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Originally Posted By: dividejim
1) I have so much MB stuff running through my head that its all a jumble in my mind. A concise, structured listing of the program would be helpful to me.

You have access to a concise, structured listing of the programme, in Dr Harley's articles, available free on this site. You need to read every one of them. Start with the Basic Concepts.

As you read you will see that there are many more links, either embedded in each article or at the side of the page. Read every one of those, too. Make sure that you read Four Rules for a Successful Marriage. That particular article gathers all the basic concepts into four rules. You might find it easier to work on the four rules, once you have digested the basic concepts.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
2) As far as stopping the lying, we talked about openness and honesty. My wife and I talk a lot about this and I've listed that as her greatest need. This is something that I struggle with and am definitely working to correct. My lie at Christmas over cleaning the house was a huge eye-opening event for me because it reinforced what my wife has been telling me for a long time that I hide the truth.

The concept of openness and honesty is an emotional need. It refers to the need that a spouse (mainly a wife) has, which is to know her husband's deepest feelings and innermost thoughts. It might help you to see it as more about not keeping secrets from her - about allowing her into all the "rooms" of you life, so that no aspect of you is unknown and inaccessible to her.

O&H is not only about not lying. Lying is a specific act that is done, in your case, to get out of trouble. NOT lying is NOT the same as being open and honest, in the way that Dr H describes O&H.

"Honesty and Openness is one of the ten most important emotional needs identified in marriage, which means that when it's met, it can trigger the feeling of love. But it's counterpart, dishonesty, is one of the five most destructive Love Busters. When spouses are dishonest, they destroy the love they have for each other." Rule of Honesty

Honesty is about opening yourself up, and it is an emotional need that some spouses need from the other spouse. It may or may not be a critical emotional need for your wife. Lying is dishonesty, which is a love buster. It is a massive love buster for your wife. You need to stop committing that love buster.

The way to stop that particular form of love busting is to stop lying. The way to meet an emotional need for openness and honesty is to talk about your innermost feelings. Lying is a love buster. The two are different things, and you should not confuse them.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
3) As far as why I haven't been doing anything to rebuild our marriage, I am very confused on where to begin. It seems that I run into a brick wall whenever I try to institute something. I'm sure that it is because the hurt that I have caused have created a lot of resentment in my wife and she is not willing to listen to my BS anymore.

Please give us some examples of what you have done to "institute something". Please be really specific. your wife claims that you have not done anything, but you claim that you have tried. What have you tried?

Originally Posted By: dividejim
4) I have spoken to my wife through email about wanting to rebuild our marriage. I have also spoken to her face to face. I believe that I know what it is that she wants. My problem right now is that she is withdrawn and won't engage with me on anything.

What is it that you believe she wants, and what have you tried to engage her in?


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Jim, I want to warn you against the "be cool and aloof" philosophy embedded in this advice.

"If you were in a bad place with your hubby... And fighting or what have you... Should your hubby just stand there and wait for you to not be mad at him? Or should he go occupy himself until you cool off? That's all I'm saying... If she wants him to leave her alone because she's not in a good space in her head with him.. What good will it do to sit there and follow her around like a lost puppy hoping for his cookie? That's no way to be married... When she needs space and indicates as such.. Its best to go find a way to fill the time until she's ready to talk again by doing something awesome rather than sulk and wait and hope she will be nice to him. Obviously when she's feeling negative towards him its not a good time to talk...aknowledge she's upset.. Appologize once..then its Best to go be awesome for a bit then come back to it.

Whatever you do.... Don't whine (or what she precieves as) Don't mope... Don't sulk... Don't appologize for something more than once.. Bring positive energy with you when your near her and meet her needs when you can... And if you can't or she won't let you then just be near by and do something manly or awesome...

This is not Marriage Builders advice, and it is not how Dr Harley advises a man to try and bring his wife out of withdrawal. Since you have spoken to Dr Harley more than once, and since you listen to the radio show, and have chosen to post here again, I take it you are here for the advice that Dr Harley gives?

Well, here is what he says about dealing with a wife's complaints, before they descend into nagging, an d once they have already reached that point. Note that he does not tell you that her reactions to your love busters "are on her", or that you should apologise only once and then, if she is still upset, leave her to sulk - as if she is one of your children, and not an equal partner, with a legitimate complaint:

"As a husband, you should address every complaint your wife makes with patience and kindness. You should enter into a discussion with her regarding every issue she raises, and do it without any disrespect or anger on your part. If you think that she has so many issues that you feel overwhelmed by them, organize them together and set priorities. Focus on the three that top her list, and when they are resolved, work your way through it." How to Deal with a Quarrelsome and Nagging Wife"

Going off to "be awesome" by working on your pecs while your wife "cools down", when she is upset at having discovered you in yet another lie, is a way to push her into withdrawal and keep her there - and you've already done that.

Time to use Marriage Builders.


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Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy
Whatever you say sugar ...I will bow out.I don't know anything.. I have only been married pretty much all my life. I promise that rewarding her negative behaviour will only reinforce it.I never said be aloof. But Good luck anyways.

Here you go again- "rewarding her negative behaviour".

He has not given ANY examples of her negative behaviour. However, he has given a serious example of HIS negative behaviour, which is his lying. His wife also continues to say that he ignores her.

It is HIS negative behaviour that has driven his wife into withdrawal. He is not here complaining about her negative behaviour. He is here because he is now in a desperate fight to save his marriage - his wife is repeatedly asking him to move out, and telling him she is DONE. He is looking for help to stop her pushing through a separation, because he knows that if they separate, his wife will heave a sigh of relief and not look back. He has love busted her too many times over too many years, and has done it recently, even knowing how fragile things were at that time.

It is HIS negative behaviour that he needs help with, and he has come here for help with Dr Harley's Marriage Builders programme - not for advice that her deeply upset responses are "on her".


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Originally Posted By: dividejim
My main love buster has been dishonesty. I believe that I've done a 180 on dishonesty and now focus on not hiding things and being open about everything. I also put most of my energy toward my hobbies over the last 30+ years of marriage. Primarily cycling. I would eat, breathe and drink cycling 24/7. I gave it up roughly 2 years ago because of the strain it put on our marriage. According to my wife, my addiction to cycling has been no different than an affair to her. There has never been any infidelity in our family but this addiction to cycling seems to be very similar to what pain an affair might have caused. As such, I'm treating it just like an affair.

I find now that I've acknowledged the hurt that I've caused and understand my part in that. I see how I've moved away from my wife over all of these years. Now I find that she is in withdrawal and is just like the woman that Dr. Harley writes about in the "How to Deal with a Nagging Wife" article. I've been sleeping on the couch since early November 2015 with no end in sight. I feel like my wife is moving farther and farther away from me emotionally and she is protecting herself from the hurt that I've caused.

We seemed to be starting to move forward a month or so ago and then I lied to her. She called me on it and I realized what I had done and acknowledged that I had lied and since then its been steadily getting worse. The neglect that I have put on her for all of these years has definitely hurt her to the core. We are on the verge of separating at this point and I fear that if I leave, that will be it. It will be near impossible to repair/fix/restart our life together if I leave.

I'm hoping to open a dialogue on this thread that will help me to deal with my wife and actually focus on rebuilding our marriage. Your thoughts/advice would be graciously accepted...DJ

He did not post a SINGLE WORD that suggested any "negative behaviour" from her. His posts were all about his own negative behaviour, and about how desperate he is now that she's given up. He described her behaviour as "emotionally protecting herself from the hurt he has caused' - which is entirely reasonable for her to do.


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SugarCane, here's what I am talking about when I say that I've tried some things:

1) I used to argue with my wife to the death. Justifying why I did something, trying to make myself look better. I discovered that this is a huge love buster for my wife. My justification was simply me trying to make it ok that I made a unilateral decision (living independently). I have totally stopped doing this. Granted, it has only been about 1-1/2 months now but we were going through these arguments on a daily basis. Now they have stopped.

2) I let her know what is happening during my day. She's not much interested in this at this point so I'm not sure that this is helping anything right now.

3) I have totally stopped cycling. I stopped this about 2 years ago in total.

4) After my experience with the bold-faced lie that I told my wife when we were cleaning our house after Christmas, I realized what I was doing and have stopped. It has only been again about 1-1/2 months now so its only been a short time.

As you have questioned me about what I have been doing and I've written these down, its very clear to me that I've just stopped doing a few things but I haven't really taken any actions to DO anything that is important to our relationship. I believe that my wife's top 3 emotional needs are Honesty/Openness, Conversation and Family Commitment.

I think that the most valuable item to focus on with my wife now is conversation. She needs this and I've not given it to her. We sit in silence most of the time when we are together. We have this wall between us, I believe because of the things that I have done to her over our married life. She is just like the person described in Dr. Harley's "Nagging Wife" article. She is fed up, at the end of her rope, wanting to end everything.

Have you dealt with this sort of situation? I'm really struggling.


I'm 59 yrs old; married to my wife for 30+ yrs. Started having marriage troubles 5 years ago. I have lived independently for all of these years. 5 yrs ago wife announced she did not love me anymore. Wife has had angry outbursts our whole married life. I now understand that this is a symptom of my independent behavior. No infidelity from either of us. Active members of our church. 4 children, 1 son, 3 daughters. All out of the house now. Adjusting to the empty nest
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Originally Posted By: dividejim
As you have questioned me about what I have been doing and I've written these down, its very clear to me that I've just stopped doing a few things but I haven't really taken any actions to DO anything that is important to our relationship.

Bingo.


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Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, here's what I am talking about when I say that I've tried some things:

1) I used to argue with my wife to the death. Justifying why I did something, trying to make myself look better. I discovered that this is a huge love buster for my wife. My justification was simply me trying to make it ok that I made a unilateral decision (living independently). I have totally stopped doing this. Granted, it has only been about 1-1/2 months now but we were going through these arguments on a daily basis. Now they have stopped.

2) I let her know what is happening during my day. She's not much interested in this at this point so I'm not sure that this is helping anything right now.

3) I have totally stopped cycling. I stopped this about 2 years ago in total.

4) After my experience with the bold-faced lie that I told my wife when we were cleaning our house after Christmas, I realized what I was doing and have stopped. It has only been again about 1-1/2 months now so its only been a short time.

As you have questioned me about what I have been doing and I've written these down, its very clear to me that I've just stopped doing a few things but I haven't really taken any actions to DO anything that is important to our relationship. I believe that my wife's top 3 emotional needs are Honesty/Openness, Conversation and Family Commitment.

I think that the most valuable item to focus on with my wife now is conversation. She needs this and I've not given it to her. We sit in silence most of the time when we are together. We have this wall between us, I believe because of the things that I have done to her over our married life. She is just like the person described in Dr. Harley's "Nagging Wife" article. She is fed up, at the end of her rope, wanting to end everything.

Have you dealt with this sort of situation? I'm really struggling.

The reason I insisted that you be very specific was because I suspected that your idea of "I've really tried, recently" and her idea of what you've been doing might be sharply different. I thought that you might be misguidedly aiming for emotional needs that were not important to her.

It seems that it's worse than that - you are not actively doing anything to rebuild romantic love. So THAT's what she means when she says you have done nothing; you have literally done nothing. And that's why she isn't interested in your talk of Marriage Builders and your promises to change. Tell me how letting her know what is happening during your day - talking about yourself, in other words - is designed to make her feel special and fall in love with you? You don't seem to have a clue what she needs or what to do.

But we can fix that.


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Originally Posted By: dividejim
Have you dealt with this sort of situation? I'm really struggling.

The vast majority of our marriages on this board have been in this situation at some time, whether or not they also endured affairs. Mine most certainly has.

We need to tackle this systematically.

How is the reading (of the articles on the website) going?


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SugarCane, I've probably read about 1/4 of the articles that are out there. I sense that no matter the topic, the content will be relevant because its all structured around the MB principles.


I'm 59 yrs old; married to my wife for 30+ yrs. Started having marriage troubles 5 years ago. I have lived independently for all of these years. 5 yrs ago wife announced she did not love me anymore. Wife has had angry outbursts our whole married life. I now understand that this is a symptom of my independent behavior. No infidelity from either of us. Active members of our church. 4 children, 1 son, 3 daughters. All out of the house now. Adjusting to the empty nest
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Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, I've probably read about 1/4 of the articles that are out there. I sense that no matter the topic, the content will be relevant because its all structured around the MB principles.

Have you re-read every article describing the Basic Concepts?

Basic Concept 1: The Love Bank


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Have you re-read this article, that describes how Dr Harley conceived his Basic Concepts?


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Have you read about the Three States of Mind in Marriage?


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Did you listen to the Radio Show today?


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SugarCane, I have done the following:

o The Basic Concepts
o How These Were Developed
o I listened to Friday's radio show...its spot-on for what I'm going through

I also wanted you to know that I had an interesting moment the night before last with my wife. It was bedtime and we were talking and she was very withdrawn. I started to bear my soul to her and tell her what she meant to me and how I've learned what I have done to her through my neglect. We've talked about these things many times in the past but something was different this time. Her whole demeanor changed and I could see the hate melting away from her face as I was talking to her. I'm sure that I was meeting her need for intimate conversation and openness/honesty.

I do have moments that I can look back on and see that I've been open and honest. Its not yet part of my character and it is a struggle for me.

My wife told me last night that she thinks that I need to go away for a little while so that she can truly discover how she feels for me. This is a lot different from the last time we talked about me going away because it was to just separate and work toward a divorce. I think that the moment a few nights ago gave her something that she craved from me and brought her somewhat out of withdrawal and more back into the conflict stage.

Its such a struggle at times! Thank you for your guidance, I really do appreciate that you're willing to help folks who are struggling...DJ


I'm 59 yrs old; married to my wife for 30+ yrs. Started having marriage troubles 5 years ago. I have lived independently for all of these years. 5 yrs ago wife announced she did not love me anymore. Wife has had angry outbursts our whole married life. I now understand that this is a symptom of my independent behavior. No infidelity from either of us. Active members of our church. 4 children, 1 son, 3 daughters. All out of the house now. Adjusting to the empty nest
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Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, I have done the following:

o The Basic Concepts
o How These Were Developed

I am glad to hear about the reading you've done so far, and about the apparent change in your wife's attitude. It seems that this might be a moment of opportunity; you need to seize it (carefully) and not let it go, and NOT slip back into your normal habits.

You need urgently to read about the three states of mind in marriage (linked above), and then you need to re-read the basic concept of the Policy Of Undivided Attention.

There is a reason I'm telling you to read through all these resources, and why I'm not giving you shortcuts by saying "do this". The reason is that the Marriage Builders concepts fit together, and need to be practiced all together. They do not work piecemeal, and it is impossible to do rebuild a romantic marriage if you do not understand the importance and effect of the things you do wrong, and learn consistently how to create love bank deposits.

So, please (re) read the resources I describe above, and also today, order the book Love Busters, from the bookshop online here, or from Amazon. It comes only in hardcover format.

That book is essential for you, because it deals with the issues that have brought your marriage to the point of destruction. As its description says,

"Love Busters are habits that destroy romantic love. They develop soon after marriage and, before long, destroy intimacy, safety, trust ... and romantic love.

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., has shown couples how to create romantic love in his best seller, His Needs, Her Needs. But in Love Busters, he helps couples avoid losing romantic love by recognizing and overcoming thoughtless and selfish habits. These habits are common in every marriage and not only destroy romantic love, but also prevent couples from resolving their conflicts."

Love Busters is a long book, but it's all the better for that; it covers all the common behaviours that destroy love, and show how to change those behaviours and stop the destruction. You need that book, and also His Needs Her Needs - but you need Love Busters more.


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I do already have love busters. I will re-read the book. I think you are right about seizing the moment. I appreciate the reminder to review the basic concepts. It really does help to review these frequently...DJ


I'm 59 yrs old; married to my wife for 30+ yrs. Started having marriage troubles 5 years ago. I have lived independently for all of these years. 5 yrs ago wife announced she did not love me anymore. Wife has had angry outbursts our whole married life. I now understand that this is a symptom of my independent behavior. No infidelity from either of us. Active members of our church. 4 children, 1 son, 3 daughters. All out of the house now. Adjusting to the empty nest
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You sound very much to me as if you are saying that, because things appear to have turned a corner, you are okay now. You appear to be signing off from this thread. If so, good luck.


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Sugarcane, im not sure why you got that impression from what I said. I am not under the delusion that things are okay and I know that I have a lot of work to do. I am just grateful that folks like you are out there helping. I start rereading love busters last night.


I'm 59 yrs old; married to my wife for 30+ yrs. Started having marriage troubles 5 years ago. I have lived independently for all of these years. 5 yrs ago wife announced she did not love me anymore. Wife has had angry outbursts our whole married life. I now understand that this is a symptom of my independent behavior. No infidelity from either of us. Active members of our church. 4 children, 1 son, 3 daughters. All out of the house now. Adjusting to the empty nest
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Well, that being the case,

Originally Posted By: SugarCane
You need urgently to read about the three states of mind in marriage (linked above), and then you need to re-read the basic concept of the Policy Of Undivided Attention.

And don't forget to listen to todays radio show.


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