Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 8 of 12 1 2 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit


Just saw your last post. That is me. No idea what I want. No idea what I am willing to give.


This is fantastic! smile
It is always fantastic when we identify where we need to make improvements!

We can't begin to improve until we identify where we need improvement.
And, we cannot be the best spouse possible, without introspection.

Back to the basics.
When we agree to something reluctantly, we are being dishonest in our marriage !

POJA begins with personal honesty.
This calls upon our integrity.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
Originally Posted By: Mark1952


We consider something to be a sacrifice when we feel that we are giving up a thing that has value to us in exchange for something of lesser value.


So pithy.
So true.



Quote:
The reason people have such a hard time with the concept of POJA is that we don't feel in love, don't want to give because we haven't gotten in return and can't imagine ever wanting to give any more because we have already given all we have for no ROI. The reality is simply that our Taker is in charge at that moment and is telling our Giver that we have already given enough and it is now time for our spouse to give for a change.

If one person can begin to use the process and even better if both begin to agree to using the process of POJA, at first it feels like sacrifice, but very quickly it stops feeling that way because we are getting ROI for anything we give up. 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. POJA stops us from sacrificing and also stops us from taking from each other by allowing our spouse to sacrifice for our benefit.

The MOST important part of marriage is being in love. If we fall out of love with each other nothing else in the marriage works, matters or has any significance in our lives. It was why we got married and will be why we stay married in the long run. It is the whole point of MB and is the goal of the entire program. When we feel in love and we are in a state of Intimacy, we don't even keep score as to who is giving and who is taking because it stops being about giving and taking and starts to be about giving and getting instead.

Our Taker stops expecting anything, even in return for what we are giving when we are already getting what we want and need. When our Love Banks are full what something costs us has very little meaning. It is only when we constantly withdraw love units that we bring our spouse's Taker out and then everything we do becomes an uphill battle.

Seldom is it a great big gigantic huge one shot love buster that does us in, BTW. What happens instead is that we get lazy and start repeating the same "little" things over and over again. The day to day habits we fall into do the damage and not the one shot argument with each other. It is my drooping socks on the floor every night instead of putting them in the hamper or her setting up something with her sister for my weekend off instead of asking me if I would like to do something. These are the things that make us fall out of love and make everything we do feel like sacrifice unless we can see a clear immediate benefit to our own Taker mentality.


What does "ROI" stand for?
Drawing a blank, Markie.

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,437
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,437
Return On Investment.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,513
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,513
Originally Posted By: Pepperband

When we agree to something reluctantly, we are being dishonest in our marriage !

POJA begins with personal honesty.

This calls upon our integrity.



Very simple and very clear.


Last edited by ChrisInNOVA; 03/08/10 01:50 PM.
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
Originally Posted By: CWMI
Return On Investment.

doh2

THANK YOU !
kiss

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
Originally Posted By: Retread
A Short Inspirational Poem
Watch Your
By Frank Outlaw

Watch your thoughts,
for they become words.
Watch your words,
for they become actions.
Watch your actions,
for they become habits.
Watch your habits,
for they become character.
Watch your character,
for it becomes your destiny.


Thank you!
kiss

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
Mark !!!!!!!



kiss
Quote:
The GOAL of POJA is to keep us in love with each other.

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,931
V
Member
Offline
Member
V
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,931
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
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.

And ...... this can lead to both spouses eventually falling into victim roles, or feeling like they are victims anyway.
One spouse can feel that they have compromised more than the other, or that the score is uneven .... leads to resentment or entitlement.

Resentment cuz one feels like they have given in more,
and the other can feel entitlement cuz they have given so much that they are deserving of some happiness.

Both sets of thinking come at the expense of the other and the M.

CWMI ..... I feel for you, I have one of those H's that want to make everyone happy, wants to be liked by everyyyyyyone!
He likes to use POJA, but not when it involves conflict with someone else, your example of lending the car out would be an example.
My H would not want to say 'no' to that person needing the car.
This is an ongoing struggle that we are sorting through.

I see this as part of the renter to buyer thing, not sure which category it falls into though???
Maybe it's more of not taking a spouse for granted, something like 'my spouse will get over it and I want to be the nice guy' .... IDK
It is definitely a part of 'don't be the cause of your spouse's unhappiness'.


M'd 22 years
BW-me
D-Day 08/08 LTA


Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,178
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,178
Originally Posted By: Retread
"Never do anything without the enthusiastic agreement of your spouse."
and
"Never do anything that makes your spouse unhappy"

... DO NOT mean:

"Never do anything without YOUR enthusiastic agreement."


OK, I haven't read everything after this but . . .

I thought this is EXACTLY what POJA is? That we never do anything as a couple without enthusiastic agreement of both partners? Am I wrong, or is Retread, or is there some in-between that I'm missing?

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,178
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,178
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:

"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."


Speaking from my personal experience, THIS particular fundamental was a revelation for me !!!

I had become lazy in my M.
Yes.
LAZY.
I am ashamed to say .... blush My internal dialogue went something like this:

"Now that we are married, you must love me no matter how I treat you."


I have a great sotry about that Pep. It's about my parents, and it gets retold every thime we sit in the darn dining rooom for a family meal.

Before they got married my mom made wonderful candlelight dinners for my dad. After they were married and he moved into the apartment, at their first dinner after the honeymoon, my dad said, "So, can we turn the lights on to eat now?"

No joke. That story sadly formed the foundation of what I had always believed about marriage. Sad but tru. But, beliefs can change smile

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,437
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,437
lol, I don't even know why he thinks it gets him liked. The last time this guy asked to borrow the truck, it was to haul tables for a party he threw that we were not invited to.

But, outside parties excluded, I don't think it's something that can even be addressed in the marriage unless the 'giving' spouse (as in, giving to others!) makes a solid commitment to POJA, no matter the (perceived) personal pain. I think it's a very personal image situation when one spouse is not willing to POJA when there's an outside party involved.

Guys tend to see that as whipped. laugh

I think it falls more into Freeloader territory, as in they're only willing to do what they feel like.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,178
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,178
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I would say that the biggest obstacle to my applying the MB principles is that I do not believe I can meet my wife's needs. When I think about embracing Radical Honesty and POJA, I believe we would fail. Because we would never be able to brainstorms solutions where we are both mutually enthusiastic. Because I fear I won't be able to satisfy her minimum requirements. So I am not enthusiastic about even trying. If I were honest, I would tell her to leave me for someone else who will. And can.

I don't think I am alone in having this fear.

Just saw your last post. That is me. No idea what I want. No idea what I am willing to give.


Have you ever thought about just accepting failure as a possible outcome? I have found that I often fear what I choose not to accept, but once I accept it, then my fear has less hold on me. By holding on to my fear, I hold on to being paralyzed. So what if I fail? If I don't try, I am guaranteed to fail, but at least I feel like I'm in control. TRYING means letting go of control, and if I fail, at least I learn from it.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 9,836
H
Member
Offline
Member
H
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted By: CWMI
Guys tend to see that as whipped.


That is exactly what I figured your husband would say. Some guys would be OK with saying "I would love to loan out the truck, but I gotta check with the wife first." Gives them someone else to blame. Other guys would feel "whipped" and would rather have body parts removed than admit they need the wife's permission for anything.

I kinda like the following dialogue for guys who fear being labeled as whipped.

Friend: Can I borrow your truck this weekend?
Hubby: Sure, I just gotta check with the wife.
Friend: You need to check with the wife?
Hubby: Sure, keeps us bonded.
Friend: Man, you are whipped!
Hubby: At least I get to play with the kitty.
Friend: So do I, and I don't need the wife's permission for anything.
Hubby: That's not what she told me when I was over your house last week. shocked

Might start a fight. But hubby won't come out of it looking whipped! wink

Whupped maybe, but not whipped. (hmm, where is the rim shot smiley?)


When you can see it coming, duck!
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
A tale of two cars.

1981 we were married.
Right after we married, we bought a little sports car, together.
A cute red Datsun roadster. Used. VERY used. But, it was a jointly made decision, albeit probably a mistake. smile
It was OUR mistake.

One day, while I was asleep (I worked a hospital graveyard shift), DH traded in our joint decision Red Datsun roadster, and purchased what came to be known as "the divorce car".

My DH had learned this independent behavior from his father. His Dad went with DH to make this car purchase while I slept.
DH's Dad encouraged my DH to buy a car while I slept.
I will never forget that day.
I woke up, DH says to me:
(all smiles)

"Go outside, smile I have a surprise for you."

It was a boring little silver Toyota Tercel.
Where the HELL was my snappy red Datsun roadster??
Imagine DH's disappointment when I was aghast and angry about his "surprise".

I hated that Tercel.
Not just because it was a gutless wonder.
Not just because it was silver, not RED.
Not just because it was going to be 4 years of making payments for a car I did not like.

I hated that 'effin Tercel because it represented (to me) my DH's independent behavior.
redflag




(end part one .... stay tuned)


Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 15,806
Likes: 6
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 15,806
Likes: 6
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I would say that the biggest obstacle to my applying the MB principles is that I do not believe I can meet my wife's needs. When I think about embracing Radical Honesty and POJA, I believe we would fail. Because we would never be able to brainstorms solutions where we are both mutually enthusiastic. Because I fear I won't be able to satisfy her minimum requirements. So I am not enthusiastic about even trying. If I were honest, I would tell her to leave me for someone else who will. And can.

I don't think I am alone in having this fear.


That sounds to me like a description of the "Creative Wilderness":

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7100_counselor.html

Quote:
The creative wilderness represents the typical inability of couples in marital crisis to create solutions to their problems. In the books I've written, many solutions are suggested but they're only the tip of the iceberg. Many marital problems require solutions that are unique to certain circumstances. In this site, I put more emphasis on the process you should follow to solve marital problems than I do on the specific strategy you should use. That's because there are too many situations that require unique strategies.

A good marriage counselor is a good strategy resource. While you can, and should, also think of ways to solve your marital problems, a marriage counselor should know how to solve problems like yours. That's what you pay him/her to do! And his strategy should make sense to you. In fact, his strategy should encourage you in the belief that your problems will be over soon. Counselors often obtain special training for many common marital problems, such as sexual incompatibility and financial conflicts. These counselors can document a high rate of success in finding solutions to those problems.


Quote:
Because we would never be able to brainstorms solutions where we are both mutually enthusiastic. Because I fear I won't be able to satisfy her minimum requirements.


I'm by no means an expert, but I have the feeling that when you really follow the guidelines for negotiation that the potential is there that one side's requirements may change. You start out thinking you HAVE to have Chinese food. You discover instead that you are quite happy receiving spectacular emotional bonding over Italian, and you only want Chinese food with coworkers once every couple of months. One of the steps in negotiation is identifying the problem from both perspectives. When you discover that your spouse can't meet your "minimum requirements," they may change.


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, 17 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.
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
A tale of two cars.
(Part deux)

2009 I bought DH another car.
I bought DH an unnecessary car.
We already had 2 cars. (his and hers)
For a long time, DH had been thirsting for an impractical & unnecessary car.
A Mini Cooper turbo.

I was presented with an opportunity to purchase a slightly (and I do mean slightly) used, top of the line Mini, for a VERY reasonable price.
DH and I talked it over.
Yes, he still really wanted one, although it is impractical.
And, I bought DH the car.

It is our "I love you" car.

This AM, I overheard DH talking on the phone to a friend.
The friend had asked DH about how he came to own the Mini.

DH said:

"I never thought anyone would love me so much they would buy me the car of my dreams. But that's what happened. My wife bought me that car because she loves me so much."

I walked by as he was saying this, and I stickout stuck my tongue out at DH.

This is what I want to say to all of you on Marriage Builders 101.

We overcame our difficulties because we made changes in ourselves.
Marriage Builders really works.
We not only recovered a better marriage after DH's adultery, we are in love.

Yes, we are.
IN LOVE.

Our marriage is not just limping along, damaged after infidelity.
Our marriage is a smart, cute, fast Mini Cooper, blazing around with two 60 year old lovers inside, gazing at each other with gratitude, affection, and a deeper love than we had ever hoped.

We built this love.
It did not just happen.
We did this.

The process works!


Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
OP Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
Originally Posted By: CWMI

Guys tend to see that as whipped. laugh



Guys who are in unhappy marriages. Or, divorced.

If anyone thinks POJA with me makes my DH "whipped" ... DH would laugh and tell the "guy" how much I love him and how happy we are.


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Originally Posted By: markos


I'm by no means an expert, but I have the feeling that when you really follow the
guidelines for negotiation that the potential is there that one side's requirements may change. You start out thinking you HAVE to have Chinese food. You discover instead that you are quite happy receiving spectacular emotional bonding over Italian, and you only want Chinese food with coworkers once every couple of months. One of the steps in negotiation is identifying the problem from both perspectives. When you discover that your spouse can't meet your "minimum requirements," they may change.


*sob* You have done your homework, markos! This is very true. Couples who are not in the habit of using POJA tend to view everything in black and white. But the more accustomed you become to POJA, the less black and white they are:

Quote:
At first, it may be very difficult to follow this policy, because you are in the habit of doing so many incompatible things. But if you follow it at all costs for a few weeks, you will find it easier and easier. You will also come to grips with the temptation of trying to gain at each other's expense. When one of you feels that it's okay to go ahead with plans even if the other person objects, you are simply saying, "I don't really care how you feel, I'm going to do it anyway because I'm willing to gain at your expense."


Another

Quote:
What you are proposing is a situation where the first objective is achieved, but the second one isn't. You have eliminated incompatible behavior, but have failed to create a compatible replacement.

You've noticed that in your own experience, you have not found such an example. That is the experience of most people who have learned to follow the policy correctly. As it turns out, when couples are incompatible and have not been following the Policy of Joint Agreement, almost everything is "black and white." Decisions are often intentionally made to punish the other spouse for the last insensitive decision.

But when a couple learns how to negotiate in good faith, these areas of black and white fade into shades of grey. Spouses learn to respect their conflicting point of view, but also learn how to persuade each other without recrimination. They see each other's perspectives in a new and compelling light.

Having Trouble with the
Policy of Joint Agreement?


"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


Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,970
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,970
Originally Posted By: markos
You discover instead that you are quite happy receiving spectacular emotional bonding over Italian


Markos, this is exactly what DH and I experience over Italian. Your wording nailed it.

smile

LA

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 15,806
Likes: 6
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 15,806
Likes: 6
I used Amazon to peruse Dr. Harley's new Effective Marriage Counseling book a couple of weeks ago, and saw a distinction made that helps me. Dr. Harley talks about two kinds of resentment. One type of resentment comes from a spouse's thoughtless behavior: when your spouse does something without your enthusiastic agreement, you feel resentment because of their thoughtlessness.

The other type of resentment actually arises during the adoption of the policy of joint agreement. This is the resentment that comes from the POJA's "default policy." The default policy of the POJA is what you do when you are unable to come to agreement: nothing. For example, if you can't agree enthusiastically on anything to do for Christmas, you do nothing.

This is likely to leave one spouse or both feeling resentful that they aren't getting to do what they dreamed of for Christmas. But, there is a major difference in this type of resentment and the other. Primarily, this resentment is potentially temporary. Once you are further along the road to building romantic love, once you are further down the path of negotiation (including understanding each other's point of view and brainstorming), it becomes possible to come to enthusiastic agreement, and the cause of the resentment is over. Meanwhile, you passed through the crisis without engaging in love busters!

I believe Dr. Harley also highlighted some other differences in the two types of resentment, but that is what stuck out for me.

If you are stuck with the POJA's default policy on a particular issue (do nothing) and can't even imagine the possibility of an agreement that could one day resolve the issue in a way both of you are enthusiastic about, then you are in a Creative Wilderness:

Quote:
The creative wilderness represents the typical inability of couples in marital crisis to create solutions to their problems. In the books I've written, many solutions are suggested but they're only the tip of the iceberg. Many marital problems require solutions that are unique to certain circumstances. In this site, I put more emphasis on the process you should follow to solve marital problems than I do on the specific strategy you should use. That's because there are too many situations that require unique strategies.

A good marriage counselor is a good strategy resource. While you can, and should, also think of ways to solve your marital problems, a marriage counselor should know how to solve problems like yours. That's what you pay him/her to do! And his strategy should make sense to you. In fact, his strategy should encourage you in the belief that your problems will be over soon. Counselors often obtain special training for many common marital problems, such as sexual incompatibility and financial conflicts. These counselors can document a high rate of success in finding solutions to those problems.


http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi7100_counselor.html

Perhaps in your marriage you never encounter such creative wildernesses. I know, though, that they have been a huge problem for me, and I think I would be correct to say my wife has felt the same way. I can't count the number of times I've sobbed to myself saying "I don't know what to do" or told a trusted friend "I've tried everything." It's really soul-crushing to feel like there are no other ideas to try. I think that's why my wife so often has felt like there is no hope for our marriage. When Dr. Harley talks about a wilderness, he's describing a life and death struggle alone with no food, water, shelter, or amenities FOR MONTHS OR YEARS; not a pleasant camping trip and back to nature experience!!

If you find yourself in a creative wilderness, I recommend you not spend years there. I recommend you get help from a guide and navigator who can lead you out, someone with lots of experience and creativity.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8116_coach.html

Quote:

You can be the judge whether or not you need a coach for your marriage. I have created a plan for your marriage that will work if you both follow it. But if one or both of you are not willing to follow the plan, then you may need a coach to achieve what will be one of the most important objectives of your life -- to have a fulfilling marriage.

In the last newsletter, my article was entitled, "How to create your own plan to resolve conflicts and restore love to your marriage." I encourage you to read that article and create that plan. Then try to follow the plan until you and your spouse are in love with each other. But if you cannot agree on a plan, or if you can't motivate yourselves to follow the plan, then you may need a coach to help you do what you don't feel like doing.

...

I've found that the majority of couples do not need a marriage coach. They can learn to resolve their conflicts and restore love to their marriages without any outside help as long as they have a plan that works and motivation to follow the plan. I've provided you with that plan, now all you need is the motivation. But if either you or your spouse lack that motivation, don't go through the rest or your life with a loveless marriage, or worse yet, end it with divorce. Instead, get the help you need to do the right thing when you don't feel like doing it.


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, 17 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.
Page 8 of 12 1 2 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 20 guests, and 57 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Man in Dallas, NHgirl66, Hibiscus_22, Isaiah46.4, Ethereal15
71,607 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,512
Posts2,322,342
Members71,607
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5