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How is leaving or asking her to leave different from what other people were saying? They both seem really similar to me.

I don't think she wants subconsciously out. If I did, I wouldn't bother with trying to make our marriage better. She's a great wife, but lets her emotions run away with her sometimes. I've not done a great job of communicating that she needs to get that under control, so I'll take part of the blame.

That being said, I'm not worried about her leaving me. It would take a lot more than this to break us. That's why I'm comfortable in figuring out a way to stand up for myself in these situations. So for now I play the waiting game and see if it happens again.
I guess it depends on who you're referring to with "other people". I haven't seen too many comments suggesting you bump this up to "deal breaker" status but hope for R. Seems like it's been either/or. I think it should be a deal breaker just like infidelity, domestic violence, drug abuse, etc would be for most. That's basically what I'm saying is that her treating you with disrespect should have an immediate harsh reactions like a couple of week separation. And of course you have to treat her with respect as well.
I'm saying you should not learn to deal with being treated poorly and you should not fight fire with fire by being disrespectful back.

And I think being very firm ( make it a deal breaker) gives her something to respect you for and reason to evaluate how to avoid doing something that you say she feels guilty about later.
 

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COMMUNICATION: “YOU” V/S “I” STATEMENTS

A piece of the article here >>

[QUOTE}'I’ Statements have Multiple Benefits

- ‘I’ statements make the speaker take responsibility for his emotions, acknowledging and understanding them better. Also, we can really know only what WE are feeling. When we talk about anyone else’s feelings, thoughts or behaviors like ‘you don’t love me’ or ‘you don’t understand’ – it’s all just an assumption. That is our perspective of the situation while that person’s reality may be completely different. So let’s not assume here, let only talk of only what we really know – our own selves.

- When we get in touch with our emotions and share them, we create a bridge for the opposite person also to get in touch with how we’re feeling. This facilitates empathy and helps them understand us better, much better. It makes one feel like you’re opening up to him, nudging him to be there for you.

- When you focus on what you are feeling, rather than on your opinion on the matter (as is conveyed through a ‘You’ statement), it is non-threatening and inoffensive. Hence it doesn’t make the person jump to his defense with all shields up and instead allows him to drop his guard. So always identify and say what you are feeling about the situation, instead of what the other person is doing.

One thing to be alert about though are disguised statements. Statements like “ I feel that…” or I feel like…” as they are just hidden “You” statements – “I feel that you are getting stubborn” or “I feel like you don’t spend any time with me”. These have the same accusatory effect and do not help.

To know which statement is truly an ‘I’ statement, look out for what is its intended effect. If its effect is communication of feelings and not accusation, you are on the right track
[/QUOTE]

I believe that about 99% of people do more damage to their relationships by trying to use "I statements," although I agree with everything in this quotation.

I like that you highlighted this part, SimplyAmorous, because it hones in on the reason I say they don't work. People try to use them but falling into the "I feel like" stuff is a very natural subconscious tendency. Worse, when people do this, then they can start arguing about who's using I statements improperly!

As soon as the word "like" enters the picture, people are stating thoughts. "I feel like" is never followed by an emotion word - happy, sad, guilty, pressured, angry, overwhelmed - but instead it's followed by a summary of the speaker's perception.

After spending years using and teaching the concepts, I gave up because it's so unlikely to succeed when emotions are high. Instead, I encourage people (and take my own advice) to spend enough time to find a solution for their own problem that doesn't require their partner to be part of the solution. Only then should they try to solve complex problems. This lets them talk about it as if it's over and done, which takes the strain off the partner and lets their partner learn them and how they relate to the world better. A loving partner will be responsive, and a selfish one will make empty promises, but by not using blame in any way, it promotes cooperation so much better.
 

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Destructive criticism: "Holy crap! You're an idiot for doing it that way. Do I have to do everything around here? damn..."

Constructive criticism: "Nice work, bebe!! Maybe next time, so save some time for yourself, try it this way? Or not. Just a suggestion. " Or something. lol.

But, no criticizing here in this house. That left during our separation. Now, if crap gets done, we don't care how it gets done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Temperament has a tremendous amount to do with how you would choose, or even how you are capable of handling any kind of conflict; with your spouse or otherwise.

Here is what I can tell you unequivocally; you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Everyone is different. Hence the array of responses you will get. For instance, I cannot conceivably imagine writing down my boundaries and how I will respond, and handing them to my partner.
In my opinion, it seems quite counter-productive. To me, it seems ... weak. It's like a written request of 'please don't make me do this ...'. In and of itself, it seems conflict avoidant.

I'm certainly not trying to belittle you, or tell you that you are wrong. If you think this method will work, then go for it. But ... be advised, you are effectively handing her a roadmap of how to tick you off and get away with it. I cannot help but see that if she already enjoys pushing your buttons, you have just handed her more ammunition.

Your boundaries are yours. How do people learn what your boundaries are? They see your response when they or someone else crosses them.

I will also tell you that I am about results ... not always what is appropriate.

Based upon what you have indicated thus far, I'm not prepared to say that your wife has no respect for you, although it does seem clear that you 'hope' for respect, rather than 'enforcing' respect.
If that description makes you uncomfortable, then you have a long way to go, and you will need to decide if you are prepared to quite possibly jeopardize your marriage, in order to achieve the marriage you want.

She's going to fight you. People seldom welcome a change in a dynamic that they have grown used to, even a dysfunctional one. You need to be prepared to fight back.

I am all for firm and calm. That is always the best course. But ... displaying anger has it's place. Doesn't mean pitching a fit like a 3 year old, but once a woman has decided to go the route of 'hissy-fit', she's has passed beyond the threshold of being reasoned with. So ... there is little point in your effort to apply reason to the exchange.

Are you afraid of her? Afraid of upsetting her, afraid of her reactions or response, afraid that she will avoid you, or withhold attention, affection, etc. ?

You can check out the threads listed in the sticky in the Clubhouse pertaining to http://talkaboutmarriage.com/mens-clubhouse/18347-fitness-tests.html.
I can see what you're saying, and now again I don't know if I should show her the list of my boundaries or not.

I have trouble thinking about very subjective things. My initial aim was to concretely define what my boundaries were and what actions I should take to enforce them. I want to do this mainly for organizational purposes, since it is 10x easier for me to process objective written out concepts. If I do decide to share this list with my wife, I will only show her the list of boundaries while I keep the consequences to myself. I can see how this can come off as weak, but I think that risk is worth me being able to tune this into my strengths.

I can say that I am guilty of hoping for respect rather than demanding it. I came into my marriage moderately inexperienced in relationships. I think I had the assumption that I wouldn't need to enforce rules to retain respect. Well now our Utopia has crashed down, and I am working to ensure that our small problems now do not grow into large problems further down the road.

A large part of my problem is that I don't really know how to deal with anger. What happens in these situations is that she angers me by crossing my boundary, and then I don't know how to respond. I want to push her back, but I don't know how much force is too much or too little. Since I don't want to nuke her the first time I let it out, I am trying to define what is acceptable and not acceptable for me to do. I think that if I have mentally prepared for what I'm going to do, I won't get stuck in analysis paralysis, and therefore be able to act when the time comes.

I don't think my wife has no respect for me normally, I just think that it severely diminishes when she is very angry with me. She also has problems in how to deal with anger, and I haven't done my job in showing her what is okay to do with me.

Am I afraid of her? I certainly do not enjoy angering her, but I am willing to do that for a happy marriage. I am willing to "jeopardize" my marriage for this; although, I truly believe that it won't push us to the breaking point. In posting these questions people describe their problems out in detail. I think this tends to make people focus on it a little too much and think the problem is worse than it is. I will not fall in to that trap. Although I do not like the prospect of stressing our marriage, I know without a doubt that changing our dynamic will not break us, and am thus not frightened away from doing what must be done.

Thank you for your though-provoking post. You didn't offend or belittle me in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
I guess it depends on who you're referring to with "other people". I haven't seen too many comments suggesting you bump this up to "deal breaker" status but hope for R. Seems like it's been either/or. I think it should be a deal breaker just like infidelity, domestic violence, drug abuse, etc would be for most. That's basically what I'm saying is that her treating you with disrespect should have an immediate harsh reactions like a couple of week separation. And of course you have to treat her with respect as well.
I'm saying you should not learn to deal with being treated poorly and you should not fight fire with fire by being disrespectful back.

And I think being very firm ( make it a deal breaker) gives her something to respect you for and reason to evaluate how to avoid doing something that you say she feels guilty about later.
I understand what you're saying. If I made it a deal breaker, though, I would feel like I emotionally bullied her in to doing what I want. I don't want her to act respectful because she is terrified of me leaving her - I want her to be respectful towards me because she loves me and actually does respect me even while angry. I think I can accomplish this while using a small but well-placed amount of force.

I just don't think I can morally justify the overwhelming-force approach to this problem. I respect your opinion and believe that this approach would definitely fix the problem, but I am afraid it would just create more problems in its wake.
 

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A large part of my problem is that I don't really know how to deal with anger. What happens in these situations is that she angers me by crossing my boundary, and then I don't know how to respond. I want to push her back, but I don't know how much force is too much or too little. Since I don't want to nuke her the first time I let it out, I am trying to define what is acceptable and not acceptable for me to do. I think that if I have mentally prepared for what I'm going to do, I won't get stuck in analysis paralysis, and therefore be able to act when the time comes.
PAC,

Read this over and see if it gives you some ideas:

Get Your ANGRIES Out

I can tell you straight up, female anger is a nonstarter in the world at large and you're not going to find much info about it. I wouldn't give my wife a written list unless it was a list of her good points
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
PAC,

Read this over and see if it gives you some ideas:

Get Your ANGRIES Out

I can tell you straight up, female anger is a nonstarter in the world at large and you're not going to find much info about it. I wouldn't give my wife a written list unless it was a list of her good points
I have to admit, the childlike theme put me off for a bit. Good stuff, though. Thanks.

What do you mean by "female anger is a nonstarter..."?
 

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I understand what you're saying. If I made it a deal breaker, though, I would feel like I emotionally bullied her in to doing what I want. I don't want her to act respectful because she is terrified of me leaving her - I want her to be respectful towards me because she loves me and actually does respect me even while angry. I think I can accomplish this while using a small but well-placed amount of force.

I just don't think I can morally justify the overwhelming-force approach to this problem. I respect your opinion and believe that this approach would definitely fix the problem, but I am afraid it would just create more problems in its wake.
simple.
i say "sweetie you need to check yourself" and kind of carry on with whatever im doing.
 

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Whilst it's important to make boundaries known and be sure what the consequences are if boundaries are crossed, it's important to make sure you are not controlling of your spouse when carrying out consequences. e.g. if spouse crosses the line you do x, but don't try and insist your spouse do "y". It's counter productive in my experience.

Also on the smaller issues, agreeing to differ without resentment is easier said than done but essential. (By smaller issues, I mean the ones that you won't remember why you were arguing a few weeks later.) Picking your battles smoothes the way for standing firm and keeping your boundaries on the issues that actually do matter.

How to Argue Effectively - the "DO" list
 

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I understand what you're saying. If I made it a deal breaker, though, I would feel like I emotionally bullied her in to doing what I want. I don't want her to act respectful because she is terrified of me leaving her - I want her to be respectful towards me because she loves me and actually does respect me even while angry. I think I can accomplish this while using a small but well-placed amount of force.

I just don't think I can morally justify the overwhelming-force approach to this problem. I respect your opinion and believe that this approach would definitely fix the problem, but I am afraid it would just create more problems in its wake.
I suppose well-placed defense is optimal to shock and awe if you determine where to place it correctly :). I'll be curiously watching this thread.
 

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The only boundary we really have is no casual friendships with the opposite sex. This was discussed within the first month or so of our marriage and its worked well.

My husband and I don't have any other "rules" per say. We have self discipline and would never intentionally displease on another.

My husband and I do not criticize each other. We are really supportive with each other. We don't let the small things bother us. We have fabulous communication with each other and any issues are brought up immediately, but in a gentle way. We hold nothing back, nor hold any resentments.

It's impossible to have good days everyday. We know each very well and we recognize each others cues when one of us is in a bad mood. We will leave each other alone to ourselves for a day or two, but this does not happen often. We both work very hard in pleasing one another always. We have always put our marriage as our number one priority.

I'm sure neither of us would really like to be criticized by each other. I was criticized all my life by my parents. I certainly would not like it by my husband.
 

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What do you mean by "female anger is a nonstarter..."?
PAC,

What I mean is that female anger is just not a priority in any of the various communities that study and attempt to improve social and behavioral conditions in our greater society.

Male anger is a big societal problem. Women are hurt, women are killed, lives are destroyed and great harm is done. Male anger has been highly researched and highly publicized. There are many dedicated and zealous persons working in this area. We have institutionalized programs to deal with it.

Female anger, on the other hand, is a big yawn. Men are not getting beat up or killed in great number at the hands of women. Men don't usually fall into poverty and require government assistance when they leave their angry wives. Google the subject and you will see more justifications than anything else.

Men and women are different, I don't think anyone will dispute that. Men and women process anger differently. I assure you that 100% of the publicly available advice you get for dealing with anger in your marriage will be targeted to women dealing with men. Even if they say "well this could work for men dealing with women", well that's not exactly true and no one calls them on it because no one is interested. The assumption is that if you're a man and your wife has an anger problem, you can just find someone else and leave. If not, you get what you get.
 

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A large part of my problem is that I don't really know how to deal with anger. What happens in these situations is that she angers me by crossing my boundary, and then I don't know how to respond. I want to push her back, but I don't know how much force is too much or too little. Since I don't want to nuke her the first time I let it out, I am trying to define what is acceptable and not acceptable for me to do. I think that if I have mentally prepared for what I'm going to do, I won't get stuck in analysis paralysis, and therefore be able to act when the time comes.
Welcome to the brotherhood of young men! Many of us were in your situation.


Do you know it takes less than 0.1 seconds to go from calm to angry? If you didn’t know then read http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emotional-I...8306/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348670990&sr=8-1 and learn to become intelligent about your emotions.


Basically there two strategies to do with anger (1) Don’t get angry in the first place and (2) Never communicate while in the heat of your anger.



But how can you not get angry in the first place? You do this by learning how to detach from your ego (and hence your emotions), to switch out of your Ego Mind Conscience and into your Observer Mind Conscience.

If you feel/think there’s going to be a confrontation, you switch away from your Ego Mind Conscience and into your Observer Mind Conscience and just be an observer of what’s going on. That way you stay away from your ego with all its sensitivities and hence your ego doesn’t get hurt and your emotions don’t rise, you don’t get angry. To learn how to do this read Awareness: Amazon.co.uk: Anthony De Mello: Books.

Another book for you is Hold on to Your Nuts: The Relationship Manual for Men: Amazon.co.uk: Wayne M. Levine: Books.

A good boundary for you will be “She’s angry. Time to switch into my Observer Mind Conscience and practice what I learnt in Awareness: Amazon.co.uk: Anthony De Mello: Books.




(2) Never communicate while in the heat of your anger.

Boundaries are two way. For sure we have “incoming boundaries” but we also have outgoing boundaries. For example “I will never confront my wife while I am angry. I will walk away and do what it takes to become calm before re-engaging with my wife.”.
 

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It's exceedingly good that you are learning about and getting yourself some healthy boundaries.

But here's a key one for you "I will never show my wife my boundaries".


Why?

There's a couple of reasons. First off men are to a very large degree defined by their boundaries, for example "I don't steal, I'm not a thief". "I'm always courteous" etc.

Our boundaries are not something to be discussed, they are however things to be enacted. If we talk about our boundaries, then they're in great danger of just becoming promises and nothing else.



Secondly if you give your wife your list of boundaries and she later wants to wound you and therefore get your anger rising (they're very good at it!) she'll have a list of ammo!
 
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