Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I did tell her this morning that I do not feel safe around her. So I hide my true thoughts and feelings. She did not show any interest in exploring that further. So it seems we are both willing to live a lie, and to allow the other to do so as well.

HOLD, curious, can you expand upon why you don't feel safe?

Also, with respect to your primary EN's, I know that SF was your number one EN. Where did FS (financial support) fall? Bear with me here as I think we may have some common ground and I'd like your input.

Recently, DW and I have taken two steps back and one step forward partly because I've found myself upset with her without consciously having a good reason for it - I've oftentimes been left feeling that I'm frustrated with our general financial circumstances and that I've been taking it out on my DW. After having done a fair amount of soul searching, I've come to the conclusion that I had misinterpreted one of the primary EN's when filling out the ENQ, that being FS - which in my case isn't Financial Support as it is explained in the description of the emotional need, at least not without looking under the covers and making some assumptions. For me it is Financial Security. That said, in all fairness to Harley the description does state that FS is one of the more difficult EN's to pin down, probably because it can change over time quite a bit based upon life circumstances and other criteria.

So, where I am in my thought process is that I now feel that one of my primary EN's is Financial Security, and that my DW is not anywhere close to meeting my EN for FS. I don't necessarily need my DW to go out and earn a living per se, as the description in the ENQ refers to, but what I do need is for us to live within our means and we are not currently doing that. Slowly over the last fifteen years, we have whittled down our short term savings in various accounts and products such that I have little short term savings left to speak of (very little - we'd be lucky to survive one month without my employment at this point). We also have more consumer debt now than we've had in a long time. I cannot blame my DW entirely for the debts as I was on an SSRI for about two years, and just went off in January, and during that time, in hindsight, I was not nearly as diligent about our finances as I have been in the past, I just didn't care about much of anything while on the SSRI. Now that I'm off of the SSRI, I care again, simply put.

What I'm wondering is, is FS as I define it a primary EN for you as well? It may not trump SF, but it's up there. Of course, we know Mrs HOLD's primary EN is FS in the traditional support sense (bringing in large amounts of dollars), and that you are not meeting her FS need sufficiently, regardless of whether we think her FS need may be irrational on some level.

The challenge as I see it, is how do spouses who have opposing EN's like this and cannot seem to find a lasting compromise stay in love? The lack of Financial Security for me due to consistent overspending makes serious withdrawals in my love bank (the fact that independent behavior on the part of DW is oftentimes used makes it worse for me - because I feel deceived - more lovebusting behavior here). The lack of sufficient Financial Support in the eyes of my DW results in love bank withdrawals for her. If I'm honest, for the most part we do not have O&H conversation when it comes to FS because of the collective pain surrounding the sensitive longstanding issue.

Currently we're somewhat at loggerheads on this issue, which isn't unusual, except the problem is, we moved into a larger home a few years back (something DW wanted), and part of our agreement was that she would need to work full time in order to pay for the additional household expenses (including the larger mortgage). DW worked full time up until last summer, when she lost her teaching position. We're getting unemployment for her, but that will end soon. At that point, we will be unable to make ends meet without serious spending concessions. Like you, I don't feel safe talking about this topic with DW because it's a sensitive area for us, yet I feel compelled to do something as I'm not the type of person to just ignore the problem and claim bankruptcy in a year or so when we can no longer keep afloat. DW has stated that she will not get another job, because it was too stressful on our family when we both worked outside the home full time, and I would agree with her assessment. Our family functions better with her at home. The problem is we cannot seem to live within our means without a second income.

Normally, the obvious solution would be, sell the bigger home and downsize. Can't do it. While we didn't but at the top of the market in Feb 2008, we bought while prices were still on the way down, we'd barely sell the house for what we owe on it, and we still own the house we moved out of because we couldn't sell it either (it is currently a rental and is paying for itself). Even if we moved back into our old home, we paid for the downpayment on the new home with equity in our old home, so our mortgage commitments wouldn't be much different big picture, not enough to justify going through all of the trouble. So, we cannot downsize our way out of this predicament.

HOLD, does any of this ring true for you? Any advice? I'm struggling to see a clear path forward and would appreciate your input. I can create a separate thread if that would work better, this post turned out much longer than I'd originally anticipated and I don't want to threadjack. smile

Last edited by HitchHiker; 03/10/11 12:58 PM.

God Bless,


All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

INTJ married to an ENFJ