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Originally Posted by CWMI
As you can see, I disagree with Mel about it working with men. laugh

I also had Steve Harley, though.

I got that from Dr Harley! And typically it does not work when women pursue men. But there is always the exception to every rule. grin


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I am not convinced all contact has ended ... can you super snoop to find out if something is happening through Facebook, email, text, toxic friends (at work also) ...

In addition to snooping like James Bond, follow the advice to Plan A and get UA time 25+ hours/week. What was it about you she fell in love with? Find them, conquer them, go back to when you first dated ... what did you do?


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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by CWMI
As you can see, I disagree with Mel about it working with men. laugh

I also had Steve Harley, though.

I got that from Dr Harley! And typically it does not work when women pursue men. But there is always the exception to every rule. grin

Well...I also offered up custody of the kids if he really thought we should separate instead of hanging out together. So perhaps my pursuit was more of a "fine! You do everything then, I'll take a breather, thanks!" lol. I had no intention of going anywhere, or being left with all the responsibility, either. YMMV. My H very much thought he could be unencumbored if he just got rid of me...nope.

Plan A-ing a man does work with more stick.

I wonder why plan a-ing a woman works better? Because men naturally have more stick? Because we love attention? Because we like sticks? smile Men tend to need admiration more than women. Now I'm way off topic...back to topic!



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Originally Posted by Accuray
I do question if continuing to pursue a spouse who wants more space is really effective. Although you may believe you're making love bank deposits, you may be actually making withdrawals if you're crowding them or if they resent your efforts.

You have to be really, really careful about what you are doing. Something that is a deposit one day may be unwelcome the next.

According to Dr. Harley, a person in withdrawal will not stay in withdrawal. Eventually, they come out of that state, because they feel the need of their emotional needs, and they want them met.

What happens next is one of two things:
a need gets met, and a love bank deposit gets made, or
a love buster occurs, and the spouse retreats back into withdrawal, less likely to come out any time soon.

It's important to remember, too, that the spouse who comes out of withdrawal is in conflict. This means they are willing to have their needs met, but not willing to meet any needs, so tread lightly on that front.

See Dr. Harley's page on the three states of mind in marriage (in the basic concepts), if you haven't already. But really there's a lot more he says about this on the radio.

Don't poke the snail! laugh


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Originally Posted by CWMI
I wonder why plan a-ing a woman works better? Because men naturally have more stick? Because we love attention? Because we like sticks? smile

LOL!

A man typically has more capacity to meet emotional needs without his needs being met in return, or so says Dr. Harley. A woman is more likely to feel TERRIBLE about meeting her husband's needs for sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, etc., if she is not already in love. But a man is less likely to feel terrible about meeting her needs for intimate conversation and affection in that state. He may still feel awkward or reluctant, his emotions may still encourage him not to do it, and/or to be selfish, but it's not as likely to be devastating to him if he does it.

When women go on like this for a long time it begins to take a real physical toll: degradation of mental and emotional state, and health. It can result in a compromised immune system and post traumatic stress disorder, particularly in the face of severe abuse and/or an affair.

Now exactly how long any given person can go on like this varies. It's just that, on average, men can go on like this longer than women before they start to face ill effects. And Dr. Harley has also encouraged some men to go on even if they do start to have ill effects, if it is likely to save their marriage eventually or help their children.


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Originally Posted by markos
See Dr. Harley's page on the three states of mind in marriage (in the basic concepts), if you haven't already. But really there's a lot more he says about this on the radio
The Three States Of Mind in Marriage


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That's it. I'm a dude. I don't care how mad I am at my husband, the only reason I would throw him out of bed is to boff him on the floor. And he's been an azz. MY azz. <3


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boff?

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boff?

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That's it. I'm a dude. I don't care how mad I am at my husband, the only reason I would throw him out of bed is to boff him on the floor. And he's been an azz. MY azz. <3

What a slut! rotflmao


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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Quote
That's it. I'm a dude. I don't care how mad I am at my husband, the only reason I would throw him out of bed is to boff him on the floor. And he's been an azz. MY azz. <3

What a slut! rotflmao
rotflmao rotflmao


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Originally Posted by Accuray
Hi Markos,

I went into some detail on that on page 3 of this thread. No she does not see the other man, he enacted "Plan A" and has stuck to it to save his own marriage.

Accuray
How do you know that?

And how do you know this?
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His wife knew, so no need to go there.


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I confronted OM with his wife present.

I was a master snooper for several months, plus my contributions to meeting her needs and her behavior. I am 100% sure.

A few personal opinions:

Snooping is addictive and bad for the relationship

Playing defense is the wrong way to go.

Remember, it has been 11 months now that OM has been gone, not weeks. Whatever problems I'm having now are between the two of us and not related to OM.

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Accuray, we're just headed down the list of usual issues. You'd be amazed how many people show up wanting help with their marriage in what they insist is "recovery" after an affair -- when the wayward spouse is still in daily/constant contact with the affair partner. i.e., the affair is still on, and "recovery" has not begun.

It's important for us to get through that with new posters to establish for certain that there is no contact between a former wayward spouse and an affair partner, because each contact sets recovery back to day one.


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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Accuray � I�m following your thread with interest. Here is what I�ve understood of your situation.

Your most important emotional needs are not being met in your marriage.

1) You�d like to hear more admiration/appreciation from your wife.
2) You�d also like more physical affection and a more fulfilling sex life.

You feel you�ve expressed your desires clearly to your wife. You believe she has understood your requests. Yet you understand her to be unwilling to do the things that make you feel loved and cared for, the things that create and maintain your romantic connection to her as your wife. As far as you can tell she simply wants to be accepted and appreciated �as is.�

Is this a good summary of where you�re at?

In order to fix a problem, you generally need to understand it. Your current understanding of why your wife refuses to do the things you�ve asked is they are essentially unpleasant for her. She doesn�t like to express admiration, she doesn�t like physical affection much and she doesn�t enjoy sex. She�s willing to engage in these activities for your benefit, but not with much true passion or enthusiasm.

If this is true you have a very challenging situation on your hands.

?? - Has your wife always been so uninterested in the things that matter most to you? (Admiration/Sexual Fulfillment/Affection)

If so I�m curious how she ever deposited enough in your love bank to cause you to fall in love with her. I struggle to imagine you married a woman who made it clear she was not going to meet your needs in marriage. I suppose it is possible.

?? - If she used to be better at meeting your ENs, what happened? When and why did this change?

We need to know the why.

It is possible there is a currently unseen reason for your wife�s attitude towards your unmet ENs. She may not know why herself. If there is a reason that could be discovered, understood and addressed, you may have something you can work with.

So, aside from simple ambivalence, why do you think your wife is unwilling to meet your ENs? What is keeping her from doing the things you ask?

While you�re considering the answer I�m going to speculate a little on why your wife is unwilling to do the things you have asked her. I may get close or I may be way off base.

1) Maybe she truly feels incapable of meeting your needs in the ways you�ve proposed. If she could do what you ask, she would. But she feels she simply is unable to do so.
or
2) Maybe rather than requests your wife is hearing complaints. She interprets your requests as essentially negative judgments against her. Ie �A good wife would do X� When interpreted in this way, she naturally resists fulfilling your needs out of duty. The motivator here is guilt, not love, and thus not very inspiring or durable.
or
3) Maybe your wife is not in love with you.
or
4) Maybe your wife does not value your ENs as being worthy or important.

That is probably enough speculation. 1 is an interesting possibility. 2-4 are all variations on the theme of �unwillingness.�

What do you think? What is your best answer to that question?

Harley�s principles are simple. Putting them in to practice is not always so easy, especially when each spouse is not quite on the same page. I�m glad you�re getting coaching. I commend you for your plan to implement a great plan A.

It does seem to me that the heart of the issue is answering and addressing the question �Why?� This seems the key to changing your wife�s behavior.

PS � I don�t know that lowering our expectations really works. Emotional needs are needs, not desires or hopes. If they go unmet they cause emotional damage. I don�t know that you can just try to lower your needs. What you may need is to be more flexible with is *how* your wife meets your emotional needs. Maybe you haven�t POJA�d effectively. (POJAing on delicate topics can be tough.)

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Originally Posted by Accuray
Snooping is addictive and bad for the relationship

Playing defense is the wrong way to go.

Accuray, snooping is not bad for a marriage, it is GOOD for the marriage. It prevents affairs and it serves to restore trust. There is nothing that creates trust MORE than being able to independently confirm your spouse's faithful behavior when she thinks you are not watching. It is much harder to start an affair when your spouse knows what you are doing. If she has had an affair, it is really important that you are keeping a watch on her activities in order to protect your marriage. Even small things like looking at the OM's facebook page will send a WS back into the fog. You need to watch and make sure things like this are not happening.

How else can you truly protect your marriage from an affair if you aren't snooping?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Quote
A few personal opinions:

Snooping is addictive and bad for the relationship
Huh. How did I miss that. I love it when my H reviews our cell phone bill. I love it when he wants to know my daily schedule. If he wants to put a VAR in my car, I couldn't care less (unless it's around his birthday. I'd hate for him to hear about his birthday present.) And he feels the same way (he is the wayward in our marriage). He couldn't care less. When we married, we became ONE. How is it bad for the relationship when you are confirming the safety of yourself?
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Playing defense is the wrong way to go.
As opposed to what?


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Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Hey all. Re: snooping, we're just going to agree to disagree. As a former "snooping addict" I am MUCH happier not snooping. I would rather affair proof my marriage by being a husband only a fool would leave versus trying to police what my W is doing. In order to get there, though, I had to make peace with the fact that if she does it again, I'm gone and I don't look back. I take comfort from that versus reviewing her phone bill. Maybe I'm being naive, but if she's out courting affairs it's because I'm not meeting her needs and not making enough love bank deposits. Trying to build a fence around her with snooping isn't going to fix that.

We can go back and forth on this all day, I've read the arguments on both sides, and for ME, I'd rather go on the offense by filling the love bank rather than go on defense by spying.

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BWS71,

Great stuff! Thank you for reading my sitch, I think you've summarized where I stand nicely.

Originally Posted by BWS71
Yet you understand her to be unwilling to do the things that make you feel loved and cared for, the things that create and maintain your romantic connection to her as your wife. As far as you can tell she simply wants to be accepted and appreciated �as is.�

Well, she certainly wouldn't describe it as "unwilling", she describes herself as "incapable", or "I'm just not wired that way". I believe it to be unwillingness, because I believe she IS capable if she were motivated. Yes, she says she simply wants to be accepted and appreciated "as is", and that it makes her feel badly that "as she is" is not good enough to meet my needs. (Which makes me feel like the bad guy)

Originally Posted by BWS71
Your current understanding of why your wife refuses to do the things you�ve asked is they are essentially unpleasant for her. She doesn�t like to express admiration, she doesn�t like physical affection much and she doesn�t enjoy sex. She�s willing to engage in these activities for your benefit, but not with much true passion or enthusiasm.

YES, although just to clarify, she's willing to engage in sex for my benefit, but not expressing admiration or physical affection.

Yes, I agree this is a challenging situation. "His Needs Her Needs" specifically was written from the perspective of husbands and wives who are willing to work together to improve their marriage. That doesn't work well for the spouse who wants to be accepted "as is".

Originally Posted by BWS71
?? - Has your wife always been so uninterested in the things that matter most to you? (Admiration/Sexual Fulfillment/Affection)

As covered in "His Needs, Her Needs", she did engage in recreational companionship with me before we got married, but over the next 15 years gradually dropped all of them.

She was certainly much more affectionate while we were dating and after we were married, but that pretty much tailed off after we had kids.

Sexually I was satisfied with our relationship before kids, but after that it got less passionate and less frequent until we were in a marriage that would be characterized as "Sex Starved" my Michelle Weiner Davis' definition. Sex Starved does not mean that you don't have sex, it just means that your desire gap is great enough that it causes the higher desire partner to be resentful and to withdraw.

I believe that was the root of our undoing -- I got very resentful about my W's lack of interest in sex and took it very personally. As a result, I withdrew emotionally and stopped spending "UA" time with her. You know how that cycle goes, and I do too, it leads you apart. I believe the difference is that I more or less accepted the marriage as it was and was able to be happy within it because I really didn't need much. I thought my W had accepted it too, but she was far more unhappy than she let on. Instead of discussing it with me, she started shopping for affair partners. I understand why people do that, and I've forgiven her for it.

When we started to reconcile, I viewed it as an opportunity to "push the reset button" and start a new marriage that was better than the last one. I really went on a marriage improvement quest to understand what it takes, and to get myself in a position to deliver. I've just been frustrated that she's not there with me, and really seems content to go back to how things were with just slightly more "UA", but not a ton.

Originally Posted by BWS71
If so I�m curious how she ever deposited enough in your love bank to cause you to fall in love with her. I struggle to imagine you married a woman who made it clear she was not going to meet your needs in marriage. I suppose it is possible.

I hope my write-up above cleared this up. She did not make it clear to me in advance that she wasn't going to meet my needs or I wouldn't have married her! At the time, she was meeting my needs.

Interesting thing about the love bank -- based on the affair, and her subsequent unwillingness to meet my needs, you'd think my love bank would have a negative balance by now. Why do I still feel in love with her?

Originally Posted by BWS71
?? - If she used to be better at meeting your ENs, what happened? When and why did this change?

I think there are many factors at play here. I think we fell into many typical relationship problems that emerge over time, as you have children, etc. etc. Marriages probably follow a cycle of gradual decay. If you do 15 things for your spouse in year five, you may only do 14 of them in year six. The one thing may not be missed that much. By year fifteen you may no longer be doing any of them. It takes effort and commitment and for us those probably fell by the wayside.

The affair and divorce request were a crisis in our marriage, and crisis can motivate change. I certainly took it as a challenge to find a path to the best marriage I can have. I've seen the potential and I want it. For that reason, my EN's and my expectations are also higher than they were before.

In discussing the affair, my W presented her complaints and unmet EN's as justification for what she did. I have embraced them, and have made it my mission to satisfy them. By virtue of the investment, I have an increasing awareness of the fact that my own EN's are not being addressed. Maybe if I were contributing less I wouldn't care as much. Make sense?

Originally Posted by BWS71
It is possible there is a currently unseen reason for your wife�s attitude towards your unmet ENs. She may not know why herself. If there is a reason that could be discovered, understood and addressed, you may have something you can work with.

So, aside from simple ambivalence, why do you think your wife is unwilling to meet your ENs? What is keeping her from doing the things you ask?

I think there's a cocktail of reasons behind this. I think we could probably find one or two that seem to fit perfectly and say "ah ha! that's it!". In reality, the causes are probably far more complicated and may be layered, which is to say that if one is alleviated, another may rise to take it's place, and getting to the bottom of all of them may not be practical, I don't know.

I know she generally feels unworthy, I know she struggles with some depression issues, I know she works very hard to keep it together. I know it's important to her not to need help from anyone. I know she was raised by a narcissistic mother.

She also says that she has accepted herself for who she is. She says that she is baseline unhappy, but she's accepted that about herself, and is therefore not willing to work on it. She says that she could go to therapy, for instance, but the pain of going through it isn't worth it to her to make things better.

Originally Posted by BWS71
1) Maybe she truly feels incapable of meeting your needs in the ways you�ve proposed. If she could do what you ask, she would. But she feels she simply is unable to do so.

I went to a good MC who picked up on this theme. He told me that she views meeting my needs like working in a rock quarry. Every day you show up, pick up your shovel, and shovel rocks from one pile to another. The whole time you are shoveling from pile A, there's a conveyor belt dropping more rocks on top. Therefore, no matter how hard you shovel, it really doesn't help, so you might as well go slow and do the minimum, because what's the point? I think she feels that if she meets my stated EN's, there will just be another set that will take their place, and she'll never be good enough. i.e. if I give you A, you're just then going to ask for B, C, and D. MC said this has more to do with her than with me, and that my needs aren't really inappropriate at all.

He said that this dynamic of feeling the EN's are insurmountable makes W feel "unsafe" in the relationship, because her contribution is never good enough, and that reinforces helplessness and feeling trapped. Therefore, his advice was drop expectations and work on acceptance.

Originally Posted by BWS71
2) Maybe rather than requests your wife is hearing complaints. She interprets your requests as essentially negative judgments against her. Ie �A good wife would do X� When interpreted in this way, she naturally resists fulfilling your needs out of duty. The motivator here is guilt, not love, and thus not very inspiring or durable.

Oh yeah, I'm hypersensitive to that. I don't complain, and I don't ever say things like "a good wife would do X". She does tend to hear everything as a complaint however. When I'm not commenting an anything she'll invent complaints, assign them to me, and then get upset about it. i.e. she invents things I might be upset about. A couple weeks ago we met at the movie theater and were driving home after the movie in separate cars. When I got home, she said that I was very upset with her and thought she was a terrible driver. I had no idea what she was talking about, and she explained that I had been following too close, which obviously meant that I was frustrated with her driving. I know I was 3-4 car lengths back in a 30 mph zone all the time, so I have no idea what she was talking about.

If I compliment her on anything, she tends to interpret that as a veiled complaint. If I compliment a meal she made, she'll interpret that to mean that I think all her other meals are bad.

Originally Posted by BWS71
3) Maybe your wife is not in love with you.

I believe that's it, although she says otherwise.

Originally Posted by BWS71
4) Maybe your wife does not value your ENs as being worthy or important.

That's not it.

Originally Posted by BWS71
What do you think? What is your best answer to that question?

I think she "loves me" like you would love a sibling, I do not feel that she's "in love" with me in a passionate sense, because if she were, she'd be motivated.

Dr. Harley proposes that keeping the love bank deposits coming can build that "romantic love", but I question that hypothesis. I believe the love bank deposits can prevent the love from eroding, but I'm not convinced that they can create passionate love where none exists.

I'm hopeful that the coach can convince me otherwise.

My W is happy to stay in the marriage "as-is", she's not complaining about anything, other than the fact that I'm not happy and that she's not meeting my needs.

Accuray



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