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Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
You see my wife is a very gregarious person that likes to talk ALL the time. She will tell the same story 15 times in a day and I'll hear it 5 times and remind her she already told me. Again... not mindful.
If you were in love with your wife, you would be happy listening to the same story over and over. I love listening to my wife talk. It makes me feel connected. It doesn't matter if I heard it before.

So, what are you two doing to have fun? UA time is the way out of this mess. Disrespectful judgements are not (not mindful!?, I mean, seriously!)


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Originally Posted By: mrEureka
If you were in love with your wife, you would be happy listening to the same story over and over. I love listening to my wife talk. It makes me feel connected. It doesn't matter if I heard it before.

That is a very good point... I wasn't saying that I didn't like talking to my wife... as I do want to be talking with my wife.

I am not trying to PUT DOWN my wife... I am trying to point out a pattern that makes things difficult in being able to trust what she says she will do... not only in matters of every day general stuff, but also with marriage. She wants to be trusted, but many of her actions reflect the opposite of building trust. The counselor has stated this and is working to help her with some of these issues.

In regards to the comment about talking... the point was she seems completely oblivious that she has shared the story multiple times to x, y or z person. Just like she makes a commitment to do something and then may just forget it. So the whole thing comes back around to never knowing if she will do what she said she would do... trusting she will do it... and being able to have pretty good certainty she will do what she says she will do.

Take a look at Dr. Harley's statement in His Needs / Her Needs
Quote:
While honesty and openness are essential in building trust, our behaviors must also be trustworthy. Everything you decide to do must protect the feelings and interests of your spouse if you are to be trusted. If you tell your spouse everything you do each day yet do what you please with no regard for the effect it has on him or her, how do you expect your spouse to trust you?. It is only when you are honest and open and also are making every decision with your spouses interests in mind that you build a strong foundation for trust.


So let's say we are able to POJA something (although she is not following or considering MB)... I have a 50/50 shot that she will follow through as she in the past has demonstrated she just forgot... or it wasn't her intention to do something... yet she did it. Even if it seems she 100% agrees with what she said she would do.

Originally Posted By: mrEureka

So, what are you two doing to have fun? UA time is the way out of this mess.

IF she allows it I am doing:

- Giving affection: holding hands, giving hugs, giving kiss... but only what she allows. Emailing her regularly and sending texts checking to see how she is doing during day... taking walks with her during day at work (she works across street from me).
- Having Conversation: As much as she will allow. Usually plans about kids, house, possible new home, things we mutually desire to talk about.
- Recreational Companionship: As much as she will allow. Ask her to work out with me at home, work in yard, play game.

She requested no sexual intimacy for a season (don't know how long that is, but I honored the request.) Not like I have a choice, but I understand and respected her. I have done cuddling if she has allowed it.

I am only getting about 6 hours of UA time which is a problem and if you have followed all posts she thinks about 8 hours is doable, but not 15. So I take what I can get and hope as the love deposits build she will want more and be more open to it.


Originally Posted By: mrEureka

Disrespectful judgements are not (not mindful!?, I mean, seriously!)

Listen... I am not telling her this. The counselor is pointing out that she is not mindful and that she needs to make efforts to be aware of her actions and take captive her thoughts and follow through with what she says. Not only in the personal world, but her professional world. That's how you become trustworthy... be consistent and follow through and do what you say you are going to do. I am just explaining here how it makes things difficult in the world of "trusting" she will do what she says she will do... because she says she wants TRUST.

I have no problem with someone pointing out something I am doing that goes against MB... BUT there is a LOT going on right now, I feel like I am in an emotional roller coaster and I really need some support and encouragement.

The only person my wife will listen to is counselor and although he agrees with many principles of MB and teaches some of them in his way... my wife is not looking at anything MB unless counselor specifically says to... and I am working with him to see if he will focus more specifically to MB concepts.

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Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage

Take a look at Dr. Harley's statement in His Needs / Her Needs
Quote:
While honesty and openness are essential in building trust, our behaviors must also be trustworthy. Everything you decide to do must protect the feelings and interests of your spouse if you are to be trusted. If you tell your spouse everything you do each day yet do what you please with no regard for the effect it has on him or her, how do you expect your spouse to trust you?. It is only when you are honest and open and also are making every decision with your spouses interests in mind that you build a strong foundation for trust.



And yes... before anyone makes a comment... I was also doing things that showed my behavior to be untrustworthy (love busters like SD, DJ, AO). But according to my wife she has only felt me have DJ 2 times in the last 3 to 4 months... and I could see how she felt that way when examined how I said something and I apologized and re-worded so it was not a DJ. So I am doing everything I can to remove LBs from my life. If it is pointed out I attack with intent to rid it of my life / habits.

So please don't think I am EVER SAYING I don't have things to work on. I am CONSTANTLY looking at myself trying to find areas to improve for the sake of my marriage and me as a person. I can't change her... I can only change me and hope my changes and actions draw her too me and as I follow MB as best I can I hope to restore love and have her want to be on board and no more about MB, because she will see how MB is effecting me.

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An update... I have continued doing plan A and this past Thursday my wife initiated Physical Intimacy. (We were in a season where she requested no Physical Intimacy and I was honoring her request).

So this is a positive!

We then had a date planned Saturday and we went out and had a good time. That night I asked her if she would be willing to be intimate and she said no. But I could cuddle if I wanted.

So I didn't say anything other than ok and I cuddled until she went to sleep.

I guess I need some encouragement as this is very hurtful and difficult. It was over a month before we finally had physical intimacy again and it is my number one need on the list. We had a very good date and I would have thought she would have been willing as I having being the best husband I can be to her and loving her and caring for her.

Remember she isn't really practicing MB... she is only doing what counselor requests her to do. So she isn't on board with MB concepts specifically.

What is such a struggle at times is I know she was at a point where she wanted to walk out... BUT so was I. The difference is I feel I am 100% willing to do what it takes where it looks like she is continually holding back.

Yes... my taker is telling me to "protect, protect, protect yourself!" Don't let her hurt you... don't put your heart out there over and over and let her trample it or treat it as something not important... BUT I know if I let my taker kick in then nothing will move forward.

So I guess I just stopped by for some encouragement as it is difficult and I just wish the process would move quicker.

An additional note... counselor had her read LB's independent behavior chapter... I don't know why he didn't just have her read the whole book as she also struggles with many of the LB's listed. I did make a request to her and asked her if she would be willing to read the "Setting the stage" chapters (I think first 2) as it was a very good leading into the other chapters... including the one counselor pointed her to.

She indicated she would, but she said she just read what he said to at the moment... but said she intended on getting to the first 2 chapters I thought was a good intro. Little disappointed, but as resistant as she has been on reading anything I am grateful she has read what she has so far.

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Heading to my individual counseling shortly... his focus is to help me not "fear" or "immediately draw out to conclusion" a possible affair when my wife is interacting with other men.

What does this mean? I tend to see where something "CAN LEAD TO" and because of this I request boundaries fairly quickly before it builds.

Let me list my general thoughts on boundaries from an earlier post:
Quote:

Do I think we do not speak with the opposite sex? NO I do NOT think that..

Do I think we cannot laugh at a joke or share a common interest with the opposite sex? NO I do NOT think that.

Do I think just because we work with a specific opposite sex coworker that it means an affair will happen (emotional or sexual)? NO I do NOT think that.

Do I think we cannot share basic personal information like the joy of our children or joy of our spouse? No I do NOT think that. I think when we include in our conversation the love for our family (especially) the spouse we help solidify to the person of the opposite sex that we are happily married and not looking for anything to interfere with that marriage.

Do I think when we go to public events like kids sports or work events that we cannot talk to the opposite sex? NO we certainly CAN speak to the opposite sex.

Do I think we cannot laugh at something the opposite sex has shared? NO I do NOT think that.

Now all of the above questions show that I clearly do not think we should live isolated lives form the opposite sex. I dont live that way either. Now let me share some boundaries or general guidelines I have for the above.

Do I think it is risky to build a close relationship with another woman? YES, I definitely think it is risky especially if my relationship with my wife is not ROCK SOLID. I understand that there may be something that my wife and I dont share a common liking for that I and a person of the opposite sex may have. I can acknowledge this, but I am not going to pursue it or put my energy into this.

Do I think we need to be guarded with the opposite sex? YES. We should take captive the words we use with the opposite sex to not mislead, we should be aware of how the other person is responding so we can adjust our actions to not encourage inappropriate behavior, we should be aware of even how the opposite sex may take something so we can avoid having to make corrections. Am I saying you cannot speak to or laugh at something they said NO. But the less connected you are with your spouse the more guarded you need to be while you build the marriage.

Do I think we should keep information from our spouse in regards to relationships with opposite sex? NO... if you cannot be honest with your spouse about your relationships and you hide them then it is a likely sign that something inappropriate is going on or perhaps your marriage is not strong and you are putting too much emotional energy into this opposite sex relationship.

When we go to public events in general do I think couples should be able to speak to other people (individually). Yes we should. Should it always be the opposite sex? Probably not as that may indicate some other issue if you gravitate almost wholly to the opposite sex? Should you spend the majority of your time away from your spouse? NO. You should also enjoy some of this time together communicating with other couples and individuals as well. Is it wrong if you spent more time apart? Not necessarily. If you have plenty of time together as a married couple and this is a time for both of you to interact with others and it is a mutual desire and need then good.

Do I think we should put our hands on the opposite sex. Other than shaking hands at as a greeting: probably not. Folks we know more personally through church and so forth may also be more of a hug greeting, but even that should be either a side hug or quick and not a lingering.

Do I think we should have more time with someone of the opposite sex than our own spouse? Absolutely not! One may ask how much time? I dont know the answer to this, but short of required work the spouse should probably not be seeking more time from someone of the opposite sex especially if they are not giving equal and much more time to their own spouse or if it makes the spouse uncomfortable..

Again... this is just my point of view I have developed over the years through my experiences and life... I know others will totally disagree, but this is my core thoughts. Of course I am always open to growing emotionally and see other points of view.

And to add now that I have studied MB I would say anything I said yes to above would probably need to be ok with your spouse.


Apparently my wife's perception of these boundaries have been taken extremely different than what I have ever said. BUT I acknowledge how they have been shared and the frequency over the years has been more than I feel I should have needed to express things. To be honest we had agreed on these things before marriage 16+ years ago.

But now the wife feels building friendships with OS and then going to lunch with them is not doing anything wrong... which gets into the whole right or wrong argument that should not be needed.

Anyway... I am starting to feel like I am going into hostile territory when going to counseling. Yes... I don't want to immediately go to thoughts of a possible affair... and to be honest I never went directly to that until she lied to me leading a secret second life for over a year and started going out with several guys for lunch and the personal emails (nothing sexual).

So again I don't want to go to distrusting thoughts or feel like I immediately have to speak up to make sure boundaries are put into place to protect our marriage... so I feel I need some help in "relaxing" that sort of speak. But I don't believe my boundaries I have listed are bad or harmful to marriage... if anything I find it something that would strengthen marriage.

Anyway... again... as in my last post... just looking for some encouragement as I keep pushing on.

No one... not even the counselor will ever convince me we should not have good boundaries... but how we come to them and learn to agree on them is definitely something I want us to do with love and caring for one another.

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Ummm

I haven't read your thread, and I don't have time to do so now but I will, from the beginning, but...

Your ideas about boundaries are correct - they need to be high - and your counsellor's ideas are completely wrong. You do not need to learn to "relax" about your wife's friendships with other men. She needs to learn not to have those friendships!

Going to your counsellor is indeed going into hostile territory, if this is the harmful advice that you have to put up with. This counsellor is poison to your marriage and you should fire him, yesterday, He is nuts and should be reported to the authorities and stripped of his license! Please tell me you're not paying for this affair facilitation in the guise of professional advice.

Don't go! Stay at home! Run, Forrest, run!


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Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Heading to my individual counseling shortly... his focus is to help me not "fear" or "immediately draw out to conclusion" a possible affair when my wife is interacting with other men.


I have a much better idea: she can stop interacting with men and you won't have any "fear" or "draw conclusions." See, when you are playing chicken and you recognize the risk, the solution is to get out of the road, rather than ignoring your warning signs.

Any "counselor" who tells you that you should learn to live with opposite sex friendships and just deal with your fear is a fool who has no earthly idea how to create a safe, happy marriage.

Please stick with Dr. Harley, a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in creating great marriages and leave the novices behind. You will ruin your marriage this way.


"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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Why don't you listen to Marriage Builders Radio? It's free, and you can hear a marriage counselor with decades of SUCCESSFUL experience explain the solution to this problem that actually works.


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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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Ummm

I haven't read your thread, and I don't have time to do so now but I will, from the beginning, but...

It will be a long read... I have a hard time keeping short. naughty

Originally Posted By: SugarCane

Your ideas about boundaries are correct - they need to be high - and your counsellor's ideas are completely wrong. You do not need to learn to "relax" about your wife's friendships with other men. She needs to learn not to have those friendships!

I have to ask myself how much am I misinterpreting things.

Am I just a jealous guy and overreacting to things? He told me earlier he didn't see me as a jealous guy... just with strong boundaries.

If my wife speaks to another man out of the blue do I immediately go into alert? No... but I do want to know who it is and how he relates to my wife. I have never said... you can't talk to him or you are having an affair because you spoke with him or anything like that. Now over the last year and a half after the secret second life yes... I have been on HIGH alert. You will have to read past posts to get full picture. So right now I am probably on higher alert than before.

My main issues now... even if counselor was out of picture is my wife simply doesn't see anything "wrong" with going to lunch with OS friends or giving hugs to them when she sees them or calling them babe or darling or sending pictures of her lunch to them and the other things she was doing (earlier posts).

So we could argue "right" and "wrong" all day... we both see it differently. I have asked in the past... how much time together would become to much time? How many lunches together and how many more lunches with OS than with your husband is ok? What is the boundary? Would you go to dinner with OS friends? Would you go to a movie? Back then she could not answer those questions. All she could say was she didn't need a boundary as if they tried to be blatantly sexual or cross that line she would put a stop to it. Good... I am glad about that and I 100% if any general OS person even general friends she would put a stop to it... BUT... when the OS friend becomes a close friend... going to lunch regularly... texting them about her lunches and saying don't you wish you were here type of thing... that sort of relationship I don't trust anyone to not potentially fall in love because of weak boundaries.

In the end it finally came out that she felt I was saying she couldn't speak to anyone and it made her sick in her stomach as she is naturally gregarious, outgoing and playful and she felt I was asking her to not be herself... when all I ever desired would have been some behavior modification (not going to lunch with OS, not calling them by names like babe or darling, not doing a lot of touching OS in general). I never said don't be a friendly person in general just certain behaviors around OS.

BUT... that all made her feel like I was controlling her and changing who she was. And yes... you will see after all the past requests and then after finding out about secret second life I really struggled with Demands, Disrespectful Judgements and Angry Outbursts, but she will tell you that you would be hard pressed to see that in the last 3+ months)

But in the end my BIGGEST issue for me is boundaries. In many other areas we can easily work through things. Not all areas, but many... but the main issue is boundaries. She thinks she has good ones and I desire better boundaries.

Yes... she has agreed to no longer going to lunch with other men and she agreed to no longer contacting guy that she built a friendship with (via deception). Again... you will have to read past posts or I could end up going way long here.

I have been watching closely and she hasn't been going to lunch with other men and I don't believe she has since late last year... she has actually for last couple of weeks started to go with me regularly. But she did fail and reached out via email to the OS guy once (the consultant living up north), but when found out she apologized and said she didn't think she did anything wrong just saying hi and seeing how he was doing. Counselor was very disappointed as well and has been checking with her to help hold accountable. You see the issue... she sees things as not being "wrong". She doesn't see things the MB way in general. I still have hope she will get it one day... but I am trying to make sure I kill all LB and make deposits so one day maybe.

Thanks for feedback.


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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane

I have a much better idea: she can stop interacting with men and you won't have any "fear" or "draw conclusions." See, when you are playing chicken and you recognize the risk, the solution is to get out of the road, rather than ignoring your warning signs.

Any "counselor" who tells you that you should learn to live with opposite sex friendships and just deal with your fear is a fool who has no earthly idea how to create a safe, happy marriage.

Please stick with Dr. Harley, a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in creating great marriages and leave the novices behind. You will ruin your marriage this way.


I am scheduling appointment with Dr Harley's son... don't know if Dr Harley himself is doing any counseling over phone. My wife is not going to switch from our current counselor, but I want to make sure I understand MB principles and see if Steven Harley sees any issues with me... do I have any "issues" sort of speak that he sees I need to work on.

If Plan A can bring about feelings of love from my wife then perhaps at a later time I could get her to consider coaching. I just have to take it a day at a time to make sure I do everything I can to not LB, to meet whatever needs she allows me to meet. And to daily make it safe for her to talk to me about anything and to be fully honest so her past conflict avoidance lying will never be a problem again.

Since she is not going out to lunch with other men that is a BIG weight off. And another positive is she has said she will still "work" on boundaries. Just don't know what this looks... especially if counselor isn't doing MB.

Thanks for feedback... I have a lot of continued work to do.

I just feel my taker wanting to jump up and I don't want the bad side of the taker kicking in... (also knowing there is the good side of taker as well).

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Originally Posted By: markos
Why don't you listen to Marriage Builders Radio? It's free, and you can hear a marriage counselor with decades of SUCCESSFUL experience explain the solution to this problem that actually works.

Hey Markos,

I am indeed now doing this. I actually paid for the service so I could go back and listen to a lot. I hope one day my wife will be willing to listen. I know I could make a request, but right now I don't feel I can do that... I am hoping plan A will get our love bank building so she would be more willing to listen.

But trying to get Love Bank up with UA time is at about 5 to 7 hours at the moment is tough. Again... pasts posts will show she thinks 15 hours is unrealistic so all I can do is get the love bank up as high as I can and hope she will be more willing to creative ways of getting UA time together while juggling 3 kids and so on. I have shown on paper how we can get it to 15... now getting her willing to do it and desire it.

And one way is me continuing to build the love bank one step at a time and not knock it back with an LB.

Thank you Markos.

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Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
I am scheduling appointment with Dr Harley's son.

That's great news! I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
But trying to get Love Bank up with UA time is at about 5 to 7 hours at the moment is tough.

If you address this problem with Dr. Harley's son, I'd be interested to hear his advice.

Overall, it sounds like things are moving in the right direction, but probably a lot slower than you'd like. Keep up the good work!

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Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
I am scheduling appointment with Dr Harley's son.

That's great news! I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
But trying to get Love Bank up with UA time is at about 5 to 7 hours at the moment is tough.

If you address this problem with Dr. Harley's son, I'd be interested to hear his advice.

Overall, it sounds like things are moving in the right direction, but probably a lot slower than you'd like. Keep up the good work!

Remember the scheduling with Steven Harley is just me... my wife hasn't agreed to switch to anyone else or do it together. Basically this is for my sanity.

And you are right... it is moving so slowly. I feel like the counseling (that I can't force my wife to withdraw from) gives mixed coaching. One day he will nail an MB concept, but then contradict it.

Thanks for encouragement.

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Today was our couples counseling. I always get sick to my stomach before going as I have no clue what is going to happen or be said. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and either my wife just says... I don't feel in love so let's end it or counselor coaches something way against what I believe in MB.

Today he asked how things were going and my wife said she felt that we have been doing what the counselor calls "easy" and having "harmony" in the home and avoiding any relational discussion or issues. Basically just do life and avoid any topic that may generate conflict. But she acknowledged that would only get you so far as you are just doing easy and she felt we had to move to the next step to "work" on marriage.

Well that was good to hear.

Now I have been doing Plan A as much as my wife allows... but with very little UA time it it more difficult... but I am making headway I believe.

Anyway... he had us go through some sort of communication worksheet that we rate various statements about our spouse, how much it bothers us, and then rate ourselves. He then had use list the issue ones and each one of us discussed some aspects of it. Things like: Your spouse doesn't listen, your spouse talks to much, your spouse interrupts, your spouse shuts you up, your spouse talks about difficult things too much, your spouse withdraws when upset and so on.

I sort of looked at it as recognizing Love Buster type behaviors where you continually interrupt spouse or shut them down and so on... communication behaviors. Yes... it is good to know that we both recognize our own areas we have struggled in, but it just doesn't get us to any action plan (like MB).

After going through list he goes back to saying if we do discuss something he wants us to make sure we at least acknowledge the other person even if we don't agree. We can re-assure the other person if we really mean it, but if we don't agree just acknowledge.

My first thought is (but didn't say it) well... acknowledging one another is great and needed and I see that in MB guidelines... but what about resolution. He continued and said of course this is just the first step and you want to be able to work through it.

BUT here is the contradiction... he said sometimes you are just going to disagree so sometimes all you can do is acknowledge and let it go. WHAT??? Am I missing something? Again I guess anyone who doesn't support MB fully will see this as a possibility. So what I sort of hear is if my wife builds a friendship with an OS friend or does something that is hurtful and I really would prefer she not do it... she can simply acknowledge I feel this way, say she disagrees, we don't resolve it, I should just let it go and she keeps on doing it. I am trying to keep my emotions out of this so tell me what I am missing.. am I off base.

I mean I understand something time sensitive may not be POJA'd in time and the default is to do nothing, but what I hear is the default is to acknowledge and if she disagrees then you may just have to let it go. Well... since wife is not doing MB then that may be my only option, but could not see that lasting long term.

Anyway... the positive note for me was the wife started to share about her reading the independent behavior chapter in Love Busters and she said she recognized she does a lot of this (didn't say from an OS friend standpoint, but in general) and she could see how that was not good and we should make decisions that we both go along with. Again she wasn't referring to anything dealing with boundaries with OS, just general stuff.

She didn't say she read anything she didn't like... she read a little about POJA that was discussed some in that chapter (I don't believe it fully went into nitty gritty of POJA), but enough that my wife seemed to think it was reasonable at least in the examples of late where she just did things without considering me.

So my hope is this may segway into other areas of the LB book and MB concepts. But I must be careful to not push it or "preach" it at all. She has to come to this herself. Don't know if she ever would as I don't think she would like the default position of doing nothing in "all cases"... even if the goal is to find solution... because she (and I) possibly wonder how do we come to an agreeable solution on OS boundaries.

Anyway... she was still sort of distant in session. But trying to hang on to hope. Right now with almost none of my emotional needs being met while I am doing Plan A (what she will allow) is very frustrating and discouraging.

Counselor asked what 2 things from that communication list did he want us to have our spouse work on. She said she wanted me to not withdraw if I am upset (and have struggled with that in the past). He asked me and I said I think it would be better if we could start meeting emotional needs and avoid love busters and doing that I fealt would help snowball a lot more positive things.

So next week we FINALLY are going over Emotional Needs Questionnaire. My wife has not done it yet so she has been asked to get it done.

I am going to use my individual counseling to try and drive him towards more MB stuff... especially if my wife seems to get some of it after reading about IB in the LB book.

Yes... I wish I could get her to say let's do the Online Seminar with Courses and Coaching and Steven Harley... but I have to take what I can get. One day at a time.

Last thought... I look at it as a privilege to know and understand what my spouse desires and needs and then a privilege to meet those needs. Now have I always done that... absolutely not... have failed miserably in the past... YES... BUT... I am actively pursuing this goal daily so I can see the privilege it is and live it. I just want her to desire the same... and right now she isn't there.

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Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Today was our couples counseling. I always get sick to my stomach before going as I have no clue what is going to happen or be said. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and either my wife just says... I don't feel in love so let's end it or counselor coaches something way against what I believe in MB.

Does your wife know the anxiety you feel about counseling? I'm not suggesting one way or another whether you should tell her, just wondering if she knows.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Today he asked how things were going and my wife said she felt that we have been doing what the counselor calls "easy" and having "harmony" in the home and avoiding any relational discussion or issues. Basically just do life and avoid any topic that may generate conflict. But she acknowledged that would only get you so far as you are just doing easy and she felt we had to move to the next step to "work" on marriage.

Well that was good to hear.

That IS good the hear! Especially recalling earlier in your thread where you indicated she was ready to walk out not too long ago.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
BUT here is the contradiction... he said sometimes you are just going to disagree so sometimes all you can do is acknowledge and let it go. WHAT??? Am I missing something? Again I guess anyone who doesn't support MB fully will see this as a possibility. So what I sort of hear is if my wife builds a friendship with an OS friend or does something that is hurtful and I really would prefer she not do it... she can simply acknowledge I feel this way, say she disagrees, we don't resolve it, I should just let it go and she keeps on doing it. I am trying to keep my emotions out of this so tell me what I am missing.. am I off base.

You're not missing anything. Does your counselor know you're uncomfortable with your wife's OS friends? If he/she does and doesn't counsel your wife against that behavior, I'd be very unhappy with the counselor.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Anyway... the positive note for me was the wife started to share about her reading the independent behavior chapter in Love Busters and she said she recognized she does a lot of this (didn't say from an OS friend standpoint, but in general) and she could see how that was not good and we should make decisions that we both go along with. Again she wasn't referring to anything dealing with boundaries with OS, just general stuff.

That's progress! Without trying to push her into it, I hope you can encourage her to keep reading. Have you guys tried reading it together, such as you read aloud to her or she reads to you? It can be very bonding to read books like that and discuss as you read. Be sure to stay respectful if you hit any disagreements though.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
So my hope is this may segway into other areas of the LB book and MB concepts. But I must be careful to not push it or "preach" it at all. She has to come to this herself.

My hope too.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Anyway... she was still sort of distant in session. But trying to hang on to hope. Right now with almost none of my emotional needs being met while I am doing Plan A (what she will allow) is very frustrating and discouraging.

Sorry to hear about that. It sounds like you're working really hard at this, and I'm sure the slow progress is discouraging. Your thread title includes "need support," and I hope you find some on this forum!

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Last thought... I look at it as a privilege to know and understand what my spouse desires and needs and then a privilege to meet those needs. Now have I always done that... absolutely not... have failed miserably in the past... YES... BUT... I am actively pursuing this goal daily so I can see the privilege it is and live it. I just want her to desire the same... and right now she isn't there.

That's a nice perspective, that it's your privilege to meet your wife's needs. I learned something like that about cooking: eating is necessary to sustain life, and what a privilege it is to cook for someone and meet one of their most basic needs. I, too, hope your wife comes to realize that privilege.

Did you schedule the appointment with Steve Harley?

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Originally Posted By: KeepLearning

Did you schedule the appointment with Steve Harley?

I am doing this in the morning as I missed time to talk to them on phone. Already put the request in via web, but going to get discount and have to do it on phone and I missed them... they closed earlier than I thought and an hour behind me.

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It's been a while so I am going to do a little catch up here and look for some feedback.

Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Today was our couples counseling. I always get sick to my stomach before going as I have no clue what is going to happen or be said. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and either my wife just says... I don't feel in love so let's end it or counselor coaches something way against what I believe in MB.

Does your wife know the anxiety you feel about counseling? I'm not suggesting one way or another whether you should tell her, just wondering if she knows.

She knows. She has said in the past I shouldn't feel that way. Mainly because she doesn't recognize things the counselor may say that go against MB or are a slightly different version.

Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
BUT here is the contradiction... he said sometimes you are just going to disagree so sometimes all you can do is acknowledge and let it go. WHAT??? Am I missing something? Again I guess anyone who doesn't support MB fully will see this as a possibility. So what I sort of hear is if my wife builds a friendship with an OS friend or does something that is hurtful and I really would prefer she not do it... she can simply acknowledge I feel this way, say she disagrees, we don't resolve it, I should just let it go and she keeps on doing it. I am trying to keep my emotions out of this so tell me what I am missing.. am I off base.

You're not missing anything. Does your counselor know you're uncomfortable with your wife's OS friends? If he/she does and doesn't counsel your wife against that behavior, I'd be very unhappy with the counselor.

He did help orchestrate an agreement where she agreed to not be having lunch with other men. Coed lunches would be only for special events like a project success luncheon or retirement luncheon or training luncheon... basically the exceptions. Not just a group of guys and gals going to lunch for recreation. And if there were to be an exception we would communicate it before it happened or if it was something unannounced as soon as possible.

She was to also quit all personal interaction with the OS friendship she created with consultant who came in regularly from out of state. We never found evidence of anything more than a friendship and snooping didn't reveal anything else. She had a little more contact for a couple of months for work related and then we found one "personal email" interaction with him that the counselor... not sure how to put it... expressed it not being a wise choice and asked her to recommit to keeping the interactions to work only (if he still was on the project) otherwise stop all interaction.

The OS friend is no longer on project, lives 6 states away, and nothing new has been found for interaction at all. She also doesn't appear to be in the same funk / cloud / fog she acted like she was in a couple of months ago.

I personally wished he was stronger on danger of OS friends and the strong danger. Yes... he has stated they are risky, but has not been as solid is how MB describes it.

Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Anyway... the positive note for me was the wife started to share about her reading the independent behavior chapter in Love Busters and she said she recognized she does a lot of this (didn't say from an OS friend standpoint, but in general) and she could see how that was not good and we should make decisions that we both go along with. Again she wasn't referring to anything dealing with boundaries with OS, just general stuff.

That's progress! Without trying to push her into it, I hope you can encourage her to keep reading. Have you guys tried reading it together, such as you read aloud to her or she reads to you? It can be very bonding to read books like that and discuss as you read. Be sure to stay respectful if you hit any disagreements though.

So far no reading together and she is not actively reading anything MB. She read His Needs Her Needs late last year and the IB chapter a couple of months ago.

Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage
Last thought... I look at it as a privilege to know and understand what my spouse desires and needs and then a privilege to meet those needs. Now have I always done that... absolutely not... have failed miserably in the past... YES... BUT... I am actively pursuing this goal daily so I can see the privilege it is and live it. I just want her to desire the same... and right now she isn't there.

That's a nice perspective, that it's your privilege to meet your wife's needs. I learned something like that about cooking: eating is necessary to sustain life, and what a privilege it is to cook for someone and meet one of their most basic needs. I, too, hope your wife comes to realize that privilege.

Did you schedule the appointment with Steve Harley?

Thanks. Will give some updates in next post.

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Let me recap some things in general about who we are and what has happened. I am listing struggles my wife and I individually have so I am not trying to be disrespectful in listing what either we both admit to or the counselor points out:

- Wife is the bubbly extravert who knows no stranger and to most seem like an immediate best friend.
- I am slightly introverted and more reserved until I know you.

- Wife's OS boundaries are very weak. Doesn't see a problem with OS friends, having lunch with them, being playful with them (not sexual) and enjoys banter with them. I honestly don't know where her boundaries are other than blatant sexual talk or sexual touch.
- I have strong OS boundaries, what I think are MB based boundaries.

- Wife has made many independent decisions without me.
- I honestly have done some of this in the past, but much less frequently.

- Wife tends to not be mindful... this is what counselor calls it. I guess it is like she isn't even aware of what is going on or just goes with the moment... free spirit.
- I am very mindful.

- Wife lived a secret second life building OS friendships with at a new job a couple of years ago lasting a year before I knew. She lied about OS friendships and built what I believe to be a fairly close OS friendship with two guys (one in particular) and found personal emails revealing this. Never anything sexual. Never anything expressing love, but definitely expressing good friendship and personal in nature. Not to the point of intimate desires... but based on post title Stages of Intimacy some where between Opinions and Hopes/Dreams. This OS friend are no longer around and no evidence of any interaction.
- I share everything I can with my wife as I believe she should know everything.

- Wife has little to no sex drive and medicine does have effect on the libido. However normally once you get to the starting point she becomes very sexually aroused. Just got to get to starting point. At one point we only were intimate maybe once every 2 months.
- I have strong libido and sexual intimacy is my number 2 emotional need next to honesty.

- I was love busting in big ways. At some point I became resentful and bitter and started making demands when requests were never heard.
- Wife has never really been demanding.

- I also moved to disrespectful judgment when my demands had no effect.
- Wife has struggled with DJ as well.

- I also moved further to angry outbursts.
- Wife has this, but very infrequently.

- We have had very little of what MB calls UA time for years.

- Wife threatened to walk out back in Jan 2014 and March 2014. The main struggle that she said pushed her here... discussion of OS friendships and boundaries and the ensuing LBs we both did as a part of it. Felt no peace.

So that sort of listed the quick and dirty of struggles.

Now the positives:

- I discovered my LB doing via Love Busters book and according to wife I don't really do it any more or she cannot think of an instance where I have done it. But I know I have done a few DJ's... the ones I believe most don't realize if you don't pay attention. But I do focus a lot so I don't do that so I believe based on her feedback I am doing great here.

- Demands and Anger I have not shown.

- Counselor has asked her about the above and she said that I was doing great and she feels much safer in talking with me and more willing to talk about requests.

- Her walls are coming down.
- She is more willing.
- We are having sexual intimacy about once a week and a half to two weeks.
- She has ready the IB chapter of Love Busters and is working on it even though she struggles.
- She is showing a little more affection. Although it does seem fake at times.
- I continue to try and be in Plan A mode... although I slip out of it and go into auto-pilot some and have to intentionally be back in Plan A and not let struggles or frustration pull me out.
- We are now going through Emotional Needs questionnaire with counselor.
- We are having dates, but only about once every 2 weeks. UA is still WAY TOO LOW for me. Fluctuates between 4 and 10... if we have date not. I can't force her so I take what I can get and what she feels is "realistic"

Do I feel safe in my marriage yet? Not really?
Do I feel she still could just say... eh... don't want to be married? Sometimes. But the feeling is less and less as I see her continue forward with me and show some care.
Do I feel like calling it quits at times? Sure... when I am very frustrated (internally)... but I have to keep pushing forward.

So overall things are much better, but we have a long way to go... but we have had some things dealing with IB that I want to get some feedback on so I will post that in another post later with more time.

As well as some things about OS friends.

Anyway... that sort of catches things up.

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Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage


My main issues now... even if counselor was out of picture is my wife simply doesn't see anything "wrong" with going to lunch with OS friends or giving hugs to them when she sees them or calling them babe or darling or sending pictures of her lunch to them and the other things she was doing (earlier posts)...

...she has actually for last couple of weeks started to go with me regularly...


I am new here and have not done the program yet. I am just starting it and hoping my DH will participate. So consider that I'm not an MB expert when I give my opinion/advice. But I have read much of this thread with great interest, And I was thinking:

1) You said you work right across the street from your wife
2) She says the 15 hours of UA is unrealistic

Is there any reason you cannot have a standing lunch date, every day, that you lunch together. It sounds like you've started doing that, so that sounds great. Assuming your jobs allow it, I would make it a given that every day you lunch together unless work won't allow it.

BTW, unless your wife is a 75 year old truck stop waitress, I think calling men other than her husband darling and babe is really ...off. I can see her feeling awkward about refusing to lunch with OS if it's a mixed group, or if she's in he company lunch room and they walk in, but to call men babe and darling - no wonder you are on high alert. Taking consultants to lunch one time to thank them? Maybe, but it's not necessary. I am a consultant who has traveled a lot over the last 15 years and I have NEVER and I mean NEVER had a MALE client invite me to lunch with just him. I have male clients invite me to lunch or dinner and they bring their wife or female coworkers. Oh wait, I just remembered on who did when I was young and I figured it was just business but I realized later he was interested in me.

Again, I'm no MB expert, I just say this to you to validate the fact that you are not being unreasonable. I think she's messing with your head a little because she wants to do what she wants to do.

Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage

But she did fail and reached out via email to the OS guy once (the consultant living up north), but when found out she apologized and said she didn't think she did anything wrong just saying hi and seeing how he was doing. ... she sees things as not being "wrong". ...


I call BS. Again - you don't have to be an MB expert to know it's "wrong" to "reach out" to "say hi" to an OS when your husband is already sensitive and your marriage is on the rocks. I think she is playing innocent. I'm sure she has her own reasons for being upset and to her that justifies her choice. Why is she wondering "how he is doing?" in the first place? That in a vacuum, might not be alarming, but knowing you've openly discussed boundaries and contact with the opposite sex, it's not possible she didn't know, when she sent that completely unnecessary email, that it would concern/bother you if you knew about it.

Sorry - no advice here other than keep up what you're doing - it sounds like you're working hard and making progress, but I just wanted to weigh in as a woman and say that's nonsense.

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Originally Posted By: AnyWife

I am new here and have not done the program yet. I am just starting it and hoping my DH will participate. So consider that I'm not an MB expert when I give my opinion/advice. But I have read much of this thread with great interest, And I was thinking:

1) You said you work right across the street from your wife
2) She says the 15 hours of UA is unrealistic

Is there any reason you cannot have a standing lunch date, every day, that you lunch together. It sounds like you've started doing that, so that sounds great. Assuming your jobs allow it, I would make it a given that every day you lunch together unless work won't allow it.

We are having lunch about twice a week. We were taking 15 minute walks about 3 to 4 times a week before whether turned cold. This was helping in connecting throughout day. We do chat more during day via Google Chat and more calls during day which again help.

I asked her to lunch today and she said since she was off the last two days and was late this morning she felt all she could do today was run through a drive through and go right back to work. The first thought that ran through my mind... are you going back to the lunch room where sometimes she may sit with another OS coworker or back to her room. I want to ask to see if she is putting things in place to strengthen boundaries, but I did not as I don't trust it would sound right or not sound controlling or something.

Also... she made reference one day about feeling like she couldn't even go into the lunch room for "fear" of talking to another OS. She said it was causing her to feel ill. Back when this was said during counseling I clarified I never had a problem with her being cordial and speaking to OS workers. What I had a problem with was going to lunch room and hanging with the same guy and building a friendship over time... and how she spoke with guys at time (darling and so on).

Here is an example of why I have concern about the small lunch room environment... This has recently happened in my office... a married woman you rarely see speaking to other people (very shy) sitting in the lunch room eating each day. I noticed a month or so ago a married guy started eating lunch in there more regularly and as time passed he sits across from her every day and you can see the progression of friendship. I see red flags starting to go up. This is what I don't want happening in my marriage. And because my wife doesn't see the danger or issue she is more likely to just do it.

I have eaten in the lunch room before as well, but since it is almost always just women all sitting around the same 2 tables I decided not to eat there... and definitely not regularly if I did at all. I know all the women... they all like me and consider me a great guy... but I don't give the opportunity for anything to grow into a risky area.

Originally Posted By: AnyWife
BTW, unless your wife is a 75 year old truck stop waitress, I think calling men other than her husband darling and babe is really ...off. I can see her feeling awkward about refusing to lunch with OS if it's a mixed group, or if she's in he company lunch room and they walk in, but to call men babe and darling - no wonder you are on high alert. Taking consultants to lunch one time to thank them? Maybe, but it's not necessary. I am a consultant who has traveled a lot over the last 15 years and I have NEVER and I mean NEVER had a MALE client invite me to lunch with just him. I have male clients invite me to lunch or dinner and they bring their wife or female coworkers. Oh wait, I just remembered on who did when I was young and I figured it was just business but I realized later he was interested in me.

When she uses those words (Darling or whatever) I honestly don't believe she means anything by it. It is a habit she formed when she was younger and while working in the hospital as she called all patients by these pet names. Now she is in a different setting where she knows all the names and not a random patient. It makes me uncomfortable as when she calls me darling it doesn't have any meaning of affection to me. It's just what she says. I have requested she stop and she says she is working on it. She still says it to me and it sadly makes me uncomfortable... it has sort of become a negative connotation to me since it is something I requested she stop saying to men and she for a while said she wouldn't. She does say this to women as well so again I don't think she means anything by it. I just don't feel comfortable and have requested she call (at least the men) by their names.

In regards to coed luncheons... my office has this maybe 4 times a year. Thanksgiving lunch, maybe a big project finished up, someone retired. Whatever it is... it is usually a big group and I haven't built any close friendships with any of the women. I have no problem with these at all. As long as we communicate and let each other know what is going on in our lives. I always communicate these sort of lunches.

But what I request her not to do is have a small group just going to lunch to go to lunch recreationally allowing opportunity for solidifying OS friendships. I have watched this happen a number of times and seen marriages fall due to relationships that started innocently in coed groups. Heck it happened in our church as well under the guise of music ministry get together for coffee every night after practice. Married wives and husbands would be out with other married wives or husbands and single folks, BUT without their own spouse. Maybe a few married couples together, but mostly individuals. I have just seen it happen and I desire to guard against it with good boundaries.

Originally Posted By: AnyWife
Again, I'm no MB expert, I just say this to you to validate the fact that you are not being unreasonable. I think she's messing with your head a little because she wants to do what she wants to do.

"messing with your head" as in an intentional I want to hurt you doesn't really fit my wife... BUT... her thinking "I am not doing anything wrong so I am going to do it so the problem is with my husband" is something she has said in the past (before things started improving). Our nature is to want our way... the question is are we willing to give up our INDIVIDUAL way and create an OUR way... which is what I desire.

Originally Posted By: AnyWife
Originally Posted By: MySacredMarriage

But she did fail and reached out via email to the OS guy once (the consultant living up north), but when found out she apologized and said she didn't think she did anything wrong just saying hi and seeing how he was doing. ... she sees things as not being "wrong". ...


I call BS. Again - you don't have to be an MB expert to know it's "wrong" to "reach out" to "say hi" to an OS when your husband is already sensitive and your marriage is on the rocks. I think she is playing innocent. I'm sure she has her own reasons for being upset and to her that justifies her choice. Why is she wondering "how he is doing?" in the first place? That in a vacuum, might not be alarming, but knowing you've openly discussed boundaries and contact with the opposite sex, it's not possible she didn't know, when she sent that completely unnecessary email, that it would concern/bother you if you knew about it.

I try to avoid the words "right" and "wrong" as they come out judgmental. Yes I feel if your spouse clearly has let you know of something that bothers or hurts you and you still do it then yea... I see it as "wrong", but I no longer say that. I just make a request and pray she hears it one day.

I did ask why she reached out back earlier this year and she said a group of her coworkers were in a meeting and someone started reminiscing about the past project this consultant was involved in and she said this caused her to think about him (nothing more than a friend to her) and reached out to see how he was doing and she shared about some books she was reading. She said in the counseling meeting she didn't think she was doing anything wrong. Actually thinking about it raises my blood pressure a little as it was hurtful to me... but she admitted she violated our agreement, apologized and said she would reconfirm and stop.

What I struggle with is my wife is a natural outgoing extrovert that just talks to everyone (male or female) as if she already knows them. I have had about 5 men I know tell me that if they had not know she was married to me and didn't know me they would have felt she was either interested in them or they would have at least felt like they could pursue her as there didn't seem to be anything that would say not to (other than a ring on the finger which doesn't stop many men).

Anyway... I fell in love with the extrovert part of her as I was slightly introverted and it made it easier to converse. I had never met anyone like her... ever. The first time I met her though she asked me out to grab some food as she was hungry after choir practice. I found out later she was engaged and fiance was in college out of state. She was 21 and I assumed she was just one of those folks that was friendly. He a few weeks later slept with another women and that ended that relationship. But to be honest the friendship we were building before that happened was wrong in my eyes and if I had been honest with myself I should have ended it as soon as I heard she was engaged.

Anyway... the point is... with her personality... I don't want her personality to change... I want certain behaviors and actions to be changed and boundaries to be put in place. I think at times she equates behaviors and actions as "just who I am".

Things are improving slowly. I need to get my thoughts together on some specific questions so the MB gurus can give some good feedback.

Thanks for your comments and feedback.

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