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#880075 08/08/00 03:07 PM
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I swear to you all, FHL and I are NOT the same person. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>So imagine my surprise to come here and see a post I could have written...verbatim.<P>Like FHL, I have an H who can't communicate...who's a conflict avoider...who's utterly clueless...who has no empathy...in short, who's a narcissist.<P>Not much you can do to change people.<P>My H is hypersensitive to anything perceived as criticism, so any kind of talking about what I need is out. Forget the "I feel" language, as far as he's concerned, it's criticism, and he always answers such discussions with something along the lines of "I thought we were doing great, do you want to split up?"<P>Not constructive.<P>My H is slightly more romantic than FHL's. He gets me flowers for our anniversary, he tells me he loves me, but doesn't do those "chick things" that women like.<P>So what do I do?<P>I learn to live with less...less sex than I'd like, less romance than I'd like. And I reward him with praise on those rare occasions when he does do something unexpected.<P>I don't know what else to suggest.

#880076 08/08/00 03:15 PM
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Marie,<BR>I appreciate all of your ideas, although my H is difficult because he is pretty self contained. Sometimes I hesitate to do cute little things because when he doesn't do cute things back or "get" my cute message, I feel bad....so I am solving my problem, I am adding to my problem.<P>Hey...I picked up on that "safe post" statement. Man, I'm even a goody two shoes in the cyber world. Do you know I never got a "bad white slip" which meant trouble in all of my school years? I was always so good it almost makes you want to throw up. <P>Peppermint: <BR>1. Not only have to tell him, I have to fill inbetween the lines for him, too. <P>2. Yes. He seems to be unwilling to push the envelope emotionally, although he is exceptionally consistant and loving if I stay within his envelope.<P>3. Yes.<P>You are right about not overwhelming him. <P>SHA...I still need to reread your post and comment...but one more question. I know you wouldn't do this, but after your wife was out of the fog, so to speak and reasonably committed to your marriage but still not meeting your needs...if you would have left or she seriously thought it was possible, do you think she would have snapped into action and she would be meeting more of your needs now. And if I am remembering, you were an OK H, but not price charming, right? Realistically, without your wife's affair or an attempt to exit the marriage, could she have done anything to profoundly change your behaviors in the marriage? Or did it take something as drastic as what happened for you to change?<P>wesse, actually H and I have some very good times together...and laugh about the uncoventional predicaments we have gotten ourselves into. One problem for me is I hate to be cold and I hate to be wet. Cold and wet is completely out. H doesn't mind either.<P>Last year we ended up at a gathering in the middle of the dessert were all but a few of us "normal" folks were wearing fire arms. We had no running water, the shower was outdoors in the open (no I didn't) and when you went to the outhouse you didn't even have to miss the party because it was so weathered it was more like sitting...no squatting...in a cage. At least it cut down on the smell. The nearest phone was at a whore house 20 miles away.

#880077 08/08/00 03:24 PM
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Dazed, OK...sue me for being delusional enough to think that my H can graduate to the world of the clued [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Yes, Dazed H is more romantic and mine H's idea of a good date is described in the above post.<P>However, luckily my H is not super sensitive. It is not like he likes when I take issue with something he says or does, but he is not super defensive either. That I do have on my side, which maybe gives me the hope that if I could only "clue him in" he might be successful.<P>My daughter just called and asked me to straighen H out...they are at a reunion...I'm with old dog. He got my simple suggestion about something they should do all twisted. I think my girls miss me. I serve as interpretor.

#880078 08/08/00 03:32 PM
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FHL, Yuck!<P>Tell us what are your h's 5 best points?

#880079 08/08/00 03:52 PM
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As the world would see him:<P>1. He is extremely intelligent<P>2. He has a gift of explaining a complex technical subject or teaching a skill (he's a ski instructor) in a way that is fun, comprehensive and in no way condescending.<P>3. He is a family man who includes us in everything he does (this of course can be a problem) <P>4. He is soft spoken, even tempered, completely unassuming, generous and unselfish.<P>5. Whatever he does is done to a high standard in a professional efficient manner.<P>As I see him:<P>We share the same value and belief system and we are unwilling to compromise them (his affair being one exception)<P>We make a particularly dynamic parenting team and a very good partner in life team <P>I know in his own way he is completely devoted to our family, which of course includes me. (I just want to be singled out)<P>He has no use for power of control in the relationship and sees me as a complete equal.<P>He wants me to be happy and he means to support me in all that I do. <P>Does this give you a more complete picture?

#880080 08/08/00 04:26 PM
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SHA...you said a lot in your post.<P>Yet another question...does your wife appreciate what you are giving her? Do you think she feels her needs are being met? <P>It is in giving that we receive. Maybe there is yet another fine line in expecting something in return which nullifies giving freely and expecting something in return because a marriage needs two participants long term.<P>I don't think I do anything that is not dignified. In fact I really don't do much more or less than I did before the affair.<P>Where he gains is that I do more recreationally and encourage him even more, I am more enthusiastic about sex and initiate it more, but it is not like I wasn't available to him before, I just made it a greater priority and expanded my skills, so to speak. And when I am moody, I am do my best to not show it. If there is something bothering me enough that I want resolution on I will bring it up, but otherwise I am warm and upbeat, even if I'm not in the greatest mood. Before the affair I was usually nice, but I maybe was a bit moodier. <P>I will check out the Husband 101 book on my next shopping trip to the big city...which will be soon since it is back to school time. Would it be offensive to highlight it? What is the best suggestion from it?<P>It is always good to hear from you!

#880081 08/08/00 05:50 PM
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Hey FHL, <P>Believe it or not, you're helping me alot by putting all this stuff into words.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I know you wouldn't do this, but after your wife was out of the fog, so to speak and reasonably committed to your marriage but still not meeting your needs...if you would have left or she seriously thought it was possible, do you think she would have snapped into action and she would be meeting more of your needs now.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>This is a tough one to speculate. My gut tells me that leaving wouldn't have helped. My wife is a proud lady. It is very hard for her to admit she's wrong. I doubt that me leaving would have brought any feelings back for me that would encourage her to meet my needs. Her mother and father divorced when she was very young and they have each been married and divorced many times since. Deep down, I think my wife would have let me go because she thought she gave our marriage all she had and I still wasn't meeting her needs very well. <P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>And if I am remembering, you were an OK H, but not price charming, right?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That's probably a good description. I was better than most H's I knew. We just kept drifting further and further a part. I was totally blind to how much she was hurting on the inside. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Realistically, without your wife's affair or an attempt to exit the marriage, could she have done anything to profoundly change your behaviors in the marriage? Or did it take something as drastic as what happened for you to change?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><B>Yes,</B> I think she could have gotten through to me by other means. She never told me she was unhappy in our marriage. She could have told me she felt some distance between us. She could have told me she was starting to feel attracted to another man - that alone would have been enough for me. Unfortunately, she kept things in. Most of her complaints with me were trivial until our big blow up 18 months ago. Of course, this is all specualtion. I would like to think I would have changed if she did some of the things I mentioned, but I'll never know.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Yet another question...does your wife appreciate what you are giving her?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Absolutely. She enjoys the attention. I do my best to make her feel special, and wanted, and desired. Sometimes she feels the attention is unjustified (probably guilt on her part). She smiles more now. She is making small steps to meeting my needs. I get hugs and kisses without asking. I got an "I love you" out of the blue a few weeks ago. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Do you think she feels her needs are being met?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes. Unfortunately, some of her needs don't mesh with mine (sex). I think she feels I meet all of her needs that she wants me to meet. It took me a very long time to find out her needs. She wouldn't tell me in fear that her feelings for me would change. So, I set out to find them and in time she allowed me to start meeting them. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Where he gains is that I do more recreationally and encourage him even more, I am more enthusiastic about sex and initiate it more, but it is not like I wasn't available to him before, I just made it a greater priority and expanded my skills, so to speak.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I'll say it again - your husband is a very lucky man. It has been almost 15 moinths since my wife initiated sex. I have been the initiator and to tell you the truth, I'm tired of intiating. I would like to be desired. My wife will consent if I beg, but I gave that up a couple of months ago. I want a willing and enthusiastic partner. She used to be. We used to have a great sex life. But, at that time, I know she was deeply in love with me. There was no other man in the picture. Now, eventhough she hasn't seen or talked to the om in several months, there is a lingering affect that still keeps her from giving her self to me fully. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I will check out the Husband 101 book on my next shopping trip to the big city...which will be soon since it is back to school time. Would it be offensive to highlight it? What is the best suggestion from it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>You know, there is also a Wife 101. I've never read it, but I think it would be a good for both H and W to read ther respective books. I can't pinpoint one item - the book is mostly about doing all the little things we should do. Some examples are "Send her flowers at work for no reason". "Check her cosmetic bag once in a while and if she is out of something, buy it for her". "Make sure her car is full of gas and running properly". "Make her dinner and light some candles". "buy her favorite bath oil and draw a bath for her and let her relax to some nice music". "Take the kids out for an afternoon, and let your wife have some freee time to do what she wants to do". "Tell her what you like best about her". There are tons on little things like these that are so simple, yet they mean so much.<P>God Bless you FHL, <P>SHA

#880082 08/08/00 06:01 PM
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FHL, he sounds like a really special guy. It seems that perhaps he is more physical and you are more spiritual in nature. The needs evaluations and discussions between you 2 could be really interesting.

#880083 08/08/00 06:44 PM
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SHA...you helped me, too. If he read that book I'd have to wear a helmet around so I did not sustain a head injury when he started doing some of those things. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>One exception is he does take the kids. I don't think it is to give me free time, but he is great with the kids.<P>And if I ask him what he likes about me he will say I am nice. He loves that word. If pressed to be specific he says because I am kind to everyone and I am especially nice to our old dog. I guess that is good. I don't think he could put his thoughts of my strengths down in words like I did with him in a previous post. I wish he could.<P>wesse, yes he is a very special man. I have always loved him. That is why this is so maddening. He would be unbelievable if he just could find his emotions and show his emotions...and if he sought a deeper connection. <P>Have you ever taken the Meyer-Briggs personality test?<P>I came out an INFP oh I can't remember the other letters, but the only thing H matched was the introverted. In fact when we read the descriptions, we howled. When it came to describing relationships, it warned each of us about the other! Forgot about that.<P>No wonder we are a bit challenged!<P>

#880084 08/08/00 11:24 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> He would be unbelievable if he just<BR>could find his emotions and show his emotions...and if he sought a deeper connection. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Boy, oh boy...I could have written this!!!<P>My H saw his therapist today (he's been going since April, when he finally broke down and admitted he was depressed. Apparently she told him that his head worked great, but he was keeping his emotions under lock and key, and that his task was to learn to unlock them. I KNEW I liked this therapist [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]!!!<P>(I've seen her once last week, prep for going to see her [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] together [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] for the first time next week... )<P>

#880085 08/09/00 05:50 AM
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So how did your H react to his therapist. Did he agree?

#880086 08/09/00 07:04 AM
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Actually, after he told me that, he sorta changed the subject [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]. I told him she had, at one point when I was talking to her, stopped me and told me I was "blocking" and "answering with my head" and to stop it...asked him did she ever do that with him. Yes. That opended the conversation back up and I said she seemed almost scarily perceptive. He agreed. <P>So, he never actually said she was right, but I infer he thinks she is. <P>It's funny, we talk a fair amount about emotional things, but the way it happens, I talk and he agrees or disagrees. I feel kind of like the emotional "mouthpiece" of the realtionship...<P>So, I think she is a great therapist for him/us...I am looking forward to seeing her together next Friday. I'm also a bit scared...though there isn't any reason to be. I just think she is good at seeing thru defenses, and hey, I like mine as well as the next guy!!!<P>Kathi

#880087 08/09/00 09:34 AM
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Hi Guys,<BR>Being one of the people that FHL cited as using a big stick, I just want to add my own cautions, and a little background since our beloved profiles don't work.<P>1) My husband left me 7 times over a period of Aug 98- Jan00, I Plan A'ed for 18 months. He was welcome to come home at ANY time the first 6 times.<P>2) The 7th time I was all out of love, read lovebank in the red. His relationship with the OW had been over for 3 months...he didn't want to be married to or live with ME. My giving up was not a "manuever" or "technique". I was hurt & sick to death of the situation repeating endlessly and I wanted out, pretty much at any cost.<P>3) I rather messily embarked on a new relationship with a male friend, served D papers.<P>4) At this same time my H hit the 2 year mark from when his affair began, the time at which Dr. Harley says WS can begin to "wake up". H realized what he was losing because I treated him to "this is what divorce will be like, you won't be my friend, you'll be my former husband." The kids no longer had any faith in his promises, either, though the younger one wanted him back in the home.<P>5) My H also began to take his anti-depressants routinely. He also hit bottom and turned his life over to God, began going to counseling, men's Bible study and working with a male prayer partner. He used Plan A on me.<P>6) April 00 he rented a home. I realized that I was losing him. Initiated "no contact" with the OM, who didn't encourage me to backslide.<P>7) May 00 my last contact with OM led to Guard beginning to stay at our home.<P>8) Jul 00 reconnection Honeymoon in Mexico without kids. Went well [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>9) This week, Aug00 he's moving out of his home.<P>So, (don't try this at home, kids) this was not a quick fix at a rate of 6-8 months. And quite honestly, for a time, the marriage was lost...I nearly lost my husband and now we both have pain/trust issues...but I made my own choices. We're BOTH in the marriage because we've chosen it over other, known options.<P>Big Stick or circumstances or just dumb luck?<BR><P>------------------<BR>Lor<BR>"Let love be genuine...hold fast to what is good; love one another." Rom 12:9-10

#880088 08/09/00 09:52 AM
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Lor,<BR>When you look at the history, your H held the Big Stick until you used it in January. Then you started passing it off to one another.<P>Bury the stick...or use put it in the fire place.<P>I am in no way recommending The Big Stick theory, either.<P>Although it does seem to motivate. Maybe those of us that don't have a Big Stick or don't use our Big Stick have less chance to see sudden dramatic enthusiastic changes.<P>Maybe just knowing this makes the crawl a little easier.

#880089 08/09/00 10:29 AM
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"By a Big Stick, I mean the ability and willingness to dole out serious consequences for a spouse's actions or lack of action."<P>I respond to you as a recipient of the "big stick." Since my wife left me it has been very difficult for me to figure out what I have done to cause this and what to do to fix it. By dispensing with joint counseling and negotiating, we now have an ocean between us. Maybe that is what she wants. If you do not want this, try to use more constructive approaches.<P>I am glad to see you are talking about 100% commitment to your mate and the marriage. While this should bring out the best in a spouse, some may take advantage of it. I do not think you can underestimate the importance of asking for what you want with love and sweetness. This is for both spouses! It gives a preview of how good the marriage can be with consideration.<P>Remember that you are married to an adult. Train the children. Show respect for your spouse by NOT putting him back in training.<BR><P>------------------<BR>MRB

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