A discussion about one of my favorite Harley books !!!!!

Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders

Freeloader is unwilling to put much effort into the care of his or her partner in a romantic relationship. He or she does only what comes naturally and expects only what comes naturally. It's like a person who tries to live in a house without paying rent or doing anything to improve it unless the person is in the mood to do so.

Renter is willing to provide limited care as long as it's in his or her best interest. The romantic relationship is considered tentative, so the care is viewed as short-term. It's like a person who rents a house and is willing to stay as long as the conditions seem fair, or until he or she finds something better. The person is willing to pay reasonable rent and keep the house clean but is not willing to make repairs or improvements. It's the landlord's job to keep the place attractive enough for the renter to stay and continue paying rent.

Buyer is willing to demonstrate an extraordinary sense of care by making permanent changes in his or her own behavior and lifestyle to make the romantic relationship mutually fulfilling. Solutions to problems are long-term solutions and must work well for both partners because the romantic relationship is viewed as exclusive and permanent. It's like a person who buys a house for life with a willingness to make repairs that accomodate changing needs, painting the walls, installing new carper, replacing the roof, and even doinf some remodeling so that it can be comfortable and useful.

Renters believe Our relationship is temporary. You may be right for me today and wrong for me tomorrow.

Buyers believe We are together for life.

Renters believe Our relationship should be fair. What I get should balance what I give.

Buyers believe We both contribute whatever it takes to make our relationship successful.

Renters believe As needs change, the relationship may end if needs are difficult to meet.

Buyers believe As needs change, we will make adjustments to meet new needs.

Renters believe Criticism may prompt me to change if it's worthwhile for me to do so.

Buyers believe Criticism indicates a need for change.

Renters believe Sacrifice is reasonable as long as it's fair.

Buyers believe Sacrifice is dangerous and to be avoided.

Renters believe Short-term fixes are fine.

Buyers believe long-term solutions are necessary.

According to Harley

most happily married couples have worked their way up from Freeloaders to Renters and finally to Buyers.

He says the problem arises when partners do not eventually become Buyers.

Some more Willard to chew on:

"The real commitment of marriage is not a commitment to stay regardless of how you are treated. It's a commitment to care for each other regardless of the circumstances you find yourselves in."


"Marriage means that each spouse is commited to make a GREATER effort to care for each other than they were making BEFORE marriage, a GREATER effort to meet each other's intimate needs."

really something to think about for all of us ....

... which brings us to POJA

which is adopting the Buyer's strategy

means you must consider both your interests ~and~ your partner's interests

up to the point of bilateral enthusiastic agreement

which means NO ONE sacrifices their happiness for the other's .... you seek mutual happiness

The good doctor says that couples who do not practice POJA skills gradually develop incompatable lifestyles....

Think of POJA as the ~Holy Grail~ for creating a marriage of mutual compatibility

and enthusiastic support for major decisions implies a respect for the long-term happiness of both partners

this does not mean compromise is not to be found ... but it must be enthusiastic and genuine ... which eliminates sacrifice which is a disingenuous method of manipulating one's spouse

every sacrifice we ask of our partner or of ourselves is a step ~away~ from a mutually enjoyable relationship

think of the relationship ~itself~ as a third person in the marriage ... and choosing what is best for the relationship instead of what is best for only one partner