Jump to content
God Save My Marriage

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 508
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Pooh, Come on. This is not a check list where you do one thing and then ignore your wife for the next few days.

 

Your wife is hurting. She could be content if you would just plug in. You are her source of life, source of strength and you are starving her. :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Pooh,

 

Being analytical isn't a bad thing! It's most likely a major part of your personality, and an asset you have. You just need to learn how to apply it to emotions. Most of the time, when I talk to guys who label themselves as "logical thinkers", they really do feel things deeply, but they have no "language" to express what they're feeling, and no way to "tell" what it is they are feeling.

 

It's okay! You just need some practice... Especially if you grew up in a "cold" family, who didn't cultivate a safe atmosphere. Some parents can't deal with their kids emotions, and they unknowingly "emotionally rape" their kids by talking them out of feeling the way they do, or they unintentionally make it clear that it's "Not okay to feel that!". That does severe damage to children!

 

My parents did that to me, and like I said, they didn't mean to, they just didn't know how to provide the safety to feel. They were doing the best they knew how, but in the process, I was wounded. Sounds like you were too.

 

The good news is that God can heal those places in your heart that were wounded in regard to your emotions and feelings. You can tap into those places that are covered up by layers of self-protection and toughness...

 

A lot of the guys in the men's group David and I are leading struggle with this... I'll ask them, "So, how are you feeling right now?", and they'll reply, "I'm fine...", or "Well, I had a long day at work..."

 

I'll explain that "Fine", and "A long day" aren't emotions, and ask them again... "How are you feeling?"

 

Most guys can't describe the actual emotions, they can't even identify WHAT they are feeling! I used to not be able to either... :)

 

Here's some practical things you can do to help get in touch with the emotional side of you that is in there, buried deep under your hard, tough, logical exterior.

 

First, since you're analytical, you'll love this.... it's a chart!

 

Download Emotions Chart (pdf)

 

Print that out and study it... in the center of the chart is the word "Peace". You'll notice the scripture Colossians 3:15, "Let the Peace of Christ rule in your heart."

 

That should be the "center" of our emotional balance... the Peace of Christ. Outside of that, we have all kinds and ranges of emotion because we're still human! The chart organizes emotions into related groups coming from the center in varying degrees of intensity. There are a lot of descriptive words for each thing... for example:

 

Look at "Peace", and follow me across the chart directly to the right...

 

1. Peace

2. Clearness

3. Openness

4. Acceptance

5. Affection

6. Pleasure

7. Connection

8. Fascination

 

Notice how the little smile lines get bigger and bigger?!

 

I'm sure you'll figure it out...

 

So, use this chart to help you identify how you're feeling, and the level of intensity you're feeling it...

 

When your wife asks you how you're feeling (notice she usually doesn't ask what you're thinking? :) ), just pull out this chart - I know it sounds silly, but trust me, it'll help! - and try to identify one word or a group of words that describe where you are... share them with her, and try to narrow it down with her to one or two emotions...

 

How many wives would flat pass out if their husbands actually felt FASCINATION for them? :)

 

She'll then normally ask you why you're feeling that way. Try to analyze your day, and see if you can come up with the reasons... it's usually cause/effect kind of stuff. If you're into finances, it's like stock market indicators. :)

 

It may sound trivial and elementary, but if you'll try it, you'll be amazed how much it helps to use the chart, and force yourself to dig deeper.

 

Another thing you might try to practice speaking from your "emotional" side is watching a movie with your wife... at the end, discuss how the different parts made you FEEL, and why... here's a short list of movies in my personal collection that traverse the range of human emotions... and I promise, they aren't all "chick-flicks"! Lol!

 

1. Gladiator

2. Braveheart

3. August Rush

4. The Princess Bride

5. Top Gun

6. The Notebook (sorry guys, this IS a good movie - get over it!)

7. A Walk in the Clouds

 

Those are just a few... there are a ton more I'm sure!

 

Try to catch yourself when you're about to say something to your wife in terms of "I think..." and rephrase it into, "I feel..."

 

Again, I want to reiterate, thinking is not bad... and analyzing is not wrong! The ability to do that is one of your greatest assets! Your wife depends on it, feels secure knowing you think things through, and it has probably served you very well in your life, career, and finances.

 

However, it's not going to help when it comes to your wife's heart... women don't want to be analyzed, categorized, labeled and filed, or made into a process.

 

They want to be heard, related to, validated, understood, sympathized with, passionately loved, and deeply pursued. They want stimulating conversation, sensitivity, and rousing times dreaming with their man about their life together. They long for authentic affection, long to be desired, and long for their husband to inspire their creative pursuit of God with his own...

 

Think about those things... ask your wife about those kind of things... engage her in conversation (that means more than one question, and more than one answer!).

 

Hope this helps,

 

Matt

(Undying Trust)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tigger my dear wife,

 

I have to start by saying sorry. I forgot my cell phone today. I am feeling really out of it and brain dead lately. I am deeply sorry that I have somehow implied to you that I did not want to talk about our medical incident. I can understand how that could make you feel unwanted and unloved. I do care about you in every possible way. You are my life. Do you remember the poem I wrote to you way back when. I referred to you as my sunshine. I am tire of the overcast and want to be back in the sunshine. I love you!

 

I am heading to hood River for a day trip. I will call and check in, before I go. Your Pooh.

 

Hi all,

 

Thanks for the inputs. I do know I feel. I just don't know how to express it and put it in to words. When I try to express things I draw a blank. I will work on using feeling words. I printed the chart and will work on relating to my emotions.

 

Best wishes for a great Christmas to you all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Most Dear Tigger,

I was here at work and you popped into my mind. SO I am praying that you are doing well. I also wanted to let you know that I love you dearly. Hope things went well for you this morning. and the rest of your day is not to exhausting. I am looking forward to seeing you tonight.

 

I would love to get back to our conversation from yesterday. I need more information on what you are missing. I loved spending the afternoon with you. I Love You!

Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello My Dear Tigger,

 

I am trying to hear your heart and meet your needs. I would like to start by saying Merry Christmas. It is just past Midnight. I love you. Sorry for the ruff day. I enjoyed being with you in the hot tub talking. I am listening and working on understanding. I Love You and I want to hear your heart like a 10. Hope you sleep well.

 

Pooh.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Damsel,

 

Thanks. I did not know that they existed.

 

My Dear tigger,

 

I pray that you sleep well!!! I hope you had a good Christmas. I love you!!! I like feeling close to you. I hate it when we are not close. You provide me with warmth from your love. You are sleeping so I will go join you. All My Love too you. Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello most dear wife,

 

I hope you had a good day and liked the work we got completed. It was nice having family time to night. We are going to bed so I will go be with you, after I check your email for you. I Love You. Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pooh:

 

These posts were great!

 

I would love to get back to our conversation from yesterday. I need more information on what you are missing. I loved spending the afternoon with you.

 

This shows great interest in listening to her heart and not sweeping things under the rug.

 

I am going to assume there was follow through unless Tigger tells us differently.

 

I like feeling close to you. I hate it when we are not close. You provide me with warmth from your love. You are sleeping so I will go join you.

 

More good sharing from the heart. I think you're getting it Pooh! Just remember, Tigger needs this daily.

 

Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!

 

C2

Link to post
Share on other sites

C2

 

I am having a hard time getting her to open up. I am working on it though.

 

My special wife,

 

I had anouther good day workinbg with you. I like that you are up a doing. I like to see you more modile. I hope you had a good day. Sorry about the Yes Dears I will work on it. I am closing so I can get the prop for the bed. I Love You Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pooh:

 

That's good that you're listening and working on what Tigger does and doesn't like. Have you thought of replacement phrases for yes, dear, like "Sure", "I'd love to" or "You've got it."

 

DW used to now and then answer the phone when I would call with "Yes mam." I felt like a customer. Now he says, hey sexy or hi babe, something more personal and wife like. What a difference a phrase can make.

 

Keep asking her questions, drawing out her feelings, and then making changes.

 

Don't forget the phrase, "What I hear you saying is ........" Then be prepared for her to clarify if you get it wrong. This does two things. It helps her feel heard. And it keeps you from thinking about what you are going to say because when you are doing that, you aren't hearing her.

 

Initiate. Small fequent touches, SMILES when you look at her. :) Eye contact. Are you giving her 20 smiles a day? This is huge.

 

Don't forget LOVE. Listen Own Validate and Embrace. If DW does the first three but leaves out the embrace, things do not get settled and we do not reconnect.

 

He is actually getting pretty good at this. He has learned the hard way; all that work is for naught if it does not end with tender touch or an embrace of some sort. I can tell from his touch if he's just communicating, OK, lets get this over with or I get it honey and I love you. One is a quick hug with no eye contact. The other is slightly prolonged with a look at me that wants to make sure I'm good. Women do this naturally. I guess men have to learn.

 

Progress is progress. Keep working it. You have an amazing and patient wife. Let her know you know it.

 

Did you get her the ring for Christmas? She need a ring. She is and always has been a jewlry kind of person. Did she get a ring?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pooh, I'm sorry I haven't been able to be on the forums lately. Please forgive me.

 

I am glad to see you are posting regularly and that you expounded in your reply to For Him For Her, I believe it was. It's the first post you've written that I've seen into your heart a bit. That's a great start.

 

I've just read Tigger's thread. Pooh, have you been:

 

1) Asking Tigger how her heart is feeling?

 

2) Telling Tigger ways that she is a blessing to you?

 

3) Keeping your temper in dealing with your children?

 

These are small things you can do every day to build Tigger up. She needs these things like air. She wrote that you were doing better with your temper, but that you did yell at your son.

 

OK, you yelled. You slipped. What did you do next? Did you apologize to your son for losing your temper? "I'm sorry. I should not have yelled. Now, let's __________." (Fill in the blank with whatever it was he should have been doing.) Did you apologize to Tigger? "Tigger, I'm so sorry I lost my temper. Do you have any ideas as to how to get this problem (with our son) resolved?"

 

If you haven't been doing the first two things, get back on track ASAP!

 

In the class I took at my church about budgeting, they said that writing down your expenses every day is a daily habit, like brushing your teeth. If you don't brush your teeth, you will lost them. If you don't track your expenses, your will lose your money. Pooh, if you don't fill your bride with life, she will die. She needs it daily.

 

You can do this, Pooh! I really think you were starting to get it, but you've slipped somehow. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, apologize to Tigger, and get back on track.

 

FYI, we've been struggling with our daily recording. I know how hard it is to create new habits, but I also know we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and I will not stop recording just because I forget, sometimes for days. I go right back to recording and try to figure out what I missed. I know that I will get it, in time. So will you. Now go bless my big Sis!

Link to post
Share on other sites

C2

Thanks for the suggestions in the phrase change. I do need to do something there. The only problem is yes dear comes so naturally. Yes I will do what you wanted and dear as my companion and wife. I do know it was not the words that were used but the attitude that sometimes accompanied them. I am working on the attitude so now I have to also work on the phrase.

 

I will keep asking questions and I need to better on the smiles.

 

I did get her a ring before Christmas but she did not care for the design. I knew it might not be OK. We returned it and need to set a date to go shopping.

 

Aslan's Child

Thanks for the refresher and support. I will work at being more supportive.

 

My most dear wife,

I am deeply sorry that I did not think of the bills while you were resting and healing. This is not your fault. I should have remembered.

 

I love you and am grateful that you are mending. Continue to take good care and rest. I will do a better job of remembering the things that need to be done. You are wonderful and I love you.

 

Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites

POOH,

 

Thank you for your posts, I have read them. I have much I would like to say, but right now I am worrying over you being stuck out on the road in the snow.

 

I will post something here that I read. It was torn to shreds by everyone, but for my purpose it is "OKAY".

 

1SM posted on 12-29-09 (I think)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:38 am Post subject: Reply with quote

It is just after Christmas 2009. This, most probably, is the last Christmas that I will remember as being there with my family. Not because of some incurable medical condition. Not because of some military deployment or obscure job transfer. Not because of some criminal act or even my own physical demise. Oh, no! None of these things are as painful as the true reason that I must leave my family. For you see, dear reader, that I am a bad husband. I have given my wife no other choice but to send me away. It is really all my fault. I can blame no one else for the failure of my marriage. I have caused so much pain, so much mental distress, so much abuse towards my wife that she has nothing left for me. I alone, have driven my wife well beyond the point that she would have any good feelings for me. I alone, am responsible for taking my wife's hopes, dreams and desires and utterly crushing them into the ground. Reader, take heed from this. You do not want to be where I am. You do not want to be like me.

 

Let me attempt to illustrate one of the many symptoms of this situation.

There once was a time when my wife could highly regard my knowledge and technical abilities. She knew for certain that if an item had an electrical plug, I could fix it. She knew that in a pinch I could "McGuyver" something to make it work. That confidence that she had in me is gone. Poof! Vanished! I have managed to shred every bit of it. She no longer has any reason to trust or consider anything that I say. I have ruined her. Please understand that she responds this way solely because of my past bad actions and attitudes. I have single-handedly destroyed all the value my wife once saw in me.

 

Listen up, reader! I do not write this to elicit your pity! I write this to you as a warning, as a caution, that you might learn from it. That you might avoid the mistakes that I have made. It really does not take that much imagination to see that the resulting lifestyle is not a pretty sight. You might try to imagine for a moment the most desperate of conditions and consider what the stark realities are for a man out alone. Alone as in lonely. Poor as in very little money. Living in a day to day survival mode and being unsure of what tomorrow holds. This small glimpse does not even begin to describe the desolate life that a bad husband will live.

 

You do not have to end up this way. You can decide the direction your life and your marriage goes. If you have understanding and knowledge - apply it! If your wife grants you the chance to change - take it! Wisely use the opportunities you are given.

 

Do not be like me.

Oops, I was wrong, it was posted yesterday the 28th. My point is, doesn't he sound sad, maybe even pathetic. Is that the kind of life you are striving for?? You and David have always been so much alike. Looney feels that I should send you packing, but we both know that that is not what GOD wants and I don't believe it is what either of us want. Looney is right though, she has and is still living it, so she knows the pain of feeling like a burden to her husband and not feeling worthy.

 

My sweet Lil' Sis made a good point, are you doing those 3 little things that were your assignment. I know when I read that this morning it really rang out like a resounding gong. I do not feel worth it to you and I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW I am a burden to you.

 

I do see how much you are trying to do so many wonderful, good things!! I do, I really do. I just know that inside of me I still feel so lonely. I know this time has not been easy on you, it has not been easy on any of us, but probably you the most. I want you to know I have not stopped loving you. I just hurt so much. I am sad right now and I feel the tears coming on, which I can't have since I have the care of the 5 children by myself right now.

 

I really must close, I have to get everyone settled and to bed. I am still worrying about you, though I know you should be getting closer to home by now; as traffic has again begun to move. Off to get the crew to bed.

 

BLessings,

 

Tigger

Link to post
Share on other sites

My dearest wife,

 

How can I make you feel less of a burden. I do not think that you are a burden. I enjoy doing things for you and especially if it helps you. Well its been a long day and I would like to spend some time with you and maybe talk a little. I Love you.

 

Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pooh!

 

Great! Great! Great! Good job on the ring. Not only did you initiate getting one but when that one didn't work, you initiated the return and setting up a shopping trip. That is so great. Of course, your persistence until this all works out will be the ultimate bomb.

 

Great follow through so far. Just don't get too comfortable and drop the ball. Pursue the shopping trip possibility every now and then when you think the opportunity opens up and Tigger is up to it. Don't leave it up to her to bring up again. Keep it tucked away in the front of your mind. :)

 

Also keep in mind the post from Undying Trust. Below is just a small part of the post:

 

... engage her in conversation (that means more than one question, and more than one answer!).

 

When she gets brave and shares her feelings, don't just nod your head or say one sentence like, thank you for sharing your heart. Talk to her, reflecting back what you heard her say. Try to understand how she could feel that way. Tell her, I see how you could feel that way.

 

Tigger feels like a burden. You basically respond with, you're not a burden... That would leave me feeling still like a burden.

 

Instead of trying to talk her out of that feeling, tell her, "I can see how you would feel like a burden. If I were recovering from a physical setback and I couldn't do the things I'm used to doing and had to have other people helping me instead of me helping people, I would feel like a burden too. You have the tougher position here. I can only imagine what you are going through.

 

Tigger, you are such a strong, brave woman. Through it all you push yourself to the point of exhaustion. You use your precious limited energy to make sure our family stays on track. Your presence bring an openness, a joy, a breath of freshness into our lives that is far more valuable than things. I can't imagine this house and family without everything you are. It would be an empty perfunctory life.

 

See the difference? Validate her feeling instead of trying to talk her out of it. Men want to talk their wives out of whatever bad feeling they are having. That makes it worse. Your job is to understand how she could feel that way. After you validate, then value. Big difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

C2

 

Thanks for the advice. It will help.

 

Tigger,

 

Sorry this short but I do not feel well. I was just checking in and getting updated. I am sorry that you are tired. I Love You.

 

Pooh

Link to post
Share on other sites
C2

 

Thanks for the advice. It will help.

 

Tigger,

 

Sorry this short but I do not feel well. I was just checking in and getting updated. I am sorry that you are tired. I Love You.

 

Pooh

 

Good job in posting, even if it's short. It lets Tigger know you are here and reading.

 

Here's a way you can help Tigger feel less like a burden. Instead of what you wrote above, write:

 

"Sorry this short. I want you to know that I am here and learning and will post more when I can. I am sorry you are not feeling up to par. I Love You."

 

Sorry this is short, but I do not feel well.

 

Pooh, I know you probably don't mean it this way, but this is what I see:

 

"I don't feel well and that takes precedence over what you need. You are not worth the extra effort I'd have to take to post more." I would feel guilty that you had to post because of me. I would feel I was being demanding and unreasonable. My heart would still be hurting, and I would be hurting all the more because I would feel like a burden.

 

Anytime the word "but" follows an apology, it negates the apology. LO and I went around a few times on this fact ourselves. Not only that, but even though you may not mean what I "heard", your job is to dwell in understanding with your wife. If something you say hurts your wife, your job is to learn why it hurts her, and change how you talk to her.

 

Your wife is wounded. Her life is ebbing out of her. She needs Intensive Care. Another woman probably would not be hurt by that one little sentence, but another woman is not your wife. Tigger and I think alot a like. Here's how you can bless your bride: Share what I wrote with her and then ask her if I'm missing the mark or not. If she says this is how she feels, you're on the right track. If she says no, then ask her how she does feel.

 

This is how you start connecting with her heart.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pooh:

 

Joel wrote in Book 1, "Paul had to pry my brain open with a crowbar and force me to listen instead of just hearing."

 

Are you listening to Tigger ... or just hearing her words? When she speaks do you just want to argue or tune her out? When she speaks, listen for the nugget that lets you in on her heart. Can you name her feeling? Try to name it and ask her if you got it right. Chances are you missed it and she can help clarify. Your wife needs you to be in tune with her.

 

He also wrote, "She (Kathy) would try to get me to talk it out in order to get that allimportant sense of closure....... I was too insecure to handle the "feeling" of her pain....Listen to your wife men."

 

"I put a lot of effort toward loving Kathy in those first ten years of marriage. It was on my terms, of course."

 

Pooh, are you listening? Pooh, are you loving Tigger the way she wants to be loved? How secure are you in manning up and being able to "feel" her pain.

 

Can you stand to hear the negative feelings when she asks you to hear her pain? Your wife is hurting and you are the cause of that.

 

Many men started off clueless and with the help of their wives became good husbands. Remeber, she has the marriage manual.

 

Glad you posted on the forum. I was wondering if the snow got the best of you. :) We love you guys.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thought provoking ideas. I would have always said I heard my wife. I do not know anymore. I will have to give that one a good ponderance, and test it out a few times. The more I go through this the less I think I even speak the same language.

 

Hi Tigger,

I know that I have not post much lately. We were gone over the week end and work was very busy for the two days that I was there. I did read both days but did not get time to get back and post something. I am sorry. I was going to post Friday night but you wanted me to come to bed so I did not get a chance. and last night we stayed up late and then went straight to bed. I Love you and am worried that you are wearing your self out. Please take carte of your self. I need you. I hope the day today has been relaxing. I pray that you sleep well.

Your Loving pooh.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The more I go through this the less I think I even speak the same language.

 

BINGO!!!!! Now you're getting it! Women and men don't speak the same language. That's why, by listening to dear Tigger's heart, you can learn her language, and finally start connecting. And we'll help you learn!

 

Um. . . about your apology. Here's what a woman "hears":

 

Hi Tigger,

I know that I have not post much lately. We were gone over the week end and work was very busy for the two days that I was there.

 

"More excuses. I'm a bother. He's too busy, and I'm asking too much." :(

 

I did read both days but did not get time to get back and post something. I am sorry. I was going to post Friday night but you wanted me to come to bed so I did not get a chance. and last night we stayed up late and then went straight to bed.

 

"It's my fault he didn't have time to post. I'm getting in his way."

 

I Love you and am worried that you are wearing your self out. Please take carte of your self. I need you. I hope the day today has been relaxing. I pray that you sleep well.

Your Loving pooh.

 

"He needs me. (Sigh) I can't even take care of myself and he needs me to take care of him. I'm too much trouble."

 

Here's a way to reach your wife's heart:

 

Dearest Tigger,

 

I'm so sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I did read both days but did not get time to get back and post something. I Love you and am worried that you are wearing your self out. How can I help you? What can I do to ease your burden? I hope the day today has been relaxing. I pray that you sleep well.

Your Loving pooh.

 

By taking out the explaining, you are focusing only on how Tigger feels. Notice that I copied some of your apology? That's because you are right on in those sentences. I'd say you're apology gets a "C". :) There are some places you are still defending and explaining and focusing on yourself, but there are other places where your love for Tigger shines through. The trick is to let the love shine without any defensiveness or justifications or explanations to mar the shine.

 

I've missed you both on the calls and hope to hear from you Thursday.

 

Are you doing your homework?

 

1) Asking Tigger how her heart is feeling?

 

2) Telling Tigger ways that she is a blessing to you?

 

3) Keeping your temper in dealing with your children?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aslan's Child,

Thanks, I will work on this. I certainly did not mean to speak that way. I do love her and want to support her. The every day I feel that I know less about what she wants and how to provide it.

 

Tigger,

Good day. I hope your day is easy and event free. Try to rest and save some energy so you can enjoy your time with your friends tonight. I will work diligently to have the house ready for the inspection tomorrow. I Love you. Is there anything I can do to ease your burdens. I am aware of the need to file, help in getting the book keeping up to date, too start prep for taxes, and give Jamie a call. I hope there is something I can do to help you rest and recuperate. I Love you. Pooh.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...