Marriage Builders®
Posted By: coffeegirl Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 01:50 AM
So...we've been trying to do MB for 4 years. We've had lots of issues in our 11-year marriage. No infidelity. We spend most of our time together in addition to 15 hours of UA where we get a babysitter for our two kids and leave the house. My husband's top needs are being met except for SF. We have had major problems in that department. We fit Dr. H's imaginary couples to a "T." There were lots of SDs and hurtful words and behavior surrounding SF early in our relationship. Our sex life is very very strained. We suffered greatly from not understanding MB concepts. I love busted like crazy and my H was the IB master and I didn't even know how my unmet needs for IC and Affection were affecting our SF...

We attempted to do the home-study course but we didn't have the discipline to complete it. We paid for online coaching and the year went by without us doing it. With my H's supposed enthusiasm we signed up for another year. We got thru the intro lessons and our first real lesson was affection. We completed the lesson 3 months ago. I don't think my husband has ever completed ALL the items on the short list. He's talked to our coach. He insists he wants to work on our marriage. I've brought it up periodically...we go on our multiple dates a week and talk about his work, our businesses, his feelings, interests etc. there is no affection etc on our dates. I'm actually not getting my intimate needs met on our dates. I love talking to him about his stuff and have a high (met) need for OH.

It came out, finally, that H resents having to give me affection or follow a list. He recommits to doing it and will do most of the stuff fora few days (but not on dates) but it always stops. He got sick two weeks ago and stopped completely.

Yesterday was our anniversary. A hugely stressful day because hurtful SF issues have recurred on anniversaries. Our first anniversary 10 years ago was a really rude awakening. Anyway, he showed me affection his way in the morning. We had a busy family day then went out to a nice dinner. It was pleasant but I was sad about lack of affection etc. I was sad about the state of affairs etc. I had a rough night and woke up sad.

We got a babysitter so we could have our day date today. (We dutifully schedule time when we are at our best/have energy/stuff is open)

Today could have been so nice! H told me I looked cute (on my list!!) and was affectionate. Too bad I was sad and broody. I talked to him about my need for affection Etc and being sad about yesterday. After our date he was super affectionate and we were going to have SF but I got emotional and he shut down and I needed to talk.

H said that he does not like thinking about our marriage problems. He doesn't have the energy to "do the list" it doesn't feel natural (he understands that he needs to make it a habit and it will become natural) he doesn't feel affectionate towards me etc.

I should add here that H is a good husband and father. He is kind and considerate and puts a great amount of energy into our family. He spends virtually all his free time on us and me. He shows me extraordinary care.

I just don't know where to go from here. I feel like I ruined today but there is never a good time to talk about the relationship and intimacy made me emotional about the stuff I was holding in. (We also had a bout of IB this month that made me sad/emotional lately but we've already dealt with it and I did not bring it up today)

What do I do? I can't force him to show me affection. I think I'm over-emotional about all of this. How do I chill out?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 03:18 AM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
we go on our multiple dates a week and talk about his work, our businesses, his feelings, interests etc. there is no affection etc on our dates.


It doesn't sound like the time is enjoyable to him at all. What does he love doing? What are his favorite recreational activities?
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 03:36 AM
What makes you say that? He loves our dates. He loves to talk smile I'm the one that has issues with how we spend UA time...he would also love to go to more movies and concerts.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 03:44 AM
Sorry. Never mind. If I were you, I would go post this to Dr Harley. You have access to one of the top clinical psychologists in the US and I would take advantage of that if I were you.
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 04:44 AM
Welcome to mb.

Have you done the emotional needs questionaire?

If so, what is your #1 and his #1?
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 05:23 AM
ML, thank you! I took your advice and posted on the private forum. I printed off the recreational activity stuff and filled it out with H a few weeks ago...the stuff we agreed on excited neither of us!! I was generally more open to trying new stuff...he kind of had a negative attitude. Lot's of -3s... Also RC is not a top need for him. We dated for 3 years before we got married and we did the same stuff...plus we saw every.single.movie which is harder when you have kids and it doesn't "count" as UA time. I don't really think chess and woodworking is going to do the trick right now (two things we agreed on) plus we like to leave the house!! But maybe I need an attitude adjustment.

Thanks MNG. Yes, we've done the questionnaires a few times. My #1 is affection and my H's is SF. Conversation is #2 for both of us. I'm meeting his other top needs. Even tonight in our strained state we talked a bit about a project he's excited about. On average we spend 2-3 hours a day talking about his work and projects. (He has BIG ideas and often makes stuff happen. There is plenty of stress and drama that goes along with that! various business partners and stuff)I enjoy talking with him and make it a point to be involved and engaged in a lot of his business stuff. We own some of those businesses personally and I help him make decisions.
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 06:03 AM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
My husband's top needs are being met except for SF. We have had major problems in that department. We fit Dr. H's imaginary couples to a "T." There were lots of SDs and hurtful words and behavior surrounding SF early in our relationship. Our sex life is very very strained. We suffered greatly from not understanding MB concepts. I love busted like crazy and my H was the IB master and I didn't even know how my unmet needs for IC and Affection were affecting our SF...



To be honest.. This is probably a major source of your level of unhappiness in your marriage. At least from my perspective.

MNG
Posted By: indiegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 10:18 AM
If he is not enthusiastic about the affection list, why not revisit and PoJA the list? His taker has to be on board.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 01:36 PM
Also, you've gotta stop sending him conflicting signals.

You said,

Quote:

Today could have been so nice! H told me I looked cute (on my list!!) and was affectionate. Too bad I was sad and broody. I talked to him about my need for affection Etc and being sad about yesterday. After our date he was super affectionate and we were going to have SF but I got emotional and he shut down and I needed to talk.


It is difficult to convince him that putting in the work to do affection your way is worth it if you engage in behaviors that lead him to, as you put it, "shut down."

Perhaps this is why he stops. He's told by you you want this, but when he does it as you suggest, he doesn't see the reward.

If the outcome is the same, why would he engage in the more difficult behavior?
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 02:13 PM
I think you guys are right. Trouble is I'm trying to follow the program and I was told to make a list of affectionate behaviors that should happen every day. That way affection doesn't just happen right before SF.

It does not feel good to only get affection when SF is involved...it is no longer affection.

Dr. Harley seems clear that continuing to have SF when you don't want to or when there isn't an atmosphere of affection sets up aversion. We've definitely dealt with that dynamic in the past. I'm trying to do things differently and develop good habits. I get that I didn't do the best job yesterday.
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 03:29 PM
As a man with SF as #1 I can tell you that no other need comes even close to the amount of LB deposits as SF does when met enthusiasticly. You could likely say the same I bet about your own #1 need.

One thing that really helped my wife and I was to pay attention to my wifes period. It really helps to anticipate her pms week (the week before her period when her hormones are out of wack and make IC difficult). So during this time I try my best not to let my wifes "dispostition" ramp up my own anxiety and negative self talk and try to roll with the punches a bit more with less expectations. I usually let my wife know that that week has arrived too and my wife will then become aware of it and control herself much better because it usually sneaks up on her. She would ask me "why am I feeling so grouchy about everthing that normally wouldn't?" So then I mention it and she starts appologizing for the week to come. Haha

Also since enthusiastic SF is high on my list .. If my wife is not as interested as I am she offers "quickies" out of love. In the past this used to hurt me as I wanted her ro be as enthusiastic as I was but realized that's not realistic. So its my job to make SF as easy as possible so I had to learn to accept the quickies and not get grouchy about that too. We have learned that by doing the quickies (I'm fixed btw) that when a quick SF is completed that it usually helps balance my wifes mood. Almost as if she's getting something from me that is helping with her unbalanced disposition during that short week. Of course IC and affection must take place a lot inbetween and I need to not let things get under my skin so much or become impatient and be more of an unmoved respectful rock and then the time passes amd she gets much more enthusiastic once her period starts and things resume as normal so as long as we controled our anxietys and didn't let lovebusters run rampant or affect us during the "downtime".

My wifes #1 is IC. Its up to her to make that as pleasant aa possible for me to enjoy meeting that need for her. Much like SF is my job to make it easier for her. Its a dance and takes time to learn.

MNG
(Sorry if that's tmi above)

Edit: just wanted to add that once this turned into a habit around sf my wife is now the one that seeks the "balancing" as she can feel the change in herself afterwards. And since she is more aeare of her own anxiety and negative self talk she has made it much easier to meet her need for IC.
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 04:02 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl


It does not feel good to only get affection when SF is involved...it is no longer affection.



Your absolutely right .. It doesn't. What my wife and I do is take moments to sit and talk in our room with the door closed to talk family matters etc and I would hold her hand when we talked, look into her eyes and resPnd by repeating back what she says in my own shorter version. This helps my wife feel connected more and she responds much kinder. Often when we go to bed if I had seen my wife rubbing her own shoulder that day I initiate rubbing it for her while she passes out in bed at bed time also. By doing affection like this for my wife she is more inclined to initiate SF on her own. We also engage in playful banter and touching when SF is not on the table too. I let my wife know its ok to "tease" in suggestive ways without expecting to engage.

MNG

Edit: spelling. As said its my job to make SF as easy as possible for my wife (pretty much gave up initiation of SF but kept up the playful banter and touching and left initiation to my wife when she felt comfortable with it) and its up to my wife to make IC easy for me to meet so I often initiate the IC now to get her talking.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 04:09 PM
Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl


It does not feel good to only get affection when SF is involved...it is no longer affection.



Your absolutely right .. It doesn't. What my wife and I do is take moments to sit and talk in our room with the door closed to talk family matters etc and I would hold her hand when we talked, look into her eyes and resPnd by repeating back what she says in my own shorter version. This helps my wife feel connected more and she responds much kinder. Often when we go to bed if I had seen my wife rubbing her own shoulder that day I initiate rubbing it for her while she passes out in bed at bed time also. By doing affection like this for my wife she is more inclined to initiate SF on her own. We also engage in playful banter and touching when 46 is not on the table too. I let my wife know its ok to "tease" in suggestive ways without expecring to engage.

MNG


That all sounds really nice. When that stuff happens in our marriage, things work much better. It takes effort and thinking consciously about the marriage/relationship and that is what my husband resists...
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 04:22 PM
When IC is not going so well I will kindly and respectfully tell her that her tone is giving me anxiety and suggest we talk later and then i go play with the kids or find another activity for a bit and give her some space to gather her thoughts. After a while I go back and ask her how she's feeling... Take inventory .. And go from there. Usually I just rub her shoulders in bed when we spoon til she passes out and she thanks me in the morning! smile

I try not to say much until she initiates convo at that point and then she usually appologizes for her tone and we carry on like nothing happened. For the most part anyhow.
coffeegirl,

At one time, our marriage was very similar to yours. My H was rarely affectionate, and when he was, it seemed perfunctory to me and nearly always related to imminent SF. I grew to dislike his hugs and kisses because of this.

MB is all about creating an environment of affection, based on creating a relationship of extraordinary care. A husband can acquire the habit of being affectionate and NEEDS to do this so that his wife feels cared for.

If your H will commit to learning the habit of giving you affection in the way you like and in a manner that he can be enthusiastic about, then he will be amazed at the results. He doesn't see that now. Once you feel bonded to your husband, you will find it very easy to enjoy SF with him, because you will feel cared for.

Does your husband believe a good marriage happens naturally, without putting in any effort? Is he willing to learn how to meet your need for affection? What doesn't he like about using the worksheet?

Learning to be affectionate is a lot like learning any other habit. Dr. Harley likens it to learning to type or to play the piano. At first it takes practice, practice, practice, and there's a lot of mistakes. But after lots of practice, typing, playing the piano, affection, becomes effortless.
Posted By: kilted_thrower Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 05:11 PM
It seems that you're trying to have deep conversations with him and relationship talks on date. Date conver sation should be light and fun. No guy wants to hear the troubled state of their relationship and what they need to do better on a date
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 05:36 PM
I do not talk about our relationship at all on dates. That's one of the challenges. When do should I talk about our relationship? Most of our UA time is used on dates. My H is tired in the evenings and I don't want to bug him. Yesterday it was after our date, when we were home. Our dates are spent talking about the topics that interest/concern him. My need for IC is currently unmet. It is our next lesson and I don't think we are ready for it because we are having enough trouble with affection.
Posted By: indiegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 06:08 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
I think you guys are right. Trouble is I'm trying to follow the program and I was told to make a list of affectionate behaviors that should happen every day. That way affection doesn't just happen right before SF.

It does not feel good to only get affection when SF is involved...it is no longer affection.
.


Mmmm and the list was a good jumping off point getting started.
Its given him an idea of what YOU would like (which is helpful) but it still has not been PoJA'd, has it? I completely agree that affection should not be limited to SF, but neither should it be limited to a 'must do' set list.

With PoJA, there are more than two options - there are zillions.

People don't like being told what to do. In MB you must never say 'you must', you should say 'How do you feel about doing x?'

And in order to prevent that from becoming a demand, 'no' or 'not enthusiastic' answers must be taken seriously.

If your H tells you he is not enthusiastic, you must desist or it becomes a demand (Just as it would be with his SF need!!)

Can you go back to the PoJA drawing board and ask your H what he needs to be more enthusiastic?

You should both brainstorm ways he can meet your affection need and ideas should only be approved if they suit you both (SF affection would be vetoed by you and some others may be vetoed by him)

I think he simply does not like the set list, and wants to have more of his own input. He possibly just wants it to be more spontaneous. I'd say he has a point.

I'll give you an example. My boyfriend showed up this morning with a caramel macchiatto, kissed me on my hairline and called me 'ginger squirrel'!!

Three affection deposits I would never have been able to come up with myself. The surprise made me laugh and that met his admiration need because he was pleased with himself.
Posted By: indiegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 06:16 PM
Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy

My wifes #1 is IC. Its up to her to make that as pleasant aa possible for me to enjoy meeting that need for her. Much like SF is my job to make it easier for her. Its a dance and takes time to learn.


Exactly. Your H has to make sex appealing enough to engage your enthusiasm.

If you want affection it's YOUR job to make that task appealing and easy for him.

Originally Posted By: coffeegirl

It takes effort and thinking consciously about the marriage/relationship and that is what my husband resists...


There are some mild DJs here when you speak about your husband not being enthusiastic.

You say he is 'negative' or he 'resists'

He is simply not enthusiastic and you must start listening to him.

I don't like mushrooms. No reason, I just don't and I will never be enthusiastic about them.

I am not 'negative' about them or 'resisting' them. There is a difference.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 06:25 PM
Sort of a chicken and egg things here. If he has to do A to get B, then it's the same in reverse. I.E. unless he does things exactly as you say, SF isn't going to happen.

If I read what you said, the day started with him headed in the right direction. You said you were moody.

Seems he's in a no-win. If he does the right things, his motives are questioned. If he doesn't, his motives are questioned.

How does he not lose here?

Do you see why he may not be enthusiatic about MB when it appears any behavior results in a loss for him?

I'm not saying he shouldn't do what you want. What I'm suggesting is that he can't come out a loser when he executes the behavior you are seeking.

Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
I think you guys are right. Trouble is I'm trying to follow the program and I was told to make a list of affectionate behaviors that should happen every day. That way affection doesn't just happen right before SF.

It does not feel good to only get affection when SF is involved...it is no longer affection.

Dr. Harley seems clear that continuing to have SF when you don't want to or when there isn't an atmosphere of affection sets up aversion. We've definitely dealt with that dynamic in the past. I'm trying to do things differently and develop good habits. I get that I didn't do the best job yesterday.


I'm not suggesting you engage in SF you don't want. I'm suggesting that if you want him to consistenly engage in the behavior you are seeking, he can't percieve it's pointless. Getting the same outcome regardless of if he's engaged in the new behavior or not will ensure he will not be enthusiatic about maintaining the behavior.

I'm talking about a win-win here. Which I believe is the whole goal of MB. That you end up with a marriage that you both enjoy. Not just you, not just him, but both of you.
Posted By: indiegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 06:35 PM
Its far easier if they start with dating than sex, though.

Dating and sex is not chicken and egg at all. Dating clearly precedes sex.

But it has to be the type both of them want.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 06:49 PM
Oh, I understand that.

Sounds like sex has been a long term complaint he's had. He didn't address it right.

So when he does try to address it in the right way, he can't percieve that his efforts are fruitless.

I presume they dated enough that they both wanted to get married. Maybe they were having sex then. Then something happened and he was no longer (or never) satisfied with how things were going sexually and engaged in IB and SD.

She lists her LB's as well (can't recall) but I do recall she said this was a long time complaint of his. He must see evidence that doing things the MB way will certainly lead to having his complaints resolved. If it appears only her complaints are resolved, there is little incentive for him to continue down what appears to be a losing course of action.

Originally Posted By: indiegirl
Its far easier if they start with dating than sex, though.

Dating and sex is not chicken and egg at all. Dating clearly precedes sex.

But it has to be the type both of them want.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:05 PM
Indiegirl- we are following the MB coaching for the affection lesson smile there is no POJA. I make a list and he's supposed to do it every day until it becomes automatic. He just doesn't do it. Our MB coach urged him to try but he doesn't make it a habit. We could certainly POJA doing the program in the first place and we did.

Enlightened- I was moody because H has shown zero affection for weeks and none on our anniversary (he wasn't in a good mood, thinking about big-picture work stuff so that's what we talked about on our date)

H readily admits that he gets pretty good results when he consistently shows some affection. He says that doesn't make it any easier to force himself to do it. He does it when he feels like it and gets good results but we've never seen what could happen if it lasted more than a few days or if it wasn't sporadic.

Having zero affection during/after SF does not lead to frequent/enthusiastic SF. That is what my husband wants. That is why we are doing the MB online program and paying for coaching. He doesn't want "extra work" or to do anything difficult (his words)

I want our marriage to be an environment where my husband can get what he needs.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:21 PM
Sounds like he really doesn't want SF if he doesn't want to do the work he's supposed to do.

What does he say he does or is willing to do to show affection? I've noticed you've mentioned affection "his way" and affection "your way."

What is that?
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:29 PM
H likes to show affection by groping.

I like a lot affection from the neck up. And nice words.

One of the biggest problems we've had (a root of most our SF problems) is lack of affection and my H's desire for work-free SF. He would love to have frequent SF that does not involve talking to me, saying sweet things to me, kissing me or touching me. He had a belief (from somewhere) that that was a totally reasonable thing, especially on/even on anniversaries smile I don't think it's unreasonable but it doesn't work for me and it has hurt me a lot.
Posted By: Enlightened_Ex Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:37 PM
Does he watch porn?
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:47 PM
No porn!!
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:53 PM
You say no porn... But you should verify. Porn sets us guys up for unrealistic expectations of sex.. Taints our view. Put a keylogger on the pc to find out.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:53 PM
I should say something else here...my H is so wonderful and considerate. It made it so much more devastating that my mostly wonderful husband could make me feel so bad.

Bottom line: my H is no longer in love with me because SF is so important to him and he wasn't getting what he needed. He would naturally show affection if/when in love with me. Until then it will feel forced and artificial.
Posted By: NeeraZycantel Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:54 PM
Originally Posted By: Enlightened_Ex
Sounds like he really doesn't want SF if he doesn't want to do the work he's supposed to do.


Of course he wants SF. He just has a typical male entitlement attitude toward sex. I recognize it right away because that's the way I was.
I have begun to realize that it will be much better for me, too, if I do what my wife needs to make it great for her.

Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
me. He had a belief (from somewhere) that that was a totally reasonable thing, especially on/even on anniversaries smile I don't think it's unreasonable but it doesn't work for me and it has hurt me a lot.

If it hurts you a lot, and doesn't work for you, then it is, by definition, unreasonable. Thats what I finally realized in our marriage- "This is hurting my wife."
cg, I think you have too much sacrifice in your attempt to make this work. It will only get worse for you until somehow he realizes that he has to change his ways.
Be firm in your insistence that it needs to work for you.
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
H likes to show affection by groping.

I like a lot affection from the neck up. And nice words.

One of the biggest problems we've had (a root of most our SF problems) is lack of affection and my H's desire for work-free SF. He would love to have frequent SF that does not involve talking to me, saying sweet things to me, kissing me or touching me. He had a belief (from somewhere) that that was a totally reasonable thing, especially on/even on anniversaries smile I don't think it's unreasonable but it doesn't work for me and it has hurt me a lot.


I've heard Dr. Harley say on the radio show many times that lots of men would like SF to be this way. Watch a little football together and make love during halftime. The challenge is learning to make affection the environment of your marriage so that it is done throughout the day without being a prelude to sex.

When affection is scattered throughout the day, you will become a more willing SF partner.

I would rely heavily on the MB coach to help motivate your H to learn the habits necessary for a great marriage. Keep this on the front burner.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 07:58 PM
This has been a problem for 14 years. He was 19 when we got together. We have total transparency. He doesn't watch porn. You would totally think so!! He gets so hurt and offended when I say he makes me feel like he wants our SF to be like porn/prostitution. I've done a lot of damage and hurt him by talking like that. He loves me and takes care of me so I shouldn't feel used etc.

I've snooped a lot and he doesn't delete stuff or change passwords or anything. He doesn't sneak or lie. I'm a big-time jealous snoop!!
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 08:44 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
H likes to show affection by groping.

I like a lot affection from the neck up. And nice words.

One of the biggest problems we've had (a root of most our SF problems) is lack of affection and my H's desire for work-free SF. He would love to have frequent SF that does not involve talking to me, saying sweet things to me, kissing me or touching me. He had a belief (from somewhere) that that was a totally reasonable thing, especially on/even on anniversaries smile I don't think it's unreasonable but it doesn't work for me and it has hurt me a lot.


I should be clear. This isn't all the time or most of the time and he isn't demanding any more.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 08:44 PM
Thank you smile I posted on the private forum and emailed our coach.

Originally Posted By: LongWayFromHome
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
H likes to show affection by groping.

I like a lot affection from the neck up. And nice words.

One of the biggest problems we've had (a root of most our SF problems) is lack of affection and my H's desire for work-free SF. He would love to have frequent SF that does not involve talking to me, saying sweet things to me, kissing me or touching me. He had a belief (from somewhere) that that was a totally reasonable thing, especially on/even on anniversaries smile I don't think it's unreasonable but it doesn't work for me and it has hurt me a lot.


I've heard Dr. Harley say on the radio show many times that lots of men would like SF to be this way. Watch a little football together and make love during halftime. The challenge is learning to make affection the environment of your marriage so that it is done throughout the day without being a prelude to sex.

When affection is scattered throughout the day, you will become a more willing SF partner.

I would rely heavily on the MB coach to help motivate your H to learn the habits necessary for a great marriage. Keep this on the front burner.
Posted By: MrNiceGuy Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 08:53 PM
Well. I been with my wife since we were 15 and 16. I hid a porn addiction until just over a year ago. I swore up and down I didn't watch porn .. But I did. And it was especially a problem when SF was not being met so I would just take matters into my own hands so to speak. Afterwards I would be less attentive to my wife and a little resentful about lack of SF so I would then just head off and do some independant behaviours. I would also (like your hubby) be offended and hurt when my wife would say those means things also that all I wanted was for her to be like a porn star etc.

I'm not trying to make you paranoid .. But just to give you some insight into a mans mind who is not getting his needs met. Its so easy to slip into the habit and be afraid of my wifes emotional reaction if she was to find out I was doing that. So I would deny and lie about it. I don't anylonger and realize if I'm "taking things into my own hands" that I'm not as motivated to want to meet my wifes needs to encourage her to meet mine.

MNG

P.S. If you feel he's being honest totally... Then great. But in my case I just pretended I wasn't interested in viewing porn when in fact I was a couple times a week. No longer doing that tho as I retrained myself to stay away from it once I realized it killed my motivation to meet my wifes need and how it skewed my perception of SF.
Posted By: DidntQuit Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 10:39 PM
Have you read this?

Aunt Pep's Sex Advice
Posted By: DidntQuit Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/21/13 11:58 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
H likes to show affection by groping.

I like a lot affection from the neck up. And nice words.

One of the biggest problems we've had (a root of most our SF problems) is lack of affection and my H's desire for work-free SF. He would love to have frequent SF that does not involve talking to me, saying sweet things to me, kissing me or touching me. He had a belief (from somewhere) that that was a totally reasonable thing, especially on/even on anniversaries smile I don't think it's unreasonable but it doesn't work for me and it has hurt me a lot.


The best way for "beliefs" to change, is through listening to the radio show. Even the MB coaches do not have hours to educate us in ways that we can educate ourselves. Hopefully your husband is taking advantage of that. Especially in the last week, Dr. Harley has discussed the "belief" changes that men need to make to be their best selves, happily married, and not regretting their life with they reach old age.

I know that it is scary to decline sex when essentially you feel like you are neglecting your husband's #1 EN. But until his attitude changes, why should you be sacrificing ? Fulfillment suggests fullness, and it shouldn't be ONE SIDED. It should be MUTUALLY SATISFYING.

I hope this is okay. Not sure it would be completely condoned by Dr. Harley. FYI, I do have my husband's JA to tell this story.

I was afraid to decline SF because I desperately needed it and had always accepted crumbs for fear that I would get none. I was tired of complaining and begging for certain things only to be ignored. For some reason, one night, it hit me that I was WORTH making love to and that I didn't have to settle for crumbs. I decided to stop sacrificing and rewarding his lack of thoughtlessness. I initiated in his preferred way, proving that I was more than willing to make it enjoyable for him, but then exited when it was not reciprocated. Mind you, I had been patient for a LONG time. Why build up more resentment? I gave a very clear explanation of what would motivate me to engage and follow thru in the future.
I needed verbal positive reinforcement of his choosing, and affection, aka LOVE MAKING. To feel cherished and important.

That night was the beginning of a turnaround in that department.

Nine months later, we were very productive! Guess What!

[spoiler]
My husband's got SKILZ!![spoiler]

Maybe your husband can use the following as a model.


"How to Say "Sweet Things" and Meet Emotional Needs
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 12:20 AM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
This has been a problem for 14 years. He was 19 when we got together. We have total transparency. He doesn't watch porn. You would totally think so!! He gets so hurt and offended when I say he makes me feel like he wants our SF to be like porn/prostitution. I've done a lot of damage and hurt him by talking like that. He loves me and takes care of me so I shouldn't feel used etc.


But you *DO* feel used when he is only affectionate when he wants sex. That means he is only doing it for him and not for you. I feel exactly the same with my H when he does that. The solution is NOT to pretend like you don't feel used, but for him to STOP doing the things that make you feel used.

It is easier to change behavior than it is one's reaction.

My H WAS also a groper and I felt like a blow up doll. He stopped groping.

So, be honest about how you feel used. And ask him to stop doing the things that make you feel that way.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 05:15 AM
Melody Lane...I communicate this stuff really clearly. I don't know what else to do.

Every time he gropes me I tell him I don't like it. I tell him what I would prefer. He's a creature of habit.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 02:05 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Melody Lane...I communicate this stuff really clearly. I don't know what else to do.

Every time he gropes me I tell him I don't like it. I tell him what I would prefer. He's a creature of habit.




I was addressing your comment that you "shouldn't" feel like that, though. Habits can be changed.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 03:25 PM
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Melody Lane...I communicate this stuff really clearly. I don't know what else to do.

Every time he gropes me I tell him I don't like it. I tell him what I would prefer. He's a creature of habit.




I was addressing your comment that you "shouldn't" feel like that, though. Habits can be changed.


Ah. That sentence was to explain what he thinks. I am okay with disliking his groping etc. It really bothers him that I can know he means well and still dislike it so strongly. Sorry I was confusing!
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 03:33 PM
My husband told me once he had an "emotional need to grope!" rotflmao
Posted By: NeeraZycantel Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 03:58 PM
LOL. Did you tell him you had an emotional need to yell at him to stop?
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 10/22/13 03:59 PM
I believe I told him to keep his mitts off the merchandise!! grin
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/20/14 08:21 PM
Hello all,
I need to address this groping issue with my husband. MB teaches that HOW we say something matters and I want to make a thoughtful request. The groping happened yesterday. I think maybe I should be saying something in the moment and not waiting so I will take advice on exactly what to say in the moment also. But, what do I say today?

"you groped me yesterday, please don't do that anymore" or
"I really didn't like it when you groped me yesterday and I have been upset about it"
"we had such a nice date last night, but it was ruined for me by the groping"

My husband would really like to "earn" the right to grope. But that is a DJ on my part because for all I know he will respond really well to my complaint/thoughtful request.

This isn't our only problem but I struggle with how to communicate about it because it hurts his feelings so so much. SF is a huge issue for us and it is made much worse by the fact that "he can't do what comes naturally"

Thank you for the help smile I don't ask too many questions because by reading here and listening to MB radio I can "hear" the answers to so many of my questions without even asking them!
Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/21/14 04:36 AM
He is still groping you even when you've told him "I don't like it when you grope me" or "it bothers me when you grope me"?

Have you emailed Dr. Harley?
Posted By: Prisca Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/21/14 04:42 AM
"It bothers me when you grope me." Be sure to stay away from all value judgements that would make it sound like what he did was wrong. Stick to "It bothers me."
Posted By: Prisca Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/21/14 04:46 AM
Quote:
This isn't our only problem but I struggle with how to communicate about it because it hurts his feelings so so much. SF is a huge issue for us and it is made much worse by the fact that "he can't do what comes naturally"

Have the two of you talked about what you WOULD enjoy sexually?
Posted By: indiegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/21/14 09:44 AM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Melody Lane...I communicate this stuff really clearly. I don't know what else to do.

Every time he gropes me I tell him I don't like it. I tell him what I would prefer. He's a creature of habit.




I was addressing your comment that you "shouldn't" feel like that, though. Habits can be changed.


Ah. That sentence was to explain what he thinks. I am okay with disliking his groping etc. It really bothers him that I can know he means well and still dislike it so strongly. Sorry I was confusing!


It should bother him more that he purposefully does things you dislike without regard for you.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/21/14 04:59 PM
Originally Posted By: indiegirl
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Melody Lane...I communicate this stuff really clearly. I don't know what else to do.

Every time he gropes me I tell him I don't like it. I tell him what I would prefer. He's a creature of habit.




I was addressing your comment that you "shouldn't" feel like that, though. Habits can be changed.


Ah. That sentence was to explain what he thinks. I am okay with disliking his groping etc. It really bothers him that I can know he means well and still dislike it so strongly. Sorry I was confusing!


It should bother him more that he purposefully does things you dislike without regard for you.



Isn't it a DJ for me to think he SHOULD think or feel something?
It bothers me, that's for sure. Also, I can't control him and I'm the only one here so...I need help figuring out how to approach him.

He shows so much care and regard for me in the rest of our marriage/life that it really really complicates this issue...
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/21/14 05:09 PM
I told him. I felt super anxious. He said "okay, I understand"
I can only control myself and I don't do the best job at making thoughtful requests...
Posted By: Prisca Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/22/14 06:07 PM
Originally Posted By: Prisca
Quote:
This isn't our only problem but I struggle with how to communicate about it because it hurts his feelings so so much. SF is a huge issue for us and it is made much worse by the fact that "he can't do what comes naturally"

Have the two of you talked about what you WOULD enjoy sexually?

Can you answer this?
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 06/22/14 11:05 PM
Originally Posted By: Prisca
Originally Posted By: Prisca
Quote:
This isn't our only problem but I struggle with how to communicate about it because it hurts his feelings so so much. SF is a huge issue for us and it is made much worse by the fact that "he can't do what comes naturally"

Have the two of you talked about what you WOULD enjoy sexually?

Can you answer this?


Yes, we have. It's been slow going. New habits/change/mindfulness are a huge challenge for us.

We get our 15+ hours of UA plus we spend all our non-work time together.
Posted By: wannabophim Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 07/03/14 12:48 PM
In general,

Women need to feel intimate to want sex.
Men need sex to feel intimate.

How to break that chicken and egg cycle?

One thing that might be happening is that your DH's Love Bank isn't filled enough to feel in love. So he is semi-trying to do things for your Love Bank, but since he isn't feeling in love it is harder for him to want to do these things.

You should make your own decisions about SF, but consider that SF is one of his biggest emotional needs as well.
Posted By: mrEureka Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 07/03/14 01:49 PM
Originally Posted By: wannabophim
Men need sex to feel intimate.
If that were true, it would be impossible for men to have emotional affairs.

The need for intimacy in sex is less for men. Sex for men is more of a craving than it is for women. For both men and women, it is impossible to have truly fulfilling SF without intimacy.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 07/03/14 02:26 PM
My husband feels intimate when we have conversation and RC.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 07:00 PM
Hi guys!
So on another thread I read Markos' list of sneaky ways we could be lovebusting. Pretty sure I'm doing some of them smile I'm going to double down my efforts to eliminate all LBs.

Recently my H planned something without my enthusiastic agreement. He badgered me into it and got my reluctant agreement. (Is saying he badgered me an LB?) a text this morning confirmed that he knew I wasn't enthusiastic.

H has a history of IB, some of which has been devastating to me and I'm not recovered from. From what I understand of MB, I can't recover until he stops doing it AND It will fade once it's no longer happening and we have a great marriage.

My H is very on board with improving our marriage, wants me to be happy and is really really stressed when I'm unhappy. Is it a sneaky LB to say that?

Anyway, this recent IB, that is partly my fault, is causing massive love bank withdrawals. I feel sad and depressed. How do I ACT around him that isn't LBing?

Is it okay to act sad? I read that it's an LB to say I feel disregarded?

Now we both know he's knowingly engaging in IB. Do I just move on? He seems to be (LB??) accepting the love bank withdrawals for now.

We have dates constantly. I know it's important to be pleasant on dates. I was so bummed yesterday about this IB as well as the lack of affection and IC on our date the previous night that I acted really down yesterday and I told him I was feeling really sad and unhappy. He acts really caring and not indifferent.

I feel like I'm going nuts. I want to conduct myself properly.
Posted By: markos Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 07:28 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Anyway, this recent IB, that is partly my fault, is causing massive love bank withdrawals. I feel sad and depressed.


CG, for starters, I think you need to tell him you were bothered by his plans. If the plans are for an event yet future, tell him you have thought more about it, realized you are unenthusiastic/bothered, and are going to decline to participate.

This approach stops the love bank withdrawals immediately.

Radical honesty!

Once your husband has been explicitly informed about your feelings (don't rely on assuming you know what he knows, he knows what you feel, etc.) and has indicated that he is committed to not doing anything that you are reluctant about, then you can make plans for something else that you WOULD be enthusiastic about. That will turn out to be the solution to you feeling sad.

Now, on the other hand, if he will not commit to avoiding actions you are reluctant about, you have a very serious problem in your marriage that is not going to be fixed by you simply becoming more respectful.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 08:09 PM
We just had lunch and chatted about a recent IB. He simply said it was something he really wanted to do and he was okay with doing it despite my not being enthusiastic. The IB that is bothering me right now is a future event that does not involve me. He's not planning to change his plans. His plans involve a lot of other people.

So, yes, our marriage is in trouble. I have no idea how to ACT or what to say. That is what I need help with. I know it's an LB to punish him in any way for his IB. My instincts are to threaten or demand. Those are LBs. and they don't work.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 08:19 PM
Every day, all day he asks me if I'm okay and if I'm good. Do I just say "no" ??

I know the long-term plan would be to prepare to leave. I just don't know how to act in the mean time...

We spend 25 hours a week together outside the house. (Not all great-quality UA)
We talk several times a day and spend every evening together.

I just don't know what to do day-to-day.

How do you leave someone when you have tiny children and they are better than 99% of husbands out there?

He picked the wrong girl all those years ago. Many women would love my life/marriage.
Posted By: markos Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 08:27 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
We just had lunch and chatted about a recent IB. He simply said it was something he really wanted to do and he was okay with doing it despite my not being enthusiastic.


CG, that is a serious problem for your marriage, and it is not fixable from your end. Dr. Harley's position is that if anything is made so important in marriage that it must be done even when the spouse is not enthusiastic, it will eventually destroy the marriage.

Let me emphasize that this problem is NOT FIXABLE FROM YOUR END. Your husband's philosophy of marriage is that it's okay sometimes to do things that bother your spouse - that this is normal and just has to be tolerated. That turns out to be an unworkable marriage philosophy. It creates resentment and eventually totally destroys the marriage.

Quite frankly, in my opinion, the best fix for a husband with that kind of marriage philosophy is to be married to a wife with this kind of marriage philosophy: "I will not tolerate a situation where either one of us does things the other is not enthusiastic about."

I would strongly recommend that you begin preparing for a separation. Because eventually, left unchecked, your husband's attitude toward your feelings will destroy your marriage. On the other hand, if you let him know that you do not want to live this way, and ultimately follow through with a separation if necessary, there is a chance that he might change his mind in order to take your feelings into account.

Alternatively if you stay, you are going to find the temptation to become abusive growing stronger and stronger. You will feel increasing resentment over his behavior that does not take your feelings into account. You will feel powerless to do anything about this behavior. And your emotions will prompt you to try to punish that behavior and to try to control your husband to stop it, with demands, disrespectful judgments, and angry outbursts. Even if you do not give into that temptation it is going to take an emotional toll on you. And even if you remain perfectly free of all demands, disrespectful judgments, and angry outbursts, it will still not be likely to win your husband over to a new way of living that takes your feelings into account.

I'd start looking seriously at what Dr. Harley recommends in his article When to Call it Quits:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8111_quit.html
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8111_quit2.html
(Be aware that, when a husband is willing to start following the principles that make for a good marriage, "When to Call it Quits" doesn't result in the end of the marriage at all - it results in things turning around.)
Posted By: markos Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 08:30 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Every day, all day he asks me if I'm okay and if I'm good. Do I just say "no" ??


Radical honesty! Tell him the truth: you are not feeling good. You are feeling bad because of his willingness to do something that you are reluctant about, and in order for you to feel better, you will need him to stop doing anything that you are reluctant about and look for an alternative with you instead.

Quote:
I know the long-term plan would be to prepare to leave. I just don't know how to act in the mean time...


I would start making those preparations now - worry about that more than worrying about what to do in the mean time.

Quote:
He picked the wrong girl all those years ago. Many women would love my life/marriage.


Most women would HATE having their husbands engage in any activity over their objections. I know my wife certainly does!
Posted By: markos Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 08:39 PM
CG, I just noticed you've posted in Dr. Harley's seminar forum - do you guys still have a Marriage Builders coach? I would definitely call her up and tell her what you have told us here.
Posted By: markos Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 09:01 PM
Dr. Harley posted this to you last October:

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
The issue of your husband's independent behavior will cause you to feel disconnected with him. That, in turn will prevent you from wanting to do more to feel connected, such as making love


http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2762017#Post2762017

Then about a week ago you posted about your own sexual aversion:

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2816217#Post2816217

Continuing to witness your husband's independent behavior is only going to make your sexual aversion worse. Save his sex life (and your own health and sanity) by drawing a line in the sand now. smile
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 09:06 PM
Yes, we still have a coach. I was thinking of talking to her.
Posted By: BrainHurts Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 09:08 PM
Originally Posted By: coffeegirl
Yes, we still have a coach. I was thinking of talking to her.

Definitely call her.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 09:11 PM
He considers my feelings 99% of the time...

He's mostly great.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 09:11 PM
I just sent a message.
Posted By: markos Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 09:16 PM
CG, here's a post by Dr. Harley you might want to read through, possibly with your husband:

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
But what actually happened was that CAC33 felt that his perspective trumped that of twoinone (because he was a horticulturalist and understood the problem better than she did), and took care of the trees the way he saw fit. Twoinone responded in a predictable way by becoming very resentful, and continues to feel that way to this very moment.

Over the few years that you have both been married, twoinone can name literally hundreds of situations where CAC33 has done things small and large that caused her to feel resentful. And that resentment continues on for each incident she's experienced. She doesn't see how she can survive buried under all of that resentment. Trying to forget about them, and letting go, hasn't worked.

But what's even worse is that new incidents keep coming up. And with each new incident, the weight of all of the past incidents pile upon her. It's not the spraying that upset her so much. It's remembering all of the times that CAC33 made decisions that overrode her perspective in the past. The intensity of her reaction is based on the cumulative effect of them all.

...

Learn a lesson from this experience. The cumulative effect of past violations of the POJA will make every small violation seem gigantic to twoinone. It's how anyone would feel and doesn't mean that she's become irrational.


http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2747977#Post2747977
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/29/14 10:37 PM
Thank you. Even before reading this I was able to articulate the cumulative effect of his IB. Even small IB can leave me reeling...

It's just hard because he's mostly very considerate.
Posted By: coffeegirl Re: Trouble with marriage builders... - 08/30/14 02:15 AM
So...tonight I told H that I was upset about his trip. He asked me if he needed to cancel it. I said that would be good. Told him I'd been thinking/sad about past hurtful IB. He said okay. He said he didn't realize it wasn't okay. He knew I wasn't enthusiastic but thought my reluctant agreement was okay.

Did I handle this the right way?

Is it good that he's willing to cancel or do we still have a big problem that he was willing to do it without my enthusiasm?
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