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Occasionally, a physically abused woman will come on MB looking for validation and/or help.

Most physical abuse begins with verbal and emotional abuse and controlling tendencies. I can certainly understand why Cat would be concerned.

That being said, I'm in agreement that when we state that MB won't work in cases of abuse or addiction, the statement should probably be modified to read 'physical abuse or addiction'.

I agree that POJA would be the way to go in this situation, but raising awareness of the early signs of potential physical abuse is not necessarily showing this person a disservice. I think that's up to her to decide.

One thing I did find is an excerpt from a letter by Dr. H to a client in reference to alcohol addiction: One of the first things I do when couples see me for counseling is to evaluate them for drug and alcohol addiction. If I feel that either is addicted at the time, I refer the addicted spouse to a treatment program. The Love Buster, drug or alcohol addiction, will prevent them from resolving their marital conflicts because it controls them. It must be eliminated before marital therapy has any hope of being successful.

And here is an excerpt from the "Why Women Leave Men" article that helps to substantiate the belief that Dr. H feels physical abuse is a justifiable reason to leave.

Surprisingly few women divorce because of physical abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, criminal behavior, fraud, or other serious grounds. In fact, I find myself bewildered by women in serious physical danger refusing to leave men that threaten their safety.

My own personal belief is that in cases of physical abuse, addiction, or untreated mental illness - those issues need to be dealt with first before MB concepts can be applied with any true hope of success, and Dr. H does state in one of his letters (I'm sorry - forgot which one) that sometimes when the issue is cleared up, there is a false sense that the marriage is then on track, when the actual marital therapy hasn't yet begun and has a long way to go. (My understanding and paraphrasing.)


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**edit**

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Originally Posted By: Soolee
Occasi
Most physical abuse begins with verbal and emotional abuse and controlling tendencies. I can certainly understand why Cat would be concerned.


Soollee, most women who engage in Independent Behavior call their husbands "controlling" and "insecure." That is a classic response. Dr Harley nowhere calls this "abusive" and NOWHERE tells clients that "MB won't work" in these cases. [you are right about physical assault and addiction but that is not the case here]

This board is for the use and implementation of MARRIAGE BUILDERS and it is the height of arrogance and unhelpfulness to tell newcomers that "MB won't work."

We need to stick to what Marriage Builders really says and not redefine "abuse" to include anything and everything. That is not fair to newcomers and i suspect that it is not what the Harley's had in mind when they set up and paid for this board.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Abuse is such a gray area, and the manipulating that can go on with emotional or verbal abuse, in the absence of physical abuse, can cause that person to lose so much self confidence that they become oppressed and/or depressed enough to stay until the situation does, indeed, become physical.

So, I think the possibility of the MB program working in a marriage where emotional and/or verbal abuse is present is going to depend on how far the marriage has eroded and the emotional health of the woman at that given time.

So, it's a viable concern here.

MB has the potential of working in many, many circumstances, but it's going to depend on that person's individual circumstances and willingness to actually use the program.


Sooly

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Melody, if you read my earlier response, I do state to the OP that her husband's concerns are justifiable. I do ask her what she has done to help assuage his concerns.

There are some cases where MB might not work in a given circumstance. Doesn't mean it can't be picked up later on and tried again when that circumstance has changed for the better. I think misleading can go in either direction.

It is important to understand that the members of this community are peers and not professionals. This is a meeting place of people whom have been in shoes similar if not the same as yours. Each member will share their own experience, perspective, and opinion about various topics. Please keep this in mind as you discuss issues with the members of the community.

Last edited by Soolee; 01/21/10 11:22 AM.

Sooly

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Originally Posted By: Soolee
Abuse is such a gray area, and the manipulating that can go on with emotional or verbal abuse, in the absence of physical abuse, can cause that person to lose so much self confidence that they become oppressed and/or depressed enough to stay until the situation does, indeed, become physical.


Soolee, its not a viable concern at all. The Marriage Builders program is set up for the PURPOSE of resolving lovebusters, ie: abusive strategies. Newcomers should not be told that MB doesn't work in those cases, because that is FALSE. That is the PURPOSE of Marriage Builders. That is what we are HERE FOR. catperson should not be telling newcomers that "MB doesnt work" because their husbands are 'controlling."

Now, if there is domestic assault or alcohol addiction going on, then other things have to happen first. But to lump "controlling" and "insecure" in the same bucket is nonsense and does not help newcomers. The Harleys pay alot of money to help these people and it is a grave disservice to run people off by classifying everything as "abuse" and telling newcomers that MB doesn't work. It most certainly DOES WORK.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Melody:

I'm not going to argue with you because I think you make a very good point. Suffice it to say that the terminology MB not working in cases of abuse/addiction is used very often here and is a common phrase used by many. Perhaps this needs to be examined and clarified on a separate thread where it will get due attention?

I understand what you're saying about the Harleys. Thank God for them, that's for sure. Nonetheless, this is a free forum by their choice, knowing full well that the opinions and experiences posted are going to vary. Their disclaimer pretty much tells it all.

Last edited by Soolee; 01/21/10 11:41 AM.

Sooly

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Originally Posted By: Soolee
Suffice it to say that the terminology MB not working in cases of abuse/addiction is used very often here and is a common phrase used by many. Perhaps this needs to be examined and clarified on a separate thread where it will get due attention?


Soolee, it has always been understood that the "abuse" referred to here means DOMESTIC ASSAULT. The MB program is designed to RESOLVE everything else. I suspect that many are misapplying that phrase if it is being misused in the manner it is being used here. That is a grave disservice to newcomers here if that is the case.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Soolee, it has always been understood that the "abuse" referred to here means DOMESTIC ASSAULT.

It has always been understood in this way by whom, Melody? Who are you speaking for?

Personally I'm in agreement that Dr. H probably is referring to domestic assault because in his letters discussing controlling spouses and angry outbursts, he discusses POJA being the way to go.

However, I feel it's remiss to assume that POJA is applicable in all controlling/angry relationships because repeated long-term control and anger can seriously damage a person's mental health to the point that even though there has been no physical assault, the victim is too emotionally damaged to pursue MBing without antidepressants and/or IC.

I think that if a person even feels their physical well being is being threatened, they need to put distance between themselves and that person. I highly doubt that anyone would advocate reserving caution for after an assault.


Sooly

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Originally Posted By: Soolee
I think that if a person even feels their physical well being is being threatened, they need to put distance between themselves and that person. I highly doubt that anyone would advocate reserving caution for after an assault.


Of course, and no one has said otherwise. But that is not the issue here. Feeling "controlled" is worlds away from domestic assault or feeling "their physical well being is being threatened." Do you discern the difference, Soolee? Because I get the impression from reading posts on this thread that some do not discern the difference.

For example, if my H punches me out that would qualify as domestic assault and MB would not "work" until this person got anger under control. But, if my husband does not like my friends and doesn't want me to hang with them, that is not "abuse", nor is it "dangerous." We don't have to call Bella Abzub to rescue us in the latter scenario, but should call 911 in the first. No one is debating that one needs to seek protection in the first scenario. But, to tell a newcomer that the latter is "abuse" and that "MB won't work" is false and inaccurate.

I DEFY you to show me ONE QUOTE where Dr Harley says "MB won't work" in the case of a "controlling" spouse. Show me where he has ever lumped everything into the same category as domestic assault and addiction and said that "MB won't work."

The issue here is a "controlling" and "insecure" spouse being labeled as "abusive" and then the OP being told that "MB doesn't work" in these situations. There is a huge difference between abuse that poses a risk of assault and "abuse" that is a garden variety lovebuster. Heck, the WORST abuse is ADULTERY and we most certainly don't tell people "MB doesn't work" in those situations. That is nonsense that cannot be supported by any of Dr Harleys works. There is NOWHERE that Dr Harley makes this claim.

Statements like this are misleading to newcomers and deter people who come here for help. This forum is for MARRIAGE BUILDERS, not an agenda that labels "controlling" as so abusive to be beyond the help of Marriage Builders.

Marriage Builders pays good money to maintain a forum to help people with their marriage problems and I don't think they should tolerate posters who try to mislead newcomers into believing that "MB wont' work." when we know darn good and well it WILL.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Ok so what can we do for this gal?
There is not an affair to deal with, just a communication problem that hurts them. He is jealous for no apparent reason,(that he is telling her anyway), and she feels that she cannot breathe.

We can suppose and guess till the cows come home of why this is happening but they really need to embrace MB principals first. Once that is done the answers will come for both of them.

Spend some time reading the links here that Dr H has posted and you will see how wise the program is.
It can completly change your marriage and is a foundation for life.

Once you are sold and if you can get your husband involved you both will be able to see what you are doing wrong. Marriage is work. You wont find another person that marriage wont be work with them too.

You guys need to fall back in love again and this site is dedicated to that. It will take introspection on both parts and will enrich your life but you have to be willing to use the concepts.

Can one person start the ball rolling in the right direction? Thats what we in the forum are here for. To support people who want to fight for thier marriage.

Ok so have you read the links yet? Have you looked at what Dr H has to say about building the marriage?
I suggest you do that and please tell us what you think


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Sorting...I just read the bottom of your screen, and I wanted to say hello and I'm sorry for your recent loss.

I'm not an expert when it comes to military marriages, but based on what I've gathered with searching for the links I provided here a while back, the divorce rate is extraordinarily high.

There have been some discussions here that in some pre-deployment phases, some soldiers may actually sabotage their relationships for a number reasons - fear of death and the emotional toll it would put on the State-side spouse - fear that their spouse will have a harder time moving on if still emotionally connected - fear of their own fidelity - the wayward mindset that since they may be going into combat and facing possible death, they don't want to have to worry about their fidelity. Some, mind you, not all.

I've often wondered what each branch of the service offers in terms of support to these soldiers and what more our government can do to try and keep these families together. I did manage to find some links, though I have no idea if this particular forum is visited often or if anyone has found them useful. That's why I asked the OP if she has done anything in that direction.

The reverberating effects of deployment/war are tremendous - leaving many children orphaned or products of broken homes due to the stress it places upon the families. And it doesn't stop with that generation. Growing up without a father or mother affects how you, yourself, will parent and maintain relationships. Whether we know a soldier personally or not, war affects us all in some way.

That being said, one of my greatest wishes is that Dr. H would do some specialized work just for military families - put a supplemental program together and work with the chaplains and counselors of each armed force, to try and strengthen military marriages and the unique problems that come with it.

The MB program as it stands should work even in military marriages, but I do believe there is this particular psychological change that comes over a pre-deployment soldier, and that perhaps in his expertise, Dr. H could unlock the answer. Soldiers also often come home with debilitating PTSD. I hope someday that Dr. H will address how this affects marriages. (Keeping in mind this is a big forum, and perhaps it's already tucked in among the many articles and I just haven't found it yet.)

To Melody:

I want to apologize to you if yesterday I upset you in any way. It was not my intention. To answer your question, yes of course, I can discern the difference between domestic assault or not.

I can also appreciate your concern that the word 'abuse' is in fact, abused here.

You've been here quite a bit longer than a lot of people, so I have no doubt that you probably have the website down pat and know the program like the back of your hand. I hope someday that I can be just as knowledgeable with regards to MB concepts and Dr. H's viewpoints on everything he's included here.


**edit**

I admire your passion for the program, and I wish you continued success with it.

Last edited by MBsurvivor; 01/22/10 08:18 AM. Reason: TOS

Sooly

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A reminder to posters that this forum is for the discussion of Marriage Builders concepts. If you are going to post to newcomers, please keep that in mind. Otherwise, your post will be removed.


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Hi soolee and thank you

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I understand that the highest divorce rates are Police, Pastoral, and Military. At least thats what I read a couple times and it really makes sense because all of these professions or callings have to deal with reality of human behavior.

I have been married twice.
The first at 18 I was committed to the "Idea" of marriage and not to loving my wife unconditionally. We were not ready. We lasted 5 years. Our total time together was 7 years,(16 yrs old).

The second Marriage was at 27 and I had decided that my commitment would be to God and unconditional love. I didn't trust Her as much as I trusted that God would keep her. I allowed a lot of crap to happen that I knew was wrong and that hurt me deeply because I thoght I needed to. I was gaslighted by her amazing knowledge of scripture and because God had pulled her out of such a terrible place to believe any problems I had were my problems. That improper relationships with other men, drinking, and her unwillingness to help me save money or build a foundation for our family was my problem. I should have been able to compartmentalize my carreer goals and supply all the familys needs while she did whatever she wanted. For some reason she thought I should have been OK with being disrespected and cheated on. I didn't blame God, I blamed her interpitation of HIm.
Even with my best efforts to cover her behavior to the children and patiently wait for her to see on her own what she was doing I still broke down after time and never made that carreer goal for my family. She eventually relapsed into substance abuse because life wasn't turning out like she wanted it to and she became bitter about everything. It took her becoming bitter first thogh before the substance and self abuse to kick in. Then in her own mind she spiraled down, refusing counsel from anyone.

This place here, MB seems to me to be a good balance between what people need from each other in a tangible way from marriage and the concepts and faith all of us need to embrace from God in order to grow. Individually and together as a couple.
I believe that regardless of what profession, carreer we follow we can have a relationship that can thrive if we work on it.
One of the questions God asks us about relationships is put to us .."How can two walk together if they not be agreed?"
We need to communicate what we feel and be honest not only to our feelings but to reality and growth in any marriage.
A popular line I hear from military is "If The Army wanted you to have a Wife they would have issued you one". The military is not going to make a priority of marriage, its going to make a priority of service to the country and all the politics associated with military life first. They are in the business of keeping the soldier alive and functional to protect the country first. The soldier is responsible for maintaining his/her personal life outside the military. They provide services to help them but they don't change their focus on a strong military to suit the emotions of the soldier. Thank God for that.

I cried when I was told I had major orthopedic issues and could only join the service if I signed waivers when I was 18. I also on the same day found out that 18 yr old wife was pregnant. I decided to serve my country the bast way would be to be patriotic and work hard and stay out of the service to take care of my wife and child. It was the right decision at the time but when I see the young men and women giving thier lives for us I can't help but regret that I never served. Many of the military personel I have had time to spend with have said I would have done well in the service. One guy that said that was someone who was from the pentagon that I happened to work for one afternoon. Its allways been people in authority who have said this sort of thing. I have many times been mistaken as law enforcment or military just because of the way I act or interface with people.
My second wife often reffered to me as a "drill Sgt" in a loving way when things were good in our family. I respect personal accountability and order with reguards to prioritys in life.
My first priority needs to be myself and my relationship to God. Since my 2nd wifes death I have been struggling with this relationship. "sorting it out" so to speak. When I become balanced in my life again enough to serve others I will feel whole and will be able to sleep well and look at myself in the mirror again. My goals are healthy ones and day by day things get better. It takes time and thank God for my children who are supporting me through this time of grief. I intend to be there for them and set an example of how to rebound from the losses we suffered from Moms sickness. I don't relate all the negative feelings or issues I deal with about their Mom because it would hurt them and I would rather just be around for them when they have questions. They wll need me then.

Coming here I realized how simple and real MB concepts were and how they can work in any marriage. Many of us have to put the concepts to work instaed of trying to make them fit in our concepts. We need to realize that we were doing something wrong before and be willing to submit to the authority of someone skilled as Doc H. Some of us have concepts we will not let go of and that can be quite a challange. The question is whether we are ready to break out of the way we look at life enough to grow internally. Some are not but regaurdless MB can help in a marriage because the communication and intimacy can be restored.

I feel like I went on a lot here. I hope that what I said helped a little bit.


Me 56 Former BS
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DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
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DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.
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I don't relate all the negative feelings or issues I deal with about their Mom because it would hurt them and I would rather just be around for them when they have questions.

Have you considered grief counseling or an individual counseling setting where you can discuss these things safely, without guilt?

Perhaps it would help you process her illness and passing and come to terms with unresolved issues in your marriage?


Sooly

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Originally Posted By: Soolee
I don't relate all the negative feelings or issues I deal with about their Mom because it would hurt them and I would rather just be around for them when they have questions.

Have you considered grief counseling or an individual counseling setting where you can discuss these things safely, without guilt?

Perhaps it would help you process her illness and passing and come to terms with unresolved issues in your marriage?


Interesting you say that because that is what I am attempting to do on many fronts. I have grief counselled with a counselor, pastors and mentor and weekly therapists.


The children are moving on with thier lives better than I am but thats probably to be expected because I was Dad. I offer counseling for them if they want it and encourage them to talk to people about what they feel. They also know they can come to me about any question and I will be honest and sensitive about answering them. They know I am very concerned for their lives and emotional/mind health.

Its a long process for me and from what I have read time is different for everyone. I see counselors weekly as much as I can afford it. The important thing is I am moving forward and enjoying life as much as possible. I don't expect a quick fix and I wouldn't trust one anyways. No regrets


Me 56 Former BS
Widowed 5-17-09 --married 25 years.
4 children
DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
Me former BS
DD-29 with DGDs 5 and 1yr
DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.
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I was sincerely hoping that this was not the only place that you've come for support, so I'm glad to hear that.

I just get the sense that there may be some lack of closure with regards to what you went through in your marriage, and was afraid in your unique situation as a widower that you would not achieve full closure here in a public and open forum out of loyalty to her.

I'm just glad that you have a more private setting where you can talk about it, perhaps more openly, so that you have options.

I think you're a very responsible dad, and I wish you continued good luck with everything.


Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

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Thx sooly.

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rtv are you out there? I hope you are doing ok.


Me 56 Former BS
Widowed 5-17-09 --married 25 years.
4 children
DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
Me former BS
DD-29 with DGDs 5 and 1yr
DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.
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