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A discussion about one of my favorite Harley books !!!!!


Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders

Quote:

Freeloader is unwilling to put much effort into the care of his or her partner in a romantic relationship. He or she does only what comes naturally and expects only what comes naturally. It's like a person who tries to live in a house without paying rent or doing anything to improve it unless the person is in the mood to do so.

Renter is willing to provide limited care as long as it's in his or her best interest. The romantic relationship is considered tentative, so the care is viewed as short-term. It's like a person who rents a house and is willing to stay as long as the conditions seem fair, or until he or she finds something better. The person is willing to pay reasonable rent and keep the house clean but is not willing to make repairs or improvements. It's the landlord's job to keep the place attractive enough for the renter to stay and continue paying rent.

Buyer is willing to demonstrate an extraordinary sense of care by making permanent changes in his or her own behavior and lifestyle to make the romantic relationship mutually fulfilling. Solutions to problems are long-term solutions and must work well for both partners because the romantic relationship is viewed as exclusive and permanent. It's like a person who buys a house for life with a willingness to make repairs that accomodate changing needs, painting the walls, installing new carper, replacing the roof, and even doinf some remodeling so that it can be comfortable and useful.




Quote:

Renters believe Our relationship is temporary. You may be right for me today and wrong for me tomorrow.

Buyers believe We are together for life.

Renters believe Our relationship should be fair. What I get should balance what I give.

Buyers believe We both contribute whatever it takes to make our relationship successful.

Renters believe As needs change, the relationship may end if needs are difficult to meet.

Buyers believe As needs change, we will make adjustments to meet new needs.

Renters believe Criticism may prompt me to change if it's worthwhile for me to do so.

Buyers believe Criticism indicates a need for change.

Renters believe Sacrifice is reasonable as long as it's fair.

Buyers believe Sacrifice is dangerous and to be avoided.

Renters believe Short-term fixes are fine.

Buyers believe long-term solutions are necessary.



Quote:

According to Harley

most happily married couples have worked their way up from Freeloaders to Renters and finally to Buyers.

He says the problem arises when partners do not eventually become Buyers.




Quote:

Some more Willard to chew on:

"The real commitment of marriage is not a commitment to stay regardless of how you are treated. It's a commitment to care for each other regardless of the circumstances you find yourselves in."

also....

"Marriage means that each spouse is commited to make a GREATER effort to care for each other than they were making BEFORE marriage, a GREATER effort to meet each other's intimate needs."

really something to think about for all of us ....




Quote:

... which brings us to POJA

which is adopting the Buyer's strategy

means you must consider both your interests ~and~ your partner's interests

up to the point of bilateral enthusiastic agreement

which means NO ONE sacrifices their happiness for the other's .... you seek mutual happiness



Quote:

The good doctor says that couples who do not practice POJA skills gradually develop incompatable lifestyles....



Quote:

Think of POJA as the ~Holy Grail~ for creating a marriage of mutual compatibility

and enthusiastic support for major decisions implies a respect for the long-term happiness of both partners

this does not mean compromise is not to be found ... but it must be enthusiastic and genuine ... which eliminates sacrifice which is a disingenuous method of manipulating one's spouse

every sacrifice we ask of our partner or of ourselves is a step ~away~ from a mutually enjoyable relationship

think of the relationship ~itself~ as a third person in the marriage ... and choosing what is best for the relationship instead of what is best for only one partner

















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The GIVER and The TAKER ....both "good guys" in the marriage.

Quote:

Now for something really cool.....

Giver/Taker ... or as Harley says: "We all have split personalities"

The Giver's Rule ... do whatever you can to make others happy and avoid anything that makes others unhappy even it it makes you unhappy.

Everyone has a giver. EVERYONE. Freeloaders, Renters, Buyers .... criminals ... Grandma .... your MIL .... your cheating spouse.... your faithful spouse. Our Giver wants us to make a positive difference in the lives of others and it grows out of our instinct to provide care. "give until it hurts"

The Taker's Rule ... do whatever you can to make yourself happy and avoid anything that makes you unhappy, even if it makes others unhappy.

Everyone has a Taker. EVERYONE. Freeloaders, Renters, Buyers ... criminals ... Grandma ... your MIL ... your cheating spouse ... your faithful spouse ... Our Taker wants us to get the most out of life, and it grows out of our basic instinct for self-preservation. "get what you need in life"

Harley says:

"It is tempting to consider the Giver as our caring nature and the Taker as our thoughtless nature.

But that's NOT what they are.

Actually, they are BOTH caring.

Your Giver cares for others

and

Your Taker cares for you"

!!!!!!!!!!!! KEWL dance2

Wait .... there's MORE !!!!!!! shocked

Harley goes on to say:

" Both Giver and Taker also have their thoughtless sides.

Your Giver does NOT CARE how YOU feel.

and

Your Taker does NOT CARE how others feel. "

!!!!!! REALLY KEWL hurray and there's more !!!!

Harley says:

" In fact your Giver is willing to see YOU suffer even to the point of deep depression as long as you continue to care about others.

Your Taker is willing to see others suffer if it means you are happy or are prevented from suffering. "

So, we ALL have a Giver and a Taker

and they are both good ... because

they both care (Giver cares for others, Taker cares for you)

AND

they are both bad ... because

they are both thoughtless (Giver cares nothing about your feelings, Taker cares nothing about the feelings for others)

~~ Here's the importnt point Harley makes~~

"Because each of them ignores someone's feelings, they are both shortsighted. They fail to understand that you and others should be cared for and protected simultaneously, so that no one suffers"

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So ... what is the "agreement" we make in our romantic relationship?

AKA .... MARRIAGE

Quote:
Freeloader
Renter
Buyer

represent our agreement in our romantic relationships

while Giver/Taker are instinctive influences to everyone irregardless of our current agreement

Harley says:

"The Buyer's, Renter's, Freeloader's agreements determine how the Giver and Taker influence each of us."

..... and it's interesting that both the Buyer's and the Freeloader's agreements hold our Giver and Taker in check.

Both Freeloader's and Buyer's agreements disallow us to become self-sacrificing in our romantic relationship.

Freeloader's agreement and Buyer's agreements do not allow us to expect others to self-sacrifice in a romantic relationship.

But for very different reasons .....

Freeloaders feel that the right relationship should be effortless and people should only do what comes naturally.

Buyer's assume a long-term romantic relationship requires mutually enjoyable accomodation and encourages behavioral change to resolve conflict.

SO ..... those of us who are the faithful partner and thereby assume we are automatically THE BUYER in the relationship ... think again ! It is equally possible we are RENTERS .... especially if we are willing to sacrifice ourselves in order to "save the marriage" ....



If you are willing to sacrifice your needs for the relationship, you are not functioning with a Buyer's agreement..



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What is so wrong with sacrificing in a marriage anyway?


Quote:
The Renter's agreement places NO RESTRICTIONS on the Giver and the Taker.

Renters accept the sacrifice of others in a romantic relationship.

Renters accept the sacrifice of the self in a romantic relationship.

When a couple opens the door to expecting sacrifice of each other, arguements and fights and resentments are the result.

.... but it doesn't start off like that .... it starts off looking rather pleasant and feeling rather lovey-dovey ..... because Renters begin their romance with mutual sacrifice.

Givers control the courtship. Both Renters are in Giver-mode sacrificing in order to make the other happy ... and all is great .... as long as both partners stay in Giver mode.

But, no one does. Because Giver mode 24/7 is short-sighted and does not care for the self.

So ... the love and care Renter/Giver to Renter/Giver supply each other is UNpleasant because it ignores our Taker .... who cares for us. And this sacrifice for love takes it's toll.

Harley says it this way:

"A relationship based on sacrifice does not keep partners in a good mood. In fact, over time it tends to create a very BAD mood between partners. And whenever we are in a bad mood, our Takers come to our rescue.~ Are you unhappy? That's because you've been giving too much. Now it's time for you to do some taking~, our Taker whispers to us. "



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How does the RENTER agreement start arguments?


Quote:

Harley says:

"Demands are usually the first step in an argument."

"When one partner tells the other what to do, it's because his or her Taker suggests that the demand is reasonable."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~after all~ your partner OWES YOU .... you have sacrificed sooooooo much .... and your partner OUGHT TO sacrifice for YOU now !!!!

~~~~~~boxing gloves on ! My Taker is going to take on your Taker....



Quote:

When someone feels the unpleasant effects of all their sacrificing .... stress enters .... and their Taker starts demanding a little "me time" .... and they express "If you won't give me what I need when I ask for it, I'll make you give it to me."

manipulation begins .... choose your weapons



Quote:

The ANGER and cursing and the RESENTMENTS are your Taker's way of coming to the rescue when your Giver has been unchecked.



I suggest, to those of us who are feeling RESENTFUL, that we make a comprehensive study of 'sacrifice' and how we have valued 'sacrifice' as a tool for getting what we need .... no matter who is doing the sacrificing.

Sacrifice is a dishonest way of getting our needs met.

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Harley says:

Quote:
"What I'm saying is that your Taker needs to be enthusiastic about every decision. This doesn't rule out short-term sacrifice, though, because your Taker can be enthusiastic about some forms of sacrifice, if they're in your long-term interest."

"But when you agree to something reluctantly, it means you are sacrificing with no personal gain in sight. You are doing it for someone else's gain. That's why your Taker usually tries to sabotage any agreement you have made reluctantly."



Do not forget ....
when you agree to something reluctantly

you are being dishonest in your marriage ! naughty

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Quote:
The Buyers approach to problem solving.

Byers don't try to control each other.

Buyers don't make demands.

Buyers don't show disrespect or lose their temper.

They solve their problems by negotiating solutions that are win/win.

Dependency

You are dependent when what you recive is not balanced by what you give in return.

How can we create a dependent spouse? When we are in the early/Renter romantic stages of a relationship, we tend to give and give and give ~~~> sacrifical giving. And all that giving creates a DEPENDENCY in our spouse. All that giving creates EXPECTATIONS that are unrealistic in a long-term romantic relationship.

Giving without wanting anything in return ~~~> the Giver is running wild and unchecked.

What does that create in the other spouse? Their Taker is given free reign. "gimme gimme gimme" shocked

This sets up opportunity for abusive relationships where one spouse is giver heavy and the other is Taker heavy.

No balance. No give-take. The GIVER is the one who creates this ... by sacrificing and essentially training their spouses' Taker that there are no limits to how much sacrificing their spouse might submit to.

Control

Once you reach a point where you have your spouse depending on you , you are now in a position to control your spouse.

While our Giver sets up dependency by encouraging us to give unconditionally, our Taker has no such generous motives.

Our Taker will not be denied ! Now that your spouse is dependant on you, your Taker wants to control what the spouse must do in order to payback for all the sacrificing !!!

So if my Giver-gone-wild crazy has set up my spouse to become dependant on me ... what happends to my Taker side?
My Taker begins to feel that this situation is terribly unfair, and starts to grumble rant2 and complain ...
and then make demands, start fights twoxfour and generally tries to control my spouse... and I might even run off and have an affair "Because I have done so much for this marriage and never get anything in return ... it's MY TURN to do something just for me"

puke yuk

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Originally Posted By: Pepperband


If you are willing to sacrifice your needs for the relationship, you are not functioning with a Buyer's agreement..




This is an interesting concept.

Many of the other folks online seem to be advocating some sort of mix between meeting what MB defines as the key Emotional Needs and surpressing some of your desires so your spouse will be pleased and stay with you....and it will be more likely they will be motivated to do what you want / meet your needs.

For example, the Light His Fire series by Dr Ellen has some free samples which I listened to a few weeks ago before I found MB. For women, it was like "If you make him feel like a man when he's with you, there's nothing he wont do for you." I guess that intuitively it may make sense, but it seems very one-sided to me.

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Our most angry moments come when we have allowed our

GIVER

to rule the relationship , made sacrifices, and thus created a RENTER relationship where our needs are not met.

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P O J A

The "BUYER's" agreement !!


Quote:
POJA requires this question be asked

"How do you feel about what I would like to do?"

Decisions are to be made considering each other's feelings.

POJA forces you to be considerate especially when you don't feel like it

OK .... you've asked THE question "How would you feel about ...."

and this gets negotiation started ... and you realize the goal is enthusiastic agreement ... how do you arrive at that goal?




Quote:

Guidelines for POJA

Guideline 1

Set ground rules to make negotiation pleasant and safe.

...Ground Rule 1 Try to be pleasant and cheerful throughout negotiations.

...Ground Rule 2 Put safety first. Don't make demands, show disrespect, or become angry when you negotiate, even if your partner makes demands, shows disrespect, or becomes angry with you.

...Ground Rule 3 If you reach an impasse and don't seem to be getting anywhere, or if one of you is starting to make demands, show disrespect, or become angry, stop negotiating and come back to the issue later.

~~~> In other words, do not succumb to the temptations of your Taker <~~~

Guideline 2

Identify the problem from both perspectives.

Very important point Harley makes ~~~> Most couples try to resolve a conflict without doing their homework. They don't fully understand the conflict itself, nor do they understand each other's perspectives. In many cases, they are not even sure what they really want or what they are enthusiastically willing to give.

Harley says

Respect is the key in this phase of negotiation.

It is extremely important to avoid trying to straighten each other out.

(~~~> OK .... anyone guilty of this raise your hand <~~~ *my hand is up*)

Guideline 3

Brainstorm with abandon

This is the creative part.

Look for mutually agreeable areas that will create compatability.


The goal is to please both of you.

Harley says

The secret to understanding your partner is to think like your partner's Taker thinks.

It's easy to appeal to your partner's Giver ~~~> if she really loves me, she'll let me do this. BUT, lasting peace must be forged with your partner's Taker, so your solutions must appeal to your partner's most selfish instincts. At the same time they must also appeal to your most selfish instincts.



VERY IMPORTANT POINT HERE***

Resist one type of solution that your Giver and Taker may suggest --- the I'll let you do what you want this time if you let me do what I want next time solution <~~~ That's the RENTER'S SOLUTION that encourages you to alternate sacrificing for each other.

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POJA

What about addiction?


Quote:
And,

Guideline 4

Choose the solution that meets the conditions of the Policy Of Joint Agreement --Mutual and enthusiastic agreement

~~~> regarding addiction <~~~

"But what can you do if you have agreed to follow the POJA, tried to negotiate for a mutually enthusiastic solution, and yet you or your partner keep behaving in a way that is objectionable to the other? This kind of thoughtless behavior may turn out to be an addiction "

"If one of you struggles with an addiction, you will find that the POJA simply cannot be followed until you have overcome the addiction."

"So if you have tried to follow my advice but can't seem to negotiate with each other regardless of how hard you try, addiction may be the culprit."

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POJA ... "It's not working" dramaqueen


Quote:

Taken from the concepts part of MB site .....

Quote Dr Harley:

The Policy of Radical Honesty

"Reveal to your spouse as much
information about yourself as you know;
your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes,
dislikes, personal history, daily activities,
and plans for the future.

To help explain this policy, I have broken it down into four parts:

1. EMOTIONAL HONESTY: Reveal your emotional reactions, both positive and negative, to the events of your life, particularly to your spouse's behavior.

2. HISTORICAL HONESTY: Reveal information about your personal history, particularly events that demonstrate personal weakness or failure.

3. CURRENT HONESTY: Reveal information about the events of your day. Provide your spouse with a calendar of your activities, with special emphasis on those that may affect your spouse.

4. FUTURE HONESTY: Reveal your thoughts and plans regarding future activities and objectives. "

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Know what strikes me right off the bat looking at this list?

...Radical Honesty pretty much knocks conflict avoiders out !!!




Quote:

Which brings me to a question ....

emotional honesty ... I don't think a couple can be successful in POJA negotiations without emotional honesty.

How can one POJA with an emotionally dishonest partner?

.... lest we forget ... a conflict avoider is emotionally dishonest ...

REMEMBER THE QUESTION THAT OPENS POJA

How would you feel about this .....




Quote:


From this site regarding emotional honesty

Quote Dr Harley:

"And finally, in order to make the best decisions, you must be radically honest with each other about your emotional reactions to the changes in your lives. The best decisions take the emotional reactions of both of you into account simultaneously, but without an honest expression of those reactions, you will be missing the target.

While some couples may fail to make a successful adjustment after feelings are honestly explained, failure is almost guaranteed when the need for adjustment is never communicated. Always take each other's complains seriously. As I mentioned earlier, your emotional reactions are a gauge of whether you are making a good adjustment to each other. If you both feel good, you need no adjustment. If one or both of you feel bad, a change is indicated. "

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"You did then what you knew then. Now you know better, you will do better."
kiss


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"Talk amongst yourselves."

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
Originally Posted By: Pepperband


If you are willing to sacrifice your needs for the relationship, you are not functioning with a Buyer's agreement..




This is an interesting concept.

Many of the other folks online seem to be advocating some sort of mix between meeting what MB defines as the key Emotional Needs and surpressing some of your desires so your spouse will be pleased and stay with you....and it will be more likely they will be motivated to do what you want / meet your needs.

For example, the Light His Fire series by Dr Ellen has some free samples which I listened to a few weeks ago before I found MB. For women, it was like "If you make him feel like a man when he's with you, there's nothing he wont do for you." I guess that intuitively it may make sense, but it seems very one-sided to me.


Welcome to MARRIAGE BUILDERS

Stick around.

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA


Many of the other folks online seem to be advocating some sort of mix between meeting what MB defines as the key Emotional Needs and surpressing some of your desires so your spouse will be pleased and stay with you....and it will be more likely they will be motivated to do what you want / meet your needs.


Chris, that is an excellent question. The critical component is supressing behavior that is BAD for the marriage in exchange for behavior that is good for the marriage. The idea is to never do anything that causes your spouse unhappiness. And let me give you one example of a situation in my marriage.

He loves Chinese and I love Mexican food. He hates Mexican and I hate Chinese. Lets say we practice a "compromise" and we go for Mexican one night and Chinese the next night. That means that I will be unhappy on one night and he will be unhappy the next because we are each gaining at the others EXPENSE for one night.

This is called sacrifice. And it leads to incompatibility and resentment. It leads to incompatibility because people won't do things that make themselves unhappy for long. I might go for Chinese 3 or 4 times and tolerate that nasty food, but pretty soon I will be finding reasons to AVOID going out to eat and he will be resentful, because people who practice sacrifice KEEP SCORE. He will be mad because I "OWE" him a Chinese night to pay for his MExican night.

The solution recommended by Marriage Builders avoids all that. Instead of going to ANY restaurant that one spouse doesn't like, the solution is to find a restaurant that BOTH LOVE. Mexican and Chinese are completely OFF our lists. In it's place is a list of restaurants we both like. This solution builds compatibility because it ensures we are BOTH happy.

And I did learn the HARD way that the agreement has to be enthusiastic. If the other person agrees reluctantly to avoid conflict, you have missed the point because the result will still be unhappiness which will lead to incompatibility.


"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

Exposure 101


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Got it!

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ML, does that mean that your DH no longer eats Chinese food and you no longer eat Mexican? If so, wouldn't THAT be sacrifice?

I am not asking to be difficult. But I have seen a very simlar incomatiblity in my own marriage, which was there BEFORE we married. I just never realized it would be such a big deal to me.

My spouse is terrified of flying in an airplane. I was an avid world traveler before marriage and was very much looking forward to doing my world travelling WITH someone for a change. Unfortunately that is not an option with the POJA. We have the means to do other things, like Atlantic Cruises, or trips within the contintental US via driving/train, and I can enthusaistically agree to do these things. But going to London together will never happen. And it seems incompatible with MB for me to go to Europe on my own.

I actually DID think about this before we married, but I thought it would be selfish and superficial of me to break the engagement because of something like a fear of flying. (I know now that thinking is flawed.) ha We have even tried flying before, and trust me when I say there is no way my spouse would enthusiastically agree to it again.

Can you gameplay a solution to this situation?

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
Originally Posted By: Pepperband


If you are willing to sacrifice your needs for the relationship, you are not functioning with a Buyer's agreement..




This is an interesting concept.

Many of the other folks online seem to be advocating some sort of mix between meeting what MB defines as the key Emotional Needs and surpressing some of your desires so your spouse will be pleased and stay with you....and it will be more likely they will be motivated to do what you want / meet your needs.

For example, the Light His Fire series by Dr Ellen has some free samples which I listened to a few weeks ago before I found MB. For women, it was like "If you make him feel like a man when he's with you, there's nothing he wont do for you." I guess that intuitively it may make sense, but it seems very one-sided to me.



Anything with a title like "light His Fire" or "Light Her Fre" makes me want to puke.

Not only that, but something with a title like that is a HUGE turnoff to someone who feels that their spouse is the "enemy" because of withdrawl (on either side). MB is the first program I have run into that treates "the marriage" as a separate entity which is worthy of protection and care, even if we don't "like" our spouse for justifiable reason.

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Originally Posted By: thinkinitthru66
ML, does that mean that your DH no longer eats Chinese food and you no longer eat Mexican? If so, wouldn't THAT be sacrifice?


Thanks for asking, think; I was wondering that, myself.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 15 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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