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Joined: Mar 2012
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I have gained a lot of insight and help reading Dr. Harley's books and the posts here. Fixing a marriage though is definitely a rollercoaster so I thought I would gain more by posting.

Me and DH have been married for 5 years and have one daughter. We have struggled to deal with conflicts and I have definitely realized we dealt with them wrong. There were definitely a lot of love busters and we neglected each
others needs.

At points I felt things were hopeless, but hung in there and know I love DH and we were meant to be together. I am willing to do all I can to have the marriage we should have, but DH is hesitant to trust that we can put the love back. From reading here I would guess he's in a state of withdrawal. I have made efforts to stop my LB's and try to guess at his needs.

I'm seeing some hope reemerge in him from my efforts. I seem to have a lot of trouble being patient like I should be and then I start to get pushy about the fact that my needs aren't getting met. I know Dr. Harley says one person can pull the other out of withdrawal, but how long does it take? What should I be doing to help it along? How and when can I go about getting him on board with reading the books when he feels the one's I made him read in the past were pointless? They were, but I know Dr. Harley's are much different and have been a huge help to me. How should I go about guessing well at his needs until he is willing to tell me what they are? How do I know that I am actually meeting them and making love deposits?

I'm sorry for all the questions, but I really want to start to turn my marriage around and don't want to do anything that continues to not make a difference or give the opposite outcome.

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Originally Posted by hopestrengthens
How should I go about guessing well at his needs until he is willing to tell me what they are? How do I know that I am actually meeting them and making love deposits?

Hi Hope, welcome to Marriage Builders. My first suggestion is going to be to change your screen name to something more unique. There are so many "hopexxx" screen names that is impossible to ever keep them straight. You can change your name by going into your preferences.

There are a couple of things you can do that will make a dramatic difference. You will make the greatest difference, the FASTEST, if you focus only on the top 4 intimate emotional needs and religiously schedule 20+ hours per week of undivided attention time. You will both notice a difference in a few weeks. This program does not work without this step.

People fall in love when they are mutually meeting the intimate emotional needs of conversation, affection, recreational companionship, and sexual fulfillment. [they don't fall in love over DS or FS] The majority of this time should be spent AWAY from home, out on DATES, at a time of day when you are the most energetic. A "date night" won't cut it; it has to be date nights in order to make a difference. My H and I plan our dates around 5:30, during the week, in 3 to 4 hour blocks and 11 to 3ish on the weekends.

It is best to sit down once a week and actually schedule the time out for the next week. Time that is scheduled is much harder to put off. My H and I look FORWARD to our date nights. I would get the workbook, Five Steps to Romantic Love, and tear out the UA worksheet in the back and make copies. There are SCADS of other worksheets and lessons in there that will be very helpful.

The problem is that most people REFUSE to devote that much time to their marriages. It takes at least 15 hours of UA time per week to MAINTAIN romantic love and 20+ hours to CREATE it. The Policy of Undivided Attention


"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

Exposure 101


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I read this in the concepts and would be very willing to do this. How do I get DH on board with this? Sometimes I suggest things and he will go along, but I don't know if he'd yet be willing to agree to spending that much time with me. How do I convince him this is what we need to do when he currently doesn't seem to want to be around me that much? Any tips or advice? He has been willing to spend time with me at home even though it definitely isn't always spent giving me his undivided attention.

Financially that much time out of the house and sitters will be a challenge. Currently things are financially tight as DH is in between jobs. Our family isn't close by to use for free babysitting.

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I would explain the whole point to him, that the goal is fall in love again. Make your time with him as pleasant as possible.

Can you do some babysitting exchanges with other families?

How come he doesn't want to be around you? Does he go out without you? Does he ever spend the night away from you? What has caused him to be soo withdrawn at only 5 years of marriage?


"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

Exposure 101


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I think I have the quote thing right.

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I would explain the whole point to him, that the goal is fall in love again. Make your time with him as pleasant as possible.


I will try this. I have been making our time at home alone as such. It had become a bad habit that we both fell into just doing our own thing and it got worse after DD was born because after him spending long days at work and me with her by myself all day we both just wanted a little down alone time. When realizing we had lost our connection and fighting a lot I threw a lot of relationship books and stuff at DH. Now I think he feels like this is just another worthless one that I'm pushing him into again.

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Can you do some babysitting exchanges with other families?


Maybe. Some of my other mommy friends might be up for this. I'll have to check.

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How come he doesn't want to be around you? Does he go out without you? Does he ever spend the night away from you?


Rarely he goes out with his friends. He hasn't done anything out with them though in a couple of months. No. He doesn't spend the night away from me.

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What has caused him to be soo withdrawn at only 5 years of marriage?


He says he has felt like I am very controlling. That I put him down a lot, made him feel like whatever he did wasn't good enough. Often when I was stressed I would harp on him for tiny things. The Lovebuster book really opened my eyes to how badly I had treated him. I wish I had realized it much sooner before I managed to drag his love bank down into the red. He said he kept trying to make me happy, while feeling like I didn't care about him, hoping I would realize and change. He said sometimes things would get better and then I'd revert back. He never told me he felt this way until he'd started to become really depressed at feeling this way forever and started to feel like he hated me. He's very resentful for a lot of things that he feels I forced him to do with no thought for how he felt about it. Now he has said that he can see that things are changing a bit, but he keeps waiting for the ball to drop and me to revert back to my old ways... waiting for our next huge LB fight since things have been pretty calm lately and our disagreements since I've been learning to control my LB's and listen to him have been much better. He still has his own LB's that get thrown in and occassionally it draws me in with him a tiny bit, but I've learned to remain calm, take a break if needed and get things back on track before they go that route.

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Thanks for the explanation. I would do everything in your power NOW to start setting up date nights. Do what you have to do to get out of the house on DATES. Getting OUT alone is going to be key, because you need to get out of the environment where your lovebusting has taken place.

That is where I would start. Find someone to watch your child and go out on romantic DATES. Dress up for him and go out to fun places. Even if its to a restaraunt where you buy one meal and share [I have many friends who do this because they serve so much food] followed by a romantic drive. That is the kind of QUALITY UA time it will take to turn this around.


"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

Exposure 101


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How is your appearance? Is your home a pleasant, comfortable place to be?


"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

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
How is your appearance? Is your home a pleasant, comfortable place to be?

I had gained a lot of weight over our marriage and DH did state this bothered him and he wasn't feeling very attracted to me. Over the last year I have lost 35lbs and have about 15 more to go to get down to the weight I was when DH and me were dating. I feel much better about myself and because of that also started taking better care about my clothes and making sure my hair and makeup always look nice. DH says he's noticed and is pleased with those changes. I think he'd be happiest if I lost the rest of the weight and I'm hoping to get there in the next few months.

Our home definitely needs improvement. Because of our financial strain I upped my work hours from a part time 24 to full time 40 hours. My routine changed and it's been challenging to find a new one. I'm working to form a new one and improve. This is definitely one of my current goals to help with the DS need.

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Been a little MIA here so haven't gotten back to my thread until now. A little updating I guess is needed.

Not doing so well yet on getting UA out of the house. Still trying to improve that.

We had a talk a couple nights ago. DH has been out of work and receving unemployment, but largely we are relying on my income. I know this bothers him because he feels he should be providing for his family. He makes comments about owing me money for this and that which annoys me because it's our money. I brought this up to him. He explained that in the past when he was the one working most I made him feel like he was a burden when my income would make up the difference for an overdraft or something unexpected. I know I did that and admitted that and that I was frustrated at the time and made the mistake of letting that frustration be directed at him and not explaining that it was the situation that bothered me.

He also says it still feels like I'm letting things that bother me fester a bit before I finally tell him what it is when something is wrong. I'm not sure what to do here to make this one better. He has asked me when something is wrong when he thinks this. Sometimes something is but it's something I don't feel is helpful to express to him and am still working through it for myself before figuring out how best to express it to him. Sometimes it is nothing except a tiring day or other unrelated to him and us thing and I tell him that when he asks.

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?


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