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I've taken my assistance with kids and house to an entirely new level. She refuses my help with laundry, but I make them all breakfast every morning while she is at the gym, pack lunches. I give 50% of the baths, I tell her daily how hard it is to be a stay at home mommy, etc.

Last night she fell asleep on the couch right after we got the kids down together for the 10th time in 15 days. She said are you mad at me? I said "no I'm disappointed we didn't get to hang out." I want to spend time with my wife badly and she says she wants to spend time with me, all I know is that no matter what and without fail she makes time to hit the gym every morning. From my perspective I can only grant someone circumstantial understanding if those same struggles affected all parts of her life rather than just spending time with me. I asked her if we could go on a date this week and she said yes so we'll see how it goes.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
From my perspective I can only grant someone circumstantial understanding if those same struggles affected all parts of her life rather than just spending time with me.

From my perspective, you can't afford to judge your wife, even if you completely disagree with the way she lives her life.


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!

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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I've taken my assistance with kids and house to an entirely new level. She refuses my help with laundry, but I make them all breakfast every morning while she is at the gym, pack lunches. I give 50% of the baths, I tell her daily how hard it is to be a stay at home mommy, etc.

This is great. Are you giving her praise and admiration and encouragement along with talking about how hard the job is?

And also, are you letting her talk to you, vent to you, about her struggles and frustrations, and her goals and desires?

Conversation about what is affecting her emotionally == BIG LOVE BANK DEPOSITS! (It may also be extremely emotional for you, but the payoff comes when she sees, over time, that you are safe to talk to about these things. More than anything, she wants a close friend who is invested in these issues with her, whom she can talk to about it.)


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.
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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I want to spend time with my wife badly and she says she wants to spend time with me, all I know is that no matter what and without fail she makes time to hit the gym every morning.

She could make changes that would help your relationship, sure, but it is completely unproductive to go down this road. You are just training your brain to resent her by dwelling on it.

After we've kicked your love bank deposits up high enough that you start to get through to her, she'll be a lot more motivated to spend time with you. You've got to win her over, attract her back to you. In order for that to be genuine, she's got to be free to reject you.


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!

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* Do the two of you stay in contact during the day? Do you talk to her about what is going on during her day? Do you support her? Do you show her daily she is more important than your job?

* Do you have a plan for this date? Have you shown some initiative?

* Do you have a plan for something to do at home this week, too? Show some more initiative. She asked you to plan things.

* Do you have a plan for dates and at-home activities next week?


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!

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This is hard but doable. I've learned that
-I can't make her do anything
-that she finds things important that I don't find important at all and vice versa
-that when she DJs me, AOs me, or SDs me that there is no retaliation required

So I'm a year into this but then again I'm mostly going it alone, wife isn't a fan of MB. My marriage is sexless, aside from an occasional "hop on and make it quick" which makes me actual prefer not to have sex. My wife told me she likes who I've become but that it will take more time. I also believe that a vasectomy will lead to no further sex, affection, or any other need. DJ? Past behavior has told me there are unlimited reasons for no sex.

Btw I emailed Joyce no return, should I try again?


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On the vasectomy, do you want the ability to have children again or not? Forget reversals and all that. But would you want to have more children or not?

Fireproof is recommneded around here. I finally watched that movie this evening and it's fantastic. A bit cheesy but very good. Would your wife be willing to sit down and watch it with you?

I'm wondering if you come off as nonjudgemental as you claim to be. Would you be willing to record conversations through the day/evening and play them back to see how you sound?

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Hi, Hilltopper, good to see you posting again. If you aren't hearing back from the radio show, definitely click notify and get the mods involved. Ruikee did just that this week, and they were able to get him through, and he's going to be on on Monday.

Sounds like your three lessons learned match up with a lot of what I've learned the last couple of years. smile Yes -- you can't make her do anything, and shouldn't try. Can't even make her feel anything, or believe anything, and shouldn't try.

Your third lesson - no retaliation required - was also a hard one for me; still is. Seems like disrespect is just crying out for disrespect in return; demands are just crying out for demands in return; independent behavior is just crying out for independent behavior in return; and all of them seemed to require an angry outburst! Of course, none of those got me anywhere. I got tired of trying stuff that hurt my wife AND made our life worse.

Regarding those things that your wife finds important -- can you be specific? Those are her chief complaints. Those are the areas in life where you are going to have to change. A win-win solution to each of those issues has not been found yet.

It may seem like there are an infinite number of these and she will never be happy no matter how much you do, but I promise you this is not the case. Dr. Harley says that complaints are not infinite; they really are finite, although the number of them may seem overwhelming. He tries to encourage people not to hit their spouse with ALL complaints at once, because it does lead people to feel like nothing they will ever do will be enough. However, even if they feel that way, it is not true. Address what you can, build new habits, then move on to the next complaint. Each one will make your marriage that much better, and you will hit the point where she is out of things that make her unhappy in life.

Get involved in those things that are important to her. Everything that affects her affects you. Be her companion in dealing with the problems in her life -- that is what she married you for, and if you are not fulfilling that role, she is going to feel disappointed about your marriage.

I quit judging my wife for prioritizing our problems differently than I did, and started diving into partnering with her to take care of those problems. She has become much happier with life as a result, and as the problems have started to shrink or vanish, she has acted much more romantic toward me. I got this plan straight out of what I've heard from Dr. Harley on the radio show, and it works. smile It can work for you, too, but you may need help staying motivated, because it's going to require you to accept that some problems that are very important to you cannot be solved until some other problems are solved first. During that time, you are going to feel impatient and frustrated. Your Taker will want to be satisfied, and will encourage you to make decisions that would be self-destructive.


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!

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On one of the radio shows this week, Joyce said their spam filter has been set too tight, and they are trying to fix that, so that's probably what happened to your email. Try Markos' idea.

I would love to hear what Dr. Harley would advise you.


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Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
On the vasectomy, do you want the ability to have children again or not? Forget reversals and all that. But would you want to have more children or not?

Fireproof is recommneded around here. I finally watched that movie this evening and it's fantastic. A bit cheesy but very good. Would your wife be willing to sit down and watch it with you?

I'm wondering if you come off as nonjudgemental as you claim to be. Would you be willing to record conversations through the day/evening and play them back to see how you sound?

No more children. I have two forms of birth control condoms or a vasectomy. I have been willing to do the first, but after researching the second I am not so comfortable and it has nothing to do with wanting to have more children. My wife has eliminated every single form of options on the table for herself so our choices have been made for me.

I frequently get asked "if my wife would be willing to...fill in blank." The short answer is no, she is almost never willing to take a leap of faith into trying something or watching something.

Recording conversations would be fine. I am successful at remaining non-judgemental aside from letting my emotions get the best of me and wanting to retaliate. I'm working very hard at walking away.


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Originally Posted by markos
Hi, Hilltopper, good to see you posting again. If you aren't hearing back from the radio show, definitely click notify and get the mods involved. Ruikee did just that this week, and they were able to get him through, and he's going to be on on Monday.

Sounds like your three lessons learned match up with a lot of what I've learned the last couple of years. smile Yes -- you can't make her do anything, and shouldn't try. Can't even make her feel anything, or believe anything, and shouldn't try.

Your third lesson - no retaliation required - was also a hard one for me; still is. Seems like disrespect is just crying out for disrespect in return; demands are just crying out for demands in return; independent behavior is just crying out for independent behavior in return; and all of them seemed to require an angry outburst! Of course, none of those got me anywhere. I got tired of trying stuff that hurt my wife AND made our life worse.

Regarding those things that your wife finds important -- can you be specific? Those are her chief complaints. Those are the areas in life where you are going to have to change. A win-win solution to each of those issues has not been found yet.

It may seem like there are an infinite number of these and she will never be happy no matter how much you do, but I promise you this is not the case. Dr. Harley says that complaints are not infinite; they really are finite, although the number of them may seem overwhelming. He tries to encourage people not to hit their spouse with ALL complaints at once, because it does lead people to feel like nothing they will ever do will be enough. However, even if they feel that way, it is not true. Address what you can, build new habits, then move on to the next complaint. Each one will make your marriage that much better, and you will hit the point where she is out of things that make her unhappy in life.

Get involved in those things that are important to her. Everything that affects her affects you. Be her companion in dealing with the problems in her life -- that is what she married you for, and if you are not fulfilling that role, she is going to feel disappointed about your marriage.

I quit judging my wife for prioritizing our problems differently than I did, and started diving into partnering with her to take care of those problems. She has become much happier with life as a result, and as the problems have started to shrink or vanish, she has acted much more romantic toward me. I got this plan straight out of what I've heard from Dr. Harley on the radio show, and it works. smile It can work for you, too, but you may need help staying motivated, because it's going to require you to accept that some problems that are very important to you cannot be solved until some other problems are solved first. During that time, you are going to feel impatient and frustrated. Your Taker will want to be satisfied, and will encourage you to make decisions that would be self-destructive.

Everything is important to my wife. So much so that I almost have no interests any longer. So here is one dilemma I have. After trying to take interest in many of the things that are important to my wife, I am simply just not interested at all, and my wife knows it. I wouldn't think Dr H wants me to pretend to be interested right?

Another dilemma is my wife wanting to do all of the million things around the house, not wanting me to do them, essentially having my life be watching all three kids on the weekends unless I complain about which gets her annoyed at me. My words, tone, and attitude are not demanding or judgmental in any way but she doesn't like when I make it known that watching the kids so she can go pursue her interests doesn't make me happy. I feel taken advantage of and neglected at the same time which isn't good.

So I feel like a punching bag yes man for my wife frequently, and if I hold in my honest feelings then she gets furious at me and calls me a liar, but yet if I am respectfully and radically honest it leads to conflict so who wants to engage in that constantly? I feel so conflicted that this process will improve my situation and fulfillment in marriage. I spend hours obsessing over it. I get resentful that my wife appears to be perfectly content at the way things are. I sometimes feel like she is allowed to run roughshod and play by whatever rules she wants yet I have my Dr H plan that I need to stick to.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by markos
Hi, Hilltopper, good to see you posting again. If you aren't hearing back from the radio show, definitely click notify and get the mods involved. Ruikee did just that this week, and they were able to get him through, and he's going to be on on Monday.

Sounds like your three lessons learned match up with a lot of what I've learned the last couple of years. smile Yes -- you can't make her do anything, and shouldn't try. Can't even make her feel anything, or believe anything, and shouldn't try.

Your third lesson - no retaliation required - was also a hard one for me; still is. Seems like disrespect is just crying out for disrespect in return; demands are just crying out for demands in return; independent behavior is just crying out for independent behavior in return; and all of them seemed to require an angry outburst! Of course, none of those got me anywhere. I got tired of trying stuff that hurt my wife AND made our life worse.

Regarding those things that your wife finds important -- can you be specific? Those are her chief complaints. Those are the areas in life where you are going to have to change. A win-win solution to each of those issues has not been found yet.

It may seem like there are an infinite number of these and she will never be happy no matter how much you do, but I promise you this is not the case. Dr. Harley says that complaints are not infinite; they really are finite, although the number of them may seem overwhelming. He tries to encourage people not to hit their spouse with ALL complaints at once, because it does lead people to feel like nothing they will ever do will be enough. However, even if they feel that way, it is not true. Address what you can, build new habits, then move on to the next complaint. Each one will make your marriage that much better, and you will hit the point where she is out of things that make her unhappy in life.

Get involved in those things that are important to her. Everything that affects her affects you. Be her companion in dealing with the problems in her life -- that is what she married you for, and if you are not fulfilling that role, she is going to feel disappointed about your marriage.

I quit judging my wife for prioritizing our problems differently than I did, and started diving into partnering with her to take care of those problems. She has become much happier with life as a result, and as the problems have started to shrink or vanish, she has acted much more romantic toward me. I got this plan straight out of what I've heard from Dr. Harley on the radio show, and it works. smile It can work for you, too, but you may need help staying motivated, because it's going to require you to accept that some problems that are very important to you cannot be solved until some other problems are solved first. During that time, you are going to feel impatient and frustrated. Your Taker will want to be satisfied, and will encourage you to make decisions that would be self-destructive.

Everything is important to my wife. So much so that I almost have no interests any longer. So here is one dilemma I have. After trying to take interest in many of the things that are important to my wife, I am simply just not interested at all, and my wife knows it. I wouldn't think Dr H wants me to pretend to be interested right?

Another dilemma is my wife wanting to do all of the million things around the house, not wanting me to do them, essentially having my life be watching all three kids on the weekends unless I complain about which gets her annoyed at me. My words, tone, and attitude are not demanding or judgmental in any way but she doesn't like when I make it known that watching the kids so she can go pursue her interests doesn't make me happy. I feel taken advantage of and neglected at the same time which isn't good.

So I feel like a punching bag yes man for my wife frequently, and if I hold in my honest feelings then she gets furious at me and calls me a liar, but yet if I am respectfully and radically honest it leads to conflict so who wants to engage in that constantly? I feel so conflicted that this process will improve my situation and fulfillment in marriage. I spend hours obsessing over it. I get resentful that my wife appears to be perfectly content at the way things are. I sometimes feel like she is allowed to run roughshod and play by whatever rules she wants yet I have my Dr H plan that I need to stick to.

By the way I heard a show a couple of weeks back where Dr H talking about radical honestly trumping everything else, so this is the path I'm taking and to be perfectly honest I think in the long run it will smooth out. smile

We're off on a day with the family, I'll check back later.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Essentially having my life be watching all three kids on the weekends

You get to spend the entire weekend with all three of your children. It's a privilege. I feel sad at the thought that you don't value that opportunity with them more. You'll never get these years with them back. Rather than complain about it, what if you could find a way to be grateful?

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Hilltopper,

How are you doing on the 15+ hours of UA time? (doesn't sound good from the post) I would think you need UA time to get her to fall in love with you.

Quote
I asked her if we could go on a date this week and she said yes so we'll see how it goes.

How did that date go?

I think if she falls in love with you again, she will care about your happiness, and you can then sell her on the POJA concept. I think UA time would be key to this.

If she is declining UA time, the only thing I can think of is to keep trying to be creative and entice her into it. I agree with Markos (earlier?) that once she falls in love with you, things may improve rapidly.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by MrNiceGuy
Hill ... I am sorry things are not going well for you, or at least not getting better. Are you managing to get in 15hrs a week of UA? I know i am not consistantly .. but when my wife and I do, it sure makes a difference. We recently had a huge blow out in the family (you can see my thread if you like) and it took a huge toll on my wife and I .. almost regressed us back to a horrible state .. doesnt take much time at all to make massive LB withdrawls to make things ugly again. The UA is SUPER important .. once we got back on track with our UA things started to turn around again to the positive.

My understanding is that Hilltopper's wife has not been enthusiastic about spending 15 hours together.

She says she wants to spend that time with me and if I acted like I cared and planned it that we'd do it more.

Any more news on this? This is the problem/complaint I was suggesting you get involved and interested in.


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By the way I heard a show a couple of weeks back where Dr H talking about radical honestly trumping everything else, so this is the path I'm taking and to be perfectly honest I think in the long run it will smooth out.

Be careful that you do not take this as permission to lovebust -- Radical Honesty does not include DJs.

And you're still DJing, btw. You write about your wife the same way Markos used to write about me. Made me sick every time I read his posts about me. And it hindered our recovery greatly. What ever you say about her here, you might as well be saying it to her face.


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Hill, you sound tired and depressed? The holidays can be stressful on everyone. It's cyclical, though, right? One morning soon you'll wake up and feel like yourself again, plan some rest and relaxation time with your wife, time that'll recharge the batteries for both of you. How long does it even take to plan a date and get a sitter, when you're running on all cylinders? 15 minutes? Do you have a 15 minute coffee break at work today that you'd be willing to just "get 'er done?" Is there a different time of the ay that would be easier instead?

Are you getting enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise?

Quote
Everything is important to my wife. So much so that I almost have no interests any longer. So here is one dilemma I have. After trying to take interest in many of the things that are important to my wife, I am simply just not interested at all, and my wife knows it. I wouldn't think Dr H wants me to pretend to be interested right?

So you gave that stuff a shot, you didn't like it. Next! smile It's only difficult until you get some momentum behind you. Maybe you want to try something totally out of left field like cwmi and her H did, like the p90x stuff, or taking up sailing with little kids. For us, two couch potatoes, we found we we liked playing soccer in the back yard. Folks are finding new stuff to try that they turn out really enjoying, every day.
What kind of things do you think you'd like to try? What did y'all do for fun when you were dating?

Quote
Another dilemma is my wife wanting to do all of the million things around the house, not wanting me to do them, essentially having my life be watching all three kids on the weekends unless I complain about which gets her annoyed at me. My words, tone, and attitude are not demanding or judgmental in any way but she doesn't like when I make it known that watching the kids so she can go pursue her interests doesn't make me happy. I feel taken advantage of and neglected at the same time which isn't good.

You're not enthusiastic, Hill. How about some balance, so you're both happy. Maybe some middle ground, like taking the kids out to the park for a few hours so she could have some time at home without anyone underfoot? Maybe getting a cleaning person so there isn't so many chores left for the weekend? I don't know, what solutions do you see for this?

Quote
So I feel like a punching bag yes man for my wife frequently, and if I hold in my honest feelings then she gets furious at me and calls me a liar, but yet if I am respectfully and radically honest it leads to conflict so who wants to engage in that constantly?
Hill, you can be a charming man. How about sharing your O&H while laying on the charm? Whatever you have to say can be said in a way that she knows is form the heart, because you love her and want to be happy together, right? When does she respond best to you?

Quote
I feel so conflicted that this process will improve my situation and fulfillment in marriage. I spend hours obsessing over it. I get resentful that my wife appears to be perfectly content at the way things are.
What results have you seen so far, what is working better now than when you joined earlier this year? I understand the hours obsessing over it, what would you like to replace that with? If your wife is content, that means some things are working, right? Is there some success there you two can build on?

Quote
I sometimes feel like she is allowed to run roughshod and play by whatever rules she wants yet I have my Dr H plan that I need to stick to.
Allowed to run roughshod, is this frustration talking? Is she doing things that harm you in the present, or are you frustrated over stuff that's happened in the past? If she's doing things that harm you in the present, how about getting some outside support for the marriage?

When my MB plan felt like punishment instead of a relief, it was where I misunderstood stuff. You're only supposed to be doing things for yourself, your marriage, your family that you are enthusiastic about. The only things you need to avoid are things that gain at your and/or their expense. What about your plan feels like something you need to stick to while she's "running roughshod"? For example, if she's yelling, and you're not yelling back, that's unacceptable that she's still acting out like that, and you all can get outside intervention for that. Because if for no other reason, your kids deserve better. And if you're not yelling, that's because you are a man of character and not stooping to that level. Showing your kids how to take on challenges with grace and dignity and effectiveness. Not because you're following a plan you don't want to be following, right?


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I'm curious and this is off topic. And let me premise this by saying that you hsouldn't go and get a vasectomy if you don't want one. But what is it that you have read that makes you hesitant? I'm not sure if I've told you or not but I had one. Of course I had 4 kids and my wife was pregnant. Neither of us wanted more children. So I immediately made an appointment.


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kilted .. i thought that exact question .. i got a V too. The anticipation of doing it was worse than actually doing it. After it was done i felt silly for feeling so hesitant and upset about it. I am SOOO glad i did it though! So is my wife! wink

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Where'd you go Hill?


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
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