Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
A while back when we were just learning this stuff, my wife told me her #1 EN was romance. My exercise in giving thoughtful gifts was showing "effort". My wife is concerned that I just don't care about anything and has mentioned that the key element to much of her EN's, whether it be affection, DS, etc is "effort." On my end I felt that my efforts were either never received well or never led to my own EN's being met so I kind of "gave up."

To answer your question my wife wants "affection", "conversation", and most of all "honesty". She interprets much of my affection for her as being thoughtful. Conversation isn't her talking and me pretending to listen, it is me looking her in the eyes and taking a genuine interest in what is meaningful to her. Honesty(this is the biggy) is me not clamming up or making faces when something is bothering me, it is telling her immediately how I'm feeling, or asking her if something is wrong rather than coming to my own conclusions. I realized that despite being an honest person, I was not being honest by withholding my feelings and keeping it bottled up inside. Keep in mind this discovery occurred yesterday about noon so the implementation of this honesty is still new. I have yet since that time yesterday withheld anything from my wife and will continue to do so.

A couple of following questions for items in red:

1. Romance is not a true emotional need so I will interpret this to be "Affection". What specifically has she said is the affection she was to receive? Is this impromptu kisses, flowers on Friday, a weekly date night without kids? I know she wants you to show "effort" but that isn't clear enough. Effort doing what exactly? I'm still concerned you're not doing the right thing since you state your efforts have not been received well.

2. What is "thoughtful"? Making dinner when she's exhausted without her having to ask? Running an errand or two on your way home from work? Again, if she hasn't specified, she needs to.

A final thought on just realizing the importance of honestly sharing feelings. I've only just recently FULLY understood the absolute importance of Radical Honestly and I believe this is the most important aspect of MB so embrace it. If you can't be honest, any "progress" will crumble under the weight of the lies it was built upon.


Me 33
DH 35
Together 14 years, married 12
Two "furry children" (one cat & one dog)

MB has changed me and changed my life. I am becoming a better person for it, and building a better marriage. MB principles can truly help you create the love and the life you want.