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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Here is what I told her tonight. I know it ain't perfect but its a start. I'm sure you'll all point out a DJ or two! smile I actually feel empowered and sad at the same time:

The reason I don't speak to you or want to hang out with you is because you treat me bad. You judge me, disrespect me, blame me, make me feel bad. On top of that your mood swings are all over the map so I never know where I stand which is hard to deal with. You think everything is disgusting and say so frequently which is not pleasant to be around. You have issues with me and a lot of your friends and say so frequently which is scary to be around. You are irritated with me most of the time which makes me feel bad. I won't judge you or try to get in your head anymore on what your motivations are any longer for doing any of these things. All I know is that my feelings are real and after literally dozens of attempts in every possible way I know how to get through to you, I'm giving up. I DO love you very, very much but I refuse to subject myself to your abuse from here on out.

Let me know what you think!
I think this is the result of two people who don't communicate and have become resentful of each other to the point where they can't hold a conversation about anything other than mundane things without resorting to angry outburst and disrespectful judgments.

And I know you're already aware of that. I'm sorry it's gotten to this for you. I can't say that I totally blame you for your frustration, though. Your Giver is has been working hard. Your Taker feels it's his turn at bat.

And then what happened?


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All true. I don't think I know what to say or how to say it then. I'm trying to not judge while being radically honest. I guess I need a lot more training on how else to say it. Here is my reply, and yes we are resorting to email tonight because I don't believe face to face conversations right now would make us communicate any better.

Reply:

This does not acknowledge any responsibility for anything at all, in fact it returns the blame on me, the kids, being a woman, Alex, being tired, and us not doing anything together. I'm not judging you I'm just reading your own words below. I admit that you telling me about your friends shouldn't be an issue, that was wrong of me, its just been a bit more frequent of late and I guess I pointed it out in error, so I apologize. Every other point however you accept no responsibility and because of this any hope of progress or change will cease to exist. Progress is simply not possible without acceptance. So either you are ok with how things are, or you are not ok with how things are, will accept that you make me feel the way you do and attempt to change the patterns. I took to heart your emotional needs email and read it frequently. I accept that I do not feed many of these emotional needs and as a learning process I'm trying to address that. It is a long, long process, but I know that you've seen some glimpses and there is more where that came from with some small successes and feedback from you. I'm not perfect honey, but I'm attempting to feed your emotional needs as best I can, but the opposite is not true.


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Markos,

It started getting testy, so I went upstairs. I guess I'll keep trying this. She appears to be indifferent to any of though, always has been. Not judging her, but I'll be honest, with her mother growing up, your skin better be tough. Mine is weak and I'm going to attempt to learn and communicate here to change that.
In case any of you are wondering the big D word is not an option in either one of our books. At least not till they are all grown up. We have decided we have committed to raising first and foremost our beautiful children. My wife and I regularly congratulate ourselves on how our six and four year old have become fantastic kids. Call us old fashion at least in that sense, but believe me we both want this to work, I just think we are at a loss of how to do just that.


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My wife can't tell me to turn the heat down without an attitude. Its not how I take it, its just plain rude. I told her it is because our six year old complained this morning about being too cold last night, she said, "Well I'll ask her tomorrow". Does she not trust me that our daughter said she was cold? My wife for the first time also had panic attacks around the last trimester of pregnancy which has somewhat continued. We have to sleep with the door open and she is sensitive to too much heat or confined spaces. I'm not saying that is any kind of issue with us, doesn't bother me at all really, but has anyone else dealt with any kind of similar issues that might relate to what we are also going through? Postpartum? Most of this has come to a fever's pitch sense the last trimester of pregnancy. Prior to that we still fought but we still dealt with things better than today. Today we quite literally can't speak.


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This morning my wife asked me if I was having a bad day as if the conversations and emails we exchanged last night didn't even exist. I said calmly that until you start accepting some responsibility about our marriage, I don't think we'll be talking much. I know that wasn't quite the best way to go about it, but I felt that I needed to be honest with her which I was. This whole Radical Honesty vs SD's and DJ's is a fine line for me. Any insight would be amazing.


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Hilltopper, both of your Takers are out and swinging. It's almost like watching a boxing match - feint, swing, retreat to the ropes, charge, swing.

Both of you have agreed that the kids come first. You've got to change that. This business of agreeing that you won't divorce until the kids are grown is completely selfish on both of your parts and shouldn't even considered. Saying divorce is not an option...until the kids are raised? This is faulty thinking. So, you think the kids will be hunky-dory with the two of you divorcing when they're 19 or 20 years old? Where did you get that idea? Your kids want their parents to be in love and happy with each other, not getting a divorce the second they're out of the house.

Have you tried doing the EN's questionnaire with your wife? The two of you are going to have to put your weapons down and meet in the middle to really heal this rift between you. I'm not saying you're in the wrong, or she's in the wrong, none of that. I'm saying it's time to start a real conversation, and I'd start with the EN's questionnaire to determine what both of your most important needs are.



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We had a "breakthrough" this morning! Yeah! She accepted responsibility as did I for the state of our marriage. I guess the honesty thing works! She promised that if I could watch the kids that she'd go upstairs and read Dr Harley's book. Here was my note to her and I'm so very excited to begin the journey together. I know it will be rough and we'll make mistakes along the way but I'm prepared for that. Thanks so much to all of you for the wonderful advice, it helped me tremendously and I plan to visit this forum frequently to continue receiving help and then hopefully eventually helping others.

My note early this morning to her:

Thank you for this, it is so important in my mind that we BOTH accept responsibility for the state of our marriage. By no means does fault lie with one person or the other. I have accepted that I don't meet your emotional needs and have neglected them for a long, long time. As I began to research it and do some soul searching I eventually stumbled on MarriageBuilders.com. This was not the first website I came across, I've looked at a ton. It is however the biggest and the best and after reading quite literally dozens of stories of people that were in the place we were but now have marital bliss I became a believer. Most marriage counselors, especially the free kind, don't work. It does no good for us to sit in a room together with a counselor and sit there and debate back and forth trying to get the counselors to take our side. That is exactly how it always turns out which is why there are very few successful marriage counselors period. I believe that by reading and following the principles of Dr Harley like so many others have before us, we can rebuild love back in our marriage. The Love Bank we both have right now if in the negative for each other which is why we don't feel love. When we feel that feeling of love for each other it becomes much easier and in fact exciting to be with each other.

You talked about your motivations for hurting me below. I don't think either one of us makes a conscious choice to hurt or disrespect the other. A lot of times we probably don't even realize we've done it. Many times we view hurtful things in our own eyes rather than in the eyes of our spouse. Just because I don't find some of the little things that you like don't mean they are not important to you. Just because you don't feel that you are hurting me doesn't mean that you aren't.

You refer to my wanting to always be right and being vengeful, how so? I don't want to be right or vengeful, I just want for you to love me and for me to love you. If you see being so persistent coming back to the same things over and over again it is because it means a lot to me to have a good marriage. That is my motivation, nothing else.

I will watch all the kids tonight so you can go read upstairs and I thank you for starting this first step. I don't see myself as being better than you for finding this wonderful site that I truly believe will help us by the way. I was just lucky for having stumbled upon it. If you can learn and read and take action with me this will snowball. One love deposit from me leads to one from you which leads to a whole lot of them back and forth. I know it might seem hard to believe that you could actually love me and be excited for me to come home after work, but it is true. We will have our mistakes along the way but it is worth it all. Our kids need to see a mommy and daddy that love each other, don't disrespect or undermine each other. They need to see parents that are on the same side of the fence. You can grab the book or you can read the basic concepts right on their site. Link is below. Oh, and one more thing, I DO love you very much.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3100_how.html


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WAY TO GO HILLTOP!

It all starts with one deposit at a time. IF what you wote above is what you told her exactly, then you are on the right path my friend. I see no blame shifting .. and no DJ's in that message. If i was your wife I would see this message as a heart felt effort to show me that we are a team and that the breakdown of the marriage to this point is a JOINT effort and will be a JOINT effort to build it back up. I bet you your wife will not get defensive over this message, as it allows room for both of you to chew on what each of you have to do to accomplish your marital goals one little step at a time. Eventually as she discovers what it is she is mising and you plug the holes in your love bank so it stops drip draining .. the love will stay and continue to grow! I still suggest that before you go to bed at night that you possibly read the book together out loud sitting in bed next to eachother .. cuddling. Do it like this .. Get the kids to bed... get lunches ready .. put the dishes away emtpy the dish washer .. etc ... shower .. let her shower solo .. offer to rub her back and once shes relaxed .. ask her if she would like to read a chapter of the book with you. Tell her you will read it and she can cuddle and listen and provide some feed back or stop and have a discussion if something comes up that needs discussion.

Your doing a great job ... you have made your point clear (radical honesty) without a DJ and now since it did not drain her account becasue of the way you presented it .. shes considering it since she has seen a bit of a change in you.

Keep up the good work! ... over the next month you will notice a signifigant improvement if you guys continue on this path( you giveing her time to read and playing with your kids for her to wind down etc) .. and use the policy of joint agreement over everything! and learn to stop lovebusting (which your getting better at) .. you'll be back in puppy love again (both my wie and are back in puppy love ourselves and sometimes she makes me late for work! haha >.< and all your history will be rewritten back to into the positive light again.

Oh did i mention? ... GREAT JOB! smile

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Well done, Hilltopper! hurray One suggestion, if I may: ask her to read sections at a time and then put the kids to bed and discuss those sections together.


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Thank you both. She is at the mall, we've had a lovely day thus far once I got home. I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt that she'll go up and read a section, but I'm scared that she won't. I guess I'll take it one step at a time as I sense a little bit of reluctance in her voice.


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Nice guy,

Wife is upstairs in the bathtub, with a plate of grapes and cheese, and candles, WITH, no kids. I also listened to her and let her show me the kiddy clothes she bought at the mall. Not the fake listening, the real kind, undivided. I did this kind of stuff before, but quickly gave up as there was nothing in return. I now know that consistency of my actions will show her my intentions and hopefully she'll reciprocate. Very exciting times thus far, very exciting indeed!


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Everything derailed. It was great, then wife disrespected me, I told her honestly how it made me feel. She went straight for the "you take things the wrong way", then gloves came off so I went upstairs. Came back down and she said I ruined the night. I asked her to just please read love busters and then turned around and walked upstairs. How can I avoid this in future?


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I think you did right in calling her on her disrespectful behavior. How did you state it? I don't think you can do anything to avoid her reactions to your honesty. However, you still need to stand your ground in a respectful manner.

Not that we're supposed to educate our spouses, but you might ask her how she would feel if she were to say how she felt and you dismissed how she felt with her being too sensitive, how would she feel about that. What that does is invalidate our feelings.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3400_lovebust.html Print that out and have her read it. It'll be an introduction to love busters and might not be so overwhelming as going and reading a chapter or a book at the start for her.

I think you two need to get the kids down to bed together and fill out the LB questionaire together.

During the summer, I might have up to 5 kids to watch all day and evening together by myself. And it's the same for thousands of people out there. However, that doesn't give me a right just because I've had a stressful day to start lovebusting my wife.

Last edited by kilted_thrower; 03/24/11 03:07 AM.

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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Everything derailed. It was great, then wife disrespected me, I told her honestly how it made me feel. She went straight for the "you take things the wrong way", then gloves came off so I went upstairs. Came back down and she said I ruined the night. I asked her to just please read love busters and then turned around and walked upstairs. How can I avoid this in future?
I think she played you like a fiddle.

Your wife likes things just the way they are. I was afraid of this. It sounded like she was agreeing much too readily.

I think your wife knew exactly what button to push, knowing you would get upset and then she could blame YOU for ruining the evening and derailing the reading idea.

You've got to rebuild the dike, Hilltopper. Try it again - and when she starts trying to manufacture an argument, leave the room. Tell her "I don't want to spoil your opportunity to read our book by saying angry things."

Repeat as necessary.


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I also think just like in a physical recovery, we get to eager and hope for too much too soon so when we have a bad day, it sends us over the edge.

When my father had knee surgery he was excited to play tennis again. He felt great. Then, the next time he played, it didn't go so well and their was some pain. He was despondant because his expectations were so high.

It won't turn around over night. Maybe keep a calendar with happy faces and sad faces....after a month, see if the number of happy faces as increased. Don't just look at the previous day, look at the overall.

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In a situation similar to mine .. I had read the book "his needs her needs" myself looking for answers. I read it prior to convincing my wife to read it. WHen an attempt to create an intimate mood failed she would throw the book back at me (knowing i had read it) when I would try to explain my self while frustrated at her negative reaction, she would say ..
Originally Posted by MrNiceGuy's Wife
Well see! Now your going back to your old ways again. OBVIOUSLY *rolls her eyes* that book is not even helping you and everything your doing for me is a lie!
Then my knee jerk reaction would be to convince her that my actions and affection are not manipulation, but that attempt to convince her i was being genuine would bring out the taker in me and proved to her, in HER mind (disrespectful judgement), that I was being my regular annoying self.

I do not know how it played out for you to ruin your evening. But when you said ..
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
... I told her honestly how it made me feel.
Did you tell her respectively? or could the tones of your voice indicated any frustration in your emotions when you reacted to her being disrespectful?

If its the latter... then she sensed it and it triggered her instinct to shut you down. As Marital said...
Originally Posted by maritalbliss
I think your wife knew exactly what button to push, knowing you would get upset and then she could blame YOU for ruining the evening and derailing the reading idea.

So then as you feel frusterated you do what marital suggested again ..
Originally Posted by maritalbliss
..and when she starts trying to manufacture an argument, leave the room. Tell her "I don't want to spoil your opportunity to read our book by saying angry things."

But state it with tone that makes her feel like it didnt effect YOUR mood. By doing so you will diffuse her instincts to shut you down becasue she didnt get your usual response when she presses those buttons. Then again as Marital said .. (wow marital .. your full of great advice! smile
Originally Posted by maritalbliss
Repeat as necessary.

It may not be exact marriagebuilders ... I dunno .. maybe it is. But thats what I had to do. It took quite a few months to get it right consistantly til she was able to see that I was actually different. (but what it really is, is getting better control of your taker)

I would mention what bothered me respectfully and briefly. Then leave the room. Think for a moment to change my thought patterns. Tell myself that she just "hasnt gotten it yet" and then walk back into the room with something else on my mind and change the subject while giving her no continued emotional reaction to the situation anymore and carry on like it never happened. You really only have to say something once to a woman becasue she is already globalizing things in her mind.

Or go do something else she might need me to do and leave her to think about it.

*shrugs*

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I'm afraid you are correct. The other day it occurred to me she wants things to remain the same because she is being the Taker most of the time. It feels good in an instinctive way to be the Taker despite causing pain to someone else and not feeling a loving relationship.
As far as agreeing to easily, I'm not so sure about that. I asked her this morning if she'd be open to reading some more of LoveBusters and she said, yes I will tonight. On top of that the book had about 4-5 pages "dog eared" which is a good thing. Why would she do that unless she saw some things that really got her attention? I'm still optimistic and last night was good. I made sure to listen to her more and didn't take offense when she asked for some things. It is a fine line to figure out what a selfish demand is and if it truly is my wife gaining at my expense. If it something really little like a, "Oh the baby woke up early so I couldn't make a lunch for Tay" type of a thing. Does that really harm me? I usually make it anyways and it doesn't even bother me.

The biggest concern I have is the blame game. This is something that Dr Harley doesn't address directly from what I can tell. My six year old and four year old have started doing this as well and I called them both on it today. The blame game can be from big things to little things. The biggest one was her not taking responsibility for our relationship, it was my fault in her eyes. When I put my foot down, she accepted it just fine. I stayed home to work out of the house last week and observed her most of the day. She kept saying normally she doesn't watch this much TV, but I certainly doubt that. It is odd because by no means is she lazy, but she sure blames being busy an awful lot for any number of things not getting done. Then if she feels really bad then she'll blame me for not helping. I know you hate when I bring up her parents, but I must say, her mother blames her father incessantly to the point where it is hard to watch. I guess this means that her instincts tell her it is ok to do this for anything you want. I grew up quite literally on the other end of the spectrum so I see each of one these and it bothers me very much even if it doesn't harm me. I'm working on biting my tongue more when she does this blame thing but it is so difficult particularly when it involves her blaming myself or any one of our three children for no reason.
I'm getting better at this. I've learned that I need to rise above her game whenever possible, and yes she knows how to push my buttons. Can you help me come up with something other to say to diffuse her instinctive enjoyment from manufacturing a fight? I don't want to just walk away each time as that would seem that she kind of wins anyways. I also don't want to fight back as that is what she wants. Its like a chess game except what she doesn't know is that I have all of you great people helping me make my moves! smile


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This is good stuff and yes I've implemented some of this already. I have a hard time not wearing my frustration on my sleeve. I admit I was honest and fired back a bit before getting a hold of myself and walking upstairs. I'm sure she didn't enjoy sitting by herself downstairs the rest of the night, particularly when I told her that it would be nice then if she could spend some time reading LB, and also that I told her I was going up to read Fall In Love Stay In Love! What happened, well she ended up reading which was a good thing. She clearly knows all about the giver and the taker, the Love Bank, etc.
She is gonna have a hard time with this, much harder than I will because her Taker has really been running unchecked for a long, long time. One thing I mentioned to her this morning as something I learned was that both of us were devaluing and not accepting each others feelings. We do it differently, but they are in essence the same thing. She won't accept my feelings of being hurt by her abuse, she just goes back to the "you take everything the wrong way" play book. She learned this probably 4-5 years ago, I kind of fell for it, maybe admitted that maybe I did so she's used it ever since. I on the other hand am disrespectful about what is important to her. I was promptly hand slapped in here for referring to my wife manufacturing projects and things to do around the house, then getting stressed when she can't get them all done as fruitless or not important. I'm extremely practical, she isn't so much. The fact that she spends countless hours shopping for stuff for the house even though the garage is full seems ridiculous to me, but I'll never disrespect her again about it. It IS important to her and if I judge her about it, then I am hurting her, that is a no no. Thanks again so much for the insight about your personal situation, it helps more than you know.


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The amazing thing about the blame game is once I stopped participating in it, it has gotten MUCH better. I never really complained much to begin with UNTIL my DH started mentioning things I hadn't done THEN I was ready with my list of his shortcomings.

I decided that if something really bothers me then I owe it to him to talk about it when it bothers me....not save it up and wait till he is picking on me. The other side of that is admitting when I really don't care about something and not using it as ammunition anyway.

Likewise, when he is bothered by something not being done, I don't find excuses, I just validate his feelings and go from there. This is hard because I still feel like he is blaming me but often times he is just expressing his general frustration.


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Great Job Hilltopper. Its great shes dog earing some pages. THAT is good progress. Compliment her about something .. then tell her that you noticed she had read some of the book and that you appreciated it. THen ask her if there is anything she wants to discuss from what she has read already. If not do not worry about it.. then mention again that you appreciate her taking the time to read it again and that you plan on giving her the space and time so she can continue reading it. Be the best hubby ever!

Did you ask if she is interested in reading the books out loud together in bed? That is great bonding time. make some nice herbal tea .. put on the bedside lamp and fluff up your pillows and cuddle and read. Let her know that you have no sexual intentions with it and that you just wana spend time reading together so you are both on the same page! yes even in the literal sense lol.

Even tho you got a bit testy from her initial disrespect, you are learning as well and your BOTH going to make mistakes along the way. So dont beat your self up too hard or take it too hard when either one slips up. This is where your taker TRIES to help you run out of patience with each other. Since you are the one that is here .. you will need to use extra grace for her as you both learn to validate each others feelings safely without creating tension and successfully negotiate around that.

Have you read all the basic concepts? In particular "instincts and habits?" Have you read any of the articles? In particular "Caring for Children Means Caring for Each Other" If not .. take some time to review them and reflect on them. Maybe print out the 2nd one i mentioned and present it to your wife and fold it up and clip it to the back of the book as an "additional resource" with a paper clip. Do you have the book "His needs Her needs for Parents" ?? If not .. I would suggest getting that one as well .. as it goes hand in hand with "Love Busters" and provides many scenerios that will resonate with you and your wife as you take time to read them. It includes how to handle the kids and incorporate them into the marriage without sacrificing your Intimate time ... or at the very least gives you a sense of direction on how to achieve more time as a couple and what that entails.

You mention your wife and compare her to her parents .. and you mention that you see some of the same traits in your kids and have called them out on it. Good job! Those will be habits that you will have to help them all break. Your wife is a product of her parents which leads me to.. children are products of their environment! so they are a direct reflection of you both. Once both you and your wife are back on the same page again, and you two stand together as a unified front ("his needs her needs for parents" tells how to do this well) the children will see the change and even tho they may be reluctant at first to the changes in you two regarding parenting, you will see a change in them as well and their behaviour patterns. Both my children would be just as tense as my wife and I when we were in a state of conflict or withdrawl .. and once we finally got back into intimacy again, our children, after spending many minutes in time out for the first few weeks for behaviour we didnt like INCLUDING my 13 year old) they changed their ways as well because my wife and I became consistant with what we expected of them and did not make any decisions regarding them until we both had a chance to put the POJA into action. So as you rebuild your intimacy with your wife with MB you will be able to call your kids on any of their behaviours that may reflect your old ways.


Keep up the good work Hilltopper. Your doing fine. Just remember. Find out what her needs are ... become an expert at meeting them effortlessly (only the top 5, do not waste your efforts on the lowest 5). BE the example and she will follow. Correct as we have stated earlier and dont let your taker get in the way right now. Everything will fall into place and before ya know it you guys will be so in love again you will wonder how you had ever fallen out of love. Could be even better than when you first met since marriages dont come with instruction manuals. Just like kids dont either .. but Dr. Harley's marital research has been a GOLDMINE of wisdom to follow. I still can not thank him enough .. so I try to help others with his material more often. NOt so much here on the forums ... but in others around me as they see my wife and I transform from the biggest drama in the family to the ones everyone is coming to for support now (which i must admit i have to turn them down alot now to try and keep my 15hours a week for my wife)


OK .. sorry for typing so much .. im losing my train of thought now >.< and have to get some work done lol ...







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