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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Wife is on couch giving me silent treatment. Very hard to deal with. Not sure what to do when she does this. Very, very common.


It will become less common, but for now, you need to do damage control for the damage your love busters have caused. She did not cause them; you did.

Telling her you feel you were wrong to treat her this way might be a good first step.


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.
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Hill this is to be expected. Reread my beginning post to marks. This is temporary, just a point in time. You can line up your actions and values, like marks described, find your peace. Everyone is safe at home. Google "be the lighthouse marriage builders ark". It's not the same situation, but I hope you will get some peace from the parts that apply. Hang in there, you can do this.


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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Wife is on couch giving me silent treatment. Very hard to deal with. Not sure what to do when she does this. Very, very common.


It will become less common, but for now, you need to do damage control for the damage your love busters have caused. She did not cause them; you did.

Telling her you feel you were wrong to treat her this way might be a good first step.


Not this time, you can go approach her. She can play the game all she wants, she hurts me, quite literally 50% of the things she says are DJ's. No man on earth could take that. She has done silent treatment, then denied it. She told me she only hurts me and makes me feel bad, then "only a little bit." Something is wrong here, I'm not so stubborn that I'm willing to prove a point when the consequences are divorce. I'll tell you what, my dear wife is man. My wife abuses me so much that I can hardly breathe. Deny, deny, deny no matter what. Her reply to an "I would appreciate statement" is a DJ. The only thing I can do is not speak to the woman because she can look at me with a straight face, deny everything, and commit a DJ while doing so! I appreciate all that you are doing, but I need to speak with Steve, no offense.


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Some reading material for you, maybe to look over tomorrow:

* http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3600_state.html

Your wife is in withdrawal. The reason she is in withdrawal is your love busters.

Rather than doing much reading here now, though, I have the following suggestions:

* Relax and calm down
* Apologize again to your wife. There was no excuse for getting disrespectful and hot with her, even if she is not meeting your emotional needs and even if you are scared that this is somehow not going to work.
* Invite your wife to do something fun with you. If she accepts, spend the time talking about NON-relationship issues that are light and pleasant and enjoyable for her, encouraging her to communicate with you.
* If she declines the invitation, pick another emotional need and try to meet it. Domestic support, maybe? Are there dishes in the kitchen you could wash or something? Do something nice with the kids for family commitment?
* Try again on meeting those needs tomorrow.

Don't forget that rule number one for you is to calm down. Can you stay calm while she is in withdrawal and feeling negative over the events of the day?


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.
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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Wife is on couch giving me silent treatment. Very hard to deal with. Not sure what to do when she does this. Very, very common.


It will become less common, but for now, you need to do damage control for the damage your love busters have caused. She did not cause them; you did.

Telling her you feel you were wrong to treat her this way might be a good first step.


Not this time, you can go approach her. She can play the game all she wants, she hurts me, quite literally 50% of the things she says are DJ's. No man on earth could take that. She has done silent treatment, then denied it. She told me she only hurts me and makes me feel bad, then "only a little bit." Something is wrong here, I'm not so stubborn that I'm willing to prove a point when the consequences are divorce. I'll tell you what, my dear wife is man. My wife abuses me so much that I can hardly breathe. Deny, deny, deny no matter what. Her reply to an "I would appreciate statement" is a DJ. The only thing I can do is not speak to the woman because she can look at me with a straight face, deny everything, and commit a DJ while doing so! I appreciate all that you are doing, but I need to speak with Steve, no offense.


I agree, friend, you do need to speak to Steve, and I encourage you to do that at the first available opportunity.

Everything you said above is riddled with disrespectful judgments toward your wife.

The reason it's not working is your disrespectful judgments. I wouldn't expect your marriage to improve much until you have made some serious progress towards eliminating them.


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.
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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
She can play the game all she wants, she hurts me, quite literally 50% of the things she says are DJ's. No man on earth could take that.


You know, Hill, this website specializes in infidelity. Many, many of the people here reading your post have been through the trauma of their spouses having an affair. Many others have been through the trauma of physical abuse. Since you aren't going through either of those, and since many here have been through those, taken it, survived, and recovered a healthy and thriving marriage on the other side, you might want to quit trying to convince yourself that you can't take this.


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.
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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted By: markos
It will become less common, but for now, you need to do damage control for the damage your love busters have caused. She did not cause them; you did.

Telling her you feel you were wrong to treat her this way might be a good first step.


Not this time, you can go approach her.


Wow. So are you saying now that the abuse from you was acceptable?


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.
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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted By: markos
It will become less common, but for now, you need to do damage control for the damage your love busters have caused. She did not cause them; you did.

Telling her you feel you were wrong to treat her this way might be a good first step.


Not this time, you can go approach her.


What would you like me to approach her and ask her to do, exactly? Are you wanting me to approach her with a request to meet your emotional needs even in the face of abuse?


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!

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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Wife is on couch giving me silent treatment. Very hard to deal with. Not sure what to do when she does this. Very, very common.


It will become less common, but for now, you need to do damage control for the damage your love busters have caused. She did not cause them; you did.

Telling her you feel you were wrong to treat her this way might be a good first step.


Not this time, you can go approach her. She can play the game all she wants, she hurts me, quite literally 50% of the things she says are DJ's. No man on earth could take that. She has done silent treatment, then denied it. She told me she only hurts me and makes me feel bad, then "only a little bit." Something is wrong here, I'm not so stubborn that I'm willing to prove a point when the consequences are divorce. I'll tell you what, my dear wife is man. My wife abuses me so much that I can hardly breathe. Deny, deny, deny no matter what. Her reply to an "I would appreciate statement" is a DJ. The only thing I can do is not speak to the woman because she can look at me with a straight face, deny everything, and commit a DJ while doing so! I appreciate all that you are doing, but I need to speak with Steve, no offense.


I agree, friend, you do need to speak to Steve, and I encourage you to do that at the first available opportunity.

Everything you said above is riddled with disrespectful judgments toward your wife.

The reason it's not working is your disrespectful judgments. I wouldn't expect your marriage to improve much until you have made some serious progress towards eliminating them.


Is it also not working because she abuses me? By the way you phrased your question I'd say your answer is no but I'll let you answer that.


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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Is it also not working because she abuses me?


Nothing justifies abuse.

So, would you like this situation to get better? If you want to follow the Marriage Builders plan for improving the situation, then you will need to adopt a policy of eliminating abuse from yourself for any reason.

If you want to follow some other plan, be my guest. But if you want to follow the plan that works, you are going to need to do some serious hard work here and decide that you will never be disrespectful toward your wife again, ever, even if she fails and even if she is abusive toward you.

Her abuse does not cause you to abuse her. She is not causing you to act this way. You are still on the same 2-3 day cycle where things go well for a couple of days and then when your needs go unmet you become demanding, disrespectful, and angry.

Would you like to see Grace get really enthusiastic about your marriage and this program, really quickly? Show her a dramatic change that she can't miss: show her a Hilltopper who does not respond with disrespect even when HE is dissed.


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!

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You have to avoid fights at all costs. You guys are fighting now and you have got to pull out of it. You are going to have to get rid of the disrespectful attitude.

Put away the nuclear weapons. All they are getting you is mutually assured destruction.


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!

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You can be the lighthouse or the reef that she wrecks her ship on. Personally I would rather be the leader by good example than the one that gets down in the mud and slugs it out. Remember, this is your wife, the mother of your children, the woman you swore to look after and protect.

I think the LB and DJ notebook or worksheets can be a real ally to you. She says a DJ and rather than respond you say "I'll get back to you on that". Go directly to your notebook and write up the he said/she said, along with any emotions you felt. Then shelve it until the end of the week.

I have done this myself and it does really help. By the time you get to the end of the week and share your perceived DJs, much of the heat of the emotion will be gone, and you can deal with them logically.

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Originally Posted By: Happy2CU
You can be the lighthouse or the reef that she wrecks her ship on. Personally I would rather be the leader by good example than the one that gets down in the mud and slugs it out. Remember, this is your wife, the mother of your children, the woman you swore to look after and protect.

I think the LB and DJ notebook or worksheets can be a real ally to you. She says a DJ and rather than respond you say "I'll get back to you on that". Go directly to your notebook and write up the he said/she said, along with any emotions you felt. Then shelve it until the end of the week.

I have done this myself and it does really help. By the time you get to the end of the week and share your perceived DJs, much of the heat of the emotion will be gone, and you can deal with them logically.


We did this about a month ago. We did it with little notes. It was 8-0 Grace(her DJs to me) by 10am, my wife got pissed about it and we never did it again. To her credit, although she said she went to bed because she was tired, she was actually up there reading and sent me a quote from MB, so that is good. I asked her to come down and hang out but she was too tired which is fine. I thought I'd ask and wish she did, so I'll ask tomorrow.


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Yeah, but when did you share your list of DJ's at the end of the day, or at the end of the week? It is important to wait until the end of the week to share them.

I've also noticed with my DH that DJs tend to come in spurts, like half a dozen in an hour and then maybe no more until the next day or two. If you say she had 8 by 10 am, I would count that as a spurt. smile

Another thing that keeping track of these does is that you can see a pattern in them. At the end of the week you look at what parts of your relationship she is having DJs about. These will lead you to see what things she perceives as a problem.

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Wife is on couch giving me silent treatment. Very hard to deal with. Not sure what to do when she does this. Very, very common.


I'll tell you why: she is protecting herself. Her Taker is coming out to protect her. When she withdraws from you it is because she cannot trust that you will keep her safe and so her Taker does what it needs to protect her.

Is it fair? Is it right? Maybe not.

Is it possible that some of her suffering is self inflicted? Probably.

But this is your wife, the mother of your children, the woman you love. And she is hurting. Maybe her silent-treatment has an element of punishment in it, a basis in a desire to hurt you... now why would she want to do that?

Because she feels you hurt her.

How does this cycle usually work for you guys? She does the silent treatment, you feel punished so you reciprocate, punishing her, confirming to her that she was right in withdrawing from and punishing you. And that process has landed you here.

So what if you chose a different cycle? What if you chose to act from love and compassion for your wife.

See when your wife's Taker comes out it is a GOOD thing, now what that Taker does may be hurtful and harmful, but the Taker is looking out for your wife's best interest... shouldn't that be your job? If her Taker is coming out then that means there is something your Giver should be doing.

Does it mean you give in to her abusive behavior? No. But that doesn't mean you can't act from love and compassion. Apologizing never hurt anyone. Approaching her and asking if she would share with you why she has shut down and actively listening from a place of compassion will definitely break the negative cycle you are in. Validating her feelings (not her actions in withdrawing, but her feelings that caused that action) will likely draw her out of withdrawal if practiced over time.

Half of your problem right now isn't your wife. It isn't what she is doing or not doing it isn't her DJs or silent treatment.

Half of your problem right now is: YOU. Your attitude.

Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Not this time, you can go approach her. She can play the game all she wants,


I can ASSURE you she isn't playing a game. It isn't silly to her. She is in protect mode and that is dead serious. What is she protecting herself from? YOU. By saying this you show your morally superior attitude towards your wife: you're serious about fixing your marriage but she's just 'playing games'. You're the wrongfully injured party here and she's 'playing games'.

You both have a lot of work to do. Sounds like you both fell short today, but until you value your wife's efforts as equal to your own you will never be able to value HER equally to yourself... and a marriage cannot thrive unless it is one of equals.

Quote:
she hurts me, quite literally 50% of the things she says are DJ's.


Yeah and I'm sure you're all flowers and rainbows. You BOTH have dug this hole you're in. Pointing fingers at her ain't gonna get you out... only digging will.

Quote:
No man on earth could take that.


See, what you are doing here is making it ok for you to abuse and love-bust your wife and then not have to apologize for it. Somehow her actions are so horrible that your response is justified.

It isn't.

If it's that horrible, leave. If not, then man up and accept that there are no excuses for the way you are treating her. NONE.

She hurts you. That doesn't make it ok for you to hurt her. That doesn't mean you are somehow absolved of the obligation to apologize... unless of course you want an angry, withdrawn wife to share the rest of your life with.

What's more important to you: being right; being self-justified; playing the martyred victim of your wife's vicious, malicious ways? Or having a loving, caring, romantic relationship with your wife?

Because your attitude is gonna get you one of those two. Your refusal to go to her build the wall between you even higher - apologizing and going to her tears it down.

Yeah it feels safer right now with that wall a little higher... but it's lonely over there isn't it?

Quote:
She has done silent treatment, then denied it. She told me she only hurts me and makes me feel bad, then "only a little bit."


Gonna pair that with:

Quote:
We did this about a month ago. We did it with little notes. It was 8-0 Grace(her DJs to me) by 10am, my wife got pissed about it and we never did it again.


What you and your wife are doing is HARD. I think one of the hardest moments in my marriage was the day I realized how much I was DJing my husband and the toll it was taking on my marriage. A big old mirror was held up to my face and I saw the ugliness within myself.

It doesn't make it easy to go to bed at night.

Part of you wants to smash that mirror and say it isn't true. Part of you wants to run away rather than acknowledge how much pain and suffering you have caused.

It's embarrassing, humiliating, and painful when you see how badly you are messing up... what's even harder is when you realize how ingrained the habits are within yourself. You feel like it's hopeless. This is the way you think, the way you are... it seems impossible to change. Every little mistake you make you feel like a failure - you feel like you will never be able to change. You feel like you are doomed to a misery of your own making because you can't seem to make any progress.

And you wonder why your wife lashes out?

She's bailing with all her might, and you just keep pointing out every new leak as it appears.

See what you described yourself as doing is NOT what was suggested. Sounds like you gave her a little note every time you heard a DJ. What was suggested was that you wait until the end of the week when you've gained some emotional distance from the DJs and review them. This way you can look at the big picture, this way you can measure success in quantifiable ways by comparison to previous weeks. This way you can provide encouragement and loving support to your wife as she works to overcome this habit.

That isn't what you did.

Your wife was bailing out her boat, and while you pointed out each new leak she had to bail out, while she felt the water creeping up and the frustration sitting in, you were over sitting in your pristine little boat with your nice little score of 0. Your wife was drowning, but you were patting yourself on the back over how much lower your score was than hers.

And you wonder why she never wanted to do it again?

She has a problem. She needs your help and support - not your ridicule and self-righteousness.

Quote:
Something is wrong here,


Yes, it is... but it isn't what you think it is.

Quote:
I'm not so stubborn that I'm willing to prove a point when the consequences are divorce.


From where I am sitting, that is EXACTLY what it is you are doing. You've just put a nice, self-righteous, martyrs window dressing over it so you don't have to feel so bad about it, so you don't have to acknowledge it.

Quote:
I'll tell you what, my dear wife is man.


This is so blatantly disrespectful and outrageous I want to just shake you.

Your wife is a woman who is TRYING. She is a woman who is hurting.

And this is how you think of her?

Could you be any more invalidating if you tried?

Quote:
My wife abuses me so much that I can hardly breathe.


I am almost positive your wife feels the EXACT SAME WAY.

Think about that.

What you are feeling, your wife is too - and YOU are the cause.

So remind me again why you aren't making different choices? Because the attitude you're displaying here is EXACTLY what has created this atmosphere of mutual abuse... and you seem pretty comfortable with your current mindset.

Quote:
Deny, deny, deny no matter what.


Easier to deny then work at what seems a hopeless effort for someone you don't really like much.

Her denial is self-protection. Remove from her the need for self-protection and you will likely never see the denial again.

Quote:
Her reply to an "I would appreciate statement" is a DJ.


She sounds like she's tapped out. Her Taker is out in full force. Why is that?

Quote:
The only thing I can do is not speak to the woman because she can look at me with a straight face, deny everything, and commit a DJ while doing so!


Yeah - its a habit she has developed to protect herself. It isn't a good one, but if you take the time to understand where she is coming from maybe you can see a way to keep her from having to resort to these tactics constantly.

Quote:
I appreciate all that you are doing, but I need to speak with Steve, no offense.


Yeah, you do.


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Originally Posted By: markos
You have to avoid fights at all costs. You guys are fighting now and you have got to pull out of it. You are going to have to get rid of the disrespectful attitude.

Put away the nuclear weapons. All they are getting you is mutually assured destruction.


I'm not sure what I feel now, don't think it is love anymore at this point. I keep saying that I love my wife with all my heart but do I? I have feelings for her, I want to have sex with her. She is the mother of my kids but I don't know what I feel. I'm numb. She has many times said she is willing to move on. Maybe she is, I don't know, I thought she was just being spiteful. I want to feel and I'm trying so hard to feel anything, but most of all I feel that no matter how many days, weeks, months, or years I do the right thing that I'll never feel loved enough. Maybe I'm the cause of it all, in fact I feel by your feedback that I am. What changed and when? I mean we fought plenty over the years but for what? To get each our own way with things? I didn't say but I wanted to say that, "we both aren't really willing to do what we need to do to make each other happy because we really don't want to." I'm sick of doing things because I'm afraid. I don't want to stay with my wife simply because my parents or society or friends say you're supposed to remain married. At the same time how selfish am I or my wife for remaining married just because we think it is socially acceptable. She told me tonight that, "you deserve someone who treats you with affection and treats you with how you want to be treated because obviously I can't do that." What does that mean? I'll tell you it hurts something fierce. I've felt for a long time my wife doesn't love me, so much so I thought she was cheating on me. Do I want a great marriage? YES! Does she? I just don't know. I need to reset and make this right but I'm at a loss for how to do so. I want her to do so this time, is that wrong?


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Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
Quote:
Wife is on couch giving me silent treatment. Very hard to deal with. Not sure what to do when she does this. Very, very common.


I'll tell you why: she is protecting herself. Her Taker is coming out to protect her. When she withdraws from you it is because she cannot trust that you will keep her safe and so her Taker does what it needs to protect her.

Is it fair? Is it right? Maybe not.

Is it possible that some of her suffering is self inflicted? Probably.

But this is your wife, the mother of your children, the woman you love. And she is hurting. Maybe her silent-treatment has an element of punishment in it, a basis in a desire to hurt you... now why would she want to do that?

Because she feels you hurt her.

How does this cycle usually work for you guys? She does the silent treatment, you feel punished so you reciprocate, punishing her, confirming to her that she was right in withdrawing from and punishing you. And that process has landed you here.

So what if you chose a different cycle? What if you chose to act from love and compassion for your wife.

See when your wife's Taker comes out it is a GOOD thing, now what that Taker does may be hurtful and harmful, but the Taker is looking out for your wife's best interest... shouldn't that be your job? If her Taker is coming out then that means there is something your Giver should be doing.

Does it mean you give in to her abusive behavior? No. But that doesn't mean you can't act from love and compassion. Apologizing never hurt anyone. Approaching her and asking if she would share with you why she has shut down and actively listening from a place of compassion will definitely break the negative cycle you are in. Validating her feelings (not her actions in withdrawing, but her feelings that caused that action) will likely draw her out of withdrawal if practiced over time.

Half of your problem right now isn't your wife. It isn't what she is doing or not doing it isn't her DJs or silent treatment.

Half of your problem right now is: YOU. Your attitude.

Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Not this time, you can go approach her. She can play the game all she wants,


I can ASSURE you she isn't playing a game. It isn't silly to her. She is in protect mode and that is dead serious. What is she protecting herself from? YOU. By saying this you show your morally superior attitude towards your wife: you're serious about fixing your marriage but she's just 'playing games'. You're the wrongfully injured party here and she's 'playing games'.

You both have a lot of work to do. Sounds like you both fell short today, but until you value your wife's efforts as equal to your own you will never be able to value HER equally to yourself... and a marriage cannot thrive unless it is one of equals.

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she hurts me, quite literally 50% of the things she says are DJ's.


Yeah and I'm sure you're all flowers and rainbows. You BOTH have dug this hole you're in. Pointing fingers at her ain't gonna get you out... only digging will.

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No man on earth could take that.


See, what you are doing here is making it ok for you to abuse and love-bust your wife and then not have to apologize for it. Somehow her actions are so horrible that your response is justified.

It isn't.

If it's that horrible, leave. If not, then man up and accept that there are no excuses for the way you are treating her. NONE.

She hurts you. That doesn't make it ok for you to hurt her. That doesn't mean you are somehow absolved of the obligation to apologize... unless of course you want an angry, withdrawn wife to share the rest of your life with.

What's more important to you: being right; being self-justified; playing the martyred victim of your wife's vicious, malicious ways? Or having a loving, caring, romantic relationship with your wife?

Because your attitude is gonna get you one of those two. Your refusal to go to her build the wall between you even higher - apologizing and going to her tears it down.

Yeah it feels safer right now with that wall a little higher... but it's lonely over there isn't it?

Quote:
She has done silent treatment, then denied it. She told me she only hurts me and makes me feel bad, then "only a little bit."


Gonna pair that with:

Quote:
We did this about a month ago. We did it with little notes. It was 8-0 Grace(her DJs to me) by 10am, my wife got pissed about it and we never did it again.


What you and your wife are doing is HARD. I think one of the hardest moments in my marriage was the day I realized how much I was DJing my husband and the toll it was taking on my marriage. A big old mirror was held up to my face and I saw the ugliness within myself.

It doesn't make it easy to go to bed at night.

Part of you wants to smash that mirror and say it isn't true. Part of you wants to run away rather than acknowledge how much pain and suffering you have caused.

It's embarrassing, humiliating, and painful when you see how badly you are messing up... what's even harder is when you realize how ingrained the habits are within yourself. You feel like it's hopeless. This is the way you think, the way you are... it seems impossible to change. Every little mistake you make you feel like a failure - you feel like you will never be able to change. You feel like you are doomed to a misery of your own making because you can't seem to make any progress.

And you wonder why your wife lashes out?

She's bailing with all her might, and you just keep pointing out every new leak as it appears.

See what you described yourself as doing is NOT what was suggested. Sounds like you gave her a little note every time you heard a DJ. What was suggested was that you wait until the end of the week when you've gained some emotional distance from the DJs and review them. This way you can look at the big picture, this way you can measure success in quantifiable ways by comparison to previous weeks. This way you can provide encouragement and loving support to your wife as she works to overcome this habit.

That isn't what you did.

Your wife was bailing out her boat, and while you pointed out each new leak she had to bail out, while she felt the water creeping up and the frustration sitting in, you were over sitting in your pristine little boat with your nice little score of 0. Your wife was drowning, but you were patting yourself on the back over how much lower your score was than hers.

And you wonder why she never wanted to do it again?

She has a problem. She needs your help and support - not your ridicule and self-righteousness.

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Something is wrong here,


Yes, it is... but it isn't what you think it is.

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I'm not so stubborn that I'm willing to prove a point when the consequences are divorce.


From where I am sitting, that is EXACTLY what it is you are doing. You've just put a nice, self-righteous, martyrs window dressing over it so you don't have to feel so bad about it, so you don't have to acknowledge it.

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I'll tell you what, my dear wife is man.


This is so blatantly disrespectful and outrageous I want to just shake you.

Your wife is a woman who is TRYING. She is a woman who is hurting.

And this is how you think of her?

Could you be any more invalidating if you tried?

Quote:
My wife abuses me so much that I can hardly breathe.


I am almost positive your wife feels the EXACT SAME WAY.

Think about that.

What you are feeling, your wife is too - and YOU are the cause.

So remind me again why you aren't making different choices? Because the attitude you're displaying here is EXACTLY what has created this atmosphere of mutual abuse... and you seem pretty comfortable with your current mindset.

Quote:
Deny, deny, deny no matter what.


Easier to deny then work at what seems a hopeless effort for someone you don't really like much.

Her denial is self-protection. Remove from her the need for self-protection and you will likely never see the denial again.

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Her reply to an "I would appreciate statement" is a DJ.


She sounds like she's tapped out. Her Taker is out in full force. Why is that?

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The only thing I can do is not speak to the woman because she can look at me with a straight face, deny everything, and commit a DJ while doing so!


Yeah - its a habit she has developed to protect herself. It isn't a good one, but if you take the time to understand where she is coming from maybe you can see a way to keep her from having to resort to these tactics constantly.

Quote:
I appreciate all that you are doing, but I need to speak with Steve, no offense.


Yeah, you do.


This is quite possibly the greatest heart felt post I've ever read. Since I don't know how to respond to each and every comment you make let me do my usual non-grammatical run-on posts I usually make. I'd say I love you but I don't know you but this is so meaningful to me I thought I'd say it anyways!

I want to protect her so much. I'm so incapable of controlling my emotions and not lashing back out at her. She hurts me. She hurts me so much. YES, you understand me. I react to her treatment with punishment and it is wrong. I hate that about me. Why do I do it? I just don't know, but I will try to stop it forever.

Do I value my wife's effort equal to that of my own? No I don't right or wrong, ok so i know it is wrong.

I'm not free of fault at all. My wife does speak in DJs however, that is not in my imagination. I'm awful at bringing it out the right way. In fact I'll probably offend you but I feel as if my wife can't speak to me unless it is rude and disrespectful. I can't stop feeling that, it is real, but I am wrong for responding with equal DJs.

Honestly? I'm considering leaving. Do you think it is because I'm safe? I don't think it is but again I could be full of emotions and wrong. Yes something is very wrong. Did I cause it? I guess it doesn't matter, I need to fix it.

I have a hard time with the YOU in this. Am I taking it wrong?

When do I protect myself? Am I allowed? I feel wronged and want to make sure I'm not hurt again. When I give, give, give, and don't hurt or DJ, I get scared after a few days because she hurts me back anyways. I don't want to be hurt anymore. Thanks for this post, it was amazing and insightful.


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Quote:
I want to protect her so much. I'm so incapable of controlling my emotions and not lashing back out at her. She hurts me. She hurts me so much. YES, you understand me. I react to her treatment with punishment and it is wrong. I hate that about me. Why do I do it? I just don't know, but I will try to stop it forever.


I know - you are both trapped in a vicious cycle of hurt and rehurt, of punish and retaliation. I understand your pain, and it's ok to feel pain when the person you love punishes you. She DJs you. She does. It hurts.

You do it because it hurts. You do it because you want to protect yourself from the hurt. You do it because you think that if you punish her enough, she'll stop hurting you.

But that is never going to work. All it does is create more hurt.

You aren't incapable of holding back. You gave yourself permission to lash out at her, you can revoke that permission. Does that mean you will never DJ her again? Does that mean you will never hurt her again? Does that mean you will never seek to punish her again? Probably not.

But it means that each time you DO slip up you will be aware of it, you will seek to apologize and make up for it and you will emerge with a renewed determination to do better next time.

And slowly, over time, these destructive habits you have developed and even cultivated with dissipate... until to DJ your wife would be akin to hitting yourself in the head with a brick, you just wouldn't do it.

Quote:
My wife does speak in DJs however, that is not in my imagination. I'm awful at bringing it out the right way. In fact I'll probably offend you but I feel as if my wife can't speak to me unless it is rude and disrespectful. I can't stop feeling that, it is real, but I am wrong for responding with equal DJs.


This - it probably seems like your wife love busts SO often that all her words are DJs. It's also probable that you are so used to being hurt, that even when you're wife ISN'T DJing you you feel hurt.

Yes, you are wrong in retaliating.

No you aren't wrong in feeling hurt.

Feelings are. There is no right or wrong to feelings. Do not be ashamed of your feelings and do not seek to change your wife's feelings. That is a fundamental element of respect. Respect for yourself and respect for your wife.

Actions are completely different. While your feelings may be justified, while they are valid, the ACTIONS those feelings spur can be absolutely wrong.

It is ok to be hurt. It is not ok to attempt to punish your wife because you are hurt.

Quote:
Do I value my wife's effort equal to that of my own? No I don't right or wrong, ok so i know it is wrong.


So what are you going to do to change this view?

It comes down to a matter of Respect. It doesn't sound like you respect your wife very much. Perhaps a lot of that is a result of her own actions, however, she is your wife, she is the mother of your children, she is a human being, and as such she deserves a basic level of respect that you are not currently affording her.

Consider for a moment the idea that everything she does makes sense and is done for a reason, and that reason may not be based in malice towards you. Consider that she may be more motivated by the need for self-preservation than hilltoper-preservation. If forced to make a choice between her own well-being and that of your own she will chose hers, not because she actively wishes harm on you, but because she cannot trust that you won't harm her. So she will do whatever it takes to protect herself, even if it means hurting you. It isn't hurting you for the sake of hurting you, but protecting herself and you get hurt as a consequence... and while she isn't crazy about that idea it is more acceptable that laying down on the train tracks.

It isn't right what she is doing.

But seek to understand WHY it is she is doing it.

From that understanding will come respect and compassion.

It won't change the fact that she has hurt you, but maybe it will provide you with the strength to not retaliate. Perhaps it will give you the ability to act from love and compassion for her instead of seeking to punish. It may keep you from kicking her when she's already down, which is what your retaliation is.

Quote:
Honestly? I'm considering leaving.


I hope you don't. I know you're probably feeling tapped out and exhausted. This is gruelling, and it always gets worse before it gets better, but it DOES get better. You're at that rough, adolescent stage. You know just enough to know things can be better, but you don't yet have the skills yet to make them so, and since progress can seem so slow as to be non-existant, you question your ability to even develop those skills. This BTW is what your wife was expressing when she said

Quote:
"you deserve someone who treats you with affection and treats you with how you want to be treated because obviously I can't do that."


These feelings you are feeling - your wife is feeling them too.

Quote:
Do you think it is because I'm safe? I don't think it is but again I could be full of emotions and wrong. Yes something is very wrong. Did I cause it? I guess it doesn't matter, I need to fix it.


No, doesn't sound like either of you are emotionally safe with the other. You caused at least half of it, but really focusing on blame is a distraction. Doesn't matter who started it, you both gotta fix it.

Pointing fingers, keeping tallys (like that 8-0 score) are distractions, they're hurtful and they keep you from seeing the progress you are making and solving the problems right in front of you.

Quote:
I have a hard time with the YOU in this. Am I taking it wrong?


Of course you are. It is very hard to ACTUALLY look at what you are doing wrong. It is one thing to pay lip service to acknowledging your mistakes, but actually OWNING them is painful. It is hard. Since you got here you've admitted you've made mistakes, at least in words... but somewhere in the back of your mind you were comforted by the idea that as bad as your mistakes were, your wife's were just a little bit worse.

Now we're getting down to the nitty-gritty. Now you're starting to see the REAL role you've played in getting here. Now is when you gotta look at that mirror and see what is really there: the ugly that is looking you in the face.

That feeling you had every time you read a YOU is the exact same feeling your wife had each time you wrote down her DJs and shoved them in her face.

But the only way we can fix this is if you actually OWN what it is you are doing wrong. Yeah, it is painful... but you gotta do it if you wanna get through the other side of this a better man, a better husband.

Quote:
When do I protect myself? Am I allowed? I feel wronged and want to make sure I'm not hurt again. When I give, give, give, and don't hurt or DJ, I get scared after a few days because she hurts me back anyways. I don't want to be hurt anymore.


Yes, you should protect yourself. In fact you must protect yourself. But - you should protect yourself in ways that will not cause further damage. You shouldn't fall into retaliation. If your wife is hurting you, it is ok to remove yourself from her. But, let her know what you are doing, let her know where you are going and for how long, and then connect with her in a positive way when you return.

If you are giving and giving and giving, but not taking, there is something wrong. Listen to your Taker. Ignoring it will cause you to retaliate and punish. If you aren't asking from your wife for those things you need, you are setting yourselves up for a future hurt. So check in with your Taker frequently.

Also - you two have trained yourself to this cycle of hurt. It is going to take a while before you get out of it, and even longer before you stop waiting for it to come back.

The path from Withdrawal to Intimacy is through CONFLICT. You don't get there any other way. You gotta walk through the fire to come out purified.

It is going to hurt, it is going to be scary, and it is going to seem like the hardest thing you've ever done, but you will not get to intimacy unless you fight for it.

You can do it. I know you can.

As for the DJs - I do recommend keeping track of them, but review them once a week, after you've received some distance from them.

Hang in there Hill - it gets better.


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Hilltopper ...
I like you ... you seem like a guy who desires nothing but the best for his family ...

but ...

KNOCK IT OFF!

You are not currently following the program. This program will not work unless you follow it.

You've got a wife who is on board and willing to give it a try ... for the moment. The only person who can't seem to see that is you.

You are going to find yourself in this same hellhole (or worse) a year from now unless you get yourself under control. The abuse and pity parties have GOT TO STOP.


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Originally Posted By: Hilltopper1972
Do I want a great marriage? YES! Does she? I just don't know. I need to reset and make this right but I'm at a loss for how to do so. I want her to do so this time, is that wrong?


My understanding is that she already told you she was sorry.

Are you hoping for a reset where you don't have to acknowledge that your love busters are wrong, too?

I gave you some reset instructions awhile back. I'll see if I can find them and repost them. I think following those instructions last time led you to a place where you were pretty happy and optimistic.


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.
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