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It works and I will keep using it. LRG also came up with more useful tools in addition to the chart.

 

Use the chart to identify and own the emotions. Ask myself why I am feeling these emotions and list the feelings vs facts on a piece of paper. I can then take it to God. LRG and I are supposed to be one in the same so why would I attack myself? If my left foot is hurting then my right foot would pick up the slack and compensate. If that makes sense? I can surley use this tool.

 

Thanks,

 

BH

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First I want to say thanks for all of you sticking with me. The chart can be found on TimothyPaul's thread. It has truly opened my eyes and heart.

 

I took our 8 year old son on a Church camp out Friday night. Prior to leaving LRG ask me to make sure he conformed to all the rules and set activities of the group. In the past I have let my son and his friends watch movies on the DVD in the truck which was not cool. It really made the host of the camp out mad and rightfully so. So I promised LRG that I would take care of it and make her proud.

 

Things were going good. The kids were all expected to sleep in the old log cabin and they were all in the cabin by midnight and I was asked to stay up and keep the fire going so the doughboy's could be cooked quickly in the morning for breakfast. I agreed and at 3:30am our son emerges from the cabin and says he can't sleep due to all the snoring from the camp leader. I couldn't help but snicker at that one. He sat out by the campfire with me for a few minutes and I made a decision that I thought was best giving the situation. He desperately needed sleep and there was one kid in the cabin hacking pretty bad so I asked him if he would like to sleep in the truck. He said yes so I made him a bed in truck and he was fast asleep in minutes.

 

Back at the campfire I was thinking about my decision and the fact that I knew it went against what LRG ask me to do. At 5:30am I finally pulled out the Emotions Chart and quickly realized that I made a decision that was best for me and my comfort. As soon as we got home I told LRG what I did and I knew she would be upset but I also knew that in the past I wouldn't have told her about it. I would avoid and hide. I would defend and protect me. I know that in a healthy marriage this is not a big deal but in our marriage based on 20 years of lies, manipulation, defending and avoiding, this is a big deal. LRG was angry and I gave her a safe place to vent. By keeping my mouth shut and owning what I did it put us on the road to positive vs not telling her and having her find out from someone else and then defending and all the bla bla bla!

 

That's all for now. Thanks for listening.

 

BH

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That chart seems to really be working for you .. Just a thought.. Before you do something..If you have the time......before you have to move in a certain direction... Look at the chart or imagine the chart :)

And anticipate what your actions will bring about.. That way.. It won't be a reaction chart but a proactive chart !!!!

Keep it up.. It was good to hear your progress the other night on the phone....

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Ok, It's late and I want to tell you about what's happening. My Dad had to be admitted to the Hospital again tonight and It was very serious. He didn't want to go and he fought it hard. It's a blessing that the Doctor called and tod my step mom that she needs to get him the the Hospital ASAP! She got him to the Hospital and the Dr said he probably wouldn't have lasted another night at home.

 

Through all of this stress I was able to keep my focus on LRG. We drove together to visit my Dad in the Hospital tonight and tried to support my step mom as much as possible. LRG is the most awesome Wife in the world and I am truly blessed. She says I need to step it up on initiating conversation with her. She needs me to talk to her, listen to her, participate in life with her, laugh with her, be one with her, treat her with respect, do not argue with her. I know I can bless her and by the Grace of God I will.

 

BH

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We had a little bump on Wednesday because I promised to call her during the day in addition to the text messages I send. This would not be a terrible situation in a good marriage but that shoe doesn't fit now. Once she pointed the lack of the call I immediately went into pursuit and started pouring it on. I also listened to her heart and hugged her. This is a much better way to go than justifying and defending and arguing!

 

LRG also revealed to me that she is very fearful because we have had 8 straight days of good and she is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can't blame her for that due to the ups and downs I have inflicted upon her over the years.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

BH

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I don't feel like I'm doing enough?

 

Make sure you are asking the right questions.

 

Are you connecting with her heart? Are you giving her what she needs, and not just doing tasks? Are you listening?

 

Don't try to guess! You have historically been abysmally bad at figuring out what LRG needs. It's OK to tell her what you think you might be missing and asking her to verify it, but don't just steamroll ahead without making sure that what you think is going on is actually what IS going on.

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Looney,

 

LRG said she could answer my question for me. She said "YES". She also could confirm that I was missing the mark! When I feel I am missing something I should ask her asap. This will help head off problems before it gets started. Maybe I will grow up soon!

 

Thanks,

 

BH

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Well, LRG has challenged me to write more on the Forum. By that, I mean actually reveal more about what is bouncing around in my head. Scary thought I know.

 

Right now I feel like I'm in over my head. I am overwhelmed and I tend to zone out or vapor lock when I am like this. I have problems with time management and over committing which is the leading contibutor to the problem. I take it to God and my anxiety is reduced right away. Now if I can take the love I have for LRG and put it into actions of initiating positive on a consistant basis things would progress to the next level. I am thinking about her all day every day and this has not always been the case in the past. I am currently thinking about ways I can bless her while I'm out of town this week, asking her for a date this Saturday night, going for a walk with her when I get home, leaving her flowers before I leave town tomorrow, sneeking out of meetings to call her, texting her in the middle of meetings..........This is a new realm for me and I catch myself thinking I'm going to blow it somehow. But then that is how I stay bogged down in passivity! I bounce all this around in my head and the fear of failure kicks in and I do something generic and safe.

 

Now I can reason that all this thinking stuff is all about me!! This is not about me, it's about loving LRG no matter what. I can finally listen to hear heart and take correction from her and not feel attacked, humiliated or angry. I don't feel like I have to defend myself anymore. The only answer I have for this is God has heard my prayers and is helping me to start to grow up a little and maybe I will become a man real soon.

 

When I start to grow in areas that I have historically struggled, like arguing or defending, another mole pops out of the hole and needs whacking. It seems like I have a hard time playing with the kids as a dad. I am finding myself acting like an 8 year old when I am playing sports with the kids. It's almost like I am trying to have the childhood I never had at my kids expense. In the process I throw LRG under the bus and that is not cool. For example, today the kids and I were in the kitchen looking at the maps app on my ipad. We could pull up the satellite image of our farm and house and the 11 year old assumed the shot was live. So he goes outside for about one minute and comes back in laughing and says "did you see that?" I looked at our 8 year old and we simply laughed and told him yes and that was funny. We had know idea what he did and we were just playing a prank on him to see how many times he would go outside thinking we could see him on the ipad map. Our 8 year old was crackling up at this and we were having a great time. The 11 year old son finally pushed us pretty hard to tell him what we saw and we told him not much really other than a little white speck on the map because he was wearing a white shirt. He laughed really hard and said 'I can't believe you saw that!" We again told him that it must have been his white shirt but he said no, what we saw was him "mooning us". I kid you not and of course I laughed as well as our 8 year old. He finally figured out we couldn't see him on the map when he asked us to go out and walk around so he could look at the map. We declined and that's when he called us on it and of course we laughed hysterically. When LRG got home I brought it up for our 11 year old to tell the story and he did. LRG did not see the humor in this and rightfully so. You see I was so busy being a kid I missed a great opportunity to teach our kids about the dangers of the internet and why we don't let them on it!!! My actions today surely doesn't give LRG much confidence in me to take care of our kids when she is not around. She also doesn't feel safe and she doesn't believe that I will become the husband that she needs me to be.

 

I was able to listen and not defend. I learned another lesson but LRG is getting tired of me learning lessons. She is beyond ready for me to grow up and be a man!! I'm on my way and it is unbelievable how far I have come and how far I still have to go. Man, I wasn't in a pit, I am in the Grand Canyon and climbing.

 

One day at a time loving my wife and the Lord.

 

Thanks for all the help and support!

 

BH

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In a healty marriage... I thought your story with your kids was funny.. But I can see why your wife didn't... This is something that my wife told me.....

 

Charles , you have robbed me of being a mother, you've robbed me of being soft and not showing our son what a woman looks like, you've robbed me by not allowing my daughter to see how a man is supposed to treat his wife.. You've robbed me of my very essence because by your very actions and inactions caused me to be the man in our family....... She actually said she hated me for that.....

 

My kids are 20 and 17.. Yours are young.. You still have an opportunity to step up and make a difference... So do it.. Your kids are your kids .. NOT your friends.... Your wife is tired...... Not sleepy but exhausted.....

This is how you will know that your kids don't look at you as a father .. It's a tough pill to swallow.. But.... If you find yourself sitting in a room, feeling sorry for your kids when your wife reprimands them.. Thinking " my God woman, leave them alone already, they're just kids". your wife knows you dont have her back.... That is the willy wonka golden ticket... In your wife's eyes you're the 3rd child..... I'm saying this to help.., not to have you shy away .. One day at a time... Stop being your kids friend and man up so your wife doesn't have to :)

 

By the way.. Good post.. You said more than she isn't your mother :). God bless

Edited by Charles from Cali
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Well, LRG has challenged me to write more on the Forum. By that, I mean actually reveal more about what is bouncing around in my head. Scary thought I know.

 

I think we suggested this quite awhile ago. You wrote a couple of good posts and then you fizzled back into your one liners. I hope you keep it up this time. There is no way we can help you if you refuse to tell us what you're thinking . . . and trust me, you are not thinking anything that every other man in this ministry hasn't thought. We've heard it all, so there is no point in hiding. You know darn well I usually guess what you're thinking anyway, so save me a little work and spill it. :P

 

One thing about your story that you didn't mention, and I wonder if you thought about it . . . is it possible that your 11 yo might have felt picked on or humiliated? It does feel like you and your 8 yo were having fun at his expense, but then I was severely picked on as a kid and so sometimes those things trigger me. That might have been part of why LRG reacted the way she did, though. I think you need to ask him, and then you and your 8 yo both need to apologize if he felt humiliated. And watch his body language - he might deny it verbally if he doesn't feel safe, but you will see the real answer in his face or in the fact that he quickly turns his head so you won't see him tear up.

 

I agree with Charles that in a healthy marriage, your interaction with your kids would be funny as long as your 11 yo was not feeling picked on. However, LRG is tired of being the only parent, so for awhile you are going to have to swing pretty heavily in the direction of acting like a grown up. There is nothing wrong with having fun with your kids, and once you're in a more stable place she will probably find it cute that you can be a little goofy with them. Now is not the time, though. Be a parent first and a playmate second.

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BH

 

- Here is the thing we parents don't quite get. - As parents our job is discipline (hmm - I see the word disciple in there) our kids, not punish them. So we need to be focused on helping them learn how to make good choices.

 

It really is a much simpler process then we realize. - Basically, before they do something wrong, we lay out a choice. They pick option A and this is the result, they pick option B, and this becomes the result. - The results being age appropriate. - If they make a choice that results in something unpleasant, we never have to be upset with them. We can just discuss how they came to that result, and next time a different choice might be something to consider.

 

Punishing a child is always out of anger - it breeds a lot of bad feelings for a kid.

 

I adopted this strategy 4 years back with amazing success. 90% of the time, B and I will discuss the "result" to make sure we are in agreement, so we both stand as a united front. - Being apart - our kids have this amazing ability to try and divide us. But is amazing how the childen respond to this.

 

Give it a try....TP

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Charles, Looney and TP,

 

Thanks for the feedback on my parenting problems. I'm thinking that I have been acting like an 8 year old trying to be our kids buddy instead of their Dad. I also can only imagine how hopeless and alone my actions make LRG feel. I have gone from total denial to arguing to defending to justifying to anger when LRG would point this out to me. Now I can see it for what it is and I know I must grow up and be a man and a Dad to our children.

 

I feel connected to LRG even though I am out of town. This is a new feeling and one that I would like to follow up with every day. I hid gifts in the house before I left and I then sent her text telling her where to find the gifts.

This required thought and planning which

Feels like a true partnership.

 

BH

 

 

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Hang in there..:)

 

Sounds like someone is moving in the right direction.. Just remember that you are loving your wife because she deserves to be loved.... NOT because you deserve a gold star..... I'm only saying that because... A lot of times, we husbands, do something good for a few days and then feel entitled.... That was really cool about hiding gifts... Just don't hide anything alive.. Your phone might lose signal LOL

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Don't worry, if he hides a puppy LRG will find it with or without his texts. Either the noise or the smell will give it away. :D

 

Very cool, BH. It does sound like you're moving in the right direction. Now just keep moving - no stalling out just as you're getting on the freeway!

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Hello everyone! I returned home from a business trip last night and I can tell you I saw love in LRG's eyes for the first time I think since we were dating! My heart came alive I can tell you that! I think I finally stayed connected with her while I was out of town. I like that and I am not going backwards! We have had several good days in a row but I am absolutely looking at it as one day at a time. I have lost track of how many good days in a row we have had and that is great because I am focused on making tomorrow better than today.

 

To top it off LRG and the boys gave me a special birthday party tonight that involved us. I can't tell you how awesome that was! LRG is the best! I love you sweetheart.

 

Thank you Looney, Charles and TP for your help, encouragement and prayers.

 

God Bless.

 

BH

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Thank You Looney! One day at a time. OHM every day and one day at a time. Things that used to set us back for weeks are now nothing more than a little bump when I don't argue or defend and I listen and validate while embracing her. One day at a time.

 

Thanks,

 

BH

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Looney,

 

We made it through the beach day.my focus was on LRG and I just let the natural flow of events go with the kids. This was the best time I have had at the beach and I didn't force all the fun on everyone. That's a big deal for this control freak! I did zone out a couple of times though. If I took a 30 minute break it helped me stay focused. LRG knew when I needed a break before I did.

 

One day at a time. Today is gone and tomorrow is here.

 

 

Thanks,

 

BH

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Ok, we are on day 4 of our beach vacation and everything is going great so far. We are staying in the same condo as last year when I made a complete wreck of everything. I had a vapor lock of the brain for a little while and LRG let me know about it and I changed directions right away. I am finding it very difficult to stay engaged and focused the times that I need to be. It is mentally exhausting to say the least, but very rewarding. As my fatigue increases my focus decreases. There are times when I should let LRG know that I need say 30 minutes to recharge and there are times when I must suck it up and push through.

 

I am finding that the best and only way to negotiate daily activities is to look to LRG. She will tell me exactly what and when. I don't have to think..........think.........and think some more and never do anything and never communicate what I am thinking about. All of this starts to fall into place when I let my pride and ego go by the wayside. We men will never get to an OHM until we humble ourselves and lose the pride, arrogance and ego!

 

God Bless,

 

BH

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