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Originally Posted By: MrAlias
She has always been this way. It's better now then it was about 5 or 6 years ago but it's still way too little. Heck my compromise was once a week when its possible. I thought I could live with that. Up to this point I have no idea if I could because it has seldom happened.


I'm confused. So even when you were dating, the SF was low frequency? If so, I'm not sure the "falling in love" is going to solve the issue.


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Originally Posted By: kilted_thrower
Has she said she's in love with you? You keep saying you believe she is. This is an assumption.


I agree with this. Her actions don't bespeak someone who is in romantic love. I think people sometimes confuse caring love with romantic love and I wonder if that is not the case here.


"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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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Do you not understand that accusing people of being "cultish" or even "dogmatic" is insulting? When you insult someone and attempt to dismiss them you invite argument. I take issue with being branded as "cultish." How dare you.


I apologize.

Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Yes, that is what we are here to discuss, isn't it? Did you see the sign on the door?


Perhaps you and I differ in our intrepretation of the sign on the door.

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This forum is open not only to those who have questions, but also to those with comments or suggestions. So we recommend that all participants of the discussion forum be familiar with Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts. However, the advice given is NOT to be construed as professional advice, nor is it even endorsed by Marriage Builders, unless Dr. Harley is specifically named as the responder. It's available to you as an opportunity to explore other people's opinions as they relate to your problem.


I believe I am familiar with the concepts and am in good faith allowing people the opportunity to explore other people's opinions as they relate to their problem.

If their is a sign on the door that says my opinions must be limited to encouraging strict adherence to MB, then I must have missed it.

Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
That sounds to me like you have simply lowered your standards. I think its important to ask if this approach has worked for you.


I find this to be insulting. How dare you.

My approach has worked quite well for me.


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Originally Posted By: rprynne

I believe I am familiar with the concepts and am in good faith allowing people the opportunity to explore other people's opinions as they relate to their problem.

If their is a sign on the door that says my opinions must be limited to encouraging strict adherence to MB, then I must have missed it.


You must have apparently. One of the reasons this man's marriage is such a wreck after coming to this forum for 8 years is because posters were not sticking to Marriage Builders concepts. They were all yapping about their own personal opinions to the detriment of those who were seeking help. And unfortunately, their best thinking screwed up their own marriages.

So, you do this man a great disservice by suggesting we don't stick to MB around here.

Substituting our own personal opinions for MB is addressed in the Announcements Section:
Quote:
This announcement is to clarify our policy about the discussion of other marriage books and programs on our forum. Such discussion is acceptable, except on the threads of those seeking help for their marriages. Offering alternative methods to those in need promises to confuse and discourage them, often leading to unnecessary debates. Posters attempting to help should not be put in the position of having to debate basic principles. That is not helpful to anyone, most especially the poster in need.


In other words, we need to be sticking to the program on this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
That sounds to me like you have simply lowered your standards. I think its important to ask if this approach has worked for you.


I find this to be insulting. How dare you.

My approach has worked quite well for me.


If there is nothing wrong with your standard of simply "not being unhappy" then what is the issue with pointing that out? That is not the same standard that MB sets so I can't imagine why it would be an issue to point that out.


"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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Mr. Alias has stated that his wife is very loving, demonstrative in other ways, and an overall great partner.

For whatever reason, though,sex just isn't on her agenda. Maybe, as an example, it ranks to her as shopping for a purse ranks to a man. I wouldn't want to shop for a purse every week, let alone every month.

And even if I POJA'd to shop for a purse with my wife every month, instead of every week like she really wants, I would get a little panicky, imagining all of the months ahead in life that I need to do this thing that I really don't feel like doing.

Such is the stalemate that occurs.

I make decent money, but I would be absolutely terrified if my wife said it wasn't enough to satisfy her anymore, and she really requires more financial support.

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I am going to caution posters to keep your posts productive and helpful to the OP. If you can help this poster with Marriage Builders concepts, we encourage your assistance. If not, then please refrain from posting! The purpose of this forum is to discuss Marriage Builders.

Any questions, shoot me an email. Thank you.


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Originally Posted By: EasyE

And even if I POJA'd to shop for a purse with my wife every month, instead of every week like she really wants, I would get a little panicky, imagining all of the months ahead in life that I need to do this thing that I really don't feel like doing.



That is not POJA, though. What you describe is compromise, which is bad for marriage. Agreeing to do something you find unpleasant is not a solution, it is a death sentence. Because most spouses will not do something they don't like for long. And the longer they do it, the more resentment is created. That is how incompatibility is created.

This is why enthusiasism is a critical component of POJA. It is critical. We can always wrest grudging agreements from our spouses but it will always blow up in our face. A grudging agreement is worse than no agreement.

The solution is to find a way to meet his needs that she finds PLEASANT. Women need 2 things to enjoy sex: an emotional attachment and the prospect of enjoyment. It might be that she is not in love with him [which is what I sort of suspect even though he feels otherwise] and/or does not enjoy the way he makes love. If one or more of those elements are present, then she won't want to make love to him.

And if she is the kind who does not practice radical honesty, he might never get to the bottom of the problem unless they use this program and she learns to practice radical honesty.


"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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Originally Posted By: MrAlias
My wife and I know the concepts. We've taken the surveys. We talk occassionally about where we are at and whether or not we're happy. Lately she hasn't asked because she knows the answer. We make mutual decisions about things that are of importance. It isn't a formalized method but we do it our way and it works.



Honest question; when is the last time you did the questionnaires?

I simply ask because of this; over time, you may find that your needs, and how you like them to be met, change. Sometimes, you won't even notice it.

Your top need 6 months ago may not be your top need now. Furthermore, the needs that are best met at any given time, because they are met properly, may suddenly not rank as high as those being met poorly, or not at all.

A simple review of your EN's and LB's is a great place to begin, even more so if she is willing to participate, which I hope since she is familiar with the material.

Did you do the online program?

I haven't myself, but believe that if you are having issues with follow-through and accountability that it would be a MUST. Not to mention, the price-tag is a good incentive to get off your butt and do the work.

It seems things may have gone loosey-goosey, and that it isn't working for you. Not because the concepts don't work, but because not using them properly does not.

So then you go back to basics. Do the questionnaires, get in 20+ hours of UA time since you are in crisis mode, and maintain 15+ hours some time after you restore that feeling of love.


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"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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Going to drop off this thread. Good luck with things MrA


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Originally Posted By: kilted_thrower
Has she said she's in love with you? You keep saying you believe she is. This is an assumption.


We both say it every day. The part I'm assuming is the part where I believe she's romantically in love with me. Have I asked her this? Nope. Been working up the courage to have that conversation. After the way we've been going lately I'm pretty sure she'd feel the need to express her disappointment in the way I've withdrawn. Which in turn has caused similar effect in herself.


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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane


The solution is to find a way to meet his needs that she finds PLEASANT. Women need 2 things to enjoy sex: an emotional attachment and the prospect of enjoyment. It might be that she is not in love with him [which is what I sort of suspect even though he feels otherwise] and/or does not enjoy the way he makes love. If one or more of those elements are present, then she won't want to make love to him.


Sorry but there is probably a 3rd thing and that is No mental roadblocks to SF. I think my wife still continues to struggle somewhat with a bunch of factors that flow through her head when it comes to SF.

1). The sexual abuse she suffered from the hands of her brother when she was not quite a teenager. Plus an attempted rape.
2). All the horrible messages delivered by her mother that leaves my wife with a bad feeling in her stomach. "Women are meant to be seen and not heard. Sex is bad and should never be discussed in conversation."
3). She still isn't happy that I wasn't enthusiastic about more kids.

Maybe those come lumped into the prospect of enjoyment but for the most part are things I have little control over. Doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy sex or doesn't love me enough. It just means there are roadblocks.

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MrA - has she sought counseling to deal with the abuse? Is it possible she has an aversion? Have you worked through the process Dr. Harley lays out to overcome a sexual aversion? Does she, physically, enjoy sex?


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Originally Posted By: MrAlias

Maybe those come lumped into the prospect of enjoyment but for the most part are things I have little control over. Doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy sex or doesn't love me enough. It just means there are roadblocks.


None of those are roadblocks, though. Most people have stuff like that in their past and it has nothing to do with the present. She can learn to enjoy sex in the present without dragging any of that stuff out.

Originally Posted By: Dr Willard Harley
"First I fix the relationship, and nine times out of ten, sexual problems disappear, with or without unresolved childhood experiences. I spend very little time fixing sexual problems these days because most couples I counsel don't have sexual problems after they have learned to follow the Policy of Joint Agreement. "

here


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Originally Posted By: MrAlias

We both say it every day. The part I'm assuming is the part where I believe she's romantically in love with me. Have I asked her this? Nope. Been working up the courage to have that conversation.


The Harleys have an actual test they give their clients to determine if they are really IN love. They MEASURE this. And keep in mind they differentiate between romantic and caring love. I have no doubt that your wife has a caring love for you, but I would question whether she has a romantic passion for you. That is usually the critical missing ingredient in marriages where the wife is not interested in sex.


"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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Quote:
An aversion is a negative emotional reaction that's been conditioned to a behavior. In other words, if you have bad experiences doing something, you will learn to associate those bad experiences with the task. The very thought of it will eventually create anxiety and unhappiness, and then doing it will make matters even worse.

Some psychologists, for reasons known only to them, like to shock rats. They have shown that if you subject a poor rat to an electric shock every time it takes a drink of water, it will not necessarily stop drinking water. But the rat will become very nervous whenever it does.

Humans go through the same experience. If your boss yells at you occasionally when you go to the water cooler, you will find yourself very tense whenever you drink from it. Your boss's yelling, which gives you a negative emotional reaction, becomes conditioned to your drinking from the water cooler. It's not the drinking itself that's unpleasant, it's the association of drinking with your boss yelling that triggers your reaction.

Aversions can be created in association with anything we do. Unpleasant classroom experiences can create "school phobia," something many children have great difficulty overcoming. An automobile accident can leave people with a fear of driving. Even shopping for groceries can raise anxiety in people who have had a bad grocery shopping experience.


Quote:
Remember how you developed the aversion in the first place? You associated a certain behavior, having sex, with an unpleasant emotional reaction to something your husband did to you. Eventually the unpleasant reaction was triggered whenever you even thought about having sex with your husband, and certainly whenever you made love.

To overcome the aversion, you must break the association of sex with your husband from the unpleasant emotional reaction. The easiest way to do that is to associate sex with the state of relaxation.


Here

I may have to make an e-mail about it, but studies being done with PTSD cases have been using a Beta-blocker to blunt the physiological effect of memory triggers.

In the article, Dr. Harley mentions electrically shocking rats to create an aversion to drinking water. The beginning studies in this vein began by subjecting rats to a loud blast of noise.

They then administered the drug and subjected the rat to the noise again. The finding was that after treatment and exposure to the trigger (the loud noise) that the aversion, or fear reaction, to the noise faded.

A cited human case study had a PTSD case write out the traumatic event - the drug was administered, and then the patient read the description of the vent.

Again, the negative response began to fade with time.

This is not erasing the memory, but blunting the link between a memory or memory trigger and the physiological response.

The longer name for Beta-blockers is Beta adrenergic antagonists. Simply explained, they block cell receptors which are reactive to the neurotransmitter epinephrine - AKA adreneline.

This neurotransmitter is released by the sympathetic nervous system in times of crisis; in the case of a PTSD patient, this would be a memory trigger or "flashback."


Getting to the point; if she is having problems with aversion, 1) read Dr. Harley's approach to overcoming aversion, and 2) have a chat with your physician regarding Beta-blockers and PTSD symptoms.

The combination of the two would be very potent and could potentially eliminate her aversion without subjecting her to navel-gazing counseling.


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I think the beta blockers are basically serving the same purpose as the deep relaxation used in Harley's steps to overcome sexual aversion.

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Originally Posted By: Helianthus
I think the beta blockers are basically serving the same purpose as the deep relaxation used in Harley's steps to overcome sexual aversion.


Absolutely.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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She has been to several counselors and today takes a generic form of Zoloft. She started taking these when she was going thru postpartum depression and new found anxieties (fear of storms).

The last counselor that she/we saw used EFT and it had a very positive impact on her. Her OCD behaviors have minimized considerably ... they are still there but much less noticeable now.

To answer the other questions yes she enjoys sex. We discussed it and she said she does enjoy but she also turns around and says she could live without it. Probably 50% of the time I'm able to help her achieve orgasm (I assume that's a sign of enjoyment). The other 50% of the time I don't think she's interested in having one and its more about me being taken care of.


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Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
Have you worked through the process Dr. Harley lays out to overcome a sexual aversion?


She will refuse to follow suggestions from this website.

I was able to get her to participate in the EN questionaires some 8 years ago.

Since then she's more interested in us working out our own problems. She did seek counseling for her anxities and while there they also discussed all aspects of her life. If you were to ask her she would say she doesn't have an aversion, she's over the abuse. She just isn't that interested in SF. She has agreed it is important to us because its important to me.


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Oh boy, anti-depressants are known to be libido killers.
And the history of abuse makes it an uphill battle for sure.
Your case is very similar to what mine was.

Honestly, you are lucky things are going so well otherwise.

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