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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I not only am not in the practice of deciding when and where we spend UA time, but when I do suggest it get a bit of push back at times. Its not an, "I don't want to", it is more of a "we'll see..." That is where I don't know what to do next. I take that as kind of a push off.

How you respond to this is crucial.

If you are like me, it worries and frustrates you when you feel like your marriage needs UA time and your wife is not enthusiastic about having it. And if you are like me your old instinctive way to react to this is with demands, disrespect, or anger.

So of course the first thing to do is to remain calm and pay close, close attention to everything you do or say to make sure that nothing you do could be construed as demanding, disrespectful, or angry. By your wife or by anyone who might here the story later. If you know that we would likely fault you for being disrespectful, then you probably are being disrespectful! smile

Invite your wife to UA-time activities with you. If she declines, accept that graciously. You might consider offering her several options to choose from.

If you want your wife to start buying into this UA time idea, you are going to need to change the way you are going about it. It is obvious to me that you are pressuring her to do it. You see it as urgent (and it is, because it's crucial for your marriage), and so you get easily frustrated when she doesn't seem to be moving toward this goal in the way you would expect ... AND IN THAT FRUSTRATION YOU ARE MAKING CRUCIAL MISTAKES THAT AMOUNT TO PRESSURING HER.

Take the pressure off.

Believe me, the last thing you want to do is become demanding, disrespectful, or angry in trying to get your wife to buy into the Marriage Builders program. This is a sure fire way to NOT get what your marriage needs. You are going to have to be respectful, gentle, attractive, and you are going to have to graciously accept "no" for an answer. Your wife has good reasons for not being enthusiastic about this program. You need to respect that perspective, look for the value in her perspective. Find out what those reasons are. This is crucial information. There is value for you in this perspective of your wife.

Do be aware that the Marriage Builders program can't be "cherry picked." You can't implement some parts of the program and leave others out and expect to get something that works well. You've got to have the whole enchilada. smile Because of your frustration, you are still falling back to instinctive Taker strategies of demands, disrespect, and anger. I understand that frustration is mounting now, possibly worse than ever before, but you have got to manage that frustration and force yourself to calm down ALL THE TIME in order to solve your problems.

One thing I might mention: UA time doesn't "count" when you have kids with you (unless they are sleeping), but if your wife is reluctant to leave the baby with a babysitter, by all means, take the baby and get a sitter for the other kids!! That is certainly better than not having a date at all. Take every opportunity to meet emotional needs and make love bank deposits. You will be able to be more intimate with her (make bigger love bank deposits) with just one child present than you can with all children present, and you will be paving the way for a regular habit of spending time together that will eventually be there when your wife feels the youngest child is ready to be with a babysitter.

Quote
On top of this the babysitting relationships include her parents, a daughter of her friend, and potentially two other of her friends she has so it would seem odd for me to circumvent my wife's relationships to plan the date, you know?

I don't know about that. I call my mother-in-law and ask her to babysit sometimes. smile She is especially amenable to doing this if I'm going to plan a surprise date for Prisca. Most people understand the value of a couple spending time alone together, and it doesn't hurt to step outside of your "comfort zone" and ask.

Dr. Harley says that a man tends to make big love bank deposits if he just shows some initiative and plans a date with his wife if he makes the arrangements, including babysitting. You were advised to do this pages and pages ago, and yet you haven't done it. No wonder things aren't working well, yet ... you skip over a lot of the advice. When are you going to show this initiative and plan a date?

Call one of those friends and say "I was hoping to plan a date with Grace. Would you be available on X? Really? Great! I haven't talked to her yet, but I'm going to see if she's interested, and then call you back to confirm. I'm not sure if we'll be taking the baby or not." Then tell Grace you've arranged babysitting for X night and tell her you'd like to take her out. Give her the option of taking the baby or not. Give her the option of saying yes or no. Give her some selected date activities to choose from, and give her the option of proposing her own suggestions.

You are going to have to learn the skill of making a date with your wife!


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 19 years. Father of 8.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted by SusieQ
It's good that you are both aware that you need to start planning the UA time.

Look at this quote by Dr Harley from the Five Steps Workbook (pg 182):
Quote
A point I make repeatedly in both Love Busters and His Needs Her Needs is that romantic love cannot be created or sustained without time for undivided attention. You don't have to be a genius to discover that unless you schedule time to meet each other's emotional needs, it won't get done.

If either my H or myself said "we'll see" it wouldn't happen. We sit down with our schedules on Sun or Mon and we try to plan out the week with at least one date night. Then we line up our babysitter for our weekly date night.

Approach your W and respectfully request that you two start scheduling your UA time weekly, say on every Sunday night so that it can become a habit. Be upbeat and don't approach her when either of you is in a bad mood. Let us know what she thinks of doing this.

Ok fair enough, here is what I did:

I set a Gmail calendar reminder every single Sunday for 730pm, which is when the kids go down, that goes both to my wife via email and Text that reads, "Hill/Grace Plan UA time + One Date". This way its not really ME bugging her about it, it is instead the CALENDAR reminding her we need to do it and plan for a babysitter.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by SusieQ
It's good that you are both aware that you need to start planning the UA time.

Look at this quote by Dr Harley from the Five Steps Workbook (pg 182):
Quote
A point I make repeatedly in both Love Busters and His Needs Her Needs is that romantic love cannot be created or sustained without time for undivided attention. You don't have to be a genius to discover that unless you schedule time to meet each other's emotional needs, it won't get done.

If either my H or myself said "we'll see" it wouldn't happen. We sit down with our schedules on Sun or Mon and we try to plan out the week with at least one date night. Then we line up our babysitter for our weekly date night.

Approach your W and respectfully request that you two start scheduling your UA time weekly, say on every Sunday night so that it can become a habit. Be upbeat and don't approach her when either of you is in a bad mood. Let us know what she thinks of doing this.

Ok fair enough, here is what I did:

I set a Gmail calendar reminder every single Sunday for 730pm, which is when the kids go down, that goes both to my wife via email and Text that reads, "Hill/Grace Plan UA time + One Date". This way its not really ME bugging her about it, it is instead the CALENDAR reminding her we need to do it and plan for a babysitter.

What I think is that you came up with a great plan to avoid having to ask your wife how she feels and respectfully persuade her that UA time, dates, and babysitting are a good thing. And so I don't think you will have any long term success with this approach, because you are ignoring the important issue of her feelings and her good reasons for not being enthusiastic about all this.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 19 years. Father of 8.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Hill, you are not 'circumventing her relationships' to call her family or friends to ask for a favor. Do you two keep your friends entirely separate from each other?



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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I not only am not in the practice of deciding when and where we spend UA time, but when I do suggest it get a bit of push back at times. Its not an, "I don't want to", it is more of a "we'll see..." That is where I don't know what to do next. I take that as kind of a push off.

How you respond to this is crucial.

If you are like me, it worries and frustrates you when you feel like your marriage needs UA time and your wife is not enthusiastic about having it. And if you are like me your old instinctive way to react to this is with demands, disrespect, or anger.

So of course the first thing to do is to remain calm and pay close, close attention to everything you do or say to make sure that nothing you do could be construed as demanding, disrespectful, or angry. By your wife or by anyone who might here the story later. If you know that we would likely fault you for being disrespectful, then you probably are being disrespectful! smile

Invite your wife to UA-time activities with you. If she declines, accept that graciously. You might consider offering her several options to choose from.

If you want your wife to start buying into this UA time idea, you are going to need to change the way you are going about it. It is obvious to me that you are pressuring her to do it. You see it as urgent (and it is, because it's crucial for your marriage), and so you get easily frustrated when she doesn't seem to be moving toward this goal in the way you would expect ... AND IN THAT FRUSTRATION YOU ARE MAKING CRUCIAL MISTAKES THAT AMOUNT TO PRESSURING HER.

Take the pressure off.

Believe me, the last thing you want to do is become demanding, disrespectful, or angry in trying to get your wife to buy into the Marriage Builders program. This is a sure fire way to NOT get what your marriage needs. You are going to have to be respectful, gentle, attractive, and you are going to have to graciously accept "no" for an answer. Your wife has good reasons for not being enthusiastic about this program. You need to respect that perspective, look for the value in her perspective. Find out what those reasons are. This is crucial information. There is value for you in this perspective of your wife.

Do be aware that the Marriage Builders program can't be "cherry picked." You can't implement some parts of the program and leave others out and expect to get something that works well. You've got to have the whole enchilada. smile Because of your frustration, you are still falling back to instinctive Taker strategies of demands, disrespect, and anger. I understand that frustration is mounting now, possibly worse than ever before, but you have got to manage that frustration and force yourself to calm down ALL THE TIME in order to solve your problems.

One thing I might mention: UA time doesn't "count" when you have kids with you (unless they are sleeping), but if your wife is reluctant to leave the baby with a babysitter, by all means, take the baby and get a sitter for the other kids!! That is certainly better than not having a date at all. Take every opportunity to meet emotional needs and make love bank deposits. You will be able to be more intimate with her (make bigger love bank deposits) with just one child present than you can with all children present, and you will be paving the way for a regular habit of spending time together that will eventually be there when your wife feels the youngest child is ready to be with a babysitter.

Quote
On top of this the babysitting relationships include her parents, a daughter of her friend, and potentially two other of her friends she has so it would seem odd for me to circumvent my wife's relationships to plan the date, you know?

I don't know about that. I call my mother-in-law and ask her to babysit sometimes. smile She is especially amenable to doing this if I'm going to plan a surprise date for Prisca. Most people understand the value of a couple spending time alone together, and it doesn't hurt to step outside of your "comfort zone" and ask.

Dr. Harley says that a man tends to make big love bank deposits if he just shows some initiative and plans a date with his wife if he makes the arrangements, including babysitting. You were advised to do this pages and pages ago, and yet you haven't done it. No wonder things aren't working well, yet ... you skip over a lot of the advice. When are you going to show this initiative and plan a date?

Call one of those friends and say "I was hoping to plan a date with Grace. Would you be available on X? Really? Great! I haven't talked to her yet, but I'm going to see if she's interested, and then call you back to confirm. I'm not sure if we'll be taking the baby or not." Then tell Grace you've arranged babysitting for X night and tell her you'd like to take her out. Give her the option of taking the baby or not. Give her the option of saying yes or no. Give her some selected date activities to choose from, and give her the option of proposing her own suggestions.

You are going to have to learn the skill of making a date with your wife!

I called my sister to arrange it about a month ago. My wife didn't want any part of it because it was during the week. She has planned dates for us during the week, but in this particular case she was not interested in it. I'm just not the type of person when told no to say, "well how about now?", "well how about now then?" In light of that, I suppose I could call the in-laws and try to plan it. She has expressed that I take the initiative to plan things, but I don't ever enjoy how my initiative pans out. I mean I made coffee for her this morning and the first thing out of her mouth was, "It's too strong." So who wants to plan a date or come up with anything when you'll just be criticized for the way you did it, how you made it, the time you planned it, etc? So to protect myself I've become a person that doesn't take initiative on anything at all because at least I know if I haven't done anything then I can't be criticized for anything. My wife sees this lack of initiative as being "lazy" or "just not caring", but this is sooooo not the case. I like to be in charge, I like to be confident in the decisions or plans I make. The truth is I'm just not any more so I just wait for marching orders and do my best to not screw them up. This is why I feel like things are so out of my hands, so I'm trying to come up with the courage and strength to plan things or do things for my wife anyways, even knowing I might be criticized, all the while attempting to "thicken my skin" so I can more easily brush it off. That is easier said than done.
My wife is concerned that I paint her as this horrible human being on this forum. She is not a horrible human being, in fact she is an amazing human being, well loved by her friends, awesome with our children, outgoing, and beautiful. I guess I just look at the point we have gotten to and I ask myself how did we get this way? I learn almost every day about how spouses interact, what actions or inactions can deposit or withdrawal units from the LB, how things take time to repair, etc. I can't learn fast enough, and every time I figure something out I so much wish that I had already learned that a long time ago, you know?


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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by SusieQ
It's good that you are both aware that you need to start planning the UA time.

Look at this quote by Dr Harley from the Five Steps Workbook (pg 182):
Quote
A point I make repeatedly in both Love Busters and His Needs Her Needs is that romantic love cannot be created or sustained without time for undivided attention. You don't have to be a genius to discover that unless you schedule time to meet each other's emotional needs, it won't get done.

If either my H or myself said "we'll see" it wouldn't happen. We sit down with our schedules on Sun or Mon and we try to plan out the week with at least one date night. Then we line up our babysitter for our weekly date night.

Approach your W and respectfully request that you two start scheduling your UA time weekly, say on every Sunday night so that it can become a habit. Be upbeat and don't approach her when either of you is in a bad mood. Let us know what she thinks of doing this.

Ok fair enough, here is what I did:

I set a Gmail calendar reminder every single Sunday for 730pm, which is when the kids go down, that goes both to my wife via email and Text that reads, "Hill/Grace Plan UA time + One Date". This way its not really ME bugging her about it, it is instead the CALENDAR reminding her we need to do it and plan for a babysitter.

What I think is that you came up with a great plan to avoid having to ask your wife how she feels and respectfully persuade her that UA time, dates, and babysitting are a good thing. And so I don't think you will have any long term success with this approach, because you are ignoring the important issue of her feelings and her good reasons for not being enthusiastic about all this.

Shoot you're right, at least about avoiding the "asking" her part. My wife feels great about UA time, dates, and she acquired a new babysitter. But since we don't plan it and we usually just "wing it", it happens much less than we want it to.


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Originally Posted by CWMI
Hill, you are not 'circumventing her relationships' to call her family or friends to ask for a favor. Do you two keep your friends entirely separate from each other?

Early in this journey I asked her good friend to "take her out on the town!" I did this without Nancy knowing and it turned out great, well not the end, but my wife had a good time with her friends. I know this was not UA time, but at the time I was just trying to do something "nice". I think I could plan this during the week once a week and she'd accept it without fail every time. There are two reason I could deduce why she would accept this plan, but be less enthusiastic about UA time together. Either she knows I can watch baby when she goes out, she is comfortable with that, so feels good, OR, she just doesn't enjoy our UA time together. I don't think it is option two, which brings us back to my wife feeling good about leaving the baby with someone other than me. If it is both A and B then I'm in a world of hurt smile.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I called my sister to arrange it about a month ago. My wife didn't want any part of it because it was during the week. She has planned dates for us during the week, but in this particular case she was not interested in it. I'm just not the type of person when told no to say, "well how about now?", "well how about now then?"

I am certain that patience and persistence on your part will be more attractive to Grace than giving up.

Quote
She has expressed that I take the initiative to plan things,

Valuable information!! Act on it! Don't be one of those husbands who seems to never change, or never change permanently, or never respond to what his wife says. Those are the husbands whose wives quit communicating with them altogether.

Quote
but I don't ever enjoy how my initiative pans out.

Grace is changing right now just like you, so I encourage you to keep trying, because ultimately you will like how it pans out.

"If at first you don't succeed..." wink

Quote
I mean I made coffee for her this morning and the first thing out of her mouth was, "It's too strong."

(Valuable information!)

Quote
So who wants to plan a date or come up with anything when you'll just be criticized for the way you did it, how you made it, the time you planned it, etc?

A guy who wants a happy, passionate marriage. That's who!!!

Right now, it's not Grace's job to keep you motivated. You know? Can you keep your eyes on the goal so you can stay motivated?

Quote
My wife sees this lack of initiative as being "lazy" or "just not caring", but this is sooooo not the case.

You are absolutely dissing your wife's point of view, here.

Around here at Marriage Builders, "care" is a verb. If you are doing nothing, then in my opinion, you are not practicing care.

Quote
I like to be in charge, I like to be confident in the decisions or plans I make. The truth is I'm just not any more so I just wait for marching orders and do my best to not screw them up.

Oh good grief. You are really asking for this:

twoxfour

I don't remember Marriage Builders being a plan where you do nothing.

[quoteso I'm trying to come up with the courage and strength to plan things or do things for my wife anyways,[/quote]

This is a lie you are telling yourself. You are actually procrastinating and doing nothing. There is nothing that you are actively doing in order to become more courageous or strong. You are just waiting and telling yourself that the reason you are waiting is to "come up with courage," but you don't actually have a plan to become more courageous nor are there any defined steps you are taking to become more courageous. Don't give yourself an excuse to do nothing.

Dr. Harley says men get a lot of credit for doing something, anything, even if it's not actually the right thing.

Quote
My wife is concerned that I paint her as this horrible human being on this forum.

VALUABLE INFORMATION. Listen to and respect your wife's point of view. You are doing something that bothers her, so knock it off.

Quote
I guess I just look at the point we have gotten to and I ask myself how did we get this way?

It probably has to do with you doing nothing and not moving forward on the plan to restore romantic love in your marriage.......

Quote
I learn almost every day about how spouses interact, what actions or inactions can deposit or withdrawal units from the LB, how things take time to repair, etc. I can't learn fast enough, and every time I figure something out I so much wish that I had already learned that a long time ago, you know?

Okay, info hound:
What Marriage Builders books do you own? How many have you read all the way through? How many of Dr. Harley's Q&A columns have you read?

I started reading the Q&A columns today after breaking off in the middle last year, and was surprised and delighted to see material that sure could have helped me last year to overcome problems I really didn't make any progress on until this year. I wish I learned that stuff a long time ago, you know?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 19 years. Father of 8.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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I second markos on the valuable information stuff, Hill. I have the same problem here in my house...I'll voice a complaint, and rather than having it addressed, my H takes it as a criticism and shuts down. BAD move if you want to be married. If she doesn't like her coffee strong, DON'T MAKE IT STRONG. Easy! That's one of the easiest things to resolve. Do you CARE if she enjoys her coffee? Or do you care more about your own need for admiration, regardless of her feelings?


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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I called my sister to arrange it about a month ago. My wife didn't want any part of it because it was during the week. She has planned dates for us during the week, but in this particular case she was not interested in it. I'm just not the type of person when told no to say, "well how about now?", "well how about now then?"

I am certain that patience and persistence on your part will be more attractive to Grace than giving up.

Quote
She has expressed that I take the initiative to plan things,

Valuable information!! Act on it! Don't be one of those husbands who seems to never change, or never change permanently, or never respond to what his wife says. Those are the husbands whose wives quit communicating with them altogether.

Quote
but I don't ever enjoy how my initiative pans out.

Grace is changing right now just like you, so I encourage you to keep trying, because ultimately you will like how it pans out.

"If at first you don't succeed..." wink

Quote
I mean I made coffee for her this morning and the first thing out of her mouth was, "It's too strong."

(Valuable information!)

Quote
So who wants to plan a date or come up with anything when you'll just be criticized for the way you did it, how you made it, the time you planned it, etc?

A guy who wants a happy, passionate marriage. That's who!!!

Right now, it's not Grace's job to keep you motivated. You know? Can you keep your eyes on the goal so you can stay motivated?

Quote
My wife sees this lack of initiative as being "lazy" or "just not caring", but this is sooooo not the case.

You are absolutely dissing your wife's point of view, here.

Around here at Marriage Builders, "care" is a verb. If you are doing nothing, then in my opinion, you are not practicing care.

Quote
I like to be in charge, I like to be confident in the decisions or plans I make. The truth is I'm just not any more so I just wait for marching orders and do my best to not screw them up.

Oh good grief. You are really asking for this:

twoxfour

I don't remember Marriage Builders being a plan where you do nothing.

[quoteso I'm trying to come up with the courage and strength to plan things or do things for my wife anyways,

This is a lie you are telling yourself. You are actually procrastinating and doing nothing. There is nothing that you are actively doing in order to become more courageous or strong. You are just waiting and telling yourself that the reason you are waiting is to "come up with courage," but you don't actually have a plan to become more courageous nor are there any defined steps you are taking to become more courageous. Don't give yourself an excuse to do nothing.

Dr. Harley says men get a lot of credit for doing something, anything, even if it's not actually the right thing.

Quote
My wife is concerned that I paint her as this horrible human being on this forum.

VALUABLE INFORMATION. Listen to and respect your wife's point of view. You are doing something that bothers her, so knock it off.

Quote
I guess I just look at the point we have gotten to and I ask myself how did we get this way?

It probably has to do with you doing nothing and not moving forward on the plan to restore romantic love in your marriage.......

Quote
I learn almost every day about how spouses interact, what actions or inactions can deposit or withdrawal units from the LB, how things take time to repair, etc. I can't learn fast enough, and every time I figure something out I so much wish that I had already learned that a long time ago, you know?

Okay, info hound:
What Marriage Builders books do you own? How many have you read all the way through? How many of Dr. Harley's Q&A columns have you read?

I started reading the Q&A columns today after breaking off in the middle last year, and was surprised and delighted to see material that sure could have helped me last year to overcome problems I really didn't make any progress on until this year. I wish I learned that stuff a long time ago, you know? [/quote]

There you go again, you know my motivation more than myself? First of all its not a criticism every once in a great moon, it is constant, almost like it has to be said, must be said. It reminds me of a story a comedian told me:

A wife buys her husband a red tie and a blue tie. He is happy cause his wife did something nice for him, and she is critical, so he figured red or blue, he wins either way! He puts on the blue tie, walks out into the living room and his wife says, "Whats a matter, you don't like the red tie?"

My wife herself used the term "lazy" and "not caring", those were not my words.

I'm not lying to myself, I'm asking for help on how to better my ability to ask for stuff for my wife, and I don't know how to do it successfully yet. I specifically asked this question of Joyce Harley on a follow up again. If this skill is easy for you and you just can't understand how someone like me could struggle with it, then tell me what I can ask you or tell you that might help me learn a bit more quickly.

How many books did I read? I read 5 Way to Romantic love, LB, HNHN(almost finished), maybe 20 or so Q&A's. I'd read more but I have to re-read things a lot to take it all in. After HNHN, it will be HNHN for Parents.

So are you saying stop posting on this forum because there is a good chance my wife will read it and take offense to it? I mean I guess I could do that, but it is very therapeutic for me and I believe myself to be a better man for having been here, but I could be wrong.


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Originally Posted by CWMI
I second markos on the valuable information stuff, Hill. I have the same problem here in my house...I'll voice a complaint, and rather than having it addressed, my H takes it as a criticism and shuts down. BAD move if you want to be married. If she doesn't like her coffee strong, DON'T MAKE IT STRONG. Easy! That's one of the easiest things to resolve. Do you CARE if she enjoys her coffee? Or do you care more about your own need for admiration, regardless of her feelings?

How many complaints would you say you voice to your husband on a daily basis? If he makes the cup of coffee correctly do you say nothing? Do you provide feedback that "its just the way I like it?" Does that make sense what I wrote to Markos that the criticism "must be made?" Very rarely do I feel based on my wife's comments back to me that I've done much correctly. The coffee recipe changes by the week, different bags, different flavors, sometimes dry creamer, sometimes french vanilla cream in liquid form, etc. This time it was one 1/2 scoops with three cups of water. I'll never forget it, but what about when the next flavor comes through the pipe? Dr Harley said effort is better even if you do something wrong for men. Well the feedback would point to me mostly doing things wrong, so it is very difficult to keep up that momentum day in and day out. In fact it is overwhelming. Do I care if my wife enjoys her coffee? Of course I do, I got up in the morning specifically to make us coffee to get an extra 15 minutes together of UA time. It was too strong, I offered to remake it, she declined the offer, live and learn.


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I'm not picky about coffee, so when he makes it I simply thank him for doing so. My complaints are really centered around my H's IB, or when he's done other things that hurt my feelings. If you've read my thread, I've got two basic complaints right now that have smaller complaint components: he canceled our anniversary weekend away in favor of a work event involving cheerleaders, and he's in discussions with a man about doing a hobby that I don't want him to do, and he's known this for six years now. So yeah, I complain about those things. In return, I get my gifts rejected, get screamed at over the phone and hung up on. Fun!


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Hill, something my dad used to say is that "no one knows what you do until you don't do it." Focus here is you do your job because that's what's expected of you. In adulthood we get very few "attaboys!"

My wife used to be the queen of DJs and AOs. I know you hear that a lot. But, really, my wife was queen. If I didn't understand what she was saying or did something she didn't like she'd clap her hands in my face and say, "Pay attention stupid!" This was a tradition of how the women treated the men in her family. Pretty soon you get to a point where you just know you're going to do something wrong even when you're tyring to do something right and it makes you stop wanting to do things.

But you can�t. At this point, you just have to eliminate your LBs and focus on meeting her needs. It�s really important to peg down those LBs. If one of the spouses (or both spouses) is irritating the other one, then doing those meeting of needs really is for not. One of the wonderful things about getting all this together is that when you do have the occasional LB it�s not really that big of a deal. You apologize, validate that what you did hurt the other spouse, and go on your way. You have to be really patient.

I like the house example. It works for nutrition, strength training, prepositions (yes, prepositions), and relationships. You two are still getting all the materials you need. There are times when you (as in you Hill) are trying to throw throw up the walls when you haven�t gotten the foundation settled yet. It takes a lot of work to make a good marriage and when your marriage has fallen to where it is now (as all of us that are here were where you are now), it takes awhile to get it back to good and then awesome. So go back and really go through the LB sheet.

As far as the coffee thing goes, maybe sit down with her and have her show you how she wants her coffee made. If she says it�s wrong, ask her what she didn�t like about it and then you can make it different next time. If she likes powdered creamer one day and liquid creamer the next day, then go buy both. I�m kinda like your wife�I�m really picky about my coffee, my wife is not. The other thing is is making her coffee on her needs list (I think this would fall under domestic support)�in other words is doing this making deposits? Don�t get me wrong, it�s important to do nice things for your spouse but if you making coffee for her isn�t important to her as far as the needs list, then go back over her ENs list and exactly what she feels is important. Make the coffee anyway�it�s a thoughtful gesture. In my case, my wife has a very very high need for DS and FC. She really loves it when I help cook and clean. But this is where I have to figure out what exactly she wants cleaned mostly. She likes the living room presentable and the kitchen clean. She also loathes laundry and since there�s 5-7 of us in the house at any given time, laundry piles up fast. So I concentrate on 1.laundry, 2. Living room, 3.kitchen. And I try to tie in FC to this so I make sure the floors are bleached and clean because we have a 2.5 year old that likes to lick things (like the floor or stuff off the floor) so it shows I think the welfare (so to speak) of the kiddos is important to me. This is why you two have to communicate this stuff. It�s almost like you�re picking up your bow and shooting arrows and occasionally you hit that center mark. Find out what her center marks are and this will improve your aim.

I know you�ve said you�re very hands on. So am I. I cook, I clean, I am very involved with the kids. Another thing I�ve learned is that my wife (and most wives) like me to take charge of situations. She doesn�t want to be the one to plan everything. So since I�m on summer break, I have a lot of free time. The week before, I�ll say �hey, on Tuesday let�s go to White Water and if there�s energy left we�ll hit the zoo or science museum.� She loves it. I like to also plan it because as the older I get I tolerate crowds less. So I know if I plan it and take charge of it, we�ll get to the water park at 10:30 and there�s not a lot of people. Then we can get a lot of rides and stuff done in a couple of hourse and get out before the crowds show up. If I don�t take charge of it, we�ll sit around and drink coffee for a couple of hours, and watch TV until it�s past noon and then she�s the one that�s taking charge of the situation and trying to get everyone out of the house.

But all of this takes communication and observation. At first, after taking the questionnaire, she knew she had a high need for DS and FC but wasn�t quite sure of the details. So we had to spend a bit of time really working it. I paid a lot of attention to her mood and how she responded to me. For example, she was happy if I was enthusiastic about doing family stuff. But we wouldn�t plan anything and then after being bored, she�d say, �wanna go to the zoo?� And I�d say, �sure, yeah� But it was kinda� rushed. Then one day (making this simplistic) I said, �hey, let�s go do something tomorrow� And she really lit up. And so we�d figure out what to do but I still wasn�t really taking charge and planning. But she was happier when I was initiating the activity. So then I said, �hey�let�s go to X and Y place tomorrow. We�ll get up, I�ll cook some breakfast, and we�ll get out the door.� And then she�d just �glow�. I noticed she became more enthusiastic about meeting my needs. Keep in mind this wasn�t a �You met my needs, now I�ll meet yours.� It just happened naturally because she felt closer and connected and loved and etc.

This is coming from us being on the brink of divorce. In fact, I�m not sure if I�ve ever really stated this before but my wife and I weren�t really in love with each other when we got married. We had our oldest son together. And we had a lot of conflict going. The real reason we got married (we had dated for years and lived together) was so I could have health insurance. Two things kept us together�the sex (yes I�m being serious�her words also) and children.

It really is worth it. It�s frustrating, at times you doubt yourself, sometimes (and sometimes a lot of times) you feel like nothing is improving.

Really it boils down to:
1. Find out what makes the other person mad and don�t do those things
2. Find out what the other person really needs and likes and do those things
3. Spend time alone laughing, flirting, and talking
4. Always double check with your spouse on decisions (POJA�basic consideration)

It gets a lot easier, Hill.

I know I said I wasn�t going to post to you. But you seem like you�re more receptive to others and their suggestions.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Dr Harley said effort is better even if you do something wrong for men.

Yep; that's about planning a date and arranging babysitting.

HAVE YOU DONE IT, YET?????

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Well the feedback would point to me mostly doing things wrong, so it is very difficult to keep up that momentum day in and day out.

Difficult, but not impossible. It is difficult because you don't feel like doing it, but you can do things you don't feel like doing. Like going to work, for example. smile Or changing a child's soiled diaper.

This relationship is not going to get better without a "whatever it takes, even if I don't like it" attitude.

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In fact it is overwhelming. Do I care if my wife enjoys her coffee? Of course I do, I got up in the morning specifically to make us coffee to get an extra 15 minutes together of UA time. It was too strong, I offered to remake it, she declined the offer, live and learn.

Make coffee again tomorrow.


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Spoke with Dr Harley again today, it was well worth it. He seems to think our third child has become a catalyst for depression for both of us. She is a blessing, don't get me wrong, but it has changed our lives so dramatically that we are both drowning. He said it is very difficult for love bank deposits to have much of an effect when someone is in a state of depression. The fact that we are both depressed is worse. When we reach out to each other for help because we are drowning, the other spouse says, "yeah I'm drowning too, sorry got nothing for ya!" In fact this exact thing happened last night. Specifically Dr Harley wants both of to explore anti-depressants to feel better about life in general. I'm calling my doctor today because I don't want to feel like this anymore. I asked my wife if she would do the same. Secondly he suggested we both read HNHN for Parents fast. He hammered home the point of spending time away from the kids. We HAVE to arrange for babysitters for an entire day or an overnighter because the hour or two at night playing Scrabble just ain't cutting it.


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I have 2 questions.

Did you refuse to POJA the drinking? Did you call her abusive?


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
The fact that we are both depressed is worse. When we reach out to each other for help because we are drowning, the other spouse says, "yeah I'm drowning too, sorry got nothing for ya!"

That sounds like a lot of what Prisca and I went through in the last 15 months.

Quote
Specifically Dr Harley wants both of to explore anti-depressants to feel better about life in general. I'm calling my doctor today because I don't want to feel like this anymore.

This sounds like a great idea. I considered taking antidepressants last year but never pursued it. It probably would have helped keep me more rational. You can't work this program if you can't stay calm; if some medication can help you stay calm you can work this program and resolve the issues that are making you depressed.

The number one source of depression in women is their relationship with their husband or boyfriend.

The number one source of depression in men is their career. Although personally I'd say my number one source of depression was our relationship. I feel a lot better about my career when the relationship is going better. smile


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Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
I have 2 questions.

Did you refuse to POJA the drinking? Did you call her abusive?

We agreed last night that we'd plan out many things, one of them being the days we drink wine and when we do not, on Friday morning. So I poured a glass of wine last night thinking, ok this is great we'll plan out our schedule about wine, UA, who cooks dinner, who does dishes, who puts the kids, down etc, we are getting somewhere, this is good. So then she said, well I don't want you to drink wine tonight either. I complained to her that we had negotiated to discuss in the morning, but now she was demanding that I don't drink wine tonight. So I guess, yes I had wine even though she didn't want me to. She demanded I don't have wine and I had it anyways.

I told her on the phone today that I will not tolerate her verbal abuse any longer verbatim. I told her I will not be a part of a marriage where the verbal abuse and DJs are so frequent. I told her I have many faults and I am working on them, but that I do not want to be in a marriage where I hide in parking lots for an hour long to avoid coming home. Also that I do not like to walk on egg shells.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
We HAVE to arrange for babysitters for an entire day or an overnighter because the hour or two at night playing Scrabble just ain't cutting it.

In an odd coincidence, Prisca and I played Scrabble last night. But I won, which I don't do very often, so that may mean we don't play much any more. smile

Oh, and we found something for you guys!

http://www.gearfuse.com/double-the-pleasure-scrabble-board-with-double-the-amount-of-squares/


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
I have 2 questions.

Did you refuse to POJA the drinking? Did you call her abusive?

We agreed last night that we'd plan out many things, one of them being the days we drink wine and when we do not, on Friday morning. So I poured a glass of wine last night thinking, ok this is great we'll plan out our schedule about wine, UA, who cooks dinner, who does dishes, who puts the kids, down etc, we are getting somewhere, this is good. So then she said, well I don't want you to drink wine tonight either. I complained to her that we had negotiated to discuss in the morning, but now she was demanding that I don't drink wine tonight. So I guess, yes I had wine even though she didn't want me to. She demanded I don't have wine and I had it anyways.

I told her on the phone today that I will not tolerate her verbal abuse any longer verbatim. I told her I will not be a part of a marriage where the verbal abuse and DJs are so frequent. I told her I have many faults and I am working on them, but that I do not want to be in a marriage where I hide in parking lots for an hour long to avoid coming home. Also that I do not like to walk on egg shells.


Hi Hill,

POJA would say that you don't do anything until you two come to an agreement, which means not drinking wine. By drinking wine after she told you she didn't want you to, you are inadvertently telling her that drinking wine is more important than her.

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