Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I will at some point. By the way my wife won't come back to the forums. I'd really love her to. We grew and learned so much and all of us helped us which I thank you for tremendously.

I hope she comes back. Prisca has mentioned that she would be happy to be available to talk to Grace by email, if she wants. You might pass that along.

I am impressed at the way you wrote the above paragraph. There is no demand for your wife to come back. There is no disrespect of her choice to not come back. There is no anger expressed. No abuse on your part. Listen, Hill, you have come a long way. The Hilltopper of a few months ago would've blown his stack about the above, wouldn't he?

We're in conflict right now.

You certainly are. Remember Harley's three states of mind in marriage? Withdrawal, conflict, intimacy. You guys have adjusted to her being in withdrawal for years. Conflict is new, uncharted territory. It is full of LANDMINES for both of you. You've both had the habit of love busters during conflict, and of course love busters drive a spouse into withdrawal, and withdrawal is NOT productive. You need to be in the state of conflict, and navigate it without love busters until both of you are safely in intimacy. That ain't easy. But it is doable. It is going to take massive, superhuman amounts of patience on your part, as well as unbendable, unbreakable commitment to avoiding love busters. You must establish a policy of no tolerance for abusive love busters on your part, and stick to it without fail.

No poking.

It's a "be ye perfect" kind of situation. Don't just be good; be perfect. Don't settle for merely being "good" or even "excellent." No tolerance whatsoever for love busters.

We had a lovely finish to the night, and a nice morning, then out of nowhere she sends me an email telling me that I must respect her decision about birth control.

She is right that you must respect her.

That she doesn't respect nor trust me and that I've been dishonest our entire marriage.

She is not complaining in a respectful way, but she is still giving you valuable information. Her disrespect will tend to push you toward withdrawal, but if you can override that instinct and continue to meet her emotional needs and avoid love busters, you can make progress. She is giving you vital information. Express empathy for her feelings, accept responsibility for your failings (you have been dishonest), and do better. Yeah, you were hoping she would have stepped up to the plate a little more at this point, but she hasn't. Address this complaint. I promise you that her complaints are not endless and it is not impossible to address them all, though it may seem overwhelming.

The dishonesty stems from me holding my feelings in mind, not what I would call traditional lying.

What does Marriage Builders say about it? smile

In the middle of all of these things she sends me an apology that says, "I'm sorry I just get so emotional 5 times per day with kids, house, etc."

She wants support from you BAD. She feels neglected; she feels like her husband isn't there for her in this mess that she is having to deal with. She feels depressed due to the situation she is living in.

I admit I replied, "aye aye captain" in a sarcastic manner, but she denies she was leaving without my consent. So what do I do?

Ouch. Are you going to tolerate that kind of abuse out of yourself? Is it likely to make your marriage better, or worse?

I would apologize to her and tell her that was unjustified.

I also wouldn't get into an argument with her about whether she's leaving without your consent or not. It's independent behavior on her part, and I'd communicate that to her in a respectful way, once a week, in the way Dr. Harley suggests (worksheets).

She shuts down every conversation we have about 10 minutes into it.

Okay, so you start the conversation, you respectfully communicate what you need to say, you listen to what she has to say, express empathy, accept responsibility for your love busters, and when the conversation stops, note any love busters she committed on the worksheet that you are going to give her next week. Stick to this plan and be patient. It will get better.

I hide my feelings from her because I don't like the conflict as I'm sure half of this forum does or did at some point.

Yes, it's called being a conflict avoider. The best conflict avoider I know is markos, although I think my boss may run a close second. smile

Dr. Harley says to be honest anyway.

For her to call me "the biggest liar" in the world to my face about doing so just seems unfair.

DJ on her part; put it on the worksheet.

She probably does not understand that you are tempted to hide your feelings due to her love busters. Don't try to educate her about this; just continue to force yourself to be open and honest even when it's risky, and continue to communicate with her about once a week about her love busters, with the non-imposing worksheets.

You are likely gonna take some blows. I'm sorry about that. The good news is you are probably a little more resilient about that, being male. Remember that in the real major crisis marriages, with an ongoing affair, Dr. Harley says men can Plan A longer than women? You've got more capacity to absorb some of that stuff while you quietly communicate what a problem it is for you.

She loves me one minute and then I'm in the doghouse the next.

She's bouncing between withdrawal and conflict. It's all new territory. It's probably extremely painful and frightening for her.

She describes my behavior as if I'm some serial cheater or a compulsive liar.

So be radically honest!!!

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.