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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by markos
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 see Grace is still arranging babysitting.

Since coming to Marriage Builders, how many times have you arranged babysitting? How many times has Grace done it?

It will deposit valuable love units if you do more of the planning and arranging for dates.

I arranged the date last weekend, remember? VIP, meet the Sushi Chef, Four Seasons Hotel, etc? I intend to do that again tonight, but she has expressed a desire to plan the babysitters on her own.


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I have not read anything in your wife's post about this except that you were unwilling to get a vasectomy. Which I thought you said the same on your thread here. I'm sorry...my bad.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Yes it was helpful to find out some of the feelings I have because "playing in the game" I'm not always sure what they are if that makes sense. I know I feel bad, but I can't always tell why. Its like a big confusing haze that is hard to navigate.

No we were not using the workbooks to track LBs.

I wouldn't call it "wallowing in the past", I am making an honest effort to try and comprehend what the hell is going on in an effort to express myself which is the first problem. I tend not to. I bottle up. After 38 years of bottling up, it is hard to just change the next day you know? Many of my efforts of expressing myself are misguided or full of "guesses" as to how something makes me feel. When it comes to asking for EN's to be met, I just don't know how to handle the rejection, so I typically get upset and don't ask again. I told my wife I might want to meet with a therapist or SH to help me express myself better and not take rejection so hard.

Hill, YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS. It is more common than you realize, and more common that most people want to admit.

I especially emphasized in red.

Let me tell you what drew me to MB (primarily through Dr. Harley's articles); I found things on the page that resonated exactly with what I was feeling, but had no words for.

I don't give a flying hoot what anybody says, it's OK.

But, you fouled up - big time - with this article and how you handled it.

It was a gamble even introducing MB to your W. Luckily, that gamble paid.

This last gamble did NOT.

When you find something like this, and shell it out, you are basically throwing raw emotion at your W. She has agreed to, and is working on, viewing things through an MB lens. Whatever you do from here out needs to be filtered through that lens so that the two of you are speaking a common language.

The next time you hang yourself up on something like this, STOP. Print it out. Read, and reread it. Highlight and note.

THEN; get out your MB materials, and work on translating what you are getting out of that as to how it fits with THIS LANGUAGE.

If it does NOT fit in this language, DISCARD IT. PERIOD.

Once you have translated your feeling into MB language, use the framework provided by Markos.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Yes it was helpful to find out some of the feelings I have because "playing in the game" I'm not always sure what they are if that makes sense. I know I feel bad, but I can't always tell why. Its like a big confusing haze that is hard to navigate.

No we were not using the workbooks to track LBs.

I wouldn't call it "wallowing in the past", I am making an honest effort to try and comprehend what the hell is going on in an effort to express myself which is the first problem. I tend not to. I bottle up. After 38 years of bottling up, it is hard to just change the next day you know? Many of my efforts of expressing myself are misguided or full of "guesses" as to how something makes me feel. When it comes to asking for EN's to be met, I just don't know how to handle the rejection, so I typically get upset and don't ask again. I told my wife I might want to meet with a therapist or SH to help me express myself better and not take rejection so hard.

Hill, YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS. It is more common than you realize, and more common that most people want to admit.

I especially emphasized in red.

Let me tell you what drew me to MB (primarily through Dr. Harley's articles); I found things on the page that resonated exactly with what I was feeling, but had no words for.

I don't give a flying hoot what anybody says, it's OK.

But, you fouled up - big time - with this article and how you handled it.

It was a gamble even introducing MB to your W. Luckily, that gamble paid.

This last gamble did NOT.

When you find something like this, and shell it out, you are basically throwing raw emotion at your W. She has agreed to, and is working on, viewing things through an MB lens. Whatever you do from here out needs to be filtered through that lens so that the two of you are speaking a common language.

The next time you hang yourself up on something like this, STOP. Print it out. Read, and reread it. Highlight and note.

THEN; get out your MB materials, and work on translating what you are getting out of that as to how it fits with THIS LANGUAGE.

If it does NOT fit in this language, DISCARD IT. PERIOD.

Once you have translated your feeling into MB language, use the framework provided by Markos.
Thanks for this. I consciously knew that my bringing up this article would cause their to be problems. I held on to it for a long time actually. Despite my mistake, I feel a sense of clarity actually, and I'm working on quite a few things that appear to be helping. One is taking a step back when I'm feeling something but yet don't know what it is. I can spot a DJ from my wife if it is obviously, but when you start adding in context, facial expressions, etc, things can quickly get confusing. So for now the best approach is to say nothing, analyze, then act accordingly with MB principles. This would be jotting a note down in my Iphone.

One of the other things is trying to understand what my wife is saying when she makes a comment. She can be a bit "abrasive" to say the least. Sometimes her comment is an honest attempt at asking a question, but sounds like a DJ, and it is hard for me to tell the difference. I grew up in a very respectful household, so anything that sounds abrasive or disrespectful I tend to take that way. Sometimes nothing was meant by it and I'm learning how to ask my wife if I'm not very sure rather than clamming up and feeling offended. I have to say that this disconnect between my wife and I has created problems our entire marriage, yet it isn't really anyone's fault, its just how we are. When you put together two people, one of which is a tad abrasive with her verbage, and one who is very sensitive to abrasive language, it is not a good mix. Let me say one more time that I do not use the word "abrasive" in a negative way to describe my wife's comments at times so if there is a better word you can think of I'd be happy to use that instead.


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Hill,

Are you still considering calling Steve Harley for phone counseling? You mentioned it a few posts up, and it seems like a great idea.

You both sound so well intentioned; it is sad to keep reading the unintentional hurt you cause each other, and it seems some professional coaching would help.

I'm wishing the best for you both.



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Hill,

It seems like the most bang for your buck would be the online program. Since you are both really engaged in learning MB, it seems like it would be a great choice for you two.

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Originally Posted by Penni4Thoughts
Hill,

It seems like the most bang for your buck would be the online program. Since you are both really engaged in learning MB, it seems like it would be a great choice for you two.

We are using all of the tools online, and it is working. We use the workbook, and are both reading HNHN for Parents, which is great. Some of this stuff is just a learning process that takes time.

Here is an example of me not being sure what to think about my wife's behavior. This morning my son got the paper and I made coffee and brought it up to her in bed. I wanted to start the day off right. She wasn't really "awake" yet so it didn't turn out but that is ok. When she did come down she was noticeably depressed, even said she was. My first instinct when she is depressed is that it is because of me. I walk on egg shells when she is depressed and don't feel good about anything until she comes out of her depression or we talk things through. She didn't come out of it so eventually I said, "Honey, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I'm concerned about you." She said, "Look I have a lot on my mind and I'm just having a bad day. She told me it had nothing to do with me, it was just the baby is wearing her down(me too!) and she can't go back and workout at the gym anymore for now. So baby is clearly taking her toll on my wife. We are trying to get her adjusted to her crib, she doesn't like that, screams for 30-45 mins, sleeps for 10, then wakes up and screams some more. This is 3 times a day and it is brutal. I'm sure some of you remember those days or are going through them now.

I want to help my wife and assist, but she keeps declining my offers for help. If I start doing the dishes, she says, "you don't have to do that." If I offer to switch with her to feed baby she declines my help. The reason for this is because I had expressed that at times she asks me to do things all day long, I refer to them as "askathons." When she does this I feel taken advantage of. Keep in mind I already do more than the average Dad I believe. I shop for groceries, cook, do dishes, bath kids, etc. Ever since I mentioned that it bothers me when she does the "askathon" she says that "I'll never ask you anything again then!" I figured she was just upset and said that out of anger, but she has held to it. I told her that I didn't think this was the solution, nor was it done through POJA. I said I'd like to find a balance to which she declined again, confirming she won't ask me for anything ever again. I don't know what to do with this. When my wife asked me to do anything and everything for her, I felt taken advantage of. Now when my wife refuses my attempts to help her with anything, which makes me feel just as bad. This is very confusing to say the least.


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On my phone, so short and simple.

Doing dishes has nothing to do with her request, unless you truly hate it. If you want to do the dishes, do them. If you want to do some laundry, do it. If these things don't make you miserable to do, it at least keeps you busy while she deals with her funk, and can open up time for UA.

"You don't have to do that..."

"Thank you, dear. I'm doing it because I want/like to."


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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
On my phone, so short and simple.

Doing dishes has nothing to do with her request, unless you truly hate it. If you want to do the dishes, do them. If you want to do some laundry, do it. If these things don't make you miserable to do, it at least keeps you busy while she deals with her funk, and can open up time for UA.

"You don't have to do that..."

"Thank you, dear. I'm doing it because I want/like to."

Doing these things don't make me miserable, in fact I do the cooking so I like to have the kitchen clean before I do. I'm not sure what you mean about it "can open up time for UA." Please explain.


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Simple, if the household work is done, then UA or FC time can be fulfilled.

Make more sense?


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
Simple, if the household work is done, then UA or FC time can be fulfilled.

Make more sense?

Perfect sense.


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I'm a recovering slob, Hill, so this was an easy lesson for me. Though, I have to learn to relax, too. When I clean I move furniture and cushions, scrub and dust, etc. It was rare, though, that I did my part. One key is to respectfully recognize that the differences in how FWW and I clean are both OK AND productive.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
I'm a recovering slob, Hill, so this was an easy lesson for me. Though, I have to learn to relax, too. When I clean I move furniture and cushions, scrub and dust, etc. It was rare, though, that I did my part. One key is to respectfully recognize that the differences in how FWW and I clean are both OK AND productive.

I hear ya. My wife and I are very different. This biggest single difference is that I'm a minimalist and she is the opposite. We both clean the house and like it fairly tidy, but my wife can't relax until everything is put in its place, where as I can. Where we get into trouble is where I am ready to relax but she is ready to clean. As we go through this process, planning everything is gonna help much more. If I know prior to getting up Saturday morning that we'll spending an hour in the garage organizing, the more likely I am to be ready and prepared mentally to do so. We are NOT good at planning yet, but we are working on it.


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Ok. Back on track;

What are grace's top 3 EN's?

What are you doing to meet them?

What are you worst LB's?

What are you doing to avoid them?

How much UA time have you gotten in the past week?

What are you doing to ensure you get 20+ hours each week?


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
Ok. Back on track;

What are grace's top 3 EN's?

What are you doing to meet them?

What are you worst LB's?

What are you doing to avoid them?

How much UA time have you gotten in the past week?

What are you doing to ensure you get 20+ hours each week?

Well now that you mention it.....

Yesterday afternoon while she was showering, I grabbed the workbook and scanned through it to make sure I was on track. I focused on Top 2 ENs which are Financial Support and Admiration. I wrote her a check for weekly groceries and spending and wrote another check for the cleaner that is coming next week. I pointed out how proud I was of her for being a good Mom and how attractive I thought she was at the party we had to attend. We had wonderful night. It ended well if you know what I mean after we held hands and played footsies all night.

My worst LB is dishonesty. My dishonest involves holding in my feelings. I try not to do that. Instead I put a note in my iphone to be shared later. We did 16.5 hours last week, and last night was a good 3 including a good 20 minutes of making wontons together for the party. I'm not sure what schedule we are for tracking, but I'm gonna ask my wife this morning.


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Has anyone experienced somewhat of a "mourning period" as it pertains to your pre-marriagebuilders life and your post-marriagebuilders life? What I mean is despite the very positive and exciting of rebuilding a marriage, did anyone feel sad that they could no longer engage in some of the independent behavior or lifestyles that got them into trouble in the first place? The changes we make through the MB Program inevitably will cause us to eliminate certain pieces of our lives that we might have found enjoyable but that was an LB for our spouse. So although the journey ends up being well worth it, the inevitable change might also cause some "mourning" along the way. I'd like your thoughts and experiences on the subject.


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It's different. As you get comfortable with the program and learn to POJA, you'll find alternatives that make you both happy. As an example, I used to play indoor soccer at times that my wife didn't like and it took away family and UA time. We found a solution in which worked for both of us. The conflict was. Not the activity but the time. This was pretty easy since games go jntil 1am in the morning. So we found a mutually enthusiastic compromise in which I still played but play during times that she is happy with


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Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
It's different. As you get comfortable with the program and learn to POJA, you'll find alternatives that make you both happy. As an example, I used to play indoor soccer at times that my wife didn't like and it took away family and UA time. We found a solution in which worked for both of us. The conflict was. Not the activity but the time. This was pretty easy since games go jntil 1am in the morning. So we found a mutually enthusiastic compromise in which I still played but play during times that she is happy with

Its kind of a chicken before the egg thing you know? You can't become each other's favorite person to spend time with until you actually do spend time with each other. On the other hand, you likely have not been pleasant to be around in the past and therefore could struggle to spend time with each other now. My wife and I are compatible doing certain things, but not others. We filled out a workbook and have a lot of activities we can do together but we need to give it a shot. I LOVE golf, she loves running, but they don't intersect in terms of good RC. I was thinking about seeing is she would be willing to ride in the golf cart with me for about two hours followed by drinks and appetizers on the 19th hole! POJA is great because it forces you to think outside the box. What I do know is for the time being I would never leave for an entire round of golf with the fellas, just like she would never leave for a three hour run.


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FWW and I went car shopping yesterday, with zero intention of buying a vehicle. Check them out, test drive them. Chit chat in transit.

Some times, you have to get creative.


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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
FWW and I went car shopping yesterday, with zero intention of buying a vehicle. Check them out, test drive them. Chit chat in transit.

Some times, you have to get creative.

My H sells cars, and he and I both dislike people who do this. If you want to look, fine, have at it. But leave the salesguy out of it, leave him free to help people actually in the market. You and your W stole valuable time from someone who is at least supporting him/herself, most likely a spouse and children, too. I can't even begin to tell you how many "ups" my H has missed by being busied by people who do this--fake out the salesperson, pretend to be interested and serious, but really out joyriding.

They don't get paid to take joyriders on test drives. Not one cent.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
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