Marriage Builders®
Posted By: dividejim Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 02/10/16 08:44 PM
I've posted here on a number of occasions. I've been on the Marriage Builders radio program twice in the past 2 years. I am thoroughly familiar with the MB principles. I listen to the radio program frequently; I have read His Needs Her Needs and Love Busters. In summary, I've neglected my wife for our 30+ years of marriage. Now that the kids are out of the house, it is just us and we are struggling because we never built a relationship. My wife doesn't feel anything for me (her words) and I'm frantically trying to keep this marriage together. We have always agreed to not talk of our problems with our children, friends or anyone else and to keep it between us. I've kept that promise but now I find the need to talk to someone because we're not getting anywhere. My main love buster has been dishonesty. I believe that I've done a 180 on dishonesty and now focus on not hiding things and being open about everything. I also put most of my energy toward my hobbies over the last 30+ years of marriage. Primarily cycling. I would eat, breathe and drink cycling 24/7. I gave it up roughly 2 years ago because of the strain it put on our marriage. According to my wife, my addiction to cycling has been no different than an affair to her. There has never been any infidelity in our family but this addiction to cycling seems to be very similar to what pain an affair might have caused. As such, I'm treating it just like an affair.

I find now that I've acknowledged the hurt that I've caused and understand my part in that. I see how I've moved away from my wife over all of these years. Now I find that she is in withdrawal and is just like the woman that Dr. Harley writes about in the "How to Deal with a Nagging Wife" article. I've been sleeping on the couch since early November 2015 with no end in sight. I feel like my wife is moving farther and farther away from me emotionally and she is protecting herself from the hurt that I've caused.

We seemed to be starting to move forward a month or so ago and then I lied to her. She called me on it and I realized what I had done and acknowledged that I had lied and since then its been steadily getting worse. The neglect that I have put on her for all of these years has definitely hurt her to the core. We are on the verge of separating at this point and I fear that if I leave, that will be it. It will be near impossible to repair/fix/restart our life together if I leave.

I'm hoping to open a dialogue on this thread that will help me to deal with my wife and actually focus on rebuilding our marriage. Your thoughts/advice would be graciously accepted...DJ
Was this much the same issue that you talked about with Dr Harley? What was his advice to you then?
SugarCane, I need to go back and try to find the programs that I was on. I believe that I have both of them on my computer. I've also emailed Dr. Harley on a few occasions and one of those emails was discussed on the radio in great detail as well.

In general, based on what I recall, we talked through how I neglected my wife over our entire marriage. We talked about angry outbursts which were primarily in my wife's behavior. I discovered that the angry outbursts were really driven by my neglect. Granted, the angry outbursts are very destructive and shouldn't happen but they do happen because of the frustration that has built up over the years within my wife for me hiding things and not being totally honest and not involving her in my life, etc.

I'll need to re-listen to the radio programs in order to remember specifically what Dr. Harley offered.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, I need to go back and try to find the programs that I was on. I believe that I have both of them on my computer. I've also emailed Dr. Harley on a few occasions and one of those emails was discussed on the radio in great detail as well.

In general, based on what I recall, we talked through how I neglected my wife over our entire marriage. We talked about angry outbursts which were primarily in my wife's behavior. I discovered that the angry outbursts were really driven by my neglect. Granted, the angry outbursts are very destructive and shouldn't happen but they do happen because of the frustration that has built up over the years within my wife for me hiding things and not being totally honest and not involving her in my life, etc.

I'll need to re-listen to the radio programs in order to remember specifically what Dr. Harley offered.

From the sound of what you've just written, you did not diligently and systematically apply his advice, since you do not seem to remember it too clearly. Is that a fair assessment?
SugarCane, I'm not willing to say that at this point. I'll go back and get specifics from the radio programs/emails and try to summarize what was recommended and what I actually did...I will look for that tonight...DJ
Here is your show from March, 2015. Do you remember the date of the other show?
dividejim's show
So I listened to 2 items from the radio show. One was a discussion based on an email that I sent Dr. Harley and the second was one of the shows when I was on the radio. Both focused on the following:

Openness/Honesty
Angry Outbursts
Neglect/Independent Behavior

At the time of the email which was March 2015, my wife had kicked me out of the house. The summary of the show was that I feared being honest with her because of the angry outburst that was sure to come. Dr. Harley suggested that I stay out of the house and enjoy being separated for a time. I should continue to talk to my wife via the phone/email but that I should stay away until the anger problem was solved. The struggle seemed to be centered around my wife wanting us to "discuss" the horrible things that I had done to her over the 30 years of our marriage. When we would discuss these things, it would inevitably end up in a fight and would escalate to an angry outburst on both of our parts.

We are now almost a year later and we don't have angry outbursts anymore and haven't now for probably 6 months. I didn't stay away from my wife but was back in the house within a day or two back in March 2015. Now I don't have a problem speaking the truth to my wife. When I do open up, even if the item is something that is difficult to discuss, it does not escalate into a fight. I believe that I have grown to accept responsibility for what I have done and not justify my actions or argue with my wife to the death. I don't do that anymore and haven't now for 6-7 months.

Obviously, I am still not meeting my wife's emotional needs because she is still very hurt by what I believe to be what I am not doing now. I believe that she has let go of the hurt that I've caused in the past but now she is more bothered by the fact that I'm not doing anything actively to rebuild our marriage.

l had a real "awakening" back at Christmas just over a month ago and fully realized the hurt that I have caused. Things seemed to be going much better and then when we were cleaning the house up after the Christmas mess, my wife was talking on the phone to my daughter and I sat down in a chair and fell asleep. We had a lot of work to do and I chose to fall asleep. When my wife asked me what I was doing while she was on the phone, I lied. At that moment, she knew that I had lied about what I was doing and things have been getting worse and worse ever since now for over a month. It was very eye-opening for me because I saw in black and white what it is that I do and have done for years. I lie in order to protect myself from getting into trouble. Its a very sad way to live. I understand how tired my wife is now and know that she has been struggling with the way that I've been for our whole married life.

Now she is very withdrawn. All she talks about now is how she plans to leave me and she wants me out of her life. She wants me to move out.

Bottom line to me is that I've realized the hurt that I've caused and I have worked to stop the love busters. That is only the first step; now I need to start taking action in doing the things that will rebuild our relationship. Its very difficult to do when your wife is so withdrawn...DJ
Originally Posted By: dividejim
At the time of the email which was March 2015, my wife had kicked me out of the house. The summary of the show was that I feared being honest with her because of the angry outburst that was sure to come. Dr. Harley suggested that I stay out of the house and enjoy being separated for a time. I should continue to talk to my wife via the phone/email but that I should stay away until the anger problem was solved. The struggle seemed to be centered around my wife wanting us to "discuss" the horrible things that I had done to her over the 30 years of our marriage. When we would discuss these things, it would inevitably end up in a fight and would escalate to an angry outburst on both of our parts.

We are now almost a year later and we don't have angry outbursts anymore and haven't now for probably 6 months. I didn't stay away from my wife but was back in the house within a day or two back in March 2015.

So, that part wasn't followed through. I think that is a major reason why you are where you are today.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
Obviously, I am still not meeting my wife's emotional needs because she is still very hurt by what I believe to be what I am not doing now. I believe that she has let go of the hurt that I've caused in the past but now she is more bothered by the fact that I'm not doing anything actively to rebuild our marriage.

The strategy of the Marriage Builders programme is to create and sustain romantic love. Doing this requires you to take specifics steps, hourly, daily and permanently. Do you know what these are?

Originally Posted By: dividejim
l had a real "awakening" back at Christmas just over a month ago and fully realized the hurt that I have caused. Things seemed to be going much better and then when we were cleaning the house up after the Christmas mess, my wife was talking on the phone to my daughter and I sat down in a chair and fell asleep. We had a lot of work to do and I chose to fall asleep. When my wife asked me what I was doing while she was on the phone, I lied. At that moment, she knew that I had lied about what I was doing and things have been getting worse and worse ever since now for over a month. It was very eye-opening for me because I saw in black and white what it is that I do and have done for years. I lie in order to protect myself from getting into trouble. Its a very sad way to live. I understand how tired my wife is now and know that she has been struggling with the way that I've been for our whole married life.

What did Dr H say to you about stopping your lies?

Originally Posted By: dividejim
Now she is very withdrawn. All she talks about now is how she plans to leave me and she wants me out of her life. She wants me to move out.

Bottom line to me is that I've realized the hurt that I've caused and I have worked to stop the love busters. That is only the first step; now I need to start taking action in doing the things that will rebuild our relationship. Its very difficult to do when your wife is so withdrawn...DJ

Why haven't you been doing anything actively to rebuild your marriage?

Have you spoken to your wife about what she'd like you to do to rebuild? Has she expressed her wishes on this? Do you know what they are?
Hi.. Welcome back to MB.

***EDIT***

This will not be an easy fix. But its fixable. It ill just take some time and consistancy to recreate romantic love.

You got some work ahead of you.

1. What's your wifes biggest complaint currently?
2. How much time do you guys spend one on one?
3. Do you know your wifes top emotional needs? If so what do you think they are?
4. Stop behaving hurt by her behaviour towards you. Accept it. Your reactions to her actions and reactions if negative at all will not put +1's into her love bank.
5. Start focusing on HER top emotional needs without expecting validation or reciprocation.(Good convo,fun activities together, date stuff etc)
6. Appologize for your unloving behaviour and accept her reaction..

***EDIT***

.don't worry about her reaction her feelings are hers and she has a right to them. What will matter is your on behviour there afte and showing her you value her.

***EDIT***

That's all I got for now.. My commute is over.

MNG
Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy
Hi.. Welcome back to MB. ***EDIT***

How so? Examples?
I don't need to give examples because obviously there is none posted.I think I'm reading between the lines here a bit.Maybe more like he be interpreting her words and actions towards his efforts and may think its disrespect. We don't see the whole picture because I'm sure there is a lot of details he is not getting into incase his wife finds the thread he ould be afraid of her reaction. I'm sure she's said disrespectful things... That have hurt him. Correct me if I am wrong please dividejim.

I know.. As a man that I would feel disrerspected by my wifes unloving behaviour.. If I was making effort to correct my unloving behaviour. Doesn't mean its right..I would just be how I felt.

I'm trying to open up the convo a bit more.. As I'm sure there is more. It in not likely to be she is simply mad at him for years of cycling and "all of a sudden" she's no longer happy with him.
With enough time of no lovebusting and meeting her needs.. She will eventually respond positivly towards him. Making love bank deposits.. +1 +1 +1.. Before ya know it BOOM .. In love again. And history rewrites itself again and everyone sees the positive again instead of focusing on the negative from the past.

Kinda like throwing rocks into a river to make a bridge... Eventually the rocks will start appearing and fill in the gap.

smile

Edit: there does not seem to be a lot wrong with their marriage fundamentaly.. No cheating.. So.. To me its damage that can be repaired with time, and consistancy and positive momentum meeting her needs.
Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy
I don't need to give examples because obviously there is none posted.I think I'm reading between the lines here a bit.Maybe more like he be interpreting her words and actions towards his efforts and may think its disrespect. We don't see the whole picture because I'm sure there is a lot of details he is not getting into incase his wife finds the thread he ould be afraid of her reaction. I'm sure she's said disrespectful things... That have hurt him. Correct me if I am wrong please dividejim.

I know.. As a man that I would feel disrerspected by my wifes unloving behaviour.. If I was making effort to correct my unloving behaviour. Doesn't mean its right..I would just be how I felt.

I'm trying to open up the convo a bit more.. As I'm sure there is more. It in not likely to be she is simply mad at him for years of cycling and "all of a sudden" she's no longer happy with him.

No it isn't likely that "all of a sudden she's no longer happy with him" - and that is not what he said at all. He said that his habitual lying has been a factor throughout their marriage, and that just when things were getting a bit better between them, at Christmas he lied to her again, and THAT is what has pushed her into this deep withdrawal. Clearly, she's had enough of the same old same old. The poster changed his behaviour for a while, and then, at a critical time in their relationship, he took her right back to where she'd been before. No wonder she has checked out.

Dr Harley does not identify a wife who is in withdrawal as "love busting" her husband. Indeed, he displays a lot of sympathy for a wife who has been pushed to this position.

The poster said nothing to imply his wife was love busting; indeed, he said that their angry outbursts and arguing about the past, and his attempts to justify his historic bad behaviour, have ceased for several months now. The problem, therefore, is not her love busting, and you do him no favours by "reading between the lines a bit" and suggesting that the problem is with her behaviour, rather than his recent lying.

Also, he has not said he has made efforts to correct his unloving behaviour. He HAS said that his wife is disappointed that he has made no efforts to rebuild their marriage - suggesting that, apart from giving up obsessive cycling, he is not "correcting his unloving behaviour" at all. He has stopped that particular form of love buster, but has not stopped the lying, and has not done much, if anything to work on the intimate emotional needs. If he were taking her out, talking to her, and showing her affection and offering his undivided attention, she wouldn't complain that he has done nothing to attempt to rebuild the marriage.

Finally, you do him no favours by suggesting that he goes and "works out", when working out in the form of cycling was the very thing that took him away from her and had a major, negative effect on their marriage.
Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy
Edit: there does not seem to be a lot wrong with their marriage fundamentaly..

Well, you must have read a different account from the one he posted.
Hi MrNiceGuy, I'll attempt to address your questions:

1) My wife's biggest complaint currently is that I ignore her
2) As far as time spent together, we spend very little time together
3) I would have to take a guess at her top emotional needs; she is not interested in Marriage Builders even though everything in Marriage Builders is what she believes. Its just because its my idea and she's not too keen on anything that I come up with at the moment.
4) As far as my reaction to her behavior toward me, I accept that she feels the way that she does and I don't fight her or try to control how she feels anymore. I stopped doing this around Christmastime 2015. Its only been a short time, I know
Would you care to answer my questions?
SugarCane, I believe that her emotional needs are as follows in order of importance:

Honesty/Openness
Conversation
Family Commitment
Domestic Support
Affection
Financial Support
Physical Attractiveness
Admiration
Recreational Companionship
Sexual Fulfillment

It does help to actually list these in their priority.
SugarCane, I have to apologize, I thought that your questions were the ones that I responded to but they were from MrNiceGuy. Let me attempt to answer your questions:

1) I have so much MB stuff running through my head that its all a jumble in my mind. A concise, structured listing of the program would be helpful to me.

2) As far as stopping the lying, we talked about openness and honesty. My wife and I talk a lot about this and I've listed that as her greatest need. This is something that I struggle with and am definitely working to correct. My lie at Christmas over cleaning the house was a huge eye-opening event for me because it reinforced what my wife has been telling me for a long time that I hide the truth.

3) As far as why I haven't been doing anything to rebuild our marriage, I am very confused on where to begin. It seems that I run into a brick wall whenever I try to institute something. I'm sure that it is because the hurt that I have caused have created a lot of resentment in my wife and she is not willing to listen to my BS anymore.

4) I have spoken to my wife through email about wanting to rebuild our marriage. I have also spoken to her face to face. I believe that I know what it is that she wants. My problem right now is that she is withdrawn and won't engage with me on anything.
Originally Posted By: dividejim

Its only been a short time, I know



This is the key thing you said here... It took you 30 years to crush her love bank (likely bounced around some in and out of love several times). You still need more time together to build relationship momentum.

***EDIT***

In regards to using MB tools when she wants nothing to do with it.. Is to not speak MB terminology... Rather find a way to do the things you need to do in your marriage to turn it around with the tools here using your own words... So it doesn't seem MB to her.. But also resonates with her. Use words she uses.. She will come around...you just keep meeting the needs you think she has... Do some special things for her..just because...make her feel important.

Whatever you do.... Don't whine (or what she precieves as) Don't mope... Don't sulk... Don't appologize for something more than once.. And if your wife has negative energy (you will know when she's feeling negative toards you or not) take advantage of the not so negative moments and build on them...+1 her love bank henever you can. And if it does get negative.. Don't get hurt over it. Just be there and ***EDIT***. Saying too much or getting defensive over her feelings will be like -20 or more each time.. Then you need a lot of +1's again to rebuild the lost love balance..

When ever you can .. Be positive. Be available, make good convo, learn what interests her and talk to her about it or do it with her.. Offer to go for walks together... Hold her hand (just take it and if she pulls away no biggie).. For no reason send her to the spa... Compliment her... Notice stuff she does.. Ask her questions about herself. Be fun.

***EDIT***

I been married since I was 19 and with her since I was 16.. I'm 37 now.. With and 18yo daughter and 12yo son. Beenderdun all dis. MB is great.. Lots of good fundamentaals to work with and on. You can have a great marriage... ***EDIT*** MB tools will help you to clean up your act and sho your wife you love her. You can do it!

MNG
If your lieing... That's got to stop..... Period.. Her current need is openness and honesty because its been lacking.. It may not be her top need overall... But its top right now. Don't tell her your going to stop lieing.. JUST DO IT. No amount of telling her your going to stop will make her believe it... You have to prove it with more time and consistancy. Lies will -20 her love bank.. And each time you meet her needs its only +1. Do the math... Doesn't take long to be very disliked and unattractive again from one dumb lie... So stop it.. Appologize once.. And don't do it again. Period. Does jean luke picard lie to his crew? NO.... Of course not. ... Don't be afraid of your wifes reactions... That's on her not you. So always tell the truth.. Even if your afraid of her reaction to the truth. Just do it. You ill feel better and so will your wife.. Even if you don't like her reaction initially...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
1) I have so much MB stuff running through my head that its all a jumble in my mind. A concise, structured listing of the program would be helpful to me.

You have access to a concise, structured listing of the programme, in Dr Harley's articles, available free on this site. You need to read every one of them. Start with the Basic Concepts.

As you read you will see that there are many more links, either embedded in each article or at the side of the page. Read every one of those, too. Make sure that you read Four Rules for a Successful Marriage. That particular article gathers all the basic concepts into four rules. You might find it easier to work on the four rules, once you have digested the basic concepts.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
2) As far as stopping the lying, we talked about openness and honesty. My wife and I talk a lot about this and I've listed that as her greatest need. This is something that I struggle with and am definitely working to correct. My lie at Christmas over cleaning the house was a huge eye-opening event for me because it reinforced what my wife has been telling me for a long time that I hide the truth.

The concept of openness and honesty is an emotional need. It refers to the need that a spouse (mainly a wife) has, which is to know her husband's deepest feelings and innermost thoughts. It might help you to see it as more about not keeping secrets from her - about allowing her into all the "rooms" of you life, so that no aspect of you is unknown and inaccessible to her.

O&H is not only about not lying. Lying is a specific act that is done, in your case, to get out of trouble. NOT lying is NOT the same as being open and honest, in the way that Dr H describes O&H.

"Honesty and Openness is one of the ten most important emotional needs identified in marriage, which means that when it's met, it can trigger the feeling of love. But it's counterpart, dishonesty, is one of the five most destructive Love Busters. When spouses are dishonest, they destroy the love they have for each other." Rule of Honesty

Honesty is about opening yourself up, and it is an emotional need that some spouses need from the other spouse. It may or may not be a critical emotional need for your wife. Lying is dishonesty, which is a love buster. It is a massive love buster for your wife. You need to stop committing that love buster.

The way to stop that particular form of love busting is to stop lying. The way to meet an emotional need for openness and honesty is to talk about your innermost feelings. Lying is a love buster. The two are different things, and you should not confuse them.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
3) As far as why I haven't been doing anything to rebuild our marriage, I am very confused on where to begin. It seems that I run into a brick wall whenever I try to institute something. I'm sure that it is because the hurt that I have caused have created a lot of resentment in my wife and she is not willing to listen to my BS anymore.

Please give us some examples of what you have done to "institute something". Please be really specific. your wife claims that you have not done anything, but you claim that you have tried. What have you tried?

Originally Posted By: dividejim
4) I have spoken to my wife through email about wanting to rebuild our marriage. I have also spoken to her face to face. I believe that I know what it is that she wants. My problem right now is that she is withdrawn and won't engage with me on anything.

What is it that you believe she wants, and what have you tried to engage her in?
Jim, I want to warn you against the "be cool and aloof" philosophy embedded in this advice.

"If you were in a bad place with your hubby... And fighting or what have you... Should your hubby just stand there and wait for you to not be mad at him? Or should he go occupy himself until you cool off? That's all I'm saying... If she wants him to leave her alone because she's not in a good space in her head with him.. What good will it do to sit there and follow her around like a lost puppy hoping for his cookie? That's no way to be married... When she needs space and indicates as such.. Its best to go find a way to fill the time until she's ready to talk again by doing something awesome rather than sulk and wait and hope she will be nice to him. Obviously when she's feeling negative towards him its not a good time to talk...aknowledge she's upset.. Appologize once..then its Best to go be awesome for a bit then come back to it.

Whatever you do.... Don't whine (or what she precieves as) Don't mope... Don't sulk... Don't appologize for something more than once.. Bring positive energy with you when your near her and meet her needs when you can... And if you can't or she won't let you then just be near by and do something manly or awesome...

This is not Marriage Builders advice, and it is not how Dr Harley advises a man to try and bring his wife out of withdrawal. Since you have spoken to Dr Harley more than once, and since you listen to the radio show, and have chosen to post here again, I take it you are here for the advice that Dr Harley gives?

Well, here is what he says about dealing with a wife's complaints, before they descend into nagging, an d once they have already reached that point. Note that he does not tell you that her reactions to your love busters "are on her", or that you should apologise only once and then, if she is still upset, leave her to sulk - as if she is one of your children, and not an equal partner, with a legitimate complaint:

"As a husband, you should address every complaint your wife makes with patience and kindness. You should enter into a discussion with her regarding every issue she raises, and do it without any disrespect or anger on your part. If you think that she has so many issues that you feel overwhelmed by them, organize them together and set priorities. Focus on the three that top her list, and when they are resolved, work your way through it." How to Deal with a Quarrelsome and Nagging Wife"

Going off to "be awesome" by working on your pecs while your wife "cools down", when she is upset at having discovered you in yet another lie, is a way to push her into withdrawal and keep her there - and you've already done that.

Time to use Marriage Builders.
**edit**
Originally Posted By: MrNiceGuy
Whatever you say sugar ...I will bow out.I don't know anything.. I have only been married pretty much all my life. I promise that rewarding her negative behaviour will only reinforce it.I never said be aloof. But Good luck anyways.

Here you go again- "rewarding her negative behaviour".

He has not given ANY examples of her negative behaviour. However, he has given a serious example of HIS negative behaviour, which is his lying. His wife also continues to say that he ignores her.

It is HIS negative behaviour that has driven his wife into withdrawal. He is not here complaining about her negative behaviour. He is here because he is now in a desperate fight to save his marriage - his wife is repeatedly asking him to move out, and telling him she is DONE. He is looking for help to stop her pushing through a separation, because he knows that if they separate, his wife will heave a sigh of relief and not look back. He has love busted her too many times over too many years, and has done it recently, even knowing how fragile things were at that time.

It is HIS negative behaviour that he needs help with, and he has come here for help with Dr Harley's Marriage Builders programme - not for advice that her deeply upset responses are "on her".
Originally Posted By: dividejim
My main love buster has been dishonesty. I believe that I've done a 180 on dishonesty and now focus on not hiding things and being open about everything. I also put most of my energy toward my hobbies over the last 30+ years of marriage. Primarily cycling. I would eat, breathe and drink cycling 24/7. I gave it up roughly 2 years ago because of the strain it put on our marriage. According to my wife, my addiction to cycling has been no different than an affair to her. There has never been any infidelity in our family but this addiction to cycling seems to be very similar to what pain an affair might have caused. As such, I'm treating it just like an affair.

I find now that I've acknowledged the hurt that I've caused and understand my part in that. I see how I've moved away from my wife over all of these years. Now I find that she is in withdrawal and is just like the woman that Dr. Harley writes about in the "How to Deal with a Nagging Wife" article. I've been sleeping on the couch since early November 2015 with no end in sight. I feel like my wife is moving farther and farther away from me emotionally and she is protecting herself from the hurt that I've caused.

We seemed to be starting to move forward a month or so ago and then I lied to her. She called me on it and I realized what I had done and acknowledged that I had lied and since then its been steadily getting worse. The neglect that I have put on her for all of these years has definitely hurt her to the core. We are on the verge of separating at this point and I fear that if I leave, that will be it. It will be near impossible to repair/fix/restart our life together if I leave.

I'm hoping to open a dialogue on this thread that will help me to deal with my wife and actually focus on rebuilding our marriage. Your thoughts/advice would be graciously accepted...DJ

He did not post a SINGLE WORD that suggested any "negative behaviour" from her. His posts were all about his own negative behaviour, and about how desperate he is now that she's given up. He described her behaviour as "emotionally protecting herself from the hurt he has caused' - which is entirely reasonable for her to do.
SugarCane, here's what I am talking about when I say that I've tried some things:

1) I used to argue with my wife to the death. Justifying why I did something, trying to make myself look better. I discovered that this is a huge love buster for my wife. My justification was simply me trying to make it ok that I made a unilateral decision (living independently). I have totally stopped doing this. Granted, it has only been about 1-1/2 months now but we were going through these arguments on a daily basis. Now they have stopped.

2) I let her know what is happening during my day. She's not much interested in this at this point so I'm not sure that this is helping anything right now.

3) I have totally stopped cycling. I stopped this about 2 years ago in total.

4) After my experience with the bold-faced lie that I told my wife when we were cleaning our house after Christmas, I realized what I was doing and have stopped. It has only been again about 1-1/2 months now so its only been a short time.

As you have questioned me about what I have been doing and I've written these down, its very clear to me that I've just stopped doing a few things but I haven't really taken any actions to DO anything that is important to our relationship. I believe that my wife's top 3 emotional needs are Honesty/Openness, Conversation and Family Commitment.

I think that the most valuable item to focus on with my wife now is conversation. She needs this and I've not given it to her. We sit in silence most of the time when we are together. We have this wall between us, I believe because of the things that I have done to her over our married life. She is just like the person described in Dr. Harley's "Nagging Wife" article. She is fed up, at the end of her rope, wanting to end everything.

Have you dealt with this sort of situation? I'm really struggling.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
As you have questioned me about what I have been doing and I've written these down, its very clear to me that I've just stopped doing a few things but I haven't really taken any actions to DO anything that is important to our relationship.

Bingo.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, here's what I am talking about when I say that I've tried some things:

1) I used to argue with my wife to the death. Justifying why I did something, trying to make myself look better. I discovered that this is a huge love buster for my wife. My justification was simply me trying to make it ok that I made a unilateral decision (living independently). I have totally stopped doing this. Granted, it has only been about 1-1/2 months now but we were going through these arguments on a daily basis. Now they have stopped.

2) I let her know what is happening during my day. She's not much interested in this at this point so I'm not sure that this is helping anything right now.

3) I have totally stopped cycling. I stopped this about 2 years ago in total.

4) After my experience with the bold-faced lie that I told my wife when we were cleaning our house after Christmas, I realized what I was doing and have stopped. It has only been again about 1-1/2 months now so its only been a short time.

As you have questioned me about what I have been doing and I've written these down, its very clear to me that I've just stopped doing a few things but I haven't really taken any actions to DO anything that is important to our relationship. I believe that my wife's top 3 emotional needs are Honesty/Openness, Conversation and Family Commitment.

I think that the most valuable item to focus on with my wife now is conversation. She needs this and I've not given it to her. We sit in silence most of the time when we are together. We have this wall between us, I believe because of the things that I have done to her over our married life. She is just like the person described in Dr. Harley's "Nagging Wife" article. She is fed up, at the end of her rope, wanting to end everything.

Have you dealt with this sort of situation? I'm really struggling.

The reason I insisted that you be very specific was because I suspected that your idea of "I've really tried, recently" and her idea of what you've been doing might be sharply different. I thought that you might be misguidedly aiming for emotional needs that were not important to her.

It seems that it's worse than that - you are not actively doing anything to rebuild romantic love. So THAT's what she means when she says you have done nothing; you have literally done nothing. And that's why she isn't interested in your talk of Marriage Builders and your promises to change. Tell me how letting her know what is happening during your day - talking about yourself, in other words - is designed to make her feel special and fall in love with you? You don't seem to have a clue what she needs or what to do.

But we can fix that.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Have you dealt with this sort of situation? I'm really struggling.

The vast majority of our marriages on this board have been in this situation at some time, whether or not they also endured affairs. Mine most certainly has.

We need to tackle this systematically.

How is the reading (of the articles on the website) going?
SugarCane, I've probably read about 1/4 of the articles that are out there. I sense that no matter the topic, the content will be relevant because its all structured around the MB principles.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, I've probably read about 1/4 of the articles that are out there. I sense that no matter the topic, the content will be relevant because its all structured around the MB principles.

Have you re-read every article describing the Basic Concepts?

Basic Concept 1: The Love Bank
Have you re-read this article, that describes how Dr Harley conceived his Basic Concepts?
Have you read about the Three States of Mind in Marriage?
Did you listen to the Radio Show today?
SugarCane, I have done the following:

o The Basic Concepts
o How These Were Developed
o I listened to Friday's radio show...its spot-on for what I'm going through

I also wanted you to know that I had an interesting moment the night before last with my wife. It was bedtime and we were talking and she was very withdrawn. I started to bear my soul to her and tell her what she meant to me and how I've learned what I have done to her through my neglect. We've talked about these things many times in the past but something was different this time. Her whole demeanor changed and I could see the hate melting away from her face as I was talking to her. I'm sure that I was meeting her need for intimate conversation and openness/honesty.

I do have moments that I can look back on and see that I've been open and honest. Its not yet part of my character and it is a struggle for me.

My wife told me last night that she thinks that I need to go away for a little while so that she can truly discover how she feels for me. This is a lot different from the last time we talked about me going away because it was to just separate and work toward a divorce. I think that the moment a few nights ago gave her something that she craved from me and brought her somewhat out of withdrawal and more back into the conflict stage.

Its such a struggle at times! Thank you for your guidance, I really do appreciate that you're willing to help folks who are struggling...DJ
Originally Posted By: dividejim
SugarCane, I have done the following:

o The Basic Concepts
o How These Were Developed

I am glad to hear about the reading you've done so far, and about the apparent change in your wife's attitude. It seems that this might be a moment of opportunity; you need to seize it (carefully) and not let it go, and NOT slip back into your normal habits.

You need urgently to read about the three states of mind in marriage (linked above), and then you need to re-read the basic concept of the Policy Of Undivided Attention.

There is a reason I'm telling you to read through all these resources, and why I'm not giving you shortcuts by saying "do this". The reason is that the Marriage Builders concepts fit together, and need to be practiced all together. They do not work piecemeal, and it is impossible to do rebuild a romantic marriage if you do not understand the importance and effect of the things you do wrong, and learn consistently how to create love bank deposits.

So, please (re) read the resources I describe above, and also today, order the book Love Busters, from the bookshop online here, or from Amazon. It comes only in hardcover format.

That book is essential for you, because it deals with the issues that have brought your marriage to the point of destruction. As its description says,

"Love Busters are habits that destroy romantic love. They develop soon after marriage and, before long, destroy intimacy, safety, trust ... and romantic love.

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., has shown couples how to create romantic love in his best seller, His Needs, Her Needs. But in Love Busters, he helps couples avoid losing romantic love by recognizing and overcoming thoughtless and selfish habits. These habits are common in every marriage and not only destroy romantic love, but also prevent couples from resolving their conflicts."

Love Busters is a long book, but it's all the better for that; it covers all the common behaviours that destroy love, and show how to change those behaviours and stop the destruction. You need that book, and also His Needs Her Needs - but you need Love Busters more.
I do already have love busters. I will re-read the book. I think you are right about seizing the moment. I appreciate the reminder to review the basic concepts. It really does help to review these frequently...DJ
You sound very much to me as if you are saying that, because things appear to have turned a corner, you are okay now. You appear to be signing off from this thread. If so, good luck.
Sugarcane, im not sure why you got that impression from what I said. I am not under the delusion that things are okay and I know that I have a lot of work to do. I am just grateful that folks like you are out there helping. I start rereading love busters last night.
Well, that being the case,

Originally Posted By: SugarCane
You need urgently to read about the three states of mind in marriage (linked above), and then you need to re-read the basic concept of the Policy Of Undivided Attention.

And don't forget to listen to todays radio show.
Okay, I will re-read the states of mind article as well as the policy of undivided attention today...DJ
The point about those articles is that they contain a plan of action. Can you see what it is?
I will let you know what I glean from the articles sometime today. I need time to get through them again. It will probably be later on today...thanks SC
So, in a nutshell, after reading the 3 states of marriage and the policy of undivided attention, it seems to me that the plan is as follows:

1) Understand what your spouses emotional needs are
2) Plan at least 15 hours/week to be together to focus on meeting those needs
3) Learn what love busters you are doing and stop doing them
4) Focus on 4 main emotional needs; affection, conversation, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment

Am I on the right track here?
Number 1 and number 4 actually need to switch place, if you follow the argument of the Undivided Attention article.
1) Learn what love busters you are doing and stop doing them
2) Focus on 4 main emotional needs; affection, conversation, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment
3) Plan at least 15 hours/week to be together to focus on meeting those needs
4) Understand what your spouses emotional needs are.

-Do you understand why it is important to spend a minimum of 15 hours per week out of the house, on dates with only you and your wife, meeting those 4 emotional needs (well, perhaps sexual fulfilment can wait until you get home - unless you can afford to go to a hotel, which would be divine)?

-Do you understand why Dr Harley says that you must focus on those four emotional needs during Undivided Attention (UA) time?

-Do you understand why it is far more important for you to focus on the common top two needs for a woman - affection and conversation - than to focus on other needs that she might have, such as family commitment and domestic support? Do you understand why having a husband who is an involved father is important to most women, but it does not make them fall in love?

The top need that you think your wife has is openness and honesty, from you.

While that need might be important because she has been denied it from you, it needs to come through the means of intimate conversation - but the main purpose of intimate conversation is to encourage your wife to talk about whatever she wants to, and to really listen and respond to her. Let her take the lead if she wants to explore your mind; do not use your dates as an opportunity to talk about yourself.

You cannot do UA time at home (apart from SF). Home is not a romantic place where you dress up, bring out your best selves and focus on each other. Home is where you do chores, or use the Internet, or flop out on the sofa. You need to arrange dates where you can talk, flirt, be affectionate and carry out an enjoyable activity, all at the same time. Dinner, dancing, sport and exercise, walking, visiting art galleries and museums, and lots of other activities allow you to accomplish conversation, affection and recreational activity all at once. Sexual fulfilment will follow easily, at home.

What can you do to arrange 15 hours outside the home every week, starting this week?

You'll be amazed at the effect proper UA time has on your wife.

Can you take her away for a break? That would kickstart your recovery like nothing else.
As far as the 4 main emotional needs are concerned, I believe that I've just experienced the affection and conversation with my wife over the last 2 days. I really put some effort into talking with her and being affectionate yesterday. I didn't sleep on the couch last night at her request. Thats the farthest that we've moved in a positive direction since last November.

It seems to me that the 15 hours of UA puts both of us into an intensive and focused time together during which we can really focus on the intimate conversation without interruption. It seems to me that intimate conversation is certainly one of the most important emotional needs for my wife. Focusing on that alone seems to be the "gateway" to meeting some of the other emotional needs which would just naturally flow out of the intimate conversation.

We are planning to take a break for a few days and go away somewhere to be together. As far as 15 hours of UA this week, I need to think of ways to do that. We spend an awful lot of time together at home each night but like you say, its not the same as getting away from home.

I need to think of some ideas for getting out of the house together...DJ
I suggest that you take her out to dinner. Don't wait for a perfect, novel idea. Watch your conversation and keep it thoughtful, pleasant, balanced, and affectionate. (Just like pre-marriage days.)

While at dinner, provide 2 copies of this....and ask how she would feel about filling one out.

Recreational Inventory:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi4505_rei.html
Another thing to be religious about...

Have a written grid with the 4 intimate emotional needs. Make sure that each and every date allows for all 4 boxes to be checked, in a way that you BOTH enjoy.

Yes, in this case, checking the boxes works.
So my "window" was very short. 1 week later I'm back on the couch and my wife has given me until Friday to find a place to live.

So she had a medical procedure done last week on Tuesday. I was very supportive and caring on both Monday and Tuesday. According to my wife, one the procedure was over, I went back into my normal mode. Aloof, quiet, not talking. I can't argue with that, I'm under a huge amount of pressure at work right now during a very busy time and I have a lot on my plate. I do tend to get pre-occupied with outside things when I'm in this mode.

What do I do now? She's back into emotional withdrawal and wanting me to move out again.

I've starting emailing her numerous times throughout the day because she won't talk to me. It just turns ugly. Email seems to be the only way that I can say anything to her...DJ
Originally Posted By: dividejim
So my "window" was very short. 1 week later I'm back on the couch and my wife has given me until Friday to find a place to live.

So she had a medical procedure done last week on Tuesday. I was very supportive and caring on both Monday and Tuesday. According to my wife, one the procedure was over, I went back into my normal mode. Aloof, quiet, not talking. I can't argue with that, I'm under a huge amount of pressure at work right now during a very busy time and I have a lot on my plate. I do tend to get pre-occupied with outside things when I'm in this mode.

What do I do now? She's back into emotional withdrawal and wanting me to move out again.

I've starting emailing her numerous times throughout the day because she won't talk to me. It just turns ugly. Email seems to be the only way that I can say anything to her...DJ

Is that what your wife can expect from you when you are under pressure at work?
Originally Posted By: dividejim
It just turns ugly.


How does it turn ugly? Are you lovebusting in the emails?
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Email seems to be the only way that I can say anything to her...DJ


Just because you identify something as a DJ during the time you are saying it, does not make it OK to DJ your wife. It is not productive at all.
Originally Posted By: unwritten
Just because you identify something as a DJ during the time you are saying it, does not make it OK to DJ your wife. It is not productive at all.

"DJ" is his initials, unwritten. He puts this at the end of every post. It becomes quite confusing, as you have experienced!
Originally Posted By: unwritten
Originally Posted By: dividejim
It just turns ugly.

How does it turn ugly? Are you lovebusting in the emails?

No, it is the talking that turns ugly!

Originally Posted By: dividejim
I've starting emailing her numerous times throughout the day because she won't talk to me. It just turns ugly.
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: unwritten
[quote=dividejim]Just because you identify something as a DJ during the time you are saying it, does not make it OK to DJ your wife. It is not productive at all.

"DJ" is his initials, unwritten. He puts this at the end of every post. It becomes quite confusing, as you have experienced!


Oh, gotcha! Thanks for clarifying. I have seen people do this, make a DJ about their spouse and then say 'I know that is a DJ' and thought thats what he was doing.
Could you consider signing your posts " Jim"?
Well that is what she gets...I do tend to internalize things when I am under pressure...jim
No there is no love busting in the emails, only when we actually talk to each other. Lots of anger. Not from me, from my wife. I am avoiding anger like the plague...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Well that is what she gets...I do tend to internalize things when I am under pressure...jim

That isn't quite what I asked.
Sugarcane , I understand what you are saying. The right answer is no she should not expect to get that when I am under pressure. Now getting me to live that way is another issue.
Jim,

Do you have the habit of texting, or calling your wife at consistent times every day? Every day?

If so, what does that look like?
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Sugarcane , I understand what you are saying. The right answer is no she should not expect to get that when I am under pressure. Now getting me to live that way is another issue.

She knows that you will improve your behaviour for a little while, but very soon you will revert to your old ways. You have never failed her in that. That being the case, she's not going to stick around for this to happen again and again, and she's correct not to put up with it. She should kick you out, because you keep hurting her.
Something I noticed very quickly with you is that you come here in panic to get a quick solution to an immediate crisis, but you do not apply yourself to learning and using Marriage Builders beyond that.

You dealt directly with Dr Harley twice, and did not follow through. Then you came here recently and had to be pushed into reading Dr Harley's advice in his articles, and working out how to apply it. What you wanted was the quick fix for this most recent crisis. When you felt you had got enough information form the forum, because your wife let you sleep in the bed again, you abandoned the forum and, no doubt, abandoned reading Love Busters and everything else we recommended. And now here you are again.

You were told last week to consistently arrange Undivided Attention time out of the house, for at least 15 hours per week. If you had scheduled that time for this week, your wife could not have complained that you were distant and uninvolved with her. You cannot be distant and unconnected your wife if you are taking her out and having intimate conversation four times a week.

The Marriage Builders programme has the answer to all the problems you face, but it won't work if you do not use it. It seems that you won't use it because you do not really care about making your wife happy, and about having a romantic, integrated marriage. You'd be happy, I suspect, to carry on with your hobbies and your job, living in your own world with huge emotional distance between you and your wife, as long as she lets you sleep in the bed and she isn't cross or withdrawn from you. If she can stop showing her unhappiness, that's good enough for you.

I can't see what is in this for your wife. You will not apply yourself to changing your behaviour and habits. No wonder she wants out. I would too.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
The right answer is no she should not expect to get that when I am under pressure.

The right answer is that she SHOULD expect to get that when you are under pressure, because that is exactly what she WILL get. The next question, then, is what should she do, given that certainty. Should she just accept a loveless marriage to you?
SugarCane, I can't disagree with the things that you said in this post. The things that you said are extremely harsh and carry no compassion whatsoever. I come here to this forum for help because I am struggling and so is my wife. You give me a few sentences of advice which I believe are good. Unfortunately, none of us can have a real relationship online so you don't know me from Adam. You don't know of the struggles that my wife and I have had our whole married life. I was totally oblivious to my wife's feelings until 5 years ago. I've been drinking from a firehose ever since and scratching my head, wondering how I could have been such a jerk for so long. Now I'm seeing my marriage coming to an end and yeahp, I'm at fault. I accept full responsibility for where we are in our relationship as of today. After all of these years, I can now look back and see how stupid I have been, how uncaring, unloving, uncompassionate, etc. I come here with an open mind and maybe I'm not communicating well enough to truly express how I feel. I feel like I've been run over by a freight train that I never saw coming. When my wife and I started to go through this rough period, she was in menopause. I blamed that. Then I blamed her for all of the years of angry outbursts towards me. I pointed the finger of blame everywhere but at me. Now, after 5 years of struggle and 5 years of fighting, I'm finally seeing how I have caused most of this difficulty. I discovered marriage builders back in 2012 and instantly became interested in it. I've dabbled and stuck my toe in the water. My wife is uninterested and wants nothing to do with MB even though she believes all of the principles taught by Dr. Harley. I get the idea that you're expressing that I've not taken the MB principles to heart and not taken anything seriously. Your'e right! I've not taken them to heart. These principles are difficult and they don't just take hold overnight; especially when your spouse is uninterested. I'm here asking for sincere advice and compassion as someone who is in uncharted waters and has never faced anything like this ever. I find myself constantly humbled by life and the choices that I've made. There has never been any infidelity in our marriage. I believe that the root of everything lies in the fact that I never loved my wife from the start. I'm now at a point that I want to love her but see my opportunity slipping through my fingers. I just want some help. Okay, enough of my soapbox now lets get on with things.

I want to love my wife and I want her to love me. Guide me, please...
Jim...
My husband has completely changed from how you describe yourself, into a loving, caring, thoughtful and attentive husband.

It did not happen overnight. But one thing that he started, was to affectionately kiss me goodbye every morning, text me midmorning with some intimate thought, call me every single day on his lunch hour, text me in the afternoon with a check-in for evening plans and his ETA from work. Then he calls when he gets in the car, to confirm his ETA, and finally, he kisses and hugs me upon arriving home before anything else.

Can you start this tomorrow morning??? The goal is to integrate with your wife and let her know that she is the most important person in your life and that you care about her.

I now affectionately call my husband "Clockwork". I feel that I can depend on him to check in. Miraculously, this week, while he was under pressure, in the back seat of his boss' car, he texted me with questions about a health concern I was having. Unbelievably opposite to how he used to be.

You are capable of this too. Even if your wife says that she is done, you need to follow thru with showing care. Start implementing new behaviors now.

Get your phone out and set a timer for midmorning, lunch, & afternoon every single day. When your timer goes off, that is time to check in and send affection. Are you willing? If so, then set your alarms and post back.
Didn'tQuit, I can do this. Can I ask you a few questions?

o What exactly does this action from your husband give you?
o Aren't you concerned that what he is doing is robotic? I ask this because my wife says that what I do is "fake". This bothers me because it may not be something that I want to do but repeating it, I believe, will hopefully put me into the position of wanting to do what bothered me before.
o When you say your husband texts you an intimate thought, what do you mean by that?

My problem has always been consistency; starting/stopping/starting/stopping. I get why my wife has no faith in me. I have to work on being consistent. Your thoughts would be appreciated...Jim
I will answer your questions after your alarms are set.

You can't let any reason or doubt or excuse or challenge get in your way.
Also, could you please let me know what times you chose so that I can help you out?
Nice move...I have chosen the following times:

o 10:00 AM
o 12:30 PM
o 3:00 PM

I plan to phone my wife at each time...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Nice move...I have chosen the following times:

o 10:00 AM
o 12:30 PM
o 3:00 PM

I plan to phone my wife at each time...


Good plan.

Now I don't want to assume, so did you actually set your alarm? And did you set them on your phone or your computer Or your watch?
Yes, I set them on my phone...
I just called my wife after my first reminder rang...she's watching the grandkids so we only talked for a few minutes...
Okay, so while I formulate responses to your questions, get a plan for today's thoughtfulness alarm schedule.

Be prepared. Your wife is frustrated beyond belief and she will most likely balk at your attempts to connect. If she complains, You say,
I care about you and want to become the husband you need.

I would not call every time. I would establish a habit that you can do every single day, without exception. I would include texts and not just phone calls. This will give her time to let your efforts sink in.

Before you call, on your lunch hour, make a checklist of 3 things to cover when you call.
Example:
1. Her emotional/physical status.
2. Talk about her day.
3. Confirm or reorganize plans for the evening based on any unforseen circumstances.

I would recommend that you text her at least one or 2 times per day with a thoughtfulgram.

Examples would be:

I care about you and hope that you are feeling better...

Thanks for doing.... last night. I appreciate it.

Just thinking about how....(compliment) you are.

Can we go out tonight? I was thinking maybe we could do.... I would like some alone time with you.

Part of why I love my husband's text messages is because they are a gift from him, and require no contribution on my part.

Can you see why I suggest including texts and not just phone calls?
My wife is not one to carry her cell phone with her so text messaging won't work. Email is usually how I slip in contact with her during the day.
Okay then use email for reliability. I would still send some texts which will greet her when she does pick up her phone. Don't use the fact that she won't see it immediately as a reason (excuse) not to text. I wouldn't be surprised if she started to check her phone more often.
What are your thoughts regarding my points about using written messages as opposed to just phone calls?
I actually had this discussion with my wife last night and told her that I felt like I could only send her emails now because at least she would read my words and could go back and re-read them. I believe that written words leave more of an impression than verbal discussions. We're having difficulty just talking to each other verbally now because of the frustration and anger. So, I agree that written words are very important...

Originally Posted By: dividejim
I believe that written words leave more of an impression than verbal discussions. [quote=dividejim] We're having difficulty just talking to each other verbally now because of the frustration and anger.


Of course you are. You are both emotional. Press on.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
So, I agree that written words are very important...


Thanks for responding with your thoughts.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I actually had this discussion with my wife last night and told her that I felt like I could only send her emails now because at least she would read my words and could go back and re-read them.

I imagine that your statement above was a lovebuster to her. It is an outburst of frustration, and blames her that you supposedly have to email her, which isn't true. She is understandably annoyed to communicate with you because you haven’t respected her in the past.

At this point, don’t discuss your plan to contact her frequently. It’s about you giving the gift of thoughtfulness and affection to her. You don’t need her permission or a discussion to reach out to her. She doesn’t even need to respond. If she doesn’t respond or if she gets bent out of shape, you still do it! The point of these new daily communication habits is to express the goodwill gift of care.

Agreed?
Jim-


Please keep an open mind about the following...


YOU SAID,
Originally Posted By: dividejim to Sugarcane

I want to love my wife and I want her to love me. Guide me, please...

AND
Originally Posted By: dividejim to Sugarcane

I come here with an open mind...

AND
Originally Posted By: dividejim to Sugarcane

I find myself constantly humbled by life and the choices that I've made.


What you said above, was NOT reflected in this statement to Sugar:

Originally Posted By: dividejim to Sugarcane

The things that you said are extremely harsh and carry no compassion whatsoever.





Sugarcane was trying to reflect back your lack of follow through with the MB program. Though it is tough to hear, I see it as VERY compassionate of her to help you understand why you are back on the couch and why your wife feels hopeless. She was trying to help you see clearly and find the motivation to follow through in the future.

I'm sure it was difficult for Sugar to be balled out by someone she is trying to help. It's YOUR marriage at stake here, and not hers. She posted out of compassion. I would encourage you to see Sugarcane's post in that light.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Didn'tQuit, I can do this. Can I ask you a few questions?
Yes, and I will answer each question in a separate post to make it easier to pay attention.

Originally Posted By: dividejim

o What exactly does this action from your husband give you?

When my husband CONSISTENTLY messages and calls me throughout the day:

1. It demonstrates that I am not "out of sight out of mind".
2. It demonstrates that I am worth his time, and worth
thinking about.
3. It breeds hope for the present and future, and fades the
negative from the past.
4. It prevents independent behavior by both of us.
5. It makes love bank deposits in the areas of Affection,
Intimate Conversation, and Family Commitment.

So that's been my personal experience. It represents what Dr. Harley talks about daily on the radio show. I hope that helps.

Originally Posted By: dividejim

o Aren't you concerned that what he is doing is robotic?

I love this question!!
YES, it seems formal and robotic at first. In fact, it was very difficult and uncomfortable for my husband to do it at first. And I felt awkward and frustrated by that. But I couldn’t deny that those messages and check-ins represented effort on his part.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I ask this because my wife says that what I do is "fake". This bothers me because it may not be something that I want to do but repeating it, I believe, will hopefully put me into the position of wanting to do what bothered me before.
It feels “fake” to her for a couple of possible reasons. Either the Way you do it is not what you did when you were dating, or, the thoughtfulness is not evident. Over time, you will be able to take feedback from your wife without being defensive, and you can adjust your communications to better fit her. Another possibility is that you both need to get used to it, and over time, it will feel more natural.

Dr. Harley & Joyce discuss this topic frequently on the radio show.
Originally Posted By: dividejim

o When you say your husband texts you an intimate thought, what do you mean by that?

Anything that would be considered private or flirty. Something positive that would be inappropriate for another man to say to her.


In the beginning, the messages looked kinda like this:


Hi wife, Hope you are having a good day.
How are you today?
Are we supposed to go out tonight?
Checking in…


Now, after a few years of MB work, dating, and consistency, they look very different. Here are some recent examples from my phone…shhh
(I’m sharing with his permission)


Hey DQ, Wish we could hang out some more. It would be nice to go for a walk with you. Love you!

Good Morning DQ.
I loved our time together this weekend. Thanks for being a flirt.

Hey… I need to do (xyz) thing. Can I call you at …?

Good morning DQ …Love you. Sorry I couldn’t be there to help you with …..

Love you. Hopefully we can run away tonight. Hope you are feeling better.

Call you in 2….

Can we go out tonight?



Jim, can you imagine how much these daily text messages mean to me? Seriously, they light up my day. What a powerful man my husband has become. He has the power to send happiness my way. And he uses it every single day. And I do not take it for granted.


By the way, Dr. Harley and Joyce discuss this type of stuff daily on the MBradio show.
Originally Posted By: dividejim

My problem has always been consistency; starting/stopping/starting/stopping. I get why my wife has no faith in me. I have to work on being consistent. Your thoughts would be appreciated...Jim

Okay Mr.Jim…. Are you sure you want to keep asking for my thoughts?

Here’s the deal. Some people struggle to think of stuff and struggle to get motivated and then struggle to remember things. That may be you. It’s not instinctive for you to do this stuff. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t, or that you don’t need to.

Your wife needs to see that you can make changes and follow through, before she will have faith in this program for YOUR marriage. Hopefully, in time, she will see the possibilities, and agree to sign up for the MB online accountability program. It was so helpful for us and having a coach would take a huge pressure off of your wife.


Until it becomes second nature, you will need to set reminders and alarms. I suggested that you start with these texts and calls to your wife, because it will start the ball rolling, and get you into the habit of thinking of her often. Your job is to FOLLOW THRU when the alarm goes off. DO NOT skip for any reason.



Did you kiss your wife goodbye this morning? Did you hold her and kiss her hello when you got home?

How did your care messages go at 10am, 12:30pm, and in the afternoon?

Do you see any reason why you cannot keep this schedule?


DQ, thank you for responding to all of my questions. Its very helpful to hear how your husband's actions felt to you. My wife and I talked for awhile tonight about our struggles together. My wife has a lot of resentment towards me for all of the years of neglect. I spent a lot of time doing things that didn't involve her. I pursued my hobbies and found passion for other things. That passion never included her. My cycling years really took a huge toll on her. She feels as if I had an affair with a bicycle. She's right...I can see how she feels that way. When our difficulties started (roughly 5 yrs ago), there were a few things that I did that really left a deep level of hurt inside of her. I just want to quickly recap these things because I think it will give context for where we are now:

o I took a new job (5 yrs ago) and pretty much made the decision on my own without discussing with her all of the details and deciding together. I even promised to talk with her in great detail before I took the job and never did. I accepted the job via email to my future boss and I copied my wife on the email very proud of myself for involving her. What a mistake! What a jerk!

o Our aged dog was very sick one evening. We thought that she was going to die that night. My wife was also sick with a bad cold. Rather than stay with/help my wife, I slept in the garage in my car so that I could help our dog. I thought that she was going to die. It felt like the right thing to do at the time but it wasn't.

o My wife and I went to IKEA and had a very nice day being together. As we were in line to check out, my wife pushed the cart forward and accidentally bumped a pallet full of champagne glasses. About 5 of them fell on the floor and shattered, glass everywhere. We were both embarrassed. The IKEA personnel told us to step away from the glass (I was on the ground picking up shards to help clean up the mess). My wife was very embarrassed and I did nothing to ease the situation like putting my arm around her and telling her that it was okay. Nope, I leaned over to her and said "...how embarrassing is this!". Then I kind of backed away from her and basically left her on her own. Oh boy!

Those are most of the big things. Now, the reason that I tell you about these is that my wife has insisted that we talk through each of these experiences and clear the air. I can't say that we've really ever talked through any of these things until she is healed of the hurt. We've talked about the events in excruciating detail, examining every facet of each event under a microscope. So, we've definitely talked about the events but we haven't had any healing at all. My wife is as hurt now as she was when they occurred; even more so now because I can't seem to "talk" the way that my wife is envisioning. I am struggling as to how to "talk" about these events so that we can break down the wall that is between us. I know that Dr. H suggests to talk of difficult events in great detail and then don't ever talk of them again but move on. I know that he speaks of this as it relates to an affair but I'm not sure if he means this with any kind of difficult event. That said, my wife needs to talk through these things until we can heal but we haven't been able to talk in a way that heals anything.

Hopefully, that gives you some good understanding of what we're dealing with at this point. We have been in this mode now for at least 5 years. I have not kissed my wife for at least 3 years now. The only physical contact that we have is holding hands (even that has stopped recently).

I truly believe that my personal problem is that I don't know how to develop relationships. I'm not really close to anyone. I'm not close to my wife. I don't have any friends that I share my deepest thoughts with. I have had close relationships in my past. I've had 2 very close friends that I could talk to openly and honestly without any fear of embarrassment, reprisal...I was very safe. I've never experienced that with my wife. We weren't the kind of kids that when we were dating would sit for hours at a time just talking. We have never talked much. I think that our marriage was driven primarily by hormones. Now that the kids are grown up and gone, its just us and we have no relationship. I spent all of those years chasing my interests and now we have nothing. Its really quite sad. So, thats where we are right now. You can kind of see what we're in the midst of.

I truly believe that the principles taught by the MB program are true and will bring us back together. I believe that our relationship can be better than it ever was during the whole of our marriage as well.

My wife is extremely needful to discuss my past indiscretions in order to heal from them. I'm not sure how to do this and what she needs/expects. Maybe you can help me to better understand what she means. I'm sorry to put this on you but I really do appreciate the efforts that the moderators put forth on this forum. I just hope that you all can help me and my wife. We are both running out of steam...DJ
You are in a good place Jim. At least your wife refuses to settle any longer with feeling invisible and steamrolled. She shouldn't feel like you don't listen unless she yells at you or threatens divorce. But finally you are listening. This is good.

Dr. Harley once told my husband that his greatest achievements would be made in his efforts as a husband and father. Look who that's coming from- A man who has done LOTS of things in life, including owning businesses, creating a huge website, getting his doctorate, writing lots of books including bestsellers, being a Christian and helping save marriages for decades. His greatest achievement has been his affair-free, romantic marriage with Joyce.

Keep that in mind, please. You can do this.

Now, I do have answers for you about what your wife is seeking by reviewing your past thoughtless behavior. However, before I respond, I really need to know how it went today. Can you please answer the questions from my most recent post?

Originally Posted By: dividejim

I'm sorry to put this on you but I really do appreciate the efforts that the moderators put forth on this forum. I just hope that you all can help me and my wife. We are both running out of steam...DJ


Fyi..I am not a moderator. Just paying it forward. Used to be in your wife's position. Not anymore, thanks to Marriage Builders peeps and principles. Oh. And lots of effort from me and my husband.
DQ, here are my responses to your questions:

Did you kiss your wife goodbye this morning?...No, she will not let me kiss her

Did you hold her and kiss her hello when you got home?...No, right now, she is not interested in any affection from me

How did your care messages go at 10am, 12:30pm, and in the afternoon? ...I did call her at each time that I set for alarms. She was babysitting the grandkids so she had a lot on her plate. We didn't get to really talk much at 10 or 12:30. At 3:00, we simply coordinated our schedules and planned to meet so that we could get some dinner and shop for groceries.

Do you see any reason why you cannot keep this schedule?...I see no reason that would prevent me from keeping this schedule.

DJ
Did you actually try to kiss or hug her Jim? Or did you assume that she is not interested and won't let you?

As for calling her at each alarm...

Either you are missing my tediously made points about written messages to her or you are unwilling.

So is it clueless or unwilling?
DQ, here are answers to your questions:

Did you actually try to kiss or hug her Jim? Or did you assume that she is not interested and won't let you?...I assumed and did not attempt to do anything.

As for calling her at each alarm...

Either you are missing my tediously made points about written mess ages to her or you are unwilling.

So is it clueless or unwilling?...I heard what you said about written messages. I was more focused on calling her at the various alarms throughout the day. I did not send her anything via email (reminder, she's not enamored with cell phones so texting is not possible)...so I'm certainly not unwilling, I just didn't write anything yesterday and focused on phone calls instead...
DQ, I took your "written messages" to heart and just texted her phone. She probably won't see it for a few days but I understand your position on these messages and how they help.

I also just sent her an email inquiring how she is feeling...she's at the starting end of a cold. I told her that I would call her in a bit...10:00 as planned...DJ
Thanks for your honesty. And for your follow up.

Some thoughts about your assessment of the situation...

Your problem is not knowing how to develop a relationship. You have Dr.Harley's books, you have MBradio, you have previously received lengthy tutoring sessions from the forum. (Btw, Sugarcane was among those who gave of her time.)

Instead, I would define your personal problem this way:

When you try to follow through, you feel all sorts of negative emotions like discomfort, resentment, fear, skeptisism, nervousness, etc. In essence, you are scared. And sometimes you are angry, and sometimes you are selfishly unwilling. Those are your INSTINCTS that keep you stuck.

Learning to move forward using your intellect, despite the emotional discomfort that you feel, is going to be your biggest challenge.

Your choices are:

A. Keep asking for information and reasons why you should do these thoughtful actions, and keep discussing the problem until we are both blue in the face

B. Take caring action despite your resentment, fear and discomfort. Implement the MB principles by forming good marital habits one at a time.

If you decide not to follow through on these basic care expressions, then honestly I would recommend that you free your wife and provide her huge financial support. It is damaging to her when you say you care and then avoid demonstrations of care out of selfishness or fear.


So are you willing to retrain your instincts?


If so, the next step is to revise your thoughtfulgram plan into one that's uber predictable and effective.  

R.S.V.P.


Originally Posted By: originally posted by dividejim on 2/11/16


...She is not interested in Marriage Builders even though everything in Marriage Builders is what she believes. Its just because its my idea and she's not too keen on anything that I come up with at the moment.


Jim-

1. Have you actually ASKED your wife if she would be willing to do the MB online accountability program with you?

2. How do you know that everything in the MB program is what she believes?

3. How did you find Marriage Builders?

4. Has your wife heard recordings of your radio shows? Do you have access to the archives?
DQ, I can see how my instincts kick in because you are spot-on. I am scared. So scared that I am paralyzed. It feels like my instincts are standing in the way of doing something.

I just talked to my wife during our lunchtime phone chat and I had just read your message regarding instincts. I really hung in there on the phone and even though the discussion was very uncomfortable, I didn't run, I pushed through. It is very hard for me. I need to learn how to overcome those instincts so to answer your question, yes, I want to proceed and as you say "learn how to retrain my instincts"...DJ
DQ, here are my responses to your questions:

1. Have you actually ASKED your wife if she would be willing to do the MB online accountability program with you?...I have not asked her. I do not know much about the online program.

2. How do you know that everything in the MB program is what she believes?...When i first discovered the MB program, I attempted to talk to her about it and the principles that Dr. Harley teaches. Because of where we were at the time, she didn't want to hear it and anything that I suggested was instantly dismissed. Since then, I have attempted to interject MB principles into our discussions without calling them out as MB principles. The policy of radical honesty, the policy of UA, the policy of joint agreement. She believes in these things so there is no issue with the principles; its just that they come from MB and she has an aversion to MB just like she does to bicycles.


3. How did you find Marriage Builders?...I found MB just by hunting on the internet one day. It looked very interesting and pretty soon, I was hooked.

4. Has your wife heard recordings of your radio shows? Do you have access to the archives?...No, my wife has not heard recordings of the shows that I was on. She doesn't know that I was on the radio. I do have recordings of the shows.
Have you come completely clean with your wife about your past indescretions and independent behavior? (Private habits)

I'm not suggesting that you do that just yet, I'm needing to know if you ever did.
Yes, I have come clean and we have talked about my past indiscretions and independent behavior. There has been a lot of it. We have discussed in great detail the difficult situations that I have caused.
I hate to say it but sometimes people are going to be how they are going to be. My wife is that way. We've tried counseling, together and separately. She hasn't a clue what she actually does and says that is hurtful to me. So, I've just chosen to overlook and let it be. My self image is stronger for it and for all the rest of the world knows we get along fine. And I feel a whole lot better not trying to get her to change.
Originally Posted By: Shirdon3
I hate to say it but sometimes people are going to be how they are going to be. My wife is that way. We've tried counseling, together and separately. She hasn't a clue what she actually does and says that is hurtful to me. So, I've just chosen to overlook and let it be. My self image is stronger for it and for all the rest of the world knows we get along fine. And I feel a whole lot better not trying to get her to change.


Shirdon, I would strongly advise you to look into Marriage Builders if you believe the advice you gave here. It is an extremely destructive strategy that is addressed here by Dr. Bill Harley, clinical psychologist and founder of Marriage Builders:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
When you meet your spouse's emotional needs, you deposit love units into your spouse's Love Bank. And when you avoid behavior that makes your spouse unhappy, you avoid withdrawing love units. That combination leads to romantic love, the feeling of incredible attraction that is essential in a happy and fulfilling marriage. So if your spouse ever registers a complaint in either of these two categories, my advice to you is to take care of the problem as quickly as possible. Don't wait for it to become an even greater problem, in hopes that it will eventually go away. And then, let the Policy of Joint Agreement (never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse) guide you to a solution.

I give you this advice because I want you and your spouse to be in love with each other, and I'm sure that you want that, too. But most marital therapists disagree with me on this issue. Because their advice is so pervasive, and so destructive to the love of couples that follow it, I use whatever opportunity I have to defend this crucial position.

The difference between my approach to saving marriages, and the approach of most other therapists, is that I focus on building romantic love (being "in love") between spouses, rather than simply focusing on conflict resolution. As it turns out, I also address conflict resolution, but I do it in a way that builds love between spouses.

Since most marital therapists fail to address the romantic love issue when they try to help couples, their approach to conflict resolution usually fails to build love, and as a result, the couples divorce, even after "resolving" some of their conflicts.

My experience, and the experience of a few others who are carefully studying what it takes for a couple to be satisfied with their marriage, proves the opposite of what is currently being popularly recommended. Instead of spouses trying to lower their expectations, I believe that they should raise them. Instead of spouses learning to meet their own emotional needs, I believe that they should expect to have them met by each other, and met in a professional manner. Why? Because that's what it takes for a couple to be in love and stay in love. Furthermore, couples should not waste their time trying to "understand" each other's failures, but rather, they should try to overcome them as quickly as possible so the issue does not have time to drain their Love Banks.


The rest of the article is here: here

Dr. Harley has pointed out that a complaint is an opportunity to improve in a good marriage and an irritation in a bad marriage. That is very true.
some more from the article:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
In this study, newlyweds who divorced within 6 years were compared with those who remained married during those years. It was found that the divorced couples tended not to respond to each other's complaints as quickly as those who remained married. These divorced couples ignored each other's complaints until they became intensely negative. Those who remained married, on the other hand, went to work addressing each other's complaints soon after they were mentioned, not giving the complaint a chance to build up.

My experience with couples agrees with the results of this study. In successful marriages, spouses expect to change to accommodate each other's needs, so when a spouse registers a complaint, it's a signal for action. In failed marriages, on the other hand, spouses expect to be accepted as they are, without change. A complaint is interpreted as an unwillingness to love unconditionally, a failure of the complaining spouse. So instead of adjusting to the complaint, the defense is offered, "if you really loved me, you would not try to change me. You would let me continue to do whatever it is I'm doing."
Thanks Melody!!!

So that brings us back to Jim's situation.

It seems to me, Jim that you DID follow through with some things.

For the last year, you have been working on STOPPING destructive habits, with some success. At least until your wife caught you lying again.

So this is an example of Dr. Harley's point, about how you can stop bad behavior, but unless you introduce the meeting of intimate emotional needs, your marriage won't recover.

So what we need to work on with you, is overcoming your problem with initiating love bank deposits.

Are you working this weekend?
No we are home together all weekend
Can you try this for tomorrow?

Take her to breakfast or lunch, and have some great positive conversation. (Recreational Companionship & Intimate Conversation)

Then go to the movies or bowling? Be affectionate during the movie.
(Recreation Companionship and Affection)

What "should" follow is Sexual Fulfillment. Maybe you could come home after and give her a foot rub or maybe even a long awaited kiss.

Could you do that tomorrow?
Well she has a cold, we just had a long talk and I helped to make her comfortable so I'm not sure that she will be up to doing anything physical like bowling. I will need to take a different approach and just talk to her and help her throughout the weekend. Any ideas on how to be loving when she is sick?
Here's the map to follow...

Recreational Companionship:
Intimate Conversation:
Affection:
Sexual Fulfillment:

Take a stab at a plan here, okay? You can adapt my date idea to work at home, because she's sick, or brainstorm for a different idea. However, you should have it figured out tonight so that you can set things in motion.

I'll wait for you to fill in the blanks...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I will need to take a different approach and just talk to her and help her throughout the weekend.


I am going to respond as if you meant this literally...

You DO need to take a different approach. And NOT just TALK to her. Your wife needs MORE than that. Talking may be safe, but your target is all 4 intimate emotional needs. I know. Scary.
I think one of the most loving things to do when a loved one is sick is to make a big pot of chicken soup. You can ask her to keep you company in the kitchen with a cup of tea for UA while you're chopping the vegetables, and then the whole time it's cooking it smells so good, making little deposits, and then all weekend it's easy to heat her up a cup, and then sit with her for a cup of tea or soup and good conversation. Affection is easy too when you all are sitting on the couch together. I know movies are not UA, but there is nothing like falling asleep on your sweetie's shoulder, wrapped in his arms, when you're sick.
Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
I know movies are not UA, but there is nothing like falling asleep on your sweetie's shoulder, wrapped in his arms, when you're sick.


Exactly! Movies are not UA time. Don't include them in your 15 UA hour tally. They work well as a part if a date, on the weekend, when time is more abundant.

One of my favorite dates for when I'm not feeling well:

Husband brings home soup and salad from a popular restaurant.
We eat in bed and then watch a non-stressful movie together.
We stop the movie often, to talk or kiss, etc.
Often ends up in SF.

I am only enthusiastic about including theater movies on our regular dates if:
They are: non-stressful and clean
We have some good UA time with Intimate Conversation before or after, (like restaurant or walking)
My husband cuddles me etc.

One of my husband's favorite forms of recreational companionship is to watch a movie with me right there beside him as his favorite recreational companion. I would also say that movies worked as a weekend date extender to lower our stress levels when we first started our 15 hours. That was a time when conflict and axieties were high. The reason I considered it is that I listened to Dr. Harley when he said that a wife should be by her husband's side when he is most relaxed. We have to get EA for any movie we watch.

So Jim, please think about the goal when considering whether or not a movie is a good idea.

Hey Jim,

I hope that you aren't letting the weekend pass by without organizing DATES with your wife. Just talking to her is not sufficient. Hopefully you had a 4hr stretch of time yesterday, with the goal of meeting all 4 intimate emotional needs.

Having a cold, or busy work season are factors you accommodate by brainstorming. Think about it...if you can date your wife over the next month, it will prove to her that you can do it forever.

What do you say?
P.S.

If you didn't carve out a 4 HR UA plan aka date yesterday, please do it now. If you struggle, let us help. But please don't skip it.

Can you take your wife on a drive and have a car picnic at some scenic spot? See if she would feel like taking a walk? Hold her hand?

Did you listen to the radio show this weekend? It was awesome. Very good topic for you.
Knock. Knock. smile
Hi DQ, I am here...just been trying to work on some UA time this weekend. I will let you know how it went tomorrow morning or later tonight if possible. It's had some good some bad so far...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Hi DQ, I am here...just been trying to work on some UA time this weekend. I will let you know how it went tomorrow morning or later tonight if possible. It's had some good some bad so far...


Thanks for cking in.

Good and bad are to be expected. Just keep at and adjust based on her feedback.

Remember to try some nonthreatening affection like a foot massage, head massage, hand holding or hugs.

And make sure that tomorrow you get back on your intervals for written affectionate messages and phone calls. Okay?
Hi DQ, I'd like to tell you what happened this weekend.

o We got some UA time on Saturday. Spent the morning cleaning the house and tried to finish up by early afternoon so that we could get out of the house and spend some time alone. My wife was sick with a cold and didn't feel really good but we decided to get out anyway (we decided this together). We went out to eat, did some shopping and just did some walking. It was a nice evening. We had some intimate conversation during the evening. I had my arm around her for most of the evening while we walked. When we got home, we talked for awhile. Mostly about my misdeeds over the years. The topic of my cycling came up and my wife reiterated in great detail the hurt that I caused by my addiction to cycling. She went off to bed angry and hurt. On her way to bed, she said "...its not the kind of thing that a wife wants to hear that her husband had passion for a bicycle but didn't have the same or more passion for his wife".

o Prior to us getting home from our UA time on Saturday, I discussed some more UA time planned for Sunday and suggested that we pop some popcorn and watch the Colorado Avalanche hockey game (my wife is a huge hockey fan and has been looking forward to watching this game for some time now). That seemed to go over well until we got home and started talking. The hockey game did not happen as planned on Sunday.

o We attended church Sunday morning and got to see our son/his wife and the grandsons. It was nice to be together. We then came home, cooked some dinner together and started to talk again. We got into financial issues and work issues. We've got some concerns about having enough $$ for retirement. We're still probably 15 yrs away from this but we haven't saved consistently over the years and are woefully behind. We talked some about me calling my wife throughout the day from work. She doesn't want me to call because she "...knows where this will go". Meaning that she knows that if I show her attention and she starts to enjoy it and gets her hopes built up again that I will just drop her in a few days like I've done in the past and she'll be hurt again. This has happened so much that she is staying emotionally withdrawn. We've been through this cycle a number of times and its been very predictable. I understand why she feels the way that she does. I guess that for me it is very difficult to put myself out there when she is emotionally withdrawn. She can say some horrible things to me when she is withdrawn and historically, I've just shut down in order to protect myself from being hurt. I just clam up and don't say anything. In fact, I don't really know what to say. I think that this is one of those "following my instincts" things and that is why it is so difficult to do anything different. I'm not really sure what to do in those situations; I'm just kind of paralyzed.

o My wife just went to bed and on her way upstairs said that she just wants to be done. She is so tired! She is tired of living this way and doesn't have any faith in me that I will make any real changes.

So, thats where we are right now. I don't have any UA time scheduled for this week yet. My wife was not in the UA frame of mind tonight so we did not talk about plans for the week. I did not even attempt to bring the topic up...
I haven't read the entire thread. Have you taken weekends away? Getting away from the day-to-day life and spending UA time on vacations ALONE can make dramatic deposits into the love bank. My wife and I just got back from a weekend together, and it was amazing. It might take longer for you in your situation, but big chunks away together is huge. I recommend a cruise. All your needs are taken care of and the setting is romantic.
[quote=dividejim]Hi DQ, I'd like to tell you what happened this weekend.
Thanks for updating.

o We got some UA time on Saturday. Spent the morning cleaning the house and tried to finish up by early afternoon so that we could get out of the house and spend some time alone. My wife was sick with a cold and didn't feel really good but we decided to get out anyway (we decided this together). We went out to eat, did some shopping and just did some walking. It was a nice evening. We had some intimate conversation during the evening. I had my arm around her for most of the evening while we walked. When we got home, we talked for awhile. Mostly about my misdeeds over the years. The topic of my cycling came up and my wife reiterated in great detail the hurt that I caused by my addiction to cycling. She went off to bed angry and hurt. On her way to bed, she said "...its not the kind of thing that a wife wants to hear that her husband had passion for a bicycle but didn't have the same or more passion for his wife".
Good job putting your arm around her. She is afraid to enjoy it because she's afraid it won't be enough or it won't last. I see this as a prime opportunity to introduce her to Dr. Harley and Joyce. I would share the radio show from this weekend with her. Once she realizes that you are willing to commit to a program by a psychologist who understands her plight, it may give her more hope. Did you get a chance to listen? The program was about putting an activity in front of your spouse. It will go away at noon EST tomorrow.

o Prior to us getting home from our UA time on Saturday, I discussed some more UA time planned for Sunday and suggested that we pop some popcorn and watch the Colorado Avalanche hockey game (my wife is a huge hockey fan and has been looking forward to watching this game for some time now). That seemed to go over well until we got home and started talking. The hockey game did not happen as planned on Sunday.

o We attended church Sunday morning and got to see our son/his wife and the grandsons. It was nice to be together. We then came home, cooked some dinner together and started to talk again. We got into financial issues and work issues. We've got some concerns about having enough $$ for retirement. We're still probably 15 yrs away from this but we haven't saved consistently over the years and are woefully behind. We talked some about me calling my wife throughout the day from work. She doesn't want me to call because she "...knows where this will go". Meaning that she knows that if I show her attention and she starts to enjoy it and gets her hopes built up again that I will just drop her in a few days like I've done in the past and she'll be hurt again. This has happened so much that she is staying emotionally withdrawn. We've been through this cycle a number of times and its been very predictable. I understand why she feels the way that she does. I guess that for me it is very difficult to put myself out there when she p.pis emotionally withdrawn. She can say some horrible things to me when she is withdrawn and historically, I've just shut down in order to protect myself from being hurt. I just clam up and don't say anything. In fact, I don't really know what to say. I think that this is one of those "following my instincts" things and that is why it is so difficult to do anything different. I'm not really sure what to do in those situations; I'm just kind of paralyzed.

Please recognize her lashing out as a plea for you to prove her wrong. She is frustrated. You cannot expect her to change her reactions at this point because she's not here. What I will say is that she is still open. She is in the state of conflict. So what you need to do is come up with a memorized response that will acknowledge the past and state a goal for the future.
"Honey, I'm sorry that I have disappointed you in the past. I am learning what you need from me so that I don't keep hurting you. I want to take care of you.


o My wife just went to bed and on her way upstairs said that she just wants to be done. She is so tired! She is tired of living this way and doesn't have any faith in me that I will make any real changes.
When she lashes out, acknowledge that you are sorry for the past, and confirm to her that you have a plan for change. Short and simple. She wants to be done with the negativity. She hasn't left. She spends time with you. She talks with you. She's invested.
So when she talks that way, pull out your memorized acknowledgement and Reassure her that you care. It is probablyat least 50 times I said "I'm done" to my husband, while wishing that he would reassure me. It was unfortunate that he didn't feel it would be honest to reassure me because of his track record.


So, thats where we are right now. I don't have any UA time scheduled for this week yet. My wife was not in the UA frame of mind tonight so we did not talk about plans for the week. I did not even attempt to bring the topic up...


That's okay. Make your plan anyway. Just like when people date, you make an idea and then ask if she'll join you. That is your excuse to call her.
She hasn't agreed to 15 hrs and doesn't know the program so don't overwhelm her at this point. Just plan some options and then invite her.

As for her saying not to call...
That is why I asked you not to share your plan with her. This is to gift her a check in, a date invitation, or to throw admiration her way. The worst thing you could do right now is to reinforce her fears by backing off the need meeting. Can you see how ironic that would be? You don't need her agreement to care for her and meet her needs. Last time I heard, you are still married and its technically your obligation. Just Don't discuss it and keep it light.

Can you start hugging her goodbye and hello tomorrow? Maybe a kiss on the cheek? What do you think?
Originally Posted By: Justthe3ofus
I haven't read the entire thread. Have you taken weekends away? Getting away from the day-to-day life and spending UA time on vacations ALONE can make dramatic deposits into the love bank. My wife and I just got back from a weekend together, and it was amazing. It might take longer for you in your situation, but big chunks away together is huge. I recommend a cruise. All your needs are taken care of and the setting is romantic.


I totally agree. Maybe Plan A cruise for April 16th? wink
How did 10 and 12 go?

ETA:

What I should be asking is, What did you do when your alarm went off at 10am and 12 pm?
DQ, I listened to the radio show over the weekend about the tennis "addict". It really hit home with me and my cycling.

I do have a question for you or anyone else out there. I listened to the MB radio program today and Dr. Harley said that when he and Joyce go out on a date, they never discuss anything related to problems that they are having. They only focus on having fun together. That said, when do you talk about problems? It almost seems to me that the 15 hours of UA is primarily focused on being together in a positive fashion v. discussing things that are difficult...DJ
So that's why I wanted you to share the show with your wife. Because it would help her gain buy in to MB as a resource and as one that would benefit HER.
(Did you share it with her?)

JIM...

Are you trying to explain MB to your wife? If so, she could feel like you are trying to lecture & control her, or like its just another obsession of yours.

We need to figure out a plan of attack to bring her on board. But first we need to know that you can follow through with basic need meeting.

Why are you avoiding my question? I'm not trying to punish you. It's important that you are honest with yourself here so that you can get help.

DQ, I'm not avoiding your question, its just that there are so many posts that I read through and sometimes I may miss responding to a question.

You said: "Are you trying to explain MB to your wife? If so, she could feel like you are trying to lecture & control her, or like its just another obsession of yours.

We need to figure out a plan of attack to bring her on board. But first we need to know that you can follow through with basic need meeting."

No, I have not shared anything about MB with my wife in a very long time. She is not enamored with MB and it is a source of contention between us when I do bring it up. Therefore, I am hesitant to say anything to her about MB until I can actually do something that makes a difference. I feel like once I have done something that is impacting us that I can then bring in the MB principles/radio show/etc.

Thats my thinking at this point.
Originally Posted By: dividejim


I do have a question for you or anyone else out there. I listened to the MB radio program today and Dr. Harley said that when he and Joyce go out on a date, they never discuss anything related to problems that they are having. They only focus on having fun together. That said, when do you talk about problems? It almost seems to me that the 15 hours of UA is primarily focused on being together in a positive fashion v. discussing things that are difficult...DJ


That is the goal. Wouldn't it be great if your wife could listen in with you? It would not be a good idea to "teach" her how to act on your date. Her attitude for a while will be one of skepticism and hesitancy. You are going to have to suck up your emotional reactions to that for a while and prove to her that you can be consistent. Unless you keep up the schedule of thoughtful messages and asking her out, you will never create goodwill in her. Please start with the basics. And keep those going regardless of what she does.

Because this is so difficult for you to do, I would recommend that you not ask any more questions to "understand". Figuring out the "why" makes no difference if you are too scared to to take action. Once you become consistent with these plans, we can go into further discussion about the complicated issue of her needing to hash and rehash the past trauma.

Take Action and the Feelings will come.

You can do this Jim.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
DQ, I'm not avoiding your question, its just that there are so many posts that I read through and sometimes I may miss responding to a question.


For that reason, I am focusing on one thing, and need you to keep ontrack. Here was the question I need answered...

Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
What did you do when your alarm went off at 10am and 12 pm?


I also need answers to this please:

What about 3pm?

Did you hug or kiss her when you got home? If not, please try. You can't have your arm around her all weekend and then withdraw when she complains.
Here are the answers to your questions:

What did you do when your alarm went off at 10am and 12 pm?...at 10:00, I sent her an email. At noon, I called her and talked to her for about 20 minutes.

What about 3pm?...Again, I sent her an email

Did you hug or kiss her when you got home?...I did not
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Here are the answers to your questions:

What did you do when your alarm went off at 10am and 12 pm?...at 10:00, I sent her an email. At noon, I called her and talked to her for about 20 minutes.

What about 3pm?...Again, I sent her an email

Did you hug or kiss her when you got home?...I did not
hurray

In the emails, don't discuss any problems etc. Use them for talking about possible future events, or admiration even though that's difficult to give considering her AOs. Maybe mention the idea of a cruise?

I like the quick check-in call at lunch.

Don't skip when the alarm goes off. It will get easier. You could always text her too. Its like leaving a surprise note for her.

Goal for tomorrow...Stick with the schedule and add a hug or kiss upon leaving and coming home. What do you think?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Now, I do have answers for you about what your wife is seeking by reviewing your past thoughtless behavior. However, before I respond, I really need to know how it went today. Can you please answer the questions from my most recent post?


DQ, I would really like to understand what it is that my wife is seeking by reviewing my past thoughtless behavior. I know that you want me to stop asking questions but I need to know some of these things because she pushes me constantly and tells me that I'm not really talking to her about these things. We just seem to hash over the same stuff (mostly facts about what I did). There never seems to be any real resolution or any real heartfelt conversation about things. I'm confused as to what she is looking for.
By the way, I just wanted you to know that I'm working late tonight. Unplanned and unforeseen until late this afternoon. I called my wife to let her know that I would need to stay late. This is why I can focus so much on the forum...DJ
Okay...how about we make a deal...you promise to keep up your 10,12,3 schedule and I will write my thoughts about your wife's complaints. Deal?
Yes ma'am...thank you
When I reached the point in my marriage that your wife is at, the reason I needed to talk about those things was to make sure my exH UNDERSTOOD what his behavior did to me, and how deeply it hurt me so he would be able to protect me from this kind of behavior in the future.

(He was not interested in MB; it is not MB advice to cooperate with continuously dredging this stuff up, but he refused to follow MB, refused to read an MB book and continued anger outbursting at me. My only hope was to get him to understand.)

If I could have been convinced that he UNDERSTOOD to not behave that way in the future, I would have had more hope that I wouldn't be in the same place all over again, broken heart and all, sometime in the future.

It stirs up the hurt and pain all over again to just talk about it, so it would seem your best plan of action would be to overwhelmingly convince her - the very next time she brings it up - that you understand that you hurt her, and that you have been spending a lot of time learning and implementing a plan that will change your behavior and protect her from your old behavior in the future. Try to put it to rest the next time she talks about it the best you can.

You don't want to keep going back to these discussions and dwelling on her pain; but she won't give them up until you convince her that you understand her pain and are very desirous to **protect** her from a recurrence.

She deserves this wooing and protection from you; but what she doesn't deserve is for you to woo her back and then go back to same old same old.

If I were advising her, I would tell her to enjoy the changes but protect her heart until time had proved them out for a while.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Yes ma'am...thank you
k. I promise to respond tomorrow about the time you are writing kind words to your wife.

In the meantime, what Sunnytimes wrote was my experience also.
100%, Sunnytimes.

Jim, have you written any of this down other than this website? Like a journal?
Hi Apples; to answer your question, I have written in a journal off and on for a number of years. I have not written any of the information contained in this thread however. I do know that being able to go back through your journal and read what was written is oftentimes very helpful and reminds you of where you've been and hopefully what you've changed...DJ
Posted By: markos Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/01/16 03:48 PM
Originally Posted By: Sunnytimes
When I reached the point in my marriage that your wife is at, the reason I needed to talk about those things was to make sure my exH UNDERSTOOD what his behavior did to me, and how deeply it hurt me so he would be able to protect me from this kind of behavior in the future.

(He was not interested in MB; it is not MB advice to cooperate with continuously dredging this stuff up, but he refused to follow MB, refused to read an MB book and continued anger outbursting at me. My only hope was to get him to understand.)


That is a recipe for disaster. MB says not to try repeatedly to make your spouse understand because you will drive yourself nuts. The fact that once in awhile a person might get lucky this way does not mean it's a good idea.

You had another hope: MB would recommend protecting yourself from a spouse who won't do MB. That's a much safer and less riskier approach, so it comes with more hope built-in.
Originally Posted By: markos to Sunnytimes

You had another hope: MB would recommend protecting yourself from a spouse who won't do MB. That's a much safer and less riskier approach, so it comes with more hope built-in.


THIS is why I am hesitant to tell you (Jim) my thoughts about your wife's perspective. But since I made a deal with you, I will follow through.
First of all, my understanding from your thread is that you want to keep at this with your wife instead of following Dr. Harley's advice to separate. He gave that advice based on your email, and no input from your wife. You have chosen not to disclose your radio show interactions with your wife. If you had shared that with her, she might have called the show to express her perspective, and maybe you guys would be in a better situation today. It seems like you are trying to fix this alone, and there is no possible way that you can fix your marriage without changes from your wife. She needs to stop bringing up your mistakes of the past, and she needs to change the way she behaves when she feels frustrated with you.

Having said that, you have expressed your intention to change your side of things, so here we are. I really hope that this can serve to keep you ON TRACK, and not as a distraction. The last thing we need is for you to go off replying to multiple posters as has been done for the last 3 years, instead of putting energy into implementing behavioral change.
I'd at least like to know what she is thinking. I just got off of the phone with her...my 10:00 contact. I chose to call this morning...DJ
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I'd at least like to know what she is thinking. I just got off of the phone with her...my 10:00 contact. I chose to call this morning...DJ
hurray

Keep at it.

Short answer is that she is not "thinking", she is acting out of hurt from what you have done in the past, and fear of you being thoughtless in the future.

I have an appt. and will finish my thoughts in a couple of hours. In the meantime, please work on memorizing a statement that you can use when she goes into a negative,angry,fearful diatribe. I gave you some ideas recently.
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Sunnytimes
When I reached the point in my marriage that your wife is at, the reason I needed to talk about those things was to make sure my exH UNDERSTOOD what his behavior did to me, and how deeply it hurt me so he would be able to protect me from this kind of behavior in the future.

(He was not interested in MB; it is not MB advice to cooperate with continuously dredging this stuff up, but he refused to follow MB, refused to read an MB book and continued anger outbursting at me. My only hope was to get him to understand.)


That is a recipe for disaster. MB says not to try repeatedly to make your spouse understand because you will drive yourself nuts. The fact that once in awhile a person might get lucky this way does not mean it's a good idea.

You had another hope: MB would recommend protecting yourself from a spouse who won't do MB. That's a much safer and less riskier approach, so it comes with more hope built-in.


My xH seemed to be completely oblivious to the pain he was causing me. Yes it was a recipe for disaster - and I knew it was - but by then I was ready for disaster, WANTED disaster, so I didn't care. You will remember that I was one of the tougher nuts to crack on getting me to leave my husband from his abuse.

In retrospect I was able to reconcile what I needed to do (follow MB advice!) with my faith and my new understanding of the whole counsel of God's word on the subject, not just my understanding of a few limited texts. While going through this, I didn't have that understanding yet.

I am NOT advocating or recommending whatsoever that anyone do this; I'm just telling Jim WHY his wife is doing it, and where she is.

And Jim, heed Marko's fair warnings, it will lead to disaster so you need to make sure she believes that you get her pain the very next time she brings it up, so she can let it go and stop bringing it up.

Once you show a very caring empathy so she can feel safe in that you understand, then every time she goes there afterwards, you can make the statements that Didn't Quit is formulating for you. Be careful that when you make them they are not in a dismissive tone, but a sincerely caring tone.

For your marriage to recover, she has to move on from the place she's in right now.
By the way, Jim, if you commit even a single same-old, same-old lovebuster in these next critical few weeks, she will lose complete faith in all of your changes.

Please be on high alert. If necessary, thank her for the suggestion or criticism and ask her for some time to think about it, and bring it here and you will get lots of help.

My xH made ALL KINDS of promises which I would hang on until I could see he had gone back to same-old, same-old. Then I was even more skeptical of his promise next time.
Originally Posted By: Sunnytimes
By the way, Jim, if you commit even a single same-old, same-old love buster in these next critical few weeks, she will lose complete faith in all of your changes.



Jim, even though this may have been true in the past, I don't want you to get discouraged when you make a mistake.

Remember that your marriage is a wreck for 2 reasons:
1. Love Busters (primarily behaving as if she didn't exist)
2. You didn't meet her emotional needs.

It takes lots of deposits to offset love busters.

0 Deposits = Always in the RED.

In that status, any love buster becomes her last straw.

So how can she heal from your love busters? You CAN'T replace what you broke. We can't do it over. But you can show JUST COMPENSATION. You do that by eliminating love busters and habitually making deposits.

Jim, your wife is probably not going to quit, even though she threatens. She has stuck around this long. If you start meeting her needs, then she will notice. She might balk (AO) when you try, and she will balk (AO) when you make a mistake. But I think that she will see changes.

To be clear, I am not saying to ignore love busters. I am taking into account that you have been eliminating them over the last year or so. All is not lost, just because you miss something. This is a learning process, and there is a LONG way to go here. You BOTH will love bust and make changes as you adjust to each others' sensitivities. When your wife gets upset, project an appreciation that she let you know, and a WILLINGNESS to protect her in the future.

So Jim....please stay on track with your daily schedule.

The goal is that eventually, at 10, 12 and 3 every day, you won't need the alarm. It will become natural to take a break, send some love to your wife, and then go back to work.
Originally Posted By: dividejim

My wife is extremely needful to discuss my past indiscretions in order to heal from them. I'm not sure how to do this and what she needs/expects. Maybe you can help me to better understand what she means. I'm sorry to put this on you but I really do appreciate the efforts that the moderators put forth on this forum. I just hope that you all can help me and my wife. We are both running out of steam...DJ
I’m not sure why your wife keeps bringing these things up. Only she can answer that for sure. But here are some guesses:
-She could be trying to punish you. (Dr.Harley told you this in response to your email.)
-She doesn't hear you defining the actual problem and suggesting a plan to solve it.
-She does not realize that it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to imagine how she would feel in any given situation.
-She is in the habit of discussing crisis as a last resort to get your attention. Habit.


Please answer.

When she complains,
1)Do you acknowledged the specific love buster that occurred?
2)Do you agree to a plan to avoid this in the future?
3)Do you express concern that you won’t recognize those situations in the future?
4)Are you debating her recollection of the facts?
5)Do or make statements that give the impression that she is off base or crazy?
6)Do you say "But I don't understand... why?"
7)What happens just before she says, "I'M DONE!"?
Originally Posted By: dividejim
o I took a new job (5 yrs ago) and pretty much made the decision on my own without discussing with her all of the details and deciding together. I even promised to talk with her in great detail before I took the job and never did. I accepted the job via email to my future boss and I copied my wife on the email very proud of myself for involving her. What a mistake! What a jerk!
IB: You behaved as if she didn’t exist. Then, you didn’t want to put future boss on the back burner while you talked it over with wife.
OH: You didn’t follow through on your promise to discuss it with her.
POJA: You didn’t see gathering her opinion as a necessary part of the process. You didn’t consider the fact that everything you do affects her in a real way. You dictated her future.




Originally Posted By: dividejim
o Our aged dog was very sick one evening. We thought that she was going to die that night. My wife was also sick with a bad cold. Rather than stay with/help my wife, I slept in the garage in my car so that I could help our dog. I thought that she was going to die. It felt like the right thing to do at the time but it wasn't.
POJA: So in this case, you served the dog’s interest above your wife’s. And you put your need to help the dog in front of the need to comfort your wife.
The only way to avoid doing this in the future is to ALWAYS ask your wife for her feelings before moving forward. Wife, I know you aren’t feeling well. How would you feel about me taking care of the dog tonight? (Wife says, I can’t believe you would consider that when I had a cold.( which is a DJ…) That is why I am here, wife. You are most important.




Originally Posted By: dividejim
o My wife and I went to IKEA and had a very nice day being together. As we were in line to check out, my wife pushed the cart forward and accidentally bumped a pallet full of champagne glasses. About 5 of them fell on the floor and shattered, glass everywhere. We were both embarrassed. The IKEA personnel told us to step away from the glass (I was on the ground picking up shards to help clean up the mess). My wife was very embarrassed and I did nothing to ease the situation like putting my arm around her and telling her that it was okay. Nope, I leaned over to her and said "...how embarrassing is this!". Then I kind of backed away from her and basically left her on her own. Oh boy!
This is lack of meeting your wife’s need for protection. She can’t demand that you “know” what to do in those situations, but definitely if you had followed POJA, you would not have run for cover.
I explained it to my husband this way: Here we were in the middle of the battlefield, and I felt like instead of shielding me, you ran for cover.



Originally Posted By: dividejim
Those are most of the big things. Now, the reason that I tell you about these is that my wife has insisted that we talk through each of these experiences and clear the air.
She needs you to acknowledge that you behaved as if she didn’t exist. You assumed that she didn’t need your protection, but she does!



Originally Posted By: dividejim

So, we've definitely talked about the events but we haven't had any healing at all. My wife is as hurt now as she was when they occurred; even more so now because I can't seem to "talk" the way that my wife is envisioning.
I am struggling as to how to "talk" about these events so that we can break down the wall that is between us.
I am guessing that she needs the following:
Wife: You realize that you did ….thing to me. How could you??
Jim: Thanks for telling me. So what I did was (fill in the lovebuster .) Is that correct?
Wife: Well, yes.
Jim: I am sorry. What would you have preferred I do in that situation?
Wife: I would have preferred you to …..
Jim: I will try to do that next time. Can I write this down to help me remember?
Wife: Okay.
Jim: I want to be thoughtful of you. (Hug)...How would you feel about going for a walk with me? (to move forward)



Originally Posted By: dividejim

I know that Dr. H suggests to talk of difficult events in great detail and then don't ever talk of them again but move on. I know that he speaks of this as it relates to an affair but I'm not sure if he means this with any kind of difficult event. That said, my wife needs to talk through these things until we can heal but we haven't been able to talk in a way that heals anything.
This worked for my husband:
Him: I feel like I’ve addressed this complaint. When you keep talking about this, it really feels like you are trying to rub my nose in it. Is that what want?
Me: No honey, not at all. I'm Sorry, I’ll move forward.



Originally Posted By: dividejim
Hopefully, that gives you some good understanding of what we're dealing with at this point. We have been in this mode now for at least 5 years. I have not kissed my wife for at least 3 years now. The only physical contact that we have is holding hands (even that has stopped recently). This is your choice to not be affectionate with your wife. I understand that it may be a natural outcropping of the tension between you. However, I wouldn’t assume that she doesn’t want affection. Did you stop kissing her because YOU are angry with her?

I have put questions and “to-do”s in red. The truth is that both of you need help learning to negotiate, and you are both very emotional which makes solving problems very difficult. Even if you really do lack empathy, or the ability to sense how she would feel, the solution is not arguing. BOTH of you implementing the MB program is the best way to build empathy and thoughtfulness.
Originally Posted By: dividejim

I can't say that we've really ever talked through any of these things until she is healed of the hurt.
Healing comes through Just Compensation.


*********RECIPE FOR HEALING*********

Originally Posted By: by SugarCane on 2/16/16

1) Learn what love busters you are doing and stop doing them. You are working on this right now and have been for the last year. Remember to define the love buster. Agree to a plan for what she would prefer you do next time, and write it down.
2) Focus on 4 main emotional needs; affection, conversation, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment You are doing this by implementing a daily plan for affection and conversation: Affection when you leave the house, affectionate messages and intimate conversation at 10, 12, 3, and affection upon returning home.
3) Plan at least 15 hours/week to be together to focus on meeting those needs . Fine tuning this will be your next focus. For now, please continue to come up with date ideas which can meet the needs listed in #2, and incorporate the invitations into your daily communications.
4) Understand what your spouse’s emotional needs are. She probably won’t share this right now, but you might be able to remember. Hopefully you gain the traction you are desiring, and you will feel comfortable sharing this program with her.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit

Please answer.
When she complains,

1)Do you acknowledged the specific love buster that occurred?

Response: I do acknowledge it now. I argued for many years and dismissed her feelings as "silly". I do not do that now. I realize how serious these things are and I acknowledge what I did.

2)Do you agree to a plan to avoid this in the future?

Response: I have acknowledged that what I have done is wrong and have agreed to not do this again. We have never really talked things through to the point of identifying the root of the problem (i.e. selfishness, dishonesty, independent behavior, etc.). I always tend to focus on what I did rather than why I did...My plan to avoid certain behaviors in the future have not been discussed with my wife and agreed to jointly. I've just gone off and planned and planned and planned but never acted.

3)Do you express concern that you won’t recognize those situations in the future?

Response: I have expressed this concern on a number of occasions because I've realized that I never had a clue during our entire married life that what I was doing was causing so much damage. My wife expressed concerns continuously so she really invested herself in our marriage but I did not.

4)Are you debating her recollection of the facts?

Response: I haven't done this for probably 6 months now. I used to argue continually with her about the "facts". I realized that arguing was making things even worse and I was typically just justifying my behavior instead of acknowledging the truth.

5)Do or make statements that give the impression that she is off base or crazy?

Response: No, never.

6)Do you say "But I don't understand... why?"

Response: Yes, I say that a lot

7)What happens just before she says, "I'M DONE!"?


Response: Well, right now, if I even bring up the fact that I want to talk about something related to our marriage, she instantly turns me off and says "...it doesn't matter, too little, too late". If I persist, sometimes she will just get angrier and storm off. Other times, we will actually talk for awhile and it almost seems like she has a glimmer of hope but then she stuffs that glimmer back down inside. I think that she is just so afraid to let me in again because I have let her down so often for so many years.



[quote=DidntQuit]

Did you stop kissing her because YOU are angry with her?

Response: No, I stopped because I felt like I was being rejected and I've not been comfortable just doing what I want to do if she doesn't want to do it. I do kiss her on the head a lot. It feels to me like she doesn't want my affection.
We had a fairly lengthy discussion tonight after I got home from work. It seems to me that I have grown to the point where I can acknowledge that I've done wrong. I can see and understand what I've done wrong.

When I say that my wife wants to continually talk about what I've done, its not that she wants me to re-hash what I've done; its more that she wants to talk about why I did what I did and how that impacted her. I think that is quite a bit different from just re-hashing events. It seems to me that this is a perfectly reasonable thing to discuss. Its basically identifying love busters and seeking to understand what I do/did.

My wife is very bitter and hurt and its pretty hard to start a conversation about anything related to staying together and continuing to work on our marriage. She is so withdrawn now and doesn't want me to fulfill any of her needs. Its amazing to me how clearly I see things now. I really wish that I had taken this seriously much sooner than now.

I understand now how I need to just keep marching forward and not give in to my instincts to run. I think that is what has hurt us more than even the things that I did over the years. My constant starting/stopping has done nothing but taken my wife's love bank into the red. I believe that my lack of consistency has been the biggest love buster that I have been doing.

DQ, thank you so much for helping me to understand and see things clearly. I want to see this through and keep plugging away at things. I just pray that I can work to build something that we've never had together.

This is so hard! I feel so helpless and alone at times so I am truly grateful for all of you that are trying to help folks like me work through this difficult time.
If she has not filed for divorce or moved out, there is hope. Continue to work the program. Continue to invite her on fun dates. Avoid relationship talk, especially on dates. Glimmers are good. They are a sign some love bank deposits are getting through.
Originally Posted By: apples123
If she has not filed for divorce or moved out, there is hope. Continue to work the program. Continue to invite her on fun dates. Avoid relationship talk, especially on dates. Glimmers are good. They are a sign some love bank deposits are getting through.


Yes. Fun.
Relationship talk only to address a complaint. Address it and move on to a good topic. She needs to associate you with positivity and not pain. Another reason why your messages throughout the day should be positive and admiring.
Hey Jim-
Did you listen to the radio show yesterday?

If not, please listen to the last 10 mins. Starting at the 50 minute mark.

It goes away in a little while.
I wasn't able to hear the show today. By the time I read your post DQ, it was too late..DJ
No problem, Jim.

That's why we like to subscribe to the archives. It allows us to hear what we miss and search by topic.


Food for thought:
It's not a good idea to keep asking your wife about her marital plans. She may perceive it to be controlling. Just keep filling her love bank and watch for her to start opening up to your efforts.

Would you be willing to report often to reassure me that you aren't skipping? We are all rooting for you to achieve consistency this time.
Yes, I'm glad to be held accountable. We spent some time talking tonight (some real UA). We planned some UA time for tomorrow night. First time that my wife was willing to even consider it after about 2 weeks or so. I have been sending her messages throughout the day (specifically at my alarm times). I've also been writing her handwritten notes when I leave for work in the morning. I haven't been able to figure out any affection in the mornings because I have an hour commute and leave typically before she wakes up. Since she's in menopause, she has a real hard time sleeping now and mornings seem to be her best sleep time so I really steer clear of waking her up in the morning to say goodbye.

I was able to give her a hug and kiss (top of her head) tonight before she went to bed and there was no revulsion (is that a word?).

Our talk tonight really focused a lot on positive things; memories from our early days of marriage. We laughed on a few occasions and there were some good positive feelings. I think that a few love bank deposits were made tonight; just a few. I think that my being consistent with the daily messages as well as my not running away from a difficult discussion has been helpful. I will continue to be consistent and appreciate any accountability that any of you can offer me.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Yes, I'm glad to be held accountable. We spent some time talking tonight (some real UA). We planned some UA time for tomorrow night. First time that my wife was willing to even consider it after about 2 weeks or so. I have been sending her messages throughout the day (specifically at my alarm times). I've also been writing her handwritten notes when I leave for work in the morning. I haven't been able to figure out any affection in the mornings because I have an hour commute and leave typically before she wakes up. Since she's in menopause, she has a real hard time sleeping now and mornings seem to be her best sleep time so I really steer clear of waking her up in the morning to say goodbye.

I was able to give her a hug and kiss (top of her head) tonight before she went to bed and there was no revulsion (is that a word?).

Our talk tonight really focused a lot on positive things; memories from our early days of marriage. We laughed on a few occasions and there were some good positive feelings. I think that a few love bank deposits were made tonight; just a few. I think that my being consistent with the daily messages as well as my not running away from a difficult discussion has been helpful. I will continue to be consistent and appreciate any accountability that any of you can offer me.


Good job on leaving notes instead of skipping the morning, and so glad that you are sticking with the schedule.

Great update!

weightlifter


I hope you can find some time during your daily commute to listen to the radio show.
Tonight we shopped for groceries and had fairly pleasant evening. We got home late and got ready for bed. I suggested that we spend an hour or so talking about some of our issues tomorrow night and then we could go out on a date. I was hoping for some UA time tomorrow night. My wife told me that our issues are too big and that I am a constant reminder to her of what I have done to her over all of these years. She went to bed annoyed.

I'm continuing to press on with the things that we have discussed...DJ
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I suggested that we spend an hour or so talking about some of our issues tomorrow nightand then we could go out on a date. 


Why do you feel hard pressed to talk about "issues"?
I believed we asked you to avoid relationship talk. You should not bring any "define the relationship" talk for a month. Let her love bank build up.

UA time is FUN. Bringing up DTR at the end of the date spoils everything. If you have an actual complaint, talk about it at a different time.

Are y'all vacationing in the next few months? Start trying to plan a fun trip with her.
Remember, you are trying to leave the past in the past. So stop bringing it up.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
My wife told me that our issues are too big.
Code for, we aren't good at negotiating.



Originally Posted By: dividejim

and that I am a constant reminder to her of what I have done to her over all of these years.
Of course you are. But now you are giving her better reminders.


Originally Posted By: dividejim

She went to bed annoyed.
Issues are the very last thing I want to think about after a pleasant evening and before bed. Ick. That's when romance should be ramping up.

Your issues are not going to be solved overnight. I would give it a rest or pick one small issue to start, and email her about it. Maybe post your email so that we can help you make sure that it is love buster free.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Tonight we shopped for groceries and had fairly pleasant evening. We got home late and got ready for bed. I suggested that we spend an hour or so talking about some of our issues tomorrow night and then we could go out on a date. I was hoping for some UA time tomorrow night. My wife told me that our issues are too big and that I am a constant reminder to her of what I have done to her over all of these years. She went to bed annoyed.



A good rule of thumb is to leave the unpleasantness of the past in the past. Don't bring it into the present. It just reminds her how unhappy she was in the past. You should be focused on making NEW happy memories so the past can be left in the past.
Jim, what are you referring to specifically when you say "issues"?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit


Yes. Fun.
Relationship talk only to address a complaint.


Maybe this was unclear or misleading.
What I was trying to say, was that you should not talk about heavy stuff, relationship status, problems in the marriage, or unsolved issues right now. That is what I meant by relationship talk. You need her lovebank super full, and one pleasant evening is nowhere near enough time. You need several weeks of need meeting.

If a decision needs to be made about something small, then email her. But remember that large problems won't be solved overnight so put them off until her lovebank is full.
Also, by showing affection and spending time with her, you are addressing the major issue. You dont need to talk about it. You know what it is! Now execute your plan.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Jim, what are you referring to specifically when you say "issues"?


Since you brought this up, Is like to know what you were referring to...

Low retirement funds?
DQ, my wife constantly expresses to me that I don't talk to her about the hard stuff (issues). I feel under pressure to discuss issues with her because she has continually told me to do that for many years and I haven't done it to her satisfaction.

Thats why I continue to bring things up or suggest that we talk through things...DJ
As far as "issue" are concerned, these are the love busters that I have done for years:

independent behavior
selfishness
angry outbursts
arguing
ignoring my wife
being passionate about hobbies and not about my wife

These have all shown up in different experiences that we've gone through...DJ
Thanks for clarifying what you mean by relationship talk. I don't remember anyone saying to hold off focusing on anything relationship-related for at least a month until yesterday...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
DQ, my wife constantly expresses to me that I don't talk to her about the hard stuff (issues). I feel under pressure to discuss issues with her because she has continually told me to do that for many years and I haven't done it to her satisfaction.

Thats why I continue to bring things up or suggest that we talk through things...DJ


For right now, do not bring up the hard stuff. If SHE brings up a specific complaint then you can address it in the way that I spelled out for you a few posts back.

If she says, You never want to talk about the hard stuff...". That is not really specific so tell her that you will try to do better with that In the future.

So to be clear...intimate conversation is not issue conversation. It's positive and connective. Not conflictive.

Once her love bank is full, .hard stuff will get easier.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
As far as "issue" are concerned, these are the love busters that I have done for years:

independent behavior
selfishness
angry outbursts
arguing
ignoring my wife
being passionate about hobbies and not about my wife

These have all shown up in different experiences that we've gone through...DJ


But you have achnowledged those mistakes to her. The way to compensate for that is not to bring it up, it is to show her a different behavior. That was then. This is now.

Note: She may bring your past mistakes more often as a response to your new positive behavior. In her mind, it's not reconciling-the past with the present, so she verbalizes it as a comparison . Say, I'm sorry for that. I can't change the past but I can change the future. Move on to a positive topic or idea.
I believe that as the love bank grows, it gets easier to deal with the issues. Thanks for your comments. I'm pressing on...DJ
Good job Jim.

Good morning, DJ,

I'm hoping that you'll give an update soon. Whether the weekend was a success or a flop, it's time to get back in the black with your love bank deposits. smile
Hi DQ, I think that the weekend was a success. We spent time together alone for most of the day on Saturday. I've avoided talking marriage issues and focused on UA. My wife did make a comment at one point about me not talking about things in the past and I told her that I couldn't change the past and was working to change our future. She didn't say much in response to that.

We did plan a trip to Disneyland and made a downpayment on the trip. Its not until the end of the year but it is something that we've been talking about doing for some time now.

I've been suggesting/talking to her a lot about spending time together throughout this coming week. I believe that she sees that I am working to spend more time with her. I believe that I am depositing some love units.

We will be traveling together to visit her parents in another 4 weeks. We'll be driving so we will have a lot of talking time (10 hours). I used to dread this but I'm actually looking forward to it.

We had some difficulty over the weekend with my wife's mom and dad. They are both in their late 80's and we are getting close to having to help them decide on a long-term care/assisted living kind of thing. I've been very supportive in trying to decide who to approach this and what can be done. I think that my wife appreciates that very much.

All in all, I think that the weekend was a success and I'm continuing to stick with my contact throughout the day at my set times. I'm still sleeping on the couch for now.

Thats all for now...DJ
Good job, Jim.

Can you think of one boldly romantic thing that you can do this week?

Ideas:
Flowers: bring some home and put them in a vase for her. Or have some delivered.

Order something for her off Amazon and let it surprise her.

Make a small piece of art using lyrics to "your song" from when you fell in love, or use lyrics from a song that makes you think of her.

Buy a restaurant gift card and wrap it up, with a date invitation.

Send a link to a song that has lyrics that make you think of her good qualities.

Buy her favorite treat and serve it to her some night if she is in bed early watching tv or reading. Just drop it off and say, special delivery!

Whatever you do, make it a romantic gesture. Can you do that?
When I was unhappily married, and did not know about MB, I often wanted to sit down and talk about 'issues.' In general, society believes that communication is the key to success and therefore, spending hours talking about our problems seemed like the way to resolve them. Also, as someone pointed out on your thread, I wanted my H to 'get' what he had put me through with his selfish ways. Just like your wife, I saw my H's resistance to talking about issues as a lack of care and understanding (when in reality, it was just very unpleasant for him!).

Now that we have been following MB and are much happier, talking about 'issues' doesn't even cross my mind. I wouldn't think to bring up things that happened years ago now, and I wouldn't want to ruin any of our fun time together with verbally blogging about both our transgressions.

Your response to her wanting to talk about issues was perfect. Stay the course and I have a feeling that will resolve itself.
DQ, I will think of something that I can do this week and will follow through with it...DJ
Great!

Be prepared that she might feel awkward, so her reaction might be negative. If so, reassure her that you wanted to do something special for her to let her know that she's important. Then come back here and let us know how it went.

Don't forget to hold yourself accountable by checking in about your daily deposits.

You are on the right track. She is talking about a future with you, and iit sounds like you did nothing to upset her last weekend.
So today has been difficult. My wife is again bothered that I haven't been bringing up any of our issues (love busters) and talking them out. I have been avoiding these and focusing on trying to make love bank deposits. Not seems to me that it would make some big love bank deposits if I were dealing with our issues. She just feels that I am skirting the issues and trying to dodge things at this point. I intend to keep up my contacting her throughout the day and writing her notes in the morning. I'm a bit confused about filling her need to talk about difficult things...she seems to be crying out for this and the MB position seems to be to hold off and avoid these issues for now...am I missing something?
Did she bring up a specific problem or lovebuster?
No it was just a general statement. It bothers her that I don't bring things up on my own. She feels like I am ignoring what she has asked me to do. This has been a consistent complaint from her for a very long time. I do feel that I can talk about these things now and not be on the defense or provoking a fight. I really do want to work through these things but I'm not sure how to deal with this situation...DJ
So she feels like she always has to complain and bring up problems instead of you taking the initiative?

That is not the same as harping on mistakes of the past. Are these unresolved issues she keeps bringing up?

Can you give me a few examples?
I just deleted a post...will wait for an answer to my last post, just to keep it simple.
DQ, one example is that I took a job without making the decision with her. I acted on my own and even promised to talk with her about it and then didn't. This one event encompassed a number of love busters; dishonesty, independent behavior, avoiding difficulty, etc. we have talked about what I did to adnauseum but we have never really dealt with the love busters and talked through them together...is that what you're looking for?
She does complain that I never bring things up on my own, I have to be pushed into discussing things.

I don't think that any of our issues are resolved. Nice referenced a few of these in past posts...taking the job without involving her in the decision, sleeping with the dog when she was sick, backing away from her at ikea after she broke some glasses. These are just a few of the things that we have yet to resolve.
I would recommend that you:

1. Buy a project notebook.
This will serve to organize each topic you discuss. At the bottom of the page there should be a spot for checklists or decisions.
2. Print out 2 copies of this guide:
Four Guidelines for Successful Negotiation
3. Ask your wife if she would be willing to use that guide as a framework for discussing these past issues.
4. Ask your wife if she would mind if you take notes to clarify and for future reference.

Hopefully this approach will show her that you are taking her seriously, but it will also set the ground rules.

If she agrees, then plan a time with her to disuss one topic of her choosing.

What do you think about that idea?
Is there something in the present that recalls these issues- exp. Still at that job?
Originally Posted By: apples123
Is there something in the present that recalls these issues- exp. Still at that job?


Yes, I am still in the same job. We invested some money in this company and its not something that we can just walk away from and get a new job. We are banking that we will be able to sell this company and fund our retirement. There are some deep scars related to taking this job...
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
I would recommend that you:

1. Buy a project notebook.
This will serve to organize each topic you discuss. At the bottom of the page there should be a spot for checklists or decisions.
2. Print out 2 copies of this guide:
Four Guidelines for Successful Negotiation
3. Ask your wife if she would be willing to use that guide as a framework for discussing these past issues.
4. Ask your wife if she would mind if you take notes to clarify and for future reference.

Hopefully this approach will show her that you are taking her seriously, but it will also set the ground rules.

If she agrees, then plan a time with her to disuss one topic of her choosing.

What do you think about that idea?


Yes that sounds like a good idea. Jim just kind of baffled as to what my wife is wanting from me.
Originally Posted By: dividejim


Yes that sounds like a good idea. Jim just kind of baffled as to what my wife is wanting from me.


I meant to say I'm just kind of baffled...typing on my phone and it's easy to make mistakes.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit


What do you think about that idea?


Yes that sounds like a good idea. Jim just kind of baffled as to what my wife is wanting from me.


Telling her that you're baffled about what she wants from you would be a DJ. You're saying to your wife that after all the times you have talked about it, she is being unreasonable to want anything from you at all. In this case, you ASSUME that nothing can be done to UNDO a situation when truth is, there are many things that can be done. However difficult or painful, they could be done.

Being "baffled" after discussing adnauseum is a sign that you are not really asking her questions about her perspective. You are most likely in a defensive stance, one of explaining why you did something and how there are no reasonable solutions, instead of asking her for how she'd like to see the problem solved.

So, in your discussions with her, STOP saying things like, "I don't understand" or "I'm confused" or that "baffles" me. Those are ALL the same as saying, "your position is outrageous".

The appropriate action for you to take when you feel baffled, is to ask her what she would like or prefer, WRITE IT DOWN, then let her read it to double check that you heard her correctly, and NO DJs about it.

For example, in the job situation, your wife may feel that your selling the business NOW is the only thing that would resolve the problem you created with IB. But you are ASSUMING that to be impossible so you disregard her or act baffled that she would think of it. That would be like saying that the milk was spilled so there are no options to clean it up. Do you see how that could infuriate your wife and turn a mistake of the past into a present problem?

You need to study that article about negotiating before you approach your wife. You are missing some of the pieces, and you don't want to create bad feelings again by skipping steps. Can you do that, and see which parts are difficult for you?

Can you buy the project notebook today? While you are at it, please buy a small notebook to carry around with you, to take notes about things your wife says bother her and issues that need solving. You may need a small backpack to carry around. My husband learned to do this and he is always prepared with his planner and notebooks, highlighters and whiteout. I love it!



[quote=DidntQuit]

Telling her that you're baffled about what she wants from you would be a DJ.

DidntQuite, I don't understand what "DJ" means...can you remind me?
Disrespectful judgements
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: apples123
Is there something in the present that recalls these issues- exp. Still at that job?


Yes, I am still in the same job. We (You)invested some money in this company and its not something that we can(you can't) just walk away from and get a new job. (You could). We (you)are banking that we will be able to sell this company and fund our retirement. There are some deep scars related to taking this job...


This is an example of the thinking:

The milk is spilt and it's too expensive to clean it up.

What about an oil spill? Just leave it?

We can make terrible decisions using our best intentions. We still need to right the wrong somehow. The consequences of making it right, are mitigated by the just compensation you will be providing your wife from now on. Otherwise, your wife is living daily with a painful reminder.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: apples123
Is there something in the present that recalls these issues- exp. Still at that job?


Yes, I am still in the same job. We (You)invested some money in this company and its not something that we can(you can't) just walk away from and get a new job. (You could). We (you)are banking that we will be able to sell this company and fund our retirement. There are some deep scars related to taking this job...


This is an example of the thinking:

The milk is spilt and it's too expensive to clean it up.

What about an oil spill? Just leave it?

We can make terrible decisions using our best intentions. We still need to right the wrong somehow. The consequences of making it right, are mitigated by the just compensation you will be providing your wife from now on. Otherwise, your wife is living daily with a painful reminder.



You are right on about replacing "we" with "you". I understand that. I also like your example of the spilled milk/oil spill. I understand that his is a painful reminder every day to my wife of what I did without her input.

How do we resolve these issues from an MB perspective and when do we do this? It seems that whenever we have attempted to talk these through, we end up in a bad place. If we do this at home, home becomes a reminder of all of the pain, if we do it on a date, the date is ruined and the love bank deposits don't happen. I'm not sure what my wife is ultimately wanting is that I never do anything like this again. How/when/where do we approach these issues so that they become love bank deposits instead of withdrawals? I'm sure that I've probably read this in one of Dr. Harley's books but I don't remember at this point...
The following would be Disrespectful Judgments. Can you see how they judge the other person's idea to be illogical?

We can't do that!

I cannot understand (why you would want to do that...)

I'm baffled that (you would consider losing thousands by doing that...)

Why would you even think about (taking a loss when you yourself wanted to invest?)

I'm just surprised that you would want me to ruin my career.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
The following would be Disrespectful Judgments. Can you see how they judge the other person's idea to be illogical?

We can't do that!

I cannot understand (why you would want to do that...)

I'm baffled that (you would consider losing thousands by doing that...)

Why would you even think about (taking a loss when you yourself wanted to invest?)

I'm just surprised that you would want me to ruin my career.


Yes, I can see how saying things like the statements above would be considered disrespectful judgments. I think that I've probably used every one of those at some time over the past years.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: apples123
Is there something in the present that recalls these issues- exp. Still at that job?


Yes, I am still in the same job. We (You)invested some money in this company and its not something that we can(you can't) just walk away from and get a new job. (You could). We (you)are banking that we will be able to sell this company and fund our retirement. There are some deep scars related to taking this job...


This is an example of the thinking:

The milk is spilt and it's too expensive to clean it up.

What about an oil spill? Just leave it?

We can make terrible decisions using our best intentions. We still need to right the wrong somehow. The consequences of making it right, are mitigated by the just compensation you will be providing your wife from now on. Otherwise, your wife is living daily with a painful reminder.



You are right on about replacing "we" with "you". I understand that. I also like your example of the spilled milk/oil spill. I understand that his is a painful reminder every day to my wife of what I did without her input.

How do we resolve these issues from an MB perspective and when do we do this? It seems that whenever we have attempted to talk these through, we end up in a bad place. If we do this at home, home becomes a reminder of all of the pain, if we do it on a date, the date is ruined and the love bank deposits don't happen. I'm not sure what my wife is ultimately wanting is that I never do anything like this again. How/when/where do we approach these issues so that they become love bank deposits instead of withdrawals? I'm sure that I've probably read this in one of Dr. Harley's books but I don't remember at this point...


All of the questions you just asked are outlined in that article. You need to study it and apply it. By printing it out, your wife will see the ground rules also.

Jim, this job thing is huge. That is why I wish you and your wife could sign up for the online program to get help with this. You and your wife, for 30 years, have been unable to solve problems together. What about some sessions with Steve Harley, focusing on the job/retirement issue?

Another idea is to email the radio show about the job situation, and forward it to your wife, with the idea that she write seperately to them. Dr. Harley and Joyce could help you guys out. Let your wife know that she doesn't have to go on the show if she doesn't want to. And that she could remain anonymous.

What are your thoughts about my suggestions to get help with this?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
All of the questions you just asked are outlined in that article. You need to study it and apply it. By printing it out, your wife will see the ground rules also.

Jim, this job thing is huge. That is why I wish you and your wife could sign up for the online program to get help with this. You and your wife, for 30 years, have been unable to solve problems together. What about some sessions with Steve Harley, focusing on the job/retirement issue?

Another idea is to email the radio show about the job situation, and forward it to your wife, with the idea that she write seperately to them. Dr. Harley and Joyce could help you guys out. Let your wife know that she doesn't have to go on the show if she doesn't want to. And that she could remain anonymous.

What are your thoughts about my suggestions to get help with this?


I think that is a good idea. At this point, I'm not willing to approach my wife on this just yet because of her feelings towards MB. She doesn't know that I've been on the forum discussing our problems and I feel that she will take that in a very negative way at this point. I might consider going on the radio show again. Its just very difficult to keep doing the MB stuff behind her back. I feel like I'm just getting deeper and deeper into the MB program and I'm concerned that this will be yet another thing that will cause great pain to her because she doesn't know what I've been doing. I believe that as we start to gain momentum with changing how I am and then how we deal with things, it will be easier to approach her with the MB concepts. I don't feel like we are there yet thought at this point.
How are you deposits going? Are you being consistent? Are you skipping alarms?
Hi DQ, I am being consistent. I just got off of the phone with my wife. We had a very lengthy conversation. We are on the same cycle that we've been on for years. Things will be better for a few weeks and then she will complain about me not talking to her about resolving our issues again.

I've been purposely avoiding this based on the approach that we've discussed (re creating love bank deposits and focusing on UA). I believe that what I'm doing is helping but I'm obviously not meeting a great need that she has to resolve our issues. I believe that resolving them does not mean stirring up the past and rehashing what we've already hashed through. To me, it means discussing the love busters that caused me to act the way that I did in the various scenarios that I've already told you about (i.e. job, dog, ikea, etc.). Here are a few things that she just told me on the phone that I wrote down:

o you are unreliable, its always hit or miss with you
o why would I depend on you for much of anything
o I never ask her for her input as to what I can do; I always just go off on my own
o my apologies to her don't matter unless there is a behavior change afterwards

So, in a nutshell, for the last 2 weeks (roughly), I have focused on the daily alarms, having UA time, being affectionate and avoiding discussions about any marital issues. It seems to me that everything that I've been doing is fine except the avoidance of discussing relationship issues. This is her hot button. She just thinks that I'm avoiding the discussion and never intend to change anything. I really believe that I need to begin discussing these issues and figure out how to resolve them. This is our big problem...nothing has ever been resolved.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Hi DQ, I am being consistent. hurray I just got off of the phone with my wife. We had a very lengthy conversation. We are on the same cycle that we've been on for years. Things will be better for a few weeks and then she will complain about me not talking to her about resolving our issues again. This is a sign that she is feeling comfortable again, and it's great that she feels close enough to complain. Good job! hurray
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
This is a sign that she is feeling comfortable again, and it's great that she feels close enough to complain. Good job! hurray



Okay, it sure doesn't feel that way...I understand the withdrawal back into conflict stage.' So now I have an opportunity based on MB principles. I feel the need to address relationship issues. Is this the time and if it is, how do I do it. Seems like the article on negotiating is probably something to adhere to. Is that what you would recommend?
Originally Posted By: dividejim

I've been purposely avoiding this based on the approach that we've discussed (re creating love bank deposits and focusing on UA).
Thanks for putting these habits into place. Keep doing this, even through times of conflict. Don't withdraw, because you are PROVING to her that she CAN depend on you to make her feel important.

Originally Posted By: dividejim
I believe that resolving them does not mean stirring up the past and rehashing... To me, it means discussing the love busters that caused me to act the way that I did in the various scenarios that I've already told you about.
To YOU, that's what it means. However, you really aren't sure what it means to her. You have asked us, and we have given our best guesses. It's possible that you are correct, but it's possible that she wants the spilt milk cleaned up...

You have a problem with Guideline #2. Defining the problem from HER perspective.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
[quote=dividejim]This is a sign that she is feeling comfortable again, and it's great that she feels close enough to complain. Good job! hurray
Okay, it sure doesn't feel that way...I understand the withdrawal back into conflict stage.' So now I have an opportunity based on MB principles. I feel the need to address relationship issues. Is this the time and if it is, how do I do it. Seems like the article on negotiating is probably something to adhere to. Is that what you would recommend?

**********
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit (posted yesterday)

You need to study that article about negotiating before you approach your wife. You are missing some of the pieces, and you don't want to create bad feelings again by skipping steps. Can you do that, and see which parts are difficult for you?

Can you buy the project notebook today? While you are at it, please buy a small notebook to carry around with you, to take notes about things your wife says bother her and issues that need solving. You may need a small backpack to carry around. My husband learned to do this and he is always prepared with his planner and notebooks, highlighters and whiteout. I love it!


**********
The first page of your notebook should have the list she gave you today over the phone.


Originally Posted By: dividejim
This is our big problem...nothing has ever been resolved.


Okay then. How about we start with the list of things she said today?


*******************************************************
Send her an email that is something like this:
(then text her and tell her that you sent an email to her.)

Wife, today at lunch you brought up some concerns. I want to thank you for bringing this up because I want you to be happy in our marriage. I took some notes so that I can solve these problems, hopefully with your help. I would prefer that we email about this so that I can keep track of the things I need to work on. Can you please read over these notes and tell me if they are accurate?

1. You feel like I am unreliable. It's always hit or miss with me.

2. You don't feel that you can depend on me for much of anything.

3. You feel that I never ask you for input about what I can do; that I go off on my own.

4. My apologies don't matter to you unless I change my behavior afterward.


Is this what you wanted me to hear? I appreciate your helping me to be clear about this.

Love,

Jim

***********************************************************



To be clear:

1. Email your wife about today's list. Then call or text her to tell her that you sent an email.
2. Print out the article.(2 copies, one for you right now, and one for your wife for down the road.)
Four Guidelines for Successful Negotiation
3. Buy 2 notebooks. 1 project style & one small one to put in your shirt pocket or you could use a notes app on your phone in place of the small one.)
4. Start studying the article. Highlight areas which have been a problem in the past. Make notes and reminders for yourself.
5. Don't forget about your romantic deposit of the week.
6. Let me know when you have completed these steps. If she responds to your email, come back and let's see if you heard her correctly. Don't approach other issues for now.
DQ, I'm just checking in. I did pick up 2 notebooks this morning. I haven't written anything in them yet. We had another discussion last night for a few hours. Actually, it wasn't a discussion, it was my wife telling me how much hurt I caused her for the last 30 years in relation to my bike addiction. She told me that I never allow her to talk these things out and it feels like I have my hand over her mouth constantly. It feels that way to her because I don't initiate any discussions related to our marital issues and she never gets to talk unless she brings it up. I'll have a few more things to add to my list today.

I will only stick with the first items that I wrote down yesterday that I told you about and approach those with my wife via email today.

I don't like this conflict stage. The hurtful things that are said are very hard to listen to. My wife still brings up me moving out. So in your experience, this really is a good sign that she still cares about the relationship because she is willing to fight? It is so opposite to how my instincts think.

I'm proceeding with the plan at this point...
You need to figure out her current position on your job. This is a currentproblem not a thing of the past. Have you put your job up for negotiation?
I'm new to this conversation but it sounds like didntquit is giving good advice. And apparently your wife is listening. That's encouraging because usually, about 80% of the time when the wife decides to move out it's game over and there is no discussion. So hang in there and keep the conversation going.
Originally Posted By: Dividejim
Actually, it wasn't a discussion, it was my wife telling me how much hurt I caused her for the last 30 years in relation to my bike addiction. She told me that I never allow her to talk these things out and it feels like I have my hand over her mouth constantly. It feels that way to her because I don't initiate any discussions Irelated to our marital issues and she never gets to talk unless she brings it up. I'll have a few more things to add to my list today.

I will only stick with the first items that I wrote down yesterday that I told you about and approach those with my wife via email today.

I don't like this conflict stage. The hurtful things that are said are very hard to listen to. My wife still brings up me moving out. So in your experience, this really is a good sign that she still cares about the relationship because she is willing to fight? It is so opposite to how my instincts think.

I'm proceeding with the plan at this point...


Did you tell her that you didn't have empathy for her, but now after reading Lovebusters you understand? Did you apologize and tell her that you are changing? Did you hold her? Did you tell her how hard it is to see the pain you've caused in her? That you wish you could take her pain away?

I would email your wife this morning a note Thanking her for opening up to you last night, acknowledging her pain, apologizing for being thoughtless with the biking and promising to put her above all else for the rest of your life.

Then ask if she would list for you all things she feels you are putting as higher priority than her. Or, that you are doing without her input. Let her know that you would like to solve those problems in a way that would make her happy. ETA: because wife, you ARE most important and I want to make you feel that way.

Can you do this?


Please stick close to my exact points in the email so that you don't inadvertently add lovebusters which would contradict your reaching out.
I added one Very important thing to the letter...
Please see my edit.
Originally Posted By: apples123
You need to figure out her current position on your job. This is a currentproblem not a thing of the past. Have you put your job up for negotiation?

I totally agree with that this is a current problem and that it needs to be negotiated.

As I see it, the biggest problem that Jim's wife has, is to know that Jim will make a habit of listening to her complaints, negotiating solutions and following through without her reminding him. Starting this process through email will help with clarity, since they are both super emotional and will unlikely make progress negotiating face to face without Jim's wife telling him to leave again and again.

By showing Jim how to do this, step by step, along with his STUDY of the 4 guidelines, Jim can be the leader of a new, constructive way to solve problems. That is what his wife needs, reassurance that Jim will make it a habit to show up even when he's in the hot seat.

The job thing is big, and will be a complicated and private negotiation. Better to start small. Let's see if his wife is willing to in good faith lay her complaints out in an email, or if she just wants to yell, punish, and have him leave.




DQ - my point was more that Jim says his wife is upset about things in the past, but that isn't correct. The job is a current daily Lovebuster. Notice Jim made progress over the weekend but On Monday he was back at square one.

I agree they should generally start small negotiations first; however, Dr. Harley's solution to an IB or decision that is still causing LB withdrawals is to reset to a time before the IB was executed. I wonder what specific advice Dr. Harley would give Jim.
Originally Posted By: apples123
DQ - my point was more that Jim says his wife is upset about things in the past, but that isn't correct. The job is a current daily Lovebuster. Notice Jim made progress over the weekend but On Monday he was back at square one.

I agree they should generally start small negotiations first; however, Dr. Harley's solution to an IB or decision that is still causing LB withdrawals is to reset to a time before the IB was executed. I wonder what specific advice Dr. Harley would give Jim.


I don't disagree. In effect, the job issue is a lovebuster as a result of IB. That is why I made the point about spilt milk. He still needs to fix that situation to her liking, even if it means undoing it. Hopefully at this point Jim is clear that his job situation is a present problem. But his bike situation is what she brought up last night. So...Jim needs to start showing that he listened, and allow HER to correct his misunderstandings.

I am trying to help him establish a method of communicating with his wife about problems, one where he can extract her true priorities and preferences instead of being derailed by her emotional outbursts. Ultimately, communicating with US will NOT solve his problems.

This is the goal:

Originally Posted By: Originally Posted By: originally posted by Sugarcane on February 11th


"As a husband, you should address every complaint your wife makes with patience and kindness. You should enter into a discussion with her regarding every issue she raises, and do it without any disrespect or anger on your part. If you think that she has so many issues that you feel overwhelmed by them, organize them together and set priorities. Focus on the three that top her list, and when they are resolved, work your way through it." How to Deal with a Quarrelsome and Nagging Wife"


I'm sure that the job situation is one of the top 3. But if we can't teach Jim how to organize her complaints constructively, no problems can be solved. The fact that they had a 3 hour conversation and he is unclear about the highest priority issues tells me that he needs to get to a less emotional venue like email.

I think we have the same goal in mind. Just can't do everything at once. Trying to keep things simple and step by step.

Jim, good job getting the notebooks. Where are you at with things?
Originally Posted By: Apples123
"Notice Jim made progress over the weekend but On Monday he was back at square one."


So I may have missed this point, Apples. Are you saying that she was happy as long as he is home with het and unhappy when he goes to his job? So you notice the correlation and think that is the root of her frustration?

Is that what you were trying to say?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you tell her that you didn't have empathy for her, but now after reading Lovebusters you understand? Did you apologize and tell her that you are changing? Did you hold her? Did you tell her how hard it is to see the pain you've caused in her? That you wish you could take her pain away?

I would email your wife this morning a note Thanking her for opening up to you last night, acknowledging her pain, apologizing for being thoughtless with the biking and promising to put her above all else for the rest of your life.

Then ask if she would list for you all things she feels you are putting as higher priority than her. Or, that you are doing without her input. Let her know that you would like to solve those problems in a way that would make her happy. ETA: because wife, you ARE most important and I want to make you feel that way.

Can you do this?




I called my wife this morning and talked to her about what happened last night and if this is what she needs to do with me. She's not sure but she said that there are times when she just is frustrated and all of the pent up anger and frustration comes out. This is because I've "...had my hand over her mouth for so many years".

I sent her an email asking her to tell me what things she believes are a higher priority to me than she is. I haven't yet heard back from her.
I just got the following note back from my wife in response to my email on what my priorities are...

She said: "Your priority is whatever is happening at the time. You are just a to do list. Whatever there is to do like with xxxx the other night that is what you do without asking me or talking to me or considering my feelings."

The "xxxx" is our daughter. She had called me earlier in the day and wanted to talk to me and I called her and ended up talking to her for about 2 hours. My wife went to bed while we were on the phone. This is what she is referring to.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I just got the following note back from my wife in response to my email on what my priorities are...

She said: "Your priority is whatever is happening at the time. You are just a to do list. Whatever there is to do like with xxxx the other night that is what you do without asking me or talking to me or considering my feelings."

The "xxxx" is our daughter. She had called me earlier in the day and wanted to talk to me and I called her and ended up talking to her for about 2 hours. My wife went to bed while we were on the phone. This is what she is referring to.


This is good, Jim. Really good.
Good job emailing her.

The fact that she gave you some specific examples, to help you out,also confirms that your wife DOES have goodwill toward you and would likely fall back in love with you, if you were to learn to take her feelings into account ABOVE and BEFORE, anyone or anything else.

You are laying the framework for this by contacting her several times a day. How would you know her feelings about anything if you are not contacting her often?

The next habit you are forming, is to point blank ask her to clarify her feelings for you, instead of assuming. The good news, is that she did respond to your email, so let's see if you can keep this going. The nice thing about email, is that your brain won't jam up under the pressure of her emotional outbursts.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Hi DQ, I am being consistent. I just got off of the phone with my wife. We had a very lengthy conversation. We are on the same cycle that we've been on for years.


Hey Jim, I completely disagree with that statement in boldface. You are NOT on the same cycle anymore, because now that you are intentionally changing, the cycle has been interrupted. She is noticing your good efforts, and then when you do something that looks like past cycles, she is scared to death. But if you keep asking what it was that upset her, and addressing that complaint, then over time, she will gain hope.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: Apples123
"Notice Jim made progress over the weekend but On Monday he was back at square one."


So I may have missed this point, Apples. Are you saying that she was happy as long as he is home with het and unhappy when he goes to his job? So you notice the correlation and think that is the root of her frustration?

Is that what you were trying to say?


It does seem to be a factor.


ETA: she is the only one who can tell us for sure.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I just got the following note back from my wife in response to my email on what my priorities are...

She said: "Your priority is whatever is happening at the time. You are just a to do list. Whatever there is to do like with xxxx the other night that is what you do without asking me or talking to me or considering my feelings."

The "xxxx" is our daughter. She had called me earlier in the day and wanted to talk to me and I called her and ended up talking to her for about 2 hours. My wife went to bed while we were on the phone. This is what she is referring to.


Please email your wife and thank her for sharing those examples with you. Tell her that you are going to figure out a plan to avoid distractions, and that you would appreciate any ideas she has. Together you will come up with a solution to this.

After thanking her, write these two things on your notebook checklist, and then start a whole page for this problem.

1. Problem with the POJA #1: I consult my own task list first, instead of my wife.
2. Problem with the POJA #2: I pay attention to other family members or activities instead of my wife. (2 hour phone call with daughter)

After those things are done, let me know.
Food for Thought:

You go throughout your day, doing things that imagine your wife would care nothing about. And you don't see anything wrong with the things you are doing. But you wife wants to be brought into everything Before you decide to do it, even if it is something that you think she would fully support. If you tend to get distracted by your kids, then that becomes a problem. If you tend to do things impulsively, then that is also a problem.

What Dr. Harley usually recommends in this situation is for you to do absolutely nothing, without first asking your wife how she feels about you doing it. When she tells you that you don't have to ask about a certain thing because it will always be okay, then you put it on a list. Except for the items on the list, you ALWAYS ASK. Then over time, you are in the habit of asking, and the list of items you don't need to ask about grows.
I also think that this would be a good time to call into the radio show. Maybe take these 2 complaints from your wife, and let her listen to Dr. Harley give his suggestions to you. I highly doubt that your wife would be frustrated with his advice, which would be in support of YOU changing your behavior. Also, they might be able to send a free book like "He Wins, She Wins" or Lovebusters.

You are correct, that you are in a difficult position. You have two potential problems: upsetting her by not getting her EA to get help from Dr. Harley and the forum, and an outcome where she never gets on board and never changes her bad habits.

It takes two, and all parts of the program are necessary to build a great marriage.

Jim, I don't see why, even if you don't go on the show, you couldn't at least EMAIL the show, and use the response as a way to introduce the conversation again with your wife.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Please email your wife and thank her for sharing those examples with you. Tell her that you are going to figure out a plan to avoid distractions, and that you would appreciate any ideas she has. Together you will come up with a solution to this.

After thanking her, write these two things on your notebook checklist, and then start a whole page for this problem.

1. Problem with the POJA #1: I consult my own task list first, instead of my wife.
2. Problem with the POJA #2: I pay attention to other family members or activities instead of my wife. (2 hour phone call with daughter)

After those things are done, let me know.







Okay, I emailed my wife and thanked her for bringing up those 2 items. I told her that I would come up with a plan to avoid distraction and consult her before I just take action on something. I also asked for her input for ideas so that we could decide together what would work.

I have also written these things in my notebooks.
DQ, I'm just providing you with an update on how things went tonight. We shopped for groceries together tonight and when we got home and were putting things away, I started a conversation related to my priorities. One thing lead to another and we ended up talking about the following items:

1) While I'm at work, I feel pressured to get off of the phone while my wife wants to keep my on the phone because then she has a captive audience. She says that she only feels the need to talk longer during the day when I'm at work because we don't talk at night. This way, she can get my undivided attention.

2) We talked about my talking to our daughter the other night for so long. She said that she was bothered because I just came home, decided that I should call our daughter and then I did it and was on the phone for hours. This bothered her because I never consulted her before I just called; I never asked her if she thought that it would be okay to give our daughter a call, I just went off and did it on my own like I do everything.

I started to attempt to get her to help me figure out how to change this behavior and thats when she got frustrated. She said "...I am done with you" and "...I just don't care anymore".

The rest of the evening was very chilly. Very little talking and then she went to bed.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Please email your wife and thank her for sharing those examples with you. Tell her that you are going to figure out a plan to avoid distractions, and that you would appreciate any ideas she has. Together you will come up with a solution to this.

After thanking her, write these two things on your notebook checklist, and then start a whole page for this problem.

1. Problem with the POJA #1: I consult my own task list first, instead of my wife.
2. Problem with the POJA #2: I pay attention to other family members or activities instead of my wife. (2 hour phone call with daughter)

After those things are done, let me know.







Okay, I emailed my wife and thanked her for bringing up those 2 items. I told her that I would come up with a plan to avoid distraction and consult her before I just take action on something. I also asked for her input for ideas so that we could decide together what would work.

I have also written these things in my notebooks.



Good follow through. What about using these issues to email Dr. Harley? I'm telling you, it's the perfect topic to introduce her.
Originally Posted By: dividejim


She said "...I am done with you" and "...I just don't care anymore."


Well, that's better than telling you to pack your bags... whistle
Your wife just told you that she has a high emotional need for undivided attention and intimate conversation. Imagine that!

She probably needs conversation at lunch AND in the evenings. Think about it...the kids are gone, with their own lives, and you're all she's got. You should be the person to meet that need regardless.

Have you called your wife every day on your lunch hour according to the plan? Or have you been skipping?

How is it that you've gone grocery shopping with her but not taken her out to dinner? Time to start dating your wife. smile Pick dates that allow
for conversation.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Your wife just told you that she has a high emotional need for undivided attention and intimate conversation. Imagine that!

She probably needs conversation at lunch AND in the evenings. Think about it...the kids are gone, with their own lives, and you're all she's got. You should be the person to meet that need regardless.

Have you called your wife every day on your lunch hour according to the plan? Or have you been skipping?



I haven't missed a day since I started doing this. I also take my wife out to dinner quite often. Now we really are pretty much tied at the hip. Our conversations are pretty weak though I have put in a huge effort to learn about football which she loves. I talk to her about that for fun and that is a lot of fun. She is the huge fan and I just like it but am not over the moon about it so I really did put effort into something that she likes so that we could have something fun to talk about.
***EDIT***
Originally Posted By: Shirdon3
**EDIT***

Shirndon, your advice sounds a lot like Mr.Nice Guy's earlier in the thread on Feb. 11th. Please read the following:

[Quote=Mr.NiceGuy's Advice Addressed by SugarCane]

SugarCane: Jim, I want to warn you against the "be cool and aloof" philosophy embedded in this advice.


Mr. Nice Guy:
"If you were in a bad place with your hubby... And fighting or what have you... Should your hubby just stand there and wait for you to not be mad at him? Or should he go occupy himself until you cool off? That's all I'm saying... If she wants him to leave her alone because she's not in a good space in her head with him.. What good will it do to sit there and follow her around like a lost puppy hoping for his cookie? That's no way to be married... When she needs space and indicates as such.. Its best to go find a way to fill the time until she's ready to talk again by doing something awesome rather than sulk and wait and hope she will be nice to him. Obviously when she's feeling negative towards him its not a good time to talk...aknowledge she's upset.. Appologize once..then its Best to go be awesome for a bit then come back to it.

Whatever you do.... Don't whine (or what she precieves as) Don't mope... Don't sulk... Don't appologize for something more than once.. Bring positive energy with you when your near her and meet her needs when you can... And if you can't or she won't let you then just be near by and do something manly or awesome... "

Sugarcane:
This is not Marriage Builders advice, and it is not how Dr Harley advises a man to try and bring his wife out of withdrawal. Since you have spoken to Dr Harley more than once, and since you listen to the radio show, and have chosen to post here again, I take it you are here for the advice that Dr Harley gives?

Well, here is what he says about dealing with a wife's complaints, before they descend into nagging, an d once they have already reached that point. Note that he does not tell you that her reactions to your love busters "are on her", or that you should apologise only once and then, if she is still upset, leave her to sulk - as if she is one of your children, and not an equal partner, with a legitimate complaint:

"As a husband, you should address every complaint your wife makes with patience and kindness. You should enter into a discussion with her regarding every issue she raises, and do it without any disrespect or anger on your part. If you think that she has so many issues that you feel overwhelmed by them, organize them together and set priorities. Focus on the three that top her list, and when they are resolved, work your way through it." How to Deal with a Quarrelsome and Nagging Wife"

Going off to "be awesome" by working on your pecs while your wife "cools down", when she is upset at having discovered you in yet another lie, is a way to push her into withdrawal and keep her there - and you've already done that.

Time to use Marriage Builders.


Shirdon...Jim has spent 30 years not listening long to or addressing his wife's complaints.

Jim is not groveling in those moments. He is shellshocked. I agree that he needs to be patient and strong in those moments, and that his wife needs to stop lovebusting him. However, what I am trying to help him do is to take the conversations about problems to email format to avoid this type of situation altogether, while still proactively addressing her concerns. This is no time for Jim to be impatient or pompous.

As they move forward, they can address her lovebusters in a proactive and not reactive way.



Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Your wife just told you that she has a high emotional need for undivided attention and intimate conversation. Imagine that!

She probably needs conversation at lunch AND in the evenings. Think about it...the kids are gone, with their own lives, and you're all she's got. You should be the person to meet that need regardless.

Have you called your wife every day on your lunch hour according to the plan? Or have you been skipping?



I haven't missed a day since I started doing this. I also take my wife out to dinner quite often. Now we really are pretty much tied at the hip. Our conversations are pretty weak though I have put in a huge effort to learn about football which she loves. I talk to her about that for fun and that is a lot of fun. She is the huge fan and I just like it but am not over the moon about it so I really did put effort into something that she likes so that we could have something fun to talk about.


I'm so glad that you were consistent with the lunch time phone calls, and with studying up on her hobby for the sake of conversation. Excellent.


ETA: Is she calling you at other times of the day? Or is she wanting to talk longer at lunch than you have planned for?
Jim, my feeling is that in your worry about upsetting your wife by Not talking about problems, you are bringing them up at a time when you should be romanticizing. And then, something you are doing in those discussions is super annoying. Please address the problems systematically through email. Leave conversation time for positivity.
If you absolutely have to, then reserve lunch time to discuss problems, and evenings for UA. (This is what worked for us. Talk about kid problems, car repairs etc during our lunch phone chat and then do UA at night in the form of dates. I still would prefer email for addressing complaints because you are not tuned in to whatever it is that annoys her and sends her running off alone instead of what happened below:

Originally Posted By: dividejim
As far as the 4 main emotional needs are concerned, I believe that I've just experienced the affection and conversation with my wife over the last 2 days. I really put some effort into talking with her and being affectionate yesterday. I didn't sleep on the couch last night at her request. Thats the farthest that we've moved in a positive direction since last November.

It seems to me that the 15 hours of UA puts both of us into an intensive and focused time together during which we can really focus on the intimate conversation without interruption. It seems to me that intimate conversation is certainly one of the most important emotional needs for my wife. Focusing on that alone seems to be the "gateway" to meeting some of the other emotional needs which would just naturally flow out of the intimate conversation.

We are planning to take a break for a few days and go away somewhere to be together. As far as 15 hours of UA this week, I need to think of ways to do that. We spend an awful lot of time together at home each night but like you say, its not the same as getting away from home.

I need to think of some ideas for getting out of the house together...DJ


What happened? All I hear about is grocery shopping and trips necessitated by aging family or task lists.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
ETA: Is she calling you at other times of the day? Or is she wanting to talk longer at lunch than you have planned for?


My wife rarely calls me now during the day. She gave up on that about 6 months ago. I always call her. I think that she got sick of "chasing" me to try to get my attention.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
What happened? All I hear about is grocery shopping and trips necessitated by aging family or task lists.


We have not yet planned something for just us together. The past week was quite busy with my wife's parents health problems though we did get the Disneyland trip booked.

I've not done anything romantic this week which is something that I promised to do.
I'm sure you'll think of something romantic to do tomorrow. You have followed through with other things. So, just let me know what you decided and how it goes.

I hope that no news is good news....Mr. J.
Don't lose focus now. It takes about 40 day to build a new habit. You are getting closer to the time when thoughtfulness becomes habitual and therefore less of an effort.
Hi DQ, I'm not losing focus. I'm still doing my daily phone calls, emails, texts, etc. That has been going well. We did talk over the weekend about my job. I brought the issue up and wanted to see if we could start a dialogue to reconcile what happened/what we do going forward. My wife just told that she didn't think that there was any way that we could reconcile anything to do with the job. That happened yesterday. I haven't written an email to her yet to try to further the discussion. We've got a family activity tonight so I probably won't write her an email until later tonight...
I wrote my wife an email trying to delve a little deeper into her statement regarding my work situation being "unreconcilable". I've written her twice today and there has been no response from either. I know that she has read them as well.

We had a situation yesterday that prompted some bad feelings again. She felt that I was being controlling. The words that I used were controlling. Unfortunately, that is not what my intent was. That said, she told me to get out of the house by Wednesday (tomorrow). We haven't spoken since last night...DJ
Do not leave the house.

Have you snooped lately?
Last time you left, what did you say, and when you returned a day later, what were the circumstances that made you return? Did she ask you to or did you decide to?
What did you discuss?
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I wrote my wife an email trying to delve a little deeper into her statement regarding my work situation being "unreconcilable". I've written her twice today and there has been no response from either. I know that she has read them as well.

We had a situation yesterday that prompted some bad feelings again. She felt that I was being controlling. The words that I used were controlling. Unfortunately, that is not what my intent was. That said, she told me to get out of the house by Wednesday (tomorrow). We haven't spoken since last night...DJ


1. Please stop discussing problems with her in the evening when you should be meeting conversation and affection on dates!!!. That
will not save your marriage. (Didn't we discuss this already? )

2. Emailing incessantly is also controlling. Please wait patiently for her to respond. You can't force her to respond, and pushing her by multiple e-mails is the same as bringing up a topic that she is not enthusiastic about discusing.

3. How would you feel about...
That statement is your friend. It will keep you safe and out of "controlling"category.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I The words that I used were controlling. Unfortunately, that is not what my intent was.


What were the words?
Last time that I left the house, she asked me back. I've never come back on my own.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Last time that I left the house, she asked me back. I've never come back on my own.


Did you leave on your own or did she ask you to leave last time?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I The words that I used were controlling. Unfortunately, that is not what my intent was.


What were the words?


We had a discussion about whether or not an item being purchased could be charged to our HSA (Health Savings Account). I said "...I can't in good conscience put a charge for this item on the HSA account". I didn't approach her first and say, hey, I'm not sure that we can do this; what do you think?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Last time that I left the house, she asked me back. I've never come back on my own.


Did you leave on your own or DoD she ask you to leave?


She asked me to leave. I've never just left on my own.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I The words that I used were controlling. Unfortunately, that is not what my intent was.


What were the words?


We had a discussion about whether or not an item being purchased could be charged to our HSA (Health Savings Account). I said "...I can't in good conscience put a charge for this item on the HSA account". I didn't approach her first and say, hey, I'm not sure that we can do this; what do you think?


Don't leave.

The way you said that had a disrespectful judgment hidden inside. It was insulting to your wife. Can you see why?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim
I The words that I used were controlling. Unfortunately, that is not what my intent was.


What were the words?


We had a discussion about whether or not an item being purchased could be charged to our HSA (Health Savings Account). I said "...I can't in good conscience put a charge for this item on the HSA account". I didn't approach her first and say, hey, I'm not sure that we can do this; what do you think?


Don't leave.

The way you said that had a disrespectful judgment hidden inside. It was insulting to your wife. Can you see why?


Well, its sounds as if I'm accusing her of wanting to do something wrong...
Right.
And what else could she hear there?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Right.
And what else could she hear there?


That I'm judging her and that I'm superior to her because I didn't suggest that we do something wrong...
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Right.
And what else could she hear there?


That I'm judging her and that I'm superior to her because I didn't suggest that we do something wrong...


Right idea.

Superior in that you have a good conscience and she doesn't.
There's also a bit of a lecture hidden. Trying to enlighten her.

Now, what I still don't know is why she felt controlled instead of just disrespected. Did you spring it on her in front of the family? Did she want to do something one way and you moved forward in another? Or did you refuse to cooperate with her way?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Right idea.

Superior in that you have a good conscience and she doesn't.
There's also a bit of a lecture hidden. Trying to enlighten her.

Now, what I still don't know is why she felt controlled instead of just disrespected. Did you spring it on her in front of the family? Did she want to do something one way and you moved forward in another? Or did you refuse to cooperate with her way?



It was just between me and her. I had agreed to charge it to the HSA a few days before and then I sprung my statement on her...
What do you mean by "sprung"?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
What do you mean by "sprung"?


I didn't really mean anything by "sprung"...I just said what I said...
Ok. Thanks for your candor.

Jim, she felt lots of ouches from that one situation. Considering the reactive state she's been in, that's not surprising that she threw out the "get out of here" card. Take it in stride.

In an email, tell her that you've been thinking about what you said and that you think you've figured out why it was upsetting to her. Then write those ways down for her and let her know that you will do your best to be more respectful in the future.

Let her know that you won't be moving out, that you are already sleeping on the couch at her request and that you are making changes because you want a great marriage with her.

Then,
take her flowers TONIGHT with a card saying something simple like XOXO, Jim.

Can you do this, Mr. J?
Mr. Jim...
What's your plan?
Since I haven't heard back, and you may be home by now...

PLEASE please, please, don't bring up any other negative topics until you figure out what went wrong in this HSA situation. Write this one in the POJA notebook as a topic to email about LATER


There are many reasons why this HSA situation was a landmine.

Here are a few...

The problem was not defined from both perspectives.

Her perspective was judged as wrong and yours as right. No brainstorming for a win-win took place.

You didn't approach her by email in a thoughtful manner.

You weren't on a date spending UA, you were "taking care of a task" and seeing family.

She already finds herself in a vulnerable position with this situation due to your special expertise and experience on the subject.

Your Giver agreed with her the first time, even though your Taker was not enthusiastic. So you sacrificed, which set her up for more upset.

Please study the POJA and 4steps to see how using those rules would give a different outcome.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Ok. Thanks for your candor.

Jim, she felt lots of ouches from that one situation. Considering the reactive state she's been in, that's not surprising that she threw out the "get out of here" card. Take it in stride.

In an email, tell her that you've been thinking about what you said and that you think you've figured out why it was upsetting to her. Then write those ways down for her and let her know that you will do your best to be more respectful in the future.

Let her know that you won't be moving out, that you are already sleeping on the couch at her request and that you are making changes because you want a great marriage with her.

Then,
take her flowers TONIGHT with a card saying something simple like XOXO, Jim.

Can you do this, Mr. J?



DQ, I left work and wasn't able to respond to your email. I will attempt to do so now. I did follow your advice and got my wife flowers. I sent her an email before I left work and apologized and told her that I understood what I did and how I treated her and that I would be working to correct this going forward. I sent the email before I left work to come home and she never read the email until after I got home. So she wasn't real receptive to the flowers though she did not throw them in the trash which I fully expected. I gave them to her and again apologized for my lack of respect and left it at that. She proceeded to get into a discussion of why I am a jerk and again brought up the hurt that I caused her by being passionate about my bicycle and not about her. I chose not to really say much because she is right; I was a jerk and I did value that hobby above pretty much anything else. It was a diversion from our marriage troubles and helped me to escape into a world where everything was good. I see all of this now and its has become so clear now how I blew it for so many years.

She went to bed and on her way again told me that she just wants to get away from me now and isn't buying any of my BS. She told me that it looks like she'll need to be the one that leaves if I won't. She is very angry and hostile right now. I've gotta say that it really does worry me. It seems like such a huge hole that I've dug and to climb out will be a huge thing to do...
Hang in there, Jim. She knows how to get your goat. That's the only way she could get your attention in the past. And you are right that she has reason to be resentful.

Imagine how frustrating and confusing it would be for her, after 30 years, to have you suddenly apologizing and checking in. She would wonder how and why you could do this now, instead of before.

Jim, have you snooped? She seems to check her computer often. Could she have another point of comparison? A friend from the past? Facebook? Church? It wouldn't hurt to check. But DON'T get caught.

Take courage. Even compared to a fantasy, you are still her best option; as long as you keep stepping it up. Calling her bluff by leaving right now would confirm her accusations of BS and leave you both vulnerable to worse decisions. Please make sure that once a week you give her some tangible token of affection. She needs those reminders especially when you blunder.

As I have recommended lots, I would see if you can email Dr. Harley again to go on the show. You need to see if he would still recommend separation. At some point, your wife needs to see that she is not going to have to teach you. That you have help. That she has backing and that there is hope. It wouldn't hurt for Dr.Harley to get her take on things and maybe even give her some feedback about her, uh, negative contributions.

Another idea is to involve your pastor. Have you done that?

You are a churchgoer. Time to practice some faith. Have you asked God for help here?




You will need to climb out of this hole together, Jim. At some point she will need to stop punishing you. But right now, she can't imagine the possibility that all of this pain could be faded away with a happy marriage in its place. And unless you let Dr. Harley tell her that it's possible, she only has your actions as a benchmark.



Think of this song when you need an extra push to keep your motivation up, okay?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlTJrNJ5lA&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop
Posted By: MrAlias Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/16/16 03:01 PM
Be diligent Jim,

She doesn't believe you when you say you're going to change. The fact you apologized and let her know you're working to stop that is a step in the right direction.

You're next step is to recognize those moments when you're about to whip out a DJ and stop yourself.
Brace yourself for another pep talk, Mr. J.

Good job with the flowers. Remember to call her next time you send an important email, to tell her that you sent it, and don't talk about what you said in it. You did great.

Please don't ruminate over your mistakes of the past. It is so unproductive for you to self-depricate or for her to keep bringing them up. Remind her that you can't change the past but you are changing the future.

Keep on replacing negatives with positives. Please focus on positive, affectionate, short emails to your wife. Find something specific, like a compliment about how she looked last night, or about what a good mom she is. She needs to know that you see her as a valuable person.

You have 2 hrs of commute time every day, right? You should be listening every single day to the radio show. If you have access to the archives, I would search by the topics of independent behavior, undivided attention, and disrespectful judgments. One theme at a time. After a while it will help you catch your own lovebusters before you do them. As Mr. Alias said, that is the goal.

You must be swamped this morning...
Will your DW come here and post?
You listen to the radio show, correct? So you should know how important UA time is, correct?
There are more recent shows at the end of this thread. Have you listened to them?


The Critical Importance of Undivided Attention
Good morning Jim...
Starting to worry here...please let us know that you are okay.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Hang in there, Jim. She knows how to get your goat. That's the only way she could get your attention in the past. And you are right that she has reason to be resentful.

Imagine how frustrating and confusing it would be for her, after 30 years, to have you suddenly apologizing and checking in. She would wonder how and why you could do this now, instead of before.

Jim, have you snooped? She seems to check her computer often. Could she have another point of comparison? A friend from the past? Facebook? Church? It wouldn't hurt to check. But DON'T get caught.

Take courage. Even compared to a fantasy, you are still her best option; as long as you keep stepping it up. Calling her bluff by leaving right now would confirm her accusations of BS and leave you both vulnerable to worse decisions. Please make sure that once a week you give her some tangible token of affection. She needs those reminders especially when you blunder.

As I have recommended lots, I would see if you can email Dr. Harley again to go on the show. You need to see if he would still recommend separation. At some point, your wife needs to see that she is not going to have to teach you. That you have help. That she has backing and that there is hope. It wouldn't hurt for Dr.Harley to get her take on things and maybe even give her some feedback about her, uh, negative contributions.

Another idea is to involve your pastor. Have you done that?

You are a churchgoer. Time to practice some faith. Have you asked God for help here?






I have snooped and I've never found anything out of the ordinary. My wife doesn't use Facebook (she loathes Facebook) so there is nothing there. We are very active in our church. My wife is extremely private and we've always kept out problems between us and not involved anyone outside of us. I've been the only one to go outside of that course by coming to this forum.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Good morning Jim...
Starting to worry here...please let us know that you are okay.


I'm still here. My wife is really sick; in bed with the flu. I've been trying to help her. This sickness has humbled her some and that always seems to provide an opportunity to make some love bank deposits. My "get out of the house on Wednesday" deadline has come and gone so I'm just trying to work things and be consistent with my contact throughout the day.
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
You listen to the radio show, correct? So you should know how important UA time is, correct?


Hi Brainhurts, I listen to the radio show pretty much every day. I'm very aware of how important UA time is...
Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Mr. J. I'm glad that you are getting a do-over opportunity.

Remember a month ago when your wife had medical needs? You had been spending affectionate UA time together and she had invited you back into the marital bed. That was around Feb. 17th. Here is what you told us...


Originally Posted By: dividejim
So my "window" was very short. 1 week later I'm back on the couch and my wife has given me until Friday to find a place to live.

So she had a medical procedure done last week on Tuesday. I was very supportive and caring on both Monday and Tuesday. According to my wife, one the procedure was over, I went back into my normal mode. Aloof, quiet, not talking. I can't argue with that, I'm under a huge amount of pressure at work right now during a very busy time and I have a lot on my plate. I do tend to get pre-occupied with outside things when I'm in this mode.

What do I do now? She's back into emotional withdrawal and wanting me to move out again.

I've starting emailing her numerous times throughout the day because she won't talk to me. It just turns ugly. Email seems to be the only way that I can say anything to her...DJ



I know that you can have better success this time. She needs you. Allowing you to help her will make her feel emotionally vulnerable, especially after telling you to leave. So don't give her any reason to be upset. How can you accomplish this?

Before you do anything....ask her!

How would you feel about?
Would you prefer __ or __?
How would you feel if I were to ___?


If she gets upset, try to stay calm. She has a track in her mind that says "Leave by..." and any mistake you make puts her into that track. If she does say it, tell her that you don't feel good about that idea.

You started your affectionate contacts with her on Feb. 25th. Don't quit. Ever!

You are doing well. You have lots of pressure at work, but keep putting her first. Ask, How would you feel about... If her answer has any speck of sarcasm or hesitation, do Nothing!!

Let every single call go to voicemail. Then find out who called and ask her how she would feel about you calling back....any hesitation from her? Fight the impulse and put it off.

Keep conversations POSITIVE.

Keep emails positive, and in gift status, without expectation from her.

You are almost to 30 days of consistency. Be thinking about this: The Next step is to plan and fine tune 20 hours of UA TIME and to figure out how to get your wife on board.










Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
You listen to the radio show, correct? So you should know how important UA time is, correct?


Hi Brainhurts, I listen to the radio show pretty much every day. I'm very aware of how important UA time is...

How come you never followed it? Why wasn't it a priority?
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
There are more recent shows at the end of this thread. Have you listened to them?


The Critical Importance of Undivided Attention


Thanks for linking this thread, Brainy.

Jim,
Focusing on Undivided Attention is the only way that you will be able to gain the traction needed to turn things aound. If you read the thread which Brainy linked, you will see why.

You have spent UA TIME with your wife, but the quality and quantity need fine tuning to make a difference.
Did you hear yesterday's radio show? If so, did anything stand out to you?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you hear yesterday's radio show? If so, did anything stand out to you?


DQ, I listened to today's program but not yesterdays...
Bummer!
Jim, you say that you are very active in your church...what does that mean?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Jim, you say that you are very active in your church...what does that mean?


It means that we attend church services every Sunday. We are full tithe payers and we both strive to live a Christ-centered life.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Jim, you say that you are very active in your church...what does that mean?


It means that we attend church services every Sunday. We are full tithe payers and we both strive to live a Christ-centered life.


K. Got it.
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/19/16 05:10 PM
Quote:
strive to live a Christ-centered life.

As a husband, "living a Christ-centered life" means taking care of your wife's emotional needs and protecting her. You are to care for her the way Christ does his church.

What state would the church be in if Christ took care of it the way you take care of your wife? (Not a very good one ...)

What permanent changes can you make to change that, and how can you keep yourself motivated to stick with them?
Well, my wife kicked me out of the house tonight. We've both been sick this week and my wife is getting better but I'm getting worse. She suggested that I go to the doctor this morning which I did. Before that, she suggested that I leave because she doesn't want to get sick again and I'm just spreading my sunshine throughout the house. I grabbed few items of clothing and headed to the doctor. I called her to let her know what he said and she said to not bother coming home. She said that we are officially separated now so find a place to live. I'm currently at my office because I have nowhere to go. Just want to let you know what is happening...
Posted By: TheRoad Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/20/16 11:07 AM
Your wife can not legally prevent you from living in your house. Go back.
Go home. Take a VAR
Originally Posted By: TheRoad
Your wife can not legally prevent you from living in your house. Go back.


So I just go home? It will be ugly, yelling/screaming...I'm not sure that I can do that
Originally Posted By: apples123
Go home. Take a VAR


I don't understand what you mean by VAR
Jim...

I'm sorry that you find yourself kicked out again.

After relistening to your show from March 2014, and Dr. Harley's email response advice from March 2015, I would say that you are in the same position as March 2015, and you need to follow his advice exactly this time around.

Please DO NOT GO BACK until you get the okay from Dr. Harley.

Will post more later.
The last time you went on the show, Dr. Harley specifically mentioned being willing to work with you personally, which is HUGE blessing!

Please email him at:

mbradio@marriagebuilders.com


(Before doing anything)


Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Jim...

I'm sorry that you find yourself kicked out again.

After relistening to your show from March 2014, and Dr. Harley's email response advice from March 2015, I would say that you are in the same position as March 2015, and you need to follow his advice exactly this time around.

Please DO NOT GO BACK until you get the okay from Dr. Harley.




Will post more later.









DQ, have you got access to the shows that you mention above? I have the March 2014 show but not the March 2015. I would like to hear that again...DJ
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/20/16 08:56 PM
Do not go home.

You are in this position because of your inability to stick to a plan. There is a long history here for her to be resentful over. If you are going to save this, you're going to have to finally PROVE that you can do things differently. It's going to take longer and be more difficult now that you are out of the house, but you put yourself here.

So, I ask again, what can you do differently? And how can you keep yourself motivated to keep at it?
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/20/16 09:01 PM
Quote:
DQ, have you got access to the shows that you mention above? I have the March 2014 show but not the March 2015. I would like to hear that again...DJ

You really should have been listening to your shows on a daily basis all this time. You should be telling US what Dr. Harley told you to do, not the other way around.

What does Dr. Harley tell men in your situation to do? How can you find out? What are you going to do? You've been here 4 years. It's time to up your game and stick with it if you want to have any hope of keeping her.

Are you going to take Dr. Harley up on his offer?
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
Here is your show from March, 2015. Do you remember the date of the other show?
dividejim's show



This is the most pertinent one. He was very specific about what needs to happen before you return.
Date of other show is March 24th, 2014. Or maybe 25th or 26th. Having weekly UA planning with hubby can't look it up.
The show I quoted is most pertinent because he is in the same situation as back then, and he didn't follow Dr. Harley's advice. He should relisten and get in touch with Dr. Harley this time to make sure before returning.
Did you relisten to Dr. Harley's advice?

Is your wife contacting you?

Please don't stop your love bank deposit shedule. When you talk with her, try to focus on an even amount of concerns and questions about her day, as well as disclosures about yours.

Are your kids aware of what's going on? Is your ecclesiastical leader aware?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
Here is your show from March, 2015. Do you remember the date of the other show?
dividejim's show



This is the most pertinent one. He was very specific about what needs to happen before you return.


Radio Show of dividejim's 3-26-2014 show
Originally Posted By: Prisca
Do not go home.

You are in this position because of your inability to stick to a plan. There is a long history here for her to be resentful over. If you are going to save this, you're going to have to finally PROVE that you can do things differently. It's going to take longer and be more difficult now that you are out of the house, but you put yourself here.

So, I ask again, what can you do differently? And how can you keep yourself motivated to keep at it?

^^^^ this!!!!

Please answer Prisca's questions.
Originally Posted By: Prisca
Do not go home.

You are in this position because of your inability to stick to a plan. There is a long history here for her to be resentful over. If you are going to save this, you're going to have to finally PROVE that you can do things differently. It's going to take longer and be more difficult now that you are out of the house, but you put yourself here.

So, I ask again, what can you do differently? And how can you keep yourself motivated to keep at it?


Prisca, I'm not sure what I can do. My wife insists that we must reconcile these past mistakes that I've made and not doing this is always always what causes things like me being kicked out of the house. All of the folks on the forum have consistently told me not to focus on these things. How can I continue to ignore my wife's requests of me to talk about these things when she's asking me to do this?
Have you asked her on a date?
Originally Posted By: apples123
Have you asked her on a date?


Apples, you used the term "VAR" and I wrote back to you and asked what you meant by that. Can you please clarify what you meant?
Originally Posted By: apples123
Have you asked her on a date?


No I have not asked her to go on a date. Things are too fresh and I'm not really in the position to do that just yet.
Posted By: MrAlias Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 02:59 PM
Originally Posted By: dividejim

I'm not sure what I can do. My wife insists that we must reconcile these past mistakes that I've made and not doing this is always always what causes things like me being kicked out of the house. All of the folks on the forum have consistently told me not to focus on these things. How can I continue to ignore my wife's requests of me to talk about these things when she's asking me to do this?


If the goal in talking about them is to reconcile the past mistakes then, of course, you'll have to discuss them some. But if the entire focus of those conversations is her pointing out what you did wrong with no agreed upon solution to ensure it doesn't happen again then I would definitely avoid those conversations.

The message as stated before should be "We shouldn't focus on the past. Acknowledge that it did happen but look for solutions to protect each other and the relationship going forward.".

I suspect your wife believes that discussing these things of the past are ways to coming to a solution. When she describes something you've done do you take the time to (again) apologize but always offer up what you plant to do in the future to insure she isn't hurt again.

An apology isn't effective unless there is a defined plan to describe how you'll avoid doing the same things in the future. It's not enough to simply say you have remorse and are sorry for what you've done. You need to define the plan for protecting the person you've hurt.

Can you describe what those conversations look like?

This time away may be good for you. You can take this opportunity to inform her you're going to work on the things that have created this distance. Hopefully you two can plan some dates and have some fun together. Being separated is going to make it more difficult to have frank discussions about how you protect her from you in the future.

You'll have to do some work to make yourself appealing to her.
Posted By: MrAlias Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 03:00 PM
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: apples123
Have you asked her on a date?


Apples, you used the term "VAR" and I wrote back to you and asked what you meant by that. Can you please clarify what you meant?


Voice Activated Recorder.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you relisten to Dr. Harley's advice?

Is your wife contacting you?

Please don't stop your love bank deposit shedule. When you talk with her, try to focus on an even amount of concerns and questions about her day, as well as disclosures about yours.

Are your kids aware of what's going on? Is your ecclesiastical leader aware?



DQ, my wife and I have had no contact since Saturday morning (going on 2 days now). Our children do not know what is going on and neither does our ecclesiastical leader. We've always kept our problems very private and not involved others as I've told you before. I'm even very uncomfortable sharing my situation on this forum though it does help me to be able to talk about this with others.
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you relisten to Dr. Harley's advice?


I just listened to the Mar 2015 show that referenced an email that I sent to Dr. Harley and Joyce. The advice that Dr. Harley gave that stood out to me is that I should:

o find a comfortable place to stay
o stay separated until my wife and I can come to an understanding as to how we are going to communicate going forward
Originally Posted By: MrAlias
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: apples123
Have you asked her on a date?


Apples, you used the term "VAR" and I wrote back to you and asked what you meant by that. Can you please clarify what you meant?


Voice Activated Recorder.


What does that mean? Is this a suggestion to have a voice activated recorder that I use to record my thoughts?
Jim, Dr. Harley was clear that there will be no resolution until your wife can have discussions with you where she is not flying off the handle and punishing you by piling on with mistakes of the past.

Of course there are problems. But until you BOTH learn how to discuss them with the goal of a solution, no progress will be made.

Just last week she again brought up your biking to punish you. She is aware of no other option. You went to the doctor, at her request, and she then kicks you out. She's too mad to tell you why. She cannot stay calm when you miss the mark. Dr. Harley said that you are in a "No Win" situation.

Have you relistened to the March 2015 show? Dr. Harley is VERY smart, Jim. He understands what steps need to happen to motivate change. Your wife got you motivated, didn't she? You are STALLED until something or someone motivates her to STOP OBSTRUCTING your efforts. Right now, she doesn't want you to succeed. She associates you with pain.

We were hoping that you could meet enough needs to soften her heart through UA and deposits. KEEP THAT UP.

You can bang your head against the wall all day long by asking us why, why, why? It is simple. You are thoughtless and impulsive, and your wife has an anger problem. Your combined conflict resolution methods are so bad that they've brought you to blows in the past.

PLEASE EMAIL her a link to the March 2015 radio show and ask her to email Dr. Harley with her viewpoint. She could divorce you, but this should be the last time you get yourself kicked out. Enough already.

I would tell her that you need help learning how to handle discussing problems and you need Dr. Harley to coach you through it. If she doesn't want to go on the radio show then you can suggest Steve Harley for privacy or the online program for privacy.

Stop wasting time having posters here explain your wife when Dr. Harley did it already.

So Jim, what has to change before you return?
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 03:53 PM
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: Prisca
Do not go home.

You are in this position because of your inability to stick to a plan. There is a long history here for her to be resentful over. If you are going to save this, you're going to have to finally PROVE that you can do things differently. It's going to take longer and be more difficult now that you are out of the house, but you put yourself here.

So, I ask again, what can you do differently? And how can you keep yourself motivated to keep at it?


Prisca, I'm not sure what I can do. My wife insists that we must reconcile these past mistakes that I've made and not doing this is always always what causes things like me being kicked out of the house. All of the folks on the forum have consistently told me not to focus on these things. How can I continue to ignore my wife's requests of me to talk about these things when she's asking me to do this?

A big problem I see is that you don't take the initiative. You wait for people to hold your hand and walk you through it. This is not going to be very attractive to your wife.

What can YOU do? You've been here 4 years ... surely you have some ideas.

When your wife wants to talk about these things, how do you respond? Do you brush her off? Are you using the MB principle to hide behind and not address her concerns? These problems are still very real and in the present for her. Nothing has changed as far as she can see.

Do you say:
"I'm not going to discuss the past with you again"

or

"I am sorry I did that, sweetheart. I am sorry I hurt you. In the future, I will _________." A sentence like this will go a long way.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you relisten to Dr. Harley's advice?


I just listened to the Mar 2015 show that referenced an email that I sent to Dr. Harley and Joyce. The advice that Dr. Harley gave that stood out to me is that I should:

o find a comfortable place to stay
o stay separated until my wife and I can come to an understanding as to how we are going to communicate going forward


Thank you so much for summarizing his advice. His advice supercedes any forum poster's.
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 04:09 PM
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: apples123
Have you asked her on a date?


No I have not asked her to go on a date. Things are too fresh and I'm not really in the position to do that just yet.

You are going to have to initiate contact. She will not.
You could also send a token like flowers with a hand written note "Thinking of you."

You do need to start taking more initiative. Get out your calendar and make a romance plan for the week. Keep up your calls and texts. She wants to know your focus is her so don't let up.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you relisten to Dr. Harley's advice?

Is your wife contacting you?

Please don't stop your love bank deposit shedule. When you talk with her, try to focus on an even amount of concerns and questions about her day, as well as disclosures about yours.

Are your kids aware of what's going on? Is your ecclesiastical leader aware?



DQ, my wife and I have had no contact since Saturday morning (going on 2 days now). Our children do not know what is going on and neither does our ecclesiastical leader. We've always kept our problems very private and not involved others as I've told you before. I'm even very uncomfortable sharing my situation on this forum though it does help me to be able to talk about this with others.


I totally understand since I was in a similar situation. That's why I keep suggesting the online program. However, Prisca brought up a good point about how using Marriage Builders improperly or as means to control your wife would be a bad idea. But if you can get your wife to Dr. Harley, hopefully she will see that he truly cares and knows how to build marriages.

Jim, this is just a suggestion... How about praying for your wife's heart to be softened, and for you to have your mind opened to treasures of knowledge. Pray to have your mind opened to date ideas and pray for courage to keep asking her out.

Are you depositing at each alarm? What did you send this morning??
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 04:35 PM
She is not going to be interested in Marriage Builders or its rules if she thinks it's just going to be used to shut her up and make her leave you alone about what she feels is a real problem in her life. She has to be shown that something is in it for her. How can you show her what's in it for her?
Originally Posted By: Prisca
She is not going to be interested in Marriage Builders or its rules if she thinks it's just going to be used to shut her up and make her leave you alone about what she feels is a real problem in her life. She has to be shown that something is in it for her. How can you show her what's in it for her?


True.
Prisca, she can't stay calm and she won't stop her tirades long enough for him to learn what set her off. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Did you listen to the program? How can Jim engage in discussions with her, when she is punishing him and blowing off steam? Obviously when she gets angry he turns into a mushroom and when all is said and done, he has no more understanding of the problem than before it happened.

Wouldn't sharing the radio show replay with her clarify things where Jim isn't shutting her down, but where she understands how her punishing accomplishes nothing?
Posted By: markos Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 05:04 PM
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Wouldn't sharing the radio show replay with her clarify things where Jim isn't shutting her down, but where she understands how her punishing accomplishes nothing?


Wives don't listen to Marriage Builders Radio unless there is something in it for them.
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 05:17 PM
Quote:
Prisca, she can't stay calm and she won't stop her tirades long enough for him to learn what set her off. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

This is a statement of fact, but it doesn't give him a course of action. What can HE do about that?

If he'd like her to change, he's got to show her what's in it for her. I doubt very seriously she thinks anything to do with Marriage Builders will do anything for her other than shut her up and get her off his back. What's in it for her?

Quote:
Did you listen to the program?

Yep smile

Quote:
How can Jim engage in discussions with her, when she is punishing him and blowing off steam? Obviously when she gets angry he turns into a mushroom and when all is said and done, he has no more understanding of the problem than before it happened.

First, he shouldn't brush her off when she wants to discuss something. Is she breaking a Marriage Builders rule by discussing the past? Yes. But she hasn't bought into the Marriage Builders rules. She's got to be shown that the rules are actually in her best interest.

How? If he is responding to her by telling her he refuses to discuss the past with her, then he is shooting himself in the foot. All she will see from that is that he has following some program that allows him to sweep things under the rug and expects her to to just shut up and put up.

He's got to show her that there's something in this for her. Apologizing for what he did in the past and turning the conversation to what he plans to do in the future is one way to do that (and it will take more than one such conversation).

He shouldn't continue in a conversation when she is having an AO, but he should address her concerns as soon as she calms down.

Quote:
Wouldn't sharing the radio show replay with her clarify things where Jim isn't shutting her down, but where she understands how her punishing accomplishes nothing?

Markos used to try to share radio shows with me.
I saw it as him trying to educate me and found it very disrespectful, and almost always responded to him hatefully. I doubt very seriously she will accept it from him. She is probably in no mood to be educated by him.

He's going to have to show her instead of tell her.

He could invite her to join him in Marriage Builders. The approach would probably have to be a long the lines of "I've found this program that can help me be a better husband to you. I need this. Would you join me?" But giving her a radio show to listen to won't likely win her over.
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 05:29 PM
In January, Jim said this: "At the time of the email which was March 2015, my wife had kicked me out of the house. The summary of the show was that I feared being honest with her because of the angry outburst that was sure to come. Dr. Harley suggested that I stay out of the house and enjoy being separated for a time. I should continue to talk to my wife via the phone/email but that I should stay away until the anger problem was solved. The struggle seemed to be centered around my wife wanting us to "discuss" the horrible things that I had done to her over the 30 years of our marriage. When we would discuss these things, it would inevitably end up in a fight and would escalate to an angry outburst on both of our parts. We are now almost a year later and we don't have angry outbursts anymore and haven't now for probably 6 months. I didn't stay away from my wife but was back in the house within a day or two back in March 2015. Now I don't have a problem speaking the truth to my wife. When I do open up, even if the item is something that is difficult to discuss, it does not escalate into a fight."

According to him, her angry outbursts no longer happen. The recent problem in their marriage is Jim's neglect, not her angry outbursts.

I noted that in Jim's radio show, he said absolutely nothing about the way he neglects her, such as the bike riding of 25 years (which he gave up, but now he ignores her and blows off her concerns).

He lied to her over Christmas (she did not have an angry outburst in response, BTW), which is what caused her to bring up the past again, and which brought him back to the forum.

He has pointed out clearly that her anger is no longer the problem; it is his lack of actually doing anything in the marriage to win her love that is still the problem. She complains about neglect in the past not to "punish him by bringing up the cycling" but because the neglect is still going on.

Don't forget that she was ill in February and he neglected her, and he came here to tell us that she told him to leave again.

The neglect is very much a feature of the present.

So, again, what's in this for her?
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/21/16 05:35 PM
She brings up the past because she thinks he is neglecting her simply because he does not understand how badly it hurts. She thinks that if she makes him understand, he will not do it again.

THAT is why she keeps bringing up his neglect (the cycling). It's not about the cycling: it's about the fact that the neglect is still going on.

Her strategy, to make him understand, is a bad one, but she does not know that. She only knows that she has given him chance after chance to change, and he easily forgets what he promised, and does it again.

Thus, the Marriage Builders rule to "not discuss the past" will only be seen by her as an attempt to shut her up and force her to just accept his continued neglect. Sharing the radio show will be seen the same way.
Originally Posted By: dividejim


Prisca, I'm not sure what I can do. My wife insists that we must reconcile these past mistakes that I've made and not doing this is always always what causes things like me being kicked out of the house. All of the folks on the forum have consistently told me not to focus on these things. How can I continue to ignore my wife's requests of me to talk about these things when she's asking me to do this?


Jim-

We are going in circles with you about this one point. It does not have to be one way or the other. You have to learn to do BOTH: resolve the mistakes of the past AND be having 15 hours of UA together meeting intimate emotional needs.

Your problem is that when you talk with your wife, you don't follow the instructions which we give you. You change them up somehow. So I suggested that you email her, so that your anxiety doesn't get in the way and you can stay on track.

So Jim, is that why your wife kicked you out? Because you are avoiding her requests to discuss these items? Is it because you clam up when she asks you a question? Or is it because she asks something of you and you do it, but you change up what you do a little bit from exactly what she asked? (Like getting pears instead of peaches at the grocery store?)
Originally Posted By: dividejim on Feb 17th,2016
As far as the 4 main emotional needs are concerned, I believe that I've just experienced the affection and conversation with my wife over the last 2 days. I really put some effort into talking with her and being affectionate yesterday. I didn't sleep on the couch last night at her request. That's the farthest that we've moved in a positive direction since last November.

It seems to me that the 15 hours of UA puts both of us into an intensive and focused time together during which we can really focus on the intimate conversation without interruption.

We are planning to take a break for a few days and go away somewhere to be together. As far as 15 hours of UA this week, I need to think of ways to do that. We spend an awful lot of time together at home each night but like you say, its not the same as getting away from home.

I need to think of some ideas for getting out of the house together...DJ


This was in FEBRUARY. She asked you to come back into the room with her. But you thanked her by NOT planning the getaway that you had talked about together, and by NOT taking her out of the house on dates. By the way, stick with things you would have done to court her BEFORE marrying her. I doubt that grocery shopping was on the list.

The trip you planned to Disneyland... When is it and is it a trip with your kids or an alone trip?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Originally Posted By: dividejim


Prisca, I'm not sure what I can do. My wife insists that we must reconcile these past mistakes that I've made and not doing this is always always what causes things like me being kicked out of the house. All of the folks on the forum have consistently told me not to focus on these things. How can I continue to ignore my wife's requests of me to talk about these things when she's asking me to do this?


Jim-

We are going in circles with you about this one point. It does not have to be one way or the other. You have to learn to do BOTH: resolve the mistakes of the past AND be having 15 hours of UA together meeting intimate emotional needs.

Your problem is that when you talk with your wife, you don't follow the instructions which we give you. You change them up somehow. So I suggested that you email her, so that your anxiety doesn't get in the way and you can stay on track.

So Jim, is that why your wife kicked you out? Because you are avoiding her requests to discuss these items? Is it because you clam up when she asks you a question? Or is it because she asks something of you and you do it, but you change up what you do a little bit from exactly what she asked? (Like getting pears instead of peaches at the grocery store?)



Yes, the reason that my wife has always kicked me out is that I never approached her first to discuss our issues. Its always been me not talking to her about the whys of what I did to her. Now it feels like I have a convenient excuse not to talk to her about things because its an MB principle that says don't talk about the past.

I just spent the last 3-4 hours with my wife in a combination of emails and talking on the phone. The whole discussion kind of boiled down to my not focusing on my character flaws so that I can change my behavior. My character flaws include lying, dishonesty, controlling behavior, ignoring my wife; these types of things. The "events" that have happened have just been symptoms of the underlying character flaws. She's not interested in addressing the events as much as she wants me to address the character flaws. This is what she really wants me to talk with her about. Actually, she doesn't even really want me to talk about it with her, she just wants me to figure it out and change my behavior...to do something, take some action.

It sounds to me like the steps that Dr. Harley lays out in the 5 Steps to Romantic Love booklet. He recommended that I read through the section on dishonesty and go through the exercises that are reflected there. This sounds exactly like that to me.

I told my wife that I had some homework to do and we ended our conversation about 30 minutes ago.
Did you call her or did she call you?
She called me
Did you sit in church with her?

Are you continuing your thoughtful messages?
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you sit in church with her?

Are you continuing your thoughtful messages?


Well we didn't go to church together since she kicked me out of the house. I have been sending the thoughtful messages but am running out of things to say. I don't want to sound contrived and that's how it feels right now.
Originally Posted By: dividejim
Originally Posted By: DidntQuit
Did you sit in church with her?

Are you continuing your thoughtful messages?


Well we didn't go to church together since she kicked me out of the house. I have been sending the thoughtful messages but am running out of things to say. I don't want to sound contrived and that's how it feels right now.


Understood. But don't quit now. It will feel contrived. No way around that.
Some ideas:
Just checking in to see if you need help with anything around the house...
Thinking about you.
Miss seeing you at night...
Would you join me for dinner...
How's your day going?
I was thinking about that time when...(positive memory).
Work is crazy today...would love to meet you halfway for lunch.
Thanks for...
Wanted to provide an update on where we are now. We made some significant progress over the past 2 days. We emailed for hours on Monday and then talked in person on Tuesday.

We agreed to work together to dig down into the love busters that i have to work on and to figure out why I do them. We have started with the dishonesty love buster and are using the MB workbook/worksheets (my wife doesn't know this but thats what we're using) to understand the issue.

We talked a lot about how to discuss and resolve issues between us and the topic of angry outbursts and disrespectful judgments was talked about heavily. One of my biggest problems is controlling behavior. To the point where I don't see that its controlling. When I suggest that AO's and DJ's are extremely destructive to resolving issues, my wife is adamant that I can't tell her how to feel. She feels that she needs to express her feelings honestly and if she is angry, she is going to be angry and that is the natural consequence of my thoughtless actions. She feels like me telling her that we can't get angry and disrespectful is me trying to control her. I think that we've got a ways to go until the whole AO/DJ thing can be understood.

I am going to take 2 days off of work this week (Thu/Fri) and we are going to spend time together just living. There will be some UA and some issue discussion with lots of honesty. We both are hoping that this will get us on the right path together.

My wife asked me to come home and insisted that I stop sleeping on the couch. If we're going to be married then we need to act like we're married.

The whole thing really opened up when I asked how I could help with the house since I've been away for a number of days. This was one of my thoughtful notes sent yesterday afternoon. She allowed me to come home and take care of the trash and mail (we live in a rural area and haul our own trash). I offered to take her to get something to eat and she took me up on the offer. We had a nice dinner and some good open/honest discussion.

We had a big snow storm hit the area today so I may not be able to get home tonight so we've already got plans in place to talk on the phone if I can't make it home from work tonight.

I've approached my Heavenly Father in prayer asking for some softening of my wife's heart and I believe that this has happened. I will continue doing what I've been doing consistently.

More as things progress...
Good update!



What do you mean by a couple of days "just living"?
Posted By: Prisca Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 03/23/16 04:03 PM
Quote:
We talked a lot about how to discuss and resolve issues between us and the topic of angry outbursts and disrespectful judgments was talked about heavily. One of my biggest problems is controlling behavior. To the point where I don't see that its controlling. When I suggest that AO's and DJ's are extremely destructive to resolving issues, my wife is adamant that I can't tell her how to feel. She feels that she needs to express her feelings honestly and if she is angry, she is going to be angry and that is the natural consequence of my thoughtless actions. She feels like me telling her that we can't get angry and disrespectful is me trying to control her. I think that we've got a ways to go until the whole AO/DJ thing can be understood.

And she's RIGHT. You cannot educate her on this -- educating your spouse, even on something that is beneficial for her, is a disrespectful judgement.

You cannot tell her what she cannot do.

You can complain -- "It hurts me when you yell at me." "I bothers me when you disrespect me." And then she can decide on her own what to do with that information.

You can invite her to join the program with you, and the program will educate her. She can then decide what to do about her own lovebusters. But YOU CANNOT EDUCATE HER YOURSELF.

Quote:
I am going to take 2 days off of work this week (Thu/Fri) and we are going to spend time together just living. There will be some UA and some issue discussion with lots of honesty. We both are hoping that this will get us on the right path together.

My wife asked me to come home and insisted that I stop sleeping on the couch. If we're going to be married then we need to act like we're married.

So, what are you going to do differently this time? How are you going to stay motivated?
You do understand the irony of using the MB program on dishonesty without her knowing about it, right?
Plan at least 25 hours of th activities this weekend. You need to make serious Love Bank deposits.
Two - 3 hour dates per day would be a good start.

Like breakfast date and activity, dinner date and activity...
Plan?
Please update when you can.

Hope that you are still listening to mbradio during your commute. Each day, recently, there has been something which applies to your specific situation. Are you zeroing in on those segments?

I also hope that you continue with scheduled deposits until it becomes second nature. Would you please update on this?

It would like for you to plan a tentative weekly UA Date schedule. When you find an activity combo that deposits love units for your wife, do it every week on the same day. Please don't count grocery shopping or FHE as UA time. For the time being, I would count it as domestic support and family commitment. Somewhere on this website there should be a UA form to print out. It's also in 5 Steps. It will take you through the UA planning process. Can you do this?
Knock knock.
Hi DQ, I have been MIA for a week or so. My wife and I have been in a pretty difficult way now since about last Saturday. My talking about the past and my love busters has not been good enough for my wife. She is talking divorce again and I am so down over this. She has decided to go visit her parents alone next week. She wants me gone when she gets back. I think that my efforts have been too little too late. I don't see any improvement...she does not trust me. She is so angry and says the most horrible things to me like "...I hope you die in a fiery crash". She looked me in the eye this morning and told me repeatedly that she hates me. I am so lost! This is the result of 30+ years of neglect and it is very sad. We have nothing...she has no feelings for me and is constantly angry with me. Her dad had similar tendencies as me and she swore that she would never marry anyone like her dad. Now she looks at me and sees him. We haven't ever spoken to anyone outside of our marriage about any of the problems that we have. My wife said that she is going to start talking to her mother because she will understand. DQ, I am in the 11th hour and aside from a miracle, I don't see this marriage being saved.
Why MIA? Were you MIA with her too?

What happened to living like married people?These are dramatic shifts.

I don't think it's all about your lovenusters. It's also that your wife doesn't feel romantic love.

When you dated and it was all about the hormones, what thongs Reid you do?

Something you are saying when you discuss the problems is triggering her over and over. There must be a lovebuster that you keep doing without realizing it. She is trying to tell you, but you aren't picking it up. Your job is to address her complaint- not to teach her Marriage Builders.

Having said that, please email the radio show and ask Dr. Harley if you should leave or not, considering ill think that your wife would benefit from hearing you on the show. But I accept that others feel differently.
Reposting previous post with changes:

Why MIA? Was that supposed to be an apology? It bothers me when you decide to go MIA.

Were you MIA with her too?

What happened to living like married people in the same bed? These are dramatic shifts.

When you dated and it was all about the hormones, what things did you do to fill her romantically?

Something you are saying when you discuss the problems is triggering her over and over. There is some annoying thing you keep doing over and over. She has tried to explain it, but you aren't picking it up. Your job is to address her complaints- not to teach her MB or point out what she needs to fix to comply with MB.

Having said that, please email the radio show and ask Dr. Harley if you should leave or not, considering her asking you to leave, then asking you back, then telling you to move out before she gets home. (Her asking for divorce is a way of saying that her pain is too deep and she sees no hope of you changing.)

I still think that your wife would benefit from hearing you on the show. Not to teach her a lesson- to hear Dr. Harley discuss the problems with you. I think that hearing Dr. Harley interact with you would give her hope because it would present a more accurate picture of Marriage Builders than the one which you have shown her.

Don't let your discouragement override your intelligence. Keep up your deposits, Jim. Show your willingness. Divorce is a LONG way off...

Are you are changing your mind about saving your marriage? Are you going to follow up with Dr. Harley?



Posted By: markos Re: Stuck In Neutral Wanting to Move Forward - 04/05/16 02:32 AM
Have you seen your doctor about having some antidepressants prescribed for the short term to help you hold it together and stick to the plan?
Jim, I sincerely hope that you were able to get in contact with Dr. H. After listening to the radio show today, I have a glimmer of hope that you may have. Am I right?
Please update. What steps are you taking?
Did you talk with Dr. Harley?

Are you moving out?
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