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This is Day 3 of the NO DJ Zone!


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Way to go, buddy! Keep up the good work!


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Originally Posted by bitbucket
Originally Posted by markos
I love Dr. Harley's "no unsolicited advice" policy. It's goof for all of life! smile

So is spellcheck...oops, that was unsolicited smile

BWAHAHA! smile


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
She frequently would tell me that I would present arguments as, "Well I'm sorry, but the facts are just the facts." It was as if to say, "Well I'm sorry you feel that way, but you'll have to stop feeling that way immediately because I've figured it all out myself for you so you don't have to."

Yep, the facts are just the facts, and can't you see the obvious truth? smile

We husbands are seriously bad about trying to control our wives feelings. We are SCARED TO DEATH of those feelings and the damage they might do, it makes us nervous and anxious, and we have an immediate fight or flight response, don't we?

If a typical man had written Marriage Builders, the entire program would be one short pamphlet addressed to wives saying "Stop feeling that way."

Instead, Dr. Harley wrote Marriage Builders to men saying "Listen to your wife's complaints, and act on them. You'll be a better person for it and make better decisions in life, she'll be more happier than you can possibly imagine, she'll make you more happy than you can possibly imagine. So listen to her complaints. Even if she hasn't figured out how to express them respectfully, yet."


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Originally Posted by markos
If a typical man had written Marriage Builders, the entire program would be one short pamphlet addressed to wives saying "Stop feeling that way."


[sarcasm]
I thought that WAS the answer! ? :P
[/sarcasm]

On a side note, thats great Hill! Hope to see day 10 of no DJing! smile


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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
She frequently would tell me that I would present arguments as, "Well I'm sorry, but the facts are just the facts." It was as if to say, "Well I'm sorry you feel that way, but you'll have to stop feeling that way immediately because I've figured it all out myself for you so you don't have to."

Yep, the facts are just the facts, and can't you see the obvious truth? smile

We husbands are seriously bad about trying to control our wives feelings. We are SCARED TO DEATH of those feelings and the damage they might do, it makes us nervous and anxious, and we have an immediate fight or flight response, don't we?

If a typical man had written Marriage Builders, the entire program would be one short pamphlet addressed to wives saying "Stop feeling that way."

Instead, Dr. Harley wrote Marriage Builders to men saying "Listen to your wife's complaints, and act on them. You'll be a better person for it and make better decisions in life, she'll be more happier than you can possibly imagine, she'll make you more happy than you can possibly imagine. So listen to her complaints. Even if she hasn't figured out how to express them respectfully, yet."

I believe in all of this, but it is still overwhelming. My wife complains a lot and she is showing no sign of slowing down. Normally Dr H would advise her, if she was a MB student, to only complain about the top 3 things that bother her. I couldn't possibly field every single complaint and address them all without my head exploding. What I am doing is listening and trying to comprehend what she means. Sometimes a complaint is really just my wife venting. She really doesn't want me to "do" or "not do" anything, she is just needing a partner that she can vent to. In fact I've explained this better myself when I need to vent. In my experience venting sometimes can be taken as a DJ by your spouse unless otherwise explained. In fact, now that I think about it, most of my wife's complaints have nothing to do with me, geez why didn't I figure that out before? I've felt attacked for years and I don't need to. I need to take each comment, analyze it, and react accordingly. In fact if I can continue to eliminate DJs while becoming my wife's #1 shoulder to cry on/vent on I think there is an excellent chance she'll cross that threshold.


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Venting?


Hmmmm...


I get the idea, but I don't know how "venting" fits into MB?


What comes to mind from my time here; a particular poster who liked to vent and/or "brain dump" to her husband, which he did not enjoy. She was advised by her phone coach to stop venting about her work day to her (B)H.


The mention that uncontrolled emotional outbursts (not just angry, mind you, but even tearful ones) with your spouse is not conducive to being a pleasant companion.


Allowing her to constantly "vent" is going to drain her LB$ account with you - it's a win/lose situation, sir.

Last edited by HoldHerHand; 07/14/12 09:32 AM.

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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
Venting?


Hmmmm...


I get the idea, but I don't know how "venting" fits into MB?


What comes to mind from my time here; a particular poster who liked to vent and/or "brain dump" to her husband, which he did not enjoy. She was advised by her phone coach to stop venting about her work day to her (B)H.


The mention that uncontrolled emotional outbursts (not just angry, mind you, but even tearful ones) with your spouse is not conducive to being a pleasant companion.


Allowing her to constantly "vent" is going to drain her LB$ account with you - it's a win/lose situation, sir.

I hear you and yes it could be a drag to be around someone that is constantly dumping on me. I think it really depends on if it bothers me or not. My wife is definitely never angry when she vents(if that is the appropriate terminology). I'll monitor how I feel when she does this today and next week and see how it goes. Point taken.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I believe in all of this, but it is still overwhelming. My wife complains a lot and she is showing no sign of slowing down. Normally Dr H would advise her, if she was a MB student, to only complain about the top 3 things that bother her. I couldn't possibly field every single complaint and address them all without my head exploding.

Yep. So you gotta just do the best you can and not SD/DJ/AO if she decides to become disrespectful over an (as yet) unaddressed complaint. As the problem pile grows smaller, this problem will get better.

Some complaints will go straight to your list of "incubating" problems. The ones that you are sitting on while brainstorming solutions. Sometimes she will even join you in brainstorming solutions. Sometimes you'll be able to just up and solve a problem she told you about two weeks ago, and she'll be thrilled, and you'll be the hero. Sometimes, you'll come back to her with an idea: "How would you feel about ... ?"

Throughout it all, you'll be doing what Dr. Harley says: becoming a part of the solutions to her problems, instead of somebody she blames for them.

At the seminar and on the radio, Dr. Harley talks about there being three areas that have to be good to have a good marriage. One is emotional needs (HNHN), one is love busters, and one is a compatible lifestyle that both enjoy (negotiation). I think there's some of us where the main problems are that third area of unnegotiated problems rather than love busters and meeting emotional needs. The unhappy lifestyle full of problems makes one or both spouses depressed, the love busters prevent solutions to problems, but once the love busters are gone and the problems are solved, romance can return.

Quote
What I am doing is listening and trying to comprehend what she means. Sometimes a complaint is really just my wife venting. She really doesn't want me to "do" or "not do" anything, she is just needing a partner that she can vent to. In fact I've explained this better myself when I need to vent. In my experience venting sometimes can be taken as a DJ by your spouse unless otherwise explained.

Yes, and it can be quite scary to a problem solving man to have a completely non-problem-solving conversation. But it can be quite fulfilling to her! Sometimes she just needs someone to talk to.

I was struck by a comment Dr. H made on the radio: if she were in an affair, she would be talking to her affair partner about the problems in her life. Take away message for me: if I wanted her to be in love with me, I had to engage in talk with her about the problems she saw in life, even if it scared me.

Quote
In fact, now that I think about it, most of my wife's complaints have nothing to do with me, geez why didn't I figure that out before? I've felt attacked for years and I don't need to.

This sounds pretty common from posts I've seen on Dr. Harley's private forum. We husbands want to provide an enjoyable lifestyle, and any indication that it's not enjoyable we take as a personal request to fix it, and if we're put in a situation where we can't fix it we take it as disrespectful. When really that may not be what she was saying at all. smile

Quote
I need to take each comment, analyze it, and react accordingly. In fact if I can continue to eliminate DJs while becoming my wife's #1 shoulder to cry on/vent on I think there is an excellent chance she'll cross that threshold.

Yes!

Is this day 4?


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Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
Venting?


Hmmmm...


I get the idea, but I don't know how "venting" fits into MB?

You're right; it doesn't. But she is not on board with MB right now.

She'll feel a lot less like venting down the road.


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Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I believe in all of this, but it is still overwhelming. My wife complains a lot and she is showing no sign of slowing down. Normally Dr H would advise her, if she was a MB student, to only complain about the top 3 things that bother her. I couldn't possibly field every single complaint and address them all without my head exploding.

Yep. So you gotta just do the best you can and not SD/DJ/AO if she decides to become disrespectful over an (as yet) unaddressed complaint. As the problem pile grows smaller, this problem will get better.

Some complaints will go straight to your list of "incubating" problems. The ones that you are sitting on while brainstorming solutions. Sometimes she will even join you in brainstorming solutions. Sometimes you'll be able to just up and solve a problem she told you about two weeks ago, and she'll be thrilled, and you'll be the hero. Sometimes, you'll come back to her with an idea: "How would you feel about ... ?"

Throughout it all, you'll be doing what Dr. Harley says: becoming a part of the solutions to her problems, instead of somebody she blames for them.

At the seminar and on the radio, Dr. Harley talks about there being three areas that have to be good to have a good marriage. One is emotional needs (HNHN), one is love busters, and one is a compatible lifestyle that both enjoy (negotiation). I think there's some of us where the main problems are that third area of unnegotiated problems rather than love busters and meeting emotional needs. The unhappy lifestyle full of problems makes one or both spouses depressed, the love busters prevent solutions to problems, but once the love busters are gone and the problems are solved, romance can return.

Quote
What I am doing is listening and trying to comprehend what she means. Sometimes a complaint is really just my wife venting. She really doesn't want me to "do" or "not do" anything, she is just needing a partner that she can vent to. In fact I've explained this better myself when I need to vent. In my experience venting sometimes can be taken as a DJ by your spouse unless otherwise explained.

Yes, and it can be quite scary to a problem solving man to have a completely non-problem-solving conversation. But it can be quite fulfilling to her! Sometimes she just needs someone to talk to.

I was struck by a comment Dr. H made on the radio: if she were in an affair, she would be talking to her affair partner about the problems in her life. Take away message for me: if I wanted her to be in love with me, I had to engage in talk with her about the problems she saw in life, even if it scared me.

Quote
In fact, now that I think about it, most of my wife's complaints have nothing to do with me, geez why didn't I figure that out before? I've felt attacked for years and I don't need to.

This sounds pretty common from posts I've seen on Dr. Harley's private forum. We husbands want to provide an enjoyable lifestyle, and any indication that it's not enjoyable we take as a personal request to fix it, and if we're put in a situation where we can't fix it we take it as disrespectful. When really that may not be what she was saying at all. smile

Quote
I need to take each comment, analyze it, and react accordingly. In fact if I can continue to eliminate DJs while becoming my wife's #1 shoulder to cry on/vent on I think there is an excellent chance she'll cross that threshold.

Yes!

Is this day 4?

Yes this is Day 4 of the No DJ Zone.

Excellent, excellent stuff here, quite a breakthrough in my mind. I think what you are saying is that as a problem solving guy I would take each comment or complaint as disrespectful based on the fact that I couldn't fix her problem? Do I have that right? Is it possible that if I am able to recognize the difference between my wife having a problem vs a complaint about me then I'll eliminate much of the conflict? If something around the house bothers my wife, I customarily take it as a direct criticism of me not having found out about it and fixed it without asking. These will be hard to recognize based on her frequent disrespectful tone or context. Secondly, the sheer number of "We need to...." sentences tends to stress me out sometimes, so whether it is a complaint or not sometimes doesn't matter. If I were to make a respectful request of my wife it would be to lower the total number of problem-related comments over a 24 hour period. Not sure how to do that without being disrespectful.


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Hm...what do you think about asking her to write them down instead? You could tell her that you want to address her complaints but are having trouble remembering all of them, so you thought a solution would be for either her or you to keep a list so that you can cross them off once they're done.

And then there's the side effect of seeing them written down--perhaps she is unaware of the number.

And crossing them off would help her see your efforts.

And writing down complaints that you can do nothing about *should* appear silly to her after a time. It would also encourage her to consider whether this is a write-it-down type of complaint, and having to think about that could curb her tendency to give voice to every irritant.

You'd have to be wary of using the list to mock her--you are to take her complaints seriously.


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Yes I agree.

Dr. Harley suggests for women to prioritize their complaints and to do a few at a time.



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Originally Posted by CWMI
Hm...what do you think about asking her to write them down instead? You could tell her that you want to address her complaints but are having trouble remembering all of them, so you thought a solution would be for either her or you to keep a list so that you can cross them off once they're done.

And then there's the side effect of seeing them written down--perhaps she is unaware of the number.

And crossing them off would help her see your efforts.

And writing down complaints that you can do nothing about *should* appear silly to her after a time. It would also encourage her to consider whether this is a write-it-down type of complaint, and having to think about that could curb her tendency to give voice to every irritant.

You'd have to be wary of using the list to mock her--you are to take her complaints seriously.

Its not so much a list of things that can be solved, it is a verbalization of anything that irritates her or stresses her out. There is also a tremendous amount of sighing and other kind of doom and gloom over things that she gets overwhelmed by. I guess I feel like I need to respond to them all and if I don't she says, "Uh huh," as if I'm ignoring her.


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Has she always been like that, or is it only after three kids and a less-than-satisfying marriage?

What are you doing to put some stress-relieving fun into the marriage? Ziplining? Swing dancing? Any physically active dates going on?


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Originally Posted by CWMI
Has she always been like that, or is it only after three kids and a less-than-satisfying marriage?

What are you doing to put some stress-relieving fun into the marriage? Ziplining? Swing dancing? Any physically active dates going on?

We have tons of fun together without the kids. Mostly nights out to dinner, shopping, book store, etc. Sometimes running, but not as much as we'd like. Overnight at the Four Seasons for our anniversary. Massages at least once per week. Today she has to drive down to a baby shower over an hour away with the two girls while I stay with the boy. Everything from picking the gift, to directions(I printed out for her), to the time it takes has been commented on. Lots of sighs and what I would describe as drama. To answer your question, yes she has always been like that, but it is significantly worse now with 3 kids. Marriage is as good as it has been in 5 years, but we have a long way to go. The 3rd child would be the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm just gonna continue to eliminate the DJs, be understanding when I can, be a problem solver when appropriate, etc. When she crosses the threshold I think the two of us will be awesome, but I do not see the doom and gloom with life's daily duties going away. I want her to view me as the only person that "get's her," and because of that I become her #1 companion to be with. The doom and gloom bothers me a lot more when my needs aren't being met. The traps I frequently fall into are when I'm feeling neglected. When I'm feeling neglected I tend to react to her doom and gloom by straightening her out. Huge mistake to do that and one I cannot afford to do if I want her to love me and be into me. I don't think the doom and gloom bothers me nearly as much when I feel that she is attending to me.


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BTW, when she reads the phrase "doom and gloom," she is likely to feel that it's disrespectful.

(I only just now noticed that!)


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Originally Posted by markos
BTW, when she reads the phrase "doom and gloom," she is likely to feel that it's disrespectful.

(I only just now noticed that!)

Yes aware of that. I guess I know she doesn't come here anymore but yes I should have picked a more appropriate phrase.


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Well, hopefully she'll be back some day. smile

Dr. Harley says if you keep a journal, be willing for her to see it all. Count this place as a journal.

Besides, being respectful all the time and learning to tell us about your problems in a way that is respectful to her is good practice. If you can't talk to us respectfully about the problems, you'll never be able to talk to her respectfully about them.


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My wife walked through the door and said, "Did you return that stuff on the counter from the store?" I didn't return the stuff from the store, because she did not ask me to return the stuff to the store. I felt criticized and/or attacked. To me the implications meant that I annoyed her for not seeing the bag and receipt and surmising that she wanted it done. Was I wrong to feel this way? Did I overreact?

I responded with a, "I really wish you could come home after a long day and kiss me on the cheek or ask me how my day was rather than the first words being a criticism of me." I had some attitude I suppose and she took big offense to it. It's hard to describe the reaction I get when this happens, but it is kind of along the lines of, "you're ridiculous for being offended by that." Does that make sense? So I took the bait and messed up and I'll once again finish the night with no disrespect. What I'm trying to figure out through bringing you these short stories is what she truly is telling me. I learned that if there is a dish in the sink and I have time to clean it then I will. I learned that if there is a bag with receipt and I have time that I'll return it. What I'm struggling with is my emotions. I felt offended, was it offensive?

I guess what I feel is an enormous sense of injustice. She didn't ask me to do something, then complained that I didn't figure it out. That isn't fair to me. Had she asked me to return it and I failed to do so then I would have no problem fielding the complaint you know? I get the same feeling when she blames someone for something when it wasn't there fault, or when she asks me to pick up my clothes from the floor even though she does the same thing. It all seems to center around truth, or justice, or hypocrisy? I'm not really sure, but there is a pattern that I need to break and a method I need to create when these things come up because I have an extremely hard time not letting my emotions stir when this happens. Specifically I'd like some you to address this whole obsession with this truth serum or whatever it is I have.


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