Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
81 - 86 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,732 Posts
How about you write down some 'rules' of what YOU would like in a healthy marriage, then? Write out what you think it would look like. Give specific examples. Use examples of things that BOTH of you have done, and write out what you think healthier responses would have been. Sit down with her when nothing else is going on, and go through them. Discuss why you'd want that stuff, ask her to reiterate it back to you so you can see she understands the logic of it. Try to get her to agree that this (on the paper) is what you two will do in the future when A, B, or C happens. And when it DOES happen, as she can't change overnight, you DO what you both agreed would happen, and then carry on with other stuff. Let her experience what this new arrangement feels like; that's the best way to get her to really change her ways.

For instance, say she spends a lot of money, and you two really can't afford it. Maybe she takes a credit card out of your wallet without telling you and goes and buys something. You get the bill and discover it a month later. Normally, you'd either stew and resent, or you'd blow up, right? So, moving forward, how about instead you give her a consequence for it - you go online, pull out from HER account the same amount of dollars she spent on your card, plus interest (the consequence), pay the bill and keep the change. It's logical, it's somewhat punitive, and it takes away a little of her 'control.' It was her choice to do it, so she can't blame you for the consequence.

I advise parents to do this all the time with their kids - tell them AHEAD OF TIME what consequences will be, and then leave the kids the freedom to mess up, or not. It takes all onus off of you and puts it squarely on the shoulders of the aggressor; and she can't deny that, since you have already TOLD her what's going to happen if she does it again. Given that her 'spoiledness' is akin to you having to treat her like a child, it should be rather effective.

Of course, include things that YOU do wrong, too.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
143 Posts
Discussion Starter #82
How about you write down some 'rules' of what YOU would like in a healthy marriage, then? Write out what you think it would look like. Give specific examples. Use examples of things that BOTH of you have done, and write out what you think healthier responses would have been. Sit down with her when nothing else is going on, and go through them. Discuss why you'd want that stuff, ask her to reiterate it back to you so you can see she understands the logic of it. Try to get her to agree that this (on the paper) is what you two will do in the future when A, B, or C happens. And when it DOES happen, as she can't change overnight, you DO what you both agreed would happen, and then carry on with other stuff. Let her experience what this new arrangement feels like; that's the best way to get her to really change her ways.

For instance, say she spends a lot of money, and you two really can't afford it. Maybe she takes a credit card out of your wallet without telling you and goes and buys something. You get the bill and discover it a month later. Normally, you'd either stew and resent, or you'd blow up, right? So, moving forward, how about instead you give her a consequence for it - you go online, pull out from HER account the same amount of dollars she spent on your card, plus interest (the consequence), pay the bill and keep the change. It's logical, it's somewhat punitive, and it takes away a little of her 'control.' It was her choice to do it, so she can't blame you for the consequence.

I advise parents to do this all the time with their kids - tell them AHEAD OF TIME what consequences will be, and then leave the kids the freedom to mess up, or not. It takes all onus off of you and puts it squarely on the shoulders of the aggressor; and she can't deny that, since you have already TOLD her what's going to happen if she does it again. Given that her 'spoiledness' is akin to you having to treat her like a child, it should be rather effective.

Of course, include things that YOU do wrong, too.
This is basically what we did last night. The only part we didn't do is have a list of exactly what to do to deal with inconsistencies if they show up. I don't know if I want to include that anyway, I don't want to be her father and have to punish and monitor her behavior. If it continues to be a problem for major things I'll probably lean towards divorce.
I'll see how it plays out now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
phoenix_,

You have received some very good feedback here. None of which has landed, nor beeen received by anything other than defensive rhetoric.

If this relationship is too much "work", rest assured ALL relationships are work, then take door number 1 and end it.

Or, before that you can take a long, hard and repeated look at the man in the mirror to ensure that there is 0% (not <50, or even 1%) contribution.

All humans will mirror what they receive. If you smile at a complete stranger they will (99.99% of the time) smile back. If you scream at them they will respond in kind.

We all wish you well following the path that you choose; but also know that you have to pick a path and stay on it.

This is not a try it once or twice to see if it is going to work, you are going to have to commit long term. This will only benefit you personally, regardless of how the relationship progresses.

Now, if you will exuse me I need to work on my marriage...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,732 Posts
You could be like my BIL, 55 years old, never married cos no one's good enough, thousands of $100 meals bought for women, still goes home alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Hi phoenix_, I want to say you are on the right path and congratulate you on the progress you've made so far. Finding healthier ways of communicating is definitely going to help your marriage. I think for your list that you need to set apart a time for praising each other on the progress you've made on each others lists, it'll foster great feelings that fuel further progress.

You've probably done this but I want to make sure anyway, that the items on your list are not to overly broad, in that you set actionable things that they can do to resolve an issue underneath, no one is a mind reader after all. Another thing to consider is to create a signal between you two for when you want to just talk and in that special time that the other partner just listens, no criticizing or saying what a person should or shouldn't do, simply expressing when you did this it made me feel like this, etc. Its a time when you are focusing on understanding, rather then resolving feelings or issues.

I think this maybe a little difficult for you guys, but it'd help a lot if you both decided to start on a new slate, throw out old score keeping. As a married couple you are a team, so win/win should be the mentality. A good thing to set up now is a rule that you both will no longer keep score, it's only been causing problems, resentments and arguments. I think a good idea is to ask what each others most hated task is and for the other person to take responsibility for that task, it alleviates tension and fosters love. Then for other tasks, agree that if you notice that a task needs to be done, to just do it. You may not decide to do this, but having had developed better communication, you'll hopefully have come up with an arrangement that works for both of you.

Remember focus on win/win scenarios, best of luck to you two. :)
 
81 - 86 of 86 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top