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Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Crystal and I'm married to Brass. We're working toward an OHM. Brass has been "with the program" for about 5 months.

 

His heart was changed after reading "Living it and Loving it" and watching the DVDs.

 

I used to post under another name, which I don't want to link to at this time--life was ugly then. Life is much better now. Brass listens to me now and usually doesn't defend, ignore or correct. I no longer have to walk on eggshells, feel guilty, or ignore my own feelings. If I don't like something he does, I tell him. I taught him to say, "I can understand how you would feel that way," which I may have to re-program, because, that line too is now getting old.

 

We cuddle and hold hands and kiss more than we did. We meditate on Holy scripture and we pray together.

 

I have been so happy the last few months and I haven't been here on the forum too much. Now I'm starting to get frustrated again and I thought I'd come back for a booster shot.

 

Brass isn't taking initiative. He has taken up following my lead, which was nice for awhile, but it's not where I want him to stay. I don't know how to "MAKE" him take charge.

 

To be specific about what's going on, his mom and brother are moving 350 miles to be nearer our family. She is selling the wonderful home that she has lived in for 46 years. "We" moved brother-in-law into a nursing home near us. "We" bought a house down here and she'll be moving in August. She has never seen the house. It's been stressful shopping for my perfectionist mother-in-law. I enjoy Real Estate, and I enjoy Social Work, so it has been my pleasure to be handling these moves. It's natural for me to say "we" have found a nice house, or "we" have talked to the social worker at the nursing home, but it's really a blow for me to hear Brass say, "We found a nice house", etc, when it was ME who has done most of the calling, shopping, phoning, etc. Sure, he is the one who signed his name to the contract, but that's only because my name failed to get on the account. It really hurt my feelings, but I did let him know it hurt my feelings. He still gives that hurt feeling look, but I now know it isn't really, it's a countenance he's learned to get off the hook.

 

I can't imagine taking credit for something big that he's done! I would be being facetious if I did!! I tell him it feels as if he thinks he owns me when he takes credit for what I've done.

 

I had shared this with my real estate agent, who complimented me for all the work I've done for my mother-in-law. My agent (a woman) understood immediately. She told me the story about a time she had done beautiful interior decorating on her and her husband's new apartment. Her husband was showing off the apartment to a friend and the friend asked, "Wow! Did you do all this decorating??!!" to which he replied, "yes." The wife (my agent) happened to walk into the room at that moment to hear what he had said and she exploded. Her husband didn't have a clue.

 

 

It's so much better now that it would have been if all this was happening last year!!! And recently, he has been doing a lot of "toe over the boundary" type testing. Tiny things that irritate me...do I ignore? (no!) or should I begin the cycle of forgiving again? No, I have been telling him even the tiny childish hurt feelings I get. And I think he's beginning to withdraw again...and so that's why I'm back here to try to get things back into perspective again.

 

 

Thanks for listening. I've been reading lots of everybody's recent posts and it's nice to catch up on everyone.

 

Thanks again for this forum!

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Yes, reel this back in immediately.

 

Don't be afraid of rocking the boat, but do it with a sweet countenance.

 

Here's my 2 cents:

 

First off, I would make sure that your name is added to each and every account. If your husband balks, then that would be a big huge red flag, and would be evidence that he needs much work and transforming.

 

Then, have a heart to heart with your husband, again, with a sweet countenance, during which you outline, step by step, all the work you and he did for this 2 prong project - moving your BIL to a nursing home + selling/buying homes for and moving your MIL.

 

Create two columns on a sheet pf paper. One column for your work, and the other for the work your husband did. The black and white visual will make it "crystal" clear. (I love your new forum name!) If your husband balks at this, then this would be more evidence of needed transformation in him.

 

Then, create a plan in which your husband can take more initiative and do more of the actual work for HIS relations.

 

Do not let him manipulate you with something like, "Well, if I'm going to be doing most of the work now, then why do you need to be on the accounts?" You have already earned the right to be on the accounts. You deserve it and you are worth it.

 

You will have to resist filling the vacuum and picking up the slack when he does not do the work anywhere as well as you can do it. Stopping filling the vacuum is the transformation that has to happen in we wives.

 

This stopping the enabling is what will actually enable him to grow up and into greater Christlikeness.

 

Ironic, isn't it. I love how God's ways are the opposite of our ways!!

 

Well, that's my 2 cents.

 

Blessings,

Abigail

 

PS: I would also, right away, set up a plan and boundaries for how you and your husband will be dealing with the new nearness of your MIL. Another huge red flag is the husband's mother/son issues and his ability to put you, his wife, first instead of his mother (and therefore himself). If God's ways are not followed, then the generational sin seeps into the next generation. Hope this helps.

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Hello Crystal,

Welcome back for your booster shot!

 

Some things come to mind while reading your post. Is your husband a believer, in the Word daily, reading and re-reading J&K's books, watching the DVD's with you each week, reading Ken Nair and Paul Hegstrom's books, dying to self daily becoming a Christlike servant?

 

If not, why not?

You yourself cannot Initiate this marriage to OHM alone - this is mutual - this is husbands laying down their lives for their wives. I don't hear any of this in your post above.

 

What I hear is like Pavlov's dogs - you're teaching him to respond and he's getting tired of it.

 

I think you both need to get back to the books - this takes three years before the changes are natural, automatic, permanent - until those neuropathways are rewritten. I'm glad for the 5 months progress, but you have to continue working this program - this is a total lifestyle change!

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Thank-you for your insightful and thoughtful response! Some of what you say sounds difficult, and that's how I know I need to carefully consider and implement it.

 

First off, I would make sure that your name is added to each and every account. If your husband balks, then that would be a big huge red flag, and would be evidence that he needs much work and transforming.

 

We've discussed the absence of my name from this particular account and he says it will be fixed. I feel like he's sincere--and that it's not something he intentionally did, he just "wasn't thinking." More and more, I believe this line.

 

Then, have a heart to heart with your husband, again, with a sweet countenance, during which you outline, step by step, all the work you and he did for this 2 prong project - moving your BIL to a nursing home + selling/buying homes for and moving your MIL.

Create two columns on a sheet pf paper. One column for your work, and the other for the work your husband did. The black and white visual will make it "crystal" clear. (I love your new forum name!) If your husband balks at this, then this would be more evidence of needed transformation in him.

 

Then, create a plan in which your husband can take more initiative and do more of the actual work for HIS relations.

 

This is one of the parts that sounds difficult, it feels like I might be tooting my own horn...not something that's in my comfort realm.

 

 

Do not let him manipulate you with something like, "Well, if I'm going to be doing most of the work now, then why do you need to be on the accounts?" You have already earned the right to be on the accounts. You deserve it and you are worth it.

 

I'm not convinced that I deserve it or that I'm worth it, but thank-you. Also, I don't think he'll use this particular manipulation.

 

You will have to resist filling the vacuum and picking up the slack when he does not do the work anywhere as well as you can do it. Stopping filling the vacuum is the transformation that has to happen in we wives.

 

This stopping the enabling is what will actually enable him to grow up and into greater Christlikeness.

 

 

This is where you hit the nail on the head and I don't know how to make myself not try to fill in the void. This is my real challenge. Thank-you for this reminder, even though it might be one of those things that I will really need to work at. I asked Brass this morning what he would do if I would decide to spend all day in bed and not do anything. He said he doesn't know, he's never had the opportunity to see what he could do. I always do it, same as his mom always used to do things for him when he was little. Must break this chain. I realize it's a struggle with my own ego. Self-denial might mean me stepping back instead of filling in where I perceive Brass lacks the leadership or ability. He's able, but I have the time and interest to do certain things. It's not that he won't, but that I'm right in there doing it already. It's my pleasure to do these things, but it just bothers me when he doesn't acknowledge what I have done.

 

In the middle of everything, last week Brass came in the house and said my dad had given him the truck. It was more of a caveman-like announcement, "Me have truck". My thoughts immediately kicked into action, insurance--we already maintain 4 vehicles with two young male drivers and spend a pretty penny on insurance; parking; having a truck would be nice, but...I told Brass I should check with the insurance company first, and that's where the subject stood over the weekend. In the meantime, my dad asked Brass about the truck and he told him "We" have to check on the insurance first. Then the next day, my mom called and in the course of the conversation mentioned that she found out my niece would have wanted the truck. I told her to go ahead and give the truck to my 16 yr. old niece instead. My old-school submissive-wife mom worried that it had already been offered to Brass. I told her not to worry about that. Since Brass and I had discussed it, I knew he wouldn't mind. My mom said "Brass is worried about the insurance, isn't he?" Which made me bristle. Brass doesn't worry about insurance, I do all the bills and worrying about insurance!

 

This incident, and not the incident with Brass' mom and brother is actually what kicked in the conversation about taking credit for what I do! My parents think Brass makes the sun rise and set. He is their dream son in law. It's always "Poor Brass, he works so hard," and I never appreciate him as much as they think I should. At least Brass' mom knows that I'm the one doing everything. She gives me the credit. :)

 

 

 

 

PS: I would also, right away, set up a plan and boundaries for how you and your husband will be dealing with the new nearness of your MIL. Another huge red flag is the husband's mother/son issues and his ability to put you, his wife, first instead of his mother (and therefore himself). If God's ways are not followed, then the generational sin seeps into the next generation. Hope this helps.

 

This is a great idea, Abigail. I hadn't clearly thought of it, I think I knew it, but it hadn't surfaced to the thinking part of my brain until you mentioned it.

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Hello Crystal,

Welcome back for your booster shot!

 

Some things come to mind while reading your post. Is your husband a believer, in the Word daily, reading and re-reading J&K's books, watching the DVD's with you each week, reading Ken Nair and Paul Hegstrom's books, dying to self daily becoming a Christlike servant?

 

If not, why not?

You yourself cannot Initiate this marriage to OHM alone - this is mutual - this is husbands laying down their lives for their wives. I don't hear any of this in your post above.

 

What I hear is like Pavlov's dogs - you're teaching him to respond and he's getting tired of it.

 

I think you both need to get back to the books - this takes three years before the changes are natural, automatic, permanent - until those neuropathways are rewritten. I'm glad for the 5 months progress, but you have to continue working this program - this is a total lifestyle change!

 

Yes, now he is definitely a believer. Before January, he believed himself to be a Christian, but now I am a believer that he's a believer. He is learning to recognize his own pride and self-centeredness and he's learning about love in Christ and the fruits of the spirit. He's growing in Christ and I'm delighted.

 

What I hear is like Pavlov's dogs - you're teaching him to respond and he's getting tired of it.
That's what it seems like to me too, but I think it's because he's acknowledging that I've been a believer for quite a long time and he now is giving me credit. He's catching up and I would like for him to swing into the lead. I think that up until now, he has thought that I am wanting to be in the lead.

 

And then again, I'm a little mixed up too. This morning I took the lead in planning our weekend, but I prefaced it with "I haven't let you know what I have envisioned for our OHM. I envision you to be the leader who considers the feelings and needs of all in the family. I am going to show you now by exampling 'leading'" and I asked him about what he hoped to do this weekend, then I discussed a possible plan for accomplishing the boys projects, his projects and my own in an efficient and satisfying order.

 

I may be going about this all wrong! I told him that my dream for an OHM is that I can begin being a little "self-centered" in planning my weekend and that I can count on him to be the realistic one who considers my wants and the specific things that need to be done. He seemed overwhelmed. I think that might mean he's chewing on it. I've dished out a lot for him this past week. Like I said, I've been so happy the last few months, there haven't been any big issues come up, and now all of a sudden I'm overloading him! Poor Brass, as my mom would say.

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What a great thought that you communicated to your husband - err on the side of overconfidence!

 

Crystal, even in the face of needing a booster shot for the two of you- would you please go to the praise section and post a praise report of where you were before the book and DVD set? You could start it by copying the beginning of the first post above.

 

After things get back on balance, everyone would love to know what your old screen names were to look back on.

 

Welcome back!

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My post of July 20th doesn't make much sense, and this one probably won't make much sense either. It reflects the confusion in my mind...can anybody make any sense out of what I'm trying to say?

 

Before my husband was re-generate and hearing my heart, this is how we would make a decision: I would worry and fret in my own mind trying to figure out what Brass wanted and what was best all round for everybody. I would have to come up with some "plan" or decision in my own head before I would present it to Brass. I'd have to make the decision before I would speak to him, because whatever would first come out of my mouth he would agree to, and it would be final.

 

HE thought he was being agreeable,.

I thought he was being stubborn, because I wasn't being listened to.

HE thought he was being decisive.

I thought he was being rude (not hearing all the factors)

HE thought he was being considerate.

 

Now that he has been a new man for 6 or 7 months, it's......not really any better. Before: I thought he was stubborn and rude, now I believe it's not stubborn and rude, but plain laziness and apathy.

 

The difference is, he's listening. We have a relatively important decision regarding his mom's move down here in August and I'm feeling very frustrated about it. It's not an earth shattering matter, but it's something we have to decide ahead of time. It's one of those decisions that won't matter one way or the other, but it's a habit of communication that needs to be managed.

 

My woman's heart wants to talk about it. What's best for his mom, what's best for our kids, what's best for me, what's best for him and weigh it all out. It's the kind of discussion that I used to have to carry inside my head. Now he lets me talk it out and for the most part, he hears what I'm saying. It's better.

 

I still kinda think he's being lazy because he's not thinking these things through in his own head, but he's not there yet. I want him to be there. I want him to be here on the forum. There are a lot of things I want , but we're not there yet. However I'm happy that things are better, even if we aren't all the way there yet.

 

So anyway, I have been talking these things out with him, and argh! It's the same thing, he listens then agrees. With everything. Listening is good, up to a point. Listening is very good. And he thinks listening to me is the same as thinking it through himself. Or is it? You know, I get so confused, because he always thought he was agreeable and decisive before, and that's what he thinks he is now, I'm seeing the old guy that thinks he's a good guy who is misunderstood and unappreciated. I'm seeing a guy who doesn't want to be bothered with considering all the pros and cons before making a decision.

 

I overheard him telling someone that the whole thing is "a big mess" and I'm thinking, It's a mess, because you're not actively taking a part in making this decision! You, Brass are the ingredient that's making this a mess! I would not have been able to have that thought a year ago, I would have taken the blame.

 

And then I wonder if I'm making too big a deal of the whole thing. Why am I not able to just dump the whole thing on his shoulders and stay blissfully out of it? Is it because I'm a CONTROLLING woman?? and Why does that nagging thought always creep in?

 

If any kind soul can make heads or tails of what I'm trying to verbalize and can help me get my head in order I do appreciate you!!

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Crystal..

Trying to descipher here... :D

It sounds to me like what you are saying is that really, YOU are responsible for most of the decision making? YOU think it through, present it to Brass, but you feel as though you really don't get good input....so the burden to make decisions really rests on you...

And that you would like Brass to step up and help you make these decisions? You would like him to think it through, present an opinion, then the TWO of you decide?

Am I understanding?

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So, Crystal..

How can you verbalize that to Brass?

 

You need to find a way to tell him that you feel like decision making is mostly on your shoulders.

Tell him how that makes you feel.

Tell him that you need to feel like the two of you are making decisions together....then be sure to tell him WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE, TO YOU, WHEN HE IS HELPING YOU MAKE DECISIONS.

Give him verbs. :)

 

He might not know.

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That's a good answer.

 

Now I've got to figure out how to do that. Thanks for giving me direction. I do appreciate it!

 

You're right. He doesn't know. I'm obviously not having an easy time putting thoughts into verbs. :oops:

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You all can't see how much this booster shot is helping. It's all happening backstage in our life at home--but it's helping a lot. I am reminded how much I need to keep coming back here. The world and my husband tend to leave me with thoughts that I don't know what I'm doing and that I'm becoming a control freak and all kinds of unkind thoughts about myself and the progress we've already made through Joel and Kathy's ministry.

 

Browsing through all off your threads and finding similarities between your marriages and mine and figuring out working attitudes based on responses to your problems has helped rebuild my confidence in my own feelings.

 

Brass will probably never pour out his feelings on this forum. He's not that great at a keyboard and it's not natural for him to be open on line. I love to write and free-flow my feelings at a keyboard or with a paper and pencil, either one. Brass is more comfortable with paper and pencil, so we have our own little thread going in a hardback journal I started. It's actually going quite well. It fills a communication void from Monday through Thursday time when we cross paths coming and going.

 

It's not quite the same as having him get on the forum for some real accountability with some Christian men, but it's close. I have his gut reactions written down in black and white so that he can SEE what I mean about his responses. Today I was able to show him his comment "I'm sorry I made you so upset" in his own handwriting and explain how that comment is so non-healing and all about him, not at all about my feelings. It's new for us and it's just kinda cool to see it in writing rather than hear it in spoken words that are twisted and changed after they're said aloud.

 

I'm also printing certain threads for him to read. Happier Wife and Happier Husband sound a lot like us and her comments of 7/28 along with the wise responses were very timely and useful for both of us. I read it first to myself on line and then printed it for Brass and he read it with frequent surprised gasps, "that sounds like me." Gotta love 'im.

 

As for Joel's request that i link to my former identity here on the forums: A big part of why I don't want to do that is that in my frustration in Feb, March, and April of this year, I made many identifying references. I don't mind so much you all on the forum knowing who I am, but I prefer that old identity to roll off the forum and disappear. I do want to to be able to refer people to this forum and I don't want just everyone knowing intimate details about me and my husband. :oops: Maybe I'll work on a re-cap summary to post without so many references to real identifying things.

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Big step yesterday.

 

Husband and I have been more or less together on this journey to OHM, but yesterday was his first apology to me for the pornography. He had asked God's forgiveness several months ago, but hadn't seemed to realize that it had anything to do with me and the kids. Somebody here posted a new (to me) article on the effects of pornography on a man and his family---I printed it and gave it to him to read a few days ago and it seemed to impact him. He sincerely apologized, not at a healing level really, I need him to show that he understands how deep that hurt went and still is. He still doesn't realize how devastating, though I confessed to him that it was not uncommon for me, during those years, to wish he wouldn't come home. Does he understand that a Christian wife doesn't wish that kind of thing unless she's deeply injured? I don't know, but it's a step in the right direction for it to be out in the open.

 

We may be on our way to him realizing that I'm broken and he's the one who broke me. I'm hoping he's groping to the level that he realizes he needs to be taking the lead in healing me, not me taking the lead to fix him.

 

I don't want to always be the one helping him out of his ruts. Essentially, that's why I came back here, because he fell in a rut and couldn't get himself out. I had to come here to re-fuel myself. Not that coming here is a bad thing (It's a GOOD thing!) but it was yet another indication that husband, though he was better, isn't doing his part to move this toward an OHM. He's been doing things because I'm telling him to do things and that's OK, and better than before, but I'm the weaker vessel. I need him to take the lead.

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Hello All,

 

I would like to chime in here and say, that I think you are doing a great job! I think that you are right on to admit that you had both hit a kind of plateau in your journey towards your OHM.

 

I've wondered the same thing about how many details that I openly share on this forum. :oops: But, then I think about Joel and Kathy and how open they have been about the sin or even just the mistakes that they have LEARNED from. I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that although it is hard on my flesh at times, the truth sets me free.

 

My post of July 20th doesn't make much sense, and this one probably won't make much sense either.
That is so funny that you said that, 'cause I am planning to have my DEAD Guy read your July 20th post "to me." I thought that it was WOW! It expressed what I have felt SO MANY times in the "bad days!" (And STILL often DO! HA!) I believe that it will be an excellent "conversation starter!" :D :wink:

 

Freely ME,

CHeRIsh-ed Rose

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Thank-you so much for chiming in CHeRIsh! I appreciate your compliment!

 

Brass and I have been talking a whole lot about "appreciation" and "approval" recently. We are both "people pleasers" and in the past I would do things purely to BE appreciated. We are learning NOT to be people pleasers, but God pleasers. Still, I do appreciate that you took the time to tell me you liked my post---I'm happy, not because it makes me look better or feel better about myself, but with the thought that it might help YOUR discussions with your dear and maybe with other couples. That's cool.

 

In time, maybe I'll feel a lot more comfortable about claiming that bad baggage. I was able to claim it back then, when I didn't care what I blurt out about myself and Brass---but now---I have a lot more respect for Brass and what he's gone through in the past several months. It'd be neat if Brass would tell me to tell everybody about his sin of the past and mistakes of the present! I know it helps me to read about others who are going through the same thing that we've gone through.

 

We had an awesome weekend and Brass finally took some new steps forward. I'm holding my breath :| to make sure he doesn't slide back down that slope again. It's steep at this point of our journey, but not as steep as it was at the beginning.

 

Thanks Celia for the reminder that it's OK to have to tell him everything "at the beginning". It's easy to forget that we're still at the beginning of the trail. This week-end I got a hint of what the view will be like at the top and I like it!

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Amazing and wonderful post, CHeRIsh! Thank-you for taking the time and thought in posting it. I have little time, at the moment, to respond---but I want you to know it is speaking to me. Thank-you for your encouragement and for your openness.

 

Lifting you and your son/girlfriend in prayer this morning. I am SO sorry about what you are going through!

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Hi Crystal! I just wanted to say that.......this is the leg of the OHM Journey I am presently on. I started reading the book "Boundaries" just after getting back from the Intensive and as I was reading today something jumped out at me. It confirmed what I'd been feeling all along. It's the fact that, had I read this book before J&K, I would have only understood everything in the book, within the context of "the marriage." Now, since Simple has stepped up.....worked to heal his damage....and has proven himself a safe person, am I able to read this book and see the "roots" of behavior in my life. I am starting to see that the part of our husband's healing our past "damage"..... is more of them dealing with the wounds they inflicted....continuing to reflect the love of Christ to us......so we are "freed up" to realize our junk. The only thing I've been able to direct Simple with so far is just asking him, "Do you love me unconditionally?" He'll smile and say, "Yes, I do." Just knowing that I now have an anchor, who loves me and finally "sees" me the way God does.........is a great support for us to move forward.

 

Stay encouraged sister! You're not alone! :wink:

 

Danielle

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Thank-you, Danielle and CHeRIsh. . . I treasure your encouragement.

 

The healing starts in me, so whatever I need, DEAD Guy must die to his "whatever" (PRIDE, control, ect.) to bring healing and OUR OHM!

 

This is a hard one for me. It's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with this.

 

I dumped big time on Brass-head this morning. Brass takes it pretty well. Listens, nods, validates. We have several things going on right now including, as mentioned in my previous posts, his mom moving down, his brother in an institution here, and an argumentative 18 y/o Brass-clone.

 

I am the one home most of the time. I tend to be the one dealing with problems as they arise, and so a lot of what I was dumping on him wasn't really necessarily stuff about ME, but about his mom, his brother and our son. I didn't even bother sharing other things on my mind: my work, my family.

 

His brother called ME this morning CRYING. He's 10 years my senior, but he's beginning to view me as his replacement mom.

 

Our son has been arguing a lot with me, in much the same way Brass used to. "I was just trying to say..."

 

Mother in Law (82 years old) is wearing herself to a frazzle packing up her big house all by herself, including the stuff belonging to brother-in-law-in-the-institution. She's 350 miles away. She has a lot of emotional unloading to do and she chooses to unload on me.

 

All of these things are things I was talking to Brass-head about this morning. Ken Nair talks about how women talk in circles. We circle in before getting to the main point. I was trying not to do that. I felt like I was trying real hard to be direct, but I was failing. THEN I realized one reason that I was talking in circles is because I don't really feel like Brass is completely safe. I have to prepare him and protect him from me so that he can hear my main point. I even tried to explain THAT to him, but ended up talking in circles again. He listened patiently. I was trying to explain that I'm looking forward to crossing the line from me taking care of him to when he takes care of me.

 

I can dreamily imagine him backing me up in an argument with our son. What he does now...it's OK, but when the argument is over and the son has stormed out of the room, I say, "I guess I shouldn't have said such and such" and he says "Yes you should have!" Imagine him saying to his brother---"Back off, dude, she's not your mom, she wants to help you, not make all your decisions. Be a man, brother.

 

What Brass sees is that my sensitivity makes me better equipped to handle these crises. What I'm trying to tell him is that one day we'll cross a line when instead of holding my sensitivity in front of him to deal with things, he'll be my shield and protect my sensitive nature. This doesn't make sense to him right now.

 

I talked and talked and talked and then I asked him if he was able to get any meat out of anything I said. He thought for a bit and said. "Yeah, I think I did....I need to be more sensitive..."

 

:roll:

 

I know I used too many words and confused him.

 

"I need to be more sensitive," leaves me with a hopeless feeling. He has often said the same thing and it is all about him. Woe is him---he needs...

 

Well, he mowed for an hour and then came in to take a shower to go to work. Half way through his shave he came out in his underwear to the kitchen. "I think I have it now," he said, and he rattled a little more expansive summary of what I had been trying to say... and it sounded a little less woe-ful. Not bad. It's a work in progress.

 

What would I rather hear than "I need to be more sensitive"?

 

Maybe something like this:...

 

"What I hear you saying is that by listening to your heart I will learn to become more sensitive and will soon grow to be a man who protects your precious sensitive heart, especially from my own family, but also from all those other people in the world who don't know you and love you the way I do."

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Okay, I have a question...actually I thought of several questions today, but I'll take it one at a time.

 

So...I was at the nursing home today visiting my husband's brother, and he was weeping because he misses his mom and I had a thought.

 

My husband is the husband who, for years I thought he was depressed, because he would zone out when things got bad. I literally thought he was on the edge and I was so careful to keep him from having too much stress in his life. For many years, I thought he was probably suicidal. In the last few years I suspected he wasn't as moody as I'd always thought and then this spring after J&K he confessed that he was simply zoning out. No deep waters or troubling thoughts, it's just, I guess what he learned to get me off his case or his mom off his case or whatever. I'm finding out in very recent weeks that in reality he is horribly shallow and emotionless by his own admission. This is one reason I named him brass. His heart is solid.

 

So...I'm talking with his brother. He, on the other hand is bi-polar. One extreme emotion to the other. We're trying to get him leveled out emotionally. Too much emotion. Too much emotion.....and my husband has none. It dawned on me that there is probably some connection. My husband was 9 or 10 when his older brother was diagnosed bi-polar.

 

What do you think? I mean besides the arrested development for other reasons, do you think that my ultra stoic husband is actually full of anger that he's suppressed? I didn't get the Paul Hegstrom book, cuz it didn't seem appropriate to our situation, but then again, I'm thinking maybe it is.

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What do you think? I mean besides the arrested development for other reasons, do you think that my ultra stoic husband is actually full of anger that he's suppressed? I didn't get the Paul Hegstrom book, cuz it didn't seem appropriate to our situation, but then again, I'm thinking maybe it is.

 

Get both of Paul Hegstrom's books! They will open you up to what happened in that family to cause two sons to "check out" - they simply did it in different ways. Both ways involve tons of self-pity.

 

Every home needs these books because they explain (not excuse!) so much!!! Here is a link to the Power and Control Wheel - http://www.joelandkathy.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=1047

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good grief, I thought we were done with the roller coaster ride! This past month has been like a mirror image of life before J&K, except without the porn. Your post, Judy, that pointed out that my husband's actions are out of SELF PITY really helped a lot. It again gave me courage to fight my fight instead of resigning to "This isn't as bad as it could be or as bad as it was."

 

I was getting so angry, not at Eric, but at myself, because I wasn't responding to Eric's GOOD efforts.

 

Our heads get so twisted!

 

Eric was doing and doing and nothing he could do would please me and he was getting discouraged and I felt bad! That's not the J&K way.

 

I don't actually remember how it happened----how I finally got through Eric's head----or probably *I* didn't, but the Holy Spirit intervened for me. I remember one point where he was folding some clothes *for me* and I screamed at him and knocked over his neatly folded piles and I remember our son laying face down on the sofa and I was imagining our son's future with his wife and he would have no idea how to please his wife and he would be repeating his daddy's performance based pattern of trying to please my future daughter in law.

 

Don't recall if it was something I said or did, but Eric finally began re-reading the books and reading on the forum. He joined and posted once. His comment to me was that he finally realized that he had been thinking he didn't NEED the forum or NEED to read the books again, that he thought he could figure out by himself how to be a good husband.

 

In the past weeks Eric and I have both discovered several people on this forum who have been going through feelings very much like we've been going through, so *I* for one have been lazy about posting, because the women here are so eloquent at expressing MY feelings!

 

I finally feel like Eric is taking some responsibility and using some initiative to figure things out without me having to tell him what to do. I think I had a little crash---a let down related to Eric taking my feelings seriously instead of taking his own feelings so seriously. Eric was actually explaining to ME why I was crashing---which was a good thing---I couldn't remember what I had read Joel say about it, but Eric was able to take what Joel said and on his OWN apply it to me...unlike how he has in the past taken what Joel has said and applied it to himself. This is a new step for him.

 

I complained that his new heart knowledge probably wouldn't last. Eric didn't deny that his human head might get in the way again, but he didn't take my complaint as a horrible insult against his very soul. He took my complaint like a man.

 

I'm getting more and more confidence in my own feelings and it's filtering into my work (nurse) and into my church. I'm beginning to actually like ME.

 

Yesterday morning, Eric took me in his arms and uttered some encouraging words to me. I don't even remember the words, I can't begin to give you a quote, but I knew the words were coming from his heart. Yesterday evening I chose to point out the difference between that moment, that particular hug and another similar hug with words that I thought came mainly from his head when he had hugged me and said what he thought I wanted to hear for my approval. To a casual observer, the two hugs may have looked the same, but I knew a difference.

 

I told him that if he could remember the place in his heart where the two hugs came from, then to make sure that his hugs for me came from that place of yesterday morning. Surprisingly, he knew exactly what I meant! The hug he had given me yesterday morning flowed from his prayer time and his communion with the Holy Spirit. The other had come from his head, and he knew it.

 

Then....well...last night ML was more about me than I can ever remember in our married life. So...some good healing has come out of this latest broken roller coaster ride.

 

(BTW-I did get one of the Hegstrom books and I read parts of it aloud to Eric. It really is very helpful.)

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Crystal,

I'm sorry to tell you the roller coaster of life never ends - it just smooths out a little and we begin to enjoy the journey together rather than fighting it!

 

Your husband will find that it's all about his relationship with Jesus Christ that makes it possible for him to be the man of your dreams. Without this power men don't have it in them to be Christlike and other centered!

 

See how expressing yourself, your needs, your heart is so important? That's the only way they get it - begin to connect and care for us - otherwise they are clueless so we get to give them the clues!

 

Keep reading, growing, expressing, sharing your heart - this is an incredible journey of healing and worth every step!

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