Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Walk me thru two things:

1. How to say no to her. She asks for anything I say sure. I'm not even into anything anymore. My likes revolve around whatever she wants, totally pathetic.


Don't respond immediately to her requests. Give yourself a few minutes to process it, to actually weigh it. If you can't give her an answer right away ask if it is ok if you think about it for a little while.

Now, let her know you are going to start doing this in advance so she doesn't feel like you are blowing her off. Sit down and let her know that you want to be able to learn to POJA and in order to do that you have to be able to ensure that you are enthusiastic about things. This will involve taking time to asses how you really feel, which you are out of the habit of doing. You've become used to subsuming your desires and wishes for hers so much so that you're not even sure what you like and don't like.

Now, it is ok if sometimes you go with it and say yes. For example, we struggled early on implementing POJA for eating out because I refused to go to a place unless my H was enthusiastic about it... turns out he wasn't enthusiastic about any place in particular so we'd get frustrated trying to find a place he was enthusiastic about. He always just said yes to whatever I picked before. Turns out he WAS enthusiastic about going out to dinner with me. The dinner and time with me were key for him, the particular location didn't matter at all.

So if you're saying yes a lot and can't seem to figure out why your resentment isn't building, it is likely that while you may not enjoy the specific thing you are doing, you ARE enthusiastic about meeting your wife's needs or requests, and that is ok.

The best guide in these things is to measure and gague your own resentment. This is why I say take a moment before responding to a request from your wife. Take a moment to check in with your Taker and see how he feels.

Maybe you say yes to your wife, and you notice yourself getting irritated about something, take a moment to check in with your Taker to see what it is that is bothering you. Then let your wife know you aren't enthusiastic about what you are doing anymore, let her know why and ask to try to do something else instead.

You are used to shutting your Taker up. Give him time to speak, when he does surface, acknowledge what he is wanting and express that to your wife so you can both address it.

Quote:
2. How to ask for things. I'm a simple guy don't need much. I don't ask for anything from my wife. I used to ask for sex but stopped that too. I've always wanted her to just do things for me without asking. Not sure why just how I am. I've never been one to inconvenience others you know?


The nice thing about understanding ENs is that once they are established and a plan is laid out for meeting them you don't have to constantly ask, there is a plan in place to address them. This is because your needs become met by habit. Then, you only have to check in occasionally or ask for something specific you may need.

For example, my husband needs affection. I know what kind of affection he likes so I have made it a point to cultivate the habit of doing these acts of affection he likes every day. At this point they have become second nature. I like affection a different way which DH has worked to develop the habit of meeting. A while back I noticed I was feeling a bit frustrated with him and realized it was because he had slipped a bit in meeting this particular need, so I simply mentioned I'd missed his little gifts and notes and I'd like to see more - because he understands the importance of needs he stepped it up and we're back on track.

Now you have to stop seeing yourself as an inconvenience. Your needs are important. Shutting up your Taker is the path to fueling your resentment and eroding your marriage.

DH had a hard time with this as well. He hated asking for things, he felt like he was just making trouble and inconveniencing me. It was tough, but once he realized how much his not asking for what he wanted was hurting our marriage, he started speaking up. His not asking for the needs he wanted met was depriving me of a vital opportunity to love and care for him, he was robbing me of the chance to love him.

That is what you are doing when you don't ask for what you need from your wife. You are robbing her of the chance to build intimacy and show love to you. She has committed to love and care for you - if she doesn't know what it is she has to do in order to do that she cannot do it.

The hardest for DH was learning to ask for sex. I have a lower sex drive than him but 99.999% of the time I'm more than willing to jump in the sack if he arches an eyebrow, he just has to ASK. It took a while before he became comfortable with asking.

A key factor, and this is something for your wife to do, is your wife needs to be open and willing to consider meeting those needs you want in a loving and positive way. I found the more positive I was about having sex when DH asked, the more likely he was to ask next time he wanted some.

However you can make this easier on her by making sure you phrase your requests thoughtfully as opposed to relying on Love Busters to get what you need.

Ok my thoughts seem to be all over the map but I hope some of this helps.


My wife and I had a long meaningful talk on the way home from our trip. It was rocky and I misbehaved multiple times which I've since apologized for. Moving forward I think we both discovered that the number one way for me to not read into things and use SD's to get my needs me is to get much, much better at telling my wife what I want. For example we went to two wineries on the way home, had fun, then she began looking out the window in silence. Based on past experience I just assumed she was uncomfortable talking with me or giving me the silent treatment. So I figured to remain silent myself and give her some time. Instead she began digging on why I was "stewing" which led to multiple DJ's back and forth, my wife saying some things that really tore my heart out, followed by more silence, then amazingly an awesome effort from my wife to diffuse the situation and tell me that she doesn't know what I want. She wants honesty all the time. She wants me to do the following which seem to be a good plan to me:

1. Always ask her if I don't understand what she just said or means. Do this to make sure I don't read into what she does or doesn't mean.

2. Always tell her what I want. Whether it is SF, affection, to hold my hand, to go out to dinner, you name it, I need to ask it.

Communication right now in our lives horrific. I never know what she wants or where I stand and it is the same thing for her. This will improve dramatically. Asking for things doesn't come naturally for me but I know it needs to be done now if we want to save our marriage. This starts today. I will likely need some help with this task which might sound easy to most of you but is really, really hard for me.


Married 15 years
12 y/o DD
10 y/o DS
6 y/o DD