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Amak ... I have been on vacation the last ten days, with very spotty internet. So I'm just catching up. I just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and I think you are doing what's right as the situations arise. All I've read here sounds good, anyway. I know how hard this is on you. I wish I could give you a real hug ... but a cyber-hug will have to do: (((((AMAK))))).

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I don't understand why it's so hard for him. How is it hard to be nice to someone, especially when that someone is your wife?

 

Thank you, J and K for shedding some light on this. His dad was working 3 jobs, or out "with the guys" a lot. In fact, Andrew didn't even go near his dad for the first 3 years of his life because he had no clue who "that man" was. True story. But he has always been a "momma's boy" which is the root of why she and I don't get along. 

 

As for the difficulties with disciplining, I think he has a lot of guilt. He used to work 65+ hours a week (at one point it was 75 with driving time) and we hardly saw him. When he was home, I let him be the playmate because his mom's advice was that since he's not home much, don't make him be the mean parent, or they'll end up with the relationship he and his dad had. (wrong.) After our son was born, I put an end to that, or I tried to. He quit his second job and stepped up as a parent, but he ended up swinging in the opposite direction with our son. I'm glad to know that I'm not wrong to tell him he is being too harsh and jumping to conclusions. I think he still has guilt about how much he did not want his daughter before she was born, he was VERY abusive throughout the pregnancy, and told me to abort several times. I mean, I hope he'd tell me if I'm wrong, but the first time he saw her, he fell so in love and just continues to feel guilty to this day (almost 7 years later) Which is ridiculous because he is a great father, loves both his kids like crazy, but he isn't doing either any good by doing it the way he is. He really needs to find that balance, and I need to not yell so much at them, although, I don't think they really notice most of the time, lol. It really helped to talk to you guys and here from parents that have been there.

 

I hope that things continue in the right direction. Thank you for helping us stay on track.  :)

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Just a quick update... In five days there hasn't been any major drama, but there also hasn't been many hugs, kisses, smiles, and compliments (today we are at 0,2,1,1). We have had some issues, but he has apologized pretty quickly. He's been listening more (Yay!). If I say that I really need him to do something, or I'd really like something, for the most part he has been doing it. 

 

Yesterday, I told him I couldn't wait for us to be home so I could snuggle up on him. I needed hugs and kisses. (He loves giving hugs and kisses and normally wishes I wanted them more often.) He said that he couldn't wait to be home to give them, but when we got home, they never really came. I told him I was kind of hurt. I really was needing his arms to hold me. He instantly apologized for putting other tasks ahead of that and quickly fixed it. However, a little while later, (snuggling always leads to me asking questions...) I asked him a fairly blunt question, and he lied his way around the answer. Once I proved that I knew he was lying (again, with the proof) and told him that that isn't acceptable, he took a minute and came back to explain why he felt the need to do that. He said it was because he knows that I was asking so that I could put myself down (even though I explained why I was asking in my question and I've always been pretty honest with my intentions) and that he knew that if he was completely honest, I would twist his answer just so I could feel hurt. (What?) He then answered truthfully (no way to know, just kind of have to trust him). I didn't really dwell on it once he told me the truth, and things are going pretty well today. Last night was really the only "issue" we've had. 

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Are you normally getting on the conference calls, amak0911? It might help to give the moderators that example of your question and how he answered it. He could hear with his own ears how someone else sees the problem and what would help both of you.

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We mostly listen too. We've been getting called out a little more though so that kind of forces us to talk, which is actually good for me because I have a very hard time speaking up to people I don't know.

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We'll have to remember to "call you out" on Saturday night! Ha! 

 

Definitely need to increase the hugs, smiles and kisses.

 

Cuddling opens up questions for a reason..  cuddling causes bonding in you..  as your hear is opening toward him, well, what comes out? Things that are needing ministered to and blessed..    your asking the questions is causing further bonding in you toward him (as long as he is being loving and answering the questions honestly)...   it is kind of like "ok, I feel myself opening up to you and being vulnerable, but I am remembering things or feelings that make me nervous or anxious or concerned.. so I need to get this out of my heart so that I can give myself more completely to you without being afraid."

 

This is what Paul meant when he said in Ephesians 5:33 (rightly translated)  Husbands, agape love your wife so that she is not afraid of you."

 

If your husband is loving you right, you will get to the point where you are never afraid that he will hurt you. 

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Date night went well, until bed time. I happened to ask if he had washed the dishes (because if he didn't I would do them tomorrow since he'd be gone). He said no. Then added (rather awkwardly) that he'd been planning on doing them the next day. When I asked how, he said "oh yeah, I forgot about having to leave." No he didn't. I asked why he lied about something so stupid. He said he just did. No apology or anything. We had a fight. He went to sleep and left me crying, again. I began texting him and when he didn't answer after half an hour I went to find him. i told him I was mad he'd fallen asleep with out even attempting to resolve this. He didn't answer. A little while late he came in and struggled for an apology. It wasn't the type he'd promised to give me, but it was passable so I let it go and apologized for my part. He said he did it basically because he villainizes me in his head. That was his excuse for cheating on me, so naturally that didn't make me feel good, but at least it was honest.

 

No 20s today, unless you count the kisses he gave for himself. Then tonight I asked him to stop going through stuff in the garage (that isn't ours) as it upsets me to see, and feed the rabbits like he's supposed to be. He does and leaves one box on the cage roof while I'm cleaning it out (which is fine). But then he disappears. I have to put it in the cage, which leads to irritation on my wrists because he over stuffed the box, but it's not a big deal. I go into the kitchen to wash my hands and there is hay laying on my counter. (I ask him almost every night to not put the boxes on the counter, to instead put them in the sink.) He left it for me to clean up instead, just like the box, so he could go back into the garage and dig around. I called him back in to clean it, and he puts as little effort as possible into doing it. I end up doing most of it.

 

I'm so frustrated right now. Why is this such an up and down process? Is it me, I'm overreacting to things? Ugh, I just feel so overwhelmed and frustrated!

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We teach the "2 out of 3" principle.

 

For example, if he left the box on the cage top and there was hay on the counter and he was way short on the hugs, smiles and kisses...     that is three things.

 

So, you pick out the most important.  The box on the cage and the hay on the counter have already raised your cortisol, so you bring up the thing that will raise your oxytocin.. so you would say: 

 

 "Hey, where are my hugs, smiles and kisses? It is like 6 pm and you have only given me two!"
 

If he immediately comes over and apologizes and gives you a big hug, smile and kiss and says something nice..  and then 15 minutes later, comes and does it again (which would make it appear that he is correcting this, the most important of the 3 things)..   then he never hears about the box on top of the rabbit cage and never hears about the hay.  

 

HOWEVER, if he says "Sheesh, you are so picky. I have been working on the garage all day and you pick on me for not giving you hugs and kisses? You are just too picky!"....      NOW you would say "excuse me? Did I say ANYTHING about the box on top of the rabbit cage?"  He says "no."   "Did I say ANYTHING about the hay on the counter from you AGAIN putting you box on the counter?"  He says "no".  You say, "Well then, since you falsely accused me of being too picky when I overlooked those two things, now you can give me the hug and kiss AND you can go get the box from the rabbit cage AND you can clean the counter off."

 

So, by using the "2 out of 3 principle" you have protected yourself from being guilty of being too picky AND you have "set him up" so that when he accuses you of being too picky, you always have a couple things that you have NOT mentioned to point out to him as proof that you are not being too picky... AND he then has to address THOSE two things in addition to the thing you pointed out to him.    He soon gets the message "My wife is not being picky. She has probably not mentioned a couple things that she could have pointed out, so I need to stop accusing her of being picky and be quicker to fix those things that she DOES point out."

 

Good conversation for the call tonight with Brian and Charlotte.  9 pm eastern time. 

 

If you two can find a way to get to the intensive in September instead of next year with your tax return, then you could eliminate a lot of struggles quickly. This "2 out of 3" is something that we elaborate on in the intensive among about 50 other things that you two can learn in one weekend instead of going through each thing and learning them one at a time! 

 

How about a credit card or a short term loan that you pay back when you get your tax return.  You would pay a very low cost in interest and save yourself a lot of pain.   Maybe mom and dad (his preferably) can loan you two the money and you pay them back at tax return time.  This is NOT the time to say "we don't believe in credit."   Sometimes you have to make credit your servant rather than being in bondage to the "no credit" mantra.   ESPECIALLY if you can pay it back in full immediately with your tax return.    It does not make emotional sense to hold to a "no credit" policy at the cost of emotional stress and pain.

 

Blessings!

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Oh, no the box was fine. I told him he could leave it there. I just wasn't expecting him to leave it for me to put in. I didn't even mention this to him.

 

The issue was that he was digging through things I asked him repeatedly not to because he then comes in and gets me upset, which also wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't that he puts litter boxes full of hay on my counter then leaves the mess for me while he goes and does something I already explained upsets me and asked him not to do. I am allergic to hay. I break out in rashes where ever it touches, and if I breath it in too long it gets difficult to breath.

 

The hksc are a work in progress.

 

There is no way to get up in September as of right now, but we may be able to find the money in a few months.

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This week had been a good one, not perfect (there are still somethings BlessedMan and I are struggling with), but very good over all.

 

My last post was a misunderstanding. I asked him if he left that hay on the kitchen counter (a very big deal) to go look through things I asked him not to, and he said yes. In reality, he actually went out there to clean something off. The whole argument and terrible night could have been avoided if he just been listening to me.

 

Yesterday was a wonderful day. There were no arguments, no moodiness from my husband when I said something was hurting me. There were no instances of PA behavior at all.

There WERE lots of hugs, kisses, smiles, and complements. He blessed me how I needed him to when I needed it, not on his terms and time at all! He didn't even complain when I started a time consuming and messy cleaning task late in the evening. Instead he ASKED what he could do to help me, then he did it!

 

Thank you, Lord! I pray that my husband keeps your light in his heart, leaving no room for deceptions, secrets, and darkness to hide. I ask that You help us both continue working towards our OHM. We have a long way to go but we can do all things through You! Amen

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Yesterday was a wonderful day. There were no arguments, no moodiness from my husband when I said something was hurting me. There were no instances of PA behavior at all.

There WERE lots of hugs, kisses, smiles, and complements. He blessed me how I needed him to when I needed it, not on his terms and time at all! He didn't even complain when I started a time consuming and messy cleaning task late in the evening. Instead he ASKED what he could do to help me, then he did it! 

 

Thank you, Lord! I pray that my husband keeps your light in his heart, leaving no room for deceptions, secrets, and darkness to hide. I ask that You help us both continue working towards our OHM. We have a long way to go but we can do all things through You! Amen 

 

This is wonderful!!!!!

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This is wonderful!!!!!

It is!

 

Things haven't been going bad, not perfect, but by past standards they've been going rather well. I wanted to write out the areas where we are struggling though.

 

With me:

  1. It just seems like when things start going well, one thing can set me off. Normally, I do use the Rule of Three, but sometimes I start yelling about all these things he's done in the past while using that particular behavior. I start thinking he isn't really changing (like he didn't change so many times before). It's like I'm looking for that one crack in his mask, ready to tear apart any facade. I walk away wondering where in the world that aggression came from. Sometimes he handles it well, others terribly. He eventually apologizes for doing what he did, but I feel worse rather than better once he gives it. For one thing, I demanded it, so it feels rather insincere. For another, I know I shouldn't have started yelling in the first place, so I feel guilty.
  2. I have to start trusting him more; he is showing me that he is doing better, that he wants our marriage. He can't prove it to me without me letting him.

 

With him:

  1. He doesn't admit when he is doing something wrong. If he makes a mistake and I point it out (nicely or not), if I tell him he is hurting me, if I say he is doing something he shouldn't, he demands proof. He stands in front of me lying to my face to "avoid looking bad" (his words). I tried telling him that's ridiculous because lying to me doesn't make him out to be better, saying the sky isn't blue doesn't make it true. 
  2. He needs to take more responsibility for his actions, choices, and more importantly family. He needs to think things through on his own! He needs to put honest effort into getting things done. How am I supposed to rely on him if he is too busy relying on everyone else?
  3. He needs to keep his promises. It hurts my heart every time he says promises to do something and then doesn't.
  4. I need him to give me reassurance when I worry, both verbally and physically.

I'm also worried. He is starting back to school again. Four years ago, when he first went back, I didn't worry. For one, I thought we were already through our rough patch, for another, he was in school to become a mason. A bunch of other sweaty guys really doesn't give me cause for much concern. This time around, it's different. He's going for a real degree. He's going to be taking regular courses. At least for the first year. (Plus the core courses aren't just a bunch of sweaty guys either) Then, when school is done and he gets hired on, his new schedule will be 24 hours on, 48 off. He will be out of the house for a full 24 hours. Sleeping in a coed fire house. I am sure this seems like a somewhat silly concern, for one thing we are talking about 2 years from now, but it really is a fear that is sitting in the back of my mind. On top of that, I'll be back to work by that time. So he will have anywhere from 48-72 hours on his own, with the exception of the evening, when the kids and I will be home. Part of me is chiding myself. This seems like a rather irrational fear, so irrational in fact, that I feel silly even bringing it to God, but another part of me dwells on it.  BlessedMan doesn't do anything to reassure my fears either. If I bring it up he gives me a look that says I'm being silly, or, when I point out that I do have some cause to worry, he starts with the self pity. "Oh, I am such a bad person. I did all this stuff and it was wrong." I don't know why I expect anything other than that, he's never apologized for what he's done to me. It's always *look ashamed, agree I'm bad, tell her she's right, move on*

 

 

Now on to the good things, mostly because there have been plenty of good things and sometimes I feel that I don't point them out enough.

  1. His 20s have come up, a lot! Still not 20 in the areas I like most, but up to 10-12. The hugs and kisses are at 20, if not above.
  2. He's faster to apologize over all. A lot of times when I say "you aren't loving me like Christ." He says, without missing a beat, "You're right, I'm so sorry." then he makes it right. 
  3. He's showing big improvement on the discipline. We are much more of a team here.
  4. He hasn't held it against me when I tell him to calm down, or defend the kids from him.

I know there are more, but I'm having a hard time thinking of them right now. I'll add them when I do though.  :)

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So he will have anywhere from 48-72 hours on his own, with the exception of the evening, when the kids and I will be home. Part of me is chiding myself. This seems like a rather irrational fear, so irrational in fact, that I feel silly even bringing it to God, but another part of me dwells on it.  BlessedMan doesn't do anything to reassure my fears either.

This fear is NOT irrational. It is based on facts, right?

 

I think what you can aim for, and receive help from the Spirit of God for, is that you will become so strong in your inner person that no matter what your husband may choose to do in the future, you will be fine. As Kathy likes to say, Pray, Plan, Play, and Praise. 

 

Continue to give your husband good for good, and "bad" for bad.  Expect the best from him as he continues to change, and remind yourself of the confidence you can have in the Lord -- if he doesn't!  Or even, when he wavers...

 

You are doing OK, amak0911! 

 

Have you two been to an intensive yet?  Sorry, I forget.

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Thank you Sandra! (Until the Day Breaks).

 

Amak, we are looking forward to talking with you two on the group calls. Sounds like you two are on a good road of progress.  He is reading your post, I am sure, and seeing where he needs to step up.. and you are doing a good job noting where he is doing better.

 

Sounds like he is going to be on duty as a fireman. Perhaps in two years, your job won't be necessary or you will be able to work part time so that you are home on the days he is not working. That would be a perfect world!

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Thanks MJ. I used to pray for inner strength often, but somehow stopped. I will start again.

 

We are hoping to get to an intensive early next year.

 

Joel, we haven't been in almost two weeks, I've just been so exhausted. We will make time for it though. I've been having trouble balancing my time lately.

 

As for the job, ideally I wouldn't have to work once he gets a job with the FD. I love being a housewife, and that's the only job I ever wanted growing up. However, there is NO way both kids can be in their school without me working there, so the goal is to find a part time job in the school. I know God will get us to that goal.

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Another good week! We had a wonderful date night friday. We had a fun final weekend of summer with our kids on Saturday. We had a wonderful Sunday, and the sermon at church was on the family unit. We heard a lot of J and K friendly advice.  :)

 

Yesterday was good. Wasn't much chance for alone time as we had parent orientation at our daughter's school. There weren't many 20's either. To be keeping up with them and raise the count on the ones that are more meaningful to me, he's been texting me throughout the day. But he's the only one in the yard at present at work, so there hasn't been much time. Same for today. I hope he raises the h,k,s,c today, even if he can't text, at least when he gets home.

 

Things have been going really well. Even if he does something that hurts me (even if I react poorly from all the abuse in the past) he has been apologizing and fixing it right away. I'm still really scared of a backslide, but I can't hold in my happiness from the two good weeks we've had.

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Well, it hasn't been a very good week for us. It had some good moments, but they don't come close to outweighing the bad.

 

It started after my last post. I commented on how I felt (which was pretty unloved and hurt because I felt he wasn't putting much effort into us) and he denied it was true. He belittled my feelings and refused to try and make things right. He wanted to play on his phone more than spemd time with me. He was acting the way he was while in his affair. He slept on the couch, and I think he was glad to do so. He apologized and we moved on, but he never did anything to make me feel better.

The week continued on roughly.

He threw together a last minute date night, but it was still enjoyable.

There were two seperate instances where he got caught in front of other people doing things (minor things) and he denied them and down played them and went out of his way to make it all my problem and my fault. My blood is boiling just typing that. I'm so sick of it.

Anyway, its a new week. Although its already noon and his twenties are still very low, I know he had it in him to bring them up and get us back on track. I just hope and pray he chooses to do it.

 

 

 

Can I make a prayer request too? If any of you are praying for us, could you please add a prayer for a job I applied for? Its at my daughter's school, is part time, and would really help us if I could get it. Thank you.

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