meet my EN of SF when we are not together. The time together needs to be channeled into meeting these four.

Think about that for a minute. Which ENs can be met without spending time together? Honesty can to some degree. FS can. DS might be. FC can be met with the whole family in the room and in fact only when that is true. FS requires that I go to work to earn money. Physical attractiveness can happen when we are leaving for work in the morning, when we go out with friends, when we fgo to church...

Intimate Conversation, Affection, Recreational Companionship and Sexual Fulfillment all require that we be together, that we are paying attention to each other and that other people are not making demands on our time. The best of all four happen when we are alone together in seclusion and no one else is with us. You simply cannot have intimacy without the intimate emotional needs being met. And they need to be met when we are together without a lot of people and distractions around us and that is our UA time and the needs to focus on during our UA therefor become the four Intimate Emotional Needs of Conversation, Recreational Companionship, Affection and Sexual Fulfillment.

The doctor points to affairs where the affair partner is less attractive than the spouse or where the affair partner doesn't have anything to do with good housekeeping skills. He talks about how people fall in love in spite of failure to meet the other ENs very well. Affairs are all about lies but the feelings can be so intense that people are ready to destroy two families in an effort to be together. They didn't reach that point by being good housekeepers and financial gurus. People fall in love because their intimate Emotional Needs are being met. The other ENs need to be taken care of. They become less important if the four intimate ENs are being met. But the others are the sauces and condiments of the relationship. The meat and potatoes are the 4 intimate ENs.

No matter what the most important are for anyone, these are the four to focus on for our UA time, since they can only be met during UA time and should not be met by anyone else. If we don't meet them during UA time, when do we meet them?

Make more sense now?

Mark


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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If I recall correctly, Dr. Harley recommends 15 hours of UA for a couple who are in a healthy marriage. For troubled M's, he recommends much more than that - up to 30 hours/week meeting the four intimate EN's discussed above.

AM


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Originally Posted By: armymama
If I recall correctly, Dr. Harley recommends 15 hours of UA for a couple who are in a healthy marriage. For troubled M's, he recommends much more than that - up to 30 hours/week meeting the four intimate EN's discussed above.

AM


AM, I think I have heard him say that somewhere, too, but I can't remember where. dontknow HOWEVER, the 15 hours is what he recommended to troubled marriages who came to him for counseling in the book. Did he tell you 30 hours? Can you find anything where he clarifies this?

I am going to go look some more......


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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found it!

pg 85 Effective Marriage Counseling:

The number of hours a couple schedules together each week for undivided attention should reflect the quality of their marriage. If the marriage is satisfying to both spouses, they should schedule fifteen hours each week to be together. But if they suffer marital dis-satisfaction, they should plan more time until marital satisfaction is achieved.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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And the problem is that in a troubled M, the spouses tend not to like each other very much, making spending time together more difficult. But they should spend the time together anyway, faking it until making it.

AM


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I read, but don't usually post. This topic, however, really promted me to chime into the discussion. Having driven one marriage into the ground by NOT doing these things, I really can't place enough importance on them. If every married couple incorporated the UA and the SF into their marriage from day one, we would see far fewer divorces.

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Originally Posted By: armymama
And the problem is that in a troubled M, the spouses tend not to like each other very much, making spending time together more difficult. But they should spend the time together anyway, faking it until making it.

AM


That is correct. He talks about that in this book. He basically FORCES them to agree to do this whether they want to or not and tells them right up front they need to find someone ELSE if they won't do it.. He makes them sit there and schedule the time in front of him.

From the book:
Originally Posted By: Dr Harley

"When I see a couple for the first time, I let them know that my program will require a minimum of fifteen hours a week of their time. If they can't dedicate that much time while I'm counseling them, I suggest they find another counselor because my plan won't work without it."


And if they don't do his assignments, he won't see them anymore. He gives them a "firm" talking to.

Quote:
"It should be made clear to the couple that you expect compliance and that if they don't complete the assignment, they are wasting both time and money. The value of marriage counseling is in what is achieved between sessions, not necessarily what is achieved during the sessions."


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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I LOVE Dr HARLEY(not romantically of course)

He makes things so simple and he is no nonsense.

I wish I would have found him years ago and I make sure to tell everyone about him and this site. Even if I manage to help one couple I will feel like it was all worth it.


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Heck!
I have told my oldest son that he should read His Needs/Her Needs and LoveBusters. He's been with his girlfriend for three years and I want him to avoid some heartache in life!







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reading, does he live with her? If he lives with her, I would get him Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders. If not, the book I Promise You is intended for "preparing for a marriage that will last a lifetime."


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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This is what ruined my marriage; lack of time spent together. I should have made the time, I know. I blame myself, but I also feel bad because part of me really feels the kids played a part as well. I know it's terrible...

We stuggled a lot; even though my H had a good job, the housing prices were very high; we live in Cali and a prison town where the guards make tons of OT pay so the realtors jacked the prices way up. We just couldn't afford anything. I knew the prices would eventually come down (I'm taking econ in college).

We lived in our 5th wheel for 4 years. My son slept on the couch. Whenever H and I would try to be intimate we had to be very quiet, and even then DS or DS and DD would come to the door and say, "we can hear you". It pretty much ended the little fun we were having really fast.

We were excited to get our home because it was bigger and our bedroom door had a lock. But the first time we tried to be intimate, the kids learned how to pick the lock and walked in on us..

Then as far as RC, ugh. I'd ask my kids to help out or pick up after themselves. I had a rough time at first with my step daughter and she refused; in turn my son would refuse, so they were little mess machines; spoiled rotten really. I'd ask them to help and DD would refuse and DS (younger) would say, "If she won't then why should i".At first I didn't clean up after them, but my son would always get the blame, so in order to protect him I'd spend my whole day cleaning and picking up after them and schooling my son. I'd make dinner right before my H would get home, we'd eat, then I'd clean the mess up. But I still hadn't done my homework. If I did it after dinner he'd get mad. If I waited until he went to bed he'd get mad. Why; he'd ask, hadn't I done that during the day? I'd tell him about the problem with the kids. He'd tell me to make them help. I would become the drill sergeant and they would help, but DD would tell daddy that I was mean and then a fight would ensue between he and I. So, to avoid fighting I tried to be superwoman and do it all...for part of our marriage I was working too.

My day began at 5am and I usually was up until 1 or 2 am; I was full throttle the whole time. While my H day began at 6am and he got home at 5pm and took a nap, played basketball, watched football, relaxed. So, when he said I was. "little or no effort on his part" It really hurt.

I always wanted to spend time with him and sometimes I'd let other stuff go so that I could; we'd have fun, but then we'd get home and he'd say, "why isn't this or that done? or he'd find the one thing I missed (even if I had done 500 things) and point it out. I felt I couldn't win for losing. I'd get defensive, he'd get mad.

He always had so much energy because he sat at a desk all day and napped all the time. Not me, by nightfall I was ready to quit, but knew I'd be criticized if I did.

He said once, " I only push you like I push the football players (he coaches) so that you can be better" He's also a former Marine, so I guess it goes with the territory. It still stinks though because no matter how great I did anything or what great grades I got he'd always diminish it. It never counted.

I do take responsibility, but it was extra hard because of DD. H was afraid to discipline her because he thought she wouldn't want to visit. In the last few years I just began doing it and telling him that he had better start being a dad. The tide turned when she said that she knew I loved her more because i told her no. He started being a father instead of a disneyland dad, and things got better a bit, but the SF still remained a problem.

We both thought the house would help, but I think he gave up when they picked the lock and were still at the door listening. He never wanted to after that; it was like squashed anticipation of a good sex life.

I guess it's no matter, he has all that now with OW. Even if she has a problem with the kids, her XH and family lives nearby and will watch them so they can do thier thing. I have none of that support, so it was very difficult.


Married 11/21/03
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Recreational Companionship seems so innocent but in my eyes it is the quickest way to a Romantic Affair. In my case, the exWW was hugely involved with her horses. We had a horse farm that we built from the ground up and that required just about every hour I was not at work to help support. Thus, our whole lives revolved around the farm.

I decided to become very involved with her horses. Most of the quality time we spent together was usually from 8pm - 11pm. We spent this time feeding, turning out horses, mucking stalls, etc. However, it was just the two of us doing this and we talked about everything when we did this. When we were done, we would watch TV for an hour or so usually massaging each other and snuggling and 3-4 times a week SF.

Starting in March 08, exWW and POSOM started breeding her pony at night. He started helping her with the horses at night. I usually went to bed before she came in at night. During this time, I started feeling more and more distanced from the exWW. In hindsigt, POSOM started fullfilling her RC and C emotional needs and making deposits. Once POSOM moved into the tenent house in June, 08, any of the 15 hours of the time we would normally spend together was monopolized by the OM. Thus, I had no way of meeting her EN's for conversation and RC. At that point, it was just a matter of days before she decided to cut me out of her life all together.

I look at this in hindsight - POSOM was a relative of hers and thus him "helping" with the chores around the farm seemed harmless enough. But, it turns out that he was meeting very important EN's of hers and thus preventing me from meeting them.


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Originally Posted By: PSUBIKER
any of the 15 hours of the time we would normally spend together was monopolized by the OM. Thus, I had no way of meeting her EN's for conversation and RC. At that point, it was just a matter of days before she decided to cut me out of her life all together.

I look at this in hindsight - POSOM was a relative of hers and thus him "helping" with the chores around the farm seemed harmless enough. But, it turns out that he was meeting very important EN's of hers and thus preventing me from meeting them.



I feel the same way. Except my H went across the country. And prior he was across the world. OW started meeting his EN's and I never had a chance. His most important were SF and RC and without him here, there was no way to do so. The other big problem was that when my H went to Iraq he asked me not to discuss politics with him, which is something we always both loved talking about, but he felt it may stress him out while he was there. It's funny because when he was there, he'd try to discuss politics with me, but i promised not to so I'd change the subject. I think this made him feel I didn't care; I did care, I just didn't want him to get stressed.


Married 11/21/03
BW 40 (me)
WS 37
DD-14
DS-10
H went to Iraq 1/7/09-10/5/09
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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
reading, does he live with her? If he lives with her, I would get him Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders. If not, the book I Promise You is intended for "preparing for a marriage that will last a lifetime."


No, they don't live together. They are steadies though and in a serious relationship. I suggested LoveBusters partially due to occasionally recognizing some in their interactions.

Heck. I tend to notice them in lots of couples relationship interactions now that I know what they are!







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Here is an update about my marriage. It was a brief emotional affair of my H that brought me to this site back in 2006. I became very involved in the MB approach. My H was very remorseful about the EA activity. The EA ended a week after he secretly met for coffee with her and brought her back to the house pretending he had just "run into her." However, he never really invested in MB. He just wanted our relationship to get back to "normal." I went through the roller coaster ride.

Now, four years later, I am off the roller coaster. I look back at our marriage and my love bank is pretty drained. I think that the biggest problem for me is his "independent behavior." Throughout the marriage, he has zoned out regularly. He seemed to be in his own world. He would tune out in the middle of a conversation with me or it would be very difficult to get his attention to begin a conversation. He regularly read articles and kept a magazine near him through most activities that he would read while carrying out activities such as dinner, preparing dinner, after dinner, etc. I began asking him to stop keeping a magazine around him, but he did not break the habit. He was the same way with the kids. I would often have to remind him to go talk to them (all boys) or keep them on track with their activities or to answer questions they were trying to ask him. It got so I would tell him that I did not understand the way he interacted (or didn't) with them. I would say that if they were girls, I would be with them having "girl talk" and I didn't understand why it was not the same for him.

After the EA, I found out a little more about this independent behavior. Part of the time he was thinking about work projects. But part of the time he was re-playing sports games from his childhood--literally play by play or he was re-living other childhood activities such as dates with girls (the EA was an old HS gf that he had not seen for decades.)

He was regularly, on a daily basis, not with us for much of our family time. I complained about it regularly to him and felt frustrated about it. He would complete household activities such as cooking, laundry, outdoor work. But he was either reading a magazine or involved in his own thoughts to the point that he would have to have his name called once or more before he could "tune in."

So now, the boys are older. The youngest is in 10th grade. We did increase our recreation time together after the EA and I guess it did help. But these problems with family support have created a huge love bank deficit for me. He is so ingrained in this behavior that it seems like it is hard for him to pull out of it. I realize now that since he has missed huge portions of our every day life interactions, it is hard for him to engage in these interactions in a natural way. The youngest really needs a father and I have used Uncles and cousins to help out with these needs over the past few years, but it is awkward and patchwork.

It seems that he was getting enough of his emotional needs met and he did not find many of my behaviors to be a love buster for him. I think he just tuned out when I would love bust and go back into the world of his own thoughts. I do think that his EA was an extension of this fantasy world of his own thoughts. I was not giving him enough "admiration" and he was getting this need met in the EA.

For me, the final realization that he was not invested in improving the marriage was when I asked him to read up on this site on the letters regarding problems with sex. I told him that I just was to the point where the struggle with keeping engaged in a sex life--the guilt over not wanting it but still doing it, my angst about how to get myself psyched up for it, etc. was just too much for me. I told him I had read about the whole testosterone issue and that he had some responsibility to help out with my problem and the letters described ways to resolve some of the issues. I went through menopause six years ago and now I just was tired of the work of getting interested in sex. I showed him the letters area on the site and asked him to read them.

He did not do it. I waited a few days, checked history on the computer and saw he went to the forum site once. He just did not do it and he did not ask me about it. I decided I was not going to dun him about it. I have done too much of that over the years. I just did not have sex with him. Months later, I brought it up. Within that conversation, he basically said that he was just hoping that my concern would just "go away" and he was basically just waiting me out.

So I know our marriage is really in bad shape. I am not interested in ending it. But I realize that I am not happy with trying to make this marriage work. I would actually rather live with him and just stop trying to work on the marriage. I am tired of being the bad guy. I just want to live here and not make the effort any more with this relationship, just live in peace.

He did finally go and read some of this site and he says that he realizes that we are not at the point of having a sexual relationship and that we need to start at the beginning with ENs. We filled out the EN questionnaire again. That was a couple of weeks ago. I guess he feels he is trying, but I still just feel tired and don't want to put forth effort to meet his needs.

He was laid off from his job and so finances are tight due to our monthly payments for our oldest son's tuition. Hopefully, that tuition obligation will be re-calculated in June.

Ok, so is undivided attention where we are at? And why am I back here sharing all this and asking this question?


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I did nearly everything wrong, but only see it now in hindsight. I only found this site after my divorce, so now I read and learn, and wish more people knew about these principles before their marriages hit rock bottom.

He travelled for his job long before we were even married. For more than a decade, we usually spent three to four nights per week apart. I was home with babies, and really didn't even realize I was lonely. When he was gone, I'd snuggle up with one or both of my kids and let them sleep with me...or I'd fall asleep with one of them when I tucked them in at night. I'd read late into the night. I'd meet up with other moms (some divorced, some not), and have my need for conversation met through my girlfriends. When he did return home, these things didn't change. I didn't think so then, but I see now that I was having little EAs with almost anyone who threw me even 15 minutes of undivided attention...my kids, my friends, my neighbours, my hair stylist... crazy

You can imagine that SF was also seriously in trouble. Going weeks without was the norm, but after my second son was born, we went closer to a YEAR. I was 27. Again, with hindsight, I see that I was suffering with post-partum depression, but I functioned so well that I didn't receive treatment until seven or eight months had passed and insomnia hit. I had my need for affection met by snuggling with my baby, and had asolutely no interest in an intimate relationship with my husband. He still travelled weekly, and I know he was fulfilling his own SF needs with pornography at the very least.

Add a few regular IBs to the list. I played volleyball one night per week, first with only a female partner in a beach league, but later on a mixed team. I usually brought my kids with me, but occassionally, my husband would be home, so I'd stay afterward for a beer or two with the team. I had a nice little part-time job that got me out of the house two days a week, so I had plenty of social interaction. I'd plan for a girls' night out when my husband returned home so he could watch the kids...nights out where my need for conversation were so easily filled by others. My girlfriends and I would meet at bookstores to browse the shelves and sip coffee, discussing good books, kids, husbands (uh-oh), and everything else under the sun. We'd go to dinner and enjoy a glass or two of red wine, maybe take in a movie. These are things I should have been doing with my husband. I didn't think so then, but with MB knowledge today, I certainly think so now.

There are so many examples on these boards of both W and B spouses who do all of these things right to repair and rebuild a marriage. I think people can also learn from non-example. Don't make the mistakes I did...

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Quote:
Less lovemaking and recreational companionship from the wife leads to even less conversation and aff4ection by him. The downward spiral continues until there is little or no affection, conversation, recreational companionship or sexual fulfillment. When these needs are not being met, the feeling of love evaporates and a romantic relationship ceases to exist.


This is so simple and yet profound. How many times have we seen it here on the board? BS has fantastic DS skills at home, and/or does a great job providing FS but still has a WS? I have thought about the BH out there where I dont even come close to providing those EN but the four intimate ENs are the key ones.

Think how one begins dating, moves to being exclusive and eventually marries. Its through these ENs that love in the relationship progresses. So simple and but yet we dont understand the dynamics until we are exposed to an Affair and seek help on MB

Thanks Mark and Melody for bringing it up and highlighting it.


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Married: 32 yrs
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Out of EVERYTHING Dr. H teaches, the most important thing is the 15 hours of UA. Par none, hands down......

Without having done this at the beginning of recovery, we would have NEVER SURVIVED. It was the clog in the wheel that got us where we were in the first place and that clog needed to be removed in order to move again.

I took a leave of absence from work for a month which ran right into my summer break (whoooohooo for me working in a school district.....) and we did EVERYTHING together. When he went to work, I would meet him for lunch. If he needed to run errands for work, he'd call me to go. Sometimes, I would go up there and just see him......in the beginning we did EVERYTHING together. That continues today. We are rarely apart (in fact, our kids are rather sick of it.... crazy....some people get comments from their kids on how cute it is....I get "oh, dad and mom are joined at the hip...."....). Even something as mundane as running to Home Depot for a drill bit. It is during these smallest of times that we have ended up having the specialest of moments....

not2fun

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Originally Posted By: not2fun
Out of EVERYTHING Dr. H teaches, the most important thing is the 15 hours of UA. Par none, hands down......

not2fun



Without a doubt. I can call myself content wife because I'm remarried, but I brought these MB principles into my second marriage. I did not want history to repeat itself.

The 15 hours of UA makes everything else almost effortless. Other than the time we spend apart during the work day, my husband and I do not spend time without each other. We spend this UA time in the morning sharing coffee, watching the news and discussing it. We enjoy a glass of wine/beer together at the end of each day and share our day's events. Our children are NOT allowed to intrude upon this time. We almost daily have a hot tub together and talk about everything and nothing. Again, we let our children join us (if they want) only after we've had at least 15 minutes of adult time first. We have favorite television shows that we watch together each week. We plan regular dates and spend more time together than with any other person. These things are so easy to do. And, surprise, surprise...the SF is frequent, anticipated, and enjoyed by both of us. The love bank is full and can withstand withdrawls when they occur.

I will be eternally grateful that I found this forum when I did. I have learned marriage skills that I wished I had learned far earlier in life. To all of the veterans here who did not even know they were helping me, thank you hug Today, I have a marriage that I treasure more than any material possession. You have given an invisible lurking MBer the greatest gift.

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