Prisca and I have seen a lot of downturns this year, and every one of them has felt like rock bottom or worse. What I've found is that when something goes wrong we tend to go back to old habits, which include disrespectful judgments, angry outbursts, independent behavior, and all the other things we've been doing to each other for six years.

It just blows my mind that your husband would start talking divorce over this. But then I remember that that is probably one of his old habits: trying to get his way in a conflict by threatening divorce (selfish demand), suggesting that you are overreacting and that the situation is not bad enough to warrant divorce and therefore not bad enough for you to be this upset about (disrespectful judgment). He hasn't had enough time yet to build the habits that will prevent him from using these strategies and cause him to try more loving, thoughtful, and productive approaches to conflict. I'm still working on it myself and have been working on it all year!

And we see your old habits returning as well; Vibrissa pointed out several of your disrespectful judgments, for example.

All of these things contribute to making what could have been a momentary conflict into the end of the world for you, your husband, your marriage, and your kids.

For the longest time it seemed whenever we had a downturn, Prisca was ready to bail on Marriage Builders. After all, she was seeing me love bust, and to her that meant that Marriage Builders hadn't worked. The truth was I had failed to build the new habits I was supposed to build; nothing about Marriage Builders had failed. But she didn't know that, and me trying to educate her about it was just a love buster. I had to show her continued improvement before she was really ready to believe and keep trying to stay on the plan all the time.

Unfortunately when Prisca was ready to pitch Marriage Builders, to me that meant she was giving up on me entirely, which hurt like hell. And my first instinctive response to that was to love bust. You can guess how much that helped the situation.

We're still working our way through the early part of the Love Busters course, but you wouldn't believe how much better things are now, with the abusive love busters mostly on their way out the door. When you don't have these options available to you, you tend to pick other options, and those other options tend to resolve conflicts more quickly, with less pain. Even conflicts that before would have seemed unresolvable. And if nothing else, we escape from the conflicts without having flamed each other to death.

I haven't updated my thread in a long time. What have I been doing since that time? Learning to hold myself to the rule that I will not selfish demand, disrespectfully judge, or angry outburst, no matter what Prisca does or says. I'm not there yet (she just handed me my angry outbursts worksheet for the week, and I'm grateful to see what is on it so I can refine my strategy), but she will tell you that it is much better. At the beginning of the year I would say we were having one fight a week. Not any more, thank God.

There really is a light at the end of the tunnel that you guys can head to to learn to handle conflicts, including this one, in a way that is thoughtful to you both. Of COURSE you can't go there by yourself, and of COURSE he has royally screwed up here and been completely thoughtless. The question is, would you guys like to handle it together and keep working toward a situation that will please you both?

If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 19 years. Father of 8.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.