Talk About Marriage banner

261 - 280 of 382 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,384 Posts
Isolation is a tool of abuse.

Try this theology on for size:
"And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,486 Posts
Well, I wasn’t meaning to suggest an attack on her religious beliefs. Just him taking an honest approach if she were to confront him instead of blaming his actions and thoughts on a book. I feel like honesty is desperately missing in this relationship.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #263
How about instead you OWN your actions and let her know you are not ok with how your marriage is, and are looking to make changes to help it?

Has the thought ever occurred to you that the two of you may just well be completely incompatible now? With your change in/loss of your religious beliefs and her determination to live her life to the letter of hers, that there may be no way for the two of you to accomplish a loving, accepting marriage going forward? Pandering to her whims and demands for the rest of your life will never be a fulfilling life for you. And her trying to be in control of another person's thoughts and actions for the rest of hers surely couldnt be for her either.

Just sayin.
I appreciate your insights. I am struggling to come up with specifics of what I want changed. I could demand full computer access, but then I would need to be able to always refuse looking at videos of other women, a struggle for me.

Yes, we are different people with different values, so compatibility is a problem now. We still highly value our marriage vows, though. I will say that we have been having a good past 1.5 weeks without her being mad at me about anything. We both do our marital responsibilities well - me at my job and her with the kids/house - so that is a positive thing that we have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #264
My goodness. I guess your wife would be unhappy with Jesus, because he produced more wine for a group of guests at a wedding when they drank up all the wine. Not only that, but it was apparently very good wine at that. I suppose your wife probably says that it wasn’t really wine, it was grape juice. That doesn’t jibe with what the Bible says. Again, does your wife even read the Bible in context or does she pull out bits and pieces or does she only listen to the pastor? You and your wife seem to have a negatively skewed view of the Christian faith and what the Bible actually teaches.

If you want to drink, within reason, I think you need to tell your wife that you see nothing wrong with it and if it was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for you. You might also discuss changing denominations, because the denomination your family is involved in doesn’t sound healthy at all.

What was the women’s group about and did your wife say why she didn’t continue? Did they teach you anything helpful at the men’s group?


Suspicious of what! Goodness. You really are afraid of your wife, aren’t you? This is not healthy at all. If she asks, tell her you are working to become a man of integrity and to improve your life. Ask her to go on this journey with you. Afterall, you are “one flesh.” One flesh means that you have joined your life into one life. This is not only a Catholic idea, it is the general idea behind marriage. Two become one in the form of a couple with two distinct persons who have brought their lives together to live in unity and love.


NMMNG will help you see where you are at. The basic premise of a nice guy is, is correctly explained in the book, but Glover’s answer doesn’t take into account that it’s not all about the “me.” It’s about integrating your needs and desires into your life so that your needs are being met, and many of your desires as well, but it’s balanced by the Golden Rule of doing until others as you would have others do unto you. That is not part of the formula in No More Mr. Nice Guy. Glover makes promises that this will revolutionize a person’s life, but if he’s not teaching men to take into account the needs and desires of others he is in relationship with. Glover is completely self-focused, so his formula is not going to work in resolving relationship problems and improving oneself.


How would you like your wife to treat you? Treat her in the manner that you would like to be treated without worrying about whether it will change her behavior. If you are doing your part and she is having a bad attitude, then speak to her about her attitude and tell her that it’s not okay. If she continues, let her know that you need to withdraw in order to be away from mistreatment.


This is where communication is important. You are not demanding anything from her or seeking her permission. You are simply letting her into your life and finding common ground and supporting each other. If she balks, you can tell her that you expect her to respect your point of view. She doesn't have to agree with it, but she is not going to dictate to you how you are going to live or think. That's not healthy.

I don’t recommend hiding this from your wife, but I also don’t think it would be a good idea to share TAM with her. Likely it would create more issues for you. I would remain quiet about it at this time. Don’t lie to her, but you also don’t need to disclose every little thing in order to be truthful.

I don’t think the two of you are incompatible. Even though you don’t currently share the same faith doesn’t mean that the two you can’t have a healthy, happy marriage. If you leave your wife, you will still have the same problems that you have now. It’s time to clean up your act and get a set of beliefs that you live your life by.
Cythia, thank you for taking the time to write me. The women's group was about wives of women whose husbands have sexual issues - porn, affairs, homosexuality, and worse. My wife attended one session, but she did not like having to bring up past feelings and memories about my failings, so she never went again. At the men's group that I attended for years, they mentioned how living in honesty and openness is needed in order to overcome sexual issues. However, I cannot be open or honest with my wife, as the subject is too painful for her, and any flaws with my actions cause anger, fights, and threats of her leaving.

Treating others as I would like them to treat me has been a cornerstone of my upbringing and my decision making. I agree with your plan that when my wife has another bad attitude for no fault of my own, then I will tell her that it is not helping our relationship and that I will withdraw until she is ready to treat me with respect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #265
I talked with my wife for a few minutes yesterday about our relationship. I told her that I love her and that I am trying to become a better person, to figure out my theology, to be happy and share more happiness with them, to try to stop lusting. I asked for her patience and understanding. She said that she noticed my improvements over the past few weeks and she was pleased with what she saw. She said that she appreciated my increased communication.

By the way, I just found NMMNG online, so I can read it AND listen to it in car.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,685 Posts
I talked with my wife for a few minutes yesterday about our relationship. I told her that I love her and that I am trying to become a better person, to figure out my theology, to be happy and share more happiness with them, to try to stop lusting. I asked for her patience and understanding. She said that she noticed my improvements over the past few weeks and she was pleased with what she saw. She said that she appreciated my increased communication.



By the way, I just found NMMNG online, so I can read it AND listen to it in car.
That you seek her approval only digs the hole deeper.

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step is to put the shovel down.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
That you seek her approval only digs the hole deeper.

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step is to put the shovel down.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
Agree with FarSide on this. You haven't even begun to make meaningful change yet. Really, all you've done is put more effort into wife-pleasing. Why wouldn't she be happy? It's a short-term high of marital attentiveness that will be difficult to sustain and - over time - lead to even deeper levels of relationship resentment for you. You haven't even begun the process yet, and you're already looking for praise from Mommy. You have a long, long way to go, my friend.

You still have the hard work of identifying what you truly want for yourself (other than your wife's approval.) I know it's very difficult to do the process of getting to your own core and deciding what's important to you. Until you do that you can't lead, you can't set boundaries and you can't enforce consequences when your boundaries are crossed.

Stop looking for the quick solution, the quick praise. Dig in and start doing the work needed for a meaningful change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Also wondering about this "support group for porn" stuff. Something doesn't smell right here. Either you're way, way more into porn - and it's a bigger fundamental problem - than you're sharing with us on here. Or, your wife really is a really a judgmental religious zealot who needs every moral "I" dotted and "T" crossed.

Given your previous statements about her perception of you buying a six-pack, my hunch is the latter is closer to the truth. If this is indeed the case, you have a long, uphill road. I would refer you to a couple of threads on here by a poster named "CopperTop." His is an object lesson on what happens when a man gets trapped in a relationship with a woman who judges her husband's value based on measuring sticks set by others (i.e. religion, family). If your spouse uses external validation to support her extreme interpretations of "appropriate" behavior, I suspect that even a well-implemented version of NMMNG principles will meet with failure.

The initial part of the NMMNG process is still valid to pursue, however. It helps you to improve yourself and make yourself a better partner for a "normal" person. The more glimpses we get into your wife's behaviors, the more it seems she does not match that description.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #269
Also wondering about this "support group for porn" stuff. Something doesn't smell right here. Either you're way, way more into porn - and it's a bigger fundamental problem - than you're sharing with us on here. Or, your wife really is a really a judgmental religious zealot who needs every moral "I" dotted and "T" crossed.

Given your previous statements about her perception of you buying a six-pack, my hunch is the latter is closer to the truth. If this is indeed the case, you have a long, uphill road. I would refer you to a couple of threads on here by a poster named "CopperTop." His is an object lesson on what happens when a man gets trapped in a relationship with a woman who judges her husband's value based on measuring sticks set by others (i.e. religion, family). If your spouse uses external validation to support her extreme interpretations of "appropriate" behavior, I suspect that even a well-implemented version of NMMNG principles will meet with failure.

The initial part of the NMMNG process is still valid to pursue, however. It helps you to improve yourself and make yourself a better partner for a "normal" person. The more glimpses we get into your wife's behaviors, the more it seems she does not match that description.
After discovering that I looked at porn sometimes (rarely... ~15min/week?), my wife told me that I would attend this church group for men with sexual issues or she would leave me. So, I attend the group for years. I was a relatively "light" offender in the group, as almost all of the other men were there for adultery, homosexuality, or criminal acts beyond that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,456 Posts
I talked with my wife for a few minutes yesterday about our relationship. I told her that I love her and that I am trying to become a better person, to figure out my theology, to be happy and share more happiness with them, to try to stop lusting. I asked for her patience and understanding. She said that she noticed my improvements over the past few weeks and she was pleased with what she saw. She said that she appreciated my increased communication.
It's good that your wife is supportive of your need to make changes. These changes should be due to you wanting to become a man of honor and integrity, not in order to please your wife. A product of being a good man will probably be a happier wife and healthier marriage. The fact that your wife is listening to you and wants better communication is a very good sign.

After discovering that I looked at porn sometimes (rarely... ~15min/week?), my wife told me that I would attend this church group for men with sexual issues or she would leave me.
This is a deal breaker for your wife. I disagree that she is over the top or judgmental. Many people, myself included, do not tolerate porn usage. If you can’t stop, then you have a problem and I see nothing wrong with attending a group for people who are unable to control their sexual urges. The fact that your problem was much less serious than the others in the group doesn’t negate the fact that it is having a negative impact on your life. 15 minutes per week isn’t rare. It’s a regular occurrence. You are minimizing it, which is part of your problem. If you can’t stop, seek help.

I know I’m harping on the NMMNG, since I hate his prescription, but his comment that if you do what he says and your marriage fails that it wasn’t a good marriage to begin with it stupid and self-serving on Glover’s part. If my husband followed Glover’s advice, I wouldn’t put up with his self-centered and cold behavior, which is what I consider Glover’s recommendations to be.

However, his insight into what the problems are and about covert contracts, etc. is very good. Stop doing those things, but don’t use his methods to stop or you’ll have a whole other set of problems, including divorce. When a married person embarks on a self-improvement journey, it should include making sure that his relationships and responsibilities are taken into account, which Glover doesn’t do. You have a wife and a family. They matter. Going off on your own isn’t what marriage or parenting is about. However, you have to know yourself and be responsible for your own well-being in order to be a healthy person. That doesn’t mean going off on a track of self-centered narcissism, which I think is where NMMNG goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
After discovering that I looked at porn sometimes (rarely... ~15min/week?), my wife told me that I would attend this church group for men with sexual issues or she would leave me. So, I attend the group for years. I was a relatively "light" offender in the group, as almost all of the other men were there for adultery, homosexuality, or criminal acts beyond that.
Of course, every individual has to set their own boundaries and consequences. (See how your wife did that effectively with the porn issue? Just note that you can set boundaries with consequences, too) And every individual has the right to determine whether they are willing to live within the boundaries of the relationship they have chosen. If the boundary of your relationship is no porn use, then you have to respect it and live by it.

Now, with that said. the read on the situation from this uninformed corner of the world wide web is that it looks like your wife has a giant stick up her butt. It would be difficult for me to live in a relationship that incorporated her boundaries. Now, that's not a license from me saying go watch all the porn you want. What I am saying is that you are in a relationship where your partner may have relatively high - and some might say arbitrary - expectations regarding your behavior along with an apparent need for a high level of control. If you can't always live up to those expectations, it may be more a reflection on her than you.

Again, this is no blank check for violating boundaries that you feel are unfair. You gotta keep the promises that you make. The challenge comes in setting rules of the road in which you both can abide. To do that, you have to identify what is important to you and what would be reasonable within the confines of your relationship. It's not cool to break the rules of the relationship that you have already agreed upon. But it is more than fair to discuss the boundaries and what you are willing to accept in order for the relationship to work for YOU, as well. (Your voice counts just as much as hers in this future discussion.)

The question to ask is whether this is the hill that I want to die on - in terms of maintaining the relationship. I would not think that 15 minutes of porn a week would be worth sacrificing your relationship and family unit. If this is the case for you as well, then you just have to man up and stop doing it. Or - as an alternative - renegotiate the boundary and tell her that you will stop doing it if intimacy frequency increases to X times per week, if frequency is an issue for you.

Give us a sense on your wife's past willingness to compromise on issues. Is she reasonable and will listen to-and consider- outside viewpoints. Or are things pretty much black-and-white based on her worldview. If she leans to the dogmatic side, your efforts are re-structuring your relationship will be that much more challenging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
After discovering that I looked at porn sometimes (rarely... ~15min/week?), my wife told me that I would attend this church group for men with sexual issues or she would leave me. So, I attend the group for years. I was a relatively "light" offender in the group, as almost all of the other men were there for adultery, homosexuality, or criminal acts beyond that.
As a lapsed Catcholic, I can tell you that church groups may not be the most productive places to sort through issues of this sort. The hypocrisy of church leadership on this issue is beyond breathtaking. But that's a topic for another day......
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,456 Posts
As a lapsed Catcholic, I can tell you that church groups may not be the most productive places to sort through issues of this sort. The hypocrisy of church leadership on this issue is beyond breathtaking. But that's a topic for another day......
I think this is true of anyone trying to help with overcoming porn addiction, because it is more prevalent than opioid addiction. It's hard to find someone who has been successful. My church has a group. I've personally watched all the videos and looked through the materials. It's a good program with a lot of brain science included. According to one of the group leaders, participation in these groups is minimal and most men don't last to the end. They give up or their relationships fail and they get deeper into porn rather than dealing with whatever is causing them to rely on it.

#DoesItGetBetter? , Do you think you may be having trouble giving up porn because the porn never rejects or criticizes you? Are you are trying to take control over one little tiny area of your life? If that's what's going on, you have to deal with the critical environment you are living in by setting boundaries and by behaving appropriately yourself. I'm not say that she determines what is or is not appropriate, but of course their are common courtesies and behaviors that are cultural acceptable and not. You are in control of your life, whether you feel like it or not, and are therefore responsible for your behavior and your life. Also some of the books that have been recommended to you talk about what is reasonable in marriage and how to get along with your spouse without losing yourself in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,413 Posts
Yes, I stated depending on the severity, so there's no point in disputing what I said just to repeat what I said?



Marduk stated something rather unnecessary, if not nonsensical. You took exception as well did I. Were you trying to insult him? I wasn't trying to insult him by disagreeing with what he said, so what could there be insulting to you to make a comparison? If you were trying to insult him, then I understand your question. But that doesn't make it apply to me.


Listen. I’m a guy that has been abused by his wife.

I understand abuse. All too well. And what it takes to deal with an abuser.

Turning the other cheek accelerates the abuse. Acquiescing emboldens the abuser because it fires an operant conditioning loop that teaches the abuser that abuse works to control.

You don’t negotiate with abusers. You don’t acquiesce. You don’t make nice.

In the same way that you can’t negotiate a peace treaty with terrorists, you can’t negotiate ‘grace’ with an abuser.

You stand up. Demand that it stops or you leave. Or you just leave. Period.

I’ve listed the traits for emotional abuse. He’s agreed to them all. Therefore he is being abused by his wife. QED.

Abuse is not love. Love is also a verb. Therefore his wife does not love him. QED.

His wife clearly does not respect him, and his wife clearly feels he must do as she wishes - that she holds all the power. Therefore standing up for himself is likely to fail, because she appears to feel righteous.

Therefore, there is one option left. Leave. He can leave the door open to further conversations once he’s no longer being actively traumatized, and it’s clear she no longer has the ability to control him through abuse.

These are my reasons. I am not making stuff up. I speak from experience.

OP can take it or leave it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,413 Posts
Baptist Minister here. I was raised fundamentalist, with 7 literal days and the scriptures “inerrant in the original manuscripts”. Very few Christians are literalists. None actually. We understand metaphor and nuance and that the psalms are to be read and understood differently than the epistles.

What fundamentalists disregard is context. Everything that Paul wrote ( whose words encompass 99% of fundamentalist rules) is a contextual application of Jesus words. Paul was teaching us how to apply Jesus words to our lives. Instead we do a cut and paste with Paul’s solutions and wonder why they make a mess in our lives and context.

Jesus promised us his Spirit, which would lead us into all truth, not the Scriptures as that final arbiter of truth. The Spirit interprets the Word. Interesting that your wife has disregarded that fundamental theological point.

Fundamentalists focus on do’s and fonts and forget that Jesus came that to remove our burdens, not to add to them. But you know this. You are still firmly in the Christian faith, but a faith of nuance, and joy, and possibility. A theology of the Spirit. Don’t live under a spirit of condemnation. You’ve done nothing wrong.

You’ve looked at porn. You and every other fundamentalist guy, and almost every other guy, ever. If it bothers you, confess it to God, not your wife. Intimacy is a two way street. She has made the systemic and sweeping decision to judge you and to diminish your valid beliefs, and to think less of you, and expects this judgment with encourage transparency? Her theological arrogance is that of every fundamentalist.

What if she is wrong and all that she has been taught is nothing but a security blanket with millions of theological holes? That is what it is. You have not lost your faith, you are simply growing up into Gods future for you. Welcome to your new future.

Come on in. The water is fine!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Insightful. Thank you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,456 Posts
Mk 15:33–34
That's not doubting. That's crying out in pain and surprise at how difficult the whole crucifixion experience was. Like asking, "Father, where are you,?" when he knows full well where God is. If he doubted, he wouldn't be crying out to the Father.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,413 Posts
That's not doubting. That's crying out in pain and surprise at how difficult the whole crucifixion experience was. Like asking, "Father, where are you,?" when he knows full well where God is. If he doubted, he wouldn't be crying out to the Father.

He doubted that God was still with him. And when he realized that he was, his doubt went away forever.

Is this not the lesson in this parable?

It was my understanding that doubt was part of the path to faith, but that the doubt itself was necessary. And painful. The “long dark night of the soul” so to speak.

The only reason why I’m posting about this here is because her own doubts might be triggering her overreaction with him.

In a similar way that high profile anti-gay politicians have turned out to be gay themselves. The reason that they were so aggressive about it was because they doubted their own sexuality.

I personally do not find her assertions of faith convincing given her overreaction to his doubts.

You likely know more about such things than I do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,456 Posts
He doubted that God was still with him. And when he realized that he was, his doubt went away forever.

Is this not the lesson in this parable?

It was my understanding that doubt was part of the path to faith, but that the doubt itself was necessary. And painful. The “long dark night of the soul” so to speak.

The only reason why I’m posting about this here is because her own doubts might be triggering her overreaction with him.

In a similar way that high profile anti-gay politicians have turned out to be gay themselves. The reason that they were so aggressive about it was because they doubted their own sexuality.

I personally do not find her assertions of faith convincing given her overreaction to his doubts.

You likely know more about such things than I do.
I don't agree with your interpretation of the scripture, but don't want to take this thread on a rabbit trail and get smacked with the ruler.

It could be that she has her doubts, but I doubt it. (sorry couldn't resist) I think it is more likely that she has a legalistic view of scripture and is afraid, much like what DoesItGetBetter? was describing in that he felt guilty all the time when he was trying to follow religion. Her view of God is unhealthy. (And untrue according to my extensive reading of the Bible.)

Also, @Marduk, have you repented of your abusive ways?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,413 Posts
I don't agree with your interpretation of the scripture, but don't want to take this thread on a rabbit trail and get smacked with the ruler.



It could be that she has her doubts, but I doubt it. (sorry couldn't resist) I think it is more likely that she has a legalistic view of scripture and is afraid, much like what DoesItGetBetter? was describing in that he felt guilty all the time when he was trying to follow religion. Her view of God is unhealthy. (And untrue according to my extensive reading of the Bible.)



Also, @Marduk, have you repented of your abusive ways?

When was I abusive?

I don’t believe in repentance any way. I believe in acting. If you regret something, you say so, apologize, and then change. Repentance to me achieves nothing. But I’m not religious so I cannot say what it would do for others.

Actually now that I think about it, that’s a secular view of repentance. Maybe?
 
261 - 280 of 382 Posts
Top