Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I guess one reason that I might be hyper-sensitive to assuming everything is a criticism is because there is no balance. If she countered it with anything positive(there is virtually nothing) it might not bother me so much.

A husband typically feels that his wife's complaints are endless. They aren't, but he typically feels that way. If she is not careful about the way she presents her complaints (and your wife is not), then it can be very demotivating.

But her complaints are not endless. Eventually when they are addressed, it no longer feels like she is finding fault all the time.

It sounds to me like you are doing very well, actually. Just sitting in one of those demotivational points. Why? Because your wife was disrespectful, which is very demotivating.

The fact that meeting her ENs or just positive things in general don't have any confirmation it seems that everything is a screw up.

The problem is that there is a long delay in the feedback. Crossing the romantic love threshold (say, from 599 to 600) is SUDDEN and DRAMATIC, according to Dr. Harley. But crossing other lower points doesn't present any feedback, even if you are going from 130 to 590. You might take a gigantic step, and be almost at the goal, and yet see no feedback at all.

However, us onlookers can watch, and mention that you seem to be doing well. And you do. It sounds to me like you are working your plan, making the deposits she allows, tackling her complaints one by one, and learning to not respond to her disrespect with disrespect of your own. Which is fantastic!

Dr H talks about it being much easier to change a behavior that bothers someone that it is to change a reaction to a behavior. Is that different in my case? What you are saying is that I need to change my reaction to something she tells me, not her changing the way she tells me something.

No, I don't think so.

Don't change your FEELINGS. But make sure that your RESPONSE (or "reaction") is not disrespectful.

Trying to change your feelings is a recipe for resentment, if I understand Dr. Harley correctly. But you can change your habits. For example, your new habit of not stooping to disrespect even if she is disrespectful.

She needs to change her disrespect. As you indicated, she is disrespectful in her tone. But she is not motivated to do that right now. My only two suggestions are: see how motivated she is after she is in love, and/or write Dr. Harley again and put this as a question to him on the air.

By the way, poor choice of words about being "put in a place where I can't win." I don't want to win,

Ideally we're all looking for win-win scenarios. Her disrespect is a loss for you.

What I meant was that, the moment she asked the question I felt put in a place where conflict was inevitable and there is no answer or reaction that I could give to stop it.

When that happens, the best strategy is probably "shut up!!!" smile At the very least, take the time to calm yourself before responding. Then try to respond to her complaint, not her disrespect.

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