Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Autumn Day How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/27/11 04:44 PM
... When you don't want to?

Yes, I'm really asking- after all this time.

I know all the rules, and all the methods to love my husband and be loved by him, and I know nothing is too big for God- but I am at the point of not even wanting to try to love him anymore. Yet, I hate the hopeless, depressing feeling of not loving my husband, especially when I was the wayward. What's wrong with me?
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/27/11 04:59 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
... When you don't want to?

Yes, I'm really asking- after all this time.

I know all the rules, and all the methods to love my husband and be loved by him, and I know nothing is too big for God- but I am at the point of not even wanting to try to love him anymore. Yet, I hate the hopeless, depressing feeling of not loving my husband, especially when I was the wayward. What's wrong with me?

I'm not going to be much help here, because I suspect it may be the same thing that's wrong with me, but I am curious to see what answers you get.

In the meantime, maybe it'll help to at least know you're not alone.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
What's wrong with me?

Simple .... as opposed to easy .....


Your Love Bank is nearly empty.


Now what?
Try and answer THAT question.

Here is my suggestion (a very STRONG suggestion)


It begins with O&H.
Openly share your feelings without lovebusting.
Be honest about the severity of the situation.

Otherwise ... more of the same.

Autumn .... you know I love ya ...
You know I will be honest and tough on you because I have high regard for you.

It's been too long, girl.
You seriously need to contact the coaching center and get some actual help not more forum opinions ... although, I must admit, my opinion is brilliant! kiss
AD, I am soooooooooo glad you finally reached out here. I have been worried about you. Pep is right, your LB is beyond empty. You have an M worth saving, IMHO. Call the coaching center or get hubby on board with the on-line program so you can coach privately with Dr. H's peeps and have access to the good doc himself!
Pep, what?

I'm supposed to tell him:

He grosses me out physically?
Almost everything he does annoys and/or angers me?
That I don't want the same future he wants, when that particular future is all he talks and dreams about?
That I feel the least amount of stress when he's gone on business trips?
That I wish he'd have an A on one of said business trips, and leave me?
That I dread when he pulls up in the driveway every. single. day.?
That I can't see any scenario under which I'll ever love him again, and I don't want to?
That the lie to the world about OC is eating me alive, and I feel like I can't breathe.
That I just want to be done?
That only handfuls of happy months at a time over the course of 27 years has worn me out, and I cannot do this another 27? (actually HE has said this to ME a few different times, and that he wants a divorce, but then the next day I smile, and he thinks everything is Ok again!!)

.....I'm supposed to tell him all that.... when he's fathering and loving so completely unconditionally our OC???????

This is so insane... OC is the only thread holding us together, because we don't want OC to have a broken home. H still tells me once in awhile that he loves OC more than he does me. He laughs that kind of laugh of disbelief and follows it up with, "who could ever believe that, but it's true, and how ironic and sad is that?!"

How can I not love the man I most admire in the world and basically saved mine and OC's life?

ps. He still refuses counseling, and I pretty much don't care anymore.


Thank you, faithful and writer.

eta: and of course thank you to you too Pep. Be as harsh as you need to be.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/27/11 08:35 PM
AD, we actually do have quite a few of the same problems. I don't think mine have progressed quite as far, but I fear they may if things continue on the way they have been.

I think what Dr. Harley says about women who have A's is generally true, that we are often quite emotionally checked-out by the time the A occurs, and that makes recovery much more difficult. I really was very emotionally checked-out of my M at the time of my A (and that's not just foggy thinking, it is the truth). And I'm finding it very difficult to check back in, especially when many of the conditions that led to me checking out in the first place still exist.

It's hard. I'm sorry you're going through this. My H verbally expresses interest in doing the MB program, but it's never followed up by any action at all.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Pep, what?

I'm supposed to tell him:

He grosses me out physically?
Almost everything he does annoys and/or angers me?
That I don't want the same future he wants, when that particular future is all he talks and dreams about?
That I feel the least amount of stress when he's gone on business trips?
That I wish he'd have an A on one of said business trips, and leave me?
That I dread when he pulls up in the driveway every. single. day.?
That I can't see any scenario under which I'll ever love him again, and I don't want to?
That the lie to the world about OC is eating me alive, and I feel like I can't breathe.
That I just want to be done?
That only handfuls of happy months at a time over the course of 27 years has worn me out, and I cannot do this another 27? (actually HE has said this to ME a few different times, and that he wants a divorce, but then the next day I smile, and he thinks everything is Ok again!!)

.....I'm supposed to tell him all that.... when he's fathering and loving so completely unconditionally our OC???????

if you love him, HOW CAN YOU NOT TELL HIM THAT? By not telling him what bothers you, you have facilitated the loss of love in your marriage. He can't FIX all those things if he doesn't know what the problem is. The solution is to use this program. USE this program Autumn Day; you have been here for 8 years and are not using the program.

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This is so insane... OC is the only thread holding us together, because we don't want OC to have a broken home. H still tells me once in awhile that he loves OC more than he does me. He laughs that kind of laugh of disbelief and follows it up with, "who could ever believe that, but it's true, and how ironic and sad is that?!"

If you want to help the OC, then the best solution is to fall in love. That can't happen unless you actually use the program.

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How can I not love the man I most admire in the world and basically saved mine and OC's life?

The way you can not love him is to do just as you have been doing, and that is not being honest about the things that make you unhappy. He can't change those things so your marriage hemmorhages until it is dead. The solution is to stop ignoring the problem and start working on your marriage.

One of the biggest secrets over the years on this forum is the Marriage Builders program. When you and I arrived, very few people even knew about it. I have discovered that this program really, actually DOES WORK if you work it.


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ps. He still refuses counseling, and I pretty much don't care anymore.

I would try the MB online program in that case. Most "counseling" is useless so he rightfully has no use for it, but you all can do the online program, which means you do the lessons at home and have a coach who guides your lessons. You have access to Dr Harley on the private forum.

My H and I went through this when they called it the MB Weekend program and it is worth every penny.
Originally Posted by writer1
I think what Dr. Harley says about women who have A's is generally true, that we are often quite emotionally checked-out by the time the A occurs, and that makes recovery much more difficult.

Recovery is not 1/10th as hard as living in a bad marriage. I can't think of anything harder than having a bad marriage. A great marriage is a breeze. But the people I know - whether it was a WW or a WH - who have used this program, have passionate, romantic marriages today. While most WW's have checked out, it is no tougher for them to check back in than a WH.

Recovery doesn't take that long either. If a couple really uses this program and gets in their 25-30 hours per week, they usually do fall back in love in a few months. But, the key is to actually USE it. It really does work if you work it.
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It's hard. I'm sorry you're going through this. My H verbally expresses interest in doing the MB program, but it's never followed up by any action at all.
_________________________
writer, if your H expresses interest in doing the program then do the program! You don't need money to start the program. Borrow the books for the library. Call the radio show..they will give you free books and free advice!

Print the ENQ, RCQ and LBQ from the website here. Don't wait for him to do anything. YOU be proactive!
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/27/11 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by faithful follower
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It's hard. I'm sorry you're going through this. My H verbally expresses interest in doing the MB program, but it's never followed up by any action at all.
_________________________
writer, if your H expresses interest in doing the program then do the program! You don't need money to start the program. Borrow the books for the library. Call the radio show..they will give you free books and free advice!

Print the ENQ, RCQ and LBQ from the website here. Don't wait for him to do anything. YOU be proactive!

We have the books, but he hasn't really read them (a little here and there). We did fill out the ENQ awhile back, and my H later confessed that he had basically lied when he did it, putting down the answers he thought I would want to hear. Ironic, since my #1 EN at the time we filled out the questionnaire was O&H, something my H has always struggled with. He grew up in a family that was pretty much based on lies. Sometimes, I fear it may just be an ingrained part of who he is.
O & H is a very difficult EN for a lot of people.
It can be frightening.
Especially after an infidelity.

Because being open and honest is very intimate.
O & H makes us vulnerable to our spouse.

Not being O & H is a pimple on our integrity.
But, not being O & H is at the root of a dishonest marriage.

Suck it up girls.
If you are avoiding O & H all your reasons in the world are just reasons to be dishonest.

If you are avoiding O & H, you are avoiding intimacy.

Put that in your peace pipe & smoke some salmon.




Which brings us to POJA.

You cannot POJA mutually enthusiastic decisions without O & H.
If you are not using POJA, you are not building compatibility.
Without compatibility, you (the both of you) will be unhappy.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
He grosses me out physically?
"I am not physically attracted to you right now.
It's a problem we can work on together.
We both need to be honest if this is going to work."

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Almost everything he does annoys and/or angers me?

"I find myself to be very judgmental about you lately.
Please, tell me if you have noticed and if it has effected you."


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That I don't want the same future he wants, when that particular future is all he talks and dreams about?

"We need to sit down and discuss our future.
In particular the idea of (what he wants).
This is not a mutual goal.
We need to find a mutual goal where we both can be happy."



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That I feel the least amount of stress when he's gone on business trips?

"I am stressed about our relationship. I have not been honest and open with you. I need to be if we are ever going to be happily married."


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That I wish he'd have an A on one of said business trips, and leave me?

"Sometimes, I am so unhappy I wish I could run away from our problems.
But, I know that wherever I go, there I am. The problems I have brought to this marriage are festering. I need to be open and honest about my feelings."


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That I dread when he pulls up in the driveway every. single. day.?

"I am ashamed to say that I have not loved or cherished you in the way that a wife should. I need help. We need help. This is serious."



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That I can't see any scenario under which I'll ever love him again, and I don't want to?

"I am stuck.
I don't have the solutions to our marriage problems. Sometimes I just want to run away. I know that is wrong, so I stay and suffer. You deserve better. So do I."




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That the lie to the world about OC is eating me alive, and I feel like I can't breathe.

"In the future, we need to come to a mutual agreement about how to deal with the ongoing lie to the world about OC.
Not now. We need to fortify our relationship first."


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That I just want to be done?

"I am sad. I am frustrated. I am out of ideas. I must break this sick silence where I pretend I am protecting you. I must open up to you."




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.....I'm supposed to tell him all that.... when he's fathering and loving so completely unconditionally our OC???????


"You are an amazing man.
You saved me.
You saved OC.
Our family is worth our best effort to make this work.
I need you to be my hero again.
I need you to get coaching with me.
Please.
Coaching is not therapy where we go over and over the past.
Coaching is behavior/action based.
You need to know, I am on the brink of wanting a divorce.
Please, be my hero again."
Autumn Day,

Well there is good news in this...he apparently feels the same way.
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That only handfuls of happy months at a time over the course of 27 years has worn me out, and I cannot do this another 27? (actually HE has said this to ME a few different times, and that he wants a divorce, but then the next day I smile, and he thinks everything is Ok again!!)
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H still tells me once in awhile that he loves OC more than he does me. He laughs that kind of laugh of disbelief and follows it up with, "who could ever believe that, but it's true, and how ironic and sad is that?!"
You asked
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How can I not love the man I most admire in the world and basically saved mine and OC's life?


Pep gave you the answer, your LB is empty. Hence no feelings of love.

Now I'm guessing that given your lengthy list that your actions, reactions, and decisions reflect the feelings you ennumerated. Right? So his LB is also empty.

Cool, we know what the problem is don't we?

I do have a question. If I recall correctly, you have not always felt this way about him right? What has been changing? Is it you, is it him, or is it the family dynamics?

AD, I fully agree with everyone else, seek out counseling with the Harleys. Actually, what you should recall is that they call it "coaching". The presupposes that actions will be taken to rebuild the marriage, not have you and your H contemplate your navels and THEN do something IF the muses tell you something.

I am very sorry to see you post this, but I am very glad you are finally facing it.

God Bless,

JL
AD - I think you do have to tell him but I would be careful about how you word it.

Do you realise that the reason you feel this way about him and your marriage is because as Pep says your LB is beyond empty? Do you realise the solution for this is as always rebuilding romantic love in your marriage by meeting needs?

How would he react if you told him you were done and on the brink of requesting a divorce?
Posted By: Gamma Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/28/11 02:36 PM
AD,

That the lie to the world about OC is eating me alive, and I feel like I can't breathe.

That one really struck me, and I suspect could be the root of your discontent.

My adoptive Mother kept the secret of my OC story from me for decades.

Eventually I tracked down almost all my biological relatives, I told her about them and their life stores.

Once my adoptive Mother learned that I knew she was visibly unburdened as she sat in her chair. At that time she was in
her 80's and she related how my adoptive Father had made her keep the secret, but that it was something she always thought of.

End the lies and free yourself.

By extension, btw, I never knew what to say about my own origins I suspect this may have had something to do with the fear my adoptive parent had about being found out. We communicate more than we understand, and your silence to other people becomes a mantle of shame on the OC.

I now just tell people the full truth as we have no obligation to perpetuate other peoples lies.

God Bless.
Gamma
Quite honestly, your H is not the manager of the Autumn Day Bank of Love. Nor are you the manager of his love bank.

Each of you is customer to the other's bank.

As the manager of your own bank, it is your responsibility to help your customer manage their account.

You need to notify them when their balance is low, when deposits have failed to bring the balance back into the black, as well as any charges or penalties to the account.

If you want the continuing patronage of your most important customer, it is up to you to manage your bank, and their account properly.
Autumn .... toe tap *ahem*

READ THIS:
"We have a problem"

IN PARTICULAR:


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So, how soon should you begin in your effort to address each other's complaints? My answer: As soon as the complaint is first made. Why wait for a complaint to turn into a demand, or a disrespectful judgment or an angry outburst? Why not deal with the issue immediately, as soon as it is spoken.


How should you tell your spouse, "We have a problem."
One of the reasons that spouses postpone their complaints is that the way they complain often starts a fight. While the complaint does get the problem out on the table, it often wrecks what could have been a peaceful evening at home. And after the fight is over, the problem usually remains unsolved. So, how should you introduce a problem to your spouse in a way that doesn't lead to a fight, and makes it easy to solve?

First, this is what you should NOT do when presenting a problem to your spouse:

DO NOT make a demand. A demand is an effort to force your spouse to do what you want without consideration for how your spouse will feel doing it. "Do it, or else," is the clear message given in a demand, and it coveys an insensitivity to your spouse's feelings or interests. It's a Love Buster because demands withdraw love units. Instead of helping to solve a problem, it creates a new problem. A thoughtful request, on the other hand, is a good way to ask your spouse for help, because it takes his or her feelings into account. "How would you feel if you were to do this for me," introduces the problem with a willingness to negotiate a win-win solution.

DO NOT make a disrespectful judgment. When you present the problem, avoid expressing it as being the fault of your spouse. "If you were less selfish, we wouldn't have this problem," is an example of a disrespectful judgment that will get you nowhere. Instead of blaming your spouse for the problem, view it as a problem for you that is, apparently, not a problem for your spouse. Respectful persuasion is an effort to try to change your spouse's behavior that, in the end, will not only help you, but will help your spouse as well.

DO NOT have an angry outburst. Anger is your Taker's way of punishing your spouse when he or she does not give you what you want. It's not only an ineffective way to produce long-lasting change in your spouse's behavior, but it also destroys your spouse's love for you.

Granted, if you present your complaint in a thoughtful way, and your spouse responds with thoughtlessness, you will be very tempted to revert to your Taker's instincts by being demanding, disrespectful and angry. But it takes two to fight, and if your spouse does not respond positively to your presentation, simply end the discussion, and re-introduce your problem again later.

Click the LINK to read the entire newsletter.
Only if you actually want help, Autumn.
Originally Posted by Pepperband
It's been too long, girl.
You seriously need to contact the coaching center and get some actual help not more forum opinions ... although, I must admit, my opinion is brilliant! kiss

Here is some information about:

Marriage Coaching

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I've found that the majority of couples do not need a marriage coach. They can learn to resolve their conflicts and restore love to their marriages without any outside help as long as they have a plan that works and motivation to follow the plan. I've provided you with that plan, now all you need is the motivation. But if either you or your spouse lack that motivation, don't go through the rest or your life with a loveless marriage, or worse yet, end it with divorce. Instead, get the help you need to do the right thing when you don't feel like doing it.

Again, Autumn, read the entire link.
So here's a ? that I have since I am in plan B... (not trying to t/j sorry). I am the BS and for years I tried to tell WH how to meet my needs. He took it as nagging and never attempted to meet my needs. He threw that back at me saying that I was never happy in our marriage and I stopped meeting his needs (sorry, but a family member having life threatening surgery is of outmost importance and he had to take a bit of a backseat and help out more around the house so I could assist in f-m's recovery). I myself was extremely depressed and then he just went and hooked up with his b-fs wife. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out and meet his needs all of these years.... however, I feel mine were majorly neglected. It left me angry and resentful much of the time b/c i was exhausted to take care of everyone else and no one took care of me. Now, he is with OW and doing all the things for her that I was saying for years were my needs. What do you do about that?

I was managing my account and telling my customer he was withdrawing more than depositing and yet I was constantly trying to deposit into his. Do I give up on trying to bring him home or do I trudge on and hope it works? I am pretty stuck...
Pep~

I am going to print out everything you wrote. Especially the examples you provided on how to word my grievances. I have tried to tell him some things in the past, but it's never really been in a situation of a let's sit down and have a heart to heart. It's usually when we're both at the point of anger, and I'm sure you can imagine how that goes.

However, on the rare occasion we do sit down to discuss things, it NEVER goes well. I don't know if there are two other people on the face of the earth who speak and hear like such polar opposites as we do. I swear to God, it REALLY is like we speak two different foreign languages. It has gotten worse with time, not better, and you'd think that wouldn't be so.

Also, he told me years ago,(pre-A), NEVER to tell him again that I don't love him, that it's just downright mean, and he doesn't want to hear about it.... to either find away to love him, or not but keep it to myself. So, I don't tell him I don't love him, but I never say I love you either. I figure, if he doesn't want me telling him I don't love him, he sure wouldn't abide hearing the rest of my list. However, if I state things the way you suggested, Pep... there's a real chance he might just listen. The way I've approached things in the past, he interrupts me, and starts speaking loudly over me, and going straight to saying I'm an ugly b*tch for thinking the way I do. Then I say something like I'd rather be ugly than fat. Ugh. It's all just a very exhausting vicious cycle.

You really think you can fall in love with someone you don't even want to fall in love with? I can't picture it at all, but I hope it's true. If he were a stranger passing me on the street- just seeing him and hearing him, I'd have no desire to get to know him. If I have to live in a miserable marriage the rest of my life, I will be sad about it, but I CAN do it, because it's the right thing to do, and if I've done it this long, then surely I can do it another 20-30 years. It just would really suck for both of us if we have this same marriage our entire lives.

Also, are there really that many happily married couples out there? I know maybe 4 couples in my circle who I consider truly happy. I am so skeptical and jaded. I have a very low opinion of marriage right now. To the point of asking God why He created it. I know. Not good, not good at all. I need lots of help, don't I?

For the others that asked a question or two, I need to go back and look at them again. I will get back to you.

Thanks Pep.....

Should I tell him in advance I'd like to have a heart to heart with him, agree to a set time, and ask him to prepare a list of his issues with me? I'm thinking that's the best way to do it, otherwise no matter how nicely I word things, per your suggestions, Pep... he could feel ambushed and not prepared himself, right?

Also, how do I respond to his grievances, especially if he doesn't word them very diplomatically-- since he isn't receiving your advice? wink
Why God created marriage?

Interesting question. Answer: God has a sense of humor. wink

Or perhaps nothing worth having is ever easy.

Or perhaps because we NEED it so bad, which is why it hurts so much when we don't (love I mean, devotion, caring, etc all part of marriage.)

AD,

You are down, your H is down, and I suspect your H knows you don't love him. Perhaps of all of things you tell him don't tell him that but tell him how everything else affects you.

But, I will tell you this, what you feel is NOT what you should be doing. Love is an action and neither of you are loving the other. You might ask him why he doesn't love you as you need?

Take Pep's advice and see how it goes. If you are expecting your H to fall on his knees blinded by the insight, forget it. Hopefully you will plant a few seeds within his mind and they will grow.

God Bless,

JL
Originally Posted by Just Learning
I do have a question. If I recall correctly, you have not always felt this way about him right? What has been changing? Is it you, is it him, or is it the family dynamics?


Hi JL~

No, I've not always felt this way-- never this low, not even pre-A. Though, I am not exaggerating when I say we've only strung together handfuls of months of happiness at a time, in our 27 years. The happiest of months being post-A, during my pregnancy, for crying out loud! I look back on that time, trying to analyze what we did right-- I was so grateful to him, and I wouldn't have dreamt of saying a cross word, we talked a lot- calmly, we spent a lot of time together, had lots of SF, and basically hung on to each other for dear life. We were both very scared for varying reasons, and I think we went into some sort of protection mode for our marriage and family.

I just never really felt comfortable opening up about the very bad times here on MB because I fall into that category of the worst of the worst WW offenders, having an OC, and I figured I'd just get the response of "buck up girlie, what more can you expect from your marriage?" Also, I hate being an epic disappointment to all that took a lot of time to help me down the recovery path.

We did have a family dynamic change, that hit us hard financially, and that is definitely an added stressor.

Also, we rarely slept together for the last 5 or so years, but the last two years, as com started moving out-- not at all. It makes for a very peaceful night's sleep for me, because he can't sleep without the tv on, and I can't sleep with it on, and he snores like a freight train, but I know this is probably the biggest reason we are nothing but roommates. Which I suppose would be ok, IF we were roommates that got along.

So there's some more of the ugly truth....

Originally Posted by bigkahuna
How would he react if you told him you were done and on the brink of requesting a divorce?


I have. He said, "There's the door, get out now. You get nothing."
First order of business is to get you and him back into the marital bed. If you you have to get him to a doctor for a sleep study, DO IT! It is possible he has sleep apnea which is why he snores. If he needs noise, white noise might be a compromise for the two of you. Sleeping apart was the beginning of the deterioration of my M both prior to any A's. He could not sleep with DD's newborn noise and I couldn't fathom having to get up every night to nurse. So DD was a co-sleeper and hubby slept on the couch. I can see looking back the path that led us to.
Same here! I snore badly at times of high stress and I moved out of the marital bed 5 yrs ago - I'm back in now but only part time 3-4 nights a week.
It's better than nothing especially since my major EN is Physical Touch and I get that all night long when I'm in there - minds out of gutter please!!!!

Still working on getting snoring and work stress levels under control.

Interesting about the white noise generator. I'll have to try that! During summer months my wife likes a fan on and it sort of drowned my snores out.
Posted By: atena Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/28/11 09:39 PM
I am trying to understand here. You mean AD had OC with AP and now she feels nothing for BH and has not for a long time!? What can she do?
She realizes after 27 years BH is not for her...I really do not see how she can get support here? She is a WW who does not know how to fall back in love with BH...well she either does MB or asks for a D.
It is not fair to keep tormenting BH, just not fair.
Please get out of your M and leave your BH free to seek another life with a better partner and take you OC with you....why live a life of lies and force you BH to it when he already had to go thru so much with the A and OC and all the rest which is soo painful to end up in a loveless M with someone who, obviously is not honest...
sorry but I had to say this...
blessing
Hi AD,

Look at what you said
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The happiest of months being post-A, during my pregnancy, for crying out loud! I look back on that time, trying to analyze what we did right-- I was so grateful to him, and I wouldn't have dreamt of saying a cross word, we talked a lot- calmly, we spent a lot of time together, had lots of SF, and basically hung on to each other for dear life. We were both very scared for varying reasons, and I think we went into some sort of protection mode for our marriage and family.
Please look at what you said. This isn't "rocket science" AD. Look at what you two did. You met each others needs, you valued one another, and yes you PROTECTED one another.

How have you been in protecting your H? How has he been in protecting you? Are you seeing something here?

Also how much of the outside stressers (sp) are still present.
Have all of your COM left the home yet?

You also said
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I just never really felt comfortable opening up about the very bad times here on MB because I fall into that category of the worst of the worst WW offenders, having an OC, and I figured I'd just get the response of "buck up girlie, what more can you expect from your marriage?" Also, I hate being an epic disappointment to all that took a lot of time to help me down the recovery path.
This is marriage builders AD, not BS builders. Folks will help you and some won't. Clearly Pep, I and others are more than willing to help.

You want to know why?
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If Mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.
For us to help your H, we need to help you. For us to help you, we need to offer you strategies for helping your H. Recovery REQUIRES that both parties become happy, satisfied, and fulfilled in their marriage. Neither of you are. But, the actions that lead to the state of your marriage are no secret and you both have been doing everything you can to destroy the connection between you two. Your (you and your H) actions are classic for arriving at the state you two are in.

If I recall all of those years ago, he wasn't much for addressing the affair was he? He felt the baby would be the glue that "gave you two a second chance". Dr. Phil states this as asking a baby to fix two adults. Your first question to your H should be "Are you happy?" If he responds like most of us guys do sigh "I don't know are you happy?" Your answer should be "no I am not and one of the reasons I am not happy is because you are not happy. Is that why you are not happy, because I am not happy?"

Open the door that way AD. You must open the door. You would not be posting here if deep down you really do want this marriage to work, but for it to work, your life needs to look better to you and to your H.

If he were here I would have a lot to say to him as well. He did a very strong thing in accepting your child by the OM into his life, but...that was not enough if he is going to allow the marriage to die and leave the poor child from a broken home. And let's not even include your COM because they will be deeply hurt although they are older.

You made a terrible mistake those years ago. However, it was a point in time, the real issue is what are you and your H doing to make the rest of the time something to relish and enjoy.

"buck up girlie" (I'm sorry I could not resist) and start to dig into this and see if you/us and hopefully one of the Harley's can get you strategies to get your H to open up, release the resentment he seems to be carrying, and to get you reengaged in this marriage.

AD, I tell my Post-docs and graduate students I have three fundamental beliefs in life.

1. There are no experts in unsolved problems.
2. Life is a team sport
3. Credit is not a conserved quantity, give it freely.

Your life is a team sport and your H should be on your team. He is not, and neither are you on his. Time to change that "girlie" smile Ok I couldn't resist again. You do realize that when I see you posting I am going to start to think of you as "girlie" rather than AD?

Hang in there AD, I really think there is hope, but some changing and shifting needs to be done.

God Bless,

JL
aetna~

You don't have to say you're sorry for saying it. You're mostly right.

A couple of things though... I am not making my husband hold my secret. It is he who from day one has refused and continues to refuse to tell ANYONE about OC, including OC. He says we will never tell anyone, especially not OC, because he thinks it will hurt OC too much, and blow everyone else's lives out of the water as well. I am in complete disagreement with him on this, but I comply, because he's the injured party, not me.

Secondly, I didn't just now discover at 27 years that I'm unhappy. Neither of us have been happy for the lion's share of our marriage. He has said he's pretty sure he can find a woman who would love and cherish him, but like me... is trying to stay, even in a miserable marriage, because we've both grown up believing it's the right thing to do.

Thirdly, in the event of a divorce, he would fight for every bit of custody of OC he could get. He wants OC more than he wants me. I would only hurt my husband more if I took OC from him- I wouldn't try to do it, and I can't legally anyway, because my husband is the rightful, legal father.
Posted By: Scotland Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/29/11 12:28 AM
Autumn, I don't believe that either you or your husband really believes that you should get a D. I think that your actions, by both being there, show much more than your words.

And the reason that you two can't talk about this is because you have had this same argument again and again. He doesn't let you finish saying what you want to say because he believes he already knows what you are going to say. You have been together for a very long time and you know each other better than anyone else. That is part of the problem, and the solution.

As far as us helping you, some people won't know what to say and some people won't have the knowledge to help, but there are others, myself included, whom are more than willing to help out a FWS. This IS about marriage building after all.

I can read the resentment in your posts about not telling anyone the truth about OC and I can understand why. You are trying to live your life more honestly and you have been lying for so long. Resentment is going to kill this marriage and by you being here, it means that is NOT what you want.

Stick around, take the advice and get your butt in gear. If you can't call the Harleys right away, why don't you get on the radio show and ask for their help.
JL~ Not addressing the A is an understatement. He wanted it completely swept under the rug, never to be mentioned again. Said it's the only way he can get over it. Doesn't even want to know om's name, or location. Doesn't want any details at all- so to this day, he doesn't even know if it was a ONS or of any length. He only knows om was single. Though, yes... he does throw the A at me in arguments, reminding me that I'm the one that did the wrong in our marriage, so I have no room for complaint. I'm guessing that's fairly typical though? Those kind of statements actually aren't all that hurtful. What does bother me, is when he does this percentage game, depending on how badly things are going-- our bad marriage goes anywhere from being 70% to 90% my fault. On the days he says 90% my fault, I stand up for myself and say I'll take the 70%, but not the 90%. That's how ridiculous we are.

I will try the things you've suggested. I think Hell would freeze over before he'd ever post here, but I could ask when we have a sit down conversation and I reveal the seriousness of where I'm at.

I have always thought ho we'd make a bit of a power couple and great things could have stemmed from our marriage, IF only we had a good marriage where we acted as a team, because as individuals we are both well regarded and popular people with a lot going for us. Together though-- we are absolutely flat and bring no good to those around us, other than giving our kids an intact home.
AD,

You said
Quote
he does throw the A at me in arguments, reminding me that I'm the one that did the wrong in our marriage, so I have no room for complaint. I'm guessing that's fairly typical though? Those kind of statements actually aren't all that hurtful. What does bother me, is when he does this percentage game, depending on how badly things are going-- our bad marriage goes anywhere from being 70% to 90% my fault. On the days he says 90% my fault, I stand up for myself and say I'll take the 70%, but not the 90%. That's how ridiculous we are.
Ok, no one has ever accused me of being short on words. wink

When he throws the A in your face, you calmly and me deadly calm, look in the eye and ask, "so do you want me to leave and talk OC with me?" "Is your inability to deal with this after all of these years so bad, that you simply want me to leave, is that why you are throwing the A at me?" "Is it the fact that you have do nothing to address the A, or its causes, the reason you want me to leave and take OC, because if you keep throwing it in my face, you are forcing me to leave, I will not stand here and take that from you anymore." "Your call H."

Finally you have messed up big time. Your marriage is in bad shape because neither of you have given 100% and you can only take credit for 50% of that. He has the other 50%. If you are talking about the A which is NOT why the marriage is in bad shape that you get 100%. Ask him to figure out which he is talking about. The marriage is a mess because of his behavior and yours 50/50.

Time for some radical honesty AD. Time for him to put up or shut up. Don't corner him, but make sure he holds his share of the issues, which is why I am suggesting that you pin him when he complains. You have plenty of reason to complain, he reluctance to address the A means he has short circuited his reason to complain.

Speak up AD.

God Bless,

JL
Scotland,

Thank you. I probably wouldn't make it through a conversation with Dr. Harley on the radio, without crying, and I'm also afraid someone would recognize my voice, thus finding out.

You are right. I hate the lying. You'd think I wouldn't, because it protects me, but it's a terrible burden to carry, and it's getting heavier, not lighter as the years go by. Also, I know the truth always has a way of coming out, and I think the longer we put it off, the worse the outcome will be, not to mention the chance it will come out in some way not under our control.

My family will be shocked, but fine in the end. His family will be utterly devastated, and hate me. I can handle being ostracized, but if they did the same to OC... OC wouldn't understand AT ALL. They're beloved family to OC. I think this is also why husband, even if he's ever considered changing his mind about revealing it, probably thinks we're way too far down this path now, and the fallout would be too much for OC and COM, who also don't know. Still though... even though NOW is not nearly as good as BEFORE, it's better than LATER.

I agree with Pep though, we shouldn't do anything with this topic, until our relationship is resolved.

JL~

I do take 100% of the blame for the A, and he knows it. I say it every time he talks about percentages. The 70%-90% he quotes, is my overall share of the blame in the marriage as whole.

We will talk, I promise.

I asked earlier... should I set up an appointment with him to talk, so he can compile a list of complaints too, and ask that we do it calmly, not interrupting each other? I shouldn't just out of the blue sit him down, with only me prepared to present my complaints, right?
Hey AD,

You can email Mrs. Harley and she will read your email on the air for Dr. H to answer. She did that for me.
AD,

You asked
Quote
I asked earlier... should I set up an appointment with him to talk, so he can compile a list of complaints too, and ask that we do it calmly, not interrupting each other?
Sure, you could do that or you can just sit him down and say "I need to talk." Unless the ever fearsome "Dear WE need to talk." is what you are going for. smile

But, here is a thought for you. Take a look at your list of complaints, the one you posted here. And turn it inside out.

Make your "complaints" a wish list for good things.

I have a few examples in my head, let see if they make sense to you.

Let's say he snores and it really hurts your sleep and his. Let's say he has or may have sleep apnea (sp?).

Instead of saying "**** your snoring is keeping me awake and I cannot stand to sleep with you any longer."

Take a different approach: "**** I am really worried about your health. You snore and probably have sleep apnea and that is really bad for your health. It hurts your sleep, it is associated with other deceases such as diabetes (look it up), and it makes your thinking not very clear. I would really appreciate if you would go to the Dr. and get it checked. We both could use a good night sleep and you need to be in good health to be the father you want to be with OC."

You are not lying to him, you are not really even shading the truth. If he is not getting sleep he will NOT be a person that is much fun. If he is not getting sleep and he is keeping you awake he will NOT be a person you are attracted to. And on it goes.

Take you list and reverse it so that you are telling him what you want to accomplish, but in a positive way rather than a negative way.

AD, I may be very wrong here, but no one wants to be disliked, but a lot of people are very defensive. Your H knows he has failed you, he compensates by being really good to OC. But, deep down he KNOWS he failed. He is afraid to articulate it because he already thinks of himself as weak for taking you back. Yet, the other part of him knows it was the right thing to do.

Look inside of you. You feel you failed don't you? Look how it wrings you insides and how you fear even speaking to the man you are married to and have/are rearing children with. You fear, and it makes you defensive, it eats at you.

My bet is that your H is in the same boat, but he manifests it by being really defensive, and sort of macho. Am I getting warm AD?

He is not going to admit his failures any more than you feel you have the right to speak up.

You made the comment along the lines that woman should love a man that is her hero. You have no idea how that touched me. Want to bet it would touch him. It is what you want isn't it AD, to love him, to be loved and to allow him to be your hero.

I may be way off AD, but somehow I think I am not.

Please think about this and then let's talk. I won't be too active this weekend or even Monday, lots of work to do. But, keep these things in mind.

God Bless,

JL
Originally Posted by Just Learning
Take you list and reverse it so that you are telling him what you want to accomplish, but in a positive way rather than a negative way.

EGG ZAK LEE

Quote
You made the comment along the lines that woman should love a man that is her hero. You have no idea how that touched me. Want to bet it would touch him. It is what you want isn't it AD, to love him, to be loved and to allow him to be your hero.

I believe the "hero" comment was mine.
I mentioned it because I have learned how important it is for a man to know (because she tells him) that he is his woman's hero.
It took my H's adultery for me to recognize that he needed to be told how/when he is my hero.
Up until then, I mistakenly thought he admired my strength. He does, but my strength does not make him feel bonded with me. My admiration for him does.
Just yesterday .... H was my hero again.
After all these years, it still works.


He's been home 15 hours after being gone a few weeks.

We talked a bit when he first got home- catching him up with the goings on within the family, local news, etc. Mostly he played with OC and the new toy he brought back for OC.

The 3 of us, (H, OC, me), went out to a favorite spot for dinner last night. H made the a kissing gesture to me from across the table. I didn't respond. He said, "dead fish".

On way home, I said, "We need to talk one of these days"

He laughed and said, "About what? You don't ever want to talk to me."

That was the extent of our conversation. He went to his room. I went to mine. Haven't seen him yet this morning. Our house is just big enough to keep to our separate places.

I feel paralyzed to move.

I can't see the other side of this AT ALL.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
H made the a kissing gesture to me from across the table. I didn't respond.

>sigh<

You might have smiled.
You might have winked.
You might have playfully stuck out your tongue.

This is a failure on your part.

What say you?

I will not address his reptilian reflexive "TAKER" response. He's not here. You are.

We can only begin to work with you and your attitude, which stinks.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I can't see the other side of this AT ALL.

Because you are lacking empathy for his feelings and the hurt you are currently causing your marriage.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
H made the a kissing gesture to me from across the table. I didn't respond.

Picture this.

Your child is making a kissing gesture to you.
You fail to respond.
You stare back at her.

How would you expect her to respond to THAT level of uncaring and coldness?

Her feeling would be hurt, right?

You have hurt your husband, again.
And, what did you get out of it?

You got "validation" that the marriage is hopeless.

Which, is what you are actually "fishing" for. (it seems)



I am one of those people who thinks that thread titles are important and often need an answer.

Quote
How do you find love for your spouse...

Are you sure this is what you want?

Because if it is what you want, you begin by following the MB "rules".
In particular the rule about never being a source of pain for your spouse.


Quote
Why would any of us hurt the one we promised to love and cherish?

Lack of empathy is at the core of the problem. I was struck with what we are all up against while watching a Star Trek episode. Spock had volunteered to be possessed by an alien presence so that it could communicate with Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.

As soon as it entered Spock's body, its first reaction was, "Oh, how lonely you must all feel."

You see, in the alien world, they were all connected to each other through telepathy so that each one could feel what everyone else felt. They were all emotionally bonded to each other. But as soon as the alien possessed Spock's body, it realized that we humans are all cut off from each other emotionally. And it viewed our state as incredibly isolated and lonely.

One of the most important consequences of our emotional isolation is that we cannot feel the way we affect others. And that creates the temptation to hurt others because in doing so we don't feel the pain we cause. If we were connected emotionally to others as the aliens were, we would be far less tempted to do anything thoughtless, gaining at someone else's expense. That's because in so doing, we would be hurting ourselves as well.

And that's what I always seem to be battling when I try to encourage one spouse to avoid doing anything that would hurt the other spouse. I cannot seem to trigger empathy. Each spouse complains about how thoughtless the other spouse is, without much awareness of his or her own thoughtlessness.

Lack of empathy helps makes thoughtlessness possible. Since we don't feel what other's feel, we tend to minimize the negative effects we have on others, and consider our thoughtlessness to be benign. An angry outburst is regarded by some as a creative expression. Disrespect is viewed as helping the other spouse gain proper perspective. And a demand is nothing more than encouraging a spouse to do what he or she should have done all along. None of these is seen as one spouse gaining at the other's expense, because the spouse who is inflicting the pain does not feel the pain. But whenever one spouse is the cause of the other's unhappiness, one thing's for sure -- Love Bank withdrawals are taking place.

I call all the ways that spouses are inconsiderate of each other's feelings Love Busters because that what they do -- they destroy the love that a husband and wife have for each other.

Today, you begin with an apology for hurting your husband.

I respond to a kiss gesture from my children, because I love them, and it comes naturally to respond in kind.

Should I have faked a kiss back?

This is a guy who thinks even a smile from me MEANS EVERYTHING IS FINE AND DANDY. Meaning he would think I'm nuts if the next day I came to talk to him about issues. He'd seriously think I'm bi-polar.

btw, I'm not mad he called me a dead fish. I'd say it's accurate and fair.
Originally Posted by Pepperband
Originally Posted by Pepperband
It's been too long, girl.
You seriously need to contact the coaching center and get some actual help not more forum opinions ... although, I must admit, my opinion is brilliant! kiss

Here is some information about:

Marriage Coaching

Quote
I've found that the majority of couples do not need a marriage coach. They can learn to resolve their conflicts and restore love to their marriages without any outside help as long as they have a plan that works and motivation to follow the plan. I've provided you with that plan, now all you need is the motivation. But if either you or your spouse lack that motivation, don't go through the rest or your life with a loveless marriage, or worse yet, end it with divorce. Instead, get the help you need to do the right thing when you don't feel like doing it.

Again, Autumn, read the entire link.

Best advice I have read on this thread. AD, they have turned couples who HATED EACH OTHER into passionate, intimate marriages. But you have to actually USE the program in order for it to work. Talking on this forum is no replacement for a PLAN. Those who dont' have a plan after infidelity have a plan to FAIL. That has proven true in your marriage. There was no plan here.
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by Pepperband
Originally Posted by Pepperband
It's been too long, girl.
You seriously need to contact the coaching center and get some actual help not more forum opinions ... although, I must admit, my opinion is brilliant! kiss

Here is some information about:

Marriage Coaching

Quote
I've found that the majority of couples do not need a marriage coach. They can learn to resolve their conflicts and restore love to their marriages without any outside help as long as they have a plan that works and motivation to follow the plan. I've provided you with that plan, now all you need is the motivation. But if either you or your spouse lack that motivation, don't go through the rest or your life with a loveless marriage, or worse yet, end it with divorce. Instead, get the help you need to do the right thing when you don't feel like doing it.

Again, Autumn, read the entire link.

Best advice I have read on this thread. AD, they have turned couples who HATED EACH OTHER into passionate, intimate marriages. But you have to actually USE the program in order for it to work. Talking on this forum is no replacement for a PLAN. Those who dont' have a plan after infidelity have a plan to FAIL. That has proven true in your marriage. There was no plan here.

And after 7 years, I would say that accountability is a definite issue - as you aren't holding yourself accountable for anything, let alone following a plan or program.

If you are serious, you need accountability.
What am I not holding myself accountable for? My A?

I'll tell you what I told my H tonight... "Fine, I'm a filthy, dirty wh0re for having an A 8 years ago.... so why do you want to be married to me?" Short answer: He thinks I'll take all his money. Now, I'm guessing that's why he stayed and took on OC-- because it was cheaper than a divorce. WOW, such incentive to bend and give-- being married to the wh0re is the more economical alternative.

So, when does the WW get to stop being the ONLY EXPECTED TO BEND in order to have a good marriage? Obviously 8 years isn't long enough. How about 10, 15, 20, 50 years????

Re: Talking on this forum not being a replacement for working the MB plan-- I get that, but WTH? MB is FULL of pages, and pages, and pages of TALKING! I'm an old member, but because I'm an epic failure, and not a poster child for MB- you all are not going to talk to me???

Yes JL, I'm defensive. So, I saved you sentence.

I'm ticked too.

Oh, and tonight's fight got me back up to the poor state of our M being 90% my fault. Yeah, it was a good one.
Posted By: Scotland Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/30/11 03:04 AM
I didn't see anyone say that you are an epic failure.

What I did see were some people offering you some helpful and EXCELLENT advice on how to save your marriage. If that is not what you are here to seek, then I can't help you. I won't give you a justification to leave your BH now. I also won't allow you to say, without a debate from me, that MB didn't work for you if you didn't actually USE MB. It's like saying Weight watchers didn't help me lose weight when I stopped following their plan.

BTW, if your BH really didn't want you around, you wouldn't be around. Yesterday, he didn't want you, only OC. Today, he only kept you around to save him money. Come on. Be real. What's it going to be tomorrow? The world would fall off of its axis if you got a D?

Pep pointed out a missed opportunity to fill your BHs EN. She also suggested you call the coaching center. Instead of figuring out ways to fix your marriage, you seem to be arguing your way into not saving it. What do YOU really want?

Give MrsH an email and let her ask your question on the radio show, she did it for me too.
Posted By: Scotland Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/30/11 03:04 AM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Oh, and tonight's fight got me back up to the poor state of our M being 90% my fault. Yeah, it was a good one.

And how did THAT follow MB or help save your M?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Re: Talking on this forum not being a replacement for working the MB plan-- I get that, but WTH? MB is FULL of pages, and pages, and pages of TALKING! I'm an old member, but because I'm an epic failure, and not a poster child for MB- you all are not going to talk to me???

No one said we weren't going to talk to you, but certainly you can see that talking on a forum is no replacement for having a PLAN to fix your marriage? How is it that you have been here 8 years and have not used this program? There is a PLAN for saving marriages here, AD. A very effective plan. You just have to actually use it.
AD,

Quote
So, when does the WW get to stop being the ONLY EXPECTED TO BEND in order to have a good marriage? Obviously 8 years isn't long enough. How about 10, 15, 20, 50 years????
Short answer: When decide to change things. His blaming you doesn't make it so. If you won't change and he won't change, then you don't get to ask when it will stop.

AD, you need to stand up and decide that what he says is not consistent with what you know to be the truth.

I am telling you the following but not advocating it.

You could always file, seek child support, and get the lie out of the closet. This is really a case of you not being willing to do what it takes, to save the marriage or leave it.

I am so saddened by this thread, you just have no clue how bad this makes me feel. But the truth of it is that I cannot help you do what you won't do. I cannot offer you great advice that will change everything. To make things better you have to go through a process and MB does have a process. Please give the Harleys a call.

I really don't want you in this pain. Nooo

God Bless,

JL
Scotland~

Please stop putting words in my mouth.

1. I never said anyone here said I'm an epic failure. *I* said I'm an epic failure.

2. I never said MB didn't work for me. I never fully tried the principles. H hates the idea of marriage counseling, but downright scoffs at MB, and never liked me being on it. He saw me typing my above post earlier, and asked when I would stop listening to strangers on a website, and think for myself.

3. I am not changing my story from day to day, so don't say come on to me. H HAS said in some arguments that he wants and cares more for OC, than he does me. I didn't make that up.

My perception, is that right after D-day-- He DID really want to stay married to me, and willingly take on OC. I still believe he loves OC-- in fact there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever.

However, when he says things like he doesn't want a divorce because he doesn't want me getting his money, it makes me wonder if he has wanted a divorce all along, but it was cheaper to keep me after the A. When I asked for a divorce 10 years ago, Pre-A, his answer was the same as it is today-- you can leave, but I won't divorce you, because you're not getting my money. Yes, he also says-- as I have-- no divorce, for the sake of the kids, and because it's not right, but he's most vocal about the money end of it. What am I supposed to think?

Finally- I don't get what you're asking in your 2nd post to me, above.

When I entitled this thread, I asked How do you find love for your spouse....... ~~~when you don't think you even want to?.,(or something like that)~~~

Logic tells me MB could easily work for people who want it to work. What I'M asking is how do I get to the point of ~wanting~ it to work??? Do people just skip over that part and fake it? I am sincerely asking. Same premise with my H's kiss gesture... I'm getting scolded for not being receptive, but to me it's like being receptive to some stranger or even an enemy. That is where I'm at.


Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/30/11 03:52 AM
I'm probably the worst person on earth to offer advice here, but it seems to me that if you've decided that you don't want a divorce, which it seems neither of you want, then you only have two choices - stay married and be miserable together, or figure out how to love one another and make each other happy.

Since the first choice seems rather unpalatable, that should be pretty good incentive for figuring out how to do the second choice.
Thank you, JL. I am a hot mess. Analysis paralysis? I don't know.

I told him he can read this thread. I hope he does. Maybe it will stir him to get his side out there.

At any rate, I'm regretting posting. I hate disappointing you and others that invested a lot of time in me.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
What am I not holding myself accountable for? My A?

I'll tell you what I told my H tonight... "Fine, I'm a filthy, dirty wh0re for having an A 8 years ago.... so why do you want to be married to me?" Short answer: He thinks I'll take all his money. Now, I'm guessing that's why he stayed and took on OC-- because it was cheaper than a divorce. WOW, such incentive to bend and give-- being married to the wh0re is the more economical alternative.

So, when does the WW get to stop being the ONLY EXPECTED TO BEND in order to have a good marriage? Obviously 8 years isn't long enough. How about 10, 15, 20, 50 years????

Re: Talking on this forum not being a replacement for working the MB plan-- I get that, but WTH? MB is FULL of pages, and pages, and pages of TALKING! I'm an old member, but because I'm an epic failure, and not a poster child for MB- you all are not going to talk to me???

Yes JL, I'm defensive. So, I saved you sentence.

I'm ticked too.

Accountable for; making EN deposits, avoiding LBs, meeting 20+ hours of UA time every week until improvement is seen, and 15+ hours to maintain, Radical Honesty with your spouse.

Accountable for having a plan, and sticking to it.

And if, at all possible, accountability for both of you.
Posted By: Scotland Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/30/11 04:02 AM
Originally Posted by Scotland
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Oh, and tonight's fight got me back up to the poor state of our M being 90% my fault. Yeah, it was a good one.

And how did THAT follow MB or help save your M?

The "fight" that you had. How did it follow the MB plans for recovery after an affair and how is it helping you save your marriage? What positive effect did it have on your situation? Did you follow the rule of care?

And my earlier post was a failed attempt to get you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and to look at things a different way.

Do you really want to be happy in your marriage? Wouldn't that be the best outcome for ALL involved?
writer~ Actually, I started tonight's conversation aka HUGE FIGHT, by saying I think we have two choices-- 1. Work on things to make a better M. or 2. Divorce, because NO, I don't want to live in a miserable M too much longer.

His answer was-- YOU have to work on it. YOU are the one that needs to make the first move-- first several moves to prove you're serious, because our bad marriage is 90% fault, you checked out at least a year ago, and you have to check back in AND FIX IT YOURSELF-- FIX *YOURSELF*. (paraphrasing)

I responded with-- The problem is that I am at the point that I DON'T want to work on it, HOWEVER, I AM WILLING to work on it, if YOU WILL TOO. I said if you don't help, then we are screwed, because if left up to JUST me, it's not gonna happen.

That's when we got to the topic of him saying he won't divorce me, nor would he consent if I filed, because he's not letting me take his 27 years of hard earned money. He said he KNOWS women like me that take their husbands for everything. He said he would permanently separate but not D. I asked what he'd do if he wanted to remarry. He said that will never happen, that I ruined that for him too.
Scotland~

I started the conversation TAlKING calmly and in a normal, quiet voice. HIS first sentence was YELLING, and stayed THERE.

I probably was supposed to stop then, right? I've done that before, and then he hassles for me for suddenly being mute, when it suits me. I can't win.

Look, I'm obviously not an expert, or I wouldn't be here.... again.

Yes, I want to have a happy marriage. Being in a miserable one is mentally, emotionally, and even physically exhausting and painful.

I am just so skeptical.

I can't envision ever being happy with him, or him with me.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I can't envision ever being happy with him, or him with me.

AD, make an appointment with Steve Harley. Steve will tell you how to bring him on board. We have seen much worse than this turned around into a romantic marriage. When do it yourself doesn't work, its time to change the game. This really does work, but you have to work it.
I apologize for all the typos and skipped words. I'm usually better about that.
Posted By: WW27 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/30/11 04:34 AM
Hey there. I had my first session with Harley a couple of days ago. I highly recommend it as he gives you a lot of useful information and steps on recovering a marriage/love. As well, he can give you ideas on to approach your husband, your options, etc. He gave me a lot of think about and I just recently sent a letter to my husband to work on my first task. We'll see how that goes:)

So I would book your appointment ASAP (now I wish I had done it sooner!)
Mel~

Because you seem to know a lot about a lot of different topics....

We are on a high deductible health insurance plan, but have a nice chunk of cash saved up in our HSA, (health savings account). Do you or anyone else here know if Harley's counseling would qualify as the kind of counseling that we could use those funds on, without being slammed by the 20% penalties, Mr. Obama has now imposed? I used to know the rules, and I know I could use that money for Harley's, and even if I had to pay a penalty, it was only 10%. Just wondering....
AD, I don't know. Sorry.. crazy
Quote
Actually, I started tonight's conversation aka HUGE FIGHT, by saying I think we have two choices-- 1. Work on things to make a better M. or 2. Divorce, because NO, I don't want to live in a miserable M too much longer.Ultimatum. SD

His answer was-- YOU have to work on it. YOU are the one that needs to make the first move-- first several moves to prove you're serious, because our bad marriage is 90% fault, you checked out at least a year ago, and you have to check back in AND FIX IT YOURSELF-- FIX *YOURSELF*. (paraphrasing)DJ. Scorekeeping. Taker in charge.

I responded with-- The problem is that I am at the point that I DON'T want to work on it, HOWEVER, I AM WILLING to work on it, if YOU WILL TOO. I said if you don't help, then we are screwed, because if left up to JUST me, it's not gonna happen.SD. Scorekeeping. Taker in charge.

That's when we got to the topic of him saying he won't divorce me, nor would he consent if I filed, because he's not letting me take his 27 years of hard earned money. He said he KNOWS women like me that take their husbands for everything. He said he would permanently separate but not D. I asked what he'd do if he wanted to remarry. He said that will never happen, that I ruined that for him too.DJ. Taker in total charge.
What are SDs?


Ultimatum? I thought an ultimatum is like a threat ie you do this, or else. I was thought I was just stating the obvious 2 options left to us, because we've both pretty much determined we don't want to live much longer in a miserable marriage.

Yes, 27yearsoffreakingnonstopscorekeeping. We need a referee.
.... we needed a referee 26.5 years ago actually.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
What are SDs?


Ultimatum? I thought an ultimatum is like a threat ie you do this, or else. I was thought I was just stating the obvious 2 options left to us, because we've both pretty much determined we don't want to live much longer in a miserable marriage.

Yes, 27yearsoffreakingnonstopscorekeeping. We need a referee.

You know what's awesome?

He gave you the chance to fire the first shot; "You lead the way!"

Anyway - check with your insurer/employer - a lot of them do pay for "MC" and this should qualify. Healthy marriages make healthy people.
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I can't envision ever being happy with him, or him with me.

AD, make an appointment with Steve Harley. Steve will tell you how to bring him on board. We have seen much worse than this turned around into a romantic marriage. When do it yourself doesn't work, its time to change the game. This really does work, but you have to work it.

This is my advice as well. Again, DITTO Mel.

This thread reminds me of when I was running the headache/chronic pain clinic.
Some of our care was tertiary level care. We used extraordinary methods as well as usual and unusual techniques .... because ~~~> everything else up to that point had failed. Sometimes, when the patient, or their spouse, or their parent, or their next-door-neighbour heard what our plan was, they filled the patient's head with doubts and worries.
Often I'd hear: "I'm not going to be your guinea pig." MrRollieEyes
As if ...... My malpractice insurance did not support my treating humans like guinea pigs.
Once I was convinced that the patient was not going to change their mind about accepting our level of care, I'd send them back to their primary care physician.

They often returned.
"I'm still in trouble."
"Yes, you are."
"I'm ready to try what you offer."
"OK. Let's get started."

Like FRED said ..... you've got to WANT to get better ....
Everyone else can see what you NEED.
But, you have to want it.



What are SD's?

Yes, wanting it is key.

Also, not sure where to begin.... you really think I need counseling with Steve Harley, or is an email to the radio show sufficient? Or, can I just read the books and/or principles again and just try to implement?

I hate having to be the one who has to be nice first, when he probably likes me marginally better than I like him, but I do see that SOMEONE has to bend here. I just wish I knew that if I'm nice, he'll start being nice back.

He was saying last night that I've NEVER been nice, that I don't have it in me or something like that, but I told him, that is simply not true-- I respond in kind to how I am treated, (which I know isn't right either because then it becomes tit-for-tat, which is our relationship in a nutshell, but he's implying I'm not even kind when he's consistently kind, but that's not true, though I can't remember the last time either of us were consistently kind-- I guess those months after d-day?).

I am not the kind of person who is mean when someone is nice.... YES, if they sneak in a nice moment, (like the kiss gesture), in between the not nice stuff, [ie. when he got home earlier that night from being gone 2 weeks- the first thing from his mouth was a complaint about how it looked like we lived in North Dakota, because I hadn't shoveled the snow lately], then yeah, it's hard to respond sweetly. I see the supposedly nice things he does like the kiss gesture, as kind of a taunt, or a test to see what I'll do, to prove I'm a jerk, and not really from the heart, because just moments before, he wasn't nice.

I don't know... my head is spinning, and it's all confusing to me....
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I hate having to be the one who has to be nice first

"Nice" is for school kids.

Adults practice humility and grace and empathy.

Would you like to show your child what a humble, empathetic, grace-filled mother she has?

"nice" <~~~ grow up Autumn.

Where is your soul and your integrity in this effort to restore your family?
Posted By: nesre Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/30/11 06:22 PM
AD

SD's = Selfish Demands

nESRE
AD,

You are not disappoint me or us. The purpose of a discussion board on a marriage building site is to discuss serious, hard issues, not the color of the wall paper in the dining room. wink

My only hope is that by coming here you can get some help, guidance, and insight into your situation.

God Bless,

JL
SDs are selfish demands.

Here's something simple to try (while you are re-learning and re-reading all the materials), challenge each other to take the words NEVER, EVER and ALWAYS out of your vocabulary when you have a discussion. My husband and I have started doing this and it really makes us have to rethink how we say things to each other. Is it really NEVER, EVER or ALWAYS? Usually not.

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
What are SD's?

Yes, wanting it is key.

Also, not sure where to begin.... you really think I need counseling with Steve Harley, or is an email to the radio show sufficient? Or, can I just read the books and/or principles again and just try to implement?

I hate having to be the one who has to be nice first, when he probably likes me marginally better than I like him, but I do see that SOMEONE has to bend here. I just wish I knew that if I'm nice, he'll start being nice back.

MrRollieEyes Grow up!

Quote
He was saying last night that I've NEVER been nice, that I don't have it in me or something like that, but I told him, that is simply not true-- I respond in kind to how I am treated, (which I know isn't right either because then it becomes tit-for-tat, which is our relationship in a nutshell, but he's implying I'm not even kind when he's consistently kind, but that's not true, though I can't remember the last time either of us were consistently kind-- I guess those months after d-day?).

Good grief. Autumn, then ask him how you can CHANGE to be nicer. Stop arguing about it and start changing. That is the starting place.

Quote
I am not the kind of person who is mean when someone is nice.... YES, if they sneak in a nice moment, (like the kiss gesture), in between the not nice stuff, [ie. when he got home earlier that night from being gone 2 weeks- the first thing from his mouth was a complaint about how it looked like we lived in North Dakota, because I hadn't shoveled the snow lately], then yeah, it's hard to respond sweetly. I see the supposedly nice things he does like the kiss gesture, as kind of a taunt, or a test to see what I'll do, to prove I'm a jerk, and not really from the heart, because just moments before, he wasn't nice.

A complaint is an irritation in a bad marriage, an opportunity for improvement in a good marriage. You could have said, "yes, you are right, I have not shoveled the snow lately and I am sorry. To be honest I don't like to shovel snow and wondered how you would feel if we hired Joe Blow to shovel it?" <-----don't do this NOW, but this is how you might handle it in the future when you learn to use POJA.

So now you know that it irritates him to see snow piled up and can take steps to remove that irritation.

Which leads me to the next GLARING PROBLEM I see here. He was out of town for 2 weeks?? NO WONDER YOU FIGHT! Does he have a traveling job? If so, that is a disaster that will make it impossible to fall in love.
Quote
However, when he says things like he doesn't want a divorce because he doesn't want me getting his money, it makes me wonder if he has wanted a divorce all along, but it was cheaper to keep me after the A. When I asked for a divorce 10 years ago, Pre-A, his answer was the same as it is today-- you can leave, but I won't divorce you, because you're not getting my money. Yes, he also says-- as I have-- no divorce, for the sake of the kids, and because it's not right, but he's most vocal about the money end of it. What am I supposed to think?
AD, please take this from someone who KNOWS where you are coming from. Those words he uses against are weapons in his arsenal to protect himself from being further hurt. You two are so disconnected and hurt, that you use words as protection from more. I KNOW. I DO THAT myself. Does it help? No. Do I feel better for it? For a few moments, maybe.

So why no try to change the cycle. YOU stop participating in this dance the two of you have created. YOU step back, bite your tongue and be kind to him. They say love is an action word. Well even if you don't feel love for him, BE loving and kind toward him. If he attacks, don't participate. This has to stop somewhere!
Are we really playing semantics here with the word NICE?

Good grief, I'll make sure I have my thesaurus open next time.
Yes, he has been traveling for 25 years. As we've become more an more a global economy, he has traveled more and further distances. He travels overseas nearly once per month now for 1-2 weeks at a time. I get used to being "in charge", so it's hard to readjust each time he comes back, especially when he doesn't like how I've taken care of things.

I'm sorry, I forgot who asked me this above... but you asked something like why don't I ask my H what he wants or expects(?) I did just that last night. I had to persist in asking in fact, because the first 3 or 4 times he shouted something along the lines of, "We have been married for 27 years, and if you don't know what a good wife should be by now, I'm not telling you, don't play stupid, you KNOW what a good wife is, and what I want."

Am I wrong to need specifics? Is it immature of me to need a list of things he needs and wants? I am asking this sincerely, and with all of my defenses down. I don't mean to sound stupid, but honestly, how am I supposed to know what exactly would make him happy if he doesn't tell me? What makes one husband happy doesn't make another happy, right? I truly want to know-- is it sex 2 nights per week? Is it certain dinners certain nights per week? Is it have his parents over once per week, or once per month? Is it a clean house? Snow shoveled drive? Smiles? Dress pretty? Go fishing with him? I know the basics of what he likes, but I don't know the order of importance. I don't what he can live with and what he cannot, etc.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Yes, he has been traveling for 25 years. As we've become more an more a global economy, he has traveled more and further distances. He travels overseas nearly once per month now for 1-2 weeks at a time. I get used to being "in charge", so it's hard to readjust each time he comes back, especially when he doesn't like how I've taken care of things.

This is the problem. There is nothing more to talk about until this is resolved. Even a couple in a great marriage cannot maintain their love under these conditions because you are not meeting each others emotional needs on a daily basis. I bet you fight like hell when he comes home. When I had to travel 3 days a week for a few weeks when we were relocating, we used to fight for the first couple of days. It was so hard on our marriage that we stopped it. He started traveling with me until we were moved down here.

That is where I would start if you want to turn this around. Change that and you can change your marriage.
AD,

I don't much, but I do know this. You are a lousy mindreader. Your H is worse, if that is possible. I know I am a lousy mindreader, my W tells me. wink

Point, next time he pulls this on you, look him in the eye and say "read my mind". When he says you know I cannot, then say "neither can I. Start talking if you want changes." You have to be willing to take him on, if you want to learn how to change and if he wants to change.

Frankly he seems very confident that you will not divorce him and leave with the OC and other children. Why is that?

God Bless,

JL
Melody~ Really, you think his traveling less would help that much? It is the only life we know. When the economy first tanked at the end of '08, his company stopped most overseas trips, so he didn't go on his first big trip of '09 until Sept. We fought more than ever that year! It's a reprieve for both of us, when he's gone.

I have asked him through the years to look into switching to a competitor company, in a warmer climate, (and most especially post-A), since OM is in our area, but he says he'd probably have to travel more with other companies. Really, this once per month thing is relatively recent. In the past it was usually e/o month overseas, if that, and then smaller quick domestic trips in between. I've never thought of it as A LOT of travel, but again maybe that's just because it's all I've ever known?

Good commonsense suggestions, JL- thanks.

If anyone is around tonight.... could you provide me with just one nugget of something solid I could try with my husband tonight, (besides the obvious anyway)-- something graceful and compassionate or whatever pep said that isn't just "nice"??? smile
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Melody~ Really, you think his traveling less would help that much? It is the only life we know. When the economy first tanked at the end of '08, his company stopped most overseas trips, so he didn't go on his first big trip of '09 until Sept. We fought more than ever that year! It's a reprieve for both of us, when he's gone.

I don't see how you can possibly fall in love with him when he is gone all the time. You had to have realized how devastating his traveling has been to your marriage over the years? You can't fall in love this way. In order to fall in love, it is imperative to meet each others EN's on a daily basis.

Just look at military marriages, divorce is epidemic in military marriages. Dr Harley has stated openly here he does not know how to create a good marriage when the couple lives apart like this. This is a non starter if he doesn't leave that job.

Without stopping the travel, you are essentially attempting to cure bronchitis while you chain smoke.

Quote
his company stopped most overseas trips, so he didn't go on his first big trip of '09 until Sept. We fought more than ever that year! It's a reprieve for both of us, when he's gone.

It is a reprieve because you have a bad marriage. NOT because traveling is good for marriages. It is DEVASTATING to marriages. This is a non starter unless he stops traveling. You can't fix this marriage until that ends.

If you don't believe me, ask Dr Harley. [for free] http://www.marriagebuilders.com/mb2.cfm?recno=12
Posted By: Frank57 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 01/31/11 11:57 AM
Dear Autumnday

I see that you are being helped by wiser people than myself in this thread. I only want to give you a hug from a friend.

{Atumnday!}

I will cross my fingers in prayer for you and your husband.

Yours Frank
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Are we really playing semantics here with the word NICE?

Good grief, I'll make sure I have my thesaurus open next time.

Autumn, I have been trying to involve you in a discussion about empathy.
Instead, you come up with "nice".

It's not semantics.
It's about swimming in the deep end of personal responsibility and taking your own marital inventory.

You lack empathy.
Playing "nice" will only breed more resentments.

Developing empathy is an important GOAL for you.
Can't you see that?
Without empathy you are shallow and capable of cruelty.

I'm not "playing semantics".
I am spending my valuable time reaching out to you.
I'm not playing.

You won't get off so easily as "nice".
That is a shallow/hollow/meaningless effort.
It stands no where near as tall as a woman with empathy.

Sarcasm with the thesaurus comment will not help you.
And, that is my/our goal. To help you. And through you help your husband and your child have a real family.

Quote
Nice:

pleasant, agreeable, good, satisfying, gratifying, delightful, marvelous; entertaining, amusing, diverting, lovely, great. ANTONYMS unpleasant.


Empathize:

sympathize with, be in sympathy with, understand, share the feelings of, be in tune with; be on the same wavelength as, talk the same language as; relate to, feel for, have insight into; informal put oneself in someone else's shoes.


Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Mel~

Because you seem to know a lot about a lot of different topics....

We are on a high deductible health insurance plan, but have a nice chunk of cash saved up in our HSA, (health savings account). Do you or anyone else here know if Harley's counseling would qualify as the kind of counseling that we could use those funds on, without being slammed by the 20% penalties, Mr. Obama has now imposed? I used to know the rules, and I know I could use that money for Harley's, and even if I had to pay a penalty, it was only 10%. Just wondering....


I just looked into this briefly and I doubt MB and Dr. Harley would be qualified expenditures from an HSA account. Although psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists are included on the list of qualified expenditures, because Dr. Harley and MB are not licensed in all 50 states they can only really offer you "Marriage Coaching" universally on the web. So unless you live in Minnesota, "Marriage Coaching" isn't really on the list and is kind of a stretch to be included as a legitimate health care expense (despite my personal opinion to the contrary).

That being said. Does that mean you can't TRY. The IRS really doesn't monitor HSA expenditures at all and I presume you have an HSA credit card you can just charge the program on PRESUMING it's covered. There is no automated IRS computer program out there that will automatically catch this and issue a line-audit notice and recalculation of your tax return. It would only become a question, IF, by chance, you got a full audit for 2011 sometime down the road. At that point they COULD catch it and you'd likely get hit with a tax liability and penalty. It's certainly not fraud because it's arguably a covered qualified expenditure and, sometimes, it's really not that bad to have something in your return which you lose on in an audit (It allows the auditor to feel he won and, perhaps, less likely to look and push for a "win" elsewhere in your return).

Just my quick two cents as a tax attorney. Certainly consult your own tax advisers for their PAID opinions (though, I doubt anyone one of them will tell you, in writing, that you can take it...but maybe, I only made a cursory investigation and may be wrong)

Mr. Wondering
Hi Autumn,

Just finished reading your thread. I saw that you asked some version of the question - "How do you make yourself want to fall in love when you don't want to" a couple of times. I believe you even asked if you were just supposed to "fake it" at first. The answer to that question is found in one of the very best things that I learned at MB: FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS. So no, you will not suddenly be overtaken by some magic feeling - you must act on your logic and reason of knowing that the BEST possible scenario is for you and your husband to remain married and fall romantically in love with each other - Understanding that in order for that to happen you must follow the PLAN - even when you don't "feel" like it.

I like that JL quoted what you said regarding the time period just following the affair - how the two of you were talking and having lots of SF - Naturally the two of you were happier then - In order to fall in love you must be spending 15 to 20 hours of UA time together meeting the 4 most intimate emotional needs:

1. Intimate conversation
2. Affection
3. Sexual Fulfillment
4. Recreational Companionship

Sounds like that is what you were doing post A...THAT is what you must be doing now - THAT is what you must continue doing for the rest of your lives...

I also agree with Mel that the traveling job is a BIG problem. All of Pep's advice to you has also been top notch - I suspect you know that. smile

Finally, I also agree with those that have repeatedly been telling you to call Steve. I called Mr. W and asked him if he would post to you about the insurance/HSA stuff - he may already have done that before I get this post in...

Lastly, if I were you I would ALSO call in to Dr. Harley - You can use all the help you can get and both Steve and Dr. Harley are the best - you guys need the BEST. And Autumn, I wouldn't worry that someone would recognize your voice on the radio - Anyone that is listening to Dr. Harley is VERY likely listening because they also have [or have had] problems in their marriages too. It really is a silly excuse not to call.

Wishing you the best~

Mrs. W

P.S. Oh yeah ~ I also saw that you asked if people really have happy marriages - The answer is a resounding YES - Most definitely YES...Work the program - in it's entirety - EVERY SINGLE DAY - It Works! It really, Really, REALLY works! REALLY! stickout
Marriage counseling - Expenses for marriage counseling services do not qualify as medical expenses. However, sexual inadequacy or incompatibility treatment is reimbursable if the treatment is provided by a psychiatrist.

http://www.cigna.com/our_plans/medical/fsa/fsa_health.html
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Though, yes... he does throw the A at me in arguments, reminding me that I'm the one that did the wrong in our marriage, so I have no room for complaint. I'm guessing that's fairly typical though?

While that certainly hasn't been typical in our marriage - as in, Mr. W has never done that to me, it's typical enough that Dr. Harley has written about it: It's called secondary gain:

Quote
Using resentment as a way to control and punish a spouse

I'm convinced that what's kept the resentment of S.R.'s husband alive for so many years is that he has found it to be an effective way to control and punish her whenever she doesn't do what he wants. Whenever they have a fight, he brings it up, and it causes her such guilt that it gives him a decided advantage in winning the argument.

By this time, I don't believe that her affair is the problem that she thinks it is. Instead, it is an issue that her husband is using to get the upper hand in his relationship with her. It probably shows up the most whenever she has been reluctant to have sex with him. It throws her off balance whenever he mentions it, and makes her feel guilty, wanting to make it up to him somehow. He may also bring it up whenever she is winning in a power struggle he is having with her.

What she describes to me in her letter is abuse, pure and simple. There is no excuse for the way her husband keeps bringing up her moment of weakness she experienced years ago. He is disrespectful and abusive.

I suggest that she look him right in the eye and say to him, "Listen Buster, do you love me? Do you want me to love you? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me? If the answers to any of those questions is 'yes' you sure are going about it the wrong way. You are not doing things that I admire, you're doing things that I find disgusting!"

What if he says, "Fine, then lets just get a divorce and end it all."

To that I would say, "It's up to you. I married you for life, but if you want a divorce, it's your call. If you want to be in a love relationship with me, however, you're going to have to treat me much better than you have been treating me. You must never again bring up my affair, and if you are upset with me, you will have to treat me with respect until we can solve the problem. If you are upset with our sexual relationship, I want us to discuss it as adults and solve it with mutual respect. I refuse to be treated like this, especially by the man I love."

My advice to her husband is to never mention her affair again. It's a good example of one of the enemies of good conversation, dwelling on past mistakes. Whenever you keep bringing up your spouses past mistakes, you not only make your conversations incredibly unpleasant, but it cannot possibly lead to a resolution of a conflict you may be discussing. And as soon as his resentment doesn't pay him any dividends -- no longer helps him get his way -- he will find that it hardly ever occurs to him.

Hanging on to an unpleasant thought because it helps us somehow is what psychologists call "secondary gain." It means that even though the thought is unpleasant, it gets you something you need, so your mind keeps it around for its usefulness. There are many unpleasant thoughts that have this characteristic, and I have helped many people let them go by helping them destroy the usefulness of the thought. Making sure that S.K.'s husband never gets what he wants by bringing up her affair will help him overcome his resentment.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5062_qa.html

Something else, Autumn: About the snoring...I wrote to Dr. Harley about that issue a few years ago - it was ruining our ability to sleep peacefully in the same room. Dr. Harley categorized Mr. W's snoring under "annoying habits" and also warned of the health risks to him if he didn't have it checked out. Mr. W did a sleep study and was found to have sleep apnea. He now sleeps with a CPAP machine and is far more rested because of it - now he can't sleep without it. Snoring is a thing of the past! I no longer dread him coming to bed - In fact, it's very rare that we don't go to bed at the same time now [very important, imo] - Before I would try to go first, so I could get to sleep before the "nightly symphony" began...Needless to say, our bedtime is far more enjoyable for both of us now...

Like your husband, one of my annoying habits was wanting to sleep with the T.V. on - Mr. W could NOT sleep that way. What I did to eliminate my annoying habit? On nights that I feel that I can't sleep without watching something, I use earbuds and my laptop - Mr. W sleeps peacefully, and his lovebank for me doesn't take a hit. For us, it's a win/win solution!

Mrs. W
Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it.

Pep~ I'm sorry for the sarcasm. I know you're trying to help. I was just trying to point out that I didn't put a lot of thought in the word I chose, (nice). Though,I suppose it does fit my perspective, because my first moves toward him would probably be just that.... ~nice~. Let me tell you, ~nice~ is a helluva lot better than either of us have been on a consistent basis in a very long time. It's a start, no? If I felt deep empathy for him, I'm not sure I'd even be here in the first place?

Mrs. W~ Thank you for the snoring/sleep apnia info. This is really a big issue on a few levels. Not only has it kept us from sleeping together for years, but I KNOW he is not getting a good night's sleep, because he falls asleep the moment he comes home from work, and sleeps for hours on end during the days of the weekend. If he's not moving- he's sleeping. I know that' kind of a man thing, but I think it's worse with him, and he's "moving" less and less. He is ALWAYS worn out. Of course, I'm sure our situation adds to that, because stress is exhausting. So, between his sleep pattern, work schedule, travel, and my lack of going out of the way to do stuff together-- we don't spend a lot of time together, and when we do- OC is with us 90% of the time.

Mr. W~ Thank you for the HSA tax penalty info. Yes, we have an HSA debit card, I could use for Dr. Harley.
You're welcome! smile Snoring IS a big issue -- I really found myself getting seriously ANGRY at Mr. W over it -- It was that bad. The health risks to men especially are terrible too...google it and show your husband. It's serious, and something he MUST do something about. I see that BigKahuna has also posted to you on this thread -- I know that when I wrote into Dr. Harley about Mr. W's snoring, BK is one who also followed his advice on this issue. It has been a Godsend for he and MrsKahuna - He got his machine before Mr. W did and was able to answer a lot of questions for him as well as helping him with the whole process of exactly what equipment to get... Hopefully, he'll pop in on your thread again should you have any questions - He is very knowledgeable about all things CPAP...

Okay, enough about that for now...

Autumn, what are you going to DO? What ACTIONS are you going to take? If you think about it, you've proven to yourself that feelings do follow actions - Look back at your and your husband's actions immediately following the affair, and how your feelings followed those actions - See? It works - Now, are you willing to work it?

Mrs. W
Originally Posted by Scotland
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Oh, and tonight's fight got me back up to the poor state of our M being 90% my fault. Yeah, it was a good one.

And how did THAT follow MB or help save your M?

Actually, your ATTITUDE is 100% your responsibility.

Fix your attitude. You've been given some excellent suggestions.

Earlier you indicated you said to your husband, "We have to talk"

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
He's been home 15 hours after being gone a few weeks.

We talked a bit when he first got home- catching him up with the goings on within the family, local news, etc. Mostly he played with OC and the new toy he brought back for OC.

The 3 of us, (H, OC, me), went out to a favorite spot for dinner last night. H made the a kissing gesture to me from across the table. I didn't respond. He said, "dead fish".

On way home, I said, "We need to talk one of these days"

He laughed and said, "About what? You don't ever want to talk to me."

That was the extent of our conversation. He went to his room. I went to mine. Haven't seen him yet this morning. Our house is just big enough to keep to our separate places.

I feel paralyzed to move.

I can't see the other side of this AT ALL.

So let me see if I understand. He talks, he even flirts with you and once he does that. You shut down. He's right, you "never" want to talk. From his perspective, you don't want to have the conversation he's dying to have. It may not be words, but it is speaking the language of romance.

You just ended the conversation, and then emotionally confused him by saying you need to talk.

If you needed to talk (from his perspective) you wouldn't have given him the cold-fish routine.

So you've given him the "We need to talk about what you are doing wrong" message. Who wants to have that conversation.

Just Learning had a great idea. Talk about what you want, not what's wrong. Talk about what HE WANTS and then start giving it to him.

The steps are simple. But you've decided they are not easy or are impossible.

If you want a great marriage, start by being a great wife to your husband. Until you are great wife, your actions are saying you don't really want a great marriage. You just want to complain and shift the blame to him.

Only great wives are able to have great marriages. So until you do your part, the great marriage will never happen.
PS.

Love is not something you find. Love is something you do. If you lack love for your spouse, you probably are not DOING. Stop looking and start DOING.
Curious advice coming from someone whose signature is, "I can't do this alone, but I can do this!"


You're right about him being right- I don't ever want to talk anymore. There isn't much to talk about. I bore the heck out of him, and he bores the heck out of me.

I am not blaming him. We both suck.


Yes, my attitude is 100% my responsibility/fault- but that is not what H is referring to.

My subject line was wrong too?
What conversation do you think he's dying to have?
Posted By: Gamma Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/01/11 01:24 AM
AD,

Do you at least have a photo of the OM for your OC? While technically this is a violation of NC, it may be something OC will want at some time in the future.

A persons heritage is something real that gives them identity, and as much as people will tend to deride that statement they may also have never experienced it.

If only you and H know there is a very real danger that information will be lost should you both meet some misfortune. Does the OM know of OC?

I was lucky enough to have many of the players still alive and with good memories of what had happened, so that I was able to reconstruct my early life in patches.

God Bless
Gamma
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/01/11 01:26 AM
Originally Posted by Gamma
AD,

Do you at least have a photo of the OM for your OC? While technically this is a violation of NC, it may be something OC will want at some time in the future.

A persons heritage is something real that gives them identity, and as much as people will tend to deride that statement they may also have never experienced it.

If only you and H know there is a very real danger that information will be lost should you both meet some misfortune. Does the OM know of OC?

I was lucky enough to have many of the players still alive and with good memories of what had happened, so that I was able to reconstruct my early life in patches.

God Bless
Gamma

What does this have to do with helping AD restore the love in her marriage?
Posted By: Gamma Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/01/11 01:38 AM
W1,

Nothing just something I feel in common with her OC, I understand that you disagree. But it was in line with something she said about the pain of keeping an enormous secret.

God Bless
Gamma
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/01/11 01:52 AM
Originally Posted by Gamma
W1,

Nothing just something I feel in common with her OC, I understand that you disagree. But it was in line with something she said about the pain of keeping an enormous secret.

God Bless
Gamma

I actually don't disagree. I have pictures of OM set aside for my OC if she ever desires them. I just don't think this is AD's primary concern right now. Right now, it seems like she's more interested in focusing on saving a very troubled marriage.
writer's right.

Thinking about om only makes me feel worse about my situation, because I know things wouldn't be as bad as they are in my marriage, if not for my A. Also, the whole situation with the lie-- while it eats at me, I do realize I have much "bigger fish to fry" right now, considering where my marriage is.

I don't mind answering you though, Gamma.

- I have no photos of om.
I'm sure I could get one from fb if it came to it, but I blocked his name when I first joined, so he couldn't see me, nor pics of oc. As far as H and I are concerned, and this we agree on.... the only reason to EVER contact om, would be in a life or death situation for oc, where om could possibly help save oc, (bone marrow, necessary family health info, etc....)

- When I first found out I was P, I told om immediately. and ended the A at the same time. That was the last time I saw him, but IF he knows for sure I had a child 9 months later, it was not information provided by me.

As an aside... H and I both tend to be more protective of oc than we were of com, when oc is away from us, ie outside playing. We've talked about it in the past, and it's because we both have a bit of an irrational fear that om will kidnap oc. I've relaxed somewhat over the years. The first couple years I was careful to not even leave the garage door open for fear the om would drive by and see the stroller, and toys, proving a child lives here. H still panics though when he finds out I let oc walk 5 blocks to a friends house, and when I ask why, he says.... "you know why." It's a terrible way to live... both of us in fear.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/01/11 06:03 AM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
As an aside... H and I both tend to be more protective of oc than we were of com, when oc is away from us, ie outside playing. We've talked about it in the past, and it's because we both have a bit of an irrational fear that om will kidnap oc. I've relaxed somewhat over the years. The first couple years I was careful to not even leave the garage door open for fear the om would drive by and see the stroller, and toys, proving a child lives here. H still panics though when he finds out I let oc walk 5 blocks to a friends house, and when I ask why, he says.... "you know why." It's a terrible way to live... both of us in fear.

This made me think. My H and I are very protective of our OC as well, though I don't really think it has anything to do with a fear that OM will kidnap her. I think that's probably because OM is 3000 miles away, so it would be a fairly difficult thing for him to pull off. But I still have this rather irrational fear that she wasn't a child that I was meant to have, and because of this, something bad might happen to her. Also, we're a lot older than we were when our other kids were young, and I think that makes us a lot more aware of our own mortality and mortality in general. I'm always constantly aware of the litany of bad things that can happen to a child. I think I just worry about her more than I worried about my other kids when they were little. Of course, I had 4 kids under the age of 5 at one point, so I didn't have much time to worry.
How has your week been going?
AD, my heart goes out to you. I understand your pain. I had a very unfulfilling M where there was a lot more bad than good, no common ground, boiled down to housemates and little else. Those factors contributed to my A, which produced an OC, and we're where you were at one point--post-D-day where we're clinging together trying to keep our family intact. Things feel good right now, amazingly. However, my H and I truly have fallen in love again...and I see him as my hero now, not just a clutch to get through this. I've learned grace and humility. My H had a major issue with angry outbursts, but I had to change how I interacted with him, how I communicated, and I've seen a slow, steady change in him as he reciprocates my intentional love. When deciding if it was worth it to stay together, I did have to constantly reflect back on our early dating days and try to rekindle thos stale feelings.

Which leads me to this: What did you initially love in your H when you first got married? What did he love about you? Why did he propose, and what made you decide to answer "yes" to his proposal?

wanthealing~ It's been so long, I can't exactly remember what we liked about each other. I do remember liking that he was stable and grounded and I knew I could trust him, unlike any guy I dated before him. We conversed a lot when dating. I remember I liked that a lot. Conversation is my number one EN. (if that's on the list I don't even recall anymore, but whatever one fits with conversation- that's mine) I'm glad things are going better for you.

pepperband~ Not good. We haven't spoken one single word to each other in over a week. Our anniversary came and went without either of us acknowledging it in anyway. Not even happy anni, or a card exchange.

AD,

You said
Quote
We haven't spoken one single word to each other in over a week. Our anniversary came and went without either of us acknowledging it in anyway. Not even happy anni, or a card exchange.


Why?

JL
AD, I really think it may help if you make the first move. Yes, it's humbling. Consider it martyrdom for your marriage. I had to make the first move with my H and eventually I became "irresistable" to him. He couldn't help but put out effort. It started with a playful text that said I love him. Less confrontation while still opening communication. At first he rebuffed my efforts, but I kept on. Eventually he started going along with it. Baby steps. Maybe just plan one baby step you can take today to show affection...then another step tomorrow if he doesn't respond. I know you may feel like a doormat in doing so, but humility is the only way to salvation of any marriage. No marriage can last when pride and stubborness get in the way. Besides, it builds character. smile I am honestly a better woman for learning to drop my pride.

I'm praying for you.
Who was it who said:

Do you want to be "right", or do you want to be married?
JL~ I think because it's a tad less stressful than fighting. He has called me some names under his breath, and also done a few things that he knows would typically make me irate- I think to get me to complain, which then causes a fight, including slamming a kitchen drawer shut on purpose while my hand was reaching in- luckily he yelled at the same time, so I was able to yank my hand out quickly enough. I said, "oh wow" in a quiet voice, and he mocked me by saying "oh wow" back. That was the only verbal exchange we've shared in the last week. I'm worn out from fighting, so I say nothing, and pretend those things aren't bothering me.

Pep~ Probably many wise people have said it? I've certainly read it before. Did I say it once in a post to someone too?

I think I might be depressed.
wanthealing~ Sorry, didn't mean to overlook your post. I think he'd probably respond favorably if I made the first move.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
wanthealing~ Sorry, didn't mean to overlook your post. I think he'd probably respond favorably if I made the first move.
So what have you got to lose?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
J

I think I might be depressed.

Yep.
What are you going to do about it?
Not going on an Rx. I've been on zoloft before and not going back. I already have to take Rx for migraines, I don't want any others.

Thinking of emailing a letter to the radio program, but I don't know what to ask or say. Any suggestions?
How about;

"Dear Dr. Harley,

What is a spouse to do when they have a bottomless well of excuses and justifications to not try to improve their situation, and want to complain that it doesn't get any better? How can you make a situation better, without doing anything but complaining? Dr. Harley, I don't want to make an effort, I want the magical marriage fairy to appear and make me blissful. Trying is just too hard."

That's about the sum of this thread "I'm not happy, and I'm not willing to do anything about it... so what should I do, that involves doing nothing, because no matter what is suggested, I have an excuse and won't do it."
I have a friend who is a similar situation, AD. She cannot seem to find any love in her heart for her betrayed H; in fact, she hates him. Resents him. So it's not just you. And while I do wish you could find the courage to take that one small step to show affection today, it's clear that the motivation isn't there. You want to wallow. I recognize this feeling, since sometimes I like to be mad too. Crazy, yes, but fixable when you start to feel the other side of mad--joy. Once you have a few precious moments of joy with your H, you won't want the anger anymore. But pride is blocking both of you. Pride is the root of evil, AD. It seeks to destroy all that is good. Don't let pride win. Please fight this!

So how do you muster up the motivation to try to take that one small step toward showing affection? It's what your thread heading asks point-blank, and it's really all you need to ask the Harleys. You cannot settle for being miserable anymore. It's hurting you all and dragging on much too long.

Maybe you are depressed, but do you find joy in other things...like your OC? If so, then it sounds like conditional depression...with your H being the condition. So meds wouldn't be the solution. Love is, though.

I hope you end up writing that letter to the Harleys and consider sending that one little "I love you" text (if you text, that is). See what happens. It can't be worse than the current misery.

It's time to end this pain, AD.
Great idea HHH, I remember being helpful like that at your age too.
~~~~

Thank you, wanthealing, those are some wise words.

I'm not mad though. Worse-- I don't care.
That's why I'm spinning my wheels here, and not doing anything.

I do believe MB works. I've read enough positive threads to know it does. A common denominator though seemed to be that at least one of the spouses wanted the marriage to recover, and it was usually the one that began the actions toward recovery. It's ironic that I'm here asking the questions. You'd think it would be my husband, because I think he cares a little more than I do.
So why didn't you do anything? All it would have taken to change that was for you to act. You know, say and do something that expressed your love.

Instead you come here and complain nothing happened. Of course it didn't. Remember, love is something you do, not something you feel. You told us you did nothing.

So what got better? The same, nothing.

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
wanthealing~ It's been so long, I can't exactly remember what we liked about each other. I do remember liking that he was stable and grounded and I knew I could trust him, unlike any guy I dated before him. We conversed a lot when dating. I remember I liked that a lot. Conversation is my number one EN. (if that's on the list I don't even recall anymore, but whatever one fits with conversation- that's mine) I'm glad things are going better for you.

pepperband~ Not good. We haven't spoken one single word to each other in over a week. Our anniversary came and went without either of us acknowledging it in anyway. Not even happy anni, or a card exchange.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Curious advice coming from someone whose signature is, "I can't do this alone, but I can do this!"


You're right about him being right- I don't ever want to talk anymore. There isn't much to talk about. I bore the heck out of him, and he bores the heck out of me.

I am not blaming him. We both suck.


Yes, my attitude is 100% my responsibility/fault- but that is not what H is referring to.

My subject line was wrong too?

What my signature means is if the adulterous spouse doesn't end the affair and eventually commit to marriage building, it really doesn't matter how much of the program her betrayed husband perfectly implement, no marriage building will occur.

Some behaviors simply have to end before MB can truly be effective.

Since you are here, the folks here are going to focus on your behaviors that are counter-productive when it comes to marriage building.

You meet his needs and eliminate love busters. I've yet to see a part of the program where your behavior is contingent on him behaving a certain way.

If you want to marriage build, there is one way, marriage build. If you want to complain about what your husband does or doesn't do, then perhaps this is not the website for you.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/11/11 08:41 PM
Really, Autumn, someone is going to have to go first. Since you're the one here asking for help, the advice you're going to continue to get is that it will have to be you.

Your alternative is to spend the rest of your life, or at least a significant number of years until your OC turns 18, living with someone you can't stand to be around and never talk to. Is that what you want?
Bingo,

Add it some it's not my fault, but it's my spouses fault and you have the complete picture.

Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
How about;

"Dear Dr. Harley,

What is a spouse to do when they have a bottomless well of excuses and justifications to not try to improve their situation, and want to complain that it doesn't get any better? How can you make a situation better, without doing anything but complaining? Dr. Harley, I don't want to make an effort, I want the magical marriage fairy to appear and make me blissful. Trying is just too hard."

That's about the sum of this thread "I'm not happy, and I'm not willing to do anything about it... so what should I do, that involves doing nothing, because no matter what is suggested, I have an excuse and won't do it."
You'd all probably be shocked if you knew me IRL-- I'm not afraid of hard work and a challenge. There is not much I won't take on. I'm a believer in pulling one up by the bootstraps, and that good things don't just happen, they are earned after a whole lot of work. I have always cared and had a passion about what I was trying to achieve though. I'm not looking for a magical, blissful marriage for free. I'm trying to figure out how to WANT a magical, blissful marriage in the first place.

My original question was not just about getting love back, but is it even possible when I feel like I don't want to get it back. I shouldn't have come back to MB unless I was at the point of wanting it.
EE~ I have never said it was my husband's fault. If you read, I have freely admitted to him I am more at fault for the state of our marriage than he is.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/11/11 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I'm trying to figure out how to WANT a magical, blissful marriage in the first place.

To me, the key to getting this is looking at the alternatives, which seem to be:

a) Living in a miserable, unhappy marriage for the rest of your life

or

b) Getting a divorce.

Right now, you may not be able to say that you want a happy, loving M with your H, but can you at least figure out if you really want a or b above? If the answer to both of those choices is no, then your only option is to find a way to love your H. If one of the above choices looks acceptable to you, then you do that.

Quote
is it even possible when I feel like I don't want to get it back

Yes.
If you ask this question again, disguised in another format, I will have to withdraw from this conversation for my own serenity.
Don't tell us, show us.

First you decide if what you want is reality or fantasy. The reality is marriage is work. Even Dr Harley says all people are incompatible. Right there that tells us that to make a fulfilling marriage there is going to be some work involved.

It really doesn't matter if that marriage is with your current husband, or some other guy years later, it's going to take the same work.

So the question is not do you want to be married to your husband. The question is are you willing to do the work it takes to build a good marriage?

You tell us you have always cared and had a passion about what you were trying to achieve. OK, then show us that's the case. Because it's going to take work regardless your spouse.

If you don't want it, then be honest with your husband and say you don't want it, you don't want any marital assets nor will you seek his support for your OC since you are not willing to do the work it takes to be married.

Then, put that passion you tell us about into never getting married again since you tell us you are not willing to do the work.

If you are not enthusiastic about marriage, then at least be honest and let your husband go, without trying to take him to the cleaners or have him support you after you've divorced him. Pack a bag, send him a notarized letter with the confession of your affair and that you want nothing from him and will pay your 1/2 of any marital debts, and you'll allow him to be free.

You also will not be burdened with the guilt of being married but not really willing to do the work it takes to have a good marriage.

Otherwise, if you are not willing to walk away from it and leave everything associated with the marriage you no longer want, then get to work building a marriage.
You're right writer.

That's actually really good solid advice, EE. Thank you.

If I told him those would be the circumstances of a D, he would be all over that.

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
EE~ I have never said it was my husband's fault. If you read, I have freely admitted to him I am more at fault for the state of our marriage than he is.

Sorry, you did say that. I confess that sometimes it comes across as poor me. The whole "I don't know what to do thing" just screams victim to me. Yet I've been there too, so I have some understanding of that.

However, I also know you can't stay there and it's ultimately unattractive. So you have to make a decision at some point and execute. Not just execute, but execute with the passion that you say you have.

When I was a young cadet, I often heard the phrase, make a decision, even if it's wrong. The point was to teach young Army officers in training to be decisive. That was often the hardest part. First you must learn to decide, and then we'll teach you how to make GOOD decisions.

No decision is almost always a bad one, so at least you have a chance to make a good decision if you actually make a decision.

OK, well you took a vow, so are you going to honor it, or confess to your husband that you are either unwilling or unable to do that?

If you really believe you are the prime contributor to the state of the marriage, then would it be reasonable for you to share one of the two following statements with your husband.

DH, I took a vow to love, honor and cherish you and I've not done a very good job of that. I don't believe I'm even capable of honoring such a vow and I seek your forgiveness because I am not able to keep my promise.

Or

DH, I took a vow to love, honor and cherish you and I've not done a very good job of that. I am learning more everyday what my vow really means and I seek your forgiveness and forbearance as I learn how to live out those vows.

Or, I just thought of a third option.

DH, I took a vow to love, honor and cherish you and I've not done a very good job of that. I am learning more everyday what my vow really means and I seek your forgiveness and forbearance as I learn how to live out those vows. I do not want the marriage we had before. But I'm not sure I can do the work it takes to have the marriage you deserve. I may be able to in the future, but I cannot give you an answer with any guarantees. If you want to end this marriage now, without penalty or any responsibility for me and my OC, I would understand and give you the non-contested divorce of your terms.
This is good food for thought, EE.

If I were to sit him down tonight, I would probably go with option #3, because it is both a combination of honesty, and less likely to upset him than #1.
Let me ask you this and you are free not to answer if it's too personal.

Are you really hoping your BH will get fed up and end the marriage? Is this some sort of marital suicide by cop?

That's probably a bit too harsh, but right now, I'm not sure how else to phrase it.

Showing my work, such as it is, I see you, someone who had an affair, had an OC from the affair and not sure she's willing to do the work needed to build a marriage. You say you are the bad guy here, but you don't want to be the bad guy who ends the marriage, so you are hoping that your husband will just pull the plug on this marriage and take it off life support.

Is it something like that, or am I way off here?

If it is, there is no reason why you can't file, and in your filing assert the child is not his, that you had an affair and that all you want are your clothes, anything needed for the baby and that you will pay your 1/2 of the marital debt. You have no interest in further hurting him by taking the house, any part of this retirement or funds and the only assets you want other than your personal items are those he is enthusiastic about giving you.

It's a option that certainly would allow both you to show where you are right now.

Who knows, he may rise to the challenge and start romancing you. He may be looking for the same "first step" as I think you are.

Either way, I believe you would tease out of him where he really is right now. Plus, it would tell him that you are not in this marriage mentally or emotionally.

If you choose, I'd make it clear that it's not him, but you that's the issue, a'la what I've suggested above.

But don't do this out of guilt. Decide based on a honest assessment of who you are and what you are willing to do or not do. If you think you EVER will want to have a great marriage, then I'd suggest doing the work.

I'd only suggest this option if you've examined yourself and find that you don't believe you would ever make a good marriage partner.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Great idea HHH, I remember being helpful like that at your age too.
~~~~

Thank you, wanthealing, those are some wise words.

I'm not mad though. Worse-- I don't care.
That's why I'm spinning my wheels here, and not doing anything.

I do believe MB works. I've read enough positive threads to know it does. A common denominator though seemed to be that at least one of the spouses wanted the marriage to recover, and it was usually the one that began the actions toward recovery. It's ironic that I'm here asking the questions. You'd think it would be my husband, because I think he cares a little more than I do.


And his attempts are met with a... was it cold or dead?... fish.

If I seem harsh, apathetic, or sarcastic, sardonic... caustic... whatever, it's because I totally mean to be. I completely lack empathy for this type of behavior, and never have had empathy for it.

It's straight up dramaqueen <----

What, exactly, would you expect Dr. Harley to tell you, that you haven't already been told, that you haven't already read, that you don't already KNOW?

If I get pissy with you, it's because you remind me of the people I grew up around; addicts and their codependents. And they were always crying, always unhappy, and always waiting for SOMEBODY ELSE TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS. If that didn't happen... well, it should happen that way. Their problems aren't their fault. Their lack of action couldn't possibly be the issue.


So you'll have to excuse me if I'm not coming up sunshine and roses when you sit there in a pity party, drawing circles in the dirt saying "Woe is me, what can I do?"

SOMETHING! ANYTHING! Because, deary, nothing ain't don't s#!+ for you, has it?
That's not too harsh at all, EE.

That's exactly where I'm at.

I do want him to be the one to pull the plug. Mostly, because IF he's the one to do it... my thoughts are he wouldn't be so angry about it, because it was his own decision.

You make me realize I'm being a coward though.

I was willing to be the bad guy in having the A and getting P.

and now.... I'm not willing to be the bad guy in asking for the D.

ftr, I HAVE told him that I'd tell the judge and the whole world for that matter about the A and OC, but he has already said no to that. He still stands by not wanting ANYONE to know... ever, even in the case of D.

But, I can tell him I wouldn't take any money. He'd like that.

HHH, That's all fine. I get it. My question about what to write to Dr. Harley was genuine, though. Not looking for sunshine. EE hasn't blown sunshine up my butt, but has given me constructive info.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
HHH, That's all fine. I get it. My question about what to write to Dr. Harley was genuine, though. Not looking for sunshine. EE hasn't blown sunshine up my butt, but has given me constructive info.

It's not too far off either way. EE is opting to go with a gentle nudge, whereas I'm all elbow behind an open-palm smack.

Never know which one is going to work. Sometimes gentle nudges enable behavior, sometimes knee-jerk smacks only create defensiveness.

Either way, the question ends up the same; What are you going to do?

It's you, chica. You know it, you admit it. SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Again, sitting on your butt cheeks and whining hasn't done a dang thing in how many years?

If it was money, would you get off your azz and get a job?

So, what's the excuse now? You KNOW what MB is, you KNOW what MB does... WHY AREN'T YOU DOING IT, THEN?
You missed my point. I don't mind you being harsh if that's your style, but if you could throw something constructive in while you're at it, that would be helpful. I asked for ideas on what to ask Harley. I only got smart azz comments from you, and nothing from anyone else.

Posters said early on... send an email to Harley to be read on the radio, but when I ask for suggestions on what to write, I get nada. Unless you were serious about your sample email, and that's what you really think I should say to Harley? I've been told my original question to this thread wasn't even the proper one, because one doesn't find love, ok fair enough... I want to get it right, and be concise in an email to Harley.

I've seen people get suggestions on no-contact and Plan B letters. That's all I was asking.
Posted By: Gamma Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/12/11 12:34 AM
AD,

Early on I mentioned that having to keep this huge secret is your primary issue, but perhaps I was incorrect and it is your Hs avoidance and not communicating that is the issue. Keeping the secret is just a byproduct of his behavior.

God Bless
Gamma
Could be Gamma, but I'm seeing that now is not the time to ask WHY, but to either fish or cut bait. If I fish, and this thing gets fixed, then yes... we will have to address that issue. Even if we cut bait, it will have to be addressed. I just think the WHY isn't so much the issue at the moment as the do or not do- is.

Thank you for your concern though, because it IS always with me, and I assume with him too.
AD,

You want advice? I'll offer you some. Decide what you want. You seem to think if you make the right offer your H will be "all over it" and out of there. It seems if he doesn't have to pay, he doesn't want to be married to you.

Is that really the case of is that wishful thinking on your part? All of this is unknown, but what should be known is YOUR DESIRE to be married. If you don't want this man, file for divorce. Who cares if he is mad? You don't. I sure don't, does anyone?

AD is it true you want him to do your "dirty" work and file? I wonder if that is true or you simply want some sort of test for him to take. Why not take the test yourself.

As for anyone everyone knowing about OC, it won't make a differce if you divorce unless it makes a difference to your child. But, the child should eventually know the parentage he/she is dealing with.

Ok, end of advice... FOR NOW smile

God Bless,

JL
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
You missed my point. I don't mind you being harsh if that's your style, but if you could throw something constructive in while you're at it, that would be helpful. I asked for ideas on what to ask Harley. I only got smart azz comments from you, and nothing from anyone else.

Posters said early on... send an email to Harley to be read on the radio, but when I ask for suggestions on what to write, I get nada. Unless you were serious about your sample email, and that's what you really think I should say to Harley? I've been told my original question to this thread wasn't even the proper one, because one doesn't find love, ok fair enough... I want to get it right, and be concise in an email to Harley.

I've seen people get suggestions on no-contact and Plan B letters. That's all I was asking.


Well, I suppose you could take my mockery, and remove the sarcasm...

"How do I find the motivation to get off my butt, and become engaged in my marriage?"

But... you already know the answer; the motivation is a better marriage.

The only constructive thing I can come up with is; MOVE!

Quit making excuses, quit doing nothing, and start doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

Get a plan, stick the flip to it!

You have the smarts, somewhere in there you have the desire... it just seems like you are waiting for something miraculous to do the work for you.

Ain't gonna happen.

People aren't responding, because every time they tell you to do something, every move they tell you to make, you respond with a reason why... well, why you just aren't going to do it.

Do you want help? Then take the damn help you are getting!

Is that "constructive" enough for you?

Quit freaking making excuses, get off your [censored], and work on your dang marriage.
Posted By: Scotland Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/12/11 03:25 AM
AD, instead of asking for advice on what you should write, why don't you tell us what you are thinking about writing to DrH and we can help you tweak it.
JL~ I CARE if he's mad. If I thought a relatively amicable divorce was possible, I would've filed myself a long time ago. I realize no divorce is pretty, but I think if it was his idea, he wouldn't be quite so angry. Did you not read the part where he tried to slam my hand in the drawer the other night? If not for my quick reflexes, I would've been in an urgent care instead of watching the Super Bowl that night. That's just how hard he slammed a very heavy drawer shut.

HHH~ So in other words, you still got nothing on the letter I should write to Dr. Harley? wink

Scotland~ That's a good idea. I'm not sure where to start, or what my key question(s) should be. I agree, my question here was lame. I will have to come up with something better. Not sure what all I should include. It goes without saying the A and OC need to be discussed, but don't really know how to articulate the rest.

AD,

If you truly think he is violent and will hurt you, then go to a woman's shelter or your folks or something. You don't debate divorce in a violent situation, you remove yourself from it AND THEN you address the divorce.

You asked what to talk to the Harleys about. I can tell you that you should not start with "How do I make my husband do..."

Lay out your situation quickly and succinctly.
You lay out your feelings and your fears.
And then you ask for what you want: I want to save my marriage. Or I want to leave this marriage on the best terms possible.

You really have not said which it really is. I have spoken with you for many years now and feel like I know you a bit. But, the you that is posting now is different. Perhaps you are fed up, perhaps we are telling you what you don't want to hear, but what I do know is that I have not heard what I need to hear...your real goals.

I nor anyone else here can change history. We can help you with your future, but we need to know where you want to go in your future.

I will repeat this is NOT a marriage at all costs site. It is to help people addressing the very issues that are present in your marriage. Note the word HELP, not direct, not tell you what to do, but help you achieve what you want. IF it were to have an affair, then I have nothing to offer you. If it is to save the marriage then the Harley's for sure can help. IF it is divorce, even there I would do my best to help you, your child and yes your H to make this transisition as good as it could be.

But, I cannot read your mind, the Harleys cannot read your mind, your H cannot read your mind.

It is your call AD. Make the call.

God Bless,

JL
AD, it is likely your H wants no one to know about the A and OC because he feels ashamed and afraid of appearing as a cuckcold H. I get it in some ways because every time I have to explain the OC to people that run into me with him that didn't know I feel ashamed and embarassed.

Just ask Dr. H how to

1. get motivated in wanting to love your H
2. How to find that love again after so many years of just existing.

Be sure to give some background about your A, the OC and your H's insistance of keeping it a secret. All is relevent.
Is there still such a thing as the MB Weekend? I remember it being costly, but it's something I'd be interested in, and I think husband would be willing too. If they still do them, is there a link anywhere on the site?
It's now called the Online Programme because it does not require travelling to attend the seminar. The seminar and follow-up coaching are done online.

A link to the Online Programme is flashing at the bottom right of this page. Do have a look around - and then book it!
Sorry - "Online Program". Pesky American spellings!
Autumn,

I think the online program would be a great idea! Still use it as time to "get away" though ~ Book a hotel room, just as you would if you were doing the traditional MB Weekend Program - that way your focus will be all about the program and each other, and not on regular old household stuff. Make it positive - something to look forward to - fun and exciting...

Mrs. W
Yes, try the online program, and Mrs. W's idea of getting a hotel room is great!

As for right now, there are things you can do to start building love for your husband. Fake it 'til you make it is good advice. ACT loving toward your H whenever possible, and I think you will start feeling it. Baby steps are fine to start with. For instance, when you see him playing sweetly with your OC, stop and watch them for a few minutes...and ENJOY the fact that he loves her, and smile as lovingly as you can, even it it's just smiling at your DD. You don't have to say anything, but I bet your husband notices.

His making a kissing mouth was, I believe, an attempt to flirt with you...and yeah, you missed the mark. A smile from you would have gone a long way, I think.

Anytime he does something you wish he would do more often, smile and compliment. For instance, after he takes a shower, sniff the air and say something like, "Hmmm, you smell so nice!"

If you don't like the way he dresses, buy him something new! Just tell him that you thought it would look so good on him.

You don't have to do this all day long, because then it would seem fake to HIM. Just make the effort once in a while, and start cutting out any lovebusting behavior of yours. When you lovebust him, you are reinforcing your lack of love for him.

For your child's sake, try acting lovingly toward your husband, even if you don't want to do it! Don't you want HER to learn how to be a loving wife?
Posted By: athena99 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/14/11 07:24 AM
I just finished reading this entire thread - there's some pretty deep stuff here and I wonder if many are missing the mark.

A lot of what AD is saying resonates with me. The idea of "wanting" to fix it when the feelings or desire just aren't there. I have also been given the advice (which I do believe to be very good) of "feelings follow actions" and have tried. I guess more UA is needed, but sometimes I wonder if it will make a difference.

Is every marriage capable of becoming "loving" or is there a way to tell when 2 people just aren't compatible?

Do you like your BH? I don't think you can stay in a marriage unless you really like your spouse. Once you are sure you like them, then maybe you can work on the love part.
If two people aren't compatible, they wouldn't have gotten married, I don't think...

Just a thought.
Posted By: athena99 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/14/11 07:38 AM
I disagree. I think there are a lot of incompatible people who marry.

Or perhaps is "compatible anymore" a better way to ask it? Though I suspect the group here will say that using MB, a couple should always remain compatible or be able to become compatible again. And while I agree that that may be true for many, it is not true for all and I am curious whether there is a way to determine which group a couple falls in. It may only be after a long period of really trying all of MB, but at some point, there should be a way of knowing.
Originally Posted by athena99
A lot of what AD is saying resonates with me. The idea of "wanting" to fix it when the feelings or desire just aren't there. I have also been given the advice (which I do believe to be very good) of "feelings follow actions" and have tried. I guess more UA is needed, but sometimes I wonder if it will make a difference.

Is every marriage capable of becoming "loving" or is there a way to tell when 2 people just aren't compatible?

AutumnDay's marriage resonates with you because she represents just about every neglected marriage that shows up on Marriage Builders. WE WERE ALL INCOMPATIBLE. The couple has fallen out of love because they stopped doing the things that effect love. They behaved in ways that created incompatibility. Compatibility is something that is created, it does not happen by accident.

In your case, and in Autumn's, we know exactly WHY you are incompatible. It is because you neglected your marriage. And because you have fallen out of love, you aren't very motivated to try. But it can be regained. The only difference between your marriage and those of us who have happy, romantic marriages is that we used the program.

Feelings do follow actions. The Harleys have been able to turn around marriages where the couples actually hated each other, and they routinely turn around marriages where the couple is incompatible.

My suggestion? Find marriages here that are happy and recovered using these concepts and ask them how they did it. I find it interesting you are following marriages in trouble for an example, rather than marriages that have recovered. It is the ones who have recovered who can help you.
Originally Posted by athena99
I disagree. I think there are a lot of incompatible people who marry.

Or perhaps is "compatible anymore" a better way to ask it? Though I suspect the group here will say that using MB, a couple should always remain compatible or be able to become compatible again. And while I agree that that may be true for many, it is not true for all and I am curious whether there is a way to determine which group a couple falls in. It may only be after a long period of really trying all of MB, but at some point, there should be a way of knowing.

No, it doesn't make you "become compatible," it helps you overcome incompatibility.


Athena... both you and AD may have this in common, so the advice would go both ways, and it begins right here;

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3350_attn.html


EVERYTHING about what this is begins right there. You can meet needs, you can be radically honest, you could never commit another love buster for the rest of your life, but if you do not get that time in, it doesn't matter.

Don't feel "in love" with your spouse? Don't ask if you are compatible, don't ask if you can "find love," don't ask any of that.

The first thing you should ask yourself if you feel any crisis point in your marriage should be; "Have I been spending enough time with my spouse?"

I'll bet 9 times out of 10 that if there is crisis, the answer is no.

3 hours a day minimum to build romantic love, or repair romantic love. 2 hours a day minimum to maintain romantic love.

It all begins right there. If you (aka; anybody who wants happiness) aren't doing it, if you aren't willing to do it, then quit wasting your time, and go back to the fog and chase prince charming... because if you think anything will work without it, you are wrong.


So, back to the OP;


AD, have you been meeting 20+ hours a week (3 hours every day) of UA time with your BH EVERY WEEK? E-V-E-R-Y W-E-E-K?

Do you spend that time meeting the 4 intimate emotional needs (conversation, affection, recreational companionship, sexual fulfillment)?

Can I make a bet on what I think the answer will be?

I read Athena's thread... and I know what her answer is.

I know that I felt it over the past few weeks myself; not meeting that UA time DESTROYS that bond.

So, AD, if I still had my head up my rear, I would probably ask the same question; "How do I 'find' love for my wife?"

Um, by making sure we spend 20+ hours a week to build love or recover from crisis, and 15+ hours a week to maintain.

Your letter to Dr. Harley;


"Dear Dr. Harley,

How can I fall in love with my spouse, without meeting UA time?

- AD"


Answer; YOU DON'T.



I think one of my first posts on this thread was that love was not something you find, it's something you do. If you fail to do, then there will be no love.

If you want love, you have to do the work.

It doesn't matter if it's your husband, or a new man, the work is the same. So if you are unwilling to do the work, then get divorced, never date again and live alone.

The formula is the same regardless who your spouse is. The question is, are you going to throw away the investment you've already made, or will you continue to invest and invest the right things into building a marriage?

There really is no other question here. In my best Yoda voice, this is no try, it's either do or don't do, period.
Hi All,

Compatible???? I do think people can and do marry people they are not compatible with. I also think people change. I think MB is an approach that can develop ways to be compatible, but even Dr. Harley does not profess that it will make ALL marriages happy or save ALL marriage, just more than are failing now.

I have seen many people marry while in college only to find that when they got into "real" life they shared very little with regard to goals, interests, hobbies or even where they would like to life. College is a very artificial environment, where everyone has a lot in common: tests, courses, where they are, parties, etc. I don't think MB can or perhaps should fix all such marriages, but I also think people would be foolish not to try MB to see if deep down they share more than they realize.

My problem with AD is she won't really state what her goals are. I think she wants a divorce. I think she wants security. I think she wants to be loved. And I think she has no clue how to go about this within her marriage. Based on what she has posted about her H, he is just as clueless.

I am trying to remember way back with AD came here. If memory serves me correctly and AD can correct me, I strongly encouraged her to speak with her H in depth about the affair, the OC, and what she needed in her marriage. If I recall, he was not interested in such a conversation, but apparently harbored deep resentment for what had happened. His comment if I recall correctly was "he felt the OC would save their marriage." Perhaps the OC is the reason the marriage has made it so long. I don't have a clue.

What I am waiting for is AD to tell me/us what her goals really are and what she wants. She knows about MB, I don't think she is opposed to using it, but she apparently is dealing with a BS that doesn't want to face some very hard facts. His refusal has led to him building up a deep resentment toward AD. His treatment of her has led to her building up a deep resentment toward him.

Folks, it seems to to me the issue here isn't AD's willingness or unwillingness to use MB, but how do we help her to find a path were she could use it and feel safe. She is in a difficult place and I doubt a "frontal assault" on her H will lead to anything but defensive behavior from him. Which also means a "frontal assualt" on her here isn't going to help either. Time for all concerned to get clever.

Just thoughts folks, but I sure would like to hear some opinions and a response from AD.

God Bless,
JL
We've been doing some talking. Mostly fighting. He read this entire thread 2 weeks ago after finding it in my history. I knew he read it, because I found it in his history, as well. lol

I was glad he read it, and in fact way back on the 2nd night of this thread I was sitting right next to him on the bed freely typing away in front of him, and telling him he could read every word if he wanted to, but that night he said no, even though I could tell he was kind of looking out of the corner of his eye. I also urged him that night to join MB so he could tell his side of the story.

Ok, so back up a bit. Like I said he read this thread 2 weeks ago. I knew he did about 2 hours afterward, but I didn't tell him I knew, and he didn't tell me he did until we had a big confrontation 1 week ago today. In that confrontation we were trying to figure out what to do next. I told him I didn't love him, but knew I SHOULD love him, that it's the right thing to do. That I hadn't honored my vow to love and cherish him, and that I wanted to try to make things work again, based on that commitment before God, and because of our family, but couldn't promise I'd ever get there. I told him about the MB online program, and asked if he'd be interested in going away for a weekend to work it without distractions, but he was SO upset about what came out of my mouth on this thread. MOSTLY my list of grievances in one of my earliest posts, after Pep and possibly JL told me to just be honest with him, and I was like REALLY?.... tell him this, and this, and this of my laundry list??? Then Pep posted back to me about how to reword everything, because of course the way I brutally stated them on here would not go over well with him and would only be even more love busting.

He swore I said that he's a disgusting pig/slob in that post, and I was pretty sure I didn't say something quite that mean, so we argued over that point a bit, and I said let me look it up and show you. He said no that was alright, he was positive I called him a disgusting pig or slob, and he had the proof because he saved the thread. So, I never did pull the tread up last Sunday to look at my exact words. I did attempt to explain that I was trying to be radically honest- so you'd all know where I'm at, in order to give me the best help possible. He was so angry I said stuff like that about him to strangers, and of course worse yet that I could even think those things in the first place, and if I really felt that way, why don't I just leave? He had other comments about the thread too. One being that even a bunch of you guys think I'm all messed up and sound idiotic. I then asked him again- why doesn't he log on and start his own thread, because most people would clearly take his side. He said no, because he also severely disagreed with some of the posters- namely Melody for suggesting he quit his job... he said that lady is NUTS, (I'm sorry Mel, I had to laugh at that one, because you probably know more about MB than just about anyone else on this site, but he thinks you're out to lunch), Thirdly, he wasn't fond of the posters he perceived to diss the OC, by advising me that I should leave and take OC with me.

After the MB part of the argument we moved on to him telling me he spoke to one of those pro men/father divorce attorneys you hear advertising on the radio, and that guy told him his best bet was to somehow get me to leave the house right now, before a divorce.

We ended the argument on a quiet note, where I once again asked him about the MB online program/hotel stay for the weekend. He said he just couldn't give me an answer at this point.

Fast forward to our argument tonight. Again, he brought up the fact I called him a disgusting pig/slob, and I said I was sure I wasn't that derogatory, sooooooooo that's why I logged back on tonight for the first time in a week or so. To see exactly what I said. Anyway, what I said was that he physically grosses me out. I just showed it to him, and he said close enough to disgusting pig/slob- that it's all the same thing.

I KNOW that whole argument is just stupid, but I just thought I'd tell you why I'm back here posting tonight, even though I planned not to come back until there was either better or worse news to share, but I didn't expect to find 11 new posts, since I lasted posted.

As far as the compatible issue. My own opinion for what it's worth is that all people pretty much annoy each other, unless there's love. I think annoyances aren't quite so annoying when we love that person, and when we don't love, the annoyances seem even more annoying.

HHH~ Wow, even when I'm not posting, I'm irritating you.

20-30 hours per week? I thought it was 15 hours?

You were spot on though, HHH. I'd probably be overestimating if I said we averaged 20 minutes per day together. It's really only how ever long it takes to eat dinner each night-- 10 minutes tops?

He asked me tonight if I could financially support myself, if I'd be gone. I said yes. It was an honest answer. He neither liked or disliked the answer from what I could tell. Though, he does still say if I'm going to divorce, to leave the house right now, (like EE suggested a few posts back).

One of our young adult COM heard us arguing and came in the room, and told me I'm the one that needs to change. That I've always been the instigator, that dad is not perfect, but I'm the bad guy in this story, and that if we divorce, she will never come to see me. She said her only memory of her childhood is of us fighting, but that I'm the one who always raises my voice first and am more at fault. She said every time we fight that OC,(who she doesn't know is OC, as far as we know), always comes by her, and is very clingy until we're done arguing. This btw, is NOT the first time she's interjected herself into our arguments telling me it's more my fault. Usually what happens, is that her and my husband both start telling me all the things they don't like about and that I'm guilty of. He rarely tells her to leave the argument, but tonight he did, but before she left the argument- she said she had a 2 hour convo with the other adult com this week, and they both agreed I'm the bad guy that needs to change and that I need to get help, but dad does not.

I have a lot more fixing to do than just my marriage. I feel so hopeless right now. I feel like if I do everything to change, it won't make a difference, because all the damage with my kids and husband has been done, and nothing I could do can change or fix it. Plus, I feel like I have to be someone I am NOT in order to please them all. Not to mention, I think that even if I'm freakin' June Cleaver, it still won't fix things or make things better, but EVEN if it did work, and they all were happy with me again... I'd be miserable being someone I'm not, just to make them all happy.

Yes, I'm even more messed up than you all thought.

As my husband says, one of my number one problems is real life family and friend human relationships. Whereas with the real life people I know because of my political activism, as well as on the internet with people I've never met-- I'm Miss personality, who everyone likes, and is interested in my opinions being that I'm a prolific political blogger on fb, and have maxed out at 5,000 friends. Yet, when I look back on the origins of my political activism and my political blogging, it was because I bored the hell out him, and my kids with my interests whenever I tried to discuss my thoughts with them, and get them to engage in conversation. My H would always say he's heard all the stuff before on the news or whatever. So, now I don't bug him or my kids about my interests anymore, but they're pissed that I ignore them, have checked out and generally suck as a wife or mother! I feel like I "over-corrected"--- trying to find people who liked to discuss the same things I like to discuss, so as to not bore my family, and not have my feelings hurt that they didn't want to share in my interests, but now I spend more time with acquaintances, virtual strangers and my hobby.

Let the 2x4's commence....
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
One of our young adult COM heard us arguing and came in the room, and told me I'm the one that needs to change. That I've always been the instigator, that dad is not perfect, but I'm the bad guy in this story, and that if we divorce, she will never come to see me. She said her only memory of her childhood is of us fighting, but that I'm the one who always raises my voice first and am more at fault. She said every time we fight that OC,(who she doesn't know is OC, as far as we know), always comes by her, and is very clingy until we're done arguing. This btw, is NOT the first time she's interjected herself into our arguments telling me it's more my fault. Usually what happens, is that her and my husband both start telling me all the things they don't like about and that I'm guilty of. He rarely tells her to leave the argument, but tonight he did, but before she left the argument- she said she had a 2 hour convo with the other adult com this week, and they both agreed I'm the bad guy that needs to change and that I need to get help, but dad does not.
I suspect the older children know or have strong suspicions about OC, and that is why they constantly tell you that the mess is your fault.

You think you've kept this knowledge from them, but I know that it is hard to keep secrets completely secret.
I agree with Sugar.

This:

Quote
So, now I don't bug him or my kids about my interests anymore, but they're pissed that I ignore them, have checked out and generally suck as a wife or mother! I feel like I "over-corrected"--- trying to find people who liked to discuss the same things I like to discuss, so as to not bore my family, and not have my feelings hurt that they didn't want to share in my interests, but now I spend more time with acquaintances, virtual strangers and my hobby.

This is a HUGE problem IMHO. You've basically told your H and your children that YOUR needs are more important than theirs. 5000 friends on FB? Really? That has to take a considerable amount of time to keep up with all that.

I have a suggestion. Stay off of FB for two weeks. Use the time that you've been spending there and focus it on your family, especially your H. Start implementing MB methods.

During those two weeks, commit to Plan A towards your husband WITH NO EXPECTATIONS.

Your COM do know what's what. If you continue to withhold this IMPORTANT information from them about THEIR lives, it will come back to bite you. As adults, they will see the truth of their childhoods.

Your H may be turned off to MB for now, but who's to say he might not have a change of heart if he sees a change of heart in you.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
As my husband says, one of my number one problems is real life family and friend human relationships. Whereas with the real life people I know because of my political activism, as well as on the internet with people I've never met-- I'm Miss personality, who everyone likes, and is interested in my opinions being that I'm a prolific political blogger on fb, and have maxed out at 5,000 friends. Yet, when I look back on the origins of my political activism and my political blogging, it was because I bored the hell out him, and my kids with my interests whenever I tried to discuss my thoughts with them, and get them to engage in conversation. My H would always say he's heard all the stuff before on the news or whatever. So, now I don't bug him or my kids about my interests anymore, but they're pissed that I ignore them, have checked out and generally suck as a wife or mother! I feel like I "over-corrected"--- trying to find people who liked to discuss the same things I like to discuss, so as to not bore my family, and not have my feelings hurt that they didn't want to share in my interests, but now I spend more time with acquaintances, virtual strangers and my hobby.
You need advice from someone who understands and has worked the basic principles more than I, but this seems to be another big tactical error.

I think that what you should have done is focused on an interest that you shared with your H. My feeling is that, although this is "politics" and therefore "important", it is also RC for you. It is what you love to do when you are not doing your job or other duties. It is enjoyable time for you, and you developed this activity away from your H, thus increasing the disconnect in your marriage.

If I am right, the solution is drastically to cut back on the time you spend doing your activism, and work on meeting the 4 intimate needs (I'm sure they were outlined above) during the MINIMUM 20 hours you spend alone with your H.
Cut down or give up the activism right now, spend 20+ hours with your H, and call the coaching centre.

Your H has read this thread and is fully aware (if he wasn't before) of your feelings and of the crisis in your marriage. Why not ask him now to join you in phone coaching? Why not, now that you have both acknowledged the state of your marriage?

If your H won't commit to coaching, why not call the centre yourself?
COM have always thought I'm more at fault, even as kids. They are both very vocal and not afraid to tell me what they think, so I'd think if they knew about OC, they'd have thrown it in my face a long time ago, or at the very least told H they know, but he says they have not. I could be all wrong though, and maybe they do know. I'd prefer people to know.

H will not get involved in any way with my activism, nor will he read my blogs, even though we do hold the same beliefs. We have never found a recreation that we're both enthusiastic about. We have some similar interests, but they're not the things either one of us absolutely love and adore doing. The things we individually love to do, are NOT the same things. I can only take his favorite interests in very small doses, and he can't take mine at all.

After I posted my last post, I asked him how much time he thought we spend together on average per day and he said 5 minutes. So, even my 10 minutes was generous.

Another thing we discussed tonight, is he doesn't get why I think we need to do the MB weekend program. He said I should be old enough, and married long enough to know between right and wrong, and what works and what doesn't work, that I shouldn't need a program... that I should just do it. He said he does his job every day, even when it's difficult, without a program telling him what to do.
Yeah, but he clocks in and out to make sure he works all the hours he is paid for, correct?


You BOTH need the accountability to 20+ hours each week.

He77, AD I am starting to think I need it. Why? For the same reason you need it; if you don't get it, you just aren't going to feel in love.

The activism needs to go. Activism is best left to those who have their entire heart and soul to give; not wives, husbands, mothers, and fathers.

Let the unattached give their time, you find a way that you can lend support that allows you to keep your word to your husband and children.
I did deactivate fb and blogging for about 1 month last year to focus more on family. All it ended up proving to me, is that strangers are more interested in my thoughts, than my own family- because it was back to them saying I bore them and they don't want to hear it. Though, they were happier for better meals and a cleaner house.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
. He said no, because he also severely disagreed with some of the posters- namely Melody for suggesting he quit his job... he said that lady is NUTS, (I'm sorry Mel, I had to laugh at that one, because you probably know more about MB than just about anyone else on this site, but he thinks you're out to lunch),

I might be nuts but I have a great marriage, and he does not! grin But he is wrong if he thinks I am "nuts" about his traveling job. [he already has the proof that I am right] Sorry, but that is not ME who says that, but Dr Harley. You can't fall in love if you are not meeting each others needs on a daily basis. It has led to the emotional detachment in your marriage but you already know that.

Unless you are together meeting each others needs on a daily basis, you won't be able to fall in love again. But don't take my word for it! You can write Dr Harley and ask him yourself. Wouldn't it be tragic if you did all this work for nothing? Surely you would want to KNOW if you were wasting your time and the traveling job was an obstacle, right? Ignorance is only sooo blissful. Dr Harley's radio show

Dr Harley: "Not only should you spend 15 hours per week of undivided attention, but you should not be apart overnight. Your career should support your marriage, not the other way around."

He has said this so many times on his radio show that I don't see how there could be any question anymore.

[here is one of MANY radio segments where he has discussed this: August 11, 2006 Segment: #01181 Members Rating: (No Ratings)

Description:
A woman writes asking how to handle a traveling spouse. Her spouse travels alone, is gone overnight, and works with other business partners.
TIME: 8:52 -- SIZE: 2.03 MB here ]


Originally Posted by Dr Harley
When I apply the fifteen-hour principle to marriages, I usually recommend that the time be evenly distributed throughout the week, two to three hours each day. When time must be bunched up -- all hours only on the weekend -- good results are not as predictable. Spouses need to be emotionally reconnected almost on a daily basis to meet each other's most important emotional needs.

The reason I have so much difficulty getting couples to spend time alone together is that when I first see them for counseling, they are not in love. Their relationship does not do anything for them, and the time spent with each other seems like a total waste at first. But when they spend time together, they learn to re-create the romantic experiences that first nurtured their love relationship. Without that time, they have little hope of restoring the love they once had for each other.

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.

Your time together is too important to the security of your marriage to neglect. It's more important than time spent doing anything else during the week, including time with your children and your job. Remember that the time you should set aside is only equivalent to a part-time job. It isn't time you don't have; it's time you will use for something less important, if you don't use it for each other.
here
p.s. you have email! I just sent one clip to the email address in your profile. Let me know if you don't get it!
Are you kidding me HHH? Only single unattached people should be involved in politics? Sorry, not quitting. By your standard, we wouldn't have many of the presidents, congressman, senators, and governors we've had in our entire history. Would you tell a man who golfs almost every weekend to give up golfing? Would you tell a woman who's obsessed with to scrapbooking to give it up?

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Are you kidding me HHH? Only single unattached people should be involved in politics? Sorry, not quitting. By your standard, we wouldn't have many of the presidents, congressman, senators, and governors we've had in our entire history. Would you tell a man who golfs almost every weekend to give up golfing? Would you tell a woman who's obsessed with to scrapbooking to give it up?

Yes... If it interferes with their marriages. Yes. But then no one has to give up anything. But if someone wants to have a great marriage, they will put everything else aside to achieve it. There is no golf game or scrapbooking that is worth a marriage. If someone enjoys golfing so much that they neglect their marriage, they need to give it up IF THEY WANT A HAPPY MARRIAGE. If they don't, then no problemo.

As far as politics goes, look how many broken marriage and affairs take place? It is a way of life with them.
Why Should a Couple Plan to Be with Each Other When They Are the Happiest? by Dr Bill Harley

Introduction: One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

article continued here
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:30 AM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Why Should a Couple Plan to Be with Each Other When They Are the Happiest? by Dr Bill Harley

Introduction: One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

article continued here

Wow, I would totally have a hard (impossible) time with this. For me, it isn't political activism, it's writing. But it would be the same thing. My entire identity is defined by my writing. It's not my H's thing at all. He doesn't write. He doesn't even read much, and he reads very little of the sort of thing I like to write.

If AD feels the same way about her political activism as I do about my writing, telling her to quit and start doing something her H is interested in instead just isn't going to work. There has to be a better way than telling someone they have to give up the very thing that defines them.

I've been writing since I was 5 years old, long before I ever met my H. There's no way I would ever give up something so important in my life (and luckily my H knows this and understands it and would never ask me to). But that's what AD is being told to do. Give up everything that's important to her and find something else to do that her H enjoys too. I would never be happy with that, and I suspect AD won't either. There has to be some alternative to giving up her very identity just to make everyone else happy.
Originally Posted by writer1
There has to be some alternative to giving up her very identity just to make everyone else happy.
Well, as I understand it, writer, it's to make HER happy, not everyone else. If focusing on something they both enjoy gives AD a good marriage, then she'll be happy.

It would be good, AD, if you could find a way of spending 3 hours every day doing the 4 intimate activities with your H, without giving up entirely your political interests. Do you think that you can make that time?
Originally Posted by writer1
If AD feels the same way about her political activism as I do about my writing, telling her to quit and start doing something her H is interested in instead just isn't going to work. There has to be a better way than telling someone they have to give up the very thing that defines them.

If you are "defined" by an activity outside of your marriage, rather than as a married person, then that is indicative of a problem in the marriage. It means you have placed that activity before your marriage. And that is understandable if the marriage is bad, but the goal here is to turn that around. The goal is to replace that activity with something that benefits your marriage and makes you BOTH happy.

But, AGAIN, I want to emphasize that this is all volunatary. You don't "have to" do a any thing. All voluntary. This is what you do if you want a happy marriage. Take it or leave it.

Originally Posted by Dr Harley answering the question the wife of a musician over on the weekend forum, who gave up his music for his marriage
Q: After the seminar he still did not feel that the band was a problem. When we were trying to schedule 15 hours it was still around the band. I finally spoke up and told him that I didn't think that we could continue the lessons because I would not feel that I was a priority in his life if he was still leaving twice a week. He wanted to go down to once a week, but I still felt like I would be competing with the band.

Dr Harley's ANSWER: The band falls into the category of a recreational interest that you do not enjoy together. Even if you were part of the band, I'm not sure it would work because the recreational activities I want you to consider are those that enable you to give undivided attention to each other while you're doing it.

All recreational interests carry the risk of becoming addictive. That's because they're all designed to be enjoyable. An addict is someone who enjoys something so much that he or she loses perspective as to what's really important in life. In marriage, recreational interests can be very dangerous because they can come between spouses, as you've discovered. You've witnessed how a simple recreational interest can become all consuming because it's so enjoyable. I congratulate you in the way you've been handling the situation because it's the only way to do it.

There are two kinds of resentment in marriage. The first kind is resentment that comes from being forced to do something you don't enjoy, or endure something that your spouse is doing. These are all violations of the POJA. When you are forced to do something without your enthusiastic agreement, or your spouse does something without your enthusiastic agreement, resentment is sure to follow. And you've been experiencing it in spades!

The second kind of resentment comes from having to give up something you do that you enjoy doing. It's what your husband is experiencing since he's given up his band. He wants to follow the POJA, because he knows that it's essential in building a lifestyle that both of you can enjoy. But his Taker is reminding him how much fun he had playing in the band, and he is angry that he must give it up.

While both kinds of resentment make a person angry at first, it's only the first kind of resentment that keeps a person angry. That's because there are no alternatives to being forced to do what you don't like, or being forced to put up with something your spouse is doing. It's relentless. On the other hand, the second kind of resentment doesn't last if enjoyable alternatives replace whatever it was that was given up. As soon as you finds something that you enjoy as much, giving up something no longer becomes a source of resentment.

The reason you are still angry and resentful, even though he's given up the band, is because he has not yet found that recreational interest he can enjoy with you as much as he enjoys playing in the band. Every time he talks about getting back into the band, you are reminded of the fact that you're not there yet. And you're also reminded of how much he neglected you when he was practicing. That makes you feel insecure and angry.

The resentment that both of you feel will end as soon as you find recreational interests that you enjoy together -- as soon as you become each other's favorite recreational companions.
here
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 04:01 PM
Melody, the thing is, I'm not sure that AD's political activism is merely a recreational activity. From the way she describes it, it is something that she feels very deeply and passionately about, something that gives her life meaning and purpose. I certainly don't consider my writing as a recreational activity.

Of course, there needs to be balance. But I think it's possible to find that balance. I don't think she needs to give up her interests entirely just because it isn't something that her H is interested in. AD even said that she would be miserable if she had to give up everything that was important to her and spend the rest of her life pretending to be something that she wasn't.

I really think the key here is balance, finding a way, as Sugarcane said, to get in the UA time without completely giving up her own interests. I think that's something we all have to do. We don't stop being individuals with our own interests just because we get married, and we shouldn't have to. I don't think it's possible for most married people to only do things that both people are interested in all the time. AD's problem seems to be that her and her H aren't doing ANYTHING that they are both interested in and aren't really spending any UA time together.
Originally Posted by writer1
Melody, the thing is, I'm not sure that AD's political activism is merely a recreational activity. From the way she describes it, it is something that she feels very deeply and passionately about, something that gives her life meaning and purpose. I certainly don't consider my writing as a recreational activity.

I don't care what we call it. What it is is an activity that she places ABOVE her marriage that detracts from her marriage. She has more passion for her politics than she does her husband and her marriage.

WE can play semantical games with the name but it is all the same. The point is that if she has any activity she enjoys MORE than being with him, it needs to go. And since I am a political activist, I know exactly how she feels and exactly what she is doing. The passion I FELT for my politics definitely outshone my MARRIAGE and I quit it.

Again, this is all voluntary. This is *IF* she wants to have a great marriage. She has to do nothing.

No, the key is not finding "balance," the key to a happy marriage is following Dr Harley's suggestions to the letter. Again, all voluntary.
posting AGAIN:

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Why Should a Couple Plan to Be with Each Other When They Are the Happiest? by Dr Bill Harley

Introduction: One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

article continued here

So, you see, Dr Harley is not splitting hairs with definitions, writer. You can argue against this all you want, but Harley is clear. You can take it or leave it but you can't pretend that politics is not an activity that she enjoys the most. She has stated she feels "passionate" about it.
Originally Posted by writer1
Melody, the thing is, I'm not sure that AD's political activism is merely a recreational activity. From the way she describes it, it is something that she feels very deeply and passionately about, something that gives her life meaning and purpose. I certainly don't consider my writing as a recreational activity.

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

case closed.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 04:20 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
posting AGAIN:

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Why Should a Couple Plan to Be with Each Other When They Are the Happiest? by Dr Bill Harley

Introduction: One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

article continued here

So, you see, Dr Harley is not splitting hairs with definitions, writer. You can argue against this all you want, but Harley is clear. You can take it or leave it but you can't pretend that politics is not an activity that she enjoys the most. She has stated she feels "passionate" about it.

So, you're saying that the ONLY answer is that AD has to give up something that she's passionate about entirely? No balance, she just gives it up and never does any sort of political activism again? I suppose I would also have to give up my writing, since my H isn't a writer, and it isn't something we do together?

That really makes no sense. I don't think Dr. Harley is saying that married people should never do anything if they can't do it together. And I don't think he believes that people shouldn't have passions or answer to "higher callings." Dr. Harley himself seems to have a bit of a higher calling that he answers to himself, and he manages to do it in a way that isn't detrimental to his marriage (quite the contrary).

Wouldn't it be possible for AD to continue participating in her political activism as long as she was getting in the UA time with her H and they were doing things together that they both enjoy as well?
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 04:27 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

case closed.

What if this thing the person enjoys doing is a career? I imagine that most people who have certain careers that require a great deal of passion and energy would have to enjoy them in order to go into the field in the first place. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, things like that come to mind. Obviously, these are things that one would (or certainly should) enjoy a great deal in order to do them well. So, in your argument, if a doctor feels passionate about what he's doing and enjoys his job and finds fulfillment in helping people, he should stop doing it, since it isn't something, in all likelihood, that he can include his spouse in.

Really, it is possible to find joy and fulfillment in a career, a passion, an art, whatever, and still find joy and fulfillment in your relationship with your spouse, children, etc. as well. A person is capable of being multi-faceted.
Originally Posted by writer1
So, you're saying that the ONLY answer is that AD has to give up something that she's passionate about entirely? No balance, she just gives it up and never does any sort of political activism again? I suppose I would also have to give up my writing, since my H isn't a writer, and it isn't something we do together?

That really makes no sense. I don't think Dr. Harley is saying that married people should never do anything if they can't do it together. And I don't think he believes that people shouldn't have passions or answer to "higher callings." Dr. Harley himself seems to have a bit of a higher calling that he answers to himself, and he manages to do it in a way that isn't detrimental to his marriage (quite the contrary).

Wouldn't it be possible for AD to continue participating in her political activism as long as she was getting in the UA time with her H and they were doing things together that they both enjoy as well?

Again, AD can do whatever she wants. She is a big girl. This is a VOLUNTARY program. AGAIN. The question is WILL THAT WORK? Do you see the difference?

It is very likely that her "passion" for politics far overshadows her marriage. And I believe it does. She has no such passion for her husband. If it does, she will want to create a NEW passion that includes her husband and complements her marriage instead of taking away from her marriage. If she feels a PASSION for politics that she doesn't feel for her H, common sense dictates there will be a contrast effect as Dr Harley outlined.

As a former political activist myself, I know that my "passion" for politics did overwhelm my marriage, so I gave up the activism. My passion is now spending time with my husband. I do dabble a bit with politics from the sidelines, but it is very minor and very secondary to the time I spend with my H.
Originally Posted by writer1
Really, it is possible to find joy and fulfillment in a career, a passion, an art, whatever, and still find joy and fulfillment in your relationship with your spouse, children, etc. as well. A person is capable of being multi-faceted.

As long as your MARRIAGE is your greatest passion, of course. But it is not possible when you place that activity ABOVE your marriage like she has. She has "passion" for politics but not for her husband. That is a problem.

There is no politics, art, or whatever, that can bring the happiness of a great marriage. A great marriage affects one's quality of life.
p.s. writer, I am curious how you think you are helping her marriage by defending her "passion for politics" over her marriage?

Her marriage is a WRECK, on the doorstep of divorce, and you are campaigning for corner cutting?

What the hell? crazy
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 04:42 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
p.s. writer, I am curious how you think you are helping her marriage by defending her "passion for politics" over her marriage?

Her marriage is a WRECK, on the doorstep of divorce, and you are campaigning for corner cutting?

What the hell? crazy

Absolutely not. I don't think I'm campaigning for corner-cutting at all. She absolutely needs to find that passion for her H again. They need to be spending time together meeting the 4 intimate EN's.

I just don't agree that giving up something she is passionate about is the answer. That is only likely to breed resentment and make the problem worse. She's even stated that she would resent doing something like that. If someone suggested that I give up my writing and find some other pursuit that my H was interested in, I would resent the hell out of that. And I don't think creating more resentment in AD is the answer to helping her build a loving relationship with her H.
Originally Posted by writer1
[
Absolutely not. I don't think I'm campaigning for corner-cutting at all. She absolutely needs to find that passion for her H again. They need to be spending time together meeting the 4 intimate EN's.

I just don't agree that giving up something she is passionate about is the answer.

How would you know, though? You don't know better than Dr Harley. You can read his words, can't you? He has saved thousands of marriages, you have not saved one. So why would not want to help AD find passion in her own marriage? Why would you purposely contradict Dr Harley and interfere with her goal of creating a happy marriage? crazy

Originally Posted by writer
That is only likely to breed resentment and make the problem worse. She's even stated that she would resent doing something like that. If someone suggested that I give up my writing and find some other pursuit that my H was interested in, I would resent the hell out of that. And I don't think creating more resentment in AD is the answer to helping her build a loving relationship with her H.

Again, you don't know what you are talking about. Which begs the question. Why are you posting to her if you don't know how to save a marriage? So you can tell her what she wants to hear? At the expense of her marriage?

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
There are two kinds of resentment in marriage. The first kind is resentment that comes from being forced to do something you don't enjoy, or endure something that your spouse is doing. These are all violations of the POJA. When you are forced to do something without your enthusiastic agreement, or your spouse does something without your enthusiastic agreement, resentment is sure to follow. And you've been experiencing it in spades!

The second kind of resentment comes from having to give up something you do that you enjoy doing. It's what your husband is experiencing since he's given up his band. He wants to follow the POJA, because he knows that it's essential in building a lifestyle that both of you can enjoy. But his Taker is reminding him how much fun he had playing in the band, and he is angry that he must give it up.

While both kinds of resentment make a person angry at first, it's only the first kind of resentment that keeps a person angry. That's because there are no alternatives to being forced to do what you don't like, or being forced to put up with something your spouse is doing. It's relentless. On the other hand, the second kind of resentment doesn't last if enjoyable alternatives replace whatever it was that was given up. As soon as you finds something that you enjoy as much, giving up something no longer becomes a source of resentment.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 04:58 PM
I feel like I need to go find my rant about musicians and repost it ... Why do some careers and interests get a special pass that makes the practitioners special people who should never have to give that up for anybody?
Originally Posted by markos
I feel like I need to go find my rant about musicians and repost it ... Why do some careers and interests get a special pass that makes the practitioners special people who should never have to give that up for anybody?

My rant revolves around this:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
Sometimes you may hear alternative opinions that conflict with Dr. Harley's Ten Basic Concepts. These are often raised by those who have not solved their own marital problems, but still feel they are qualified to advise others. When this happens you can expect some members to explain why their approach won't work, and why Marriage Builders� offers a better solution. There are many who are offended when that happens, but please keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of this Forum is to discuss and learn Marriage Builders� concepts.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:01 PM
Originally Posted by writer1
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
p.s. writer, I am curious how you think you are helping her marriage by defending her "passion for politics" over her marriage?

Her marriage is a WRECK, on the doorstep of divorce, and you are campaigning for corner cutting?

What the hell? crazy

Absolutely not. I don't think I'm campaigning for corner-cutting at all. She absolutely needs to find that passion for her H again. They need to be spending time together meeting the 4 intimate EN's.

I just don't agree that giving up something she is passionate about is the answer. That is only likely to breed resentment and make the problem worse. She's even stated that she would resent doing something like that. If someone suggested that I give up my writing and find some other pursuit that my H was interested in, I would resent the hell out of that. And I don't think creating more resentment in AD is the answer to helping her build a loving relationship with her H.

I see.

So if somebody had two children and had a passion for having a third, but her husband didn't want to have a third child with her, then you would never ask her to give up that passion, right? Even though Marriage Builders advice is the exact opposite? Something being a "passion" means you should never have to give it up?

You are creating an area of marital life that isn't subject to POJA, which is a recipe for marital disaster.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:01 PM
Suppose a husband has a passion for sex, but his wife has a sexual aversion. You wouldn't ask him to give it up, right? Because it's a passion, and it is a part of his identity.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
How would you know, though? You don't know better than Dr Harley. You can read his words, can't you? He has saved thousands of marriages, you have not saved one. So why would not want to help AD find passion in her own marriage? Why would you purposely contradict Dr Harley and interfere with her goal of creating a happy marriage? crazy

I am not saying anything that is intended to interfere with AD's goal of creating a happy marriage. In fact, I very much support AD in creating a happy marriage. That's why I don't advocate telling her to do something that will build more feelings of resentment towards her H. She seems to have a great deal of resentment towards him already. Increasing that resentment doesn't seem likely to lead to her falling back in love with him, which is the ultimate goal, right?

Spending UA time with her H meeting the 4 intimate EN's will help AD fall back in love with her H, which is the ultimate goal. I believe she can do that without giving up everything else that is important to her. I believe in the concept of balance. That seems to be the only point we differ on here. I think it's important for AD (for everyone) to be happy in general. I think that marriage is certainly one source of happiness, but I don't think most people consider it their ONLY source of happiness.
Originally Posted by writer1
I believe in the concept of balance.

Please show me the citation from Dr Harley where he advocates "balance." As far as I am concerned you are on here contradicting Dr Harley, which is very unfair to AutumnDay. You are substituting your own personal opinion for that of Dr Harleys.

Quote
Increasing that resentment doesn't seem likely to lead to her falling back in love with him, which is the ultimate goal, right?

You are not reading the Harley quotes we are posting and don't know what you are talking about.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:13 PM
Originally Posted by markos
Something being a "passion" means you should never have to give it up?

Ideally, if your spouse knows that you have a "passion" for something, they would realize how important that something is to you and they would want to support it. Just like you would support their "passion." That's what married people do, they support each other, not to the detriment of the marriage, but actually to make the marriage stronger.

Dr. Harley's wife certainly realizes the passion that this man has for his work, and from what I can see, she supports that passion. If she didn't, these books and this site and all of these resources we utilize everyday wouldn't exist.

Passions are not bad. They do not have to be the enemy of a good marriage.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Quote
Increasing that resentment doesn't seem likely to lead to her falling back in love with him, which is the ultimate goal, right?

You are not reading the Harley quotes we are posting and don't know what you are talking about.

Where does Dr. Harley state that causing someone to feel resentment toward a spouse is a good way to help him/her fall in love with that person?
Originally Posted by writer1
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Quote
Increasing that resentment doesn't seem likely to lead to her falling back in love with him, which is the ultimate goal, right?

You are not reading the Harley quotes we are posting and don't know what you are talking about.

Where does Dr. Harley state that causing someone to feel resentment toward a spouse is a good way to help him/her fall in love with that person?

You tell me. I want a citation to support what you said about balance.
Posted By: McLovin Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:16 PM
Just a reminder that the purpose of this board is to help others learn and apply Dr. Harley's program in their marriages. If you are able to help with that goal, then please do so.

Thank you.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by writer1
Ideally, if your spouse knows that you have a "passion" for something, they would realize how important that something is to you and they would want to support it. Just like you would support their "passion." That's what married people do, they support each other, not to the detriment of the marriage, but actually to make the marriage stronger.

That's an interesting way of looking at it. Personally, my vows included the phrase "forsaking all others," and I've come to believe that that means giving up any attachments that bother my wife, because I choose to put her first and am not willing for anything to come between us.

Quote
Dr. Harley's wife certainly realizes the passion that this man has for his work, and from what I can see, she supports that passion. If she didn't, these books and this site and all of these resources we utilize everyday wouldn't exist.

Yes, but she didn't have to support that passion, and in fact she put limits on it. Dr. Harley wanted to go on and get a PhD and Joyce did not want him to, so he didn't. Dr. Harley wanted to move to do brain research in another state for a year with a university project that was investigating the neurological basis for the feeling of romantic love, but Joyce did not want him to do that, so they didn't move. Marriage building is a shared passion for Dr. Harley and Joyce, not something that Joyce has to support in order to be a "good wife." It is voluntary on BOTH their parts.

Dr. Harley has given numerous other examples of passions he had that Joyce did not support, such as competitive chess.

Quote
Passions are not bad.

Nobody said they were.

Quote
They do not have to be the enemy of a good marriage.

That's up to the two people in the marriage to decide, and the answer is going to be different for each marriage and passion.
Originally Posted by writer1
Dr. Harley's wife certainly realizes the passion that this man has for his work, and from what I can see, she supports that passion. If she didn't, these books and this site and all of these resources we utilize everyday wouldn't exist.

Passions are not bad. They do not have to be the enemy of a good marriage.

You don't have any idea what you are talking about. Dr Harley speaks often of giving up his "passion" for hiking and camping to accommodate his marriage. Dr Harley gave up his passion for a chain of addiction treatment centers and sold them to accommodate his marriage.

So you have no idea what you are talking about. You are debating very common principles that most members know about.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:21 PM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Quote
Increasing that resentment doesn't seem likely to lead to her falling back in love with him, which is the ultimate goal, right?

You are not reading the Harley quotes we are posting and don't know what you are talking about.

Word. Still waiting to see evidence that the concept of "two types of resentment in marriage" has been read.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:27 PM
**EDIT**
A reminder that the purpose of this forum is to help posters with Marriage Builders concepts! If you cannot help in that regard, then kindly refrain from posting and stop disrupting this thread.

Please familiarize yourself with our board policy in the Announcements Section

This announcement is to clarify our policy about the discussion of other marriage books and programs on our forum. Such discussion is acceptable, except on the threads of those seeking help for their marriages. Offering alternative methods to those in need promises to confuse and discourage them, often leading to unnecessary debates. Posters attempting to help should not be put in the position of having to debate basic principles. That is not helpful to anyone, most especially the poster in need.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:37 PM
Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Quote
Increasing that resentment doesn't seem likely to lead to her falling back in love with him, which is the ultimate goal, right?

You are not reading the Harley quotes we are posting and don't know what you are talking about.

Word. Still waiting to see evidence that the concept of "two types of resentment in marriage" has been read.

Read, but my answer was edited out, so apparently it will just continue to look as though I actually didn't read it or attempt to answer this.

What can you do?

I'm done here. Goodbye.
Sorry to "hit and run," but this discussion reminds me of something I heard years ago. I heard a speaker say,

Quote
"For most of my life I had put my career first, then my family, and finally my God. It wasn't until I learned I had things upside-down that I truly became happy.
I was much the same way. I had passion for a lot of things, and often defined myself by what I did rather than who I was.

It's taken a lot of hard knocks to learn how to be a better person. But now I have things in the proper order, and things are going a lot better!

Butting out now...
Posted By: cabbages Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 05:53 PM
Too bad writer, I think you had valid points. I'd like to see where the wife is advised to give up say, her passion for painting even if it doesn't interfere with UA and it doesn't bother the husband?
Sorry, but now it seems as if you're trying to make a problem where none exists.

Marriage Building is all about meeting emotional needs, being radically honest with each other, and having joint agreement on everything.

If there is no problem, then why require one to give up something? NOW there's a problem...
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by writer1
Originally Posted by markos
Word. Still waiting to see evidence that the concept of "two types of resentment in marriage" has been read.

Read, but my answer was edited out, so apparently it will just continue to look as though I actually didn't read it or attempt to answer this.

What can you do?

I'm done here. Goodbye.

What it looks like is that you read the concept but disagreed with it.

If what you have is a disagreement with one of Dr. Harley's concepts, I know you are welcome to discuss it on your own thread, but not to debate it as a point of contention in a thread started by somebody else looking for help.

I didn't see your original answer, but if you "attempted to answer" the quote from Dr. Harley, it sounds like the issue is that you disagree. I'm just quoting your own post here, what I can see.

It's certainly okay to disagree with Dr. Harley. But we all know it's not okay to come on Dr. Harley's board and post to people who came looking to be helped with Dr. Harley's concepts and give them conflicting advice. And we all know that whether we think that rule is crazy or wonderful, we can be respectful toward the owners of that board by following their rule when we are here, and go elsewhere when we don't feel like following it.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/21/11 06:20 PM
Originally Posted by cabbages
Too bad writer, I think you had valid points. I'd like to see where the wife is advised to give up say, her passion for painting even if it doesn't interfere with UA and it doesn't bother the husband?

My understanding is that Dr. Harley and Joyce think outside recreational activities are perfectly fine as long as:
* UA time is met
* the other spouse is enthusiastic
* the husband and wife are each other's favorite recreational companions

For example, Dr. Harley went to see Star Wars movies without Joyce. She didn't want to see them; he did. But he didn't go see Da Vinci Code.
Originally Posted by cabbages
Too bad writer, I think you had valid points. I'd like to see where the wife is advised to give up say, her passion for painting even if it doesn't interfere with UA and it doesn't bother the husband?

If she has a "passion" for painting that overshadows her marriage, then it probably wouldn't be very good for the marriage because of the contrast effect. In the quote I gave above, the H was a musician and even though they got in their UA time, he was so emotionally invested and "passionate" in his music career, that it interfered with the marriage. The question to ask if it interferes with the marriage. If it does, then it needs to go.


Originally Posted by Dr Harley
One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.

I think I might be even more confused now.

I cannot imagine giving up my political activism. It's more than a hobby for me. I've been involved in politics in one form or another since the evening I watched Nixon resign, as a kid.

So for us to have any chance, my H needs to quit the career he's been in for 25 years, and I need to give up the number one passion in my life?

That premise sounds so depressing.

The 15-30 hours thing-- I will believe you that it works, because you all seem pretty adamant about it, but to me.... just thinking about spending that much time together, sounds like sheer torture. I tried to sit in the same room with him a few minutes after dinner tonight, but he had on some man show on tv, so I left the room for the rest of the night.
Then don't do it! Its all the same to me.. Good luck.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/22/11 01:54 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
The 15-30 hours thing-- I will believe you that it works, because you all seem pretty adamant about it, but to me.... just thinking about spending that much time together, sounds like sheer torture. I tried to sit in the same room with him a few minutes after dinner tonight, but he had on some man show on tv, so I left the room for the rest of the night.

Well, in order to work, that time actually has to be spent giving each other your undivided attention, so if he's watching a man show, that's not it. He'd have to learn to CHANGE and do things that would make it enjoyable for you to spend time with him.

And even then it would still be awkward at first. New habits are always awkward at first, and when your accounts in each other's Love Banks are low or in the red you don't WANT to spend time together.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I tried to sit in the same room with him a few minutes after dinner tonight, but he had on some man show on tv, so I left the room for the rest of the night.

That is NOT undivided attention. Watching your H watch TV does not count. Watching the boob tube does not count.
So what could you do different than walking away?

Maybe you ask him to record the show because you want to do something with him, then invite him to join you doing something he enjoys.

What did you do when dating?

If you want to love your husband suggest and plan things you lnow he likes. Don't just walk away without suggesting things you know he likes.

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I think I might be even more confused now.

I cannot imagine giving up my political activism. It's more than a hobby for me. I've been involved in politics in one form or another since the evening I watched Nixon resign, as a kid.

So for us to have any chance, my H needs to quit the career he's been in for 25 years, and I need to give up the number one passion in my life?

That premise sounds so depressing.

The 15-30 hours thing-- I will believe you that it works, because you all seem pretty adamant about it, but to me.... just thinking about spending that much time together, sounds like sheer torture. I tried to sit in the same room with him a few minutes after dinner tonight, but he had on some man show on tv, so I left the room for the rest of the night.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Are you kidding me HHH? Only single unattached people should be involved in politics? Sorry, not quitting. By your standard, we wouldn't have many of the presidents, congressman, senators, and governors we've had in our entire history. Would you tell a man who golfs almost every weekend to give up golfing? Would you tell a woman who's obsessed with to scrapbooking to give it up?


I bowed out for a little bit... but I would say yes as well. And the program also dictates so.

Before my FWW had her A, I played computer games for 6-10 hours a day. That was my "passion." People online, strangers, understood me better than my spouse.

But, it didn't make me happy. It made me miserable and disconnected from my spouse - and it did the same to her (her side is her responsibility, though).


What do you notice about a lot of these senators, governers, presidents?

Do many of them have successful, let alone loving and romantic marriages?

I wouldn't say that it is wrong to have a cause, but I do believe that if you truly wish to pursue a cause, that you should acknowledge that the only thing that you will have time for, the only thing you will feel passion for, the only thing you will be married to, is your cause.

Yes, it is self-sacrificing, but it is also selfish and cruel to be an "activist" and hornswaggle anyone into a relationship with you, when your heart, mind, and soul are to be consumed by a cause.

Or, has it escaped you that almost all of the most famous and successful women activist WERE SINGLE ALMOST ALL OF THEIR LIVES?

That more successful and/or famous women activists HAVE NO CHILDREN?

They are soldiers of the cause, and that is their marriage, that is their family. You can't have both, because one or the other must suffer.
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
Maybe you ask him to record the show because you want to do something with him, then invite him to join you doing something he enjoys.

When UA time is sheduled once a week, the activities are discussed and agreed upon THEN. That way you aren't sitting there twiddling your thumbs on Monday night at 6:00. Or wasting your time sitting on the couch watching your H watch some stupid show. That is NOT how UA time works. There is already a PLAN. And once you work out one weeks schedule, the next week's activities are easier to agree upon because a precedent has been set.[or that activity has been rejected if it was found to be unenjoyable]

But the key is to schedule this all out the week before. It is much easier to stick to it when there is plan. Much easier to just blow off if one is just winging it.
Posted By: athena99 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/22/11 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I think I might be even more confused now.

I cannot imagine giving up my political activism. It's more than a hobby for me. I've been involved in politics in one form or another since the evening I watched Nixon resign, as a kid.

So for us to have any chance, my H needs to quit the career he's been in for 25 years, and I need to give up the number one passion in my life?

That premise sounds so depressing.

The 15-30 hours thing-- I will believe you that it works, because you all seem pretty adamant about it, but to me.... just thinking about spending that much time together, sounds like sheer torture. I tried to sit in the same room with him a few minutes after dinner tonight, but he had on some man show on tv, so I left the room for the rest of the night.


AD - I feel for you. The thought of spending that time with BH was not appealing and it was very awkward at first because it felt like we had nothing in common.

However, BH and I notice SIGNIFICANT improvements in our relationship (my feelings and behaviour) when we get that time in and it makes it easier to get more time in because we are excited about doing it.

As much as I had a hard time getting the messages through my fog and pessimism, I have to totally agree with the following advice I was given:
- schedule the UA in advance so you know it will get done
- push aside the negative feelings at the beginning so that you get the time in (they will go away as more time is put in)
- UA time needs to be something you both enjoy
- UA activites should involve interacting with each other and not just "parallel play" (thanks for pointing that one out to me Melody)

For us, while we are still working on getting the hang of the UA and scheduling the time, I have found that even something simple like watching a favorite tv show together is good. I know, some will argue it is not good UA, but we often stop the show and chat about a topic or find something mutually funny and enjoy sharing those moments. Sometimes your UA isn't perfect in terms of MB, but it is a starting point and if it brings you closer together and gets you closer to better UA, that is what matters.

As for the hot topic about giving something up that you have a passion for or enjoy, I have the following view. An activity is ok if and ONLY if:
1 - you have POJA'd it and both agree you can spend time on it
2 - the time you spend doesn't interfere with UA
3 - it doesn't mean more to you than your marriage (ie: you would be willing to forego the activity to spend time with your spouse)

I had a professor at University once describe the following about getting your priorities in the right order. Imagine an empty jar, a pile of sand, a pile of pebbles, and a pile of rocks. They each represent something different...

Jar: Your life
Rocks: The "big" things - most important parts of your life (marriage, health, family)
Pebbles: Other "not as" important parts of your life (career, friends, passions)
Sand: The "little" things in your life (hobbies, distractions)

Now, if you start by filling your jar with sand, you won't be able to fill it with much else. However, if you put the rocks in first, you will still have room for some pebbles next, and finally, you will be able to fit in some sand. The key is the order in which to address them (the order in which you make time for them in your life).

As a Fred_in_VA said, get your priorities straight and spend the most effort on the most important parts of your life. Schedule your UA time (marriage) first, then go down your list of priorities and fit everything else in the remaining time.

Political activism is important, but if it is more important than your marriage, maybe you need to dial it down a bit. If it is your job, then leave it at 9-5. If you can't, it is time to make a choice - job or marriage. Some people can't maintain a marriage and a demanding career.
Athena!!! A very positive, uplifting post!! hug

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For us, while we are still working on getting the hang of the UA and scheduling the time, I have found that even something simple like watching a favorite tv show together is good. I know, some will argue it is not good UA, but we often stop the show and chat about a topic or find something mutually funny and enjoy sharing those moments. Sometimes your UA isn't perfect in terms of MB, but it is a starting point and if it brings you closer together and gets you closer to better UA, that is what matters.

Watching TV together is a good pastime, but remember to DEDUCT THAT TIME from your UA time because it doesn't count as UA time. It counts as a good recreation, you are very right about that, but it will not do the trick of amassing the necessary UA time to create romantic love.

That might sound like splitting hairs, but this is the kind of thing that makes all the difference between success and failure. For example, lets say you spent 15 hours a week watching TV together. You would not achieve romantic love and you would conclude this doesn't work. It is sort of like doing exercises, if you are going to take the time to do it, might as well get the biggest bang for your buck!
I've never thought about this topic of "recreational passions" before, but I'm starting to see how relevant it is to having a good marriage. Like writer, I enjoy writing. It's a passion. It's also a career for me. But I can see how that activity over the years has consumed time and passion that should have been devoted to my BH. Originally I would have agreed with writer--balance seemed like the solution. But in thinking about this more, I can see how a contrast effect could result. In fact, there were countless nights I spent writing while my BH sat on the couch watching TV. Our different "passions" (mine writing, his TV) divided us...physically!

After my A, I stopped writing altogether, stopped all other passions and focused solely on BH. Now that our M is growing, my BH wants me to be able to enjoy writing again, but not to our M's detriment. So I spend time writing while BH is at work. When he gets home it's all about each other. And the "passion" I once had for writing really isn't as passionate as I thought (a strange feeling, since I never thought anything could replace it). I get way more passion out of time with BH than I ever did with my writing. For me, quitting all outside passions had to happen before I could truly recover my M. And the only way I could continue those activities was after recovery and if my BH wanted me to, which he did--for two-fold reasons (1. It's how I earn a living, and 2. he wanted me to have some "me" time).

Does that sound Dr. Harley approved, or am I not quite getting it yet?
Posted By: Miss M Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 03:10 AM
oops
P.S. I only bring up my example to encourage you, AD, that putting your interests aside for a period of time does not mean it's gone forever. It may just be a temporary sacrifice for the sake of the M, if you still have any interest in wanting to want the M.
Posted By: Miss M Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 03:12 AM
In fact, there were countless nights I spent writing while my BH sat on the couch watching TV. Our different "passions" (mine writing, his TV) divided us...physically!

Wanthealing,

You are totally getting it, and in my very humble opinion, I believe that Dr. Harley would approve.

This was a wonderful post.
Originally Posted by wanthealing
I get way more passion out of time with BH than I ever did with my writing. For me, quitting all outside passions had to happen before I could truly recover my M. And the only way I could continue those activities was after recovery and if my BH wanted me to, which he did--for two-fold reasons (1. It's how I earn a living, and 2. he wanted me to have some "me" time).

Yes, you are on the right track! BUT, becoming passionate about those same activities again will undo your efforts at recovery if they are practiced as they were before. These changes have to be permanent if you want to maintain the love in your marriage.

Now, that doesn't mean you can't add them back to a smaller degree as long as your favorite leisure time is spent with your spouse. I was a political activist like Autumn Day, but it interfered with my marriage. And my H HATED talking politics; he can't stand to even hear about it. So, I have pretty much given that up. I read a few news peices a day but thats about it and donate to favored causes. It will never and should never reach the levels of passion it once did.
Thanks for the clarification, Mel. The last thing I want is for my BH to have to compete for my passion again. I can say I enjoy writing, like my BH enjoys TV, but I could go for days without thinking about it, unlike the daily desire I now have for my BH. And this is coming from a WS who had a loveless M for almost a decade!

AD, there is hope if you want it. I am living proof of that. I had to give up my pride and endured a few other "casualties"--which now I really don't see as casualties rather dropping excess baggage--but it's SO worth it to love and be loved. I pray for you and hope you can find that missing love.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 04:27 AM
Since I'm being brought back into this, I would like it to be clear that my H very much supports my passion for writing. He doesn't feel any resentment towards it, and even though he isn't a writer, he is very enthusiastic about what I do.

Like most people, I do have to find a way to strike a balance in my life. I balance my work (writing), with my personal life (my relationship with my family, children, husband). This is a balance that everyone has to find, since most couples can't give up working and family time and spend 100% of their time with each other.

I very much think that AD needs to focus on UA time right now. She needs to rekindle those lost feelings for her H. I simply didn't get the impression from reading through this thread that her political activism was the main reason why AD wasn't spending time with her H. I still don't know how he feels about her activism and whether or not he supports it. She was being given blanket advice to give that up entirely when it wasn't even clear if that was the primary problem in her marriage, and I did have an issue with that.

I think AD's primary concern is trying to get to that place where she even wants to spend time with her H. Right now, they both seem to be avoiding spending time together as much as possible. Her question seems to be, how can she overcome this aversion she feels towards her H and get to a place where she even has the desire to be with him and work on fixing her marriage, and it didn't seem to me that fixating on her political activism really addressed that.

I think another issue in AD's marriage seems to be a proliferation of LB's between her and her H. The way AD describes most of their interactions, it seems as though every encounter between them is plagued with LB's and AO's, and as long as this continues, it's very unlikely that either of them are going to have much of a desire to spend time together. Right now, she has very little reason to think that any of her encounters with her H will be pleasurable, so of course she doesn't want to spend time with him. They are doing almost nothing to make deposits into each other's LB's, and every encounter they have seems to make massive withdrawals.
Sorry, writer, but the way she has described her political activities, it is a problem in her marriage. Maybe you can't see that because you have not resolved your own marriage problems? As long as this comes before her marriage and she PREFERS politics, it is a problem. It is not enough to just spend more time with him. She has to eliminate things she enjoys MORE until her marriage becomes her most enjoyable activity.

Originally Posted by AutumnDay
So, now I don't bug him or my kids about my interests anymore, but they're pissed that I ignore them, have checked out and generally suck as a wife or mother! I feel like I "over-corrected"--- trying to find people who liked to discuss the same things I like to discuss, so as to not bore my family, and not have my feelings hurt that they didn't want to share in my interests, but now I spend more time with acquaintances, virtual strangers and my hobby.

Remember what Harley said?
Originally Posted by Dr Harley
Why Should a Couple Plan to Be with Each Other When They Are the Happiest?Introduction: One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.
here


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She was being given blanket advice to give that up entirely when it wasn't even clear if that was the primary problem in her marriage, and I did have an issue with that.

But you have no grounds to "have an issue with that," because you are not in a recovered marriage yourself. Your own advice doesn't work for you. Its one thing to give contradictory advice if you have solved your own marriage problems, but you have not. That "blanket advice" works.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 04:54 AM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Sorry, writer, but the way she has described her political activities, it is a problem in her marriage. Maybe you can't see that because you have not resolved your own marriage problems? As long as this comes before her marriage and she PREFERS politics, it is a problem. It is not enough to just spend more time with him. She has to eliminate things she enjoys MORE until her marriage becomes her most enjoyable activity.

Originally Posted by AutumnDay
So, now I don't bug him or my kids about my interests anymore, but they're pissed that I ignore them, have checked out and generally suck as a wife or mother! I feel like I "over-corrected"--- trying to find people who liked to discuss the same things I like to discuss, so as to not bore my family, and not have my feelings hurt that they didn't want to share in my interests, but now I spend more time with acquaintances, virtual strangers and my hobby.

Remember what Harley said?
Originally Posted by Dr Harley
Why Should a Couple Plan to Be with Each Other When They Are the Happiest?Introduction: One of the most controversial positions I take regarding marriage is that a husband and wife should be together for their favorite recreational activities. Whatever it is they enjoy doing the most, they either do with each other, or they don't do it at all.
here


Quote
She was being given blanket advice to give that up entirely when it wasn't even clear if that was the primary problem in her marriage, and I did have an issue with that.

But you have no grounds to "have an issue with that," because you are not in a recovered marriage yourself. Your own advice doesn't work for you. Its one thing to give contradictory advice if you have solved your own marriage problems, but you have not. That "blanket advice" works.

I'm curious Melody as to why you think my marriage isn't recovered?

I get the impression from the way that AD has described things between her and her H that, at the moment, she would prefer just about ANY activity to spending time with him. And that's a huge problem that merely removing political activism from her life won't solve.
Originally Posted by writer1
[
I'm curious Melody as to why you think my marriage isn't recovered?]

I am going by what you have told us here.

Quote
I get the impression from the way that AD has described things between her and her H that, at the moment, she would prefer just about ANY activity to spending time with him. And that's a huge problem that merely removing political activism from her life won't solve.

Of course it's not "merely" removing politics. And no one said such a thing.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 04:58 AM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
But you have no grounds to "have an issue with that," because you are not in a recovered marriage yourself. Your own advice doesn't work for you. Its one thing to give contradictory advice if you have solved your own marriage problems, but you have not. That "blanket advice" works.

The "blanket advice" doesn't work if it doesn't address the issue, and the issue seems to be that AD has developed an aversion to her H. She says she can't even stand spending a few minutes in the same room with him, even if there isn't any interaction between them at all. This seems like a far larger problem than her engaging in an activity that is taking up her time and preventing her from getting in UA time. That was my issue with the blanket advice - the fact that it didn't really seem to address the issue that she was struggling with.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 04:59 AM
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by writer1
[
I'm curious Melody as to why you think my marriage isn't recovered?]
I am going by what you have told us here.

Which is?
Originally Posted by writer1
[
The "blanket advice" doesn't work if it doesn't address the issue, and the issue seems to be that AD has developed an aversion to her H.

Yes it does work. Sorry.
Originally Posted by writer1
This seems like a far larger problem than her engaging in an activity that is taking up her time and preventing her from getting in UA time. That was my issue with the blanket advice - the fact that it didn't really seem to address the issue that she was struggling with.

That was not your issue, writer. And I am disappointed that you continually try to disrupt her thread with this kind of nonsense. Why would you do that? She is here to get help for her marriage. Why won't you let her do that?
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:09 AM
**EDIT**

STOP!! Do not disrupt this thread again!!
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:11 AM
**EDIT**
Posted By: Miss M Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:12 AM
writer,

I disagree.

AD is totally invovled with her politics and excludes her family, her children have even communicated this to her, that her political activism comes before her family, and her children also complain to her that she is the one who raises her voice and has the most arguments with husband and family.

AD, is this your career, and are you making your living in politics? Nevertheless, it is a priority over your marriage and family.

AD is disconnected with her family and puts her cyber-relationships before her family and marriage, and puts strangers before her husband and family because it is her passion.

ITA with ML on this. and with wanthealing, with her WILLINGNESS to change and put her marriage first, to recover the passion and love within her marital relationship.

Wanthealing has room to improve, as we ALL do. Kudos to you wanthealing, for being open to advice.

AD, you have to figure this out. What is more important to you, to be loved by the cybermasses, or be loved and approved by your family?

You need to give this political stuff up and start connecting with your H and family. Of course your H looks unattractive to you when you have the love of the cyber people who have NO personal connection to you.

I am telling you that if you want the internet love you will end up old and ALONE. Will that work for you?

Step up and follow the MB program. You haven't so far.

Listen up to ML.
A reminder that the purpose of this forum is to help posters with Marriage Builders concepts! If you cannot help in that regard, then kindly refrain from posting and stop disrupting this thread.

Please familiarize yourself with our board policy in the Announcements Section

This announcement is to clarify our policy about the discussion of other marriage books and programs on our forum. Such discussion is acceptable, except on the threads of those seeking help for their marriages. Offering alternative methods to those in need promises to confuse and discourage them, often leading to unnecessary debates. Posters attempting to help should not be put in the position of having to debate basic principles. That is not helpful to anyone, most especially the poster in need.
Posted By: WizAsst Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:16 AM
**EDIT**
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:18 AM
**EDIT**
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:26 AM
Originally Posted by Miss M
AD is totally invovled with her politics and excludes her family, her children have even communicated this to her, that her political activism comes before her family, and her children also complain to her that she is the one who raises her voice and has the most arguments with husband and family.

If this is the case, then I would agree. It would be wrong for AD to place her political activism above her H and family. AD needs to take an honest look at how she has been handling her relationships with her H and children and see if this is what she has been doing. Maybe she is indeed starting to realize that this is the case, and maybe that's why the issue did not come up earlier in her thread.
Thanks MissM. Wanthealing is exactly right about this. Passions such as politics, etc, harm the marriage because of the contrast effect. I know that politics was damaging my marriage too and I put it aside almost completely. I was way too emotionally invested in it.

I know AD can turn this around if she follows Dr Harley's advice and I commend you for supporting her marriage. smile
Posted By: Miss M Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 05:55 AM
Thanks mel.

Ad, we want to help you recover your M

You have let your internet blogging and cyber-relationships become your affair. You have gone from one affair with an OC to an affair with cyberspace.

Let go of all of this and put your M first. Follow the MB program. It saved ML's marriage and it saved mine, and countless others.

Please let go of this for now and start meeting your BH's EN's. Believe me, he won't be gross anymore.

If you follow the MB program everything will fall into perspective for you.

Please. Listen to your children. They miss you and need you. Make a choice here. Your family and H need you. And they have let you know this.

If you want politics above your family then you need to cut bait and not hurt your H and family any longer. You need to understand that you are making a choice here to hurt the one's that you made a choice to commit to, give birth to, and love. Where do your loyalties lie?

MB will help you if you CHOOSE it.


You guys might possibly argue more than my husband and I do.


wanthealing, I thought I had everything figured out when I was at your point, post-A. We were happily married there for awhile. I hope it works out better for you.

I'm almost convinced that the character flaw of a wayward, penetrates everything in life. I'm not a wayward anymore, but I'm not a good person. I can't imagine giving up my passions for my husband. I've seen old married women that have given up their interests for their husbands, and sure... they're still married, but they're miserable. I did take about a month off, and nobody wanted to do anything with me during that time.
Posted By: GH31 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 02/23/11 08:06 AM
Hello there Autumn Day,

Can I ask you....

How can you write this:
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
He grosses me out physically?
Almost everything he does annoys and/or angers me?
That I don't want the same future he wants, when that particular future is all he talks and dreams about?
That I feel the least amount of stress when he's gone on business trips?
That I wish he'd have an A on one of said business trips, and leave me?
That I dread when he pulls up in the driveway every. single. day.?
That I can't see any scenario under which I'll ever love him again, and I don't want to?
That the lie to the world about OC is eating me alive, and I feel like I can't breathe.
That I just want to be done?
That only handfuls of happy months at a time over the course of 27 years has worn me out, and I cannot do this another 27?

and this...

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
How can I not love the man I most admire in the world and basically saved mine and OC's life?

All in the same post?

Do you love him, but are just not attracted to him sexually?

Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I've seen old married women that have given up their interests for their husbands, and sure... they're still married, but they're miserable.

Yeah right, all your interests sure have made you happy, haven't they? grin Strangely, you just described yourself, still married but miserable.

Women who are madly "in love" in passionate romantic marriages are real "miserable." grin

They don't "give up their interests" either, they just find new interests that support their marriages and can be shared by their husbands. Wanna try again?
Oh, have you?

I happen to work with the elderly, which the majority of are women, and your attempt at another excuse to sit on your [censored] and mope, rather than engage in your marriage, is patently and statistically false.

I work with a woman who has told me she was happy to have endured her husband's 15 years of alcoholism, during which she stated "he was useless as a man in every given way."

She got 15 good years, 15 years in the bottle, and 3 years before the damage done by drinking killed him - and she is thankful for her life as a farmer's wife.

THANKFUL. HAPPY. SATISFIED.

Why? Because she chose to be. She didn't sit around and [censored] and moan about her passions.

So AD, what is your plan? What activities are you planning to propose to your husband for the UA time?

Walking away isn't a good long term solution. So what have you decided you want to suggest you and your husband do? What sorts of things did you do when dating, and when are you going to begin to do those things, in the same fashion as you did when you first met?

After all, if you want to find love for your husband, you have to actually DO the loving, which means spending time together doing things you both like.

Since I've suggested this several times, what have you recalled and started to implement?

Talk is cheap, time to get down to the work of actually loving your husband. If you stay busy, you really won't have time to allow your thinking to convince you that your husband grosses you out.

If you are not busy with UA time with him, then your stinking-thinking can creep in and help destroy your marriage.

So what is your plan?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
You guys might possibly argue more than my husband and I do.


wanthealing, I thought I had everything figured out when I was at your point, post-A. We were happily married there for awhile. I hope it works out better for you.

I'm almost convinced that the character flaw of a wayward, penetrates everything in life. I'm not a wayward anymore, but I'm not a good person. I can't imagine giving up my passions for my husband. I've seen old married women that have given up their interests for their husbands, and sure... they're still married, but they're miserable. I did take about a month off, and nobody wanted to do anything with me during that time.

Autumn,

wanthealing's marriage will be just fine as long as she and her husband continue to put their marriage FIRST -- As long as they ACTIVELY work MB in it's entirety in their marriage. Mr. W and I are coming up on 6 years post dday in April. Our marriage is GREAT -- Why? Because of the time and care we invest in it -- and we owe learning how to do that to MB. And sure, we're normal and we have days where one or both of us screw up -- But we fix it, RIGHT THEN...We deal with any issues head on, and don't allow them to fester.

And this:

Quote
I'm almost convinced that the character flaw of a wayward, penetrates everything in life. I'm not a wayward anymore, but I'm not a good person.

Uh no. If you want to say that about yourself, then knock yourself out, but do not put me in that group. I have chosen otherwise. I choose to ACT daily. I am a good person, because I choose to be every single day. The fruits in my life back up my statements.

I would point out that the definition of "wayward" isn't just "in an active affair". You sound very uninvested in LIFE -- You sound to me like someone who is not being "of service" in your real life [not cyberworld] -- Nothing leads to depression faster than that. Being of service in your marriage and family WITH A WILLING HEART is perhaps the best medicine in the world. You must ACT, Autumn.

Mrs. W
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I can't imagine giving up my passions for my husband. I've seen old married women that have given up their interests for their husbands, and sure... they're still married, but they're miserable. I did take about a month off, and nobody wanted to do anything with me during that time.

And yet, here you are still actively engaged in your "passions" and that has led to what exactly?

YOU BEING MISERABLE.

Autumn, think about this. What you are doing now is NOT making your heart sing. It is NOT making you happy and fulfilled. But you are passionate about it? WHY?

Can I tell you what you sound like? You sound like you believe that your husband and children are making you miserable. But you've admitted that you don't spend time with them. So what or WHO is really making Autumn miserable?

Think. And remember, "wherever you go, there you are".

Mrs. W
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I'm almost convinced that the character flaw of a wayward, penetrates everything in life. I'm not a wayward anymore, but I'm not a good person. I can't imagine giving up my passions for my husband. I've seen old married women that have given up their interests for their husbands, and sure... they're still married, but they're miserable. I did take about a month off, and nobody wanted to do anything with me during that time.

Quote
�A pessimist is never disappointed.�
Quote- Jack Cleary

Quote
�Pessimism never won any battle.�
Quote- Dwight David Eisenhower

Quote
�A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties�
Quote- Harry S Truman
AD,


As I was sitting here at the computer, I just clicked on this thread. I haven't read anything you've ever posted before, but something led me here.


Wow.


I have so much to say to you, and yet this is such a tough venue for saying it all.

I first want to let you know that I understand that you have a desire to be "in love" with your husband, and don't understand what happened to that. Second, what I see is that you have rewritten your marital history to believe that in 27 years you have been happy just here and there, only a few months, and that somehow you find yourself blaming your husband, or circumstances, or

something nebulous

undefinable

for your sense of loss of love

and unhappiness

in your life circumstance and marriage.


My reaction to this is two-fold. I react initially by wanting to blame you, for being so blind to yourself. Then, I realize that self-deception is simply what it is - that you cannot see your own self, the way you have blinded yourself to your own life, and therefore I cannot blame you for what you cannot see. You are, truly, blind to it.


Your husband, in your words, loves your OC. He takes care of you, and this family you created via another man. You call your husband a wonderful man.

Yet, you create a sense of distance from your husband, purposely, by failing to spend time with him.


You DEPERSONALIZE YOUR HUSBAND.

By failing to allow any time with him, you depersonalize him. You purposely

and very methodically

keep distance from him.


You

do

this.

YOU. DO. THIS.

You.



Because it serves the purpose of KEEPING YOU OUT OF LOVE WITH HIM.



You have CHOSEN not to be "in love" with your husband.


The question you need to ask yourself is:


WHY?



SB
Posted By: cabbages Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/13/11 11:25 PM
had to jump in to say that was so powerful schoolbus...very well said. i wish i had read that long ago! i questioned why i didn't really love my husband almost my entire marriage. thankfully we're slowly finding our way to each other.

married 19 yrs.
H EA Oct/2010
separated Nov. 2011
in recovery!
If you open the door to someone

you will find them standing there.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I can't imagine giving up my passions for my husband. I've seen old married women that have given up their interests for their husbands, and sure... they're still married, but they're miserable. I did take about a month off, and nobody wanted to do anything with me during that time.

I gave up my passion for my husband, and I don't regret. Haven't ever regretted it, actually, and it's been 3 years.

Prior to DH and I meeting I rode horses professionally. I rode Dressage and have ridden almost to Olympic levels, taught, trained, had my own farm. I was very badly injured by a young horse and took time off, met DH while I was injured, and once I was healed I went back to riding with a world class Jumper trainer riding her youngsters and rehab/injured horses. I did that for a while and DH (then fiance) didn't mind. Until I lost our baby while I was riding - then he asked that I quit riding the 'big' horses. And, I did, but I kept my horses and still backed less atheletic horses.

But, after a year or so of me riding every Saturday and Sunday and us not seeing much of each other he asked that I not ride on Saturday and maybe cull the number of horses I had. So, I sold one and haven't ridden more than one or two Saturday's since, and those were special rides that we discussed beforehand.

DH and I are buying/leasing a farm this year and he's getting a horse of his own to ride with me some (the horse I sold years ago at his request I'm buying back for him to ride because he'll be a good hubby horse). I dropped my passion for horses down to a level that was comfortable for both of us, and it was one of the best things I've ever done for me as a person and our relationship. I am no longer defined by one hobby - I can skateboard (DH skateboarded growing up and still does despite his old age wink ), wakeboard, waterski, swim, we're both interested in astronomy and stargazing, rock hounding, we have so many more interests that I'm a more well rounded and I am happier.
It is very easy to blame others for the pain we put ourselves in.


In the the case of Autumn Day, the choices are simple. She could choose to be less selfish, spend time doing mutually enjoyable activities with her husband and YIKES-SACRIFICE a little of her own time doing her "passions"

Or

remain independent of him and keep doing her own thing her own way on her own time by her own self.


My guess is that she chooses her own thing. This keeps that UNDESIRABLE label stuck firmly across the hubby's forehead

and AD can continue to say,

"See, I just can't get off the dime here."


It also keeps AD firmly BELIEVING she has nothing whatsoever to do with the possibility of change in the relationship. After all,

she doesn't "like" to do things the hubby likes, or doesn't really "want" to.

It is all about what AD "wants", isn't it????



AD - do you see that you are still wayward?

Do you see this?
No, I don't see it.

It is not all about what I want.

We have different interests, is all.

He spends multiple hours doing his thing too.

I don't try to keep him from his interests.

I'd sacrifice or severely cut back my thing, if we had mutual interests, but there isn't any one thing we *both* absolutely love doing. Not like the things we do on our own anyway.

I don't blame him for my "pain". I'm not sure where you got that? The laundry list I fist stated sounds awful. I know. Even still, I don't blame him. They're my issues.

~~~~

Mrs. W~ I'm sorry. I shouldn't have painted with a broad brush. You are awesome!




Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/15/11 06:59 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I'd sacrifice or severely cut back my thing, if we had mutual interests, but there isn't any one thing we *both* absolutely love doing.

There are millions of enjoyable things to do.

You have not tried them all. There's no way. smile
True, Markos, we haven't.

He really LOVES his thing.... I'm talking life long love of his particular hobbies.

I really love mine too.

He can't stand my interests, and I can only take his in very small doses, but he prefers doing his with "the guys" anyway.

If I were to ask him to sacrifice his interests to try to discover a mutually enjoyable interest, he would be unbelievably miserable. I'm serious. When he's not doing his thing, he's talking about it. He is synonymous with his interests. When people think of my husband, they think of his interests and vice versa.

What does your husband do AD?

AD,

I can relate totally. My husband's entire being is wrapped up in his "thing". It is how everyone relates to him. His job revolves around it....he actually got out of the field he was trained in to do this full time. Prior to me, he would not date anyone not involved in it. He worked hard to get me involved but is disappointed that I don't share the same passion (although, after years of trying, I am at least finding it somewhat enjoyable). I notice he is upset if the kids are less enthusiastic than him. I used to (and still do) worry that if her were to become injured and not be able to participate that he would just roll over an die.

I truly do not believe he would give it up and quite frankly, I know I could never ask him to. It is who he is. Maybe if I had found MB before marriage we would have dealt with this (and probably have broken up) but as it was, I assumed that was normal. It wasn't till later that I realized what a toll this has/had on our marriage.

I wish you good luck as I have been following your story. All I can say is that you owe it to yourself to try for as long as is possible.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
If I were to ask him to sacrifice his interests to try to discover a mutually enjoyable interest, he would be unbelievably miserable. I'm serious. When he's not doing his thing, he's talking about it. He is synonymous with his interests. When people think of my husband, they think of his interests and vice versa.

Why do you say that? It's not impossible, but you both have to want it to happen.

Prior to DH I spent about $20,000 a year on my personal horses, was at the barn twice a day, had no friends who weren't horse people, didn't do anything outside of horses. They were my life, I worked to support them. That's called an obsession or a profession, it's not a healthy, balanced life.

He asked that I no longer be that involved, and I'm happier now. Sure, it took some adjustment, but once I adjusted and we found hobbies *we* enjoy then we're much happier. I do still ride some, not as much as I did for years and he wants to learn to ride as well.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
If I were to ask him to sacrifice his interests to try to discover a mutually enjoyable interest, he would be unbelievably miserable. I'm serious.

Sure he would be miserable initially. I understand completely!! But he will quickly forget his misery when it is replaced with something better. And that is the point here. I felt the same way when I quit smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day. I was miserable at first! But what replaced it was so much better than smoking that I quickly forgot the pain of giving up my Marlboro lights.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I'd sacrifice or severely cut back my thing, if we had mutual interests, but there isn't any one thing we *both* absolutely love doing. Not like the things we do on our own anyway.

And this is where you should start looking. Start looking for something you enjoy together. But you will need to STOP doing your individual things because of the contrast effect. It will make it almost impossible to find something you like doing together if you are doing something you LOVE alone.
Originally Posted by sunnydaze53
I truly do not believe he would give it up and quite frankly, I know I could never ask him to. It is who he is. Maybe if I had found MB before marriage we would have dealt with this (and probably have broken up) but as it was, I assumed that was normal. It wasn't till later that I realized what a toll this has/had on our marriage.

Why can't you ask him to give it up? If he understands this program, he should be willing to give it up. If not, then you have a bigger issue here, and that is that your H places his hobby before his marriage.

The problem I see here is that some of you have not used Marriage Builders at all. Why? If you are not able to implement the program on your own, there are many other resources to help you, such as phone counseling, the online program [they have a coach that calls you every week and motivates you] or the free radio program.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/15/11 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
If I were to ask him to sacrifice his interests to try to discover a mutually enjoyable interest, he would be unbelievably miserable. I'm serious.

And once you found something to do together that you both loved, and became each other's favorite recreational companions, you would both be unbelievably happy. More than you can imagine, right now, because it's hard to know what that looks like when you are not in it.

I'm just as serious. smile
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/15/11 09:30 PM
AD, have you and your H tried filling out the Recreational Companionship questionnaire?

My H and I filled it out recently. There are tons of ideas on there. We have really different interests too, but we found lots of things that we both would enjoy doing. We had a few good laughs too (like when we imagined how many people we would maim if we decided to take up archery).
No we haven't writer.

It actually intrigues and excites me to think there might be something we'd mutually enjoy doing together.

However, I'm a little stunned that some of you think he should give up his individual interest, or even cut back to any extent, CONSIDERING how much he has already done/given up for me.

Also, if I had asked him to give up his interests when we got married, he likely wouldn't have married me. The fact I was easy going about his hobbies in comparison to former girlfriends is something that attracted him to me, (his words at the time).

Quote
Also, if I had asked him to give up his interests when we got married, he likely wouldn't have married me. The fact I was easy going about his hobbies in comparison to former girlfriends is something that attracted him to me, (his words at the time).
Sacrifice in marriage creates resentment. You have years of sacrifice that your M has been built on. It is no wonder neither of you feel "in love". This has to change to build the love between you.
AD,

You blame your unhappiness in life to being married to someone you don't "love", and I see in your posts how you find him unattractive, etc., etc. From this your unhappiness is extrapolated - your own deduction, not mine.


I point you in the direction of "choice". People choose happiness.

Yes. Choose it.

I did say this. Happiness is not something you pursue, like a butterfly across a field, flitting one way and fluttering the next. It isn't like that.

I once read (I believe it may have been either the Dalai Lama or Deepak Chopra, I do not specifically recall) a lecture regarding happiness. (Also, do not panic, I also read Christian, Jewish, and Muslim authors, so as to understand many points of view on the topics I read, happiness being only one of them.)

This particular lecture asked this question: Have you ever woken up in the morning, and just woke up happy, in a good mood, just really ready to face the day? No particular reason, you just woke up feeling terrific? Or, on the other hand, have you ever just awakened to a bad mood, even though there was no real reason for it?


The point of the lecture was that these "feelings" of good or bad mood, of "happiness" or "sadness" are not necessarily context-dependent, nor are they even necessarily based on ANYTHING in the outside world. A person can - and we DO - wake up "feeling" happy, for no external reason at all. We still owe the same bills, we still have the same crummy job, we are still married to the same person, but we wake up feeling pretty good that day.

Given this


we can CHOOSE that same feeling - that mood - in spite of the "external" conditions we may believe are "making" us unhappy.

Because we have proof upon waking that we can be happy

in spite of the fact

that those conditions exist.


Happiness is not dependent upon external conditions. It is an internal condition. You make happiness inside your own mind. In some way, you choose happiness. Otherwise, poor people, sick people, hungry people - would never be happy. Ever. Yet, there they are, by the millions, happy.



That was the point of the lecture.




As to the hobby issue - you might be quite surprised if you just actually joined the man once or twice a month in his activities, and asked for a bit of his time doing something else.

You get things in return when you are willing to give.


So far, you seem to resist any suggestion that there is even a remote possibility of a solution. You avoid that you might possibly even slightly be able to move in the direction of loving the man.

Again, a choice.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
No we haven't writer.

It actually intrigues and excites me to think there might be something we'd mutually enjoy doing together.

However, I'm a little stunned that some of you think he should give up his individual interest, or even cut back to any extent, CONSIDERING how much he has already done/given up for me.

Also, if I had asked him to give up his interests when we got married, he likely wouldn't have married me. The fact I was easy going about his hobbies in comparison to former girlfriends is something that attracted him to me, (his words at the time).



He would be sacrificing nothing, giving up nothing, losing nothing, if it were YOU that were his interest, his passion. If his time spent with you was pleasant, passionate, romantic... then that would very well be true.

Your comment, AD, sounds like self loathing turned out and projected at your BH.

"After all I've done, why would he love me? Why would I ask for more?"

That's also part of a wayward mindset. Don't go there.


Do you want to create a loving, romantic marriage? YOU are here, he is not. YOU have the info.


LEAD THE WAY.

I am sincerely confused.

On one hand, I am rude and cold-hearted for not accepting an air kiss from across a table, yet otoh, I should ask him to give up/cut back a lot- his life long hobbies for me/us. I can't and won't do that. I don't see that as a wayward mindset, I see that as an unselfish thing to do. Not to mention, I can already hear him LOL and mocking me for even asking. He'd laugh louder than he did at the suggestion of leaving his 25 yr career because he travels too much.
Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/17/11 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I am sincerely confused.

On one hand, I am rude and cold-hearted for not accepting an air kiss from across a table,

I missed this part, so I'll just say that I hope you weren't rude.

Quote
yet otoh, I should ask him to give up/cut back a lot- his life long hobbies for me/us. I can't and won't do that. I don't see that as a wayward mindset, I see that as an unselfish thing to do.

I don't see it as a wayward mindset, but I do see it as a sacrificial thing to do. And I don't feel that sacrifice is good for a marriage. I believe that everything in a marriage can and should be "win-win."

Sacrifice in marriage is something that people with a Renters mindset do, not something Buyers do.

Quote
Not to mention, I can already hear him LOL and mocking me for even asking. He'd laugh louder than he did at the suggestion of leaving his 25 yr career because he travels too much.

If you are assuming you know how he will react, then you are actually committing a disrespectful judgment against him. The truth is you do not know how he will react. Especially if he is presented with the Marriage Builders concepts and sees how such a marriage will benefit HIM.

That is the key to respectful persuasion: show him how this choice can benefit HIM.

Just think, not so many posts ago you were telling us that you two didn't have any interests in common. Now you say you are intrigued by the idea that you could find common interests. You learned some new information, were presented with some new ideas, and you have engaged in a small bit of personal growth. smile Good for you! Your horizons are now somewhat broader.

Now, who is to say that the same thing cannot happen to your husband? See why it is judgmental to assume that you know what his reaction will be? You are saying he is not capable of learning and growth.
I have been married to the man 27 years. He would have to be on his death bed to give up his hobbies. I was going to say paralyzed, but then I paused and realized even that would not stop him. I suppose I could be wrong, but I just don't see any scenario, even if we had sf every single day, that he'd give up his hobby or even cut back substantially. I can't think of anything that would shock me more.

For those following, he is sleeping in my bed again, and as long as I go to bed tired enough, his snoring doesn't wake me up very often. He still wakes every night sometime in the middle of the night and goes to sleep in another room so he can have the tv on. He does seem to want to be around me more often, almost to the point of clingy. Not sure what's up with that, because he's never been like that before. If anything, I used to be the clingy one.
I'm not saying he's incapable of personal growth. It's not a dig I'm making toward him. I just don't see how giving up your interests for your spouse is necessarily personal growth.

It seems a couple has to give up all personal identity in order to have a good marriage? Am I hearing wrong?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I am sincerely confused.

On one hand, I am rude and cold-hearted for not accepting an air kiss from across a table, yet otoh, I should ask him to give up/cut back a lot- his life long hobbies for me/us. I can't and won't do that. I don't see that as a wayward mindset, I see that as an unselfish thing to do. Not to mention, I can already hear him LOL and mocking me for even asking. He'd laugh louder than he did at the suggestion of leaving his 25 yr career because he travels too much.

It starts with sacrifice, thinking that you are being unselfish to not ask for your needs to be met. That sacrifice withdraws units from your LB$ until you go into withdrawal. Once you hit withdrawal, your Taker takes over, and then it is him that is selfish, or you see yourself as undeserving.

When you hit that point, nothing good happens; you think divorce, you feel - well, exactly like you feel now, you have a "loveless marriage."

All it takes from there is a lack of boundaries and/or a lack of opportunity to go from a withdrawn spouse to a wayward spouse.

It's the exact same behavior that wrecked your M to begin with, the same behavior that made you vulnerable to an A, coupled with poor boundaries.

Does that make more sense to you?

You've already locked it in your head that you simply can't ask him to sacrifice anything.


Well, how about you don't ask for a sacrifice? Why don't you focus on becoming a better companion? Why not focus on being more appealing than this "passion" of his?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I'm not saying he's incapable of personal growth. It's not a dig I'm making toward him. I just don't see how giving up your interests for your spouse is necessarily personal growth.

It seems a couple has to give up all personal identity in order to have a good marriage? Am I hearing wrong?

What if it was possible for your spouse to be your interest? Would that make more sense?

What if rather than focusing on your personal identity, you focused on your identity as a married couple?

It's like the story about the two trees that grew close to each other - on the surface you see two separate, distinct trees, but beneath the surface, their roots have become entangled to a point that they are no longer two separate living beings, but 1 being; each nourishes the other.

The whole is greater than either of the parts.
Yes, that make a lot of sense.

Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/17/11 08:07 PM
Autumn, when was the last time you and your H went out on a date?

Right now, are you guys spending any UA time together at all?

Tomorrow's Friday. Why don't you ask him out on a date? Go out to dinner. Do something fun. Focus on relaxing and having a good time.
Yes, last Saturday, and it ended in an argument while still at the restaurant. He told me I was too skinny and he doesn't like it..... and I... didn't let it slide... I was so hurt because I am more physically fit than I've been in my entire life. I've never been overweight, but I've also never been so fit/muscular. I should have let it slide though. It was not pretty. I could tell the waiter totally caught the vibe, even though we argued in fairly hushed tones. ugh.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/17/11 08:55 PM
Okay, how about you try again and this time, do your best to keep it light and fun. No relationship talk. If he does say something offensive, brush it off and don't react.

What did you guys used to enjoy doing while you were dating? You must have had fun together, or you wouldn't have gotten married. What did you have the most fun doing?

How much UA time are you currently getting?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Yes, that make a lot of sense.

I hope you don't think I'm trying to beat you over the head with your mistake. From what you post, it seems you do that more than enough to yourself.

That's why I said that it seems you have this self-loathing that you are turning outward on your BH.

I see it in my FWW's eyes whenever I hit a dip in the roller coaster. I can't imagine what it's like to be in those shoes, especially after you move past the fog and revisionist history.

AD, do you think your inability to forgive yourself is hindering your ability to open up to your BH?
I know writer, it was a really stupid move on my part, and I had been pretty proud of myself the last couple of weeks in brushing stuff off. I think he's been flabbergasted by that, because it's never been my M.O. to let things slide. When he made the -too skinny and I don't like it- comment, it really got to me though. I said, "Really, are you kidding me??? I defy you to look around this entire restaurant and find another woman in my age group or even 10 yrs younger who looks as smokin' as me, and all you can do is complain???" I do have to say, that later on, he DID apologize, and told me I look great. I think the fact he's overweight and out of shape, and knows I don't like it, probably makes him wish I looked more like him? It would make things easier, I'm sure. Who knows?

By MB rules, we don't spend any UA time together, however, we have been spending a lot more time in the same room, which is more than we used to do. We sit next to each other- me on my laptop, and him on his iPhone playing solitaire... for hours. We sometimes talk, but mostly not.

No HHH, I don't think you're hitting me over the head. I was being sincere when I said it makes a lot of sense.

I'm not sure I have trouble opening up to my husband because of my self unforgiveness, I think I just stopped trying a long time ago, because I don't ever seem to be able to articulate, or he doesn't seem to get it. Most likely though, a terrible combo of the two. As I indicated earlier in the thread, I don't think there are two people that communicate worse to each other, than we do. It's so very frustrating, and such an emotional drain, it hurts physically to try to explain myself anymore.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/17/11 09:50 PM
You mentioned awhile ago about doing the MB program or counseling with the Harley's. What's the status on that? I would absolutely do the weekend program if we had the money for it.

And going to dinner alone counts as UA time, so you do have some.
Ok, 2 hours of UA last week. 1st hour stressful, next 15 minutes- an argument, last 45 minutes stressful. Good times that UA is! wink

Last I suggested the MB weekend away to watch the vids at a hotel, he was not thrilled, but didn't say an outright no either. He just said he didn't think he'd want to do that, but maybe. I asked him to get back to me. He hasn't yet. I can ask again.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/17/11 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Last I suggested the MB weekend away to watch the vids at a hotel, he was not thrilled, but didn't say an outright no either. He just said he didn't think he'd want to do that, but maybe. I asked him to get back to me. He hasn't yet. I can ask again.

I think you should ask again. Really play up the weekend away without the kids part. I don't think my H would ever so no to that.

It's a good sign that he didn't flat out refuse, but don't leave it up to him to bring it up. He probably won't, but that doesn't mean he won't do it if you bring it up first.
Originally Posted by writer1
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Last I suggested the MB weekend away to watch the vids at a hotel, he was not thrilled, but didn't say an outright no either. He just said he didn't think he'd want to do that, but maybe. I asked him to get back to me. He hasn't yet. I can ask again.

I think you should ask again. Really play up the weekend away without the kids part. I don't think my H would ever so no to that.

It's a good sign that he didn't flat out refuse, but don't leave it up to him to bring it up. He probably won't, but that doesn't mean he won't do it if you bring it up first.

ITA.

AD, maybe you could build it up by working on maximizing whatever UA time you can grab, take the lead; "I would like to spend some time with just you, and I would rather do that than anything else, can we go hang out for a bit?"

Get some really, really good time in there, make an entire weekend together look as attractive as possible... for BOTH OF YOU.
AD,

I think that your perspective on spending time together is off-target.

The idea of doing things together is to build the relationship - it is not for "sacrificing" anything. The concept is that the product of spending time together doing things that are fun results in building the relationship, and the desire to do more fun things together; the cycle is intended to repeat because both spouses are mutually gratified. Nobody is meant to feel as though they are sacrificing anything, and really nobody is. What the couple is doing is working together, as a team, to create and build something

instead of sitting on the couch for "hours" staring at computers or i-phones

and spending time doing basically nothing

when they COULD be otherwise engaged in something TOGETHER.


Giving of yourself in a mutually loving way is not sacrifice.


I scratch my head and wonder why you are willing to sit by him on a couch and play on your computer, while he plays on his i-phone, and you don't take advantage of the opportunity to say, "Hey, just for kicks, let's do something we haven't done in 20 years....let's walk around the block and see what the air smells like out there. Afterwards, let's just have a glass of wine and talk about ___________." You can fill in the blank with anything you can think of - or nothing at all....as long as it is NOT about the relationship, the affair, his faults, your unhappiness, or anything negative.

Just LET HIM IN THE DOOR.


SB
SB~ I get how doing things together builds a relationship. I do. Still, asking him to give up or even cut back a lot his favorite things in life-- would be him sacrificing, and same with my interests. For him especially, he would be so miserable that it would just make life worse for us.

I walk around the block ALL the time, (actually walk, run and bike miles)... he has NO interest in it. I gave up asking a long time ago. Again, one of my interests that he poo-poo's, right up there with political activism. I can't even get him to buy himself a bike. Forget it then... he can be a couch potato, but I refuse that lifestyle.
I don't think he wants in the door, except on HIS terms. Meaning, I give up any semblance of autumn day.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I don't think he wants in the door, except on HIS terms. Meaning, I give up any semblance of autumn day.
That is a DJ, Autumn Day. The truth is you don't know what he will say or what he is thinking. Just like you are surprised that he seems to want to be around you now. One step at a time. Put the laptop down and ask him to play a game with you. Cards, board game or even watch a movie together without electronics in front of your faces. Try small bites of time at first and increase it over time. I think if my H and I can find love for each other again, so can you.
I am drawing from my knowledge of 27 years of seeing and hearing his responses. What I think his responses will be are based on historical facts, not from a negative attitude. Yet everything I say on here is a DJ or LB.

I asked him last night why he's hanging around me more often here lately. (where we sit when I'm on laptop and he on his iPhone is our bed, not couch) He said, "I'm not hanging around YOU, it's my bed too, and I can sit here too."
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I don't think he wants in the door, except on HIS terms. Meaning, I give up any semblance of autumn day.


Giving up independence, for independence? How tragic.

dramaqueen

This is a recent post, a BH talking about his still-foggy WW:

Quote
My WW and I talked a great deal yesterday and she is having (I think withdrawal) a hard time coming to grips that her overall life might have to encounter some BIG changes! She totally feels that she has to give up her "Being" in order to follow the mb principles. What I mean is that she feels that everything she loves to do will be taken away from her.



Hmmm....
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I am drawing from my knowledge of 27 years of seeing and hearing his responses. What I think his responses will be are based on historical facts, not from a negative attitude. Yet everything I say on here is a DJ or LB.

I asked him last night why he's hanging around me more often here lately. (where we sit when I'm on laptop and he on his iPhone is our bed, not couch) He said, "I'm not hanging around YOU, it's my bed too, and I can sit here too."


Imagine that, you question his motives rather than making the most of an opportunity.

Hmmm...
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/18/11 04:03 PM
Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I am drawing from my knowledge of 27 years of seeing and hearing his responses. What I think his responses will be are based on historical facts, not from a negative attitude. Yet everything I say on here is a DJ or LB.

I asked him last night why he's hanging around me more often here lately. (where we sit when I'm on laptop and he on his iPhone is our bed, not couch) He said, "I'm not hanging around YOU, it's my bed too, and I can sit here too."


Imagine that, you question his motives rather than making the most of an opportunity.

Hmmm...

I agree. How did you expect him to react after you asked him "Why are you hanging around me all the time?" I think a question like that would make most people feel defensive, especially when your H probably knows you don't like being around him.
AD, seems like I'm coming across harsh again... but it seems like you are stuck in a circle here....
HHH- You're not too harsh.

Writer- I wasn't complaining about his response. It's exactly what I expected. That's what I'm trying to tell you all-- I know what his responses will be. He's not hanging around because he wants to be near me, or be intimate, or whatever. Excuse the choice of verbiage... it's just a saying. I didn't ask it in a mean, uppity, or accusatory way.

HHH- I think there is a difference in giving up my "identity" for a good marriage, (I could do that), and giving up my "identity" for his "identity". Do you know what I mean? It appears to me, that he wants a marriage the way HE wants it only.
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/18/11 04:50 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Writer- I wasn't complaining about his response. It's exactly what I expected. That's what I'm trying to tell you all-- I know what his responses will be. He's not hanging around because he wants to be near me, or be intimate, or whatever. Excuse the choice of verbiage... it's just a saying. I didn't ask it in a mean, uppity, or accusatory way.

I didn't mean to imply that you did say it in a mean way.

Right now, there is a distance between you and your H. I'm sure he is keenly aware of this distance. Maybe he really would like to close that distance, but he just doesn't know how any more than you do.

Maybe he's sitting next to you because he really wants to be close to you, but he makes snide remarks about that not being the case to protect himself in case he is rejected in his efforts to get close to you. Many times, people use sarcasm to protect themselves in situations where they feel as though they might get hurt.

Maybe next time he sits next to you, you could reach out and touch his hand or his leg and say something like, "I really like it when you sit next to me." Then leave it at that and see what happens.

I think right now your H doesn't feel safe trying to get close to you, and because of that, he's putting up walls (sarcasm and snide remarks) to protect himself. You need to help him start letting down those walls.
hi AD,

I find it interesting that you don't think your H can change. Do you think you can change? Do you think you have changed since your affair? Do you see things differently now?

I know the answers but I find it interesting that you don't think he can change. People change when they need to and that means one of two things as my late father used to say: fear or greed.

He will change if he fears you and the consequences of not changing OR he will change if it means that he can see he would be happier. You offer neither option to him.

Frankly, you can deny all you want but your question was worded in a way to get the response you got and you know it. You attacked him and he defended.

AD, you and I have posted to one another over many years now. I never felt you were gutless or mean, but frankly your actions suggest you are both. Your H may not change, but you do not change people by attacking, you change them by changing your approach. You have used the same approach for 27 years and you have gotten the same results.

I do remember you were worried about your youngest child and how your H would respond and he responded that "the child probably saved the marriage, he loves that child." If you will start to change your approach, I think your H will change.

But, you MUST stop attacking him. You must start to change your approach and perspective about him and yourself. You must become someone he desires to be around and NEEDS to be around.

You are just barely 1/2 the way to 50 years married girl, you have time to have the marriage you always wanted. You have children, will have grandchildren, and both of you love your children. You have the basis to build on, but YOU must change your approach.

Please think about this and let's discuss it.

God Bless,

JL
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
HHH- I think there is a difference in giving up my "identity" for a good marriage, (I could do that), and giving up my "identity" for his "identity". Do you know what I mean? It appears to me, that he wants a marriage the way HE wants it only.


Do you want to know why my FWW's infidelity crushed me so badly?

Because my marriage IS my identity. My sin was that one little thing that I did keep to myself, and allowed to take over once I became withdrawn: gaming.

Now, I am still a gamer, but if my FWW is home, I would much rather spend time with her than on any game. I have no interest in it versus her, because she is the more attractive choice now that she has learned to meet my needs and avoid love busters.


Just food for thought...
Posted By: Sparkler Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/18/11 08:45 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
HHH- You're not too harsh.

Writer- I wasn't complaining about his response. It's exactly what I expected. That's what I'm trying to tell you all-- I know what his responses will be. He's not hanging around because he wants to be near me, or be intimate, or whatever. Excuse the choice of verbiage... it's just a saying. I didn't ask it in a mean, uppity, or accusatory way.

Basically just rephrasing what JL said:

If you know what his responses to your questions will be, maybe it's time to change the questions?
Originally Posted by Just Learning
Frankly, you can deny all you want but your question was worded in a way to get the response you got and you know it. You attacked him and he defended.

Yes, I admit it was mean and attacking- now that I consider the fact I could have said something like, "Gosh, it's awfully sweet of you to join me after dinner these past few weeks, thank you." However, it was nicer than what I actually wanted to ask him, which was- "why have you been stalking me?" I quickly decided to dial it back though, because I knew that question would make him downright angry. Honestly though, after so many years of spending our evenings after dinner in two separate rooms, and now he sits by me- it feels like stalking, especially when we're not engaging in conversation. This has been going on for a few weeks, (ever since the tv in his bedroom died), but this was the first I inquired as to why.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Originally Posted by Just Learning
Frankly, you can deny all you want but your question was worded in a way to get the response you got and you know it. You attacked him and he defended.

Yes, I admit it was mean and attacking- now that I consider the fact I could have said something like, "Gosh, it's awfully sweet of you to join me after dinner these past few weeks, thank you." However, it was nicer than what I actually wanted to ask him, which was- "why have you been stalking me?" I quickly decided to dial it back though, because I knew that question would make him downright angry. Honestly though, after so many years of spending our evenings after dinner in two separate rooms, and now he sits by me- it feels like stalking, especially when we're not engaging in conversation. This has been going on for a few weeks, (ever since the tv in his bedroom died), but this was the first I inquired as to why.

So, back to your thread title; by taking the time, the opportunity he is giving you to talk to him.

Seriously, AD. It can be so simple; "So, how was your day? Anything interesting?" "Tell me about what you are reading."

FGS, it can be as easy as small talk, it's how you behave when you are dating, it's how you talk to your friends... talk to your H.

Early on, FWW and I spent night after night telling each other our life stories... even though we already knew them. We've been together since we were 17.

JUST. TALK.
I'm really regretting the title of this thread.

----------

It IS hard for me, REALLY hard- to be kind to him, after such a long cycle of short lived mutual kindness.

Tonight I came to bed and he was taking up 3/4ths of our king bed, (laying diagonally). I asked him politely if he could please move over a little bit. He proceeded to tell me I'm a b*tch, that I just take over and act like I'm in charge. Tells me he's in charge, not me, I have no right, more cuss words, blah blah blah...

Nothing in my nature tells me to be kind to someone like that. To what end? You say the end result is a good marriage. My defenses tell me the end result is me being a doormat, because whenever he's angry or irritated, that's how he talks to me-- even in the decent times in our marriage.

Yet I'm still here on MB. Not sure why, since yes... I'm still going in circles, unwilling to move......
What is FGS?
For gosh's sake! >.< (too lazy to type it)

His AO isn't excusable, of course.

There is such conflict/withdrawal between you two, one has to wonder what constitutes "politely."

Tone of voice, body language, facial expression, eye contact (or lack thereof)... all this was in a "polite" manner? If he were "polite" to you in the same manner, would it have upset you?

Take the lead, AD. You even get to claim the "high road" if you do (though, you can't wield that as a weapon against him).

I doubt you are the most "wrecked" person and/or marriage to come through here... so what are you waiting for? What are you looking for?

WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Nothing in my nature tells me to be kind to someone like that.

It's going both ways, and you know it.

It's not in anyone's nature to be kind to someone who is being cruel.
HHH~ I know he HATES when I ask him to move over, AND he is 2 1/2 times my size, so believe me I AM polite about it because if not he could be even more mean about it. I said, (quietly, because he was almost asleep), "H, could you please move over a little bit, your head and pillow are on top of my pillow." Then he went off.

Why do you all just automatically assume every thing I say to him is mean?
If I were on his side of the bed, YES, I would move immediately if he asked me, no matter the tone of voice he used, because as foolish as it is for me to ever ask him to move, it would be even more foolish for me to not move, because as he says- he's in charge. In fact, I'd move before he asked because I wouldn't want the conflict.

This is such crazy stupid stuff. I can't believe I'm even discussing it.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
HHH~ I know he HATES when I ask him to move over, AND he is 2 1/2 times my size, so believe me I AM polite about it because if not he could be even more mean about it. I said, (quietly, because he was almost asleep), "H, could you please move over a little bit, your head and pillow are on top of my pillow." Then he went off.

Why do you all just automatically assume every thing I say to him is mean?

Again; body language, facial expression, tone of voice, eye contact (or lack thereof).

Not only are you not in love with your H, you don't even really seem to like the guy right now.

Quote
Reason would dictate that demands, disrespect and anger are not the way to resolve conflicts in marriage. But with the Giver and Taker as the only instinctive alternatives, reason doesn't play much of a role in marital problem-solving. Instead, mood is almost everything, and after a fight, most couples do not feel much like going back to the rule of the Giver.

So they leave the Taker in charge, and the Taker adopts a new approach. In the state of Conflict it's strategy is fight. But in the state of Withdrawal, it's strategy is flight.

When you're in the state of Conflict, your Taker tries to force your spouse to meet your needs, making demands, showing disrespect, and threatening your spouse with angry outbursts to get its way. But if that doesn't work--if your spouse does not meet your needs--your Taker suggests a new approach to the problem: Withdrawal. It tries to convince you that your spouse is not worth the effort, and you should engage in emotional divorce.

In the state of Withdrawal, spouses no longer feel emotionally bonded or in love, and emotional defenses are raised. Neither one wants to try to meet the other's needs, and both have given up on attempts to get their own needs met by the other. One becomes two. They are completely independent, united only in living arrangements, finances and childrearing, although they often have to keep up appearances for neighbors and friends.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3615_state.html

Quote
While demanding and arguing is instinctive in the state of Conflict, one spouse can lead the other back to Intimacy by resisting the Taker's temptation to fight. It takes two to argue, and if one spouse makes an effort to avoid making demands and judgmental statements, and tries to be thoughtful and meet the other's needs, the other spouse usually calms down and does the same thing.

Once they see each other's caring efforts, and rebuild their Love Bank accounts, they re-enter the Intimacy stage. But there's an irony that trips up some couples. Which spouse do you think is the first to move back into the state of Intimacy: the one who makes the first effort to meet the other's needs, or the recipient of that effort? You may have guessed it. The recipient of care is usually the first to return to the state of intimacy, and not the one who make the greatest effort to save the relationship.

If you set a good example by meeting your spouse's needs first, alas, that usually means that your own needs are met last. Your Taker is not pleased with this arrangement, and may try to sabotage it. You will need to make a deliberate and patient effort to override the Taker's instinct to retreat back to fighting and name-calling. But if you resist that instinct to argue, and instead focus attention on behaving thoughtfully and meeting your spouse's needs, your spouse will be encouraged to reciprocate.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3620_state.html

Hello?

It's here AD, I'm sure you've read it.

I understand that it's hard to match up your head and heart. 1 year in to recovery, I'm still trying to do it. But that effort requires action, not pointing and blame-shifting.

Quote
The Japanese have a saying, "Fix the problem, not the blame." Find out what's f^%$ed up and fix it. Nobody gets blamed. We're always after who f^&*ed up. Their way is better.

Watched Rising Sun with FWW the other night... LOVED this quote, though it's like the 20th time I've watched that movie.

You know what's screwed up, NOW FIX IT.
AD; considering you are miserable, and your marriage feels loveless to you... WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE BY TRYING?
OK.

I am ready to work this.

Please point me in the right direction as to what I should read and/or do first, and then second, third, fourth.... because I feel overwhelmed- I don't know where to start.

I don't want to do this, but I know I should, because 1) I made a commitment to him, in front of God. 2) For our children. 3) I think it's worth it to at least see if I can love and be loved again.

I have 2 MAJOR concerns/ stumbling blocks though:

1) I finally decide this, and my husband leaves for overseas today. We didn't even say goodbye. He will be overseas or a domestic trip e/o week for the next 6 weeks. I think Melody is right, that we can't make this work with that much time apart, but I still feel I have to try. I figure I can read, read, read while he's gone.

2) [Even though I know I'll receive 2 x 4's for being shallow]... I don't know how I will ever get past the fact I have ZERO physical attraction to him, because of his weight. I can't imagine I'd suddenly be attracted to him, even if in love with him, and I can't imagine falling in love with someone I have no physical attraction to. His weight really bothers me.

I am hoping his weight won't bother me as much though. Can love REALLY "cover a multitude of sins", as the saying goes? Is the need to be physically attracted one of the EN's or am I just whacked? I thought briefly of just letting myself go, and not being physically fit myself so we'd look more alike, but I can't in good conscience do that, when I have a young child I need to be around for. Besides, I've always felt miserable even just being at the top of the weight range for my height. I'm sorry this is a big deal to me, but it's who I am, and it's who I was when I first married him and he WAS very physically fit. I would have never married someone who's 50-75 lbs overweight... never.

If he reads this, and he probably will.... we are doomed. He is more hurt about how I'm turned off by his weight, than even my A-- I think.
Does anyone know how much the Online Seminar/Accountability Program costs?
Posted By: writer1 Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/19/11 05:47 PM
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Does anyone know how much the Online Seminar/Accountability Program costs?

I haven't done it of course, but I think I read somewhere that it was around $1000, maybe a little less.

As far as the physical attractiveness thing, I can give an example of how someone can be attracted to someone they otherwise did not find physically attractive because of EN's being met. My example may make me puke in my mouth a little bit, because it involves the OM, but I'll try.

I NEVER would have thought the OM was someone I would be physically attracted to. He just wasn't my type. He was short (I like tall), older, and (not to be mean) but just not very good looking. My H is MUCH better looking (and taller). I always thought of the OM as a brother, someone I liked to hang out with and joke around with, but never anyone I would want to be intimate with. Well, of course that turned out not to be the case. As we spent more time together, talking about things that interested both of us (something I couldn't do with my H, since our interests were quite different) I found myself developing feelings for him that were not very sisterly. Of course, as everyone knows, I ended up having an A with this man I wasn't attracted to at all, because he was meeting some of my top EN's (conversation and recreational companionship).

So yes, it can be done.

Ideally though, your H will get onboard with MB and agree to do the weekend program with you, and you will be able to go through your EN's and develop a plan to meet each others top EN's (including your need for an Attractive Spouse) and this won't always be a problem.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
Does anyone know how much the Online Seminar/Accountability Program costs?

It's $1000 now. online course
AD,

You asked what you could read?


LEADERSHIP AND SELF-DECEPTION: GETTING OUT OF THE BOX, by The Arbinger Institute.

It is a little book, about 140 pages or so long.


You will find a description of yourself in those pages (and frankly, of everyone you know).

You will see that you are in a box toward your husband, and that you have been in this box for a very, very, very long time. So long, in fact, that you virtually can no longer see it. You have built up a nice little defense for this box. You protect it quite well.

And in that box you blame him nicely for the fact that you are in it, and point to the fact that there is no way "he" will let you out of it.


Only, "he" never put you in it, and "he" cannot take you out of it. Only you control the box.


Read. This. Book.


Then, read it again, because the first time around you spend so much time in shock about how blind you have been about yourself that you actually lose a great deal of the information. The second reading brings the information into more clarity.


Then, sit quietly with yourself, and look at your relationships with OTHER PEOPLE, not your husband, and figure out who you are in the box toward, and NOT in the box toward.

Because it will help you to understand when you went in that box against your hubby.

And it will definitely help you crawl out, a much humbler woman.

Additionally, a much happier and more peaceful one. You may also wish to read the sequel, once you have practices living the lessons you learn in this book.

This book can, and will, change YOU. Because once you become aware of the moment you step into the box, you cannot help but see that moment EVERY TIME YOU DO IT for the rest of your life.

And once you see it, there's no denying it.............
and something inside of you just won't let you do it, because you realize just how stupid it really is.

SB
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
2) [Even though I know I'll receive 2 x 4's for being shallow]... I don't know how I will ever get past the fact I have ZERO physical attraction to him, because of his weight. I can't imagine I'd suddenly be attracted to him, even if in love with him, and I can't imagine falling in love with someone I have no physical attraction to. His weight really bothers me.

Of course you won't be able to overcome that! crazy And MB doesn't expect you to overcome that. If physical attraction is a top need, then you won't fall in love unless he becomes physically attractive. He has to lose the weight. You don't do him or you any favors whitewashing the fact that his weight bothers you.

Quote
If he reads this, and he probably will.... we are doomed. He is more hurt about how I'm turned off by his weight, than even my A-- I think.

No, you are doomed if he doesn't know this. You should be honest and tell him his weight bothers you.
SB~ I meant what MB things do I start reading and doing first? I'm not going to read some random self help book first, now that I'm determined to do MB. WHERE do I start w/ MB? I can't do the online program until my husband is home for a decent stretch of time, so I need to know what MB links, articles, books I should be reading first. Also, for the millionth time, I don't blame my husband for my dissatisfaction. I know I choose how to respond to the situation and to him.

Melody~ You say I shouldn't whitewash, then you say I need to clean up my verbiage? I'm not following. Do you mean in case he reads this? I should delete the fat stuff? He already knows his weight bothers me. He says I'm shallow.
I'm not very PC, in case you hadn't noticed. wink
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
SB~ I meant what MB things do I start reading and doing first? I'm not going to read some random self help book first, now that I'm determined to do MB. WHERE do I start w/ MB? I can't do the online program until my husband is home for a decent stretch of time, so I need to know what MB links, articles, books I should be reading first. Also, for the millionth time, I don't blame my husband for my dissatisfaction. I know I choose how to respond to the situation and to him.

Start with Lovebusters and then move onto Fall in Love, Stay in Love. I agree you don't have a need to go off and read a self help book. The goal here is to fix your marriage. Listen to Dr Harley's radio show every day if you can. It is sooooo informative. I learned more from that radio show in 6 months than I had in the previous 5 years on this forum! It is free and it is a great resource.

He has to know you don't like his weight. And no you are not shallow. That is just how you are WIRED. WE don't CHOOSE what it takes to make us fall in love.
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
I'm not very PC, in case you hadn't noticed. wink

That is why I love you.. laugh
Thank you, Melody. I will get to reading.
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
SB~ I meant what MB things do I start reading and doing first? I'm not going to read some random self help book first, now that I'm determined to do MB. WHERE do I start w/ MB? I can't do the online program until my husband is home for a decent stretch of time, so I need to know what MB links, articles, books I should be reading first. Also, for the millionth time, I don't blame my husband for my dissatisfaction. I know I choose how to respond to the situation and to him.

Start with Lovebusters and then move onto Fall in Love, Stay in Love. I agree you don't have a need to go off and read a self help book. The goal here is to fix your marriage. Listen to Dr Harley's radio show every day if you can. It is sooooo informative. I learned more from that radio show in 6 months than I had in the previous 5 years on this forum! It is free and it is a great resource.

He has to know you don't like his weight. And no you are not shallow. That is just how you are WIRED. WE don't CHOOSE what it takes to make us fall in love.


You have the link for the free archive handy, Mel? Or, could you toss Markos an elbow to post it up again? I'm lazy, just got home from clinicals.


AD, I am ecstatic that you have found motivation to get it moving again. It's going to be hard as h-e-double-hockey-sticks with your H and his travel, and you know that.


I spent a long time last night reading over your history, so of the few things I know; you are remorseful for your actions, you are articulate, and you are compassionate - that I saw in the way you supported others.

Somewhere back there, you had an optimist. She left the building, though.

For new reading, how about the "What is Wrong With Unconditional Love" articles, and follow them up with the "When to Call it Quits" articles.

Reflect on those some, and then REALLY hit the books on the "How to Resolve Conflicts" section. Browse through them, and when you find letters and answers that REALLY hit home, print them out, reread them, and mark the holy heck out of them.


If your H is going to be gone for 6 weeks, use that time to gather steam, gain focus, and formulate a plan.

Also use this time to formulate a letter to your H. Make it an honest declaration of your feelings, and make it your "mission plan" for where you want your M to go.

Maximize the opportunities you get between now and when he leaves, and while he is gone maximize every phone call.

Concentrate on eliminating your LBs, and how to communicate effectively about when he LBs you.


That's all I can think of, the vets probably think of better. There is always the radio show, too.

He won't be gone 6 weeks straight. He will be gone every other week in the next 6 weeks.

I will take your advice.

Maybe I should read through some of my old posts too. I don't remember being an optimist, that's interesting. I guess I have changed a lot?
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
He won't be gone 6 weeks straight. He will be gone every other week in the next 6 weeks.

I will take your advice.

Maybe I should read through some of my old posts too. I don't remember being an optimist, that's interesting. I guess I have changed a lot?

Over the course of 7 years? I'm sure you changed some. I know I have changed A LOT in the past year.

I am happy that you found something at the bottom of the tank, AD.
Originally Posted by HoldHerHand
You have the link for the free archive handy, Mel? Or, could you toss Markos an elbow to post it up again? I'm lazy, just got home from clinicals.

Here ya go! here

Quote
That's all I can think of, the vets probably think of better. There is always the radio show, too.

Those are excellent suggestions and I wanted to say I DO consider anyone who knows about Marriage Builders to be a "vet." I would certainly place you in that category and think you are an asset to this board. smile

Posted By: markos Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/20/11 01:56 AM
http://richwith.com/mb/radio/
http://richwith.com/mb/radio/shows/
Originally Posted by Autumn Day
[Even though I know I'll receive 2 x 4's for being shallow]... I don't know how I will ever get past the fact I have ZERO physical attraction to him, because of his weight. I can't imagine I'd suddenly be attracted to him, even if in love with him, and I can't imagine falling in love with someone I have no physical attraction to. His weight really bothers me.

You're not going to get an 2x4's from me. You are honestly stating that your H is not meeting one of your major ENs - physical attractiveness, and there's nothing shallow about that.

A few days after discovery of my FWW's A (and before I stumbled across MB), I had a long discussion with her about what had gone wrong in our M and what it is about me that had caused her to fall out of love with me. I didn't phrase my questions exactly that way, but the intent was to find out about the things I could change, and the things I couldn't . If there were any things that I couldn't change in her responses, then my intent was to pursue at D at that point, as it would be pointless to continue trying to regain her love. Of course she gave me a bit of vagueness and fogspeak in her answers, but what I heard convinced me that I had a chance.

I believe your H should know by now that his weight problem is seriously getting in the way of him meeting one of your major ENs. It's really up to him at this point to decide if he wants to do something about it. He needs to own that issue. And if he doesn't do anything serious about it, then it suggests that he's not as invested in recovery as he should be.

Posted By: cabbage Re: How do you find love for your spouse... - 03/20/11 12:20 PM
Originally Posted by schoolbus
You asked what you could read?

LEADERSHIP AND SELF-DECEPTION: GETTING OUT OF THE BOX, by The Arbinger Institute.


I recently took SB's book recommendation and so glad I did. H said found it very interesting and helpful, and this is a man who doesn't exactly relish "self-help" books. Didn't know there was a follow-up, that's just been ordered:)

married 19 yrs.
H EA Oct. 2010
separated Nov.
recovering!
Glad you found it helpful, Cabbage. I think that MB concepts and the "box" concepts are very much grounded in the same philosophical pretexts.

These ideas - MB and the box - have changed me for the better. Whenever I can, I make the recommendations to read them, because

they WORK!


Life changers, both of them.


Worth every single minute of reading.


SB
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