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!

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.