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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by markos
I finally found my notes about categories of disrespectful judgments. They are not as organized as I'd like, but here they are:

sarcasm
criticism
judgment: stating that their perspective is wrong
"should"
lecturing/attempting to educate
gestures, facial expressions? body language?
http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2531712#Post2531712
expressing surprise or shock at an opinion or feeling or belief

guilting, shaming
hyperbolizing
always/never
exaggerated words
scolding
name-calling, labelling
saying or doing something you know your spouse identifies as disrespectful

attributing motivations
blaming, fault-finding
expecting them to read your mind


I statements help, but are not an excuse for a disrespectful judgment:
I feel like (DJ)
I feel unloved.
I feel like you don't love me.

Tough ones in here. I read this list 3 times over and will review periodically.

Please let me know if you come up with any to add! Every so often I still come up with a new class of DJs I hadn't noticed before.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
She tested me last night for sure. We had a massage + xoxo date last night. Instead we stayed up later because she wanted to watch a show. I didn't show disappointment at her saying that she no longer wanted to do massages. She then snuggled up with me in bed and told me she loved me and that was our "moment." Historically I would pout or toss a DJ her way but as a brave knight I passed the test. There will surely be more to come and I'll be prepared.

I think you did great. Since you (like me) have a history of not keeping your cool about things like this, she probably feels really ansy about it. But you keep calm, you remained affectionate. Pour it on!

For the record, Dr. Harley is a big advocate of cuddling in bed before you go to sleep, and when you wake up.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Agreed. I would NEVER bring this up, but I will take my own notes to be prepared so that I don't wreck my streak. Wrecking my streak is like resetting the LB back to zero, can I get an AMEN on that?

Yes!


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Hill .. you GET it and you did awesome in keeping your cool and being the laid back, no big deal, kinda guy that your wife probably needs you to be..

I applaud you! hurray

MY writing style in regards to what I said earlier was more "guy" talk ... take what you want from it. I also get it that the ladies would be offended by what I said. I kinda expected that. So I apologize for my abrasiveness.

I also agree that all relationships are different and that the romance doesn't have to dissolve for 2 of the 4 weeks of the month too .. I was simply noting the patterns of when my wife is more irritated than other times and usually my response to her when i don't give her grace, for those times, creates that tension .. and it MOST OFTEN happens during that pre menstral week. There is nothing wrong with her, its normal. OF COURSE its not going to be like that for every woman ALL the time .. I never said that.

Hill ...if you were offended by my style of interpretation of the emotional patterns in a large portion of women (notice i didnt say ALL cause that would be false). You have my apologies. I am just trying to be real with you here and not sugar coat it. It must be difficult when your wife is not on board with MB and it probably triggers some tension when its brought up.

Your doing great and keeping your DJs at bay. One day at a time. Its not easy. Keep it up man! weightlifter

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Originally Posted by MrNiceGuy
Hill .. you GET it and you did awesome in keeping your cool and being the laid back, no big deal, kinda guy that your wife probably needs you to be..

I applaud you! hurray

MY writing style in regards to what I said earlier was more "guy" talk ... take what you want from it. I also get it that the ladies would be offended by what I said. I kinda expected that. So I apologize for my abrasiveness.

I also agree that all relationships are different and that the romance doesn't have to dissolve for 2 of the 4 weeks of the month too .. I was simply noting the patterns of when my wife is more irritated than other times and usually my response to her when i don't give her grace, for those times, creates that tension .. and it MOST OFTEN happens during that pre menstral week. There is nothing wrong with her, its normal. OF COURSE its not going to be like that for every woman ALL the time .. I never said that.

Hill ...if you were offended by my style of interpretation of the emotional patterns in a large portion of women (notice i didnt say ALL cause that would be false). You have my apologies. I am just trying to be real with you here and not sugar coat it. It must be difficult when your wife is not on board with MB and it probably triggers some tension when its brought up.

Your doing great and keeping your DJs at bay. One day at a time. Its not easy. Keep it up man! weightlifter

MNG

I know how to read between the lines, its all good. I did however just have a frustrating moment. I wasn't disrespectful but I definitely showed disagreement in my face when my wife asked me to do something that I was not enthusiastic about doing. Historically, when she asks and I politely decline, she goes to DJs typically. She did that this time as well and I could tell she was irritated, but I didn't fall for it. She then came up with an alternative plan which I think definitely came with irritation, but not the kind she could point the finger at me for. I'm just irritated it happened is all and am venting.

Second thing I was irritated about was her critique of the handyman's work that I hired. Nothing goes without comment and this is no different and I stared at that guys face as she made a fuss about something he did and could see he felt exactly as I do when I do stuff around the house for her. I know, I know, it was important to HER, therefore she complained. I'm venting to you all because it is very difficult when you feel like there isn't anything you can do that is satisfactory. It comes with a complaint, every time and that is what I get a defeatist attitude about. Does that make sense?


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Yup ... makes total sense. You also mentioned a few pages back that her hormonal time is any day now .. possibly its a contributing factor to her annoyance of the handy mans abilities, where it may not have been so "harsh" if it was 2 weeks from now?

My wife will tell me that sometimes things just "get to her" during that time .. where if it was not that time, it wouldn't normally bother her. She often asks me now if that time is approaching (relys on the fact i keep track of it because she doesn't often recognize when it comes unitl she puts her foot in her mouth with her co-workers or something then asks me if she is reading into things wrong or asks my opinion on her attitude) so she can learn to recognize her change in behaviors and reactions towards things. She is much better now and far less abrasive than she used to be and more in tune with herself than she ever has been thanks to MB ... and this approach i talk about.

Give lots of grace ... and keep your own attitude in check .. make light of things as often as you can(where ever it fits appropriately). Find humor and fun in daily things and try to make your wife laugh often. "comic relief" geared towards your wifes humor if you can.

You did well Hill .. cant always be on top of your game 100% of the time .. and nothing wrong with showing a sign if discontent in a respectful way. Just don't let it linger and stir your emotions. Be consistantly emotionally stable even when your wife is not. This will help diffuse the DJs on your part. Which is so far so good!

Looking forward to hearing *day 5 no DJing!*

MNG


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Originally Posted by MrNiceGuy
Yup ... makes total sense. You also mentioned a few pages back that her hormonal time is any day now .. possibly its a contributing factor to her annoyance of the handy mans abilities, where it may not have been so "harsh" if it was 2 weeks from now?

My wife will tell me that sometimes things just "get to her" during that time .. where if it was not that time, it wouldn't normally bother her. She often asks me now if that time is approaching (relys on the fact i keep track of it because she doesn't often recognize when it comes unitl she puts her foot in her mouth with her co-workers or something then asks me if she is reading into things wrong or asks my opinion on her attitude) so she can learn to recognize her change in behaviors and reactions towards things. She is much better now and far less abrasive than she used to be and more in tune with herself than she ever has been thanks to MB ... and this approach i talk about.

Give lots of grace ... and keep your own attitude in check .. make light of things as often as you can(where ever it fits appropriately). Find humor and fun in daily things and try to make your wife laugh often. "comic relief" geared towards your wifes humor if you can.

You did well Hill .. cant always be on top of your game 100% of the time .. and nothing wrong with showing a sign if discontent in a respectful way. Just don't let it linger and stir your emotions. Be consistantly emotionally stable even when your wife is not. This will help diffuse the DJs on your part. Which is so far so good!

Looking forward to hearing *day 5 no DJing!*

MNG

Yep she never skipped a beat when I disagreed respectfully. My wife asks for things she wants and tells me when she doesn't like something. It makes perfect logical sense. At least to her. Like I mentioned before, I don't want to bother people, and I take the path of least resistance. What she asked of me I would never ask of her. I'm not a hero, I just would prefer to handle it myself I suppose.


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****This is Day 1 of the No-DJ Zone****

My wife had been disrespectful a few times yesterday throughout the day. She was otw home with kids from practice so I made it a point to get dinner going and tidy up the downstairs a bit. She had left out a Tupperware of chicken salad in the sink that had expired. I would have cleaned it out no problem but she didn't ask and I was rushing around getting dinner ready because I knew everyone would be coming home and be hungry. She walks in the kitchen and said, "I thought you would have been nice and cleaned that out for me." I didn't like the comment because to me it was disrespectful and implied that I wasn't nice for not cleaning it out. I replied back, "Well you sure didn't have to be rude about did you?"

And that was the streak-buster. We recovered quickly, but nevertheless I felt as if she was "pushing" me in my chest with her finger on several occasions as if to bait me if that makes sense. Perhaps this is the testing you refer to? The longer I go without a DJ is it possible the harder she tests me? Anyways I'm back to focusing today one day at a time. What I learned is that I need to calm myself and construct a reply. I can't just ignore all of her disrespect indefinitely. I need to let her know that it bothers me. The hesitation I have in doing so is that as you know my wife frequently suggests that "she didn't mean it that way" and even a respectful request can inflame the situation.


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Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good analysis of the situation and are motivated to keep moving forward.

Yes, your wife was disrespectful/demanding. Maybe subtly so, but yes, I agree she's demanding, and I think if the situation had been reversed she certainly would have perceived you as disrespectful or demanding. There's a subtle implication there that you "should" have done what she wanted.

One way to head this off at the pass sooner is to get her involved in your decision to skip it: "Honey, there's a tupperware in the sink that needs cleaning. I'm kind of rushing to make dinner and was going to skip cleaning it, but would you like it better if I delay dinner a bit and clean it?" Then you are more likely to get a decision she is enthusiastic about.

You can't ignore her disrespect indefinitely, but at this point she is not motivated to change it, and she is likely to be more motivated later on, after she is in love. I think Dr. Harley would suggest keeping the problem on the front burner (i.e., mentioning it once a week), but only if you can do it in a way that she finds respectful. It is possible that at the moment any mentioning of it is going to be perceived as disrespectful.

Whatever you do, I would NOT mention it in the heat of the moment! That's always going to be dangerous. If she were doing the MB program with you, you could put these things on worksheets and exchange them once a week.

What you might do once a week, rather than bringing up the specific incidents, is write her a note saying that sometimes you feel disrespected by the way she talks, and that you want to hear if she has any complaints, but that you would her to be willing to make sure the way she talks to you feels respectful to you. A suggestion/request, not a demand. Then if she has any questions or doesn't understand what she's doing that feels disrespectful, you can offer examples.

Right now I wouldn't expect a positive reaction to this; I would be prepared for a negative reaction. But it will get the problem in her mind so that down the road, when you have made more love bank deposits and she feels more motivated to change for you, she understands what you need from her.


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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Notice how the frustration you mentioned in your last post yesterday preceded your DJ last night. They may not appear to be directly related, but it's possible that the frustration earlier in the day made you more susceptible to becoming frustrated more quickly later on.


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 markos
Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good analysis of the situation and are motivated to keep moving forward.

Yes, your wife was disrespectful/demanding. Maybe subtly so, but yes, I agree she's demanding, and I think if the situation had been reversed she certainly would have perceived you as disrespectful or demanding. There's a subtle implication there that you "should" have done what she wanted.

One way to head this off at the pass sooner is to get her involved in your decision to skip it: "Honey, there's a tupperware in the sink that needs cleaning. I'm kind of rushing to make dinner and was going to skip cleaning it, but would you like it better if I delay dinner a bit and clean it?" Then you are more likely to get a decision she is enthusiastic about.

You can't ignore her disrespect indefinitely, but at this point she is not motivated to change it, and she is likely to be more motivated later on, after she is in love. I think Dr. Harley would suggest keeping the problem on the front burner (i.e., mentioning it once a week), but only if you can do it in a way that she finds respectful. It is possible that at the moment any mentioning of it is going to be perceived as disrespectful.

Whatever you do, I would NOT mention it in the heat of the moment! That's always going to be dangerous. If she were doing the MB program with you, you could put these things on worksheets and exchange them once a week.

What you might do once a week, rather than bringing up the specific incidents, is write her a note saying that sometimes you feel disrespected by the way she talks, and that you want to hear if she has any complaints, but that you would her to be willing to make sure the way she talks to you feels respectful to you. A suggestion/request, not a demand. Then if she has any questions or doesn't understand what she's doing that feels disrespectful, you can offer examples.

Right now I wouldn't expect a positive reaction to this; I would be prepared for a negative reaction. But it will get the problem in her mind so that down the road, when you have made more love bank deposits and she feels more motivated to change for you, she understands what you need from her.

Yeah I kind of got sucked into it as it "built" throughout the day. I let it suck me in and I'll be more prepared for it should it happen again.

One thing that might be unique in my situation that MrNiceGuy did bring up is that my wife may not be attracted to the "needy" guy who brings up problems all the time respectfully. In her mind she just wants me to not be so sensitive to a DJ. She doesn't respect sensitivity and she is admittedly not very sensitive herself in a way. She is NOT into Macho Guy Stuff, very different thing. I realize that she is not motivated to change because in her mind I supposed she wasn't disrespectful in the first place. The strategy would be intentionally ignoring her DJs to solicit a positive view of me by not being "sensitive" or "needy." In addition it would allow her to respect me a lot more than she does when I am needy. In retrospect ALL of my attempts to complain respectfully haven't really gained any traction over the last year, and each time I do she rarely respects my requests, she instead insists that I'm just taking things the wrong way. I'm not saying this a textbook MB strategy, but perhaps is a short lived alternative in my particular situation.


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i see from your signature that you have a toddler.
Is it possible that your wife has postpartum depression?
I ahve read that depression affects sex drive; but usually running fights depression too.

By the way, I used to race a half marathon once or twice a month until my wifes affair. I sometimes place in the age group. I love running.

Is your wifes running friend a "good" friend or a "toxic" friend?

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I'm glad you stuck up for yourself. I think you could have worded that a lot better though. You could have mentioned that you were not aware she wanted you to clean it out but if she will give you a heads up next time she wants something specifically done, give you a heads up and you will. If she gets snippy with you, that's okay. Don't react to it;you've made your point. Move on.

Or tell her that you were busy and hadn't had time to get to it but you will when you get finished with a,b,and c .


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Originally Posted by HDW
i see from your signature that you have a toddler.
Is it possible that your wife has postpartum depression?
I ahve read that depression affects sex drive; but usually running fights depression too.

By the way, I used to race a half marathon once or twice a month until my wifes affair. I sometimes place in the age group. I love running.

Is your wifes running friend a "good" friend or a "toxic" friend?

PP is possible although never diagnosed. Three kids is so much more than two and we are both stressed about it. I do think she is somewhat depressed which is why we make a strong effort to exercise and hire babysitters.

As for the SF thing, it is a lot of things. My past behavior, not wanting to use a condom(I'm getting a V later this month), not wanting to get messy, tired from a long day, etc. I figured none of that mattered when we were first married, so I figured it really has more to do with not crossing the threshold.

Friends are not toxic at all. I approve. All married, and when they run it is with headsets on listening to workout music, then home.


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Originally Posted by kilted_thrower
I'm glad you stuck up for yourself. I think you could have worded that a lot better though. You could have mentioned that you were not aware she wanted you to clean it out but if she will give you a heads up next time she wants something specifically done, give you a heads up and you will. If she gets snippy with you, that's okay. Don't react to it;you've made your point. Move on.

Or tell her that you were busy and hadn't had time to get to it but you will when you get finished with a,b,and c .

Yeah I wanted to reply respectfully but that comment left my mouth before I could reel it back in, uggggh! Today has been great so far.


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Hilltopper,
My wife said the very same thing about sex. She said she was "sensitive to latex" (so no condoms) and she wanted me to get a vasectomy.

I refused a vasectomy. And I'm glad I did because I'm getting divorced now.

But I know an older man that got one years ago and he said sex went up 100% after he got his because hsi wife didnt worry about being pregnant anymore.


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Originally Posted by HDW
Hilltopper,
My wife said the very same thing about sex. She said she was "sensitive to latex" (so no condoms) and she wanted me to get a vasectomy.

I refused a vasectomy. And I'm glad I did because I'm getting divorced now.

But I know an older man that got one years ago and he said sex went up 100% after he got his because hsi wife didnt worry about being pregnant anymore.

Yep, that is the biggest reason. I didn't get one before because I didn't feel it would change the amount of sex we'd have anyways. It was kind of a stand off. Now I do get some and I hate using condoms with a passion anyways. The goal is to eliminate the pregnancy issue among other things, make my wife fall in love, and then move the needle on SF to a level that is more in line with my current needs.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by markos
Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good analysis of the situation and are motivated to keep moving forward.

Yes, your wife was disrespectful/demanding. Maybe subtly so, but yes, I agree she's demanding, and I think if the situation had been reversed she certainly would have perceived you as disrespectful or demanding. There's a subtle implication there that you "should" have done what she wanted.

One way to head this off at the pass sooner is to get her involved in your decision to skip it: "Honey, there's a tupperware in the sink that needs cleaning. I'm kind of rushing to make dinner and was going to skip cleaning it, but would you like it better if I delay dinner a bit and clean it?" Then you are more likely to get a decision she is enthusiastic about.

You can't ignore her disrespect indefinitely, but at this point she is not motivated to change it, and she is likely to be more motivated later on, after she is in love. I think Dr. Harley would suggest keeping the problem on the front burner (i.e., mentioning it once a week), but only if you can do it in a way that she finds respectful. It is possible that at the moment any mentioning of it is going to be perceived as disrespectful.

Whatever you do, I would NOT mention it in the heat of the moment! That's always going to be dangerous. If she were doing the MB program with you, you could put these things on worksheets and exchange them once a week.

What you might do once a week, rather than bringing up the specific incidents, is write her a note saying that sometimes you feel disrespected by the way she talks, and that you want to hear if she has any complaints, but that you would her to be willing to make sure the way she talks to you feels respectful to you. A suggestion/request, not a demand. Then if she has any questions or doesn't understand what she's doing that feels disrespectful, you can offer examples.

Right now I wouldn't expect a positive reaction to this; I would be prepared for a negative reaction. But it will get the problem in her mind so that down the road, when you have made more love bank deposits and she feels more motivated to change for you, she understands what you need from her.

Yeah I kind of got sucked into it as it "built" throughout the day. I let it suck me in and I'll be more prepared for it should it happen again.

One thing that might be unique in my situation that MrNiceGuy did bring up is that my wife may not be attracted to the "needy" guy who brings up problems all the time respectfully. In her mind she just wants me to not be so sensitive to a DJ. She doesn't respect sensitivity and she is admittedly not very sensitive herself in a way. She is NOT into Macho Guy Stuff, very different thing. I realize that she is not motivated to change because in her mind I supposed she wasn't disrespectful in the first place. The strategy would be intentionally ignoring her DJs to solicit a positive view of me by not being "sensitive" or "needy." In addition it would allow her to respect me a lot more than she does when I am needy. In retrospect ALL of my attempts to complain respectfully haven't really gained any traction over the last year, and each time I do she rarely respects my requests, she instead insists that I'm just taking things the wrong way. I'm not saying this a textbook MB strategy, but perhaps is a short lived alternative in my particular situation.

Well, I ran my suggestions by Prisca just now and she said she probably would've reacted badly to them! So it sounds like what you are proposing is probably a better approach. Complaints are a love bank withdrawal, and ultimately they need to happen, but at this point the complaints have already been made and she has chosen not to act on them, so there's really not a lot that can be done other than win her back. Don't forget this article from Dr. Harley I've posted before (it came up in my discussion with Prisca). Coincidentally, it's about washing dishes. smile

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5067b_qa.html

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.

Your wife might then respond to your abuse with more abuse. It may be a selfish demand, it may be a disrespectful judgment, or it may be an angry outburst. That will escalate negativity even more. Then you respond with more abuse, she responds again, and on and on. Every argument is abusive, and whenever you argue or fight, think to yourself, "we are being abusive to each other. I must somehow stop this cycle of abuse."

Sounds like Dr. Harley would condone the practice of ignoring the abuse on her side, for now.


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.
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Hill ... im sorry man that things turned out not so good. HOwever .. you determined already that your wifes horomones could be shifting any day now. NOW is the time for you to be consistant with your self control and allowing plenty of room for grace. (especially since your wife is not a MBer)


Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
One thing that might be unique in my situation that MrNiceGuy did bring up is that my wife may not be attracted to the "needy" guy who brings up problems all the time respectfully.


NO Woman is attracted to the "needy guy" .. ever. It places your happiness on her which pressures her on top of her already busy life. You have to be happy with yourself (consistantly) before your wife will be attracted to you regardless of HER emotional state.

You need to become magnetic and confident to her.

You see (and i have tested this with my wife) ALOT of women (notice i didnt say all women) are not attracted to a man who tells them how great they are all the time (some yes, not all though), talks about his feelings for them and agrees with everything they say (they say they want this but after a while they really dont). In fact they are usually repelled by this behavior because it is SUBMISSIVE! They are attracted to a man who is the center of his reality and has the balls to speak his mind. He doesn't feed into her emotional states. INSTEAD you flip the game with humor and tension so that she feeds into YOUR reality. How?

So many do it wrong (heck i have been doing it wrong for a long time until recently) .. it becomes insulting to the woman and then you come off as an A$$. The trick is to do it in a way that she cant help but laugh. Turn it into a flirt. Tongue in cheek style. Tease and entice, not insult or be arrogant!

Example:

HER: Can you put this in the trash for me?

Old You: Oh, of course! Do you need anything else?
New You: No! Haha just kidding. Sure I can, but what's in it for me? stickout

Be Playful about it! Poke her. Throw paperclips at her head and when she looks your way, whistle like it wasn't you. Twirl her around and dip her ballroom dance style. Tickle her. Steal something from her and get her to wrestle you for it. Give her a piggy-back ride and run at full speed while humming the Jedi theme to Star Wars! ANYTHING ... just have fun make her feel alive again! We always hear how our wives want and love to be swept off their feet, but few of us have the intuition to take this literally or we get so caught up in life and have forgotten how to have fun. It's okay to smile and be a goof sometimes!

You ask if your wife is testing you? OF COURSE SHE IS. Especially if your attitude is changing from the norm ... your wife might want to see if its for real. She wants to FEEL your changes as permanent so she may push your buttons to see where the new ones are. If you RARELY falter in your emotional state (keeping it from being negative) she will eventually give up doing these tests because you will be stimulating in other ways!

OK I have typed alot and may end up eating some crow for some of it lol ... and am going off on a rampage here. I think you get the point. Lighten up! Dont let trivial things become world disasters. (this is where confidence and rolling with the punches comes in handy). The pendulum will swing back in your favor..


"You have to FREE YOUR MIND" ~ Morpheus

MNG

Edit to add an example.

Last edited by MrNiceGuy; 07/11/12 11:17 AM.
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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by markos
Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good analysis of the situation and are motivated to keep moving forward.

Yes, your wife was disrespectful/demanding. Maybe subtly so, but yes, I agree she's demanding, and I think if the situation had been reversed she certainly would have perceived you as disrespectful or demanding. There's a subtle implication there that you "should" have done what she wanted.

One way to head this off at the pass sooner is to get her involved in your decision to skip it: "Honey, there's a tupperware in the sink that needs cleaning. I'm kind of rushing to make dinner and was going to skip cleaning it, but would you like it better if I delay dinner a bit and clean it?" Then you are more likely to get a decision she is enthusiastic about.

You can't ignore her disrespect indefinitely, but at this point she is not motivated to change it, and she is likely to be more motivated later on, after she is in love. I think Dr. Harley would suggest keeping the problem on the front burner (i.e., mentioning it once a week), but only if you can do it in a way that she finds respectful. It is possible that at the moment any mentioning of it is going to be perceived as disrespectful.

Whatever you do, I would NOT mention it in the heat of the moment! That's always going to be dangerous. If she were doing the MB program with you, you could put these things on worksheets and exchange them once a week.

What you might do once a week, rather than bringing up the specific incidents, is write her a note saying that sometimes you feel disrespected by the way she talks, and that you want to hear if she has any complaints, but that you would her to be willing to make sure the way she talks to you feels respectful to you. A suggestion/request, not a demand. Then if she has any questions or doesn't understand what she's doing that feels disrespectful, you can offer examples.

Right now I wouldn't expect a positive reaction to this; I would be prepared for a negative reaction. But it will get the problem in her mind so that down the road, when you have made more love bank deposits and she feels more motivated to change for you, she understands what you need from her.

Yeah I kind of got sucked into it as it "built" throughout the day. I let it suck me in and I'll be more prepared for it should it happen again.

One thing that might be unique in my situation that MrNiceGuy did bring up is that my wife may not be attracted to the "needy" guy who brings up problems all the time respectfully. In her mind she just wants me to not be so sensitive to a DJ. She doesn't respect sensitivity and she is admittedly not very sensitive herself in a way. She is NOT into Macho Guy Stuff, very different thing. I realize that she is not motivated to change because in her mind I supposed she wasn't disrespectful in the first place. The strategy would be intentionally ignoring her DJs to solicit a positive view of me by not being "sensitive" or "needy." In addition it would allow her to respect me a lot more than she does when I am needy. In retrospect ALL of my attempts to complain respectfully haven't really gained any traction over the last year, and each time I do she rarely respects my requests, she instead insists that I'm just taking things the wrong way. I'm not saying this a textbook MB strategy, but perhaps is a short lived alternative in my particular situation.

Well, I ran my suggestions by Prisca just now and she said she probably would've reacted badly to them! So it sounds like what you are proposing is probably a better approach. Complaints are a love bank withdrawal, and ultimately they need to happen, but at this point the complaints have already been made and she has chosen not to act on them, so there's really not a lot that can be done other than win her back. Don't forget this article from Dr. Harley I've posted before (it came up in my discussion with Prisca). Coincidentally, it's about washing dishes. smile

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5067b_qa.html

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.

Your wife might then respond to your abuse with more abuse. It may be a selfish demand, it may be a disrespectful judgment, or it may be an angry outburst. That will escalate negativity even more. Then you respond with more abuse, she responds again, and on and on. Every argument is abusive, and whenever you argue or fight, think to yourself, "we are being abusive to each other. I must somehow stop this cycle of abuse."

Sounds like Dr. Harley would condone the practice of ignoring the abuse on her side, for now.

Interesting, I was prepared for getting smacked up side the head for my theory. That article is right on the money though. That is exactly how things progress in my marriage. She doesn't mean anything by it so I'll translate for the time being while I win her back. I guess I have such an issue with someone telling me to do something that they themselves do. It is really an insignificant issue, just a Tupperware dish in the sink, but to me it represents a whole slew of things:

1. I don't like being spoken to disrespectfully.
2. I don't like being referred to as the opposite of nice for not doing a dish that she apparently didn't have time for either(hypocritical?)
3. I don't like that the hard work to make coming home a relaxing fun environment with dinner, clean house, and music goes ignored.

Its almost like complaining is like breathing. She doesn't dislike me for not doing the dish she left out. She dislikes me only when I become disrespectful back to her.

Here is the main difference between my wife me. When she is disrespectful she frequently doesn't know that she is or didn't mean to be. When I'm disrespectful I know EXACTLY what I mean and how it will be received.


Married 15 years
12 y/o DD
10 y/o DS
6 y/o DD
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