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#2463962 01/13/11 10:28 PM
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My wife and I don't communicate well. My upbringing was great, hers was very disfunctional. Her Dad left her Mom because she is quite disturbing and probably needs meds. We've been married 8 years and have 3 kids, she is a good mom and I'm a great dad. When it comes to any "issues" she refuses to deal with them which she clearly learned growing up. I prefer to discuss them and try to make them better. I used the title "hopeless" because I truly am out of hope that anything will ever change. I don't feel loved, I feel no intimacy, she just now explained she is irritated with me most of the time but can't tell me why. I came out in 2011 with the attitude that I don't care if she doesn't want to try, that I will rise above and do things to make it better. I get no return on this investment however and I've given up. I need some serious brainstorming with all of you. I need to read and learn, read and learn. I'm in love with my family but very unhappy in my relationship with my wife and feel a huge empty hole.


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Hi Hilltopper, welcome to Marriage Builders. Many of us have transformed our marriages into romantic, happy marriages by using this program. It sounds like communication is not the main problem, but that you have both fallen out of love. If you can fall in love again, the communication problem will be much easier to resolve.

Start here: How to Create Your Own Plan to Resolve Conflicts and Restore Love to Your Marriage



And then pick up this book: Fall in Love, Stay in Love

That is where I would start. If you find you can't do this without professional help, the Harleys have a counseling center that many of us have used with great results [they can do in 2-3 sessions what other counselors can never do - they are completely different from traditional marriage counselor] or the online program. In the latter, they send you all the materials, assign you a marriage coach who oversees your weekly progress and guides your lesson plans.


"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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The fastest, most effective way to fall in love again is to schedule 20+ hours per week of undivided attention time meeting the top 4 intimate needs of affection, recreational companionship, conversation and sexual fulfillment. Here is an article about it: Policy of Undivided Attention

Caring for Children Means Caring for Each Other



"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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So after thirteen days into 2011 you throw in the towel?

Follow melodylane's it will work but you can't guit after thirteen days.

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Originally Posted by TheRoad
So after thirteen days into 2011 you throw in the towel?

Follow melodylane's it will work but you can't guit after thirteen days.

That's what people do with the rest of their resolutions, lol.

It takes 21 days to form (or break) a habit, so you've got to get back to work! For something as big as MARRIAGE, I'd work at it a lot longer than that.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
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Thanks for the notes and suggestions. I'm not giving up, just regrouping and preparing. I need more knowledge to overcome this. You see my wife simply rejects anything she doesn't want to deal with. Because her mother abused her verbally her entire life, her self-esteem is incredibly fragile. As a defense mechanism, rather than accept shortcomings, mistakes, or deal with anything which make her feel bad about herself, she either rejects it entirely or makes an excuse to get her off the hook! Had a fight this morning before I left for work. She told me she hated me which is pretty common. This is a never ending story of repetition. I shut my mouth and just deal with what has become a dead marriage, we avoid conflict, and things at least don't rise to fighting and we can coexist. If I stick up for myself or suggest we work on our marriage it is met with antagonism and ultimately leads to a fight like we had this morning. I left the house in a daze, hurt and lost, then pulled over and sent her a text suggesting she go to marriagebuilders.com right now before she gets busy. Told her there is lots of similar stories from other people and free info and courses. I said a quick prayer that God helps her to make the right decision and not reject it yet again. I haven't gotten a text back that she did this. It will likely not ever be mentioned again by her. She'll simply reject it is my guess. How far does this rejection and excuse behavior go? Oh, you wouldn't believe it. It permeates virtually anything and everything from big things to completely insignificant things. In case you are wondering, her entire family follows the same behavior. Its always someone else's fault so I don't blame her for behaving this way, but I'm desperate for it to change or at least move in the right direction. I'd love to hear some stories from some others that can relate or have dealt with anything similar because I'm way over matched right now. I simply don't know what to say or do anymore and have ZERO control over any outcomes.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Thanks for the notes and suggestions. I'm not giving up, just regrouping and preparing. I need more knowledge to overcome this.

You are absolutely right. I would get that book MelodyLane recommended as soon as possible and in the meantime try to start reading every article you can on this website. Have you read the Basic Concepts, yet?

http://marriagebuilders.com/ca/to.cgi?l=pop4


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.
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Just finished Basic Concepts, forwarded it to my wife. I also ordered 3 of the books to arrive within 3-5 days. I'm a common sense guy, most of this makes perfect sense to me. I do have concerns about both of our ability to follow instructions and fill out pages on the workbook, but I'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'm an info hound, so reading is what I'll be doing a lot of. My wife said she "scanned" the site but then had to deal with the kids. At least she is curious. I guess when she sees the books arrive she'll know I'm deadly serious about all of this.


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Hilltopper1972,
maybe you can get her to agree to read one story together a day and then have a 10 minute discussion about the problems and solutions provided.
start small...........I don't know what else to offer other than if you could convince her that you are not her mother and you have no intention of treating her the way she did and that she doesn't need to just check out when things get a little difficult.
good luck, hang in there.


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She said she replied to my emotional needs email. I never got it, it magically got lost. I asked her to type again which she is now. Stay tuned.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
You see my wife simply rejects anything she doesn't want to deal with. Because her mother abused her verbally her entire life, her self-esteem is incredibly fragile. As a defense mechanism, rather than accept shortcomings, mistakes, or deal with anything which make her feel bad about herself, she either rejects it entirely or makes an excuse to get her off the hook!


Don't most people reject anything that makes her feel bad about themselves?? I SURE WOULD!! You are not likely to attract her to anything if you approach her like that. Who wants to be around someone who makes them FEEL BAD?

Quote
Had a fight this morning before I left for work. She told me she hated me which is pretty common. This is a never ending story of repetition.

I would stop fighting with her; it takes 2 people to fight. Additionally, I would pick up the book LOVEBUSTERS and start there instead of Fall in Love, Stay in Love. If you are fighting with your wife, you aren't going to interest her in recovering your marriage.

Also, I would stop bringing up her family since it is irrelevant to the present. If you can stop fighting with her and attract her to your marriage, she can learn to overcome her verbal abuse.

You are right about learning this program inside and out. But also consider getting some of the services here if you can't get anywhere with that. Steve Harley is often very effective in motivating a reluctant spouse to get on board.


"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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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I'm an info hound, so reading is what I'll be doing a lot of. My wife said she "scanned" the site but then had to deal with the kids. At least she is curious. I guess when she sees the books arrive she'll know I'm deadly serious about all of this.


hurray You are on the right track!!


"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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So I'm back again after a couple of months. I bought 3 Harley books and finished one of them. I have put forth a decent effort with implementing some of the basic concepts with some success. I don't think my wife and I have any "major" issues in terms of how we want to raise our kids, etc. I think we let the "disrespectful judgements" and "selfish demands" get us in a bad place. I've asked my wife no less than 8 times to read just the Basic Concepts and be a part of this with me. She claimed today after me pleading that she read two paragraphs. I'm not judging or trying to recruit you to my side when I say the following. My wife grew up with a Mother who always told her she wasn't good enough. Her Mom uses judgements and demands with her husband quite literally 5 times an hour. This is all my wife knows. I don't like conflict but my wife seems to think it is quite normal. Its not all her fault but the pattern usually involves her jabbing me a few to several times a day until I get fed up and "fight back". When we get to this point I have no clue how to handle it. I feel a great inequity right now in terms of feeding emotional needs. I'm not the best at it but I try and she has admitted she sees my effort. We have a third child which is her typical excuse for anything including but not limited to "her mood", "her annoyance with me", "sex", etc. The "Great Blamer" as I call her never has to take fault for anything, quite literally anything! If it doesn't make her feel good, whatever it is, she rejects it, avoids it, won't admit it, or quite literally blames someone else for it. My kids here it and I've heard them doing the same thing. My four year old stepped on a toy and hurt his foot because he wasn't paying attention and said, "Taylor put the toy there and I hurt my foot!" I quickly told him "We don't blame other people for mistakes we ourselves make son." I need some perspective from some of you with more experience that I. I'm not desperate or giving up, I'm just frustrated and need to learn more.


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Melody,

By the way there a couple of things that I could be wrong about but I thought I'd tell you how I see them. Know I don't think most people or all people reject all things that make them feel bad, I sure don't. In addition whoever said that I make her feel bad? It happens at times but most of the time I have nothing to do with it. She feels bad all on her own.
In regards to her relationship with her family(mother), how is this irrelevant to the present? If this is a common cause of how she deals with her/our problems which I've read so much about, how can it possibly be something that I/We just ignore?


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Don't try to educate your spouse. That is a love buster on your part. Implement the MB system yourself as an example of how spouses can treat each other more lovingly. Let your example (not your words) show her the way.

Then call the Harleys. Let them do the educating and let them motivate her to take part in the program. They are more skilled and experienced at motivating reluctant spouses than you are. And when they educate her, it isn't withdrawing units from your account in her love bank.


When you can see it coming, duck!
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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Melody,

By the way there a couple of things that I could be wrong about but I thought I'd tell you how I see them. Know I don't think most people or all people reject all things that make them feel bad, I sure don't. In addition whoever said that I make her feel bad? It happens at times but most of the time I have nothing to do with it. She feels bad all on her own.

I was responding to your comment that she rejects anything that makes her feel bad. That is a natural reaction and if you ARE doing something to make her feel bad, I would stop that.

Quote
In regards to her relationship with her family(mother), how is this irrelevant to the present? If this is a common cause of how she deals with her/our problems which I've read so much about, how can it possibly be something that I/We just ignore?

I am not saying to ignore her behavior, but to ignore her childhood. It has nothing to do with the present. I view this as a distraction because it is irrelevant to the present. Sure, maybe she picked up those traits from her mother, but so what? The solution is to change present behavior.

I agree with holdingon and think you would greatly benefit from signing up for the Marriage Builders program because they will assign you a coach who will work with your wife and guide your weekly lessons. Let THEM work on her instead of you. You would also have daily access to Dr Harley. They are trained coaches how know how to get people on board and teach them new behaviors. The cost is $995 and many of us have used this program with great success.


"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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Sorry you are here but Welcome to Marriage builders.

Your wife sounds alot like mine was when i first tried to introduce her to the concepts and ideas here. MY wife was very reluctant to engage in the material here because it was writen by a "guy". I just vowed to my self to learn what emotional needs my wife had and learned to avoid the love busters and actually listen to her complaints.

Before my wife filled out the emotional needs questionaire (you can find that on the site here and print it out) I used her complaints as the answers for her questionaire. As I learned to be a better husband by listening to her complaints without getting defensive it began to work. By filling her needs for many months without expecting anyhting in return she began to see my efforts were in her best interest .. and not just some sort of manipulation to get my needs met. After a while it would back fire and we would be back to day one again tho. My wife and I then descided to go to marriage counseling. After we seen the bill from one session .. that sparked my wifes attention to look at other options. I then showed her I had his needs her needs book and had printed off some of the concepts here for her to read but began with the POJA. My wie at the time had descided that she had spent too much time on the PC and didnt ever visit the links i sent her. IT was only after i presented the POJA in paper over breakfast that she actually put any consideration to reading it. Once she did ... coupled with the fact that if we both worked on MB together, we would not need any more MC. We did 3 more sessions of MC before realizing it did us no good, other than rehash bad emotions and leave the MC in a worse state than when we went in, and convinced my wife that MB was the route to take. It took a while to prove to her that my actions were not manipulative to get my needs met right away .. it was only after i had done the change to better myself and make me be loveable to her that she came around and began to meet my needs almost effortlessly becasue i was able to learn how to plug the holes in our love banks and fill them up.

You can do this ... and it will not be an easy fix .. but SHOW her how its improving you and step up to the plate and make your self be more desireable. EXample. I started working out and when i got home I would start on domestice duties right after dinner and take my shirt off when i did dishes .. my excuse was i didnt like to get my shirt wet. She would exclaim "nothing is sexier than a man doing dishes with his shirt off!" and smack my butt and walk away with a grin on her face.

Keep at it ... become a better man and husband and dad for YOU and your family. YOur wife will notice .. maybe not today .. or tomorrow .. but in a few weeks she will see the consistancy of your efforts and fall deeply back in love with you. Mine has. smile

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Wow MrNiceGuy, I really needed to read this post from you. I have taken the approach of fulfilling her emotional needs and not expecting anything in return which is very tough. I see a huge inequity and it is hard to rise above it and do it anyways. I do the dishes every night, feed the kids breakfast, cook dinner for her and the kids. I folded whatever clothes were in the laundry this morning which was something I normally don't do, hope she notices. I also folded the laundry yesterday and put sheets on the bed. She's not lazy by any means, there is just a lot to do and we have a four month old baby. I will make a commitment to keep fulfilling her needs even if she won't fulfill mine and take it for what it is. I hate to get frustrated and then "strike back" because you are right it literally can take 15 love units and drop it to 0 in 5 seconds flat.
It is just so tough(now I'm just venting) because of who she is. Reject reality. Make decisions and come to conclusions based on irrational thought. Have "conditions" for our marriage that must be met or there will be trouble. I feel like I have to achieve perfection to get anywhere and that scares the daylights out of me. It is a strange place to be. By the way my wife has it out for a lot of people these days so I know it is not just me. I love her though, and want to be fulfilled. I don't like this conflict.


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Great Job Hilltoper! Keep that attitude going! ... IT will be difficult for the first while as you change your old habits into new habits until it becomes effortless and a normal part of your daily routine. Having a 4month old baby is very time consuming and very hard on your wife and also your UA time. It will get better though as your child grows. ALso since it was not that long ago that you had your child .. your wife may be depressed somewhat. ALOT of women go though that right after child birth. Her body is adjusting and may take a while to fully recouperate and for her to feel "normal" again. I am not sure if your interested or not .. but you could see if your wife was interested in a natural herb supplement that balances horomones. Its very effective. Both my wife and I use it and it has made a signifigant difference in my wifes energy levels and her "attitudes" lol. ITs called Macaroot. Check it out. ( www.macaroot.com www.macasex.com www.macatalk.com ) IT takes aprox 5 days to kick in and its very safe to use (safe for breast feeding etc). I am in no affiliation of the product .. I am just a happy customer and so is my wife! So I tell everyone about it smile if you do get it .. try to get it in pill form.. its much better than the starch form and works like a charm on horomones! But dont take my word for it .. just do some research then check out your local health food store.

Remember to be consistant in your efforts ... and do not let your "taker" be in charge for a while ... even if it starts to swell up and you begin to feel like your needs are not being met and your "taker" suggests you get aggitated or argue about it. If you end up in an argument of some sorts you will be back at day one and your wife will think it was manipulation the entire time and youll be back at day one. You have to change for YOU not her.

If you have the books "His needs her needs FOR PARENTS" ...and "love busters" .. possibly set aside some time with your wife to take turns reading it out loud together sitting in bed before you go to sleep at night. My wife loved that I would read out loud to her and as she listened .. we would stop and discuss it once in while. This was great bonding time.

Again .. keep up the good work .. and come vent here.

MnG

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Thanks for the words and support! I got home let my wife go on a run while made dinner and tended to all three. You know what? She doesn't notice squat! Bought her three small gifts last week, nothing. I'm feeling pretty selfish right now because the door keeps getting slammed in my face. She won't read anything, I have all threeharley books and I'm on number two now. She has every excuse in the fir everything! I'm sitting here in front of the grocery store, angry, hurt, and I don't want to go home. I'll go home and she'll just insult me again, oblivious and seemingly impervious to everything! Geez, please help me get this woman to see or change even a tad!


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