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We are working on the marriage. Applying Dr. Harley’s program. I have an aversion to anything physical due to years of doing it when I didn’t want to because I wanted to do the right thing. I have not been in love for a long time.
In spite of working on things now for a couple of months, I’m still not in love. I am doing the exercises for the aversion and still don’t feel good about sex or affection. My husband is upset about this and doesn’t know why I don’t trust that he has changed.
When he voices his frustration I feel attacked and feel like he’s still the guy who badgered me for years. He says that’s unfair and I shouldn’t feel that way.
How long should it take for me to fall in love again?

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Originally Posted by Pummychal
I am doing the exercises for the aversion and still don’t feel good about sex or affection. My husband is upset about this and doesn’t know why I don’t trust that he has changed.
When he voices his frustration I feel attacked and feel like he’s still the guy who badgered me for years. He says that’s unfair and I shouldn’t feel that way.
How long should it take for me to fall in love again?


Until he stops badgering you, I don't expect this ever to change. You said in your previous post:

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My aversion was caused by many years (35+) of coercion and guilting.


It sounds to me like he is still using coercion and guilt rather trying to attract you by meeting your needs and completely eliminating lovebusters. That's where I would start, eliminate all lovebusters, especially voicing frustrations that make you feel badgered. How much undivided attention time are you getting every week? Dr Harley recommends 20-25 hrs per week meeting the intimate emotional needs of affection, conversation, rec companionship and sexual fulfillment. This is a critical step in falling in love again. Dr H recommends going out on 4 - 4 hour dates every week. Are you doing this?


"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

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He says he’s not badgering me and that I’m just taking him the wrong way. He doesn’t badger for sex any more but he gets mad that I still am scared that he hasn’t changed. He feels that it’s not fair that he doesn’t get to tell me how he feels without me taking it the wrong way. When he gets frustrated with how I still feel and voices it, it sounds like the guy that used to badger me for sex and I get scared that he hasn’t changed. He feels that that is unfair.
We’re not doing 4 4 hr dates but we spend a lot of time together.every week and we do a date night once a week.. He feels that he is doing everything he’s supposed to do and I should be ok now.

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Also, he feels like he has already eliminated the love busters. He says he doesn’t mean things the way I take them.

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Originally Posted by Pummychal
He says he’s not badgering me and that I’m just taking him the wrong way. He doesn’t badger for sex any more but he gets mad that I still am scared that he hasn’t changed. He feels that it’s not fair that he doesn’t get to tell me how he feels without me taking it the wrong way. When he gets frustrated with how I still feel and voices it, it sounds like the guy that used to badger me for sex and I get scared that he hasn’t changed. He feels that that is unfair.
We’re not doing 4 4 hr dates but we spend a lot of time together.every week and we do a date night once a week.. He feels that he is doing everything he’s supposed to do and I should be ok now.


In order for this to change from aversion to desire, he needs to stop getting mad at you. Tell him it triggers your feelings of being badgered. I don't know many women who would be interested in making love to a man who "frustrated" or mad at her. So he needs to stop it. Anything he does that makes you unhappy or uncomfortable means you don't feel desire. So if he wants you to feel desire, he needs to stop doing things that make you unhappy.

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We’re not doing 4 4 hr dates but we spend a lot of time together.every week and we do a date night once a week.


Being at home together is not UA time and is rarely ever effective in creating romantic love. I would start planning 4 dates out of the house every week. You can't just do what you have always done and expect things to change in your marriage. I would print out this worksheet and sit down together every Sunday and plan out your dates. This program does not work without this step: Undivided Attention Worksheet If you want your marriage to change, you will have to change your habits.


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Thank you so much for your time answering my post. He knows that when we have those conversations it triggers me. We’ve discussed it many times. That upsets him too, because he says it shouldn’t still trigger me the way it does. He feels that he is believing in me but I’m not believing in him since I still fear that he hasn’t changed. I tell him it’s these conversations that cause me to fear he hasn’t changed because in them he is that same animated, frustrated, angry, hurt guy, telling me how unfair it is; trying to convince me I shouldn’t feel the way I do any more. This sounds to me like the same guy that badgered for sex. But he says that’s unfair too. He says he’s done a lot of changing but I don’t want to change (I have changed a lot but know I need to continue to grow, always). The conversations feel very judgemental. He says he has tried to just keep his mouth shut and not defend himself but again doesn’t see why I should get to voice my feelings and he can’t. He says my feelings hurt him and then he wants to share his feelings with me in turn. I explain to him that I want him to share his feelings, but it’s the way he does it that hurts. It comes across very accusatory, blaming and critical. He says that’s just the way he talks; he says he’s very passionate and very vocal. I have said many times that maybe I should not tell him how I am still feeling because of how it hurts him. I don’t want to hurt him and upset him. If I ever share my feelings, it’s because he asks me how I’m doing. Most times, I say maybe we shouldn’t talk about it but he pushes and says he wants to know. But then he wants to be able to defend himself when I do. Then as soon as I do, and he gets upset, I back off of my feelings and the conversation turns to how I have made him feel because of my feelings. He doesn’t think that he is being judgemental when he voices his defense; he’s just trying to help me see it a different way. He’s definitely not validating my feelings. He says he doesn’t think it will ever change; that he’ll never be able to voice his defense because of how I take things incorrectly. It also always takes the turn of him telling me that I am being judgemental too. So I always tell him I’m sorry he feels that way and I’m sorry I came across that way and that I don’t want him to feel like I’m judging him; that that’s not my intention. So, at this point we are both taking each other the wrong way. We both think we are not being judgemental but are being taken that way.

We had one such conversation yesterday. It started out good. We were driving and he told me he was very encouraged about us; that it seemed that I was opening up. He asked how I was doing; how I was feeling about us; how I was doing with my aversion to physical touch. I told him I was absolutely feeling myself open up more and more. I told him I wished it was going faster and I’m sorry it isn’t. He asked again how the aversion was going. I suggested maybe it would be best not to talk about that. I don’t want to hurt him. I know it hurts him ta I am not there yet. But he pushed and said he’d be alright. We talked about the things that were helping me; that the longer he went without getting frustrated and voicing his frustration in the way he did, that I was beginning to believe more and more that he really had changed and wasn’t going to do that again.. (We have a cycle of him being fine for a while but then he gets frustrated again eventually and lashes out). He said he actually wasn’t even getting frustrated at all any more. I told him that if he really has changed, my belief will continue to grow because of the absence of him eventually getting frustrated and lashing out. Then it went bad. The fact that I said “I he really has changed”, set him off. He said he believes in me and I should believe in him, and so it went from there. I apologized for how that made him feel and we spent the rest of the conversation with him telling me how hurt he was, etc.
Again, it sounded like the same guy, hence hurting the trust in him that I had been building.

As far as dates, we have talked about it and he feels that because we spend at least 15 hours together throughout the week (going to the store, one date per week that lasts 3 hours, running errands together, going out to eat, eating dinner together, sometimes cooking dinner together, etc; an hour here and there, sometimes 2 hours at a time), that we don’t need to do the 4 4 hr dates. I will think about bringing it up to him, but I don’t feel I have a right to ask him for that since his needs are not being met. I figured I shouldn’t push that until I get over my aversion to physical touch and sex. Can you tell me why the 4 hr dates are better that 15 hours throughout the week?

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First of all, the dates should be fun. So this conversation you had does not count. You need (at least) 15 hours doing something you both enjoy. On average men don't need 15 hours, but women do. If you spend those hours together, it will make you feel closer to him.

The 4x4 your blocks not only make it easier to get to the 15 hours. A couple of minutes here and half an hour there adding up to 4 hours will not have the same effect as a 4 hour block.

What do you both enjoy? What did you enjoy while dating? For some people hiking is great (exercise makes you feel happier, bonus). And in the beginning, don't talk about your feelings until he stops negotiating your feelings. Time together should be pleasant.

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You are less likely to have an aversion when you are in love and you won't fall in love without 15 hours of undivided attention. So you need the (at least) 15 hours to get over the aversion. He needs to put effort in the 15 hours to create a desire in you.

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We do a lot of things together that we enjoy. I will talk to him about having longer periods of time and I think you’re right that we shouldn’t talk about how I’m feeling. Even if he pushes, I think I should refrain from saying anything. We started doing more of it in an effort to be open and honest like Dr. Harley says but I don’t think we can do that. Is it still possible to fall in love when we aren’t able to open up to each other? In our dates, we will be meeting a couple of emotional needs but not all 4 the way Dr. Harley says we should (Recreation, conversation, affection, sex) Will it still work to help me fall in love? And isn’t it unfair to him if we don’t do anything physical in the dates?
I feel like, until I know he won’t treat me this way any more, I won’t fall in love. So if we just don’t talk about things, how will I ever know if he has changed and won’t talk that way any more?
Even if we have good times together, it’s in the back of my mind that he’s going to get fed up eventually if it takes to long for me to get my act together..

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Originally Posted by Pummychal
Thank you so much for your time answering my post. He knows that when we have those conversations it triggers me. We’ve discussed it many times. That upsets him too, because he says it shouldn’t still trigger me the way it does. He feels that he is believing in me but I’m not believing in him since I still fear that he hasn’t changed. I tell him it’s these conversations that cause me to fear he hasn’t changed because in them he is that same animated, frustrated, angry, hurt guy, telling me how unfair it is; trying to convince me I shouldn’t feel the way I do any more. This sounds to me like the same guy that badgered for sex. But he says that’s unfair too. He says he’s done a lot of changing but I don’t want to change (I have changed a lot but know I need to continue to grow, always). The conversations feel very judgemental. He says he has tried to just keep his mouth shut and not defend himself but again doesn’t see why I should get to voice my feelings and he can’t. He says my feelings hurt him and then he wants to share his feelings with me in turn. I explain to him that I want him to share his feelings, but it’s the way he does it that hurts. It comes across very accusatory, blaming and critical. He says that’s just the way he talks; he says he’s very passionate and very vocal. I have said many times that maybe I should not tell him how I am still feeling because of how it hurts him. I don’t want to hurt him and upset him. If I ever share my feelings, it’s because he asks me how I’m doing. Most times, I say maybe we shouldn’t talk about it but he pushes and says he wants to know. But then he wants to be able to defend himself when I do. Then as soon as I do, and he gets upset, I back off of my feelings and the conversation turns to how I have made him feel because of my feelings. He doesn’t think that he is being judgemental when he voices his defense; he’s just trying to help me see it a different way. He’s definitely not validating my feelings. He says he doesn’t think it will ever change; that he’ll never be able to voice his defense because of how I take things incorrectly. It also always takes the turn of him telling me that I am being judgemental too. So I always tell him I’m sorry he feels that way and I’m sorry I came across that way and that I don’t want him to feel like I’m judging him; that that’s not my intention. So, at this point we are both taking each other the wrong way. We both think we are not being judgemental but are being taken that way.

We had one such conversation yesterday. It started out good. We were driving and he told me he was very encouraged about us; that it seemed that I was opening up. He asked how I was doing; how I was feeling about us; how I was doing with my aversion to physical touch. I told him I was absolutely feeling myself open up more and more. I told him I wished it was going faster and I’m sorry it isn’t. He asked again how the aversion was going. I suggested maybe it would be best not to talk about that. I don’t want to hurt him. I know it hurts him ta I am not there yet. But he pushed and said he’d be alright. We talked about the things that were helping me; that the longer he went without getting frustrated and voicing his frustration in the way he did, that I was beginning to believe more and more that he really had changed and wasn’t going to do that again.. (We have a cycle of him being fine for a while but then he gets frustrated again eventually and lashes out). He said he actually wasn’t even getting frustrated at all any more. I told him that if he really has changed, my belief will continue to grow because of the absence of him eventually getting frustrated and lashing out. Then it went bad. The fact that I said “I he really has changed”, set him off. He said he believes in me and I should believe in him, and so it went from there. I apologized for how that made him feel and we spent the rest of the conversation with him telling me how hurt he was, etc.
Again, it sounded like the same guy, hence hurting the trust in him that I had been building.


Pummy, the more important issue here is how you feel. You will never ever recover if he bullies and punishes you when you tell him how he is doing. How else is to gauge his progress if you don't tell him? He is making strategic mistakes that are ruining your progress. When he gets angry at you for being honest, he just undoes all the progress he made. Does he want to do that? The main concern is how you feel. You need to be a broken record about this. It might be helpful to communicate your feelings via email versus in person.

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If I ever share my feelings, it’s because he asks me how I’m doing. Most times, I say maybe we shouldn’t talk about it but he pushes and says he wants to know. But then he wants to be able to defend himself when I do. Then as soon as I do, and he gets upset, I back off of my feelings and the conversation turns to how I have made him feel because of my feelings. He doesn’t think that he is being judgemental when he voices his defense; he’s just trying to help me see it a different way.


I would stop these conversations completely until he agrees to STOP trying to "help you see it a different way." That is a huge lovebuster. He should accept your perspective if wants progress and if he wants you to continue to be honest. If you are going to be judged and badgered, you will want to avoid these conversations. Denying he is judging you does not make it better.

Write him an email and tell him: In order to make progress, you have to be able to tell him honestly how you feel. He cannot get mad or reject your feelings. Your feelings are the barometer of his progress. When he gets mad or rejects your feelings, he just undoes all the progress he made and makes you want to give up.

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As far as dates, we have talked about it and he feels that because we spend at least 15 hours together throughout the week (going to the store, one date per week that lasts 3 hours, running errands together, going out to eat, eating dinner together, sometimes cooking dinner together, etc; an hour here and there, sometimes 2 hours at a time),


You know the old saying that "feelings are not truth?" Well, feelings are not truth. He makes alot of "he feels" statements that are not true. You need to get out on AT LEAST 4 - 4 hour dates a week if you want to create desire. Otherwise this is a waste of time.

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that we don’t need to do the 4 4 hr dates. I will think about bringing it up to him, but I don’t feel I have a right to ask him for that since his needs are not being met. I figured I shouldn’t push that until I get over my aversion to physical touch and sex. Can you tell me why the 4 hr dates are better that 15 hours throughout the week?



Actually it should be 20-25 hours per week! His needs will NEVER be met if he doesn't create desire. You are putting the cart before the horse. If he WANTS you to get over the aversion, you have to fall in love again. In order to fall in love again, you need to spend 20-25 hours per week meeting the top 4 intimate emotional needs. YOU ARE NOT DOING THAT.

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Can you tell me why the 4 hr dates are better that 15 hours throughout the week?


Yes, because the UA time is supposed to emulate dating, just like Dr Harley has instructed. Just adding up the time you are together in the house, doing the same things, IS NOT UA TIME.

If you won't do this step, your marriage will never improve. Nothing you do in your marriage will compensate for the lack of UA time. NOTHING.

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
"But fifteen hours a week is usually not nearly enough time for couples that are not yet in love. To help them jump-start their relationship, I usually suggest twenty-five or thirty hours a week of undivided attention until they are both in love with each other again."

"As I have observed the quality and quantity of undivided attention given in romantic relationships, I find that while some time is given almost daily, significant "dates" are scheduled several times a week. These dates usually take about three or four hours, the time that it would take to meet all four of the intimate emotional needs to the satisfaction of both spouses. So while some form of emotional connection should be made throughout the week, if the four intimate emotional needs are to be met effectively, a four-hour date is usually required."
THE POLICY OF UNDIVIDED ATTENTION


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I will emphasize again, this program does not work without the UA requirement. You can see for yourself this is not working. It's because you are not getting out on dates meeting each others EN's and eliminating lovebusters. As such, he is completely frustrated and will be frustrated forever if that doesn't change.

NOW, UA time *CAN* work at home if you are passionately in love. But even couples who are in love have lousy UA time at home. Dr. Harley is one. I am another. When we are at home, most of our attention is focused on hobbies, house maintenance, chores, TV shows,, etc. Some couples can do it, but I don't think you are one of those couples.


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Are you working with a coach? Your H is still lovebusting you in some significant ways, and until that stops you will have a very hard time falling in love again. It would be very helpful for you to have a coach who can intervene and point out the LBs, so you do not get stuck in these conversations. I can tell you are used to him turning things around until you are apologizing for your feelings and that is a bad dynamic to be in, having someone communicate with him that will not allow him to manipulate the conversation like this would help a lot.

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Ok, I’ll talk to my husband about it. Thank you everyone.

I asked him today to clarify what it was that he wanted me to change. (He said yesterday he had changed but now maybe it’s my turn to change). His answer was, “I don’t necessarily want you to change anything. The problem is that if I do bring up anything that may require you to change an attitude or way of thinking about me, I am being defensive, or mean spirited or “that guy.”

He doesn’t think that he is doing love busters. He thinks I should be fine. I’m going to talk to him about the dating and the coaching and see what he says.

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Originally Posted by Pummychal
Ok, I’ll talk to my husband about it. Thank you everyone.

I asked him today to clarify what it was that he wanted me to change. (He said yesterday he had changed but now maybe it’s my turn to change). His answer was, “I don’t necessarily want you to change anything. The problem is that if I do bring up anything that may require you to change an attitude or way of thinking about me, I am being defensive, or mean spirited or “that guy.”

He doesn’t think that he is doing love busters. He thinks I should be fine. I’m going to talk to him about the dating and the coaching and see what he says.


You are the determiner of what constitutes a lovebuster, though, not him.


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Ok, so we just got through talking. It was not good. The bottom line is he is very angry that I still don’t trust that he’ll not be this angry guy who lashes out. He’s upset that in this couple of months, I still haven’t gotten over my aversion and so haven’t been affectionate more than holding his hand a couple of times. He says he chose to trust and believe in me and believes I should choose to trust him too. I told him I want to but since it keeps happening, for instance like right now, with the things he was saying to me, it is hard to believe each time it won’t happen again. He says it’s my fault it happens. He says I do it. I cause it. He also says in one breath that he’s not doing love busters but if I ask him if right now he thinks he’s not doing love busters he’ll say that right now he is. But in another breath he says it doesn’t matter how he says things I still take it the wrong way. He says a lot of things during these conversations that are very hurtful and phrases like “you never” or “you always”. He says he thinks it will never change; that I’ll never be able to hear negative about me but he has to hear negative about him. I told him I want him to tell me negative things about me, but do it respectfully, not judgemental. Tell me how it makes him feel, but don’t do it when he’s angry. I told him there have been times when he has done that, and I indeed have apologized, validated, etc. and said I wouldn’t do that again but he says that hasn’t happened with fundamental things like how I should trust him now, only on little easy things. He says when I tell him I still am working on trusting him, it doesn’t matter how I would say that it still is judgemental so why can’t he say things to me. I told him that the fact that I still don’t trust him doesn’t mean I don’t believe in him. In between these conversations, I believe he wants to stop doing it, but because it keeps happening, I fear it. I tell him I am so sorry that that is the case and I want to trust him. The trust grows each time in between conversations but gets harder and harder each time. He doesn’t believe the conversations should be causing any distrust because he isn’t trying to talk me into sex. It still feels like the same thing to me even if he doesn’t tell me to go ahead and do it even though I don’t want to any more. These conversations are the same angry, blaming conversations that caused me to have sex and feel used and violated.
He says he’s done everything and I still am not better.
Today, he said he thinks maybe he should have never validated my feelings of being violated and used. He said he gave me that and maybe he shouldn’t. He used the word “victim” (I never used that word, but I guess it doesn’t matter); that he should have never allowed me to feel like a victim because he never meant to hurt me. He thinks maybe that was bad for me. He says instead, he should probably have made it more clear how hurt he has been through all this too. He should have put his foot down more and had me be more physical because that was probably the right thing to do. He shouldn’t have allowed us to wait for me to feel better about the physical before we do it. He’s been torn apart too and still never fell out of love for me. I told him it has always, all these years, and now been very clear that he has been hurt. I know I have hurt him and I continue to hurt him. I hate that I hurt him and I am not meeting his needs. I want to desire him and be in love with him so badly. I don’t want to hurt him.
I told him I want to be better so badly and for years have searched to make sure I am doing what I can to get over this.
So many more things were said and are always said again every time this conversation happens but I have rambled on long enough.
So, what do we do from here? I told him that if what he’s saying is true- I’m being unwilling do change, it’s all on me because H
he’s done everything he can, etc.- what does he feel we should do. He doesn’t know.
He said early in the conversation that maybe we need to separate for a while so we can think through things without the pressure of being around each other.
Maybe that’s what I should do.
Needless to say, we didn’t talk about the dating, and as far as coaching, he says I didn’t listen to what he 2 coaches we talked to (not Dr. Harley coaches.) He said one of them told me to be physical and I didn’t do it. That’s not what the coach said. He said do things I’m comfortable with; never do things that make me uncomfortable because he knew that that cause aversion- doing it when you feel uncomfortable with it. He said I felt like the other coach was hurrying me. I said that’s true; he was. He told me, “It’s not ok, Lanette, that you are not having sex with your husband yet.” This coach didn’t know anything about aversion- was not familiar with it.
I’m sorry this was so long.

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Why don't you send an email to Dr Harley and Joyce and see if they can help get through to him. mbradio@marriagebuilders.com. Send Dr Harley the link to your thread too so he can read this.

Your husband is clearly not understanding the situation and continues to make mistakes. Do you realize how crazy this first sentence sounds:

"The bottom line is he is very angry that I still don’t trust that he’ll not be this angry guy who lashes out."

He is angry that you won't accept he is not angry. crazy

Secondly, trust is a reaction. He is not earning your trust, he is destroying it. He seems to think trust is some sort of welfare entitlement but that is not how it works.


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Ok, maybe I’ll do that. Thanks
Yeah, he says he was able to choose to trust me and thinks I should be able to choose to trust him. He believes I have control over all my feelings.
By the way, he would have a lot to say if he was asked about all this. He would say I have distorted it all. But I have not been untruthful about the things he says. He says all those things.
I know I have hurt him by not being in love with him and not meeting his physical needs. I know that hurts.
Anyway, thanks.

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FYI, I sent an email. We’ll see what happens.
Again, thanks.

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Originally Posted by Pummychal

I know I have hurt him by not being in love with him and not meeting his physical needs. I know that hurts.
Anyway, thanks.


His behavior has caused you to fall out of love. Romantic love is an emotional reaction to having your intimate emotional needs met. He has failed in that regard. If he wants you to fall in love, he needs to change his approach.


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

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted by Pummychal
FYI, I sent an email. We’ll see what happens.
Again, thanks.


Great!! Keep us posted.


"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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