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And, truth being Truth, it is merely a ploy for us to beg for someone to come rescue us - Husband: "look at me, I am worthless and lousy!" Wife: "No, dear, you are a great husband and a great person, I love you." Husband: "Ahhh." Cycle repeats, and nothing is ever learned or changed...

 

Becoming the husband that God wants you to be and that LRG needs means breaking that cycle of feeling sorry for yourself and setting yourself up for rescue - you WILL NOT GROW UP when you act this way, you will be stuck here forever.

 

BH, this is amazing! HD's words are powerful and to the point... He has nailed this for you! If you really (???) don't understand, then just start doing. ..

 

A good way to do that is to STOP talking about yourself at all for a season. Just be quiet and listen to LRG. Reflect back to her what you hear and keep doing it until she says: 'Yes, that's it.. you got it." Don't say anything else... don't explain.. don't justify.. don't share.. just listen.. then if you want to be heard, do it here or on the men's calls, or in prayer...

 

When I start feeling her hurt and pain while writing about it I get mad at me for doing it to her. That's what I'm supposed to quit doing is what I think I understand you are telling me. Am I wrong about that?

 

Getting mad at yourself is a habit. Getting mad about anything doesn't fix the problem. Letting that mad become bigger than what LRG is feeling is derailing the attempt you are making in learning how to love her first and grow up. Get rid of getting mad. It's a waste of time. Remember you get to choose how to handle your feelings and feelings can be subdued.

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BH - my post wasn't really in relation to anything specific that you had posted, but more of a general statement on overcoming the passive-aggressive traits that you and I share...

 

I do STRONGLY agree with 4Evr, though - beating yourself up or getting mad at yourself is the equivalent of a temper tantrum, and when we get honest with ourselves, we discover that we are really only looking for someone that's willing disagree with us in a way that makes us feel better about ourselves. We say that we are "mad at ourselves" or "angry about our actions", but the true reason for the anger is much deeper - it is a overwhelming desire within us to have someone swoop in and "fix things" (our wife now, used be to Mommy's role) and make us feel better. Christ needs to be the source of that "rescue" and our Identity needs to be in Him, and not in how we feel about ourselves.

 

I think that your earlier post was a good step in the right direction, and hopefully really does make you realize the gift that you have in LRG and an idea on how to change how you interact with her on a daily basis to make her feel what you profess to feel about her. I think that the only point of concern I have is for the fact that you still seem to be focusing on how YOU are feeling because you are hurting her, and not how she is feeling when you hurt her. THAT's the key for getting out of your head and into the moment - right here, right now, what is LRG telling you about how she is feeling, and what can you do right here, right now to make that different. Arguing or defending is about what you did EARLIER than RIGHT NOW, and all that matters is RIGHT NOW.

 

Stephen/HD

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BH - thanks for the changes that you made to your signature...

 

Can you please change it, though? I would like to see the dates of your Intensives and which ones were solo and which were you and LRG, and I would like to see something specific that you remember striking you from each Intensive - reflect on what you learned, because I have to believe that there is clearly something specific that God showed in during each one, and I want to get an idea of the progression of revelation.

 

Stephen/HD

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HD,

 

I can't remember the specific dates but the first two Intensives were with LRG. The first Intensive I just flew under the radar and needless to say I didn't get much out of it. I think that may have been in April 2009? We were right back there again within a year I think? This Intensive I really unserstood that I was the initiator and I had been the woman in the relationship for 20 years. I learned that I had hugh mother/son issues and I had AD through the roof. I was essentially a 6 month old baby in maturity. Last year I started a series of intensives where I I think I attended 2 or 3 in a row and then I rotate on an ever 3 month rotation based on what LRG says going forward. I remember on the first one solo I heard about how she is a mirror on how I'm treating her. If I'm treating her good I will get good back from her and vice versa. And that is exactly right. The 2nd solo Intensive I heard that I had to deal with her FEELINGS! I thought just shoot me now and get it over with! I struggle big time in this area. Joel said to just strap the seatbelt on and ride it out. The third solo run I heard all of the above again but the one thing that stuck out is how important it is to keep initiating positve no matter what. It doesn't matter if she is angry, happy or indifferent just keep initiating. Initiate LM no matter if she says no 365 days in a row. Keep initiating. The Intensive that I left today was the adultrey Intensive. That is I learned how bad husbands push their wives into the arms of other men and I saw some big time examples of two real men sucking it up and pushing through the pain and blessing their wives at this Intensive even with more devastating revelations revealed at the Intensive. If they can do that then I can do this.

 

Thanks

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I just returned from the Intensive and she will not talk to me but she is allowing a hug and a kiss. She is allowing this even though it is very painful for her. I would imagine it is more painful for her to receive a HSKC than it is for me to initiate it. So she has taught me another lesson. I have been walking through the minefield since returning home like a scared little boy. That's the real truth. I am afraid to initiate because she HATES my guts. I know that what she needs more than anything right now is oxytocin and that's what I am going to give her. I brought her roses when I came home and initiated a HSKC when I first saw her. So I plan on just pouring it on until she cries uncle!

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BH - Looney is right - you are using the word "she" more, but you are still writing about you, and not her ("she is treating me this way", "she has taught me", etc.)... I did like the emphasis that you put on what you are going to do, provided, of course, that you are effectively following up on that commitment...

 

One thing that I found to be very helpful in turning my thoughts from me to HER was to post full L.O.V.E.R apologies, heavy on the Validation - that's where you HAVE to focus in on what LRG is feeling, and not on what you did, etc...

 

Remember all that you have learned from all of your Intensives, as you posted above, and start to focus on IMPLEMENTING those concepts, every post, every day, in each moment. Don't dwell on the past, initiate IN THE MOMENT. Own and apologize, as needed, but every moment is NEW and is another chance to bless LRG - remember not to base your INITIATION ENGINE on what you are getting from LRG (because it will take TIME and CONSISTENCY to clean up that mirror, buddy), but rather on what choices you are making IN EACH MOMENT. Be encouraged by the Holy Spirit and what He is telling you and in knowing that you are TRANSFORMING your mind through being engaged with Him, in each moment.

 

He promises us GROWTH and abundant LIFE, as we OBEY Him - first and foremost, our growth comes from how we treat our wife. Forget the past, live in the moment, and pursue your wife with POSITIVE steps!

 

And, get on the Men's calls...

 

Stephen/HD

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One more thing - you NEED to believe your wife. PERIOD.

 

If she says that you are SULKING, YOU ARE SULKING. If she says that you look angry, YOU LOOK ANGRY. If she says that you are defending/arguing/being abusive, GUESS WHAT? You are.

 

If you are going to grow, you need to ACCEPT FEEDBACK FROM YOUR WIFE. Dude, that's the key - you can learn and listen to J&K and go to 100 Intensives, but if you NEVER LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE, you will remain YOU.

 

Stop advising her on what to change, stop asking her to do things that will make your life easier, and stop persisting with explaining things that she says don't matter to her. If she says that something doesn't bother her, DON'T TURN IT INTO SOMETHING THAT BOTHERS HER! Good grief, man - like you don't already have enough work to do in fixing your marriage! Stop piling stuff on her!

 

You need to be right and clean with God - you WILL fail at this if you aren't. Plain and simple. Confess all to Him, accept His grace, forgive yourself, and get to work with what He needs you to be doing to bless your wife. You can't lug around a load of self-condemnation and unconfessed sin and do ANYTHING right. Trust me on that one.

 

Stephen/HD

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HD,

 

 

Did you ever find yourself in this situation? When I've done something to hurt LRG's feelings and she shares how that makes her feel i do the following:

 

1. I think about how it makes me feel.

2. I try to find the good stuff I did along with the bad to minimize.

3. Then I back into her feelings and how it must make her feel.

4. Then I beat myself up about " making a mistake" and I put pressure on myself to be perfect.

5. Whichever sets myself up for thinking about me even more.

 

I know this has to be changed. How did this look for your situation and how did you change it?

 

Thanks!

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BH - you have described an extremely common mind frame of the passive guy. I have absolutely been done this road many, MANY times - Eeyore makes the analogy of this cycle as me cutting her leg off (initial hurt) and then beating her upside the head with it (self-focused mindset, followed by withdrawal, resentment, and other abusive behaviors to make her pay for hurting and for bringing it up). This is also a manipulative way for us to "hijack" our wife's emotions and take them on as our own - that's emotional abuse, because you are STOPPING someone from feeling what they feel, and that's a very clear violation of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Our wife's feelings are THEIR feelings - they are entitled to them, and just because they feel something doesn't mean that we are horrible people or something like that - we hurt them, and they want us to own what we did, understand why it hurt them (now and in the Big Picture of the whole marriage and their life), and apologize. The problem is that we get in our own way and turn this process into a pity party of whining and self-focus...

 

You have characterized the cycle very accurately, and I think that it is pretty clear that every stage has something to do with YOU and very little to do with LRG - agreed?

 

So, let's do this - picture that list as a circle, with one thing leading to the next - I think that it would even be a great idea to write them down on a piece of paper (do you carry a small notebook with you to scratch down date ideas, scriptures, ways to bless LRG, prayers and answers, etc.?). Once you have them all written down (you can even add things to it, as they come to you), you have created a chain of events that you want to stop, because they are NOT LRG-focused, they are BH-focused.

 

The next step, and the most important one, is to PRAY and then look at each "link in the chain" and ask God to reveal to you the answer to the question, "What should I have done here to focus on LRG instead of me?" (how do you "break the chain") - write those ideas down, in each spot in the chain of events. This is the point that we spoke about last night where the Passive Guy Mind is a GIFT - just don't spend a week on this, and you aren't allowed to pull away from LRG when you are working through this. She is ALWAYS first.

 

Then, remember those things the next time you are in this situation, and use your "chain breaker" ideas when LRG shares something with you, when you notice that you aren't focused on you, or when LRG TELLS YOU THAT YOU ARE SELF-FOCUSED (or words to that effect)...

 

You have now created a PROACTIVE PLAN to deal with one of the most destructive patterns of behavior in your marriage - it was in mine, and I think that it is in yours, too. When you implement these new things, you will find that you continue to learn more about yourself and your heart attitudes that are underneath these steps - again, pray about those and ask God for more clues and insights, and incorporate them into your chain. You are digging deeper into the "Why?" and learning to trust God's insight, as well as your own ability to CHANGE - once you see the changes work, it will lead to more changes and a closer relationship with God, which will ultimately TRANSFORM your marriage.

 

Create this plan when you are not in a situation where you need to be apologizing or validating or blessing LRG - this needs to be done in a positive mindset, because you can't do this well when you are shaming yourself or beating yourself up. Don't judge yourself, be factual and honest - yes, you have made mistakes, but now you are pursuing a new way and a transformation of your mind. Put God at the center of this process, so that you are trusting His insight instead of your own, since we tend to be either dismissive of reality or way too hard on ourselves (and neither will help). He will be honest, but gentle - He loves you, and He wants for you to succeed, and He will give you the answers that you need to hear, but have always been afraid to admit and own. Admitting and owning your actions, without ANY minimization or "yeah, but I also did this GOOD thing" is CRUCIAL to change - we can't change if we don't TRULY believe that something needs to change in US.

 

Didn't mean to write a book about this - I hope that it is helpful, though!

 

Stephen/HD

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HD,

 

I like the idea of breaking the cycle one change at a time. That cycle has to be broken. I carry my Blackberry and use the memo pad to take notes. Earlier today I made some notes to change "the cycle" which is the biggest obstacle to our marriage. I called it the "when she vents" list. Here it is:

 

1. Ask her for 5 minutes to go and get my act together.

 

HER VENTING IS A GOOD THING!! It means she is feeling good enough about us to get the poison out of her

 

1. Listen to her! Feel her pain

 

2. Validate her

 

3. Apologize to her sincerely!

 

4. Repent

 

Bottom line. If you don't do anything else you listen To her without defending or arguing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

This evening prior to leaving for our sons basketball game we tried a session of her venting and me listening and validating. I did listen but I defended and she got upset and decided not to go to the game. I even defended something stupid on the way out the door. I can't even remember what it was?

 

Tonight when we(me and the boys) returned home LRG and I tried it again but this time I had taped pink duct tape on my mouth! I think this idea was passed on to LRG by Looney but I could be wrong. It might have been all LRG's idea but it worked. I hope to grow enough to take the tape off soon.

 

We are attending a weekend retreat with our Church group this weekend and any advice youcan send my way as to any lookouts I need to be aware of since this will be the first time we have been out together in a setting like this in a while.

 

Thanks,

 

BH

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My advice - TAKE THE DUCT TAPE WITH YOU! :)

 

I guess that one thing I would say would be that you need to remember that your primary goal HAS to be LRG's emotional safety and security. You are correct in saying that a VENT is a good thing, because if she wasn't venting, then she just doesn't care enough anymore. And, every vent is an opportunity for us to learn more about our wife, her feelings, her heart, and what she needs from us. So often, a vent brings us a new understanding of our relationship and what we need to change NOW. It's easy for a passive guy to convince himself that Issue X is Most Important Thing, but we are typically focused on what we want to focus on instead of what's important to our wife!

 

Also, keep in the forefront of your mind the recent success and blessing that you were able to give your wife at the conference you guys went to back around Thanksgiving. You HAVE done this and DONE this well - use that as ammunition against the fear or concern that you can't do this. Stand against the lies, and they must depart...

 

Unfortunately, church can be one of the most judgmental places, especially for a wife. LRG is probably feeling a LOT of anxiety and concern over being in this environment with you, because "church folks" tend to judge more based on outward behaviors and public attitudes and will always give "the benefit of the doubt" to the husband. She will feel this, especially if you have used relationships at church to improve your opinion of yourself at your wife's expense in the past.

 

Just be real and relax, focus on your wife, check in with her often, and make sure that she knows that SHE is what's important to you. Show her less than tell her, your actions will speak more to her than anything else.

 

You need to realize that defending is an AUTOMATIC INVALIDATION of LRG's feelings - picture this: if someone else hurt your wife's feelings and she tried to share her feelings with them and they kept defending their actions, would you be OK with that? Or, would it tick you off?

 

Hope things go well...

 

Stephen/HD

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HD,

 

The first night of the retreat is over and here are the results. First of all things went well overall. I do have a problem focusing in crowds with lots of things going on around me. I was supposed to be paying attention to the person leading the activities but I couldn't understand anything. To cover up the fact that I couldn't focus due to the "buzz" in the room, I act like an idiot. I was paying attention to LRG when she called me out on it and I stopped and focused on her. When I focus on her I don't hear the background noise.

 

Tomorrow I am going to stay focused on LRG and if I get freaked out by all the people in a tight space I am going to try being quite and invisible for a change.

 

Your advice has been spot on and I have the duct tape with me!

 

 

BH

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It has been a very long day but a fun one. We are still at the retreat for one more night. LRG seems to be having a good time but I sense she is worried about something. My question is do I ask her if anything is wrong? Do I ask if she needs to share her heart?

 

Thanks,

 

BH

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BS,

 

I am starting to to see history repeat itself.

 

http://joelandkathy.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/1066-how-to-make-your-wife-happy/

 

http://joelandkathy.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/285-help/

 

Both of these men fed their wives crumbs. It was just enough to barely keep hope alive for the wives until the husbands "found" a better situation for themselves.

 

Now I want you to read the next two paragraphs very very carefully.

 

After some time and internal healing, each wife had a man come into their lives that DID love them unconditionally and these two women are in loving, caring, giving, stable and Christ-filled relationships. Guess what happened to the men? They are still lost, miserable, selfish, empty, struggling and lonely. This is the path you are on and your wife is on. They say history always repeats itself. I believe it because I am watching you be them.

 

They too used the "I just don't get it" lie. Each one had helpers spend hours going over the same things a million times and a million different ways. I spoke with both men on the phone many times. At some point, each admitted to me they got it but chose not to do it. Sound familiar? It should. You've been playing this same game almost this entire time. It is time to fess up and admit you get this and have for quite some time. It is time to stop being a selfish little boy and start becoming a man. The only way this will ever change is to walk in the truth. If you never do anything else for your wife, do this for her. She has done her part as she is required by the Father. You Sir have not.

 

God Bless

David

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BH - Read David's post again and again and again. His wisdom and insight into this process and into the heart of us men is invaluable, and you NEED to heed what he has spoken into your life. None of us can help you if you are not "all in" and willing to hear us in Truth and in Love and to change. And, sooner rather than later, you need to start ACTING on your impulses to do things FOR your wife instead of checking in for confirmation - you need to learn to trust your knowledge of your wife, because you should know her better than us, right?

 

You said, earlier:

My question is do I ask her if anything is wrong? Do I ask if she needs to share her heart?

 

Let me answer you with a question (albeit not "in the moment" - MJ already gave you the right answer):

Why would you NOT ask her? What was in your head telling you that it wasn't a good idea to pursue her? What did you see in your wife that made you think that something was wrong and what actions could you have taken to alleviate her concerns, etc. WITHOUT asking her?

 

Stephen/HD

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BH, you still have a task you need to do . . . yay, tasking! :P Amazing, though, that you are so good at ignoring the tasks that will actually help you grow.

 

HD asked you to do this -

 

BH - thanks for the changes that you made to your signature...

 

Can you please change it, though? I would like to see the dates of your Intensives and which ones were solo and which were you and LRG, and I would like to see something specific that you remember striking you from each Intensive - reflect on what you learned, because I have to believe that there is clearly something specific that God showed in during each one, and I want to get an idea of the progression of revelation.

 

- and, although you wrote a post with the information he asked for, you have not changed your signature. Since I know HD would not ask you to do anything without a good reason behind it, I assume that this is important. Please get on it. If you really want to grow up, you need to do everything you are asked to do, not pick and choose as you have been.

 

I'll assume you forgot, so consider this a gentle reminder. I am, however, charging the cattle prod as we speak. ;)

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So, BH - we haven't heard from you since Saturday - on Wednesday night you committed to me and to your wife that you would be on the forums at least once a day. I am disappointed that we haven't heard from you, and I can imagine what you are saying to your wife.

 

Stephen/HD

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HD, Looney, MJ and David,

 

I apologize for not being on the forum since Saturday. I have no excuse. I have to say that you all are right and David hits the nail on the head. I have convinced myself of the few things I'm doing that is a change is enough. I have lied to myself. HD asked why I wouldn't ask LRG what is wrong. The truth is I am scared of her like a little boy is afraid of the mean mommy.

 

I want and need my wife and kids and we are not going to be casualities like the examples that Dave used in his post. I am very sorry for what I did to hurt our son three years ago and not remembering that it was on Super Bowl Sunday. I have conveniently forgotten the day but I haven't forgotten what happened. I can see that my actions have hurt my wife all over again and proves to her that she can't trust me.

 

Dave said that I know what to do but I am choosing not to do it. I think he is right because I can do anything I choose to do; therefore, I have been choosing not to. I am selling out. I'm going all in.

 

Looney, I'm going to change my signature.

 

Thanks and God Bless

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You know BH, I have quietly been watching your thread. I've intentionally reserved my thoughts.

 

I honestly believe you don't get this. It's not my place to measure or judge where you are at in your relationship with Christ, but a Christian just doesn't act the way you seem to.

 

I just can't see Paul, Matthew, Timothy, John, etc., doing and saying the things you do. I can see Abraham, Moses and other Old Testament figures struggling as you do.

 

But you are a new creation through Christ and I just don't see that part of you in this process.

 

In His service and with the Life of Christ in me.

 

TimothyPaul

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Nice words, BH. We would all like to believe you.

 

Last night, you agreed to 2 things before the call - to leave LRG alone, and to post. Not five minutes later, LRG was back on the call saying you were trying to talk to her. Then you were on the forum for about 10 minutes and got off without posting. You didn't know I was watching, did you?

 

We talked on the call about keeping your word. That doesn't seem to be something that's important to you. It needs to become important NOW. Grown men do what they say they're gonna do. Children say what the adults in their world want to hear.

 

I still think you're gonna get this, BH, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that it will be too late for your marriage by the time you do. LRG can't take much more.

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Seriously?

 

You were told to do TWO things, and you did not do either?

 

You bugged your wife when you were told to leave her alone... you only left her alone after she told on you on the call?? :shock:

 

You were told to post but did not do it until after Looney told on you, and Joel called you out on it??? :shock:

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