Thanks for the bump Sergeant! You made me smile. When I got to the very last post, after reading THE ENTIRE 18 PAGES, whew!, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you had thought of me. Thanks!

This was really good stuff to read. Some take-away points for me were (underlines are mine, what really stood out to me):
  • POJA, which is adopting the Buyer's strategy, which means you must consider both your interests -and- your partner's interests. [from Pepperband post of Harley quote]
  • Your Taker needs to be enthusiastic about every decision. [from Pepperband post of Harley quote]
  • A conflict avoider is emotionally dishonest. [from Pepperband post of Harley quote]
  • When we are together, we make sure we ... do things that are mutually agreeable to us. And when we are not together, we make sure we avoid any activity that would cause each other unhappiness. [from Pepperband post]
  • The goal of POJA is not to make anything happen or to solve all problems or even to find a way to do anything at all. The GOAL of POJA is to keep us in love with each other. [from Mark1952 post]
  • It's the same as changing the mindset about saving money rather than spending money. As long as you want to spend money, you will see saving and investment as a sacrifice which interferes with your immediate pleasure. But when you learn to enjoy having money work for you instead of your working for money, you will look forward to saving and investing, and see spending as a sacrifice that you must sometimes make. [from Retread post]

Even though there's an argumentative segment of this thread on sacrifice where one of the posters is asked to leave, the ideas tossed back and forth in that argument are good food for thought and helped me evolve my understanding of POJA.

I also liked your story about your cars (but was saddened to learn that you had to endure an affair frown I don't know if I could recover from that; I'd like to think I could, but I hope I never have to find out. I'm sorry you had to find out the hard way, and I admire you for being able to recover.)

There's a copy of post by Star*Fish earlier in this thread that talks about Givers and Takers and asks the question

The giver is all about love and concern and the taker is our selfish how can the giver be bad, or the taker be good?

It then follows with an explanation of how the giver can be be bad and the taker can be good which I found very enlightening. I'm more of a giver-dominant person, and I was particularly interested in how the giver can be bad. My therapist has been helping me with balancing my giver and taker; I used to believe that suppressing my taker was good because to do otherwise was selfish. She told me to think of it not as "selfishness," but as "self-advocacy." Redefining it this way has helped me with the giver/taker balance.

I think my giver-dominance was influenced by Christian education when I was growing up. I still go back and forth with this and am wondering if anyone has some insight. The Bible abounds with verses about humbling yourself, denying yourself, thinking of others more highly than yourself, etc., which seem to be in line with the giver-dominant personality trait. Yet I'm convinced by this thread that giver-dominance is destructive to a relationship. What's the correct way to align the idea that the giver can be bad with the Christian principle of self-denial?

Thanks again for the bump, Pepperband. As a result I ordered three Dr. Harley books earlier today:
  • Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders (how could I not?)
  • Effective Marriage Counseling (because of what Markos and Melody had to say about it)
  • His Needs, Her Needs for Parents (so that my order would be over $25 and I could get free shipping with Amazon; now my girlfriend and I will both have a copy and we can read it together!)