One of the most genius insights from Harley for me is his assertion that in order for the wife (in your and my case) who needs admiration to get what she craves from her husband she must do things her husband admires and avoid doing things he doesnt admire. When I read this, I knew Harleys approach could work for my wife and I. Most other marriage strengthening books Ive read suggest building a tolerance for your spouses failures. Harley hits it on the head when he says, No. In order to be truly be admired and respected and valued by your husband, you need to DO the things he admires, respects and values. So true. Our spouses crave our love not our tolerance.

So dont mistake the message of my previous post the very achievable end goal is for your wife to behave in ways you truly admire. Im not suggesting anything less. All Im doing is telling you how you can best persuade your wife to change, how you can do your part to best create an environment that encourages change (instead of discouraging it.) What youre doing now is not working. With your current approach neither of you are likely to get what you want.

Knowing your wifes top emotional need gives you huge power! Now, instead of feeding the plant poison and expecting it to grow, you can give your wife the unique type of sunshine she craves. You can also feel more motivated to avoid the behaviors that are particularly toxic to her, knowing her sensitivity and elevating her emotional needs to the same level of importance as yours. Youre not a helpless victim of your wifes neglect. You have the keys to success. You have the ability to change this dysfunctional dynamic and break the impasse you currently find yourself in.

If you could feel what it is like for your wife to 1) go without your admiration and worse 2) feel judged you would act differently. But, of course, we cant feel what our spouses feel. We only feel what we feel.

So heres your game plan

1) Completely avoid AOs never again. You wouldnt hit your wife. You should be equally averse to verbally abusing her with AOs. Dont dismiss AOs as justified or innocuous again. Take up meditation or read a book on anger management. Take it seriously as seriously as you wish your wife would take meeting YOUR emotional needs.
2) Work on your DJs start to see your wifes job as something really important at least to her, and acknowledge that what matters to her is just as important as what matters to you even if it is different. Your world view is not superior to your wife's it is different.
3) Become an expert at meeting your wifes ENs. Lots of room for improvement here it sounds like. Getting your wife to fall back in love with you is your secret weapon =)
4) Make respectful requests for change and use the POJA. It can work, I promise.
5) Dont enable her negative behavior dont pick up her clothes, dont pick up her dishes. I dont mean be passive aggressive. I mean, if something causes resentment for you dont do it. You dont have to be angry about it. Just choose. Let some things go.

I believe in this program because it worked for my marriage which had some very similar issues. My wife has changed in ways I NEVER IMAGINED she would ways in which she probably never would have changed had I kept banging my head on the problem with the same broken response to her failure to meet my ENs. Once I got rid of the poison and started feeding the plant it grew. Dont be discouraged. You can do this but not by following your instincts.


PS why not try the POJA about the time your wife spends on her job? Read up on it make sure you follow all the steps. Be creative. Do not railroad. The end goal is mutual enthusiasm. You may not get there in one sitting. That's ok. This is important enough to take the time to get it right. Once you see real progress can be made, you'll be encouraged.

PPS - if you're not ready to be emotionally neutral for that conversation, try the POJA on something less sensitive. Becoming comfortable with the POJA is going to be worth your while.

Last edited by BWS71; 10/23/13 08:10 AM.