Originally Posted by Accuray
Our MC told me that some of her behavior is "crazy making" and I can't own it.

I'm sorry, but this is terrible advice, and I think your marriage counselor was terrible. This was a very disrespectful thing for your marriage counselor to say about your wife. Some people here said very similar things about my wife when I first got here. They were the kind of people who absorbed a bunch of junk from random marriage counselors and never figured out how to use the plan here to restore romantic love.

You can't restore romantic love by thinking disrespectful things about your wife. Her complaints are very real, and you are going to have to take them seriously. No, you don't "own" any decisions on her part to be disrespectful, demanding, or angry, but you will never save a marriage by analyzing who "owns" what. What sort of behavior did your marriage counselor say was "crazy making"? Probably there is a disrespectful judgment or selfish demand from your wife in there MIXED IN with a complaint that you need to isolate and address. Like this:


Originally Posted by Dr. Harley
In most marriages, abuse begins when a conflict is introduced. For example, your wife might say that you did not dry the dishes properly. That's a form of abuse, because she is making a disrespectful judgment about your dish drying behavior. For you, the drying was just fine, but for her it wasn't. What you have is a simple difference of opinion on the way dishes should be dried, and your wife should have said that she would prefer your drying them the way she wants them to be dried.

But even though she made an abusive remark, you can end the cycle of abuse before it begins if you don't accelerate negativity (that means, matching her abuse with abuse of your own). What you should do is ignore the abuse on her side, and in your own mind re-translate what she said to be "I would prefer it if you would dry the dishes this way, instead of the way you are drying them."

However, if you are offended by the comment she made, and most people are offended by abuse, then you will be very tempted to come back with, "fine, dry them yourself next time." That is abusive because it's a demand (you are telling her what to do). Or you might be tempted to say, "you don't dry them any better that I do." That's abusive because it's disrespectful (you are judging her dish washing behavior). Or you might be tempted to let her have it with, "What a stupid thing to say -- you sure are full of stupid comments today." That's an angry outburst because what you say is intended to punish her for the comment she made to you. As soon as you respond to your wife's abusive comment with an abusive comment of your own, you have created a cycle of abuse where you are both abusing each other.

In order to restore romantic love, you are going to need to isolate her complaints and address them. She's probably reluctant to give them at the moment.

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.