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#2876415 02/23/16 07:48 PM
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Hi,

I posted a while ago about angry outbursts and arguing. My husband and I have been working on eliminating love busters and haven't argued since then, but now another recurring problem has come back up.

Things had been going great. He had been talking about leaving before but yesterday said he felt really lucky to be in the relationship and didn't want to leave unless things got bad again over the next couple months.

Today we kissed goodbye and he left for work. Right after he left, I got a bunch of texts from him saying that he really hates the kind of **** that just happened, he felt like our relationship was a huge lie, and he just wanted to get away from me. It turned out that he felt like I didn't kiss him goodbye passionately and that made him feel like he's incapable of turning me on.

Sex has been a big issue for us for a long time, but we hadn't addressed that yet because we were trying to get rid of love busters first. Basically, he feels like I'm cold to him a lot and he feels frustrated. I'd actually brought up a couple times recently that we should start talking about sexual fulfillment and how I can meet his needs, since he's been controlling his temper and I feel a lot better about the relationship, but we hadn't talked about it yet, and actually, he doesn't seem to want to. He thinks that it's something that should just "happen" and talking about it would be manipulating me into doing something I don't really want to do.

So now he feels rejected and won't talk about how to resolve the issue. When I ask him what he wants, he just says he wants me to be like I was when he married me. He won't say anything specific.

I didn't even have any idea he was trying to seduce me or turn me on when he kissed me. I thought it was just a goodbye peck. I told him that, but he seems to just see it as further proof that I'm cold to him.

Like I said, this kind of thing has happened before. It seems like everything's going great in our relationship, and then he kisses me or initiates in some other way and feels like I don't respond the way he wants me to, so he says that he feels like just giving up on the whole thing. I feel like it's some kind of test that I keep failing.

Btw, we had sex about a week ago that I initiated, but he doesn't like that we always have it in the evening after we've been hanging out. He wants it to be more spontaneous and happen at other times of the day. He mentioned that yesterday, and I told him that I really like to feel an emotional connection from hanging out in order to have sex, but that we could work towards being more spontaneous.

So now we're both upset, and he doesn't want to talk about it. Any advice?


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Are you spending 15 undivided attention hours together consistently?

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No. More like 10, and this past week everything was thrown off because our daughter's school was on break. It's hard because we work opposite shifts. He's in the process of changing his schedule though.

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smallpeace,

How much of the Marriage Builders program are you familiar with and how much, if any, has your H read/participated in?

The best advice we can give you based on your latest post is to follow this program. If you could do some of the counseling that would help considerably.

Your H expects you to read his mind and won't accept anything less than that. That is something that will have to change. Without open and honest communication you are set up to fail all the time. You two are a team and as a team you need a plan. A well thought out communicated plan.

I'm sure there are lots of reasons why your H wants things his way. Unfortunately how he wants things to go down simply doesn't work. There is no way you can know exactly what he wants unless he tells you.

It could be something as simple as him saying:

"Before I leave for work each day I would love it if you would ...."

"I would love it if we could be intimate at least X times a week and of those I would like at least X number of times for it to be something spontaneous."

The beauty of him stating his wants gives you the opportunity to negotiate with him.

If he isn't willing to provide you this information maybe you start by communicating to him what you think he wants.

"Before you leave for work each day I will be sure to give you ...."
"I would love it if we could be intimate X times a week. On one of those days, preferably a day where we spend time connecting, I would like to plan SF in the evening."

You have to learn the art of negotiating. Of course you need a willing partner to negotiate but with some practice you can learn to be the one to make it happen.


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Thanks for your advice, MrAlias. I've read most of the articles on the site, have spent some time reading the forums, have been listening to the radio show regularly for the past few months, and have read His Needs Her Needs and He Wins She Wins. My husband and I have done some of the 5 Steps worksheets together and he's in the process of reading Love Busters.

I'll ask him again if he'd be willing to communicate what he wants now that he's cooled off. If not, I'll try what you suggested.

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Your husband made a complaint. He didn't make it as a thoughtful request, because he was too emotionally reactive.

Your best course of action is to try to respond calmly. The fact that your husband actually wrote his feelings in a text is good. The complaint I heard was not about SF, but about your lack of engagement when he expresses positive feelings or affection.

It is a disrespectful judgment on his part to EXPECT you to respond in any certain way. However, showing goodwill toward your husband might look something like this:

Honey, I'm sorry that you didn't feel good about the way I responded to your affection this morning. I want you to feel good, so can we figure out a solution tonight when you get home?"

Your husband may feel that you should naturally respond like he would. That is not the case. It is a disrespectful judgment. But if he can learn to put his hurt aside, he can thoughtfully request the response which would make him happy. You can then find a way to practice responding in a way that you both feel good about. After practice, that response will become more "second nature" for you, just like it already is for him.



When you sit down to figure out a solution, pull out the 4 Guidelines to Successful Negotation. Start with defining the problem and don't talk in circles. Focus on finding behaviors which would work for both of you to feel good.

Follow the negotiation steps formally. I would write down what you both agree to in a notebook and put the SF issue on the back burner until this response to kissing is solved.

Can you try this?

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
I posted a while ago about angry outbursts and arguing. My husband and I have been working on eliminating love busters

Uh...

Originally Posted by smallpeace
didn't want to leave unless things got bad again over the next couple months.

Threats...

Originally Posted by smallpeace
Right after he left, I got a bunch of texts from him saying that he really hates the kind of **** that just happened, he felt like our relationship was a huge lie, and he just wanted to get away from me.


Angry outbursts...

Originally Posted by smallpeace
It turned out that he felt like I didn't kiss him goodbye passionately and that made him feel like he's incapable of turning me on.


Disrespectful judgments...

I'd say he still has a bit of work to do on love busters.

Originally Posted by smallpeace
Sex has been a big issue for us for a long time, but we hadn't addressed that yet because we were trying to get rid of love busters first. Basically, he feels like I'm cold to him a lot and he feels frustrated. I'd actually brought up a couple times recently that we should start talking about sexual fulfillment and how I can meet his needs, since he's been controlling his temper and I feel a lot better about the relationship, but we hadn't talked about it yet, and actually, he doesn't seem to want to. He thinks that it's something that should just "happen" and talking about it would be manipulating me into doing something I don't really want to do.

So now he feels rejected and won't talk about how to resolve the issue. When I ask him what he wants, he just says he wants me to be like I was when he married me. He won't say anything specific.

I didn't even have any idea he was trying to seduce me or turn me on when he kissed me. I thought it was just a goodbye peck. I told him that, but he seems to just see it as further proof that I'm cold to him.

Like I said, this kind of thing has happened before. It seems like everything's going great in our relationship, and then he kisses me or initiates in some other way and feels like I don't respond the way he wants me to, so he says that he feels like just giving up on the whole thing. I feel like it's some kind of test that I keep failing.

Btw, we had sex about a week ago that I initiated, but he doesn't like that we always have it in the evening after we've been hanging out. He wants it to be more spontaneous and happen at other times of the day. He mentioned that yesterday, and I told him that I really like to feel an emotional connection from hanging out in order to have sex, but that we could work towards being more spontaneous.

So now we're both upset, and he doesn't want to talk about it. Any advice?

I have a lot to say on this issue because we're working on the same things in my own marriage. But first go read through this series of articles and see what you take away from it http://www.marriagebuilders.com//graphic/ss/50-1.html


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Here are 2 articles about negotiating in marriage, and the 3rd is for the Guidelines. Sorry can't supply better links right now.


http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8122_neg.html

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8122_raise.html

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3350_guide.html




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I see his texts as an angry outburst as well.

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Originally Posted by DidntQuit
Your husband made a complaint. He didn't make it as a thoughtful request, because he was too emotionally reactive.

Your best course of action is to try to respond calmly. The fact that your husband actually wrote his feelings in a text is good. The complaint I heard was not about SF, but about your lack of engagement when he expresses positive feelings or affection.

It is a disrespectful judgment on his part to EXPECT you to respond in any certain way. However, showing goodwill toward your husband might look something like this:

Honey, I'm sorry that you didn't feel good about the way I responded to your affection this morning. I want you to feel good, so can we figure out a solution tonight when you get home?"

Your husband may feel that you should naturally respond like he would. That is not the case. It is a disrespectful judgment. But if he can learn to put his hurt aside, he can thoughtfully request the response which would make him happy. You can then find a way to practice responding in a way that you both feel good about. After practice, that response will become more "second nature" for you, just like it already is for him.



When you sit down to figure out a solution, pull out the 4 Guidelines to Successful Negotation. Start with defining the problem and don't talk in circles. Focus on finding behaviors which would work for both of you to feel good.

Follow the negotiation steps formally. I would write down what you both agree to in a notebook and put the SF issue on the back burner until this response to kissing is solved.

Can you try this?


Thanks, DidntQuit. I think I did stay calm, and responded similarly to how you suggested. He responded to that by listing more reasons he was unhappy with the situation, and said he'd said all he had to say and suggested that I devote my time to doing something else (other than texting him back).

The reason I think the bigger problem is SF is that it's been a big problem for a long time, and also that he literally said he has no power to turn me on (based on that kiss, which was when he was on his way out the door so I'm not clear on why he was even trying to turn me on).

But yes, I very much want to try negotiating about it. He still doesn't want to right now. I still haven't seen him in person since this happened, but he emailed me today and said he just wanted to express his feelings because he thought they were important but wasn't ready to do any negotiating. He feels like negotiating = wishing the problem away. I don't know why.

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FightTheFight and apples, I agree that he's still engaging in love busters. I wanted to address what's upsetting him before tackling that, though.

I've read the willingness to desire column and forwarded it to him earlier along with some other links. He said he'd look at them when he feels like it.

From what he's said in his emails today, this was really devastating from him and he's still recovering from it and is not ready to talk about solutions. He just wants me to acknowledge that it happened and be empathetic. I've tried to do that, but I guess I haven't used the right words because he still seems really frustrated.

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
The reason I think the bigger problem is SF is that it's been a big problem for a long time, and also that he literally said he has no power to turn me on (based on that kiss, which was when he was on his way out the door so I'm not clear on why he was even trying to turn me on).

But yes, I very much want to try negotiating about it. He still doesn't want to right now. I still haven't seen him in person since this happened, but he emailed me today and said he just wanted to express his feelings because he thought they were important but wasn't ready to do any negotiating. He feels like negotiating = wishing the problem away. I don't know why.

From the Q&A column I posted to you:

Quote
In your case, your husband is asking you to have a greater emotional need for sex, which would be like asking him to have a greater emotional need for whatever he would rate lowest on his list of priorities. While it can be done, to make his lowest ranking emotional need more of a desire for him, it can be achieved only by making its fulfillment more pleasurable and effortless for him. The more of an expert [he] would become in meeting this low-priority need, the more he would tend to desire it.

The same principle should be followed whenever a man wants his wife to desire sex: He must create the conditions that allow her to enjoy the experience effortlessly.

I quote this to say point out to you that you're simply not going to desire sex the say way he does. You don't have the testosterone flowing through your body in nearly the same amounts. He's going to have to be responsible for "getting you in the mood".

Now, where you can help this process is by providing feedback on what does get you in the mood for sex and makes the experience enjoyable for you. This may involve all sorts of things that just aren't necessary for him to be in the mood himself, but are absolutely essential for your own arousal. For example, conversation, affection, and your surroundings.


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Originally Posted by smallpeace
FightTheFight and apples, I agree that he's still engaging in love busters. I wanted to address what's upsetting him before tackling that, though.

My point is that these love busters are CONTRIBUTING to your lack of desire! He's shooting himself in the foot! Having an angry outburst about the way you kiss him goodbye in the morning isn't going to get you any closer to being "passionate" about him. In fact, it will probably have the opposite effect in the long run.

Originally Posted by smallpeace
I've read the willingness to desire column and forwarded it to him earlier along with some other links. He said he'd look at them when he feels like it.

Did you get the solution contained in that article? It's not just s an educational read, it contains an actual solution to your problem.

Originally Posted by smallpeace
From what he's said in his emails today, this was really devastating from him and he's still recovering from it and is not ready to talk about solutions. He just wants me to acknowledge that it happened and be empathetic. I've tried to do that, but I guess I haven't used the right words because he still seems really frustrated.

Admit that what happened? You didn't kiss him correctly this morning?


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Yes, I agree, FightTheFight. I hope he'll be on board with that, but right now he's still withdrawn and thinks I'm trying to minimize his feelings by talking about solutions already.

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Admit that what happened? You didn't kiss him correctly this morning? [/quote]

I think he wants me to acknowledge that he felt like he couldn't turn me on, and say that it must be really hard to feel like that. I'm not sure exactly what he wants though because he won't be clear about it.

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Have you thought about signing up for the online/accountability program? You can work directly with Dr Harley and have help in mediating some of these issues.

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Also, he feels like something we used to have is gone, and it's something that's either there or isn't and there's no way to revive it. He seems to think that since we used to have more chemistry without "working" at it, we shouldn't have to work at it.

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unwritten, I looked into that, but it's a little out of my budget right now.

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Have you snooped lately?

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
Also, he feels like something we used to have is gone, and it's something that's either there or isn't and there's no way to revive it. He seems to think that since we used to have more chemistry without "working" at it, we shouldn't have to work at it.

With that statement, he is giving you notice that he intends to leave you.

He might also be having an affair, or gearing himself up to have one. By that I mean that he has a woman in mind that he thinks is more passionate than you. There is a clear sense, in what he says to you, that he is exploring other options. It make no sense that when you offer to give him the very thing that he is demanding, i.e. more passion, he refuses it and instead says that this cannot be fixed.


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