Originally Posted By: markos
Hilltopper, be aware that if you are saying "no" to something that is an emotional need for your wife, you will be missing an important opportunity to deposit love units.

The best thing to do in such a case is to find a way in which you can be enthusiastic about meeting the need. The classic example given here has the genders reversed: a typical man has an emotional need for sexual fulfillment while many women don't want to fulfill their husband's need. In such a situation, they have to work together to find a way in which she will be enthusiastic about meeting her need.

If at all possible, don't just say "no," say "I have a problem with that, but I want to find an alternative that will make us both happy."

The most important thing you can do right now is to focus on making massive love bank deposits every day (and not making any withdrawals, of course).

Also, make sure your "no," if you have to say one, is "no, I don't want to do that," and not "no, I want to do this, and we agreed to do this, and we're doing it anyway." Review the POJA: never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse. If you are planning to do something and discover your wife is reluctant, don't do it!


Not wanting to say "yes" to every request of my wife I think is more about wanting to settle the score. For some reason over time I started the habit of not asking my wife for anything including meeting my needs. It makes no sense really and I guess there is no point of getting Freudian about it. I let her know that when I do ask for things on a rare occasion that it she has a habit of not outright saying "no", but instead pushes them off for another day. I frequently get the answer of "maybe tomorrow night", or "not right now because I'm too tired." The example I gave to her was about massages. We bought massage oil enthusiastically together a few months ago. We gave each other one massage(no sex just massage)and it was an amazing experience. I've asked her 4-5 times since then and always get the brush off. Being a "reader into things" type of person I just take that as a reason to never ask again. She doesn't say no to everything, but she makes me feel discouraged quite frequently.
Last night we were doing good and had a slight bump in the road when it came time to figure out what dinner to order for her folks for mother's day. Basically it had to do with me not knowing what my wife wanted and my wife not knowing what she wanted too. To my wife not having a disappointing meal is a big deal to her and I know this. I told her the reason I was not inclined to order the food for us is because of the backlash of getting something she didn't like or wasn't satisfied with. Its not that I wasn't willing to take charge and do this for her, it is more that she is very hard to please in this area. She has no problem telling me if I cook something for her that she doesn't like. I guess what I'm saying is that from my perspective my wife is hard to please and I've grown accustomed to being fearful of "screwing up". She was tired, wanted me to take charge of something for us, and I really didn't want to do it because of the frequency of being criticized. Tough call here for me, her EN from me was having me take initiative about our RA without having to be asked, yet on my end I wanted to avoid what has become a common result of criticism. How might Dr Harley suggest I handle those scenarios?


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