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Hi Hold,

I wonder if there are different ways to compliment her that won't feel so much about the weight.

Because whenever I lose weight, I HATE people to make a big deal out of it. I mean, I want you to like me/love me for me--and i hate that the world is so obsessed with looks!!!

Er, ahem.

Anyway, it's obvious she likes some of the stuff... the catcalls, the affirmations about what you like about her body, etc.

I"m sure those are all things you used to do, but stopped doing when she rejected them for so long. KEEP DOING THOSE THINGS.

Just don't compliment her on the weight loss if you can avoid it.

Lavish compliments on her body "I love the color of your skin." "Have I ever told you how much I like [insert a,b,c]". "You are so beautiful." "I love looking at you." Etc.

None of those things feel like they are tied to the weight loss, per se.

And if she says "Oh, that's just because I'm thin." You can say (truthfully) "That's not true. I've always loved your body. The difference is, you let me tell you now."

Come out of the hole. Don't refrain, just do it in a way that feels good for both of you.

You can do it!


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And if you ARE going to address teh weight thing, do it in the way that seems to work: "I'm really proud of you for setting a goal and sticking with it."

Or something like that.


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Telly:

Your advice is correct. I will try to follow it. I just don't think there IS a way that works for both of us. Either she feels smothered or objectified or I feel stifled. The only thing that seems to work is if I truly do not care how she looks. And I haven't figured out how to not care without withdrawing emotionally.

I know, my typical pessimistic and black / white thinking.


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I'm sorry, Hold--I can't agree with you... Because I've SEEN you express appreciation for her body in ways she likes.

And even if you DO feel stifled, I strongly suspect her enthusiastic response means a lot to you.

You do care. you love her body. Tell her that. Just tell her "I love your body!" Don't tell her "I love your body now that you're thin!!!" Lol!


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No no no. It is the love her body part she minds. She doesn't want to be loved for her body at all. Fat. Thin. Or anything in between. She wants to be loved for her brains and personality and heart. Not her body. Loving her for her body dredges up all sorts of sexual connotations she would prefer to ignore.

I do compliment her on her dedication to exercise. I give her kudos every time the alarm rings and she heads out the door to a workout.

The problem is when I see her naked or see her fitting in to clothes and think "wow you look great." I can't say it. I have to stifle. Or at least I can't find a happy medium where I say it sometimes so I feel I can express myself and refrain other times to avoid having it be too much for her.

I am tired of being told. Woah. Settle down. Enough already.

I know this is partly my fault. I don't do moderation well with her. If I can't say how I feel whenever I want, my instinct is to run away and withdraw and not deal with her at all. My weakness. I come across as a gangly teenager rather than as a mature man. I need to learn better self control. I wish I could find a way to not get so excited inside. I feel like a failure for being so immature. Triggers my shame. And again, make me want to run and hide.


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Would you consider...

"I wish you would take my compliments as being about me, already. I want to share with you what I experience, not make it about you. When I saw you naked just now, I thought "wow, you look great" and then shamed myself into not sharing what I thought. Because I feel shamed by your usual reaction.

I want to break this shame chain. Will you help?"

You don't have to stifle...her self-shame becomes yours...in this anti-intimacy dance. Yet the very act of claiming your own opinion as yours, about you, IS intimate. When you share it with her as yours.

Some women (like me) were taught shame of their bodies and to transfer it to men who looked at their bodies, even their spouses. Because they degrade themselves (disowning humans are all body, spirit, heart and mind), they degrade others. Only seems to relieve the shame pain...

when it really doubles it.

You don't need to learn better shame-in-silence control, Hold...you've got that self-degradation down as an addictive substance...I'll be like Jayners and double-dog dare you to...

Tell her you love her complete being because you can't find a way to love yours...would she help?

When you're truly sick of the shame pain, you'll lay it down...and then you won't allow others to...and you'll thrive.

No more lies like "I have to stifle" to yourself.

"Woah" "Ouch"
"Settle down" "Ouch"
"Enough already" "Ouch"

When you know you're really heard, that you're sharing your experience to share yourself (not to GET her to feel/think/believe anything), then you won't feel the urge to do the extreme...moderation will be easy.

Each time you feel the urge to run away and withdraw, state it right then, even if you're interrupting..."I feel like running away right now and not dealing with you at all." Then you breathe. And stay present. Look at her...she's your real partner. When you let her.

Courage isn't for wimps. However, I think a lot of men were wimps when they taught their sons that avoid conflict and lying were the key ways to stay married and stay a man.

It's the opposite. When you lean on your partner at times, you are demonstrating they are strong, whole, wonderful partners, whom you cherish. When you treat them like glass, you degrade them...enable, pander and lie and manipulate them. Just as instructed.

LA

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Wow. OMG. To admit I feel ashamed. As a path out of shame. Wow.


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What LA said.

Also, maybe you could come up with some ways to express your appreciation of her body/beauty that aren't as open to her perceiving them as "objectifying". Such as:

You smell great!

I love those earrings.

That color looks great on you.

Wow, are those new shoes?

Etc.

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Hold, LA recommended to me Between Parent and Child by Hiam Ginott. A parenting book, but it has also helped me with my self talk and relating to grownups. The idea is, instead of telling your kid, "you did great on that test," to say, "I feel so good about how hard you worked. How did you feel about your test?" The idea is that instead of telling kids how to feel about themselves, objectifying them, making them extensions of ourselves, to change that dynamic to a dialogue. What do you think about trying something like this?

Okay, I'm feeling really awkward all of a sudden about hitting Submit here. I know retread was asked not to push another book, that this board is about the MB Concepts. If talking about these ideas I read in another book is offensive to anyone, I apologize in advance.


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NED, that is exactly how I talk to my kids. Tell them how I feel. Then ask them how they feel.

I need to keep focusing on "I" statements with Mrs. Hold. Not "you look great". Instead "I am filled with joy when I look at you".


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Instead "I am filled with joy when I look at you".


Wow! Who wouldn't love to hear THAT! I love it!


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
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Mrs. Hold doesn't love it. Makes her feel uncomfortable.

We had a chat this morning. Actually, we started last night while talking to D13. D13 said "Dad gets giddy when he is with you. And that is kinda wierd. But we love him anyway."

This morning we were kissing. She turned her head and I kissed her neck and she pushed me away. She said she just wanted to be playful and not to take it so seriously. I told her that was a valid point. But I need more guidance. I am not enthusiastic about doing trial and error with her to find her boundaries. It is not like there is a broad field of grass for us to play in. It is a maze and the walls are electric fences. I am not willing to stumble forward blindly and find the fences by touch. I need her to tell me where the boundaries are. Not as fun and playful. But for me the pain of running into the fences outweighs whatever fun we have before then.

She said we need more fun. I agreed. I said something like "I get giddy and joyous when I am with you. Until now I have been stifling that. And it is killing me. I am miserable every moment of every day. So I am going to stop stifling myself. I understand that may be uncomfortable for you. But if we can't find a way to work it out that works for both of us, then we'll have to do what needs to be done at that point."

She said something like "have I turned you down often lately?"

I said something like "you don't turn me down often, but I don't ask often. However, you do alot of pre-empting. As soon as I get home you say you are tired or don't feel well or have a headache. Then if I roll over toward you in bed you throw your arms up to ward me off. Or you clench up and pull into yourself. Even if I haven't touched you and was just shifting positions while reading a book. So you do alot of rejecting without saying no explicitly. She nodded her head in agreement. I went on "and on the other side, you almost never welcome me. I never hear anything like 'hey, I am in a good mood tonight, why don't you come closer and maybe you'll get lucky'."

She said that is a valid point. We shall see if anything comes from it.


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Wow, Hold...

Just wow.

Look what you did...you let her in on your secret.

And she didn't lash out at you, didn't negate you--she confirmed she does what you see as pre-empting...

she validated and acknowledged.

And you got some kissing in, too.

You know you wouldn't feel giddy around her at all if you were in Withdrawal...if she wasn't meeting any of your Top ENs...

Let her be uncomfortable when you share compliments in "I" statements. She's tough. She can handle it.

RESPECT her more. And she has consciously chosen to NOT turn you down as often...stayed aware of her obvious way of rejecting...and now, because you shined a light on it, her unspoken ways of pre-rejecting you.

How are you going to bring more fun? When you guys were first dating, was the fun stuff you two did?

LA

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No news. By circumstance we spent the weekend apart, and she had a yeast infection so no ability to be welcoming.

But I did my taxes, and S15 and I pruned one tree and trans-planted another tree in the rain (it rained all weekend). Fun playing in the mud.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Mrs. Hold doesn't love it. Makes her feel uncomfortable.

oh. oops.
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit

I said something like "you don't turn me down often, but I don't ask often. However, you do alot of pre-empting. As soon as I get home you say you are tired or don't feel well or have a headache. Then if I roll over toward you in bed you throw your arms up to ward me off. Or you clench up and pull into yourself. Even if I haven't touched you and was just shifting positions while reading a book. So you do alot of rejecting without saying no explicitly. She nodded her head in agreement. I went on "and on the other side, you almost never welcome me. I never hear anything like 'hey, I am in a good mood tonight, why don't you come closer and maybe you'll get lucky'."

She said that is a valid point.


Wow, this is huge. Hold, I'm so happy for you (even if the weekend didn't pan out for her to be welcoming)


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I have to keep my eyes on progress. Mrs. Hold provides many more hugs and kisses than she did before. Especially kisses. She hardly ever let me kiss her before. Now she leans in to kiss me!!!! Just light pecks but puckering up is much better than pulling away from me.

Of course the sex is still nothing like I would prefer, but that is only a piece of the puzzle. Compared to where we were 14 months ago (wife continuing to overspend, wife 70 pounds overweight, no hugs let alone kisses) we have made progress. Some might even say huge progress.

50 pounds lost. Better control over spending. More hugs. Life is good. Need to make sure I let her know that I have noticed.

And I have kept up the compliments on her brains, personality and big heart. When she walks by naked, I do not give her a woo hoo. Instead, I tell her that her full round ample heart is so distractingly impressive that I failed to even notice all these years that she has hooters. Who knew? I asked her to let me know if I went too far over the top. So far, no complaints.

Hmmm, as for the use of the term hooters. Last week Mrs. Hold shared with me and D13 that she was trying to think of plans for S15's birthday (it is not until November). She thought maybe she would take him and some friends to Hooters. She thought they would enjoy that and it would show everyone that she was the fun Mom. She worried if the other parents would be concerned about her taking a bunch of teenage boys to Hooters.

I said that in my view, hard to think of anything more likely to create permanent mental trauma in a teenage boy then going to Hooters with his Mom and his little sister who has started growing boobs (well, past started, she just graduated from a B to a C). D13 was appalled. D13 said she didn't want to think of Mrs. Hold's hooters, her own hooters, or S15 looking at hooters.

I wondered where the heck S15 and his friends are supposed to direct their eyes for an hour while sitting with Mrs. Hold and D13. What if one of the boys notices that Mrs. Hold and D13 have hooters too? shocked So for the past week we have been referring to breasts as hooters in our house.


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Hold the Hooters bit was funny! Glad to see things are going better for you and Mrs. Hold.

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OH!!! MY!!! GOSH!!!

Laughing out loud to myself! (LMAO)

The whole "full round ample heart so distactingly impressive" was HILARIOUS!!!

And the whole HOOTERS talk cracked me up!

Thank you so much for the great laugh!


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Last night I told Mrs. Hold that I liked the way her nightie wrapped itself around her personality. She laughed.

Still, this morning I woke up depressed. I have been sleeping alot and gaining weight. Maybe time to get some AD meds.


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Anyway you can go with MrsHold to work out in the mornings before work?

Btw, you can slip in "good chicken hooters, MrsHold" at dinner...

or when looking out in the yard, "Hey, there's a Robin Redhooter...Woot."

laugh

LA

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