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I'll share something that Dr Harley told me:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
One of the most important goals of every husband should be to make sure that his wife looks forward to making love with him. He achieves that objective by meeting the emotional needs in her that enable her to feel emotionally bonded to him (affection and intimate conversation) and making the love-making act itself sexually arousing for her. To the extent that a husband only thinks about his own sexual need, he fails to achieve that goal, and suffers the consequence of a sexually disinterested wife.

So I can only tell you that your sexual response to your husband probably has a lot more to do with what he does than what you do. You simply can't "make yourself want it more". Somehow you've got to get that message across and work the issue.

A big part of it though is going to be addressing love busters going both ways.

Last edited by FightTheFight; 02/24/16 02:55 PM.

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Originally Posted by SugarCane
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.

Or he's just watching porn and thinking that's how you should be too. That's a very real thing.


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

I would highly suggest you reconsider this and make the effort to find the money somehow. Divorce is much more costly than going through the online program.

Rule out an affair or some other contrast affect first.

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I haven't snooped. Yes, he definitely is threatening to leave, but I've lost count of how many times he's already made that threat. He's gotten as far as opening his own bank account but has never actually left. I would be surprised if he was having an affair because things had been going really well for us until yesterday. I think that's why he was so upset by this- he thought that since things were going well, there should be nothing in the way of my libido. He told me literally the night before this happened that he was really happy with our relationship, felt lucky to be with me, thought I'd really working on things and things were just generally good. I said then that maybe we should start addressing SF, but he kind of brushed it off. We'd previously set the end of February as a goal for things being better with the understanding that he might move out if they weren't, and that night I asked him directly if he still felt like moving out, and he said no. That's why it's so confusing to me that this happened. It's like he's had a complete about-face because of something relatively minor (IMO- I didn't tell him that).

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FighttheFight, all that makes total sense to me. I hope I can get him to read and accept it.

He used to watch porn, but I don't think he does anymore. From what he's said, he's just comparing me to myself at other times in our relationship.

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You should follow the advice snoop. There's no reason not to.


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Originally Posted by smallpeace
...things had been going really well for us until yesterday. I think that's why he was so upset by this- he thought that since things were going well, there should be nothing in the way of my libido. He told me literally the night before this happened that he was really happy with our relationship, felt lucky to be with me, thought I'd really working on things and things were just generally good. I said then that maybe we should start addressing SF, but he kind of brushed it off. We'd previously set the end of February as a goal for things being better with the understanding that he might move out if they weren't, and that night I asked him directly if he still felt like moving out, and he said no. That's why it's so confusing to me that this happened. It's like he's had a complete about-face because of something relatively minor (IMO- I didn't tell him that).

Can you see how this account you have given parallels this one:

Quote
After having a nice family day at the Museum and then putting my little one to sleep at 9:00 pm, I should have been "ready" because I wasn't stressed or tired from a long day at the office. I followed my husband to the bedroom (he'd turned off the TV and all the lights at 9:30!) and I climbed into bed expecting that proverbial "tap on the shoulder". Instead, I think he waited (and probably prayed) that I'd initiate, and since I didn't he rolled over and went to sleep. I certainly did nothing to change that. But I wish I had! I wish I had it in me to climb on top of him and "demand" it! I understand his frustration of having to constantly bring sex up: he's tired of it and, quite frankly, so am I.

The key thing to realize is this:

Quote
Men tend to think about sex much of the time because of testosterone. The thinking about sex doesn't prepare them for sex, it's the testosterone that does it.

And

Quote
You are still thinking that it's your sole responsibility to get yourself in the mood to make love. I suggest that your husband has more to do with it than you do. He has the testosterone, you don't. So he should take the initiative every time for the foreseeable future, and "tap you on the shoulder." Waiting for you to take the initiative assumes you have already solved your problem and you already have a sexual desire. Quite frankly, even after you experience desire, he may still need to take the initiative, particularly if he wants to make love two or three times a week.

I think your husband is looking for you to take the initiative, but at least for now, that's the wrong approach to take.

In addition, you should also be aware that your desire and willingness to make love to him is directly related to how connected you feel with him.


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Yes, I think our stories are very similar, even the part about him being her first and only boyfriend/lover. The biggest difference is that she said she's never had a strong libido, and I have at times. I hope he'll read it.

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
Yes, I think our stories are very similar, even the part about him being my first and only boyfriend/lover. The biggest difference is that she said she's never had a strong libido, and I have at times. I hope he'll read it.

I have heard Dr Harley say that it is very common for a woman in the earlier stages of a relationship to be much more willing to make love and desire sex because she is motivated to have the relationship work out. It's her gift to the man she loves. However, after being married, the sexual part of the relationship is expected and her willingness and desire is much more closely related to how close and connected she feels to her husband.

Feeling close and connected to your husband is something that you can work on from your end. Make it your job to spend time together doing things that make you feel closer and connected. This will have a positive effect on your desire and eagerness to share that gift with him.

Last edited by FightTheFight; 02/24/16 03:49 PM.

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That makes so much sense. I've never really been able to figure out why my libido has been higher even during times when we were fighting a lot or in a long distance relationship.

My #1 need is intimate conversation, and we haven't been having particularly good conversations lately. Actually, I was getting frustrated over the weekend because he seemed to want to use his computer a lot and was distracted when I was talking to him. Anyway, I read the article about friends/enemies of good conversation and plan to implement the suggestions.

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
My #1 need is intimate conversation, and we haven't been having particularly good conversations lately. Actually, I was getting frustrated over the weekend because he seemed to want to use his computer a lot and was distracted when I was talking to him. Anyway, I read the article about friends/enemies of good conversation and plan to implement the suggestions.

Keep in mind that the same general rules would apply here. If you want him to "desire" conversation, it needs to ultimately be enjoyable for him. Just like him, every time you get angry about it you're shooting yourself in the foot just like he is. You can't go around demanding that he desire conversation any more than he should go around demanding the you desire sex more!

Last edited by FightTheFight; 02/24/16 07:18 PM.

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I know. I didn't say I got angry or demanded conversation, just that I was frustrated. We actually had a productive discussion and worked it out.

So now he's saying the kiss made him realize that I never respond to him anymore, so the whole thing is hopeless and a sham and he's been deceiving himself. He got himself into a deep funk without even talking to me because he thinks his perception is reality. I don't know what to do.

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
So now he's saying the kiss made him realize that I never respond to him anymore, so the whole thing is hopeless and a sham and he's been deceiving himself. He got himself into a deep funk without even talking to me because he thinks his perception is reality. I don't know what to do.

Honestly, I can relate to your husband. Even though I can see what he is doing and saying really isn't productive. I've been there myself and done some of the same things. So from that perspective, I can offer you what would work for me and falls within Dr Harley's guidance. (Which turns out to be quite brilliant by the way)

First and foremost, I would totally avoid anything that could be perceived as defensive. Nothing positive will happen if you don't start there.

I'd also suggest to avoid talking about this in person for now. I'd recommend taking that energy and emotion you're feeling and start working on an email that is free from any kind of disrespectful judgements or anger. Go read the article on goodwill here http://www.marriagebuilders.com//graphic/mbi8122_GoodWill.html and keep it in mind. Also read this article about negotiating when you're an emotional person http://www.marriagebuilders.com//graphic/mbi8122_neg.html And this one about how to negotiate when noone wants to raise the issue http://www.marriagebuilders.com//graphic/mbi8122_raise.html

I'd approach it from the perspective that you desperately want to meet his need and want his help in meeting it for him. Tell him you have a plan in mind to meet that need and it involves X,Y and Z that you need to "get in the mood".

I'd work your own emotional need of conversation into what you need to feel passionate about making love to him. I'd tell him that you want to go out on dates every week and spend time one on one without your daughter.

Be radically honest about your desire to be passionate about him, but put in it the context of asking for his help in getting you there. Then go about figuring out what it is that makes you feel connected and willing to make love to him.


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I finally saw him in person last night and we were able to talk without it turning into a huge fight. He still didn't want to discuss solutions, but talked more about how he felt. Basically, it's not just sex- he feels like I'm not in love with him because nothing he does seems to have a positive effect on me. I don't necessarily agree with that but I didn't try to argue with him. Today he said that he's ready to look at solutions, and will read some links I sent him as a starting point. In the meantime, I'm trying to be more aware of things he's doing to show affection etc. We'll try to follow all of your advice. Thanks for your help!

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Originally Posted by smallpeace
...he feels like I'm not in love with him because nothing he does seems to have a positive effect on me. I don't necessarily agree with that but I didn't try to argue with him.

Maybe try to get in the habit of providing feedback when something he does makes you feel good. This feeds his need for admiration and also tells him what he is doing right. Positive reinforcement is encouraging and also gets you more of what you want. A win-win.

Originally Posted by smallpeace
In the meantime, I'm trying to be more aware of things he's doing to show affection etc. We'll try to follow all of your advice. Thanks for your help!

Just be careful with this one that you don't just simply try to "appreciate" things he is doing that don't necessarily hit the mark. The goal should be to actually meet the emotional needs you want met, not to try to change your own perception of what you enjoy.

For example, how this usually goes is he might say, "Hey look at this list of things I'm doing for you and it has no effect on you at all." First of all, it's a disrespectful thing to say because it implies he knows what you're thinking, and it also implies that you're just not appreciative enough and should be more responsive. It puts you on the defensive for not "acting the right way".

The solution to that isn't for you to try to change how something makes you feel, the solution is to change the items on the list to things that actually do make more of a difference to you. (Bigger love bank deposits) See the difference? This is the part you can help with from your end. Help him figure out what to put on his list!


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Quote
Maybe try to get in the habit of providing feedback when something he does makes you feel good. This feeds his need for admiration and also tells him what he is doing right. Positive reinforcement is encouraging and also gets you more of what you want. A win-win.


OK.

Quote
Just be careful with this one that you don't just simply try to "appreciate" things he is doing that don't necessarily hit the mark. The goal should be to actually meet the emotional needs you want met, not to try to change your own perception of what you enjoy.

One of the examples he gave was that I used to like more music, tv shows, etc. that he introduced me to. He still likes music and shows that I like, but feels like whenever he tries to play anything new for me now, I'm not interested and would rather listen to/watch stuff that I choose. That's true to some extent. I try to keep an open mind, but some stuff he plays for me just doesn't strike a chord with me or even puts me in a bad mood. It kind of reminds me of when Dr. Harley said that his wife joined him in certain recreational activities before they were married and then stopped. We have plenty of mutual interests and overlapping tastes, but I think he sees it as a reflection of my feelings about him that I don't like things just because he does.

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So it's a week later... last week he agreed to try working on things, but then we had a really crazy week with family visiting from out of town and him working a lot of late nights and weren't able to start doing any work until today, but we were getting along ok and going out on dates. This morning we finally had some time to talk about the relationship, and he wanted to go over his angry outbursts as Dr. Harley suggests in Love Busters. We looked at his texts from last week and discussed how they were angry outbursts and disrespectful judgements, and he said that that's just how he expresses himself, and he thinks that when he has really strong feelings that things are really wrong, he shouldn't beat around the bush because it's important to communicate to me that there's a serious problem in our relationship.

We discussed this for a while, but then it became clear that he was getting really upset again because the feelings he was having last week were getting dredged up. He kept saying that he felt like the marriage was an abomination. I asked him why he thought that, and he said that we'd gotten married under false pretenses (i.e., I was "pretending" to be attracted to him). Then he said that he really wanted to have a conversation about that before we work on anything.

When I saw him again, he was acting withdrawn again, like he was last week. He was short with me when I said anything to him, and didn't hug me when he left for work, and slammed the door on his way out. I called him and asked why he was acting like that, and he said that until today he'd thought our relationship after getting married was a sham, but our relationship before that was real. Now he "realizes" that our relationship never was real and I never was "the one". He said that we're incompatible and he doesn't even really like me, he was in love with a false image I'd projected of myself. We've been together for decades, btw.

So now he says that he doesn't think the relationship is worth saving, since it wasn't real to begin with. He says he doesn't even want a relationship, and doesn't want to be accountable to anyone except himself, and never really did. This is so distressing to me, because I thought we'd been making real progress and was falling in love with him again. It seems like just when we both thought things were getting better and I could see happiness in our future, he suddenly wants to leave.

I checked his phone, btw, and there were no unidentified texts that might point to an affair, and I can't think of anyone he might be having an affair with, and his time away from me is pretty much accounted for.

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

I would highly suggest you reconsider this and make the effort to find the money somehow. Divorce is much more costly than going through the online program.

Rule out an affair or some other contrast affect first.

THIS.

Beg, borrow, steal to do this.

Your husband needs accountability with his emotional outbursts. Some of his reactions are ingrained as a response to your love busters. It's impossible for you to be the motivation and acountability for your spouse. And it sounds like your husband's emotional reactions will impact his motivation. Doing the online program takes the strategizing off of you both and fine tunes your focus. This helps stop the bleeding. Overwhelm is a risk when you have several marital problems and lots to learn.

Your husband is willing to learn about the program. I would in the least email the radio show and best sign up for the accountability program.

Did you ever read this? I linked it quite a while back.


How to Negotiate When You're An Emotional Person

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8122_happy.html



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We all feel disillusioned when our marriage goes south. We start to question our original decision and the facts surrounding it. A high conflict marriage void of affairs and addictions casts a fog of it's own because it overshadows the positive interactions and puts romantic love so far behind us that we question if it ever existed.

When your husband makes a negative statement about his fears that you should never have married, try to respond with something positive and hopeful and change the subject. He is caught up in his emotions and it skews things. Say something like, "Honey, I married you because I loved you and was into you."


Please read:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5004_qa.html


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Originally Posted by Dr. Bill Harley ( Here: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5004_qa.html)
Having counseled for over 30 years now, I am convinced that marital compatibility is a problem of gigantic proportions in most marriages. Couples are usually most compatible the day of their marriage, and things go downhill from there. Why? Because, prior to marriage they make a great effort to become compatible. They try to understand each other's likes and dislikes and then try to accommodate those feelings. Then, they are usually willing to change their behavior to become more compatible. And it works so well that they decide to be together for life.

Trouble is, most couples stop trying to be compatible as soon as they're married. "Mission accomplished! We're married, so now I can set my sights on other objectives in life. My career, my children, my health, my . . ."




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