Originally Posted by markos
Hill, aBetterMe is right in that you need to do more about your abusive love busters. An apology alone isn't sufficient. You have been involved in these for years, and it's going to take your wife some time to recover from that, and of course she can't do that if they are ongoing.

Have you read the opening chapters of Dr. Harley's book Love Busters, recently? There's a conversation in there that frightens me in which a man has it out with his wife and finally tells her what's bothering him. It frightens me because I identify with it so much. It sounds just like how I've treated Prisca. The scary thing is that at the end of the conversation he feels much better! His wife, on the other hand, does not. She is traumatized. She may agree to what he wants, but because he used love busters along the path to getting it, giving him what he wants results in debits in his account in her love bank, destroying their marriage.

Grace isn't here giving us her perception on the weekend, and so we have no way of knowing how she feels about it. I assure you that if she does not feel as optimistic as you do right now, then that is important information. She may feel terrible as a result of your love busters, even though you apologized!

No tolerance for SDs, DJs, and AOs in marriage means exactly what it says: NO tolerance, at all. These behaviors are like nuclear weapons. They will not give you what you want; they only set up a situation like the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War: mutually assured destruction. The only way to win that game is not to play it.

You guys have got to avoid fights at all costs. AT ALL COSTS. That literally means you should leave conflicts unresolved temporarily if that is what it takes for you to avoid fights. You should leave your needs unmet temporarily if that is what it takes for you to avoid fights. You can refuse to fight no matter what she does or does not do. You can refuse to use SDs, DJs, and AOs no matter what she does or does not do.

Your conversations have got to become pleasant. Conversation is almost certainly a top emotional need for one or both of you. If it is not one now, it almost certainly will move into the top once other problems are taken care of and the two of you move toward intimacy. Probably solving conversations are usually not enjoyable and don't meet the emotional need for conversation at all. Even less so when they go into love busters! As long as you engage in love busters, you will be creating a situation where you cannot meet your wife's need for intimate conversation. A better idea on your drive might have been, after your bad behavior, to DROP the subject and save it for later and engage in some ENJOYABLE conversation if your wife was willing. Conversation is just about the make-or-break EN for many women. At all costs you must avoid the enemies of conversation that Dr. Harley lists in His Needs, Her Needs.

I hope this doesn't sound too rough, but you have got to learn to hold yourself to an absolutely high standard of NO tolerance. Be on your best behavior for the woman whose heart you are trying to win. It is better for you and us here to get into a tussle and rough you up holding you to a higher standard than for your wife to feel like she's having to drag you up to that standard. wink But of course it's best not to have such a tussle at all.

I don't know that individual counseling and delving into childhood issues is really a positive way forward. Dr. Harley says that doing so makes the problems of the past into problems of the present. But we all already have enough problems of the present! Learn to keep a lid on your behavior in the present, and meet your wife's emotional needs, and your marriage will recover and thrive, probably in fairly short order! But until it is thriving, if you are still engaging in love busters, don't fall into the trap of looking at anything else as being the cause of the problem.

One thing that really concerns me: there's a lot of posting here about your unmet needs. What's going on right now to meet your wife's needs? I assume you are doing something ... is it what she wants? I'm not sure how your wife is, but a typical woman would like a lot of small, regular, frequent affectionate acts rather than a couple of large, big, expensive ones. The key phrase is: "environment of affection."

I know for certain my wife hated this weekend. I also know that my multiple apologies will not be enough to get over it that fast because I've disappointed her before. If I could just say one more time that my inability to speak up when I feel my wife DJ'd me, or neglected to meet my needs, is a massive breakthrough. I really don't want any of you to overlook this because it is so key in every issue we ever have. After wine tasting when she stared out the window my feelings told me that she was mad at me. No good real reason other than I thought we had a pretty good time and that the conversation would likely continue. Truth is she had a slight buzz after some wine and eating and just wanted to enjoy the scenery! :)I don't have to "assume" things anymore and that is so exciting for me and hopefully will be for my wife as she sees my behavior. Sometimes with people as emotionally dense as I am, you have to tell them the same things in ten different ways until it makes sense. I feel that about this discovery of mine. I also can feel your frustration you likely share with my wife about me not getting it.

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