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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was with my wife for a very long time, over 40 years. In many many ways I feel truly blessed to have had her by my side for so very long. But there were some seriously bad times. During those times I would try and be ever more patient, tolerant, empathetic, understanding, compassionate, comforting etc. I got into the spiritual side of life and studied and practiced Buddhism.

But with all the work I did on myself, my wife never changed, not one little bit. In a way by being ever more patient, tolerant, compassionate I was continuously annihilating my personal boundaries. I do consider my wife to have been abusive to me, emotionally and psychologically abusive to my core values and beliefs. And by dismantling my personal boundaries I was simply not only enabling her abuse but I was making its affect on me far worse.

Below is a way for men to identify and work on their boundaries. This is something I never did. I just opened myself way up and let my wife’s abuse right into the core of who I am. I was so easily emotionally controlled and manipulated by not having personal boundaries.

The following is from Finding Your N.U.T.S.

Bob


What Are N.U.T.s?

N.U.T.s are your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms. N.U.T.s are the things you’re committed to, the things that matter more than anything else: your kids, your work, yourself, your purpose, your spiritual practice, your hobbies, your integrity, your morals and your emotional and psychological well-being.

N.U.T.s are the boundaries that define you as man, those things which, if repeatedly compromised, will gradually—but assuredly—turn you into a pissed-off, resentful man who will likely blame others—especially your wife—for your unhappiness.

Your N.U.T.s are uniquely yours. They reflect who you are as a man and the man you want to be. Compromise your N.U.T.s, and you’ll compromise yourself. Compromise yourself too often, and you’ll become an extremely unhappy man, husband and father.

Sample N.U.T.s

Here’s a short list of Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms provided by the men of our BetterMen Community. These will give you an idea of the N.U.T.s which men, like you, have developed for themselves in their efforts to be the men they want to be. I am faithful to my wife.
I say what I want.
Compassion for my family trumps my need to be right.
I replace doubt with acts of faith.
I am a risk taker.
I devote at least three hours a week to my writing.
I will only seek validation from the men.
I live in accordance with my religious faith.
I do what I believe is in the best interest of my kids, even if they disagree.
My commitment to my children comes before everything else.
Patience over temper.
I do not ask for permission.
Fear does not keep me from taking risks.
I do not indulge my addictions.
I am a man of my word—period!
I take my problems to men, not to women.
I do not show anger to my elderly mother.
I do not tolerate my wife’s attempts to belittle me.
When name-calling begins, the discussion is over.
I spend time with the men.
I have my own private office/space some place in my house.
I exercise regularly.
I do whatever it takes to keep my family in our home.
I ask for help when I’m not being the man I want to be.
I speak my mind in spite of my fear of confrontation.
I honor my daily spiritual practice.
I welcome feedback.
I only apologize when it’s appropriate, not simply to please others.
I do not hide out at work just to avoid issues at home.
I decide how I interact with my boys.
I choose which of my friendships to maintain.
I do not sell out who I am to placate others.
I share my men’s work with the men in my life.
I do as I see fit.


This list is here simply to inspire you. Maybe some of these N.U.T.s resonate with you. If so, use them and make them your own. But perhaps your N.U.T.s aren’t listed above. Do you know what they are? Not sure? No problem. Let’s talk first about how a man finds his N.U.T.s.

Finding Your N.U.T.s

Never Compromise Your N.U.T.s

Understanding the importance of finding and never compromising your N.U.T.s—your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms—is the most important thing you, as a man, will do. This may be the most important lesson you will learn from Hold On To Your N.U.T.s. So here it is:

Once you find your N.U.T.s, never forget them and never compromise them.

For some men, that may sound like great advice, a few years too late. But it’s not too late. What you read here will help. In fact, men just like you have turned their lives and their relationships around because they’ve committed themselves to finding their N.U.T.s and maintaining a firm grasp of their Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms.

OK, so now that you understand what N.U.T.s are, how do you get started finding yours? Some men find their N.U.T.s over time, while others sit down and make a list. Either way, here are some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

What’s most important to me in life?

Are there activities I used to do for fun that I no longer do? Is someone interfering and am I resentful because of it?

Are there valuable friendships with men I’ve let slip away?

Where am I currently having problems (unhappy, frustrated, sad, angry, resentful) in my life, and did compromising myself—and what’s important to me—contribute to my feelings and/or the situation?

What dreams have I abandoned?

If I’m going to be the man I want to be, what will I have to do differently?

TIP!

Having trouble understanding what a N.U.T. feels like? Try this: You’re walking down the street with your young daughter and a stranger grabs her, intending to kidnap her. How do you feel about that? Is giving up your daughter acceptable? Could you be persuaded to see the advantages of giving your daughter to a stranger? No? Of course not! In fact, you don’t even have to consider it. It’s very clear to you: You don’t let strangers take your daughter! It’s non-negotiable and unalterable. It’s a term of yours. You have a N.U.T. How about that!

That’s how clear your N.U.T.s must eventually be for you. Your N.U.T.s must be so ingrained that you don’t even consider them when challenged. They just are.

Some men may have a hard time identifying their N.U.T.s on their own and would benefit from the support of other men. (That’s why Develop Trusting Relationships With Men is one of the BetterMen Tools.) In men’s groups, many men will find their N.U.T.s by hearing from others who have had similar challenges, men who have identified their own Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms.

Protect Your N.U.T.s

Once you’ve identified your N.U.T.s, you’ll most likely have a short list of Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms. Remembering them should not be a problem. Remembering to live them, however, is where you will be challenged.

Keep your N.U.T.s close to the vest—and review them daily—until you’re ready to live them. (By all means, share them with the men in your life who can help to define your N.U.T.s and then support you when you’re ready to put them into action.)

Sharing your N.U.T.s prematurely is often an indication of your need for approval. You may be tempted to mention your N.U.T.s to your woman to test her reaction, and to see what resistance you may be up against. Also, receiving permission to live your N.U.T.s defeats their purpose.

Remember, you don’t ask for permission to be the man you want to be, you simply have to be that man.

Again, N.U.T.s are to be lived, not discussed. So resist the temptation to talk about your N.U.T.s with those who ultimately will be impacted by them. Wait until you’re ready, and then live them.
 

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:smthumbup:

great post. i think boundaries are the foundation to a good marriage, and a good life in general.
 

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Great post Bob, thank you.

I am a girl who needs to find some NUTS lol. So your post is a big help, I am going to spend time thinking on this today.

Thanks again.
Willow
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:smthumbup:

great post. i think boundaries are the foundation to a good marriage, and a good life in general.
Yes. I see boundaries as being two way. Things we will not tolerate others doing to us and things we will not tolerate ourselves doing to other people.

Really helps identify who we are at the very core of our self and communicating that to people in our life through our behaviour.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great post Bob, thank you.

I am a girl who needs to find some NUTS lol. So your post is a big help, I am going to spend time thinking on this today.

Thanks again.
Willow
Apparently wives purchase the book for their husbands lol.

Bob
 

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Bob,
This is a beautiful list - it truly is. And your post itself is instructive and inspirational. I truly deeply love my wife. And she has absolutely helped me grow into the man I am. It is ALSO true that she has boundary issues. She sometimes behaves in a manner that if unimpeded would eventually result in the "virtual" removal of my spine and in my emotional castration.

Somehow early on I realized this and learned how to define a specific set of boundaries that I would defend without concern for the outcome. In the beginning my defense was sometimes a yelling/screaming match - good content - very bad delivery style.

Now I defend those same boundaries with a calm, often humorous style. If needed I adopt a sharp tone of voice but I almost never raise my voice. I have learned to "electrify" my fences. Hit one and you get one low voltage warning zap. Press hard and I crank the voltage to 220 and let you squirm in pain for a while just to convey the idea that I am really serious.

I have become utterly certain that these boundaries create:
- Respect
- Passion - and via passion great sex

That isn't why they are there - but those are nice side effects.

By the way my boundary list is not as good as that above. I plan to augment it from your post. Sincere thanks for posting it.


I was with my wife for a very long time, over 40 years. In many many ways I feel truly blessed to have had her by my side for so very long. But there were some seriously bad times. During those times I would try and be ever more patient, tolerant, empathetic, understanding, compassionate, comforting etc. I got into the spiritual side of life and studied and practiced Buddhism.

But with all the work I did on myself, my wife never changed, not one little bit. In a way by being ever more patient, tolerant, compassionate I was continuously annihilating my personal boundaries. I do consider my wife to have been abusive to me, emotionally and psychologically abusive to my core values and beliefs. And by dismantling my personal boundaries I was simply not only enabling her abuse but I was making its affect on me far worse.

Below is a way for men to identify and work on their boundaries. This is something I never did. I just opened myself way up and let my wife’s abuse right into the core of who I am. I was so easily emotionally controlled and manipulated by not having personal boundaries.

The following is from Finding Your N.U.T.S.

Bob


What Are N.U.T.s?

N.U.T.s are your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms. N.U.T.s are the things you’re committed to, the things that matter more than anything else: your kids, your work, yourself, your purpose, your spiritual practice, your hobbies, your integrity, your morals and your psychological well-being.

N.U.T.s are the boundaries that define you as man, those things which, if repeatedly compromised, will gradually—but assuredly—turn you into a pissed-off, resentful man who will likely blame others—especially your wife—for your unhappiness.

Your N.U.T.s are uniquely yours. They reflect who you are as a man and the man you want to be. Compromise your N.U.T.s, and you’ll compromise yourself. Compromise yourself too often, and you’ll become an extremely unhappy man, husband and father.

Sample N.U.T.s

Here’s a short list of Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms provided by the men of our BetterMen Community. These will give you an idea of the N.U.T.s which men, like you, have developed for themselves in their efforts to be the men they want to be. I am faithful to my wife.
I say what I want.
Compassion for my family trumps my need to be right.
I replace doubt with acts of faith.
I am a risk taker.
I devote at least three hours a week to my writing.
I will only seek validation from the men.
I live in accordance with my religious faith.
I do what I believe is in the best interest of my kids, even if they disagree.
My commitment to my children comes before everything else.
Patience over temper.
I do not ask for permission.
Fear does not keep me from taking risks.
I do not indulge my addictions.
I am a man of my word—period!
I take my problems to men, not to women.
I do not show anger to my elderly mother.
I do not tolerate my wife’s attempts to belittle me.
When name-calling begins, the discussion is over.
I spend time with the men.
I have my own private office/space some place in my house.
I exercise regularly.
I do whatever it takes to keep my family in our home.
I ask for help when I’m not being the man I want to be.
I speak my mind in spite of my fear of confrontation.
I honor my daily spiritual practice.
I welcome feedback.
I only apologize when it’s appropriate, not simply to please others.
I do not hide out at work just to avoid issues at home.
I decide how I interact with my boys.
I choose which of my friendships to maintain.
I do not sell out who I am to placate others.
I share my men’s work with the men in my life.
I do as I see fit.


This list is here simply to inspire you. Maybe some of these N.U.T.s resonate with you. If so, use them and make them your own. But perhaps your N.U.T.s aren’t listed above. Do you know what they are? Not sure? No problem. Let’s talk first about how a man finds his N.U.T.s.

Finding Your N.U.T.s

Never Compromise Your N.U.T.s

Understanding the importance of finding and never compromising your N.U.T.s—your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms—is the most important thing you, as a man, will do. This may be the most important lesson you will learn from Hold On To Your N.U.T.s. So here it is:

Once you find your N.U.T.s, never forget them and never compromise them.

For some men, that may sound like great advice, a few years too late. But it’s not too late. What you read here will help. In fact, men just like you have turned their lives and their relationships around because they’ve committed themselves to finding their N.U.T.s and maintaining a firm grasp of their Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms.

OK, so now that you understand what N.U.T.s are, how do you get started finding yours? Some men find their N.U.T.s over time, while others sit down and make a list. Either way, here are some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

What’s most important to me in life?

Are there activities I used to do for fun that I no longer do? Is someone interfering and am I resentful because of it?

Are there valuable friendships with men I’ve let slip away?

Where am I currently having problems (unhappy, frustrated, sad, angry, resentful) in my life, and did compromising myself—and what’s important to me—contribute to my feelings and/or the situation?

What dreams have I abandoned?

If I’m going to be the man I want to be, what will I have to do differently?

TIP!

Having trouble understanding what a N.U.T. feels like? Try this: You’re walking down the street with your young daughter and a stranger grabs her, intending to kidnap her. How do you feel about that? Is giving up your daughter acceptable? Could you be persuaded to see the advantages of giving your daughter to a stranger? No? Of course not! In fact, you don’t even have to consider it. It’s very clear to you: You don’t let strangers take your daughter! It’s non-negotiable and unalterable. It’s a term of yours. You have a N.U.T. How about that!

That’s how clear your N.U.T.s must eventually be for you. Your N.U.T.s must be so ingrained that you don’t even consider them when challenged. They just are.

Some men may have a hard time identifying their N.U.T.s on their own and would benefit from the support of other men. (That’s why Develop Trusting Relationships With Men is one of the BetterMen Tools.) In men’s groups, many men will find their N.U.T.s by hearing from others who have had similar challenges, men who have identified their own Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms.

Protect Your N.U.T.s

Once you’ve identified your N.U.T.s, you’ll most likely have a short list of Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms. Remembering them should not be a problem. Remembering to live them, however, is where you will be challenged.

Keep your N.U.T.s close to the vest—and review them daily—until you’re ready to live them. (By all means, share them with the men in your life who can help to define your N.U.T.s and then support you when you’re ready to put them into action.)

Sharing your N.U.T.s prematurely is often an indication of your need for approval. You may be tempted to mention your N.U.T.s to your woman to test her reaction, and to see what resistance you may be up against. Also, receiving permission to live your N.U.T.s defeats their purpose.

Remember, you don’t ask for permission to be the man you want to be, you simply have to be that man.

Again, N.U.T.s are to be lived, not discussed. So resist the temptation to talk about your N.U.T.s with those who ultimately will be impacted by them. Wait until you’re ready, and then live them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I couldn’t believe that at ages 60 and 57 something again could happen and the way we handled it led into the yelling and screaming. It was like we’d learnt nothing during our 4 decades together and were right back at square one.

Something had to change so I rushed to put boundaries up to protect myself, told my wife what they are, what I’d no longer tolerate and let her know unless she works on her issues, her bitterness and resentment built up after years of being together and not cleaned up on the way, I will not spend the rest of my life with her. She booked her flight and left for England.

She’s still a very bitter and resentful person and she’s still trying to abuse me. This time she’s trying it via proxy through my elder son but he’s not playing ball with her.



“Now I defend those same boundaries with a calm, often humorous style”. That’s the way to be MEM. Sounds like you could have written that book. I do know you “get it”. And yes there are beneficial side effects. Me I have a very much calmer, authentic life and I'm seeing things that have always been there that I didn't see before.

Bob
 

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Thanks Bob,

Great info. Anyone else want to chime in on my situation and give me hope and tactics that i'm doing anything and everything I can. It's such a roller-coaster.

I've never been so clear in understanding how much I love her.....not just infatuation. True love.

I want it bad.
 

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Bob, I really love all your posts here and I've learned something from you more mature guys here. Thanks for sharing !
 

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I am faithful to my wife.
I say what I want.
Compassion for my family trumps my need to be right.
I replace doubt with acts of faith.
I am a risk taker.
I devote at least three hours a week to my writing.
I will only seek validation from the men.
I live in accordance with my religious faith.
I do what I believe is in the best interest of my kids, even if they disagree.
My commitment to my children comes before everything else.
Patience over temper.
I do not ask for permission.
Fear does not keep me from taking risks.
I do not indulge my addictions.
I am a man of my word—period!
I take my problems to men, not to women.
I do not show anger to my elderly mother.
I do not tolerate my wife’s attempts to belittle me.
When name-calling begins, the discussion is over.
I spend time with the men.
I have my own private office/space some place in my house.
I exercise regularly.
I do whatever it takes to keep my family in our home.
I ask for help when I’m not being the man I want to be.
I speak my mind in spite of my fear of confrontation.
I honor my daily spiritual practice.
I welcome feedback.
I only apologize when it’s appropriate, not simply to please others.
I do not hide out at work just to avoid issues at home.
I decide how I interact with my boys.
I choose which of my friendships to maintain.
I do not sell out who I am to placate others.
I share my men’s work with the men in my life.
I do as I see fit.
I bought this book a couple months ago out of curosity, husband will never read it but I can read to him. I see most of these VERY good & I totally agree as a wife. But some I question or let's say I am glad my husband doesn't do them.

I devote at least three hours a week to my writing.

I wish he devoted 3 hours to writing -WOW -that would be earth moving. Never live to see that one. I know I know, this is they authors NUTS -but I do like that one, thought it was a little odd.


I will only seek validation from the men. and I take my problems to men, not to women......

These 2 I don't particularly care for. What is up with this, you can't talk emotionally with the wife, show her your core, just because you have to be a MAN 24/7, as though men never cry ? Not sure if the one about problems was EXCLUDING the wife or not, but if so, again, don't care for this one at all. I will agree men should not be talking to other women besides the wife, that can only lead to trouble & backstabbing with women. (even if your Mom or sister gets involved).

I am a risk taker and Fear does not keep me from taking risks

All this RISk taking talk makes it sound like if you are a more grounded conservative soul, something is wrong with you. I think sometimes Fears mean you might be taking TOO much of a Risk, sometimes men need more common sense than being Big Risk takers. I would certainly NOT want my husband to combine these Risk Taking NUTS with...
I do as I see fit and I do not ask for permission

Not that us women need to be asked for permission in any sense, but to have things Run by us, get our imput. Absolutely.

I spend time with the men. My husband doesnt do this, he gets enough time with men at work, he is all for us when not working, I like that. He has no private Den or work office either. I don't think he has ever cared, but he does have his GARAGE. I think that is his escape.

Just a few thoughts from a wife. I do agree with all of the rest though -pretty much 100%.
 

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Bob, I like the concept. It sounds like its a way to get a person to conceptualize that, even though they are in a push-and-pull-negotiate-compromise-all-the-time-relationship, he is also a separate individual that has a right to see and feel things the way he wants to.

For a long time I was a big fan and promoter of approaches that did the opposite of NUTS. They're attachment-based relationship tools...in contrast to differentiation-based tools like NUTS. Teaching attachment interventions, I helped couples adjust to and accept the reality of the other so that the other's reality, accurately mirrored and attuned to, becomes more stable, more clear and more consistent until harmony and tune happens on both sides. Its a systems principle that works really well. But doing it really well can also unexpectedly create artifacts like resentment if constant attunement/attachment is is the ONLY way to create harmony and balance, like I think you seemed to refer to in your experience pre-NUTS. Now, with more experience I still help couples learn how to do the attunement/balancing thing but coach them to not depend only on it. We very quickly introduce tools like what you're suggesting that get each to differentiate from the other and self-validate without needing the other to do so (and especially when the other is doing the opposite like criticizing or attacking).

Have to admit, never heard of NUTS...sounds like it would appeal to many guys for its simplicity and lack of pscho-babble like what I just wrote!:D
 

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I bought this book a couple months ago out of curosity, husband will never read it but I can read to him. I see most of these VERY good & I totally agree as a wife. But some I question or let's say I am glad my husband doesn't do them.

I devote at least three hours a week to my writing.

I wish he devoted 3 hours to writing -WOW -that would be earth moving. Never live to see that one. I know I know, this is they authors NUTS -but I do like that one, thought it was a little odd.


I will only seek validation from the men. and I take my problems to men, not to women......

These 2 I don't particularly care for. What is up with this, you can't talk emotionally with the wife, show her your core, just because you have to be a MAN 24/7, as though men never cry ? Not sure if the one about problems was EXCLUDING the wife or not, but if so, again, don't care for this one at all. I will agree men should not be talking to other women besides the wife, that can only lead to trouble & backstabbing with women. (even if your Mom or sister gets involved).

I am a risk taker and Fear does not keep me from taking risks

All this RISk taking talk makes it sound like if you are a more grounded conservative soul, something is wrong with you. I think sometimes Fears mean you might be taking TOO much of a Risk, sometimes men need more common sense than being Big Risk takers. I would certainly NOT want my husband to combine these Risk Taking NUTS with...
I do as I see fit and I do not ask for permission

Not that us women need to be asked for permission in any sense, but to have things Run by us, get our imput. Absolutely.

I spend time with the men. My husband doesnt do this, he gets enough time with men at work, he is all for us when not working, I like that. He has no private Den or work office either. I don't think he has ever cared, but he does have his GARAGE. I think that is his escape.

Just a few thoughts from a wife. I do agree with all of the rest though -pretty much 100%.
Reading this, as a woman, I couldn't comment more similarly to you SA. I feel exactly the same about the exact same NUTS.
 

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Liked and agreed with most of them. Not all. I think you have to guard against going too far in the opposite direction when the direction you had been on didn't work for you. That probably made sense only to me. :) It IS getting late, y'know.

I've always said that women have nuts too..we just wear ours on our chest. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Originally Posted by AFEH
I am faithful to my wife.
I say what I want.
Compassion for my family trumps my need to be right.
I replace doubt with acts of faith.
I am a risk taker.
I devote at least three hours a week to my writing.
I will only seek validation from the men.
I live in accordance with my religious faith.
I do what I believe is in the best interest of my kids, even if they disagree.
My commitment to my children comes before everything else.
Patience over temper.
I do not ask for permission.
Fear does not keep me from taking risks.
I do not indulge my addictions.
I am a man of my word—period!
I take my problems to men, not to women.
I do not show anger to my elderly mother.
I do not tolerate my wife’s attempts to belittle me.
When name-calling begins, the discussion is over.
I spend time with the men.
I have my own private office/space some place in my house.
I exercise regularly.
I do whatever it takes to keep my family in our home.
I ask for help when I’m not being the man I want to be.
I speak my mind in spite of my fear of confrontation.
I honor my daily spiritual practice.
I welcome feedback.
I only apologize when it’s appropriate, not simply to please others.
I do not hide out at work just to avoid issues at home.
I decide how I interact with my boys.
I choose which of my friendships to maintain.
I do not sell out who I am to placate others.
I share my men’s work with the men in my life.
I do as I see fit.
I bought this book a couple months ago out of curosity, husband will never read it but I can read to him. I see most of these VERY good & I totally agree as a wife. But some I question or let's say I am glad my husband doesn't do them.

SimplyAmorous,
They’re not my N.U.T.s! They’re examples from the website, a combination of many men’s N.U.T.s.

Here’re the ones I used:

“If you persecute me one more time for things I’ve actually done wrong and for the things you’ve imagined I’ve done wrong in the past I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.

“If I hear “I’ll never ever forgive you for this or that” one more time I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.

“If you do not learn to confront the issues between us in a mature adult way and continue to bury them I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.

“If you do not accept the consequences of your own mistakes and continue to hold me responsible I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.

“If you do not you come to MC with me I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.


I was literally in fear of my stbx’s persecution for things I simply didn’t do that went back decades. I’d just had enough and couldn’t see another way out or any other way of protecting myself from further abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I will only seek validation from the men. and I take my problems to men, not to women......

These 2 I don't particularly care for. What is up with this, you can't talk emotionally with the wife, show her your core, just because you have to be a MAN 24/7, as though men never cry ? Not sure if the one about problems was EXCLUDING the wife or not, but if so, again, don't care for this one at all. I will agree men should not be talking to other women besides the wife, that can only lead to trouble & backstabbing with women. (even if your Mom or sister gets involved).

My stbx was not “emotionally honest” with me. She was exceptionally two faced. It was something I felt and a gut feeling I had. But something I could not validate simply by talking with her. Why? Because she was emotionally dishonest! She’d not only deluded me she ended up deluding herself and couldn’t find her way back to the truth even if she had a mind to.

Since we’ve been separated my gut feelings have been well and truly verified and validated.
 

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AFEH :

I knew those were not your N.U.T.s as I have the book (only read a little but I did get that far). I knew it was a sampling of the Authors, and that men can exclude some of these and certainly add their own.

I think all that you just listed are GREAT ones. These should be in the book. They are not written with quite the detail you give here, but they are ones I personally would agree with -even for a woman's N.U.T.s
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bob, I like the concept. It sounds like its a way to get a person to conceptualize that, even though they are in a push-and-pull-negotiate-compromise-all-the-time-relationship, he is also a separate individual that has a right to see and feel things the way he wants to.

For a long time I was a big fan and promoter of approaches that did the opposite of NUTS. They're attachment-based relationship tools...in contrast to differentiation-based tools like NUTS. Teaching attachment interventions, I helped couples adjust to and accept the reality of the other so that the other's reality, accurately mirrored and attuned to, becomes more stable, more clear and more consistent until harmony and tune happens on both sides. Its a systems principle that works really well. But doing it really well can also unexpectedly create artifacts like resentment if constant attunement/attachment is is the ONLY way to create harmony and balance, like I think you seemed to refer to in your experience pre-NUTS. Now, with more experience I still help couples learn how to do the attunement/balancing thing but coach them to not depend only on it. We very quickly introduce tools like what you're suggesting that get each to differentiate from the other and self-validate without needing the other to do so (and especially when the other is doing the opposite like criticizing or attacking).

Have to admit, never heard of NUTS...sounds like it would appeal to many guys for its simplicity and lack of pscho-babble like what I just wrote!:D

Wow Keith that’s a fabulous response.

Yes, we can lose ourselves in long term marriages. We can lose the essence of who we are as individuals through way too much compromising. N.U.T.s. are one way of defining who we are at our very core. Take mine as an example:

“If you persecute me one more time for things I’ve actually done wrong and for the things you’ve imagined I’ve done wrong in the past I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.
I will never persecute for the things you did wrong. They are over and done with and they are in the past.

“If I hear “I’ll never ever forgive you for this or that” one more time I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.
I will always forgive you. If I can't I will not live with you and take what you offer me.

“If you do not learn to confront the issues between us in a mature adult way and continue to bury them I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.
I will always confront the issues I have with you in a mature and adult way.

“If you do not accept the consequences of your own mistakes and continue to hold me responsible I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.
I always accept the consequences of my own mistakes.

“If you do not you come to MC with me I will not spend the rest of my life with you”.
If you want to go to MC, I will go.
 
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