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Update - my wife is pleased with my texts about finding some coworkers pretty but avoiding them like the plague. She assumed correctly that in the past I would have viewed attractive woman freely, but she knows now that I am actively fighting against this. I am still worried about what happens if I do stare, though. If I do, I probably should tell her, since I am striving for transparency, right?
 

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Update - my wife is pleased with my texts about finding some coworkers pretty but avoiding them like the plague. She assumed correctly that in the past I would have viewed attractive woman freely, but she knows now that I am actively fighting against this. I am still worried about what happens if I do stare, though. If I do, I probably should tell her, since I am striving for transparency, right?
Don't stare.

Stop telling her every time.

Look, man. Let's make this a workplace analogy. When you are in charge at work, do you take things to your subordinates for their opinion all of the time? Or only things when they clearly have expertise?

How about as a subordinate? You submit things for approval...which is exactly what you are doing EVERY SINGLE TIME you go to her with something.

"Wife, Jesus understood the nature of man, and that sin begins in the heart. Just know I am doing my best to work against it."

Then don't bring it up again. She has no need for a play-by-play.

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I am going to start sharing some insights into me. For example, I saw a show last night where the female turned me on, and I shared this with her, following with how it is fake/shallow, how I would rather be with my wife instead.
I really don’t think it’s a good idea to tell your wife about other women who “turn me on.” She doesn’t need to know every little detail of your thinking. Telling her that you would much rather be with her is fine, but how would you feel if she started telling you about men who “turn her on?” I know you didn’t like what she had to say about your brother and your response was to tell her to give you those feelings, which was good.

Your list was good. Did you two come up with that together or was that only your side of it? It sounds like she received it well. Like Farsidejunky said, you don’t need to keep reiterating these boundaries. Consider writing them down and putting them on your mirror like Farside did. This would be helpful for both you and your wife. Maybe even going over them once a month to see how you are both doing on the list. It’s good to check in with your spouse on things are going and how you can each do better for the marriage, of course, encouraging one another in what you are doing right as well, rather than being critical.

I think that for a Christian lady married to a non Christian man this is hard as he can never be the head of the home spiritually and that's so important.
Not all Christians see it this way. Not to take this on a rabbit trail, I’ll quickly explain.
The idea that the husband is the head of the family is a distortion of the tribal system that was used to keep the nation of Israel together. The necessity for this ended when Jesus completed his mission. This is confused with Ephesians 5:23 which calls the man the head of the wife, which is illustrating and entirely different concept.
This is another example of how this marriage can be improved by the wife better understanding the Bible and what it means to her marriage.
 

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Update - my wife is pleased with my texts about finding some coworkers pretty but avoiding them like the plague. She assumed correctly that in the past I would have viewed attractive woman freely, but she knows now that I am actively fighting against this. I am still worried about what happens if I do stare, though. If I do, I probably should tell her, since I am striving for transparency, right?
You stare at women? Your wife isn't the only one who doesn't appreciate this.

When you see a beautiful woman, rather than staring, turn your eyes elsewhere and think about something completely unrelated to the woman. Trying not to do it makes it more difficult to stop, because in thinking about not doing something, you are thinking about the thing you are trying not to think about. Change your perspective and things will be easier on you.
 

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And thanks, @turnera. There's a handful of folks that were instrumental in helping me from the very beginning. You are right at the top of that list.

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If you have time, could you provide a full picture of this? I am interested in what the entire thing says and there are a few gaps. I am interested in understanding it better. For example, the first message in its entirety and what is the end of the last line?
 

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If you have time, could you provide a full picture of this? I am interested in what the entire thing says and there are a few gaps. I am interested in understanding it better. For example, the first message in its entirety and what is the end of the last line?
I had no idea how hard it was to do this without taking a selfie at the same time! :)

Here you go. I'm willing to bet @Deejo recognizes a few of these. At least two of them are his direct quotes.


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If you would like to, by all means.

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I had no idea how hard it was to do this without taking a selfie at the same time! :)

Here you go. I'm willing to bet @Deejo recognizes a few of these. At least two of them are his direct quotes.
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Damn man, your fingernails are impeccable! (I'm married to a salon owner. I always find myself looking at my claws now.)

Cripes, it took me a few reads, but yes I remember those. Thanks for posting that ... we can all use those kinds of reminders every once in a while.

You know, I gave my copy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" to a work colleague about 3 years ago. He came up to me 2 days ago and handed it back. "Thanks for letting me hang onto this, I don't need it any more." He's getting married for the first time at age 37. He used to pick my brain about dating and relationships all of the time ... before they moved his team to another floor.

I need to revisit some of those books. NMMNG, Hold Onto Your NUTS, etc.
 

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Damn man, your fingernails are impeccable! (I'm married to a salon owner. I always find myself looking at my claws now.)



Cripes, it took me a few reads, but yes I remember those. Thanks for posting that ... we can all use those kinds of reminders every once in a while.



You know, I gave my copy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" to a work colleague about 3 years ago. He came up to me 2 days ago and handed it back. "Thanks for letting me hang onto this, I don't need it any more." He's getting married for the first time at age 37. He used to pick my brain about dating and relationships all of the time ... before they moved his team to another floor.



I need to revisit some of those books. NMMNG, Hold Onto Your NUTS, etc.
Of all the things I expected you might say, an observation about my nails was not one of them.

Sorry for the thread jack, DIGB.

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DIGB:

I posted this on my bathroom mirror in 2014. It is a mish-mash of quotes from NMMNG as well as posters from this site. When I put them up initially, my wife did not like them...at all.

I took this photo tonight...yes, tonight. Five years later...it is STILL on my mirror.

Why?

So I don't return to the approval seeking, nice-guy behavior of my past.

So I remember to love myself enough to refuse to tolerate the intolerable.

So I remember to measure my personal success with MY measuring tools...not hers.

Funny, my wife's anger at the time...yet here we are...in a far better place... Had I listened to her, they would have been taken down already. Yet those fundamentals were the basis for our marriage to come back from the brink.

Imagine that...


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I love it!

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Unhappily married for 9 years beats unhappily married for 24 years......So you've got that going' for you........Consider yourself lucky......
 

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Damn man, your fingernails are impeccable! (I'm married to a salon owner. I always find myself looking at my claws now.)

Cripes, it took me a few reads, but yes I remember those. Thanks for posting that ... we can all use those kinds of reminders every once in a while.

You know, I gave my copy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" to a work colleague about 3 years ago. He came up to me 2 days ago and handed it back. "Thanks for letting me hang onto this, I don't need it any more." He's getting married for the first time at age 37. He used to pick my brain about dating and relationships all of the time ... before they moved his team to another floor.

I need to revisit some of those books. NMMNG, Hold Onto Your NUTS, etc.
You know what else would be good for OP to read? His Needs Her Needs. It's my go-to book for 'balance.' You know, to make sure BOTH of you are getting your needs met. It's a great book for you both to read together.
 

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Update - my wife is pleased with my texts about finding some coworkers pretty but avoiding them like the plague. She assumed correctly that in the past I would have viewed attractive woman freely, but she knows now that I am actively fighting against this. I am still worried about what happens if I do stare, though. If I do, I probably should tell her, since I am striving for transparency, right?

You need to looking for approval from her. For your thoughts, for your decisions, for your actions. For anything.

Integrity is what you do when nobody is looking. You want integrity? Start thinking like that.
 

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Damn man, your fingernails are impeccable! (I'm married to a salon owner. I always find myself looking at my claws now.)



Cripes, it took me a few reads, but yes I remember those. Thanks for posting that ... we can all use those kinds of reminders every once in a while.



You know, I gave my copy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" to a work colleague about 3 years ago. He came up to me 2 days ago and handed it back. "Thanks for letting me hang onto this, I don't need it any more." He's getting married for the first time at age 37. He used to pick my brain about dating and relationships all of the time ... before they moved his team to another floor.



I need to revisit some of those books. NMMNG, Hold Onto Your NUTS, etc.

Hagakure has gotten a lot of mileage for me. Not everyone’s cup of tea, to be sure, but this one got me through many of my wife’s inevitable emotional storms:

“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”
― Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure: A code to the way of samurai

When I think of that when she’s undergoing fits of anger, sadness, or even just treating me as an emotional punching bag (PTSD sucks), I remember not to try to hide from it. Or placate her. Or do anything, really. Her emotions are like the weather, not in the sense that they’re random, just in the sense that they are sometimes inexplicable, and more often than not have nothing to do with me.

There is no need to hide from the weather. Once you’ve resolved yourself that getting wet is OK, you don’t run from it any more. You can see the storm for what it is, and not lose your wits trying to hide from it. And that takes away much of the power of the storm.

And it leaves you free to act with wisdom.
 

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I skipped ahead a bit here, so please disregard my comment if it duplicates what has already been said.

I think, given your description of your wife's background, that she has very narrow experience and thus very narrow coping mechanisms.

When your spiritual beliefs evolved and began to run counter to hers, she reacted defensively. She felt a detachment, an estrangement. You became an opponent of sorts instead of the spiritual soulmate.

She then desperately tried to bring you back to her by making you 'follow her rules.' If you are like her in these other respects, she hoped, then perhaps the detachment wouldn't be permanent and total.

Right now, you are not compatible and she is dancing as fast as she can to try to make you a couple rather than roommates with benefits. I don't think she has the internal tools, though, to know what to do to feel emotionally intimate with a man who no longer shares her world view.

Counseling would help, but I sense that she would resist unless the aim was to get you back in the fold. Like the others, I think you two have grown into incompatibility, which is very hard, but I don't think you should sacrifice your life to it, so either counseling and a new approach or facing the fact that you two don't suit.
 

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I think it's premature to determine that you are permanently incompatible when you have so much personal growth to accomplish and to learn how to set boundaries and have a healthy relationship. It seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I think you are doing a good job of telling her that the adversarial attitude, the yelling, etc., has got to stop immediately and are learning ways to put and end to it if it does happen. If she can't learn to control that, there are other questions, such as the mental and emotional health of children being brought up in those conditions. Do you really want to leave your children in her 100% custody so she can teach them her ways? Or do you want at least 50% custody so you can allow them to participate in your personal growth while they learn how to be people of integrity and to be kind to one another rather than being filled with anger and anxiety?
 
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