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I have been reading this site for a while. I have given my husband the link and some articles I liked, and we have taken some of the questionnaires. We have not instituted the Policy of Joint Agreement, although I would like to.

After completing the emotional needs survey, we basically discovered I am meeting all of his needs and his is not meeting several of mine (I do know ways I can improve some areas he did not identify as very important and am working to do so). The results reinforced my feelings that he is not listening to me.

I don't understand how I can get him to take me seriously.

For example, my husband wants to pay off debt, and I want to do work on the house. We both agree we need to pay off some debt first. Once we pay off the debt, we are disagreeing about what to do next. I want to fix up the house. And, some of the work on the house could be done concurrently if we work together. If my husband doesn't think the work needs to be done, he won't help me.

The other posts I read typically say...have sex (we do everyday).....lose weight/look nice (already look great and he tells me)...I can act happy when I'm not and be extra nice, but if he doesn't care does this help my cause?

One area that he said was being met but could improve, is showing him respect/admiration. When I ask what I could do to make this happen, I am told not to complain about the things around the house that I want done.

What ends up happening, is either nobody does the work, or I do it by myself and resent him for not caring or being grateful.

How do I handle my needs being met? If I ask for help, I am told no. If I voice my unhappiness, I am told I am damaging his needs.

Please, help!

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29


For example, my husband wants to pay off debt, and I want to do work on the house. We both agree we need to pay off some debt first. Once we pay off the debt, we are disagreeing about what to do next. I want to fix up the house. And, some of the work on the house could be done concurrently if we work together. If my husband doesn't think the work needs to be done, he won't help me.


Then the work does not get done until and unless you can both reach an agreement. The default position is to do nothing until an agreement is reached. An enthusiastic agreement.

Quote:
The other posts I read typically say...have sex (we do everyday).....lose weight/look nice (already look great and he tells me)...I can act happy when I'm not and be extra nice, but if he doesn't care does this help my cause?


No one has has asked you to "act happy."

Quote:
One area that he said was being met but could improve, is showing him respect/admiration. When I ask what I could do to make this happen, I am told not to complain about the things around the house that I want done.


It is ok to complain, but it is not ok to make selfish demands of him. If you want something done, then HE needs to agree to it. you shouldn't be making unilateral decisions about what is done around the house.

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How do I handle my needs being met? If I ask for help, I am told no. If I voice my unhappiness, I am told I am damaging his needs.


Which need is he not meeting? What are your top emotional needs? You and your husband need to find a way to meet each others needs that makes the giver happy too.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted By: Unheard29

After completing the emotional needs survey, we basically discovered I am meeting all of his needs and his is not meeting several of mine


That sounds pretty normal, in general women are better at knowing their needs than men are!

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
The results reinforced my feelings that he is not listening to me.

I don't understand how I can get him to take me seriously.


Dr Harley encourages us to voice complaints. Not by nagging but to express our needs in a respectful way. We cannot expect our spouses to be mind readers.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29

For example, my husband wants to pay off debt, and I want to do work on the house. We both agree we need to pay off some debt first. Once we pay off the debt, we are disagreeing about what to do next. I want to fix up the house.


So you are in agreement on paying off the debt which is excellent. While you do this you can POJA the next decision. Remember that the default action is to do nothing so, until you are in agreement, the money will go into a savings account, right?

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
And, some of the work on the house could be done concurrently if we work together. If my husband doesn't think the work needs to be done, he won't help me.


Of course not. Unless you are both enthusiastic about this, it will be sitting on hands time.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29

One area that he said was being met but could improve, is showing him respect/admiration. When I ask what I could do to make this happen, I am told not to complain about the things around the house that I want done.


Be very careful here. You do not take it in turns to meet each other's needs. You meet his needs because they are his needs and you love him and he meets yours for the same reason. If he is not meeting your needs, you address that issue. He is giving you some good feedback here, pay attention to what he is saying and be more respectful and voice more admiration. Thank him for this feedback!

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
What ends up happening, is either nobody does the work, or I do it by myself and resent him for not caring or being grateful.


That's the way non MB marriages work. Not good eh?

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
How do I handle my needs being met? If I ask for help, I am told no. If I voice my unhappiness, I am told I am damaging his needs.


Clearly one of your needs is for domestic support. It sounds as if your DH has either not understood that or has not understood how important it is. It is your job to communicate this to him. The two of you need to sit down and find a way for him to support you that he is enthusiastic about.

But take care. Many wives make the mistake of asking for help but wanting to chose the tasks and requiring that the things be done exactly as they wish. IF that is something you are guilty of, change now; allow him to chose both the tasks and the method. Imagine if he did that to you? Personally I can't imagine anything that would make me less enthusiastic.


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You can't decide to something on your own that your husband does not want to do. If he doesn't want to do it, he should not. You can't demand he do something he doesn't want to do.

Have you punished his resistance in ANY way? Have you gotten unpleasant and cold when he does not submit?

You can think up ways to encourage his enthusiasm, but you can't impose your will.

I'm also curious as to why you are placing so much emphasis on house improvements, when several of your emotional needs are not being met!!!

When our needs are not met it can cause great depression, even health problems in women. I would have assumed your emotional needs would be more of a priority for you right now than this.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29

What ends up happening, is either nobody does the work, or I do it by myself and resent him for not caring or being grateful.



The mystery deepens.


What do home repairs have to do with being caring and grateful?

I never heard of anyone being caring with a hammer.

I think you would find it affectionate if he did something you have mentioned you want, yes?

I also think if he would discuss house repairs with you, it would be interesting conversation for you.

I don't think this is about home repairs at all - it's about needs like affection and IC.

However he can meet those needs in other ways that HE would find pleasant too.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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I appreciate all the comments.

The one thing I would like to bring up is not doing anything until there is joint agreement. That is our problem. There is no joint agreement. I can brainstorm forever, and we will do nothing. Doing nothing is making everything worse. How do you break out of the cycle of doing nothing?

Also, he is well aware of my need for affection and domestic support. In the past, the domestic support was always hired. Now we are agreeing not to hire to save money. I agree with this. I can wait on some things, but there are other things we could easily do together. He is aware of my feelings and wants to do nothing.

According to your advice, he should do something else to fulfill my underlying need for affection. I am not convinced this will work. Am I supposed to make suggestions? I honestly don't know what they would be.

I don't think I was clear when I explained his response regarding not meeting his needs. My husband has a way of using information to get what he wants. It seems when he says I should not tell him what bothers me it may be because he wants an excuse to not take action/do anything. He is excellent at manipulation - it is something we are addressing at counseling.

If I do nothing, he will do nothing.

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I forgot to add...doing nothing is what my husband seems to want. He wants to keep everything how it is. By following the POJA, he gets his way. What do I do?

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I also forgot to add...one thing he would like me to work on is being happy and not bringing up things that bother me. That's why I said I can pretend to be happy. By making him happy, I am making myself unhappy.

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29

Also, he is well aware of my need for affection and domestic support. In the past, the domestic support was always hired. Now we are agreeing not to hire to save money. I agree with this. .


If you agreed, great! However I think you only agreed beacause you felt you could wear him down.into doing stuff himself.

Just because you both 'could' do it, does not mean you should. If your H does not want to do something, he should not be bullied into it.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29
I can brainstorm forever, and we will do nothing. Doing nothing is making everything worse. How do you break out of the cycle of doing nothing?


Well I think you should start with the position that your husband's feelings are more important than some home improvements.

Once that is out of the way, I'd ask what his objections are. If it's cost, try to find cheaper alternatives. Revisit your budget. If it's time, see if you can come up with time saving ideas.

However you cannot twist his arm into spending time and money on something he does not even want. That would be dreadful, don't you agree?

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
By following the POJA, he gets his way. What do I do?


Stop trying to get your way. Something that only works for you is a terrible idea. If you successfully wore your husband down and got home improvements done - what do you think would happen?
Every time he saw those improvements, every day from now on he would be reminded that his arm was twisted. He would never enjoy it.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
I also forgot to add...one thing he would like me to work on is being happy and not bringing up things that bother me. That's why I said I can pretend to be happy. By making him happy, I am making myself unhappy.


No you should be making complaints. However they have to safe, pleasant, cheerful complaints. You should not be trying to railroad him.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29

Also, he is well aware of my need for affection and domestic support.


Is he meeting your need for affection?

DS is not an intimate need like affection, so it won't have a great bearing on your feelings. We can have DS met by complete strangers, like handymen and not fall in love with them. DS is not going to affect your most intimate and vital needs.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
My husband has a way of using information to get what he wants. It seems when he says I should not tell him what bothers me it may be because he wants an excuse to not take action/do anything. He is excellent at manipulation - it is something we are addressing at counseling.


Your counsellor sounds like an idiot and 'manipulation' is a disrespectful judgement of your husband's very reasonable stance.

Your husband should not need an 'excuse' to not do things that bother him. You should be working with him, not against him.

It is not PoJA to take up one inflexible stance 'you must do this' - and not budge from it.

Your husband must be exhausted trying to defend himself, here.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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How much Undivided Attention time do you two get?

If you two were more deeply in love you would care about the others feelings as much as your own.

UA time means you spend at least 15 hours a week together having interesting, pleasant conversation, fun recreation, affection and SF. No kids around, no TV, no phones.

I would work on doing this.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29
have sex (we do everyday)....



I find it strange that you have this much desire if your needs are not being met?

Are you genuinely passionate enough to have this SF?


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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I don't think you understand. My husband and I have a lot of time together. He works second shift, and I own my own business with flexible hours. We spend more than 15 hours a week doing fun things. While doing the fun things, however, I am often with a grumpy man who doesn't smile and makes nasty comments.

I have a very good life, and I appreciate all that I have. Money is not an issue technically. We have plenty of money, but he controls it (pays bills, decides what projects to pay for, etc). I feel left out of the process. When we do make a decision together, if it is not what he wanted originally, I get yelled at. I often get nasty remarks even if he is completely getting his way.

Also, I don't ask my husband to do things usually. This is because he says No. I am not badgering him. I have nicely brought up my issues of domestic support. In the past, he worked 3 jobs and took care of everything. Now that he is home more, I would like more help. I tell him I appreciate his work ethic. I am not demanding anything.

He has told me that when I ask him to help or tell him something is bothering me (no matter how its done), it reminds him of his childhood where his parents only told him the bad things about himself. He says I should not want anything different if I love him. He does not like compliments. He does not think he should appreciate the work I do because its my job. This is how he grew up. His dad still controls everything and disregards others feelings.

At counseling, the counselors asked us to each come up with one simple thing to do for each other. I asked him to try to smile more. He asked me to leave him alone and stop asking things of him.

It all comes back to he wants things as is. So, we do nothing.

How do I break this cycle?

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I think Dr Harley would say doing nothing is just a step on the path to coming up with a solution you both are enthusiastic about. So, you pleasantly tell your husband your concerns, and pleasantly negotiate until you come up with a solution you are both happy with. No demands or disrespectful judgements. No independent behavior.

You might find his newest book, "He wins, She wins", useful. They have been addressing the topic of negotiation on the radio show recently. Often, the solution after negotiation is one neither of you thought of originally.

You might consider emailing the show with your question, and I bet that is the free book they would send you!


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Young adult kids out on their own.
"Enthusiastic agreement?" is our catch phrase.
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I do not know what an SF is.

I enjoy having sex with my husband. I have always been this way.

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OK I'm getting a better picture.

Originally Posted By: Unheard29
We have plenty of money, but he controls it (pays bills, decides what projects to pay for, etc). I feel left out of the process. When we do make a decision together, if it is not what he wanted originally, I get yelled at. I often get nasty remarks even if he is completely getting his way.



He won't PoJA and you have to endure decisions you don't agree to, yes?

I realise it's tempting to override PoJA yourself as he has done. You want something, so you are trying to get it done regardless of the fact that he does not want it. He's done it, so why not you?

You can't make his same mistake though. Since he is not PoJAing, your job is to not buckle and not submit to decisions you did not enthusiastically agree to.

That's your priority. That's how you break the cycle. You should be refusing these non PoJA decisions, just as he refused the home repairs.

Adding new non PoJA demands regardnig the home repairs just adds to the problem.

It's good your UA time is good and satisfying and that you are meeting his needs. That will be tremendous motivation for you once you stop trying to get your demand for home repairs met.

Does he realise all the fun time together will end and his needs will go unmet if he does not get on board with PoJA?

Dr Harley recommends a wife in your position Plan A for six months offering her husband a wonderful time throughout. Then at the six month point she separates and refuses to return until he start making joint decisons with her.

Control is not OK.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29
I do not know what an SF is.

I enjoy having sex with my husband. I have always been this way.


SF is Sexual Fulfillment. Yes your desire does actually make a lot of sense since you two time spend so much time together. When you said your needs were going unmet it sounded like neglect.

I think the problem is rather more control, than neglect, isnt it?

Last edited by indiegirl; 10/11/13 06:09 AM.

What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29
I also forgot to add...one thing he would like me to work on is being happy and not bringing up things that bother me. That's why I said I can pretend to be happy. By making him happy, I am making myself unhappy.


That's not a good idea. No one told you to not make complaints or act happy.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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unheard, I would start with the book Lovebusters. Start first by eliminating lovebusters. From what you described, you are driving each other crazy. The time you spend together does not sound like quality time at all so I am very surprised you call it "fun." That doesn't make sense.

I would also recommend reading this article because it gives a solution to the problems in your marriage: How to Create Your Own Plan to Resolve Conflicts and Restore Love to Your Marriage


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Agree love busters is awesome. I'd also plug Harley's new book He Wins, She Wins where he really dives deep in to the POJA. It is a pretty short read. I just finished it last week. It's like $9 for the kindle version.

Unheard, keep plugging away. The principles you are trying to understand and apply in your life and your marriage are not always easy. Some of them really go against our instincts and the communication patterns we habitually develop. Take your time. Focus on changing yourself and making respectful request of your husband. Really invest in reading Harley. If you are seeing a counselor, ask them to help coach you on Marriage Builders principles.

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Originally Posted By: Unheard29
I forgot to add...doing nothing is what my husband seems to want. He wants to keep everything how it is. By following the POJA, he gets his way. What do I do?
Under POJA, you are to do nothing UNTIL you reach an enthusiastic agreement. The point is that you need to continue negotiating. The default state is not supposed to be the final resolution, unless you are both enthusiastic about the default state. One is not following POJA if one is consistently failing to find enthusiastic agreements. There is no place under POJA for sandbagging as a means of getting one's way.


me-65
wife-61
married for 40 years
DS - 38, autistic, lives at home
DD - 37, married and on her own
DS - 32, still living with us
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