I recently ordered Michele's DVD---my H never reads relationship books but agreed to watch this with me. I thought it would be a good idea for the two of us to work together on communication skills---sometimes it all feels so one-sided. I told him it would feel like we're in college taking a psych course together to which he replied, " Then you won't be surprised if I fall asleep."
Anyway, I think this might be a nice opportunity for us since we haven't gone to MC for quite some time. We discussed a few days ago watching an hour of it tonite...I want to see if he brings it up or lets it slide.
Things continue to go well...we ML Tues. on the schedule (H was very loving and attentive but didn't O); he then initiated last nite( in a more raunchy, selfish way). We are still doing the weekly date night thing. I am still challenging H's stubborness/prudishness/defensiveness --I mentioned something about getting the Liberator pillows and he started in with "why would you want that for" but then came around and said "do it if it makes you happy " in a positive way.
Thanks Lil...after going on that site I don't need the pillow
H and I watched the first hr of the DVD--- it's really about learning communcation skills than anything specifically related to SSM but I thought I'd discuss it here anyway. It's a tape of Michele giving a seminar in front of an actively participating couples audience...she introduces herself and talks about the painful experience of her own parents' divorce...she also introduces her H and shares anecdotes about their marriage. She goes over a T or F relationship test, and you watch a video of a couple who were on the brink of divorce and are now very enthusiastic and in love again. While watching, my H and I moved close to each other and held hands...it felt intimate.
Michele comes across as personable, warm and knowledgeable...you have to respect a woman who is so invested in saving marriages. She talks about the importance of trying to have an open heart, then discusses the concept of "real giving"---doing things that mean love to your partner. She has the couples in the seminar do an exercise ( trying to guess your partner's top 3 things that show love) and H and I did our own version of this as well.
After we watched, my H commented that a lot of what she said was common sense but very useful to hear, and wanted to listen to more ( we agreed to an hr on Sunday). We went to bed in a very loving mode...he initiated a little lovemaking early this am and also made coffee!
One thing we discovered was that H couldn't see his own behavior and only saw the resultant moodiness it caused in me; I didn't see how my personality was affecting him. We both agreed that I am more cheerful and happier, and he's less defensive and can listen better.
those liberator pillows have always looked liked they'd be nice if you could make 'em disappear when you weren't using...imagine how much space they take up. Not to mention the "what are those for?" aspect of it.
IHJ, can you please keep posting about your DVD experiences? I have decided H will never try counseling and forget about getting him to read a book.
I'd be amazed if I could get him to sit through DVD's, but it's probably my only hope.
Slowly all the roles we act out become our Identity,
And in the end we are what we pretend to be.
Those pillows do seem more trouble than they're worth, esp if you have kids in the house( I could envision my curious 10 yr old son finding them in my closet and having a field day with them, asking q's and such). I guess I am looking for ways to make sex more fun and open (H and I have always been reserved with each other), but the fact that h and I have been able to get back to a basic, regular SL is an accomplishment in and of itself.
As far as the DVD, we should be watching some more of it tonite and then I'll post an update---my H never reads relationship books and I wanted a way for the two of us to work on things together( we no longer go to MC). I don't mind doing most of the work but I need to know that he is on board. I am familiar with your sich...your H is in that confused, ambivalent place...I certainly know the pain of that ( from my H and within myself as well). I hope that the love and respect in your marriage will eventually outweigh the immaturity and selfishness...it's a long road, and my H and I are trying to stay on the path. The expression, " If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem" comes to mind.
Hope your H gets on track soon---he is missing out on a good, decent life with a wonderful person.
IHJ wrotr ------------ ( I could envision my curious 10 yr old son finding them in my closet and having a field day with them, asking q's and such). ------------ You could say older people ger joint pains and the cusions help the pain go away and help you to relax. or Sort of like adult bean-bag chairs.
I have to say a regular SL and a good EC is more important than gadgets too.
H and I watched some more of the DVD...that curious 10 yr old son of mine popped in and wanted to know what we were watching ( I told him a boring tape on marriage and he ran out,lol). He ( and my daughter) are 2 major reasons to put the work into all this.
I was happy to see that my H had a good attitude and was actively listening ( no nodding off ). This part of the tape was about setting relationship goals...Michele asks the couples why is it that people don't make goals for the relationship and are more focused on personal goals ( like losing weight), and people commented that there is a lot of selfishness and "I" thinking in our society, and also there's a belief that good relationships are just supposed to happen. Michele asked the group to write down 2 things that you would like to change/improve in the marriage. She talked about the need to learn to request what you want rather than complain ( which gets met with resistance). The goals you come up with have to be solution-oriented goals...things said in a positive way that are reasonable and doable within a 2 week time frame. This was helpful for me because I tend to be a "big picture" person and I am waiting for that time when things feel really right; by doing this, I am missing out on the progress along the way. I also tend to do things in an all-or-nothing way, instead of making little goals along the way. I know I need to let go of my cynical, negative side a bit more and bring in positivity.
Anyway, I am glad I watched this part and H was too---it feels like we have a road map to a healthier relationship. I feel a little like Ms. Suzy Sunshine today...I set a few goals and got them done, had an upbeat convo with H, and just greeted my cerebral, intense type 5 daughter with a huge hug and some fresh fruit on the table ( she just stared at me with her huge, perplexed eyes).
Quote: This was helpful for me because I tend to be a "big picture" person and I am waiting for that time when things feel really right; by doing this, I am missing out on the progress along the way.
This is such a 4 characteristic. I'm exactly the same way. The 4 wants everything to be all right at the same time; this will put her in the right "mood." Also the 4 appreciates beauty and wants her circumstances to be beautiful and harmonious.
When the 4 is moving toward health, she moves toward the action-oriented, roll-up-you-sleeves-and-get-to-work type 1. We feel better when we get up and accomplish something, but sometimes the inertia is overwhelming.
csw, if you're reading this, I believe you are very much a 4. Being an artist is the first tipoff. Also when the 4 is under stress he moves to 2, which is spending his time fixing and/or micromanaging someone else (caretaker).
Excuse teeny hijack, IHJ. Glad you're feeling upbeat. You're an inspiration to me. After all, when a 4 ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
"Somewhere, there is a chile you cannot eat." Daniel Pinkwater "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." Rumi
Re: Michele's DVD#452898 04/05/0502:59 AM04/05/0502:59 AM
Dear IHJ- I just want to write a quick note to tell you how glad I 'm that you are finding The Marriage Breakthrough helpful. It is such delight when people really want to learn new skills and are working hard to make that happen. You, obviously, are one of those people. I'm also happy that your husband isn't falling asleep while you watch. You know, the interesting thing is, even resistant people can't help but become involved because what I'm saying is so simple, yet often so elusive. If more people would put common sense into practice, I'd be out of a job! My objective is to show people that the answers are often right below their noses. So, congratulations in convincing your husband to do this with you. I hope you both experience the kinds of changes you want in your marriage. You sound well on your way to getting there! Keep up the good work. Michele